The Power of Neptune Retrograde w/ Astrologer Christopher Restrom

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Astrology's Best Kept Secret: The Shocking Truth About Neptune

This is your Horoscope Highlight for the week of June 26th – July 2nd, 2023, with world-class astrologer, historian, and author of The Cosmic Calendar, Christopher Renstrom.

In this episode, Renstrom explores the concept of the “zeitgeist” or “spirit of the times” and how it relates to Neptune's passage through various zodiac signs. He discusses how Neptune mythologizes the elements of the signs it passes through, making them seem larger than life and resonating with the culture at large. He uses the example of Neptune in Capricorn from 1984 to 1998, a period encapsulated by the phrase “greed is good” from the film Wall Street. He further explores the connections between Neptune and developments in photography, spiritualism, and anesthesia during the mid-1800s. The episode concludes with a reflection on the positive and negative aspects of Neptune and its influence on our world.

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[00:00:00] Which is better illusion or reality? It's a question worth asking when Neptune turns retrograde this week. Next on horoscope highlights.

This podcast episode is sponsored by Astrology Hubs Academy. Wherever you are on your astrology journey, we have a class that will help you get to the next level.

Hello, my name is Christopher Renstrom and I'm your weekly horoscope columnist here on Astrology Hub. And this week I wanted to talk to you about Neptune turning retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces on June 30th. Neptune is one of the three modern planets. Modern Planets is the name that we use to refer to planets discovered after 1781 in the modern period.

Those planets were [00:01:00] Uranus discovered in 1781. Neptune discovered in 1846. And finally, Pluto discovered in the year 1930. 

Modern planets are also known as the transpersonal planets. The ancient planets, which were the Sun, moon, mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The planets that were the astrological pantheon until 1841 were regarded as knowable in terms of their energy. The sun rules over what I know about myself to be true.

The moon rules your emotions, mercury, the way you communicate, et cetera. Over a period of time, they sort of ta took on being descriptive of our psychological faculties, like our ability to fall in love are getting what we want. Our sense of benevolence and generosity and our anxiety around fear. These were all associated to the ancient planets, [00:02:00] the traditional planets.

The modern planets, however, weren't really associated with psychological faculties, but rather realms. So when Uranus was discovered, Uranus is named after the Greek God of the heavens or the starry night. The sky. The sky that is not daylight, but the sky at night when you can see the full glory of the constellations in their magnificence, Uranus was associated with the realm of heaven, the realm of eternity.

What we would know as outer space. Neptune, when it was discovered in 1846, Neptune was named after the Greek God, Poseidon or his Roman counterpart, which was Neptune, which is the God of the ocean. So the ocean is a realm entirely into itself. We live on land and we breathe air, and we walk around and hail a cab and sleep in a bed.

But in the ocean, there are no, [00:03:00] beds or apartments or states or countries. Everything is underwater and everything is basically free. There are no, divisions that are seen in the oceans, continents exist, but those are land masses that fishes swim around.

So the ocean was seen as a realm entirely separate from the surface world, which is the one where we live. And finally, Pluto. Pluto was associated with the underworld, with death, with that land that people enter and never return. So these were the three separate realms, and these realms were given over to the modern planets.

Neptune in astrology deals with more than just oceanography. Neptune basically refers to the invisible world, uh, world that we associate with, spirituality or in invisible occurrences, or basically the word for Neptune would be mysticism. It's a [00:04:00] fantasma world, a haunted or a haunting world, if you will.

And later on, as people got to know the planet, Neptune, It became associated with the imagination and with what Carl Jung referred to as the collective unconscious. In other words, Neptune was given the realm of the, of, of our species' sleep or dream realm. It's the way that humankind imagines, it's the realm of archetypes.

It's a realm of symbols and icons and images that we draw upon to tell stories, to create art, to describe the way that we see that life works. So Neptune was given this type of invisible or pH fantasma world. So Neptune, simply put by transit works essentially as a zeitgeist. A zeitgeist is a German term, which means spirit of the [00:05:00] times.

Okay. We would kind of know it as being a little bit more of a trend. A trend is a popular way of thinking of it, but trends are actually more ephemeral and kind of more mercurial, changeable in nature. A zeitgeist is something that begins in culture in society, and it attracts a lot of notice, but it also resonates, with, with the culture or with the people at large.

 If we say for instance that Neptune, mythologize whatever Zodiac sign, it's passing through, and that's indeed what Neptune does. Neptune takes the elements of those signs and it makes it mythological. It makes it. Larger than life. It makes it seem as if it's like, this is the way of the world, this is the way that things should be.

And zeitgeist might also refer to images that appear in fashion or advertising [00:06:00] campaigns, images that become embraced and recognizable by the culture, at, at large. And this usually happens when Neptune is passing through as the Dal sign for instance. Let me bring two examples.

Neptune was in Capricorn. From the years 1984 to 1998, and we could sort of sum up that period of time, with a phrase from the film, wall Street, where, Michael Douglas, who plays this Wall Street trader named Gordon Gecko, says Greed is good. So it's this kind of period of time from 1984 to 1998 when greed is good Now, that wasn't the only time that we've been greedy in the entire history of our world, but greed is good, became a sort of national anthem.

It become, became a flag that was waived from that period of time, from 1984 to 1998. When there was a belief in the markets, a belief in the economy and in [00:07:00] renovations that were going on with buying and selling and corporate mergers, this belief that it was indestructible, that it was the way of the future, it was the way of the world, and nobody could, nobody would question it.

Greed is good became this anthem, this mantra, and, and, and something to believe in. So, so this is an example for instance of, of Neptune in the Zodiac sign of Capricorn. 

