Do you put the welfare of others before your own self-interests? Are you sensitive – maybe a little too sensitive – to the emotions of others? Do you somehow take on “too much” of the work of a relationship? There is a word for that, you know, and that word is co-dependency.
Despite the fact that it is not listed as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association, co-dependency is considered by a good many health care professionals as an emotional health, if not a mental health, issue.
Codependency or codependence is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and/or control patterns.
Source: Codependency. (2010, July 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:03, July 13, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Codependency&oldid=373150011
An Astrological Viewpoint
A human being with the traits shown above often has a strong Neptune/Pisces signature in their chart. A Neptune/Pisces signature can manifest in different ways:
- Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars in the zodiac sign of Pisces
- Neptune in energetic connection (aspect) to one of the above planets, especially the other water sign moons, Cancer and Scorpio.
- Pisces on the cusp of the first or seventh house.
The Influence of Pisces and Neptune on Your Personality
Astrologically modern Western astrologers associate the planet Neptune with idealism and compassion, but also with illusion, confusion and deception; with religions, spirituality and mysticism, the mass media, creativity in art and music, drugs, extreme sensitivity, fantasy and imagination, psychic phenomena and altered mental states. Neptune governs hospitals, prisons, mental institutions, and any place, such as a monastery, that involves a retreat from society.
Source: Planets in astrology. (2010, July 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:23, July 13, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Planets_in_astrology&oldid=373001503
Neptune, being one of the outer planets, operates at a different level than a personal planet. At its core, Neptune speaks about Spirit, that part of us that exists outside of physicality, time or space. Spirit has a much different perception of existence. Viewed from the perspective of immortality, the brief sojourns we have on earth are important tools for growth. However, the day-to-day minutiae, whether that hot guy says hello to us at the water cooler or not, for instance, are non-issues. Spirit has a natural tendency to help and comfort, like angels are said to do at our times of crisis. Those of us with an extra helping of Neptune or Pisces in our chart are naturally inclined towards compassion with a strong desire to help others.
The Neptune/Pisces individual’s sense of boundaries tend to be rather fluid. Since we feel the emotions of others, we tend to think that others do the same. It is often a shock for us to realize that most people do not. It is as hard for us to fathom that notion as it is for others to understand that there are people that have Neptunian abilities. Clinicians call Neptunian emotional fluidity “hyperawareness of other’s emotions” and considers this a symptom of codependency.
These Neptunian qualities – compassion, awareness of other’s needs, and a desire to help – may be among the finest that humanity has to offer itself. But as always, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
The challenge for any person with a strong Neptune/Pisces signature is to learn when to give and when to respect personal boundaries, when to realize when a little bit of help and comfort morphs into too much caretaking. Since it is Neptune that guides our actions here, we may delude ourselves, thinking that if we help just a little more, the other person will get that job, overcome that addiction, learn to love.
We’ve all come across those folks that will take advantage of a good heart. More than just being down and out, these people actively deny responsibility for fixing the problems in their life. Yet for someone with a Neptunian signature, it can be hard to know the difference between someone who needs some support and someone who is taking advantage. Here is the guideline to follow when trying to figure out how much to invest yourself: If the other person fails to follow through on their promises to you within a reasonable time frame and regularly makes excuses for themselves, then they are using you for their own comfort. Continuing to take care of such person will rightly earn you the label of being co-dependent.
In the tangle of human relationships, the challenge for the Neptunian marked soul is to learn where to put their considerable talents. Let the angels handle those folks whose views are too distorted to help themselves. That is their job. Your job is to use your caring and compassion to light a path to Love on this Earth plane. There, isn’t that a better use of your talents?
About the Author
Beth Turnage is a professional astrologer with over twenty years experience counseling clients in career and relationship issues. She writes an astrology column for a weekly newspaper along the Connecticut shoreline and blogs about astrology at Astrology Media Press.