Lost in Translation: Neptune in the 3rd

nep3_01Today, 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:

Click for a larger view
Click for a larger view

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:

52) Bermersheim, Germany
Hildegard of Bingen, Abbess: 17 Aug 1098 22:50 (LMT +0:32:52) Bermersheim, Germany

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:

00) New Haven, CT, USA
George W. Bush, Politician: 6 July 1946 07:26 (EST +05:00) New Haven, CT, USA

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)

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16 thoughts on “Lost in Translation: Neptune in the 3rd

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  1. I am a native Neptune in the 3rd, ruling the 6th house. Sun, Jupiter and Saturn in the 12th all square my 3rd house Neptune.

    I am particularly fond of the way in which you wrote this, it is profoundly Neptune in the 3rd. It basically gets nowhere and tells very little, but at the same time has a quality of fluidity and movement.

    I’d like to hear more! Of course, I imagine my motive is in hopes that you might have the power to offer words which further uncover my consistently “confused” thinking…

  2. Hi, Jeremy, this is my first visit to your blog, and I’m finding so many treasures. I recently invited readers of my blog who have Neptune in the 3rd house to share about their experiences. It was an amazing outpouring by over 50 people–it almost sounded like we were sisters and brothers. I can’t wait to add a link to your insights into this placement!

    (The article is at: http://skywriter.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/viewing-the-3rd-house-through-the-lens-of-neptune/)

    Wonderful work, Jeremy! Donna Cunningham

  3. What is ‘elutriate’?
    I think you mean elucidate – what a classic case of Neptune in the 3rd:)
    Take it from a Mars in the 3rd!

  4. Neptune in the third in Libra here, getting ready for Saturn to arrive there end of December. I write every morning and it is prayer to me. I have done this for years. Definitely one of the ways I transcend. I often get lost in my own thoughts while writing and have to bring myself back to the page. Enjoy writing poetry but can get very confused by other’s poetry. Used to be a musician, married a musician (Pisces on 7th, Neptune in Libra) who was very Geminian. … What else? – I feel expressive and transcendent while dancing. (Am I getting this right? – Pisces ruling the feet?) Now that I write this I realize how much I live in a fantasy world and totally relate to coming up with numerous ideas for stories. I create daily titles to books with chapter titles,start writing the first chapter in my head and start all over the next day. I am very near sighted and I often do not wear glasses while in my home as well. I am often for a loss for words while speaking and can sound confusing if I do pull other forces to the fore, and I live by the water. And now for the contradiction – people tell me I am very logical ( maybe one’s mercury placement could attenuate the third house component? ) I have also had numerous compliments on my ability to write clear directions. Who knows – could be the Virgo rising right? Thanks for sharing.

  5. I do not have Neptune in the 3rd,I have it in the 2nd,with Sun/Venus in the 10th—but when it transited my 3rd house,back when I was in high school,I developed a strong love for photography,starting taking thousands of photos,and also an interest in poetry,both reading it and writing.I find that interesting.

  6. I recently discovered my interest in astrology. My mind and reality run on imagination and I always wondered why this didnt seem to fit in with my planetary placements. Looking further into my chart now, I see aspects can play a major role. I have 5 hits from neptune to all my personal planets. My neptune is also in my 3rd house which rules my Sun. Interestingly enough Photography is a passion of mines and anything that combines exploration of the mind through imagination is what I dwell in. My personal view of Neptune in the 3rd house is unlimited mental exploration of the mind and everything beyond through unlimited imagination. Fantasy, Siprituality and being able to create through the endless realms of the mind is what I feel this gives me.

    Your shots are beautiful 🙂

  7. Oh, does this resonate! I have Neptune in the 3rd, mid-Scorpio. It rules the 7th and, by transit, is in orb to conjunct my Moon at 2 Pisces. I am at sea. This impending Neptune transit will hit 5 mutable planets plus the Desc. and square the MC in Gemini. Writing is my longtime bug-bear. Yet I have worked in journalism and public relations, in publishing, as an editor, university tutor, studied languages and literature (9th house Mercury opposition). And I have time on my hands (homeschooling young children, no less – How 3rd house-centred is that?). I still can’t write.

    There are, at last count, 12 empty journals sitting on the shelves of my house. Countless more half-filled. I have writing apps on my iPhone, blog templates and daily inspirations e-mailed to my inbox. I take classes, workshops. Nuthin’. And I’m compelled at the same time, and motivated. I could make some easy bucks, create some networks, get a life. But when my butt hits the chair, the juice dries up. Performance anxiety?

