The Distortions of Victimhood - Neptune in Pisces
I’m not sure when this happened, but somehow between 2011 and now, we seem to have given “victims” carte blanche when it comes to what they say and do. It used to be that those who had experienced horrific events were disbelieved and outcast as societal pariahs. But as is the law in Hermetics – however far the pendulum swings to the right is however far it will swing to the left.
No matter what side the pendulum swings to, there will be those who are harmed for our societal distortions.
So, before I move forward to talk about the energy of Neptune in Pisces, I want to make something clear:
In this article I’m going to discuss the topics of victims and victimization. If you have experienced harassment, rape, attack, abuse, or other predatory behaviours from someone – I support you. Why? Because like many others, I have been sexually harassed and physically attacked myself. I empathize and hope that maybe some of the fighting spirit I’ve been blessed with in this life will help light a fire for you to fight for a good life for yourself. I say a good life and not “justice” because that’s what true recovery is. (And if someone needs to be held accountable, hold them accountable legally – then hold yourself accountable for your personal recovery and get back to a good life because you deserve it.)
My aim in discussing these topics is not to argue the prevalence of false accusations. As I have held in open transparency above, I understand the vast majority of women have experienced sexual misconduct of some kind in their lifetime as I have been one of them myself. Therefore, my aim is to establish that false allegations are harmful too and that the cultural correction of believing all accusers that has taken root in the energy of Neptune in Pisces is also a distortion that undermines due process and harms potentially innocent people.
And as you will read, cohesion, acceptance, and real compassion are the rewards of Neptune in Pisces that could be experienced on a global level, but only if we can dispel 3 key illusions that will misdirect our efforts if they remain in place.
Timeline and key themes of Neptune in Pisces:
Back in 2011, February 3rd to be exact – Neptune was first received into the last astrological sign, Pisces. Neptune’s transits through signs are approximately 14 years and so Neptune will remain in Pisces until March 30th, 2025. There will be some bonus time as Neptune goes retrograde later in 2025 and finally re-emerges into Aries in January of 2026.
In astrology, every planet has its dichotomies. Neptune is the planet of spirituality and illusion. Some people might argue that those two things are synonymous – but in the context of esoteric astrology, they are not. From the viewpoint of Esoteric Astrology, Neptune is the Exoteric (personality-level) ruler of Pisces. Neptune’s transits through the signs influence the way we as a society embrace ideals, the lies that we accept, and how we show compassion towards one another. Whenever a planet is in one of its own signs, the effects of that planet become exaggerated. In this case meaning: spirituality and illusion have been magnified.
That statement needs to be broken down though because the very theme of spiritually and illusion is vast. Being in its own sign, one can’t help but ask if the positives of Neptune are also exaggerated and the real answer is only on the level of an individual. As a collective, we seem to be exceptionally good at muddling up the rays that emit from the stars and planets, resulting in the distortions we see at the collective level.
These are the 3 illusions that I want to address as part of the distortions that I mentioned above:
1) The belief that we are owed a “trigger-free” society
2) The automatic belief in victims and society’s perceived inability for an offender to be rehabilitated
3) The focus on restitution and making amends rather than empowerment and prevention stemming from misplaced compassion
Gear up for an in-depth narrative where we go into the energies of Neptune in Pisces and some real-world examples to help cement your understanding of where these distortions become harmful to us all!
Illusion #1: A Trigger-Free Society does not exist!
I owe credit to Tonya Russell of NBC News for the phrase Trigger-Free Society. In a recent article on Demi Lovato’s attack on a frozen yogurt business, Ms. Russell said some magick words that have since stuck with me: “It’s impossible to know what exactly will be a trigger to any given person, so it’s only fair that our expectations match that reality.” (Here’s the article if you’re interested).
Her words were written in the context of triggering someone’s eating disorder, but there’s a universality to this statement – it is impossible to move through life without unintentionally offending someone!
This is the first illusion of Neptune in Pisces – that a trigger-free society can exist. Esoterically, Pisces is the sign of human salvation and of the Agape Love, also known as Christ Consciousness. Its energy is that of the soothing waters that heal all wounds. It is the cohesion of trillions of drops of water as they form an ocean or sea. It is the healing that happens when the individual merges back into the collective once again, knowing, understanding and loving the humanity that makes us one.
