In order to gain a fundamental understanding of the vast array of potentials of how the planet Neptune may operate in the 7th house of our birth chart, it is first necessary to introduce the idea of planetary process (Neptune) as well as grasp the field of life experience (7th house) where it’s operative.
With Neptune, we gravitate toward themes of merging, idealization, sacrifice, inspiration and elevation. Also, in a more disordered state: deception, confusion, addiction, rescue and victim-hood. The domain of the 7th house covers expansive territory, but it’s most commonly known as the house of the “other”. As supported by designations of the 7th house throughout history, the other can take the forms of a primary relationship, such as a wife, husband or intimate partner or someone we deal closely with in business, or even have a line of communication as “open enemies”.
This placement isn’t necessarily the easiest to decipher because Neptune also has an association with the invisible; things which we can’t see with the naked eye, but are operative nonetheless. Therefore, an unconscious element is immediately added to the mix.
In its most constructive sense, Neptune’s position in the 7th house suggests that we have a storehouse or toolbox of Neptunian qualities to offer in our close personal relationships. Unconditional acceptance, a sense of unity, rhythm and flow and the capacity to inspire others to raise themselves to greater heights in their own lives. The term “muse” immediately comes to mind as we explore the magical feeling which can accompany the dynamics illustrated by this placement.
However, one of the challenge areas for anything Neptune related is to gain an unflinching sense of reality and to firmly and fully understand that a clear distinction must be made between what’s ideal and what’s concrete.
The call for those with this placement is serious exploration of how they can synthesize a sense of hope in their relationships with real participation. To consider how over idealization or glamorization of the other through projection may create a fantasy laden bubble, which in its most self-deceptive form, is given the label of “transcendence”, but is merely a cleverly concocted guise designed to shield oneself from the pain associated with disappointment.
With Neptune in the 7th house, cultivating the ability to see one’s relationships for what they are is of the utmost importance.
Returning to Neptune’s association with the invisible, it’s worth exploring the concept that those who share this placement may work in collusion with partners by making secret and unconscious agreements which are not in their best interest. While the goal of unconditional love and acceptance is certainly admirable on the surface, the question which immediately arises is : “WHOM am I really loving?”
In many cases there can be a clandestine contract which binds partners to suspending many aspects of themselves which they feel are “negative” in nature in order to sustain intoxicating feelings of romantic bliss. Inherent in this contract is the understanding that the two people won’t overtly compete, “step on each other’s toes”, or confront their obvious needs in the relationship. In short, maintaining a stance of mutual selflessness.
However, when the “fairy dust” clears and an initial intoxication has given way to sobriety, feelings of anger emerge because one or both parties start to feel as if they’ve been played, or sold a bill of goods because the other party isn’t “what they presented themselves to be.” The glamour of Neptune has now regressed into the victim status where everyone involved wants a “refund” for their glittery purchase they made months ago because it’s not operating in accordance with their rose-colored standards.
Douglas and Naomi Moseley write:
“Idealizers are seeing what they want to see, usually having to do with their own highest expectation of the person being idealized. essentially, idealizers are seeing only a very limited vision of a person. As they hold on to this series of selective perceptions, this ideal, what they’re seeing is essentially an illusion of their own creation. Their sight has more to do with a perfected ideal than an ordinary flesh-and-blood person. Extreme idealizers (perhaps the ones who most strongly believe they are offering unconditional love) will often refuse to see anything other than their ideal.”
While the person who is the object of such projections may be flattered initially, over time, discomfort develops because in their heart of hearts, they realize that they’re not being appreciated for who they really are, but rather an inanimate object of sorts that merely responds in a way which is in exact accord with the wants and needs of the idealizer.
“When people are only seen for their specialness and not accepted just as much for their ordinariness (which includes the shadow side), what they feel underneath the surface is rejection. When they feel rejected and defined by someone else’s expectations, one of the major consequences is anger. But, as idealized individuals, they’re not “expected” to have anger and they often push the anger out of their awareness.”
What we come to ponder in regard to a 7th house Neptune is why we automatically associate difficulty with negativity and disdain. A frame of reference that’s absolutely necessary for working constructively with this placement is that of discriminating between the challenges in relationships that are necessary for growth and victimization via the allowance of hurtful behaviors.
We must understand that self-inflicted suffering in relationships doesn’t make us any more “spiritual” than the next person. In fact, if we’re exhibiting this attitude we must ask what we get out of “falling on our swords” and permitting ourselves to endure what amounts to nothing other than blatant mistreatment. Consequently, a formidable argument can be made that to see reality, with the utmost clarity, no matter how stark and sobering, is one of the ultimate functions that authentic spirituality serves.
Dancing in the Dark: The Shadow Side of Intimate Relationships by Douglas and Naomi Moseley (North Star Publications, Georgetown, MA)
The Houses: Temples of the Sky by Deborah Houlding (The Wessex Astrologer, LTD)
Introduction to AstroPsychology by Glenn Perry