Because of its distance from Earth and the sun, Neptune is considered one of the outer planets, with more of a generational rather than personal pull. That means its retrogrades generally “represent more collective themes of growth,” says astrologer Madi Murphy, co-founder of spirituality platform CosmicRx. Translation? Your everyday life likely won’t be thrown visibly off-kilter in the way that it might be when a personal planet like, say, Mercury goes retrograde.
“Neptune retrograde will offer us the opportunity to reconsider whether we still align with the ideas that we’ve been collectively upholding as truth.” —Alexandria Lettman, astrologer
Instead, the vibe of Neptune retrograde is more of a self-reflective slow burn that you can expect to flicker to life over the next few months. “When Neptune slows down [and seems to reverse course], it will offer us the opportunity to reconsider whether we still align with the ideas that we’ve been collectively upholding as truth, or if they need to be re-evaluated so that we can evolve,” says Lettman.
So, prepare to remove you rose-colored glasses, notice where you may have gotten caught up in delusions, and see the true side of someone or something emerge, says Murphy. Whatever comes to the surface could also push you to “redraw some boundaries or redirect your dreams, ideas, or visions,” she adds.
What to expect from Neptune retrograde in Pisces in 2022
The mystical, dreamy sign of Pisces is Neptune’s domicile, which means it’s where the planet feels most at home and capable of enacting its energy. So, Neptune going retrograde in Pisces (where it's been transiting since 2011 and will remain until 2026) tends to bring a double dose of intuitive, idealistic vibes, says Lettman: “This is great news, as we can expect this retrograde, in particular, to enhance our compassion and desire for peace, not just for ourselves, but for everyone.”
“Our best use of this transit is to focus on unity and dissolving the perceived separation between us and others.” —Madi Murphy, astrologer
That’s because both Neptune, as a planet, and Pisces, as a sign, have a certain sense of spiritual oneness about them. “Our best use of this transit is to focus on unity and dissolving the perceived separation between us and others,” says Murphy. And given Neptune’s natural inclination toward all things creative, some well-aligned ways to do that might be gathering with friends or strangers around storytelling, art, or healing practices, she says.
At the same time, however, the mystical Piscean energy of this transit could cloud your personal perspective a bit, making it tougher to see truth from illusion and discern exactly how to reframe or realign your goals with your best interests in mind, according to Lettman. As a result, making the most of this retrograde's energy could require a high degree of self-awareness and introspection, she says.
That’s why Murphy recommends taking extra care to get grounded during this time and, again, redefine your boundaries, if that feels right. “This is a time to practice self care at a soul level,” she says. “That could mean starting [or reviving] a dedicated, daily spiritual practice—like spending time in nature, journaling, or working with crystals.”
In particular, folks who have their sun, moon, or rising placements in Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, or Pisces may find that they could really use one of those practices, as the energy of this Neptune retrograde will hit them most directly. Below, Murphy and Lettman share how this transit could shed new light on each mutable sign’s future aspirations.
Here are the 4 signs poised to feel the effects of Neptune retrograde in Pisces most powerfully
Be prepared for some life-purpose-level thinking, Gemini. Paired with this transit's activation of your 10th house of career, your brainiac air element could have you noodling on how you might need to redirect your path in order to achieve your biggest dream or goal. "That could require developing some new clarity around that goal in order to formulate a plan to achieve it," says Lettman.
You'll have more success with that if you can bring your heart, consciousness, or sense of compassion into it, says Murphy: "This transit is a great time to get your ambitions in alignment with a higher purpose." Outside of career-specific aims, that could mean thinking even bigger-picture—for example, about what kind of elder or, one step further, what kind of ancestor you want to be, she adds.
Your space to consider whether your reality is aligned with your true beliefs is in your relationships, Virgo. Perhaps you're holding unrealistic expectations of your partner or of a potential future partner, as you search for a "perfect" relationship, friendship, or business partnership, says Lettman.
Or, on the flip side, maybe you're catering too much to a partner's needs while ignoring your own. "Virgos often lead their lives on the principle that everyone matters, but you may need to remember that you are included in that everyone," says Murphy. In either case, this retrograde is an opportunity to take inventory of your relationships and set them on a more sustainable path forward.
It's tough to really progress in life while weighed down by unresolved issues from your upbringing or childhood, Sagittarius. Because this Neptune retrograde highlights your fourth house of roots and family, it may push you to resolve whatever lies beneath the surface in those realms, perhaps by reconnecting with relatives, letting go of water-under-the-bridge drama, or even healing some ancestral wounds, says Murphy. And it's possible that new revelations about your home life during this time could help you do all of the above.
Given that this retrograde is happening in your sign, you may not be surprised to learn its effects on you will be the strongest: It's shaking up your first house of identity, which brings with it the opportunity to discover or rediscover what makes you you. "Your sense of self may be going through a major change this year, so do an audit of how you spend your time, energy, and money, and be sure that you're only saying 'yes' to the things that are consistent with your truest self," says Murphy.
That will most definitely require looking inward and taking some time to reflect—particularly on your spiritual or philosophical outlook, says Lettman, as these are areas that are both core to your Piscean nature and to the energetic theme of Neptune. "You could be pushed to consider whether your innately idealistic side is fueling any disappointments you may be facing and if you can find a way to take more accountability for your own happiness going forward," she says.
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