2022–10–23 Radio Show Transcript — Neptune and the USA chart (October 23, 2022) | Astrologer Bill Attride
(If you wish to listen to the show instead, here is the link on BlogTalk or Apple Podcasts)
In my previous show on October 2 nd, I had hoped to talk about both the Pluto return to its Natal position in the USA chart and Neptune’s opposition to its Natal position too. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to do both, so we should consider today’s show as part two of that previous show.
But we will need to keep in mind, that in order to discuss and understand any one of what I call the Triad of Spirit, “The Three in One” of Pluto, Neptune, or Uranus, that we will only understand any one of them when we also see that each one is necessary to the other two, as they are principal Avatars of the Integral nature of Spirit in our system.
Triad of Spirit — Pluto — Neptune — Uranus
I like to think of these three in this manner. Pluto is the holder of the Will and shapes and molds every Energy-Form into a definite or defined Container of Spirit, (whether that be a monad, atom, cell, organism, planet, or star). Neptune is the holder of the Universal Energy-Form of Unconditional Love, which is the Energy-Substance at the root of all or the One. This Love of the One is the root source of the Spirit-Life-Consciousness for every particle of Creation. And Uranus, is the holder of the Quintessence of Spirit, because each and every particle of Creation is also an Individual. By this we also know that all of Creation is formed by the innumerable individual sparks of the Divine, every one of which is following their Swabhāva to be and become a unique instance or expression of the One Divine Light.
What we have been discussing (for quite some time) is that two of these Avatars of Spirit have made critical alignments in the USA chart. Pluto has reached the end of its first cycle of 245 years around the Solar System and has returned to Pluto’s Natal position in 2022. The USA is experiencing its first ever Pluto return, and this is most important as we discussed last time. Meanwhile, Neptune is opposite to its natal position, as it was only once before from 1858–1859. The combination of these two alignments, (along with the influences emanating through Uranus), can illuminate and guide us through the moment we are in now.
For today, let us look at the importance of Neptune in the USA chart, and the cycle of its messaging for the past, and how that may guide us here today. What we need to appreciate is that Neptune has one of the most significant placements in the chart of the USA, being close to the midheaven (the realm of destiny) and located in the 9 thhouse of Law, Truth, and Belief, what I like to understand as the house of Storytelling.
Neptune is the avatar of the ultimate and universal energy-form, which is Spirit-Life-Consciousness, and it is this which forms the most infinitesimal of particles on up to the heavenly hosts, and that is why we should understand and experience the Creation as quite literally the Body of the One. There is but One Spirit, there is but One Life, and there is but One Mind, and it holds the whole of Creation as one, (all the innumerable ones held as One), and every one of us is made of this Energy-form that you know and feel as Divine, Unconditional Love. It is by this Energy-Form that the boundaries between the hierarchies and ranges of entities becomes translucent, transcended, and ultimately dissolved. By Neptune you come to your spiritual heart, as you walk the path of awakening to experience the blessings of cosmic consciousness, which is made manifest as love, compassion, and empathy between one another and really between all life-forms in the cosmos.
But just as we have seen that the Will of Pluto can be misapplied and lead to the violation of sacred spaces, leading to the sin of trespassing and great harm done to other souls, Neptunian energies may trigger and form, (by the misunderstanding or misapplication of this dissolving/transcending energy-form), a cacophony of fantasies, illusions, delusions, and deceptions. We have had historical periods of a greater shared understanding, where what I call our “Bubbles of Belief” align and agree with one another. And we have experienced times of confusion, doubt, and greater misunderstandings too.
But the divisions we are experiencing in the present day, the breakdown of common understandings and the growing divide between various peoples within communities, between regions and countries, has cast a shadow of fear, doubt, and confusion upon our world. We have reached a yawning abyss where we cannot seem to agree on what is fiction and what is fact, of what is “really real”. What we are experiencing is not a local but world-wide breakdown, and this does happen periodically, especially whenever Neptune moves through the sign of Pisces like now.
And though this might seem wholly negative, again there lies part of our delusion and confusion. There is a very spiritual purpose that drives this moment in Neptune’s cycle, and it is this: we are being inspired to move into a more inclusive form of consciousness. But the path to this greater understanding requires that we have to go through a period where we are confused, because it is only then that we will let go of our limited understandings, so that we might perceive beyond the dark clouds of fear, and so be able to see revealed a new and higher and more inclusive and loving way to understand ourselves and our world.
Neptune in Mundane Astrology
For our purposes today, we need to consider Neptune’s role for Mundane or Worldly Astrology, which is that Neptune is the chalice or vessel for the dream of any nation, it is the Avatar for the stories and myths that inform and explain the character of that political-cultural order. For the USA, one of the most distinguishing features of its founding myth is the claim that it is special or exceptional. In the National Seal for the USA, we can see that the founders believed that they were engaged in an enterprise that was uniquely different, and they declared to the world that the USA was to be a “New Order for the Centuries”. Unlike other nations, the USA would be a land for people from around the world, and that it would be founded upon a new type of political ordering, it would be a “covenant nation”.
