What is Neptune?
In Astrology, Neptune is the planet of illusions, deceptions, imagination, dreams & escapism. It blurs anything it touches and like a photo filter, it makes everything look more glamorous, blurry, but also loose, confused, and without proper boundary. In the birth chart, Neptune represents where we can have illusions, delusions, but also where we can have high hopes, and a strong sense of compassion.
What is Sun?
The Sun, represents our self-image, our self-concept. How you see yourself, how you experience yourself is your Sun. In your natal chart, your Sun describes through its position in zodiac sign, in Astrological house and by aspect, the ego narratives you built for yourself. Your Sun describes your own self-perceived identity and therefore, how others tend to see you as well.
Neptune in aspect to Sun in the birth chart
When Neptune is in contact with the Sun, there is a distortion, an illusion, between the reality and the ego, the personality, the self-image and self-concept.
This article is going to apply mostly the conjunction Sun - Neptune, the square, the opposition, and the quincunx. However, even with a trine we can have this effect.
Neptune-Sun: Confused self-concept
With Neptune in contact with the Sun, we have someone with a blurred self-concept, a difficulty knowing who the self is, difficulty evaluating, seeing, and therefore often loving - the self. The main energy here is - who am I? and often who am I if I'm not - insert cue depending on the Sun sign: In love, working, achieving, seen, validated.
As there is a tendency to not know the self, there are often difficulties having proper boundaries with others, which leads to enmeshment in relationships. Here we can have someone who loses themselves in their relationships, or have difficulties saying no, or even difficulties prioritizing their own needs; which can lead to self-abandonment / self-betrayal.
Neptune-Sun: Childhood neglect
When we look at the source of why we have such struggles, Neptune - Sun often represents a parent (often the father); who wasn’t there or a who was physically present, but emotionally distant. This is a classic signature of the difficult aspects (square, opposition, conjunction, quincunx but also trine to some extent).
One of the parent may have been someone deceiving, dishonest, and could have had issues with escapist behaviours. Sometimes, the parent is there, and doesn't have any substance abuse, but is wildly stunted emotionally and doesn't have the capacity to make the child feel loved and seen.
By their absence and lack of relationship the parent makes the child unseen, unimportant, inexistent.
The consequence is this - The person is left without a key component of healthy ego construction, and grows up with a poor self-definition, which leads to classic consequences: Low self-esteem, seeking validation (the one which was never given or lost), low confidence, trouble seeing the self which can lead to unaccountability.
Neptune-Sun: Changeable self
As there is a struggle to define the persona, sometimes what we see is someone who lets other people define the self, trying to understand who they are based on the feedback or comparison with other people. Here we have quite the shapeshifters, changing the self depending on the surroundings, depending on the entourage, on people’s expectations.
Neptune – Sun contacts are very fluid and have a very high perception of the energies and moods around them, this can be the case of an "HSP" (high sensitivity person) or an "Empath". We do need to see the whole chart but, Neptune - Sun does have a tender aspect to it, as the lack of boundary of Neptune helps with feeling with ease what's going on outside of the self.
Neptune is seductive, glamorous, and with Neptune - Sun the high capacity to feel what others want give a strong capacity to understand what others expect from them, how to seduce and be liked by the people around them; how to adapt and conceal. Conceal is an important word here, and it’s important to understand that, Neptune – Sun isn’t particularly manipulative, Neptune causes the person to often conceal themselves from themselves, and therefore it's hard for them to realize they're also concealing themselves from others.
Because of this lack self-confidence, Neptune – Sun tends to see the self in a deformed mirror. We do often see problems with body dysmorphia with Neptune Sun, as here again, Neptune create a gap between how they actually look/who they actually are, and how they see themselves.
It’s not a surprise to notice that an incredibly high amount of Hollywood celebrities possesses Neptune – Sun contacts (very often square) in their chart, as I suppose, it does encompass all features of Neptune - Sun: Shapeshifting (acting), loose boundaries and sense of self (it helps with getting in other characters), glamorous / seductive, seeking validation.
One last difficult side of this aspect, before I move on to happier subjects, is a tendency to escape. Escape the self, escape knowing the self, escape supporting and doing the things that are fulfilling for the self. There is a tendency as I mentioned for self-betrayal and self-abandonment, often because this is an example which was modeled growing up. Sometimes it's severe with substance abuse, sometimes it's more subtle - like oversleeping, overeating, overindulging in relationships with little awareness of the self needs, and sometimes it's even more subtle - but the principle is often there: Abandoning the self or escaping the self.
Neptune-Sun: Lack of ego
Now that I have depicted all the different struggles and challenges to overcome with this Neptune - Sun aspect, there are most definitely some upsides. These exist at all time, but the more you heal and the more you'll start experiencing more and more of these upsides.
Neptune - Sun I have found, is someone with an incredible capacity to change and take accountability for themselves - especially so if there are more accountable energies in the chart but also when a difficult transit; for example of Saturn to the Sun, appears. Because there is a loose sense of self in the first place, the person is much more flexible, mutable, keen on changing and growing - elevating (Neptune) the self, to higher qualities.
Neptune-Sun: High vibration
Of course there is also a natural sense of empathy, and a capacity for kindness, forgiveness, and compassion - which are natural Neptunian qualities - but which often take a lot of time and pain to develop. Neptune represents losses, and often after several losses, tangible or more spiritual, the person reaches for these qualities.
Neptune - Sun is also capable of high ideals and, after the self is found, there can be a great capacity to be inspired and inspiring, as well as a strong inspiration to have an impact on the collective, not just the self. Neptune represents the collective, masses, and the person can feel compelled to leave an imprint on a collective.
Recommended readings for Neptune - Sun:
"The Astrological Neptune and the quest for redemption": A wonderful read about Neptune in the birth chart
"Honoring the self": A book on self-esteem
"Boundaries": To learn how to define and uphold boundaries
"The self confidence workbook": A book on self confidence