Ran Fiennes – Neptune’s dream made real

Ranulph Fiennes, the transglobe explorer accomplished superhuman feats in the coldest and highest regions of the earth; and after a heart attack in his late fifties ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. He’s a fascinating example of magical Neptune at work, not normally a planet associated with extreme endurance, but it is frequently highlighted in the charts of top level athletes who can cope with punishing training schedules.

  In a new film on his life Explorer, he talks of ‘inviting the ghosts’ of his father and grandfather into his head whenever he’s at a difficult spot. ‘Those times that I really wanted to give up, I [chose not to] because of the thought of shaming my father and grandfather. I would imagine them walking beside me, particularly when I had bad frostbite and was on my own.’

  What is extraordinary (or maybe not) is he never knew his father who died four months before he was born, from wounds inflicted by a mine when fighting in Italy during World War 11; or his grandfather who died in the Battle of Arras in 1917. Yet the image of them lives in his head as his guiding star.

  He was born 7 March 1944 12.30pm Windsor, and has a 10th house Pisces Sun like other explorers, Sir Richard Burton, David Livingstone and Amerigo Vespucci. His Sun is square a 12th house Mars Saturn in Gemini which would help with grit, courage, military discipline and the ability to withstand deprivation. He has a confident Jupiter Moon in Leo in his 3rd which would also help in keeping his enthusiasm up; and his Pluto is exactly conjunct a ‘leadership’ North Node.  

  But what has always intrigued me is his 4th house Neptune which is sextile Pluto North Node and trine Uranus. Many years ago I interviewed him for a media piece and explained the standard meanings of Neptune in the 4th to which he took great exception. As he showed me out he said it was the one thing that was absolutely wrong so it always stuck in my head. A friend who had served with him in the army later told me Ranulph could never cope with the thought of his father dying in hospital from wounds. He wanted a father who had a glorious battlefield death.

  His father the war hero, was based on fact but in his absence became embellished with Neptune’s striving for the divine ideal into a mythical almost supernatural presence in his life.  

  I connected this to a story about Black Elk, the Lakota medicine man, who fought at Little Bighorn and survived the Wounded Knee Massacre, who was a Sun Sagittarius trine Neptune, 1 Dec 1863. During an illness aged nine he had a vision in which he was visited by Thunder Beings, figures like wise grandfathers, which marked him out as a shaman and healer. He said when he rode into battle in later years he kept his vision in his mind and emerged unscathed. The one time he let his vision slip a bullet got him in the shoulder.

For both Ranulph Fiennes and Black Elk their Neptunian fantasy/image appeared to act as a protective shield.

  Neptune, when it isn’t dissolving into a puddle of indecision, drowning its sorrows in the bottom of a bottle or running a con, can create a fantasy of such potency it makes the impossible possible (sometimes).

  “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”  T.E. Lawrence – had Neptune Pluto in the 10th.

  Dreamers of the day like Barack Obama have Neptune on the point of a T Square and look at what he accomplished in terms of making it to the White House for two terms.

  Major film stars often have marked Neptune – both Anthony Hopkins and Sean Connery have/had it in the 8th. Projecting a powerful aura.

  Neptune is more kaleidoscopic and multi-faceted than most planets in its range of outcomes reflecting its dream spinner, shape-shifter energy. And what is intriguing is how it can impact on reality if channelled in the right way.

9 thoughts on “Ran Fiennes – Neptune’s dream made real

  1. Thanks Marjorie for this inspiring piece. Fascinating about Neptune, and Ranulph Fiennes and Black Elk. There’s something so lovely and mind-expanding about these men telling us about their visions – happens so rarely nowadays. We seem, culturally, to swing between gullibility and extreme scepticism in our take on anything that can’t be nailed down. Visualisation, which must have a lot to do with Neptune (and Uranus?), can be a very effective tool in sports psychology, and many athletes use it to help them. Meditation techniques, re-branded as ‘mindfulness’, are also useful for helping people cope with stress, anxiety, and so on. There’s some evidence using the mind in these ways enhances neuroplasticity. “Mind-Body-Spirit” can descend into woeful woo-woo, but those connections are, I believe, real.

