The Neptune Cycle
Before we were born we were nourished by our mothers, connected through a tube that was constantly feeding us and gave us everything we needed. We were practically one with our mothers. When we were born that tube was cut. We were on our own and we all have a belly button scar to show for it. Neptune is our spirit's 'belly button scar' -- the evidence that we belonged to something bigger than just our own body; that we belonged to Mother Universe, were a part of the divine, a child of god -- however you want to define it.
Neptune is the part of us that remembers and wants to seek the Source. However, unlike on earth where our bodies are truly separated from our mothers, we are not actually as separate from the Source as it can appear. Neptune is the part of us that knows this and can recognize our connection to all beings through our shared divinity. It is the part of us that can realize that the boundaries of skin, race, lifestyle, hairstyle (you name it!) are illusions. It's the part of us that knows that we are all cut from the same cloth of spirit and that we are woven together.
Neptune represents where we need to learn to surrender in faith, to open ourselves up to experience, messages and feelings that we can't explain but that can guide us and inspire us. It is the source of inner knowing in us. In order to experience our Neptune fully we have to get out of our own way because this is a part of our lives that we don't need to control or direct. It's location in our chart is the place in our lives where we must learn to act more on faith and less on proof. It can also be how we connect to our creativity if we let it flow through us. Many people who have Neptune prominent in their chart often speak of feeling like they are barely aware of what they are creating -- that when they are inspired it's as if something is moving through them, like they are channeling it. It is how divinity works through us -- the muse is the creative and inspirational face of Neptune.
Because the nature of Neptune is so at odds with the idea of a corporeal 3-dimensional limited world (the one we live in for now), Neptune represents the area of life where we're also vulnerable to taking that inspiration and forcing it in its pure state to form, thereby messing it all up. When we have an idea and are inspired, the idea is perfect. It hasn't had to be translated into reality and exposed to the innate limitations of that reality. So Neptune is the part of us that seeks and receives inspiration and draws from the Source, but if we expect that dream to look exactly the same after the conversion to reality, we suffer great disillusionment. The idea is to stay true to the vision while working within our limitations. The vision has done its job, now we have to carry out the work. Manifestation is messy business!
Neptune in transit
When transiting Neptune comes into contact with a sensitive point in our chart, it's trying to tell us that a new vision is on its way. We may have just been going through the motions in this part of our life, because that's what we've always done, and have lost touch with the meaning of why we're doing whatever it is we're doing. It's time to go inward and reconnect to self and to the Source for new answers.
This is all very inspirational, but the reality of a Neptune transit can sometimes feel anything but. We humans like to feel in control and like we've got everything figured out. We're creatures of habit and we like knowing what to expect, even when we're bored. When Neptune comes into contact with a sensitive point in our chart, that area of our life suddenly starts to feel confusing and foggy, like suddenly what we thought we always knew is unraveling. The ground under our feet that we take for granted is suddenly mushy and trembling. We are likely to feel scattered and distracted, and it can be frustrating. We must remember and recognize that Neptune is about surrender, so the way to make the best of a Neptune transit is to allow it to enter us, to confuse us, to stir the pot. We must be patient. Now is usually not a good time for action because we're still not sure what direction we're going in! We feel scattered and distracted because we are scattered and distracted. Part of us is being pulled into ourselves, into the dream world. We find it hard to fully concentrate our attention to the external present because the internal future is calling to us, whispering to us. When we surrender to that voice and listen patiently, we are likely to feel better and less split (or at least, able to live with the split feeling if we are more cooperative with it). Our psychic sensitivity is heightened because doors are opening inside of us and beckoning us. Follow them into that dream and soon we will wake with a fresh perspective.
The Neptune sextile & square
The Neptune sextile happens approximately for everyone around the age of 28. This is convenient timing as it is a time for preparation for your Saturn return. The time of Neptunian vision and inspiration precedes the Saturnian time for the formation of plans and committed actions. A sextile aspect (when planets are 60 degrees apart from one another, give or take a few) creates a sense of excitation. There is a desire to move, to take action. We feel eager to dive into the deep. Something beyond this world is calling us. We are heading into our thirties soon, and we may feel like we have a need in our lives for a deeper perspective on life's meaning.
The Neptune square happens approximately for everyone around the age of 41. This is also convenient timing as it coincides somewhat with the Uranian opposition (around age 42). This is a time for the famed "mid-life crisis." And a crisis it can be. When we are experiencing a square, we feel a sense of tension and angst. Something in us is chafing and we are so annoyed and frustrated with it that we want to fix it and can expend a great deal of energy trying to do so. The theme of the Neptune square is a crisis of faith. We are tired of going through the motions or ignoring the questions entirely. We have a craving for that deeper meaning that we were seeking in the sextile, only this time it may feel more urgent and more upsetting.
Both aspects drive us to search for meaning, for the divine. We don't just want an idea of something, we want to feel it, experience it directly for ourselves. Faith is fine, but untested faith won't be enough at these times. We want to take a step forward and sometimes don't know where to go. The house in which your natal Neptune lies can tell you the circumstances, the area of life through which you will experience and work through this crisis of faith most. For instance, if it's in your 9th house, you may find yourself questioning the moral/religious teachings you've been pursuing -- either a return to the old that you once rebelled against or maybe something entirely new. If it's in your 1st house, it's a crisis of faith that hits you in your very center of self, where you may start to doubt what your identity is built on (this can also happen when transiting Neptune comes into contact with your natal Sun). During the sextile, it's easier to divert your craving for meaning by leaping off the cliff of inspiration before you've even had time to really see it clearly -- just to get moving (even if it's splat at the bottom)! With the square, the hunger is more insistent and it's more difficult to reach that new level. That's where faith comes in. Search for it, and be patient. The vision is coming.