When I speak of the esoteric though, I am speaking of the knowledge that is held by the spirit – that very knowledge we strive for when we dive into philosophy, spiritual healing, and metaphysics. Way back before we ever became physical beings, I believe we had a trigger-free society. Why? Because triggers only belong to the realm of the mind and opinion – something we only experience here in the physical.
Neptune in Pisces has created an emotional entitlement – that everyone is supposed to know how you feel and that they should cater to that emotional condition to never offend you. A dear friend of mine highlighted this emotional entitlement when she told me a story about her misogynistic ex-husband. Trying to make up for previous misdeeds, the man decided to hold a door open for a woman at the mall, only to hear something to the tune of: “WHAT??? Do you think I’m some kind of weak woman? How dare you hold the door open for me!” Being of misogynistic inclination, he reportedly has never tried again.
Had it been a different woman though, the reception could have been the same or it could have been quite different. But as the journalist Tonya Russell pointed out above – how are you supposed to know what will trigger a person?
The good news of Neptune in Pisces here is that the concept of healing and overcoming emotional wounding has come to the forefront of consciousness. If you’re reading this, then you’re part of a large tide in society who want to heal their triggers. If you know me, then you know that all the healing work I do as a Modern Mystery School Initiate is just about that.
A Trigger-Free Society doesn’t exist – it’s impossible. Or at least it will be so long as we have emotionally and mentally charged triggers.
If you can heal your triggers though, you are contributing to the possibility of that kind of world and the true peace that would be part of it. That would be the highest anchoring of Neptune in Pisces that an individual could hold in this world. (We seriously need more of us to get closer to this! I’m working on it and hope you are too!)
Illusion #2: All accusers tell the truth and offenders are incapable of rehabilitation
The #Metoo Movement has definitely stirred up controversy in recent years, although it has pretty much been forgotten as we have dealt with effects of COVID globally. Its slogan is “Believe Women” which has somehow warped itself in the collective consciousness to be read more as “Believe All Women”. If a woman has an accusation to make, you better listen because she is incapable of lying.
There’s a brilliant article by Megan Garber on how the slogan and politics of the #Metoo movement show themselves as hypocritical in the case of Tara Reade’s accusations against now President Joe Biden. In it, she discusses how the slogan “Believe Women” has gone awry:
“Automatically believe women. The summation makes a straw man of certitude itself. The slogan that arose with the expansion of the #MeToo movement is “Believe women.” It was meant not as an imperative but as a corrective—to centuries’ worth of assumptions about women as unreliable narrators of their own lives. The phrase was not, and is not, “Believe all women”; no reasonable person would claim that every single woman is so morally pure that she is incapable of telling a lie.” (You can read the article here)
There are a few mechanisms by which the Neptune in Pisces energy has misdirected us here:
· Over-empathizing with the experience of victimhood
· The illusion that emotions or being emotional means truthful
For centuries, women’s claims of rape, abuse and sexual misconduct have largely been ignored. For a long time, the pendulum swing of distortion meant that a woman accusing someone (usually a man) of misconduct resulted in being shunned, punished, and scorned by the local community. Women often weren’t believed unless other witnesses were present, with men being more reliable witnesses than women.
As Neptune emerged into Pisces, deep within the human collective, the shared experience of trauma and victimization came to the forefront and established a place in our societal discourse. Many of us know what it is like to have been victim to something or someone and we hate the feeling so much that we try to remedy situations that trigger our internal traumas, often without vetting whether there is actual victimization or not. If the external situation triggers some past experience of our own, then surely that other person must be a victim too.
Here’s the illusion – emotions and triggers are truthful or indicate that someone is honest. So, I’m sorry to say this – emotions are not always based on truth and reality! (Also, emotions can be simulated. Diana Davison shares a chilling account of how one woman in British Columbia compiled the experiences women of the #MeToo Movement shared on a website and used them to create a very convincing false narrative that luckily was discovered in court. But not before her victim racked up $100,000.00 in legal fees and suffered deep psychological harm.)
Here’s where I would like to give a personal example of how these illusions hurt us as a society:
As many of you know, I have been an Initiate with the #ModernMysterySchool for 16 years as of the date of this article. I am a Guide and International Instructor who travels and teaches Astrology, the Warriors of Light Program and other classes.
