Another day, another retrograde. We know that Saturn, the Planet of Karma, just went retrograde — and while you may not be ready for another planetary backspin, it's coming anyway. Neptune retrograde in Pisces begins on June 30 and ends on December 6, meaning we're going to spend almost the entire rest of the year under this astrological influence. Are you ready?
Neptune goes retrograde every year for around half the year, so it's not like we haven't dealt with these vibes before. Neptune is the Planet of Illusion, Dreams, and Fantasies, and when it goes retrograde, it loses its power — meaning that any mirage the planet had in front of us will disintegrate, leaving us with less brain fog and more clarity for the rest of the year.
This retrograde gives us an opportunity to shift our perspective. "Neptune is a planet of fantasy, illusion, glamor, wishful thinking, creativity, spirituality, and all-things nebulous," says Stephanie Campos, astrologer and author of Seasons of the Zodiac: Love, Magick, and Manifestation Throughout the Astrological Year. "As Neptune's influence backpedals in the sky, we may be greeted with a reality check. Where have our illusions clouded our judgment or path forward? This is a powerful time to get real and reflect on your dreams for the future and to shift from daydreaming to taking inspired action."
Our visions will be a bit clearer now, and we'll be able to make better, more informed decisions because of it. "As we sort through and find a healthier balance and understanding of what's rooted in reality vs. what's taken up residency in our fantasies, we can find a more sustainable path forward for achieving our goals and dreams," Campos says. Take a look back at the first half of the year and check your blindspots — they may be more blaring than you realize. Once you point them out, you can address them to move forward seamlessly.
Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck, says this transit may still have us feeling as though our intuition is off. "It’s important to think things over before making decisions," she says. "Weigh all options and move towards the one that feels right. The whimsical and enchanting planet can be magical if we let the blinders fall off and embrace reality."
On the positive side, Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula platform, says that this time period is ideal for unleashing our creativity — particularly in music, writing, and art. “It is a valuable phase that encourages us to delve deep into our thoughts and use our sensitivity to gain greater self-awareness,” she says. “Take advantage of this time to prioritize self-care, and you will feel rejuvenated once Neptune resumes its direct trajectory.”
There are a few dates to look out for as Neptune retrogrades for the majority of what's left of 2023, according to Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. The first is from August 13 to August 26, when Mars in Virgo will clash with Neptune in Pisces, bringing confusion. "This is an aspect that is classic for bringing deceptive people into our orbit," she says. "These days require careful handling to not get ourselves involved in situations we might regret later on."
More dates to be aware of are from October 29 to November 7, when Venus in Virgo clashes with Neptune in Pisces. This will "bring tough realizations in romance and friendships," Montúfar says. "This is when we might notice someone’s true colors if we allow ourselves to see the truth. Since people might pull at our heartstrings to get what they want, we must stay vigilant to guard ourselves."
Although this transit sounds like kind of a bumpy ride, Neptune retrograde will actually allow us to remove the rose-colored glasses we've been wearing for the first half of the year and really make some changes where we need them. Retrogrades aren't so bad after all, right?