Natal Aspects – Mars opposite Neptune

Frida Kahlo - Mars opposite NeptuneMars opposite Neptune can be a fascinating, beguiling and frustrating natal aspect that can manifest in a myriad of ways. Mars is your will, your desire, your urge to survive. It is Mars that gets you up in the morning when the bed is comfy. It is Mars who forces you out on your daily run even when it’s torrential rain. Mars forcefully pushes others out of the way, fights for what he wants, points out differences, shouts bawdy comments and has the courage to chase after those things that attract him.

And then there’s Neptune who’s on another plane altogether, gently showing compassion, reminding us of our interconnection and ‘sameness’, uses his imagination, meditates and goes with the flow. Neptune refines and spiritualises everything he touches – and sometimes confuses the hell out of it. Neptune dreams of a better world and longs to live the ideal.

So when Mars and Neptune are in opposition some interesting things come into play. Mars/Neptune aspects generally are connected to the archetype of the spiritual warrior as well as the inspired artist. At its highest manifestation, this aspect shows someone who has the courage to live their dreams, fights for those who are victims of society or can project a glamorous image that attracts others to their benefit. Both actors and sports people can use this aspect to good effect in their work.

On a psychological level, the opposition can be a challenging aspect. One of the greatest difficulties with Mars opposite Neptune is that the native may find it difficult to know what they want. Fuelled with a powerful imagination, they may chase after the impossible or alternatively find themselves unable to take action due to the fears and fantasies strongly played out in their imagination. It is hard to pinpoint what action to take when doubts cloud the real picture. There can be a tendency to lose oneself in drink, drugs or general escapist behaviours that masks the real reasons why they cannot find the courage to move forwards. Night dreams may be vivid. Dreams of being chased may recur in times of trouble.

Others may find it difficult to understand the actions of a Mars opposite Neptune native. In extreme cases, Mars opposite Neptune can manifest as outright deception. The ability to deceive the self however is a more dangerous application of these energies. Sometimes the reverse is true and this aspect can attract those who have questionable intentions.

It is important to pinpoint true desires and aspire to a higher vision of what is possible. Some with this aspect may feel like going for their goals is an impossible dream and become apathetic in the face of perceived competition. They may become drifters or charlatans, or always look for the easy way out. Some may be martyrs or victims of the actions of another, some may give up in the face of adversity. At its worst manifestation, this aspect can trigger giving up on life altogether.

Sexual fantasy is often high with those with Mars opposite Neptune and there can be no limits they will go to pursue the one who seems to epitomise their God or Goddess of choice. Unrequited love may be an issue, whether with the girl or guy who is already spoken for or by imagining a wonderful relationship with a glamorous film or pop star. Fantasies of sexual encounters with mythical characters may also play a part in the sexual identity. Occasionally the opposite is true, so instead of being lead hither and thither to endless sexual experiences, some choose to surrender their desire nature altogether and live a celibate life. When working well, this aspect can manifest as a charismatic, giving lover who cherishes as well as desires their partner.


There may be confusion about one’s sexual identity and what is wanted in a sexual relationship. If they do know what they want however, their powers of seduction can be a miracle to behold! The difficulty can be that with the influence of Neptune, it can feel like there are so many choices, so many infinite possibilities to explore, that it may be difficult to settle with one person. For some, this aspect manifests as a urge to merge with the other, to reach a spiritual place through sexual encounter.

If you have this aspect in your chart, it is important to connect to your true desires. You have at your disposal a powerful imagination. By identifying what you truly want, you have an almost magical ability to make it happen. Focus your desires. It is important to stay aware of when your imagination runs away with you. Don’t let unfounded fears keep you from your goals. Finding a worthy cause may inspire you into action.

Dance, poetry and music are just three of the ways excess energy can be channelled. Anger especially needs to be dealt with or danced off otherwise it can turn inwards and poison the system. Learning to assert oneself gently can go a long way to discovering the courage to deal with difficult situations. Tantric sex may be a way to achieve the spiritual connection so desired in an intimate relationship.

Mars opposite Neptune natives may be spiritual leaders or belong to those who are powerful and visionary fighters that inspire others to take action. This is the champion of the underdog who knows that humanity can build a better world. Mars opposite Neptune is a complex aspect in the natal chart but has the potential to accomplish goals based on high ideals and can act as a catalyst for transcendent experiences.

