Chiron, Neptune and Your Quest for Wholeness

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Reality Check for Pisces and Pisces Rising | 2012 Annual Horoscope by Eric Francis

Where to begin? I think it might be prudent — or rather, encouraging — to remind you that Neptune completes its long, long trek across your 12th house on Feb. 3. That’s another way of saying that Neptune arrives in your sign on that day, where it will be until 2025, slowly crossing the ocean of your existence. This, in turn, is another way of saying that Neptune, a planet closely associated with Pisces, has been occupying a challenging angle of your chart since 1998 — Aquarius, your solar 12th house (12th house by whole-sign houses if you are Pisces rising).

The Dyad: Duality/Polarity. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

The Dyad: Duality/Polarity. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

The 12th is a hidden realm, often associated with Pisces itself. In the chart it’s like a hidden corner that leads to another cosmos. Usually we get there through dreams, those experiences that feel so real yet which quickly evaporate once we’re ‘awake’. If you think of Neptune as in some way representing you, it’s as if part of your psyche has been stashed away in another dimension — for a long time. You can get there part of the time; other times it’s difficult, and you may have doubted whether what you were feeling was real. The only thing is, we’re talking about your existence. I have been aided by the work of other astrologers who have explained how difficult this transit has been — in particular, due to how long it’s gone on for, and the hidden-away nature of the 12th house.

You may have felt so isolated that you cultivated telepathy or dream travel into an art form. You have developed an inner life unlike that of anyone you know, unless they are having a similar transit. You may have found yourself doing work that is deeply introspective, or using that as a kind of refuge. ‘Inner’ life in this case might well mean “intraconnected” — that internal space is a kind of web reaching out in all directions. Speaking personally as a very, very Pisces Pisces, I have spent the whole time practicing a kind of psychic art, astrology; I have discovered art (in particular, photography) as one of the most satisfying and helpful things in my life; and I’ve projected my soul onto the Internet (something described vividly by Aquarius in the all-encompassing 12th house) to the point where I would be a suitable subject for a fantasy novel.

Note that this transit spans the normal cycles of history; for example, it began well before the Sept. 11 incident. The historical incidents toward the beginning of the transit included the NATO action in Kosovo and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. It was a world or two ago — yet there will be something for you personally that has some continuity during that time, though you may have to reflect for a while to see it, in part because the experience of a 12th house transit is so introspective.

Now that Neptune is about to reach Pisces (that happens on Feb. 3) it’s as if the water of your unconscious is reaching the delta of your conscious mind. What you experience may feel like your soul coming back to you, re-inhabiting your body. Water needs to flow. Water needs to be refreshed. Water needs itself — and this is what you’re getting. When outer planets move signs, there can be immediate results and then there are deeper layers that take time to manifest and to notice. I have found, with Neptune, that it takes a little while (or a long while) to figure out what any transit is about, and my commitment is to be open-minded and illustrative rather than predictive. So let’s hold the space of potential meaning open, and come back to Neptune at the end of this discussion.

Remember, though, that Neptune and Pisces are closely related and in harmony with one another. If Neptune in Aquarius compelled you to be different from how you were, Neptune in Pisces may come with the feeling of being more like you are; the feeling of more vivid presence and the clear feeling of actually existing. This is a question that we will come back to in half a moment, in the discussion of Chiron.

Second Introduction: Uranus Has Left Your Sign

This is a bit of a review — much of your 2011 reading in Light Bridge was devoted to this point. You have been under the direct influence of another outer planet — Uranus — for the past seven years, and as of your last birthday, that transit has ended. Beginning in 2003, this high-energy, slow-moving planet was in your sign; therefore it was crossing your Sun, your ascendant or other planets gathered there. Uranus always brings transformation and reinvention, and it has certainly done its work on you.

This was a wild ride, to be sure, on every level; a restless time of relentless instability. Most of this was on the psychic and emotional levels, involving your experience of yourself and your perception of the world. What endured through those seven years between 2003 and 2011 (when Uranus left Pisces and ingressed Aries) is probably pretty strong, and a real feature of your life that will continue to be dependable. You might want to make a little timeline and account for what you’ve experienced in the most obvious ways: occupation, relationships, location, and in particular what is new in your life since 2003. What have you discovered about yourself in that time? And I mean discovered as in talents or sense of mission.

When we go through an outer planet transit, particularly one that imparts the feeling of constant change, it can take some time to adapt to standing on more solid ground. It’s a little like when you get off a boat and you still feel the world rocking even though you’re standing on the shore. But this is a bit more dramatic. Imagine if you’ve lived in seven different apartments in seven years. When you finally move into a place that’s actually stable, it might take you a while to relax and settle in. As for the talents that you have discovered in this time, you’re still in the process of claiming and fully owning them.

Chiron in Pisces: The Quest for Wholeness

Let’s stay on the topic of outer planets for one more full thought. Between 2010 and 2011, Chiron worked its way out of Aquarius and into Pisces. This was a precursor for the arrival of Neptune in your sign. Yet the energy of Chiron and Neptune are as close to opposites as you can get; for the sake of illustration, think of Neptune as the water and Chiron as the funnel; or Neptune as the misty light and Chiron as the lens that focuses it. In the instance of Chiron arriving in your sign, that is about some series of events that call you and your existence into focus.

Chiron is an outer planet, and for you, it’s worth studying. Here is an article that will get you started. Chiron’s presence in your life will be one of the most obvious features of the next eight years — in many ways more obvious than Neptune because Neptune’s influence can be so difficult to discern, and may be a background feature for a long time. Chiron, however, strives to get our attention. It’s a high-focus energy; its quality is that of awareness itself. In the 1st house (near your Sun or your ascendant), what’s getting awareness is the question of existence itself.

You’ve been accustomed to an outer planet in this region of your chart — Uranus, and Chiron has a touch of Uranus to it. But Chiron is more grounded and utilitarian than Uranus, which is more of a constant blast of raw mental and psychic energy. Chiron grounds energy into form, and it focuses what was previously misty and difficult to discern into a pattern. As a Pisces, it’s not easy for you to see the patterns of your life, though the five years that Chiron spent in Aquarius helped you with that. Now you are bringing your discoveries to full awareness, and there are many more to come.

You might say that with Chiron in your sign, you are going to figure out that you really exist. Yet this is not a platitude. The discoveries you make are coming in the form of tangible realizations, which will have the approximate feeling of assembling a puzzle. Or if you think of Pisces as being a vast reservoir of seawater, you are in the process of analyzing that complex substance (of which you are made) for every element that it might contain (most of the elements and many compounds can be found in a drop of seawater).

Chiron possesses an intensity that has the feeling of a driven quest; at times its energy is obsessive, at other times persistent, and at others annoying as whatever this factor is gets your attention. There is a double edge, as well — Chiron’s presence can bestow significant talents, or apply the ones you have, at the same time as you start to collect a list of things you must change, resolve or heal. Indeed, where your natal placement of Chiron is can be somewhere that you have had persistent troubles. (I suggest you look up the house and sign and read something about them, to see if they resonate. Note that if you are born between 1961 and 1969, you probably have Chiron in Pisces and are at the beginning of your Chiron return.)

There is one thing that Chiron and Neptune have in common: they are what you can think of as spiritual influences. So, too, is Pisces, but there are no guarantees there. Chiron and Neptune have the quality of advancing your consciousness, your sense of contact with the sensory world, and your contact with the ‘other worlds’. This is a distinctly different use of your mind from what the world advocates — in particular the world of Pisces, which is dominated by intoxicants and glamour rather than the deeper values of Pisces. You may embody those deeper values, and you can be sure that both of these planetary influences in your sign will be bringing them to the surface in numerous ways. This is not for its own sake; spiritual is what spiritual does. Chiron’s presence is a calling to put your gifts to work, to focus your discipline and to serve your higher calling.

Of course this is often easier said than done. Letting go of useless values in place of ones that better serve the world can come with a healing crisis, as you potentially struggle to let go of what does not serve you or anyone; and as you use your own power of light to illuminate what you have going on in the shadows.

