Neptune stations in Pisces

ashesanddiamonds1

The image above from Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds centers around a moment of epiphany, an opening of consciousness resonant with the dissolving of personal structures that can occur when Neptune stations direct as it has now at five degrees of Pisces.  People love to write about the Age of Aquarius, but Neptune stationing direct is a reminder that we remain in the Age of Pisces, an age dominated by harrowing experiences of war rooted in conflict between idealistic ideologies.  Ashes and Diamonds is set in Poland on the last day of World War II, a war in which Poland passed through unspeakable terror during its time of Nazi occupation and concentration camps that haunt collective memories with agonies incapable of description.  On the day of events in Ashes and Diamonds, modest celebrations over the end to the war occur in air saturated with the heavy fog of lingering trauma and the encroachment of the Soviet state on Polish independence.  Immediately prior to the image above inside a bombed church, the Lovers shown here discover an engraved fragment of a poem by the legendary Polish poet Cyprian Norwid: 

From you, as from burning chips of resin,
Fiery fragments circle far and near:
Ablaze, you don’t know if you are to be free,
Or if all that is yours will disappear.

Will only ashes and confusion remain,
Leading like storm into the abyss? Or will there be
In the depths of the ash a star-like diamond,
The dawning of eternal victory!

The phoenix of transformation found within these words fits our current astrological climate.  When pondering the nature of an archetypal force such as Neptune stationing, it is important to consider the surrounding astrological context: new cycle of Mars and Pluto in Capricorn, Mars triggering the approaching square between Pluto and Uranus in Aries, new cycle between Venus and Saturn in Scorpio, a Leo Jupiter in square to the Sun, Saturn, and Venus in Scorpio, and Uranus conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries.  Moreover, making the exact timing of this Neptune stationing more palpable on a personal level was that the Moon was in Virgo opposite Neptune and then Chiron in Pisces as the planetary symbol of oceanic consciousness stood still from our Earth-bound perspective.  Easing our ability to integrate meaning from all of this, Mercury has regained full strength as a Morning Star, re-emerging from it’s retrograde shadow zone to form a harmonious trine with both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces.

Images are a realm of Neptune, and cinema in particular resonates with the myriad meanings of Neptune’s archetype.  Looking at the image from Ashes and Diamonds above, those who grew up immersed within the United State’s Hollywood will recognize the archetypal rebel stance drawing perplexed interest from a lover (and indeed, the actor Zbigniew Cybulski playing the lead was known as the “James Dean of Polish Cinema” and experienced an early traumatic death).  This scene unveils a Neptunian dissolution of interior structures and complexes, as each character had previously experienced an unlocking of inner vaults in the union of their embrace. The heart-centered words of a poet are another entry point into Neptune, and after hearing this poem recited from the lips of his desired lover, the lead character opens to the awareness that he could be leading a different life from a different form of consciousness. In the same scene, surrounded by ruins of wars and relics of dominant religion, he expresses that as he had never before realized he could fall in love he also had never thought that his life could be arranged around something different than his own pure survival.

Ewa reading poem in Ashes and Diamonds

Ewa Krzyżewska reading Norwid’s poem in Ashes and Diamonds

Neptune’s symbolic association with water relates to the dissolution of former structures of our self and reality we experience under a Neptunian wave. It can feel like we are opening to a message outside our known reality, as Neptune is a far-out planet bridging our solar system to what revolves beyond, or it can feel like a current rising from deep within our depths. We can experience moments of realization within a flood of former boundaries dissolving, yet the tendency is to fall back again into the security of the old reality instead of following the seemingly mystical call we fear is merely an illusion.  Confusion and disorientation can engulf us when we look to our former self image to provide stability, as under these waves we feel the superficial structure of its facade.

The tragedy of Ashes and Diamonds and the tragedy of many lives is that we label the epiphany the illusion, call the realization a magical fantasy as if magic can not truly happen.  Yet while attempting to re-adapt to our former perspective that was not so discontinuous with the surrounding consensus reality, the yearning of Neptune can take root instead in escapist pursuits like drug use or absorption into fictional or non-fictional stories about other people instead of living our own dream.  Addictive relationships can fall into this category as well, the type of attachment we form for a relationship that does not nourish our deep self but instead brings us a sense of security within our consensus surroundings no matter how unfulfilling.  Ironically from this space we are likely to view a truly fulfilling opportunity for relationship as a romantic fantasy we are imagining from our childhood fairy tales.

