In the first part of this post, I will address Neptune in Angular Houses (Neptune in First House, Neptune in Seventh House, Neptune in Fourth House, and Neptune in Tenth House):
As discussed before, Neptune can stand for the divine “womb” where all souls are incubated before their entrance into the world. As such, Neptune has a distinctly feminine quality, and it symbolizes our unconscious, prenatal memories which may later affect our manner of connecting to the “Divine”, and on a more mundane level, to “Mother Earth”: either we safely “belong” to it, or we feel as an “outsider” who is just surfing here without feeling quite at home.
Neptune and the Prenatal Experience:
Incidentally, I have listened to quite a few women regarding their experience of pregnancy, and have noticed that a relaxed Neptune in the birth chart of a child (retrospectively, of course) can point to a relaxed fetal stage (“she was as calm as a fish” or “I could barely feel him inside me”), whereas a stressed Neptune may symbolize that the soul has been uncomfortable during the fetal stage, as if not feeling quite ready to come to the world. This can be felt by the mother in the form of her receiving the sensation of being “kicked” or “scratched” inside the womb, especially during later stages of pregnancy. Yoga, meditation, contact with water, and maintaining an “inviting” attitude towards the unborn child can help ease the prenatal “angst” the fetus may be experiencing at this stage.
Contrary to common belief, Neptune is not always associated with the watery world of illusion and ideals. It can very well point to a “baptism of fire” (indicated by its co-rulership with Jupiter in the sign of Pisces) in the area of the psyche it is operating. As Neptune represents forces which are largely connected to the prenatal and preverbal stages of development, logic and reasoning cannot do much with regards to healing the challenging aspects which are represented by Neptune in the chart. Apropos of the nature of Neptune, an infinite patience, unconditional love, and a caring, “motherly” attitude towards oneself is the only manner of gradually working with Neptune’s elusive difficulties.
Here you can find a basic, oversimplified explanation of the possible meanings of Neptune in the Houses of the natal chart. Please keep in mind that the aspects to Neptune, the condition of the dispositor, and the general planetary distribution may radically modify these interpretations.
Neptune in First House / Seventh House Axis:
“I am” vs. “the other is” (Existence)
Neptune in First House:
The soul has largely stayed attached to the pre-natal memory of being one with the whole and is reluctant to define herself as a “separate” entity. The instinctual response to life is that of nostalgia, feeling misplaced, or a sensation that the individual does not quite “fit” into the actual context of birth (the assigned gender, family, culture or religion).
If Neptune is in a good condition, however, the soul would like to see herself as still connected to the totality of existence, and therefore, soothing, unconditional and accepting in her encounter with the world at large. The instinctual response to life, in this case, is still that of not really “belonging” to the world in general, or the context in which the soul has incarnated specifically, yet an unconscious wisdom exists that would encourage forgiveness and compassion towards self, and by extension, towards others.
If Neptune conjuncts the Ascendant and the energy of Pisces is emphasized in the chart as well, the individual may have a distinct sensation that Earthly things are not quite familiar and that her soul has experienced incarnation in other life systems (other than Earth). If artistic outlets are available to the individual, often an astonishing amount of creative energy can manifest through this placement.
Challenges of Neptune in First House:
If Neptune is challenged, the soul will unconsciously “mourn” the loss of Eden (i.e. womb), and may always carry an existential “angst” that cannot be quite relaxed until later in life. The individual with this placement should be aware of the vulnerability of his or her own soul, and try to be compassionate towards himself or herself. Electing an artistic pursuit or staying in touch with sea and water would reduce the challenges of this placement, and would, in fact, enable the soul to enjoy her “roundedness”, rather than getting frustrated because of not fitting into any “square” hole.
Neptune in Seventh House:
The soul seeks refuge in the “other” and associates the concept of “relating” with a possibility of returning to the lost Eden. If Neptune is comfortable in this position, the “other” would provide a mirror for the soul to see her own utmost beauty in it. In this case, the soul would yearn to relate to the “other” as a means of spiritual relaxation and reparation. The “other” would offer a refuge, an escape from the mundane life, a sensation that there still exists beauty in the world and love, and healing. The “other” does not necessarily have to be a human-being with whom the individual interacts on a daily basis: it can be an author, an artist, a spiritual figure, an idealized personality who holds significance for the individual — dead or alive.
Alternatively, Neptune in this position can manifest as one person or a group of people towards whom the individual is “giving” or “caring” in some way, for example, the children in an orphanage the individual donates to, or the refugees of war the individual works with. Anyone or anything that “distracts” the person from him/herself and demands care or charity may fall into this category.
Challenges of Neptune in Seventh House:
If Neptune is challenged in this position, there is a possibility that the “other” may manifest as a “victim” in need of rescue, inviting the individual to “give” and “care”, yet eventually ending up victimizing the individual by sucking the life force out of him or her in the guise of “love”, leaving him or her disillusioned, disoriented, and abandoned.
A challenged Neptune in 7th House may very well point to this ultimate “disillusionment” in connection to the “other”, therefore a degree of discernment is important to develop for individuals with this placement. It can be far too easy to fall into the “Victim/Savior” trap with Neptune in this position, and the individual can easily mistake “charity” for “love”. It is important to understand that a “healthy” relationship is an “equal” relationship, where the people involved “give” and “take” simultaneously. A desire to be only the “giving” one usually indicates an unconscious need to play “God”, to be adored as such, and to be loved as such. Such an attempt is doomed to failure because of the very fact that we are not “God” anyway, even if we desire to be so.
