Navigating Neptune Transits
“Your ego’s job isn’t to serve you. Its only job is to keep itself in power. And right now, your ego’s scared to death cuz it’s about to get downsized.
You keep up this spiritual path, baby, and that bad boy’s days are numbered. Pretty soon your ego will be out of work, and your heart’ll be making all the decisions. So your ego’s fighting for its life, playing with your mind, trying to assert its authority, trying to keep you cornered off in a holding pen away from the rest of the universe. Don’t listen to it.”
This quote is from Elizabeth Gilberts’ Eat Pray Love and is so appropriate for Neptune transits of the Sun that I could probably end this post right here and now.
We know that Neptune transits are particularly dreamy times, hard to talk about, hard to pin down and hazy from a memory viewpoint. Before writing this post, I went back to the trusty ephemeris to see what was happening in my life the last time that Neptune transited any part or point on my chart. And when I say transited, I’m talking serious stuff, the transits I should have been able to remember, ie the conjunctions, squares and oppositions.
Neptune square Neptune, a typical mid-life transit, was the most recent- at 24/25 Aquarius it was a few years ago. I know exactly the crap that was going down at that point in time, but can I talk about it? Nope. My idea of my dreams dissolved into a blinding wave of fairy dust. It was crappy and beautiful- all at the same time.
Other than that, the last Neptune transit of note was in 1998 when she glided into Aquarius, sextiling natal Saturn. All my existing structures and belief systems were dissolved in the most beautiful way. Life was never the same again. I gave birth to my daughter during that transit.
The rest is just too far back to talk about.
According to Steven Forrest in The Changing Sky, Neptunes’ gift is the experience of serenity, inspiration and vision. Nice.
Conversely, her trap is “the temptation to deceive or undo ourselves with glamorous falsehoods and easy self-destructive patterns of escape…eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.”
Hmmm, both sound like my attitude to life as a Neptunian…
Neptune does come with the most palatable remedy, though…in theory anyway. There are no mountains to climb (Saturn), electrical storms of unexpected ferocity (Neptune) or depths to descend into (Pluto). Neptune expects you to do nothing, just relax into it. Chill out, open yourself to feeling. Dude.
Sound good? As I said, in theory.
Letting it all just flow, Man, is not how we are programmed these days. Can you imagine saying to your boss “sorry Dude, but I’m having, like, this really spacey Neptune transit at the moment and my astrologer told me to just let it flow and open myself up to the beyondness of life. So, I’m heading off to meditate on top of a mountain for the next two years…you’d be cool with that?” Right?
Rather than detaching from our ego, everything that we do every day is exactly the opposite. We are encouraged to use our head rather than our heart, crappy decisions made by profiteering executives are justified as being ok because they are “business decisions”. The work we do doesn’t sing to our soul, but it satisfies our need to put a roof (or the right roof) over our head, clothes (and the right brands) on our back, and a label (or title) on our masthead.
Neptune transits arrive at a time when we need to be reminded that our ego has become too important to itself, too attached to its own sense of rightness and too intent on pursuing a course that has no real feeling or spiritual relevance.
If you don’t embrace the Neptunian influence willingly, ie if you aren’t willing to let go, Neptune will do it for you. If you don’t relax, Neptune will make sure that you have no choice. The number of people who report feeling listless, no energy, and chronically fatigued during a Neptune transit is incredible. Neptune forces them to opt out.
During Neptune transits smart people do things that they normally wouldn’t do, things that they should have known better than to do. Dumb things. During Neptune transits we fall in love with people we shouldn’t fall in love with, entangle ourselves in things we shouldn’t be entangled in, become addicted to things we shouldn’t be addicted to and escape to places that we would be better off never visiting.
All of these things serve the purpose of bringing us out of our egos, showing us that we are human, and presenting us with another alternative that forces us to feel.
