What It’s Like to be on Neptune’s Pedestal
Karina Lafayette – February 2022
Men want her and women want to be her. It’s a saying as old as time. She’s the woman who’s painfully beautiful with or without makeup, and even if she isn’t considered that way by social standards, there’s still something about her that draws people in. She’s everyone’s fantasy. Her fashion choices are deemed iconic and the subject of controversy from puritans who can’t stand the sight of a woman in tune with her body. Yet even they can’t help but notice her. From Marilyn Monroe to Brooke Shields, to Britney Spears and Rihanna, they draw people in with their siren song and are put on a pedestal for… something. You may not be a fan of the siren woman in any way, but like it or not, anytime she graces the screens, the radio, and magazines, she will get your attention.
Mythology states that the siren would lure vulnerable sailors with her hypnotic singing voice, only to lure them to their deaths once their boat drew close.
One famous Beatles song that describes this siren is “Something”, written by George Harrison for his then-wife Pattie Boyd. Pattie happened to be one of the leading British models of the 1960s. Known for her hypnotic grace, she not only inspired a number of George’s songs, she even inspired a few hits for second husband Eric Clapton, including “Wonderful Tonight” and “Layla”, as well as a few for Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood.
So what exactly is the je ne sais quoi that these women have in common? Just like the other planets, Neptune’s influence can show up a number of ways. The most obvious being as the ruler of Pisces, but the influence also shows up when there are planets in the twelfth house, aspects to Neptune, or if your seventh house (a.k.a. the descendant) is in Pisces. The twelfth house is the area of the unconcious, it’s the part of our personality that isn’t obvious to everyone else. Pattie of course, has her sun, Venus and Mercury in Pisces, and her moon in the twelfth house, while George was a Pisces sun and Venus, with a twelfth house moon, too.
Then you have modern muse and singer Rihanna, who seems to have men in the music industry fawning over her at every turn. As of 2018, there were at least twenty songs that reference the fellow Piscean mermaid. Her ruling planet Neptune is conjunct her Midheaven, which affects her reputation and also makes a square to her moon, Venus and Ascendant in Aries. She can bounce between being her natural self and mirroring back what people want her to be, and is constantly changing her appearance. Long before A$AP Rocky, she was linked to Chris Brown. In 2009, the night before the Grammys, the two of them had an argument in the back of a Lamborghini which lead to Chris punching Rihanna in the face. Even though she filed a restraining order against them, they got back together for a brief time in 2012, which is common for abusive relationships. It’s not to say that only Neptune’s influence can make someone a magnet for abuse, but due to lack of boundaries, this can cause someone to forgive even the unforgivable, at least when they’re younger. Rihanna told Vanity Fair, “for me, and anyone who’s been the victim of domestic violence, nobody wants to even remember it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less than 200 times, is like… I have to be punished for it? It didn’t sit well with me.”
But don’t be fooled, Neptune doesn’t make people weak or gullible. It’s just they see humanity from a perspective of love instead of judgment. Often, those in their surroundings attempt to isolate the Neptune person under the guise of wanting to protect them, when really it’s coming from a place of control and wanting to dissolve boundaries, like we saw with Britney’s conservatorship. In my experience, since Pisces rules my seventh house, it’s very easy for me to understand others, even though they don’t really seem to understand me, and I’ve definitely had my share of abuse. Anytime I have a falling out in a relationship, I don’t necessarily hate the person, because the reason for their behavior is obvious. Childhood trauma, mental health, etc, but at some point you come to realize that being in pain does not justify hurting others.
This is where Neptune can be empowering and be used to become an activist, philanthropist, medium, therapist, or social worker. But just as it might be easy to fall prey, it’s also easy to be the predator. Sometimes Neptune makes it so you gravitate toward playing a certain role in order to swindle someone, or to get them to bend at your will. It’s not all innocence, hence why the siren myth brought men to their death. If anything, all this planet does is bring out a darkness in people that was already there to begin with.
However, with Virgo Ascendant, because Pisces is in the house of relationships, the influence of Neptune can be even more deceiving. Often, these are people who look prim and proper on the surface or who give the impression of having their life together, but the opposite is true. And contrary to Pisces sun or rising, who always have someone wanting to save them, Virgo Ascendant attracts partners who need saving. Their love life may look like a picture perfect romance on social media, but behind closed doors the happiness can be lacking, due ro a tendency of putting their lover on a pedestal. These are people who actually thrive best single, or who stay single for a long time after heartbreak. Due to the spiritual element of their partnerships, it takes a while for them to fully heal from their fairytale. In 1998, Keanu Reeves, a Virgo sun and Ascendant, lost his partner Jennifer Syme to a car crash. Keanu wasn’t again confirmed with anyone till almost twenty years later, when he was first spotted with now-partner Alexandra Grant in 2018.
