Neptune, the foggy planet of spirituality, is about to move backward in a few days! Neptune retrograde begins on June 30th, 2023, and lasts until December 6th, 2023, totaling about five months and occurring entirely in Pisces.
Neptune retrogrades for about that long every year and likes to obscure our vision. For 2023, Neptune retrograde is strongest for these six zodiac signs: Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aries.
What is Retrograde?
In astrology, we call a planet or body retrograde when it appears to move backward through the zodiac. This is just how it appears to us (it’s not actually moving backward!).
The normal motion for the planets is forward, so retrogrades like to throw off whatever the planet rules while retrograde. Some of these are stronger than others, while some of these are more subtle, and Neptune falls in the subtle camp.
About Neptune Retrograde in Astrology
In astrology, Neptune is the planet of imagination and the arts, compassion and empathy, endings, and spirituality. It’s also the planet of illusion, delusion, and in transit, it dissolves.
Neptune likes to bring foggy energy, and this is much foggier when Neptune is retrograde. Everyone can feel the fog set in, which can obscure our vision and make it difficult to see what’s right in front of us.
We need to ground ourselves during Neptune retrograde so we have a better chance of seeing things as they are. It’s also helpful if we’re connected to our intuition and subconscious minds since this helps us see subtle clues that we may consciously miss.
Without either of those things, we tend to get lost in the fog, and we don’t even realize it until after the retrograde has ended!
About the 2023 Neptune Retrograde
The Neptune retrograde for 2023 begins on June 30th, 2023, in Pisces, and Neptune has been in Pisces for a long time (since 2011). Neptune is the natural ruling planet for Pisces, so this tour has amplified the natural Neptune energy, and the fog has been extra foggy during Neptune retrograde.
Saturn began its retrograde in Pisces on June 17th, 2023, just a couple of weeks before Neptune retrograde, so we have two planets retrograde in this sign.
Saturn is the polar opposite of Neptune – it’s reality, discipline, the practical, and focus. Saturn drills down and gets things done, while Neptune is wandering all over, unable to stay still.
The overlap of these two retrograde means we may be dealing with lots of issues around balancing these two opposing energies. We may struggle with both using imagination and being practical about it, with being compassionate while having boundaries, and with merging the mundane with the magical.
Retrograde energy taps into our subconscious and karma, and that’s even more true with Pisces (the sign that rules both), as well as with Saturn (Lord of Karma) and Neptune (remember, the ruler of Pisces).
Issues that come up may be related to subconscious traumas and karmic baggage that need to be understood, addressed, or released. The problems they cause may not seem related on the surface, but as you dig in, you can find the ties.
This can be super amplified with the Pisces Full Moon on August 30th, 2023, which is widely conjunct (aligned with) Saturn (not Neptune, though). Full Moons tend to be strong when it comes to subconscious and karmic energy as it is; they’re also associated with endings, and this Full Moon may bring an important ending or release.
Both Venus and Mercury will also be retrograde at that time (as well as Pluto and Uranus turn retrograde a few days before, and Jupiter turns retrograde a few days later), so this is super strong retrograde energy for that Full Moon. Make time to reflect, be introspective, and try to get plenty of rest.
Check this out: The Ultimate Guide to Retrogrades
The 6 Zodiac Signs Most Impacted by the 2023 Neptune Retrograde
Neptune is both your ruler and retrograde in your sign, so you get the one-two punch, Pisces. This isn’t new for you, though, and you’ve been dealing with this for over a decade now.
When your ruler is retrograde, this tends to throw you off in a subtle way (same for the ruler of your Moon or Rising), and when a planet is retrograde in your sign, this likes to bring up all sorts of little problems from all directions.
Put them together, and you poor Pisces have had to deal with getting stuck in the Neptune fog in a big way during Neptune retrograde. You may be dealing with extra issues, but Neptune has made it difficult for you to figure out the right way to deal with them.
This time is different thanks to Saturn also in your sign, and Saturn wants you to be more realistic. You may feel challenged during this Neptune retrograde to be more tethered to reality, to the here and now, and to what’s in front of you.
This is challenging energy, and you may be extra exhausted during this period. Try to give yourself more time to rest so you have a better chance of managing the energy.
If you do things the wrong way, Saturn will let you know by creating more problems, so try to pay attention when it seems like things aren’t working out.
Make sure to work on strengthening your connection to your intuition and removing blocks or baggage that have gotten in the way. Neptune retrograde amplifies your intuition, and Saturn helps highlight issues so you can forge a better connection.
