Neptune can be a difficult planet to explain. Astrologers use words like: Illusion, Delusion, Psychic, Deception, Otherworldly-Connection and Spirituality…or just plain ‘Fuzzy’.
The whole history of its discovery is peppered with all the above words and more.
Neptune was nearly discovered by Galileo who first saw it while he was observing the Jupiter system on 28 December 1612.
After the discovery of Uranus in 1781 by William Hershel in Bath, UK (where I live) astronomers continued to observe the night sky and track the movements of other celestial bodies. However, Neptune’s discovery wasn’t made by observation.
The astronomers who were working on the case used ‘mathematical astronomy’.
Another Planet Affecting Uranus’ Orbit?
Uranus wasn’t moving as predictions said it would, so the astronomers concluded that another planet must have been affecting its orbit.
Neptune was recorded several more times, without being recognized as a planet, over the following years.
Lalande a French astronomer, recorded Neptune on the 8th and 10th of May 1795 thinking that it was a star.
William Herschel’s son John Herschel, who was involved with the discovery, recorded Neptune on 14 July 1830 also believing it to be a star.
However, a French chap named Urbain Le Verrier, who worked at the Paris Observatory, used mathematical calculation to prove its existence and:
“discovered a star with the tip of his pen, without any instruments other than the strength of his calculations alone.”
He received many honors and widespread recognition for his achievement. The Times carried the headline on the 1 October 1846: “Le Verrier’s planet found”.
George Airy and John Couch Adams were the two other astronomers, who independently worked on ‘finding’ the planet.
In the aftermath of the discovery, there was much nationalistic rivalry between the French and the British over who had priority for the discovery and eventually, after considerable argument, it was decided to give the credit to both Urbain Le Verrier and Adams together.
Their discovery was called Neptune.
So Neptune the planet was ‘found’ not by observation, as most of the other planets were discovered, but by mathematical means i.e. Urbain Le Verrier sat there, working out the movements of Uranus, which he (and John Couch Adams) deduced must be influenced by the orbit of another planet, because it was not moving as they thought it would. Neptune was ‘in the background’, minding its own business but affecting others (in this case the orbit of Uranus).
How quaint! ….then BAM!! It gets discovered and all hell breaks loose.
Most Difficult For One Word Description
Margaret E Hone wrote in 1951 in her Modern Text Book of Astrology’ more than 100 years after Neptune was discovered :
“This planet has to do with what hides itself from view, hence it is the most difficult for which to find a suitable one-word descripion”.
She then goes on to use the words ‘nebulousness, impressionability, artistic, dreamy, emotional, idealistic, imaginative, sensitive, subtle, sentimental, woolly, wandering and unstable’ amongst others to convey the sort of themes that Neptune governs.
Plenty has been written about Neptune in myth.
The Romans called him the God of the sea, (the Greeks called him Poseidon) and he was Zeus’ younger brother. He carried a trident which had three prongs, as is seen it its glyph that Astrologers now use.
Controlling the Seas
In Roman legend, he was given the sea as his realm and he took over the Greek God Poseidon’s job of getting into tempestuous rages. His wife, Amphitrite, gave birth to a son called Triton. He was also famed for having love affairs and was the father to several other children who were wild and cruel. He was worshipped as the god of navigation and temples were erected in his honor. Both the Greeks and later the Romans felt this God controlled the seas and when angry would cause storms and shipwrecks. Not a particularly friendly chap and prone to rubbing-up the other Gods in the wrong way.
So here we have an energy: Neptune, that can so easily take you to the heights of spirituality and just as swifly take you to the depths of oblivion.
Astrology of Neptune
When Neptune was discovered by Urbain Le Verrier in 1846 it was just in the last few degrees of the sign of Aquarius.
By February 1848 it has gone into Pisces.
So this is the second time since Neptune was discovered that it has been in the sign of Pisces.
It’s very happy in that sign. I’ve explained this before, but I’ll repeat myself. Each sign of the Zodiac has a planet that looks after it. We call it their ‘ruler’ and the ruler to the sign of Pisces is…..Neptune.
When it returned to the sign of Pisces, which it did in 2012, strange things happen.
It’s orbit takes 165 years to go all the way round the Sun and it spends approx 13 years in each sign. Sometimes it spends more time in some signs that others and also retrogrades for long periods of time due to its orbit.
Now, please keep in mind that no one planet ‘affects’ our human race. There are 10 celestial bodies that orbit our Sun, and each one of them has a different story of its own.
Some make (literally) bigger noises than others and it’s perfectly possible to not be at all affected by any one of them…
However some things are and some people are…
Tim Heyer, Astrologer, has noted how the amount of men that have grown beards since Neptune arrived back in Pisces has increased (!)
More info here: https://5280astro.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/neptune-in-pisces-bringing-back-the-beard/
Pisces Richard Tarnas has also written in great depth about the planetary cycles. Do get a copy of his wonderful Cosmos and Psyche but be prepared for a long, long, in depth read (!) http://amzn.to/2ezOEE8
Liz Green wrote an equally wonderful book just about this particular planet: The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption. http://amzn.to/2eRKZPf
Now, what have I noticed since Neptune returned to Pisces in February 2012?
