the Samhain period of 1845, John Couch Adams of St Johns College
Cambridge sent a paper to George Airy stating the proposed location
of a trans-Uranian planet based on calculations done on the eccentricity
of Uranus@#146; orbit. Two or three evenings@#146; assiduous work
devoted to the search would not therefore have failed to make the
look at the manner in which a planet is discovered to get impressions
on how it affects human beings. The first two things that are striking
about Neptune are that it was discovered by a collective of scientists,
and that there isn@#146;t a precise date for its discovery (very
collective of astronomers named the planet Neptune. Because of the
nature of its discovery, astrologers assigned this planet to the
rulership of the sign Pisces, maintaining Jupiter as co-ruler. In
Graeco-Roman mythology, the god Neptune is master of the sea, underground
rivers and water basins. He is also known as the "Earthshaker"
because of his association with earthquakes. Neptune displaced the
Great Goddess Tethys as ruler of the oceans and primal source of
life when Zeus replaced Chronos and Rhea, becoming the dominant
god of the Greek pantheon, heralding the Age of the Olympians.
astrologers use the mythos of both Tethys and Neptune when talking
about the influences of this trans-Uranian planet. Since its discovery,
the planet Neptune has been given many feminine attributes, along
with the obvious male ones associated with the god.
two decades before the discovery of Neptune, western culture entered
the Romantic Era, so named by contemporary artists and musicians
because of its emphasis of emotional content rather than intellectual
substance. It was also a time when Europeans started to look for
their "lost" cultural and mythological roots. In Britain
and Ireland, a Celtic Twilight movement was starting.
1843 the ballet Ondine was premiered; in one scene the heroine
dances with her shadow, an indication of unconscious forces becoming
apparent within the psyche. The following year saw the first collection
of Norwegian folk tales published, and within another couple of
years, the Kalevala, a group of myths as important to the
cultural identity of the Finns as the Mabinogion is to the
Welsh, was published. Again, neglected mythologies were rediscovered
and made accessible. Neptune rules the collective unconscious and
in this resurgence of mythology we see his influence becoming apparent
in the society.
year that Neptune was discovered, Franz Liszt composed Les Preludes.
This gave birth to a new musical idiom, the Symphonic Poem. This
art form endeavors to create, in a non-concrete form, a concrete
story, allowing the listeners to hear and FEEL the composer@#146;s
emotional response to a piece of literature or poetry. Richard Strauss
was to bring this form to maturation in Thus Spake Zarathustra,
a musical acknowledgement of Nietzsche and Gnosticism.
the re-emergence of the primacy of emotion came a renaissance of
the feminine - Grandes Dames held Salons throughout Europe, and
independent women were supporting artists, poets, writers and composers.
The Duchess of Alba was one of the patrons of Francesco Goya; Clara
Weick nurtured the talents of her husband, Robert Schumann, and
was the most important person in the life of Johannes Brahms. And
at this time, the most significant and influential monarch Britain
has known since the House of Tudor sat on the Stone of Scone - Queen
literature, the feminine influence was even more profoundly felt.
In 1847 two sisters, daughters of a quiet English clergyman, had
their novels published. Charlotte Bronte@#146;s Jane Eyre
is the story of a woman@#146;s personal transformation set within
the framework of the Gothic Romance currently, and significantly,
enjoying popularity. Within its pages is an analysis of women@#146;s
feelings, explored in an unprecedentedly direct manner.
sister Emily@#146;s Wuthering Heights is a novel about a
man and woman@#146;s helplessness before the forces of their own
natures and passions. Catherine Earnshaw shows a woman torn between
her societal responsibilities and her deepest personal needs. Her
failure to reconcile these issues is eventually completely self-destructive.
Heathcliffe stands alongside Shakespeare@#146;s Macbeth and Othello,
and Marlowe@#146;s Faustus, as one of the great tragic figures of
English literature. Had Wuthering Heights been written by
a man, Heathcliffe would have died nobly but tragically because
of his love and passion for Catherine. Emily Bronte has a far more
subtle, but possibly even more tragic ending for her novel.
influence can be clearly seen in both Jane Eyre and Wuthering
Heights. In the former novel, Jane goes through self-sacrifice
similar to that of Psyche from Greek legend, to find fulfilment
in personal love. One of Neptune@#146;s effects is to take a person
away from the boundaries of the ego. This can be shown in the Gnostic
version of the Crucifixion and in Odin@#146;s own self-sacrifice
to his higher self to learn the knowledge of the runes (in Teutonic
language "rune" means secret). Jane achieves this through
her perseverance, going against the dictates of society and her
own fears and prejudices, finding conjugal love with Rochester.
and Heathcliffe show us the other, more destructive side, of the
planet. Neptune@#146;s affiliation with Tethys can take us into
primordial regions which can be destructive to the ego. The passions
Heathcliffe and Catherine experience for each other were never grounded
and sublimated; unlike Janes, and instead of achieving love, they
the time of the discovery of a new planet, the portents in the external
world are always great. In my previous article in this series, I
discussed, amongst other issues, how the first effects of Uranus
were felt in the French Revolution. The major crisis around the
discovery of Neptune was the emancipation of slavery. In the early
1850s, civil war erupted in the United States over this issue. Within
two decades, slavery had nearly been abolished from the majority
of European colonies. Since that period, humanity has succeeded
in eradicating slavery, at least in its overt form.
above, so below. As within, so without. Through acceptance of one@#146;s
intense emotional desires and frustrations, Neptune can liberate
the slave within. The process of achieving personal transformation
through Neptune is that of the Hanged Man in the tarot, or of Odin
himself. This initiatory journey is one of pain, leading to ecstasy