Copyright Zen☆Ren 2019 - Theme by ThemeinProgress
June 21 (Summer Solstice) – Nov 27, 2019
Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.
Since April 2011, Neptune has been in Pisces, the sign she rules. With Neptune at home in Pisces, a global spiritual awakening continues to unfold. This also continues to manifest as a collective existential crisis. Many trends reflect Neptune in Pisces: rapid legalization of medical/recreational marijuana; popularity of yoga and transcendental meditation; extra-terrestrial themes in music and pop culture; simulators and next-level games blurring the lines between physical and virtual reality; skyrocketing opioid addiction, and so on. The membranes between each dimension and universe grow thinner by the day.
Neptune is a mystic and medium, an ending and beginning, the source of all. She is ego death, sacrifice, surrender. Neptune turns retrograde five months out of every year. Neptune Retrograde confronts our addictions. She teaches that vices do not equate to higher consciousness, though addiction and escapist behaviors are really just yearnings for greater soul awareness. Coleman Bark’s introduction to a collection of poems by Rumi:
The grapeskin of ego breaks and a pouring begins. Fermentation is one of the oldest symbols for human transformation. When grapes combine their juice and are closed up together for a time in a dark place, the results are spectacular. This is what lets two drunks meet so that they don’t know who is who. Pronouns no longer apply in the tavern’s mud-world of excited confusion and half-articulated wantings. But after some time in the tavern, a point comes, a memory of elsewhere, a longing for the source, and the drunks must set off from the tavern and return … The tavern is a kind of glorious hell that human beings enjoy and suffer and then push off from in search for truth … A breaking apart, a crying out in the street, begins in the tavern, and the human soul turns to find its way home. (The Essential Rumi, p. 1)
When Neptune turns retrograde in Pisces, she takes us to the subconscious realm. From Kilaya Ciriello’s “The Scorpio Ring of Fire: An Astrological Journey into the Heart of the Galactic Center”:
[T]he archetype of Pisces is the story of two fish – one swimming down to the depths and the other swimming up to the surface of an ocean … [T]he archetype of Pisces includes a simple choice to do good or bad, to move towards the light or towards the darkness … For a fish it feels the same to swim up or down and this tells us that within Pisces it is often difficult to distinguish between what is good versus what is bad. So like a fish in the ocean, when under the influence of Pisces, deciding where to go is often confusing because things appear murky, not clear or out of focus. (p. 69)
Anything you do on a daily basis that makes you feel happy and healthy is a spiritual practice, like a morning walk, an art project or a jam session. Without such practices, we are more susceptible to Neptunian temptation. This is a dangerous place to be. Keep your inner world burning brightly. Think of this transit as a a subtle exercise in self-control. Beware netherworld sea creatures swimming into your dopamine receptors, whispering that they’ve got something you’d like, just what you’ve been looking for.
This is the time of year when we are most likely to engage in regressive, destructive behavior. We might enter into an unhealthy relationship, for example. Get all the details and take your time. Unlike other planetary retrogrades, Neptune does not push, she pulls. Neptune muddles logic until it vanishes. Stand strong against impulse and seduction, my friends, because I can tell you now that if it seems too good to be true, Neptune the Queen of Illusion has something waiting for you in the chamber. Even if you do mistakenly swim into the belly of the shark, look around and you will find a light, a way out.
Neptune Retrograde is an introspective and reflective period. A surge in emotional sensitivity or preternatural abilities is not uncommon, but you may struggle to express yourself. This transit is like being woven into a cocoon – how to transmute the experience from within?
Dates to watch: June 24 & Sep 4 (difficult, interpersonally speaking); July 11 (harmonious, excellent day to dance and create); July 18 (harmonious on the interpersonal front); Sep 7 (difficult, not a good day to travel or hold important conversations); Sep 10 (difficult, with the Sun in Virgo directly opposing Neptune); Sep 14 (difficult, keep expectations realistic). What I really want to talk about is the unfolding relationship between Jupiter and Neptune. Jupiter entered Sagittarius in early Nov 2018 and will stay here until the end of this year (at the moment he is also retrograde). By virtue of being in Sagittarius, Jupiter forms pressurized “squares” to Neptune in Pisces – this is the fixed, unchanging relationship between these two archetypes – good to know if you are Pisces/Sagittarius and wondering why you are not getting along with a Pisces/Sagittarius! We first saw Jupiter square Neptune on Jan 13 earlier this year and will see this again on June 16 (before Neptune Retrograde begins) – think back to January 2019 to get an idea of what is coming again. In addition to June 16, we will see this aspect once more on Sep 21 (while Neptune is retrograde). This square makes us restless to the point of needing to go out and dance late into the night. We will more closely examine our belief systems and sparkling visions of the future. Which endeavors are most exciting to us at this time? Which ones need to be left behind? We will acknowledge the discrepancy between what we had hoped and how it is, or discover that how it is can be even better than what we had hoped. Any square involving fire (such as Jupiter in Sagittarius) needs to be released through physical exercise of some kind. It will be difficult to sleep at night, or you might not sleep at all. Artistic expression (especially in the form of music or dance) is highly recommended, as always.
Listen to the haunting Neptune, the Mystic from The Planets Suite by Gustav Holst. Celebrate Neptune with Pisces Yoga. I was born with Neptune Retrograde. To find your Neptune sign and whether she was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
Mantra: I believe