Rob Tillett has been an astrologer for more than three decades. In previous incarnations a poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist & composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
Rob Tillett presents a short description of the astrological meaning of the planet Neptune, the great deceiver, master of disguise, deception and delusion – and harbinger of spiritual growth.
Neptune, the planet of deception, delusion and spiritual enlightenment, rules the oppressed and abandoned: the misfits of society. On a higher level he rules visionaries, and those who are glamorous and charismatic. Neptune represents spirituality, mysticism, and ideals.
Speaking personally, Neptune's house position and aspects with other planets in your chart will describe spirituality, abstract thinking, illusion, disillusionment, and areas of your life where things aren't always what they seem. Neptune rules derangement, guilt, persecution and describes the potential for experiences related to confinement, abandonment, and addiction or physical intolerance to drugs and alcohol.
A Son of Saturn
In mythology, Neptune was a son of Saturn and brother to Jupiter and Pluto. Known as Poseidon ("tamer of horses and saviour of ships") to the ancient Greeks, he was Lord of the Sea and the god of horses. After the overthrow of Saturn, Jupiter became god of the heavens, Neptune god of the sea and Pluto god of the underworld. Despite his undeniable mythological credentials, some modern astrologers hold that the astrological influence of Neptune is feminine, presumably as he is often presented as an octave of Venus.
Neptune's role in society is often to cloud the issues, making things seem other than they are. Neptune is the master of disguise. Ruling oil, liquids, solvents (and makeup!), this mighty force usually operates beneath the surface, but can be brought into the forefront of consciousness when affected by significant transits from the visible planets – as it has been recently in the oil crisis and the floods, hurricanes and storms that have so grievously affected certain parts of the world.
Neptune, one of the outer, transpersonal planets, spends about thirteen years in each sign, taking around 164 years to move through all twelve signs. Since 164 years separate people born during its transit of one sign and those born when it returns, Neptune's significance in any sign is described as generational or historical.
Deception and Delusion
Neptune is invisible to the naked eye, and was officially discovered on Sep 23, 1846, by Johann Gottfried Galle, working at the Berlin Observatory from theoretical predictions by the French mathematician, Urbain Le Verrier. There is disagreement as to the actual time of discovery, ranging from 10 PM on Sep 23 to early on Sep 24. Typical of the confusion surrounding Neptune is the existence of a number of previous observations by astronomers, including Galileo, but obtaining no actual identification of it as a planet. And so there was much controversy, even deception, over the discovery, with particular criticism coming from the British, who were great rivals of the French.
Neptune has recently been experiencing its first full orbit of the Sun since discovery! This suggests a new spiritual dispensation, especially since this mighty force is now entering Pisces in the tropical zodiac (although remaining in Aquarius in the sidereal zodiac for years to come).
To find out how Neptune and all the other planets directly affect your personal life, you need to order your own horoscope from this website!
Neptune slowly transits Aquarius between November 1998 and February 2012, with a brief visit to Pisces from April 4 to August 5, 2011. Neptune then returns to Aquarius for 6 months, before moving into Pisces for the long term on February 3, 2012. Why not check out Neptune's transit through Pisces.
Rules: Pisces with Jupiter Exalted: (? no traditional exaltation) Detriment: (? no traditional detriment) Fall: (? no traditional fall) Planetary Node: 11°31' Leo
Because Neptune, being invisible to the naked eye, was first discovered in 1846, there is no traditional rulership or exaltation. Modern astrologers generally agree that Neptune, Lord of the Sea, is well-placed in Pisces, sign of the Fishes, and may be said to be the co-ruler of that sign, though Jupiter is definitely the traditional ruler.