Sea Changes: Neptune Enters Pisces

Dear Friend and Reader:

Today is the big day that Neptune ingresses Pisces to stay until 2025, the sign of which it’s the modern ruling planet. Neptune made a kind of test run into Pisces between April and August of last year; due to the retrograde effect we’ve had a few months since then to wrap up and review Neptune in Aquarius. While eras of history are seldom predictable, particularly down to the day, when a slow-moving, influential planet like Neptune changes signs, it’s something to take notice of. After 14 years in Aquarius, Neptune joins another slow-mover recently arrived in Pisces, Chiron. As I probably said about 10 times in the course of doing the annual readings, I would be a lot more nervous about Neptune in Pisces if not for Chiron’s grounded and pragmatic presence there.

This is the last of the 2012 outer planet transits taking its position. Whatever challenges Neptune may present, Neptune in Pisces is going to add depth, as well as a reminder that sensory experience is the thing we really want to do with our bodies. Neptune in Aquarius has been a kind of dry experience. We have experienced Neptune in an abstract form, for the most part as an idea devoted to business and marketing. Say what you want about Pisces, it is the original sign of peace and love, and a wellspring of creativity. Neptune in Pisces will add some water to our experience of life, and not a moment too soon.

If we study the history of astrologers attempting to forecast Neptune transits, we figure out that they’re highly unpredictable. Most people don’t understand this elusive influence, and I think that most astrologers are only familiar with part of the story. Neptune is an easily corruptable influence. It’s associated with this thing we crave, a kind of mystical longing, and the directors of TV commercials know how to play right into that. So do politicians and religious hucksters. Most people run on belief, not on reason, and one motto of Neptune in Aquarius has been “if I believe it, then it must be true,” along with a good bit of “if I don’t pay attention to it, then it must not matter.”

One thing we became accustomed to during this era is the sensation of increasingly complex systems, which keep becoming more complex with each endless update. A cell phone, a computer, a company — all of these things were much more elementary in 1998. Now everything seems to have 20 layers and 100 components and endless uses and is networked into every other system.

One of the things Neptune represents is idealism — and our idealism is often used against us. This partly accounts for all kinds of rosy predictions made about Neptune transits that don’t come true, and how we miss the problems even as they arise. Instead many seemingly unforeseen things happen, from the light and dark sides, as well as plenty of gray areas. It’s easier to see the effects of Neptune in retrospect. It’s as if the theme is everywhere during the transit, and the signs of the times are painted onto every wall and mirror — but putting them together is a little like seeing the cohesiveness in the different ‘parts’ of a dream. I’ll give some examples from recent history in a moment, and it will be pretty obvious what happened.

Side By Side: Aquarius and Pisces are Opposite Signs

First let’s consider the astrology itself. That will give some context. A couple of weeks ago I opened my Friday article with the Patric Walker quote about scratching a Virgo and finding a Pisces (which by the way is a good image of Chiron in Pisces). The idea is that signs that oppose one another on the astrological wheel are really part of the same thing and have more in common than they have differences. Virgo and Pisces are both mutable signs (same basic mental properties such as flexibility and a bit of nervousness, and, in the cycle of the year, coming at the end of their respective seasons). They are both feminine signs (Virgo is an earthy sign and Pisces is a watery sign). They are both oriented on goddess energy — Virgo depicts a goddess and Venus is exalted (that is, happy and dignified) in Pisces.

Photo by Eric Francis.

If you want to see the real opposite energies, look to the signs that are next-door neighbors. Aquarius and Pisces make a good example. Aquarius is a fixed sign (highly stable) whereas Pisces is a mutable one (changeable). Aquarius is a masculine sign and Pisces is a feminine sign. Aquarius is about rigid, stable patterns and Pisces is about how life is a watercolor in the rain.

Aquarius is an air sign and Pisces is a water sign. Aquarius represents the peak of energy of its season and Pisces represents the release of energy of the same season. The two have much less in common than Virgo and Pisces. Oh, one last thing — Aquarius is traditionally a Saturn-ruled sign (in modern astrology Uranus is the ruler but for many reasons, this is iffy); Pisces is traditionally ruled by Jupiter (and in modern astrology by Neptune, which works rather well). So when a planet moves across a sign cusp, there can be a dramatic shift in how that planet expresses itself. Neptune typically operates invisibly, as if in a hidden dimension, and that shift, as it manifests, can take everyone by surprise.

