Neptune in Synastry: Deception or Higher Connection?

Credit:  ATIC12 via iStockphoto

Credit: ATIC12 via iStockphoto


Neptune contacts between two people can create some of the most wonderful and heart-breaking connections. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know I’m not exaggerating. As the planet of transcendence and dreams, Neptune can trigger blissful romanticism. It’s all amazing, until reality hits. Then, the pain from crashing down to earth can feel worse than the most brutal Pluto transit. This is the side of Neptune that most astrologers will warn you about. But is Neptune all bad? Surely it’s possible for this planet to manifest its positive side in love.


Let’s start with the conventional wisdom about Neptune. It can and will lead you astray in many relationships. If you’re the Neptune person (your Neptune aspects a personal planet in your partner’s chart) you’re most likely to be the one who’s led astray. Neptune is where you’re vulnerable to fantasy and where your boundaries are weakest. Along comes Miss Scrumptious, and her Venus in Scorpio conjuncts your Neptune. The intense way she relates and expresses herself as a woman hooks into your fantasies. She becomes the embodiment of your romantic ideal, the Perfect Scorpio. Your Neptune blurs her Scorpio edges, giving her the appearance of a dark and precious jewel. How this plays out depends on the other connections between you. The two of you could enter into a relationship where you think she can do no wrong (at first). She may take advantage of your non-existent boundaries, sucking you dry.  Or, she may be the innocent recipient of your feverish projections. Isn’t it amazing how powerful she is! No one has ever been more powerful. Her all-enveloping love heals you. And so on.

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But Neptune’s illusions can only be sustained for so long, and eventually you’ll discover that she’s been using you. Or, if she’s a decent person, you may simply end up disappointed when you realize that she doesn’t actually have magical powers. As a matter of fact, her intensity can be a bit much at times. As harsh as this sounds, the crush of disappointment that you experience is mostly due to your expectations. Or, more accurately, your Neptune. I’m not blaming the victim. Obviously, if she’s a user, she carries part of the responsibility as well. But your Neptune set up the smoke screen for her to hide behind. Consider it a chink in your defenses that will require careful patrolling in future relationships.

Another thing that Neptune is notorious for is its ability to reveal potential. While this may sound like a good thing, potential can often be poisonous in an unhealthy relationship. As the Neptune person, you can “see” what might be, regarding the planet person. You see the potential of the alcoholic to sober up. You see the potential of the married guy to leave his wife and commit to you. You see the potential of the man (who has no romantic interest in you) to wake up and realize that you’re his soul mate. Some of this potential may develop, because Neptune allows you to consider all possibilities. But often, this glimpse into the future is a mirage.

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Related: Synastry Studies: Navigating Neptune

About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. This turns everything I thought about Neptune in synastry upside down! I always thought that the person whose Neptune aspects the point or planet is the one who is never seen for what they are and would be idolized, i.e. if my Neptune is on someone’s Ascendant, then they’d put me up on the pedestal. Nadia, you’re saying it’s the other way around. Wow. That really flips all my relationships the other way around. Very interesting.

