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It is said that life is a dream, something conjured by our consciousness – that none of it is actually real. This is, at least, a partial description of Neptune. With this in mind, we can make a case that Neptune in a birth chart provides clues to the general nature of one’s reality.

Our realities are shaped by inputs – information and ideas we are exposed to that we adopt or reject based on the nature of our natal charts and the environments in which we find ourselves. This dynamic continues throughout our lives, of course, but the nature of the inputs and our response to them changes with age.

The Seasons of Neptune

One of the unfortunate truths of getting old is that the world you grew up and lived in seems to disappear to the point that, if you live long enough, there are few people left who shared that world with you. This gradual vanishing of the world one is familiar with coincides with Neptune approaching opposition to its natal position.

Neptune’s transit through the signs seems to mark specific times of our lives – different seasons. Each season may coincide with an event, a decision, a road taken that moves us in a different direction providing us with a new set of inputs.

These seasons are:


Age Range

Actual Ages



0 - 15

0 - 14

Development of personal reality directed by others


15 - 30

14 - 28

​Development of personal reality directed by the self


30 - 45

28 - 42

​Living your created reality


45 - 60

42 - 56

Coming to grips with the success or failure of the reality you created


60 - 75

56 - 70

​Beginnings of dissipation – awareness of a dissonance between personal and collective reality


75 - 90

70 -84

​Loss of others who share your history and reality. Increased isolation




​You are a relic of another time, another era

Neptune takes around 14 years to transit a sign. However, the effects of a transition from one sign to another are not an abrupt one-thing-then-another affair. They take a while. This transition period tends to take longer, the older the person is. This may simply be either because the older one gets, the less open one is to new inputs, or new inputs are simply less available.

For most people, each of these seasons will span two signs. The change of signs suggests a change of inputs, whereas, the seasons are about how one manages those inputs.

First Season

As children and early teenagers, we develop our realities based on what we learn from our parents, peers, teachers, and the general culture in which we live. We absorb ideas, opinions, and beliefs that we process and evaluate based on our charts. This process is largely unconscious but not entirely. By and large, we absorb without challenging those inputs.

Second Season

As older teenagers and young adults, we develop ourselves as individuals. We question what we have learned, and retool what we absorbed in the first season to what we learn in this season to develop our own unique reality. This is more conscious than the first season but not entirely so. This is the time of higher education, adventure, rebellion, and testing ourselves in any number of ways. Our success or failure in this time will, by and large, cement our personal reality and suggest our potential to negotiate the collective realities in which we live.

The end of this period roughly coincides with the Saturn return and its immediate aftermath.

Third Season

In the third season, we live the reality we have created for ourselves. But we also have to adapt to the demands of the collective reality whether we like it or not. We take on responsibilities whether we seek them or not and have to deal with the demands those make on us. We marry, have children, buy homes, take on debts, and get jobs to pay for all of it. This is the time that we compromise and modify our personal realities to better fit the collective one. New ideas are incorporated, old ones modified or eliminated.

Fourth Season

In the fourth season, we examine how the reality we formed has worked out for us. It is a time when we start comparing the lives we have developed against the lives we imagined for ourselves. This can be a time where we may feel our life has been good or our life has been, if not wasted, at least unsatisfying.

This season includes transiting Uranus opposing natal Uranus as well as the Chiron return – two configurations that are associated with evaluating our lives and potentially making significant changes in response to that evaluation. Part of that evaluation is the first sense of one’s own mortality and the shortness of life.

Fifth Season

The fifth season brings an awareness of dissolution and separation. Our energy levels are not what they used to be. Our joints are less flexible, our hair thinner. A feeling of fragility starts to set in. Our minds tell us one story about ourselves, our mirrors tell another, and photographs tell an even less flattering one. The world around us seems to be going to hell. We less and less understand the music, the humor, the popular culture, or even the storylines of movies. The politics is upsetting, the news horrifying. We cling to the technology we grew up with and find the new technologies hard or intimidating. Friends and family are starting to die off. There is a distinct difference between the world we grew up in and the world as it is now. That difference is challenging.

This season roughly begins with the second Saturn return and its aftermath.

Sixth Season

The sixth season leaves us unable to deny the decline of our physical bodies and the erosion of our mental faculties. We may still have all our marbles but our processing speed struggles to keep pace with a seemingly faster world. The members of our cohort are dying on a daily basis. We may or may not have family that attends to us – even if we do, they cannot really relate to the history we lived and the reality that shaped that history. To them we are out of touch, old fashioned, even quaint. We are strangers in a strange land and this, by itself, can make us feel isolated and irrelevant.

Seventh Season

The seventh season is the opposition to our natal Neptune. The world we grew up in is gone. We are relics of a bygone time – eye-witnesses to history and events that are known only through old videos, books, and newspapers – able to give testimony to what it was like to live in and through those times – if only we can find someone who is interested.


Not everyone responds to these seasons the same way. Some people live through the second season as they did the first – largely unconscious and unquestioning. At the opposite end are people in their sixth or seventh season who wholeheartedly embrace the current collective reality. They remain creative and curious. They actively engage the current reality, retaining a sense of relevance and worth.

Your reality is yours. You can always change it.

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