Neptune is the dissolution of the Self into Divine Oneness.
I like to call Neptune the Dreamer. She rules the last sign in the zodiac realm, Pisces. Just as Pisces represents endings and a return to the source, Neptune rules all things related to ego-death, spiritual sacrifice and enlightenment. Currently Neptune is transiting Pisces, so in astrology we say that she is “at home” here. Whenever a planet occupies the sign it rules, the energy of the planet is more visible and obvious in everyday life.
Neptune spends 165 years circling the Sun with days lasting about 16 hours. She was first unofficially discovered by Galileo but he mistook the planet for a star. It wasn’t until 1846 that Urbain Le Verrier concluded through mathematical prediction that there must be another planet gravitationally disturbing the orbit of Uranus. In July 2011, Neptune completed her first full orbit since being discovered. It is interesting to note that Neptune was once again in Pisces, the sign she rules, at the time of her discovery. Neptune has 14 moons, only one of which, Triton, is large enough to be spherical in shape. Triton spins in retrograde motion and it is hypothesized that it was captured as a dwarf planet from the Kuiper Belt.
Neptune is subtle, below the surface of the psyche. In many ways she resembles the Moon, but the energy here is more obscure and less personal. Inspiration from the Moon and Sun is rather direct in comparison. The ideas and information we gather from Neptune come from deep within the subconscious in the form of dreams, divine guidance and psychic phenomena such as premonitions and déjà vu. Neptune’s mutable nature is liquid, constantly transforming and evolving. In fact the fastest wind speeds in the solar system can be found on Neptune, clocking in at 2100 km/hour.
Confusion and illusion are ruled by Neptune. As with the Moon, the energy here is timeless and spaceless. Neptune desires above all else to return to the Creator, just like a fish swimming upstream to her birthplace. I like to visualize this planet as a child wandering through an underwater dreamscape: youthful, wide-eyed, imaginative, safe and protected. When Neptune is imbalanced, this youthfulness can manifest as naiveté. Balanced Neptunian energy is extremely intuitive and spiritual.
As with Jupiter, Neptune is concerned with mercy and compassion. However, Jupiter is much more active and forthright in asserting his morals and bringing about justice. Neptune would rather silently forgive and let go. She is not willing or able to leave her bubble. The messages Neptune spreads are delivered not in words, but in feelings. Jupiter rules religion; Neptune rules spirituality. Nuff said.
When imbalanced, Neptunian energy can manifest as deception, guilt or addiction. Pisces is the sign of two fish swimming in opposition, perpetually chasing tails. Many people born under this sign have minds that work in a similar fashion when imbalanced: constant turmoil, very emotional, a feeling of drowning in their own thoughts and vivid inner life. Astrologer Lynn Hayes said it best:
Pisces is said to be the sign of the saint and the sinner, the priest and the addict.
If things are not going well in the external world, it is not uncommon for Pisces to retreat to the depths of their mind and live out an ideal scenario. More so than other signs, Pisces tend to construct elaborate fantasies that, by their nature, never truly match up with reality. Because of this, they may suffer from constant disappointment. Like fellow water sign Cancer, many Pisces greatly enjoy science fiction, animated movies, abstract art and flowing, illustrious depictions of faraway worlds.
Fear of confronting problems causes many Pisces to be deceitful. They would rather lie and continue living out an illusion than deal with the cold, hard facts. When balanced, Pisces are some of the most empathic and nurturing souls around. The greatest challenge for the fish is overcoming the desire to evade, to swim away and never look anything squarely in the face. Many Pisces channel their dreamy energy through artistic endeavors. Piscean artists turn distraction into creation.
With Neptune in Pisces, there is potential for spiritual transformation on a global scale. On the other hand, it is possible for this to manifest as a massive existential crisis. As individuals, we all have a choice to make: do we transcend this terrestrial plane and connect directly to the Source, imploding instantaneously into a state of ecstasy and unconditional love? Or do we avoid this whole process, letting fear predominate? Navigating the murky territory of our higher Self can be difficult and intense. Neptune is there to guide you through this.
Neptune aspires to universal love and compassion for all beings. A major lesson of Neptune is understanding that our vices do not elevate us to a higher consciousness. So many people fall down the well of addiction and escapist behavior in an effort to gain greater soul awareness, whether or not this is the conscious goal. It is more important now than ever to get grounded in a spiritual practice. Chances are, you already have one and don’t even know it. Anything you do on a daily basis that makes you feel whole and happy is a spiritual practice. It might be as simple as having a cup of coffee and reading a book every morning.
Neptune in Pisces asks us to tap into our ability to move between the conscious and unconscious and acknowledge the origin of our most visceral urges. Ever since Neptune entered Pisces in 2011, my intuition, empathy and psychic awareness have only gotten stronger. Imagine a membrane between each dimension and parallel reality growing thinner by the day. Many trends in popular culture reflect Neptune’s current placement: rapid legalization of medical/recreational marijuana; yoga and transcendental meditation rising to immense popularity in Western culture; extra-terrestrial themes in music and pop culture; simulators and next-level gaming that blur the lines between physical and virtual reality, to name a few. Listen to Neptune, the Mystic from The Planets by Gustav Holst.
To find out your Neptune sign at the time of your birth, click here.