Pisces 2012: Neptune. Slavery. Drugs. Germany. Varuna. Forgiveness.
“I leave the Father’s home and turning back I save.”
(Pisces Full Moon Festival: March 8, 2012. 9.39 am, London, Britain.)
Neptune in Pisces: A New 160-year Cycle Commences
American Civil War and the Abolition of Slavery
Neptune and Spiritualism Neptune, Drugs, Alcohol
Neptune and Music Germany: Pisces Personality.
France: Pisces Soul
Neptune and Varuna
Pisces-Neptune: Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Absorption
Neptune in Pisces 2012-2025
Neptune in Pisces: A New 160-year Cycle Commences
The great astronomer Galileo observed Neptune in 1612, when the Moon and Saturn on that day were in Pisces. However he mistook Neptune for a fixed star because it was making an exact conjunction to the dazzling blaze of Jupiter in Virgo. Neptune was stationary, about to go retrograde, so true to its elusive and illusory form, Neptune evaded discovery at that time.
Just two years before Neptune entered Pisces in 1848, it was ‘re-discovered’ whilst in late Aquarius, with which it is associated esoterically; it was conjunct Saturn Aquarius, the sign of science and astronomy.
In this century, Neptune has been dipping his toe into Pisces since April 2011, retrograding back into Aquarius (a sign with which it has a great affinity), and finally re-entering Pisces in early February 2012, where it will stay until 2025.
Yet Neptune, as Lord of the Oceans, has a much greater affinity with Pisces, The Fishes – it is the ruler of this sign, along with co-ruler Jupiter. To anticipate what is to emerge in this cycle of Neptune in Pisces over the next thirteen years, let us consider a few events of when Neptune was in Pisces, 1847-1862.
American Civil War and the Abolition of Slavery
1847-1862 was the period leading up to the American Civil War that was based upon the major issue of slavery. Neptune and Pisces are both deeply connected to compassion, sacrifice and understanding, hence the combination of these zodiacal and planetary forces certainly fostered a growing awareness about the tyranny of slavery and the need for change.
Pisces is a sign that works closely with the second ray love principle, yet through its soul ruler Pluto, the first ray Will works through Love. Pluto destroys the tie that binds the two fishes so that a re-unification and unity can be effected. Those two ‘fishes’ were the opposing sides in the American Civil War – at odds, then reunited.
Charles Dickens, Aquarian writer and philanthropist, had Venus and Pluto in Pisces; he visited the USA in the 1840’s, roundly condemning slavery. Dickens was part of a group of writers who made a great impact at that time such as Henry David Thoreau (Saturn, Chiron, Pluto in Pisces) – author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, surveyor, historian and leading transcendentalist.
Walt Whitman was another (also Saturn, Chiron, Pluto in Pisces) – poet, journalist and transcendentalist. Edgar Allan Poe (Venus, Moon, Pluto, Jupiter in Pisces) – part of the American Romantic Movement, famous for his tales of mystery and imagination.
Wagner’s (Chiron, Pluto in Pisces) romantic opera Lohengrin, was first performed in 1850, reflecting high aspiration and a mystical vision. All these artists were at their peak whilst Neptune was transiting through Pisces – no doubt triggering their natal planets in Pisces.
Neptune and Spiritualism
In the 1840’s, spiritualism (or your common, garden variety channeling), started to become immensely popular. Swedenborg, the great scientist and mystic, was born with Neptune in Pisces, one Neptune cycle earlier (1688). It was from his work that much of the inspiration came for the spiritualist movement in the nineteenth century.
Neptune rules over the subtle and psychic nature, lower and higher. Neptune’s ‘ocean’ can be considered from two angles:
1. Neptune’s ‘ocean’ is the cosmic astral plane, a whole cosmic plane higher than the cosmic physical plane we currently inhabit – toward which, even the Masters themselves regard as a distant goal.
2. In its lower reflection, Neptune’s ‘ocean’ is the astral or emotional plane; this is why Neptune rules over the solar plexus chakra, as it is the seat of the astral or emotional body.
The astral plane constitutes Humanity’s greatest kurukshetra or battleground, as it is its source of greatest illusion or glamour, created by humanity itself over untold millennia, since Atlantean times. The astral plane is the source of all our self-created heavens and hells.
