The evolution of compassion

Pisces 2024

Last month I discussed the evolution of power by looking at Pluto in the air signs. I used this idea to show how the passage of a planet through the same element might give tips for developing consciousness:

Phase 1
Phase 2
passing it on to another
Phase 3
the legacy to the world
Fire Aries
The Spark
Inspire yourself
Fire Leo
The Flame
Inspire others
Fire Sagittarius
The Torch
Inspire the world
Earth Taurus
The Garden
Feed yourself
Earth Virgo
The Field
Feed others
Earth Capricorn
The Earth
Feed the world
Air Gemini
The Idea
Think for yourself
Air Libra
The Dialogue
Discuss  with others
Air Aquarius
The Conference
Insight for the world
Water Cancer
The Egg
Own creativity
Water Scorpio
Joint creativity
Water Pisces
Preparing world creations

This time I thought I would continue this theme using this table and consider the development of water signs by looking at Neptune, since he is currently in his own sign of Pisces, making him very present.

compassion, astrology, neptune

image by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Neptune in water

I discuss Neptune in Cancer, Neptune in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces, both now and the last time he travelled through this Pisces part of the sky. However, first, I need to describe the Neptune-Pisces archetype. I have touched on this in several of my previous Pisces posts. In my Pisces 2022 post I wrote:  It (Neptune-Pisces) can be compassionate, intuitive, emotionally helpful, imaginative, in tune with all beings and the fact that we are all connected. … Neptune is associated with dreams, and things that cross boundaries. But also where we go too far, such as with addiction. Where we can’t say no. Victims and refugees come under Neptune’s auspices. 

Neptune also rules drug and alcohol companies, and places away from society, such as hospitals and prisons. Neptune can overwhelm us, so that we have to let go and go with the flow. He ‘dissolves’ so that new creations can be imagined. Of course, this can be scary. So how did this manifest when Neptune was passing through water signs?

Neptune in Cancer (1901-1916)

We never like letting go of anything, particularly loved ones. The sign a planet travels through gives an indication of where it is acting. So in Cancer, Neptune reflects the dream of belonging, of family, home and country – areas that he is attempting to wash clean and ‘upgrade’. However, he acts as a kind of mist, blurring boundaries and causing confusion around borders. This period includes WWI, so countries were literally invaded. The number of victims, and seemingly endless loss to families, was heart-breaking. The dream in this period, was presumably the longing to protect homes, families and countries, and regain a sense of belonging.

astrology cancer safe haven

Image by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Lessons learned when Neptune was in Cancer?

In the table, I called Cancer the egg, because it is associated with creating. Cancer is also associated with women, mothers, nurturing, and care. One of the legacies of WWI for women was that they were employed in making things in factories, and in growing food. They were secretaries and tram conductors. They threw off their corsets, wore trousers, and took charge! Women’s suffrage took a huge leap forward. Women were able to glimpse a dream (Neptune) of a different future, with extended roles for women.

Neptune is also associated with care in hospitals. Medical care advanced enormously, because it had to. Creative imagination was put to use in care situations. Many women became nurses, taking on difficult roles. The donating and giving of blood was started during WWI, and the first blood bank was set up in 1917. This was a sacrifice (Neptune) many were happy to make.

I think everyone must have been affected by the suffering, with the result that compassion and care were widespread. When we lose something we have taken for granted, we tend to value it more. So no matter what relationships were like before the war, there was a revaluing of family and safe havens. The water element is associated with feelings. No wonder the world was deeply affected emotionally during this period.

Neptune in Scorpio (1955-1970)

During the next water period another war reached its height – Vietnam. Scorpio is a passionate sign, one that rules sex and also power dynamics. This war was a very different one from the so-called Great War. Passions were high, and objections were strong. Scorpio can be violent. Apart from the terrible killing methods and unspeakable oppression and coercion in Vietnam, it was in this period that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, in 1963. His brother, the Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, was murdered too, as was Martin Luther King. The wish to control (Scorpio) seemed boundless (Neptune). Nelson Mandela was jailed in 1964. It was a very turbulent and transforming (Scorpio) period.

