Neptune Enters Aquarius:

The Neptune Discovery Chart

Part I

by Mark Lerner

Throughout this issue are many articles that discuss the shift of Neptune from Capricorn into Aquarius. Although we are now in an initial phase of Neptune in Aquarius (Jan. 28, 1998 to Aug. 22, 1998), the magical and mysterious trident planet won't "officially" enter Aquarius for its 13+ year sojourn until Nov. 27, 1998. Right now we are in a "testing period," preliminary exam mode, scoping out the territory, becoming adjusted to a new zodiacal rhythm. [Neptune will stay in Aquarius until early April 2011. At that time, it "peeks" into Pisces (at the first degree) until early August 2011 – then retreats into late Aquarius. Neptune then remains in late Aquarius until Feb. 3, 2012 when it enters Pisces – for another 14-year visit to a zodiacal sign.]

Make sure you read features in this edition by Tim Lyons, Marcia Starck, Antero Alli, Jeanne Mozier, Tricia Nickel, M. Kelley Hunter and Gregg Castellucci. Our authors give you various slants on the meaning of Neptune. And we will continue exploring the essence of Neptune in Welcome to Planet Earth during 1998.

One of the keys to understanding the power and significance of an outer planet (Chiron; Uranus; Neptune; Pluto) is found in the chart for its discovery. In my estimation, the discovery chart for an outer planet has been vastly under-rated and under-valued by modern astrologers. They are filled with extraordinary messages. When the prolific and esteemed astrologer-writer Liz Greene came out with her book on Neptune (The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption), I was astounded that no chart (or commentary) for Neptune's discovery was included. Although the book is phenomenal and wide-ranging, there was no chart for the night on which Neptune was found by Johann Galle in Berlin – although the fundamental information and approximate timing were available.

At least 12-15 years ago, I estimated the discovery time of Neptune as 11:55PM LMT, Berlin, Germany, September 23, 1846. And I have published all the discovery charts – for Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – in WTPE over the years.

Then Astronomy magazine (September 1996 issue) presented a fascinating article by William Sheehan and Richard Baum ("Neptune's Discovery 150 Years Later") to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the discovery of this remarkable planet. This feature is a tour-de-force on the astronomical, real-life history involved in finding this elusive planet. It reveals the mistakes, errors and blunders of astronomers who actually found Neptune – before the official discovery – but then "lost" it and never were able to document their work in public. [Note: In Part II of this feature, I will discuss some fascinating aspects of the astronomical "pre-discovery" experiences of Neptune.]

For the moment, I would like you to start investigating the power of this chart. I am using 11:56PM LMT as the article mentioned in Astronomy magazine suggests the following (concerning discoverer Galle and his assistant Heinrich d'Arrest at the Royal Observatory in Berlin): "Finally, d’Arrest suggested that they try using a star chart. Rummaging through a drawer, they found a chart so fresh that it had not yet been mailed to observatories elsewhere. After about half an hour of searching, at just about midnight, Galle sighted an 8th-magnitude star that d'Arrest could not find on the map – it was only 55 arcminutes (about two Moon diameters) from Le Verrier's calculated position. D'Arrest immediately cried out, "That star is not on the map!"

And so – close to midnight in Berlin, Germany, on the night of September 23, 1846 – Neptune became a reality within human consciousness.

As I mentioned a few paragraphs back, when an outer planet is sighted and becomes known to us, its discovery is really monumental in its influence. However, most researchers and astrological students don’t understand the true significance of this "cosmic birth." Because we all know the planet has been there for millions – if not billions of years – the tendency is to just feel that we have simply found something that was "always" present. But that's not how the planet's energies impact us on Earth.

Discovering Neptune – as I will reveal in a future series of articles – is akin to (dare I say it?) almost the Reappearance of the Christ spirit in the hearts and minds of humanity! In order to comprehend what I am talking about, you are going to need to re-define and re-orient yourself to what a planet actually is. Because Neptune is not simply a whirling ball of gases that we call a planet. It is MUCH more than that – it is a cosmic life, a school of learning, a way of being. And until we realize what the solar system actually is SPIRITUALLY, we will constantly misinterpret the meaning of planets in our lives.

Suffice it to say for now that in meditating on and analyzing the Neptune discovery chart – and adding on transits and progressions – you will eventually enter a realm of consciousness that is practically ecstatic, filled with revelations, astonishing in its dimensions and implications. We will get into this heady and hearty work next time. For now, realize that Neptune was located at 25+ Aquarius (conjunct Saturn!) and that the discovery placement of an outer planet is filled with its intrinsic energy – for good or ill. 26 Aquarius is a reservoir of Neptunian vibrations – vibrations that can both heal and wound. All the planetary, solar and lunar placements in this birthmap are active and dynamic.

Look at your own chart and see where 26 Aquarius is located. That house and degree area carries a supreme Neptunian charge. I would like you to see the potent, precise and fateful Yod (Finger of God formation) in the Neptune discovery chart – composed of Mars at 25+ Virgo, Neptune-Saturn at 25+ Aquarius and Pluto at 25+ Aries. Mars at the fulcrum of this pattern helps to explain why Neptunian spiritualism and religious beliefs often become twisted into fanaticism, holy wars and irrational inquisitions. Mars and Neptune are both channels – in Esoteric Astrology – for the 6th Ray of Idealism and Devotion. But! Neptune is the "sacred planet" channeling that Ray while Mars is the "non-sacred" planet connected to the 6th Ray. More on all this in the future. Stay tuned!

Copyright 1998 by Mark Lerner.

All rights reserved.

[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth magazine and Planet Earth Astrology Online (on America Online). To reach him, write to PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440 or send an e-mail to]

To top of page

WTPE Index

E-mail the Great Bear
© 1998: Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd.