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Ken Ward's Astrology Pages

Astrology: Planets NeptuneneptuneS.jpg (1267 Byte), Modern Physics Eastern Religious Teachers, and Depth Psychology

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Neptune: The Great Misunderstood

Of all the astrological planets, it seems that Neptune is the least understood. The reason for this may be that astrologers of the past had to be the kind of person who would do lots of detailed, clearly defined and accurate calculations to produce charts, and this is not something that suits Neptunians! For this reason, those astrologers who interpreted this planet generally did not like or understand the Neptune force. It was considered vague, scatter-brained, delusory, illogical, confusing, inscrutable and deceptive, among other things including just plain crazy.

I have highlighted some of the words below as they relate to Neptune in a non-evaluative sense, and also to illustrate how what appears to be illogical is, in fact, not clearly so.

Explaining the nature is not easy, there are many traps, and it is sometime apparently inscrutable. Neptune can be understood through Einstein's relativity and Max Planck's Quantum Theory. It is also illuminated through Freud's psychoanalysis, Jung's Analytical Psychology, and the teachings of Eastern religious teachers.

Prior to Einstein, it appeared that physics was becoming a completed science, that is, all that was to be known, was known. (This claim is often made in physics, but in the past the claim has been followed by a new beginning in physics). With Einstein, the absolute nature of physics according to Newton became somewhat blurred. For instance, mass became (according to Relativity) not a constant but a variable, which changed according to speed, becoming infinite at the speed of light. Energy and mass became in some ways the same thing (E=mc2), with their boundaries blurred. What were previous constants, clearly defined, became variables.

A pound mass of potatoes could have a mass of a ton, if they travelled at a speed near the speed of light. So what appeared definite, was not definite.

Quantum mechanics went one step further. While Einstein is well-known, Max Planck is not so well known (Neptune tends to hide things). Quantum mechanics tends to be inscrutable because when attempts are made to explain it in normal language without mathematics, the results seem nonsense. There is a famous example of Schroedinger's cat. This is meant to illustrate a part of Quantum Physics. The cat is in a box and there is a poison which is released by chance at some time. In the example, Schroedinger cannot determine whether the cat is alive or dead. There is no way to know whether the poison has been released or not. In the matter illustrated by the story, it is not only true that we do not know whether the cat is alive or dead, but, according to Quantum Theory, it is also true that the cat is both alive and dead, and it is both alive and dead and neither alive or dead, until we open the box . This is clearly illogical. (but true)

Einstein did not believe this. As there were no experiments to prove the result either way, he used a thought experiment (ironically governed by Neptune). He said if two particles, say at the ends of the universe behaved such that once one of them was inspected the other responded to become the opposite, then this would mean that they could communicate instantaneously through unknown mechanisms, and in violation of General Relativity Theory, and such spooky action at a distance is impossible. However, all experiments carried out in recent years have shown that Einstein was wrong and that action at a distance by no known mechanism, as predicted by Quantum Physics, does actually occur.

Quantum Physics is not just some interesting curiosity; it has shown itself to be extremely practical and useful in creating everyday items from computer chips and high tech medical devices to sunglasses and mobile phones. For the average person, Quantum Mechanics has made a far greater practical contribution to modern life than Theories of Relativity. Yet it is weird. When it was first proposed, physicists debated whether something that was apparently based mainly on mathematics rather than on real physical entities could be considered to be physics. They decided it was physics.

In astrology (Larouse Encyclopaedia of Astrology), Neptune is considered to be "associated with those subtle forces that tend to undermine and dissolve the artificial barriers of time, space, egos, and nations". All the modern planets involve transformation. In the case of Neptune, the transformation is often gentle or subtle, as we would expect of a higher octave of Venus. In the examples above, Quantum Theory appears to be something intangible, which cannot be grasped in terms of real things, but is nonetheless extremely powerful in bringing about change and making actual valuable real changes in the world. We may not understand it, and it does not seem to be logical, yet it does make sense (to physicists, even though they sometimes refer to action at a distance as magic).

In the Schroedinger example above, we note that the cat is neither alive or dead, etc. The following is a quote (from memory) of Avalokiteshvara, speaking of the Buddha nature (tathata):

"It does not exist.

Nor does it fail to exist.

Nor does it at once exist and fail to exist.

Nor does it not at once exist and fail to exist."

In our modern world, with educated physicists, we find them claiming much the same thing about entities in Quantum Mechanics. And while the above is strictly illogical, and therefore nonsense, it isn't actually so. No more than Quantum Physics is nonsense.

Also related to Neptune are the depth psychologies. They attempt to understand madness and irrationality. What had previously been thought of as just crazy behaviour, became something that could be understood. The illogical became logical, and the inscrutable, understandable. In the case of Jung, we note his psychology of the collective unconscious, presumably linking (all) things together and referring to the oneness (universality) of all things. In one example, Jung had a patient who was afraid she would be attacked by the birds. After extensive therapy, Jung suggested she join him in the garden, where she was attacked by the birds.

There are many examples of what appears to be irrational and make no sense, yet results in the very thing the person had an intuition about. This is Neptune. Jung referred to archetypes in the mind which have no real basis in reality, but which determine our behaviour and lives.