There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Shakespeare: Hamlet 1:5)
One of the great challenges of my life, as an astrologer, is the ongoing pressure that I feel to reconcile my understanding of astrology with a world that – for the most part – has no understanding of it: the same frustration must be felt by any student of the immeasurable, and from the seminary to the psychiatrist’s consulting room, the only answers to such conundrums are to be found within one’s personal integrity, so that, in spite of the protestations of the closed minded, you can find solace in your own simple good intentions and the knowledge that regardless of the narrow strictures of proof and disproof (and a lack of proof disproves nothing) you have been able to help people.
And that is but one of the many manifestations of Jupiter’s contact with Neptune. Specifically it describes the nature of the square, which creates a challenge for the native to demonstrate that their underpinning life-philosophy is not inherently impractical. This hints at a condition which is far more than a simple conundrum because the very nature of any contact whatever between Jupiter and Neptune is profoundly idealistic and in its first principles there is a gravitation towards those kinds of ideals that are difficult to make concrete or to actualise: they are inherently transcendent, powerfully spiritual and leave little room for mundane and material concerns.
If there is a mundane expression of Jupiter – Neptune however, it is a leaning toward speculation. Jupiter – Neptune people can risk it all on the turn of a card and quite literally lose everything, but by that same token, they are somewhat armoured against the worst effects of such misfortune by their very nature, which underlines the reality that they’re not actually all that bothered by material stuff in the first place, so the sense of loss is somehow shallower and less urgent in any case.
And fundamentally, it doesn’t matter too much what aspect you have between these two gentle giants, (as I have said before, I [concurring with the view of Noel Tyl specifically] strongly advocate the view that all aspects are squares) because there is a propensity toward idealism and non-materialism in any of the aspectual relationships, with only a smattering of ease or urgency to distinguish them apart. The square creates a tension for the native such that he feels an inner pressure to harmonise his inner stress about materialism, while the trine is comfortable and feels no such difficulty: on the other hand he or she might be entirely too laid back about the material and drift into a dissolute insolvency as a result. The results are often the same or similar with only the quality by which the aspect is subjectively experienced varying in any marked degree.
The major difficulty with any combination is that there is no especial drive to jump on the career treadmill and slog along day after day simply to make money. That sounds innocuous enough, however, in a society that defines success only in material terms, the Jupiter – Neptune individual is cut adrift with no recognised path of self-worth to follow. In some cultures – Eastern ones mostly – a monastery or mission might suit, but here in the West, the aspect only creates a person at odds with the rest of their community; they certainly don’t want to be outcast, but they fundamentally fail to identify with the raison d’être of Western life: to them, working the 9 to 5 simply to secure material rewards makes no sense at all. Okay, they will “get it” intellectually, and understand that of course one needs money to live, but they don’t believe in it. This is rather akin to working for anything you don’t believe in of course, such that you might have to do it to get by, but your heart simply isn’t in it like it is for everyone else, it seems kind of dumb and pointless, even if you still have to do it.
And that leads to one of the other major manifestations of Jupiter Neptune contacts in the astrology. Being misunderstood. The Jupiter Neptune person is simply out of step with everyone else in society, because his motivations are unlikely to be material or status orientated. Everyone else characterises this person as a ‘dreamer’ at best, or (at worst) a ‘failure’, because their standards of success simply do not motivate this soul, so they’re just not as fired up to achieve it as everyone else. Undoubtedly this creates an element of instability in material matters too. This person struggles to be all that bothered by their bank statements so they’re unlikely to pay too much attention to penny-pinching or the best credit card rates on offer and by that same token, they’re unlikely to make much in the way of money, or save much money, or really have all that good a grip on the whole idea of money, quite frankly. They’re wired differently.
The best potential of Jupiter – Neptune is for creating spiritually motivated individuals who have a truly sympathetic nature. They can listen to the troubles of others and identify with their suffering, they’ll happily make time to listen to others’ problems and offer a shoulder to cry on or they’ll relate an empathetic anecdote to demonstrate just how much they really do understand. They care, they really do.
Specifically then, the conjunction is the most innate blend, idealism is iternalised and shines out of every pore, pay especial attention to the sign and house placement. If in Libra or the 7th then idealism in relationships becomes key, in the 11th or Aquarius friends are important, humanitarian or charitable ideals are manifest and hopes and dreams especially can be pie in the sky. Wherever the conjunction falls there is a measure of impracticality, a fair few disappointments but an ongoing and actually very endearing naiveté. With the square an element of tension and difficulty is inevitable. This person struggles with the impracticality and disappointment of the conjunction and is likely to find the tendency to being misunderstood most uncomfortable and enervating. Eventually, with work and evolvement, the square ought to ease through the 30s until by middle life there is a measure of comfort and acceptance. The square is most often characterised as a challenge to disprove the impracticality of one’s life philosophy. This person can be defensive and undermined easily by others who see their motivations as baseless and unworkable, which in turn prompts others to couch their criticisms in too-strong terms. The exact same is true of the opposition, and here the polarity of houses and signs becomes paramount. Across the 2nd and the 8th there can be (for example) an idealistic attitude toward money (2nd) so that this person is overly reliant on others for financial support (8th). Across the 1st and 7th (or Aries and Libra polarity) idealism manifests in preconceptions about one’s independence, or one’s partner’s independence, thus putting strain on the marital relationship. Only with the trine or the sextile is there a convenience of ease. The native experiences a great deal of luck and good fortune for the most part, they are inherently generous (and this is true of all the aspects, albeit with differing results) and easily sympathetic and refined. The danger (as with any easy aspect) is that the ease is mistaken as a free-pass, no work is done and the good energy devolves into a dissolute credulity. The trine, perhaps more than any other combination can be taken advantage of time and again by others who have no scruples about taking advantage of Mr or Mrs easy-going. Once again, this is true of all the aspects, because Jupiter – Neptune is so innately kind and sympathetic they are all too prone to exploitation by the unprincipled and hard of heart, but the trine is so very forgiving that it takes far longer to learn where to draw the line. At least with the square the lessons are so uncomfortable and stressful that some measures are taken to filter out the con-men from the genuinely needy (at least after the first hundred or so hard-luck stories are told).
For the person with significant Jupiter – Neptune contacts, the best advice ought to be to simply recognise this innate tendency to non-materialism and idealism and work out a strategy for attending to the practicalities of this life such that once the wolf is kept from the door they might take a little ease and revel in the freedom of knowing that there is more to life than cars, houses and investment portfolios and all the other worthless nonsense that society exalts as meaningful and valuable.
For Jupiter – Neptune, the best things in life really are free.