Neptune and Orcus: A Five and A Half Year Dance
by Nige Saund
This article was sent to astro.com by the author as an account of his close-up experience of this opposition of Neptune with the astrologically still quite unfamiliar trans-neptunian object 90482 Orcus. It is indeed fascinating and might inspire astrologers to do some more research of their own. It is also striking that the experience seems to show the positive sides of this object which has so far been shown in a more sombre light.
I'd like to put the spotlight on the Orcus-Neptune opposition. It may have been forgotten by some but it is still going on strongly and is fast approaching the 11th and final of the exact and almost exact oppositions.
The midpoint of this synodic cycle only occurs every 498 years. It is an important time as the midpoint has the most powerful effect, similar to a Full Moon which has more effect than a New Moon. This opposition has and will have a special meaning for some of us, that includes myself which I will explain after a quick introduction.
I've been studying astrology since 1982, and it has been a major part of my life. I had a twin brother and was fascinated with why we had such differences in personalities. I have a Virgo Ascendant to his Leo ascendant which explained why my twin brother was louder and more confident, where I was quieter and more introvert. I've spent a lot of time studying astrology deeply and working out what I can.
I did my chart, and with the very first book on astrology I bought, the most interesting thing that it said concerned my Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the 1st house. It said that for those born with this placement and a Virgo Ascendant, there is the potential to discover things that could make worldwide changes in the future (I'll explain why later).
I've always been very interested in the really tight aspects, under 1deg orb and even better when they get under 0.30deg and to near to exact. I can feel the effects of the aspects between planets when they are approaching and really strongly when they become near to and exact. I also feel the effects of the Moon quite strongly going through each sign, especially the Full Moons. I have a really tight Bi-Quintile aspect between Moon and Ascendant, almost exact by 0.06deg, which could explain why the Moon has such an effect on me.
So this is where it gets interesting. My Ascendant is at Virgo 0.31 deg and up until April of 2011, I had been solely interested in astrology and hadn't really looked into the planets and studied them much. But all this changed in a highly dramatic way. During the month of April 2011 I had started to watch the Wonders of the Solar System series. On the 3rd episode I was watching with interest when something was being explained about the planets, but for an unknown reason I just knew it was wrong. It's hard to explain and equally hard for me to understand, but in one instant I worked out what the answer should be and knew that the explanation I was being given was incorrect.
I don't know how I worked it out or why I could understand it so clearly, it just happened in a split second. Then for the next almost five and a half years all I have done is devoted all of my time and energy into researching more deeply and investigating thoroughly so I could show what I saw to others. While I can't say what my insights are right now, all I can say is you can take a look at my chart and check my retrograde Mercury conjunct Sun in 12th house, the position of Orcus at almost 15deg Cancer, Pluto at 15.15deg Virgo and Saturn at 15.25 Pisces. Also Sedna and Moon have close aspects to Ascendant. There are some aspects there that show deep probing potential, but what occurred during April 2011 was completely unexpected.
While I can't yet say what I have worked out (website and book are in progress), I am sure of its importance and that it could change our thinking and understanding of the solar system and universe.
I wanted to know why I had this vision at that time while watching the
Wonders of the Solar System. I checked out the positions of the planets
and found that Neptune had moved onto my Descendant and was exactly
conjunct at that precise moment. It was at 0.31deg Pisces. Not only that
but I found out that the 4th April 2011 was Neptune’s first entry into
Pisces for near 150 years. And from the time that Neptune had moved into
Pisces I had simultaneously developed an interest in the stars, planets
First Opposition in April 2011
I wasn't aware where Orcus was then as I hadn't been following it. But I now know that on the 25th April 2011 Orcus and Neptune were under half a degree in orb and fast approaching near opposition. The closest this near opposition achieved was 0.07deg. This was from the 19th May to 2nd June 2011.
From the day I watched the Wonders of the Solar System and had this vision, I became completely fascinated with these vividly clear thoughts and also why I was getting them. I became unbelievably obsessed with the solar system, studying via the Internet and wanting to work out more and more. My mind was flying, I was in another world (another planet) and during the almost exact Orcus-Neptune opposition I become completely absorbed in it.
I almost burned myself out, but I found I could get so deep into whatever I was looking at I just couldn't stop and it was a time of great understanding. Although I knew that Neptune was conjunct my Descendant, at the time I didn't know about the very powerful opposition that was going on with Orcus.
Orcus was turning from retrograde back to direct while Neptune was turning from direct to retrograde. So although this short period of time was not an exact opposition, it was almost exact at 0.07deg apart for nearly 2 weeks and both were at or near stationary during that time.
When outer planets like these go stationary and if making a close aspect to something major in your chart or having a strong contact to the Asc/Desc or MC/IC axis, this can be a time when you can really focus on something and get real clarity of thought. Well, this was occurring on my Asc/Desc axis and must be why I was experiencing such powerful understanding during that time.
After that date and up until now, there have been numerous periods where I've again experienced the same thing, realising and understanding things clearly and more vividly than usual.
