Not by accident are the planets named for the gods of Greek and Roman mythology. In early times the sea was not navigable in our modern sense. The voyage of Ulysses, from one end of the Mediterranean to the other was considered worthy of celebration in the greatest poem transmitted to us from antiquity. To the Ancients, the sea, unknown and terrible, swarming with fabulous and appalling monsters, personified the Unknown; and the great river Oceanus which girdled the earth was to them bounded on the other side by the gloomy shores of Hades. The dwellers upon the coasts of Greece and Italy, however many of them living in islands knew the sea in its playful moods, as many gracious legends of Neptune attest. They knew, too, its masquerade of still waters over cruel rock, the treachery of its whirlpool sucking- into a vortex of destruction whatever ventured too near its outer sweep; they knew how currents are denied by surface tide; they had heard the “measureless laughter of the loud sounding sea” and had been deafened by its storm, insatiable, murderous, pitiless. And so the Ancients named that far, strange planet, which girdles the firmament as the salt sea girdles the earth, Neptune. Not by accident but mindful of the ways of the sea and of the symbolism of the god that rules the sea, To arrive at the true valuation of Neptune’s influence in the signs of the Zodiac and upon the native as he comes under the dominion of the signs, the reader must constantly bear in mind the peculiar nature of the planet as distinguished from other planets. Whereas Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Saturn exert their influences chiefly upon man in his mundane capacities, his evolutionary life, Neptune exerts a spiritual influence upon man in the midst of the latter’s mundane existence, for Neptune is the planet of spiritual forces, of the revolutionary spirit itself. Neptune’s influence upon a life dominated wholly or chiefly by physical or materialistic interests is likely to be wholly bad or malefic, while this same influence, stressed upon a life already under a spiritual leading, will be wholly good or benefic. It is the Neptune influence that gives the wings of vision to humanity in its long -struggle out of darkness into the light of eternity. Materialistic persons can think only in relative values of a day, a month, a year at most; intellectually developed persons think in values of a lifetime; but those of our sphere who are spiritually conscious think and work in terms of the eternal; to these a century is as a year, a cycle as a life; they are the true Neptunlans. The materialistic astrologer classes Neptune “malefic, sinister, obscure,” but the enlightened astrologian thoroughly understands that Neptune causes upon this earth and upon its natives the influx of a spiritual element unrelated to strictly earthly affairs. While the other planets are commensurable and deal with the relative, Neptune is incommensurable; he intrudes the absolute. In other words, for those developed spiritually Neptune is wholly “good,” for others he seems wholly “bad.” Neptune stirs the soul to aspiration toward the infinite; the result is that a humanitarian influence is projected by the native for the benefit of humanity’s advance as a whole. On the other hand, for those whose desires cause them to plunge and wallow in the troughs of mere material delights and satisfactions, the Neptune influence is as a lightning bolt that shatters their temples of materialism to the very foundations. Neptune’s orbit, being the outer circle of our known universe, is so vast, the effect of his movement upon the earth is so slow, that we may best consider his influence as negative upon our physical life, and as positive upon our spiritual impulses. He is as an indication of the tendency of the period, the planet of the new era, a barometer of the latter-day Universe. Neptune requires approximately fourteen years to move through a single sign. To give an account of his effects upon humanity would be to write the history of the world. One can gauge him, to some extent, by considering certain events of comparatively recent times. Matters requiring wisdom are usually directed by men of between forty-five and fifty-five years, and the consensus of their influence may be divined from the place of Neptune at their birth. Thus the Revolution of 1848 was brought about by men influenced by Neptune in Libra; they struggled for freedom and justice, but their policy lacked virility, while their methods failed because of indirectness. Similarly, the French Revolution was begun by people influenced by Neptune in Leo, but the generations of preparation toward that event involved people with that planet in Cancer or Gemini. Cromwell’s Neptune was also in Leo. The recent Great War was doubtless due to the influence of people bom with Neptune in Aries; while the rebuilding of civilization has fallen upon those laborious and Initiative men and women for whom Neptune works through Taurus and Gemini. The scientific advance of the Nineteenth Century was due to pioneers stimulated by Neptune in Capricorn; and the fruits of their labors were gathered by men born with Neptune in Aquarius. Neptune was in Pisces, influencing the artistic, psychic decadent generation of the Nineties. Times when skeptical thought attacks tradition by purely intellectual methods and makes constructive work possible are those influenced by Neptune in Gemini. Immanuel Kant, who destroyed the old philosophy, Voltaire, who destroyed the old religion, and their contemporaries were of such a generation. Neptune, being the planet of spiritual forces, is always revolutionary. Forever he quickens the old life and increases the new life; the principle is the same; only the material varies according; to the signs through which he moves. Because of the character of Neptune and the long period of time it requires to pass through a single sign, its influence upon the individual is very dependent upon its position and aspect to other planets. It is, therefore, obviously unnecessary to go into a lengthy account of its effect upon the indivdual in the twelve signs.
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