Neptune is an energy that blurs boundaries and dissolves structures and patterns. Aquarius is a sign that is all about structures and patterns, in particular, mental patterns, modes of social organization, concepts and technology. And for the past 14 years Neptune has been working its wonders on all of these things. One thing we can say for sure is that Neptune in Pisces is going to be a different story than Neptune in Aquarius. I think we’ll have a sense of relief with Neptune being in his own element. That is, of course, unless you prefer everything to be at arm’s length.

Neptune crossing the imaginary line between Aquarius and Pisces will change the rules to many games we have come to take for granted over a long span of time. We live in a culture that is just driven by Neptune, which relates to anything involving image, anything involving a mind-altering substance, anything involving a belief, and many different facets of creative thought, from visual art to music.

Water Under the Bridge: Neptune in Aquarius

Let’s look back for a moment before we look forward. Speaking in broad terms, Neptune in Aquarius has had two manifestations. One is the Internet, and by that, I mean the all-pervasive network that integrates web, email, streaming video, cable, and those programs that allow you to control your coffee pot, car and alarm system from your phone. One thing that’s happened during Neptune in Aquarius is that we have collectively projected ourselves into a new dimension of existence. This is at once a vast repository for fantasy (erotic, romantic and otherwise), marketing data, marketing opportunities, propaganda, incredible access to information, and one of the most astounding manifestations of freedom of speech in the history of history.

Ulmo, Lord of Waters From The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien, speaks to Tuor (Earendil’s father and Elrond’s grandfather), warning him about the infiltration of Gondor. Ulmo is one of the few gods who never abandoned the dwellers of Middle-earth. He is in the cycle of sea-gods akin to Neptune. Painting is by Roger Garland.

The Internet is the first fully dependable alternate reality we have access to that does not require drugs. It is often described as a drug, appropriate enough in Neptune theory. Addiction to Facebook, porno, shopping, surfing — these are all things tossed about daily on talk shows. But this is to miss the point of the Internet entirely. It is the first place that large numbers of people can communicate freely with one another. If I had to choose an ‘addiction’, that’s the one I would pick. We have yet to understand the actual creative and political implications of having access to this realm.

Second, Neptune in Aquarius has represented a social pattern of mass deception, often involving violating the difference between truth and lies. One of the most telling quotes of the whole era came from Karl Rove, speaking anonymously to The New York Times, when he told the writer that guys like him (that is, the writer) were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.”

The watershed events of this era included the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that had separated investment banks from savings banks, one of the most damning boundary breaches of the whole era. That was followed by the fake impeachment of Bill Clinton (orchestrated in part by Newt Gingrich and Dark Lord of the Alternate Reality, Karl Rove) that started off the era.

Soon after came the stolen election of 2000, the false flag attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Enron/Arthur Andersen disaster, which became the business model of the new century, two incredibly deadly wars based on pretense and illusion (for the sake of profits and chaos), a second stolen election, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the housing bubble burst / economic collapse and robbery of the Federal Reserve Bank of 2008, and finally the hope and change election of Barack Obama. Deep in there, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas that day in 2003, followed two weeks later by the dreamlike F-15 protests against the imminent Iraq war. There was Wikileaks, an absolutely perfect example of Neptune in Aquarius — basically, a boundary breach through which radical truth could emerge (though this had a lot of help from Chiron in Aquarius). And there was the Citizens’ United decision by the Supreme Court, which codified into law the notion that ‘corporations are people’ and can spend as much as they want buying elections.

Climate change sprung up a few times as an issue with Neptune in Aquarius, though primarily because it’s been reduced to a matter of belief. The denial machine just cranks out this notion that if you don’t believe it, it’s okay because that means it’s not true. The thing about scientific evidence (Aquarius) is anyone is free to ‘not accept it’ (a Neptune influence), especially in a mode of discourse that doesn’t have reason as a guardrail.

