Is Neptune a Malefic?

Neptune rough seaThere’s a lot of discussion among astrologers about how to classify Neptune. And in classic Neptune fashion, confusion abounds. Some say Neptune is a little slice of divinity, the higher octave of Venus and the symbol of unconditional love. Others say it is an obvious malefic, throwing human lives off course and causing us to lose our way. Still others say it makes no sense to even consider outer planets in those terms because they deal with forces greater than individual human lives.

As for me? I think all these arguments make excellent points and have aspects of truth to them. But, as always, I take my cues from myth. And dealings with Neptune rarely turn out well for humans, at least in the long run. The best example of this is the mythical lost civilization of Atlantis.


When the world was being portioned out, each god received their own territory to rule over. Neptune was given a large mountain surrounded by fertile plains. Looking over his island, he saw a woman more beautiful than he had ever conceived possible. Smitten, Neptune married her and went about creating the perfect bubble for their love. He, with the power of the oceans, ripped the mountain and plains away from the mainland and dragged it to a remote part of the sea.

There, he created an ideal life. He and his wife had ten wonderful children, and each was given a piece of the land to rule over. And it was a glorious land indeed. It was rich in every kind of fruit and beast one could imagine. Precious stones burst glittering forth from the ground like geysers. There were veins of priceless metals running through the ground, including the legendary orichalcum, which was the rarest of them all. It was paradise, Eden, a jewel of absolute delight. Like all of Neptune’s gifts, it was perfect. Perhaps even a bit too perfect.

The kings, doing what kings do, made the most of the resources at their disposal. They built great palaces so magnificent that their sparkling facades could be seen from miles and miles away. Their temples were covered in silver and gold, so reflective that even blazing Helios had to shade his eyes as he streaked across the sky. And even the poorest citizens were as well-fed and happy as other cities’ kings.

For a while, this was wonderful. Everyone appreciated their sumptuous lives, all provided by generous, loving Neptune, their father. But as time went on, their abundance seemed to be an ever more potent drug. They began to revel in their wealth, drunk on the heady mix of gold, wine, and beauty. And in this haze of joy, the kings got together and had an idea. Why, they asked, should they be the only ones to enjoy these treasures? Why, in fact, are there any boundaries at all? Why not spread their transcendent gifts to all the peoples of the world?

And so they did. They called up the world’s first army. They began smelting their metals not for temples and adornment, but into the sharp spears of war. They trained their soldiers to harden their hearts. And then they advanced.

As they spread eastward, city after city fell to their hands. And instead of sharing their wealth, they took the other citizens as slaves and hoarded the other cities’ resources for themselves. Finally, Jupiter, seeing the devastation the Atlaneans had wrought, decided to put an end to the entire campaign. Their next stop was Athens, so Jupiter called upon Athena, goddess of war, strategy, and boundaries, for aid. When the Atlantean army reached the walls of her city, she stood tall in full armor, her face glowing with a terrible fury.

“People of Atlantis!” she cried, her voice like thunder, “Turn back. You have nothing to offer us. Your lavish life was always one of folly, but while you were isolated on your island, it was tolerated. But now you come seeking to make my people like you, and yet you offer no true gifts. Your beautiful lies have no value here. Respect our walls and return to your home.”

Chastened, the Atlantean army fled back to their island. But there, they found Neptune waiting for them. Furious that his delicate, perfect ecosystem had been ruined, he erupted. With an enormous effort that shook all the world, he grabbed the island and wrenched it into the sea, reclaiming, as he always does, what he calls his own. And thus the great civilization of Atlantis was lost, and the world saved.


Now, in this story, Neptune doesn’t really appear as a villain. In fact, he hardly appears at all. The terrible deeds were all committed by the men on the island, with their distorted thinking and greed-filled hearts. Neptune can hardly be blamed, right?

But that’s how Neptune always works. When we have a Neptune transit, we’re transported to a world of fluffy pink clouds and the strumming of harps in the distance. But once we’re there, we find that the pink clouds begin to surround us, obscuring our vision and warping our judgement. We’re unwittingly led ever closer to ruin, but Neptune’s guiding hand is always just out of sight. And just when we think we’ve reached our zenith and that the gifts we deserve will finally come raining upon us, the fog clears, the veil drops, and Neptune grabs us by the waist and drags us down. And it’s only then that we can see just how far we’ve fallen.

I want to make it clear that I don’t think that every Neptunian influence or transit is a negative thing. Neptune truly can provide wonderful, numinous gifts. But as we see with the people of Atlantis, sometimes those gifts are too much for humans to handle. In those times, it’s best to keep our feet on the ground and stay in our own lane. Otherwise, who knows where Neptune will lead?

Have you ever fallen into a Neptune trap? Tell us your story!

38 thoughts on “Is Neptune a Malefic?”

  1. I´ve had a years Neptune square Venus and Neptune square Ascendant transit, been a victim of other people´s projecting their worst selves towards me, attacked by narcissists and their flying monkeys all around

  2. Conjunctioning my Venus in the 10th now for a very long time. You name it- Illusion, delusion, confusion, contusion, high hopes and dashed dreams… narcissistic, masochistic, surreal – grappling with energy swindled from fog….. moments of rapturous love of humanity ,then – you land with a thud!

  3. I have a strong neptune influence in my 1st house and not only tons of error projections I’ve been dealing with but tons of gaslighting, lies and blame for things other people do, or say, or how the circumstances develop and some times I’ve been blamed about the weather. Cool stuff, huh? I’m sorry to those people and (my parent as well) but I only take the responsibility for what I say and do. Not for anyone else. I am only now learning what in the world are boundaries, 20 years too late but still.

    1. neptune has been conjuncting my moon now for over a year and half. The worst time of my life. I moved to a new state and immediately locked down from covid feeling totally isolated. My hubby took a turn with his health and im now a caretaker. Anxiety and depression have crept into my life. I was once a very optimistic Sagittarian. Fuck Neptune. It lingers for the longest period‼️Only plus is that my dreams are powerful. Any advice on how to cope?

      1. That’s a lot to deal with. Can’t understand how hard must be to be a caretaker because that depletes you not only physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well. I hope your husband’s health improves. My small tip would be whatever you do, try to stay away from quick feel good fixes. Like alcohol, cigars, coffee, sleeping pills, painkillers or if you use them because hey, everyone has their own thing, don’t get ‘too’ invested in these at the moment because they could become a lingering nasty habit and down the road you’ll wake up after this neptune transit and it will be a full blown addiction/vice. Ugly words but neptune rules those too. Drinking water, a walk in the afternoon, vitamin D from the sun, stretching, listening to nice music, or whatever music you love, a therapist, a nap, a run, doing something creative, something healing, talking to a pet even just for telling them what upsets you. Or hugging the said pet. Or a plant. Taking care of yourself as well, doing something very small for yourself even if life sucks and you have to care for your husband. Can’t care for another if you’re completely down and miserable. I have moon conjunct neptune in the natal chart, it’s not that bad, sometimes lonely, sometimes isolating. Sometimes floating through life and wondering if anything is real. Yours is a transit, it will take some time but neptune will go away eventually. The wave comes, the wave goes. ?

  4. yes. the biggest one. it destroys in confusing, subtle ways and you don’t even know it’s happening. And you never get a resolution or an answer.

  5. A Libra Mercury Neptune 12 th house SN conjunction in my sky at birth.
    Just finished a long period of “work” with transiting Neptune in opposition to my Sun….
    Neptune – with its emphasis on transcendence and self sacrifice – can sure be life negating.
    Waking up these days with a preference for the fire of desire and creation instead of Neptune.

  6. I have a dog in this fight as I have Neptune in 1st house in Libra. I’m always uneasy about being “seen” by other people – I’d have been happier being invisible! And, yes, I have had addiction issues and these tendencies are still there though thankfully I’m no longer obliged to act on them. On the plus side he is trine my natal Mercury (RP) and Venus in 9th in Gemini. I respond strongly to beauty in all its forms, music, literature, painting. I idealise romantic love as well – sounds lovely but it is not necessarily a good thing.

    He is the ruler of my 6th house, which is the house he is currently transiting in my char and I’m having to deal with food sensitivities and mind/body issues in general.

    1. Interesting comment, mm. I too have Libra Neptune in the 1st house. I always thought it was Saturn in my 12th that made me like to be a hermit and hide out (aside from family b.s. growing up). I can see it’s also the Neptune.