The remedy is to swim with the current and be a creative agent, an active magician in your daily life manifesting your internal world into your external environment.  Think of the great magician of recent fiction, Harry Potter, consulting his magical mentor Albus Dumbledore in a Neptunian King’s Cross Station:

Harry Potter:  Professor, is this all real? Or is it just happening inside my head?

Albus Dumbledore: Of course its happening inside your head, Harry. Why should that mean that its not real?

Whatever signs and symbols you have been drawn to, whatever movies you have felt compelled to watch, books you suddenly knew you had to start reading recently, take note for most likely there is a significant message for you here. Neptune works through mysterious ways that are more musical, imaginal, and intuitive than anything logical.  There are many intense astrological signs pointing to a new cycle, new life, and new reality coming into form and while we may be in mid-process and there may be many tumultuous surrounding events, be courageous enough to follow the vision emerging from your depths in your waking life.

Beatrice_Addressing_Dante_(by_William_Blake)

Beatrice Addressing Dante by William Blake

Following Neptune stationing direct in Pisces, Venus has now entered Sagittarius and will soon send sparks through a square to Neptune.  The image above by Sagittarian artist William Blake unveils the Muse in the form of Beatrice, the inspiring force behind the work of Dante Alighieri.  We can find the shifting archetype of Neptune in this work of passion, in the spinning vortex of chariot wheels carrying the beaming and erotic Beatrice.  Dante serves as an example of an artist able to channel the imaginal visions lit by love for a woman he was never able to be with physically, into works of art that centuries later continue to leave a mark in modern minds.  I was curious to see how this image was interpreted in Symbol and Truth in Blake’s Myth by Leopold Damrosch, and was surprised to find the language describing Beatrice and the other women as dominating a “meek” Dante.  To me this connects with Venus emerging from its new cycles with the Sun and Saturn while in Scorpio, into Sagittarius and a square with Neptune: are we being overpowered and confused by our vision or being uplifted into creative inspiration.  If we are able to look underneath at the substantive structures sourcing our perception and instinctual reactions we can gain greater awareness of how to ride a wave of Neptune into greater abundance instead of being pulled into an undertow of disintegration.  For example, if we come from a sense that creation comes out of conflict we may find ourselves forever stirring up drama around us, sometimes needlessly so-  with reflection we may find opportunities to be harmoniously collaborative with others while also being creative.

Venus entering a square from Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces is a gateway into a couple of months of Neptune experiencing squares from planets in Sagittarius.  Within a week on November 22, there will be a New Moon at zero degrees of Sagittarius that will herald our Sun’s entrance into the sign of the centaur. At the end of November, Mercury will enter Sagittarius, and then at the end of December on December 24, 2014 Saturn will also enter Sagittarius.  With this time of Saturn at the end of the depth of Scorpio, with Venus, then the Moon, Sun, and Mercury coming into Sagittarius to square Neptune, it is time to make our dreams and visions real.  What is illusory will be revealed, and what is authentic and genuine will be deeply felt.  If there is unrequited love or romantic projection, it can be channeled into works of creativity and art.  If we can enter into a new nourishing relationship, or go into greater depth and intimacy within a continuing one, we will be called to do so.  If we are studying a subject or exploring the meaning behind a philosophy we have become drawn to, our experiences will reveal to us what about the teaching and knowledge brings us deeper into ultimate understanding of our reality, and what elements ring false from our experience.  The end of November in particular will feature a Grand Fire Trine between Venus in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Leo, and Uranus in Aries that can coincide with liberation, expansion, deepening, and the birth of something vibrant and passionate in our life.

As a final thought in connection with Neptune stationing, many in the spiritual collective community have been concerned over the health of Thích Nhất Hạnh who experienced a brain hemorrhage on November 11, 2014.  His words have been shared to a greater extent as a result, including this beautiful writing resonant with Neptune:

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Death, No Fear

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20 thoughts on “Neptune stations in Pisces

  1. Gray, beautifully written and, being Polish, I’m especially grateful for the Polish reference. Norwid is one of the poets that we had to read at school and when something is compulsory reading young people will do anything to rebel against it. Yet I did not rebel back then because Norwid always mesmerized me. But yes, his writing was obscure and dark – he referred to his style as sanctified obscurity. His genius was not recognized while he was alive and he led a life of poverty. The most famous poem he wrote is this:
    http://www.poezja.org/index.php?akcja=wierszeznanych&ude=2833
    During the Polish-Lithuanian January Uprising of 1863, Russian soldiers threw Frederic Chopin’s grand piano out of a second story apartment window in Warsaw. Chopin wasn’t around to mourn the loss, though – he had left Poland in 1830, and was dead from tuberculosis by 1849. That defenestration is what inspired Norwid.
    P.S. I agree with Judith, by the way.

