Polish your rose-colored glasses and take a shot of nectar, my babies: we’re here to talk Neptune.
In astrology, Neptune is the psychic planet of ideals, intuition, spirituality and compassion, the domain of dreams and delusions.
Within the birth chart, the influence of Neptune is determined by the zodiac sign in which it falls, as well as the astrological house it occupies. Neptune reveals our imagination, psychic sensitivities and connection to the mystic — everything unseen and unknown. The placement of Neptune in the birth chart relates to the parts of our lives where we refuse to be limited by beliefs or bound by tradition.
Neptune is the planetary ruler of doe-eyed, poetry-spewing, self-destructive water sign Pisces and the 12th House of the Unconscious.
Unlike Mercury, Mars and Venus, Neptune is a slow-moving outer planet, meaning its energy is felt across a generation and beyond the realm of the individual. It takes 165 years for the planet to transit the entire zodiac, and it spends roughly 14 years in each sign. Currently at home in Pisces, Neptune will move into Aries in 2026.
Neptune is emblematic of divine potential, universal love and cosmic consciousness. At its highest swell, it shows us what is possible when we dissolve boundaries and seek the source. Sounds groovy and not unlike an at-home water birth, right? Ideally, yes, but on the dark side — or ocean floor — of Neptune lies deception, disillusionment, propaganda, escapism through addiction, and utter oblivion.
Read on to discover how Neptune expresses itself through the zodiac wheel.
Neptune in Aries
Here we have the planet of ideals and illusions in the sign of the fire-breathing pioneer. Neptune in Aries natives ride the line between intensity and impulse and their legacies are often marked by serious and even violent struggles. When Neptune was last in Aries, America was entrenched in the Civil War, a conflict of ideals and humanitarian principles that gave rise to a new, fledgling nation. Fittingly, this era coincided with the development of war photography, marrying the horror of combat with the ephemera of the captured image.
Neptune in Taurus
When the planet of escape and addiction moves through the decadent pastures of Taurus, substances go mainstream. In the 16th century, that looked like the introduction of chocolate to the European continent by way of tradesmen and colonizers. In the 19th century, Neptune in Taurus was linked to the commercialization of products that contained cocaine and opiates, most notably Coca-Cola. Those born during this period apply earthen practicality to pursuing their dreams, and in the case of Neptune in Venus native Carl Jung, analyzing the dreams of others. There is a risk with this placement of prioritizing materialism over self-actualization and wealth over spiritual health.
Neptune in Gemini
Dreamy Neptune in fast-talking, tech-savvy Gemini is related to advancements in communication and the dispersion of information. Case in point: The last time Neptune moved through Gemini, at the dawn of the 20th century, the telephone, radio and phonograph came to be. Fittingly, those born with this placement are expansively curious though they struggle with a limited attention span and restless, rudderless creative energy.
Neptune in Cancer
When the planet of collective consciousness takes a dip in the nurturing waters of Cancer, it reimagines what it means to be at home in the body and at home in the world. Natives with this placement are keenly sensitive, a quality that causes them to oscillate between empathy and passive-aggressive manipulation. Neptune’s swim through Cancer in the early 20th century coincided with the advent of synthetic vitamins and processed foods and the invention of air conditioning.
Neptune in Leo
Dreams and delusions take center stage when Neptune takes up with limelight-loving Leo. Neptune in Leo natives are galvanized by the idea of a cause greater than themselves and view self-sacrifice as evidence of the importance of their roles. There is a delusional quality to their perception of heroics and good fortune, a fact made manifest in the early onset idealism vs. grim reality of the first World War, which coincided with Neptune’s last spin through Leo.
Neptune in Virgo
Neptune is at odds with the order, execution and realism Virgo deals in. The last time Neptune traveled through the sign marked the onset of the Great Depression when the whimsy and optimism of the roaring ’20s gave rise to the trying truth of American poverty. Because Virgo is industrious AF, by the time this transit was complete, Roosevelt’s New Deal — designed to protect the poor — had been implemented. Those with this placement share an intensity of focus that often causes them to lose sight of the larger picture and what is possible when you free your imagination from the tyranny of practicality.
Neptune in Libra
Represented by the balancing scales, Libra lends a peacekeeping modality to Neptune. During the planet’s last cycle through this sign, India won its independence through nonviolence, World War II ended and the United Nations was founded. Neptune in Libra natives have a serious knack for diplomacy but oftentimes struggle to commit to a cause or accept that perfection within themselves, their relationships or the world at large is an unrealistic goal and ultimately, an unrealized dream.
Neptune in Scorpio
Scorpio rules the sex organs and it is thus unsurprising that Neptune’s last rotation through the sign coincided with the swinging ’60s and the sexual revolution. The theme of Scorpio is rebirth through annihilation, evident in the dismantling and reimagining of social norms and during that era of upheaval and counterculture elevation. Those born during this period are drawn to darkness, the natural habitat of Scorpio energy, but the greatest among them understand that it is only through exploring those depths — with open eyes and a fearless heart — that self-knowledge can be found.
Neptune in Sagittarius
When transcendent Neptune is in the realm of freewheeling Sagittarius, boundaries are tested and new frontiers are found. The last time Neptune was in this sign, from 1970 – 1984, we as a human collective continued our exploration of outer space and developed a heightened interest in science fiction. Unsurprisingly, the Star Wars series was released during this period, heralding a new and unprecedented era of geekery. Those born with Neptune in Sagittarius are optimistic and inspiring but find compromise and the questioning of their firmly held beliefs, difficult to manage.
Neptune in Capricorn
Neptune is the planet of dissolving boundaries and Capricorn is the sign of structure. When the two overlap as they did from 1984 to 2000, outdated and inhumane divisions literally came crashing down, most notably the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the official end of apartheid starting in 1990. Because Capricorn is a hardscrabble earth sign, there is a tendency among people with this placement to put undue emphasis on status and material wealth. They must learn that despite their best efforts, they can neither prepare for nor control the outcome of what is meant to be.
Neptune in Aquarius
When Neptune made the rounds in Aquarius — the sign of space cowboys and progress through radical experimentation — the world was rewarded, or doomed, by the explosion of the internet age which forever changed the way we think, dream, consume and communicate. This rotation also coincided with stem cell research, a breakthrough in the evolution of medicine. Those born with Neptune in Aquarius are at ease with technology and see the ways in which it clears a path for global connectivity. The challenge for those with this placement is allowing feelings to coexist alongside — rather than in opposition to — logic.
Neptune in Pisces
The planet of idealism moves into the cardigan sweater embrace of Pisces. Root root root for the home team, folks. This period gives rise to great spiritual leaders and also false prophets. Neptune in Pisces is never at a lack for ideas but they falter when it comes to organization and follow-through. There is beautiful energy of all things being possible, but these natives must learn the lesson that nothing is what it first appears to be and implementation is equally as important as inspiration.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.