Neptune is the planet of dreams, faith, imagination and spirituality. The sign it's in during its long 165-year cycle around the Sun describes where we express our highest hopes and how we can delude ourselves with unrealistic expectations. Neptune entered high tech Aquarius in January 1998, and will finally leave this intellectual sign this week, on Feb. 3. There was a brief preview of Neptune in its watery home sign Pisces from April 4 - Aug. 4, 2011, but now it's about to settle in for a 13-year stay.
Neptune in Aquarius was about the illusion that technology and our modern cleverness has somehow managed to do away with the age-old economic cycles of lean years and fat years. The slick financial tricks of repackaging loans and refinancing homes has proven that we are still on a planet of rising and falling tides where change is the only constant. A more rewarding expression of this transit has been the continuing fall of barriers to communication and community. Tweets, texts, Facebook and other online communities are linking humans around the globe, and contributed to the downfall of despotic North African regimes. In the United States, first the Tea Party from the right and the Occupy movement from the left have galvanized communities resistant to maintaining the political status quo.
A weakness of Aquarius, though, can be a lack of compassion in comparison to the high ideals associated with this sign. Our intellectual understanding (associated with brainy Aquarius) has not yet been matched with emotional engagement on a broad scale. Neptune in Pisces, though, connects faith with feelings and helps us dissolve the boundaries between us to create a more caring world. It's ideal for metaphysical exploration, spiritual work, charity and creative imagination. Yes, we may drift off into Fantasyland sometimes, but it's healthier to dream about a better world than to have no dreams at all.
Neptune's difficulty in connecting our higher selves with material reality might appear discouraging, yet there is some excellent astrological news on this subject. In July 2013 (yes, it's next year, so be patient) ambitious Jupiter, realistic Saturn and energetic Mars align in a Grand Trine with Neptune. This harmonious alignment in the emotional Water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces is like a ladder to the sky. It supports Neptune's hopes with vision, reason and passion that can help us to produce miracles. The best way to tap into these productive forces is to make dreaming part of your everyday life. Allowing imagination to run free will certainly take us to some unrealistic places, but it is this very faith in our hearts' and minds' creations that can bring heaven down to Earth.