Strong winds and lashing rains wake ancient rivers from their beds, drowning spring’s delicate cameo of white blossoms as they bravely emerge from winter’s lean pragmatism.
This week the Sun joins Neptune and Mercury Retrograde in the salty seas of Pisces. We dive full fathom five beneath the choppy waters of our lives.
Neptune was god of the ocean, and as our seas choke with plastics, storms sweep over the British Isles, washing away homes and businesses, submerging hopes and dreams in a sodden landscape.
Neptune turns a ghostly face to our human need to hold onto what we love. Boundaries dissolve, treasured possessions disappear. We learn that everything is transient. And when we hold on to too tightly, Virginia Woolf reminds us, “buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow.”
As the Sun moves into Neptune-ruled Pisces this week, the future of Yosemite glittering Fire Fall is uncertain after drought, beetle infestation and wildfires. “Up until three years ago, it was fairly reliable that you’d have snow in February, spring conditions in June-July, and August would be dry,” says UK photographer, Paul Reiffer. “… the seasons have become “completely random” he says in a Guardian article.
Neptune is also associated with pandemics, plagues and contagion through dissolution of boundaries. As swarms of locusts blacken Kenyan skies, Mercury, the messenger, spreads the coronavirus “infodemic” as customers avoid Chinese shops and restaurants; Chinese children are taunted in schools and playgrounds.
Neptune was last in Pisces from 1848 through 1862. In 1854, Dr John Snow traced the cause of a cholera outbreak in London to a street pump in Soho, debunking the “fake news” that cholera was an airborne disease. Author, Karen Armstrong reminds us that the very Piscean quality of compassion is hardwired into our brains yet is constantly pushed back by our more primitive instincts for selfishness and survival. As the seasons transition, we may sense the discomfort of those confined to their homes as the coronavirus claims more lives and affects the supply chain from China to the West.
The Sun and the Moon consummate their union with the new Pisces Moon (4° Pisces) February 23rd.
The Pisces/Neptune theme continues for the month of March as doctors and nurses on the front-lines face more challenges, more far-reaching economic effects. Mercury, (how we listen, how we communicate) turned Retrograde on February 16th and will be immersed in the watery realm of Pisces until March 4th, when he returns to the airy sign of Aquarius. Mercury moves direct again on March 10th. Mercury Retrograde times are opportunities to pause, to go within, and to re-do or reverse an activity or a state of mind. We may see a shift in the progression of the coronavirus as Mercury changes direction and moves back into the element of air on March 10th. There may be more tension and more cases of voluntary or enforced isolation as Mars moved into Capricorn on February 17th and will conjoin Jupiter and Pluto from March 19th.
Mercury, Neptune and the Moon will be in Pisces on March 22nd, the day that Saturn dips into Aquarius, reflecting the swirling currents of change and uncertainty.
On March 9th, a demure Virgo Moon (19° Virgo) casts a pale primrose trail over worldly events, reminding us to stay anchored amidst stormy weather; to seek comfort in our daily routines; to be discerning as fact and fiction become entangled amongst the slippery flotsam and jetsam that floats through cyberspace.
As Neptune trawls through Pisces, Lost Boys and Lost Girls skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels ‘cross a sea floor scattered with the bones of those who lingered and languished in the deeps.
Undines and mythical Mélusines lure us beneath the waves where we can escape from the harshness of our lives by binge-watching Netflix series as the storm clouds hang like bunches of black grapes overhead. Neptune was in Pisces during the Pre-Raphaelite movement and as images of sublime otherworldly beauty captivated the imagination of the elite, the squalor and stench of Les Misérables was portrayed by Victor Hugo.
Planets that wear iridescent Piscean clothing offer strange tinctures of genius and madness. In the watery-logged realm of this archetype is a marshy Never Never Land surrounded by an ocean of dreams.
Neptune’s spell draws us towards the sweetness of oblivion, the lure of addiction, the ultimate exit of suicide.
The corrosive effects of hate-speak and online trolling seep through the porous boundaries of social media while Neptune moves through amorphous Pisces. (2011-2025)
Television personality Caroline Flack took her own life on Saturday—Caroline’s words are diffused with Piscean compassion. “Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.”
As Neptune expresses itself through the dreams and visions of the collective, fashion and movies reflect Neptunian themes, veganism and animal rights become part of an awakening awareness that has been stirring in the zeitgeist. As Neptune moves through Pisces genders have blurred, more men are using colour cosmetics and skin-care products, hair colours sparkle in shades of iridescent blue and silver-grey. Yet artifice comes at a price as the new TV series Beauty Laid Bare reveals.
Neptune is associated with glamour, with photography and the silver screen. With the seductive siren song of fame that casts its spell on hapless mortals, who become “stars” and shine their light brightly for a brief incandescent moment. In his impassioned acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Joachim Phoenix (Sun, Venus, Mars in Scorpio; Jupiter Retrograde in Pisces) conveyed Piscean altruism to the affluent and well-dressed audience, reminding us all that no one species has the right to dominate or control or use or exploit one another with impunity.
Astrology is a language of metaphor and symbolism that mirrors what emerges in the collective and in our personal lives. We are at a time of collective ending, already glimpsed in extreme weather, the miasma of political machinations, and the endings that precede new beginnings in our own lives. As we widen our circle of compassion, Plato reminds us “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
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