Neptune, planet of divine love, mysteries, secrets, idealism, lies, and deception, will station retrograde at 22 deg. 22 min. of sidereal Aquarius, on Monday, June 18, 2018, at 7:26:33 PM Eastern Time. This is an annual cycle for Neptune when it retrogrades for about five months, in this case, until November 25. Retrograde Neptune cycles are generally a period when we have to face up to some reality. Around the retrograde station itself (10 days either side), we often find ourselves embroiled in a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up.
Neptune is transiting in sidereal Aquarius from April 24, 2008 until February 18, 2023. Generally, this ~14-year period of Neptune in Aquarius is a time of cultural and spiritual awakening, which highlights scientific and technological inspiration, innovation and discovery. It also characterizes a period of mass deception, confusion, and delusion amid political and social upheaval, all of which are echoed in many other astrological transits and progressions happening concurrently during these periods.
The period when Neptune is in Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra is perhaps the most challenging transit within Aquarius (and early Pisces), when Neptune transits from 20 degrees Aquarius to 3 deg. 20 min. Pisces, approximately from the Spring of 2017 until the Summer of 2023. This nakshatra, ruled by a devil-like creature named Aja Ekapat, has been called “diabolical” in some instances. Purva Bhadrapada and also Neptune being in this nakshatra deal with hidden agendas, conspiracies, and a struggle for power by secret forces.
Stationing Neptune forms an exact trine to the Sun (the SOUL) in sidereal Gemini in the U.S. birth chart, and also trines transiting Jupiter in sidereal Libra within a few degrees. This grand air trine is indicative of some positive vibrations and optimistic energy in the U.S. collective soul. This provides a much-appreciated counterbalance to any potential “dark energies” or “illusions” reflected by Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra, and to some of the other more challenging astrological aspects we will face this summer.
Neptune now will be going back in time to reveal some of what is TRUE. This is interesting as the Neptune station in sidereal Aquarius occurs in the U.S. chart’s third house which relates to all forms of media and communication. Neptune will pass back through the Aries navamsa of Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra, which has a purificatory energy that can be elevating if we are in integrity. When integrity is lacking, this particular Neptunian force can be fierce and destructive, and suggests the possibility of danger through addiction, escapism, unethical actions, or criminal behavior.
If you have anything afflicted in your birth chart in sidereal Aquarius around 19-23 degrees, or anything afflicted around these same degrees in sidereal Taurus, Leo, or Scorpio, then this Neptune retrograde cycle may affect you with a wake-up call related to a matter you may have been ignoring or denying. Not to worry though…just be aware that such Neptune retrograde transits can be managed well when we face up to the truth, take responsibility, and establish healthy emotional and interpersonal boundaries.
If you have auspicious combinations in the sidereal signs listed above or in Libra and Gemini, at around 19-23 degrees, Neptune’s upcoming retrograde cycle will be a time when intuition runs high, creativity is enhanced, and spiritual development is the name of the game.