A few years ago, I had Neptune in the solar return fourth house. And everything in my old house leaked. And I mean everything – including a cistern flooding through the living room ceiling only hours before the new owners came to view the house. So, you can imagine my concern when, this year, I had Neptune in the solar return forth house once more.

Neptune in Pisces is watery – and then some. So far, in the period approaching this solar return year (you can expect to see your new placements manifest several weeks before the return date) a broken valve caused water to pour through my new living room ceiling light fittings – and a few days ago, I needed to unblock the dishwasher.

However, Neptune in the solar return fourth house often points to something deeper than the surface manifestation of leaking taps or flooded basements; this year I’ve been doing ‘dry January’. After an over indulgent Christmas, I was suffering from ‘brain fog’, but taking some time out to de-tox has made me question my relationship with alcohol. Sometimes Neptune in the solar return fourth house can reveal things that we may not have wished to see…

Extract from Solar Returns: Planets in Houses

Solar Return Fourth House: Neptune

When Neptune drifts into your solar return fourth house, the big question is, how can you tell? This most elusive of planetary influences can seem ill suited to the angular houses, with their emphasis on the more tangible areas of our lives. Nowhere is this more true than the solar return Fourth House, the place we are supposed to take root and grow. When Neptune is found in this domain, you may feel a little restive at home. In fact, you may yearn to be somewhere else.

However, that ‘somewhere else’ is not a place you can define with ease. It’s simply ‘not here’, as in not the place you currently inhabit. With Neptune in the solar return fourth house, home is the place where you have an itch you can’t scratch, but without the impetus you need to do anything about it – unless there is a dynamic aspect from another planet to get you on your way.

If that is the case, this Neptune placement can an unsettling factor that makes you take some time out from your domestic base. Maybe you move out temporarily – perhaps renting out your own home while you travel somewhere ‘to find yourself’ – as you are, no doubt, convinced that the perfect place for you is a misty mountain, or an empty beach, or anywhere you can meditate, write poetry or simply breathe.

Some people out there will revel in this Neptunian scenario. They decide that there is more to life than being a mortgage slave and, overwhelmed by the desire to divest themselves of their worldly goods, they sell up and live on a boat – driven by the Neptunian desire to drift away from the pressures of the modern world. All of this is Neptune in the fourth house par excellence.

If you have Neptune in the solar return fourth house and what I have written above seems preposterous to you, take heart. For many people, dropping out and following something that is no more than a dream sounds crazy, but those with a large dose of Neptune in their natal make-up may think otherwise.

However, there are those, like me, who have a large dose of Neptune (but an even larger dose of Saturn) who would find giving up (Neptune) your home (Fourth House) a scary prospect. So, how do you work with this placement without losing your bearings? The answer can be found by making your home your spiritual home.

Making your home into your personal sanctuary can often be a theme with Neptune in the solar return fourth house. This can mean anything from simply regarding it as your own special place to re-organising it to make room for your own ‘spiritual practices’. By re-organising your home, I don’t mean you need to carry out major work; you may simply feel the home as it’s currently arranged doesn’t suit your innermost needs.

A disordered home can be a sign of emotional distress, and though I’m not suggesting each and every one of you with this placement is distressed, many of you with this solar return Neptune placement may have had emotionally testing experiences during the previous year. It suggests a deep fundamental need for healing and, like many things, this can start at home. So, many of you may find yourselves making space where you can have some ‘me time’. 

Decluttering your home – and your soul – is, perhaps, a more useful way to heal yourself than running away to sea. You may find yourself – no matter how humble your abode – making space to meditate, do yoga, listen to music, read, write, watch a film, paint, knit, sew – anything that requires an inner focus or takes you away from the cares of the world.

That space may simply be your bathroom – just add water, candles and relaxation. What you are doing when you clear out that quiet corner (or lie there drifting away) is give yourself some much needed space, and that is so important in our increasingly stressed lives. Of course, you may simply need a good night’s sleep – in that case, Neptune in the solar return fourth house is just what you need.

However, I have to ask the question. Is Neptune in the solar return fourth house (or any house for that matter) always spiritual? The answer is yes – and no. Some of you may simply move house (as is often the case with an outer planet in the solar return fourth house) though Neptunian moves tend to have Neptunian themes – even if you don’t realise it at the time.

Relocating to the coast because you always dreamed of doing so, or setting up home in a remote rural location could be Neptunian inspirations. Perhaps you have always dreamed of converting a chapel or other religious building into your home – a perfect Neptune and fourth house combination.

However, please remember the essential nature of Neptune and try and keep your eyes wide open, as the romantic or ideal home may prove to be less attractive in the cold light of day. You may also have issues with spirits in the home. Whether you discover someone is keeping a stash of alcohol under the kitchen sink or you experience spectral visitations in the dead of night is open to conjecture – this year all things are possible if they carry Neptune’s imprint.

Neptune in the solar return fourth house has traditionally been associated with ‘water issues in the home’. As I write this, three weeks away from the birthday that will bring me this placement, an autumnal rain storm is pouring through a leak in my hitherto apparently sound kitchen roof. If that is not Neptune in the solar return fourth house I don’t know what is.

What this suggests to me, however, is that I may have been neglecting my emotional needs. When this happens, Neptune may visit you (and me) from the outside. So, you may have issues with your central heating (gas and oil are ruled by Neptune) and any of your watery appliances and installations (everything from the washing machine to the shower) may give you cause for concern.

Problems may seem difficult to resolve as no-one seems able to identify the cause. All you can do is make sure your insurance is up to date – and please try and remember where you put the documentation (and your spectacles) as you will need to read the small print. When you do regain your memory (and your vision), you may recall that home also means family – with Neptune in the solar return fourth house, it’s not all about you. 

With Neptune here, domestic responsibilities may not be as clear cut as usual. You may share your home with people who are not your family. Perhaps you decide to take in lodgers – maybe driven by financial need or fear of losing your home if you cannot make the mortgage payments. Neptune often points to loss and sacrifice and, while you may not literally lose your home, you may sacrifice your personal space by sharing it with others who are Neptunian in some way.

Your lodgers may be artistic and creative, or friends who are down on their luck. Hopefully they won’t be alcoholic or drug abusers, as Neptune in the solar return fourth house can point to this being an issue that needs to be dealt with in the home or wider family. It’s perhaps at this time you (and your family members) face up to such issues if they have been hidden from you (Neptune) or simply gone unaddressed.

Depending on your age, you may sacrifice your time at home, or with your own family, to look after a parent who may be affected by memory or mobility issues (Neptune rules the feet) or who is simply feeling lonely, isolated or unable to cope. Those issues can, of course, apply to other family members, and you may find yourself in the ‘parenting’ role even if the relationship between you is somewhat different.

Neptune in the solar return fourth house will blur the boundaries in many ways, so you may experience some of these issues – or even think you have experienced none of them – only to realise later that the mysterious events happening in the home and family arena were Neptune’s doing all along. With Neptune, you need to be mindful of what’s really going on, as denial and delusion may be overwhelming. Wake up and be inspired to do something about it. It will be worth it in the end.


Solar Returns: The Planets in Houses will be the follow up book to Solar Returns: An Introduction which was published in 2020. It’s still a work in progress, so (as yet) I’ve no publication date – but do follow this blog for news and updates.


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© Sara Shipman 2023

Picture Credit: Image by Rajesh Balouria from Pixabay 

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