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METAPHYSICAL NEPTUNE

by Gary Brand - written May 9, 2008,
published in the June 2008 edition of Echo* newspaper

Neptune and its moon Triton as crescents - we will never
see them as crescents from Earth! Neptune and its largest moon Triton as crescents, taken as the Voyager 2 spacecraft departed the planet in 1989.  We will never see them this way from Earth because they are so distant from us and Earth is so close to the Sun (from the distance of Neptune's orbit) that we always see them fully illuminated by the Sun.  Only Mercury and Venus, with orbits inside Earth's, can appear as a crescent like this from our perspective on Earth.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
his article is one of a series about the metaphysical and esoteric meanings of the planets that focuses on the metaphysics of Neptune, the first planet discovered by calculation and the eighth planet from the Sun.  According to Greek myth (F.G., p. 88 (1968)), Cronus (Saturn) and Rhea had three sons:  Hades (Pluto), Poseidon (Neptune) and Zeus (Jupiter).  After Jupiter liberated his brothers and sisters from the stomach of their father and vanquished him, Jupiter assumed his father’s role, but as ruler of a new Olympian-dominated dynasty represented by six great gods and six great goddesses, which symbolized the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).  Saturn and his Titan siblings (the first pantheon, represented by 12 deities symbolizing the 12 signs of the zodiac) were jealous and wanted to reassume their dominion over Heaven and Earth so they waged a ten-year war with the Olympian pantheon.  After his triple victories (three trials in succession is a divine test) over the Titans, then the giants born of Uranus’ blood when Saturn castrated his father, then the monster Typhoeus (with the same root as typhoid fever), Jupiter became the unchallenged dominant deity in Greek cosmology.  Nonetheless, Jupiter drew lots with his elder brothers for dominion of three realms:  Jupiter became ruler of the heavens, Neptune ruler of the sea and Pluto ruler of the underworld and afterlife.

In Greek myth, sea divinities only spoke when they had to but they were prophetic so people and deities wanted to know what they could see of the future.  However, they could also change shape at will so they were difficult to capture or “pin down” (a Neptune trait, along with prophecy).  They could raise or quiet the waves, symbolizing Neptune’s nature of peace and tranquility versus its active emotions of fear (of the unknown) and ecstasy.

Leave it to science and history to confirm what astrologers have deduced about the nature of this elusive (a Neptune keyword) planet.  When Neptune was close to Jupiter in 1613, Galileo actually observed it through his telescope on two successive nights but thought it was a star, even though he noticed that it moved slightly in relation to a nearby star.  Previous nights were cloudy and on subsequent nights it was out of his field of view because he was observing Jupiter.  Had he seen it on more than two nights, it would not have escaped (Neptune keyword) his attention and he would have realized that it was a planet.  Instead, Neptune was first discovered in 1846 very near the locations independently calculated by Adams and LeVerrier but the orbits calculated by them diverged from Neptune’s actual orbit fairly quickly.  If the search for the planet had been a few years earlier or later it would have again evaded (Neptune keyword) discovery because it wouldn’t have been near the predicted location.  Neptune has huge hurricanes (like Neptune's Great Dark Spot) that disappear (a Neptune keyword) over time (unlike Jupiter’s Great Red Spot).  Neptune's moon Triton is the only large satellite in the solar system to orbit a planet in a retrograde direction – opposite to the rotation of the planet – and scientists have described this moon’s “cantaloupe topography” as enigmatic (a Neptune keyword).  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.

The glyph or pictograph of Neptune most commonly used is the three-pronged trident that was the scepter or staff representing Neptune’s power.  The trident of the glyph surmounts the cross of matter and time.  This glyph signifies that the divine energy represented by Neptune is rooted in material form, meaning that it is from the perspective of living in a finite physical body and linear lifespan that we evolve to a higher plane of consciousness with the divine ability to “see” beyond time and space.  Elisabeth Haich describes the 6th level of consciousness (six of seven levels of vibration) as that of the prophet, because it is "... the plane of divine wisdom and universal love... of divine unity" (Id., p. 215).  Unity (becoming “one” with something/someone) is a primary aspiration represented by Neptune in our birth chart.  Those souls who raise their consciousness to or consistently resonate at this level can experience multiple times and places in what we call the linear time continuum simultaneously.  In other words, they can be in more than one place and time.  The 6th level of consciousness is an apt description of Neptune, the planetary representative of this level, although Jupiter represented this level before being supplanted by Neptune.

Modern-day astrologers sometimes describe Neptune as the “higher octave” of Venus because Neptune represents universal, unconditional love, whereas Venus symbolizes physical, romantic love.  Through the powerful experience of true empathy (Neptune keyword) with another being who is suffering or sacrificing (both Neptune keywords) – and this means suffering or sacrificing right along with them – we can redeem ourselves for those times when we fail to live up to our divine potential, represented by Neptune in our birth chart.

Many modern astrologers assign rulership of Pisces to Neptune and throw out the traditional ruler, Jupiter, who ruled Pisces for more than 2,200 years.  This association worked fine for most masters of astrology so traditional astrologers like me are unwilling to expatriate Jupiter from his domicile in Pisces, even if it is his secondary home.

Neptune’s orbital period is 165 tropical years, so many of us will never experience some astrological aspects or angular influences from the transiting or moving Neptune to planets in our birth chart.  Transiting Neptune opposes the position of Neptune in our birth chart during our early eighties. This period of our lives is the ideal time to demonstrate compassion and universal love for others and wisdom about the human condition (demonstrating that we are divine, radiant, spiritual beings confined in a physical body).
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Reference Citations.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, spiritual and other realities that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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