Neptune is the contemporary ruler of Pisces. Neptune has been known as the Greek Poseidon, Roman Neptuna, and Etruscan Nethuns. He is the God of the Seas, and like the seas he is changeable, moving, vast, unpredictable, beautiful and spiritual.
Neptune represents dreams, illusions, subtlety, mysticism, fantasy, spirituality, meditation, sacred poetry, magical music, trance, the space of imagination, and the magic of movies, glamour, and fashion. In his highest state he blesses us with divine inspiration, psychic ability, intense intuition, clear access to our higher self, divinatory dreams, universal compassion, and spiritual enlightenment. In his lower forms, he can bring about unconscious self-sabotage, intentional deception, delusions, deceit, and addictions.
He changes signs every 13-14 years and takes 164 years to go around the Sun once. Chances are, once you have a particular Neptune transit, you will not repeat it in this lifetime.
Neptune has ruled the oceans. There is something beautiful, bountiful, endless, but also frightening about the prospect of a large body of water that is vast, with movements that a sailor could get lost within. We can be at the mercy of the sea. However, being near water is also a place that many of us feel a sense of calm or a deeper connection to our selves. It is an immediate reminder of life and what sustains us. Yet, it remains big, unknowable, and mysterious.
Neptune rules transparency between worlds. He rules contact with other realms and altered states of consciousness. Neptune can affect our ability to perceive things accurately or with necessary detachment because of this altered state. Where Neptune is in a chart can have us either feeling very mystically inclined or not seeing things clearly.
Neptune is known as the higher vibration of Venus. Venus and Neptune both rule art and beauty. Venus rules attraction, love, partnership, and money. Neptune rules universal love, the unconscious and mystical connections. Both contribute to art, where Venus creates something that is visually pleasing, Neptune creates that which is divinely inspired. Where Venus lends to beauty that is aesthetically lovely, Neptune lends itself to beauty that is beyond words, is surreal and Divine.
However, there is a caution when considering Neptunian energy. All energies require balance. This is particularly true with Neptune. The energy is so strongly escapist and illusionary, that you need to consider some practical way to bring this energy into some tangible outlet. Neptune can be hyper sensitive, and too much sensitivity can make it difficult to function in the world. It’s also easy to fool yourself when you are riding this energy.
I have met people undergoing a challenging Neptune cycle. At first, they can’t understand what isn’t right and they feel increasingly hypersensitive. This is one challenging way this energy is felt. However, finding an outlet for the sensitivity and actively choosing to work to connect with tangibles can transform it. If you feel like you are about to fly off on a current of sadness, disappointment, or a flight of fancy, then consider bringing in an another energy that will allow you to feel more connected to the Earth. It will help soak up the waters and bring stability.
A harder transit of Neptune can bring confusion and hypersensitivity, as mentioned, but those difficult Neptune times teach us to ground our ideals and accept reality. An easier Neptune transit can be challenging as well because it can indicate where we may not see things clearly. If we choose an idealized vision over the reality of the situation, we could set ourselves up for disappointment once the tide turns and other aspects set in.
Neptune transits can also indicate a dissolving phase, not only in the personal sense of how we feel, but in a practical sense, in the area of life he touches. There is a sense that things can get “washed” or “washed up”. This can include plans we have made, areas of life, and specific circumstances. For example, if Neptune starts touching your relationships, you may find that your relationships become harder to define. You may find yourself attracting people who are hard to pin down, or they tend to wash away like water. The people you attract might be escapist in some way or have an addiction. Alternatively, it is also possible that a visit from Neptune to your 7th house will have you believing in soul mates.
As I will discuss throughout this book, many times things can be worked out energetically. So if you notice Neptune touching your relationships, you can decide to examine your expectations and consider your highest vision and ideals. By deciding, you will know what really matters and what doesn’t. You also want to give yourself time when getting to know new people, as a more balanced perspective can take time to reveal itself. If we see only the positive in others instead of honoring all they are, with their good and bad, we can miss out on the best of their unique complexities.
Whatever area of life Neptune touches, it’s about keeping those rose colored glasses clean enough so that we can still see the reality.