At the same time, fetuses were extremely busy becoming people as well (or at least their publicist-ministers were trying to convince us of that). It seemed that the only thing that was not a person was a person. We had the anti-abortion / anti-gay rights / anti-woman / anti-sex ‘Christian’ movement raising hell and brimstone and a big fuss about taxes. The anti-choice movement expanded its efforts into a campaign to ban birth control that few people have taken seriously enough to mention — let’s see how that works out. Despite this, the definition of marriage actually changed to include same-sex partnerships: a total rewrite of old religious law that some people somehow think has any meaning at all — which calls for executing homosexuals.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Many other events fit the pattern — these are the ones that stand out in memory. In the last months of Neptune in Aquarius, we have been treated to two bonus events: one of the most bizarre, hallucinogenic political freak shows in history — the Republican primary race that is still underway; and Arab Spring / Wisconsin uprising / Occupy movement (which I consider one event that verges on the paranormal).

The odd thing about all of these events — especially the evil ones — is how they became water under the bridge the moment they happened. It’s like they were forgotten even as we watched them. More astute observers noticed the lack of anger, and the lack of resistance by the people who were directly influenced. Besides the F-15 protest and Code Pink, what other organized war resistance can you think of? During most of Neptune in Aquarius, a protest meant signing an email petition. One exception to this was the anti-globalization movement that would show up every time the big boys would gather for one of their meetings.

While the political, corporate and financial powers that be were trying again and again to bring on the fascism fast and furious, they could not get a grip. The mass fantasy and marketing paradise we know as the Internet provided a public forum that enabled sufficient spread of information that we were saved by the First Amendment — and the people who put it to good use. The Internet, as ephemeral and elusive as it is, has protected us from utter deception and the people who would use it to take control of everything. The lies of FOX News (a creature of Neptune in Aquarius) were not only being worn away by Stephen Colbert; there were and still are many thousands of websites that reduced its influence substantially, and sometimes even negated it. Toward the very end of Neptune in Aquarius, the feds made a move on the freedom of the ‘Net and the world rose up in protest.

Photo by Eric Francis.

So, while a paradise didn’t exactly arise during Neptune in Aquarius, a free speech paradise certainly did. And hey, what good is free speech if you can’t use it to tell the truth or to lie like a banshee? The very thing we need with Neptune is discernment. The Internet has indeed presented us with a marketplace of ideas, and though it no longer works as a legal principle, caveat emptor is one of the most helpful rules of the road. In the verging-on-astral world of the Internet, you can expect some extreme polarities (apropos of the astral plane). Fact checking is a small price to pay for the ability to explore conscious dreamtime, where you can exist — at least in your mind and those of the people you correspond with — as anything you want. Boundaries of country, identity, gender, sex, political viewpoints and anything else that used to define us are now optional and entirely mutable.

For as vapid as the Internet can be on a bad day, and for the proliferation of spam and trivial, bottom-trawling websites, we really have co-created a place to meet, to engage with one another, to share ideas and to get work done. Many people who would not have had a way to express themselves can now speak to an actual audience. Though I admit my bias as a writer, publisher and artist, this is clearly an essential element of human freedom, and — at the moment, anyway — we actually have it.

Tear Down the Wall: Capricorn Alignment of 1989 

Before I get into some ideas about Neptune in Pisces, let’s check in with an outer planet event focused on 1989: a series of conjunctions in Capricorn. These involved Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which were basically all conjunct one another in a long series of events from ’89 through around ’94. In a sense, all the changes we are seeing in the world — including the manifestations of Neptune in Aquarius that we’ve been reviewing this week, as well as Uranus in Aries, come back to one particular epicenter in 1989: the chart for the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Chart for news about the Berlin Wall opening up, which led to the Berlin Wall actually opening up. Notice the planets with a 10 next to them — the Saturn-Neptune conjunction, precisely opposed by Jupiter. Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were hanging around in a conjunction for a long time, and came with many changes in geopolitics. Conjunctions represent the beginnings of cycles, which are still active today. Then in a perfectly hilarious commentary, the chart says “broadcast with impact!” with the Sun, Mercury and Pluto in Scorpio rising. This astonishing story is worth reading — here is the Wikipedia page. Then look at the chart to see the similarities.

