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Incredible India & Idealistic Neptune

By Stella Woods, 01-11-2011

With idealistic Neptune hovering round the final degrees of Aquarius as a prelude to her 14 year journey through spiritual water sign Pisces beginning in April 2011, it seems appropriate that the 2010 Commonwealth Games were hosted by post-colonial India, a country that boasts some of the most sophisticated esoteric, artistic, healing and spiritual traditions in the world.

When Mahatma Gandhi challenged the British Raj in the early 20th century, throwing off centuries of colonisation and repression, he helped liberate a country with an unbroken tradition of healing, art, music, culture, spirituality and religion stretching back thousands of years. India is the birthplace of the 4500 year old Vedic tradition and its cultural legacy rivals that of ancient Egypt and China. Many Westerners embark on a spiritual journey to India hoping to reconnect with the sacred feminine energy, largely suppressed in the West. They visit ancient temples, live in ashrams, practice yoga and meditation, enjoy ritual and marvel at the different cultural mindset.

Neptune in Pisces - Prediction One
As we host the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Australia this month, we might reflect on the fact that a holistic life has always been at the core of Indian philosophy. According to Ayurvedic medical practitioner, Robert Svoboda, every individual is composed of a mind, a body and a spirit. The ancient Rishis of India who developed the Science of Life organised their wisdom into three bodies of knowledge: Ayurveda, which deals mainly with the physical body; Yoga, which deals mainly with spirit; and Tantra, which is mainly concerned with the mind. The philosophy of all three is identical; their manifestations differ because of their differing emphases. Ayurveda is most concerned with the physical basis of life, concentrating on its harmony of mind and spirit. Yoga controls body and mind to enable them to harmonise with spirit, and Tantra seeks to use the mind to balance the demands of body and spirit.

Neptune’s imminent move into home sign Pisces is one of the clearest indications of a mass spiritual awakening and a balancing of masculine and feminine consciousness. I believe we will come to embrace a more spiritual way of life over the next 14 years. Sound healing, colour healing, dreamwork, meditation, yoga, spirituality, altered states of consciousness and the sacred feminine will all become more and more important just as Neptune’s transit of air sign Aquarius (1998-2011) has made technology fashionable, commonplace and widely accessible. Movies such as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Twilight’ are opening the doors of perception and paving the way forward.

Neptune in Pisces – Prediction Two
Modern India is a country of 1.2 billion people whose population has tripled since she was founded 60 years ago. A quick glance at India’s birth chart (26th January 1950 at 10.15 am in Delhi) shows the Sun in Aquarius conjunct Venus and Jupiter (progressive, technological, masculine focus) in a challenging square aspect to Moon in Taurus (tradition, food, land, money, wealth, stability, feminine focus). India’s rising sign is Aries and her North Node or karmic path is also in Aries, symbol of the pioneer, adventurer, warrior and risk taker. India is a country on the move, secure in her past traditions but with eyes fixed firmly on the future. Her Sun-Jupiter conjunction conveys optimism and an international focus. Her Sun-Venus conjunction means women will play an important role in the country’s future.

The Commonwealth Games has catapulted India into the collective consciousness with the beautiful opening and closing ceremonies standing starkly against tales of mismanagement, corruption and inefficiency. Pluto is currently transiting India’s Capricorn Midheaven (death and rebirth of national reputation) while Uranus, planet of breakthrough and freedom is moving to conjunct India’s Aries Ascendant, changing her image on the international stage and liberating her from the past. Meanwhile, critical Saturn is transiting India’s house of foreign affairs which has manifested as Western nations criticising India for employing child labour to build new stadiums and being completely disorganised in hosting the Games.
People who travel to Third World countries on a regular basis would be aware that the types of problems recently witnessed in India are everyday issues for the vast majority of the world’s population – child labour, pollution, contaminated water and food, disease, heat, unsanitary conditions, insect plagues, bribery, corruption, lawlessness etc. We have no reason to feel superior - these very same conditions existed in our own countries only a century or two ago. Just read Les Miserables or Oliver Twist to learn about life in the 19th Century where many children started work at age 6, worked from 5 am – 11 pm six or even seven days a week and were often dead by age 20. Australia was founded on convict labour, brutality and exploitation. Slavery was commonplace in the USA.

With Neptune moving into compassionate Pisces in 2011, perhaps what we need to draw from the Indian Commonwealth Games experience is not the failure of the official website to record up to the minute scores, not the outrage of elite athletes having to wait in overheated tunnels for a mere hour without air conditioning or suffering sickness from contaminated water and food, but rather the realisation that these minor inconveniences are the stuff of everyday existence for most of the 6 billion+ people on the planet who can’t just fly out of the country and leave it all behind. Perhaps we need to look at the reality of life in India, rather than protesting that we have not been presented with a sanitised cover-up job. We boast about the international relationships promoted by events such as the Commonwealth Games, but a real relationship is based on reality, not fantasy.

Why was the movie Slumdog Millionaire an Academy Award winner? Because, despite protests from Indians that it depicted their country in an unfavourable light, it exposed the startling reality of life in a big Third World city to sheltered Westerners. People do get tortured and beaten up in police custody. Orphans and street kids have to be tough to survive and no one cares if they don’t. People do live in slums and on rubbish dumps. Corruption and bribery is rife. Life is cheap. Just like it was in Europe and America and Australia not that long ago.

The last time Neptune was in Aquarius was 1834-1848 – the epicentre of the British Industrial Revolution. Factory owners embraced the new technology that enabled them to become rich and prosperous, exploiting workers and employing child labour often from orphanages and workhouses. When the children who worked long hours in the textile mills became tired and found it difficult to maintain the speed required by the overseers they were hit with a strap to make them work faster and dipped head first into the water cistern if they became drowsy. Apprentices who ran away from the factory were in danger of being sent to prison or placed in irons. One British hospital reported that every year it treated nearly a thousand people for wounds and mutilations caused by factory machines. There was no workers compensation, no medical assistance and no wages for those unfit for work. In 1842 a German visitor noted that he had seen so many people in the streets of Manchester without arms and legs that it was like "living in the midst of the army just returned from a campaign."

Neptune has been transiting Aquarius since 1998 and we worship the technological revolution it has produced, just as the factory owners of the 19th century worshipped their machines of mass production. We also conveniently ignore the fact that our cheap technology is often supplied by workers in Third World countries on low wages just as the 19th century factory owners cared little for their workers’ welfare.

From 1848-1862 Neptune moved into the more compassionate sign of Pisces and the mood changed. The 1850 Factory Act of Great Britain attempted to address the appalling conditions in factories, paving the way for legislation that introduced paid leave, public holidays and reduced working hours. Slavery was finally abolished in the USA in 1862 and the last convict ship left Britain for Australia in 1867.

So, my second prediction for Neptune in Pisces is that wealthy nations will wake up and take a more compassionate approach to the poverty and harsh conditions of Third World factory workers, help outlaw child and slave labour and legislate to redress the balance. If we’re really serious about a fairer, safer, cleaner, disease-free world, if we really want to strive for worldwide equality, looking at the true reasons behind the inefficiency of the Commonwealth Games is a good place to start.