I can tell you one thing, though — after Neptune spent 14 years in Aquarius, your 12th house, and after Chiron spent five years there, you know about those shadow areas pretty well. Nothing that might emerge should surprise you, because you’ve been there before. The territory is familiar. The key is remembering what you’ve observed in the past — and where the 12th house is concerned, that can be as tricky as remembering a dream in the middle of the day. On the off-hand chance you’ve kept a dream journal for any of these years of 12th house transits, that could become a valuable resource, as could keeping one now.

You might think of it as a healing journal; a kind of trip log of your quest for wholeness. Think of wholeness any way you want — there will be many expressions, ranging from expressing long-hidden parts of yourself, to gathering your belongings from wherever they might be scattered on the planet.

The one thing you really want to do is take care of yourself better than average in 21st century Western civilization. For you that means watching your stress; it means drinking enough water; it means getting by the seaside a few times a year; and I would suggest being careful about how much you take on in the way of EMFs — that is to say, don’t use your cellphone as your only phone. Get one of those solid, old phones with a plug and a wire. More than 30 minutes a day on your cellphone and you’re pushing some serious problems; I try to keep it down to five minutes or less per day.

Mars Retrograde in Virgo

There is an influence you’re under that is not one of the big dramatic events of 2012 — I’ll get to them in the next two sections — though it’s a pretty important one for you. Using Pisces as a reference point for your chart (solar 1st house or your ascendant, if you’re Pisces rising), you’re experiencing Mars retrograde in Virgo, your solar 7th house (or 7th house by whole-sign houses, if you’re Pisces rising). It is tricky enough having Virgo as your 7th house, mainly due to the fact that this sign is ruled by Mercury and is not given to stability.

Mercury, the planet that rules Virgo, is retrograde three times a year, and your relationships go through a kind of pulsation cycle that can be challenging to follow and feels like frequent setbacks. Virgo as your relationship influence can range from drawing ethical, service-oriented people to you, to those who are nervous, perfectionist and picky. You want to make a point of choosing people who are grounded but who also have imagination; your relationships can feed your mind but what you really need is for them to feed your emotions.

Mars arrived in Virgo in November 2011 and it will leave in July 2012 — and for about 11 weeks in the midst of that (from Jan. 23 through Apr. 13) it will be retrograde. This is an influence you need to know about, because it’s going to be having expressions in your relationships, which might come in the form of tension and conflict. What you’re really getting, however, is an opportunity to work out the tension points. For that to happen, you need to see them for what they are, and then rather than indulging them, you will need to use them as opportunities for healing.

One thing you can do is insist that people actually 1) say what they mean and 2) demonstrate their commitment. Desire is not an abstraction, and neither is a relationship. You may feel frustrated with people who are ‘there but not really there’. You will have access to some deep insights as to what’s up with these people, because Chiron in your sign opens an empathic door directly into the Virgo dimension. There is something about what they are going through that is all their own — and some part that has a resonance with you.

Your healing role during this transit is not to take responsibility for what others are doing, or how they are behaving, but rather to see as clearly as you can your part of the energy dynamic. How you handle anyone — whether they are loving, aggressive, reasonable, unreasonable or totally out to lunch — is your call. What you may discover is how much influence you have, by practicing self-understanding. Borrowing from The Art of War (which we might translate into The Art of Love), “Know thine other and know thyself.”

If at any time you are questioning what someone else wants, stop and ask yourself the same question. You will very likely get an interesting answer. Anyway, the point of this transit seems to be fairly simple: Get clear with yourself, and get clear with others. Minimize unnecessary conflict; do that by getting to the roots of conflict and seeing the patterns of your relationships for what they are — and then using your powers of awareness and choice to heal those patterns and get clear. Simple!

Well, maybe. I think there’s one thing this translates down to, which is know what projection is and do what you can to avoid it; to call it back.

Pisces and the Uranus-Pluto Square

Let’s take a look at the two centerpiece aspects of 2012 — the first of which is Uranus square Pluto and the second of which is the Venus transit of the Sun in Gemini (that will get its own section). Uranus square Pluto makes contact with two houses in your chart that are directly connected to your resources — Uranus in your 2nd house or Aries (your personal resources and self-esteem) and Pluto in Capricorn (the rewards of your work and your role in the community). It is interesting that both of these have a connection between money and self-esteem. One is inwardly pointed (Aries/2nd house) and the other collectively oriented (Capricorn/11th house).

