Life could feel like a giant reflecting pool starting June 30, as soothsayer Neptune dips into its annual retrograde until December 6. The 5-month Neptune retrograde in the planet’s ruling sign of Pisces puts compassion front-and-center.
What happens during a Neptune retrograde?
Like the other outer planets, Neptune goes retrograde annually for about five months. These periods can be deeply introspective times—but ones that require extra reality checks! You may feel like retreating or escaping from the world, which can be a healing process or one that lures you back to a destructive habit.
“Just this once” can become famous last words during a Neptune retrograde transit. Set up support systems so you don’t give in to toxic temptations. While Neptune intensifies its boundary-dissolving effect in its home sign of Pisces, that advice goes double!
What to do during the Neptune retrograde 2023, in compassionate Pisces
Cue your Calm app and blow the dust off your dream journal when Neptune turns retrograde. Prophetic Neptune begins its annual retrograde on June 30, 2023, pushing you deeper into the waters of your subconscious. The oceanic planet, which is sailing through its home sign of Pisces until 2026, demands extra contemplation and reflection until it corrects course on December 6, 2023.
Go deep to heal
This backspin can actually roll back the fog of denial, distraction and delusion and help you process a stuck situation for once and for all. With the muse hovering in the background, use this time to heal another layer of emotional trauma.
This meditative five-month cycle can be a profound blessing. It can open a window to deal with core wounds and addictions (from liquor to love to limiting beliefs). Meanwhile, it can let you tap into buried realms of creativity. Neptune retrograde is a great time to tend to unfinished creative projects.
A few warnings
Make sure to keep your psychic shield up, though, especially while in public. Like a sponge, you can absorb the mood of a room or get thrown off emotionally by a stranger’s vibes. With fog-machine Neptune in the time-out chair, you can cut through illusions…IF you are willing to take an unflinching audit of your life. Use this period to explore the shadows.
Giving others the benefit of the doubt can be noble…but also naïve. As gullible Neptune powers down for its annual backspin, practice more healthy self-protection. Put safety first and don’t feel guilty if you get a weird vibe from someone and need to back away. Allow yourself that moment to honor your intuition. It’s possible you’re imagining things and could hit it off on the second try. But maybe something truly is “off.” Don’t ignore your gut!
Awareness is the key to evolution! By owning up to unhealthy patterns you can learn to break them. And get plenty of rest, because the best ideas may arrive while you’re sleeping, meditating or just staring at the clouds.
Reminder! Another retrograde takes place simultaneously in Pisces.
Beep, beep beep—is that another planet reversing through the sensitive water sign? Why, yes it is.
Saturn beat Neptune to the backspin in Pisces, turning retrograde on June 17. The two planets share the reverse commute well into Fall (Saturn until November 4, Neptune until December 6).
This double dose of planetary retrograde energy in Pisces is especially weird because Saturn and Neptune are a cosmic odd couple. Boundary-hound Saturn likes firm plans, solid schedules and reality checks. Boundary-dissolving Neptune rules the realm of fantasy, fluidity and imagination. Can you see the “conflict of interest here?”
While both planets are in reverse, we’ll all need to be time travelers, moving through what the Greeks called chronos and kairos time. Chronos (as in chronological) is time that can be measured by the clock and the cycles of the moon. Fun fact: In Roman lore, Saturn is named Kronos, so yes, this is the domain, the ringed planet rules. Kairos is the liminal flow state that occurs when we get so absorbed in what we’re doing that we lose track of minutes…hours even. Dreamy Neptune brings us fully into this time zone.
While Saturn and Neptune are retrograde, work at identifying your structured time and your free time. How can you become more efficient with work and obligatory routines so that you have more time to relax, meditate and just be? Also, what tangible assets are needed to help you “build the dream”?