Neptune rules illusion and has many negative keywords in exoteric astrology, because of the nature of the highly refined spiritual vibrations of Neptune that impact upon the substance of the unredeemed, or unevolved human astral body. Hence Neptune is the highest of what we can attain in spiritual awareness, yet it can also be the great deluder upon the way to that goal. In its lower expression, Neptune is connected to addictions of all kinds, physical, emotional and mental – yet the primary source of all addiction has its origin in the emotional/astral body, the desire body that craves.
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 with Neptune in Pisces, and well known for his mystery writings through his character Sherlock Holmes. He did much for the spiritualist movement and theosophy and was associated with the infamous fairy photograph incident in the early twentieth century.
It was also during this Neptune in Pisces period that Helena P. Blavatsky (HPB), that great medium and occultist, grew up. As a watery Cancer rising, her soul ruler was Neptune. She presided over many public séances and mediumistic sessions that created a sensation in her time; it was all part of her role in raising awareness of those unseen realms, but also a precursor to her working closely with the Masters of Wisdom, as a psychically sensitive amanuensis for the new esoteric teachings. Neptune is connected to the energy of buddhi or pure spiritual intuition, something HPB had in abundance.
The achievement of buddhic consciousness (like the Buddha), is the goal of humanity; buddhic awareness and liberation go hand in hand. It is said that no one begins to co-ordinate the buddhic vehicle until they come under Neptunian influence in one life or another, usually reflected with Neptune dominating in the personality horoscope.
It is well to bear in mind that just as the physical plane has a resonance with the mental plane, so the astral plane has its least point of resistance to the buddhic plane. Hence, if the astral body of individual is sufficiently developed, purified and clarified, it will be an accurate reflector of the higher buddhic consciousness. If not, then the ‘waters’ of the astral body will be muddied! One will ‘see through the glass darkly’. The diagram below shows the relation of these planes.
The average medium or channeler only brings through material according to the quality of what has been ‘astrally redeemed’ in themselves over lifetimes. Hence most of their material is poor to average in content, especially when compounded by an undiscriminating or uninformed mind. This is very common in most of the ‘new age’ movement, referred to by one wag as newage – pronounced like sewage! Very rare are the true higher psychics or intuitives.
Even in the realm of esoteric students (who should know better?), the names are legion of those who claim to be channeling the Masters. When the causes are investigated, there will always be found a difficultly aspected Neptune, or Neptune as the dispositor of another planet that has difficult aspects – combined with a little ego! Moon square Neptune or Jupiter are the most common aspects in this author’s observation.
Neptune, Drugs, Alcohol
Traditionally Neptune rules drugs, for all the reasons cited earlier. Whilst Neptune was in Pisces in the late 1840’s, the science of anesthetics was also developed in its modern phase, with chloroform. Neptunian personalities can be most vulnerable to substance abuse, especially Sun-Neptune, Moon-Neptune or Pisces types. The late Whitney Houston joins a long list of musicians who have succumbed to substance abuse, dying just a few days after Neptune’s last ingress into Pisces in February 2012. Houston had major Pisces and Neptune influences in her chart – Pisces rising, with the Sun in Leo square Neptune.
Pisces/Neptunian people are very absorbent, hence tend to feel their own and other’s pain very easily. It is difficult for them to discern between their own feelings and those of others, hence the perennial issues of personal identity and boundaries for these types. For them, cocaine, alcohol, heroin or prescription drugs are all good ‘pain’ killers and diversions from the depths of depression, panic attacks or confusion. Yet it can also be sheer self-indulgence!
It is said that Neptune is another name for the Christ in the West and many Neptunian entertainers and musicians do seem to function as ‘mini-avatars’ or ‘Christ’s – even if they are still on the mutable cross of experience and have not necessarily ‘woken up’ spiritually. Indeed, many of them have been raised by fans to the status of a messiah. Their names are also legion, some examples: Elvis Presley (Moon in Pisces), Michael Jackson (Pisces Moon and rising, Sun sextile Neptune), Curt Cobain (Sun and four other planets in Pisces).
To sleep, perchance to dream! To fantasize, to escape the humdrum that is the reality of many people’s lives. No wonder that we seek escape! Hence Neptune is connected to emotional pain and its opposite, elation.
Neptune rules dreams, fantasy and the imagination, because the source of all is the astral plane – reflecting a little bit of buddhi from the higher planes. Humans will always want to take a shortcut to these experiences via substances.
Another factor that lays behind the subject of drugs is that in Atlantean times, psycho-active substances were used as a way to release the consciousness; it was a bona fide method used by priests upon candidates for initiation. Today we see a recapitulation of these old methods in the use of Ayahuasca and other psychedelics in use today.