Recently, an article was published in Vice about two men who have been instrumental in my own journey of overcoming abuse, healing, and finally stepping into my own power. Written by Mark Wilding of Vice News, this article paints a horrendous picture of Founder Gudni Gudnason and Ipsissimus Dave Lanyon – two of the leaders of the Modern Mystery School. The article slaps around labels like sex cult and alleges financial exploitation. Serious crimes that should be taken up by a court of law, not a tabloid.
It primarily features the “testimony” of two women: Edie Koleszar and Bernice Van Eck. If I were a strict adherent of the #MeToo Movement, I would take everything these women have said as fact – after all, why would a victim lie? (Especially about something like a sex cult!)
Well, I’d like to refer to another article on that exact topic. Let’s look at the profile of a false accuser according to documented studies. This article from Quartz written by Sandra Newman highlights the fact that while most false accusations of men rarely make it to court (and are only estimated to comprise between 2 to 10% of allegations of sexual misconduct), there is a profile which females who falsely accuse men tend to fit into:
“Almost invariably, adult false accusers who persist in pursuing charges have a previous history of bizarre fabrications or criminal fraud.” (Full Article here)
Sadly, these women Edie Koleszar and Bernice Van Eck did not take their grievances to court (where due process could occur, and evidence could be examined). They took their grievances to a tabloid and a reporter (Mark Wilding) who likely doesn’t care that his support of false claims undermines the real claims that other women have – when more women lie about sexual misconduct, the less we are believed as a whole.
In her article, Newman highlights 4 reasons why a person would make false allegations:
1) Personal Gain (Status, self-promotion, or financial gain)
2) Mental Illness (Hallucinations that make them think the event happened)
3) Revenge (Exacting retribution for grievances such as being rejected)
4) Need for an Alibi (To cover up other behaviours that would get them in trouble)
As I read through the accusations against my teachers that in my heart of hearts, I know are false, I could see how these women fit that false accuser profile:
Did they have something to gain by taking their accusations to the media?
Was there a potential for revenge to result in these accusations from Edie Koleszar and Bernice Van Eck?
Were they trying to cover up other behaviours such as unpaid debts or unauthorized use of copyrighted materials?
Did Mark Wilding compose a bizarre fabrication using the testimony of these women?
When I posed these kinds of questions recently on Facebook, I watched as the over-empathy with victimization took over (thank you Neptune in Pisces). Suddenly, I was a misogynist and victim-shamer according to people who didn’t know me, hadn’t even read the article, and knew nothing about the situation! Some of you reading this may feel uncomfortable at me even asking these questions – and that’s ok. While we are not in a court of law, we also should not do people (in this case Founder Gudni Gudnason and Ipsissimus Dave Lanyon) the disservice of a presumption of guilt without sufficient proof and analysis of evidence.
But when have news, social media, and the internet ever wanted you to think and discern for yourself? Never – the very reason I pose the above questions, so that perhaps you can discern for yourself.
We don’t want to fall into the trap of belief without proof because: “the emotional and political reflex that leads us to automatically “believe the victim” will sometimes cause us to cheerlead the imprisonment of innocent men.” (Thank you, Diana Davison for your contribution on the subject).
Also, when we believe victims without question, if they are false accusers, we open the door for them to use that status for gain, revenge, or as a way to cover up other illicit behaviours. They can actually use victim status to victimize others! What a crazy thought!
As I also mentioned, the other side of this illusion is that to be convicted or admit to wrongdoing has no incentive because you can never rehabilitate and become a good person again. Referring back to the words of Helen Lewis on the issues of the #MeToo Movement, she highlights how men can never find salvation and will result in outright denial (à la Donald Trump) because:
“As a rallying cry, “Believe women” groups cases together in a deeply unhelpful way. In a court of law, there are grades of offense, and sliding penalties. In the court of public opinion, we talk about rape and a hand on the knee in the same breath. A man who becomes “#MeToo accused”—but whose case is never publicly aired in full—carries a miasma of unspecified wrongdoing. And if there is no possibility of “serving your time,” all the incentives point toward denial rather than confession.”
But as I mentioned above, Neptune in Pisces offers the promise of healing, the cleansing of the mind and soul. Can someone make mistakes (even serious ones) and rehabilitate to become a better person? Perhaps it is my idealistic nature that says yes, but I’m not the only one. Frankly, everyone who has had spiritual healing, psychological sessions, or counselling of any kind certainly believes so too.
