If you’re into astrology at all (more than just reading your horoscope online every day), you’re going to hear about planets going retrograde. What is retrograde? Simply put, it’s when planet appears to be moving backwards. it’s not literally going backwards in its orbit, it just appears that way in relation to the sun and the moon.
All planets go retrograde at some point. There are inner planets which move faster. And therefore, retrograde more often, but for shorter amounts of time. Venus and Mars and Mercury move relatively quickly and retrograde more often. For example, Mercury typically goes retrograde three to four times in a calendar year. Granted, it’s only for about 4-6 weeks, but it’s still frequent. Planets like Uranus and Pluto and Saturn are outer planets. They go retrograde less often, but they’re overall transits are longer. For example, Saturn moved into the sign of Capricorn in December 2017. It will transit through Capricorn until 2020. So it’s transit is about two and a half to three years. it’s retrograde is also a few months. A typical Jupiter transit is about eleven months. It’s retrograde is about 3-4 months (give or take).
We tend to think of retrogrades as bad or negative. And they can be. If it’s your ruling planet, you’re going to feel it more than the others. Gemini and Virgo people, ruled by Mercury, have to deal with their ruler going retrograde three to four times a year. So lots of shift. But we all deal with it because we are all affected by all the planets transits.
I’m not going to go through all the planets and what they can mean direct and retrograde. But I will touch on Neptune because it’s going to go retrograde June 18 (also the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere) until about November 24, 2018. Neptune rules Pisces. Neptune is the god of the underworld. So all things a little deep and dark and “under the cover.” Things that maybe we can’t see or that we don’t completely understand. Neptune is dreamy and creative and sensitive. But Neptune can also be about escapism. Not dealing with what needs to be dealt with. This is why some astrologers will say people with a sun, ascendant/rising or moon in Pisces can be substance abusers. Because they want to escape from things either around them or within them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the quickest way out is through. You have to go through it in order to get through it. It’s the best way to deal with that uncomfortable “stuff” and to progress forward.
So this upcoming Neptune retrograde may bring to our attention the “stuff” we want to escape. Or have been escaping. The universe does an amazing job of giving us the same lesson to learn until we learn it. Then once we learn the lesson, we’ll stop getting the same “stuff” to deal with. And this doesn’t always have to be something outside of ourselves (bad relationships, tension at work, issues with our relatives or siblings, irresponsibly with money), it can be things within ourselves. Maybe we view ourselves as the victim all the time. Maybe we struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem which can lead to not having boundaries with people which can lead to people constantly and consistently taking advantage of us and hurting us. Perhaps our issue is with not feeling worthy of abundance or luxury. We have a hard time accepting gifts from others (no matter how small or seemingly insignificant) or favors. Or we can’t ever really relax and enjoy a wonderful moment – like an amazing, expensive dinner. Or a luxurious resort vacation. First class air travel. A new vehicle or a beautiful piece of jewelry.
It’s different for all of us. If you do shadow work regularly, you’re going to know what your “dark” stuff is. The areas of yourself that you need to work on or that aren’t how you’d like them to be. If you don’t do shadow work (shadow work is a Carl Jung term for dealing with our darker selves or the aspects of ourself we don’t particularly appreciate or like….sometimes also referred to as our deepest wounds), meditation is a good way to start. If you don’t meditate (and don’t particularly want to), you can just take a few minutes to get brutally honest with yourself and write down three things about yourself you want to work on. Maybe you complain too much or you’re too critical. You can’t give praise to other people because you tend to be jealous of anybody else’s success or happiness. Maybe you “test” your potential romantic partners, reasoning if they don’t pass your tests and can’t deal with your BS (sorry, not sorry….that’s usually what that is), then you don’t deserve them anyway and they can’t really hang with you either. Whatever it is – Neptune retrograde is a good time to look into all of this.
And somewhat related, a Neptune retrograde is a good time to develop your own spirituality. Or just to spend some time with what spiritually means for you. Is it saying grace before meals? Praying before you go to sleep? Keeping a gratitude list? Doing a random act of kindness for a stranger every day? What rituals or practices resonate with you? Why? Why not? What rituals or practices would you like to start? On and on.
So don’t be afraid to go within. Even if it’s uncomfortable or not pretty. We all have not pretty parts of ourselves. And those are the parts that often need the most attention. This Neptune retrograde season is a good time to give those parts that attention.
My shadow, my dark, my less than ideal, I give attention and love to make it better and real…
The Smiling Raven