After Neptune was in Capricorn, it moved to the Zodiac sign. Aquarius. Aquarius, we know as being a utopian sort of sign, a sign that looks to the future, to the betterment of humankind where everyone can live in peace and to quality. And so Neptune, um, was in the Zodiac sign of Aquarius from 1998 to 2012.

And this is where we really have the emergence of the global village. Now, the term global village was first coined in the 1960s and it referred to, uh, mass [00:08:00] media as, as something that would bring the world together. But it didn't even begin to conceive or describe a digitalized world, an internet world, a worldwide web that was cast.

And, and firmly rooted in, all of our cultures. When Neptune was in Aquarius from the years 1998 to 2012, there was a feeling that we are a global village. That we would be united, through the internet. Information could be digitalized, that boundaries would, would fall down, between the nations.

And everyone would embrace this utopian vision of, of living together. There would be free trade and, and technical red, uh, innovations and all sorts of things. And, as we all know, that's not exactly how it all played out. Okay? So this idea of the global village, really sort of like dissolved, around the time that Neptune entered the Zodiac [00:09:00] sign of Pisces.

And Neptune entered the Zodiac sign of Pisces in the year 2012. And it will be there until 2026. So, so Neptune, you wanna think of the ocean. When you think of Neptune, you want to think of surf of, of, of, of the surf, of, of waves breaking on the shore, uh, breaking against the rocks or, or, or falling onto the beach and spreading out in that lovely way that waves do.

And then it begins, the water recedes and gathers itself back into the next wave, which, uh, moves, moves forward and, and spreads itself, crashes on the shore and spreads itself across the sands once again, only to recede back into itself. And we can, um, we can sort of, liken this image to the two key words that are often brought up with Neptune and the words are illusion and disillusionment.

Okay, so when Neptune [00:10:00] is direct, okay, when it is a wave breaking upon the shore and spreading out in all directions, this is the illusion, or this is the zeitgeist, or this is the myth, or this is the, glamorization, which is associated with Neptune, which is sort of spreading out and infiltrating, into our society and into our conscience.

Maybe more importantly our unconscious. And, um, it, it proliferates it, it, it, it, we, we, we, are affected and moved and influenced by Neptune when it's direct, and then when Neptune is retrograde, when it reverses its direction in the sky. This is the part where the wave, recedes back into itself. You know, not all the water returns to the ocean.

It's kind of left bubbling there on, on, on the beach, but a lot of the water does return back into the ocean, becomes another, another [00:11:00] wave that builds and curls and falls upon the shore. So that receding back into itself. You can almost think of it as an inhale and exhale. The wave on the shore is like an exhale, and the inhale is the wave being drawn back into the water again, and that is in Neptune retrograde.

And it's during that time when. You can almost think of it as a low tide when things had been, that had been covered by, the full tide, rocks, barely peaking over the surface and boats floating because it's, it's it's high tide. At low tide, the rocks that were full of, tide pools that you could go and examine and see their florid beauty or, or the boats that you could admire, floating there near the shore.

Well, the boats kind of like rest on rocks that are underneath, and the, uh, tidal poles are just, boulders standing, on the sand and whatever floral beauty was in the tidal pool that you could admire has all closed up. The enemies have gone back into themselves.[00:12:00] The barnacles have lost their color, and the hermit crabs are tucked away for the rest of the day.

So, So this is what happens when Neptune is retrograde and it can bring a period of disillusionment. So, illusion or zeitgeist or this is the, this is the myth I believe in, or this is the thing that I'm going to cleave to. This is the dream or the vision that I have. That can be, when Neptune is direct in a sign, mythologizing that sign bringing forth the characteristics of that sign.

And then when it is retrograde, it's, it's, it's energy is not as, as powerful. It's drawn back into itself. And it might leave some of us wondering, what the hell was I thinking? Okay. The, you know, morning, the morning after syndrome, you know, can be very Neptune retrograde. Like, what did I do last night?

Okay, so, so this is the sort of thing that can happen when Neptune is retrograde. [00:13:00] Uh, we can have illusion and we can have disillusionment. But the question that we want to ask ourselves, when Neptune is retrograde, when we are going through this disillusionment, okay. Uh, the things that had enchanted us before, the things that had, uh, mesmerized our attention, the things that seemed so infused with meaning and profundity and resonance no longer hold this allure for us.

So the question that we want to ask ourselves is, what is our experience of disillusionment? Hmm. Um, is our experience of disillusionment that the great myth has been debunked? Um, it's been shown to be a sham, it's been exposed as a fraud. Or is our experience of disillusionment to double down in what it is that we believe?

These are the questions [00:14:00] that will be most resonant during the period of time that Neptune is retrograde.

I wanted to return briefly, if I may, to the last time that Neptune was in the Zodiac sign of Pisces. The last time that Neptune was in the Zodiac sign of Pisces was in the years 1847 until 1861. So, what's interesting about that period, 1847 to 1861 is that Neptune is discovered, As a planet in 1846.

Okay. Right when it's at the end of the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Okay. So, uh, Neptune is discovered towards the end of 1846. It enters the Zodiac sign of Pisces, and it is in Pisces from 8 18 47 until 1861. 

Now when we returned to the period of time that Neptune was last in, Pisces, which is 1847 to 1861, what astrologers do [00:15:00] is that we look for what was going on during that period of time, as a trend or as an event, what was going on during that period of time that might help us to interpret the characteristics of Neptune itself, you see, with the traditional planets, sun, moon, mercury, et cetera.

We have mythology to turn to. Um, uh, we can look at the mythology around the Greek God Apollo to understand the workings of the sun in astrology. Or we might examine the archetypes of Artemis or Diana, uh, goddess of the moon and the hunt to understand more fully the, uh, personality of the moon and how to interpret it in an astrological chart.

