“Neptune has returned to its home sign of Pisces, an epic shift that will last from February 3, 2011 until January 2026.” ~ Astrostyle
Neptune’s passage through Pisces affects all people in such a way that we are asked to see the difference between fantasy and reality.
Neptune, as Steven Forrest so wisely says in his writings, is a window through which we see the collective unconscious from a conscious perspective. Look around—we’ve got quite a view these days! Observe the extreme nature of leadership that has been elected and the polarity this is causing between groups of people.
This didn’t just spontaneously happen recently. You could say that Neptune’s passage through Pisces is like drawing the curtain back to see what’s going on in our collective experience. Racism, sexism, ignorance/lack of education, climate change, poverty, bigotry, animal abuse—all these realities must be reckoned with.
On the other hand, you see a rise of people severing their attachments to money and capitalism and taking up professions and lifestyles that allow for “living simply so others can simply live” Yet, there’s a fine line between this and escapism—bypassing what needs to be done to reconcile this craziness.
The Piscean energy makes it likely that we try to escape or deny all of it. We can do this with drugs, over-dependency on social welfare systems, retail therapy, religion—you name it. Even in the case of the yoga community, we can see the tendency toward dogma as people escape into the practices and achievement in this realm alone, as an excuse to laud their status as super-spiritual and bypass immersion in everyday life.
People are so creative in times governed by Pisces, and we are especially good at creating ways to hide under the covers—without looking like we are doing it!
This astrological event relates to everyone, but will apply most directly for those who have planets in, square, or opposed to Pisces.* However, in looking at Neptune in Pisces, anyone will find we have more insight into what’s been going on since 2011 and what will be going on through 2026. It behooves us all to rise together to a more conscious understanding of our lives and how we are all on this planet together.
A Bit about Neptune, the Planet:
In astrology, we think about when a planet was discovered and reflect on that timing as the beginning of how it consciously affected humanity on Earth. Incidentally, is it any wonder that, given the planet’s role as the window between conscious and unconscious, the same year of Neptune’s discovery we learned how dip people in and life them out of unconscious states for surgery?
In the case of Neptune, we can reference how the planet was discovered as well in order to get a sense of the relationship we have to it. Galileo noted Neptune in the 1600s and wasn’t sure if it was a fixed star at first because it was stationing retrograde at the time (just like it has been lately). His telescope wasn’t powerful enough to get more clarity, so it took more than 200 years for scientists to follow up. They didn’t notice Neptune so much as the fact that Uranus was getting tugged off course by something. They guessed a gravitational force of another planet was the culprit. When they pointed their telescopes to their calculated spot, voila! They found Neptune (just as Galileo strained his rolling eyes in his grave).
Think about that: Neptune was imagined to exist before it actually became something to reference as real (based on “solid” proof). And thus, we get an idea of the energetic indication of this magnificent blue giant.
Just like Galileo could not discover Neptune directly, we cannot discover the source of our angst without the help of those who help us see our problems in terms of what is being pulled off course. Indeed, what we experience as imbalances around our mental, physical, emotional, and societal health that seem affected by something so out-of-reach will more likely come within reach when we stop trying to soothe or escape them so much as look directly for solutions.
The problems we face now have been there all along, growing and developing without any of us really being able to see their context. This time offers us that context in an indirect but tangible way.
This is also the case with the types of diseases we are all starting to deal with in more holistic ways. We are migrating off the beaten path to solve all sorts of problems. Holistic healers are becoming more of a norm, no matter how questionable the science is around their effects. Acupuncture (on the rise and covered by insurance now), chiropractic work, allergy screening, nutrition coaching, individualized therapies—these are the first level that only scratch the surface into the depths reached with craniosacral, bio-feedback, medical intuitives, dream analyzers, kinesiologists, past-life regression therapists, and so on.
Some people may call it bullsh*t. But ask yourself this: when was the last time you, or anyone you know, went to a psychologist or a medical doctor and found all of your health problems solved? Thousands of dollars in medical bills—could there have been another way that is more empowering? We don’t know, but we’re more likely to seek one these days. Yes, this is what Neptune, Pisces, and this transit is about: cutting through nonsense from every angle, perhaps by admitting that we’re wading neck-deep in it first.
