Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 5, 2009

Difficult Neptune Aspects in Chart Comparison

©2009 by guest blogger, Annie Heese of Cafe Astrology

Donna says:  I recently ran across and found it to be a repository of excellent and well-written articles about many features of the astrology chart. The author, Annie Heese is especially gifted and insightful in writing about relationships and devotes an entire section of the website to that. Earlier Skywriter featured her piece about how to understand the 12 Venus signs by their element. Today she’s allowed me to reprint an excerpt from a much longer exploration of Neptune aspects in chart comparison.  

Let’s take a look at relationships in which one person’s personal planet is in hard aspect to the other person’s Neptune. When Neptune is challenging and prominent in chart comparison (synastry), the relationship can survive, but if it does, disappointments and disillusionments need to be handled effectively, or they will drain the “owner” of the personal planet.

hazyperson2-a2dThe Neptune person can come on strong at the outset, and then slowly fade away, or in some cases abruptly leave. Most of the time, he or she hangs around, whether physically or (and most of the time) psychically. It’s hard to get the Neptune person out of your system, mainly because there can be a lack of closure, a lack of answers as to why that person “faded out”, became inaccessible, or disappeared.

It is extremely important that, in a failed relationship in which the Neptune person has faded away, that the personal planet owner does whatever is possible to close it, and the sooner the better. Sometimes this involves giving up on getting solid answers or reasons for the breakup. The Neptune person may have become frustrated with a partner who never seems to be satisfied, and vice versa as well.

The personal planet person is most likely to idealize, romanticize, or otherwise assign qualities to the Neptune person that are exaggerated or imagined altogether. The Neptune person can also do the idealizing. The relationship can begin with great enthusiasm, but it can end with bitter disappointment or emotional pain. There can be an ongoing sense of needs not being met, of longing, of chasing a dream that never seems to completely fulfill itself.

It’s important to remember that the Neptune person is not the “bad guy” and the personal planet is not the “victim” in this kind of scenario, even if it often appears to be the case. There is something there that seems to need to be played out. There is a back-and-forth in which the personal planet person might unwittingly encourage the Neptune person to deceive or mislead. This can be considered deception, but whether it’s deliberate or ill-willed is debatable. In this case, the relationship might end with the personal planet owner feeling let down, deceived, misled, disillusioned, etc…but it can be ironic because the Neptune person might set out to do whatever it is possible to not let down or disappoint his/her partner.

Errors of omission are Neptunian. Denial and procrastination can also be considered deceptive, depending on who is doing the judging. The person who is taking on the role of Neptune may not be using deceptive practices deliberately or consciously. The personal planet person might be choosing, whether it’s a conscious choice or not, to be deceived. Some years ago, I found a Hubba Bubba t-shirt that read “Don’t burst my bubble” which amused me on some level, as I thought this is what the personal planet owner may as well wear.

hazyperson3-a2d For example, the Venus person might turn a blind eye to certain traits or activities of the Neptune person. There are many cases in which, for example, a person knows or senses on some level that his/her partner is having an affair, and doesn’t feel equipped to deal with it, and thus chooses to try to fool him or herself. The Venus person might convey the message to his/her partner that he/she wants to know only the good things, not the cold hard facts.

The personal planet person can feel like he/she is constantly taken advantage of by the Neptune person, yet seems to be hopelessly addicted to the person. The word “addicted” is not a surprise when Neptune is involved. The personal planet owner might be investing a lot of time, energy, and possibly money in some cases, into the relationship and the Neptune person seems to be taking these things without returning the favor.

The Neptune person can be perceived as a tease, as someone who is leading the other person on, or as someone who promises something (or seems to promise something) that never comes true. The Neptune person can stay just out of reach. I don’t want to imply that the personal planet person is the one who is interested and the Neptune person is at first, then loses interest. This can happen in short-term relationships, but in longer-term relationships, the dance can vacillate. Neptune is intrigued with the personal planet’s enthusiasm and ardor, and can be quite dependent on it. If the personal planet person shows any signs of losing interest, Neptune might become distant and hard to reach in a manipulative attempt to win back the personal planet’s interest.