Celebrity Examples – Mars opposite Neptune speaks

Frida Kahlo
Mars in Capricorn, 5th house opposite Neptune in Cancer, 11th House

“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” 

“I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and i’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.”

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

Queen Elizabeth II
Mars in Aquarius, 1st House opposite Neptune in Leo, 8th House

“The lessons from the peace process are clear; whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load.”

“I have to be seen to be believed.”

Johnny Cash
Mars in Pisces, 12th House opposite Neptune in Virgo, 6th House

“The beast in me
Is caged by frail and fragile bars.”

“I took the easy way, and to an extent I regret that.”

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Elizabeth Taylor
Mars in Pisces, 3rd House opposite Neptune in Virgo, 9th House

“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Mars in Scorpio, 12th house opposite Neptune in Taurus, 6th house

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

“What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

Painting – ‘Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’ by Frida Kahlo

28 comments for “Natal Aspects – Mars opposite Neptune

  1. David Need
    November 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I have a mars/neptune square… squares are a little different than oppositions, but much of what you say is spot on, save my experience is that often both the high and low express themselves… there’s lots of the spiritual warrior side; I am a poet/do ritual performances, have big dreams, Buddhist practitioner for 11 years in my twenties, and its very hard for me to say what I want–this is spot on–and I feel at times as if I allow myself to wallow in defeat, etc… I would add that disappointment can be a factor–I expect a lot of people and struggle with my disappointment… and, if Sun involved/depending on the elements, I think there are often health problems that come with this contact… its easy to push body too hard and also a sensitivity/tendency for nervous system to get overwhelmed and/or manage the sea changes…

  2. November 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Hi David, thanks for your comment. Yes Mars/Neptune aspects can have a familiar theme regardless of the type of aspect. I totally agree that disappointment can be a factor and health issues are very common. I tend to see the health issue comes out more in squares than oppositions in the natal but by transit can be almost any aspect! You are right in saying about the body is very sensitive too. I have this aspect in my own chart. It’s very wide but I still feel it working.

  3. Ruya
    November 16, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Hello Leah, I have Neptune in Sagittarius, sixth house opposing my Mars and Mercury in Gemini in twelfth house. I must say both are incredibly disconcerting aspects, I mean, you hate the endless bewilderment, distractions and doubts, disillusionment, forever eluding clarity (esp with mercury). But then again, you love the inbuilt intoxication in your brain, the epiphanies, the receptiveness to magic, mystery and the Universe….Ah it does psych you out !!! :) Thanks for the wonderful article. I would very much appreciate any insights/suggestions regarding how this aspect manifests in my natal chart. Love and Keep blogging.

  4. November 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Hi Ruya
    Thanks for your comment. Lol! I hear you, these can be beautifully confusing aspects! You express them wonderfully. My first thought was that with Neptune in the 6th, there’s something here about using your sensitivity and imagination in your daily life. The work you do, needs in some way to embrace your imagination (or healing abilities), giving you the freedom to express yourself. Neptune in the 6th needs strongly defined boundaries so there is a fine balance between keeping life in order and yet still allowing those psychic impressions to come through. A routine, daily spiritual or artistic practice can help to give Neptune a voice through the flurry of everyday routine so that it doesn’t seep out at inappropriate moments.

  5. Ruya
    November 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Leah, thank you very much for the reply. I teach literature, and yes imagination and sensitivity sure does help me to connect with my students and to lead them to be innovative and enthusiastic. And you are absolutely right regarding the need for well-defined boundaries in life. I just started teaching and the new job along with myriad other responsibilities have been overwhelmingly stressful to my poor Neptunian Mercury and Mars, so your advice could not have come at a better time for me. Thanks. Joy and Love.

  6. Laura
    November 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Once again – wrong email first time, sorry. Please delete it.

    Hi Leah, thank you again for capturing my nightmare natal aspect – Mars in Taurus in 2nd house opposite Neptune in 8th house. I had no idea this aspect can be used to any advantage at all.

  7. November 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    You’re very welcome Ruya – glad you found it useful. Teaching literature is a wonderful expression of this chart placement. I did a degree in English literature so it’s a subject close to my heart :-)

  8. November 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Laura – Absolutely yes it can be used in a positive way :-) All aspects have a positive and negative application.

