Neptune, the ruling planet of Pisces, spends approximately 13 years in its home sign during its 165-year swim around the zodiac. It dipped its toes into Pisces in 2011 and doesn’t completely leave this sign until early 2026. You’d say that sounds like 15 years but you’d be fooled (a Neptunian pitfall) in that assumption. Because planets appear to move backward in the zodiac (an optical illusion called retrograde motion due to the earth also being in motion), slow planets take 1-2 calendar years to transition between signs.
In 2019, we’re just over halfway through this important period when this sign and planet reinforce one another and their shared traits and inclinations are exhibited most powerfully. And when the union of the Sun and Moon at a New Moon occurs close to Neptune, these tendencies are accentuated even more.
During Neptune’s time in Pisces, there are two New Moons just two degrees from Neptune (2/21/12 and 3/13/21) and one Solar Eclipse New Moon only three degrees from Neptune (2/26/17). The New Moon on March 6, 2019 gets the award for closest to Neptune, less than half a degree away, and that’s as Pisces as it gets!
What can we expect in the coming four-week lunar cycle? A big dose of everything related to Pisces and Neptune.
This sign and planet are not known for being straightforward nor transparent. Instead, they operate in round-about ways, in the realm of illusion and mysteries. They deal in dreams rather than reality, in impressions, wishes and fantasies rather than facts. Their domain encompasses fog, veils, and whatever goes on behind the curtain or behind your back. Their associated territory in a chart is the Twelfth House, a place indicating hidden enemies, imprisonment or confinement. This is also the area of our connection to the Divine (however that’s defined) and our need for retreat and rest. Neptune and Pisces are affiliated with sleep, healing (which takes place during sleep), the medical field, medications and self-medicating, including alcohol and recreational drugs. In the body, the related areas are the feet (containing reflex points that impact one’s entire physiology) and the immune system. On a psychological level, projection, escapism and delusion come into play, as well as pathological lies and playing the victim. Positive expressions of this energy are visualization, prayer, empathy and psychic ability. This is the sign and planet most connected to fear and faith, the opposite side of fear’s coin.
We may be in for extra confusion in the current period courtesy of Mercury, the planet of communication, traveling in reverse in Pisces. This can feel like swimming in circles (the fish chasing its tail). The retrograde began on March 5 with Mercury at 29° Pisces, a degree of selflessness and sometimes of suffering. This likely makes this bout of Mercury Retrograde in Pisces more challenging than some Mercury backtracks in this sign. In addition, Mercury passes by Neptune three times: February 18-19 (depending on your time zone) in the approach to its back-up, March 24 while Retrograde, and April 2 when leaving the back-up range. These are apt to be peaks of Piscean problems or possibilities. Jupiter, which magnifies whatever it’s involved in, is roughly 90 degrees (“square”) Neptune during this time (exact January 13 and June 16) and Mercury will feel Jupiter’s amplification when Mercury is square Jupiter on February 22, March 15 and April 12. The final connection may be most difficult since Jupiter turns Retrograde on April 10 and thus is motionless and exerting additional force.
Other important links for Neptune in this period (which Mercury will also replicate) are a jarring 45-degree “semisquare” with Uranus (exact December 15, 2018 and May 1, 2019), a planet famous for shocks and surprises, and easy 60-degree “sextiles” with two planets in practical, grounding earth signs: Saturn in Capricorn (exact January 19 and June 18) and Mars in Taurus (exact March 10). These sextiles with planets in earth signs are likely to be our saving grace to keep us from going off the deep end. Pisces and Neptune don’t incline us to stick to something but Mars in Taurus won’t let go or give up.
Recommendations for handling these energies:
To satisfy the Uranus-Neptune semisquare, break away from your comfort zone or old established ways and surprise yourself by reaching for a dream. To honor Saturn’s need for maturity and wisdom, don’t go crazy; have a plan or at least a realistic goal. Then bring in the assistance of Mars in Taurus by being persistent and steady in heading toward the finish line. In the process, trust your sixth sense since Mercury in Pisces isn’t good at logic. Use the positive visualization feature: “believe to achieve” and “see it to be it.”
To learn more about Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, watch the February episode of LOOKING UP entitled “Swimming in Stormy Seas.” Some of the other phenomena mentioned in this blog are also addressed in the March episode “Shift Into Spring.”
One more thing: we shouldn’t ignore another major astrological occurrence on March 6, 2019: Uranus enters Taurus for a visit of approximately seven years. It made its first foray into Taurus on May 15, 2018, with Neptune at 16°10’ of Pisces, only one degree from a precise semisquare. At Uranus’s re-entry into Taurus, Neptune is at 16°9’, a nearly exact duplication of the prior set-up. On May 15, 2018, the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii began, a very apt symbol for the shift from a fire to an earth sign for the planet related to volcanoes and explosions in a tension relationship with the planet of the oceans. Literally fire went into the ocean and then created more land (earth). Over the next seven years, expect Mother Nature to give us some significant wake-up calls as Uranus, the “alarm clock” planet, travels through earth sign, Taurus.