Imagine. You are a river. You're flowing downwards. Your ego is called "River". There are banks on your sides. Beyond the banks, it's not you. Between the banks, it's you. It's all simple and clear.
As you flow, you grow. Sometimes there are islands in the middle of you. You become two arms that re-unite further downstream. You love the feeling!
One day, suddenly the banks disappear and you find yourself deprived of identity, swallowed by the ocean....
The consciousness that was thinking "I am a river" panics, panics, panics...and eventually bursts out laughing. There had never been any river. There had always been water.
Let there be clouds!
I introduced Jupiter as the "Miracle Grow" energy and Saturn as the crystallizing force that gives structure and form to whatever exists. In this metaphorical story, Saturn makes the banks - the limits of the temporary ego.
Neptune - the Ocean- makes them disappear...
Neptune connects whatever it touches to the Great Mystery.
Mystics, poets, musicians, artists, drug addicts, human wrecks and madmen are familiar with Neptune, each one in their own style...
Saviors and victims, those who sacrifice and the sacrificed ones are also expressing something of this absolutely confusing energy.
If you had a Christian upbringing as I did, you heard that God loved the world so much that He gave his own son to be sacrificed in order to redeem humanity's sins.
I am not discussing here whether you should believe this or not. I mention it because these are pure Neptunian themes: an absolute love, a sacrifice, a need to redeem, and we understand nothing: If God is almighty and all compassionate, why was all this necessary?
That's a Mystery...
Similar themes can be found in other spiritual traditions than Christianity. The necessity of a sacrifice to redeem is an archetype, that is a pattern in the collective psyche. Why is it there? I don't know...
With Uranus we had an idea of God as the Great Watchmaker, the architect of the universe, the One who has a Plan. With Neptune God is Love. God is the Great Spirit, a being we can become intimate with. Neptune is Feeling, mystic ecstasy, transe, alcoholic intoxication... or the craving for it. We want to dissolve, merge, forget...
Neptune in a chart doesn't always manifest as love though. Neptune dissolves. Form, structures and boundaries disappear; its effects often make us sigh: "It's complicated"!
If Neptune is strong in your chart, you can be an empath and feel what other people are feeling as if it was your own feelings, Neptune can take you to the psychiatric hospital, because if anything that's going on in the collective unconscious has free access to your little mind, you're mad.
Neptune plugs you into collective feelings. You may feel guilty on behalf of your race or country for what your ancestors have done.
You can feel the trends and be the first to know what next year's fashion will be like.
You can express something of the collective feelings and become a star, like Marilyn Monroe who had Neptune near her Ascendant making quite a few strong aspects... Things were certainly complicated for Marilyn. Who could see her?
Whether you're experiencing communion with the Divine, compassion for all beings, fascination for an inspiring but unattainable muse, possession by evil entities or psychotic disintegration, common sense doesn't apply. The ocean is an ocean of pictures and feelings.
In all cases, you are hypersensitive, an emotional sponge, intuitive, possibly psychic or medium. You can be a healer, a channel. .
Sometimes, Neptune dissolves morality and will power and you lives a dissolute life. I won't go into details, I already feel tempted...
So let's summarize with a few keywords:
Dissolve- Disappear - Melt - Merge -
Mystic - Communion - Love - Devotion - Hermit - Sacrifice -
Feelings - Hyper sensitivity - empath - empathy -
Confusion - Illusions - Mirages - Hallucinations -Mental Health
Muse - Inspiration - Channel - Medium - Psychic skills - Healing gifts -
Deception - Betrayal - Escapism - Dissolution-
To understand better let's take an example. Suppose Neptune and Mercury are strongly connected in a chart.
As Mercury rules our thoughts and communication, the result can be catastrophic and the native completely confused and confusing, impervious to logic and reason, possibly dyslexic, autistic or anything similar.
The native can also be artistic, holistic and right brain rather than logical and analytical.
If Mercury finds its way through Neptune, the person can write poetry or play music.
There may be a great intuition, and the ability to be a channel and pass on messages (Mercury) from Spirit (Neptune).
Mercury is a trickster and Neptune is illusion, so this combination can also mean a talented conman... The rest of the chart will give precious indications..
Or maybe Mercury-Neptune will manifest as a barman? Mercury rules trade, and Neptune can be alcohol... The connection with madness, addiction and the need of redemption can be expressed in something as simple as being a bartender sometimes!
As you see, there are always many possible ways to express energies, and life will always be more diverse and abundant than all the books and astrology blogs that will ever be written.
When you don't find the answers to your questions, ask Neptune, Uranus or Pluto. Plug in!
PS: I didn't talk about Neptune-Venus contacts... The all romantic period is about just that! Listen to Beethoven or Schubert who died almost as young as Amy Winehouse, cry rivers, look for your soul mate, call it twin flame, this other you you only want to be one with...