With Neptune strong in a relationship, there seems to be a promise of an extraordinary union, which some might consider a soul mate union, but not without a lot of work and complications along the way. This can be highly addictive to people who are seeking it. Those who fear or would prefer to avoid the complications of such a union might run scared, but both parties can be addicted to, or mesmerized by, the relationship. There is usually an element of lack of fulfillment that is ongoing. There is a longing for something just out of reach, and a desire to love unconditionally. The parties involved can easily find they are lost in each other, or lost in the relationship, without rules and boundaries that keep them feeling safe and secure. Both parties can feel dependent on each other, even if it is more typical that the Neptune person ultimately renders him or herself inaccessible.

Relationships that feel addictive because they are troubled and unnecessarily complicated are usually Neptunian, although Pluto relationships can also feel like that, only Pluto challenges tend to be more about power. Relationships that seem to be grossly imbalanced, where one person is making many sacrifices in order to keep the relationship alive are also Neptunian in flavor.

Finding a balance is very hard to do with Neptune involved, as Neptune’s role is to dissolve boundaries. We tend to exaggerate traits that we want to see, and gloss over or underplay traits that we don’t want to see in our partners. In some cases, we can do the opposite — that is, overplay negative traits and underplay positive ones. Either way, we are failing to look at the person realistically. We are effectively projecting our own dreams and ideals, or fears, onto a person, instead of accepting them for who they are. If the goal is unconditional love, support, or acceptance, then we have to acknowledge the good and the bad, and not in exaggerated proportions either.

hazyperson4-a2dI think any time we are seriously shocked or bitterly disappointed with our partner, it’s a big sign that we haven’t been seeing them in a realistic light. It’s normal to go through small ups and downs as we learn about one another in a partnership, but if the discoveries are dramatic, then we’ve been missing important signals. It is possible to go through the ups and downs of idealization and disillusionment for some time before getting to a comfortable place of acceptance with Neptune difficult in synastry.

 It’s certainly helpful to have other “anchors” in the chart comparison, and willingness of both individuals to work on the relationship. If you feel you are making many sacrifices in order to be with a person, it can be helpful to either accept the sacrifices as something you want to do (where they can no longer be considered sacrifices), or to take action and ask for what you are missing, or cut out any behavior that makes you feel badly about yourself. When you think about it, relationships do need adjustments, but not sacrifices.

If you consider the adjustments you are making for a partner as major sacrifices rather than adjustments, then it’s time to reassess matters, because with anything considered to be a sacrifice,  serious guilt trips and resentments are going to be active and very destructive to the relationship. So, sometimes it’s more about adjusting our own expectations from others, and taking responsibility for our actions instead of assigning blame to our partners.

I find it helpful to do a reality check whenever I catch myself thinking in “victim” or martyr terms. Nobody is pointing a gun to my head to do the things I am doing. I have to “own” my behavior by cutting out the things that I’m doing that make me feel like I am not in charge of my own life. Sometimes it can mean quitting an addictive Neptunian relationship cold turkey, learning about ourselves and our ideals from the experience, and moving on. But before doing that, we might try cutting out the behavior that makes us feel like powerless victims and discovering whether the relationship can survive in their absence.

Note: This is just one section of an insightful and very valuable in-depth exploration of specific Neptune aspects to the personal planets in chart comparison.  Read it here: You can read another of Annie’s articles about relationships on Skywriter here: Venus in the Elements: Fire, Earth, Air, & Water

About the Author: Annie Heese has been a student of Astrology since the age of twelve. Twenty-five years later, she is still actively researching, studying, and using Astrology. She is frequently found with her nose buried in Astrology books, her faithful ephemeris by her side, scribbling in her notebook and on her printouts. Annie has long abandoned her career in Accounting, and has since worked as a freelance writer for various online and print publications, as well as a reviewer of educational products. She is also a jewelry designer, incorporating handmade beads and gemstones into her handcrafted pieces.


  1. DC, these pictures are just great!

    • Oops, I forgot to say that like many of the illustrations I use, this set comes from It’s a subscription service with 8 million pieces of art. You can subscribe for as ittle as a week if you’re looking for art for a specific purpose such as an ebook or website. They have endless sets of astrological glyphs and plenty of space pictures. Donna

  2. these are beautiful illustrations. Funny, I always equated Neptunian energy to religion, confusion and alcoholism. This is a different perspective.

