Neptune in Relationships- Idealization and Merging
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite. – Shakespeare (Sun conjunct Neptune)
If you long for a relationship with someone who accepts you without questions asked, who loves you no matter what, who forgives everything and never bears grudges, choose a Neptunian. True Neptunians see their loved ones and friends- and sometimes everything- through their proverbial rose-colored glasses. They see the best in you.
Woody Allen (Neptune in the first house) must have had a Neptunian in his mind when he wrote: “I think you’re the opposite of a paranoid. I think you go around with the insane delusion that people like you.” This truly is a very common Neptunian ‘delusion’.
When you behave badly, the Neptunian either doesn’t see it at all, forgets it or finds innumerable explanations for your behavior. Often he or she simply cannot live with the idea that you could be that bad. “Recognizing the good points and virtues of the enemy has always been my weakness”, said Andre Gide (Sun-Neptune conjunction on his dwad-chart).
Of course anyone who obstinately tries to see only the best in others is an easy target for hostility and backhand tactics. In identifying and unconsciously merging so completely with the partner the Neptunian leaves herself or himself open to hurt. Not all Neptunians long consciously for merging, some even abhor it feeling instinctively that it leaves them too open and vulnerable. Yet their psychic openness makes it hard for them to resist merging…
Some of them – perhaps in order not to lose themselves through merging – identify instead of people with nature, as did Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Neptunian (Sun conjunct Neptune): “I have no difficulty in integrating into my inward life everything above me and beneath me… whether matter, plants, animals…”. Yet Teilhard had an instinctive reaction to rebuff the other man, entering into spiritual communication with other men disgusted him. Some Neptunians avoid too much merging because they feel that it would actually keep them from living their life in God. And for a true Neptunian, God comes first…
IDEALS AND IDEALIZATIONS
So-called romantic love is a very Neptunian situation in which you can never consummate or completely satisfy all of your desires. – Richard Idemon
Neptunian relationships can be so full of idealizing and love of beauty, perhaps even one-sided mental fabrications, dreams, and visions, that they by nature belong more to the world of longing than to the world of fulfillment. Practical everyday facts might break the illusion which the Neptunian needs in order to live comfortably in the world so strange to the Neptunian type. Thus the Neptunian often favors relationships with physical distance as they give more space to imagination and help the Neptunian to avoid what they experience as psychic intrusion.
Neptune may also create very messy and confusing relationships full of illusory expectations, and usually on both sides. Or sometimes outwardly seemingly perfect relationships but without no real deeper mutuality, souls living in their own worlds without touching each other. There may also be intense Neptune-ruled erotic encounters, where partners may live together, yet without sharing their lives, at least not according to Neptunian standards.
But there are also true platonic and spiritual unions between people who have dedicated their lives to God. Such spiritual unions are based on spiritual brother- or sisterhood, but they can, in their own spiritual way, be very passionate, often more so than usual erotic and sexual involvement would be. In spiritual relationships Neptune’s lower sides – illusions, delusions, deceit, impracticality – are not present, because both partners live their lives in the way Neptune sees as ideal. In short, they exemplify in their lives all those ideals Neptune would like to teach us all.
AN EXAMPLE: A HOLY LOVE
Friendship cannot be permanent unless it becomes spiritual. There must be fellowship in the deepest things of the soul, community in the highest thoughts, sympathy with the best endeavours. – Hugh Black
Spiritual Neptunian relationships are often based on a lofty vision of perfect and forever-lasting unconditional love, a true union and merging of souls. St. Francis de Sales and St. Jeanne Francoise of Chantal (born in February 7, 1572 NS) had a spiritual marriage, a very good example of a Neptunian type of relationship, a union of souls.
Jeanne was a widow who had left her children to her father-in-law when she went to convent, where St. Francis became her father confessor. After having God’s inner permission they had a spiritual marriage – a union of souls – on August 25, 1604, at that time they also renewed their vows for eternal chastity. God has wanted us to be eternally together in Him, said St. Francis, a Saturnian (Sun conjunct Saturn).
St. Francis felt that in Jeanne God had given her a helpmate, who was not only like him, she was one with him. They had only one soul. Thus their identification with each other was almost perfect, St. Francis felt that he was Jeanne, and Jeanne that she was St. Francis. In their wedding chart their identification and merging is reflected in a Sun-Moon-Neptune conjunction (Sun-Moon in Virgo, Neptune in the end of Leo).
