I am trying to get a handle on Neptune-
Are there any hard and fast rules here(ie:mercury- communication, mars-drive)? I have Neptune in the 11 house(07sag09). I am having a hard time telling whether I have true friends within a particular social group. Does this tie in? I feel there is some lesson here about reality vs fantasy- it's coming out in my close friends' charts as well.
"Hard" "Fast" Those are Saturn words. When we are confused (a Neptune word) about Neptune we look for Saturn to help us out. Robert Pelletier (Planets in Aspect, Planets in Houses) once told me, "Saturn is the illusion of reality, Neptune is the reality of illusion." It takes awhile to really understand that profound statement.
We reflect, identify to some degree, utilize and respond to all/most of the astrological bodies in our charts. But Neptune is one of the outer planets and its role is not always personal in the way the Moon or Mars might be. You see it playing out through your friends -- Neptune is a generational planet, it moves slowly so all your friends are likely to have it somewhere near its placement in your chart. Neptune is a social planet, showing its influence in subtle ways as an influence on generations and on society's developing changes. For most people, Neptune is hard to link to personally.
But for some people, the natal Neptune is really strong. Scott Peterson has neptune on his Ascendant. He had a distorted and unreal view of the world, due not only to this placement but due to other factors as well. You could see "Neptune" in his dreamy eyes. He murdered his wife and unborn son because he couldn't deal with the reality of burdens and responsibility, yet he was chasing other women all the time.
I have seen other people, most of whom live normal lives, with Neptune on the Ascendant fall asleep in a business meeting. Many, rather than be aflicted, use Neptune to express sensitivity, empathy, creative works such as painting, writing, acting.
When Neptune transits a planet in your chart you have to first remember that when people have a symbol in their lives, they tend to express it on several levels. So, transiting Neptune can bring anxiety and confusion to some areas of life, but also creation, spirituality interests, a redecorating binge (especially if Venus is involved, also), newer tastes in music, a seashore vacation..
Any transiting planet will tend to first express itself in terms of its natal pattern. But then it will bring in other expressions. Transits, after all, reflect the experience of life, they recombine planetary patterns and offer us new views and impulses to experience old things in new ways.
You can read the astrological cook books to find all of the keywords for this planet. But first, look at the aspects to other planets and its house position in your chart. This will suggest its most natural mode of expression. Then look for the transits it makes to your other natal planets -- this relates to the types of growing experiences you can utilize. Look also to see if Neptune is aspecting other transiting planets while it transits one of your planets as this will broaden and possibly difuse Neptunes impact on you. Dave