  3. Wonderful! A great resource for explaining Neptune – always challenging.

    I end up shaking my head frequently when Neptune aspects crop up in synastry readings when the evidence of deep, deep denial is overwhelming. All too common an occurrence. 🙂

    • Denial is huge when Neptune is involved in the comparison, I agree, especially when the person already has Neptune aspecting a relationship planet or in a relationship house natally.

      Annie’s article makes me recall a female client who was absolutely convinced she would get this gay man friend to fall in love with her and marry her, despite his long history of relationships with men only and a current love interest. Neptune was all over her natal chart as well as the chart comparison. When I expressed my doubt as tactfully as possible, she became furious, said I was obviously a terrible astrologer and not at all spiritual or I would see that she was right, and flounced out without paying for the session. Donna

      • This is the reason why I’m wary of interpreting charts for heavily Neptunian people (including more than one planet in the 12th house). Even though I somewhat fit the Neptunian description, I am not emotionally equipped to be on the receiving end of a Neptune (denial) rage. And it’s rarely direct anger, either. It’s that passive-aggressive anger that hits you when least expected. Spin them their fantasy or suffer.

  4. Hi Donna,

    In synastry chart, my boyfriend’s Neptune square my Sun, semi-sextile my Moon, quintile my Mercury (what does quintile mean btw?), trine Venus (by 9d), conjunct Mars, sextile Jupiter. And our Neptune conjunct, as we are the same age.

    There are times when he would disappear and refused to talk to me. When I’m conveying my negative and “worrying” mode, he would fade away furthermore. When positive, I would try to use comfort words and after a while he would open up.
    We would be fine again after (I’m not sure if this is denial or not), though I would find myself in constant doubt on whether or not he really wants me.

    The word “addiction” is true as well, (me to him) and it makes it worse because I have stellium in 7th house, and at the same time I still need for personal detachment.

    However, there’s one really important thing, that makes it all okay. It’s when we both “emerge” together. I have this tendency to try to “read” his mind, to feel what he feels, to know what he’s going through. Of course it has to be the right moment, otherwise he would just get annoyed.
    And once he opens up and we REALLY talk, everything feels amazing. I’m under spell and he’s all smiling and feeling comfortable with himself and me. Feels like a doctor-patient relationship sometimes 😛

    Most of the time, I think the Neptunian person just wants to know that it is okay to be himself. That it’s safe, when he’s being himself, that he doesn’t need to try so hard. Not worrying, not feeling doubtful.
    Does it make sense at all?

    • The pattern you describe is Neptunian from start to finish, but who’s to say if that’s ultimately good or bad. A quintile is a 72 degree aspect, within about 2-3 degree range. In the natal chart, it describes your personal “genius” or talent. I don’t honestly think it means much in chart comparison. To me, the conjunctions are the real “juice” of a relationship. Donna

  5. Oh forgot to mention, all those aspects from my personal planet to his Neptune, it is in my natal chart as well.
    I don’t know how many times we would pretend we’re in another world, away from reality.

    Sorry to be writing too much.
    i’m just so excited after reading your blogs and would like to share.

    Have a good day, Donna 🙂

  6. I am Pisces Rising with mercury conjunct my ascendant, with neptune in Sag in my 10th conjunct my MC and square to my AC and mercury. I also have venus in 12 in aquarius. I really liked the article, I fantasize relationships with others and am otherwise very private and lonely.

  7. An oldie but a goodie…I expect we’ll all be checking in again due Donna’s new project.
    My Neptune exactly conjuncts my, 8 yrs.younger, husband’s Asc. at 21d. Libra. This was an “uh-oh” for me when we first met as this was not my first marriage–nor my first, second, or third…but after 20 years the only discernible effect is the best one—he still thinks I’m beautiful, smart, and special…Maybe his eyesight is failing,– but I prefer his insight, of course. Works for me!

  8. Love this article! I’m currently in a very neptunian relationship. It definitely vacillates with a push-and-pull, elusive sort of feel. The more and more I learn about Neptune, the more I despise it. With Saturn, at least you know what you’re dealing with. But with Neptune, it’s so easy to feel a sense of being out-of-control, like trying to mold jello into something solid and reliable. The issues and emotions that arise with Neptune are somehow untouchable, elusive, and hard to pin down, thus hard to correct.

  9. Nice Article! I just looked at they synastry between those involved in the Petraeus Scandel, and guess what, they all had Neptune Mercury aspects between each other! I wrote an article about it in my blog. Please check it out and luv your feedback.

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