It is interesting that in this current Neptune in Pisces period, Robert F. Kennedy’s son, RFK junior, who has been active in the medical arena, is running for president and because of his stand on vaccinations, is being side-lined in a different way; through censorship on main-stream media.

Free sex

On another note altogether, the introduction of the pill meant that sex could have no ‘borders and boundaries’. Women were freed from the risk of pregnancy and so sex could be more imaginative, and much more frequent! The book ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ by D.H. Lawrence was a game changer too. Interestingly, this book has connections to the previous period, as Chatterley himself returned home from the ‘Great War’, paralysed from the waist down.


Image by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

Dreams of sex and censorship

And speaking of sex, Marilyn Monroe died in very scorpionic circumstances linked to JFK, the year before he himself was killed. It was a transformative, passionate and deeply suspicious time, with no boundaries to the lack of trust in many areas. The ‘red scare’ investigations which had been rampant in the US were slowing down, but left a legacy which affected free speech. Conspiracy theories still abound over JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson, who was the president after JFK. He was in power during Vietnam.

Visions of control

The construction of the Berlin wall commenced in 1961. It divided not only Germany, Berlin, its neighbourhoods and families, but also the world. This is the kind of bitter divide that Scorpio can produce. Dreams of control surfaced here too. Propaganda was abundant – Neptune in Scorpio can also divide this way. The longing to not feel disempowered, and to reunite with loved ones, must have been very strong.

Lessons learned when Neptune was in Scorpio?

I referred to Scorpio in the table above as fertilisation or joint creativity. Obviously, sex is something we learned much more about in this Flower Power period – perhaps learning that a deep emotional connection was much more valuable than ‘just sex’. Deep change (Scorpio) was a dream and perhaps we became addicted to therapy. To this end, another creative method was birthed at this time. The Drama Triangle was developed by Stephen Karpman in 1968, and used as a tool in psychotherapy, especially in transactional analysis, and is still a valuable tool today. More on this below.

Creating together

Joint enterprises during this time, involving incredible creativity, imaginative research, and cross-fertilisation of ideas, resulted in major steps for mankind. The first man on the moon fascinated millions, when Neil Armstrong touched down in 1969, and the first heart-transplant, which was performed in 1967, was mind-boggling. However, you could read both of these as dreaming of having dominance (Scorpio) over nature (and other countries!) One of the lessons learned was how America sought to dominate on the world stage, and still does. An addiction to power?

However, one lesson learned after the destruction of the Berlin Wall is that division can be broken down. Reunion is possible! Neptune in the earthy sign of Capricorn was needed for that.

astrology Pisces

Image by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

Neptune in Pisces – last time (1847-1862), and now (2011- 2026)

That brings us to where we are now. But what happened in the last cycle when Neptune was in Pisces? Can we upgrade from that? Can we raise our consciousness this time? In Cancer, the lesson was learning to value and have compassion and love for family and country. In Scorpio, we had the opportunity to go deeply into relationships and have compassion and love for partners, both personally and globally. In my view, Neptune in Pisces is for learning how to have compassion for our planet and all living things, including our fellow humans. To understand that we are all connected.


There are always wars, and true to form, the Crimean War was in full swing for part of this period, from 1853-1856. The Ottoman Empire, France and Great Britain took on Russia. This is interesting today of course, with Crimea being disputed territory once again. I often wonder if we have learned anything! At least then, there was the Treaty of Paris in 1856, which made the Black Sea neutral territory, closing it to all warships, and forbidding armoury on its shores. It’s a long story which started with a Russian invasion. Have we heard this before too?

Linking back to the Neptune medical theme, Florence Nightingale was in Crimea, where she showed that hygiene was vitally important. More people were dying from disease in this war than from combat. Her work was to prove incredibly visionary for future medical treatments. In 1849,  Elizabeth Blackwell, became the first woman to obtain a medical degree. And women’s suffrage got under way in the US, with the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls NY in 1848, organised by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

Loss of lives

Cholera pandemics (waterborne – Neptune) took the lives of millions of people. In Russia alone the 3rd cholera epidemic took the lives of over one million people and cholera became a world-wide issue. Typhus also killed a huge number of people. In New York – swill milk from poorly treated cows is known to have killed over 8000 babies. The potato famine in Ireland caused a huge loss of life.

On the drugs theme, Great Britain and China were into the 2nd Opium war. Russia was involved here too. It’s too long to go into here, but with Neptune ruling drugs and addiction it is a fascinating war in this context. As is the case now, a lot of money is earned from addictions.

Neptune discovered in 1846

Neptune named

The naming of Neptune. From the site – a newspaper National Intelligencer, Washington, DC from Thursday, March 4, 1847. Neptune went into Pisces on 26th April 1847!

It was an interesting time, and perhaps fitting that Neptune had just been discovered in 1846. So from 1847 on, the themes were given a kickstart as we were now conscious of Neptune and were experiencing his themes. There were many attempts world-wide to care for and write about the ‘plebs’. Marx and Engels produced the first Communist Manifesto, ending with “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains”. New dreams seemed limitless, with gold rushes in several countries. Economic migration was rampant!

In many countries the slave trade was abolished, leading the way to banning slavery, although it wasn’t until 1948 that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared slavery contrary to human rights. And even in the 2000’s there are still laws being passed on this topic. But back to the period being discussed, we see ground roots movements attempting to get better care for many of the underprivileged classes. Care and compassion for all?

Themes then and now

Did we learn anything in the last Neptune in Pisces period that we can build on now? I have only been able to touch on a few themes as I am suffering from Neptune’s tsunami of information! However, many themes are clear. When we look back to this period in the future, COVID and wars will probably dominate, and this certainly matches with the terrible loss of lives that occurred both then and now. The difference now is that we are even more connected globally, inundated as we are with images and information daily on all forms of media.

Unfortunately Neptunian chaos and confusion caused by propaganda and spin is even more prominent. There are victims of war, famine, drownings and homelessness world-wide. It is hard to know what is true in many situations. What is encouraging, is that there is a groundswell of activism looking out for victims of all forms, be it from sexism, racism, the plight of asylum seekers, or from war atrocities. And from radical trans-activism, which is causing much confusion, and sadly some victims.

Institutional chaos

On the themes of prisons, hospitals, addictions and mental health, the problems are overwhelming. Health systems everywhere are stretched to the limit and prisons seem to be out of control in some countries. Lack of staff is a problem caused by some of the same problems: mental health and illness. Systems needing an overdose of administration, that don’t allow people who really care to do a job they love, are part of the problem. Systems are broken by focussing on finances.

Fortunately there is also imaginative innovation and research in the medical field. For example, we now know a lot more about the immune system now than we did pre COVID. This is what we need to change. Using imagination to help and having compassion is needed, both for people receiving care, and also for the staff providing it, who are often victims of overwork.


Image by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

On another note, part of the problem is the Neptunian deception of ‘conspiracy theories’, many of which are true, but are censored to within an inch of their lives. I must admit I had to smile when I read this. In a Canadian article by Peter Stockland regarding Montreal, quoting Jane McGaughey (historian on Irish Studies) who compares this early Neptune period with the COVID period: “Unlike the typhus epidemic of the late 1840s, when Montrealers from virtually all linguistic, religious and ethnic groupings brought aid to dying Irish immigrants, the cholera infections split the city into virtual warring camps. Members of Louis Joseph Papineau’s Patriote party (though McGaughey says never Papineau himself) publicly insisted the cholera-bearing Irish were being used by the English as biological weapons to destroy French-Canadian culture.”!! Link below to article.

The hopeful themes

In amongst all the confusion and chaos, there is a call to go back and connect with nature and to use other forms of healing. A homeopathic hospital was established in London the last time Neptune was in Pisces and we have taken a huge leap in energy and spiritual forms of healing recently. Many are speaking of our interconnectedness, our need to heal through nature and our being part of the whole. Animal communication teachings are on the rise and that is helping us to have more respect and compassion for our fellow creatures. There is also a call to care for the earth herself.

Lest we forget!

