Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 14, 2010

Neptune’s Role in Giving and Receiving

©2009 by guest blogger, Vivian Owen 

Back in the late eighties and early nineties I became aware that Neptune’s natal placement correlated with a person’s identification with the role of The Giver. I also noticed this same placement was where people had difficulty receiving.

Up until this time I had not really thought about the theme of receiving.  It was not a subject that came up in conversation.  And, I wasn’t even sure back then what receiving had to offer or how to think of it.  I simply noticed the theme itself.

My focus at the time was on the sacrificial themes connected to Neptune’s house and sign placement and with the aspects Neptune formed with natal planets. Victimization, deception and confusion were key Neptune concepts I was educated about along with issues of spirituality, addiction, and poetic or imaginative characteristics.

Through my study of astrology starting in the early seventies I had seen astrology move from a fatalistic world view, to a humanistic orientation, to a deeply psychological model by the time the theme of giving and receiving showed up on my radar screen.  It was with transiting Pluto’s entrance into Scorpio in the mid-eighties that the ideas and vocabulary of empowerment began to enter the culture. And with that, Neptune’s themes came under scrutiny also although the transformation of Plutonian concepts led the way.

There was a significant shift in the popular thinking about astrology by the mid-nineties that leaned in a distinctly spiritual direction. And this is the direction I began to lean also.  My inquiry began with the Neptunian concept of sacrifice

If Neptune represented spirituality and the boundary-less concept of Oneness, who were we sacrificing to I wondered? Ourselves?  And why were people deeply unhappy about their socialized roles that embodied sacrifice while at the same time turning down help when offered?

How did deception and victimization operate in an empowered person? And why were so many of us still operating from a model of an externally driven fate that robbed us of our free will – even though our understanding of the world had changed significantly and astrology had changed right along with it?

Pluto and Neptune had been traveling in a close sextile since the nineteen forties and it was clear to me that where issues with Neptune themes existed, Plutonian themes made themselves known also. In fact sacrifice and deception (Neptune words) and trust and the betrayal of trust and who owed who what (Pluto concepts) seemed inexorably linked. And with that I began to understand more deeply why the idea of receiving activated people’s vulnerability.

“If I let someone do something for me (receiving), what will I owe them?”

“Will I have to do something I don’t want to do?”

This is the fear.  Interestingly, an empowered person doesn’t have that fear.  But that’s for a later discussion.

So, it was through this examination of sacrifice and spirituality that I became aware that peoples’ lack of ability to receive (I include myself) was related to the lack of education, vocabulary and understanding of the value of what receiving had to offer.  I have come to phrase this dynamic in the sentence: The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive, is someone who doesn’t know how to give.

And I have come to understand the concept of receiving as a spiritual one. The spiritual connection that so many seek is actually blocked by an inability to receive. For a deeper understanding into this subject in your own chart, take a look at where Neptune resides and see if you can open to receive from those people and environments that are represented by Neptune’s house (and the one it rules), sign and planets that are aspected by Neptune.

About the author: For over twenty-five years Vivian Owen has been interpreting the astrological birth chart, helping people to create the life they want. She is passionate about educating the public about astrology and its modern-day application to peoples’ lives. Her astrological studies began in 1974 and she has maintained a private practice serving an international clientele since 1985. She’s the author of Lucky Stars: Use Astrology to Get the Scoop on Life, Love and Friendship (Three Rivers Press, 2001), countless articles and is currently a featured writer for the world’s largest astrology website Her website is


  1. Brilliant!

  2. Reading this blog this morning felt so perfectly Neptunian synchronistic! Just had an amazing conversation at a dinner party last night with a woman who reminded me of the power of receiving-and then to wake up and “receive” this-wow!
    Especially as this Sun/Neptune/Chiron conjunction squares my natal Neptune in my second house…very timely-thanks Donna and Amanda!

    • Hi, Fern. the transit of transiting Neptune square natal Neptune is a really major phase of the midlife cycle, for it wakes us up to the ways we’ve been using Neptune that weren’t as helpful to ourselves and others as we would have hoped. In the case of people born the same year as you, it’s an even more important rite of passage because of that long transiting conjunction of Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter. It’s a special awakening into middle age for your whole generation. Donna

    • Hi Fern
      I’m so glad this article speaks to you! Many people with a second house Neptune think helping others and being paid for it is incongruous. Undercharging for services is epidemic in the helping fields. I am wondering if this is the case for you – especially if additionally Neptune rules your 6th house (Pisces on the 6th house cusp). If you are not a skilled Receiver you may have trouble asking for a raise, requesting a living wage, determining the value of your services or skills, or lending money you never get back.
      Just some thoughts!

  3. This was a bit of a wake up call… I am so used to giving (people taking), receiving isn’t really on my radar..

    Yet today, especially being Valentines day, I was quite aware that I don’t receive… why I asked myself. Am I putting up barriers to stop myself or are others just not giving.

    I thought I was quite good at giving, then a psychic friend once commented that I was a closed book and don’t let anyone in.

    Yes, private I am, but certainly not a closed book. I give, maybe too discerningly, unlike her who took, and also took without consent.

    By not receiving, am I denying what I truly want in life – but then that raised another question. I give quite willingly, then I sit and wait.. and wait… and wait… but nothing seems to come forward for me to receive. So am I blocking ?? do I consciously push away ?? is this some form of self-sacrifice because I feel I am not worthy of receiving ??

    I will take some time now to see what Neptune and Pluto is up to in my chart !! hoping I will now get some insight.

    • It sounds like you’re already learning rapidly, Carole, and are ready to take an important step into greater understanding of giving and recieving.

      A much loved friend of mine took me to task last year. She asked if I knew how much it hurt her that I was never willing to let her give me something or do something for me without immediately feeling that I had to do something for her in return. Didn’t I realize, she asked, how good it felt to her to do something for me?

      It gave me pause because I really believed I was doing the right thing by balancing the scale and not being a taker who didn’t give in return. For me, it stemmed from growing up really poor and really proud, so that recieving felt like taking charity.

      As I processed what my friend had said to me, I began to relax into receiving rather than compulsively rushing to do even things out. It’s quite a complicated lesson, isn’t it? I haven’t had time to read the materials on Amanda’s power of recieving website yet, but I’d betcha we’d both learn a lot from it. Donna

    • Hi Carol,
      I love your question: By not receiving, am I denying what I truly want in life? The answer is yes! Think of it this way – how can you get what you want if you can’t receive it? How will it get through? This is not a self-worth issue. It’s mechanistic. Receiving is a skill that one can develop, which is of course what my book is all about!

      I have a saying: For every Giver there is a Receiver. For every Doer there is a Taker. Whereas giving and receiving connects people, doing and taking disconnects. The Sanskrit greeting and blessing, Namaste: I honor the God in you that is in me beautifully illustrates the unity of life. Just like this greeting, both genuine giving and genuine receiving are an act of recognition of the other, an acknowledgement of our sameness, of our humanity. When we give or receive generosity, we vibrate to the same chord—we are a melody of One. Together, giving and receiving form a connection. Energy moves out in giving and returns in receiving.

      I hope this helps you to think about the benefits of receiving. I have a few articles on my Receive website at

  4. What perfect timing! The “very” issue I am dealing with in my life at the moment as my natal Neptune sits on the cusp of my 5th-6th house and Pluto conjunct my Nadir. Currently the New Moon and all the Aquarian gathering is conjunct my Midheaven. I recreated my small business over the last 9 months and have an Italian company that has just given me product for free to help me sell.

    What’s interesting has been my response to the CEO of the company helping me, I was slightly panicked as I was not sure what type of obligation I would have to them. Up to this point, the CEO has reassured me over and over that they have not asked me for anything, they are trying to help me, as they send me my custom designs and these are not cheap designs.

