Navigating Neptune: A Guide to Working with Neptune Energies and Transits
Navigating Neptune is interesting. Neptune transits and strong Neptune signatures in the birth chart are mysterious. They don’t play by any rules. Time, space, names, and definitions don’t exist. All the phrases you’ve heard, like “the bottom dropped out,” “the ceiling disappeared,” and “I lost myself,” belong to this realm: never-never land. When you’re under Neptune’s influence, there’s almost always a haze over something, sometimes over and around everything. Vapor creeps in, obscuring your view. Or, maybe, you realize for the first time that something you’d put your faith in is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Neptune is Truth — Truth with a capital T. It’s the process of discovering all the ways “reality” just isn’t real, which creates more room for what is.
We live in a society where having the answers and everything figured out is applauded. We tend to get frightened when we can’t “see” clearly or maintain our sense of control. All this can block us from aligning with what’s truly in our best interest or the authentic call of the heart. Neptune wants you to follow your dreams and inspiration. Neptune is the part of you unlimited by anything in the third dimension of physical reality. When faced with the unknown, the natural impulse is to get back to something familiar, but Neptune’s greatest blessings are received by staying through the fog. If you’re patient and willing to surrender, eventually, the fog will clear, revealing crystal clarity.
In the Tarot, The Hanged Man is the Neptune card. The Hanged Man is pictured hanging upside down from a tree, foot bound to the branches, and arms tied behind his back. The god Odin from Norse Mythology is associated with The Hanged Man and is used as the image in many decks. Per legend, Odin got caught in the World Tree’s branches and hung suspended between heaven and earth. His ravens and horse couldn’t free him, and he struggled with himself for nine nights. After he reached a state of surrender, he perceived the magical runes, keys to the secrets of existence. This is how it goes with Neptune, and we can experience it as confusion and suffering or a journey into something much greater and more meaningful than we’ve ever known.
Most of us aren’t likely to get snared up in a tree on our way to work but losing something or someone can feel the same way. Neptune doesn’t have to be externally dramatic to work us; in fact, the unraveling and melting often come from within. In my experience with Neptune, the most disorienting thing is realizing you don’t really agree with or believe in the things you once did. This can feel like suspension because you don’t know where to go from here. What used to make sense just doesn’t. Even as words come out of your mouth and you go through the motions of life, you are somewhere else. A part of you is watching you, and at times, it feels like you might be making the whole thing up. You wonder if you’ll ever get that motivation, drive, and sharp thinking back. And when you think about it, you aren’t convinced you’d even want it back.
Most of us have had moments when we felt like throwing in the towel. Life disappoints us, and everything feels meaningless or hopeless. We all get disillusioned with the way things turn out and with people in general. Our faith gets challenged, and we either believe in nothing or naively buy into anything. During these times, it’s easy to isolate ourselves and withdraw from being an active participant on this planet. Neptune ultimately reminds us there is a reason for being here. The proof is that we ARE here. We have something to give that only we can offer.
“When we have nothing more to expect from life, life is still expecting something of us.” — Viktor Frankl
Neptune is like the ocean, and when it takes you, you can’t just say “no,” bargain with it or stop it with your willpower. During these transits or in strong natal signatures, greater forces ARE taking you over. These greater forces don’t exclude you — you’re not being possessed or absorbed by a foreign entity, although it might feel that way. You are the one who wants this new awareness and unity with life, and you are a part of it. If you fight against it, you’ll just wear yourself out. Neptune is all about going with the flow. If you’ve been someone who tends to swim upstream, get ready to give it up. Going willingly is the bravest thing you can do. This is your wormhole to inspired vision and creativity. The doorway to peace, love, compassion, and, most importantly, the acceptance of yourself and everything around you.
