We're in for a bumpy ride. Neptune, the planet of dreams, imagination, and creativity, will begin its backwards dance in Pisces on 22nd June, and it will stay retrograde for four months, until 28th November.
"Pisces is a creative energy that often expresses its feelings through symbols, sentiments, and obscure seeming messages," notes Six, a Miami-based astrologer and intimacy doula. "Neptune, the planet that rules over illusions, mental illness, and art going retrograde in Pisces translates into us carefully assessing and re-assessing our collective reality." During this retrograde, we may find ourselves better able to put the pieces of the puzzle together, Six says.
"To fully understand how Neptune retrogrades work, we must remember Neptune’s role in astrology, which is unique," Montúfar continues. "Being the master of illusion, when Neptune is direct, it puts a veil in our eyes, helping us hide anxieties and unwanted realities. Once Neptune starts its retrograde transit, it loses its illusory powers. It strips away the rose-colored glasses, sometimes leaving us face-to-face with harsh and painful realities." For the next four months, we might start to see some intense truths about our loved ones — and ourselves.
Astrologer Lisa Stardust agrees: "Neptune retrograde is a time when indiscretions are seen at a grander level and secrets are unmasked. We will be forced to see the reality of matters that we’ve been ignoring for quite some time in relationships and situations," she says. "The veil will be taken off and we will see things for how they really are."
In other words, we're all about to get a reality check, thanks to Neptune — especially when it comes to our romantic relationships. Maybe the honeymoon phase you've been happily coasting through is dissolving, or things are coming to light about your partner that haven't been able to really look at in the past. "We may feel that we've met our soulmate or perfect partner, only to wake up and find things were not as we had believed, or the person has ghosted us," Hale says. "At that point we may wonder if it was even real."
If your relationship makes it through Neptune retrograde, though, congratulations — they might just be the one!
We will have one more square between Venus and Neptune this summer, and we'll feel the intense effects on our finances and, again, our relationships. "Obsessions and indecisiveness will take hold of us," Stardust explains.
But these next four months aren't all trouble. "The other side of Neptune’s retrograde is that we will be more innovative and creative, as art, emotion, and intuition blend together at this time — especially when Neptune is in dreamy and healing Pisces."
Neptune will be forming two sextiles with Jupiter during its retrograde, one on 27th July and one on 11th October. "What this means is that, by accepting to let go whatever Neptune is dissolving from your life, you will open the doors of abundance, so Jupiter can help you build something even better and longer lasting," Montúfar says. "This will be especially true in September, when we will feel the influence of Neptune’s retrograde the most."
If this all sounds a little intimidating, welcome to the club. Neptune's backwards transit might deliver some hard truths — but if you walk into it prepared, and ready to lean in, grow, and evolve, you might be able to leave the retrograde stronger than before... Just in time for Thanksgiving.