    He also told me no one else gets this treatment so I keep wondering what is the “catch” as I have learned that nothing is really free! Yet, I gratefully accept all the tools I am being given……….

  5. I’ve read Amanda’s thoughtful work before, but this time I had to smile as I remembered an incident with my adult children. My Neptune sits on the 5th house cusp from the 4th house. In 2007 I fell and broke my ankle in three places requiring a long period with my leg up.

    All three adult children who live a distance away offerred to travel home to help. Their father, Norm, is an Aires and I’m an Aquarian so of course we refused any help given our independent energy. Later our eldest daughter sat us down and talked with us about receiving from our children. I was glad that she was able to do that and we really needed the “talking to”. Yes, Amanda, I did have a spiritual lesson to learn about receiving from family not always being the giver.

  6. Amanda..I learned about receiving in a hard way. As an Aquarian, I am very independent and being dependant was certainly not a role I wanted to play. But events on three separate occasions brought me to my knees financially. I had a wife and two daughters to feed and care for thus I was forced to apply for government assistance.

    How humiliating! How dreadful despite the fact that my kids could eat and we kept the roof over our heads. Barely. What can you do other than to try every day to get out of it? I always did but the day before Christmas during one of these episodes, a uniformed soldier showed up on my front doorstep with a box filled with staples and gifts for my children. I actually cried while standing there in devout thanks to the universe. I have never been so moved in my entire life.

    My Neptune in the 3rd squares my Mercury in the 5th. It also trines my Jupiter/Venus conjunction in the 6th. I have had some pretty confusing moments but just as many spiritual ones, as well. My life is filled with giving and service but I no longer turn down help when it is offered. Age, maturity, experience? All three, I suppose, but I have been in giving professions most of my adult life. I even considered being a cop as giving and service oriented…

    • Such a poignant story Larry. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It makes me think of the quote from Laurence Leamer: The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. I imagine the experience was as memorable for the soldier as it was for you.

  7. excellent article, smile smile:)

    I’m Sagittarius, Neptune in 1 conjunction with the Sun, Venus and Node in Sagittarius, squaring Jupiter in 4! wow!

    from Argentina, many blessings, Donna & Amanda 🙂

    • Do you even have your name left to your name or have you given that away, too? 😛

  8. Neptune in conjunction with my Asc., Sun, and No. node in Leo, squares my Scorpio moon in the 4th. Anyone can see my so compulsive codependence over so many years! What pain in the overcoming.Pluto has me in deep transformation again……again and so much a part of my coming awareness in my buried inability to receive (let alone ever ask) It is such a disservice to everyone not to allow them and/or ask for what they can give.
    Giving IS receiving and receiving IS a very big gift!
    Thank you all, so much, for my growing clarity.
    That powerful Neptune for me has been such an unconscious drag and pain……..and……blessing

    • Knowing you, you ARE a very giving person, Wanda, but sometimes the very best gift you can give somebody is the willingness to recieve. Donna

  9. This is great – I so loved taking the Receive Work teleclass. I am smiling at your words “I have come to phrase this dynamic in the sentence: The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive, is someone who doesn’t know how to give.” Really how else could it be ? So glad I am now more aware of the concepts you teach on receiving – it’s a process – receiving without giving (up )something. It really has improved my relationships.

    • Thanks Denise for your comment! You are echoing what so many people say who have strengthened their receive-muscles. Way back in the early days of teaching my courses, a grade-school teacher participant said she had always had an exercise for her students of standing in a circle and giving a compliment to the other students. Now that she understood the benefits of receiving, she said she was going to use the exercise to teach her students how important it is to receive the compliment!