It has been argued that some drugs today are the result of old, selfish Atlantean thoughtforms that have precipitated into the plant kingdom; and so the population becomes enslaved by those old thoughtforms – that they themselves probably help generate in the Atlantean civilisation.
Ayahuasca is very popular for Westerners in Central and South America, and is often administered with the guidance of local shamans – all of whom are very Atlantean in consciousness. This is fitting, given the fact that these places are the remains of the old Atlantean civilisations.
And for many Western adherents who have strong concrete minds, these drugs have been a liberation for the lower mind, but a limited one with attendant dangers of all kinds. Yet some artists swear by the visionary experiences they have achieved and their art is their ‘proof’.
Although these experiences are simply an Atlantean recapitulation for many, it is generally not the way of evolution for Fifth Rootrace candidates for initiation – it is regarded by the Teachers who watch, as anathema to the Path. The following passage from The Tibetan comments upon one of the sutras from the “only manual anyone will ever need for spiritual enlightenment” (!), The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
“The higher and lower siddhis (or powers) are gained by incarnation, or by drugs, words of power, intense desire or by meditation … The goal of the true aspirant is the unfoldment of these higher powers which can be covered by the terms direct knowledge, intuitive perception, spiritual insight, pure vision, the attainment of the wisdom. They are different from the lower powers, for they abrogate them.
“These [lower] powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realization, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.”
… In the sutra we are considering, five means are given whereby the psychic powers are developed … the Yoga Sutras can still be the study and teaching manual of even such advanced aspirants as the Masters of the Wisdom …
… It might, therefore, be observed that (for the seeker after truth) incarnation, intense desire and meditation are the three permissible methods, and the only ones to be practised; drugs and words of power or mantric incantations are the tools of black magic and concern the lower powers.
The question might here be asked, is it not true that words of power and the use of incense form part of the ceremonies of initiation and therefore are used by initiates and aspirants. Certainly, but not in the sense understood here, or for the purpose of developing psychic powers.
The Masters and their disciples use words of power in order to deal with the non-human existences, to invoke the aid of the angels, and to manipulate the building forces of nature, and they employ herbs and incenses in order to purify conditions, eliminate undesirable entities and so make it possible for those higher upon the ladder of evolution to make their presence felt. This is, however, a very different thing to their use in order to become psychic.
… It is needless to point out that the use of alcohol and of drugs can and does release the astral consciousness, as also the practice of sex magic, but this is astralism pure and simple and with this the true student of Raja Yoga has naught to do. It is part of unfoldment on the left-hand Path. The gaining of the soul powers by intense desire (or fervent aspiration) and by meditation has been covered in the other books and need not be enlarged upon here.”
Elsewhere DK comments,
“You ask me whether I am endorsing the use of ether and chloroform in operations, and of sedative drugs. Not basically, but most certainly temporarily. When man’s contact with his soul is firmly established, and when he has developed the faculty of passing in and out of his physical body at will, these helps will no longer be needed. They may be regarded in the meantime as emergency measures, necessitated by world karma and the point of evolution of the race. I am not of course referring to the use of narcotics and of drugs by hysterical and unbalanced people, but to the judicious use of ameliorants of pain under the wise guidance of the physician.”
The longer, but surer and clearer way to those buddhic experiences is through meditation. Visualisation in meditation is closely connected to Neptune, because the imaginative faculty is engaged and images emerge. Dream and meditation experiences are two strands of the same inner consciousness. Neptune generates higher aspiration that gives rise to visions.
Higher aspiration replaces lower desire and it is for this reason that Neptune rules the ‘higher light’ in the solar plexus centre, bridging to the heart centre. Neptune can be the saint and avatar (Meher Baba, Sun in Pisces square Neptune) or the deluder who takes you away from the Path – through deception and working with one’s own glamours.
Neptune and Music
Neptune ‘rules’ music because music’s influence is primarily upon the feeling or astral nature. Although some music is quite cerebral, the universal language of music engages because it stimulates the feelings, giving rise to the imagination, inspiring, enervating, moving us to tears or urging us to dance!
Musicians and composers are the Neptunian sensitives who sense the new frequencies (planetary, rayological, zodiacal), entering in any particular cycle, interpreting what they have been impressed by, through music. There are many different types of music, yet they all emanate from the one basic note that the Planetary Logos sounds upon all creation; they are the multifarious rhythms and sounds that all go on within and around the earth.
