Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fashion; building an altar to Neptune

Neptune governs what is fashionable, and he changes sign every 14 years or so. Next year he moves from Aquarius to Pisces, so fashions will change, and are probably starting to do so already. Well, fashions are always changing, or they wouldn’t be called fashions. It’s more the underlying character of what is fashionable that will be changing.

“For the fashion of this world passeth away.” (Corinthians Chapter 7)

So in the last couple of years there has begun to be protest against the fashion for anorexic catwalkers. Aquarius can be disembodied and sci-fi, so not only have we had women held up as icons who are virtually ill from malnourishment, but the Japanese have even managed to create a robot dressed up as a woman that walks and talks. You could say that Chiron in Aquarius over the last few years has brought the matter of anorexic models to a head.

While the ideal is to be thin, the actuality is increasingly the opposite, an epidemic of obesity that has been flagged up as Neptune approaches Pisces. So we may have the opposite problem for some years yet, as Pisces knows no boundaries, but at least, I hope, women will be allowed to have a shape again.

Aquarius is associated with electronics and networking, so he is the sign above all others that governs the internet. Putting this together with Aquarius’ odd relationship to the body, and we have kids whose main source of sex education is the online porn industry.

Teenage girls are now under pressure to remove their pubic hair: the boys find it off-putting after what they’ve seen on the internet. Admittedly the Romans weren’t too keen either on pubic hair, but that was more to do with their ideas on hygiene. This is different. Its origins are pornographic display. To my mind, there are also paedophilic undertones, in the same way that holding up boy-shaped girls (ie the catwalk) as an ideal also has this flavour. At the same time we demonise paedophiles, they are the modern equivalent of the Jews in medieval Europe.

There is another fashion which has been around for some time, which is for women to dye their hair bleach blonde. It used to be just young women who did this, but now it is all ages, and to start with I used to find it hideous and undignified when an elderly woman did this. (I’m not protesting against dyeing, which can look good, it is the bleach blonde effect). It is so common now that I’ve got used to it. I think it is again Neptune in Aquarius – which has been going on for 12 years – because it is an attempt to deny ageing.

Bleach blonde has always had the connotations of sexy and brainless (as in ‘I had a blonde moment’). After several decades of the social advances brought about by feminism, it’s as if many women decided, after all, to choose sex over brains. OK, I’m being a bit hard here, as it’s in many cases not true, but there is still a symbolism going on.

I’m still trying to get my head around Neptune transits, because I’m not very Neptunian, but for the last 4 years I’ve had Neptune conjunct Sun and now it’s approaching my DESC and I still seem to be in a swamp with no way forward. Someone just lent me ‘Making the Gods work for you’ by Caroline Casey and here was a bit that I liked:


The Odyssey provides a Neptunian initiation tale. After fighting the Trojan War, Ulysses’ single goal is to reach home. But because Ulysses has angered Neptune by blinding the one-eyed Cyclops, one of Neptune’s children, the sea god sends disorientating winds and extravagant, weird, exotic adventures to distract Ulysses and blow him off course. Who can’t relate?

Finally, Ulysses consults Tiresias, the blind Underworld prophet, a kind of Pluto figure, who says: “You have angered Neptune. Here’s the ritual you must perform. Take an oar, a symbol of the sea, and walk it inland. When you get to a place where no-one has ever seen the sea, there you must build a temple to the god who has been oppressing you.”

So Ulysses does this, walking inland until somebody asks him if the oar is a piece of windmill, so he knows he has found the right place. He builds a temple to Neptune, the god who has been oppressing him, and it works. In an act of reversal magic, Neptune becomes his ally and sends him sweet winds. Ulysses sails for home, where he reclaims his kingdom.

Our task is to reflect upon what it might mean to build a temple to the god who has been oppressing us. What kind of oar do we take inland? The Neptunian part of us says that to liberate ourselves, we must carry our vision inland to where nobody has ever heard of it before, and give our gift there. It is easy to hang out in a homogenous neighbourhood; go somewhere new.

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Maura said...

I'd hardly say that Joanna Lumley was elderly

Anonymous said...

I've thought the proliferation of older bleached blonds had something to do with the pluto in leo generation -
a lion-colored mane.
and obsession with hair.
Nearly every woman over 50 in the midwest USA either dies her hair blond or has streaks/stripes.
If you naturally gray, you stand out.

Barry Goddard said...

Yes, Pluto in Leo: they look for survival (Pluto) in staying young (Leo). And Neptune has been opposing that generation by sign for the last 12 years.

Positively, that generation can remain young in spirit as they age. But less helpfully, they can find it difficult to accept that they are ageing.

Kenna J said...

Fascinating that you say survival is a Pluto-ruled concept. I'd never thought of that before.

The next thought that comes to my mind is, "So which planet rules thrival?" I would guess the Sun.