This is an important chart because of the conjunctions that it contains. Conjunctions start cycles, and this chart includes a triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that is at the root of the world we currently inhabit (and often take for granted). This publication is produced with the help of our buddy Anatoly in the Ukraine. Before 1989, we were taught in school that he was ‘the enemy’. In 2012, he’s one of our best friends. Go figure.

Younger readers may not remember or even know about the manic terror of communism that was driven into the American soul between the late 1940s and the mid-1980s, which came down with a press release and the sound of a champagne bottle popping overnight between Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, 1989. Before then, you were either worried about Commies hanging out in garbage cans, or infiltrating Hollywood, or shooting missiles across the ocean at our cities. Many of our parents endured relentless duck and cover drills, hiding under their school desks, freaking out in honor of seemingly imminent nuclear war.

The chart is for the West German newscast the night of Nov. 9 that announced that East German refugees could exit directly through crossing points to West Germany, and that private travel between the two would be allowed. It’s one of the most amazing charts of the 20th century and I want to make contact with it for a moment, so we have some grounding. The events that were sparked off this day had a cascading effect that we are still living with today — as do the Neptune cycles that are described in the chart.

Let’s consider the aspects — then their implications. The simplified chart you’re looking at includes a four-planet conjunction in Capricorn, with Saturn and Neptune in a precise alignment. That aspect precipitated or symbolized (as you prefer) the dissolving of the boundary between East Berlin and West Berlin; hence, East Germany and West Germany; and hence, the whole “iron curtain” that divided Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe from capitalist Western Europe. The boundary is represented by Saturn and Capricorn; the dissolving by Neptune. The other two players are fast moving Venus (for love) and slow moving Uranus (for the sustained power of revolution).

To add a dash of humor to the chart, we have Jupiter exactly opposite Saturn and Neptune. To measure the alignments, look at the numbers next to the planets. The closer the numbers, the closer the alignments. These are really close. Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are aligned with the Earth to the degree on that very day.

I’ve also left in an a witty conjunction that was rising exactly, as in exactly rising, exactly at the time of the event — a Sun-Pluto-Mercury conjunction in Scorpio. Remember that this is the chart for a news broadcast — talk about a TV show with impact. Remember how fast the ascendant moves — a degree every four minutes. You would think the announcement was timed by an astrologer. Actually, it was timed by the universe.

Once the announcement was made on German television, life imitated the media and chunks of the Berlin Wall became hot souvenirs as the wall was torn down. Photo by Dmitry Vrubel.

Remember that this was the same year China came up on the radar — Tiananmen Square happened, having much the same effect as the fall of the Berlin Wall — the merging of the East and the West, the most significant global boundary at the time. In 1989, Walmart existed in much smaller form but more to the point, 90% of the products were not made in China. That all happens after the Tiananmen Square incident, which was supposedly about liberty and ended up being about capitalism.

Included in this alignment is a truly rare event — the Uranus-Neptune conjunction, which happens less than once per century. It hadn’t quite happened yet as of this chart, but it’s still very close, close enough to be in full effect during this chart and historical event. Lining up Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn blew up nearly every boundary you can think of, particularly in geopolitics. The Eastern Bloc fell apart and dozens of ‘new’ countries showed up on the map.

Within 10 years, the border crossings had disappeared from across Europe, the Euro was imminent, and the big boys were reorganizing the world into new trade zones, encoded in GATT, NAFTA and other treaties. One day in 2006, I was driving from France to Belgium and came across one of these abandoned border crossing checkpoints. Seeing the abandoned booths and parking lots with grass growing out of them made the whole notion of borders seem as ridiculous as it is.

So in our current era of boundaries falling and everything becoming more permeable and information from your wallet sitting on numerous computer servers around the world, remember that there was a brick and mortar parallel that happened long before what we are now experiencing — and it starts with the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — the four largest planets, with three of the four being in Capricorn, the sign of boundaries and containers.