9 Ways to Work with Neptune
1. Don’t try to figure it out
Give your logical brain a break. Trust me, it gets overused as it is. When we’re too quick to rationalize or connect the dots, we miss all the other possibilities. It’s like the way your mind automatically fills in missing words in a sentence, whether they’re intended or not. It’s more comfortable when you fill all the gaps, but what if the gap is where the magic’s at? Instead of forcing answers, labeling, and expecting one plus one to equal two, receive what you do have or know and leave space for the rest to reveal itself.
2. Cover your basics
When Neptune sets in like Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, it’s easy to space out, lose track of time, and forget to take care of yourself. Set up a system to make sure bills are paid, teeth brushed, food in your belly, whatever your basics are. This really frees you up to explore a less structured reality without letting your life go down the drain.
3. Let things get fuzzy
This one’s simple. Don’t focus on the details. If you wear glasses or contacts, try periods of time without them. What do you see when things are blurry? The whole idea with Neptune is to see from a new perspective. Stare at a painting or even a blank wall. Neptune is the ultimate merging of everything, so play with watching the corners bend and dissolution of boundaries.
4. Keep a dream journal
One of my favorite old dream journals had one side for daydreams and one for nightdreams. I recommend you jot down those images, feelings, and ideas you get when waking and sleeping. Neptune rules the unconscious, and visualization, dreaming, and meditation are all great ways to access it. Some of the greatest truths and awakenings come through altered consciousness, and drugs aren’t the only way to get there. Breathwork, binaural beats, music, and dance are some ideas, but there are many more.
5. Get into non-linear space
Think circles, spirals, and slinkies. Neptune’s like looking into a kaleidoscope — buy one as an adult. Wear a pair of rose-colored glasses. Read poetry, get lost in music, watch the stars, spend time in nature. Do anything freeform, like automatic writing, ecstatic or interpretive dance, and art such as Touch Drawing. Free form is anything created without a standard. Oracle cards and the Tarot open intuitive channels, and working with symbols and images engages the creative brain.
6. Take time to heal and recover
Neptune is a powerful symbol of healing water — the water that washes it all away. Water purifies, refreshes, and renews. Sea minerals heal and detoxify, and the ocean is known for increasing physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. For centuries, doctors have prescribed the seaside for recovery. Neptune transits and signatures reflect the need for self-compassion and allowing yourself time to heal old wounds and fully express repressed grief. This might mean taking a little retreat or finding a way to create your own personal sanctuary. Spend time near a body of water or add some sea salt to your bath.
With Neptune, there is really no need to forgive because everything is just as it’s meant to be. We humans feel differently most of the time and hold resentment and anger until it physically hurts us. If ever there was a time or need to let it go, it’s when Neptune comes knocking. You can’t just turn your upset feelings off, but if you’re even willing to consider writing off the “debt,” Neptune is ready to make it disappear. Especially if you’re ready to forgive yourself.
There is no wrong or right with Neptune, no good or bad. There are no exclusions and no separation. The past and future do not exist. There is only the present moment. Try allowing what’s happening without trying to change it. Give the people in your life room to show up exactly as they are, and just let them be. Do the same for yourself. Acceptance is a profoundly beautiful thing. Imagine how different your life would be if you believed it was perfectly imperfect, just as it is.
9. Have the courage to release the past
Dane Rudhyar says courage is the Spirit’s gift to Pisces because it takes courage to bring the past to a meaningful close and turn toward the future. As co-ruler of Pisces, Neptune is the part of us that dreams, imagines, and visions what could be possible. Dane Rudhyar also says that hope doesn’t exist without a vision. There must be something that gives us reason to believe in something new and better than we know today. When working with Neptune, be brave! It’s always a sign that something is ending, but endings always contain the beginning. I like the term “spiral,” and it feels like Neptune is our soul’s invitation to do just that: take the next turn on the spiral.
Magic finds you when you’re open, and sometimes, we have to get uncomfortable or out of sorts enough to “give up” control. We get tired enough, sick enough, or sad enough that nothing seems to matter. It’s right then that the grip you’ve held so tightly finally unclenches. In that precious vulnerability, you feel and see the “more” that, like an incoming tide, changes the entire landscape. But first, the dam must break.