Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Spiritualism, Plague and Astrology

As you know, astrology works through metaphor and imagery. You arrive at an understanding of a sign or a planet elliptically, and a story unfolds through the multiple elements weaving together. But all combinations have the potential to tell different stories.

So for example, consider Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is the lord of the sea and Pisces, the Fishes, is his
Cora Hatch was the most popular
American"trance lecturer" during the 185Os.
own sign. One of the qualities of this is boundlessness, the dissolving of boundaries. Pisces is the final sign of the Zodiac where everything is dispersed into the numinous. This could easily be a decade of much greater spirituality, or simply an interest in communicating with the dead. Neptune in Pisces is also a combination that promises illusion, deception, wonder.

So it's not surprise to find that the Spiritualist Movement  became wildly popular in 185Os as Neptune last went into Pisces. Huge crowds would go to see seances and "trance lectures". The Fox Sisters, the "Rochester Rappers", who started it off in 1848 just as Neptune was changing signs, were later revealed as frauds, but undoubtedly some practitioners were genuine. This seems to be rather a Neptune in Pisces story then: although it starts as smoke and mirrors, a real truth is revealed by spiritualists, and indeed many of the ideas that developed then have become orthodoxies of the New Age. The problem, as always, is when you mix the spiritual with money.


But here's a completely different story told by  Neptune in Pisces. It a tale of contagion, which is about the dissolution of proper boundaries, and particularly through water, the domain of Pisces. In the 185Os, while Neptune was last in Pisces, millions of people died, particularly in Russia in the cholera pandemic. Cholera spreads when human faeces adulterates the drinking water – in other words when the proper boundaries are not maintained between sewage and sippage.

On the upside, in 1854, when Dr John Snow correctly traced the cause of a cholera outbreak in London to a street pump, Neptune was still in Pisces. Scientific, structured Saturn was in detail-oriented, information-gathering Gemini, squaring that Neptune. Snow was a pioneer of epidemiology and he reached his conclusion by painstakingly mapping outbreaks in Soho, a perfect expression of Saturn in Gemini. Previously, cholera had been attributed to bad air, not bad water.

Another pandemic that took place under Neptune in Pisces was the Plague of Justinian which started in 541. Historians believe as many as 1OO million people died worldwide during this pandemic. About a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean was wiped out. At its height five to ten thousand people were said to be dying every day in Constantinople, the city that straddles the boundary between Europe and Asia. (In an spooky parallel with today, Pluto was in Capricorn, Saturn in Scorpio, and by 543, Jupiter was in Cancer and the nodes were in Scorpio-Taurus.)

The Black Death (1348-5O), during which as much as half the population of Europe died, was not under Neptune in Pisces, you will be glad to read. Neptune was in Aquarius at the time, another sign associated with universality. The disease spread through fleas jumping from one person to the next, not through drinking water. However, Saturn, the Grim Reaper, was in Pisces. In fact, Saturn was sweeping from Neptune in Aquarius to Pluto and Uranus in Aries during those plague years, connecting disease to death.

Here are some jollier posts on Neptune in Pisces.

12 Ways to Feel the Magic of Neptune in Pisces
Brotherhood of Romantics
Reading Pisces

9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I don't want to be a scaremonger, but I have been thinking about the serious problem with antibiotics at the moment & I guess I'm going to be careful about what water I'm drinking.

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  2. astroparadise26 June 2013 00:36

    Dan Brown's latest book called Inferno, which is about a water-bound plague planted and released in Constantinople in an effort to control the current population explosion, is exactly like your article about the great plagues of history. Although his book is a work of fiction, it is eerily like your article. Perhaps Neptune in Pisces has influenced his writing!

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  3. This was a great read! I love the linkage of astrology with historical events!
    What also maybe interesting to note, in our currant state of affairs in this astrological climate, is Fluoride in our drinking water- In Australia, now being linked to Thyroid disease. Also the lack of Iodine in our grounds soil where our food/veggies are being grown..also linking to Thyroid complications in mainly woman.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Thanks for that. Neptune is about poison too, and mystery illnesses. You often find a square from Neptune with cancer diagnoses.

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  4. Loved this article. I just love how the symbolism of astrology ties in with historical events. Can you say more about squares from Neptune and cancer?
    I specially liked what you said here: "although it starts as smoke and mirrors, a real truth is revealed"
    I guess Neptune has a very round about way of reaching the truth. It sure lives by the journey is more important than the destination.
    Also, what's your opinion on Neptune/Pisces and the field of astrology? Do you see/sense many changes in how astrologer/astrology will change (if it does change)?
    Thanks for posting!

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  5. Neptune in airy Aquarius, and the fleas leapt through the air -- only an inch or two, but that's a lot longer than a flea :)

    In the US, there's an island off of Long Island that's historically been used to stash the results of biological experimentation (think biological warfare.) One wonders if they've finally come up with simething airborne, and enough of those delusional prats in office think it won't effect them.

    Such a little ray of sunshine I am today :)

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  6. Fascinating - and a wee bit frightening.

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