Your Neptune retrograde in Pisces horoscope
Below are horoscopes for the five months of the Neptune in Pisces retrograde for your zodiac sign. You can read for your Sun sign or your rising sign (ascendant). Visit our Cosmic Calculator section if you want to calculate your Rising sign or discover more about your personal astrology.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Fantasy or reality? It may be hard to discern for the next five months, as dreamy Neptune shifts into retrograde from June 30 until December 6—doubling down on serious Saturn’s backspin through the same part of your chart from June 17 to November 4. Meditation is a must as you’ll need more time alone; or at least a retreat from the madding pace of it all. Just don’t withdraw TOO much, Ram. Having a solid circle of supporters around you is what makes life feel rich. There may be some “necessary losses” while Neptune backstrokes until December 6. If you’re not giving up something tangible, you may be releasing a limiting belief or identity that you’ve outgrown. You may also make a sacrifice (one that’s bigger than you’d normally be comfortable with) to support a loved one who is ailing or in need. It’s a big challenge, Aries, but you possess the strength within you to take this on.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You are judged by the company you keep, Taurus, and starting June 30, you’ll want to take a good look at the people surrounding you. Shadowy Neptune turns retrograde in your social networking zone until December 6, urging you to clean house! With status-conscious Saturn already flowing back through this zone from June 17 to November 4, the mission is doubly important. You no doubt have some amazing people in your squad. But there are some questionable characters, too—the hustlers who are always looking for a shortcut, the ones who take, take, take…but are never around when you need a favor in return. Instead of complaining about these energy vampires, exorcise them from your world. Friendship breakups happen, Bull. Tough as they are, they’re also liberating—clearing space for people who know the meaning of reciprocity.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Gemini: How do you define your dream job, Gemini? Neptune, the planet of fantasy, joins serious Saturn and spins backward in your house of career for the next five months, from June 30 to December 6. This retrograde is a time to dig deeper into your soul, determining what would make you want to leap out of bed each morning. Helpful people from your past will return, ones who have expertise in your desired field. This would be a fine time to sit at a master’s feet and learn—even if no pay is involved. Witnessing the pros in action is priceless training. If you’re already on your chosen path, Neptune retrograde nudges you to bring more meaning into your work. You can do so by amplifying your creativity, or bringing a socially responsible element into the equation. Helpful experts may also return from your past to assist with this mission. As Neptune can conceal truths, you’ll also have to do your requisite research. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, don’t be naive!
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
June 30 won’t start out on a light note, Cancer. Soulful Neptune follows serious Saturn’s lead, turning retrograde in Pisces for five months, sending you on a vision quest between now and December 6. What is your highest purpose in this world? Where do you need to travel (or perhaps relocate) to develop your gifts? Is a course of study involved with this quest? Deep questions to ponder, Cancer, but you’re ready to take them on. You may be drawn to a summer pilgrimage, especially one that allows you to develop your inner self. As retrogrades rule the past, this may be a continuation of a pursuit you began a while ago. People from different cultures and other parts of the world are likely to be involved.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Are you losing sight of your own center, Leo? With Neptune turning retrograde in your eighth house of intimacy and shared resources from June 30 until December 6, you may need to draw back from a partnership a bit. This process may already be underway ever since Saturn shifted into reverse in this same zone from June 17 to November 4. No matter how wonderful a passion or person may be, blending into a codependent “we” will not bring you the happiness you crave. Work on keeping healthier boundaries in place, so you can merge without losing your autonomy in the process. Neptune’s backspin helps deepen your connection to spirituality or the mystical forces of the universe. You might even develop your intuitive gifts with a masterful teacher.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Boundaries! Neptune turns retrograde in your relationship house for five months beginning June 30, helping you figure out where your edges lie. Have you been making too many sacrifices—putting off your goals to support your sweetie’s endeavors, driving thirty minutes out of your way to meet an online prospect who is too cheap to pay for your espresso? In other words, are you being far too accommodating for your own self-respect? Enough, Virgo! As Neptune backstrokes through your partnership zone until December 6, you’ll need to find equanimity or else move on from any user-friendly relationships. And with no-nonsense Saturn reversing through this zone until November 4, the mission’s all the more pressing. Taking off the rose-colored glasses can be painful, but what’s worse is continuing to labor in delusion, hoping that someday, maybe, people will change into what you want them to be.