    Would you consider Neptune/Saturn conjunction in synastry important? I realize they’re both impersonal planets.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful piece!, I am a Virgo Asc, and have my Neptune in Sag!, not in a perfect square but still… My spouse is a Gemini/Cancer who has his Sag moon conjunct my Neptune, and I wan to throw in here that my cancer moon is conjunct his ASC which is conjunct his Venus… He is cancer ASC, so I see a lot of potential, I feel a deep connection to him, but I am aware of this tricky position, I accept that I cut him A LOT of slack. The words that resonate are: “How this plays out depends on the other connections between you. The two of you could enter into a relationship where you think she can do no wrong (at first). HE may take advantage of your non-existent boundaries, sucking you dry!!!”. and ” As the Neptune person, you can “see” what might be, regarding the planet person. You see the potential of the alcoholic to sober up (or that he is going to get a job and actually do something with his life with you). You see the potential of the married guy to leave his wife and commit to you (I was young and inexperienced!). You see the potential of the man (who has no romantic interest in you) to wake up and realize that you’re his soul mate (I feel this for someone I had a relationship with, I hope that he realizes that he made a mistake and he will come back [the guy has married 4 times now, and has more kids, umm, no thanks]). Some of this potential may develop, because Neptune allows you to consider all possibilities. But often, this glimpse into the future is a mirage. I am extremely concerned because now the nodes are going to enter the Virgo-Pisces axis, I have stellium in Virgo!!, and last but not least Neptune is in my 7th!. I’m a Leo Sun and my ex husband is an Aquarius… In 2008 the NN was in Aquarius, there was a total lunar eclipse in Virgo (my asc) and this fell in his 7th!! On the 21st of February, so yes we separated, and there was a SOLAR eclipse on my Leo Sun on my birthday 🙁 (Aug 1st)… I Saturn had passed my Natal Saturn, and it was on retrograde motion for a SECOND DOSE, I divorced him in 2010. I wish I knew then, what I know now. How to deal with this passage of Neptune in Pisces (this guy is at home here!!)… and now the south node is going to go there!! I am just a little anxious (Virgo) about how might all of this affect relationships of all kinds, even open enemies and I have a couple of those HAHAHAHA. I will try to embrace this transit of Neptune in my 7th as this: I am a nursing student (Virgo) I will graduate in about a year, and I will try to work either in hospice (Neptune in Pisces), hospital or I will try to work in the Department of corrections (prison)… I also have Pluto (the government) in Libra (my second), so the money I get comes from the government, I will also try to apply to work for the federal or state government!

  3. I forgot to mention that I will embrace Neptune in my 7th as: Let go and let GOD!!!!!!!!

  4. Sorry, I re-read the piece and see your take on the Saturn connection. Missed it the first time.

  5. Talking of Karmic Neptunian lovers, how will the forthcoming South Node in Pisces + Neptune in Pisces season affect such lovers? (Idea for another post perhaps…:))
    If i am calculating right Neptune will neither enter Pisces nor conjunct SN there for another 165 years or so. That is like a whopping triple generational skip! Does that make lovers of our generation particular victims/benefactors of karmic Neptune themes?

  6. What if my Moon squares his Neptune?

  7. and what about his ASC conjuncting my Neptune?

  8. I agree with th hard tr Neptune compared to Pluto transits.I had a whirlwind karmic relationship with someone when my natal 28deg Scorpi Nep was squared by tr Nep at 28degs Aqua.Then when reality hit (unplanned pregnancy) it was all over and done like a Plutonian death.I began t think & feel as if I had been dreaming th whole time but my swelling tummy was telling me by th day that “No..u really were in a relationship of sorts” Virgo SN hated that uncertainty so much I ended up in therapy to manage th confusion.The weird thing was that my son’s father and I first met 28 (our natal Neptune karmic degrees) yrs ago (we were 12) & had been lifelong friends eversince.Now our friendship is ovr due to this event (we both have generational Saturn opp Neptune born 1970 his 1/7 axis my 5/11 axis) so our reason for mtg in this lifetime has culminated into a child who is now 4.This makes his birth chart extremely important for sm reason of which I am still doing my best to figure out without gettn too ahead of myself.He has a new partner where in synastry his Neptune falls in her 1st house on her Lie asteroid at 28degs forms th apex of a fated YOD with her Jup/Chiron conj in H6 Aries sextile her Mars/Nessus conj in H8 Gemini..he constantly lies to her about his womanising ways and idolizes her at the same time..this hurts her,is abusive to her,drives her insane and she allows it to continue by forgiving him over and over again.This fatal attraction has made her terminally ill all thanks to his Neptune.I am hoping tr Saturn thru her 1st house conj th apex of this YOD myt be helpful to her situation to help her see the light of the truth and get real about him and his lies.I certainly have thanks to the help of astrology : )

  9. TheCountess says:

    Small question Nadia –
    Do “lesser impactful” aspects like semi-sextiles or quincunxes have any play when they present with aspects to Neptune (or 12 house) in synastry?

