Additional coverage of Neptune in Aquarius is at the Reality Check diary.
Today is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. One distinctive feature associated with slow-moving Neptune changing signs is that it’s doing so in opposition to an even slower-moving point, Transpluto. Neptune is an actual planet; Transpluto is a hypothetical point. Astronomers would not acknowledge Transpluto’s existence. It exists in the minds of astrologers as an observed trait in the human personality, and as a function of mathematics in their computer programs. Developed in Germany in the early 20th century, Transpluto was more popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and it fell out of vogue many years ago. Most astrologers have heard of it but few use it.
Transpluto moves so slowly that it’s taken since the mid-1930s to transit across Leo — and it’s changing signs around the same time as Neptune. That is to say, as Neptune is entering Pisces, Transpluto is entering Virgo. The two points have been and will be in an opposition for a while — but these are the last few days that the opposition involves the last degrees of Leo and Aquarius. Soon it will shift over to Virgo and Pisces. One interesting thing here is that astrologer Lynn Koiner associates Transpluto with Virgo, and most astrologers associate Neptune with Pisces. (You can read Lynn’s excellent delineation of Transpluto here.)
In addition to being in an opposition aspect, they also represent opposite concepts. Neptune is inspiration and denial; Transpluto is about criticism and narrowness. Both influences have a way of seeing what they want to see, though Neptune is likely to represent a condition of denial whereas Transpluto can be a perfectionist over-focus. Neptune takes a wide and generalized view, sometimes so broad it has no traction in reality. Transpluto focuses in on the smallest details and cannot see the big picture. Where Neptune has at tendency to deny, or to substitute idealism for awareness, Transpluto will find the fault in anyone or anything, especially oneself.
“Used constructively, self-criticism and the perpetual alert for imperfections can motivate the individual to continually strive to do better, to achieve a standard of excellence and to make improvements where needed for the betterment of all,” writes Lynn Koiner. “Used destructively, perfectionism never allows the individual to be content. Always dissatisfied and troubled by self-recriminations, the ego is diminished by a low self-esteem, an image unfairly projected by the parent. In anticipating failure, the individual painfully procrastinates or gives up before the efforts see fruition.”
So, these two points are opposing one another; the two principles they represent are in a kind of face-off — uncontrolled idealism that alternates with obsessive self-critique. And I would say that it’s a reasonable illustration of the double-bind that many people face; a sign of the times. If you factor in Transpluto in Leo — a narrow and critical self-concept, opposite Neptune in Aquarius — an idealized idea of what it means to be accepted by a group — it’s a little more obvious what’s going on, if not for you personally, then on the level of what people are being conditioned to feel.
Looking for insights on how this week’s astrology affects your personal Sun and rising signs? Eric Francis interprets the signs every week, every month and every year. Weekly and monthly horoscopes are in Planet Waves and Planet Waves Light. Annual readings are in a special edition called Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check.