Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 4, 2009

Neptune in the 11th House–Setting Boundaries in Friendship

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 The 11th house of the birth chart is the house of friendship and peer relationships.  For people who have natal Neptune or Pisces planets in the 11th, this placement often represents a major life lesson about boundaries. The 11th house is naturally related to Aquarius and to Uranus, suggesting that true friendship happens between peers who give and take on an equal basis. When a friendship remains unequal over the long haul, it’s bound to be unsatisfying–at some level, to both parties. 

Neptune does represent compassion and a desire to serve the unfortunate, a true friend in need. And, Lord knows, who among us doesn’t have friends who are going through a terrible time in the current economic crisis? So, the willingness to pitch in and help in bad times is a wonderful quality.

friendscomfort-a2dA true friend, even when he or she is down for a time due to poor health or other trying circumstance, will try to give back in some way. When I was housebound for a time with hip replacements, for instance, friends took care of me and were an amazing support, but I did what I could to pay them back within my physical limitations. I helped one with a resume, looked up things on the internet for another, gave one a crystal she’d admired, had a look at people’s charts, or anything else I could possibly think of that they would like. No one is so down and out that they can’t reciprocate somehow, even if it takes awhile and a bit of creatitivy.

When carried to an extreme, Neptune in the 11th can represent the person who habitually takes on the role of rescuer to people who are hopelessly mired in self-defeating behaviors like addictions or abusive relationships. Some of these waifs can even, sorry to say, be a bit parasitical because they are forever seeking someone to bail them out of the trouble they get themselves into.  You can never save people who aren’t working to save themselves–though people who are working hard to change a destructive situation surely deserve a helping hand and a bit of sage advice. 

If you have Neptune or Pisces planets in your 11th, I wouldn’t know if this describes your disappointing friendships or not. I would just ask you to have a closer, reflective look at each of them in turn to see if you discern common elements in them apart from the ultimate disappointment.  Also have a look at how those relationships made you feel before they turned sour–what sort of “high” it gave you to play that role.  (Neptune does represent a variety of “highs,” not just limited to chemically-induced ones.) 

Neptune’s house position often shows an area of life where co-dependent relationships develop–codependency being a sort of addiction to rescuing the other person or deterring them from self-destructive behavior.  So, ask yourself as well whether you sometimes get hooked on helping. If you have a need to be needed, then being needed can become your drug of choice. 

If you’re struck in a draining pattern where friends are concerned, own your own part in setting up the imbalance.  You still need to meet that strong spiritual need to serve and teach, but rather than making it part of your personal life, why not do it more formally, say as a volunteer in sfriendsshare-a2dome sort of social agency, adult education program, or community center. That way there is a safe and structured situation where there are boundaries. (Dyed in the wool Neptunians often lack a strong sense of boundaries.)

In your personal life, seek out new friendships where you connect through the more positive expressions of Neptune-like spiritual studies and creative endeavors like writing, music, or art.  In any outreach to someone new, however, be aware that your own habits are responsible for the imbalances in past friendships and without insight into your contributions to the situation, can repeat themselves in the choices you make in the future.    

See related articles here: Libra Alert: Personal Power & What It Looks Like in a Friendship , Venus-Uranus Aspects: Two-Minute Friends and other Modern Relationships, and  Saturn in Libra: How to Set Healthy Boundaries.

For more Articles on Relationship Issues on Skywriter,  See the category Relationship Help. 

More Posts about Neptune on this Blog:

More Posts about houses the here: Donna Cunningham Skywriter Mars

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  1. Hmmm… Interesting article, never thought of it this way, I have never tried to set boundaries when it comes to friends, have had my share of disappointing and sorrowful friendships, but couldn’t pinpoint due to which planetary combination.

    Now I can know because I have both Neptune and Jupiter (the 2 Pisces planets) in 11th house.

    Thank you for the article.

  2. This is interesting. Since I have Neptune in the 11th house, and the Neptunian/Piscean energy in this house attracts people with additions/co-dependency issues, etc. – could this be a good indicator in the chart of the native for a vocation such as an astrologer, hypnotist or alternative healer who helps people identify and recover from addictions? Also, since the 11th house also indicates business income, could Neptune in the 11th represent self employment in alternative healing or a business like a drug treatment center, etc.?

    • Sounds like a great use of your abilities. The fact that it is in the 11th suggests that you’d do best in recovery-directed activities that involve organizing and leading groups. Ages ago, Andrew Ramer and I wrote two books that you might find at or thorugh the publisher, Cassandra Press:
      Spiritual Dimensions of Healing Addictions
      Further Dimensions of Healing Addictions Donna

  3. I’ve just read this Donna, and it rings so true for me. I have Pisces in the 11th, containing a tight Jupiter/Chiron conjunction. I have long played the saviour for my friends – the willing shoulder to cry on – and “needing to be needed” has definitely been a theme. With Chiron there conjunct Jupiter, perhaps people sense a wisdom (I’m often told I’m wise) but there’s also a loneliness in groups and a powerful sense of abandonment when I don’t feel needed. I very definitely struggle setting boundaries with friends.
    I’m moving forward – I have recently started work in a community centre! and have contacts in a local women’s group which runs reiki, sound healing and astrology sessions. Going to a workshop there tomorrow …. on Jupiter!

  4. I am cursed with Neptune in 11th placement. I don’t bother with friends now because whoever I choosed to be will either be, an addict of one thing or another, spiritual fruitcakes, mentally ill or pure liars.

    • Hi, Melissa, I used to have almost all friendships like that where I was forever trying to rescue and cure people, but was able to change the pattern into friendships of equal sharing and give and take and soooo not about the drama. The thing that helped me most was belonging to a 12th step program for Adult Children of Alcoholics and working on my own enabling/rescuing patterns and getting insight into what it did for my low self-esteem to have friends that “needed my help”.

      Part of the healing process was that I gradually got rid of the old “friends” and went through a period of lonliness because I knew that any new friendships I made would be with the old kind of people. Over time, friendship became a source of inspiration and support.

      See, with the difficult placements in our charts like Neptune or Pluto, it’s not about THEM out there, it’s about our own self-defeating ways of using those planets. When those tough planets are in the 11th (and I DO have a couple!), we don’t have to remain friendless and isolated for life, we just have to learn better ways of connecting and discerning who would really be a true friend. You’re understandably soured on friends now, and that’s one of the stages of healing.

      There are many articles on this blog about Neptune as well as a whole series about setting healthy boundaries. Donna

  5. Thank you Donna for your comment. It’s re-assuring to hear from someone who has over come from it. Neptune, it’s almost like trying to hold on to water or even slippery eel with your hands, almost impossible because of its nature. It made me think further and my discovery is that I can figure out the character of a stranger (e.g. tradesmen or anyone I don’t have very much interest in) within seconds but when it comes to friends, family and business associates, because I have an interest in them, I seem to look through a rose tinted glasses. So may be things to remind myself is to step back a little bit when it comes to someone that I am interested in.

    • Yes, I think that’s a key, Melissa. Over the years I’ve learned to set really good boundaries, and yet when it’s someone I really identify with for one reason or another, I get all snarled up still. I bend over backwards to be helpful and make too many allowances and wind up so angry I want to end the friendship. Luckily, I recognize the pattern at the 11th hour and do what I can to correct it. Because I’m learning that it’s all MY stuff. Donna

  6. MY neptune has been transiting the 11th house for some years now. but since i been in the social networks starting 2008 to now I have attracted alot of really colorful friendships but I have experienced alot of heartbreak delusional and mysterious experiences with groups and friendships. I have met alot of spiritual or neptunian people in my life. Hidden relationships etc. But I love this placement because of the compassion it offers and the rose colored glasses

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