    Also another follow up question since I just thought of it while I was writing – would those “weaker aspects” like a semi sextile or quincunxes, be “strengthened” by other aspects like squares, conjunctions or trines to personal planets?

  10. TheCountess says:

    And one more for the road!

    What happens when someone’s Neptune falls in someone else’s 12H?? (And to make it interesting, let’s say Venus just happens to natally be there)

  11. @Luzy
    thanks for sharing all that. Neptune in the 7th can be tricky for relationships, but healing is an excellent way to soak up that energy.

  12. @M
    yes,definitely an idea for a future post. Stay tuned!

  13. @pearl
    Moon/Neptune suggests confusion on how or if he can actually meet your needs (he may interpret your needs a something totally different) . His AC, your Neptune suggests you may view him as someone very different from who he really is. Perhaps an idealized physical image.

  14. @flinyx
    thanks for sharing that…sometimes Neptune can manifest something real (like a child) even though it’s not what you first anticipated.

  15. @TheCountess
    quincunx, yes. Semi-sextile, doubtful. But yes to both if other, major aspects are involved. If no other planets are in the 12th, the overlay may not even be noticed by the 12th House person. If Venus is there, the Neptune person may dissolve the house person’s resistance (like a slow acting drug). With house overlays (assuming there is no conjunction to Venus) it works a bit differently…the house person primarily feels the contact, rather than the planet person.

  16. @H
    sometimes the Neptune person can be the deceiver, but usually they end up deceiving themselves. Neptune is slipperier than the other outer planets.

  17. Omgsh! My bf’s Neptune opposes my mars and mercury. Also, my Neptune sextiles his venus. I think the mercury one sometimes fogs up communication. I was reading that this one tends to lying. I think we probably tell each other ‘white lies’ to keep from hurting each other. It’s strange. Anyway, I def feel a deep connection with him. We also have composite moon in the 12th house. And my pisces moon falls in his first house. He has told me that he has never felt this way about someone else before. It’s is a dreamy connection.

  18. Hi Nadia
    A lot of appreciation to you for your new article.

    I have a question:

    My Mars is in opposition to my partner’s Mars ,- both our Mars , his and mine are natal 12th house positioning.
    His Neptune in Sagittarius is squaring his Natal Mars in Virgo and My Natal Mars in Pisces. If i am not mistaken – this would be the T-Square? I am only familiar with the understanding of the natal T-square. Does T-square also exist like configuration in synastry?

  19. What is your take on out of sign conjunctions? (Scorpio moon conjunct late Libran Neptune) Interesting article, though a bit disheartening…

  20. @Tatyana
    yes, that’s a T square, and it can also exist in synastry. The focal planet (his Neptune) gains added importance.

  21. @Gem
    I don’t think they’re valid. If you type “out of sign aspects” in the search field on this site you’ll find an article I wrote about this topic.

  22. @Richelle
    12th House composite Moon certainly enhances the soul connection and feeling of getting inside each other.

  23. In synastry – His natal Neptune in my 5th House aspects exactly my natal Neptune in my 8th House. Deception in love affairs may be seen. Agree?

  24. Nadia,
    as an aside, please consider writing about retrograde planets in composite/Davison charts. Especially interested in outer planets, but anything would shed some light.

    Thank you

  25. Thank you, Nadia

    Neptune is the focal point in our relationship. We have also other aspects of Neptune in our synastry
    Everything what Nadia has described is so true.

    I would like to add that i would call Neptune – planet of trust. To trust each other it? not a a rational concept. It? not necessarily the opposit of distrust and deception. Like Nadia described ,-it? dipper connection.
    First i was convinced that if people, a lovers couple have gotten through Plutonian World(i like to call it like that way) then person, couple is very grounded and strong. It is true Pluto is very powerful or discouraging. We learn to never be mistreated by others and “taking care” that we do not discourage others. We understand the danger of giving own power away or how ugly is actually to dominate.