    Intuition tells me that the block is a deep-seated terror of persecution. Virgo rising sees it in any criticism. The third house, Neptune in Scorpio, psychic thing conjures angst out of the air around me. Any deeply creative impulse comes with deeply buried trip wires. Dreams, nightmares, daydreams translate images unbidden. It’s very weird. I can write about astrology though, but not consistently. And not on demand. This is a mojo with a mind of its own.

    1. Well it is now 2015 but i can’t help responding to this post as i too am a virgo ASC and have a Neptune just inside the 3rd, was a language major etc. To keep this on point, which is something i often find hard to do, i will say that the critical, self-doubting, always comparing, perfectionistic Virgo can get in the way. The way around this is to free-write b/c the process is very Neptunian and Virgo can’t edit. You are a writer! Write for yourself. If you want to blog write about what is dear to you, what you know. And if the dark places come up, great, exciting even. That part doesn’t have to get posted. Write as therapy so that you can write to inspire or simply share.Not everyone’s a novelist after all, but that doesn’t mean they can’t write. As a side note, i often feel with this placement very tongue tied. Writing is such a pleasure because i have a chance to sort out the thoughts that come too fast, and as Jeremy says, all at once. Add a Mercury in impatient Aries and an exact square from Uranus to the Neptune it can get weird and even embarrasing.

  8. Wow, so this helps to explain me more. I’m a scorpion with neptune in the 3rd house. This year have had this desire and draw of needing to understand astrology more in depth as it relates to myself and those close to me. Predictions, planing, awareness and the writing has always been an area where I spend extended amounts time. Having to remind myself of the audience in the professional environment…I write so many passages that breaks it down to the fullest and tiniest details. Oh yes and have to keepin tracks the mind races so far ahead.
    These comment have been very insightful.

  9. Love the photograph.
    I am too Neptune in the 3rd and have to the t what you wrote. So I made a timetable to fantasize and work in a day .I tell myself I’ll get lost in my dream world for 1/2 and hour and pay attention for the next 1/2 hour .I call it breaks .. too feed my Neptune.
    So good to know I am not only the 17th number (Oct 17 -my birthdate )who is like this .I am a budding humanistic astrologer.

  10. Oh boy! What a relief to read that someone else also has no sense of direction. It took me at least 5 months to know to turn right to go down town and not left which led to the river. I would make jokes by saying:”They have changed the river again just to confuse me!” Don’t ask me if I am going East, because, as far as I am concerned East, West, North, South are all the same. During my school year, I learned classical piano for 11 years. The nuns told my mother that if I stopped it would be a waste of God’s given talent to me. I did stop. I have not played the piano for over 55 years. As for writing, I only do it occasionally, when I am depressed. I have Neptune in 1 degree Libra conjunct the IC 8 degree Libra, at the end of the 3rd house which has Virgo on the cusp. This Neptune squares my Mercury in Gemini in the 11th House, my Saturn, Venus and Sun all three in Cancer and in the 12th House. Talk about confusion! I love words, I love playing with them, crossword puzzles, and I also love to translate from French to English or visa versa. I am a Cancer and rising Cancer so my emotions are very touchy. My Moon in Leo likes to have fun but sometimes when I want to make people laugh, I say things that seem funny to me but aren’t for the others. I have been studying Astrology since 1990 and I still cannot analyse a chart. I like to draw the charts, but when it comes to analyse it, I am at a complete loss. I have over 300 books in English and about 100 in French just on Astrology. I love books! Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you my lack of sense of direction and thank you for the wonderful article. Sincerely, Paulette Rabe

  11. Neptune (and Saturn in Libra in the 3rd house). Don’t ask me for directions to get to anywhere because I can’t put it into black and white, yet if you follow me down the road, we will eventually arrive there (I have faith!). If we don’t no matter either because we can just drift on back home again … and try later. I think one of my sisters may be insane so I try to avoid her – psychologically she does a number on my head that is not good for me and a brother deserted us many years ago – we do not know if he is dead or alive. I give my cars names – Betsy and Bonnie and treat them like they were members of the family. My neighbourhood is deceptively the wrong side of the tracks – I call it “the hood” although in appearance it’s as pretty and normal as any. I can’t remember anything so I have to carry a notebook around with me and doctor’s hate me because I always get appointments mixed up and come in on the wrong day or fail to show up at all. I am drawn to song writing, music and poetry but some of it, in fact all of it, is somewhat strange and any book I write will have to have elements of the supernatural and psychic in it. I have bizarre dreams and record all of them. I have several AKA names that i go by and I spend countless hours drifting, daydreaming and lost in thought. I’m actually quite harmless and others are amused and fascinated by my intellectual inspirations that have flowed through my pen in a continuous stream of automatic writing. This is what it is like to have Neptune in the 3rd house.

    1. What an excellent explanation of every day Neptune in the 3rd challenges, thank you Maureen!

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