Mysterious Neptune goes retrograde June 28th until December 3rd. Let's take a deeper look at the Sea-God, which is perhaps the least understood planet, and then try to figure out what this upcoming backspin might mean for us.
It makes sense that Neptune is little understood, because it doesn’t even understand itself. It is associated with the hieroglyphics of the Unconscious, dream-work, and daydreaming. Neptune resides in an oceanic element beyond the tidy shorelines of our understanding. It rules over the unseen world. Intuition, spiritual seeking, addiction--all of these twilit nether-realms constitute its domain. Ultimately Neptune is the smoke machine in the cosmic nightclub, dissolving barriers between Self and Other, real and unreal. When well-placed, it can lead to artistic genius, since art and Neptune are about the creation of illusion.
As a quick example of how Planet Dreamcaster might work in a chart, let’s put it in context and contact with Venus. Imagine a transit where the Planet of Love is forming a trine with Neptune. A trine is an always auspicious angle of 120 degrees between two planets on the Zodiac wheel. A Neptune-Venus trine might add mystery and magic (Neptune) to something or someone you love (Venus).
Conversely, imagine Neptune squaring Venus. A square is when two planets are 90 degrees apart from each other. Squares, unlike trines, make things difficult. In a Neptune-Venus square, you might experience an inability to see someone clearly--their needs might seem unreal or unimportant. Or you might find that you have no perspective on a significant other because you can’t gauge a proper distance in a relationship. Boundary issues=Neptune.
In general, the dissolution of boundaries is what Neptune does best. As such, it's traditionally seen as a somewhat malefic planet. Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy would be Neptune’s soundtrack, as "fantasy" provides perhaps the keyword for the Sea-god.
So what happens when Neptune goes retrograde? Recall that retrogrades are periods to reassess or re-evaluate. They turn a planet’s energy inside-out or upside down. For example, when Mars reverses, its hard-charging energy gets stymied or slowed. And in this slowing down, the astrological advice becomes to re-think where Mars is transiting in our chart. Do we need to put more or less drive in our career, romance, or friendships?
Neptune retrograde suggests a time to stop dreaming, fantasising, and/or lotus-eating. Rather it's about the reality principle and looking at the world, relationships, and work in an honest way. Stark realities and sober truths should become more prominent themes during Neptune's backspin. We need to resist the urge to retreat into the hazy dreamland of self-serving narratives or delusions.
We should also keep in mind that retrogrades always occur in a broader astrological context In our case, Neptune will be in its home sign, Pisces, during its backward jaunt. Pisces is all feeling and emotion--often too much of both. Because Neptune has the tendency to create illusions, we might be in a fantasy space when it comes to how we are currently feeling about partners, career, or home life. In other words, we could be in denial. This retrograde might help bring clarity to the doubly fuzzy tracery of Neptune-in-Pisces.
Use Neptune’s reversal, therefore, to sort out emotional attachments. While Neptune-in-Pisces can create periods of confusion, this transit might instead bring a sense of intense focus, moral clarity, or realpolitik depending on the placement of Planet Dreamweaver in your chart. In general, retrogrades are strongest in the week leading up and following a planet's reversal. That means from June 21st until July 5th is the most potent time of the transit to stop dreaming and getting honest about work, love, or friends.