  9. Carolina
    November 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Very nice article on one of the most difficult aspects to interpret in a natal chart because it can work out so well or so problematic. People who’s inclination is more spiritual will probably welcome this aspect while more ego-minded people, hardcore business or financial, could experience real difficulties, especially in knowing what to do. I once did the horoscopes of two brothers, both with this opposition. One of them “came out” and is very successful and happy. The other is prone to depression and still does not know what to do (career wise and I suspect with himself as well). Very helpful explanation of this aspect Leah.
    Any comments about the conjunction? I have one person right now, Neptune-Mars (on cusp of 3rd house, so I see this as a 3rd house Mars) conjunction in Sagittarius in 2nd house. Mars in a T-square with Moon and Jupiter and Neptune sextile Pluto in 12. Very charismatic person!

  10. November 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Carolina – Thanks for your comment. Interesting about how the two brothers use the energy differently. I think a conjunction is similar but rather than projecting, it is part of the make-up of the person. I have noticed that they can seem to act on what seems like a whim to others due to subtle intuition. They may just seem to go with the flow or seem unclear about what they want. I can imagine the person you are speaking of as being very charismatic with those aspects. I wonder if there is a tendency to wear a public mask.

  11. Carolina
    November 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    ” I wonder if there is a tendency to wear a public mask.”
    Very likely indeed. I think he needs to, as he gives talks in front of 500 people at times. With his charisma and most fluent “speaking in public” talent, he is made for the work he does. I do sense a great sensitivity in him though and also sadness. Most interesting type.

  12. Brad
    December 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I have Neptune in first house Scorpio and Mars in Taurus 7th house. I am a Libra rising, but find this aspect is making my life so full of difficulties, that my enthusiasm
    is very low lately. I do hide my woes from others, but this could explain why so many
    times I have had unusual and challenges in everyday life communications and situations, seems everyone must think I am easy to fool or take advantage of.

  13. December 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you Leah – what a great set of insights into this aspect. My combination of the Taurus Mars – Scorp Neptune, is that the opposition lays right across the center of my chart with Neptune in a 1º conj of my Asc and Mars in a 4º conj of the Descendant.
    Also my Scorp Neptune is Retrograde in the 12th House. How would you consider this has an effect. I’ve definitely had the feelings you describe about feeling very spiritual and creative, but being a bit downcast about it – for instance even though I’m talented as an artist, I’m often too emotionally stressed about it to actually begin. I’ve never had failure at it though, so it’s something in me about the ‘not knowing’ when I start a piece.

    Thank you! I love your insights

  14. December 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you Leah – what a great set of insights into this aspect. My Taurus Mars – Scorp Neptune opposition lays right across the horizon of my chart with Neptune in a 1º conj of my Asc and Mars in a 4º conj of the Descendant.
    How would you characterize this combination, and what effect does being retrograde have with Neptune. I’ve definitely had the feelings you describe about feeling very spiritual and creative, but being a bit downcast about it – even though I’m talented, it’s a struggle.

  15. December 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Hi Joan – thanks for your comment. I think I can understand the Martian tendency to feel stressed in the face of something so fluid as an artistic project where you don’t know what the end result will be. If you think about Mars generally he’s all action. He’s your Mr. Motivator. It perhaps makes sense that Mars struggles with getting motivated (in this case emotionally stressing) because he doesn’t know what the motivation is towards (the end result). Somehow it’s about finding a way to be at peace with ‘not knowing’ and take action anyway. Meditation (very Neptunian!) may prove helpful in reducing stress levels overall so that they don’t become over-whelming. I’d recommend mindfulness meditation in particular which works on the amydala in the brain which is connected to the fight or flight response (Mars).

  16. December 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Brad – I’m sorry to hear you are feeling a low. Yes sometimes Neptune finds it hard to set boundaries. I hope things improve for you and wish you a peaceful and healthy 2014.

  17. Christina
    January 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Joan:

    I have Mercury and Mars conjunct in Cancer in 11th house with Neptune in Capricorn in 5th House. Would like to know how this part of my chart manifests in my life. I am pretty much on my Spotify account listening to music, daydreaming, and trying to prepare for this interview for tomorrow at the same time! :p

  18. Christina
    January 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    “Sexual fantasy is often high with those with Mars opposite Neptune and there can be no limits they will go to pursue the one who seems to epitomise their God or Goddess of choice. Unrequited love may be an issue, whether with the girl or guy who is already spoken for or by imagining a wonderful relationship with a glamorous film or pop star. Fantasies of sexual encounters with mythical characters may also play a part in the sexual identity. Occasionally the opposite is true, so instead of being lead hither and thither to endless sexual experiences, some choose to surrender their desire nature altogether and live a celibate life.”

