Thursday, March 03, 2011


Modern ruler of zodiac sign Pisces is Neptune. Before 1846, and the discovery of Neptune, both Pisces and Sagittarius had been ruled by Jupiter.

Enquiring minds would like to know exactly why Neptune was so called, who decided on that name for the new planet, who defined the characteristics allocated to it, and why it was decided to assign to it rulership of Pisces. Skyscript offers some information on the question of naming this planet, but it doesn't completely satisfy my annoying need for clarity. Partial answer, acording to Wikipedia:

After Neptune was discovered, the Bureau des Longitudes proposed the name Neptune and the familiar trident for the planet's symbol.
Another source (here) offers this:
The naming of Neptune couldn’t follow the cosmogony of Greco-Roman myth because Uranus, the planet inside Neptune’s orbit, was named after the father of creation so astronomers chose to name this newest member of Sol’s planetary family after the ruler of the sea.
Elsewhere we are told that Neptune's symbol, or glyph, represents, rather than Neptune's trident, "the crescent of personality pierced by the cross of matter".

I'm tempted to respond petulantly: "Whatever!"

How Neptune came to represent the list of characteristics/keywords we regularly trot out remains just another of astrology's little mysteries - appropriately Neptunian. For the most part it works out quite well.

"Ours not to reason why".

Neptune takes around 165 years to circle the Sun, and will remain in each zodiac sign for around 14 years. Its significance, then, is generational rather than individual. How Neptune links to the faster-moving personal planets (or not) is key to whether Neptunian characteristics will manifest clearly in a personality.

Ingrid Lind in her little book Astrology and Commonsense, long out of print, had this to say about Neptune's role in a natal chart:

Like Uranus, this planet has no traditional sign rulership but has affinity with the sign Pisces.

Keywords: nebulousness, impressionability.

As keywords suggest, Neptune is unreliable and elusive. In a strong chart, where its contribution is disposed of by an otherwise steady and forceful personality, much benefit may be derived through the prominence of the Neptunian quality in such matters as charm, personal magnetism, poetry, inspiration or spirituality. In anotherwise weak chart, or one lacking in "roots" or commonsense, even a well-aspected Neptune must be read with distrust as it will tend to manifest in sensationalism or escapism. It really takes a strong and sane man to control the Neptune in him. Where people of genius are excused the uncontrolled exhibition of artistic temperament, in the lesser men it is usually regarded at least as a bore.

Neptunian qualities show clearly in musician or actor as sensitivity of interpretation and sense of audience. In fact, the subtle difference between genius and technician lies in the former's power to use this elusive element in his makeup.

Not all, of course, who have Neptune strong show artistic or literary talent, let alone genius; but occupations to do with the sea, liquids, drugs, anaesthetics and entertainment (providing sensation for others) offer the Neptune quality a wide range. It is interesting to note that all these occupations involve danger or harmfulness in excess.

When Neptune conjoins or closely aspects a personal planet in a natal chart I like to interpret this in much the same way as in transits of the other two outer planets. As I remarked in a comment yesterday:

The outer planets have gathered individual and specific interpretations as a stone gathers moss. Most seem to fit pretty well. However, I often think that, because outer planet cycles are so long, and humans or other entities (eg. national charts) receive a "visit" from each very infrequently, if at all in recorded history, when such a visit (transit) does occur it will inevitably be a flag for something special, something noticeable. This could also be expressed simply, and possibly more accurately, as indicating "a change of some sort", without recourse to the specific interpretations the outer in question has gathered.


Gian Paul said...

Reading this post, Twilight, I wondered if you had taken off your tin-foil protection against excessive solar flares or something of that sort:

You could not be more accurate on Neptune (an elusive fellow by definition, even his name and origin and material consistency, it's all gas, and not a small amount of ammonia and other stuff!)

But you forgot that the name Neptune comes from the Romans. The Greek, considerably more spiritual fellows, called him Poseidon. And he was not so nebulous. His actions could be very violent, sinking ships at sea, creating earth-quakes and the like.

Had you noticed that as you where posting, Moon was conjunct Neptune/Poseidon in the skies, at 29 degrees Aquarius?

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~ I think I may be becoming allergic to my tinfoil helmet, GP ;-)

Neptune = Poseidon - yes, good point. Name may be different but in both variations he's son of Cronos/Saturn, so same guy - same attributes, different name ?

Still, Poseidon does have rather "harder" characteristics in myth. And a link to horses too.
Have a chat to Cognac, GP - he might be able to shed further light on these mysteries.


Twilight said...

GP ~~ No I hadn't noticed that - ...reaching for the tinfoil helmet as I type!

James Higham said...

In fact, the subtle difference between genius and technician lies in the former's power to use this elusive element in his makeup.

Quite a definition.

Twilight said...

James ~~~ Yup - aka "star power"!