by Merlin Emrys
Neptune, planet of mystery and magic, is named after the Roman god of the seas. It is associated with dreams, intuition, extraterrestrial dimensions, unconditional love, the arts, Atlantean myths, idealism, and experiencing a more transcendent reality. It connects with the spiritual life and desire to explore what lies beneath the surface of everyday consciousness, mystical experiences that cannot be explained by the rational mind, of oneness with all that is.
Healing modalities associated with Neptune include aromatherapy, essential oils, flower essences, and hydrotherapy. Crystals and stones useful for attuning with its energies are aquamarine, tanzanite, and lapis lazuli.
Neptune entered its home sign of Pisces in April, 2011 and will finally leave and move into Aries in January, 2026. This long sojourn offers the opportunity for developing compassion and caring, especially for those less fortunate than ourselves. Its shadow side is escapism, delusion, and lack of discernment, continuing to wear rose-colored glasses even with irrefutable evidence of the non-existence of the emperor’s new clothes!
In traditional astrology Neptune is related to Pisces and the twelfth house. Experiences include sorrow, grief, and long-repressed emotions needing to be released, and facing karmic issues, whether from this or previous lives, or the collective past. There can be a sense of wanting to withdraw from the world because of extreme sensitivity and unwillingness or inability to deal with the burdens and responsibilities of the physical dimension.
Since both Pisces and the twelfth house represent the end of the zodiac, there is a need to assimilate and integrate all that has come before — an arduous task, to say the least! — allowing outworn forms and connections to dissolve away in preparation for a new cycle of unfoldment. In many ways both are strongly connected to the collective consciousness, and it often seems that one is drowning in a sea of emotions and feelings not entirely one’s own.
Neptune’s natal aspects and transits to personal planets offer the opportunity to become more than whom we have been, to expand awareness and attune to and align with dimensions greater and more inclusive than the terrestrial world. Although often initially experienced as confusing and emotionally overwhelming, the process can thoroughly alter perspectives and belief systems, and opportunities for greater service to community and humanity emerge.
For example, during the long transit of Neptune squaring my natal Scorpio Moon and Ascendant, past memories flooded in and pent-up emotions poured forth. Many times all I could do was throw myself on the bed, sob uncontrollably, go to sleep, or both. Attempts to understand what was going on were futile — I had to fully surrender to the process. But my intuition and psychic abilities grew enormously, and lucid dreams offered glimpses of a brighter future. Having the support and understanding of my long-time partner made it possible to more fully immerse myself in the experience.
In the end it brought a deeper sense of connection and commitment to the spiritual path, greatly enhanced my meditation practice and ability to contact the depths of my psyche, and allowed greater compassion to come forth.
Neptune has a powerful influence on the arts, whether music, dance, painting, film, or photography. These can be carefully crafted channels through which to express the energies of transcendent realms, allowing others to experience them as well. Certainly it deeply affects my painting and music, augmenting sensitivity to color and sound and expression of feelings and emotions.
As Neptune commenced its transit of natal Venus earlier in 2013, I began painting after a break of over two years, completing 25 pieces in the past seven months. The main body of work was 15 paintings in
The Atlantis Series, inspired by experiences of the lost continent that have come to me in dreams, visions, and meditation. Interestingly, each one reflected my inner feelings and state of being at the time it was created, even though I was not aware of it in the moment. And the titles that later emerged also mirrored the process, e.g. Rising Storm, Dissolution, Falling Apart, Creative Chaos, Uncharted Waters. All of them are currently part of a three-month show at a local gallery.
Meditation and contemplation are enhanced by the touch of the watery planet. Going into stillness can be an opportunity to explore the depths of the psyche, examine blocks and issues needing to be addressed, and allow compassion for oneself and others to permeate consciousness. It also is an avenue for developing intuition and inner voice and vision, always remembering that discernment is an important part of the process. Testing the insights that arise in the physical world is vital.
In transpersonal astrology, Neptune is aligned with Cancer. It is here that the birth of new consciousness can occur, tempered with compassion and love for all beings. Judgment, whether of oneself or others, can gently pass away, infused with an awareness that we are all in the current situation together. The suffering inherent in human conditions can be embraced at a deeper level — not of pain, but of understanding — and a commitment to help alleviate it emerges.
Tarot Key 12, The Hanged One, is linked with both Neptune and the element of Water. At this stage of the journey the Fool must literally stand things on their head, turning everything upside down and viewing all of existence from a vastly different perspective than before. Then, somewhat freed from the limits of matter, one moves forward into a world of intuitive knowing, compassionate response, and service to all.
By immersing oneself fully in the waters of Neptune, risking loss of self and merging with a transcendent state of being, consciousness can be transfigured and aligned with a broader, more loving and inclusive vision of earthly life.
©2013-2015 by Merlin Emrys. All Rights Reserved.