|Management of Measurement Constructs
Neptune and Suppression
Imagine a lid on a pressure cooker: as the pot bubbles, its energies are pushed down by the lid; watch how pasta cooked under a tight lid (you should leave a large crack for air to escape) overflows all over the stove. This is suppression and subsequent breakaway, messy rebellion. This is a symbolic function of Neptune.
Imagine taking off the lid: the glory-feel of freedom and energy. This is intensification, the defining moment, the geyser that gains a name! This is a symbolic function of Uranus.
Psychodevelopmentally, suppression equates usually with a lack of support, usually parental support. With a Neptune prominent in the horoscope (especially square, opposed, conjunct the Sun or the Moon, or in hard aspect to the angles), corroboration of the lack of support (the diffusion of relationship dynamics, the lack of focus on personal development) will be seen through accompanying Saturn-retrograde phenomenology, Pluto engaged strongly with the Sun or the Moon, and/or strong aspects with the significators of the parental axis.
Neptune's natal placement Picture this: Neptune placed within the range up to 10 degrees, say, of the Ascendant, above it, in the 12th House. This tells us so much, regardless of the aspects involving Neptune.
First: we know that the transit of Neptune over the Ascendant will happen gradually over about 5-7 years (the time it takes Neptune to transit about 10 degrees). We know that any time tr Neptune crosses or squares and Angle, we can expect some kind of alone-ness, "ego wipeout", enormous suppression. At a very young age (as in this vignette example), the child will surely be alone, isolated somehow, not enjoying parental support -and perhaps taking on parental punishments etc. Why is there such alone-ness? What was going on in the family, between the parents, with the parents to bring this into development?
Second: the double-whammy is that by Solar Arc measurement, 'crowning' those early build-up years of alone-ness, hypersensitivity, perhaps early self-rescue efforts into religion or spaced-out thinking, idealism, alter-egos, SA Neptune will cross the Ascendant at, say, age 10 [the number of degrees to the Ascendant, whatever they are]. This will usually correspond with a protracted period of about a year of intensified alone-ness -it has become a way of life by that time! What are the problems within development that define these periods? They have become routined in everyday life and personality.
If that Neptune-Ascendant position is in Libra and Aquarius is on the 5th, there is every suspicion of possible sexual molestation possible (male or female) if, at the same time, say, tr Saturn squares Venus or Uranus, etc.
The Neptune factor works to "keep the Self down on the farm," so to speak. It invites victimization, neglect, erasure. There can be enormous, deep hurt, diffusion of identity, selective amnesia, loss of awareness. -When these measurements occur later in life, drugs and/or alcohol used to escape, to blot-out circumstances must be considered.
Naturally, this searing set of Neptune observations works in tandem with the rest of the horoscope, but the essence for conjectural analysis of such difficulty is valid each time the condition presents itself.
CASE: This woman's horoscope shows Venus-Jupiter conjunction on the 4th cusp, with Jupiter ruling the 3rd. -Recall our discussion about "voice" in the Forum recently. Here the ruler of the 3rd, Jupiter, is conjoined with Venus (beauty) in Capricorn, earthy, dark. Additionally, Mercury was semisquare Jupiter.
My client's voice came over the phone as lustrous, rich, and beautiful as one can imagine! --I simply said, "What a beautiful voice you have. How have you used it professionally?" [Note the 'assumptive question (see "Creative Astrologer"). Indeed several quintiles in the background of the horoscopes pressed creativity forward, noted in my preparation.]
"I'm an actor," she replied, "for many years; and a director." --Just look at how much was learned within 5 seconds, pitching the horoscope so clearly at its individualistic Level.
My client had Neptune 7 degree above the horizon opposing her ARIES Moon, the axis squared by Uranus.
I asked, at the very beginning of our discussion, "To get to know you better, I need to touch upon those early years. The first 7 or 8 years appear to be years of alone-ness, upset, hypersensitivity, during which suppressive patterns were set to blot you out, as it were."
My client corroborated this observation immediately: "We moved three times; I was uprooted constantly; I was alone all the time; my father was in the military and I guess he associated military assertion with masculinity, with being a father … he and my mother abused me terribly, all the time; I was beaten often. -My mother even said she should never have had a child that late in her life … me!"
And so it goes. -These disclosures then focus the entire horoscope dramatically: the Mars-Saturn conjunction in the 11th [enormous need for love] is explained; the self-worth anxiety [the Mars-Saturn square with the Sun-Mercury conjunction in the 2nd] is explained. The Moon [receiving the opposition from the Neptune] rules one arm of the parental axis and Saturn rules the other. The nodal axis conjoined Neptune brings mother into center stage. -How quickly the portrait is focused; as if a click of the kaleidoscope were planned especially for your eyes!
Certainly, the Neptunian dimensions of creativity were there too ….they emerged out of the need to protect herself through imagination and idealization [Neptune was oriental as well].
The Neptune signpost here told almost the entire story of her development.
NOTE: when the Neptune position is on the Midheaven: the ego-suppression dimension appears less crucial, less critical than when it is on the Ascendant.
CASE: A male with Neptune at 25 Virgo just west of the Midheaven 10 degrees away at 4 Libra.
The first 10 years of life are going to see enormous aloneness, unrootedness, family upset. Saturn is in the 4th conjunct the Nodal axis 4-10!! The mother ran the show and is front and center in the suppressive atmosphere fogging my client's early beginnings in development.
"My mother was dominant; she was an alcoholic; my parents were divorced when I was 1, and then my mother subsequently married four times!" --This explained it all in 20 seconds; including the need for defense, the Earth Grand Trine that dominated the horoscope and included Neptune at one corner. My client learned to be practically self-sufficient in defense of himself within those early unsettled times.
With Pluto in the 8th: "Have you ever reached out for some help here through psychotherapy?" -there was a 'but-of-course' laugh, "Considerable time and money were spent in that direction; yes."
Follow the Neptune key with knowledge of the human condition. Hope for it to be converted eventually into aesthetic or idealized dimensions that bring honor to the self-image. Be prepared to help show the way into this direction, creating distance from the painful early development.
Next Update: December 30, 2001