Another retrograde is coming. This time, it’s Neptune that’s about to start moving backwards through its orbit. (Well, appearing to move backwards in its orbit as seen from our perspective here on Earth, that is.) Right now, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are already retrograde, and Neptune will join them on June 21. Neptune retrograde in Pisces throughout the summer and into the fall, going direct on November 27.
In astrology, Neptune is known as the planet of dreams, imagination, and creativity. Because it’s so far away from Earth, its retrograde transits don’t affect us as dramatically as, for example, Mercury retrograde.
“Being one of the slowest and further planets in the solar system, Neptune’s effects are subtle and only reveal over time, and when closely connecting to any of the natal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) in a birth chart,” explains Narayana Montúfar, Senior Astrologer for Astrology.com and Horoscope.com.
“Whenever any one of our natal planets is being touched by Neptune’s direct motion, its hypnotic and enchanting influence will put a veil on our eyes, possibly hiding anxieties and unwanted realities,” she says. “Once Neptune begins its retrograde in that same position of the Zodiac, it loses its powers and this illusion is slowly but surely stripped away — sometimes leaving us face-to-face with a painful reality. Ultimately, the purpose of such a transit is to strip the soul from the arrogant influence of the ego while driving it to find a deeper meaning and sense of Self.”
During Neptune retrograde, Montúfar adds, “the only way to prepare is practicing a high level of awareness so, in the case the rose-colored filters are gone, we don’t find ourselves deeply disillusioned. Analyzing our interactions with the people around us would also serve us well, as they will serve as mirrors, allowing us to fully realize what we might have been projecting on to them.”
Astrologer Lisa Stardust adds that we have already been experiencing Neptune’s “pre-retrograde shadow,” which began on on February 28. “Since February, we may have been confused about the state of our personal affairs (relationships, money, work) which may have led to anxiety,” she explains. “Now, on the 21st of June (the same day as the Summer Solstice and shift into Cancer season), Neptune, who has been causing all these mind-blowing frustrations, will officially start its retrograde journey.”
And yes, this could affect our summer plans. “The deception will feel extra thick in the summer smog until November 27th, when Neptune leaves its retrograde zone (and even next year, as Neptune will be in the post-retrograde degrees until March 16, 2020),” Stardust says. “Prepare to feel the affects of gaslighting from others and self-deception, which can lead to emotional upsets. Gaslighting will be high, as others may try to shift the blame and attention on to us instead of accepting accountability. We may even do it to ourselves too. It may be hard to access the truth.”
However, knowledge is power, and if we keep the hazards of Neptune retrograde in mind, we can avoid the ill effects. “As long as we accept our actions and are accountable, we can avoid the fog of the Neptunian retrograde haze,” Stardust says. There are even some positives. “The flip side of the wave is that we will be able to see situations differently, leading us to create from our emotions,” she says. “The planet known as ‘the divine discontent’ may force us to feel lost, but we can overcome such inner turmoil and conflict with music and art, which will give our sentimental hearts an emotional outlet. “