When we get to the modern times there, there are mythological archetypes, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. But what we are also looking for, because the planet is, uh, discovered in, in, memorable [00:16:00] time are, are what's taking place in the world as something about trends and, and, and things that are taking place in the world that can help us to understand the characteristics of the modern planet.

For instance, Uranus is discovered at the midpoint between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Hence, Uranus becomes known as being revolutionary. It, it's, it's connected to the Enlightenment, which was also the p peaking at that period of time. So it's connected to science and technology, enlightened reasoning, but also revolution and change.

The overthrowing of old structures or regimes, those become associated to Uranus. Pluto at 1930 is the midpoint between the beginning of World War I and the end of World War ii, wars that really completely changed the face of our planet, and also a period of time that introduced, the atom bomb. And so where we were, where we faced for the first time, our ability to destroy ourselves, very [00:17:00] dark and very intense, ideas, but all associated to the, planet Pluto, Neptune.

A few things happened. A number of things happened between 1847 and 1861, but the things that happened that have become associated to Neptune are the following. The first thing is photography. Okay? Okay. Now, photography, was discovered earlier, but basically photography was invented in 1839, which is a little earlier than 1847.

But what's interesting is photography was invented in 1839 when, sir John Herschel, perfected the process of fixing the negative image. And that took place in 18 37 9. Uh, what Herschel did is that he bathed a negative in sodium, theos it to dissolve the silver salts, so they would no longer react with light, and the image became permanent instead of fading.

[00:18:00] So basically you could take pictures before, but the image wouldn't really stay. But being, um, if I remember correctly, being, sealed or, or printed on glass, um, the image was able to, um, on a glass plate. The image didn't fade, it stayed, and then you could, you could reproduce the image on, on, on paper.

So this, this process of fixing the negative image in 1839, uh, this is basically considered when photography is invented. And it's, and this process is discovered by search on Herschel. Now, what's really interesting about Sir John Herschel is that he also coined the name for the process photography, which means writing with light.

Okay? So it's photo, uh, light and gruffy, which is writing. So, so photography means writing with light, and this is what, this is what he called his process of fixing the image. The other [00:19:00] thing that's interesting about the fellow who, uh, basically invented photography, who's Sir John Herschel. Is it that he happens to be the son of William Herschel, whom some of you might remember as being the, person who discovered Uranus in the sky?

So William Herschel, who discovers Uranus, with his telescope in his backyard garden. His son is Sir John Herschel, who then discovers or, or becomes credited with the invention of photography because he can fix the image, instead of it fading. The other thing that's kind of interesting about that is that Sir John Herschel was born on March 7th, 1792, which basically is, Pisces.

And we all know that Neptune is the co ruler of Pisces, so there's a fun fact. So he's basically what we would call a child of, of Neptune, uh, this, this, this marvelous Sir John Herschel. So, so photography is essentially invented in [00:20:00] 1839. But it's really in not until 1851 that the camera is refined and perfected to such a degree that it can be used commercially.

So it's really this transition from the fixing of the image created by Sir John Herschel in the coining of the phrase photography in 1839 into 1851 when the camera really becomes refined. And then after 1851, photography takes off. Um, For, for, uh, everyone in America that people are going to photo studios and having their, picture taken.

And what's interesting about this going to photo studios to having pictures taken, nowadays we think of having your picture taken as a selfie. You know, it's like, hi, selfie. Okay, so we do a selfie or we photo bomb, you know, like, you know, you know behind someone who's like posing. So, okay, this is our idea of taking a picture of oneself, but back, what, what made photography so popular And it really [00:21:00] takes off in the 1850s, uh, after Uranus's discovery in 1846, and it enters Pisces in 1847.

What makes it popular is that, the, the main clients were mothers who wanted photographs with their babies. Okay, so mother would come in and that seems kind of hallmarky, right? You know? Oh, of course. Like mothers want photographs with their babies. Like what Mother doesn't, they're like, you know, hello to the camera and, you know, make a wave and the baby's like, you know, whatever.

But, you know, mothers would come in with their babies and, and they would be photographed, but it wasn't just because they wanted to be photographed with their baby and wave and keep a photo album. The reason it was so popular is because the, rate of, infant mortality in the United States during that period of time was extremely high.

Many mothers lost their children in, in the early years of their life. Many mothers lost their own lives, in the birthing of their children. So what this was, was that [00:22:00] it was an opportunity to fix this memory to a plate. Okay? It was this opportunity to create a memento, something to remember by, so it wasn't just like, oh, look at how you looked, how cute you were at the age of three as it was, oh, look at, our child who, who, who, who didn't live, who didn't grow up.

But wasn't she so beautiful? So this. Peculiar, interesting association with memory and with, preserving the image of someone who, uh, may die and many did die. This was really more of photography's initial appeal. Um, it wasn't a safe recall, like a scrapbook. It was more to memorialize someone that you weren't sure was going to make.

It was going to make it past the age of three or past the age [00:23:00] of seven, or past the age of 12, or as we know, because the Civil War breaks out, uh, uh, uh, one year before Neptune leaves Pisces, uh, the many, um, fathers, husbands and sons who died in the war. And of course, many of them before they went to war, took photographs at the photo studio to be remembered.

Okay, so this is basically how photography transformed the world and took the world from a physical reality into Anole plane, okay? Into a plane of images. And, and by taking it into a plane of images, uh, photography was much more realistic than a portrait. Much more honest and much more telling.

