© Philip Graves
Sometimes considered a 'higher octave' of Venus, Neptune liberates one from intellectual consciousness, bringing extremes of beauty and love to the senses and emotions. It transcends and escapes Saturnian boundaries altogether, elevating consciousness and sensory perception to defy conventional material restrictions and personal separateness, and instead merge with all that there is to be aware of in the world. It challenges the individual to differentiate between subtle and barely conscious essential truth, on the one hand, and tantalising mirage, on the other - since it presents both. It evokes vision, which when positively expressed manifests as idealism; when negatively expressed, as escapism.
Neptune is aesthetic; amorphous; attuned to the finest nuances of beauty, feeling and mind; blissful; compassionate; diffuse and at times subjectively unclear or confused; dreamy; enthusiastic; ethereal; highly emotional; imitative; impressionable through extra-sensory channels; intuitive; mystery-loving; mystical; peaceful; pulled by powerful motives towards abstract or sentient ends; romantic; self-deceptive; spiritually sensitive; unconsciously socialising; subtle beyond fitting words; unstable; and highly sympathetic; yet when denied a desired outcome, quick to renege on an undertaking. It inclines to finer artistic sensibilities, and responds favorably to dance, harmony, poetry, rhythm, stringed instruments, and symmetry.
Neptune signifies ambushes; the artistic faculty; chaos; covert alliances; deceptions, including deceptive schemes and ventures; democratic and popular movements; desire; disguises; dreamers; emotion; erotic appreciation; exiles; false hope; feeling; frauds; illusion and delusion; imagination; impositions; intangible emotions; intrigues; intuition; many changes; mass movements and emotions; mobs; morbidity of outlook; proneness to succeed or fail through the influence of women; psychics; the psychic faculties; saintliness; the secrets of the life; secret societies; social unrest; sudden death; susceptibility to drugs; uncertain fortunes; visions; and wanderings.
People signified by Neptune include all those engaged in aesthetic, artistic, inspirational, literary, occult and psychic vocations (including mediums and mystics), or those connected with water.
Physically, Neptune governs the cerebral ventricles and pineal gland; cell development and reproduction; glands; intuitive perception of a psychic genesis; poisons; nerve fibres; nutrition; optic nerves; psychic and telepathic functions; respiratory and throat tissues; spinal fluid; tears; and white corpuscule formation. When prominent, it confers a slim, orderly body; a mysterious expression; hypnotic eyes; sharp, almost cruel features; and a long head, bald at the temples.
Illnesses include anaemia; catalepsy; drug addiction; energy depletion; glandular imbalance; hypochondriasis; neuroses; oxygen deficiency; and wasting disesases.
Meaning of Glyph:
The glyph for Neptune is the symbol of a trident, which stands for rulership over the sea. Neptune in mythology has a strong connection with the sea; and Neptune the planet in its influence resembles an ocean in its boundlessness, fluctuation and emotional pulls, and its function as a repository for the undifferentiated, anonymous and unknown that becomes a mysterious source of individualised life under certain conditions, only to serve later as an unforgiving void into which what once appeared vital dissipates and dissolves, and thus as an agent of death through release from the confines of matter.
But it also can be interpreted, according to Moore and Douglas's model, as a cross of the Soul intersected in its upper part by a Crescent of Matter, resembling the glyph for Mercury but without the Circle of Spirit. On this basis, it is perceived as a representation of the Soul of Matter, and the principle of feeling and psychic receptivity, detached from any creative will or ego.
From Schulman's perspective, Neptune's glyph is a crescent of the Soul above a cross of Matter, showing the desires of the Soul as being of greater importance than Matter, and consequently the readiness of the unwanted components of Matter for dissolution, freeing the Soul to exert its dominance, and thus rendering the planet Neptune its mystical nature.
The following sources were consulted:
'Astrology: The Divine Science' by Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas
'Karmic Astrology Volume II: Retrogrades and Reincarnation' by Martin Schulman
'The Manual of Astrology' by Sepharial (1960s revised edition).
'Encylopaedia of Astrology' by Nicholas DeVore
5] 'Encylopaedia of Medical Astrology' by Howard Cornell, M.D.
has studied astrology and its history since 1995, was manager and astrological writer for the now-discontinued online MSN astrology community 'Horoscopeschat' from 2002-2006, has personally collected thousands of astrological books and journal issues, and is presently developing a new website focused primarily on an extensive astrological bibliography, which is to be launched at
He can be contacted by email at