The influence of Neptune has always presented a challenge for astrologers. It is often interpreted as deception and illusion, but Neptune is teaching us about non-attachment. Whether natally or by transit, it points to the area of the chart which will have a spiritual emphasis through a type of sacrifice and testing.
Neptune is associated with all that is subtle and intangible, and describing the influence of Neptune is alot like trying to describe Tao. The entire text of the Tao te Ching attempts to offer a glimpse of what it is, but to give it a name or try to grasp it - you will lose it.
Look for Tao and it cannot be seen; it is invisible.
Listen and it cannot be heard; it is inaudible.
Reach for it, although it cannot be touched; it is intangible.
What is unfathomable can only be looked upon as One.
It rises like illumination, but does not dazzle.
It settles back down, but is not obscure.
It is without beginning, and end,
It is infinite, indefinable.
This is the form of the formless;
it exists in non-existence;
It is indefinable;
This is its greatest mystery.
Go up to it, and you will not see its beginning;
follow behind, and you will not see its end.
Neptune too, exists in non-existence. Whatever structure is suggested by the house it resides in will first appear intangible or confusing to the native. In time, the native will come to recognize some sort of sacrifice is taking place. But eventually, they will understand how they are trading attachment to express a higher purpose. In many ways, Neptune dissolves the trappings of ego to allow the soul of the individual to have expression. Neptune is tied to dreams and when we examine how dreams can know more about the individual and their life path, we get a sense that something more transcendental is at play.
Neptune is the realm of fantasy and is associated with dreams, inspiration, spiritual vision, sacrifice and illusion. The type of inspirational vision that Neptune generates is alot like a psychedelic trip. One may be filled with incredible insight, but it could never be brought back and described to others in any way that would make sense. Similarly, through dreams, Neptune makes itself extremely personal, infusing us with the energy of archetypes from the collective unconscious.
Neptune is the perfect embodiment of mythology and astrology because it conjures up realms that would not necessarily be called real from our everday awareness, but the information is just as real to the soul's journey. Where Venus gives us access to a holistic perspective, Neptune would be the higher octave of this process. Neptune inspires the vision of the collective and since it spends 14 years in each sign, it embodies the dream of a generation.
Neptune shows the area of the chart where a sacrifice will be required of the hero through a type of initiation and testing. In the process, we may lose ourselves or become lost. Neptune prominently placed can lead to escapism or addiction. One "chases the dragon" of chimera because inspiration is meant to be applied to the path, not used to escape from it.
Neptune reminds us of how the artist is in their highest form when they completely let go of any sense of self or ego. The energy flows through to the audience with an impact that is raw, mysterious and otherwordly. Neptune takes all of us on a transcendental journey beyond our attachment to structure, form and ego. Its purpose is to keep us connected to our energetic and timeless self. Without it, we would be bound to the organic mind and its survival perspective of rote thinking. Therefore, Neptune can tell us alot about one's spiritual path.
The placement of Neptune through the signs and houses will portray the area of life where this type of spiritual discovery will take place. While it can initially create a sense of illusion or deception in the house it is in, the lesson is to transcend its ego attachment to understand experience from a spiritual or more boundless perspective. Saturn can show the karmic lesson of cause and effect or the area of life we may feel is deficient, but are meant to master. Uranus portrays the house where we will take a unique approach and outlines our individuality. Pluto can describe the path itself, but Neptune describes the sacrifice of the personal that leads to spiritual vision.
Neptune in Aries and the First House
The individual with Neptune in Aries or in the First House may lack any clear definition of self. They can take on the Persona of the mystic or artist and appear to flow through life without the need to overly demonstrate ego. Their spiritual path calls for a sense of interacting with others without a normal sense of embodiment. In early life this can be very confusing and they may face humiliation in some way that dissolves ego. Because of the Mars connection to Aries and the First House, and it's association with the libido, one may come to sublimate sexual energy into art or spirituality or feel comfortable with celibacy. There can be issues related to gender identity Neptune in the First House can make one either appear androgynous, or leads the individual on a spiritual journey of testing through a change in sexual focus. Neptune in Aries and the First House can lead the individual to look to others to define who they are or try on various identities. Eventually they will realize they are more than the stories they tell and the mask they wear. The story brings love and acceptance, but beyond it is learning how to just be - complete and perfect in oneself. This is an excellent placement for a mystic or spiritual teacher because of a fearlessness to merge with others and experience the true essence of compassion. This placement can also show healing with the hands.
