Loss and Retirement – Transit/SA of Neptune

The transit or solar arc hit of Uranus arrives fast and snappy, crackling with high energy, delivering surprising change through abrupt disruption of the status quo – see the posts on Relocation and Marriage – Multiple Transits to Angles and Career Breakthroughs – Solar Arc Uranus Hits to MC and Ascendant.

However, not all change happens with such speed and certainty, as is the case when Neptune is the change agent. Neptune rolls in gradually, and can cast an unreal spell. The transits and SA directions of Neptune are often associated with confusion, deception, and lingering loss.

The Neptunian significance is dramatic in Stephen King’s life in a very particular and poignant manner. Following is King’s natal chart:

The thing you want to look for right away in a horoscope is an outer planet being very close to an angle, because it is guaranteed to have a significant impact on the life. Here you can see Neptune almost on top of the IC at the bottom of the chart, with just over a 2 degree separation. What does this mean? The most obvious interpretation is that one of the parents (IC is the parental axis) is distinctly Neptunian. Another way of saying this is that Stephen King comes face to face with Neptune through one of the parents. In general, the parent could carry one of many Neptunian significations: they could be artistic, or an alcoholic, or be somehow associated with the ocean (fishery, navy, etc.), or simply be absent.

Next, since Neptune is on the 3rd house side of the IC, it means that the transit and solar arc (SA) directed Neptune would come to conjunct the IC early in life. The separation between Neptune and IC is just about 2027 so the SA arc of Neptune would be on the IC in about 2.5 years time around late 1949-early 1950. (5 minutes of the solar arc direction is roughly equal to 1 month in the life.) As for the transiting Neptune, here’s the monthly ephemeris for 1949:

In June-July-August of 1949, transiting Neptune would have been right on top of King’s natal IC.

So what happened with this one-two punch of SA Neptune and transiting Neptune to the IC in the latter half of 1949? What happened was that King’s father left home on an errand, and never returned. It was August 1949, when King was just about to turn 2 years old. Very simply, the Neptunian significations of disappearance and loss applied to the father, which King had to come to terms with most painfully in his childhood years.

Of course, SA Neptune is not yet at the IC in August 1949:

SA Neptune is actually at 11o55, still 35 minutes of arc (or 7 months) short of an exact conjunction with the IC. But the father’s disappearance was happening at this time, not 7 months later. One of the things we learn as astrologers is life doesn’t always exactly correspond to astrological timings, especially when solar arcing Neptune is concerned–one needs to allow a certain leeway (give or take a few months). However, transiting Neptune is generally more cooperative with timing, and here it works itself into the life with astonishing precision.

Neptunian loss can occur in other circumstances as well, career being one of them. Here’s an illustrative scenario that most of us know all too well. In November‐December 2000 as U.S. Presidential election played out to its unbelievable conclusion, and Al Gore lost when the Supreme Court handed down its verdict 5-4 in favor of Bush on December 12. Here’s Al Gore’s transit chart for that very day:

Transiting Neptune at 04 Aquarius 41 had just passed his natal descendant at 04 Aquarius 12. For all practical purposes it is essentially coincident with the descendant – an incredibly accurate stroke of timing. Soon after losing the election, Gore retired from the public eye for quite a while as Neptune made its way through his 7th house. The 7th house signifies the public life, which is of course the lifeblood of politicians. Gore didn’t just lose the election, he was well and truly lost in life, rudderless, in a sea of fog and confusion.