How Do Neptune And Pluto Transits Compare?

Neptune threatening

Pluto gets a reputation in astrology as the villain of the solar system. He’s the one that takes everything away, and we all look at upcoming Pluto transits with dread. And this reputation is certainly in some ways well-deserved. But there’s another planet that can do just as much damage, and we really don’t talk about it enough: Neptune.

Now wait, you say. Isn’t Neptune the higher octave of Venus? Isn’t Neptune universal love and spirituality? Sure, there might be some confusion with a Neptune transit, but compared to Pluto he seems downright cuddly. Surely it can’t be that bad, can it?

Oh, it can.

Let me tell you a story.

I have a stellium in Leo that includes the Sun. The Sun also takes a positive aspect from every planet in my chart except Pluto and, you guessed it, Neptune. The Sun is also the final dispositor of my chart. So it’s fair to say that my sense of self is pretty strong. I’ve always had this kind of internal North Star that pointed back to my true self. At least, until Neptune came along.

Neptune in Aquarius strolled up and opposed that Leo and what ensured, to put in lightly, was a decade-long shitshow.

I lost my partner, my vocation, my home, and every external measure of my identity. I entered an abusive relationship that dismantled me piece by piece. My ethics suffered. I went from an ultra-successful golden child to a broken heap lost between the cracks. It was all absolutely my own fault, and I had no idea.

My terrible choices got me there. And what’s worse, I couldn’t see what was happening to me, what I was becoming. That’s one advantage of Pluto – when Pluto walks in the room, you know it. You are very aware of what you’re going through. Neptune isn’t like that. Neptune erodes your perception over time, using a nice soft-focus lens like a dream sequence in a bad soap opera. The fog encases every aspect of life. And it takes so, so long to see clearly.

So long, in fact, that it’s only now, well over a decade since that transit began, that I am able to get any real perspective. Only in the last few years have I been able to come home to myself. I lost all of my twenties and some of my thirties to Neptune, and now I can finally see why.

Neptune calls upon us to serve. It asks that we use our experiences to expand out compassion and serve our fellow man.

Now, a large number of the clients I work with are in abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships. And I’m able to help them with no judgment, because I’ve been there myself. I have more compassion for people who are in awful situations or making terrible choices, because I’ve learned that it is possible for a good, responsible person to go very, very astray. And it is through this compassion that I’ve been able to build a version of myself that is far better than anything than existed before. That is the true gift of Neptune.

Have you suffered a Neptune wipeout? Have you been able to find a lesson?

32 thoughts on “How Do Neptune And Pluto Transits Compare?”

  1. This is a good heads up to hear since Neptune will conjunct my Sun in a few years. Time to get prepared!

    When Neptune crossed my ascendant some years ago, my identity melted. Ultimately it was a spiritualization, but the melting had to come first. Total loss of ground.

  2. Personally I love Pluto, I have Pluto imprinted all over my chart. It took me years to realize that people fear me (thank you Mars Pluto conjunction) … someone said “hell hath no fury like Pluto scorned”! The thing is I didn’t/don’t see myself this way because of Neptune’s influence on my Mercury.

  3. Amreen, Neptune relationships are a trip, aren’t they? They remind me of those stories of ghost ships where you’re eating at a gorgeous banquet, then suddenly the illusion breaks and you look down to realize you’ve been eating rotten fish! Like, how did this happen?

    And it’s a great idea to talk about tips for Neptune transits. You’ve inspired me! I’ll try to have a post about it within the next week or so. 🙂

    1. I was with someone with Venus/Uranus/Neptune and I had to extricate myself but they are using a friend of ours to keep talking to me (their Neptune is on my Mars)

  4. Kintsugi: To repair with gold; The art of repairing metal with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

  5. Wow; this is so helpful! I am also a Sun Leo sq Neptune and Neptune in Aquarius was a real sh*t-show for me as well! So, so painful and my misjudgments about people and situations was extraordinary. Hard, hard lessons. I also have Saturn in Pisces in the last degree and clear vision is hard to come by sometimes!

  6. When Tr Neptune crossed my Aquarius ASC, I lost my “uniqueness” and simply conformed with the expected “norms” of my social group. Now Neptune is transiting the Pisces portion of my 1H. I’m less concerned about what others think and I indulge my creative/spiritual sides. However, 7H issues remain fuzzy.

  7. Ugh neptune has been opposing my 14 degree Virgo Mercury for years now (I think maybe 4). I was so relieved to see that it would leave my mercury alone for good soon. I forgot the exact date and thought it was going to be this week, but I just checked and it happened last thurSday. I haven’t felt different though.

