Neptune in Pisces

Neptune in Pisces
Last month, the planet Neptune entered Pisces for the first time in 150 years, where it will be for the next 14 years, apart from a brief swing back into Aquarius from August to February. Spiritually, this is an extraordinarily significant shift as the planet rules the sign, moving the mystical urge away from the brilliant upper chakra, but somewhat disembodied, realm of Aquarius into the watery emotional realms of the feminine and the goddess.

Neptune rules anything that takes us beyond the day to day humdrum of our lives, that links us with energies that are beyond our limited experience of reality, in both healthy and unhealthy ways. The same energy that dissolves our limitations to give us ecstatic experiences of love, beauty, creative freedom, and supreme interconnectedness can also open us to madness, seduction, addiction, loss of integrity and personal boundaries in the face of any energy, good or bad.

The same energy that enabled Shri Ramakrishna to dance beyond the limitations of his old and sick body, that swept the Ghost Dance through the Plains Indians of the 1870s, also allowed the fashion of fascism through Europe in the 1930s, the mass grieving over the death of Princess Diana and the temporary insanity invoked during any riot.

So we have an energy that is beyond our control, that needs careful, subtle and discriminating handling. It's no news to anyone that spiritual disconnection leads to a level of grief, despair and loss of dreams, where the mystical urge becomes various addictions. Some of these are obvious, but it's the subtler ones that betray most of us, whether our collective anaesthetisation through television and computer games, to not feeling, to using duty, responsibility and busyness to keep ourselves numb.

Neptune in Pisces then will exaggerate all of these potentials, with enormous opportunities for greater connectedness and for its destructive opposites. In terms of healing and spiritual processes, Neptune opens us to deeper layers than the conscious mind, opening us to parts of self and to spirit normally inaccessible. Its capacity to unleash destructive forces in the unconscious also provides for cathartic releases and purification of accumulated emotional and psychic residues.

Moving into Pisces, Neptune creates even more psychic fluidity in both our collective and our personal worlds. As that part of the transformative process that uses dissolution and disintegration of old structures, it invariably comes with significant chaos while clearing the way for more connected re-creation down the track.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan is a classically Neptunian event, as "he" is associated with both, but also because of the releasing of radioactive material. Poisons and poisoning is another shadow aspect of the planet and so we can expect further challenges to do with all sorts of toxicity, inner and outer.

Less dramatically, it also serves to resensitise us, to reconnect us with the magical and spiritual child in us, giving us access to subtler forms of knowing, intuitively, psychically, spiritually, to greater awareness of the magic inherent in all of life. It opens up levels of creativity that are beyond what we "know" in that left brain way, so we can tap deeper wellsprings of inspiration and imaging.

Similarly, Neptune reveals more of the visionary and the dreamer in us, enhancing this natural tendency in Pisces and presents us with the challenge as to what is realistic and what is delusional.

The way forward then is to embrace these processes, seeing them as necessary to the transformative quality of this era, to go with them consciously (surrender is both a Neptunian demand, and a gift) and for using appropriate spiritual and healing practices as vehicles for riding the increasingly fluctuating psychic tides and waves that will come with it. This includes not just meditational ones, but also outlets for the Dionysian ones that open us to the expression of ecstasy and transcendence, such as dance, chanting and tantra. The more we move with the energy, the less likely it is to manifest as destructive upheavals.

And we need to be watchful for escapism and anaesthetisation, especially when the going gets tough, and the urge to get stuck in the everyday trances with which our culture tends to seduce us.

Ultimately, Neptune in Pisces is a call to incorporate more of our spiritual essence into who we are and what we create in the world. Or it can turn us into drones, and addicted and unhappy ones at that.

As for May, it's paradoxically a very Saturnian month and initially a tough one. For all the amazing energisation of Aries at the moment, the month begins with the Black Moon, Venus, Moon and Mercury all together in the sign and all opposite Saturn in Libra and squaring Pluto in Capricorn. This feels like a time of reckoning after the uber-creative surges of the last months, where Pluto demands that we dig deeper, while Saturn produces major resistances to challenge, role test and reality check whatever we might be birthing at this time of new beginnings.

Despite this rather sobering picture, the momentum for growth and positive change is still strong, with Mars conjunct Jupiter in later Aries. Enjoy it while it's here.Astrology with Daniel Sowelu