Chart: Alan Hovhaness, and The Music of Neptune

3 02 2010

On certain days in Summer or Winter, I might have sat under a tree reading on a hillside overlooking green fields and trees. The wind might have come in like a silent companion in a clear sky and made the trees sigh as they do on some quiet or still days when not just the Earth is in harmony, but the mind of it´s observer is in harmony with it. A combination of mental stimulation and nature´s simple beauty sends a shiver of sensual appreciation down the spine.

On days like those the Sun was either conjunct Neptune in the sky or forming an applying trine. I would have to concede these would have been days of Aquarius Neptune, so mental fascination and absorption in the mind would have been appropriate. Neptune in Aquarius would have been a mirror to my contentment of solitude and mental detachment while knowing that friends were still close by, if I wanted them.

This is the birthchart for Alan Hovhaness, (midday chart, 8th March 1911). His grand trine is of particular interest since it is in water, and the Sun Neptune trine is at a fairly close orb of  just under 2 degrees and applying. Hovhaness´s music is impressionistic, it does not have a desire to create rhythm or melody, but rather starts something and then meanders off on other roads.

Venus although in detriment is in mutual reception with Sun by Exaltation. So we can easily say that Venus although detriment and (alien) receives all of the benefits of Pisces, and here we have impressionism, beauty, sensitivity, softness.

It´s not really Hovhaness´s life that interests me, so much as his music. It´s a direct connection to an emotional Neptune (in Cancer). Hovhaness´s music is tidal, like oceans creeping up on you over hours upon hours of listening. And because the melodies are impressionistic and do not aspire to Baroque mental order that other composers like Mozart might do, you´re pushed and pulled continually with the tides.

Neptune is Infinity. Hovhaness captures infinity in his music writing. The Jupiter aspect of the grand trine adds a certain buoyancy, optimism, joy into it all, without which I think the music might be too sad or it would simply not go anywhere. The Saturn Sun semi-square from fixed earth grounds it all. What do I mean by that? Taurus is slow, soft and sensuous, it enjoys the pasture, enjoys staying in one place, and you get the sense in the music too.

One more thing to note about Hovhaness is the detriment Mercury in Pisces, which does not seem to receive dignity from anywhere. It is stated in his biography that he burnt between 500 and 1,000 of his compositions in the 1930´s, decisions which seem to be contrary to common sense.

Hovhaness in 1941:

I propose to create a heroic, monumental style of composition simple enough to inspire all people, completely free from fads, artificial mannerisms and false sophistications, direct, forceful, sincere, always original but never unnatural. Music must be freed from decadence and stagnation. There has been too much emphasis on small things while the great truths have been overlooked. The superficial must be dispensed with. Music must become virile to express big things. It is not my purpose to supply a few pseudo intellectual musicians and critics with more food for brilliant argumentation, but rather to inspire all mankind with new heroism and spiritual nobility. This may appear to be sentimental and impossible to some, but it must be remembered that Palestrina, Handel, and Beethoven would not consider it either sentimental or impossible. In fact, the worthiest creative art has been motivated consciously or unconsciously by the desire for the regeneration of mankind.

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Neptune Signs

26 09 2008

Neptune Pisces

Magic is in the air. Magic more to the point is in the water supply.

When Neptune slips into the sign of Pisces in 2012, illusion and beauty will fill the world, there will be such fine emotion, such merging and people will feel that they are one with the Universe and with each other. Water of course is what connects the world, not only are human beings mostly water, but so is the Earth’s surface. The Mayas have predicted that the coincidence of Neptune Pisces, of which they knew nothing about with their own Astrological system heralded the End of the Age.

Now in true Neptune fashion, half the population have taken these words to signify the end of the world. But of course logic states that this is not so, our Solar system is stable, and changes slowly. Pisces is often confused, often does not know the difference between logic and imagination. So there will be part of the population that truly believes that the end is nigh. And they will make their contribution to the feeling that will permeate the world… because crisis and confusion often does bring forth moments of clarity and redemption from the impending catastrophe.

There are musicians who have Neptune placed in Pisces, who were in tune with the finer emotions of humanity. They were able to use that talent to affect people through their art, through their creativity, they were able to capture people’s hearts. This placement is the most powerful placement for Neptune, Neptune Pisces is spiritually awake, and the most sensitive placements of Neptune.

