Neptune - Intuition and Illusion
The glyph of Neptune is the trident with the points pointing to the sky and the cross of matter as the base. It represents our desire to reach the divine while showing us that we are only human, that we cannot surrender to illusion or alienation and pursue intangible goals. In other words, it talks about our desires to reach other realms and deities and the frustrations that the limitation of a material existence brings us. Neptune symbolizes art, artists, filmmakers and fiction writers, mystics and martyrs, as well as people prone to the use of psychotropic substances that provide escapism and transcendence of conventional reality, but that can lead to addiction.
Characteristics and dignities of Neptune:
- Keyword: Intuition and Illusion
- Topic: Dreams, imagination, sensibility
- Exaltation: Scorpio
- Exile: Virgem
Neptune travels less than 2 minutes a day, going retrograde once a year for approximately 5 months. The star takes approximately 165 years to cross the entire zodiac, spending around 14 years in each sign. House 12 is associated with Neptune, which is also co-ruler of the Pisces sign. As it stays for a long time in a sign, it ends up diluting its characteristics, changing them slowly over a generation. Like Uranus, Neptune influences both the collectivity and the individual.
In Neptune’s glyph, the crescent is ascending and turns our attention upward, working to link higher perceptions to material realities. Through it, we try to bring the idealism of superconscious myths and heroes to reality. For this, we have to have a full understanding of our limitations and the reality that surrounds us, so that our ideas can actually materialize and not be the basis for illusions or escapism, but rather as propellants of something more, transcendent.
In relation to the balance of the archetype, when the crescent surpasses the cross, we are lost in impractical idealism, failing to see what is realistically possible given the circumstances. If the cross trumps the crescent, we try to deny the disappointment we feel when we fail to manifest our ideas and dreams, moving on to escapism, daydreaming, and fantasies.
When the cross and crescent are in balance, Neptune gives us the ability to make our dreams come true. However, this requires patience, commitment, and a willingness to make sacrifices. Impressions and inspiration are put into action to innovate, creating artistic forms or inventions (especially when Neptune is helped by other planetary energies).
While Uranus allows us to have insights that make us perceive other realms of existence, Neptune is precisely a symbol of these realms. Uranus takes us to Neptune, which takes us on adventures into other spheres of consciousness to see the concept of universal unified love. It is associated with timeless visualizations, of chaos that precedes the order that only the Universe can see logically and for that same reason, it can be dangerous if the access to such states of consciousness is not balanced.
Neptune works in a subtle and mysterious way, it corrodes the ego's crystallizations, it causes the particular to be dissolved in the universal. It is in tune with unconditional and compassionate love, including the act of annulling and giving. It is linked to the sea, nirvana, redemption, universalization of things as well as lack of focus. It dissolves, infiltrates invisibly, spreads, and disperses, it is a symbol of lack of clarity. It is a symbol of everything that seems but is not, of illusionism, of the surreal.
It also symbolizes the dreams of a generation, its behavior, fashion, how we dress at a certain time, what music we listen to, what movies become landmarks, i.e. it is mixed in culture and society. In the individual, influence can be a two-way street, as the house it occupies deals with issues that the person cannot see with total clarity and can be deluded, needing to have enough focus and awareness of their themes to avoid mistakes, but also will bring smoothness and inspiration to this sector.
Neptune's influence on a birth chart
Neptune is about the inspiration for the arts, the attraction for the mystic, self-sacrifice, illusion, and sensitivity in capturing and understanding images. It is about the unconditional release of emotions, the overcoming of our frustrations and suffering. Neptune stirs up the desire to reach again a paradise we have lost. We no longer want to be individual, separate beings, we seek a unifying fullness.
Dealing with our sensitivity and imagination, Neptune can bring inspiration, compassion, and creativity as well as the lack of these characteristics. It can bring love and disappointment, happiness and suffering. Of course, this is all relative and depends a lot from person to person and will depend on the aspects formed.
The positive side of Neptune brings kindness, compassion, inspiration for the arts, good taste or film acting, poetry, music, dance, a penchant for mysticism, and an intuitive and contemplative sensibility that opens doors to receive the wonderful, the sublime. It deals with the individual’s quest to redeem and transcend, their ability to sacrifice and dedicate themselves. Furthermore, it deals with our adaptation and coexistence with the environment around us and our ability to idealize reality.
Its negative side brings characteristics such as apathy, passivity, naivety, narcissism, and a desire to be treated like a child. There is a tendency for relationships that can become destructive, with people imprisoning each other, making it difficult to break the bonds of dependency and dominance. It can lead a person to get lost in artificial paradises, such as drugs, dreams, illusions, and unrealistic fantasies.
When the planet has more prominence in a birth chart, it brings more intuitive power and flexibility, but it can also leave a person confused, adrift, and deluded because while it cares about others, it can fail to take care of its own personal issues.
Individuals can start to idealize reality too much and be impressed with enormous ease, becoming emotionally unstable, with tumultuous ideas and motivations. They lack rules and goals, their will is almost null, and they become disorganized, introverted, and indecisive. The person can still be open to suffering and frustration, which can lead to the use of substances that end up addicting.
Balancing Neptune's energies brings us closer to breaking down barriers and differences between individuals.
Neptune's tense aspects in the birth chart
Any tense aspect of Neptune with a personal planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) will make this planet a bit “blurry”, like a mist above. For example, let's say someone has a difficult aspect between Neptune and Mars. Mars, being the planet that represents action, initiative, sexual motivation, direct motivation, anger, etc. becomes weaker due to Neptune's influence.
It is as if Neptune “drowned” mars, bringing it to the abyssal depths of the ocean. A person with a square between Mars and Neptune, for example, is likely to have difficulty finding motivation and may spend a lot of time wanting, imagining, and thinking about doing things, but never getting the impetus to get them started. It is like a weaker tide, it makes it harder to know what to do to finally get things going, to have that drive and enthusiasm to do and fight.
A tense aspect between Neptune and Venus can make a person very idealistic, making it harder for them to see all points of their relationships or love interests with greater clarity. It is that romantic type who idealizes the relationship too much and sees only what it wants, regardless of the reality of the facts.
Neptune can distort impressions and lead to great disappointments, because when reality knocks and sets in (and that includes all human imperfections), those who idealize too much will inevitably come face to face with disappointment at some point, finding a scenario behind the veil of illusion that is totally different from what they imagined. That is why Neptune is always associated in some way with extremely romantic, idealized love and glamour. Obviously, neither theme is based on the reality of things.
It is like a refractor, which deflects light from its normal direction. The definition of refraction (word that derives from the Latin “refractio” and that means “broken”), is the change in the direction of a wave when crossing the boundary between two media with different indices. Refraction modifies the propagation speed and wavelength, changing the final view. This is very visible in the water, which makes a change in the direction of a beam of light.
Neptune breaks and dissolves the forms or structures of reality, something that can mean something more - or nothing.
Neptune represents our obsession with transcending everything that limits, frustrates, or causes us pain. It represents the will we have to go back to our childhood, to the moment of our creation, to our deepest unconscious, to a world without forms or limitations. It is our desire to find the lost paradise and reach perfection. It is an escapist impulse that builds a bridge between the mundane and the divine.
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