Service and Devotion Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved

by Donna Cunningham


If you have Neptune or Pisces planets in the career areas of the chart-the 2nd, 6th, or 10th houses, what kind of work would fulfill you?

These placements in the vocational sectors would be similar to applying matters of the 12th house to the workplace. Traditionally the 12th house is connected with service, places of retreat from the world like ashrams or convents, and establishments like hospitals, institutions, or prisons. It is not uncommon for people with Neptunian, Piscean, or 12th house vocational indicators to work in such settings. The word vocation, in its old-fashioned sense of a "calling," often referred to settings like these that require immense devotion.

In the Western world, we have little understanding of the devotional principle that Neptune and Pisces represent. In Eastern religions, the devotee or disciple may spend a decade scrubbing the master's toilet and getting up at 4:00 AM to kneel for hours on cold stone floors chanting before finally being initiated. Westerners like to think of initiation as something you get at a weekend seminar with meals included on the seminar fee. As a result, Western forms of initiation aren't readily recognized as such and may not be terribly pleasant. For example, there's the kind of initiation people get from spending years in jail or in trying to heal a chronic illness. If we embrace the more positive potentials of the 12th house mentioned early and let go of self-sabotage, however, we don't have to wind up living out these negative potentials.


By now you may be saying, "What about evolved Neptunians?" Of course, many of them are evolved-most of us yearn to express the higher side of Neptune and succeed in doing so at least part of the time. It is an important part of our being, and we can feel incomplete or even lost until we integrate it. In expressing an outer planet, however, no one is EVER evolved all the time. If people want you to think they are, be wary, for this is a signal that The Shadow lurks. The "Shadow" in the Jungian sense is a part of ourselves that we find unacceptable and pretend doesn't exist but that erupts in destructive behavior from time to time.

We like to tell ourselves we are high-minded and even saintly, and sometimes we are, but self-serving easily creeps in, especially when our ego is engaged. Neptunians are ingenious at deceiving themselves and others about their motives. Neptunians with a following are especially prone to going off track. Regardless of a Neptunian leader's motives, the followers may twist the leader's message to their own advantage-especially after the leader's death, when no one can get first-hand information about what the teachings really meant.

The presence of Neptune in one of the vocational houses doesn't tell you the whole story, only that there is a Grand Dream-a vision about the place the person was born to fill in the scheme of things.

To see whether the individual is likely to apply the sweat equity required to make the dream a reality, assess the condition of other planets in the chart. A hard-working, well-grounded Saturn would help. Look to challenging aspects like squares, oppositions, or quincunxes for the energy and drive to bring the dream to fruition. Look, also, to easier aspects-trines, sextiles, and quintiles to Neptune-for natural abilities and gifts to achieve the goal, as well as for support from others in realizing the vision.

It is impossible to arrive at a conclusion about the viability of the dream from the chart alone, given the variety and ever-shifting uses of these placements. Talking to the person and asking pertinent questions is a necessity. Personal and career history provide clues as to whether the planet is being expressed in a mostly evolved or mostly unevolved way. For instance, an unevolved Neptunian might have a propensity for delusion, blaming others for their troubles, or even victimizing people.


The following considerations give additional clues to where the Neptunian stands.

Like all Neptunians, the unevolved type has a grand dream, but dwells in fantasy, confusing the vision with the manifestation as though it were already so. Rather than working diligently, these dreamers have a million excuses for why the Great American Novel never got written or why that call from Hollywood never came. They blame all those others who didn't understand or support them.


Unevolved Neptunians regard themselves as victims, helpless to better their situation. They surrender their power to others or to their addictions, health problems, overwhelming life obstacles, or self-defeating patterns. They tend to be in denial about what is going on in such situations, blaming others for their difficulties rather than taking responsibility for their own actions and choices. They act out the victim role, forever looking for that knight in shining armor to rescue them or lift them out of their too-tedious reality.


An astrological consultation would help you to explore how this information fits your own chart and current transits.

Note: This has been an excerpt from Donna Cunningham's ebook, Outer Planets as Career Indicators, Volume 1: The Outer Planets as Career Indicators. It is reprinted here with permission of the author. Contact her before reprinting.

Donna Cunningham AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham