Neptune starts his yearly 5-month long retrograde season at 18°43’ in his home sign of Pisces where he has been transiting since 2011-2012, he will station direct once again at 15°55’ Pisces on 27th November this year. This transit will activate planets or angles between 22-12° of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). Also worth noting the antiscion degree of the retrograde station at 11°17’ Libra since any planets or angles on this degree will also be involved at the beginning of the period.
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 rather 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 owing to the fact that introspection is emphasized.
This period, for others, 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 made by Neptune should give clues as to how each one of us might handle this retrograde period as will the house where the transit is occurring.
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.
Alan Leo in his book “The Art of Synthesis” 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 where 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 should 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.
During the retrograde period Neptune will continue to be in orb of a square to Jupiter (also retrograde until mid-August) and a sextile to Saturn (retrograde until mid-September). Perhaps Saturn will have the opportunity (sextile) to ground the inflated Jupiter-Neptune square.
The Sabian symbol for the retrograde station at 19° Pisces: “A master instructing his disciple.” Indicating the transfer of power and knowledge which keeps the original spiritual and creative impulse of the cycle active and undeviated.
For the antiscion point at 12° Libra: “Miners are surfacing from a deep coal mine.” Indicating the need to carry on at ever deeper levels the quest for knowledge which keeps burning the fires of the collective mind of a society.
“Truth is the torch that gleams through the fog without dispelling it.” C.A. Helvetius
Is anything dissolving in your life now?
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”. pp. 179, 280, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA