Watch the news and observe your dreams and the general condition of your psyche as Neptune, ruler of dreams, leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius on January 30, 1998. Often you can get an accurate reading of the significance of even long astrological cycles by registering their impact around the time they first appear.
Neptune's ingress into Aquarius marks the debut of a major player in the End of the Millennium drama we've all heard so much about. Astrologers Sakoian and Acker believe that this transit, along with Uranus in Aquarius, marks the real beginning of the Aquarian Age. They predict that during Neptune's sojourn in Aquarius an enlightened humanity will establish universal brotherhood in practical reality. Not only seers, but many cultures around the world have traditions speaking of such a time of peace and prosperity preceded by a period of tremendous upheaval and turmoil.
In 1988, Neptune, then in Capricorn, conjoined Uranus, Mars and Saturn, a powerful and rare event. The conjunction gained added significance by occurring in Capricorn, the sign of the greatest concentration of spirit into matter. Capricorn marks the beginning of major cycles. This earlier grouping picked up speed with the megaconjunction of 1994 when seven planets conjoined in Capricorn, a planetary wallop! The optimism of the 80s gave way to the reconstruction of the 90s as we still struggle to pay our personal and individual debts and keep our economy and our infrastructures from toppling. It's helpful to remember that the megaconjunction is not behind us. Planetary configurations of this magnitude can take decades, even centuries to play themselves out. Consider the development in the last 2000 years of the Piscean megaconjunction that occurred around the time of the birth of the avatar Jesus Christ, ushering in the Piscean Age, marked by the revolution of Christianity.
Since the advent of these events, our world has been going through phases of incredible and accelerated transformation. Our consciousness has been stressed by these new messages demanding we meet a dawning Age. Moreover, we have had to discover how to deal with our fears of a future we cannot define. The ancients said we experience the energies of the planets within ourselves. Carl Jung, speaking of what he dubbed the collective unconscious, said nothing could manifest in society that wasn't already at some level present in the individual.
Long before we recognize the outpicturing of these energies as physical manifestations and events we are experiencing them in our dreams, on deeper and not always easily accessible layers of awareness. Some are more attuned than others. Some feel the tides of change but may not interpret their meaning accurately. Some see the handwriting on the wall but refuse to face the signs of the times. Others escape in varying modes of denial. Some become the persecuted or mocked heralds of a New Age long before their contemporaries see the light! I believe there is also occurring an accelerated awareness from superconscious levels. What I mean to say is that people around the globe are tuning in to hitherto inaccessible or newly contacted levels of higher thought and being.
Now, I believe we are being prepared on many levels to meet these cycles that have been prophesied by so many for so long. I don't believe we're all in tune with what is really happening until we can see it, touch, experience it. Nevertheless, we are changing in ways we do not recognize for lack of understanding of the nature of consciousness, the nature of time and the true nature of our relationship to the Cosmos and to cycles of evolution.
Neptune rules dreams. Dreams that inspire us. Dreams that haunt us. Dreams that deceive us. Dreams we're willing to fight for. Uranus rules awakening, sometimes rude awakenings. Uranus' modus operandi is usually dramatic, shocking, unexpected, but always ultimately liberating.
To understand the significance of this transit for us today we need to understand the realm in which Neptune functions, which is that of the subconscious and unconscious and possibly that of the superconscious as well. Neptune's star role is not perceived as center stage, giving way to the more dramatic and shocking events precipitated by Uranus, the Awakener. But like a good movie you get so engrossed in that you forget you're watching it, Neptune will work almost imperceptibly on your feelings, subtly engaging you at subconscious and unconscious levels, way before you wake up and realize the role you yourself are playing in this collective unfoldment. Neptune does not always directly influence physical events but precedes them by slowly molding our attitudes and beliefs.
