Today, I would like to look a little at the various manifestations of Neptune in the 3rd house. It is never kind to mock the afflicted. However, since I can speak entirely subjectively – I have Neptune in the first few degrees of the 3rd in Scorpio – I feel I am allowed some absolution. Scorpio is not an uncomfortable placing for Neptune, although it requires a considerable transformation before its best qualities might be realised. Neptune transited Scorpio between 1956 and 1970, so its effects are especially generational, but of course, in the personal nativity there are specifically Neptunian qualities and predilections which, when properly understood, give considerable insight into the placement.
I am first and foremost an astrologer, which in my case is nearly completely Jovian and Chirotic, but Neptune has a profound power in my life even so, my interest in music, poetry, film and most especially photography provides clear evidence of this, but with Neptune in the 3rd, what is perhaps even more clearly an indication of Neptune’s influence, is my quite shockingly atrocious sense of direction.
When I lived in North Wales an old college friend came to visit and we decided to celebrate our reunion and procure beer. We jumped into his car and proceeded to make our way down the mountain and out onto the main road to Bangor, our nearest town. Needless to say when we drove past Caernarvon, a town some 10 miles further away I realised that my Neptune in the 3rd had got the better of me once more. Had this been an isolated incident then it might be fair to consider it an aberration, but I cannot truly claim any such convenient exemption, because the stark fact is I could quite easily get lost on a guided tour.
Classically, Neptune in the 3rd is experienced as affected logic. This is not necessarily equivalent to a mental diffculty, but as an outright negative potential it most certainly manifests as a tendency to confused thinking, most especially where logical processing is required. Neptune though operates on a subtle level, so the compensation of Neptune in the 3rd is a lateral power of mental formulation, insights are more likely to be inspired than deduced, they are received whole, as if out of the ether, not arrived at incrementally. As ever with the concerns of Neptune, he has the power to delude, deceive and disguise, but also the ability to exalt, elevate and elutriate and this refining metaphor requires, most absolutely, a paradigm shift if it is to give up its lost treasures. Indeed, Neptunian thinking is of the kind that casts its treasures up onto the shore with the passing of the tides, and there you might stumble upon something marvellous and unexpected, but if you try to force it, to logicise its function, then you will be casting about and all at sea and no doubt very soon lost in the mist.
Subjectively I am quite happy with my Neptune in the 3rd, or at least I have learned to not fight with it for the most part, and I enjoy my photography immensely (I especially like to take technically challenging panoramic shots). This weekend just gone I went on an expedition to capture a particular image I had in mind and with Neptune so configured (I am currently enjoying my fifth Neptune square) it involved the sea, photography and a certain wistful and dreamy notion I was working through:
Neptune in the 3rd, I believe, gives this insight, or certainly this facility with communicating something of the dream, but it can too make communication into a quagmire. Consider the nativity of Saint Hildegard of Bingen whose Neptune is in the 3rd and profoundly interconnected with the overall arc of her nativity:
With Neptune both tee-squared and given power and structure from Pluto and Saturn respectively, there is little doubt that Neptune moved her at a profound level. She resisted writing about her visions, which she had experienced consistently since early childhood, but eventually the impetus of Neptune became overwhelming:
But I, though I saw and heard those things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis von Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. [...] And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus!
All of these themes: mysterious sicknesses, humility, service to a higher cause and transmuting those more refined and spiritual motivations into a written missive are profoundly sympathetic to the most positive manifestations of Neptune in the 3rd. Saint Hildegard was not only a writer, she was also a counselor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, visionary and composer. The exulting power of Neptune here finds its purest octave. Neptune in the third was further shared by Louis Pasteur, Bobby Fischer, Emmanuel Kant and Albrecht Durer, proving that given proper consideration, his power can raise up, rather than raise doubt.
It is not always so.
Where Neptune is overly constrained into base and self-serving expressions, it becomes a deeply confusing and uncomfortable energy:
For George Bush, with Neptune peregrinated in Libra and applying hard to the cusp of the third, the power of Neptune is especially pronounced, as will be more than amply illustrated by a selection of quotes from the great man himself – No doubt he knew exactly what he was trying to say:
They misunderestimated me.
(November 6, 2000 in Bentonville, Arkansas)
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
(August 5, 2004)
Will the highways on the Internet become more few?
(Concord, New Hampshire, January 29, 2000)
I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
(September 29, 2000 in Saginaw, Michigan)
I think we agree, the past is over.
(May 10, 2000)
This thaw—took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.
(Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 2008)
I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.
(Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008)
Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people.
(Charlottesville, Va., July 4, 2008)