Because of their sense of innocence, Virgo Ascendant also hide some dark secrets, but instead of experiencing scandal like Pisces, the people around will deny there is anything wrong and gaslight them. As a child, Brooke Shields was already quite famous, and at just ten years old, her mother consented to having a photographer take nude photos of her, which were later sent to Playboy. It wouldn’t be the last time Brooke was exploited either. A few years after, she starred in the movie Pretty Baby, about a child prostitute. With her Mars, Pluto and Uranus all in the twelfth house as well, this highlights power struggles that went on behind the scenes which took years for Brooke to overcome. What’s shocking is that even though so much of it was public, somehow to the fans everything was perfectly okay, another example of how Neptune’s delusion is reflected when it’s opposite Virgo.
On the flip side, Virgo Ascendant can sometimes be the one doing the exploiting, and because of their youthful charm, others can accept their bad behavior. Founder of Playboy Hugh Hefner was often reverred as living every male fantasy, at least till recently between Holly Madison’s book Down the Rabbit Hole, and the documentary series Secrets of Playboy, which details the exploitation that went on in the mansion. Not that it’s a surprise, considering Hugh had an almost a sixty-year age difference with some of his partners. Not to mention, it’s also quite common for Virgo Ascendant to have relationships with people who are older or younger than them, due to Capricorn being in the fifth house of romance. However, if there are planets here making a harsh aspect to another planet, it can indicate some type of abuse or even being an abuser. In Hugh’s case, he has Mars and Jupiter in the fifth house, with Jupiter the planet of expansion making an opposition to of course, Neptune. His moon and Venus are also in Pisces, which can reflect how he was able to coax young women into being with him, despite the taboo behind it, and was the one to turn them into the sirens.
As mentioned, those who have strong Neptune are most often the muse, because with the energy of the planet of unconditional love and spirituality, it feels like they can do no wrong, even when they obviously do. Love at first sight is also common, and because of this, people who are influenced by Neptune often have partners and people in their circle who don’t always see them as a person, they see the fantasy, the dream come true. The same can be said of Virgo Ascendant. Any sign of a flaw or mistake and the pedestal comes down, which leads to an identity crisis. We’re seeing this right now with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, both Pisces moons. We saw the same happen with Whitney Houston, a Pisces rising with her sun and Venus square Neptune. As her drug addiction got worse, even fans and collaborators in the music industry started making fun of her, forgetting how worshiped she once was for her voice.
Remember that time Britney shaved her head? She did that because her hair is one thing people used to project their idea of the perfect woman onto her, and by getting rid of it, they had no choice but to see her for who she really is. In Britney’s natal chart, this is depicted through her Mars in the twelfth house square Neptune. Mars represents the men in our life, and we all know a lot of the men in Britney’s life have been questionable- especially her father, who exploited her finances as Britney’s conservator for over a decade. This is why the twelfth house also rules prisons and confinement.
Sadly, instead of being taken seriously, the opposite happened. Suddenly there were headlines about Britney calling her “crazy” and depicting her as an unstable and an unfit mother, when all she wanted was to free herself. Rolling Stone Magazine had the audacity to publish a black and white cover with Britney on the front like it was her memorial. In a messed up way, maybe it was. It was the death of the person people thought Britney was, shedding the image of the Catholic school girl fantasy that first came onto the scene in “Baby, One More Time”.
Undeniably, the most popular siren of all is Marilyn Monroe. Years after her death, she’s still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, and in history. She’s almost reached mythological status and looking back on how men would react to her, she was never treated as a person, which we can see with her Neptune in the first house of self. Any movie or photograph she was in, everyone had to see it. Her blonde updo and photoshoots have been recreated by Madonna, Anna Nicole Smith, Lindsay Lohan, and almost every other female celebrity who came after. Even as a social Leo rising, in interviews, she was very shy and reserved, and it was obvious that her bombshell reputation was just that. There’s often a loneliness or loss of identity to Neptune, because it’s so easy to merge with other people. With Neptune opposite her moon, she often had a push-pull between giving others what they want and being by herself. Marilyn was even the original Playboy cover model, and the best part is she never gave Hugh Hefner permission to use her photos for his magazine. According to her biographer, Marilyn posed nude because she needed money for a car payment. Hugh’s obsession went so far that he asked to be buried next to her when he died, and they didn’t know each other personally, which only mirrors the issue with the male gaze and just how many men would perversely ask for the same thing if they could. Even despite her legacy as a blonde bombshell, Marilyn never asked to be treated that way.
While it’s without a doubt that a performer’s job is to entertain and give some kind of fantasy, those like Hugh don’t have the right to exploit them or reduce them to an object. And it especially doesn’t give anyone the right to feel angry when they find out their favorite celebrity is just a normal person, or worse, defend their favorite celebrity after they’re found guilty of a crime, like we saw with Woody Allen. Luckily, while Jupiter continues to transit Pisces throughout much of 2022, we’re finally getting a peak past the glamour and red carpets. While the level of denial might continue to increase, it’s only a matter of time before more people start to say it like it is.