    This is pretty much my life. I keep dreaming and fantasizing about my celebrity crush but I know it will never happen, which does not bother me. At least it keeps me sane through these difficult things as I continue to find work.

  19. January 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hi Christina – Thanks for your comment. Yes sometimes positive daydreaming can be a wonderful motivator!

  20. January 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

    PS Christina – Good luck with your job interview!

  21. Crystal Pomeroy
    January 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I’m an astrologer and have a special lady whose chart calls for help, with Mars exactly in conjunction to Saturn, one degree from descendant, and both opposing Neptune on ascendant. Her husband left her in strange circumstances and she is having a very hard time getting over this despite it having been two years ago, and her being attractive, single and successful in her work. Your interpretation helped me find some direction in the fog for her. Also quiron conjuncts Merc. and Sun closely and North Node is in third, so I think it’s about finding her own voice and value, (Venus with Mars and Saturn combo on desc.).Thank you for your healing insights.

  22. January 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Crystal – Sorry to hear things have been so difficult for your client and glad that this has helped. Yes, I agree with your interpretation of her placements, especially with that NN in the 3rd. I hope she finds the peace Neptune can offer.

  23. Alastair Crowley
    February 14, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Neptune conjoined Uranus in my own natal and so Mars opposes both. My Aries Sun squares both ends of the opposition. I don’t even know where to begin…except I gave it a name. My Engine of Insanity. I’m real psyched out and it is a source of energy to me. Got a Pluto Moon too…

  24. February 14, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Hi there Alastair – Love the name for your chart driver! Yes, a powerful chart so I can see why you chose to be named after the great Magician :-)

  25. Raj
    June 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I have neptune square to Mars in my horoscope,, and what you say has very much resembled my life for a very long time. Except that I don’t know how to raise these energies and use them for spiritual attainment or to achieve other goals in life.. Very powerful energies that totally take me over and deplete me of vital life force. Can you suggest something that might work for me.

  26. June 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Raj – The Mars-Neptune connection is very similar in a square only squares require action to resolve them. By it’s nature, Neptune dissipates motivation with Mars so it’s about finding something that motivates you spiritually. I would recommend beginning with meditation – being actively passive – to tune in to this energy. It would also depend upon how the rest of your chart is connected. If you would like to explore this further I offer readings here http://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings/

  27. Mason
    August 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Leah :)

    I have Mars in Scorpio 12th House square my Neptune in Aquarius 3rd House and opposite my Jupiter in 6th House.

    Where can I start with this aspect? I have such trouble in defining who I am, my goals and my boundaries. I am terrible at standing up for myself and I am HORRIBLE with confrontation and for me asserting myself = confrontation and I subconsciously fear it. I try and combat this but it’s so hard for me.

    Daydreaming with this aspect is very true. I imagine a lot of things in my head. Fantasies, oh I see it all already. Idealising your partner, blaming things on others. This aspect will cause me a lot of problems..

    With this aspect, it’s like looking in fog 24/7. You know you’ve got to move but you fear what’s going to happen and so you just sit there. But then you get frustrated at yourself, why won’t you go forward? What’s the worse that’ll happen?!

    It can become really ******* frustrating at times. It’s fueled by fantasy and it’s so hard to see clearly.

    I am also terrible with money, and that’s down to the fact that part of a t-square with Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter rules my second house of finances AND ITS in Taurus. However, I’m blessed with Saturn squaring my Moon in Leo and Uranus in Aquarius + the fact that my dad is Saturn dominant, so I have someone to keep me in check when I get too much.

    Benefits, if any is that I’m really into literature. I love literature, I love acting, it brings me lots of happiness that I really can’t explain. It makes me driven.

    I’m also really good at meditating. I am so able to focus myself when I try. I do have a secret belief in myself and I am self-driven, however hidden it may be. I am also entirely focused on my dreams. I am convinced that one day I’ll achieve them, but then again, taking action is a problem for me.

    God, this is a difficult aspect and I only pray that something comes along to clear the fog..

  28. August 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Hi Mason – Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds to me that despite the challenges, you’ve found much of the hidden treasure in this aspect. Your love of literature comes through you’re great writing! Meditation may well be the key to clearing the fog.

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