    Neptune is the idealistic place, you only allowed to touch very gentely. Like Nadia described about Neptunian expectations. Some people may have so high idealistic expectations of us, that we just can not leave up. The one who was expecting something, hoping for… – is very hurt in the end. And the one who supposed to provide hopes – is a bad guy…Or another scenario: one is supposed to be endleeeeeesly forgiving.

    I see it not only in the relationships but in the whole world. We are not sober wolks. We are wishing on the stars and avoiding realistic sober ‘right now’ view.
    Neptunian World is made of Beauty and Grace, Humility. And we can not accept to be rude, loud, disrespectful, having big mouth, be entitled and to live in the genle kind world.

    You can be kind, forgiving, gentle – Neptunian qualities but miss out on Plutonian sharp perception, Plutonian powerful presence,- you will be just another ‘nice’ girl or boy. Or vice versa you can be Plutonianly powerful but miss kindness and gentleness ( not nicety), you still be rude and cruel. Plus we can be smart as…like the smartest, having bunch of knowledge and wonderful undersatandings, – still we have to walk our talk. Then, only then our personal Univers will be visible to the rest.
    Thats why everthing counts, every tiny quality counts or the absence of some quality also counts.

    I am curious how it will go for us with the Neptune i Pisces.

    I wanted to share what i have learned from great astrologers like Nadia and my own experience.

  26. Vivien Lo says:

    Great piece! Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve always wondered about this, as I have my venus in sag 15 degrees, so every person born between 1976-79 will have their neptune on my venus, while pluto sextile it, and their uranus on my sun in scorp 10. I’ve noticed that I find these guys similar to one another to some extent, not necessarily in an interchangeable manner, but they have a similar “air” about them. Obviously depending on inner planets aspects, I have more of an attraction with some of them than others. But there’s something alluring, detached and yet intense about all of these men (guess that translates as neptune, uranus and pluto!) And I’ve been quite attracted to several of them in that age range. From my perspective, I feel they might also be intrigued by me, but since I’m noticeably younger, they might not really initially think of me as a date material, especially as guys of that age are often married or at least dating! I did end up marrying a guy born in 77 though. I really hope all you said is true and they find my venus in sag that attractive 🙂

  27. sanfranellen11 says:

    Very good post, but i am more interested in looking at Neptune in composite charts with one’s S.O. Our composite Neptune is in the 7th and our composite Saturn and Pluto is in the 5th! i forget the other details. have to take a look again. it is definitely a fantasy-driven connection, with lots of self delusion from me.

  28. Vivien Lo says:

    Also, I have some different experience re “She becomes the embodiment of your romantic ideal, the Perfect Scorpio. ”

    I’ve noticed something in my own interactions as well as observation of celebrities–the person (regardless of gender, but especially true with women) whose venus conjunct my Neptune in Sagittarius don’t seem to embody for me those vibrant and exotic Sag traits–though they certain have the trademark sweet & bright smile of Sag. Instead they seem to be, at least initially, a very vulnerable and delicate embodiment of their Sun sign. I guess it makes sense as Venus is a messenger of the Sun. So if lady Capricorn has her venus conjunct my neptune in late Sag, she seems like the most exquisite and soft Capricorn I’ve ever met; similarly, a lady or gentleman Scorpio with their venus similarly placed would seem like the most delicately alluring Scorpio to me, and more vulnerable and feminine than most other Scorpios. So I think it is my Neptune, through the enchantment and activation of their Venus, that blurs the edges of their Sun sign.

  29. Triple One says:

    I have Neptune conjunction NN (2 degree) in Sag and my hubby also have Neptune conjunction NN (2 degree) .So, our synastry and composite also have Neptune conjunction NN in Sag (exact degree) .I would like to know how it will go for us.

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