  10. Wow, this is my discussion! (Sun neptune moon conjunction in the 1st house. Neptune at 19 degrees and the midpoint between both…yep…all in scorpio)

    I love this idea that my generation are all waking up from how we have misused Neptune. Very true. My personal experience is that I have given and given in relationship and none of them worked out. I’ve been in love with self centered artistic pot users over and over. I have avoided and put my head in the sand. I shopped compulsively. Setting boundaries and receiving with grace have been incredibly lacking but are now growing in a deep place. They sound so simple, yet for me they are such challenges… although i know that they are essential to my happiness, I still need so much support to actually do them !

    On the positive side, 2009 was a year of many losses, that bore beautiful fruit in amongst the challenges. 1. Now I am giving from a different place, a more deeply loving one, as it is with so little agenda now. I’m far less co-dependent and, as the giver, I’m lit up by a sense of expansion and a connection to spirit. That same connection comes with receiving too and is even more magical although it happens in much rarer moments.
    2. Receiving feels like the flow of creativity, or channeled energy. I don’t feel the 30 yr long doubt of ‘am I an artist?’ I just know I am now.
    3. Magicalness seems more alive in my life now, if that makes sense.

    thanks so much for helping me crystallize my insights!

    • Josie, it sounds like you’re using Saturn in Libra really well to transform your relationships. If you look under the
      categories Relationship Help and Relationship Astrology at the side of this blog, you’ll find many more articles with insights and tools to work with. Donna

    • I relate to this comment very much – that compulsive giving is a form of co-dependence and fear, the challenges of setting boundaries (and sticking to them!). I’m curious about the Neptune in Libra and Scorpio generations. I have a hard time telling these people “no”. What kind of juju do they have?!

  11. all comments are very generous to learn, I catch everything with great interest, and of course, thank you so much …… and congratulations Amanda Owen

    • You’re an eager and consistant student, Eduardo, and I’m glad you’re finding material that interests you. Donna

    • Thank you Eduardo for your congratulations 🙂 I am new to blogging and it feels very nice to read your appreciation.

  12. thanks Donna, Amanda and everyone else for the great insights and discussion!

    Amanda-I’ve been wrestling with the “getting paid for my services” piece ever since I started practicing professionally as an astrologer-I’ve actually gotten much better with being conscious of this one and setting boundaries about being paid-
    The light bulb that went on in my head is realizing what I was getting out of being a giver-namely, a sense of control, a feeling of protection and power and a way to stay hidden. Now that I see what I’ve got to work with a little more clearly, I’m making receptivity my mantra-
    Looking forward to learning more about your work Amanda!

  13. I’m a little late into the discussion,but I just wanted to say thank you for the insight. I have a 12thouse Neptun in Scorpio, squaring Saturn in 2nd house. I am really bad at receiving – a master at giving. And at some point I realised that being a giver and not letting other people give anyting to my, is about control. So I’ve started to practise receiving – I don’t say no as often as I used to, and everyday I buy myself a small gift. Just to get used to the idea. Got that idea from Astro4Business – a great site!

    • Great insights, Natalie, and you are using them well. Donna

    • Hi Natalie,
      Thanks for weighing in. A nice Receive-exercise when Neptune issues relate to the second house is to place money of different denominations around your house and every time you pass by them, compliment them. Coo over them. Make the money feel appreciated!

      Many people with a 12th house Neptune wonder if they have been left out of the picture when God (or however you think of this) is granting wishes and giving help. A little chat with the deity of your choice can do wonders.

      My site has articles that give information that will help you balance receiving with giving.

      • Nice exercise, Amanda. I wonder if working with the money corner of the house a la Feng Shui would help, too. Donna

