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Neptune glyph
Astrology for Today by Joanna Watters

Psychologically, Neptune is the opposite principal to Uranus. Uranus divides and separates but Neptune signifies fusion and the collapsing of boundaries, without which we would never experience falling in love or empathy. The Neptunian struggle is learning how to replace boundaries.
Introducing Jupiter
Introducing Neptune

The co-ruler of Pisces, whose traditional ruler is Jupiter, Neptune takes approximately 170 years to make its circuit of the zodiac. Neptune was discovered in 1846 and the major developments of this era, such as photography and film, aptly echo the symbolism of this outer planet.


The world of photographs and movies was born in Neptune's era. The first still photograph was taken in 1827 and the first "illusion toys" were invented in the early 1830s-devices that gave the appearance of moving pictures. The world of illusion is Neptunian and, maybe for this reason, its nature is elusive and difficult to define. Neptune's discovery also coincided with advancement in the world of pharmaceuticals. In September 1846 ether was used for the first time, marking a new era in surgery, and in the following year chloroform was first used. Also, the word "anesthetic," derived from the Greek word for "insensible," came into use. Gas began to replace oil for lighting, and street lights opened up a whole new night world, with brightly lit bars offering a seductive, alcoholic retreat.


In these ways, Neptune has come to speak of escapism in all its guises. Whether it's the glamour of the movies or the hazy world of drugs and drink, the Neptunian world is cut off from reality or anesthetized from pain. Saturn restricts, Uranus explodes, but Neptune dissolves, into the ether or down the neck of a bottle.

However, to seek existence in such a world is illusory. The movie finishes, the drugs wear off, the hangover brings sickness, and suffering is even more acute. Thus, the two sides to Neptune are rapture or despair, delirious happiness versus pain and confusion. Life is either full of meaning and euphoria or it is pointless. Neptunian types are highly sensitive to either state and must learn that Venus rules true love whereas Neptune rules the fantasy of ideal love and the quest for romance that may or may not be satisfied.

In Greek mythology Neptune is Poseidon, god of the sea, as illustrated in Neptune's glyph of the trident. Thus Neptune rules the ocean and all that is related to it, such as sailing, boats, fishing, and marine life. In the Neptunian world we can be "all at sea" with no land in sight - drifting and floundering - and typical Neptune types know no boundaries. In this respect, Neptune shares many typical Piscean characteristics.

© Joanna Watters.
Extracted from Astrology For Today, published by Carroll & Brown Publishers Ltd., London, 2003

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