    The classic movie, Field of Dreams, has a famous Neptunian quote – “if you build it he will come”, referring to a farmer who is inspired by a dream to build a baseball diamond in a field. The ghost of a great former player appears there, and then real people show up, and the farmer’s apparently mad vision is validated.

    I also looked at Martin Luther King (15 January 1929), because of the “I Have a Dream” speech. He had Neptune trine Jupiter and Chiron.

    • Field of Dreams used to be my favourite film. I think some of that is about the ending but perhaps also my strong Neptunian side relates to it. For what it’s worth, when filmed in 1988-89 it was the height of Reaganomics and therefore it is also about how Costner’s character as a child of the 60s wants to follow his dream but the people around him are saying “You will lose your farm if you plough up your crop – you have to be sensible about this” – market profit and all that. Fantastic cast including the recently departed Ray Liotta.

      The film set was kept in tact by the owner of the farm and became a tourist attraction which only made profit from a souvenir shop. Ironically in the last decade it was bought up by a company which has aims of making it more profitable! To the extent that Major League Baseball – the professional leagues – held a regular season game there last year, complete with all the television hype and Costner walking out of the cornfield in the presentation. Pluto in Capricorn is so meh.

      I think you could probably find a correlation between the 1988-89 dates of the original filming when uranus-neptune-saturn would have been in early Capricorn to the 2011 corporate buy up. In all honesty, can’t blame the original owners as they were probably headed into retirement.

      • Thanks GD. Yes, a great movie. I had no idea about the film set being a tourist attraction, and all that tacky money making! Oh dear, not in tune with the spirit of that story.

  2. Beautifully written Marjorie!
    I’m inspired to go re-look at Neptune in my own chart now.
    You have such a gift for writing.

  3. I have Sun (3degrees) conjunct Neptune (8) in Scorpio in the 9th (dependent on house system) and I’ve always found it difficult to relate to self and Neptune

  4. Thanks Marjorie

    Nice how you used this posting to tackle the Neptune queries of recent.

    I wondered if apart from the delusion and fantasy of Neptune it’s the spirituality of it that they had hooked into. A deep knowing so strong that held them together and as a result worked very positively for them. Maybe that is why he would not entertain other interpretations of his Neptune.

    They made friends with it, knew how to work with it, and use it to give them strength from its special powers.

    • I’ve only realised in the past few years that my highly connected Neptune has led me to immerse myself in every thing I do or take on. I can’t simply turn up and half-heartedly take part – it has always been a mystery to me how other people don’t want to know every detail or put every part of them self in to things – this is your life so make the most of it!

      One of the things that has shaped my thinking is in Stephen Arroyo’s book on Jupiter where he talks about how the planet differs in Sag and Pisces. In Sag, Jupiter wants to expand and experience the highs. In Pisces, it wants to expand to experience the extreme highs AND lows. I think this is critical to understanding Pisces/Neptune – that it realises life simply isn’t composed purely of good stuff – you can’t make profit without the risk of loss.

      When I have played sport and given my all, half the fun is how hard can I push myself. How much pain can I suffer in pursuit of victory? To Neptunians, we recognise that to get the best out of ourselves we have to be willing to go into dark places. How far would an explorer like Ranulph Fiennes get if he turned back at the first difficulty.

      I’ve never thought of it as a particularly special quality but the older I’ve got the more I realise the majority of people are trying to avoid pain. The more you engage with it, the more pain you can cope with and it seems like nothing. But if you stay in your comfort zone, you have very little tolerance for it and begin to shrink from the very thought of it.

  5. What an interesting chart, the aspects are so tight. It’s hard not to think he was destined to be notable, successful or somehow standard whatever he did in life.

    It’s kind of like there are two charts there:
    – 3-5degs with Nodes-Uranus-Neptune and Mercury-Pluto
    – 16-20 with Sun, Mars-Saturn, Jupiter-Moon, Venus

    Far enough apart that they’re separate but perhaps all linked by Chiron.

    Fascinated by your interaction insight on his Neptunian 4th and his clear denial of its effect.

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