It's time for another annual cosmic ritual to take place in our skies: Neptune retrograde. Starting on 28th June and lasting until 3rd December, the Planet of Illusion, Dreams, and Fantasies will appear to spin backwards, sending our perception of our lives and the world around us into a bit of a topsy-turvy ride.
Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power, says that Neptune is one of the trickiest planets to master and understand. "At its best, it is a source of spiritual inspiration, compassion, and universal oneness — at its worst, it surrounds us in a cloud of fog and confusion, making it hard for us to see the correct way to move forward," she says. "When Neptune is direct and activating a sensitive planet or area of our charts, it puts a veil over our eyes." If we're not careful, Montúfar says that the planet can surround us in a world of fantasy, "creating an aura that seems glamorous but that in reality leads to self-deception."
But we're not talking about Neptune direct here — we're talking about Neptune retrograde, the transit that's about to hit us for the next five-ish months. Once it enters its backwards dance, the tides will turn, and that foggy veil will be lifted. Montúfar warns that this lucid of a worldview can be a bit of a shock at first. "This is when unwanted realities might hit us, especially if we haven’t been channelling the positive and spiritual vibration of Neptune," she says. It's not that brutal out here, though — Montúfar says that "Neptune retrograde can help us find a deeper meaning for our lives and how we relate to the overall collective vibration."
Now, we can see things for what they truly are — good or bad, love or lust, unjust or fair. Again, this can be a shock, but it makes us all the more wiser, more powerful, and ready to take meaningful action. "We may notice where we have been lying to ourselves or looking at a situation with rose-colored glasses," says Madi Murphy, co-founder of the CosmicRx. "This will allow us to manifest hopes, dreams and desires that align with our new crystal clear reality."
Murphy advises us to pay extra attention to where we feel like we can’t ignore certain unhealthy situations, whether it's at work, in our relationships, or with our finances. "Notice where you are seeing the 'true' side of someone or something emerge," she says. "Don’t let yourself fall in love with someone's (or something's) potential: see situations for what they are and be honest with yourself and others." To accomplish this, Murphy says we may need to redraw some boundaries with people or even redirect our dreams, ideas, and visions to something new.
"To make the most of this time, have compassion for your past self and for others as you actively work to see the whole picture and learn accordingly," Murphy says. Practising healthy boundaries and providing yourself with ample self-care are key now, and she advises us to spend time in nature, journal, and work with crystals. "This is a very beneficial time to start a dedicated, daily spiritual practice," she says. "This can be a very mystical time that helps you make some very real magic in your life."
Be sure to mark your calendars for 14th July, when Venus and Neptune retrograde square off, which Lisa Stardust, astrologer, and author of The Love Deck. says will make us unsure of how to proceed in matters of love and money. "Making financial investments will be unwise at that time," she says. Maybe skip the fancy, extravagant date and treat yourself to a chill, budget-friendly night in by yourself instead — love and spending can always wait (even if it's just for a day!).
Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app, also adds that this particular transit may cause "some relationships [to] go through a rough patch, but it is because this transit helps you see things from a real perspective and can be helpful to see that the person you are with is not the one right for you." It is, once again, hot girl summer after all, so breakups are bound to happen — and this time, you'll be able to have a clear head about it.
Seeing things for what they truly are can help us move forward from the toxic things in life: relationships, situationships, jobs, friendships, you name it. And while retrogrades often get a bad rap, Neptune's is here to help us rather than harm us. You just have to make sure you're ready for a reality check.