A relationship with such an intensive identification usually contains projections. and such projections have to be withdrawn before partners can really see life and each other objectively and be themselves. In this case this merging proved to be too intensive for St. Francis, who before his death began to feel that there was a conflict between his sense of inner union with God and his intense friendship with Jeanne. St. Francis was a Virgo with the Sun involved in a mutable Grand Square, Sun-Saturn squaring Neptune. More Neptune influences came from dwads where his Sun was in Pisces.
In any chart Sun-Saturn seldom feels comfortable with that much Neptunian influences, Saturn feels threatened in its task to build strong enough ego boundaries when Neptune is constantly overstepping all boundaries.
The Marriage Chart had Sun-Moon in Francis’ Sun-sign, thus the marriage probably had a stronger impact on St. Francis. And there were a lot of Neptunian images St. Francis had to deal with: The marriage chart had Neptune with the Sun-Moon conjunction and Jeanne four planets in Pisces.
For Jeanne there were less Neptunian problems. Jeanne’s Sun was in Aquarius – in a sign known for its desire and ability to keep its distance and to avoid too intense emotional involvements. Thus Jeanne did not feel any conflict between this marriage and her relationship with God. But as St. Francis needed more aloneness, he demanded that they cancel their union of souls, which is what happened. Yet they remained friends and continued to work together until St. Francis’ death. For Jeanne even that was not the end of their friendship.
It is said that when there is true marriage, it is indissoluble. Indeed, it is so, because there is an actual merging of souls at that point. – J.G. Bennett, Sun conjunct Neptune
MERGING OR SEPARATING?
There is nothing in the world so attractive as someone who will dream with us, merge their dreams with our own, clarify the path toward the actualization of the dream, and lock their arms into ours while walking the path. – Neil Clark Warren
Merging is a Neptunian and Piscean quality, the opposite sign, Virgo, is in many respects truly opposite in this, it sees dangers in too much merging. “Mature people relate to each other without the need to merge”, wrote D.H. Lawrence, a Virgoan. Yet many Virgoans – just like Saturnians – feel acutely their own separateness. Some of them even consciously long for a Piscean ability to merge, but at the same time they often instinctively know that a Piscean type of merging might prove too intense for them, just like it did for St. Francis.
For Pisceans merging is their second nature, they do not especially long for it, they merge spontaneously, often without even noticing it. For a Neptunian it may be hard to understand the intense feelings of separateness many opposite types – like Saturnians and Virgoans – feel. Neither is it easy for Neptunians to understand how threatened some Virgoans feel by the Piscean merging and its side effects: identity problems, loss of boundaries, inability to stand on your own feet…
In ideal case opposites complement each other, a chart having planets both in Virgo and in Pisces – or having both Saturn and Neptune strong – may reflect a person who is learning to combine merging and separateness, a person who thrives in relationships full of both unity and individuality. Such persons understand that with too much merging there are no relationships, the unconscious has just taken over. With too much separateness there is no relating either.
We all need both, merging and separateness. In a good relationship two separate individuals relate to each other. In such relationships neither of partners have to struggle in trying to preserve one’s own identity, both accept each other’s separateness. And appreciate it. Both know that too much intense merging – just like too much separateness – may be just a way to avoid true relating.
Thus even in good Neptunian relationships there has to be a healthy dose of Saturn. Saturn-Neptune combinations may mean, at least in the beginning, a constant struggle between “I” and “we” as Saturn and Neptune live worlds apart. Neptune’s attitude is well expressed by Ortega y Gasset, (Sun conjunct Neptune), who said that every one wants to be one with others and others to be one with herself or himself. Saturn’s attitude is equally well described by Baruch Spinoza (Sun conjunct Saturn), who said that the only end of life is “to be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming.”
With such opposite aims, combining Saturn and Neptune – either in relationships or within one individual – there is a need of a higher spiritual vision, a transpersonal aim that transcends the conflict. Then partners – or contradictory sides within one individual – can truly complement and support each other, they can both merge and be individuals. They can even go their separate ways at times, all the time knowing that they are together in eternity, they are never alone.
Whatever view we hold, it must be shown
Why every love has a wish to make
Some other kind of otherness his own:
Perhaps in fact, we never are alone. – W. H. Auden, Pisces