I've been meaning to talk about Neptune going back into Pisces, which it will re-enter in February of 2012, (after a brief visit there from this past April 2011, until last Saturday, August 6th). 

Since 1998, Neptune, the planet of confusion, illusion and delusion, has been in the sign Aquarius, the sign that rules our rational minds, and "truth".  Aquarius is the energy that rules "the witness"; An ability to detach and see things clearly, not distorted by emotions or personal opinions. It is affiliated with the 7th chakra.  However, just as viewing something that is underwater can distort its true size and shape, it seems Neptune in Aquarius has been distorting our perceptions of truth and reality.

It does seem to me that since 1998, "truth" has been distorted in politics, mortgages, the business world, on television and in the news.  Everything seems like a distortion of the truth!  Even a simple cell phone or cable bill seems to be a distortion of the original contract you thought you signed.

A few months ago, back in April, Neptune moved into Pisces, it's home sign, for the first time since the mid-1800's.  In Pisces the better qualities of Neptune's energy is expressed: unconditional love, compassion and intuition.  I would like to think that with Neptune in Pisces, illusions will be in their rightful place!  Like art, movies, music, etc.  Giving us healthy "escapes". 

However, other illusions will be seen for just what they are: illusions. This could be met with resistance by those who would like to "keep certain illusions alive".  Such is what happened during the Civil War.  To realize that maintaining a certain lifestyle (such as life on a plantation) would mean one would have to keep on holding onto the "illusion" that certain people and races are "beneath" others, and that it is okay to oppress certain peoples.  Asking some people to give up this "illusion" was met with such resistance that things became violent.  Hence the Civil War.

My hope is that this time around, we can see the "illusions" for what they are without resorting to violence or revolution.  However, Neptune went retrograde on June 2nd, the day after that first summer eclipse at 11 degrees Gemini, with ruling planet Mercury conjunct the Pleiades="blindness".  It seems that everyone is more than happy to turn a "blind eye" to the truth once more.

Neptune goes direct on November 8th of this year, but won't go back into Pisces until February of 2012.  I would imagine it might be a good idea to take anything labeled as "truth" with a grain of salt until then!  We will be revisiting the mistakes and illusions we've been holding onto as truths since 1998.

In an attempt for some clarity on current events, I wanted to share an addendum (to his blog on the Uranus/Pluto square) on the debt ceiling written by Astrologer Jim Sher, (with my comment in between):

ADDENDUM:  by Astrologer Jim Sher  http://www.sherastrology.com/2011/08/the-coming-square-between-uranus-and-pluto/

"For fun, I’d like to say a little about the history of the debt ceiling. To me, it ought to be something that each person with an opinion about the recent debt ceiling debacle would need to understand.

How many countries in the World have a debt ceiling? Two, the U.S. and Denmark. But Denmark has set an impossibly high number so it never comes into play, which leaves only the U.S. as having a real debt ceiling.

Why don’t other countries have one? Because other countries recognize that if a Legislature approves bills that result in the government bringing in less money than is going out, that it will have to borrow money to do so. If that government decides to change its approach to debt, it must take action to do so, but this would not mean that it no longer owes the money that previous Legislatures approved. The fact is that our present Congress has behaved like a deadbeat, refusing to pay the bills on what it owes. It’s sort of like going to the store and buying a nice stereo,

(***Leslie: Or approving spending on a war)

....then using it a while, and then saying you don’t want it anymore so you announce to the people you owe the money to that you’ve decided not to pay the debt. 

(***Leslie: Or deciding the only way to pay that debt is by getting rid of your health insurance policy, i.e. getting rid of medicare/medicaid, etc.)

...Gee, that sure does breed confidence in the person who is owed the money, doesn’t it?

(***Leslie:  And this highlights my point about "distortions of the truth".  For instance, I often hear politicians say that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid make up more than 60% of Federal "spending", and it's often brought up when discussing our nation's debt to insinuate that we should eliminate these programs in order to get out of debt.  However, it's a distortion of the truth.  Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare have nothing to do with our national debt. To say SS and Medicare programs are the problem is like realizing that 60% of of your paycheck goes towards your health insurance and your mortgage, then deciding to cancel your health insurance and moving out of your house and into a tent in order to pay off your credit card bills. There is a difference between "budget" and "spending". But our politicians and leaders continue to "distort the truth" and "confuse the public" on issues like these in order to push their agendas through. And It's as though, since 1998, we've lost our ability to look at things clearly from a detached point of view, and buy into the emotion behind the distortions.)...

When did the debt ceiling begin? It began in 1917 during WWI and was called the Second Liberty Bond Act. It was put into place so that Congress did not have to authorize every new issue of debt. But it was always assumed to be a mere formality for the same reasons as what I’ve written above.

How many times has the debt ceiling been raised? Since 1960, it has been raised 78 times and done so as a formality.

All of this means that the ‘crisis’ was made out of whole cloth. It was invented and to me, was an act of shooting oneself in the foot. It was not caused by debt. Yes, we have a debt problem that must be dealt with, so why would I make such a declaration? Because right now, the World is loaning money to the U.S. more cheaply than ever before. It was considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in the world’s currency. UNTIL NOW, that is. It is still considered to be in much better shape than the Euro and other European currencies.

We don’t know all the effects of the debt ceiling ‘crisis’, other than the fact that S&P has downgraded the nation from its highest designation of AAA to AA+. There is some controversy about S&P itself given the fact that other countries who they still give their highest rating to are more suspect than we are. Also, there is the fact that they completely blew it in 2008 as they had no idea about the state of the economy that was about to enter the huge crisis we all know about now.

But China has already issued warnings to the U.S. about its debt and has even questioned whether or not the U.S. dollar should remain the world’s currency. Few people know how many benefits come to the nation that is the recipient of this blessing. But if you are interested in learning more about this, look at history and read what happens to countries that lose this status. In every case, it meant a significant downward turn in the lives of their citizens as that nation ceases to be a world power.

Today, the Federal Reserve announced that they would not consider raising interest rates until 2013. This was done to try to create a climate of certainty in this turbulent marketplace. This action is itself highly unusual as actually the Fed is handcuffing itself by doing this. What if economic conditions change and there is pressure to raise interest rates? These are times of great uncertainty made even greater by the poltical system in this country seemingly being committed to chaos and disorder.

Next week the newsletter will return to its usual astrological focus. We will be looking at the Mercury retrograde cycle and the fact that there will be a very rare conjunction between the Sun, Mercury AND Venus bringing together two different cycles all at once.

As always I would love to hear the thoughts about this article. One question I will leave you with as we enter this revolutionary period of the nation’s history is this. Do you think that the majority of citizens of the U.S. have the desire and ‘Will’ to remain together as a true democratic nation with all that this means? Can we find a way to come through this turbulent period with respect for the promise that this nation represents which includes tolerance for those of us with different views or fall victim to the pressures of greed, disorder, and vitriolic passions? What do you see coming for us?

(-Astrologer, Jim Sher)

Like I said, I too am under the influence of Neptune in Aquarius.  It's hard to know the distortions from reality, so I guess the real truth remains to be seen.