At the edges of the solar system, the slow-moving blue planet Neptune takes about 15 years to move through one sign. So its entry into a new sign on Monday, April 4th is a noteworthy astrological event, much as Uranus’ shift into Aries was last month. But Neptune is not just moving into any new sign – it is moving into its own sign, Pisces. Neptune’s last entry into Pisces was in 1848, shortly after its discovery in 1846.
The current transit of Neptune in Pisces is just a “preview tour” in 2011, as it will move back into Aquarius on August 4th, before finally settling fully into Pisces on February 3, 2012, where it will stay until 2026.
In our natal charts, Neptune represents our Inner Mystic – the part of us that can move beyond our ego-identification and our focus on mundane, earthly things. If we use our Neptune in its highest potential, we are able to access the transcendent, the mystical, or what some may call the divine. This might include our more traditional spiritual practices, but Neptune isn't just for buddhist monks. Neptune can also take us into deeper experiences of music, film, or nature. How many times have you found yourself lost in a wonderful dream-like state while listening to a piece of music or watching a film that you love?
The Shadow Side of Neptune
The shadow side of our natal Neptune can lead us into escapism, addiction, and even mental instability. How the Neptune energy plays out in our lives is dependent upon its placement in regards to the other planets in our chart, Neptune's house and sign, and finally, the choices we make as we manifest this part of our psyche.
Because Neptune moves into its own sign, it will express more strongly than usual. Piscean themes will then emerge more powerfully onto the world stage. We are likely to see both the light and shadow aspects of Neptune & Pisces coming to the fore. Escapism via technology may become even more prevalent than it already is (if this is even possible). We now have the potential to all but disappear into our various “screens” – computers, iPads, iPhones, and the ever ubiquitous television (coming soon in 3-D!). We are now wired into a virtual word for many hours a day. I don’t mean to demonize these technologies, and I enjoy some good escapism as much as the next person. But I believe that balancing our “screen time” with “face to face” time is something that we will need to learn to do over the next few years, or face the devolution of social skills specifically related to these forms of escapism.
One positive potential of Neptune transiting through Pisces is a deeper collective understanding of the Piscean ideals of selfless service, compassion, and surrender. We could also see more awareness and acceptance of that which we perceive to be “otherworldly” – as paranormal phenomenon and mystical experiences will become more predominant themes in the daily news.
Where is Neptune Transiting in Your Chart?
The Neptunian influence will be heightened for you if you are currently undergoing a Neptune transit in your own chart.
Currently, anyone with planets in the late degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) or the early degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) is undergoing a hard aspect of Neptune to that planet. Anyone with planets in late air or early water signs is undergoing the trine of Neptune to those planets (or the conjunction, technically considered a hard aspect).
Neptune will aspect a natal planet in the chart for about two years, and will have 3 – 5 exact peaks on average. Personal Neptune transits are times in which we may feel that we are “in a fog” – things are unclear, murky. But there is also the heightened ability to connect with important intuitions, dreams, and waking psychic experiences. As Neptune enters Pisces, the volume on your Neptune transit will be increased, making these themes more intense and prominent in your life.
Additionally, the age group from approximately 40 – 43 years old is currently undergoing a midlife transit called “Neptune square Neptune.” If you are roughly within this window, Neptune is squaring its natal position in your chart. This is often a time of questioning one’s foundational beliefs, and a time of feeling unsure of one’s direction. On the positive side, this time of questioning can lead to much-needed reflection that ultimately invites us to connect with a sense of “vision.” If you're experiencing this transit, ask yourself, "What is my vision for the second half of my life?
But don't expect the answer to come in a quick and easy package. In order for us to access the guidance of Neptune, we must create time and space for retreat so that reflection can be allowed to happen. Ultimately, we can come out of a Neptune transit with more clarity and internal guidance available to us than before. If we don't navigate this time as well, we may feel quite a bit lost.
If you are interested in learning about the position of Neptune in your natal chart or its current transits for you, I am offering a special “Neptune Reading” through April and May.
You may enjoy this further information on Neptune:
-For more on the meaning of Neptune in Pisces for the collective, check out this excerpt of a talk by Steven Forrest
-For more on the Neptune square transit visit my podcast on the topic
-I also reference the Neptune square in my podcast episode Undergoing Difficult Transits