The Neptunian ideal for the USA was established upon Universal Principles, in that it would be unique and not like any other nation. Historically, nations were founded upon parochial or limited determinations, whether of being made of one particular people, or by one heritage or ethnicity, or by one faith. The USA claimed that it would be a land where Freedom, Tolerance and Community would be proclaimed and protected for all peoples; it would be a new type of nation formed by the many creeds and by the many cultures of humanity.
USA — A Covenant Nation
The heart of this creation of a new type of nation was the principle of a covenant community. The USA would be founded upon the truth that each individual’s self-fulfillment is dependent upon, and really is only made possible by being a member of the community. This principle was stated in our first document, The Declaration of Independence, which says that we, “Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor”.
This declaration was a forging of a new covenant. The principle enshrined by the Declaration, and later by the Constitution, is that in order to create this new space of individual freedom and self-fulfillment would require that the members of this sacred community would have to agree to work within a social-political system of mutual consent. This would create a space of freedom and justice for every individual, but to do this we would need to forge an integral balance between our individual liberties with our communal responsibilities. Our freedoms would be protected, but we agreed to circumscribe our individual freedom to preserve our communities too. In the USA, all previous privileges would be removed, so that we were not beholden to any lord, king, or master; we were creating a freely formed, self-determined society based on equality of all before the law. In the USA, only the Law would be our King, and all would be equal before the law.
The Promise Broken
But of course, what was held up as the founding ideal of the USA was never made real at that time, or even now some 250 years later. From the moment of “first contact” by Christopher Columbus in 1492, to the final massacre of native people at Wounded Knee in 1890, the near extinction of the native peoples was one part of the broken promise of equality and justice for all. The other original sin for the USA was the enslavement of African people until 1865, and their denial of full citizenship by one means or another even down to the present day. The Karmic Question the USA faces today is quite simply this, “How do we make right over 500 years of Genocide; how to we make right over 400 years of Racism?”
Yes, we are at a turning, and Neptune, the holder of dreams and myths, of illuminations and delusions, has returned to the position it held as the United States faced its greatest existential and spiritual crisis formed by the division into two visions or myths of America, whether to be Slave or Free, in the Civil War. The question was then and quite remarkably but not surprisingly is also the same now, “will the fundamental spiritual truth, that all humans are created equal, and should be treated as equal with love and compassion be made our reality or not”?
Neptune’s Turning Points
In order to frame our understanding of what we are faced with today, we need to examine our history, and the other turning points in Neptune’s cycle through the chart of the USA. Neptune’s orbit is about 163 years, and it will align with the USA Neptune every 40 years or so for the more significant or so-called “hard” aspects, the dates for which are: 1816–17, 1857–58, 1897–98, 1938–39, 1980–81, and now 2021–22. Most important, are the Oppositions and Returns to the natal placement. The first and only return of Neptune to its natal position was 1938–39; and the two oppositions in USA history were 1857–58 and the opposition we are experiencing in 2021–22.
Opposition of Neptune to Neptune
The opposition should be understood as the revelation and outcome of that variation of expression from the first or natal imprinting and then any succeeding returns. The seed planted in 1776 of Neptune’s “Dream of America” became fully revealed in the first opposition (like a Full Moon) of 1857–58. From Neptune’s embodiment of the dream of America in 1776, “That all men are created equal…”, a political and economic system formed in which a very small number of white, property-owning men would hold and wield power. And it would turn out that a great many of them had secured and maintained their wealth and power through owning other humans as property. But an ever-growing divide of the ways of economic life, and in culture and spirituality, between the planter society and the rest of the USA forged an existential crisis in the USA, as two very different Neptunian dreams of America came to a climatic confrontation during the 1850’s over a fundamental question: Would the USA continue as and forever be a “slave labor country” or not?
The Opposition of 1857–1858
The Neptune Opposition of 1857–58 laid bare the ever-advancing power of the slaveholding states in the Congress and over the Supreme Court. This was most clearly revealed in 1857 by the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court. This decision determined that forever more the USA would be a slave country, because a white man’s property was more important than human lives, and so the law of the land would be that “slaves and descendants of slaves were never, nor would they ever be citizens, and that they would remain the permanent property of their masters”. Slavery would be forever…
As a consequence of this clear division of the two America’s laid bare by the Supreme court’s decision, and by the Legislative power of the slaveholding states, Lincoln spoke of this division within the country, between the slave states and the free states, when he declared, “that a house divided from itself cannot stand”. He proposed that this division would be solved one way or another, and that the US would either become a nation where in every state all humans would be free and equal, or that in every state there would be slavery and inequality forever.
Of course, what happened was the Civil War, and the abolition of slavery and amendments to the constitution to establish a more just and equal society. But the period known after the Civil War witnessed the ever-increasing erosion of that more just order, until by local laws and common practice the dream of a more just America was denied again.
Neptune’s Return 1938–39
Astrologers consider any planetary return like a “New Moon”, a seeding of a new variation of the energy-form that for that planet, Neptune for us now. This would mean that a new beginning was formed during the presidency of FDR, with his efforts to restore the USA economy after the Great Depression, while he equally led the USA to prepare for the existential confrontation with the rise of Fascism in Europe and Asia in World War II.
