Every planet and sign in astrology represents many things, but each symbol can be stripped down to a core meaning, and once that core meaning is understood, everything else it symbolizes makes sense.
As I see it, the core meaning of Neptune is ultimately spiritual. When people have a strong Neptune influence in their chart, it symbolizes their ongoing personal tendencies to deny the physical world. Essentially, Neptune reminds us that life is an illusion. But it is a very important illusion that must be acknowledged and respected.
Unless one is a devout atheist and skeptic, there is a basic acceptance and assumption of “something” more than just the physical. At its most evolved, Neptune is about spirituality, mystical connections, creativity, intuition and empathy. If you are looking for your connection to the universe to be “one with everything” then look to Neptune for suggestions and directions. Whether you believe in monotheism, polytheism, pantheism or just feel there is “something” more, to make contact with these things requires leaving perception of the physical world behind. And another way to leave physical restraint behind is through creativity. Dreaming up things that do not exist yet and then constructing them from your imagination (art, writing, music, etc.) satisfies this urge too.
But what if the placement of Neptune in a chart is not necessarily an easy, flowing one? What if someone’s path to spirituality is a little unclear? If a person does not have a good system in place for dealing with these traits in a healthier or more evolved way, they may be drawn to the other side of denying the physical world: drugs, alcohol, lies, cheating and fantasies. They will struggle with self-delusion. These people are also looking for something “more” than just what is in front of them, but they resort to methods they usually overindulge in. I am not referring to casual users, but those who cannot seem to stop themselves. These are people who have gotten lost on their way to “God”(or whatever you wish to call that essence, that underlying energy that many of us can sense).
And this is why one of the 12 Steps in AA’s (Alcoholic Anonymous) recovery program says, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” To move away from alcohol or drug abuse, one still has to find a way to deny the physical world in a more productive way. And ‘as we understand Him’ is a key phrase here. Religions are created in the difficult attempt to put words to the inexpressible and ineffable, and to try and share these feelings with others. And if “god” and religion do not suit a person, then meditation can work the same way. Or yoga. Or tai chi. Or…
Just don’t try to be “logical” when handling Neptune issues.