Each of these planets is bringing with it its own kind of radical progress. The Aries transit for example is revolutionizing how you think about yourself and your value. It should be awakening your deeper power and ability to manifest money based on your actual worth and value, and that is to say, by expressing who you really are (an Aries quality). The implication is, the more real you are, the better you will do. Your actual value is found in your boldest authenticity. And that, by the way, is a work in progress. You are inventing your value even as you recognize it, and even as you have the opportunity to collect on it. If we view the 2nd house as a map to your money, or more accurately to the resources that become money, you cannot go too far being real.

You may, however, be wondering if there is room for you in the world. After all you have some pretty quirky and idealistic ‘career’ goals. That goes well with authenticity, which is the one thing you can trust. We get some good news from Pluto in Capricorn, your 11th house. Pluto has been clearing space in this house going back at least three years. If Capricorn in some contexts represents things that are too old-fashioned to be useful, Pluto is making room for what is useful now, and moreover, honoring what worked in the past that was seemingly lost in the ongoing smash of progress. This is to say, you can count on the fact that there is room for you in this world — and by that I mean for who you authentically are and what you have to contribute. Even if you encounter a situation that seems like it’s too stodgy for what you’re offering, give a push and see what happens. Don’t push too hard — you’re applying pressure with all the might and power of Pluto, and the illusions you’re penetrating are more fragile than you may think.

One other clue. The square — a tense aspect, that will be provoking many changes for the world and for individuals — has a point of resolution, which is the midpoint. And that midpoint, appropriately enough, lands in Aquarius — your 12th house, with which you are now so familiar. The key to understanding this aspect is deeply internal and intuitive. Let’s just say you know more than you think. And you know more than you think about ‘why people are the way they are’ — and what to do about it.

Venus Transit of the Sun: Healing Your Roots

Venus transit of the Sun is the other defining event of 2012. It’s one of the rarest predictable events in astronomy, and it involves Venus passing directly between the Earth and the Sun, so directly that it’s visible against the disk of the Sun. Here is what it looks like.

They come in pairs, separated by eight years; the pairs are themselves divided by more than a century. The current pair is 2004/2012; there won’t be another one till 2117/2125. Barring some astonishing life-extending technology, nobody alive today will see the next one. Most people missed the one in 2004 (here is an article about what it was like).

Now, in astrology, the potency of events is often judged by how rare they are, or how slowly the object in question moves; this counts for rare. They are also judged by how personally they manifest in your chart, and since this takes place in your solar 4th house (or 4th house by whole-sign houses) it counts for personal. You have Gemini here, which is a little like being split at the root. You have two sensations of your origins, and two distinctly different emotional natures. Pisces is often regarded as a dualistic sign, and part of why this is involves the prominence of Gemini in your chart.

There is a deep healing involved in this event for you, which reaches into the distant past. It reaches into your father’s lineage. And there is something here about your sense of safety and belonging on the planet. I think that you will learn to feel safe and that you are indeed safe; this transit is about helping you ground in physical reality, not as a concept but as a physical experience.

One attribute of this event is a fusion of your mental and emotional natures, which have a way of operating on different tracks.

The Influence of the Invisible

Let’s come back to Neptune in Pisces, where we began. I have two other thoughts. The transit of Neptune through your 12th house has been a kind of initiation. You have had to find yourself in a world where everyone is wandering aimlessly trying to do just that — and I believe you have succeeded in many ways. You have had to do without so much of what others overdose on. You have had to learn your way around your internal reality with a kind of blindfold on, making little clicking noises so you could hear the echo, and assembling the pieces of dreams into a coherent narrative. I believe that all of this practice will serve you beautifully as you get accustomed to Neptune in your birth sign.

We could view this coming transit as something designed to teach you faith in the invisible. What else is faith for? So much of what matters most, so much of what we need the most, involves not what we can see, but what we can ‘sense’, feel, hear, or just know. And that, after all, is your specialty.

