• Sousse_neptune….and almost immediately squares Saturn (also retrograde) in Sagittarius

    Neptune starts his yearly 5-month long retrograde season at 12°02’ in his home sign of Pisces where he has been transiting since 2011-2012, he will station direct once again at 9°14’ Pisces on 18th November this year.

    During the retrograde period Neptune will square Saturn in Sagittarius again twice this year, they already made a square aspect at 7°02’ on 26th November 2015. Therefore the second square of these planets when both of them are retrograde is on 17th June at 12°02’, only a few days after the start of the retrograde. The third square between these planets will take place on 10th September at 10°24’ when only Neptune is still retrograde.

    Alan Leo in his book “The Art of Sythesis” describes Neptune as “unstable as water” and well as “instinctive and intuitive” and continues:

    “A well-integrated Neptune in the natal chart could lead to genius and an attraction and ability for spiritual mediumship. An afflicted Neptune however could involve addiction, temptation and even deception.” Let’s keep in mind that these were the first impressions of the astrologers of that age (early 1900’s) when Neptune was still a recent astronomical and astrological discovery and they have been confirmed and implemented by further, extensive research of the international community of astrologers up to the present day.

    Neptune and Pisces, the sign it rules, is a sponge for other peoples’ emotions so lending itself to being gullible and open to all kinds of feelings.

    During a Neptune transit we need to give our attention to the matters of the house it is transiting and since this planet rarely deals with the material external reality we are invited to awaken our inner self and start a journey to the centre of our being. Neptune transits are very subtle and changes occur slowly as events, facts and people “dissolve” and “morph” into something else.

    In order to do this we need to still ourselves, we could take up meditation or start some creative hobby (music, art etc.) which should help us disperse the fog that apparently has descended upon us. Neptunian creativity results in fact from being in contact with our inner being.

    Wherever Neptune is transiting in our charts we could try to use visual imagination to picture ourselves functioning well and capably in the matters of that house. We should endeavour to integrate our senses and emotions with our physical bodies so that this imagery that we are visualizing is able to transform our reality.

    As we go along in this manner we need to continually check on our inner self that we really do desire the experience we are imagining with the awareness that if we rehearse it often enough it just may become reality.

    Neptune retrograde

    When Neptune turns retrograde, the inner structures that are undergoing dissolution and change are more easily brought to the attention of our mind allowing us to review our blind-spots and uncover more hidden motives for our discomfort within the reality of the house it is transiting. We may even uncover parts of ourselves that need more nurturing and compassion than change.

    As we know, constructive change is made only by conscious effort in an already self-aware person, without this effort very little change can in fact occur.

    For some people, a Neptune retrograde could imbue a greater need for privacy and seclusion and even withdrawal than when the planet is direct since introspection is emphasized.

    During this period, for others, this could indicate a greater danger of taking refuge in escapist tendencies which might involve alcohol or drugs since emotional vulnerability is enhanced.

    Aspects to any planets or angles by Neptune should give clues as to how each one of us might handle this retrograde period.

    However, tapping into our imagination, strengthening our powers of visualization and imagery by allowing inspiration through creative activities and relaxation could lead us to greater awareness of our latent talents and abilities.

    The Saturn-Neptune retrograde square at 12°02’ on 17th June

    This is the second square of the series and involves the signs of Sagittarius (Saturn) and Pisces (Neptune) with both planets retrograde in mutable signs.

    How might this square play out? Sagittarius and Pisces are both signs governed by Jupiter (Pisces has Neptune and Jupiter as co-rulers). Jupiter oversees spirituality in some form, in the sign of Sagittarius from an external viewpoint whilst in Pisces from an interior, more intimate perspective. So, first of all we can expect tension between reality and dreams, structure and amorphousness, pessimism and delusional idealism, practicality and Divine inspiration, being part of this world yet not of it and above all, a profound questioning of our own spiritual beliefs.

    The square aspect, as we’ve seen, is going to be with us for a long time so we need to find a way to work with it, not to see things as black or white, good or bad, this or that but to reach a place where we can hold space for both without polarizing in one direction or the other.

    If we polarize towards Saturn then we may feel depressed, tired and restricted by life’s realities whilst a polarization towards Neptune could lead to addictions, feelings of being a victim and avoidance of dealing with realism.

    A good balance between the two planets could lead us to anchor (Saturn) our dreams (Neptune) into reality (Saturn). In short, Saturn wants to restructure our philosophical outlook setting our minds free to travel beyond known boundaries without the Neptunian delusion urging us to escape into an ungrounded fantasy land. We need to learn what to believe in, as reality could play out on many different levels when we let ourselves explore, allowing ourselves to change the structures of our lives (Saturn) based on new wisdom and insights (Neptune)….so let’s use the mutable energy to stay flexible as much as we can.

    The Sabian symbol for 13° Pisces: “An ancient sword, used in many battles, is displayed in a museum.” Indicating that through the effectual use of his will a consecrated man can become a symbol of courage for all those who follow in his footsteps.

    For 13° Sagittarius: “A widow’s past is brought to light.” Indicating the karma of past actions as it affects opportunities presented by a new cycle.

    “When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.”  Stephen Richards




    Leo A. (1949) “Art of Synthesis” VI Edition, Chapter XII, Neptune the mystic, pp 103-123, International Publishing Co, Edinburgh, Scotland

    Marks T. (2008), “The Astrology of Self Discovery”, Chapter 6, Neptune, how to swim through cosmic waters, pp.166-200, IBIS PRESS, Lake Worth FL, USA

    Rudhyar D. (1974) “An Astrological Mandala: the cycles of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases”. p 217, 276, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA

    Tierney B. (1983) “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis”, Chapter 10, Retrograde Planets, pp 242-244, CRCA Publications, Sebastopol, CA, USA

    Image: Roman Mosaic from Sousse Tunisia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Sousse_neptune.jpg, accessed 8th June 2016