And what it did is that it froze in time, a moment that the person was taking this picture and, and will loop in. And, uh, back to that in just a little bit. The other [00:24:00] thing that becomes, popularized during the period of time that Neptune is in Pisces, Neptune is in Pisces from 1847 to 1861. Well, spiritualism, is is basically born here in the United States of America.

Spiritualism was essentially, well, spiritualism is basically where we get seances and Ouija boards. It was talking to the dead. But it was a little bit more than that. It starts, in, the year 1848 with something called wrapping. In which there were two sisters in upstate New York, the Fox sisters who, were said to have been haunted by a ghost in their house.

And neighbors came to, you know, and they were alarmed and what, what? And, and, and, and, but this was more than a ghost story. Okay. It wasn't, it wasn't just like, our ho house is haunted. Help us. Okay? It wasn't just like a ghost story. It was like, our house is haunted and the ghost is communicating to us. And the neighbors were like, well, how are the ghosts communicating to you?

And, Mrs. [00:25:00] Fox, the mother, was like, by rapping, by knocking, by, making these noises in the middle of the night. And it's driving me in my, husband insane. And our, in our daughters, And so what happened is one person began, I, I don't know, someone took, took it upon himself to ask a question of the ghost, probably what the ghost's name was, and the ghost responded to earth wrapping.

And over a series of evenings, they were able to associate how many raps went with one what letter in the alphabet. And they were actually able to spell out the name of the ghost and reconstruct his story. And, the ghost claimed to have been, Pedler who'd come through town and sold his wares. And, and, and, uh, everyone had assumed that he had left, but he had been killed, and, and buried.

And so, um, you know, this began a whole sensation, you know, it sort of begins something analogous to. A Lochness monster siding or a U F O experience, you know, it becomes a legend that people tell and isn't this exciting? And everyone, you know, gathers together next night to hear the wrapping and ask questions and things like [00:26:00] this.

But what happens is that, is that it more, it, it becomes what we call nowadays a thing. Okay. People came from all over to ask the ghost questions. And the ghost was particularly fond of the two Fox daughters who were sisters, who were said to be able to communicate to the ghost. And so the sisters would come out and maybe sit at a table or something and they would hear the question that was being asked, you know, um, where did ant B put her favorite statuate of Napoleon?

One that we always treasured and she promised to me in a will. And so, the spirit would answer with, with laps and knocks and things like this, and people would count them and work out the letters. You can see the origin of the Ouija board here. Okay, there we out the, and, and work out the letters, and then there would be an answer.

 And for some reason many of the answers were accurate. But you know, as critics said later on, they were accurate because people wanted to believe, them to be accurate. And that's part of the story too. [00:27:00] Spiritualism. Okay. The Fox Sisters becomes famous. They're actually ultimately produced by PT Barnum.

They go on world tours, they answer questions to the audience, much like, you may see, uh, modern people who, people these days, I think there's a Hollywood psychic who talks to the dead and, you know, uh, you've seen him, he sort of meets with the celebrity and, and he'll ask him questions or make comments on the cel celebrity will be, how do you know?

So, so this is the origin of all of this. Okay. It, it begins when Neptune enters Pisces, uh, in 1847. And this is the Fox Sisters in 1848. And, spiritualism really takes off because until that time in America, When it came to religion, the predominant religion in Americas was Christianity. But actually there were different versions of Christianity.

 In fact, America, although it's referred to as a Christian nation, a more telling title is a nation of Christianity because no country [00:28:00] on this planet has come up with more variations on Christianity, than America has. And so this was also going on during this period of time. But basically what the Christian faith had in common was that, you know, live a good life.

Uh, you die and you don't come back until judgment day. And, it's on judgment day that you find out whether you, uh, are elected to go into heaven or not. Okay. So, um, A lot of people died with great anxiety as to, um, well, when I wake up again on Judgment day, am I in the, you know, column that gets into the club?

Or am I the column that, you know, can't cross the line of the velvet rope and has to wait outside and we never get in Okay. Type of thing where Go to Hell, which was more, you know, like, it, so, so there was this fear of like, you know, am I in the heaven line or am I the hell line? And you're only gonna find out, uh, you know, if you wake up on the day of judgment and because you don't know, adhere to Christianity, be a good person, [00:29:00] follow its rules and strictures and you know, depending on the type of Christianity you were involved in, you know, really sort of see the world as a place full of sin and temptation, uh, those sorts of things.

But this is not what spiritualism did. Spiritualism introduced an alternative to, Christian religion and to religions in general. Okay? So spiritualism was basically, this ability to connect with the spirits of those who have passed, into, into death. Okay. Into an afterlife. But the afterlife wasn't based, the afterlife didn't begin on the day of judgment.

The afterlife was with us. Now, in other words, if you could. Communicate to the spirit of someone who had passed on a loved one, that loved one could communicate to you, and what that loved one often communicated and what went on to become seances and Ouija board sessions and, and, and spiritualistic experiences.

What loved ones often communicated is that they [00:30:00] were alive and well in heaven. That essentially what had happened is that they had moved to a higher plane and that they were viewing your life, observing your life, that they were available for comment. They were available for solace. They were available for advice and for for counsel.

This, uh, particularly when we get into, 1860s where spiritualism really takes off. This combines with, Darwin's theory of evolution. Uh, you know, man is evolved from the ape to this idea of like, well, it just, if man has evolved from the ape, then it makes perfect sense that we would evolve from a physical self to a spiritual self, to a higher self and be closer to God.

So what Spiritualism did is that it basically introduced this belief that the debtor with us, that God is with us, and that the whole mission is to make us better people in this life so that we can become better souls. And once we become [00:31:00] better souls, we might, for instance, you know, if we pass away, help our descendants.