  14. I’m about one year late to this party, but I brought some champagne (Neptune in the 1st house). Hehe.

    This is a very thought-provoking article…

    I definitely have a problem with receiving. I’m not sure if it’s about control as much as it is about self-delusion and just not feeling that I have the right to receive. If I need to receive from someone, then that’s admitting that I don’t already have what they’re giving…that I’m lacking something (ok, that’s a control issue…trying to control my image of being self-reliant). And what if I get addicted to receiving? Pisces is on the cusp of my 4th house. My family was big on “do not beg for (charity)!” When I visited my mom’s friends’ houses, I couldn’t ask them for food even if I was hungry. My dad got angry or suspicious if I came home with something that someone gave me. If I mentioned that someone helped me, his first reaction would be “What did you have to give up for it?” (With his Saturn in Scorpio, he always assumed sex.) When a stranger gave me their umbrella during the rain, that led to a 2 hour interrogation. Meanwhile, my family gives away their resources left and right to people (rulers of my 1st, 4th and 10th houses are in the 8th house). Very mixed signals there. The strangest part is that I have Jupiter in the 8th house so people do offer me their resources quite often…and I’m trained to say “no, thanks” – even though I want to accept. And I waste opportunities because many times I don’t even recognize when someone’s offering me a gift – until it’s too late to accept it.

    “The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive, is someone who doesn’t know how to give.”

    This is so true. After attracting a string of takers in friendships and romantic relationships, I got tired of hearing “I didn’t offer you help because you never seem to need it” or “Oh you need help? But what about meeeee?!”. I have finally forced myself to recognize when I give more than I want (or can afford) to give, put a limit on what I give (which is very painful because I have this inexplicable feeling that I never give enough, that I owe the world everything) and accept people’s help when they offer it. Paradoxically, expecting others to help me and give to me has made me stop feeling so guilty about asking for help…because I sure do resent it when they don’t offer it and I need it! Like, “After all that I have done for you and you can’t even help me the first time I ask for it?!” Cue Relationship Cold Wars.

    After 14 years of friendship, I finally told a friend “No” for the first time last year and…our friendship is still alive and the world didn’t crumble. I think I was always afraid to tell people no because then I would find out who only cared about me because of what I was giving. Now that I’m in a phase of stress-testing all of my relationships (Saturn in Libra?), I want to find out who is a real friend and ally. For the past few months, I’m asking everybody for help – even the ones who I know will run away now that I’m not an endless fountain of giving. I still have trouble negotiating fair deals but I’m working on it.

  15. Forgot to add that my Neptune aspects Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Chiron and MC. A couple of those are wiiiide, though.

    • Hi Jara, I enjoyed reading your comment and I’m glad the stress-testing is going well.

      I enjoy giving. Pisces ASC, Leo Sun trine Aries Jupiter. But I’m good at receiving too. Maybe because of that trine: my attitude is give when needed and receive when needed. It’s a very naive Jupiter attitude but it’s worked well.

      • Hi Neeti! Thanks. You have such a nice aura about you, a glow…Your “naive” Jupiter attitude sounds wise and well-balanced to me! 🙂 I always think of Jupiter when considering giving and receiving, but factoring in Neptune is a new concept for me. I enjoy giving, too, until someone takes credit for conning me (“You have always been my guinea pig.” & “I didn’t even want that. I just wanted to see if you would give it.” – ex-friends). How do you find that balance of giving as much as you want without feeling like someone feels that they took advantage of you?

        And why haven’t you been blogging much lately? (demands the person who would like to receive your blog post gifts :-P)

      • I’m instinctively clear about giving. Some are random gives: you know you’ll get nothing in return. Some are because someone has so little and it’s easy to share. Some because the love flows so easily and quickly.

        In close relationships, it does get tricky. But I’m very careful about who is close to me. Pluto in seventh: by the way, I just got Steven Forrest and Jeff Green’s books on Pluto!

        In the past, with friends who were not there for me, I learnt. And now I know who will be there for me and who won’t be. I give accordinly. I don’t mean in a calcuated fashion, I just go with my heart knowing that sometimes I will give more than I will receive.

        Oh, Jara. Giving away things and money is easy. But giving love, time, attention……..those priceless things, I have to confess I am not always overly generous with those! And as I age and work gets busier my boundaries get stronger.

        Yes, I haven’t been writing much. Too much pending work to finish in other spheres.

        I’m waiting for the current Pisces Moon to move into Aries……..need the Cardinal juice for my to-do list.

        It’s great interacting with you on DC’s blog. xxx

    • Hi Jara
      I love hearing about the experiences you are having with saying “no.” I think of receiving as a skill. I’ve noticed over the years of teaching my courses that when people become skilled Receivers, their boundaries are healthier.
      I’m glad that this post spoke to you — and that you are including yourself in your vision for what you want to experience in your friendships. I think that is Neptune at its best 🙂

      • And vice versa, wouldn’t you think–when people’s boundaries are better, they grow in their ability to receive? Donna

        PS. Amanda’s book on giving and receiving is out, and I’m hoping she’ll get permission to let us have an excerpt on Skywriter.

      • Hi Amanda,

        Thanks for replying to my comment. I love your article. Donna has very insightful guest bloggers. 🙂 Receiving as a skill…wow. Yes, that makes so much sense. If the receiving “muscle” is underdeveloped, then it’s hard to receive. I have noticed that people who can’t receive compliments are uncomfortable with receiving in general. That may be the first step in developing the Receiving skill. I had to learn how to say “thank you” and let it go – not to brush off the gift of the compliment out of embarrassment. Is Saturn also involved with having trouble receiving?

        Regarding including myself in my vision for what I want to receive in my friendships (so beautifully put), we have Saturn in Libra to thank for that…As Donna mentioned, defining my boundaries helped me receive because now I have a minimum standard of treatment. Quite a few people going through their Saturn (in Libra) Return come to me with issues of blended, weak or overly restrictive relationship boundaries. Feeling others’ pain (Neptune?) put me in touch with my own (once I realized why I was empathizing so much).

        I’m in the mood for a revolution, so I’m going to get your book. Hopefully, you will *receive* permission to reprint an excerpt here. 🙂

        Hi again Neeti. Yes, it’s great interacting with you on DC’s blog, though I’m beginning to feel like I’m hijacking the comments section…

        I couldn’t hit the reply button under your comment, so it’s going here:

        That is interesting that you make a distinction between what you can easily give vs. what is more difficult for you to part with…I’m now wondering if we give what we feel we have lots to share? Does this have to do with what house(s) Neptune or Jupiter is(are) in? I’m quite generous with giving love, time, attention and encouragement. But money and things? Oh no…Saturn ruling my 2nd and squaring my Neptune says that I must ration those or they will slip away from me too easily (and they do).

        How is transiting Jupiter in Aries treating your natal Jupiter in Aries? That + Moon in Aries are sure to jump-start you. I understand about prioritizing, so I’ll try to be a patient reader. I just wanted to let you know that your perspective is missed.

        Thanks for your responses. J.

  16. @Jara: Jupiter rules my 10th. Heading for a Jupiter return soon. Work rocks right now. Work also exhausting right now. 🙂

    You’re right about “what you can easily give vs. what is more difficult for you to part with.” I have Jupiter in my second.

    I’ll be back soon. Loving your comments here. xxx

  17. My publisher has given permission for Donna to post some excerpts — so stay tuned! And thanks for your comments — and thanks Donna for offering to post them 🙂

  18. Glad to see this as I had missed the first posting. Would be interested to hear about KNOWINGLY GIVING as repayment of “karmic debt”…NOT self sabotage or 12th house self-undoing but actual recognition of past life “enemies” (though “ignorant teachers” might be the correct terminology).
    My natal Libra Neptune conjunct Mars/Saturn(“oh, no”!) in the 9th has given me the gift of sniffing out these users…giving them lots and lots…teaching where I can, and ultimately shining them on with a clear conscience…my job done. (It’s a job beacause I’m double Capricorn….get it?). Thank you, Donna!

    • I like this: “It’s a job beacause I’m double Capricorn….get it?”

      I have a double Cappy friend whom I adore.

  19. Thanks, nray! I’ve followed your posts here (and on Astrodienst, etc….assuming it’s you?) and always know that there will be substance behind your moniker. I wish that Donna would incorporate a FORUM into her site…as we obviouly have lots to say to one another and that outlet might free Donna from the extrapolation we indulge in. Maybe we can petition her to set one up? Donna could glean topics and we could rant, -er,- “talk amongst” ourselves…
    Donna can “only take so much”, ya know…Best, Berta

  20. Whad’ya say, Donna? Forum?

    • There are forums all over the place. I wouldn’t have the time to set one up and moderate it, but you could select one and put it in your comments (“meet me at such and such an URL and we can discuss this further”). For the most part the comment sections here act as a semi-forum in that people do share openheartedly, but it’s not the best place for back and forth between two people. Donna

  21. nray – you have lovely aura around you. It shows up even with the orange tone to your picture.

    • Thank you, Carole. ::hug::

  22. aloha Amanda, ..What would the philanthropist do without the beggar? Vis a versa. They complement each other and act as one.

  23. One of my favorite quotes:
    The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. ~ Laurence Leamer

  24. This blog is a year old today and wow!!! its impact is as strong as ever !!!

    I have a friend whos wife is very ill – hes in turmoil about how much he should be doing as farther and husband – he feels he should be doing it all. He is begining to let others help him now, including wifes parents (no one wants to see their child pass at any age before them, especially this late in life – I tell him to let them in, they are their with love, not judgement).

    So our conversation (especially being valentines day) has been all about giving and receiving. Amandas quote “The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. ~ Laurence Leamer” came into my inbox via someone else in the week – ohh so true…

    • Hi Carole,
      Very poignant – your post. First, I am sorry to hear about your friend and his wife.
      Caregivers especially benefit by allowing others to give to, support and help them. Our cultural messages about “doing it all” and not asking for help are so strong that people feel that they are doing something wrong if they ask for help.
      I think it’s wonderful that Valentine’s Day opened up a discussion of giving and receiving. This is such an important conversation and one that we don’t talk about enough!
      Thanks for your comments –

  25. Oh boy, this is my thread – thank you Amanda. I am in my 50s and this is probably the hardest thing for me to learn, and I look forward to reading your book. Your summarising sentence illuminates the giving-receiving dynamic under the cold light of reason, and is quite a wake-up call to me. ‘Don’t worry about me’ is a familiar catchcry to me, and guess what, I get what I ask for. I have been easy to ignore and, even worse than that, I don’t even know what I want in order to ask for it. My mother is the same, and her negation of self infuriates me! Why are we compelled to repeat what we think we have rejected? Yes, it is Neptune in my chart, exactly conjunct Sun, square ASC and sextile Pluto, conjunct Venus and Jupiter, exact quindecile Moon (if you count that) and less than 10 degrees from MC. I think my mind is so fuzzy sometimes that I can’t pin down/identify my desires – they are too wrapped up with those of other people. I think this is what a Sun/Neptune conjunction does – it is very hard to separate one’s own identity/desire from others, from the sea of vibes, feelings etc. that are very easy for us to intuit. I do have moments of realism, perhaps this is signified by Saturn in semi-square my Sun/Nep conjunction, but they aren’t the main game.

    • Hi MRL,
      Yes, you are the quintessential Neptunian! My phrase for Sun conjunct Neptune whether in the birth chart or by transit is “Identity Theft.”

      One way of looking at this aspect is this: it leads to a journey — the search for a larger more inclusive spiritual identity. Another way of looking at it is the question this aspect seems to prompt: “Who am I and what do I want?” This is such an important question – and journey. I have found that those who do not know what they want, do not know how to receive. When you think about it – how can you know what you want if you can’t receive?

      I have an exercise in my book that helps people find out what they want. I call it “Send Cinderella to Rehab.” I believe that many people feel that it is unseemly or even selfish to want something for ourselves.

      I say all of the time: Receiving is a language of inclusion. Most people are not looking to trade places with someone as in – now you give and I will receive. Receiving is about including yourself in your vision for your relationships and for what you want in the world. We want good things for others; the Cinderella exercise helps you include yourself and reminds you how important it is, if you want to contribute to the world, to want good things for yourself as well.

