Announcing you’re planning on writing a post about Neptune during a Mercury retrograde is probably somewhere up there with insulting Saturn to his face. No planet has defied description nearly so much as Neptune. And yet, I said I would, and I’ve been feeling so much goddamn Neptune energy lately, I might as well try.
Some key words I’ve found in my research on Neptune: shadowy. illusions. deception. tall tales. Refinement. Like looking through a telescope backwards.
Neptune is also really far away, and has a really long orbital period of around 192 years. It spends 14 years in a sign, progressing just a little over 2 degrees (in net forward movement) per year. Neptune-Pluto cycles are on the order of half a millenium. During this century there has only been one aspect between Neptune and Pluto: the waxing sextile. And it’s been in and out of exact since the 1940’s!
Neptune deals in dreams, which is a double-edged sword. On one hand, dreams give our lives form, purpose, and meaning. What are we without our dreams? People who change the world do so because they dreamed, and then they acted on their dreams. However, people who live entirely inside their own dream, without reaching out into the shared reality, are often considered mentally ill. Dreams can also lead us astray, convincing us that something is possible, that it’s the right thing to do, when it is actually not a good idea or potentially harmful. So Neptune has something to do with this whole process, of giving our lives form and shape, of formulating dreams to then act upon to make some sort of difference in the world, but it can also act to deceive and manipulate.
Aspects to Neptune can weaken, emphasize, or refine a planet’s influence, depending on the planet and aspect. I have an interesting case study close at hand, as both of my parents have close personal planet conjunctions to Neptune: my mother with Mercury, my father with Venus. My mother’s ability to fit incoming information to her worldview (sue tompkins calls it a talent for distorting the truth, but I think my mother, a Libra, would prefer my more diplomatic wording) is legendary. My father declares that the first time he laid eyes on my mother, he swore he’d marry her. They’re less than two years apart in age, so the conjunctions are also pretty closely conjunct each other; no astrologer would be surprised to learn that theirs is a very “made-in-heaven” type of relationship: high school sweethearts, still completely devoted after more than 30 years. (Set up all kinds of false expectations for us kids growing up – I grew up thinking all relationships were like theirs. I still have a tendency to over-idealize any relationship I’m in, to the point of ignoring obvious red flags. i recognize this tendency now and am working on it…*)
I don’t have any major aspects to Neptune, except a fairly wide sextile-sextile with mars and pluto (which are in wide trine), which, really, I can’t say is a bad thing. I have, however, been feeling its influence directly via my natal mars (which is in late aquarius), as well as via Saturn’s square to its position in my natal chart (late Sag). Neptune deals in dreams, legends, myths, stories. Neptune builds up heroes and tells their tales. Whether or not they are backed up by truth is another matter entirely. Neptune has been whispering all kinds of ideas to me about what my future is, what it could be, how it should play out. Neptune is kind of a tricky bastard though, and it’s hard to know how much to trust!
It’s interesting to note that Neptune is the only outer planet that isn’t goign to be a part of this T-square action that is coming up. Saturn and Uranus are going to change signs, into cardinal signs, forming a T-square with Pluto. Jupiter will join Uranus within a year, emphasizing that T-square. But Neptune is staying out of it, quietly slipping into its home sign of Pisces as all the 2012 shitstorm is going down. Ruler of the 12th house, of secrets and enemies, of dreams and ideas and intuition, Neptune is not easily described, nor is it often noticed, nor is it going anywhere anytime soon. Being aware of its influence can help us avoid its perils and, just maybe, learn to work with its energy to achieve maximum potential. All I’m saying is, it’ll be nice when it gets its slow fat heavy ass off of my Mars so I can do something about all these ideas and dreams and possibilities, and launch something incredible into the realitysphere.
* seriously: an evening with an ephemeris and a glass of wine can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of therapy. try it sometime!