    • Thank you, Monika- I am only at the beginning of exploring Polish cinema but it seems like Chopin to carry with it a passionate poetic depth that appears from my distance to be characteristic of Polish arts. I enjoyed being able to read the longer poem by Norwid about Chopin and it is a beautiful tribute- I believe Chopin was the first Polish artist to mesmerize me. Norwid took hold of me with the transcendent poem fragment in the film, and I did look him up on wikipedia to read about his life of poverty. There is something similar to him in this way to William Blake, but it sounds like Norwid had a much more tragic life than Blake, especially in terms of isolation and unrequited love. Blake also did not achieve popular acclaim in his lifetime nor material financial reward for his great work, and stood by watching others lacking the depth of quality of his work bask in the limelight. I originally included a reference to this and the fact that Blake had a supportive romantic relationship when writing this post, and then thought it was maybe taking my writing a little off the subject. Yet I was just thinking about the fact Blake had a loving wife who was able to understand and comprehend the brilliance of his work- I am sure this is what got him through whatever frustration and emptiness he could have experienced if he was isolated without someone to listen to his ideas and validate their quality to him in dialogue. Thank you for always taking the time to read my writing and share thoughtful comments to me reflecting the full spectrum of what I hope to convey.

      Additionally, your reference to another struggle between Russia and Poland makes me realize how little of this history I am aware of. In connection to the communist revolution in Russia that led into the Soviet conflict with Poland explored in “Ashes and Diamonds,” I also almost included a reference to how Neptune’s discovery in 1846 (when Neptune was conjunct Saturn in Aquarius) was closely followed by the writing of the Communist Manifesto. And then today I came across an article by Nicholas Campion pointing out a striking correspondence between the Saturn and Neptune cycle and communism in Russia. Not sure what related would have happened at their conjunction in 1881, but at the conjunction of Neptune and Saturn in 1917 there was the Russian Revolution, at their next conjunction in 1953 there was the death of Stalin, and at their following conjunction in 1989 there was the fall of the Berlin Wall. They will come together again in 2025 at the beginning of Aries and the end of Pisces- what do you think we will be doing then? yours, Gray

      • Gray, I am no ace at history but I 1881 is the date I do remember because history teachers in Poland were kind of strict. In 1881 the tsar Alexander II was assassinated, which was a huge turning point in history – just read this:

        “Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, is killed in the streets of St. Petersburg by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary “People’s Will” group. The People’s Will, organized in 1879, employed terrorism and assassination in their attempt to overthrow Russia’s czarist autocracy. They murdered officials and made several attempts on the czar’s life before finally assassinating him on March 13, 1881.

        As czar, Alexander did much to liberalize and modernize Russia, including the abolishment of serfdom in 1861. However, when his authority was challenged, he turned repressive, and he vehemently opposed movements for political reform. Ironically, on the very day he was killed, he signed a proclamation–the so-called Loris-Melikov constitution–that would have created two legislative commissions made up of indirectly elected representatives.

        He was succeeded by his 36-year-old son, Alexander III, who rejected the Loris-Melikov constitution. Alexander II’s assassins were arrested and hanged, and the People’s Will was thoroughly suppressed. The peasant revolution advocated by the People’s Will was achieved by Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1917.”
        from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/czar-alexander-ii-assassinated
        We Poles do not have much love for him, as wiki says: “Among his greatest domestic challenges was an uprising in Poland in 1863, to which he responded by stripping that land of its separate Constitution and incorporating it directly into Russia.” The uprising was brutally suppressed and we are brought back to Norwid here: it was during that uprising that his piano was destroyed, which obviously was one of the most important symbols of the tormented Polish spirit.
        About 2025, I really wonder. For some reason, I always sensed that that date would be very important for the whole world.

