Stir of Echoes is one of my favorite films, and after reading Liz Greene’s The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption, it helped greatly with some of the astrological themes in the movie. The obvious connection involves Neptune and the link with the paranormal, “psychism” and spiritual side of life. However, the process leading up to this opening of the mind to a profound psychic experience is related to hypnotism.
Kevin Baker plays Tom Witzky a phone lineman who is skeptical of all things paranormal and unexplainable. Tom challenges his sister in law to hypnotize him and after putting him under she leaves a post-hypnotic suggestion to be more “open minded”. However, this opens the floodgates of his latent psychic ability (Neptune). Tom begins to have visitations from a teenage girl who is trying to communicate with him. The story unravels to reveal that the girl who is visiting him, once had a mental disability; she was a naïve and innocent girl who was horribly murdered.
The term Hypnosis (from Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep) was coined by the Scottish physician James Braid during the 1840s, coincident with the actual discovery of the planet Neptune. The discovery of this gateway into the unconscious, which had such profound ramifications for psychology, psychiatry, medicine, and spiritualism in the centuries which followed, is a fascinating one. It is useful to examine certain aspects of the phenomena of hypnosis. Sometimes it seems that the Neptune-dominated personality walks about in a state of perpetual semi-hypnosis, terrifyingly suggestible to just about anything passing by. Hypnotists generally agree that certain types of people are extremely difficult to hypnotise. The psychotic, the drunk, and the drug addict may pose insurmountable problems because hypnotic trance requires a relinquishing of ego control to the hypnotists, and in the three conditions mentioned above, there is no ego left to give away. In contrast the hyper rational temperament is equally difficult to hypnotise, although this is due largely to extreme defensiveness rather than lack of suggestibility. The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption
Subjects in a state of hypnosis show an increased response to suggestions and the hypnotic state can also be used to heal morbid phobias, pain, other health symptoms. It can even be used as a mild anesthetic and the person under a trance can be poked with needles and not feel a thing. The hypnotist can even induce the senses into to believing that they feel itching, burning, and other bodily discomforts.
A bond between hypnosis and subject is apparent through the way the individual follows the instructions of the hypnotist, even it means embarrassing himself. According to Liz Greene, sometimes clairvoyant and telepathic phenomena occur. It is highly fascinating exploring how hypnosis works and its relationship to Neptune and the unconscious. It is also suggested that people who have Neptune powerful in the chart and aspecting one of the luminaries (Sun and Moon) or placed on an angle, are extremely open to psychic experiences.
The belief in spirits is widespread and it dates back to ancestor worship (12th house). It is linked to the afterlife. The spiritualist movement reached its peak by 1897, and it was said to have more than 8 million followers, with all of this occurring under the Neptune-Pluto conjunction in Gemini. Transits involving Neptune can also be present during psychic activity, and psychics are commonly known as “Sensitives” possessing the ability to perceive things hidden from the conscious and rational mind. Stir of Echoes connects to some of the astrological themes relating to Neptune, and the ghost scenes are captured so beautifully on screen.
The movie does make the grave mistake, however, of saying Einstein was a Gemini, shakes head over this major flaw. As we all know, this genius man was actually born under the sign of the Fishes, Pisces.