The moral of the story is that when these planets get busy, actual stuff happens. And this particular chart is becoming active again because Pluto is in Capricorn going over all those planets there, and Uranus is in Aries, about to square them all. Maybe that will help us get rid of the absurd new border crossings that have been installed — that is, the ones currently run by the ever-charming TSA, which can’t seem to stop groping people, stealing from them and accusing them of being terrorists on the basis of a bottle of Poland Spring water.

The Ocean Refuses No River

Okay, end of deep history lesson — let’s consider some of the possibilities of Neptune in Pisces. But let’s begin with a question: Could anyone have predicted everything you just read, all of which involved Neptune’s transit through its last two signs, Capricorn and Aquarius? But in the end it makes sense that Neptune would have this effect on the two Saturn-ruled signs.

Photo by Eric Francis.

One thing we could say about Neptune in Aquarius is that a lot of people complained how shallow everything got. Aquarius really isn’t shallow (or deep); it represents the patterns of what we people do. It’s utilitarian, in a sense. Using a computer as a metaphor, it’s not good or bad — it does what it’s programmed to do, and then holds those patterns until something comes along to change them.

Aquarius has certainly become deeper and more visionary under the influence of Neptune. The whole enterprise is more flexible. Remember that this sign is represented by someone holding a jug of water — that jug is now full. And while we’re at it, computer programmers have become the high priests of our culture. For now, that is.

Pisces is a sign that is as deep and as vast as the ocean. It’s also as scary. The depths of creativity and surrender, the absence of logic, the open-ended encounter with the numinous — all of these are Pisces traits. There is something inherently mystical about Pisces, and that, too, is neutral until it’s polarized one way or the other. Pisces as we know it is limited only by our imagination.

And that is about to take a plunge. This could go a few ways; we could yearn for a simpler, more tactile and sensory means of creativity. Neptune in Pisces cannot be represented by zeros and ones. It’s not that zeros and ones will be a thing of the past; rather, many things that we might still remember will flood in and become more interesting. I could easily foresee a return to folk arts, actual non-digital music created with real instruments, and a desire for authentic, face-to-face human contact, complete with feelings.

Photo by Eric Francis.

While most of the achievements under Neptune in Aquarius were technological, I can see the emphasis shifting onto creative endeavors, simpler pleasures and a more authentic spirituality than we’ve seen in many places over the past 14 years. Today geeks are cool and artists are not quite so cool. That may change tomorrow. This is about receptivity: those whose psyche is better tuned to the Pisces realm will have greater contact with what Neptune is offering.

We all know there is potentially a shadow side to Neptune in Pisces, just as there was to Neptune in Aquarius. That could be about the total immersion in the unreal, people taking truly irrational beliefs to even further extremes than we’ve seen, and a new depth of drugs being the answer to everything. Let’s not go there for now — we have time to investigate that. It would help to remember that what grows is generally what we feed and encourage.

I chose to spend the ingress of Neptune into Pisces close to the ocean, out at Montauk. It’s off-season, prices are low, the weather has been great and the Atlantic is still the Atlantic. My first few nights I stayed in a place called Gurney’s and basically ate nothing but seafood.

The place has a spa, and in the men’s jacuzzi room (which they call the Roman Bath) there is an enormous relief sculpture of Neptune. You don’t need to be a student of mythology to recognize him. You can feel his presence. I sat there in the rushing hot water studying that face, considering the ambiguity of wisdom, rage, passion and humor that seemed to morph from moment to moment. The environment — the steamy, dim light — made the whole effect more dramatic. I looked at him and he looked at me and we formed a relationship. I’ve spent the past bunch of days with that image lit up in my mind. And I’ve been thinking. If I were Neptune and I had just spent 14 years in a fixed air sign, I would be really, truly happy to be coming home to Pisces.

