This week on February 5th I am giving a new presentation, Neptune and Radical Spirits. A few random comments, pulling on those threads to see if they would lead anywhere, overcome with a longing for a few days on the Oregon Coast simply gazing at the ocean, and this talk began to emerge in my mind.
Last autumn while listening to a lecture on the history of occult movements, there was a reference to the Psychic Highway, better known as Highway 20, the longest continuous road in the U.S. stretching from the Pacific Coast to Boston. I immediately perked up as I had lived on Highway 20 near both of its ends, in Newport, Oregon as well as in New Paltz, NY which is slightly south. Where it passes through central New York is known as the ‘burned-over district’ famed for the many revival groups that burned with religious fervor during the 19th century.
The second thread was that Spiritualism as a religion and the women’s rights movement both began in this very area within a few months of each other shortly after Neptune’s discovery in 1846. Both groups shared common members, many of whom were also abolitionists. These two strands were sufficient to rouse the curiosity of my Gemini Moon, which parenthetically is being closely squared by Neptune right now. I discovered a remarkable story of a little-known period of antebellum American history where religion, gender and race all intersected.
This presentation gives a microscopic view of several seminal events that occurred within six months along a fifty-mile stretch of the Psychic Highway in 1848. These charts suggest the role that the ‘spirit’ part of Neptune’s spirituality played following its sighting, ingress into Pisces, and conjunction with Jupiter during the swirl of the 1851 Uranus/Pluto conjunction. From the divine realm, it inspired people to dream impossible dreams and take radical action to implement them in the worldly realm. This talk concludes with chart interpretation guidelines for how each person can receive Neptune’s radical spirit during the current Jupiter Neptune conjunction.
I am especially pleased to be revisiting Neptune after a long hiatus writing Ancient Astrology and the imminent release of Volume 2. Here is an image of the shimmering liquid silver ocean surf that inspired Asteroid Goddesses, Astrology for Yourself, Mysteries of the Dark Moon and Finding Our Way Through the Dark. I hope you’ll join me for a post-Hellenistic Neptunian reflection in 2022.