Interesting to note that the German-British composer Handel, who composed the Water Music suite to be played for the king on the River Thames in London, was born in a Neptune in Pisces cycle with Neptune conjunct his Sun in Pisces (1685).
Hence the great attraction to the mystical realm of music and the exaggerated or heightened sense that drugs and alcohol bring. Music itself is a drug but when mixed with substances, there is a very dangerous combination for losing the way. Music is the great healer. In a letter to one of his disciples, The Tibetan remarks,
“You are on the verge of release from the struggle of the past and can enter upon a more constructive and happier phase of living if you permit music to play a major part in your life rhythm; choose only the best music, such as that played by the great symphony orchestras. God created by the power of sound, and the “music of the spheres” holds all life in being (note that phrase). The soul on its tiny scale can create “the new man” by the power also of sound, and a musical rhythm can usefully be imposed upon the personality life by the disciple.
… This is what you need—music in your life, literally and figuratively. I have here given you a most important hint. Let the great music of the masters of sound enter (in a new and powerful way) into your consciousness. If you take this advice, in three years, if you insist on subjecting yourself to the musical impact, I suggest great and significant changes will be brought about in your life.
… Let love and light and music enter more definitely into your daily life. Spurn not this practical suggestion, but give your mind the opportunity, through the massed sound of music, to break down the personality-imposed barriers between the free flow of soul life and you.”
Neptune and Photography
Photography was another science that experienced a major spurt in growth during the Neptune in Pisces period of the mid 1800’s. All photos and films can be considered somewhat of an illusion because, ( a) A photo is an ‘impression’ registered by a camera. (b) Something photographed can seem other than what it is. (c) Films and movies are the ultimate form of photographic illusion and hence a great fantasy and escape from mundane existence!
Germany: Pisces Personality. France: Pisces Soul
Toward the end of the Piscean era of 2,160 years, World Wars I & II broke out – both instigated by Germany. Germany is a Pisces personality, and at the end of the Age of Pisces, acted out the ‘world dweller’ or shadow for Humanity as a whole. In other words, through its own glamours and illusions, fostered by a highly mediumistic Hitler, it embodied fascist tendencies inherent in all of humanity.
The first ray personality of Germany, combined with the lower side of the Pluto will-aspect in Pisces, to create a destructive war machine. The majority of the German people were completely duped. This occurred partially because of the immaturity of Germany’s unintegrated Pisces personality at that time. Pisces at this level can easily be manipulated. Out of the so-called ‘axis nations’, Germany embodied the ‘glamour’ aspect of illusion upon the astral plane:
The Three Types of Illusion
Nevertheless, the impressionable and mystical Pisces personality of Germany allowed a great sensitivity that, combined with its fourth ray soul, brought some of the greatest gifts to humanity:
“The Germany of the mystical poets and writers of the Middle Ages will again arise—the Germany of the musical festivals, the Germany which has given the world the best of the music of all time, the Germany of Schiller and of Goethe and the Germany of the philosophers.”
France on the other hand, is a Pisces soul:
“The combination of Piscean power in the Piscean Age, plus a potent Leo nature, enabled France at one time to express quite phenomenally its innate subjective tendency to save the world (for France is essentially on the Path of a world Saviour); this was aided by the brilliant clear vision of the fifth and third rays with their intellectual bias, plus the opportunity offered by Saturn, ruling Paris.
This enabled France to stage the great French Revolution and strike one of the major blows for the release of humanity from bondage. This has twice occurred during the Piscean Ages: once at the signing of the Magna Charta at Runnymede and again at the French Revolution. The recognition of the importance of the rights of humanity, as a whole, came to the world via France.”
Neptune and Varuna
Neptune is one of the three major planets in this solar system that is part of a synthesising triangle, embodying the heart or love principle, symbolised by Vishnu and Krishna in the Hindu tradition. Vishnu, Krishna, Christ, Neptune – all stand for the same principle. Neptune’s trident is a symbol of this trinity in manifestation and the forces directed by it. The trident can also be seen as a ‘tuning fork’ that broadcasts the note of the Greater Plan, that transmits the Music of the Spheres.