Or people who call upon us to also become better selves. So th there was this interaction with, with, uh, the World of the Dead, but it wasn't seen as a gloomy world, but actually a beautiful world. In fact, people grew up in the realm of the dead. You know, uh, a child who had died in childbirth, might be consulted and was 12 years old, or going to school or learning things from other advisory spirits or angels or something along the that sense.

So spiritualism really transformed America particularly in the years leading up to the Civil War and during the Civil War. And, it goes on to become, as you've probably already recognized, new age, philosophy or, or, or, uh, right. New age philosophy. Basically, it's all the different alternative, uh, ways of relating to life, and, and divinatory practices, in which [00:32:00] astrology is, is is part of that culture as well.

The big, the biggest. Spiritualists, people who could communicate to the dead were women. It was thought, and this goes back to Mesmer, that women had a special affinity or sensitivity for communicating, with souls and the life hereafter. And so women who had been silenced in churches, uh, women who couldn't become ministers, had a platform where they could, minister to their followers or to their flocks.

And so women were able to speak to the dead and to talk about, uh, the life hereafter. And here we get. This really kind of open expression, for women's spiritual experiences and view of life, uh, where they, they had been muted or censored before. With the platform of spiritualism, which the movement went from coast to coast.

Women had had a platform to speak about philosophy and about [00:33:00] metaphysics and things along those lines. And one of the things that came out of spiritualism was the women's, liberation Movement. Uh, Susan B. Anthony played around with the idea of spiritualism. It didn't really catch on with her, but many of the women who became, uh, associates of Susan B.

Anthony were themselves spiritualists, or had been spiritualists at some time.

The other thing that comes to light, during Neptune's tenure in Pisces during that period of time is anesthesia. Until the mid 18 hundreds, surgeons could not offer patients more than opium. Alcohol or a bullet to bite on to deal with the agonizing pain of surgery. So imagine being cut open.

Imagine, a limb being amputated. Imagine, uh, giving birth to a child with without anesthesia. All right. Um, but certainly the idea of any sort of surgery or, or [00:34:00] amputation was done either with opium, alcohol or biting on a bullet, biting on the bullet, actually, which is often how it was done during the Civil War.

So in early form of anesthesia was first used at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by a dentist named William Tg Mort Morton, and a surgeon, John Warren, on October 16th, 1846. Okay, so, uh, that's the year that Neptune is discovered and it's one year shy of Neptune entering, the Zodiac sign of Pisces.

Now, it was used, to actually remove a vascular tumor, uh, from a man's neck, in Scotland in 1847. The obstetrician professor James Y. Simpson starts giving women chloroform to ease the pain of childbirth. Chloroform quickly becomes a popular anesthetic for surgery and dental procedures as well.

So this idea of [00:35:00] anesta the pain, this idea of, going under, right? This idea of like, you know, You're out, um, meaning asleep or just, you know, you're out of it, you're not, you know, uh, there with, with anesthesia or that part of your body is completely numb to you. Okay? You can already begin to see how this characteristic, becomes associated to, Neptune as the modern ruler of Pisces.

So first we have photography where, where the, physical becomes, an image. Alright? We've got, mysticism and talking to the dead, otherworldly experiences with spiritualism. And here with the discovery of anesthesia, we have the numbing of pain, okay? Turning to a drug to numb pain that renders you unconscious.

Um, it's Dr. John Snow, a full-time anesthesia since 1847, uh, which is when, it started to, when it began being given to, [00:36:00] women in childbirth. Dr. Snow's the one who popularizes obstetri anesthesia by chloroform Queen Victoria for the birth of Prince Leopold in 1853 and Princess Beatrice in 1857. So, you know what greater, what, what greater mother is there on the planet than Queen Victoria.

And so Queen Victoria is put under, receives anesthesia and popularizes it basically, you know, she, she, she gives birth successfully. She rouses from her slumber. And so women all over, uh, at least in the western world, immediately feel safe, comfortable, and secure with, with, with anesthesia. So, so that kind of numbing of the pain.

Uh, escaping into the unconscious or, or being removed from pain into the unconscious. Um, it reminds you of a fairytale, right? Uh, you know, sleeping beauty or snow white, fall asleep, and then they're awakened and they're [00:37:00] better. You know, life is wonderful. So it's, it's falling under this and then being awakened and you have a child, you know, that's, that's, you know, that you're bonding with or, or whatever.

So these are things that are associated to, Neptune as modern ruler Pisces. I think some of you can already see like, hmm, I could see where that would lead to. Let's see, drug addiction or alcohol addiction. Remember, opium and alcohol are the preferred choices of. Of, um, handling pain before anesthesia comes along.

So you can see where Neptune's Association with drug addiction and alcohol addiction is showing up. You know, that's the dark side of, of, of the distinct cover of anesthesia. The last example that I wanna share with you, is in 1861. 1861 is the last year that, uh, Neptune is in the zodiac sign of Pisces, and it's in 1861 that, um, a photographer named William Mumbler.

Took a self-portrait, and when the print came [00:38:00] back to him, there was what was called an unexplainable aberration. ler showed this photo to a spiritualist friend of his and the friend looked at the photo and what was on the photo was a. Photo of, uh, mumbler, but behind him was a ghostly image of a girl.

And so Mumbler is like, I don't know how this happened. Spiritualist friend, take a look. Give it an examination. Tell me what you think. And so the spiritualist friend looks at the photo and he is like, my goodness, you've taken a picture of. A ghost, A mumbler is like a ghost. How could this be? And the friend was, how could it be?

It must be spiritual photography. It must be a ghost that visited you. And if you think about it, it makes sense. The photo, the, the camera picked up on what couldn't be seen by the naked eye, and you captured a floating spirit that was around you at the time. This is an amazement, this is a miracle. This [00:39:00] mumbler is something people should know about.