Neptune Aquarius

What’s wrong with being alone? There are many people out there, who are alone, who feel alone, who are in, for whatever reason, emotional islands. The nature of humanity is that we are all born into the world this way, that the human body is separate from all other human bodies.

It is easy to see that people are trying to connect with each other. The real reason for groups and clubs, may not be the knowledge and the actual interest which unites, but, rather the uniting, the being together, that counteracts the lonely and emotionally detached experience of Aquarius.

Neptune is a fine planet, it’s the planet which acts on the human sensibilities, emotion which is even more sensitive than the emotion of the Moon. So while Neptune transits the sign of Aquarius, groups of people all around the world will be able to come in contact with finer feelings, with the soul of the Solar System.

Having modern rulership over Venus’s exaltation, it is easy to see that Neptune is sentimental and very attached to feelings of love. But these feelings don’t just project onto one person or one concept. For Aquarius, it is so important to accept and understand the whole, to bring forth the collective approach. Because Neptune has so much compassion, and Aquarius believes in the Brotherhood of Man, Aquarius Neptune will do all it can to erase the discrimination, to put a stop to other people’s suffering. It does this in a methodical way, because it is under the rulership of Saturn and Uranus. There is a need to create both systems which are all-inclusive, but also a need to connect with someone.

Neptune has a lot of emotional needs. in Aquarius it reaches out to other people, to try to make friends, to not be alone. This is a noble placement for Neptune.

Neptune Capricorn

Neptune is the planet of imagination and illusions. Capricorn symbolises the father. The father of Capricorn Neptune is likely to be idealised. Neptune has the effect of making the father psychic or highly sensitive. Those are positive manifestations of the energy, negative manifestations are those associated with the down side of Neptune, confusion, the wrong end of the stick, lies, deceptions, and of course absense.

Capricorn also rules institutions and governments. Capricorn Neptune therefore has similar effects for these institutions, the heads of state of the Eastern European states and of Russia are destined to be senstive, psychic and idealistic, they are likely at times to deceive, but looking at 1990-1993, the countries whose consitutions were born in this period will have both Saturn and Uranus close by in either the same sign or in Aquarius, so the power and the backbone is all-present.

Neptune Sagittarius

Star Wars

It wasn’t so much the actual wars that captured my imagination about these films which came out towards the end of the Neptune in Sagittarius transit, but more the adventure, the expansiveness of it, different worlds with lush forests and mountains, as well as Icy worlds or desert worlds, and then the noble and bold fight against darkness by the force. It also included a rather exotic and beautiful princess from a distant galaxy and the Jedi Knights, who were all filled with great belief in the heroism and bravery that is of the essence of Sagittarius which is Fire. The films which began then were all about expansion, of going further on a journey which was as spiritual as it was about the hot princess. The “Force” was a spiritual power which could only be mastered by knowledge and wisdom, these were possessed by the wise Obi Wan Kenobe and Yoda, who were the masters and were Jedi because they knew how to use their knowledge of the force for Good rather than Evil. Sagittarius is a sign of strange and foreign, or exotic places but also has much affinity with animals, and in the Star Wars films there are a vast array of various different species of alien half human half animal who just like the Centaur of Sagittarian myth are wise and on the side of the Light.

Neptune made Star Wars a myth which was so in tune with the Sagittarian expanive feeling, with Neptune in that sign it was something which was all about dreaming and fulfilling an ideal, and the ideals of Sagittarius are similare to Neptune’s visions, which is why this was combination works very well, combining expansive noble qualities with idealism, compassion and a sense of being out there in something great and wondersome. It should be noted that three more films were made during the transit of Pluto in Sagittarius, staying fairly true to the original soul of the films. Neptune of course had moved on into Aquarius, and with it also went the idea of the universe being inexhaustible and expansive because the plots and themes and characters were already known… Aquarius has the facts remember and doesn’t need to go out searching, but to simply resolve. It is interesting though how the Dark Side features in the newer films with great awareness of its power, Pluto working his total catharsis and painful transformation through the Spiritual dimension… the pain of Anakin Skywalker is Plutonic, it’s beyond what any human being ought to take, but it does explain, and that is Neptune sextiling its earlier place in Sagittarius from Aquarius, bringing true understanding.