The astrology of soul-mates/Why and how it all goes wrong

In Plato’s Symposium, we learn that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head with two faces.  But Zeus, most powerful of the Greek gods, feared the humans’ power and tore them asunder, condemning them to eternally search for the other half of themselves – their soul mate.

That’s as good as any explanation for the magical, mystical, and most importantly – fated – union you can feel in the presence of another.   For many, it’s the most beautiful, moving, and transformative experience for which one could ever hope.   I’ve had it.  Have you?

So why is it that – more likely than not – it all ends in tears?

Astrologically, the ‘soul mate’ phenomenon is inevitably bound up with Neptune, which moves in mysterious, illusive ways.  Neptune is counter logical. Neptune doesn’t play by the rules.  Belonging to another world, Neptune lures us into pursuit of a glamorous dream that takes us to places we’d never otherwise willingly have gone.

We all need some glamour in our lives.  But when the dream is over you’ll need to move on.

Does this mean you can never have a long-term relationship with your Neptunian ‘soul mate’? 

Of course not.

But what it does mean is that unless your soul mate relationship has more holding it together than Neptune contacts, when reality shatters your rose-coloured glasses, either or both of you will be sneaking out the backdoor with a grin.


‘Soul-mate’ themes in brief

  • Neptune/Moon – the Moon person provides stability that makes the Neptune person feel safe, and so he begins to believe the Moon will always be there for him.  Initially the Moon responds positively to Neptune’s needs and does all she can to reassure him.  But as the bonds grow stronger, the Moon becomes progressively more possessive and feeling overwhelmed, Neptune quietly slips away.
  • Neptune/Mercury – Neptune views Mercury as a clever companion.   Often their dialogue is both poetic and inspired.  Yet both Neptune and Mercury can be shameless liars and when they start down that path, it’s all downhill from there.  Neptune uses her mirroring powers to please and flatter at all costs.  For Mercury (governed by the god of tricksters and thieves), the truth is always relative.   In the end quarrels and misunderstandings are inevitable yet it’s what each of you do next that most matters.
  • Neptune/Venus – this contact has provided inspiration for poetry and fiction from the beginning of time; inevitably it involves the pain of illicit (and often unfilled) desire.   While Neptune fantasizes about the physical consummation of a mystical love, Venus waits impatiently for Neptune to take action.  The problem is that Venus wants to be loved through (and for) her body while what Neptune really loves is Venus’ soul.  This aspect reflects the intoxicating feeling of ‘being in love’.  Yet more often than not, it produces a broken heart.
  • Neptune/Mars – the sheer strength of the erotic pull between these two ensures trouble.  Neptune sees Mars as her invincible champion– tough, potent, decisive, and ready for battle.   In turn, Mars feels fulfilled with a worthy cause for which to fight.  Yet if Neptune can’t acknowledge her dependency on Mars, she’ll undermine him so as to ensure he doesn’t go off crusading for someone else.  Often this results in the classic ‘not tonight but maybe tomorrow’ script where Mars is kept eternally waiting.  On-going frustration may draw cruelty and violence from Mars.  The less Neptune understands her own capacity for aggression, the darker their relationship becomes.
  • Neptune/Jupiter – involves a profound sense of shared spirituality. Jupiter’s quest for meaning and optimistic vision provides Neptune a solid hook for her own, often inarticulate, deep yearnings.  Yet because both Jupiter and Neptune share a taste for the boundless, this aspect can end up with the blind leading the blind. Eventually Jupiter cajoles Neptune into some folly into which Neptune happily follows but when it all goes wrong (as it usually does), disillusionment inevitably follows.
  • Neptune/Saturn – involves a meeting of archetypal opposites.  Saturn (the strong, worldly, paternal figure) overtly builds strong foundation which Neptune (elusive, vulnerable, and distinctly of another world) subtly undermines.  When Saturn-Neptune aspects go wrong, they go very wrong. They can generate an intensity of anger and need to inflict emotional pain that becomes unbearable for both parties.  However if handled with care (and maturity), this aspect has the greatest potential for healing. 

Published by debramoolenaar

Formerly an American lawyer specialising in international tax, I'm now an astrologer, novelist, and aspiring life coach.

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