What is quite remarkable about this moment, as it will be in the next two Neptunian alignments, was it was at this time accompanied by the Pluto opposition to Pluto; the remarkable synchronicity and messaging for the USA at this time led to a restatement and rebirth for the promise of the USA, so that a renewed effort and struggle was begun to extend equality before the law and have a more or less equal opportunity for self-fulfillment.
Dream Renewed — The New Deal
Roosevelt’s New Deal was supposed to be a Fair Deal for all Americans, but of course this was not at all true for the South, and for many communities throughout the country, where local laws and customs continued to disenfranchise a great many people. But it was true that during FDR’s term, and for many years thereafter, the general growth of prosperity in the United States was more or less fairly shared by the entire population. The commitment to a Liberal State form of governance, from the 1940’s into the 1970’s, created a lifting tide of economic prosperity, where that rising tide was seen as, “lifting all boats”. It certainly was not perfect, but there was a general feeling that there was more equity, balance, and fairness in how we created and shared our well-being with one another.
But something began to change in the 1970’s and then most certainly in the 1980’s. You might wonder, what changed? What happened to the New Deal and the Dream of America?
Neptune Square, 1980–1981
There had been a general consensus in the 40’s and 50’s for both major political parties that the modern liberal order was the answer. But as the struggle for civil rights in the 1950’s and 1960’s led to the passage of the Civil Rights act, which overturned the local and state laws denying full citizenship to many, there rose up a counter-revolution to the liberal consensus. It came under the guise of an economic theory, called neo-Liberalism, and its main thrust was articulated by the president-elect in 1980, Ronald Reagan, who ran on the slogan that the problem with America was the Federal Government. Once again, America was a at a turning, and once again the planets were at a turning too. If fact Neptune squared Neptune, and Pluto squared Pluto at this time. Remember, a Square presents a choice; it holds both an opportunity and danger. The opportunity is to rise to the challenge with love and faith, or to react with fear and literally fall backwards.
This Neptune-to-Neptune square of 1980–81 should be seen as the reaction or counter-revolution to Roosevelt’s New Deal for Americans. But what was the result of following the policies of neo-liberalism, of less government? How can we see or measure the benefit or the cost? The rise of neo-liberalism led to a dramatic shift of income and wealth in the country. The distribution of the growth of wealth from 1940 to 1980 is starkly different than that from 1980 to 2022. If you look at the economic picture of these two periods in USA history, it is like you are viewing two completely different countries. The reason is that choices were made to turn away from fairness for the many, and to promote rampant self-interested beliefs and actions that led to selfishness, greed, and great wealth for the few, and the result was the decimation of the middle class and the poor. Today, we have a country that is divided into the very wealthy few, a shrinking upper and middle class, and finally the rest who are just struggling to survive.
2021–22 Neptune Opposition (and Pluto Return)
We find ourselves at the next great turning of Neptune (and of Pluto) here in 2021 and 2022. We are most certainly experiencing great divisions between various members and sectors of our country. It is quite remarkable that just like in the 1850’s, when Neptune was opposite to itself, and when Pluto was squaring Pluto, that we can see that the very same existential questions are before us once more: Who is an American, who gets to decide, and are we equal to one another?
As I spoke of in my last show, we are at this moment in order to address the question of the Pluto return, which is “what is the essential value of the USA”? I stated then and would reiterate here that the heart of value for our nation (and really any nation) is the people.
And we are also at a “Full Moon” for Neptune, just like in the period of 1857–58. Neptune is posing the question, “what is the Dream of America”? With Neptune once again in Pisces, the spiritual inspirations of Unconditional love are resurgent now, and many are working to meet the challenge of this moment by their commitment to increasing social justice, of trying to build new bridges of understanding and care for one another.
But we are also, just like before, experiencing the veil between realms becoming much thinner now because of Neptune in Pisces, and as much as we can hear the calling of our better angels when we turn to and are guided by our gentle, loving higher self, we are also witnessing that for many the images and feelings that are being evoked, that they are founded not upon faith but in fear, and from these dark shadows we are confronted with the mounting dangers of confusion, misunderstandings, delusions, and deceptions.
We are divided in so many ways, but principally it is because our American Dream of equality and justice, which is the foundation for self-determination and self-fulfillment, has become increasingly unreachable for more and more Americans. We cannot live our Neptunian dream without a functioning democracy. We do not have that, we cannot have that, when wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of so very few individuals, families, and companies. As many have noted, the USA is an Oligarchy, a political and economic system that is ruled by Plutocrats.
We are going through a spiritual crisis, and the struggle by so many to try and understand, to try to do what is loving and good, well that is what gives me hope. The challenge is for each and every one of us to remember where our true wealth lies, it is founded in our love for one another. If we can understand that the secret to our happiness and well-being depends upon everyone being enabled to realize their fuller potential, then we will rise together into a better world.
The question at the cusp of our Civil War is the same question we face today, “will the fundamental spiritual truth, that all humans are created equal, and should be treated as equal with love and compassion, will that be made our reality or not”?
Let us face this moment as we must, with the faith, love, and wisdom that is held by the eternal truths and light of the One, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference holds us all as one.