What Is Neptune Retrograde 2018? This Planetary Event Is All About Setting Big Goals

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You may be familiar with the retrograde everyone's planetary frenemy Mercury goes through far too often, but you might not yet be acquainted with Neptune retrograde. So, what is Neptune retrograde? Good news: This retrograde isn't one to freak out about, because Neptune is basically your planetary bestie.

The term "retrograde" isn't so dreadful when it comes to the planet of Neptune. You might actually want to spend time engaging with it. And you'll have the time: this transit will last for five months from Jun. 18 to Nov. 24.

Don't let the term "retrograde" scare you off from Neptune's turn backwards. Most Astrologers soothe retrograde anxiety with the reminder that all the term means is "re-". A time to return and revise. In the case of Neptune retrograde, this is a good time to reconnect to the grand plans you mapped on a vision board. What do you actually, really, truly, deeply, madly want? Could the vision board use some editing? Neptune's retrograde allows time to revamp the game plan.

Because of Neptune's position to Earth (it's far), we won't feel the affects of this retrograde as intensely as others (side eyeing you, Mercury). But that doesn't mean that these five months will skirt by without any lessons learned. According to Sage Goddess, "Neptune is associated with our imagination, dreaming, visioning, fantasizing, suffering, confusion, unconditional loving, compassion, and grace." Sage Goddess continues by advising that we can make use of this time by, "reclaiming one’s imagination, re-defining one’s vision, reviewing the truth of compassion, or returning to Love."

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Neptune fully supports a vision board the size of your bedroom wall. It caters to your imagination and wildest dreams, urging them to be grander. While it's nice to live in a daydream, we all need a little push to manifest that vision board from wall to reality. Spirit Science Central says, "Neptune retrograde wakes up the dozy dreamer in you and lovingly pushes you to get real about your life. It shows you how to start actually working towards the life we envision." The same planet that dares you to dream is the same planet that snaps you straight back into reality. You know, like a good friend.

For 60 percent of the year, Neptune is all "yas, yas yas" to our desires and for the remaining 40 percent it becomes all "hold on, let's actually do this." Which, to be honest, makes this a refreshing and progressive retrograde. Those fired up dreams get doused with a bucket of reality. This reality check will ask you to "focus on your inner world, find what is out of place and what can be worked on," according to Spirit Science Central.

The heavy focus on reality, and the spotlight on all the work that must be done before we can start achieving anything pasted to our vision board, might seem overwhelming at first. But astrologers assure that Neptune's yearly retrograde is actually hopeful.

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Taking time — you know, like a cool five months — to sort out your soul will result in positive action once Neptune turns direct. This retrograde sorts out what you really want and how to get there. If particular fears have been the reason you haven't made any moves on your dream life, consider this retrograde a dare to conquer them. It's kind of crucial that you do. Lynn Kroiner of Astrological Research warns, "if you do not work on an internal level while Neptune is retrograde, you will be plagued by feelings of disillusion and vague dissatisfaction." Get real with yourself during this retrograde. Fine tune those fine dreams. There's no time like a retrograde.

While Neptune is mostly associated with dreams and imagination, its retrograde is all about goals. Consider Neptune in retrograde the best friend that roots you on and knows when to administer a tad of tough love. Your big dreams just got a to do list so that they can actually come true. Neptune retrograde, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance!