Ah, Neptune, the Planet of Illusion, Deception, and Dreams. For the past five months, this planetary body has been in retrograde, which means it's been appearing to move backwards through the sky. Retrograde can be a scary term, but Neptune's backwards dance is more subtle than say, Mercury's, due to it being much farther from the Earth. Even so, we'll notice a definite shift when Neptune retrograde finally comes to an end on December 1.
Neptune retrograde exposed the harsh realities of the world to us and, at times, made us feel uncertain and confused. But now, it's a different story. "We will be seeing situations clearly, after not being able to since June 25 when the dreamy planet started its retrograde journey," says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. The rose-colored glasses are coming off and on at a rapid pace here, so chill out and slow down as you figure out what's real and what's not.
Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, agrees. "Neptunian events have a tendency to appear as surprising, but in actuality the basis of what gets revealed was there all along, just hidden in a fog of confusion and obscured from recognition," she says. And, sorry to break it to you, but this can be especially true for matters involving our relationships — this is the time when you may be forced to face the reality that a person you're interested in just doesn't feel the same way, Hale notes. Our advice? Take some stock in your romances during this time. What have you learned in the past five months? What have you been missing? Being disappointed or heartbroken can feel like a bummer, but use this time of newfound clarity as a stepping stone to becoming your better self.
Neptune is often associated with spirituality and imagination, and Stardust says we'll be focusing on spiritual endeavors instead of materialistic ones, especially since Neptune is in the tender sign of Pisces. "It’s a great time to start healing and working towards mending issues, particularly personal traumas," she says. "Also, embracing our inner artistry and talents, and opening ourselves up to unconditional love and mysticism or spirituality."
When Neptune retrogrades, we're more likely to listen to our inner voice and our psychic abilities may increase — now, we're ready to share that knowledge with the world. "Pay attention to what you have learned about your intuition over the past five and a half months, who has shown up for you in your inner circle, and any lessons in spiritual discernment (aka any reveals around teachers, gurus, or ideologies that may not be up to snuff)," says Madi Murphy, the co-founder of The Cosmic RX and The Cosmic Revolution. "Life is about to feel a little dreamier as we move into the clouds again, but we want to make sure our feet are on solid ground."
Murphy suggests using this time of Neptune's direct motion to go deeper into journaling, visualization, or meditation. "Use compassion as your compass and see what your imagination and creativity want to reveal to you now," she says.
There are some vines to be on the lookout for during Neptune's move. "This year, Neptune goes direct around the time the solar eclipse in Sagittarius takes place, as both of the luminaries and Mercury form a square with it," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Luminary Power. "This will intensify the feeling of being lost in a cloud of confusion. Our vitality could take a toll around this time, so it’s important to keep a lighter schedule and rest around December 3, which is when this powerful lunar event takes place." Rest is always important, so just make sure you're marking down December 3 as the perfect day for a cat nap — or two.
Neptune can be positive in its effects on our creativity and ability to exercise compassion, says Montúfar. "Since Neptune will be crucial to the astrology of 2022, we should all try to attune to its vibration, even when feeling like swimming in a foggy sea of nothingness." So push through those clouds and allow yourself to come out on the other side, clear and ready to take on the world — the fate of your 2022 is depending on it.