Neptune in Taurus and the Second House
Neptune in Taurus and the Second House will present a spiritual journey that redefines one's connection to how other people view money. Additionally, the way the individual develops self esteem will become part of their life path. The idea of accomplishment will have more to do with patience and dedication to the work and cannot come at the expense of trading self worth for money. This placement puts emphasis on money, but it doesn't mean resources will be denied to the individual. They may learn to operate more in the barter system of the old days, trading services without the need to get paid. The individual may appear completely willing to do without because they are in touch with values of a transpersonal nature. They will transcend our normal understanding of how resources define the person. The early life may present challenges in this area until the native comes to understand they are called to a higher level of awarness in this area. This is a somewhat tangible placement for Neptune because it puts a high value on the earth, the senses and what can be held in the hand. The native will naturally gravitate to their tribe, and associate with others who are protecting the earth and called to value the human experience beyond the pursuit of the things that define us. Neptune in the Second House can also offer sensual gifts and a deep appreciation for music, food and organic gardening.
Neptune in Gemini and the Third House
Gemini and the Third House are associated with the mind, communication, day to day interactions and siblings. The native may need to make sacrifices or embark on a more spiritual approach to life because of a brother or sister. Day to day interaction with others will tend toward the mystical and it may be that early in life the native may feel like they are not performing the same as the children around them in school. They may begin school with a different language or have access to a type of early education that is more focused on the spiritual or creativity. While they may feel deficient, they are learning to take in information in an unusual way. The native can have flashes of inspiration or a psychic way of knowing something that wasn't taught to them. Neptune in the Third House infuses the mind with a higher level of thought where normal logic does not function the same way. A deep spiritual bond with a sibling or a sibling that presents as nebulous, or perhaps escapes through drugs and alcohol is also a possibility. Neptune in the Third House is asking the individual to sacrifice proof for faith and to see that the journey transcends the mind. This is an excellent placement for someone who writes about altered states of reality, dreams and psychic experience.
Neptune in Cancer and the Fourth House
Both Cancer and the Fourth House relate to the home environment. The native may have chosen an early environment where Neptune's nebulousness leads to confusion in the home, a parent that is either unavailable or escaping through alcohol. They may not have the normal sense of security one usually feels in childhood. Later, they may find that it is difficult to establish roots and that the domestic environment is infused with deception in some way. The native is learning that the spiritual journey transcends family and that the home is within. Because the Fourth House associates with the Nadir or the deepest connection to the soul, the individual might feel comfortable expressing non attachment at an early age. They will begin building their foundation from a more spiritual perspective early in life. The Moon's influence on the Fourth House blends well with Neptune and the individual has easier access to subconscious and unconscious realms. They may build their home near water because of the healing qualities it offers them. They may take an administrative position in an area of work involving water, the earth or selling real estate on or near water. The individual may be drawn to communities founded more on spiritual principles rather than a normal neighborhood.
Neptune in Leo and the Fifth House
Leo and the Fifth House relate to romance, leisure, creativity and children. It may be that the native sacrifices procreation for art. Children can become the focus of the spiritual path and may require additional care and guidance. This is an excellent placement for an artist of any type. As a musician, the native will hear music rather than composing it from scratch. Any type of artistic expression will be enhanced because the individual understands that art is a journey of exploration and not an applied technique. Art can also be a spiritual expression and through the process, one achieves access to other realms. In romance, Neptune in the Fifth House can lead the individual to date artists, musicians or those who may not relied upon for having staying power. This might be challenging in early life until the native observes how Neptune is offering them an opportunity to explore this side of life in a more spiritual way. The individual might sublimate the sex drive for heightened states of creativity or to connect with spirit. They may have children who present the qualities of Neptune in the Fifth House, either creatively or embodying the escapism it suggests. The best approach to Neptune in the Fifth House is to allow our experiences to unfold without judgment. Once the native understands that everything is unfolding perfectly, life will feel less like a sacrifice as meaning is revealed.