I am reminded of a lesson I once had with a former professor. He said that, in his very early years, he did a reading with a friend who had his heart set on starting his own business. The friend had poured so many of his hopes and dreams into an idea and really wanted it to work. He was quitting a secure, successful full-time job in order to pursue his new business full-time.
On doing a reading, my professor saw that Neptune was in the area of finances, the 2nd house. He didn’t want to discourage his friend so he said nothing. Well, the friend ended up not seeing some key expenditures that would be required. He ended up pouring so much of himself and his resources into a business that ended up washing away.
Through this experience early in his career, my professor learned to be honest with people about all the possibilities. His friend’s expectations were so strong that not even my professor had the heart to tear into it. With a more measured perspective on his friend’s behalf, he could have helped avoid such financial hardships.
This story brings up another interesting point. The realizations you have as you watch the ways in which your chart is expressed in your life, the life of those you love, and even your clients, will all lead you to become a better astrologer, one reading at a time.
You will learn more about how to spot the areas of life that each planet is touching. I know it can be scary to consider the impact of the mist of Neptune. However, your awareness that Neptune can indicate such occurrences gives you a heads up. When you see a transit coming, you know that you can choose healthy, balanced, and measured manifestations of this energy. If you know there’s a chance of getting washed away, you can make sure to wear your life jacket and stay safe while enjoying the water.
Remember, the sky is nothing to fear! The Universe is wise and loving. We can make the most of anything.
Great musicians also have strong Neptune placements, but there is a reason that we think of Rock n Roll mixing with other Neptunian exploits like sex and drugs. It is the sensitive soul that can create beautiful songs. It is a mystical connection that is brought to the sound. I am reminded of Kurt Cobain at this juncture. He had a very strong Neptune in his chart (I’ll talk about what it means to have a strong planet in your chart when we get to the chapter on aspects). However, he also had a great fantasy of what fame would mean in his life. When it didn’t match up, he lost himself in his disappointment. Could anything have been done to save him? Of course, but that was his journey to take.
Ultimately, the journey of an addict, also represented by Neptune, is a spiritual journey. It is about learning to manage their spiritual energy. When you do that, you connect to a higher source and find bliss in life. When you don’t have the skills or don’t recognize that you need to do the work to acquire the skills, then the heightened sensitivity and disappointment of fantastical expectations not met can be hard to bear. Cobain made great music because of his sensitivity, but had a harder time finding a spiritual purpose to align with what would ultimately give his life purpose. Bless him. We are all human, and always learning.
Whether we understand inspiration as a state of mystical frenzy or a state of living in line with a sense of enchantment with our external world, Neptune’s job is to inspire us. Neptune can give us a sense of meaning and purpose. It infuses life with faith and magic. Every occurrence can take on symbolic relevance that makes us more compassionate with others and with ourselves. He can inspire our compassion, strengthen our empathy, and lead us to feel more united with the world and all who inhabit it.
However, that same inspiration, when carried too far, can make us lose touch with reality and our responsibilities. When reality does come knocking, and it always does, how well we balance our Neptune will be revealed in how we deal with real demands.
Working with Neptune can bring about an awareness of the more hidden, mystical realms of our lives. He is wonderful to connect to when we want to create magnificent art that seems divinely inspired. He allows the veils between worlds to melt away, and so can be great when we want to see things for their inherent unity and with more compassionate eyes. He also allows us to create illusions that are appropriate in the right circumstances, such as a filmmaker would desire to cultivate. Neptune’s gifts of blessing us with psychic moments and intuitive understandings are powerful.
By all means, enjoy Neptune. Its ultimate purpose is to allow you to be of service in compassion to others. We are best able to do that while also having our feet on the ground.
Neptune retrogrades about once a year for about five months. Neptune retrogrades are a time when we ask ourselves to be honest about what is real in our lives, but more importantly, what isn’t. It asks that we be willing to break illusions and take off our rose colored glasses. Sometimes this process is gently encouraged, other times it can come on as a needed disappointment, clarifying fantasy from reality. This can either be a time that we delve deeper into our chosen addiction, or get honest about its overall costs to our life, enough to make a change. The best of this time asks us to translate faith into a life better lived, helping to bring spirit to earth.
*Official Excerpt from Nadiya’s Book – Astrology Realized.