Neptune relates to fear and fear's conqueror, faith. Placed on the spectrum of the zodiac, periods of time and generations born into them, will assume the vibration of Neptune's current place of travel. The lower manifestations of Neptune are death-like. To this shadowy realm astrologers assign depression and the many forms of addiction stemming from deep levels of the unconscious. Sakoian and Acker see Neptune as the significator of where a person or a people manifest mystical potential. Neptune challenges us to raise our eyes to the heavens, to look within for answers, to exalt the ordinary by reaching new heights of imagination and vision. The artist, the mystic, the addict, the madman, and, I confess, the astrologer and the psychologist characteristically bear a strong Neptunian stamp. There's a certain no-man's-land when we're dealing with Neptune because we have little grasp on Neptunian realms. Freud and Jung and others delineated the nature of consciousness, the psychic environment we wear and function through. But how many of us, outside of the therapist's office, consider where our thoughts are coming from?
Neptune rules, with Jupiter, the world of the imagination, our personal, national, and planetary devachan. According to Eastern philosophy, after death the soul journeys through the realm of devachan to act out unfulfilled desires before having to reincarnate again. Hollywood allows us to dip into devachan while we're still in embodiment. Princess Diana, with her Sun in Cancer (the good mother) trine (harmonious) Neptune (myth) in Scorpio (the unconscious) tied into the collective devachan. When the myth was suddenly (Uranus square her Neptune) shattered, who could pick up the pieces? Many felt lost and bereft as they mourned not Diana, but the end of their own, albeit unconscious, myths. Another Neptunian (first house in Leo) woman, who so outpictured the collective desire that she succumbed to it and lost her identity, ending her life in tragic suicide, was Marilyn Monroe.
The Awakener and the Dreamer conjoin this winter in Aquarius, the sign of brotherly love and freedom. Uranus/Neptune conjunctions traditionally herald new social orders. What's in store for us? What can we learn from history about Uranus/Neptune conjunctions?
The Uranus/Neptune conjunction of 1478/9 in Sagittarius (religion, civilization, law, and travel) coincided with the height of the Renaissance, a rebirth of the arts and culture in Europe. Heralded by artists and scholars, the avant garde rejected (Uranus) many of the attitudes and ideas of the Middle Ages (Neptune/the past). While the Renaissance was still an intensely Christian Age, its leaders soought to overthrow (Uranus) the Middle Age's rigid fundamentalist theological (Neptune) view that society was evil and filled with evil temptations. With new optimism, the feudal world of old Christendom gave way to a new and creative outlook on life. Renaissance Man believed that society could reflect the higher aspects of humanity. They looked to the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome for inspiration. Although the major movement was on the level of the intelligentsia, the Renaissance had a marked influence on future generations. In fact, scholars have agreed that the modern era of history began at this time.
Sagittarius relates to long-distance travel and to philosophy. This conjunction coincided with the age of great maritime discovery. Columbus began his requests to the throne to sponsor his trips to the Indies around this time. His explorations brought Europe and the New World into contact and changed the shape of the globe from that time on.
The Uranus/Neptune conjunction of 1650 coincided with the Baroque movement in art, music, literature and architecture. This was also the heyday of the Scientific (Uranus) Revolution, another phase and challenge to the interpretation of Christ's (Neptune) message.
There was an exact Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1821. The Greeks began their war for independence (Uranus), undermining the powerful Ottoman Empire. In 1821 Napoleon died. Romantic nationalism and romantic socialism arose in Europe. In South America, Simon Bolivar liberated Columbia in 1819 and Venezuela in 1821. Bolivar's hero was George Washington. He sought a United States of South America.
Great Britain recognized the newly independent republics and sought to form an Anglo-American pact with the United States to protect their integrity. Instead, President Monroe asserted the sovereignty of the United States by establishing what came to be known as The Monroe Doctrine. In effect, Monroe was stating that Europe's era of colonization in the Americas had ended and any further attempt to do so would be viewed by the United States as a threat to U.S. security.
Karl Marx, the father of Marxism, was born under the influence of this revolutionary conjunction, in Sagittarius (philosophy, world view, religion). Astrologer Liz Greene gives a fascinating account of Marx's chart in The Outer Planets and Their Cycles; The Astrology of the Collective. Noting that the Uranus/Neptune conjunction suggests a mystical or religious vision coupled with a political ideology, Greene, a Jungian psychoanalyst, describes Marx as an individual who was born at a time when the collective was seized with the germ of a new vision. Uranus and Neptune conjoined in February 1988. A year later the Berlin Wall was torn down! We've seen in this decade the collapse of communism and the allure of socialistic endeavors.
We must prepare to receive the vision of Aquarius! Aquarius, ruled by Uranus, relates to science, technology, air and space travel, and physics. Being a sociable Air Sign, Aquarius particularly relates to technology that increases our ability to communicate with one another. There is a resonance with the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Aquarius with the Uranus in Gemini, another air sign, transit of the forties (9/42 to 8/48 ) and the social revolution that the generation born with Neptune in Libra (10/42 to 12/55) initiated. These groups were in their teens and twenties during the powerful Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the mid-sixties. Remember Bob Dylan, The times they are a changin' .
Uranus entered Aquarius in 1995, and we saw an unprecedented surge of the Internet worldwide and other communication devices increasing our interconnectedness. The world is shrinking. We are now in a Communication Age. The children born during the powerful Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the '60s, most of whom were brought up around computers and television, are the inheritors of this new technological revolution. Now that Neptune is leaving stultified Capricorn, we may be able to come up with a corporate structure whose design fits the needs of an Aquarian society. This has already taken companies from the concept of hierarchies to group dynamics, an Aquarian concept in what is currently called regeneration or restructuring (Neptune in Capricorn); perhaps a move in the right direction but witnessing from results, certainly not the answer!
In trine to Pluto in Sagittarius (travel and philosophy) exploration into outer space and inner space, as well as deep sea exploration will continue at unprecedented rates. Our entire concept of who we are and how we relate to one another is shifting. In the first place, Neptune in Aquarius relates to health issues and the health industry. What was scoffed at as alternative medicine acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, essential oils and aroma therapy, etc. is fast becoming mainstream. At the end of the century, healing arts (Neptune) working with vibration, such as health kinesiology, will gain in popularity. As technology (Uranus) reveals aspects of life that were hitherto confined to faith (Neptune), the abortion issue will be resolved. It will be replaced by an ethical (Neptune) battle related to genetic engineering (Uranus), which is fast looming upon us.
Thomas More wrote Utopia when Neptune was in Aquarius. What will it take for us to become an enlightened humanity? Some metaphysical teachings speak of a new root race of greater light and potential , in touch with the superconscious, whose time has come and who are destined to embody in South America. These may be among the children being born even now! Aquarius deals with love, but people have different concepts about what love really means. Plato spoke of love as the great unifying force that brings all the separate parts together. With love we are sure to face the black knights of anti-love and hatred, particularly related to fanatical (Pluto in Sagittarius) religious groups. Not all astrologers welcome Neptune's entrance into Aquarius optimistically as do Sakoian and Acker. Astrologer John Townley notes that Neptune in Aquarius has been consistently associated with great plagues, even dating back to Roman times.
If we study the U.S.A. conceptual chart as we would that of an individual, we would say that from January 1998 to December 2001 could be the nation's darkest hour. Put aside for the moment the potential for earthquakes and pole shifts, wars and famine and other end of the millennium warnings. The fact is that all these prophecies and more are already occurring somewhere on earth to some degree. Even those of us who still enjoy outer peace are experiencing tremendous inner upheaval.
Despite the warnings of the storm, and the pain of deep and necessary transformation, the Neptune/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius, especially in sextile (positive) to Pluto (regenerative change) in Sagittarius (world view) gives us hope to realize a new horizon. As the Awakener stirs us from our dreams and kicks out our ghosts, and brings to us new understanding and self-revelation, let us not hide in our fear of change, but in good faith discover the power of love and be active players in the promise of a dawning Age.