Neptune will transit into its own constellation of Pisces (sidereal zodiac) on April 17, 2022, in North and South America; and on April 18, 2022, in Europe, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. Neptune’s orbital period is 164.8 years, and it stays in one constellation for about 14 years, and the last time it was in sidereal Pisces was from April 1857 until February 1872. This time it will transit in Pisces until February 2037, but within the ensuing years, it will weave in and out of Pisces three times.
Neptune is the planet of art, music, inspiration, photography, film industry, dreaming, creativity, universality, higher love, idealism, religion, mysticism, socialism (the urge toward collectivism), stocks and annuities, aviation, waterways and oceans, gases, and all liquids (like alcohol, petrol/oil) — as well as criminality, economic and political instability, assassinations, infectious diseases and microorganisms, deception, hypochondria, mob psychology, illicit undertakings, and medicines, chemicals, earthquakes, and mind-altering substances.
The late Western-Humanistic Astrologer Dane Rudhyar described the outer planets as “ambassadors of the galaxy,” and discussed the topic of Saturn as the point of demarcation between the inner and outer planets. Accordingly, the inner planets relate more to self-will and the solar nature of man, and the outer planets are symbols of cosmic or galactic forces that help us grow and join our collective consciousness with greater, more expansive forces of life.
According to astrologer Stephen Arroyo, “…the trans-Saturnian planets [Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto] most immediately influence the deepest psychic life of the individual…[they] symbolize forces that constantly prompt change (and hopefully growth) in our consciousness.” Arroyo explained that, since the outer planets move so slowly along the ecliptic in reference to the Earth, they influence cultural trends and changes that often affect generations of humankind.
A native’s personal planets and important chart points connect with the outer planets will influence how he or she is allied to the forces of change not only within himself but also in relation to the culture in which he or she lives. Thus, the outer planets represent higher octaves of the inner planets, and thus they stand for more evolved levels of consciousness that are transformational, transpersonal, and so subtle that they are often beyond our conscious control.
All three outer planets are related to psychic and spiritual energies and higher dimensions of being, and Neptune specifically represents “an emotional attunement to higher levels, a yearning and infatuation with higher planes of being.” (Astrology, Karma & Transformation, pp 35-48)
Traditional Vedic astrology does not use the outer planets, though modern Neo-Vedic astrologers absolutely do employ them in both natal and mundane/world astrology. I calculate them in their sidereal zodiac positions, but I rarely assign rulership, dignity, and debility to them, and I mostly use them when they make natal or transiting contacts to the traditional grahas and kendras/angles of a chart, and I use them in chart element analysis, where I attribute one point in a weighted scoring system to each of them.
There is some evidence of the use of outer planets in India’s Nadi Astrology. For instance, Sage Kapilar mentioned the mound of Neptune, which he called “Varuna,” in a native’s palm. The same Nadi predicted great success for the native due to Neptune’s exaltation. According to P.S. Sastri in his Textbook on Scientific Astrology, there is mention of the outer planets in the Mahabharata, though there is some debate over the identification of Varuna with the planet Neptune.
In another instance, Vedic astrologer Narendra Desai spoke of the Vasishta Nadi, which he apparently examined in the Madras Museum. Desai said the sage stated very clearly in this Nadi that the outer planets, which are invisible to the naked eye, would be discovered and that their astrological use would be understood in the Kali Yuga. Interestingly, Desai always considered Uranus to be the main significator of astrology and astrologers.
Why the traditional Vedic astrologers did not clearly delineate the outer planets is a mystery that might be better understood considering that the outer planets have been “discovered” at times in history when their particular significations became more relevant to the cultural themes of that period. This is explained quite elegantly by astrologer Clare Martin in her book Mapping the Psyche Volume 1: The Planets & the Zodiac Signs:
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have always existed in the solar system, but their sequential discoveries in 1781, 1846, and 1930 reflect an extraordinary expansion of human awareness and a growing realization that there are collective forces at work which subsume our small contained worlds of individual, family, community, society and country…The discovery of the outer planets has dramatically expanded our collective awareness and our collective responsibilities, in ways which I think we are still struggling to understand and integrate.
Neptune changing from Aquarius to Pisces represents a sea change in the world. Aquarius is the sign that is supposed to uphold humanitarianism, scientific fact, truth and stability, but nebulous and unstable Neptune transiting here has brought a major “disturbance in the force” related to Aquarian principles. That is, we live in a “post-truth” era where truth is at risk, where we’re in danger of losing sight of what truth really means.
Looking back to Neptune’s transit in sidereal Aquarius from April 2008 into April 2022, social media has surpassed print media as a news source, a rising number of Americans are now living in multi-generational households, and many other social norms have been transformed. We have seen the rise of substance abuse to pandemic levels; the legalization of marijuana; and increasing numbers of violent crime and poverty; the deterioration of our major urban centers; globalism and immigration; technocracy; technological advancements; censorship, propaganda, and misinformation; political and cultural polarization; alternative spirituality (and less interest in traditional religious institutions); UFO/ET disclosure; revolutionary political and social movements; consolidation of corporate power and the largest wealth transfer in history, from poor to rich (in 2020); and a breakdown of the global nervous system, i.e., the great global economic reset/mass formation event that began with “covid” and continues into the new world order that is being firmly established now.
What will Neptune’s transit in Pisces bring? One would hope for a gentler, kinder, more spiritually inspired world. However, this is not historically what we have seen before. Neptune represents secret plots, rebellions, and sedition, and Neptune in Pisces will be a time of tremendous idealism associated with an urge to dissolve tired old paradigms and world views in favor of a more charitable universalist vision. The last time that Neptune transited in Pisces (1857-1872) was during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and subsequent abolition of slavery followed by Reconstruction (1865-1877).
The widespread but unsuccessful Indian Mutiny, also called the Sepoy Mutiny or First War of Independence, also occurred during this time (1857-1859), when the Indian people first revolted against British rule in India, which had been under the governance of the East India Company since 1757. This war marked a turning point after which the Government of India Act led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.
Neptune represents art, music, and spirituality, and Pisces is the sign that dissolves boundaries and opens us to new realms. Neptune in Pisces represents a period of religious, spiritual, and cultural renaissance. As an example, the years 1856-1857 were a time of religious revivalism in the Mormon Church. In the 1860s, modern Spiritualism, the the belief that the dead communicate with the living, became “part of Victorian subculture with its mediums, specialist newspapers, pamphlets, treatises, societies, private and public séances which included table rapping, table tipping, automatic writing, levitation, and other communications with spirits.”
The modern art movement (Impressionism) began in France in 1860 a few years after Neptune’s entry into Pisces. It’s interesting that avant-garde modern French artists Henri Matisse and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec were also born when Neptune was transiting in Pisces.
Other famous, creative, free-thinking Neptune in Pisces individuals include:
- HG Wells, essayist, futurist, socialist, and dystopian/science fiction author (born in 1866)
- Cheiro (William John Warner), the colorful Irish clairvoyant, astrologer, palmist, numerologist, and occultist (born in 1866)
- Alexandra David-Neel, the French-Belgian explorer, early feminist, spiritualist, Buddhist, and anarchist known for her journey to Tibet (born in 1868)
- Émile Durkheim, French sociologist and the Father of Sociology (born in 1858);
- Gandhi, Indian attorney, anti-colonial nationalist, and founder of the nonviolent resistance movement Satyagraha, which led to India’s Independence (born in 1869)
- Claude Debussy, influential French composer, whose music was noted for its sensory content and frequent usage of atonality. Some called his music “impressionistic” though he did not care for the label. He did bring a new kind of beauty in the world as he led a velvet revolution in music (born 1862)
Neptune is a planet that can indicate exaggerated hopes and expectations. It therefore represents inflation of all kinds. The Panic of 1857 began four months after Neptune’s last Pisces Ingress in 1857. It was the first worldwide financial crisis caused, principally, by Europe’s declining purchase of U.S. agricultural products during the Crimean War. The declining international economy and over-expansion of the domestic economy were significant factors, and additionally, the sinking of SS Central America was a factor, as New York banks had been awaiting a much-needed shipment of gold. American banks did not recover until after the Civil War.
The Suez Canal was built from 1859-1869, and in 1858 the US and Britain laid the first successful cable underneath the ocean. Several groundbreaking submarines were also invented during the last Neptune Pisces transit: the CSS H.L. Hunley (1863); the Le Plongeur (1864); and Ictineo II (1865). All this makes sense as Neptune rules the oceans as well as all waterways, and Pisces takes us beyond existing boundaries and also relates to the oceans as well as to creativity, invention, and inspiration. In the current Neptune transit in Pisces, we will likely see the development of innovative water and ocean technologies as well as new developments and discoveries related to our waterways.It’s very curious that Jupiter and Neptune will be entering into Pisces simultaneously in April 2022: Jupiter on April 13, and Neptune on April 17-18. I write about this in my next article titled “Jupiter and Neptune Conjoining in Aquarius and Pisces: March-April 2022”