  2. Wow. brilliant like the diamond….I am very impressed that in the space of just a few months, with the demands of real life going on all around, you have managed to steer your writing so much closer to the still point of meaning and personal fashioning which the astrological configurations are tokening, and write what you want to convey so much more directly – fantastic! I was deeply moved by this piece, not only because of its accessibility, but also because you have clearly arrived at some more resolved space within yourself. I have reflected quite a bit on the comment and your reply from the last piece you wrote, to do with the courage it takes to write more personally, to not “hide” behind the jargon. I take note also of your comment above about escapist pursuits being easier than dwelling (a quintessential Neptunian activity!) in that space of roiling confusion which occurs so easily in the Neptunian domain….but so true isn’t it, that there HAS to be some focus, some drive to resolve the conflicts engendered, a determination to sublimate by producing SOMETHING tangible. Or you go mad, or get drunk, or simply pine. Or, as you’ve pointed out, you can produce great art films and poetry! I have not seen that Polish film, but I have seen a number of Polish films (the artists’ names vanished into the Neptunian soup which is my inability to remember names) where the meld of tragedy and fortitude are beautifully proffered. It is painful to remember the confronting sources of works like these, and I thank you for beginning your piece the way you did. We need to remember or be re-told these realities of current and recent and 2,600 year long history, or whatever the age span is.and funnily, instead of causing despair, your comment reminding us that we still live out the age of Pisces I found comforting….there is greatness amidst the tragedy…..and I guess that has to be enough, because THAT IS THE WAY IT IS. There is something about your ability to find purpose and meaning in the way you use astrology to blog about your insights that rekindles contact with my own sense of purpose (even if currently my chosen methods run in the direction of escapist pursuits! like academic writing, or ancestry research): I feel I am treading water while ingredients I have little control over re-organize in my mind…a period of more or less consensus mundanity….grounding after years of living out a Neptune closely conj my North Node held in 2 yods (with Pluto, Mercury and Mars)…. but your writing encourages me always to feel hope and courage. Diamonds and Ashes…..holding the irreconcilable long enough to transport the ingredients to another, less pain bound realm almost always a possibility. So yet again, I thank you Gray!

    • Thank you, I think this reflection of yours is great: “that there HAS to be some focus, some drive to resolve the conflicts engendered, a determination to sublimate by producing SOMETHING tangible. Or you go mad, or get drunk, or simply pine. Or, as you’ve pointed out, you can produce great art films and poetry!” Yes indeed. I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to hear how much you enjoyed this post and that you have noticed some of the intention behind my writing. I had some big thoughts sparked by Neptune (maybe cause it stationed conjunct my MC and Mercury) and then attempted to whittle it down into something more focused on a message, which it is nice to hear you received. Writing about Neptune has made me realize I will need to write more about Neptune.

      I also agree with you about the importance and significance of Polish history, and what a shame it is we learn so little about it, at least in the United States. I mean, we do learn about the concentration camps, but when I think about the people who have grown up in Poland during the same time I have grown up in the United States, I feel they just have a much deeper experience- to have gone through communism, the fall of communism, and to have that great collective trauma from the World War closer to home. No wonder there are so many deeply passionate poets and artists from Poland.

      Thanks again for letting me know you receive hope and courage from my writing, that is truly wonderful to hear.

  3. Thanks again for the inspiration and for the many synchronicites personally to me, like this one: “Whatever signs and symbols you have been drawn to, whatever movies you have felt compelled to watch, books you suddenly knew you had to start reading recently, take note for most likely there is a significant message for you here.” So true! Harry Potter quote is a most delightful pick and your whole article is a demonstration of a deep understanding of Neptune inclusive its positive side (not always noted), and other current energies.

    Love, Deelia (natal Sun Conjunction Neptune)

    PS. I´m including a link to a piece of art by Sabin Balasa called Freedom in the Aquarium, which I dared not to share in a blog post, because of possible copyright issues. http://www.wikiart.org/en/sabin-balasa/freedom-in-the-aquarium

    • Thank you, Deelia. I did not focus as much on the negative side of Neptune yet with this New Moon striking now we are in a period in which this could also come out. However, I think it is far more productive with Neptune to allow yourself to flow with the inspiration and vision arising from within as much as possible. I often find it is the more external factors in our life that prove to be so disillusioning, from realizing someone we have been idealizing in some way is not as ideal as we had imagined, or that a particular guru or philosophical type of understanding that had been mesmerizing holds aspects that are not truly aligned with our direct experience. I think these same aspects of planets (Venus, Moon, Sun, then later Mercury) coming in to square Neptune in Pisces (and then Chiron) can also bring us a huge uplifting creative spark and instead of being disillusioning if we are aligned with our center can sweep us up into pure inspiration. I love the art of Sabin Balasa and was previously unaware of Sabin- thank you so much for sharing this work, and I feel your “Freedom in the Aquarium” choice is perfect for sharing here. with gratitude, Gray

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