Don't tense up! Yes, Neptune is retrograde from June 18 - November 24, 2018, but it's nothing to worry about. Certainly, this 5-month event will take its toll in some way -- but instead of requiring our patience, it will simply require us to get real.
When most planets turn “retrograde” (or appear to move backward), it’s as though they’re flipping a switch to shake up everything they stand for. Neptune is the dreamy planet that, at its best, makes us see beyond the tangible world and explore spirituality, faith and fantasy. The dark side of Neptune is that its love of illusion can inspire us to escape to alternate realities we’ve created for ourselves -- a.k.a. delusions.
Yes, Neptune can encourage us to live in denial. We all have specific fears and hangups we don’t want to deal with -- perhaps you ignore nagging financial issues or tell yourself that your less-than-satisfying romantic relationship is exactly what you need. Chances are, Neptune is behind any excuses you invent to support these ideas.
But when Neptune goes backward, it can feel like we’ve had a bucket of cold water splashed on our faces. Because Neptune’s dreamy edge usually allows us to gloss over unpleasant truths (like credit card balances or red flags in our relationships), its move backward gives us the opposite: A harsh wake-up call.
Another way to think about this catalyzing cosmic event? Neptune Direct allows us to keep external factors at arm’s length and escape into our own inner worlds, while Neptune Retrograde makes the focus internal, forcing us to question any new dreams we’ve been entertaining so we can separate what’s realistic from what’s overly romantic.
For example, let’s say you’ve been in a committed relationship for many years, and it’s grown stale and feels less like passion, more like habit. Neptune Retrograde will force you to prove why you and your partner should still be together, and if you can’t re-ignite that original spark, you’ll feel the need to make a change.
Alternately, let’s say you recently fell head over heels for someone you’ve known only a few months but who you’re convinced is your soul mate … and the two of you have decided to move in together. When dreamy Neptune throws the lights on, you’ll have to ask practical questions, like, “How well do I really know this person? Am I truly prepared to merge my daily routine with theirs? What’s my back-up plan if this doesn’t work out?”
Of course, only you can truly answer these questions for yourself, and the beauty of Neptune Retrograde is that it puts the pressure on to re-evaluate. Once you think long and hard, you’ll either realize you were fooling yourself -- or that you’re onto something that feels right. Neptune Retrograde gives you pause for thought.