by Steven Forrest
Paper – 377 pp.
“Neptune is the window through which consciousness peers at cosmos — and through which the light of the cosmos pours into us.” It marks the border between the conventional planets and deep space. It is huge, yet it cannot be seen with the naked eye. It has keywords like “confusion” and “disappointment” and ”deception” but at the same time it is often associated with creativity and spirituality and psychic phenomena. And, of course, traditional astrologers pay little if any attention to it. Many people have tried to explain and define Neptune. Most have, at best, managed to define a little bit of the elephant that is Neptune. Until now. This is a powerful, clarifying, non-fluffy look at Neptune. And one of the most important points he makes in Part One: The Big Picture is that the one-interpretation-fits all approach doesn’t work with Neptune. “Should” and “supposed to” are not tools for handling Neptune. Your chart is your key to handling Neptune, and the best way to handle it is the way that is in harmony with your chart.
With that in mind, Forrest bravely goes on to interpret Neptune. He does this by putting first things first — first the aspects, then the house position, and last but not least the signs. While there are some broad general themes in terms of interpreting the aspects, most of these themes are illustrated and elaborated on via stories and anecdotes rather than the usual “this means that” stuff that you find in most astrological cookbooks. There are some general caveats; for example, if you have a Sun-Neptune aspect, you are “majoring” in Neptune. It will therefore push you or hit some buttons in your psyche. What about orb? Forrest passes on hard and fast rules on that one too. So what’s this? Can anything mean anything? Well, when we’re talking about Neptune aspects, the answer might be yes.
The material on house positions is more concrete. There are keywords for both the manifestation of healthy Neptune energy and for the manifestation of leaking or undirected energy. For example, with Neptune in the first house, enlightened selfishness serves your soul, where when the energy is leaking, you may very well feel trapped in a role and that doesn’t really reflect who you are. There’s lots of food for thought here as well as a lot of good analogies.
The material on sign placements is short, sweet, and excellent. For each sign position, Forrest lists an archetype, a shadow side, some synchronistic correlations and more.
Then comes a crash course in navigating Neptunian times. This chapter includes synchronistic correlations for transiting aspects from Neptune to natal planets (and of course the Moon’s Nodes), and Neptune transiting a natal house or moving in by solar arc. These are again, short, sweet, and very useful. Forrest is wonderful at creating evocative phrases.
While there are numerous examples of famous people with natal Neptune in each of the houses, there are no charts and there is no data. I found that off-putting. If I am reading I am reading. I don’t want to go dashing to my computer to pull up charts because, for the most part, I don’t read at my computer. Otherwise, I loved this book and would highly recommend it.