Neptune in Pisces will make the world a more Piscean place. I think that through these years you’re likely to feel it a little more like home than you usually do, softer on the edges and with vivid colors. Neptune in Pisces will, I trust, make it more obvious to those who need a reminder that there is indeed a benefit to love.

Afterthought: A Summary of the Mutable Cross

To sum up your astrology in a concise way, let’s review the mutable cross — your cross of the heavens, where so much is happening. I have not mentioned Sagittarius, your solar 10th house (10th house by whole sign houses, if you’re Pisces rising). The 10th is the house of reputation and achievement, and I would remind you that you’re no stranger to strong energy in this house — you lived through it for more than a decade from the mid-1990s through the late 2000s with Pluto in this zone.

I suggest you go to the nearest diner, take a paper napkin and a pen and sketch out the trajectory of your career in those years — and see what you learn. You now have something else going on in this house: a LOT of centaur planets coming through, plus this Pluto-like planet called Ixion (the father of the wild centaurs). In short, your career is a kind of wilderness. You may be in some situation where there are no rules, or where the old rules don’t hold.

Therefore, you have to have some code, some ethos, some guide, that helps keep you focused on what is right for you. Whatever that is, you can be sure you’re going to be pushing limits, pushing buttons and asserting yourself in a way that others might think is ‘unique’ or ‘special’ (add your favorite euphemism for weird and innovative but not necessarily easy to understand). You, however, have an understanding of what you’re going for — which by the way changes on a more or less continual basis, offering evidence that it’s a living idea.

Note that there are eclipses happening up in this house — and that means there will be surges forward and potential setbacks, but all in the spirit of accomplishment. Hold to your vision, feed your vision, evolve your vision but most of all, have and work with a vision. Of the many voices coming from your 10th house, some will speak more clearly than others — and if you listen carefully you will be able to discern a theme. Opposite this sign is Gemini, where you’re experiencing the Venus transit of the Sun. Gemini is your house of grounding and security. What Gemini says is that this is based on an idea, and unless it’s a really, really strong idea, it may be difficult to stand on. At other times you may feel insecure in a way you know is debilitating.

Everyone feels insecure; what I am describing is your awareness that this creates an issue for you. Here is where the Venus transit of the Sun enters the picture: it represents some kind of transcendent experience where what you learn is confidence in yourself. By learn, I mean actually absorb and become.

You will have a series of experiences that lead you to test your confidence, or buck up a bit more of the stuff than you usually have, in the form of Mars retrograde in Virgo, your solar 7th house (7th house by whole sign houses if you’re Pisces rising). Ask yourself in every situation: How would I act if I had more confidence in myself? That is how you learn. People can say what they want, and do what they will, but you have the ability to perceive and respond in your own way. Understate your case — and for sure, let everyone else speak first.

Last is Pisces, which is the scene to two longterm transits — indeed, transits that will outlast everything else currently on the mutable cross — Chiron and Neptune. These represent the embodiment of everything you’re learning. If you remember Chiron’s association with both Virgo (your relationship house) and Sagittarius (your house of achievement), you have a reminder that you are larger than your experience of these things, or at least, you stand on level ground. I suggest going for larger, for the sense that you embrace your whole experience, and that — in true Pisces form — you practice the ability to contain what you perceive. The world you see would not be the world you see, except for your presence in it. You would see some other world, or some other plane of reality.

In this way, without taking credit for ‘creating your world/the world’ you can take credit for how you see and experience your life. And you can take full ownership of your perception as a creative and learning process. You may not create the whole world but the world is sensitive to your consciousness, to your creativity and most of all to how you feel inside your own skin. You may know this already, and if you do, give it a push. If you don’t I suggest you experiment with this idea, in small ways at first. Once you prove this to yourself, you will actually experience the freedom that comes with confidence in yourself and your vision for your life.

Your 2012 annual interpretation also includes an extended audio reading. That is available at the top of this page.

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Read the past three years of Pisces annual interpretations for just $19.95. Includes Next World Stories, Cosmic Confidential and Light Bridge. These were designed to be multiple-year interpretations, preparing for and extending into 2012.