The Meaning of Neptune in Retrograde

Posted on June 21, 2019
Updated on October 29, 2020

A statue of king Neptune in front of a sunset.

Neptune, in mythology, is the God of the Sea – reigning over the ocean’s waves and tides and every creature within its majestic body of water. In the zodiac, Neptune is the planet that rules over Pisces and represents dreams, psychic abilities and receptivity, illusion, mystery, confusion, spirituality and inspiration, among other things.

On June 21st, Neptune goes retrograde in its home sign of Pisces until November 27th. A planet is considered retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth, however this is merely an illusion. The shifting energies brought with a planet’s retrograde cycle, however, are real and palpable.

Neptune’s Mysterious Effect

To really understand what a Neptune retrograde cycle represents and how it will affect you, it is helpful to look at how Neptune interacts with and influences our lives.

Neptune correlates with the dreamy, illusory and magical aspects of our lives: spirituality, creativity, mystical inklings. Neptune is the apex of subtlety, sometimes hiding its intentions in clues, dreams or clairvoyant visions. It is connected to your sense of intuition, and a strong sense of intuition is often necessary to clearly observe this planet’s intentions.

Neptune can act as a trickster, leading yours through a proverbial House of Mirrors. At once, Neptune might shed light on an otherwise murky situation and shroud other areas of your life in a confusing, mysterious fog. Neptune might encourage you to see the truth, but it can also make it easier to see what you’d prefer to see in certain situations – perhaps causing you to ignore things like red flags in a new relationship or job in favor of blind optimism.

The foggy, mysterious nature of Neptune can leave us open and vulnerable to deception and nearly eradicate any healthy boundaries we may have had. Neptune encourages us to put others before ourselves, and there is potential for losing ourselves altogether in someone else – someone who may not be good for us. If you’ve experienced or are currently experience a state of emotional exhaustion and feeling drained every day, there is a good chance that you’ve ignored your spiritual and emotional needs and put emphasis on someone else’s.

Neptune looks for the potential in everyone and pursues the ideal in every situation. While this can be a wonderful quality, it can also leave you feeling blindsided when you finally see things for what they really are.

Neptune in Retrograde

When Neptune goes retrograde, the illusory effect is reversed and the fog is effectively lifted. The situations we saw through Neptune’s slightly rose-colored glasses are now illuminated and shown for their true nature.

This transit shows us the truths about ourselves we might have kept hidden from our conscious minds as well. These realities can be frightening and upsetting to face head-on, but the process is necessary for growth.

Depending on how tightly you cling to the realities you’ve chosen to see – whether consciously or subconsciously – this aspect can make you feel like you’re getting your magic carpet ripped out from right under you.

Neptune retrograde can illuminate our relationships to others and to ourselves and show the gritty truth of these connections, whether we’re ready for it or not. While this process can seem scary, it’s entirely necessary for spiritual and emotional growth.

The Benefits of Neptune Retrograde

While viewing jobs or relationships in a new, perhaps unflattering light and realizing they may not serve you anymore can be overwhelming, this tough love from Neptune is truly a blessing in disguise. This transit promotes spiritual growth and personal development that wouldn’t be possible if you continued to cling to or endure situations, relationships or habits that no longer serve you.

This is an excellent time to pay attention to and record our dreams, as Neptune often sends its messages through the dream space. Break out your dream journal or create a new one and record your dreams each morning when you wake up. Neptune is likely to provide illuminating clarity within this realm.

Because this transit lasts for such a long time, its effects are more gradual and subtle than other retrograde transits, such as Mercury retrograde – which occurs in short, chaotic bursts. Neptune moves very slowly compared to some other planets and it spends 14 years in each sign of the zodiac. Therefore, for the several months that Neptune is retrograde, you can expect spiritual awakenings and an overall increase in experiences of a mystical nature.

This transit provides the perfect energy for use with metaphysical tools, such as Tarot cards, crystal healing and pendulum work. Your spiritual energy will thrive and flow during this time, and you’ll be more connected to the spiritual wisdom that emanates from these tools.

Meditation and yoga are encouraged during this time to help center yourself, increase intuition and alleviate any negative emotions associated with the changes this planetary transit brings.

Creativity will likely take on a spiritual essence, and you may feel that you’re connected with other realms or realities through your work. This is a great time to experiment with art forms and different mediums, paying attention to the content that naturally flows from your spirit at this time.

This can be a difficult time, especially if you are naturally resistant to change; but the benefits far outweigh the unpleasantness that you might experience. If you can center yourself and your spirit, prepare for the winds of change that accompany Neptune retrograde, and stay up to date on your daily horoscopes, you’ll move through the transitions fluidly, with grace, and most importantly, with gratitude.

Related Article: A Guide to Astrology Signs & Planetary Retrogrades

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Rhiannon Liselle is a nomadic Sagittarius with a passion for writing and trying to help others grow. She’s studied astrology for about 10 years, and has been writing about… Learn More About The Author »

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