And that is the whole point of glamour, to project an image that isn’t real. This is why Neptune is often associated with drugs, because wherever it’s making an aspect in a chart, it takes work to see things clearly. Instead, we see things from an altered state of mind. We see what we want to see. It also doesn’t help that Neptune is the planet of the collective, so naturally, when someone has a lot of this influence in their chart, they are in tune with people 24/7, which makes them more likely to be an introvert. Neptune can also make someone struggle with their sense of identity, which forces them to lean on spirituality or drugs and alcohol for comfort. Sure, they can charm you into thinking they’re happy and like going to parties, but they rather just be at home. When the Ascendant is in Virgo, identity issues are most obvious in relationships.
Neptune’s influence is really ideal to make music, poetry, or art of any kind, and for psychic abilities. It’s the reason why many actors and models have Neptune aspecting Venus or in their first house. It’s also the reason why many politicians have planets in the twelfth house. These people know what the world needs to heal, but they also know what makes others vulnerable. And after all, since our collective is sexually repressed, one way Neptune manifests is as the siren. The siren will always be hated because even though she represents a woman who’s comfortable in her body, she also projects people’s insecurities, and because of this, people get angry when she no longer lives up to their fantasy and chooses herself. They hate her even more if they find out she actually likes to show her body, and doesn’t particularly care what anyone thinks.
Neptune-influenced people are natural chameleons. They can transform using makeup or even their voice, and it doesn’t matter how talented they really are, you will be pulled into their vortex thanks to their energy being free-flowing, without boundaries. If you’ve ever met a celebrity or seen them in concert and felt as if you know them personally, that’s Neptune. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people complain about Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, and yet, they still pay attention. They still share articles about both these women. Unless they study astrology and have taken a look at their charts, they likely don’t understand what makes them so magnetic to begin with.
Both Paris and Kim have Neptune in the first house, the position that can make someone become whatever they want, or whatever others want. It also means that nobody really knows them. For Kim, Neptune makes a square to her Venus, which means her love life often conflicts with her sense of identity, and we can see this with the struggle to break from her status to Kanye. She’s very much a single woman, regardless of what the law says, but that isn’t convincing enough for some. Kim also has moon in Pisces just like Kanye, making her very sensitive, creative, and in tune with the emotional needs of other people, which can feel like a blessing and a curse.
As if that isn’t enough, her Mars is in the twelfth house, just like Britney. Many say that Kim should’ve already known Kanye was problematic, but if you think about it, his issues weren’t necesarily obvious before. Sure, he may have had a few antics and his treatment of Amber Rose caused similar controversy, but it’s almost as if both being Pisces moons is what made him drop his mask. Neptunian relationships do often have a hint of deception to them. If one didn’t use the other in some way, they just saw the illusion. The early part of the relationship must’ve felt like a beautiful dream come true, since they have that affinity with the moon. Kim understands Kanye better than anyone, and that’s why she needed to leave. There’s no denying Kanye has a charm to him, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to fill up stadiums. However, like everything Neptune, the mask does eventually drop and when it does, you can either take accountability and rebrand yourself, or put the blame on other people. Unfortunately, it looks like Kanye has will continue to play the victim, until there are real consequences.
In Paris Hilton’s case, she shocked fans in 2020 after releasing her documentary This is Paris, where she talks about the abuse she experienced while attending a Utah boarding school. She even revealed how she spent the earlier part of her career projecting a “dumb blonde” image and that her signature Valley Girl voice is in fact not her real speaking voice. Typical of Neptune in the first, Paris said in an interview, “This entire time, I have been playing a character, so the world has never truly known who I am… The real me is someone who is actually brilliant. I’m not a dumb blonde, I’m just really good at pretending to be one.”
I can go on and give more celebrity examples involving Neptune, but I think it’s obvious as to why so much of the industry and art world is associated with “glamour”. Glamour can be defined in many ways; in witchcraft, mind control, enchantment, or to bring dreams to life. The dark side of glamour manifests when someone with strong Neptune, Pisces, or Pisces descendant has their power taken away and they become subject to another person’s will, or when they try to manipulate those around them. At the same time, it really is a chicken or egg situation as to whether it’s the natal chart that’s at fault, or if it’s the person responding to their own chart. No matter what, it’s always good to steer away from victim-blaming, just as it’s also good to keep in mind that Neptune isn’t really the problem, they’re just mirroring an issue that was always there. Lots of abusers are good at keeping their true colors at bay, until they meet the siren.
And sometimes, when a person has had enough of Neptune, they turn to lashing out, public meltdowns, addiction, or they’ll shock people on purpose. They’ll pose naked for a magazine or start dressing more provocatively to get rid of their image, hence Rihanna’s rebirth as the “good girl gone bad” that we saw in the “Umbrella” music video. They’ll make controversial comments. They’ll find some way to stir the pot. They’ll come out with a tell-all book or story of how they overcame the impossible. All this in attempt to break free from the illusion Neptune created of them. Because deep down, when you have this influence, you really don’t know who you are until you’ve had enough of others deciding for you. At some point, the best thing is to pull a Britney and just scream.
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This article was originally published on Medium.