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Playing with your food again, are you, Libra? Healing Neptune turns retrograde in your house of well-being for five months beginning June 30, bringing eating habits under the microscope. From keto to Paleo to macrobiotics, you’re often the first one to hop on the bandwagon and try the latest trend. Neptune’s backspin wants you to refine and reform, discovering the combination that works best for YOUR body. Since responsible Saturn is also retrograde here until November 4, you’re primed to put some solid practices in place. Consider getting a food allergy test to find out if you really do have a sensitivity to gluten and dairy (you might not). Check blood levels too to see if you are deficient in any vitamins. Your two-month stint as a vegan could have your B12 levels at a low. Food is fuel, so learn to love it for that purpose while enjoying your sign’s epicurean leanings. With watery Neptune in the mix, chug more H2O than ever.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Your enigmatic allure is always spellbinding Scorpio. But from June 30 to December 6, illusory Neptune makes a five-month U-turn in your fifth house of fame and romance, cautioning against becoming TOO MUCH of a mystery. Since serious Saturn is also retrograde here until November 4, you’ve got a mission laid out for you: Work with a stylist, branding specialist, designer, or another image consultant to strike the right balance between esoteric and exhibitionist. Face it, Scorpio: People are going to talk about you—especially since you have so many intriguing facets. Would you rather they invent tall tales, or get the story straight from you? Open the book and let them read the self-penned autobiography instead of the tabloids. PS: Revealing more of your authentic nature can reboot your love life. If you’re healing from a breakup, this Neptune phase can bring comfort and support.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Family can be equal parts joy and burden for the independent Archer. You love their company but may secretly resent the responsibility that comes along with caring so much for others. Forget about flitting off like a free spirit, at least for the next five months. Beginning June 30, sacrificial Neptune follows responsible Saturn’s lead and turns retrograde in your domestic zone until December 6. Someone quite dear to you (likely a female) will require more attention and support in the months ahead. Don’t resist! Nurturing this bond is beneficial to you both, Sagittarius. Step in and really be there for this person. You don’t have to put your life on hold, but you will have to scale back a few of your outside obligations in order to make room for this new commitment.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Friend, frenemy…or merely a Facebook connection? Beginning June 30, hazy Neptune turns retrograde in your third house of allies, a U-turn that lasts until December 6. (Your ruler Saturn is already in reverse here until November 4.) During this five-month phase, you’ll need to be more discerning about the people you invite into your squad. Don’t be an elitist, Capricorn; just run the background checks on folks. Neptune is the planet of illusions, and you may uncover some less-than-savory information about a group that held much promise. Since you’re judged by the company you keep, associating with people of integrity is a must. You may already begin this sorting process today, bowing out of plans with any needy, draining or questionable characters you’ve recently met.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Enchanting Neptune joins stoic Saturn and turns retrograde in your house of finances for five months (June 30-December 6). Your pot of gold may be found at the end of a familiar rainbow—like a reunion project, returning client, or a new stint at an old job. On the less shiny side of things, Neptune’s backspin could temporarily dam the flow of abundance. Every “crisis” is also an opportunity, Water Bearer. Revamping your budget could be an important undertaking this week, or necessity could force you to finally learn that piece of software that will put you in a new income bracket. Neptune retrograde is a great time to study alongside a master or develop a creative idea into a potential business. You have five months, so dive in.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Who do you think you are…really? Your identity goes through an interesting recalibration on June 30 when your ruling planet Neptune turns retrograde in Pisces for five months—joining backspinning Saturn there. As retrogrades rule the past, you might even revive an old aspect of yourself or dust off a talent you shelved. (Is that trunk of 90s flower-print dresses still in your mom’s attic?) This retrograde can also help you regain balance. You’ve stretched immensely since Neptune entered your sign in February 2012; yet, in the process, you may have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. Between now and December 6, figure out a better blend: one that incorporates the exciting new you with the enduring qualities you want to keep around from your old life.