Those of you Pisces Suns born March 13th to 19th likely feel the impact of this Neptune retrograde most and need to be more mindful of taking care of yourself, getting rest, working on your intuition, and solidifying your boundaries.
Neptune retrograde in Pisces is opposite your sign, Virgo, and this can stir up oppositional energy in your life. Thanks to the fogginess of Neptune, you may be aware of this subconsciously but not consciously.
You likely need to work on both being flexible, as well as being more grounded, especially when dealing with other people. If you’re normally not very realistic about a person’s motivations, that can become a bigger issue.
Your ruler, Mercury, will retrograde August 23rd to September 15th, 2023, in your sign during this Neptune retrograde, and that can be when it’s most important for you to ground yourself and be quick on your feet.
You can get really thrown off during Mercury retrograde, and it may seem like everything is being flung at you. This can cause overwhelm and exhaustion and run you down.
Use the time before Mercury retrograde with Saturn and Neptune retrograde in Pisces to get extra rest, recharge, and work on removing blocks and baggage that have kept you from feeling balanced and maintaining some peace.
If you go into the Mercury retrograde feeling more emotionally stable and secure, you can have fewer issues to worry about.
Read this next: The Ultimate Guide to Mercury Retrograde
Neptune retrograde in Pisces is square your sign, Gemini, which is a challenging aspect that puts Neptune 3 zodiac signs away from yours. Squares are aspects of internal friction that grow if you don’t address them.
The Neptune retrograde challenges your goals and direction in life, and you may struggle with figuring out where you want to go, what you aspire to be, or how to get on the right path.
Saturn helps to push you in the right direction if you can address subconscious issues and karmic baggage and work on letting go. With Neptune at a hard aspect to your sign, this may be internally focused and seem quiet on the surface.
Your ruler, Mercury, also retrogrades August 23rd to September 15th, 2023, and this can really make you thrown off, and you may feel extra foggy. The foundation of your life and of yourself may need to be strengthened and secured.
Like with Gemini, Neptune retrograde in Pisces is square your sign, Sagittarius, which is a challenging aspect of internal friction. Instead of focusing on your goals and direction in life, the Neptune retrograde focuses on home and family matters and your emotional state.
Saturn wants you to be more grounded emotionally, but the Neptune retrograde makes this difficult. You may need to address old issues, old traumas, or past life baggage in order to get some control over your emotions.
You may not see things fully when trying to deal with emotional issues thanks to the Neptune fog, but if you work on strengthening your connection to your intuition, this can help you figure things out. There is great potential for a strong emotional intuitive connection.
Your ruler, Jupiter, turns retrograde on September 4th, 2023, and this might throw you off during the Neptune retrograde. Still, it also greatly improves karmic and spiritual energy, so try to tap into that to your benefit.
Saturn is retrograde along with Neptune retrograde, and Saturn is your ruler, Capricorn, so this can amplify the impact for you. Your ruler retrograde can throw you off, and with all of this in Pisces, you may struggle mentally with your focus and expression.
You likely need to work on being clearer with your words and try connecting to your intuition to figure out the right way to say things. If you’re really struggling, there is likely a block or old issue that needs to be addressed.
Neptune retrograde can stimulate your subconscious mind, so you may want to work on consciously getting into your subconscious. You can gain greater awareness of what you’re thinking, what your motivations are, and where it all comes from.
This can also please Saturn, so you can have a lot fewer issues to deal with. Saturn is retrograde in Pisces from June 17th to November 4th, 2023.
Neptune retrograde may not seem like it has much of an impact on you on the surface, Aries, but it’s likely digging up some major subconscious baggage and karma. You may keep this to yourself, though, and want to work through it on your own.
Saturn now touring this sign can actually be of benefit for you, and you can stay in the background, away from attention, and work on yourself in a serious way. Saturn helps you get focused on it, while Neptune might’ve made that difficult over the last decade.
Neptune retrograde gives you the ability to understand yourself and your past much better, and Saturn coming along brings greater awareness.
Take it Easy During Neptune Retrograde!
Neptune retrograde can drain our energy pretty easily, and thanks to the fog, we can lose focus easily too. Take time to rest and recharge, and make sure to ground your conscious mind while diving into your subconscious.
There can be some deep release during this retrograde and major understanding that leads to growth. As long as we don’t get lost in the fog!
Related article: Your Ultimate Guide to ALL 2023 Retrogrades