Neptune Retrograde / by jill mckenna

Neptune is the planet responsible for dreams, fantasy, the ethereal, and creative inspiration, but also delusions, deception, and addiction. Neptune's impact on us is kinda like being intoxicated—very absinthe-like. At first, it's fun, interesting. It blurs creative barriers and lends a magical feeling of sublimely beautiful, greater things. But the trip can take a turn, like being trapped on a genuinely terrifying fun-house ride that's full of our worst triggers. Neptune is imagined heaven and hell, dreams and deceptions, and that's why we often look to it to inform our relationship to addictions. Neptune lets us dream beautifully and with divine information, and it's also all of our darkest corners, escapism, and fears.

Neptune has been asking us for a very long time to imagine a better, fuller, more complete life for ourselves—nothing less than an ideal one. Jupiter squaring Neptune has made that vision impossible to ignore and the Neptune Retrograde now asks us to begin to crystallize our vision by instructing us to face fears, explore our depths and move toward our dreams… our greatest dreams. Vision and connection to the divine are always greater than the fear, but we must choose them. 

Neptune, especially in its home of Pisces, can show us where we are haunted by past events and memories, instances of trauma and cataclysm that remain agonizingly in our minds, washed in memory and emotion and refracted by time into a more or less true pastiche. Where do we get triggered to and how does it restrain us from using our fundamental creativity in its entirety toward the life and fullness we long for, and which suits us best?

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These intrusive memories too often determine our actions, imprisoning us. These fears keep us emotionally and metaphorically, standing in the middle of a dark warehouse of our own fabrication, huddled around a single small light bulb, afraid to move away from it. Neptune’s retrograde instructs us to flip on the lights and take a good look at exactly what we imagine is waiting in the dark. Some things we know about, some we don't, but none of them actually look the way we remember and all can be met and ushered away or made peace with, allowing us to take up our own, rightful space.

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Because Neptune deals with dreams, ideals, and the raw etheric materials of inspiration/creation, we are being pushed towards soul growth in these areas. The truth can be rare in Neptune's realm, but Jupiter in Sagittarius is providing clarity in this way, an echo of the same aspect from January 13th. Since then, how have we shaped our dreams based on the new possibilities and inspirations we were encountering then? How have we allowed our hopes and vision to expand and root? Since late winter, how are we shaping ourselves to meet and create the life we are being divinely guided to through meaningful encounters, remarkable energy exchanges, terrific inspiration, and deep numinous and psychic knowing?  

Neptune retrograde can show us the sources of our pain—the ones we repeatedly try to escape—whether betrayal, heartbreak, destroyed trust, abuse, or abandonment. This window can show us where we are lying to ourselves and dissolve the stories we have sold ourselves. It asks us to see how we perpetuate our pain by not allowing a new outcome to occur, by not allowing the film to switch reels and end differently.

This is a perfect time for spiritual self-work. Use this time to explore healing modalities like talk therapy, emdr, rolfing, and acts of therapeutic self-care like journaling, meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and guided imagery. This window also heavily favors astrology, tarot, trips to bodies of water, anything to gets you in touch with your intuition and faith is all favored now.