Eric Francis

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #889. | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Where is your feminine side hiding out, and do you even like her? She’s guiding you to be, and feel, and do, so much of what you associate as being unlike you. Yet the you whom she is supposedly so unlike seems to be going deeper into the subtler aspects of your nature every day. Your charts suggest you’re looking for something in yourself, yet your search has an indirect quality, as if you’re trying to create something by a process of reduction. I think that a more direct approach would work — including tuning into your senses, and considering what your dreams are telling you. What you may discover is that you’re really on a search for your focused power of logic, will and discernment. These are tools you need — and tools you may have misplaced. The role of the feminine side of your nature will be to guide you in their proper use; to provide a basis of ethics, and grounding in purpose.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Do you have the guts to actually be the person you want the world to think you are? Or perhaps more to the point, the person you want to be? Projecting an image is relatively simple. Finding the truth of who you are can be complex and challenging. It takes less courage to create an image than it does to seek within yourself and identify the truth of what you are trying to weave for the world to see. Now is the time to dare and take that inner quest. It’s not neat or tidy; for example, the other side of appearing sexy is the truth of desire. The other side of external beauty is the psychological struggle associated with doubt. Concentrated exploration often precedes inspiration, and we often have to reckon with the inwardly violent aspects of our nature in order to experience the gentler ones. Embrace those contrasts as a sign of authentic exploration; as evidence that there is substance behind your image.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Neptune now joins Chiron on the angle of your solar chart associated with achievement and reputation. For most people this would be challenging, because Neptune is difficult to grasp. But you’ve always had Pisces on this angle, and Neptune and Pisces are good friends. Chiron is currently on this angle as well, and Neptune and Chiron function well; you can think of Neptune as the paint and the idea, and Chiron as the discipline and refined talent that will help you express what you want. There is a catch, however. Some of the most amazing energy is focused in an aspect of life that you may not normally feel so ambitious about. Perhaps it occurs to you that you may create something special or leave your mark on the world, but in truth, do you? Now you have two compelling, longterm influences in this house. To accomplish anything, you will need to work diligently over a number of years. You will need to respect your own ideas. Most of all, you must be the very example of ethics.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There is a difference between the mental sciences — reason, rationality and authentic intellectual creativity — and spiritual exploration. The two rarely work independently of one another. We all know this. Intellect without some inspiration will put an insomniac to sleep. Inspiration and even love without some grounding in cohesive thought can lead to huge struggles and misunderstandings. You may feel some inclination to experience these two elements of life as separate ‘things’. Yet since both are products or results of consciousness, they point to something deeper. What is that something? We’ve all heard the expression, “I think, therefore, I am” — though often without realizing how brilliant it is. We could add, “I feel connection, I experience beauty, I sense something larger than myself — therefore, I am alive.” Yet what is back there, deep in you, doing all this thinking and experiencing and feeling and noticing? It all points back to something, and that something is trying to get your attention.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You seem to be grappling with a question about how others perceive you. You may think that you’ve inadvertently misled someone into thinking you are who you are not. Or, you may feel like someone sees something in you that you’re not sure exists. I would turn that around; imagine that the truth of who you are is transparent, and that the people closest to you are not only capable of seeing you for who you actually are, they want to do so. What you have is an opportunity for an unusually intimate and revealing exchange, which may or may not be sexual; you will know which way to take things, and that question — considered so urgent and pressing most of the time — will have little of its usual weight or urgency. You have available one of those rare moments when intimacy is the true source of energy, which leads to many possible expressions. The ‘lesson’ if you could call it that is how being authentically yourself is the most fruitful way to live, and the easiest, and the one most likely to lead to peace of mind.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Neptune embarking on its long journey across your relationship sign Pisces on Friday is an invitation to see the deeper potential in your encounters with other people. You can afford to be a little more idealistic than usual because Chiron is already there, keeping an eye on practical matters, focusing your awareness and making sure that the endeavor of every relationship is oriented on healing. With Neptune, the thing to embrace is the seemingly fleeting nature of reality, as perceived by the ego. In truth, what you’re getting are glimpses beyond the veil of normal consciousness, and examples of how to get there more dependably. The question of your relationships now orients on you being true to yourself first, which is the prerequisite to any other form of being true. You would do well to ask why this is even an issue at all. Most of why we are so obsessed with denial is because of moral judgments on pleasure. In the current structure of society, pleasure is acceptable only as an escape from pain. Yet that won’t get you through the door — you know, the opening you want to go through so dearly.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You may be feeling like you’ve gone all the way out to the edge, though with an unusual feeling. It’s like you’re having a dream of walking along a narrow walkway much higher up than you’re used to being, yet you’re not scared. If this were a dream, the meaning would in part come from the experience of the altitude but mostly from the feeling of not having any of the usual fear of altitude that you might have in such a delicate situation. If you tune in you may discover that most of your fears are operating in reverse. The things that might normally make you nervous are making you bolder. You know you live on the edge of time, but you’re somehow not concerned about time running out. This is a healthy way to approach your fears and your perceived limitations — as things that might be there but which don’t particularly bother you, or which are optional.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Many have noted the difference between the sexual experience we have in a fantasy and the one we have in reality. What happens in actual 3-D reality is different than what happens in fantasy mainly because more than your intent is involved, and there can be physical effects, influences or consequences of the actions taken — much less likely in the imagination. That said, most people don’t even bother to try their fantasies, and then on the rare occasion when they might, there can be a setup for disappointment if it does not live up. This is one reason why I suggest trying every fantasy at least three times (three-way sex, same-sex experience, s/m experience, etc.). Once is not enough to get the feeling; things can go wrong, and you or someone else might be nervous. Everything takes practice and acclimation. I mention this now because Neptune in Pisces is about to stoke your fantasies big-time, and Chiron in Pisces is saying that this comes down to experience — real experience based on real curiosity.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The concept of ‘home’ has become elusive, as people become increasingly transient, as the family structure changes and as home — the building itself — has become the subject of a vast political and economic scandal. As well, the notion of what it means to feel ‘safe’ on the planet has changed and changed radically. The things my friends and I used to do as kids, unsupervised, would get some parents arrested today, while others neglect their children with bald, outrageous impunity. All of these questions are potential topics of Neptune ingressing the home and security angle of your solar chart. Yet the question is deeper and more personal: what do you need to do in order to feel like you’re safe on the planet, or in your home? You may come up with a long list of possibilities and I bet many of them would be valid. But I can sum it up in two words, if you like: emotional boundaries.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There seems to be some unusual potential opening up in your relationships. This is based on two things, I believe. One involves your gradually finding your way to people whose values are similar to your own — similar enough to have a real conversation. The second is the gradual dissolving of the formerly strict partition between ‘lovers’ and ‘friends’. There is a third factor as well, which is that you’ve experienced just about every insecurity about yourself that a person is capable of feeling, and you’re now ready to stand on more solid spiritual ground. Ideally, this combination of factors would lead you to make braver, bolder choices in life. It would lead you out of your shell and make you willing to at least approach other people on potentially equal terms. There seems to be something holding you back. Can you figure out what it is?

