Since first being spotted by astronomers in 1846, Neptune is readying to complete its first recorded orbit around the Sun. According to NASA, the 165-year orbit of Neptune will be completed (the first completion of its orbit since being discovered) on July 12, 2011.
Congrats, Neptune! But who, exactly, is this gaseous blue planet astrologically? Neptune is associated with our emotional highs and lows, with idealism and compassion but also with (conversely) confusion and deception.
Bil Tierney opens Alive and Well with Neptune with this beautiful passage:
It’s no wonder that astrological Neptune rules unsolved mysteries, because it’s somewhat a mystery why we traditionally associate this planet with a temperamental sea god known for his stormy personality in Greek and Roman mythsâ€”the cultural source of all our planetary symbolism. Isn’t Neptune supposed to be the most spiritually sensitive of all the planetsâ€”a universal pacifist who wouldn’t step on a weed or hurt a fly? Don’t we consider it to be a planet that oozes with empathy and seduces us to completely merge our consciousness with all else that lives, thereby dissolving the illusion that we possess separate identities?
Neptune would rather feed unlimited divine energy to our souls and inspire us to nourish our bodies with a steady diet of fruits, seeds, nuts, and vegetables. Ideally, Neptune won’t kill for meat or endure seeing blood being shed in the name of cruelty or violence. Yet mythological Neptune was no pacifist or peacemaker. He personified the oceanic realm, which is rarely calm or predictable. Its powerful waves crash dramatically against the shoreline’s rocks, and sudden storms at sea create turbulent and dangerous waters.
The actual planet Neptune wasn’t discovered until 1846â€”a milestone that signaled humanity’s readiness to use this planet’s energies with greater social awareness. Perhaps it has taken us several millennia to absorb the kinder, gentler side of this planetary archteype. This aspect of Neptune probably got a boost during the development of Piscean water imagery in the earliest stages of Christianity, with Jesus as a living symbol of all those illuminated traits we now expect from the spiritual-savior side unity-conscious Neptune. This is the side of Neptune all astrologers are familiar withâ€”the one wearing the halo.