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.
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.
So where’s the good stuff that I hinted at earlier? It does actually exist. First, know that much depends on how you use your natal Neptune. If you’re a grounded person with a strong sense of self-preservation, and your partner’s Sun in Virgo squares your Neptune in Sagittarius (for example), this connection can be relatively harmless. You may not understand his OCD tendencies, but you’re tolerant of his endless nit-picking. You cut him a lot of slack, and since he has his act together (he’s not an addict or cheater) this benefits him. You take the edge off his worries, and when he doubts himself, you remind him of the potential you see. But you’re grounded enough to avoiding making him into something he’s not.
Setting the above example aside, easy aspects (trines and sextiles) to Neptune are more likely to bring out its positive side. The tension of the hard aspects emphasizes the gap between fantasy and reality. The easy aspects create a blend between Neptune’s idealism and reality. For example, a trine from your Neptune to your partner’s Moon can create a lovely emotional interface. You intuit what the Moon needs, and the Moon responds by opening up with an effortless flow of nurturing. Easy aspects to Neptune require no effort, and add a gentle touch of grace and compassion to relationships. When you and your partner are going through a rough patch, these gentle touches can save the day.
Are Neptune contacts in synastry evidence of a soul-mate connection? Well, they can certainly feel like one, because you (as the Neptune person) are sharing your awareness of what lies beyond this reality with your partner. Aspects to Pluto or Saturn, the Nodes, and the 12th House are more indicative of the karmic story between two people. But Neptune interaspects can, under certain circumstances, make the boundaries between souls more permeable. Of course, if Neptune rules or aspects your North or South Node, or your 12th House, it is directly connected to the karmic story between you and your lover.
Whether in hard aspect (that is handled well) or easy aspect, Neptune can contribute positive energy to a relationship. All the negative manifestations have a flip side. Permeable boundaries allow an intimate connection, forgiveness eases a situation that might be corroded by bitterness, and the glimpse of potential can (when used judiciously) support a partner who needs encouragement. When in doubt, know that a little Neptune goes a long way. A few drops of its potent elixir are all you need to sweeten a relationship.[/show_to]
Related: Synastry Studies: Navigating Neptune