Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Irish Potato Famine- A Neptune in Pisces story

Do you ever eat a potato and wonder about the history of this odd little tuber? It went from being an exclusive crop of Pre-Colombian South America to the predominant caloric intake for millions worldwide. This little vegetable got around, and fast- it took only a couple hundred years to do it. The Irish, in particular, adopted the potato as an important supplementary food, which soon become the mainstay of their diet. Any movement that widespread is bound to have importance in astrology somehow.

Literally conquered the world, one plate at a time

Nothing shows the significance of an astrological event like a real life example. Neptune moved into Pisces April 4th, an event the world hasn’t seen since 1847. Many significant events happened around the world at this time, some positive… and some not so positive. One of these events was an Gorta Mór, the Irish Potato Famine. The undercurrents of global awareness that began to flow stronger with Neptune in Pisces are essential to understanding the Irish Potato Famine. It was a global event, with global consequences.

Phytophthora infestans was a disease (originally from Mexico, actually, that travelled to Europe via boat) that devastated crops in Ireland from 1845 to 1852. A million people died of starvation or disease, and two million more immigrated to other countries. Ireland lost ¼ of its entire population. Countries then, as now, felt a sense of humanitarian obligation- compassion, one of the keywords of Pisces, was increasingly important with Neptune in Pisces. Other themes of this event- dissolving boundaries, global consciousness, idealism, maritime development, etc- are apparent in an interesting occurrence during the Irish Potato Famine- an aid shipment from the Ottoman Empire in 1845.

The Ottoman Empire originally tried to send 10,000 pounds sterling in assistance to the Irish people, but the British government forced them to lower this amount to 1,000 (to ensure, apparently, that their aid did not overshadow England’s 2,000 pound contribution). While there is documented evidence of this monetary contribution, there is no set proof of an additional physical contribution: 3 ships of food, bound from the Ottoman Empire to Ireland, supposedly snuck past the blocked ports of Dublin and Belfast and delivered their cargo to the town of Drogheda. In gratitude, the modern Coat of Arms of the town contains a star and crescent symbol on the top:

There is a unique combination of elements in this short tale, all of which demonstrate the budding era of Neptune in Pisces. There was compassion and international humanitarian concern and help on the part of the Ottoman Empire (a common Pisces trait, enhanced by the sensitivity and idealism of and the impending Neptune in Pisces). There was suffering and the need for healing in Ireland, there was cross-oceanic travel, all the while dissolving the boundaries of political and religious borders for the good of helping mankind, all associated with Neptune in Pisces. But of course, maybe the most Neptunian aspect of all- nobody can agree on exactly what happened, if it did. Was it three ships or five? Did the Ottoman Empire really want to send 10,000 pounds originally? Did it even happen at all? The dissolving boundaries of Neptune in Pisces open the door to unprecedented sensitivity and concern for all. However, at the same time, Neptune in Pisces dissolves concrete facts. Mundane life becomes, at times, indistinguishable from myth. Instead of focusing on lack of facts during these times of Neptune in Pisces, we should focus on the potential for insights about our global unity. From The Fountain magazine:

“Ottoman efforts to provide food and lessen the pains of the Irish people, despite political obstacles and the long distance, certainly deserves to be appreciated. It is a case study that should be analyzed carefully, not only as historical evidence for the friendship between two nations, but also as a perfect example that differences of race, religion, or language should not prevent humanitarian aid. This generous charity from a Muslim sultan to a Christian nation is also important, particularly in our time when Muslims are often unfairly accused of human rights violations.”

Now more than ever, we should maintain discrimination in the face of uncertain facts… but also open ourselves to the big picture, and the insights of brotherhood and tolerance we may find hidden there. Have you readers seen increased global compassion and awareness since Neptune moved into Pisces this month? Or perhaps more confusion? Share your thoughts!