      Thanks for your comment!

  26. Hi Amanda,

    I’m so glad you’ve dedicated yourself and your work to this topic and to share it.

    Just today I realised how very difficult I find it to receive. I do it in simple ways and in more intricate ways. Earlier today I caught myself rationalising away a friend’s compliment, explaining to her why she had herself in fact to thank about a situation she was thanking me for – wow, how complex and audacious of me, plus I was over-stepping some boundaries!

    And today I receive Donna’s list of neptune/boundaries links (thanks Donna) and read your article. Had a couple of aha moments regarding my neptune house and aspects.

    Checked your youtube videos and learned so much (my gemini moon and mars and strong mercury are all happy) I’m an advanced ‘giver’ and ‘doer’, now I want to balance the equation and be a great yin receiver 🙂 Got 5 masculine planets, if I use traditional astrological terminology, and I’m a pisces chick.

    I’m getting your book.


    PS. I’ve just asked the above friend to be my sponsor and call me on any attempts to not receive from her 🙂

    • Hi Chris
      I loved reading your comment here. And I am glad that the receive-information has been helpful to you. I LOVE the idea of a sponsor to keep the importance of receiving on your radar screen. Brilliant! If you are on Facebook, check out my FB page. I post everything from inspiring receive-quotes to schedule info. I hope to hear from you after you read my book!
      All ther best to you,

  27. Got 7 masculine planets, I forgot. Anyway, thanks.

  28. Hi Amanda,

    So, I’m reading your book for the second time. Love that it’s a little gem (aka small book, easy to refer to) of knowledge and wisdom.

    The three steps suggested in the book are very helpful, particularly ‘Accept All Compliments.’ Amazing the strategies I use to get out of some compliments. Now, even if I might not agree with the compliment, I try hard to just say ‘Thank You.’

    Regarding the second step and gratitude lists -> I write gratitude pages every morning, something I’d started days before reading this post and your book yet something your book reinforced me to continue doing. I find it very grounding and that it helps me keep perspective and stay receptive.

    The third step, on being transparent, is a bit tricky at times (scorpio rising, won’t do transparency 24/7, at least not with strangers) yet I do stay more authentic, something I even exerted in the interview for the job I have (see below) when I candidly told the interviewers about two areas where I needed a lot of support from them as they are new territories for me.

    Got my first goal (paying job related to my new training) in a matter of days after writing it down. I resisted it at first big big time, as it didn’t look exactly as I thought it would (it’s very compatible with my new training yet not 100% the same) and because it basically came out of the blue so it required me to be quick to respond (aka being receptive and saying ‘Thanks, I’m interested. Tell me more,’ before considering not taking it.)

    Now, I feel so blessed I said yes to it as I’m deepening my knowledge and learning further valuable skills. Particularly with the current economic climate.

    I think the story you include in your book about the man asking God for help is very useful, as it clearly reflects that sometimes help/gifts/love come in packages different than the ones we anticipate – which one can reject too readily.

    Lastly, for finding love (my next goal) learning how to receive as the very ‘yang’ woman that I am is so valuable. Men (everybody actually) like to feel appreciated and if I’m open to receiving what they have to offer, I’ll see earlier who is compatible with me or who isn’t.

    I could go on and on on how receptiveness and responsiveness while keeping good boundaries is such a lovely thing for relationships, life, work, self-esteem.



    PS. Thanks Amanda and thanks forever Donna for your site.

    • Thank you Cris for taking the time to write at such great length about your experiences in receiving. You are very inspiring! I love hearing about the details of people’s work with the receive-principles. I say all of the time that learning to receive will change the way you look everything. It feels miraculous that such small changes produce such big results.
      Thanks again — and if you ever feel like writing a version of this on my Amazon page, please do! You provide such great examples about what receiving brings. Amanda xo

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