Varuna is the great deva lord of the astral plane and is the vehicle or vahan of Neptune. The deva or angelic evolution is a major key in understanding occultism; the devas work very closely with human evolution in stepping down the influences of rays, planets and zodiacal energies – as they pour into Earth evolution. Hence, understanding the nature of the watery forces of Neptune-Varuna within ourselves, goes along way toward conscious evolution and eventual liberation:
“It is an occult fact that the type of astral matter in a man’s body decides the quality of the watery substance of his physical body. There is, in occultism, no dissociating the physico-psychic natures, for the latter determines the former. The planet Neptune therefore has a profound effect and a close connection under the Law of Correspondences with the astral plane.
It is Neptunian influence likewise which presides over and makes possible the second Initiation, wherein the initiate produces results in the astral body, and wherein his astral centres are the object of the Hierophant’s attention. This particular type of energy flows through three centres:
a. That particular head centre which is linked to the heart centre.
b. The heart centre.
c. The solar plexus.
… In the mystery of the sea and the secret of its occult “drying up” or absorption, will be revealed eventually the significance underlying:
a. The sex impulse, macrocosmically and microcosmically interpreted.
b. The cessation of desire.
c. The direction of fire to the throat centre instead of to the generative organs.
d. Pralaya and obscuration.
e. The meaning of the words “There shall be no more sea” found in the Christian Bible.
… Neptune is one of the major synthesising planets … an “absorbing” or “abstracting” planet … connected with the process whereby eventual perfection is demonstrated. The Son is made perfect, and the cosmic incarnation is brought to a close.”
Pisces-Neptune: Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Absorption
The word ‘sacrifice’ connotes a ‘death’ that we undergo when a sacrifice is made; through that death comes new life. Hence the importance of Pluto the Lord of Death and esoteric ruler of Pisces. Pluto links with his brother and co-ruler of the first ray of will or power, Vulcan – in expressing first ray energy through Pisces, a sign traditionally associated with the Love-Wisdom ray. Like Pluto, Vulcan also works underground and unseen, sweating at his furnace, forging the swords and armour of his spiritual ‘weaponry’.
Hence forgiveness is forged through Pluto’s destroying work – where the past is released; and through Vulcan’s building work – allows the springs of life to flow anew. The Piscean-Neptunian capacity for forgiveness is related to the principle of sacrifice – connected to that watery word – absorption
Indeed, Piscean or Neptunian types have been called ‘psychic sponges’, but The Law of Absorption operates at a higher level and is connected to a strong directing Will. Hence any negative thoughtform, criticism or aggression can be countered by absorbing, transforming and raising. It is truly an occult practice par excellence and, like the practice of harmlessness, is much easier said than done!
Neptune in Pisces 2012-2025
The end of the Age of Pisces will astronomically occur in 2,117. Yet the passage of Neptune though Pisces in the next thirteen years will be the last Neptune cycle before 2,117 – hence symbolically represents the passing of this age.
What can we expect during this period – a greater compassion experienced and expressed in the world? A further Plutonic destruction of all the obstacles preventing spiritual growth? A major blow against slavery was sounded in the last cycle of the 1850’s, but still exists today in forms ranging from very blatant people-trafficking and child sex abuse etc. – to the more subtle surrender to materialistic ideas or the mis-use of technology.
This imminent cycle may witness many awakening to their true spiritual potential, yet many ‘fishes’ might be caught in the Neptunian net of illusion, through the passive absorption of conditioning media, substance abuse or other cults and sub-cultures emerging.
With Neptune ruling the imagination, we may see extraordinary films and other arts such as writing and music that will inspire and uplift. When the imagination of the astral-buddhic nature is combined with the discipline and discrimination of the mind, this is where the true tantra is born, the unification of the astral and mental bodies; the ‘feminine’ principle of imagination (Neptune) united with the ‘masculine’ principle of mind (Saturn). As Saturn transits into watery Scorpio soon, these planets will be trine to one another, creating all sorts of opportunities for materialising the vision.
Phillip Lindsay © 2012.
Other Pisces newsletters
 Click here for Wikipedia.
 The Light of the Soul, Alice A. Bailey. pp.380-1.
 A Treatise on White Magic, Alice A. Bailey. p.305.
 Discipleship in the New Age II, Alice A. Bailey. p.700.
 Problems of Humanity, Alice A. Bailey. p.18.
 The Destiny of the Races and Nations, Alice A. Bailey. pp.75-6.
 See author’s book, Songs to Varuna: Musings of a Mortal from his Boat on the Ocean.
 A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Alice A. Bailey. pp.899-900.
 See also Pisces and the Forge of Forgiveness.
 See A Treatise on White Magic, Alice A. Bailey. p.487.
 See “The Beginning of the Age of Aquarius” here.