In sharp contrast to Uranus, which is active, forceful and energetic, especially mentally, Neptune’s influence on the personality is receptive, emotional and very sensitive. In spiritual work, while Uranus is the occultist, Neptune is the mystic. It is the planet of cosmic consciousness and of ‘God’s sensitivity’, the kind of sensitivity that perceives the slightest happening in the remotest corner of the universe.
The famous Biblical saying ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father’ [Matt. 10.29] expresses precisely this. It is this characteristic of Neptune that brings to humanity the most joy and the most difficulty – without sensitivity there is so much we cannot truly appreciate, but with it, life can sometimes seem almost intolerable, so easily hurt and upset is the Neptunian soul until highly evolved.
However, lest we run away with the impression that Neptune is thus a weak or over-gentle influence, it must be said immediately that Neptune is actually very strong. Its strength lies, however, not in the will or in any quest for power, but in its vision. One famous astrological writer once stated that Neptune is about the attempt to realise the kingdom of God upon Earth – almost invariably, the Neptunian soul has a vision of how things could and should be, and often strives to make it come true, in however small a way.
In the young in soul, this can all seem too much, and they are subject to many temptations to try to escape from the harshness of the outer life through such things as drink, drugs, sex, illusory experiences or anything else through which the realities of worldly life can be lost or at least dulled, however temporarily.
However, as the soul grows, rather than simply lamenting the state of the world and wishing for the impossible, it begins to wonder how it can do something to improve the situation: passivity becomes a desire for activity, and at this point a major change takes place.
There are many, many souls with Neptune emphasised who somewhere, somehow, do what they can to ‘hasten the coming of the kingdom’. Frequently, this happens through a desire to beautify life in some way – this is why the planet is so often strong in artistic horoscopes. Any of the arts can feature in such a life. It is often found, for example, that in the charts of musicians, especially famous ones, Neptune is on or close to an angle; it is also much connected with art, poetry and drama.
Coupled with the keen sense of beauty is great idealism, awareness of all suffering, compassion and, as the soul grows, an increasing willingness to set self completely aside for the sake of work that helps to put things right. Often these people are found working for charities in all sorts of situations.
Their vision is such that they care little for their own personal comfort and wellbeing, the vision taking them over completely. Of course, in a similar way this happens with the artist, musician, poet as well – one remembers the story of the virtuoso violinist who, accepting a compliment from a well-wisher who had said she would give her life to be able to play like that, said simply, ‘I did!’
Sooner or later, the Neptunian inevitably becomes drawn to religious and spiritual matters and it is perhaps here that the planet really comes into its own. It sees beyond ideological and dogmatic differences to that unity which exists behind all religious expressions of faith and belief.
The true Neptunian soul raises the consciousness of all whom it contacts, helping to show them the vision that it can already see, sharing it without restriction or judgment. Again the Bible puts it aptly: ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me’ [John 12.32]. The Neptunian knows that ‘all is one’, however much that may not seem to be the case.
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