Neptune in Virgo and the Sixth House
Virgo and the Sixth House will focus the spiritual journey on issues related to work, diet, routine, discipline and health. Those who have not yet recognized the duality of how we have an energetic and carbon based existence might not appreciate what Neptune can offer to the Sixth House. Therefore, psychosomatic illnesses can manifest as the native seeks a time out from whatever stress they are facing. Physical manifestations of illness are often based on psychological stress. Work too, can become a tapestry for spiritual exploration. The native may feel that there are a lack of boundaries and definition in the work place. Neptune is guiding the individual toward exploring the higher meaning of service. Routine work has a way of limiting an evolutionary need for transformation. Since the Sixth House and Virgo also are associated with exercise, the native may teach yoga as a way of disciplining the body to allow the breath to open them to higher realms. Food too, can become an intiation as the diet can be tied to consciousness expansion. This is a spiritual placement in a very mundane house and its purpose is focused on becoming present and not just going through the motions of living.
Neptune in Libra and the Seventh House
Libra and the Seventh House relate to partnerships so the testing and sacrifice that Neptune asks of the native will find an outlet through relationships. Early in life, they may experience only the sacrifice aspect and not understand the meaning behind why relationships dissolve. Partners can be deceptive and suddenly, the rug is pulled out from beneath the native. They may wonder why others seem perfectly able to have a lasting partnership of marriage with no issue. Neptune in Libra and the Seventh House is teaching the individual the deeper dimensions of love and commitment. There will be a sacrifice involved and it might be walking away from a partner who is a provider because the relationship does not feel truthful. It can involve the loss of a loved one as a way of learning to appreciate what one has when they have it. Neptune in the Seventh House can lead the individual to set their mate free to meet their real soulmate, born of the love they feel for the other. Whatever the scenario, Neptune's spiritual expression in the Seventh House ties to a higher expression of love. The saying about setting someone free and allowing them to return if it is real - portrays the type of boundless love Neptune is teaching the individual and what they offer others.
Neptune in Scorpio and the Eighth House
Scorpio and the Eighth House will focus the spiritual journey on a sacrifice related to sharing resources, sex and death. Issues can arise where something about the partner's finances is handled deceptively. It may be that the scenario becomes unbalanced where the individual is freely sharing their resources while their partner keeps their's separate. However it manifests, the sharing of resources will not be what it appears to be on the surface. Sexually, there can be an imbalance as the native may be fascinated by qualities in the mate that are not real. The deeper level of intimacy that this house describes can become a house of mirrors. Early in life, the native may have had to experience the death of someone which awakens them to the spiritual path long before their peers have evolved in this way. There can be a sense of isolation because they have experiences nobody else understands. Neptune is taking the whole idea of partnering in resources, whether through mates, lending institutions or taxes and blurring the boundaries. Where the Second House equates to an individual's resources and the security it brings, the Eighth house is where we learn to trust others for our security. It is similar to the game where someone falls backwards and relies on the group to catch them and it is not easy. The deception one faces is teaching them to develop a deeper sense of intuition where nothing can be read at face value. In this way, this placement corresponds to psychic experiences or an ability to navigate relationships through intuition and not expectation and assumptions. This placement is teaching one to trust their instincts.
Neptune in Sagittarius and the Ninth House
Sagittarius and the Ninth House relate to foreign countries, philosophy and higher education. The sacrifice Neptune requires may involve being denied a college education or finding that a path of education is not necessarily what brings the native fulfillment. As the area representing philosophy and religion, Neptune can become a great source of spiritual inspiration as long as it is moderately applied to the path and not wasted on the idea of being saved in another life. Jupiter's influence on Sagittarius can blow a sense of the spiritual out of proportion to what is applicable to the path. The native may be drawn to foreign cultures as a way of experiencing spirit. Neptune is asking the individual to transcend dogma and boundaries to incorporate their spiritual vision. The type of deception Nature creates when in the Ninth House can pull the rug out from beneath the individual when they put their faith in a type of belief that doesn't include the idea of how individuals continue to evolve over time. Attempting to make the intangible tangible is like describing the wind by only its effects on flags, trees or the sail of the ship. Something is moving all of these things, but it transcends the object and it can't really be put inside of a jar. Actually the wind is a good metaphor for Ninth House Neptune because it involves the blending of high and low temperatures. The native too, is learning to balance the physical and spiritual journey. Therefore, an individual with Neptune in the Ninth House may find that they will do alot of traveling, whether figuratively or literally until they realize that the journey of a thousand miles begins and ends beneath the feet. In other words we don't seek to become enlightened, we merely awaken into what is already there.