That Neptune square I referred to? I did some real dumb stuff over the period of that transit. Dumb things that I knew from the outset were dumb, but that I also thought were real. I believed people who I knew at the time were lying to me. I willingly laid myself open to be hurt. The outcome of that transit is that it dissolved my idea of who I am, or rather who I thought that I should be.
And, if I’m being honest, the reason that we do dumb things is because they are so fun. Losing yourself can be fun…at the time… The consequences of those decisions and actions, however, often are not- fun, that is. That’s why they are dumb. We know that, but under a Neptune transit we often do them anyway.
Analysing Neptune Transits
What will happen? Here are some guidelines (taken from, as always. The Eagle and the Lark, by Bernadette Brady):
- What house is Neptune in natally? What house is the planet being transited in by Neptune natally? These areas will be where the transit starts to happen.
- What house is Neptune transiting? This is where the main action will be occurring.
- What house is ruled by Neptune natally? What house is ruled natally by the planet being transited? These are the areas of life that will be affected by the outcome of the transit.
- What is the nature of the aspect? This will tell you whether the transit will be “easy” or “hard”- and that doesn’t mean “good” or “bad.”
The Nature of the aspect
When Neptune is conjunct a planet or chart point, her energy is fused with that planet. She takes over that planet. Her energy is stronger than the planet she is invading. When Neptune is in Pisces- this will be any other planet in Pisces.
When Neptune is opposing a planet or chart point, “someone or something “out there” is doing something to you and furthermore, it’s their fault.” A decision is necessary. When Neptune is in Pisces, she will oppose any planets you have in Virgo.
When Neptune is square a planet or chart point, there is tension and frustration- something happens which will force you “into a mode of action that you have not yet explored…results stimulate actions rather than decisions.” This will be any planets you have in Gemini or Sagittarius.
When Neptune is trine a planet or chart point whatever is going to happen will happen quickly and relatively easily. Obstacles will be removed. This doesn’t mean that it will be good or painless, just that whatever is going to happen will happen quickly and relatively easily! This will be the case with planets in Cancer or Scorpio.
When Neptune is sextile a planet or chart point opportunities may arise. As there are feminine signs involved (Taurus and Capricorn) you will be responsible for creating the opportunity- something that you do will uncover something cool, provide you with a door than can be opened. It won’t drop into your lap.
When Neptune is inconjunct or quincunx a planet or chart point, there will be a change, separation of letting go of something- whether you are ready for it or not. Brady describes this as being as if someone has stepped onto the stage, stopped the play, changes the actors and the script, or moved everyone to a new theatre.
Timing the aspect
Neptune is a slow moving planet, so the impact might not be felt until the aspect is about a degree out.
For conjunctions, squares, and oppositions I use orbs of 2 degrees each way. As an example, I started to feel the influence of Neptune on my Mercury (6 Pisces) at 4 Pisces and should continue to do so until Neptune reaches 8 Pisces.
For the trine, sextile and inconjunct, use 1 degree each side.
2013: 1-5 Pisces
Neptune will start the year at 1 Pisces. The high point will be felt at 5 Pisces 22’ on 6 June 2013 before tracking back to 2 Pisces 34’ and finishing the year at 3 Pisces.
The following points will be impacted.
0-7 Pisces- this will be by conjunction
0-7 Virgo- this will be by opposition
0-7 Gemini or Sagittarius- this will be by square
0-7 Cancer or Scorpio- this will be by trine
0-7 Capricorn or Taurus- this will be by sextile
2014: 3-7 Pisces
Neptune will start the year at 3 Pisces. The high point will be felt at 7 Pisces 35’ on 9 June 2014 before tracking back to 4 Pisces 48’ and finishing the year at 5 Pisces.
The following points will be impacted.
1-9 Pisces- this will be by conjunction
1-9 Virgo- this will be by opposition
1-9 Gemini or Sagittarius- this will be by square
1-9 Cancer or Scorpio- this will be by trine
1-9 Capricorn or Taurus- this will be by sextile