When allegations of sexual misconduct are debated on the internet (the court of public opinion) rather than a court of law, those allegations will never leave the accused, even if proven untrue. Let’s say that someone successfully refutes the allegations of Edie Koleszar and Bernice Van Eck in court, these accusations against Founder Gudni Gudnason and Ipsissimus Dave Lanyon will forever live on the internet and be perpetuated.
Why should anyone admit to wrongdoing if they are going to be perpetually punished beyond their alleged crime? If we don’t offer healing and a way home for the wrong doers, then we actually make it worse as they will never admit liability. If we punish guilty and innocent alike, then who can blame anyone for fighting allegations tooth and nail?
The Neptune in Pisces Remedy:
do not over-empathize and listen to all sides of a story·
reserve judgment until all facts have been analyzed
have compassion for the accuser and accused alike
Illusion #3: It looks better to make amends than it does to make change
Most politicians know this (especially if they’re Canadian). There are many different interest groups out there right now who want apologies and restitution – all of them victimized in some way. We can thank our trigger-filled society (and trigger-filled minds) for this. Then there’s the smiling politician who issues formal words of apology on behalf of the people because it’s good for the ratings.
But this is also a distortion of the Neptune in Pisces energy – holding on to old grudges, pains and traumas and not moving on. (I’m not saying that apologies or restitution are unwarranted, that’s a case-by-case basis.) The cries of interest groups (meaning small or even miniscule subsections of the population) begin to dictate how the mass is supposed to behave (as in the case of Joe Biden’s largely unpopular executive order on trans-gendered participation in sports).
Since the politicians always look better when making amends, that’s what they do. It seems to be nothing but a career of apologizing and making financial amends to different sections of the population. Large amounts of money, time and effort are poured into helping victims of all kinds of circumstances. It’s a good thing – we should help those who cannot help themselves, it’s the compassionate thing to do.
But this is also where society needs to wise up: compassion after the fact does nothing to prevent further travesties from taking place. The person who helps victims of abuse is good. Absolutely they are! But so is the person who spends their life educating and empowering others so that they hopefully never fall victim to it to begin with!
We need to combat the illusion that tending the weak and victimized is holier than leading the next generations to be stronger, wiser, and more discerning so that they don’t suffer the same traumas as those before them. We also need to prioritize prevention because arguably it is the most compassionate thing we can do. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure! Why help someone overcome trauma if it was possibly preventable to begin with?
The ultimate teaching of Pisces is to not give in to the idea of powerlessness and victimhood. The fish of Pisces have 2 origins. In the Greek tradition, the two fish were Aphrodite and Eros who turned themselves into fish to escape the evil clutches of Typhon, a rampaging monster who wanted to kill the Greek Gods. Caring for one another so deeply, they tied a silver cord to keep them connected that they might not lose each other and in the event one of them had to face Typhon, they would face him in unity.
The other origin of the fish symbolism comes from the parable of Jesus the Christ teaching men to fish instead of simply feeding them, knowing that the knowledge of how to provide for themselves would be their salvation. A reminder that it is not enough to simply get away from or minimize the effect of traumatic events, true healing has not taken place until that person can start growing in their life again.
Neptune in Pisces Drawing to a Conclusion:
We’ve gone through 10 years of Neptune in Pisces with 4 more to go. We have believed all victims at the potential cost of the innocent, demanded a trigger-free society, and neglected making empowering changes that can limit and prevent further victimization from taking place. It’s not a great track record to be honest.
But as I mentioned in the beginning, as a collective, we have a tendency to muddle astrological energies. In you the reader, I am much more hopeful. I believe that you can balance the distortions of Neptune in Pisces and influence others to do the same.
What does that look like?
· Healing your triggers so that there’s less to trigger you
· Remain neutral in your judgment of guilt or innocence
· Empathizing with accuser and accused alike – guilty or innocent, they both need it
· Empower others so that the number of victims dwindle through the years
The more any of us do this, the more we set the stage for a world of honesty, transparency, recovery, and empowerment. If you’d like to see the number of victims in the world diminish, this is a simplified philosophy to help you start your contribution.
Let’s finish this Neptune transit with great unity, love, and service to all! We’ve got 4 years left to shift the narrative!
With Love Always,