So, uh, basically mumbler, you know, part of his appeal in advertisements is that he would keep saying, I don't know how these pictures happen. I don't know how these apparitions or these ghosts appear, but, but somehow they do. And perhaps they have a message they want to send. As you can imagine, This immediately takes off.

Everyone comes to Mumbler studio and gets their picture taken and there's a ghost or a spirit that appears behind them, and they're like, this is proof positive that ghosts and apparitions and spirits exist. Um, and, and, and, and this is an amazing thing. And what are they telling us? And spiritual photography takes off well, um, It takes off and it becomes popularized, but it doesn't fool all the photographers.

And, and in fact, almost immediately photographers were like, uh, I think that's, that's, um, you know, I, I think he, uh, grafted one image on with another image. And, and I think it's [00:40:00] like what we would call, I don't know, trick photography. Um, you know, something that we're all familiar nowadays with Photoshop.

Okay. And so he was kind of debunked, but the need of people to believe that they were in communication with the spirit or with a ghost, was so powerful that it overrode this, um, it know, they, you know, stop spoiling the part party. You, you photographic debunkers. Um, you're, you're saying these bad things about mumbler because he's, he's winning at competition and people wanna have photographs with him and not with you.

It just comes out of envy, you know, this sort of thing, this sort of thing that shows up when people don't like being shown that what they believe in, uh, is being debunked. Sound familiar. So, um, so that, that started and, and Mumbler would've been okay except a lawsuit was brought against him. He lost the lawsuit.

Uh, basically he had to give up photography. He was a ruined man. But before he gave up photography [00:41:00] altogether, he went on and invented a technique called the mumbler process. And the mumbler process is what allowed, for the first time photographs to be printed on newsprint, thus completely transforming journalism and creating photojournalism.

And the mumbler process invented by mumbler who was taking pictures of spirits and ghosts. This comes from the same person. So what we have taking place. And, and, and, and, and you see it happen with the discovery of a modern planet. Whenever a modern planet is discovered, there's a before and an after.

Okay? Uh, the world was one way before Uranus was discovered and a totally different way after. Okay? Before Uranus was discovered, electricity was a curiosity. Uh, science was in the ascendancy. Um, you know, the fact that a nation could revolt and set up a constitution, what a fantasy. [00:42:00] And after Uranus leaves Aquarius, these things are set in stone.

We, we, we have constitutions, we have electricity, we have technology, we have enlightened principles and sciences on the ascendancy, uh, before Neptune is discovered, there's a sense of fin asma, world of ghost stories that are narrated of, of images that are held in painting, being awake as your arm is sought off during an operation.

Okay. After Neptune leaves Pisces or after, uh, uh, which, uh, also happens to coincide with this discovery. You have anesthesia, you have photojournalism, you have an ability to talk to the dead. Okay? So, so what we, what we get out of these stories that I'm sharing with you is the positive and the negative of Neptune.

Okay? The positive of Neptune, for instance, might be mystical experience. It's anesthesia, it's [00:43:00] it's film. Think of how much film has transformed the world in terms of entertainment, in terms of art, in terms of entertainment. You know, film has this extraordinary transformation. Uh, photojournalism gives newspapers their veracity.

Okay. Uh, before photojournalism, you were reading a column and you could say, uh, whatever, but a photo jour, you know, with photojournalism. And the first time you really started seeing photography, , hitting the newspapers is, is is following, uh, the civil War. All of a sudden you can be transported to a battlefield.

All of a sudden you can see the remains of a crime. All of a sudden you can see the face of a victim. So it wasn't just left to the imagination, stimulated by prose, you could see a picture and a picture became a literal truth. But as we all know, pictures aren't always literal truths. They could be.

Manipulated. They can beran transformed, they can be photoshopped. So when we [00:44:00] sort of think of Neptune and Pisces, it entered in 2012. It will leave in 2026. When we think of Neptune and Pisces, think of the zeitgeist, think of the things we now say, uh, that are more. Popularized than they were before. You know, we have things like alternative facts, you know, an alternative fact.

What, what, what the hell's that? You know? Well, it's another way of seeing the facts. It's, it's a, it's, it's, it's another way of seeing the facts that are said in front of you. We have fake news. There was fake news before, but fake news becomes a thing. Between the years of, of 2012 and now, and going into 2026, so much so that there is great consternation and anxiety about images being photoshopped or manipulated.

Uh, one of the big fears of AI is that, you know, there are now, uh, films or little snippets coming out. That feature, uh, I think one was featuring Tom Cruise playing golf and. Tom Cruise doesn't [00:45:00] play golf. You know, where, where they can take an image of someone and do more than superimpose it. They can, they can pass it off as truth.

And because we're involved in such a visual society right now, especially because of the internet, we can believe what we see on a screen. And so we can be manipulated in that regard. This is all the realm of Neptune. Uh, even if you think of the internet with its, Icons, right? You tap on an icon. An icon is a neptunian idea.

You know, an icon is a symbol. All symbolism, uh, go. A symbol is in a river that feeds back into the ocean of Neptune. Okay? So symbols are to be interpreted. Icons, uh, have a magnificence or resonance or ity to them. Uh, and so you tap on an icon and it opens up a window that takes you to an image or a place.

We now have things like virtual reality. Uh, there's a [00:46:00] meta-narrative talk of meta-narrative who has control of the, of the narrative. These are the things that have really shown up since Neptune entered the Zodiac sign of Pisces, and it becomes so pressing. Um, What's really fascinating, I think from the standpoint of, of an astrologer is that Neptune is really about interpretation.

