On the heels of the summer solstice, Neptune retrograde begins June 18 in pensive Pisces, and it's an ideal time for developing your spiritual side. This is no small undertaking, and you might be wondering exactly how long Neptune is retrograde, because spiritual development takes time and personal investment. This slow-moving planet is in its throwback phase until Nov. 24, which gives you almost six months to explore and implement new spiritual practices.
"Neptune, being a planet of spirituality, provides an opportunity for incredible spiritual and personal self-growth. It is the ideal time to focus on your inner world, find what is out of place and what can be worked on," Katalina Aster wrote for Spirit Science Central. "Neptune retrograde can open your eyes to reality and push you to seek the truth."
Aside from bringing grounding energy into your life, Neptune's backspin can also shatter any perfect illusions you've been holding onto, especially if you have Neptune in your natal chart. While it might be emotionally difficult, this is actually a good thing, and letting go of false ideals can make room for positive energy in your life. "Neptune has a nebulizing effect that can snap us out of our ego-identities just long enough to let a little universal love pour in," Astrology.com explained.
Because Neptune is retrograde for 40 percent of the year, the effects are more subtle than fast-moving retrogrades like Mercury. This means that there could be long stretches where you don't feel like anything is happening and equally drawn-out periods where things seem to last forever. Those who need to release things from their karmic energy field are more likely to feel like the lessons of Neptune retrograde are dragging on longer than necessary.
"If any illusions have clouded your mind in the past, they will come to the surface to be properly addressed once and for all," Aster explained. "If you have deceived yourself about the state of your finances, career, or relationships, Neptune retrograde will point out where you are living in a fantasy world and help you understand reality — and improve it if needed."
While living in a realm of fantasy is preferable to the dumpster fire of the real world, Neptune retrograde is going to snap you back to reality whether you like it or not. Resistance is futile my friendlies. It's best to surrender yourself to the universe and harness the energy of Neptune retrograde to work the dark and twisties out of your system. Think of it like a karmic exorcism to rid yourself of baggage from not only this life, but past lives as well.
"For the deepest healing to take place, it is necessary to look inside yourself at your habits and behaviors at this time to find where you are deceiving yourself," Aster advised. "What are you hiding from yourself? Are there behaviors that are not serving you? Neptune retrograde will help you get rid of self-sabotaging behavior and defeat any addictions."
This is an ideal time to begin a meditation practice and create a manifestation list or vision board so you can actively attract more of what you want into your life and less of the things you don't. Engage in some serious soul searching during the next six months, and write down everything you want to expel from your life. When you're ready, rip it up or burn it to send a signal to the universe that you're done with all that.
"When direct, Neptune will put a veil on our eyes, helping us hide anxieties and unwanted realities," Astrology.com explained. "Once it is retrograde, Neptune loses its powers, and this illusion is slowly but surely stripped away; sometimes leaving us face-to-face with a harsh and painful reality."
The bottom line? If you want to begin 2019 with a clean slate, now is the time to put in the work because come Nov. 24, cosmic lines will begin to blur, and you definitely don't want to finish the year stumbling around in the dark.