We shouldn’t forget that although Neptune was not the only planet involved, he was in Pisces in 1848, a year which is known for its revolutions in several European countries and also called, the ‘Springtime of the Peoples’. According to Wikipedia: “Some of the major contributing factors were widespread dissatisfaction with political leadership, demands for more participation in government and democracy, demands for freedom of the press, other demands made by the working class for economic rights, the upsurge of nationalism, and the European potato failure, which triggered mass starvation, migration, and civil unrest.” This sounds very familiar and although the revolutions were sometimes suppressed, it led to positive changes in some countries! It pays to have a dream and a vision of inclusiveness and democracy for all and to stand up for it.

positive change

Image by sydney Rae on Unsplash

This is the way to make the most of Neptune in Pisces. May compassion, and the understanding that what we do affects everyone, continue until 2026 when we will need a new dream, when Neptune will reach Aries and a brand-new cycle.

The Drama Triangle

I mentioned the Drama Triangle which I encountered in my therapy training. I have found it an extremely useful tool to help analyse what is happening in conflict situations between people. The triangle has three ‘positions’ – victim (poor me), perpetrator (it’s your fault), and saviour (let me help you). There has been much written on this subject and it is clear that from time to time, we all fall into the drama triangle trap, where we can take more than one role.

drama triangle

Drama Triangle image – 1000Faces, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

I have noticed that clients often stay in the victim role and blame others for their situation. Of course there are true victims such as in Gaza who are just trying to survive. There are also many others, for example, victims of sexual abuse, who are scarred by their past, but many are safe now. However, they can go into the perpetrator role by making others feel guilty for not understanding their situation. There are of course also the so-called saviours, who want to look good, but are also often ‘feeding’ the victims and keeping them in this role so they themselves can feel better. I have had many clients who are over-caring for others and don’t care for themselves.

Drama triangle

Image by Jaison Lin on Unsplash

The only way out of the victim role is to take back responsibility for your life. To get out of being a perpetrator, which is often a controlling role, is to say – ok, I did it! And the saviour can help, but has to let go of the need for a particular outcome. Karpman calls the healing the Compassion triangle, with positions: being vulnerable, being helpful in a caring way, and being helpful by imparting information and supporting someone not to fail.

This is a very short introduction, but you can find a wealth of information on the web. I wanted to mention the Drama Triangle because I think you could link it to: Victim – Pisces, Perpetrator – Scorpio, and Saviour – Cancer. Although the triangle works as a whole, so arguably these could be switched. The negative side of Pisces can mean staying as a victim, Scorpio can be controlling and cruel, and Cancer can be the over-bearing ‘mother’ type of care. The healing comes from stepping out of the triangle by turning these to a positive working. Pisces – compassionate, Scorpio – deep connection and helpful analysis and Cancer – true nurturing.

World drama

Karpman also links the triangle to being helpful for group conflicts, such as between countries. I agree. I think you can use it to help analyse what is happening. Israel and Ukraine see themselves as victims, which of course they are in some senses. But they are staying in this role and being perpetrators too. Ukraine by making other countries feel guilty if they don’t help and Israel by focussing on what has happened to them in the past and in October last year. It is not that these things aren’t horrific, heart-breaking and just plain cruel and wrong. But staying in these roles means conflicts are stuck. Israel under Netanyahu seems to be caught in a narrative that means they lack self-reflection, and being set on revenge has never led to anything positive.

Other countries, of course, are caught in the ‘ostensible’ saviour role – though of course there are other interests behind the scenes. There is a genuine wish to help Ukraine and Gaza, however I think that, at high levels, countries are trying to look good – probably for selfish reasons. It’s all very complicated. The only way out is for governments to stand in the middle of the triangle and self-reflect on the roles they take. Let’s hope they can start with the Neptune in Pisces role and develop some true compassion for all. We all need that.

Faye Blake

pisces hope

Image by Steve Leisher on Unsplash

Interesting websites of the month

The article mentioned above from The National Post on Corona and the 1800s.

A nice article from by CNN, about how Irish and Native American solidarity continues

A good explanation of the Drama Triangle from the Therapy Hub

And from Karpman himself.

Quotes of the month

“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent, and all will be lost.” – Charlie Chaplin

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