On the 15th August 2013 my Twin Brother sadly died, I was on a hilly cycling ride and during this ride when I was going up a very steep mountain, I had another extremely clear understanding about something. This may have occurred at the moment he died - I will never know that for sure. I have since found out that on the day he died Orcus and Neptune were in exact opposition at 4.17deg Vir/Pis. I've also been surprised at the number of high profile celebrities that have passed away at or very near to an Orcus-Neptune opposition (incl. David Bowie). It has almost been as if when these oppositions occur they were taking some of our best minds away with them?
With the Orcus-Neptune opposition, I understood that it was during the time of these oppositions when my mind would again become able to see and understand things really clearly, like a switch had gone on. During the five and a half years whenever they have drifted apart and became at a large orb, I found I could not work things out so well, I would get confused and even doubt myself. It was as if I'd lost it and had become normal again. Whenever the oppositions would again become exact I would be flying, constant answers, as if anything I wanted to work out I could probe deeply and find the answers.
And that is the reason why I have written this. It's the final of the five and a half years exact oppositions. I've read about Orcus personality traits and agree with quite a few of them, especially the obsessive tendency. Since April 2011 I have become completely obsessed with solar system star and planet research. I spend a lot more time on my own so I can think clearly, I am 100% sure that I've worked out some amazing things but it feels like for me that the five and a half years have been my study years, where I have needed to go off and to retreat. It's as if I have been given a mission and that all I've wanted to do was to complete my mission. I've had to go off into my own world away from outside distractions so I could fully concentrate.
I can feel that period is now coming to an end and the time is approaching where I can go out into the world and pass on what I have learned. Once again I can already feel the opposition starting to take effect. All the loose ends I've been trying to work out I'm now understanding more clearly.
I want all astrologers to be ready for this final almost exact opposition between Orcus and Neptune, Neptune is again slowing to standstill from retrograde to direct motion. It is just going under 1 deg of orb and on the 30th October it will be under 0.30deg where many of us will be feeling it strongly.
From the 17th November to the 22nd the Orcus-Neptune opposition will be staying at around 0.07deg orb and there will be a lot of strong aspects during that small time frame from the North Node, the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars (I will give a list of these in full). The opposition stays at a very tight orb of near 0.07 degrees right up until the 30th where the Sun makes a square aspect, ensuring that this opposition will be a powerful one and go out with a bang.
I had a look back at the ephemeris for 2011 and found that the same planets (apart from the North Node) also made strong aspects during that opposition. Mars in Taurus made a trine/sextile to the opposition and 4 days later Mercury and Venus (conjunct each other) in Taurus also made a trine/sextile. A good coincidence there...
My verdict so far on the five and a half year Orcus-Neptune opposition dance is this: It's been very extreme for me, it's been life changing and transforming. I quit my job of 31 years so I could study which I preferred to do rather than more social activities (that I used to do a lot). If we are just learning now about Orcus I would say that when there is a powerful period where it makes a close contact to another outer planet, that the ability to concentrate and delve deep to find answers and understanding is increased 10-fold. Not just understanding but also the clarity of the understanding.
That does come at a cost though. For me all other things in my life don’t have as much meaning as they used to, it's as if I can see the bigger picture and just want to know more about the planets but am not bothered about other things.
I do realise that this Orcus has come into my 1st house - into my Ascendant house - and I must be feeling this a lot more than most people. To be honest I've never felt this strongly with any other aspect between outer planets ever, so Orcus and Neptune moving through my 1st and 7th houses must be making a big difference to me.
I would strongly agree with others who have noted the obsessiveness of the Orcus nature. Although there has been no cruelty with me or anything bad, rather the opposite: I think I must be experiencing a positive side. I would say that if Orcus is prominent in a chart or making a strong aspect by transit, this can have a big effect on the individual, it needs to be looked into more and probably as much as Pluto has been. It is smaller than Pluto but is a big hitter and should be studied closely in all charts in my opinion.
I personally wouldn't put the rise of ISIS solely to the blame of the Orcus-Neptune opposition, squares that the oppositions have received from Saturn have played a big part in this. For me the real effects of this opposition started in late April 2011 and it's the five and a half year period where we should really look at. Also if there has been any other people like me, then they too may have retreated from the world and may have gone on their own search to find answers. If I am correct then it will be in the following few years after this, from 2017 on, where others like me will put forward what we have learned. It definitely won't be all about the bad and the nasty nature side. There will be much good to come from this opposition in my opinion.
The same as when I started out studying astrology and I was told that those who have the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in their 1st house could have the ability to change things for the better. I think that the children born on or very near to an exact Orcus-Neptune opposition (that we have been and are now experiencing), a lot of them will have the ability to look deeply into things and work them out in the future to help others. Those who have the Orcus-Neptune opposition in their 1st and 7th house axis will have some deep probing minds and I fully believe that they will work for the good of mankind.
Orcus is definitely not all bad, as with all the planets there is an equal positive and negative side to their natures. Orcus is no different, it's no worse than any other planet. I know it's had a huge effect on me, I've changed from being materialistic where I wanted more of everything. Now I just want more knowledge, more understanding. I want to work thinks out about the solar system and about ourselves. To be of help, to help progress so that when others are learning, they can all have the correct information available to fully understand things.