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The prevailing theme at this truly meaningful juncture of your life is seeing the consequences of living unconsciously. It seems like every day you discover something new that you have to address, but that would have been prevented — had you only been more conscious at some other time in your life. One thing about the cleanup process is that you will be able to take some fairly large strides, if you devote yourself to it diligently, and proceed with a spirit of growth rather than of fixing. That said, you could become something of an expert in consequences, in general — of conscious or unconscious life; of being loving or unloving; of having faith, or not. For the foreseeable future the essence of your life story is about self-value and self-esteem. I believe that all of these themes are directly related. Feeling good about oneself is not an illusion or a flight of fancy. It can be solidly grounded in truth, and this seems to be your most important mission.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Accept no illusions. That is the message of Neptune entering your birth sign. Many people in our society live and seem to thrive on illusions; just look at how many people are addicted to artificial sweeteners, and don’t mind the whole seizure/brain tumor thing. You can handle Neptune energy, because you’ve already got a lot of it in your chart. You may discover under this influence that you have more potential, and a lot more access to your deepest strengths, virtues and creativity. Yet the challenge is persisting in a boldly realistic view of life. Put up with nothing. Demand absolute authenticity, from yourself and from others. Being boldly realistic includes the well-established role of visionaries on our planet, no matter how large or small of a scale you work with that concept. Accurate perception balances realism and optimism, neither at the expense of the other. If you remember this, and practice it well, you can do, or experience, anything you want.

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