The function of Neptune is to dissolve boundaries, to mix the material and the nonmaterial. It is deeply symbolic of the GREAT FLOW of life. Through our Neptunian function, we glimpse other dimensions and higher states of being, entering into a magical, indefinable world. The blue planet is something of a “psychic doorway” and is emblematic of poor boundaries. Neptune is representative of the waters of the world and dissolves our ego barriers and beckons us to transcend the limitations placed upon us by external reality. Moreover, it tends to refine whatever energies it comes into contact within the horoscope. It will seek to purify, cleanse and erase imperfections or defects.
Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus, whereby personal love is transmuted to universal love taking feeling to an exalted level. Venus embodies physical love and some of the ideal things we look for in romantic partners, whereas Neptune is orientated towards the most unselfish, perfect, unconditional and purest relationship. The watery planet is always searching for an ideal beauty and symbolizes a lost Eden or paradise, and rules every notion of bliss, joy, love and oneness.
Planets touched by Neptune are rendered both purer and more difficult to grasp, and so what those other planetary archetypes represent become more elusive, and difficult to find. Furthermore, it is also difficult to define this realm, and it rules the exceptionally intuitive and the seeking of a union with some mystery accompanied by a feeling of ecstasy.
The planet rules over the collective feeling of human beings and all life. Neptunian people tend to merge with everything, feeling the essence of every single thing they encounter. However, this can also make it difficult to distinguish their own feelings and needs from those of others. There is an inherent OPENNESS which allows the whole of the oceanic life, entry. The sensitivity and perceptions are greatly heightened, taking the individual into the world of dreams, seductively inviting them into a realm of unlimited possibilities.
Psychologically, Neptune represents our vision of perfection and our ideals. For most of us, this will be our fantasy world, and escape route from reality. We lose the self in sleep and dreaming, and escapism is characteristic in a temptation to retreat and switch off all communications. Some will seek this through drugs or alcohol, and through make-believe worlds. Essentially, the energy is a split between body and spirit and represents the greatest form of mysticism, this is a belief in the union with a deity or the absolute or the spiritual, and it is thought to be attained through self-surrender.
The ability to discern and appreciate subtly is one of the main gifts of Neptune. This is one of the reasons why those whose charts that are touched by this planet are often very creative and artistic. For the artist, whether involved in fine art, music or drama is usually someone with a heightened perception of form colour or sound. It also conjures up ecstatic feelings of being one with an ultimate reality. According to Liz Greene, “Neptune is a symbol of the sea of collective feeling which moves us from below to immerse ourselves in the mass. Neptune has a healing experience because through it one discovers respect for the unconscious and develops a more balanced perspective on the role of the ego”.
On the individual birth chart, Neptune symbolizes the urge towards sacrifice of the personal “I”, and sacrifice of personal feeling toward the collective feeling of life. Neptune gives us a strong urge to merge with something greater than ourselves and induces a sense of yearning for the unseen and the intangibles of life.
Neptune can also undermine our sense of reality. When we are in the grip of Neptune we may experience hypersensitivity, difficulty in adjusting to the demands of the everyday world, vagueness, and illusion. When a planet is contacted by Neptune, we often give away whatever the planet represents losing parts every time. We become a victim or martyr if we constantly sacrifice ourselves, and we run the risk of identifying with the savior/healer.
A challenged Neptune in the horoscope is open to becoming unstable, bringing self-deception, loss of willpower, gullibility, dishonesty, and flight from reality into daily life. Neptune can distort our grip on reality so that we lose all sense of who we are, leaving us at the mercy of its powerful unconscious currents.
Uranus and Neptune challenge the boundaries and world view of Saturn, because of the erosion of boundaries and reality. Sometimes it is only through disillusionment and suffering that we realize that the world can never satisfy our longing. When we internalize our spiritual longings we are able to make legitimate sacrifices in order to get closer to our true nature.