One thing is the Vegan movement.
The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade, according to a survey in 2016 that showed record numbers of people are avoiding food derived from animals.
Some 542,000 people aged 15 or over – more than one per cent of the UK population – have adopted a plant-based diet, up from 150,000 in 2006. 1
I’ve been (mostly) Vegan since I received my Reiki First Degree in 2003. Since then I’ve noticed far more outlets serving dairy and meat-free options. In fact only last week I went with my son to a Vegan Junk Food outlet (!) http://www.vxbristol.com/ that has recently opened in Bristol.
I also run a non-fiction writer’s group http://www.bath-writers.co.uk/ in a vegan cafe that opened in Feb 2013 in Bath http://www.thegreenrocket.co.uk/
Migrants Travelling By Sea
In October 2013 the largest amount of deaths from drowning was recorded when nearly 400 migrants lost their lives due to being shipwrecked off the coast of Italy. 2
The problem hasn’t got any better and is, in my opinion, a reflection of all that Neptune can bring.
Now compare this to the year that Neptune last went into Pisces in 1848.
The main news item for that year was (and I quote directly from Wikipedia):
A Wave of Revolutions
The revolutionary wave began in France in February, and immediately spread to most of Europe. Over 50 countries were affected, but with no coordination or cooperation among their respective revolutionaries. 3
UK Wettest Weather
In the UK, the wettest February on record was noted in February 1848 4
Can you see words associated with ‘water’?
Neptune is after all, a God of the sea…
Back to this century…
2012 was the wettest year across England 5
United Nations Declaration
In 2013 the UN declared an ‘International Year of Water Cooperation.’ 6
Monsoon rain is causing devastation in parts of India, Bangladesh and Nepal, affecting 16 million people. Aid agencies are calling the floods one of the worst regional humanitarian crises in years. Not only Houston in the USA but Africa and Asia are countries also being affected by flooding. 7
The Pisces Movement
Rudolf Steiner, https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Steiner,_Rudolf the man that founded Anthroposophy (a name that really didn’t catch on in the UK) was born in 1861 and was Sun Pisces.
Nothing very remarkable about that, but he had his Mercury (the planet of communication) exactly conjunct (next to) his own natal Neptune in Pisces.
I’d say without any hesitation that he was a spokes-person for all things Neptune-related.
You can think of him either as a prophet or a looney, depending on what your own views are.
But the movement he advocated gave birth to Steiner and Waldorf Schools which still exist today and just as importantly bio-dynamic agriculture and farming.
Anthroposophy can be seen more as an underground movement and as far away from mainstream thinking as you can get but none the less, important.
Steiner Waldorf education emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and integrates the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils holistically. 8
Various countries including the UK have seen a surge in the rise of Paganism.
In the UK it is estimated 57,000 people are Pagan and identify themselves as one (including me!) and the numbers are still increasing 9
In Iceland numbers have leapt 50% since 2014 to 3,583 10
In the USA this Pagan Priestess is worried about meeting the demands of a ‘swelling congregation’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-weber/the-future-of-paganism_b_7235648.html
Like Neptune, Paganism is very hard to describe in a few words. Many have tried!
Numie Brown a Druid explains it very well and has written extensively on the subject and is a fellow author with my publisher https://druidlife.wordpress.com/about/
So, how does this relate to a human life?
Who has more of an affinity with this strange planet than other people?
Famous people who have Neptune right on their Ascendant are:
Neptune in Sagittarius https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/William,_Duke_of_Cambridge
Marilyn Monroe: Neptune in Leo
Stevie Wonder: Neptune in Libra
Maya Angelou: Neptune in Leo
Jane Austen: Neptune in Virgo
Cat Stevens (now called Yusuf Islam): Neptune in Libra https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Stevens,_Cat
Neptune and Health
At the moment Neptune 13 degrees Pisces and is retrograde and won’t go direct until 23rd November, so all the positive good it could bring is unravelling.
So, if you feel as if something you’re doing isn’t moving, or you’re confused, or it feels as if things are slipping by, that’s a Neptune retrograde feeling.
I’ve noticed with clients if they get a health condition that is inexplicable, then that’s generally due to something to do with a Neptune transit or natal placement.
If it’s something you can’t describe or put your finger on, or get a true diagnosis for, find out where Neptune is in your chart and how it’s affecting you and maybe you’ll get an explanation.
You might even find a way to heal that works better for you…
Ways to heal a Neptune-related issue are gentle, non-invasive, using the imagination, the senses, dream-related and most of all spiritual.
At the moment I am working with clients using a specific healing session to release fears, anxieties and buried emotions that may be preventing full health.
Do get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Neptune will be visible on the 5th/6th September 2017 at around midnight-4am near to the approaching full moon.
I’ll be out there with my binoculars!
Need more info about Neptune? Listen FREE to Mary’s Podcast
Need more info about Pisces? Mary is the author of How to Survive a Pisces:
How to Survive a Pisces