Neptune Is Going Retrograde For 5 Months — Here's What You Need To Know
We've all heard of Mercury retrograde and the havoc it can wreak on communication and technology—but what happens during a Neptune retrograde? Read on to find out because the gas giant will be retrograde for the next five months—and we'll all want to be prepared.
What is this Neptune retrograde all about?
Neptune is retrograde for roughly five months out of the year, and according to holistic psychiatrist and astrologer Kayse Budd, M.D., it's not an overt or dramatic transit, but instead it's subtle, "speaking to longer-range changes and evolutions for society and individuals."
This planet is very spiritual and dreamy, but it also deals with illusion. As Budd explains, Neptune relates to healing, compassion, universal love, mysticism, and imagination—but its shadow side relates to deception, delusion, confusion, disconnection, blurred boundaries, and substance abuse.
In the case of this year's Neptune retrograde, she notes that the planet is moving through the sign of Pisces. So, if you have strong Pisces placements (i.e., Pisces sun, moon, or rising) in your birth chart, you may feel the impact of this retrograde more than others. "People with notable Virgo placements (opposing Neptune) or Sagittarius/Gemini placements (squaring Neptune) may also feel it, possibly seeing the shadow side of Neptune's influence due to the challenging angles of the opposition or square," Budd adds.
On the other hand, if you have strong Cancer or Scorpio placements, you could actually experience a slow but positive creative or spiritual boost from Neptune during this time, according to Budd.
Overall, she tells mbg that like other planets' retrograde periods, Neptune retrograde offers us a space to review and process any Neptune-related themes that came up for us from December 1, 2021, until now (while Neptune was direct).
How to handle this Neptune retrograde period.
Sticking to the idea of reviewing and processing, Budd notes that Neptune retrogrades are a great time to examine your dreams, open your heart, transcend pain, and release suffering. "We are also invited to explore the way we confuse or delude ourselves and avoid responsibility or reality (i.e., substance use, fantasizing, excessive TV, or other distractions)," she adds.
And FYI, sometimes things get worse before they get better. As Budd explains, Neptune retrogrades can intensify problems before we choose to address them, or confusion may grow before we find clarity. However, they can also trigger spiritual insight, intuitive awakenings, and expansion, she says.
So, the question then is, how do we make the most of this transit? According to Budd, you'll want to find where the 25th degree of Pisces falls in your birth chart, and identify which house it's in. "The house containing the 22nd to 25th degree of Pisces will have the opportunity to contemplate changes, ideas, and insights that occurred during the past seven months of Neptune's direct motion," she says. (For example, if this retrograde is happening in your second house of finances and security, perhaps you use the time to hone in on a budget plan.)
"If you failed to take sufficient action on something important [while Neptune was direct], you'll get a chance to review what happened and try again (or prepare to try again)," Budd says, adding, "Reflect on the insight gained during this time and the steps that are still needed to put that new understanding into play in your life."
And no matter where this retrograde falls in your chart, Budd suggests generally using this Neptune retrograde to deepen your spiritual connection to yourself and prepare to release your current dreams into the world.
As the planet of both dreams and illusion, Neptune is kind of always throwing us for a loop. We may feel its influence even more over the next few months, as it moves through this retrograde period. But with a bit of introspection, intuition, and patience, this period can also be a great time of growth, healing, and transformation.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.