Saturday, 9 April 2011

Neptune in Pisces Miscellanea

Picture by George Cruikshank, 19th Century caricaturist
As I begin to write this, Neptune will move into Pisces in less than four hours time and I’m sure that by the time I finish and post it, Neptune will be settling nicely in the sign of the fish.

Because Pisces is ruled by Neptune, the big blue planet will feel ‘at home’ in the water sign of the fishes, so all the things that are symbolized by Neptune will have freer expression, will become more obvious in the collective.

Here's, an exploration of just a random few of Neptune in Pisces’ astrological themes…

Neptune dissolves boundaries. In Aquarius, Neptune dissolved the boundaries of physical distance through technology. Thanks to the rapid spread of the internet the world became a smaller place, an intricate web of constant connection to anyone, anywhere. This was of course equally due to Uranus in Pisces, which for years was in a supportive mutual reception with Neptune in Aquarius. The connections we made in this way were mostly cerebral, the sharing of ideas and information. In Pisces, Neptune will begin to dissolve the boundaries of feeling, opening us up to swim in the collective miasma of the emotional experience. How that will manifest I can’t say for sure, but when it comes to social sharing on the internet, perhaps we will begin to feel more aware of how what we communicate online can stir strong emotional feelings in others.  This could a wonderful thing, but feelings of hurt, sympathy, anger, empathy etc. etc. are also easily triggered even in ‘impersonal’ cyberspace and we will all have to be more sensitive to the effect that what we say online can have on someone thousands of miles away that we may never meet.

Watery technology: I had a look for advances in communications technology from the last time Neptune was in Pisces (1847-1842) and discovered something fascinating. This period saw the beginnings of submarine telegraphy, where telegraphs were sent via underwater cables. The first commercial line was laid across the English Channel, connecting England with France in 1850:  

What opportunities will the ocean bring now that Neptune’s in Pisces again?

The Spread of the Skirt: Neptune is associated with fashion and glamour. The last time Neptune was in Pisces was between 1847 and 1862. It was such a different age of course, but it’s interesting to see what was à la mode back then. Fashion, like everything else, goes in cycles, so perhaps we will see some elements making a comeback. The most notable trend in the 1850’s was the ever increasing width of women’s skirts. The introduction of the steel cage crinoline in 1856 meant that skirts could become even wider, reaching their maximum width in the early 1860’s, as Neptune was preparing to leave Pisces. However, by the early 1860s a backlash against complicated and structured fashion styles began. Called the Artistic Dress Movement, it advocated a simple but romantic design, with a focus on beautiful fabrics which harked back to earlier medieval styles. While this style didn’t catch on until Neptune had moved into Aries, it’s easy to see how it grew out of Neptune in Pisces. These styles were beautifully captured on canvas by the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Anne settling into her new home
Compassion for suffering is a major theme for Neptune and none more so in Pisces. A news story that broke just as Neptune was about to leave Aquarius really seized the public imagination. Anne was the last circus elephant in the UK. At 59 years old, she’s a grand old dame. Animal rights campaigners had been petitioning for years for her to be taken away from her owners, but to no avail. However, when Animal Defenders International filmed secret footage of her being abused by her groom and released it to the media, it sparked a massive campaign. Anne’s sad story of over 50 years in servile captivity really touched a nerve with the public and genuinely moved people to tears and to action. The day before Neptune moved into Pisces, her owners finally agreed to give her up and by the time Neptune was in Pisces Anne was happily ensconced in her new home at Longleat Safari Park. A new ingress for Neptune and a new ingress for Anne. Early indications are that she’s doing very well and happily settling into her retirement.

As the government spending cuts start to bite, charities and organizations that help the vulnerable and the needy are bound to take a hit. However, I strongly believe that philanthropy will become a major theme of Neptune in Pisces. Already the UK government is passing new legislation to make it easier for charities to claim tax breaks on donations. They’re also making it easier for businesses and individuals to give to charities. Additionally, the government is trying to promote its Big Society idea, the notion that we are all in it together and must work together and support each other to create the society we want.  I feel that, as a collective, we will become ever more aware of the suffering of others and will work to find better and more effective ways to help. This was certainly the case when Neptune was in Pisces last time, when there was a change in how society viewed the poor. To quote an article about Victorian philanthropy at

"During the first half of the 19th century, it was often claimed that poverty was the result of an individual’s inability to cope with life, linked to some defect, like laziness or alcohol dependency. It was felt that the deserving poor should be encouraged to help themselves out of their predicament through hard work, abstemious behaviour, thrift and godliness. The role of Government was limited: doling out large sums of relief to the poor would only have the perverse effect of encouraging poverty, especially among the undeserving. The second half of the 19th century saw other ideas about poverty come to the surface. Henry Mayhew (London Labour and the London Poor, 1851) wrote newspaper articles describing the abject living conditions of some of the more colourful characters among the London poor. It appeared to him that those living on or below the breadline were not all guilty of some moral defect. Many were simply unable to find sufficiently well-paid employment." 

The Cooperative Movement also saw important developments the last time Neptune was in Pisces:

“The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 28 weavers and other artisans in  England, that was formed in 1844. As the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution was forcing more and more skilled workers into poverty, these tradesmen decided to band together to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. With lessons from prior failed attempts at co-operation in mind, they designed the now famous Rochdale Principles, and over a period of four months they struggled to pool together one pound sterling per person for a total of 28 pounds of capital. On December 21, 1844, they opened their store with a very meager selection of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles. Within three months, they expanded their selection to include tea and tobacco, and they were soon known for providing high quality, unadulterated goods.

The Rochdale Pioneers methods formed the basis for the modern co-operative movement. The People’s Supermarket is a recent attempt to reinvigorate the idea in London, providing a customer owned business that also offers a good deal for local producers. Let’s hope it starts a new wave of similar projects elsewhere. 

Finally, here are a couple of great articles about Neptune in Pisces:

Neptune in Pisces by Adrian Ross Duncan:

Neptune and Collective Mythologies by Dharmaruci:

With love,


  1. Dear Mandi
    thanks for the good news. I live in the USA and have been heartsick about the cold cruelty of our government towards the sick and the poor. I am shocked to hear how public sentiment has swayed to the point that I don't recognize my country any more. You are giving me a little hope.

  2. dear Mandi
    headline story in our local paper is about a guy with his power and water turned off, about to lose his home.. WOW! great start to Neptune in Pisces.. Charity!

  3. Hi Mimi, I hope I'm right about the charity/compassion/philanthropy thing... Might take some time to kick in though unfortunately.

    The government here in the UK is the same...people are being battered from both sides, they're losing their jobs and then losing a lot of help they would have previously got while they try and get back on their feet.

    But the people can only take so much... the 'masses' can no longer see the unemployed and poor as workshy, because they now see that it could be them. This is where I think the caring and charity will eventually come. Along with reaction and rebellion as well - the Uranus Pluto square.

    All the best,


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