It is crucial for an individual with this placement to understand the psychological dynamics behind his or her “desire” to indiscriminately “give” to the “other”: such a desire does not stem from “goodness”, it rather stems from a “God complex”. An individual with this placement has to understand this unconscious vulnerability and strive to “humanize” his or her relationship with the “other” by allowing an “equal” exchange to take place.
Neptune in Fourth House / Tenth House Axis:
“I build for myself” vs. “I build for others” (Society)
Neptune in Fourth House:
As “perfect” as Paradise is to dwell in, as painful it would be to get expelled from it. An individual with this placement shelters an ever-present “angst” with regards to the metaphoric “expulsion” from the womb.
Alternatively, as the result of carrying an unconscious memory of a “perfect” dwelling place, where all would live in peace and harmony, the individual may feel quite “at home” with “multitudes”, as the ancestral line usually indicates cultural, religious or ethnic diversity. Depending on other factors in the chart and the condition of Neptune, the individual may feel either as a “citizen of the world” or a “homeless gypsy”.
Either case, Neptune in Fourth House usually prevents the individual from feeling at home only in one place or with one people. There is an unconscious inclination towards multiplicity and diversity, which normally pushes the individual to mix and mingle with a wide range of people and places.
Challenges of Neptune in Fourth House:
Unlike Neptune in First House, which shows the soul is perceiving herself as an “outsider” to the world, Neptune in Fourth House indicates a reversed attitude, that the world is an outsider to the soul, and the soul was never quite ready to enter it in the first place. In other words, the soul perceives herself as still dwelling in a prenatal, Eden-like stage, as if in denial of the “fact” of having “come to the world” [in the Persian language, “to be born” literally is “to come to the world”]. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first men who set foot on the Moon, both had this placement in their natal charts: they symbolically manifested the soul’s desire to “return” to the womb by actually landing on the astrological symbol of the womb, the Moon.
If Neptune contacts Mars from this position or is somehow associated with Mars, the individual may easily fall into “depression”, as finding a motivation to do anything would seem impossible at times. Mars is an individualistic arrow and Neptune is an all-encompassing ocean. The fire of Mars may easily be extinguished in contact with Neptune, and the individual may literally see no “point” (Mars) in getting out of bed (realm of Neptune, i.e. sleep) to take care of daily routines. There may be a strong pull towards escapist forms of recreation, such as using drugs or alcohol, or such a tendency may be present in the life of a parent or parental figure.
Alternatively, the world of art, music, dance or spirituality may be quite appealing to the individual, as the soul feels at home by fully “drowning” herself into the high tides of beauty.
It is important for individuals with this placement to create a “beautiful” and “dreamy” home environment, where they feel comfortably exposed to beauty on a daily basis. Decoration has to be chosen carefully, as there is a sensitivity on a soul level to light, shades, and colors. Living close to a body of water or a remote natural setting is the best way of allowing this energy to flow in a healthy and happy way.
Neptune in Tenth House:
The soul has a yearning to be “seen” on a public stage, as spiritual fulfillment seems to be connected to the idea of leaving an impression on multitudes. Alternatively, the individual may unconsciously idealize a parental figure, or the parental figure him/herself may display Neptunian qualities (diversity of origin, inclination towards spirituality or artistry, or simply having an “escapist” attitude).
Either case, Neptune is occupying the section of the chart that has to do with perfecting and building something that would be seen, either by a crowd, or at least, by one other person. The concept of “endurance” and “hard work” may have been idealized by the individual as well. Regardless of how “dream-like” the landscape of the soul is with this placement, often this shows a “practical” approach to dreams, an attitude that helps the individual build something that usually lasts beyond other people’s achievements. Walt Disney is a great example of this placement, having founded the world’s largest media company that would be the best example of an “enduring dream”.
Challenges of Neptune in Tenth House:
If Neptune is challenged in this position, the individual may completely retreat to his or her work, i.e. turning into a “workaholic” to forget the more challenging aspects of his or her personality.
Alternatively, climbing the social ladder may become an end which would justify any means. It is important for individuals with this placement to stay aware of what is intrinsically “meaningful” in their life, in contrast to what seems to be expected of them by the world at large. It can be too easy for an individual with this placement to develop a complacent attitude towards what truly makes him or her feel happy, in favor of focusing on an external “aura of success”. The midlife crisis may rather hit hard if an individual ignores the “true calling” of the soul with Neptune in this position.
The key to “success” here is to manifest the Neptunian energy, one way or the other, in what one does as “vocation”. If the person is not directly involved in arts, spirituality, music, dance, poetry, cinema, photography, water sports, oceanography, international relations or constant traveling, then philanthropy and working as a volunteer in any capacity would be an ideal way of letting this energy manifest as constructively as possible.
The midlife crisis may rather hit hard if an individual ignores the “true calling” of the soul with Neptune in this position. The key to “success” here is to manifest the Neptunian energy, one way or the other, in what one does as “vocation”. If the person is not directly involved in arts, spirituality, music, dance, poetry, cinema, photography, water sports, oceanography, international relations or constant traveling, then philanthropy and working as a volunteer in any capacity would be an ideal way of letting this energy manifest as constructively as possible.
In the next post, I will address Neptune in Succedent Houses (2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th).