      1. LP, 28 years for me, so we’re a similar vintage. My Jupiter is in Aquarius though (born in 1949). Yes, we have to go through it to get it, no doubt about that.

      2. My gut feeling is that Neptune in Libra in 1st is the main player for me. I get what you are saying re Saturn though – I have him square the Sun. Maybe it’s a combination of the two? Who knows?

    2. We must be born in the same year if not similar times.
      I too have that exact placement as far as Neptune in 1st trining Ven in 9.
      Maybe you also have a wide conj of Jupe n Pluto in Leo in 11?
      They sextile the aforementioned planets.
      But back to Nep on the ASC.
      I think I (w/Venus’ help) possibly idealize love – maybe too much?
      I can fantasize about my love/lover even when I’m with em!
      I don’t travel as much as I’d like.
      In fact I’d rather be home but when I DO travel it’s always nice n exciting.
      I love to drive though.
      Lastly ppl often misread me. What they see while very much a part of me ain’t the whole picture but they tend to run w/the first impression only to be somewhat surprised after getting to know me.
      I believe I’m a bit of an empath as well.
      I can mos def ‘feel’ a room and/or the ppl in it whether collectively or individually.

      It’s easily the lighter more frivolous side of my chart.
      I’m 25 yrs clean so I can dig where you’re coming from that way.
      I think we had to ‘go through it ta git to it’ so to speak.

  7. Wonderfully written Midara!
    That is the essence of Neptune, if Neptune has an essence?
    I have my Sun in Pisces with an exact trine to Neptune in Scorpio, so it’s an integral part of me. Still when Neptune transited my Sun a few years ago, I got completely lost at times. It was a challenge from the stars to become more spiritual, still keeping the mind, but becoming more heart. A valuable lesson.

  8. Yes indeed! When transiting Neptune squared Natal Neptune at the end of the midlife crisis I ran off with the gypsies. Was left standing in a seemingly unreal world but a new life emerged eventually.

  9. Avatar
    Hildegarde's Noviciate

    Oh boy. Scorio Piscez conjiined my Scorpio in Venus. A bit wooly headed about my relationships. Age has been a friend to me and Ive gotten a bit more gounded.
    The bright side is it has given me the gift of writing.
    My style conjures up beauty in the everyday places. I draw attentions to details that people miss every day leaving them in a more surreal state. Its about bringing awareness so people’s minds slow down and pay more attention to the small things around them.
    So it has been some benefit.

  10. Really great post, Midara. Lots of great info and insights.

    My whole life has been a Neptune trap. (1st house Neptune close to the ASC) Waking up to a lot of regrets in my old age. Could it have been avoided? I don’t think so. Some people have thought I was stupid but it was actually the fog. People sometimes now think I’m getting senile. No. It’s the fog. And the fog gets worse when you get upset about the fog. I found that having a very demanding clerical job in the field of law kept me focused. Later I became a massage therapist which requires a different kind of focus and that was beneficial as well.

  11. No… & yes! & no. You have to become a gambler. You pit yourself against yourself & only the intangible will see you through. You have only to bank on the Ethereal, your Wisdom & your Faith. You’ll find you have no other options. This is not Saturn. But Saturn can help you, if you can broker a deal with yourself & PROMISE to stick to the rules you set ahead of time, whilst you still have a mind, ahead of your Journey. Otherwise? You risk sailing out on a perfectly sunny day & getting lost in a sudden, chronic fog. It gets dark at Sea, you’re all awash with a water logged, dysfunctional, broken 3D compass. Treacherous. Nebulous. You’ll have to eventually bear an outcome you won’t see until you wake up… perhaps in years & years, depending. Plan before a Neptune Transit & hold firm. Listen to your instincts & intuition but have a plan, carry an anchor, pray… a LOT & cling on for dear life 😉

  12. I got to thinking about Neptune with Elsa’s post on the 12th and having the feeling that when Pluto transited there, everything melted away. Natal Neptune is on the cusp of my 12th. Neptune and Pluto form an exact sextile in my chart so I can now see how one thing melts into another which has left me in awe. Or it could be just a lack of awareness of what is transpiring in my life. So when Uranus comes along, it’s a whole different story. Whap!! Things have not been as melty smooth for me now that progressed Neptune square to Uranus is in sign. My Neptune stories are many and age and experience has me more aware of the trip ups. But I still fall into trust sometimes and then get whapped again and vow to be more vigilant only to get taken in again. Neptune Pluto sextile yods Persephone. Will see if upcoming sun opp Persephone shines some light on that.