Similar to Pluto, the Orcus energy when making strong aspects to other outer planets seems to signify the end of a period/chapter and the beginning of another (transformation). I started cycling again after many years in March 2011, that was on the very start of the opposition (wide degree of orb) and the cycling became quite obsessive for me. That and the study of the Solar System/Cosmos both began at near the same time period. Now at the end of the five and a half year cycle I find that my cycling is not so much these days and not anywhere near as obsessive (as if that strong phase is coming to an end now). Similarly the Solar System study seems to be changing to website design and writing about it. It does seem like the end of the old and the start of new chapters.
As this is the finale of the near to and exact oppositions, there may be some major events taking place around this time. Also it may be a time for certain people to finish loose ends of their own five and a half year journey. They may be able to relate to this article and understand they went on a type of self discovery, possibly a period of retreat and learning.
Why I think that the two near oppositions are important (maybe even more so that the exact oppositions), is because even though they are out by 0.07 deg, they are the first and last of the main Orcus-Neptune oppositions, the beginning and the end (start and end of things) of a cycle. But also the planets are both going stationary at that time and judging by the amount of aspects the opposition receives from other planets, they carry a lot of weight/power so the effect is heightened.
The Last Opposition in the Dance
During all of the nine exact oppositions neither Orcus or Neptune were near stationary at all. For me the May 2011 opposition and this November 2016 opposition signify changes, beginnings and endings much more so than the other nine. The exact oppositions seemed to fuel and drive what had occurred during the very first near opposition in May 2011.
This one during November will be a lot to do with changes in my opinion, couples or marriages breaking up after being together many years, finishing a long term job, hobby or a friendship. Finishing a project and starting a new one. Also worldwide changes will occur with many new laws passed. There could be countries breaking away from agreements with other countries, similar to the UK leaving the EU and becoming independent again. And many other endings I think will be a major theme of this opposition.
As I’ve said it is hard to guess exactly what events could take place, I couldn't have guessed David Bowie or my brother would die. Only afterwards will I/we be able to understand the significance. We only have these Orcus-Neptune oppositions occurring for five and a half years and that's for every 498 years. This is the last of those, the finale, so let’s be ready for it. It will be interesting to see what this brings and what will take place that we can all look back on.
List of Exact Oppositions
I have noted the days where the opposition will be at its strongest so we can check on them.
November 2016 (all GMT times)
- 17th (10:20pm) North Node opposition Neptune (9 vi 15, 9 pi 15)
- 18th (1:30pm) Mercury square Orcus (9 sa 05, 9 vi 05)
- 18th (4:04pm) Mercury square Neptune/North Node (9 sa 15, 9 pi 15). Time from the Orcus aspect to the Neptune/North Node aspect = 2hr 34min (midpoint 2:57pm).
- 19th (8pm) Venus Trine Orcus/North Node (9 cap 05, 9 vi 05)
- 19th (11pm) Venus sextile Neptune (9 cap 14, 9 pi 14). Time from the Orcus/North Node aspect to the Neptune aspect = 3hrs (midpoint 9:30pm).
- 20th (10am) North Node conjunct Orcus 9 vi 05. (stays in conjunction for a while).
- 21st (11:10am) Moon moves to Virgo 0 vi 50 (same degree as the start of the 11 near and exact Orcus/Neptune oppositions, 0 vi 50 deg 1st opposition: May 2011). This will be felt strongly and continue to maximum strength when the moon becomes conjunct with the North Node and Orcus
- 21st (1pm) Mars quincunx Orcus/North Node (9 aq 05, 9 vi 05)
- 21st (6pm) Mars semi-sextile Neptune (9 aq 14, 9 pi 14). Time from the Orcus/North Node aspect to the Neptune aspect = 5hrs (midpoint 3:30pm).
- 22nd (2:50am) Moon conjunct Orcus/North Node (9 vi 05).
- 22nd (3:08am) Moon opposition Neptune (9 vi 14, 9 pi 15). Time from the Orcus/North Node aspect to the Neptune aspect = 18 minutes. Aspect inside of 1deg orb either side =4hr 20min.
- 30th (10pm) Sun square Orcus/North Node (9 sa 08, 9 vi 08).
1st (1:30am) Sun square Neptune (9 sa 16, 9 pi 16). Time from the
Orcus/North Node aspect to the Neptune aspect = 3hr 30min (midpoint
11:45pm 30th Nov).
About the Author:
Nige Saund has been studying Astrology since 1982, he has good experience with aspects and an astrolgy book of his ideas plus a website is in the pipeline. The develepmont of a full Solar System formation theory which began during the Orcus-Neptune opposition of April/May 2011 is his main focus at the moment, and he's working on a website and book for it. They should be finished in the near future. Nige is also planning on writing more articles once his Solar System formation theory is published and he's informed us that they will be a lot more enlightening.
You can contact Nige at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neptune: By NASA/Voyager 2 Team [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Orcus-Moon: By NASA/Voyager 2 Team [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Orcus (Nasa): See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Orcus (Roman): By Alessio Damato (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)]