A Bit about Pisces, the Sign:
These days, Neptune is in Pisces, which means it’s traveling through its own sign and element. Pisces is classically associated with water and indicates feminine energy marked by mystery and subtleties. It is the oldest sign in the zodiac, comprising all other signs, all other ages and degrees of development. It is unfathomable and wise.
This is the sign of the artist; the imagination is operating at maximum range. All filters off—everything is evaluated and often in association with other stimuli. The vibe is like that of an infant and an elderly person at once—taking all in and processing things in a soup of associations. The mood can shift from clear to cloudy, and often. When personal planets are positioned here, Pisces endows one with an almost photographic memory and an occasional inability to shut the imagination off. The ability to immediately distinguish between reality and fantasy can be hampered at times.
Pisces is signified by the fish. The position and number of fish are key to understanding the way this energy works. The two fish are pointed up and down. Heavenward and seaward. The responsibility of those with a lot of this sign is to grab from the shared unconscious depths and lift toward the light of understanding that which is captured. The lift cannot last, and the fish is plunged again down. The heavenly experience of complete oneness is available in the leap as well as it is in the connection to the shared unconscious. However, this amazing capacity comes at a price.
The person with a lot of Pisces in their chart benefits from a solitary meditation practice because their sensitivity level is off the charts. Pisces natives have the capacity to experience suffering from the collective unconscious. Once tapped, there seems to be an unlimited amount. Pisces energy not only understands, it becomes what it feels. Cancerians and Scorpios (the two younger water signs) understand and feel, extreme intensity. But Pisces will actually sacrifice its own position to become what is in its vicinity. This is the shadow of this sign.
A Bit about Boundaries:
Pisces knows no limits to provide comfort and enforce a fantasy around someone or something they care about in order to avoid their suffering. The truth is slippery and subjective here. Someone in need of help needs help. Period. The trick for Pisces energy (and anyone with planets in it or lots of planets in the 12th house), however, is knowing where that help begins and ends—where does the line exist between someone else’s problem and my problem?
This is a precarious balance to strike for someone who is regularly steeped in the collective consciousness and unconsciousness. Helping someone else means helping oneself to an extent, but we also have to look at our intentions. This involves looking practically at our patterns and a whole Pandora’s Box of motivations around helping another person.
A lot of times, hidden motives and self-worth issues get buried under a pattern of being a sacrificial helper of the entire world.
In the case of Pisces, rooting these motives out is more about discovering what the ego actually is (for as bastardized as that term has become, there is a reason we have one) and learning the energetic limits of the self in order to sense where boundaries are.
Just like when scientists knew another planet’s orbit was being affected by Neptune before they discovered the planet itself, a Pisces native will have to navigate the entire tapestry of experience and dig into self-awareness practices, creating a marker system in order to discover and peg their own boundaries.
Practical Strategies for Navigation:
Neptune is currently in retrograde, so we are getting an extra deep steep in the energies at play. Here are six simple ways to maximize the influence of Neptune in Pisces:
1. If you repeatedly hear or think about a mode or method of healing that you have not previously engaged in, take the leap and book a session.
You read about craniosacral healing one day, a friend talked about it three days later at lunch, and you see a sign on a shop front advertising it. Might be a good time to book a session, wink wink!
2. Take care not to expect instant solutions.
Rather, consider solid next steps along the path to healing and integrating your life plan, as well as a state of balance and centeredness in your own life.
3. Spend time sitting in silence or with music that helps return you again and again to the present time and space.
4. Practice Tonglen.
I mentioned this above. And I will never say I could describe it better than Pema.
5. Explore the concept of codependence.
6, Explore the power of mantra or repeating affirmations.
Mantras help to retrain the mind toward desired ways of thinking.
*The activation of direct energies in your chart will happen when Neptune is within a ten degree orb of your planet’s position. It will affect your life in the realm (house) and mode (planet) associated with Pisces when you were born. This article also relates to people with planets in Virgo, Sagittarius and Gemini quite a bit, because it presents a reflective and challenging opposition and square energy, respectively. Feel free to contact me or an astrologer who you resonate with for a reading of your chart and further discussion.
Author: Emily Alp
Image: Joanna Nix/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton