If your imagination is soaring, your Neptune is probably hard at work creating visions, ideas and magic in your head. If you’ve forgotten to pick the kids up from school and can’t make your mind up what to have for dinner, that’s probably also Neptune’s influence in your astrology chart.
The astrological Neptune is nebulous and hard to pin down. It can bring confusion and indecision, but it can also inspire incredible idealism and compassion. At its best, the planet Neptune helps us to change reality; at its worst, it reveals us at our most slippery and deceitful.
What is the Meaning of Neptune in Astrology?
Neptune in astrology is associated with dreams, altered states of consciousness, spirituality and all things ethereal and magical. Neptune’s position in your natal chart highlights your intuition and your psychic and mediumistic abilities.
This is also the planet of compassion and selflessness - if you’re an empath, Neptune is probably strong in your birth chart. However, the flip side of Neptune can be dishonesty and vagueness. In astrology, Neptune is also about unclarity and confusion, so its position in your astrological chart suggests areas where you may be more gullible than others, or where you may have something you feel you need to hide.
How Did Neptune Get Its Symbol?
You’ve probably seen Neptune’s astrological symbol or glyph – it looks like a trident. Why is this? Well, Neptune is named for the Roman god Neptune, god of the sea, the equivalent of the Greek god Poseidon. The mythological Neptune carried a trident, which he used to stir up the waters to create storms and tempests. The astrological Neptune sometimes does something similar – when this planet is working negatively, emotions can overwhelm us, lies can descent to cover the truth or emotional storms can cloud and obscure the simplest of issues.
What is the Importance of Neptune in the Birth Chart?
Neptune is an extremely slow-moving planet – so much so that it spends, on average, around 14 years in each zodiac sign. For this reason, its planetary influence in astrology is both generational and personal.
Since everyone born in that 14-year period will have Neptune in the same zodiac sign, we can generalize about that generation’s Neptune influences. Your Neptune house is often more important, as this is the place in your birth chart where Neptune exerts a more personal influence. Whether you are blessed with the planet’s more inspirational qualities or whether you will struggle more with its shadow side depends on the aspects made and received by Neptune to and from all of the other planets in your chart.
Key Facts About Neptune in Astrology
Positive expressions of Neptune energy: spirituality, gentleness, empathy, compassion, imagination, intuition, psychic/mediumistic abilities, idealism, artistic talent
Challenging expressions of Neptune energy: deceit, gullibility, vagueness, confusion, indecision, illusion, addiction
Neptune rules: Pisces, that most watery of the zodiac signs. Neptune in Pisces, although still largely a generational influence, is considered to be more powerful than its placement in other signs, because a ruling planet in its own sign is a very pure expression of planetary energy.
Neptune is exalted in: either Cancer or Leo – opinions differ. An exalted planet is usually strong and works positively.
Neptune is in detriment in: Virgo. A planet in detriment is typically quite weak, with its energy manifesting negatively or being misused.
Neptune is in fall in: either Capricorn or Aquarius – opinions differ again. A planet in fall is usually weakened, although positive aspects to the planet will help.
What’s Your Neptune Sign or House?
Remember, in astrology, your Neptune sign is of much less importance than its house. Your Neptune sign will however be of increased importance if it’s Pisces, Cancer or Leo, or if your astrological Neptune is significantly linked to your Sun or your Ascendant.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Very idealistic and driven by a compassionate desire to change the world. However, prone to negative escapism and may find it difficult to successfully take action.
Generational Sign Influence: None, nobody currently alive has Neptune in Aries; it was last there in 1875.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Very materially generous but correspondingly financially gullible. Sentimental and romantic, imaginative and creative in love.
Generational Sign Influence: None, nobody currently alive has Neptune in Taurus; it was last there in 1888.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Tremendous imagination which can lead to talent in the arts; however, daydreaming and a lack of mental focus can be problematic.
Generational Sign Influence: None, nobody currently alive has Neptune in Gemini; it was last there in 1902.
Neptune in 4th House or Neptune in Cancer
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: May have had an unusual or chaotic childhood. Very sympathetic and kind but may struggle with past trauma or keep repeating negative patterns.
Generational Sign Influence (1902-1915): Those born at this time faced Neptune’s chaotic influence on their family lives during World War 1 and this will have impacted upon their future attitudes towards family.
Neptune in 5th House or Neptune in Leo
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Very creative. Highly idealistic in love, which can lead to heartache when let down. Easily led in matters of love and money, with unrealistic expectations.
Generational Sign Influence (1915-1929): Neptune is attracted to glamor and had an influence on the development of cinema and other forms of entertainment, helping this generation to escape a sometimes difficult reality.
Neptune in 6th House or Neptune in Virgo
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Over-active imagination leads to emotional stress or hypochondria. Make suffer bad reactions to medical drugs. Difficulty sticking to routines or deadlines, but very kind to colleagues.
Generational Sign Influence (1929 – 1943): Neptune’s influence on this generation can be seen in the non-violent principles of the civil rights movement and advances in feminism. However, Neptune’s gullible compliance can also be seen in the conflicts of this period.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: In love with love and the concept of romance, but sometimes not willing to put real work into a relationship. May be deceitful in order to keep the peace.
Generational Sign Influence (1943 – 1957): Born into a world longing for Neptune’s ideal of peace, this is the generation who grew up to say that “all you need is love”.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: May have an enigmatic, mysterious but irresistible personality, of much allure to others, especially in love. A seductive nature with strong sexual appetites.
Generational Sign Influence (1956 – 1971): During a difficult social and economic period, Neptune’s influence saw many of this generation turning to negative escapism in the form of drugs or counter-culture.
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Very philosophical and intellectual, highly idealistic, comes across as wise. Possibly religious, but sometimes fails to question their beliefs.
Generational Sign Influence (1971 – 1985): This generation has grown up to show Neptune’s compassion and idealism as the world starts to push for humanitarian and social change.
Neptune in 10th House or Neptune in Capricorn
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: May lack a sense of direction in career or be overly optimistic about own abilities. However, likely to have a lot of artistic and creative talent.
Generational Sign Influence (1984 – 1998): Neptune is starting to express, through this earth sign and via this generation, a growing concern for our planet. This is the generation who will need to save the earth.
Neptune in 11th House or Neptune in Aquarius
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: Socially gullible, but enjoys spending time in groups, especially working for a good cause. May dislike responsibility or suffer from excessive worry over it.
Generational Sign Influence: (1998 – 2011): This generation looks set to take Neptune’s compassion and advance it into areas as yet largely unexplored – for example, a greater understanding of the spectrum of humanity.
Neptune in 12th House or Neptune in Pisces
Strengths/Challenges of House Placement: This is a very strong placing for Neptune; extremely spiritual, perhaps other-wordly. However, may be secretive or obsessive about privacy.
Generational Sign Influence (2011 – 2025): This generation will oversee the completion of humankind’s spiritual shift and evolution, taking us closer to the divinity within us all.
What Does Neptune in Pisces Mean for Our Spiritual Awakening?
With Neptune now ‘home’ in mystical Pisces, we can see how spirituality has become a much greater concern in the world. More and more people are walking a spiritual path. In astrology, Neptune is intimately connected to spirituality and many astrologers believe that this time period – up to around 2025 – will see a huge shift in our global consciousness. Under Neptune’s guidance, we could turn away from greed and destruction and towards compassion, healing and positive solutions for the world. Let’s hope so! What do you want to see from the current Neptune in Pisces transit?