In order to become conscious on all levels of being, we have to go through a period of unconsciousness. To him who is in samadhi, nothing happens, and if it does, he does not care. – The Chasm of Fire by Irina Tweedle
Where Uranus was the “insomnia” planet, the awakener, Neptune is the “sleeping pill” planet, the dream inducer. Uranus is an iconoclast. Neptune worships idols. Uranus is cosmic consciousness, Neptune is unity-consciousness and Pluto is God consciousness or realization.
From the time of its discovery on September 23, 1846, (the same year that ether was first used as an anesthetic), much has happened that implies veiled strength from behind the scenes, often in vicarious or substitute ways. It may be subversive or loving, but the main characteristic is its formless, boundless, non-material nature.
Neptune rules gases, anesthetics, drugs, evaporation, leaks, fog – in essence, those things which dissolve and blur the boundaries of the material world. It is the intangible; you cannot get hold of it. It is even difficult to talk about or to put into words.
As one guru put it, “At the door of the infinite, thought stops, words cease, silence is all pervading.” The mystics use the term “That of which naught can be said” to describe the experience of divine union which is Neptune’s highest and proper function.
Like Pisces, Neptune urges us to let go, to surrender in the faith and confidence that we will survive in one form or another. We surrender to chaos each night when we fall asleep, secure in the belief that we will awaken on the following morning.
Neptune’s intuition comes from the feeling, emotional level, as in visions and dreams. It is not logical like Uranian intuition. Neptune is fuzzy and open to poetic interpretation. And while its intuitive visions may be true in a literal sense, more often than not, they are true symbolically, allegorically. It is not unusual to find people gifted in higher mathematical ability to have Neptune or Pisces emphasized in their charts. They are attuned to cosmic rhythms which can be expressed in formulas as well as in music and art.
When people take the prophesies of mediums and channels such as Gordon Michael Scallion literally, and become convinced that earth changes, quakes, floods and other cataclysms are future reality, they are allowing themselves to be victims of a Neptunian collective delusion – the glamour of disaster.
More likely, the truth is that the earth changes are the inner catastrophes of experiencing the ground of our deep cultural beliefs shifting and crumbling, while tidal waves of collective emotion flood into the personal psyche. And, it is an exciting way to avoid looking at one’s close-at-hand personal and relationship difficulties. California is going to fall into the ocean (into Neptune), so let’s move to Arizona and pretend our marriage is not falling apart. He is out of a job and in a career crisis, her mother just committed suicide and the kids want to go live with their real dad. Times are changing and we will still get “all shook up” and “swept away,” no matter where we are!
With Neptune, the ego disappears into the collective and a person does not know ego boundaries anymore. He can be taken over and used by any kind of energy or entity coming through the collective unconscious. This is what a medium does.
The difference between a Neptunian medium and a Uranian channel is that Neptune’s message comes up through the unconscious mind, while Uranian impulses are received in the rational, cognitive centers of the brain/mind. Distortion is very likely with Neptune’s messages coming through a medium, as very few have clear, pure, unmudled subconscious minds; the messages get biased and garbled by the medium’s personal filter.
The non-verbal languages of Neptune are music, art, dance, and poetry, as well as higher mathematics. They convey an impression, give a feeling, an emotion. Sometimes the only way to tell a lover just how you feel about him/her is to play a passage of music that evokes similar feelings to the emotions experienced when you are together.
Neptune symbolizes subjective reality, the alternate reality of the shaman, the prophet, the oracle, or the schizophrenic. Sometimes, its expression is very delusive, as in propaganda, brain washing, and advertising. Ghosts and vampires (usually in living flesh bodies), intrude into the psyche and drain energy from us by first getting us to feel sorry for them.
The highest, purest expression of Neptune energy is in the transcendental, spiritual realm. It is called “nirvana,” “samadi,” “the void,” “the peace that passes understanding.” Proper practices that utilize Neptune energy are karma yoga, hatha yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation techniques.
In karma yoga, we give ourselves to an activity or a work without ego gratification, with no thought or expectation of reward or recognition of any sort. Through hatha yoga and Tai Chi, we use our bodies’ postures and motion to direct Neptune energy and ground ourselves at the same time. Meditation techniques and practices teach us how to go into the subconscious and unconscious consciously, while integrating higher, transcendental energy into our being gradually, in a systematic, controlled way.
The house in which we find Neptune in our chart shows where and how we most naturally experience selfless giving, loosening of ego boundaries, transcendental bliss, or, negatively, delusion and disillusion, disappointment, humiliation, energy drain or “leak” in the aura. It is where we can deceive and be deceived.
Since Neptune is associated with sleep and dreams, it is the area where we are unconscious and do not know what we are doing or even that we are doing it. And it usually takes the feedback of several trusted people over a period of time to help us wake up to that area of ourselves. Even if we are not completely unconscious in the area of Neptune, we always are highly idealistic, see through rose colored glasses and tend to have unreasonably high expectations.
Neptune in conjunction or hard aspect to personal planets indicates unrealistic attitudes toward certain areas of daily existence. With the Sun, Neptune gives a tendency to expect too much of oneself, to inflate and glamorize oneself. With the Moon, the emotions are idolized and sentimentalized; there may be somatic over-sensitivity. With Venus, relationships are charged with completely irrational expectations and repeated patterns of disappointment. Any planet with Neptune tends to be glamorized and projected.
An astrologer can be of great help in waking up the client and clarifying things Neptunian when that person has an angular or highly aspected Neptune.
* Picture by Christina Balit
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.