There’s a lot of discussion among astrologers about how to classify Neptune. And in classic Neptune fashion, confusion abounds. Some say Neptune is a little slice of divinity, the higher octave of Venus and the symbol of unconditional love. Others say it is an obvious malefic, throwing human lives off course and causing us to lose our way. Still others say it makes no sense to even consider outer planets in those terms because they deal with forces greater than individual human lives.
As for me? I think all these arguments make excellent points and have aspects of truth to them. But, as always, I take my cues from myth. And dealings with Neptune rarely turn out well for humans, at least in the long run. The best example of this is the mythical lost civilization of Atlantis.
When the world was being portioned out, each god received their own territory to rule over. Neptune was given a large mountain surrounded by fertile plains. Looking over his island, he saw a woman more beautiful than he had ever conceived possible. Smitten, Neptune married her and went about creating the perfect bubble for their love. He, with the power of the oceans, ripped the mountain and plains away from the mainland and dragged it to a remote part of the sea.
There, he created an ideal life. He and his wife had ten wonderful children, and each was given a piece of the land to rule over. And it was a glorious land indeed. It was rich in every kind of fruit and beast one could imagine. Precious stones burst glittering forth from the ground like geysers. There were veins of priceless metals running through the ground, including the legendary orichalcum, which was the rarest of them all. It was paradise, Eden, a jewel of absolute delight. Like all of Neptune’s gifts, it was perfect. Perhaps even a bit too perfect.
The kings, doing what kings do, made the most of the resources at their disposal. They built great palaces so magnificent that their sparkling facades could be seen from miles and miles away. Their temples were covered in silver and gold, so reflective that even blazing Helios had to shade his eyes as he streaked across the sky. And even the poorest citizens were as well-fed and happy as other cities’ kings.
For a while, this was wonderful. Everyone appreciated their sumptuous lives, all provided by generous, loving Neptune, their father. But as time went on, their abundance seemed to be an ever more potent drug. They began to revel in their wealth, drunk on the heady mix of gold, wine, and beauty. And in this haze of joy, the kings got together and had an idea. Why, they asked, should they be the only ones to enjoy these treasures? Why, in fact, are there any boundaries at all? Why not spread their transcendent gifts to all the peoples of the world?
And so they did. They called up the world’s first army. They began smelting their metals not for temples and adornment, but into the sharp spears of war. They trained their soldiers to harden their hearts. And then they advanced.
As they spread eastward, city after city fell to their hands. And instead of sharing their wealth, they took the other citizens as slaves and hoarded the other cities’ resources for themselves. Finally, Jupiter, seeing the devastation the Atlaneans had wrought, decided to put an end to the entire campaign. Their next stop was Athens, so Jupiter called upon Athena, goddess of war, strategy, and boundaries, for aid. When the Atlantean army reached the walls of her city, she stood tall in full armor, her face glowing with a terrible fury.
“People of Atlantis!” she cried, her voice like thunder, “Turn back. You have nothing to offer us. Your lavish life was always one of folly, but while you were isolated on your island, it was tolerated. But now you come seeking to make my people like you, and yet you offer no true gifts. Your beautiful lies have no value here. Respect our walls and return to your home.”
Chastened, the Atlantean army fled back to their island. But there, they found Neptune waiting for them. Furious that his delicate, perfect ecosystem had been ruined, he erupted. With an enormous effort that shook all the world, he grabbed the island and wrenched it into the sea, reclaiming, as he always does, what he calls his own. And thus the great civilization of Atlantis was lost, and the world saved.
Now, in this story, Neptune doesn’t really appear as a villain. In fact, he hardly appears at all. The terrible deeds were all committed by the men on the island, with their distorted thinking and greed-filled hearts. Neptune can hardly be blamed, right?
But that’s how Neptune always works. When we have a Neptune transit, we’re transported to a world of fluffy pink clouds and the strumming of harps in the distance. But once we’re there, we find that the pink clouds begin to surround us, obscuring our vision and warping our judgement. We’re unwittingly led ever closer to ruin, but Neptune’s guiding hand is always just out of sight. And just when we think we’ve reached our zenith and that the gifts we deserve will finally come raining upon us, the fog clears, the veil drops, and Neptune grabs us by the waist and drags us down. And it’s only then that we can see just how far we’ve fallen.
I want to make it clear that I don’t think that every Neptunian influence or transit is a negative thing. Neptune truly can provide wonderful, numinous gifts. But as we see with the people of Atlantis, sometimes those gifts are too much for humans to handle. In those times, it’s best to keep our feet on the ground and stay in our own lane. Otherwise, who knows where Neptune will lead?
Have you ever fallen into a Neptune trap? Tell us your story!