Okay? Uh, what is the symbolic meaning? What does the symbol mean to me? You know, if I had a dream, I saw these images, I wake up, I write them down, they must mean something. So with Neptune, you get the realm of dream and a vision, but you also get the realm of prophecy. So you have dream. And prophecy that are coming together in the planet of Neptune.

You have things that are shown to be magnificent. You know, uh, spiritualism brought about, about this feeling of not only comfort of speaking to dead relatives, but experiences where people were [00:47:00] saying, I felt, I felt the dead relative. You know, some people would say, that's delusional. That's ridiculous.

You wanted to feel for that. You wanted to feel that relative's presence again. And we feel for you, we have sympathy, but you also need to know that that's a fantastical thing, that that's delusional. And up until a point, Up until recently that kind of used to do it. You know, if you were going to be, you know, knowledgeable person in society, you might say, well, I guess that was delusional and I was silly to believe in such a thing.

But nowadays, It's not laughed off so quickly. Um, nowadays, in fact, the more that, um, a lie is exposed or a myth is debunked or someone points to the information and the facts that someone speaks in an analytic mode, you know, I'm going to show you facts and stats and, and analysis is a truer guide to understanding the truth than interpretation will ever be.

And the two of [00:48:00] them have been at each other for centuries interpretation versus analysis. But the more. That things are debunked or exposed. The more people are doubling down in believing that they're true, the more you'll hear, well, that might be the way you see it, but I see it differently. Uh, that idea, uh, actually is taken on a darker tone recently, which is, um, that's not the way I see it at all.

Don't you realize that you are being manipulated by, by invisible agencies, by things that are, be, that, that are beyond your recognition. And that goes on both sides. You can have people saying, you're being re manipulated by snake salesmen who are trying to, sell you a lie.

But then, uh, the response to that is because it can be, well, you're. Using, false facts and alternative facts to make people feel stupid and you're manipulating them, and I'm not going to be manipulated by some, [00:49:00] uh, smug, uh, self-satisfied elitist. Okay? So you can see where, down the rabbit hole is another phrase that's become very popular.

Um, uh, with Neptune stay in Pisces, you can see where there's this mistrust, where there's this refusal. But it's more than refusal. It's more than refusal. Eventually the Fox sisters, when they're on the circuit with PT Barnum are exposed as fakes. And, um, one of the sisters, uh, developed alcoholism later on, and she gives a sensational interview and a press article on which she said that, uh, she and her sister were able to crack their knuckles and limbs to create the sound of wrapping and they would sort of like knock onto the table when no one was looking and all these sorts of things.

And she basically confesses to the fact that their whole, uh, speaking to the dead conversation with the dead was a fraud. It was a hoax. And of course, [00:50:00] frauds, hoaxes and scandals are associated to the planet Neptune. And, and, and this was spread through, you know, the newspapers and people laughed and, and decried them and mocked them and things like this, but it didn't defeat spiritualism.

Okay. It, it, it didn't, you know, once it was revealed, you know, the two, you know, basically poster children of spiritualism were, were, were fakes people simply, um, took it, you know, said, okay, they might have been faking it, but that doesn't make the phenomenon a fraud. That doesn't make it a lie. There's still this ability to talk to the dead, and I'm gonna figure out how to do that.

And before, uh, some of you out there are kind of like, oh, well, you know, that's silly. You know, I mean, like, when something's exposed as a lie or, or a myth or something like that, it's debunked. I will ask you to go back to, uh, The foundational experience, uh, or or event of Christianity. [00:51:00] Um, in Christianity, you have someone who is crucified and is said to have risen from the dead three days later.

 Questioning that or making light of it. Think of how many fights you'll get in doing that. Uh, not only over the centuries, but also. Nowadays, I mean, there is this insistence, you know, on the miracle, you know, it's not called a fantasy, it's called the miracle. There's an insistence on this miracle, that has, if anything, grown more powerful, which is also associated to an expectation that there's a judgment day.

Or this person who was crucified, like a common criminal is gonna come back in great glory and actually start launch great wars across the world that will divide, you know, the wicked from the Saint Lee. Uh, you can see the power of that. Um, and, and the power of that doesn't come from a refusal of facts or truth.

The power of that [00:52:00] comes from an insistence on a deeply personal and spiritual resonance with a hidden truth. Alright, all right. In, in many articles you'll see it written off as delusion or fantasy or illusion or something along these lines. But the power of Neptune is more than just illusion, if Neptune's proven anything, it's that it is not illusory. It's these experiences, these resonant experiences with the symbol and with the symbolic that are opening, like on the internet, a window into an invisible world that speaks to our soul, that speaks to our soul on a very powerful level that inspires, uh, many religious experiences have been credited with.

A scientific breakthrough, a beautiful work of art, an extraordinary [00:53:00] composition of song with the beginning of different religions, uh, that have gone on and accrued more and more followers. So this, um, I idea that it can just be put off as something delusional. There's much more that's going on than, than that, 

But what it does do, it's that it brings us back to the paradox, to the unending argument between illusion and reality. Okay? Illusion or fantasy, uh, is, is and, uh, uh, versus reality. Um, it's, it's also kind of seen, it's often kind of seen in this light versus darkness, uh, the devil versus, you know, Christ, you know, it's like, um, uh, darkness being repelled by the light of the sun.

This, this, you know, that, that illusion and fantasy is bad. It needs to be de debunked and [00:54:00] dispersed. And reality needs to be embraced, no matter how hard it may be, or unfeeling it may be, or, or, or, or you're having your arm saw off and given a bullet to bite. You know what? It's going on. Here's your reality.