    1. Macateta, Neptune is like that, and it’s so maddening! You don’t really feel him coming or going. It’s a slow fade. And with Neptune being so slow-moving, he’s probably still within orb. The effects will wane, but they’re still there. Plus outer planet transits like that take time to process, so it will be a while before it really feels *over*. For me, the way to know is when you can look back and see the lesson/gift. Then you know you’ve gotten what you need out of it and can let go. 🙂

    1. And a sextile is not typically considered detrimental. Thanks for sharing, Gemini7. I’ve had this transit for a while and have questioned whether I need to take the rose tinted glasses off.
      This blog is very educational ?.

  8. anonymoushermit

    Sometimes we need to go through some things in order to understand others’ points of views. I’m not a sun-shiny thinker, but sometimes (key word is sometimes) things do happen for a reason!

    Great writing. I can feel the life from it!

  9. I have Neptune conjunct my ascendant in Sag. I have lived a life full of what you are talking about. But I can say that what I have been through brought me the gift of awareness. Once you learn to see what is going on you can’t forget it and you see it in everything and everyone and in yourself daily. Once you get through it awareness is your greatest gift. I’m not saying I don’t still suffer, I know my demons well ,but I’m not doing it blind anymore.

  10. Natally, Neptune squares my Mars/Uranus in Cancer, squares my MC, trines my Mercury/Venus and sextiles my moon. Needless to say, I have had more than my share of deception, betrayal, and confusion in relationships. But I’ve discovered spiritual and artistic gifts in Neptune and try to use the energy as a professional artist, compassionate teacher, and in my ability to visualize, my love of music, nature and honing my intuition (tarot and astrology). Understanding this energy helps one work with it and have a heads-up to dangers, especially during transits and progression. I thought rose-colored glasses were normal. 🙂

  11. I’ve been under the Pluto conjunct Neptune transit for the past while. My Neptune is 23 degrees Capricorn so it is exactly conjunct as of now. Let’s just say so far it has been a foggy, life changing, teeter totter. 🙂

  12. Avatar
    James Slattery

    Neptune in Aquarius opposed my 6th house Leo stellium too (Venus/Mars/Uranus) and eventually Pluto at 2′ Virgo on the Desc. Now travelling my first house square my Sag moon with mixed results. I lost everything( money, love and family through deaths) and had to rebuild from scratch after being defrauded in my financial business by an employee while I was in Europe on a vacation with my fiance! Right now it’s more about standing up for myself and regaining my back bone after such defeat. Life’s basics are in place but Uranus is now in my 2nd. so watch out! Yikes.

  13. Neptune is currently opposing my natal Mars, Pluto & Uranus in Virgo conjunction.
    I’m not sure what that means.
    I lost my job because I had to care for my dying mum. I’m trying to find my metier again but work and money are hard to come by! My CV is impressive but no one’s interested in what I have to give… how long will this last, I wonder ?

  14. what are the orbs for a Neptune transit to the sun? 🙁 my sun is at 18 deg and it will square neptune soon i guess

    1. It begins.. my Mars Pluto transit is still on along with a very exciting easy Jupiter Saturn thing.. but I don’t know if i’ll take advantage of it if i can’t even see my hands in front of my face.

  15. I like Neptune in my chart. It’s in the 5th house Scorpio opposing a Taurus stellium with the sun, Mars, mercury and the moon. It’s also sextile Pluto and Uranus at the base of a Venus in Aries yod. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, alcohol and self destructive behavior/relationships were definitely a problem, but having gotten through that, Neptune seems to be all about creativity and love. My chart is very connected and all the earth probably helps as well, but I’m grateful for the beauty it brings to my life. (Or maybe I’m just happy in my delusions! Ha!!)

  16. My natal Neptune conjuncts my Sun and a whole stellium. When the Pisces Neptune trines this moon in the stellium, I can’t wait to go home every night to my art of drawing. I wish the dream has never ended. Leos, welcome to the waterworld!

  17. I have a childhood friend who has Venus/Neptune in her 2nd house.
    Opposed her 8th house Jupiter. Neptune opposed Jupiter exact.

    It’s interesting, to say the least. Bipolar shopaholic and spendaholic.

  18. I figured out the other day that I needed to own my Neptune.
    he is sitting in Sagittarius in my 11th house, and boy can he build air castles! He is – unfortunately – connected to Chiron in a quincunx. And Chiron is conjunct fixed star Algol which is kinda a joke, because Medusa (as Algol is playing out) was raped by Poseidon… Aka Neptune. So yeah, I have this unholy ability to dream up a better story of my homelife/family/partners than they are. Overlooking red flags, seeing the best in all people. Until they ambush and gaslight me and make my health suffer. All because I am so confused and surrounded by gas… Fog… You name it.

    I ALWAYS find partners with Neptune issues, connected to their Venus. My Chiron/Neptune is connected to Venus through the sign of Taurus. But in this case, Taurus is connected to pain and healing…
    My mom’s horoscope has Neptune/Venus in opposition. She has now started judging me, due to I fell down from her pedestal. We barely talk anymore.

    So, I need to own that Neptune.
    BUT having lost everything – twice – due to gaslighting, cheating, an impossible dream I didn’t take seriously – I and my partners couldn’t own our shadow side. So that’s when shit hits the fan. I barely dare go into partnerships these days, due to Neptune is sure to fuck things up
    So yeah, hello Neptune, goodbye clarity!

    1. Also…. These losses has made me so intuitive to others’ pain. So empathic of others’ losses. That’s the beauty of Neptune.

  19. As I begin this Sun square Neptune transit my thought is constantly “whats the point’ and I have this song about “feeling like a walking piece of shit.. with a stupid looking jacket’ stuck in my head. This line of thinking is familiar to me cause I have a 12th house Mars (“what, am i gonna have ambition, run toward a goal then what? be some kind of hunting dog running toward the kill and fail?”) But I forbid it with my Mars Pluto transit that has been going on (that I do nothing about other than needing to meet people who give me hope.)

    I’m scared. Can someone be productive with a melting sense of self? I also feel weird nostalgia coming back that I recently forbid. I have too many barriers to productivity already. Any advice?

    1. I think everyone has the nostalgia lately with all the Pluto/Saturn passing over the south node.. the past is coming up for all of us. Maybe to give it one last look before we slam the door on it. Ha!
      Also My daughter has this melting sense of self thing..She is only 14. She has mars opposite 12 house Saturn . You got me thinking now if it’s her mars placement.

  20. Avatar

    It’s horrible isn’t it! Unlike Pluto where you are subjected to it in the moment Neptune kind of wears down the boundaries slowly until both the victim and perpetrator are not really taking in what is actually happening… and when did the lie end? because there certainly was a lie, and it certainly isn’t available anymore.

  21. Avatar
    Jamie DellaVolpe

    I literally am planning to write a book about my Neptune square to Asc/Desc as it conjoined my Mercury (which is my chart ruler) square my Gemini Asc. If nothing else, I learned the meaning and power of a placement I had heretofore undervalued.

    Talk about a shitshow of confusion, victimization,self-sacrifice, spiritual disillusionment, romantic delusions and deception, and psychic attacks, such non-stop psychic attacks as I had been involved with a spiritual group. Not to mention getting punched in the nose in front of my mother’s nursing home and being denied any recourse. That last one I will never get over. Most of it, though it was almost 10 years ago, I will never get over. I can just step back and see it from a more detached perspective at this point and have begun to take back my power after being bullied relentlessly during that time.

    I had never been bullied before and it came at me everywhere I looked. I was a fully formed 55 year old and I do not know how young people deal with it. It kills your soul. I thought about suicide all the time for two years just as recreation from the thought of going on living. I had been through a massive Pluto transit through my grand square in my 30’s and while it was rough, I still had a reservoir of self-identity that could feel anger and desire and fear and ego needs. I was fighting against or for something! Even if I was losing. With Neptune I just had nothing and definitely no wins. And the funniest thing was that as a Pisces sun I was looking forward to Neptune entering my sign! Hahaha. Oh, Neptune, I know better now.

    On the positive side I developed compassion for the bullied which I had never had, I grew to understand the nature of psychic attacks which I thought were for drama queens and I learned how to deal with them and have helped others undergoing them. I lifted parts of the veil. But I will never get over my mother’s death which was as weird, devastating and cruel as all the rest of it put together.

  22. Indeed! I have experienced the nirvanic highs and the tragic lows of Neptune….all with strong Neptunian natal aspects. wow. that. is. all.

  23. Neptune has just completed his transit through my 2nd House. Everything I valued, or thought was important: home, money, friends, how I ‘make my way’ completely evaporated during the past 16 and a half years. It began when I was living in my childhood home, as an adult with a boyfriend who was rebuilding that home because termites and other forms of disrepair were loosening its basic structure. But the ‘real’ issues surfaced in the process of living in my childhood home; and quite literally, I became ill chose not to have surgery to ‘correct’ the problem (a questionable thyroid — a hereditary issue) and chose instead to sell the home, pursue an alternative solution to my thyroid issue which only now I find was a big mistake.
    Finding this post is serendipity. The Universe’s way of bringing me back to myself by seeing Neptune’s influence over these past years. Neptune is now transiting my 3rd House and as you have written, Midara, Neptune requires I serve through my lessons. That’s what I THOUGHT I’D BEEN DOING. But, I see the delusions that persist even now. However, Pluto has been transiting my First House making sure I finally get the message and lessons about Self.
    It’s an unfolding, or unfolded story that I’ve tried to figure out for years. Every other time I’m made excuses or accepted justifications from my spouse (the boyfriend who was restoring my childhood home)that it ‘wasn’t my fault.’ But, it was my fault.
    Now. Can I move on and help others in a meaningful way?

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