The transpersonal planets move us beyond the physical reality of the bricks and mortar world, and Neptune takes us to a world of mists, fogs, illusions, dreams, drunkenness, and direct personal contact with numinous spirituality.
If you know the symbolism of Neptune, it is no surprise that the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous made the first step for leaving the addition of alcohol the acknowledgement that one is not in control, and all control is really in the hands of a Higher Power.
As the god of water, Neptune also dissolves all boundaries. This can include the boundaries between reality and delusion, and can also include the boundary between what is seen and known and that which is unseen and unknown. As such, Neptune can bring tremendous psychic gifts.
Neptune drives us to escape the hard-knocks reality of the physical world into something–anything–that can fog the edges of this reality. Escapism includes addictions of all stripes–television, movies, reading, meditation, prayer, alcohol, drugs, music, theatre. All of these take us away from the world we live in: the world in which we have to pay our bills, clean the house, go to work, and deal with unpleasant news or personalities. Addictions arise when we can’t leave the escape hatch to face reality at all.
The real FEAR associated with Neptune is the loss of ideals. While Neptune brings tremenous idealism, it strongly tends to lead us to absolute belief in those ideals, whether they can live up to that belief or not. We’ve all seen the couple where one person puts the other on a pedestal so high the other is doing all sorts of awful things to get off, and be seen as a real (not idealized) human being. Sooner or later, the ideals of Neptune WILL be dashed on the hard ground of reality.
When a person is under a Neptune transit in life, several things happen. For one thing, there is usually a dramatic increase in psychic sensitivity. On the other hand, there is often an increase in “wishful thinking”–e.g., delusional thinking. Being under a strong Neptune transit is a lot like trying to drive in a heavy fog. Turn down your bright beams, go very slowly, and keep your eyes on the white line at the edge of the road til you can get off the road and stop. There’s no point in trying to see the road signs or even other traffic. The fog is all there is. Another image is being in a sailboat on the vast ocean, becalmed, without a compass. The wind isn’t taking you anywhere, and if you row madly you may be going in the wrong direction, exhausting yourself in the process.
Neptune transits often come with high ideals and lofty goals, but the messages to pay attention to are the small, nonsensical ones you get in the middle of doing something else: while washing dishes you get a sudden urge to check your mail. Do it. Right then! It’s kind of like the children’s game that starts with a note that says something like: “Go to Mrs. McGregor’s front porch and look under the doormat,” where you find another note that tells you to look at the lilac bush in Mr. Adams’ back yard—where another note directs you to the next stop. You don’t find out what the prize is or where it is until you get there. That’s the Neptune experience. When we pay close attention to the little messages, each one will take you to the place you need to be for the next step to unfold. I’d tend to advise against large grandiose messages at these times though.
Neptune is actually a signal for the practice of karma-yoga: The practice of staying in the present: Do the right thing at the right time for the right reason and let the outcome take care of itself.