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February 2012 Newsletter

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Neptune's Murky Imprint

by Steven Forrest

Neptune moves solidly into Pisces on February 3rd after flirting briefly with the cusp last year. This is an epochal event which, if history is any indication, will utterly transform the mythic landscape of the world.  I explore its deeper meaning in this free ten minute video.

In this edition of our newsletter, I want to explore a secondary effect of Neptune’s sign change. It is a practical one that spins off from the fact that Neptune’s entering Pisces means it is also exiting Aquarius. And there is a lot more to that statement than meets the eye.

Here’s a whole lot of handy astrological craft in 69 words:

You undertake some action, hoping for a good result. When you do that, the Moon is naturally passing through one of the twelves signs of the zodiac. Now the trick:  the last major aspect the Moon makes before leaving the sign it currently occupies has a huge influence on whether your action will be successful or not. That last aspect the Moon makes defines “the outcome of the action.”

You open a restaurant. Say the Moon is in Gemini when the first customer sits down. The last major aspect the Moon makes before it leaves Gemini the next day is a trine to Jupiter. There’s your answer – even if that trine doesn’t happen until tomorrow morning, the outcome of opening your restaurant will reflect the energetic signature of  Jupiter and a trine aspect.  Customers flock to your tables. You prosper.
What if the last aspect the Moon makes is a square to Saturn? Then nobody shows up. You get bad reviews. What if it is an opposition to Pluto? Maybe your first customers get botulism!

I cover all this in more sophisticated detail in The Book of the Moon, but this is the essence of the technique. It is a critical element in Electional astrology – the art of choosing the optimal moment to do something. In essence, the technique is very simple: the last major aspect the Moon makes after you’ve undertaken your action always leaves its fingerprint on the results. By the way, when I say “major aspects,” I mean the conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition. Forget those bi-quintiles.

Back to Neptune leaving Aquarius. Neptune moves slowly. It entered Aquarius in 1998. In the last couple of years, it has been near the end of the sign. Retrograde motion complicates all this - Neptune was actually in Pisces between April and August of 2011, then went back into Aquarius for another six months. Arbitrarily, I want to use April 2010 as a marker. That’s when Neptune initially hit 28E Aquarius, thus first entering the last two degrees of the sign. That defines the approximate period I want discuss - say, the past couple of years or so.

Now, here’s the key: when any planet is near the end of a sign, there is naturally an elevated chance that it will be the last planet the Moon aspects before it leaves the sign it is currently in. Always, it is  the planets in the higher degrees that catch the Moon’s final contact. Naturally, during the time that Neptune has been near the end of Aquarius, other planets have been changing signs all along, coming to the ends of signs, and have often temporarily supplanted Neptune as the final aspect the Moon makes. But over and over again, for the last couple of years, the elastic band has snapped us right back to Neptune. It’s simple: with Neptune near the end of Aquarius, it has often been the highest-degree planet. The result is that, disproportionately, Neptune’s murky signature has been left on everything anyone has done anywhere on the earth for the past two years or so.

And that is about to end.

Neptune’s murky signature. With sextiles, trines, and conjunctions, things tend to flow forward more easily - but Neptune is still Neptune. Events flow forward in unclear, Neptunian fashion, with results that are difficult to define or pin down. What is really happening? What does this development actually mean? Where will this victory leave us? Did we win or did we lose? Did anything of consequence actually happen?

With lunar squares and oppositions to Neptune, actions are often blocked by vague uncertainties, misunderstandings, and what-ifs. Bad data abounds. Deception is common. Appearances mislead us, whether by error or by design.

Think about it. The signature of this pervasive Neptunian uncertainty over the past couple of years is everywhere you look. Arab Spring - where is that process actually going and what does it actually  mean? Ditto, the Occupy movements? Leaving Iraq? The European debt crisis? The global economy? The mammoth irresolution of governments everywhere? Does Vladimir Putin really rule Russia? Does Kim Kardashian really matter? Over and over again, every time an action was taken, there was an excellent chance that Neptune’s fuzzy fingerprints would be left on the outcome. How many times during the past two years have the letters WTF been the most cogent comment we could muster about events? Why, for that matter, has WTF become a fad phrase?

Well, the WTF shoe has very often fit . . .
A terrific illustration of this Neptunian murkiness is the American race for the republican presidential nomination. Few people are really excited about Mitt Romney, and one by one it has “appeared” that the momentum was shifting to someone else, but (as of this writing) it has always come back to Romney – which is to say, it has always come back to the most hard-to-pin-down (Neptunian!) of the candidates. Even now, who knows who the republicans will run, and if they will care? When I began to write this essay, Mitt Romney had “won the Iowa caucuses.” A few days ago I read that, no, Rick Santorum was the actual winner. Neptune again. And now Newt Gingrich has won South Carolina - but, due to Neptunian errors, he is not even on the Virginia primary ballot. So, WTF?

And will Ron Paul run as a third party candidate? And will they face Obama and Biden – or Obama-Clinton?
Of course, all of this is a moot question because the world will end on December 21, 2012 anyway! The latter, I actually doubt. But even there in those popular apocalyptic fantasies we see the Neptunian mark. “If the world ends I can run up my credit card . . .but then, what if it doesn’t?”

On February 3rd, this long season of cloudiness comes to a finish. Neptune enters the early degrees of Pisces and will thus cease to be the “outcome” planet in any Electional charts for many years. Planets will go back to taking turns being the last one the Moon aspects before leaving its current sign.

Steven ForrestEven though we will see more planetary variety, Saturn will be somewhat dominant until October 5, 2012 as it moves through the last degrees of Libra. And Saturn, so opposite Neptune in its nature, will favor hard lines, consequences, and definitive decisions. Yet Saturn’s influence will be far less monolithic than Neptune’s has been. Saturn stations at 29°Libra 31' on February 7th, then retrogrades back into earlier degrees of Libra. On June 25, it stations again all the way back at 22°46' – and that is early enough in Libra that its position leaves a lot of room for other planets to be the Moon’s last aspectual target. By contrast, Neptune has not been any earlier than the last two degrees of Aquarius for almost a year - since February 7, 2011.

So, have you personally been experiencing situations that are vague, endless, and too murky to resolve? Have your attempts at definitive action turned into fogbanks and cotton candy? Feel like you’ve been trying to drive nails with a flounder? Get ready for a bracing breath of clarity and definition starting on February 3rd.  Hail Neptune in Pisces!

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