    1. Oh jeez. After my convo with Maja, I go back and relive again. Recounting the big ordeal I went through proceeding my NRT degree experiences, another hard but highly enriching thing that was a personal success, it seems that my compassion (Neptune) is connected to this success (Pluto mh on the 10th cusp). And Virgo is embedded in the 10th so yes it is a lot of work. So I would have to say while Neptune can be deceptive or overwhelming on a the mundane level and can be a thing to deal with, I can’t see it as malific. It’s what one does with it.

  13. When I see how Neptune has coincided with several major events in my life, I’m glad I learned astrology, because it has made more sense of why things happened as they did. In the Fall of 1980 as Neptune was about to leave Scorpio for the broader pastures of Sagittarius, a friend from work invited me over “to have a smoke”. Far out, man! It was a long-strange trip until within days of Neptune entering Capricorn, on 16 December 1984 (I will NEVER forget that day)I had the strangest trip of all – a near death experience! Hey, at least I got to see my gran’ma and uncle Louie! For me, that NDE immediately rewired my concepts of what reality was all about. Drugs or alcohol were no longer required. I had learned to fly! While Neptune was in Capricorn, I learned how to ground the insights into something practical for me. To me it did not matter if others thought I was practical, crazy, or not. Actually, it was the “or nots” with whom I became friends. The psychics, the empaths, the sensitives, and all the other people who were told by society that they were crazy. No they are not. They are just stuck between a world where they only want you to believe what they want you to believe, and a world that exists within each one of us that we can be who we’ve always dreamed of being. Be your own dream! In fact, if you go back and re-read the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus did say to his disciples in the garden at Gethsemane, “Be still, and know that I am God.” He was talking about each and every one of us!

  14. I have a natal trine to Moon and when my progressed Moon was in conjunction with my Neptune it was very annoying – I turned everything in to a poem. With Solar arcs I had mostly bad Experiences. Miscarriage happened when it was opposing my Venus. Next year, in Solar arc, I have it on my IC and I am worried about it as we are looking to buy a house and move. I would love to find a positive thing happens this time.

    1. A dreamy home? The home of your dreams? I am thinking positive of you. I love ‘turning everything into a poem’. Nobody appreciated it, hunh? Neptune sometimes turns people into cartoon characters before my eyes. My Neptune in libra likens people/things/places to other stuff. It can be a movie.

      1. Dreamy home Would be great as we have been looking for so long.
        I writte for magazines for kids and it was easy to rhyme and at that time but I just couldn’t stop it when I needed to 🙂
        Your Neptune is in Libra, so you are in 70’s? Have you had Neptune opposing MC?

        1. 60s. Neptune @ 28 degrees. At the time Neptune was opposing Pluto MH, I was doing my transiting neptune square Saturn (natal Saturn squares Pluto). I had read that Nep square Sat was a most challenging time so I used the time to get a natural resources tech degree. I had to apply myself in the wilds using heavy power tools, wading through chest deep water for netting fish for monitoring and doing environmental assessments, lugging surveying equipment, etc. it was very hard work but more than kept my feet on the ground. It gave me great knowledge of natural systems but couldn’t afford to work in that field so took two more years off (and I wanted to spend time with my old dying cat) before heading back to the office. It was really a great time in the outdoors with life changing experience. It was a dream come true. It has helped me to better steward my acres and understand land planning. And sometimes I volunteer citizen scientist time monitoring wildlife. So I view that time as a great success for me (MH cusp of 10th). Like one of them secret successes that really enriched me. But definitely did not ‘rich’ me. Uranus opp Pluto MH was the one that knocked me on my butt.

  15. I am currently under Neptune’s Mantle.
    Neptune opposing my Ascendant and squaring my Midheaven.
    I am learning the Meaning of Infinity, of Detachment, of Bowing down humbly to this exact perfect cosmic flow that places events in places which change the whole course of History.
    I feel like an eyeball, a holographic one, that can trace anything at any time and immediately make a coherent connection to something else completely unrelated in time and space.
    It is a constant lucid dream, yet perfectly balanced between the “car” (the body and its functions) and this state of ringing-in-the-ear gnosis. It is a state of pure bliss and I really don’t care what the THUD of “reality” might bring on. The Experience itself will always be embedded in my cells. I live in Outer Space and frolic with the stars, Jupiter in the sky has become my nightly buddy and we have long conversations.. And the best thing about it all that I have stopped caring about anything, I could just shut my eyes and go into eternal contended sleep. Malefic?

  16. Beautiful article Midara, thank you.
    When Neptune was in my 6th, it destroyed my health, permanently. It is currently opposing my moon. I have redecorated my home and made it gorgeous. I’m hoping I won’t lose my home by the end of this transit.

  17. For most of last year, Tr Neptune was exactly opposing my 7H Virgo Venus. I struggled with the decision to end a personal relationship. The day Tr Pallas Athene was conjunct Tr Neptune, the rose colored glasses were ripped from my face and I decisively terminated it. No regrets.

  18. My natal Scorpio Neptune is exactly conjunct my natal Jupiter in my 9H. My hidden “addiction problem” is astrology! I love learning the psychology of this science as I gain a better understanding of myself, family, and relationships. Most people do not know that I am a practicing astrologer.

  19. i think neptune teaches us to understand the fundamental suffering inherent in being (and a little empathy for the rest of existence?) at least, that’s maybe the point, even if we never get there.

  20. I’m having the t. Neptune conjunct n. Sun transit now. I like the energy, it’s quite beautiful. I feel like it’s helping me feel more compassion. Glad I’m having it now and not when I was younger because I can see how it could make one get lost in a fantasy world or fall into self pity or delusion (there’s a very sad energy to it but in a beautiful way, it’s like a yearning..) I’m mature enough to handle it now and also learned a few lessons from Neptune throughout my life. I have it natally square my Sun and Moon and trine Venus.

  21. Neptune has been opposing my 6th house 23 Virgo sun for what feels like decades. It’s so hard to work!! I am so lazy! I don’t CARE about my job any longer! I’m 63 (one week from today) and want to retire NOWWWWWW. But of course, I can’t. The saving grace has been Pluto trining my Sun and my 28 degree Mars in Taurus. If I didn’t have the stoicism of Pluto right now, I’d float away from my job and not care about the consequences. I know it, I would. But gone are the days I could walk off a job and find another one tomorrow.

  22. Diane I remember when Neptune transited my Sun I didnt want to work and felt totally disinterested in the material world. Just very spacey and my body felt like jelly. Now its come to my moon and Im in a giant fog with no clarity. This too shall pass…..

  23. Years ago I had a consult with someone who was a Jungian Therapist and an astrologer. She took one look at my chart and said “Religious Wars”, and I asked her how she knew. I know Midara believes in the ancestors, and I can tell you there is ptsd in my family from all that. I read an in depth article today on the French Huguenots (some are my ancestors). Neptune at the focal point of a T-Square in my fourth house. Square’s Jupiter and Mars. Guessing it is getting activated at the moment. Elsa has talked to me about Neptune in a few sessions with her (what is going on by transit). I am paying attention now. Thank you for this great article.

  24. Transiting Neptune squaring my Ascendent at 22Gemini and Gemini Mercury at 25* loosley conjunct Saturn in Pisces at 28* and Chiron at 25* Pisces 10H 😿 What is the freaking remedy????

  25. i was always wondering about neptune influence. it’s similar to pluto/uranus where it’s kind of mixed / depending on aspects/ and houses.It’s got the lazy, no energy feel sometimes lol then i was studying Obama Bin Laden’s chart. he has pisces venus and that’s exaltation. then i read that he has alot of malefics that override the exaltation, dimming it. I guess in any chart, even with exaltation if there’s way too many malefics, it becomes overshadowed. that’s my guess. Otherwise, neptune is indulgence and dreamy and confused; oftentimes they mistake bad people for good, but thats because i think, neptunian looks for the good in all, but in the wrong places (confused)

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