Check. Have a bullet. We're taking off your arm. And, you know, so, so, so, so it's portrayed in this kind of like, uh, you know, one versus the other, you know, uh, illusion versus reality. And it puts me in mind of this beautiful episode of, um, star Trek, the first season of Star Trek. And it's a curious example of this.

It was actually, the pilot for what the new series was called, which was Star Trek. And the pilot was called The Cage, and it wasn't picked up. It failed miserably. And, and it's very Neptune in this whole thing. Uh, it failed miserably. Um, but then it was picked up and turned into a TV series called Star Trek.

And Star Trek was on for three seasons and kind of forgotten, but then it came back as maybe [00:55:00] a movie in a film. And now Star Trek is embedded in the institution of our society. And this is what often happens with Neptunian things. Um, dream and prophecy science fiction is a beautiful example of dream and prophecy, in which, you know, it fades or it fails, but then it comes back with more and more strength until it becomes almost like an institution.

But anyway, I digress. Coming back to the idea in this episode that's called The Cage, where they had to sort of reconcile the pilot with the current TV series. But anyway, uh, long story short, in the episode called The Cage, there was a previous caption of the Starship Enterprise named Cap Captain Christopher Pike, uh, who, uh, was in a horrible fire where he rescued someone, but he's now a scarred man and.

Travels around the room in a kind of, uh, 20 whatever century, 21st, 27th, 30th century, uh, wheelchair. And he, uh, he can't communicate, but there's a beep that goes beep for Yes. And beep, beep for no. [00:56:00] Um, and what happens is that Captain Kirk hijacks the enterprise and takes it to a planet in which it's forbidden, that you should ever go near this planet.

This planet is hands off and he takes the Starship Enterprise to this planet. Oh, sorry. It's not Captain Kirk. It's Spock. Spock. Takes the Starship Enterprise to this planet, which is hands off. And everyone is like, what happened to Spock? He's so cold and rational and he's gone crazy. And why is he going to this planet?

Which is, which is, uh, you know, the, the, the never enter on penalty of death planet. Okay. Uh, I think it's TEUs or something like that. Or, or Talos. Talos is what it is. And so Spock takes the enterprise there with, with Captain Christopher Pike, and his plan is to, uh, transport or beam down Christopher Pike to the planet.

And, and so there's a court martial. And, uh, there's a prosecutor and Kirk doesn't know what he thinks of this. And you know, obviously there's a story that's yet to be told. And the story that's told [00:57:00] is that actually Spock and Christopher Pike had been to this planet before where they had been taken prisoner, or particularly.

Uh, captain Pike had been taken prisoner, and, uh, he had been taken prisoner by these people who had these enormous heads who could manipulate your mind so that you believed whatever you saw in front of you. And, and it's a flashback to when Pike had been taken prisoner, and he, is presented with this beautiful woman, uh, Zena.

 And Zena, uh, you know, is his fellow prisoner. And she talks about how they have to escape, uh, this, this cage that they're in, that they're being. Kept by the, uh, tele Ians, that's their names. They're being kept by the tians with these enormous heads who can manipulate your mind. And so they go through a series of mind manipulations and adventures and all these sorts of things.

And at the end, it's exposed that it's a cage, it's a prison, and that the telesan, um, have this ability to make you believe anything that you [00:58:00] see in front of your eyes. Uh, captain Christopher Pike, it, it's then revealed that Zena, um, isn't this beautiful woman at all. The Tians take away the illusion, uh, that she appears with this beautiful allure that she has, and she's actually this crippled woman with a big hump.

Her, her who, her her mouth, slack jawed. And uh, she relates how the Ians never having seen a human being before. Um, she was in a spaceship that crashed on their planet. Uh, everyone died, but her, she was an infant baby and having never seen a human being before, they kind of pieced her together, um, uh, uh, randomly.

And this is what they came up with. And this is what she looks like in real life. And, and Christopher Pike is like, oh, this is too bad and this is hideous and I have to leave and duty calls and goodbye tossum. And, and he reports this to Starfleet and they immediately outlaw the planet because they [00:59:00] have nothing that could go up against a species that could manipulate your mind, that could make you believe in an illusion.

And so this is where we pick up with this, uh, two-part episode called the Cage. Spock has brought Christopher Pike back to this planet. He's brought Christopher. Pike back to this planet to, uh, re reunite him with Xena and to give him over the, to, to the telos. And they're like, why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?

And, and basically the point is Pike doesn't really have a life outside of what's been heavily, uh, damaged. And so, uh, they ask Pike, whether he wants to rejoin, Xena on the planet or whether he wants to stay, you know, uh, with Starfleet command and live out his, his years as this wreck of a man. And, um, He says, I wanna go down to the planet.

I mean, you know, who wouldn't? [01:00:00] Um, he's disfigured beyond recognition and he has no, he has barely any quality of life. And, you know, he says, yes, I want to go back down into the planet. So they beam him down on the planet and the tians, uh, you know, say Captain Kirk and Star Fleet Command look upon, look upon your Captain Pike.

And he's there fresh and young and youthful and beautiful again. And he goes running up the rocks to Zena, who once again is fresh and young and beautiful again. She's been totally, this is how she appears. And, um, he reunites with her and they embrace and they kiss and they are together. They are together in their.

Captivity. And this is when the head Sian says to Captain Kirk, you know, um, captain Pike has an illusion [01:01:00] and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant. And that always stayed with me. Captain Pike has illusion and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant. It's something to think about.

It's something to think about as Neptune will be retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces until December 6th, 2023.


  1. T from Burning Tarot on June 27, 2023 at 12:36 am

    Christopher, this was wonderful! I love how you wove theosophy/spiritualism, photography, and Neptune together.

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