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A Treatise on Astrology, Liber 536 by Aleister Crowley, 1917

Neptune in the Third House

A great many of the remarks which were made about the first house are applicable to the third, but in a somewhat secondary sense. The tendencies which we have noted there are deep-seated and pertain rather to the ego itself than to any of its embellishments, but the third house dealing with the mentality must be considered as indicating the development of the mind through education and environment. This distinction is not so subtle as it seems. A person may have a very conventional personality associated with a very flighty mind, and an essentially eccentric person, on the other hand, may have a broad deep and well-balanced education. It is just such peculiarities that are best explained by astrology. The Neptunian mentality is rather shallow. Very rare is it to find any intensity of scientific thought, or any ability to concentrate upon the business in hand. Quite small impressions and annoyances will cause the attention to wander. The task of education will probably have been difficult. The child will not have taken his work seriously, will have preferred to amuse himself with all kinds of fancies and if he takes up any study at all, that subject will probably have been fantastic and unpractical. It is true that most children collect stamps, butterflies or something for which it is hard to make out a good case, and which in any event, do not lead to mature development upon the same lines, but this tendency usually dies out at puberty, but the Neptunian intellect carries it on to adult life. It seems incapable of seeing things in due proportion and a man, instead of attending to his business, will be rummaging around the old curiosity shop in search of snuff-boxes. In persons of a more advanced intellectual type, this characteristic is likely to appear in devotion to rather useless studies, and in the spiritually-minded, it will lead to a following out of false paths. In case of affliction of the planets, or if the horoscope be generally weak, there may be far more serious manifestations. One is likely to find imbecility, sometimes even idiocy in children, while those who pass through the early stages of life in a comparatively normal way, are likely to develop some of the milder insanities as they grow older. Possibly it would be fair to say that the general tendency is towards melancholia rather than mania. Delusions of persecution will not be uncommon and a bad direction of Mars or Uranus might bring about a tendency to suicide. In old age, dementia is very likely to occur. It is very important in the training of a child who has this position of Neptune to endeavour to limit the mischief as closely as possible. The greatest pains should be taken to secure for it teachers and associates who will counteract this influence. The habit of mental discipline must be encouraged to the utmost and though it is improbable that complete success will be attained, yet a great deal may be done. The mind is more malleable than the personality. In following out this course of action, it must be remembered that with so strong a natural tendency to divagation, with this love of the unusual and useless, that a single bad influence may easily wreck years of careful training. The inherent tendency will always be there and the only question is whether it can be guided or not. In case it proves ineradicable, the wisest course will be to endeavour to attach it to other pans of the individual less afflicted. Considerations of self-interest should be brought forward and if this peculiar mentality manifests itself in some hobby, the endeavour should be to develop that hobby on such lines that it may be of practical use. With regard to the more general qualities of the mind, there should be a dangerous degree of unreliability. You can never tell what such a person may do next, because you never know what he may think next. He will probably be unpunctual from sheer incapacity to understand the value of lime. He will probably be unable to follow out any definite course, because of the power which every new impression makes upon him. He will go out to dinner and find himself going for a long walk in the country instead. The smallest matters attract his attention and he flies off at a tangent. He will be unable to follow the course of an argument. It is probable that in religion he will belong to one of those shallow, plausible sects which appeal to weaker minds. At the same time, he will probably not be a fervent believer in anything. His interest is too casual and interrupted. It is extremely likely that he is a good hypnotic subject. His mind, never strongly and sanely fixed upon anyone subject, easily passes into a semi-conscious state. He probably spends his time in day-dreams. You will sec him agape in the middle of his daily task. Long trains of disconnected thought pass through his mind in unwearying succession. Even in the middle of a conversation he is likely to lapse. As the saying is, ‘his wits go wool-gathering’.

These qualities will naturally react, perhaps in a very marked manner on the social relations. People with the Neptunian mind wander in and wander out of other people’s lives in a very aimless and erratic manner. They call on their friends for no particular reason at all and drift out again without having said or done anything. They are usually rather likable, there is a certain feeling of pity engendered in the normal man by their pleasant pointlessness. Such friendships, to abuse the word, often last indefinitely, for the very reason that they are themselves indefinite. It is quite impossible to quarrel when there is so little to quarrel with. Occasionally, one becomes extremely bored, but before one has time to protest, they are gone and when they turn up again, six months later, one is possibly quite glad to see them. The third house also indicates the brothers and sisters of the native, and the general rule seems to be that any such will die in youth or else drift away in the course of a few years. Their character will, of course, be determined by setting up the horoscope with the third house in the Ascendant. They will therefore, be of the Neptunian temperament, but their influence upon the native is in no case likely to be great. Another point to be considered is that of short journeys, by which is meant those undertaken in the normal course of life, as opposed to those which are the result of long fore thought and determination. Such journeys are likely to be productive of great annoyance, usually in small ways. The native will carefully pack his evening clothes, forgetting only the trousers, or he wrongly address his baggage. Again, he is likely to be unfortunate in getting into the wrong train or even if he is in the right train, it will probably be late. Sometimes these petty annoyances take on a more serious character, he may find himself involved in a railroad wreck. There are likely, too, to be all sorts of difficulties in the small details of business – there may be trouble with accounts, correspondence will constantly go astray – papers will be filled out wrongly and various kinds of petty fraud are pretty sure to be practised. Unscrupulous people will certainly endeavour to take advantage of the native’s easiness. It will be very disadvantageous for the native to enter upon any serious business, such as a lawsuit for the flickering quality of his mind is unsuited to any occupation requiring long-continued application. It will be wiser for him to busy himself with matters which come to a head quickly in which he knows his gain or loss within a very few hours. For, if the critical period be extended beyond this. he is likely to be thinking of something else. His memory is not good enough, as a rule to enable him to pick up an affair at just the point where he dropped it. In making these remarks, one does not forget that it is somewhat rare to rind such a mentality as is described in its simple purity. The influence of the ruler of the third house will probably make great changes and a further modification is to be looked for from the influence of Mercury in his aspects wherever he may be situated in the nativity.