Neptune in Capricorn and the Tenth House
Capricorn and the Tenth House relate to the father, the career and public standing in terms of our reputation. Neptune in the Tenth House often shows up in the chart of healers and doctors as if one is called to serve others through medicine. Neptune in the Tenth House is also common for musicians. The Tenth House gives us a type of public appearance as the highest point of our chart. It is how people come to view us 'out there in the world' an d Neptune in the Tenth can resemble a guru. Describing a healer, Neptune rules the Twelfth House of service, creativity and healing. Capricorn too, is associated with the fish tailed goat as the mythical creature Enki, who came out of the sea to save humanity and teach them about civilization and medicine. The early life experience can bring about issues with the father or dominant parent where the identity or reputation is called into question. The parent may have failed to offer instruction about authority or mores and may even have used escapism, disappearing altogether. The Tenth House Neptune individual can carry a type of shame and career confusion until they connect with the mythology behind this placement. The fish tail is the ability to gather inspiration from the depths of the unconscious, while the upper body of the goat is how it is applied and made useful in the world. Simply put, one needs to find work based on passion and balance it with what the public finds useful. Neptune will blur the lines because approaching the career without passion or being passionate without a job won't serve the individual. Either path will lead to a disillusioning process. While other planets placed in the Tenth House may suggest strong role models in developing a career direction, Neptune in the Tenth House will demand that the direction is found from within.
Neptune in Aquarius and the Eleventh House
Aquarius and the Eleventh House relate to friends, goals and the groups in which we belong. Neptune in the Eleventh House is a classic example of how we are drawn to groups because of shared similarities, but detect our uniqueness because of the way that we stand out. Early in life Neptune in the Eleventh House may lead the individual to feel that they don't belong anywhere. Friends too, can become a lesson about how we seek to understand ourselves through others when nobody can really tell us who we are. Neptune throws the individual back upon their own inner vision, allowing them ample opportunities to explore what it means to be different. Even among family members, each of us is endowed with unique traits, and nature designed us this way to ensure that competition for short supply is minimized in close proximity. Goals can remain fuzzy because the individual needs a better understanding of who they are prior to just chasing after whatever will fill the hole they feel inside. While Aquarius and its Uranus rulership clearly understand this pricinple, Neptune in the Eleventh House resembles neediness until the individual gets their propeller pointed in the right direction. 'Know thyself' was written upon the door of the Delphic oracle and oracles are Neptune's realm. Before the native can figure out what they want, they have to know who they are. The individual is only vulnerable to group opinion when standing out is not associated with pride. Neptune in the Eleventh House will ask the individual to sacrifice vulnerability in a group setting in order to connect more deeply with authenticity.
Neptune in Pisces and the Twelfth House
Pisces and the Twelfth House are Neptune's domain so the lessons Neptune teaches the individual may come in their sleep. It's actually an easier placement for Neptune. Where other houses require sacrifices of a somewhat personal nature in return for spiritual vision, Neptune doesn't have anything more than the unconscious to work with when placed in the Twelfth House. The unconscious speaks to the native in dreams and this is Neptune's realm. Trading a nightmare for empowerment is actually a good thing because nightmares are a positive sign that power is being resurrected in the psyche. While planets in the Twelfth House are usually unavailable, Neptune is unavailable in any house. It exists in non existence and the Twelfth House has the least to do with manifestation. In early life, the individual may project any sense of feeling like a victim on others. A placement involving another planet in another house may be the culprit behind the challenge, but Neptune in the Twelfth House in an un-evolved condition won't own the challenge. In this way, Neptune operates like a projection mechanism allowing the individual to blame everyone and everything for why they failed. They might ask themselves who they congratulate when they succeed because it is the same operator. The problem isn't Neptune, its the challenge that goes ignored by not facing whatever was called for by the other placement. The spiritual lesson Neptune in the Twelfth House teaches is that the word VICTIM doesn't work in a universe that endowed us with an immune system, temperature regulation and all of the other autonomous mechanisms that ensure our success. This get out of jail free card won't work and the native will have to own their inner condition. When turning inward during any type of difficulty, Neptune will provide enormous inspiration and vision to the Twelfth House, whether through dreams or just as a sweet reward for showing up for the work. This placement can actually make one the 'teacher's pet' where Neptune bestows intuitive and psychic gifts that are unavailable in other placements.