Published Saturday June 11, 2022, 2:09pm EDT. New York, NY

RETROGRADE SEASON 2022

MAY 10, 2022 - JANUARY 22, 2023

Retrograde Bar Chart 2022.png
Let’s take a look at the overall Retrograde Schedule for 2022. This graphic shows each separate period of the remaining Retrograde season, with the dates that each of the planets station Retrograde+Direct, and the signs each planet will be moving through. However, the graphic itself does not show the exact dates that planets actually regress, or change back into the previous signs. This graphic is also not time proportionate. Meaning each of the bars shown is the same size, but varying lengths of time. 
Retrograde Bar Chart 2022 schedule level.png
When you put linear time on the x-axis, the independent axis, you get a more time-proportional spread of these planets and their retrograde periods. It’s a great way to visualize how long the planets are actually stationed retrograde for. 
 
As a Project Manager, one thing I do is called resource or schedule leveling, where I track and monitor budget, schedule, workload, and human resources expense to make sure that work is evenly distributed over a schedule. I make sure that any one person isn’t too overwhelmed, or underwhelmed with nothing to do. The idea is, I shuffle these time blocks around until I find the perfect schedule that is as balanced and level as possible while still working within everyone’s time constraints. 
 
When viewing the planets as members of a team, you can’t change when the planets are stationed Retrograde. This is a “hard schedule.” It can almost be viewed like a P.T.O. schedule for the planets, and we all know that P.T.O. stands for “paid time off,” codeword: “prepare the others.”
 
Looking at this time-proportional graphic helps us to identify the key periods we’ll need to look out for. For the majority of September, there are seven total Astrological bodies stationed Retrograde, six of which are actual planets (sorry, Chiron). Pluto, Mercury, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, and Uranus will all appear to be moving backwards in the sky. An optical illusion of epic proportions that’ll be certain to throw off your groove in one way or another. 
 
Knowing this gives you all summer to prepare, so that when September comes and Mercury Rx is the cherry on top of a retrograde sundae, you’re prepared. Whether you have backup plans prepped and ready to go–so when issues and roadblocks arise you already know what your next steps will be–or you simply add cushioning throughout your whole schedule in September, knowing that there’s likely to be miscommunication (Mercury Rx) and issues in every single department. I promise: if you overbook September you will regret it. 
 
From a “corporate” or Project Management perspective, here’s a surface level look at some possible impacts of retrograde season (the remainder of 2022): 
  • Pluto’s retrograde period means issues related to acquisitions and capital expenditure. 
  • Saturn’s retrograde period is like having a wrench thrown in all your gears, forcing you to re-examine/repair systems to re-integrate and improve them (both digital and traditional/analog systems). 
  • Neptune’s retrograde period means reviewing strategy for your advertising team as consumers see through the bullshit. Your PR team might be pulling their hair out as their perfect illusions fade away and buried stories resurface. 
  • Chiron’s retrograde period could see flare ups in “Chronic” or “Chironic illnesses” with implications for sick leave use and HR. 
  • Jupiter’s retrograde period could see a reduction in cash flow or a need to reflect on scaling back. Additional issues with acquisitions, especially mergers.
  • Uranus retrograde could mean any number of network issues (IT, social media, supply chain network, any satellite operations). A revisitation of your Pluto-related CapEx issues are now reflected in Research & Development setbacks as Uranus’ technological advancement is forced to revise in the same way your financial department is for Pluto’s Rx. 
  • Last but not least: adding Mercury retrograde to the pileup brings the additional technology issues (especially communications technology like phones/computers/comms satellites), along with all of the mental fog and accidental oversight necessary to make sure tasks remain incomplete or done sloppily. It could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back if you aren’t prepared for all the issues that accompany such a heavy retrograde period.
 
I’ll be diving deeper into the effects of these retrograde periods over the next few weeks, from both personal and professional perspectives. 
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SATURN RETROGRADE 2022

JUNE 4 - OCTOBER 23, 2022

Published Saturday June 11, 2022, 2:09pm EDT. New York, NY
Retrograde Bar Chart 2022.png
There is a heavy focus in online astrology communities on the karmic aspect of this transit, which is valid. Saturn rules karma, your “payout” over time, or “reaping what you sow.” If you find yourself stuck in the same toxic cycles, playing the same storylines out over and over again with different characters, that is Saturn trying to teach you the same lesson in a different “form.” 
 
Saturn moved from 18° to 25° of Aquarius from February 27 - Jun 4 (the “F*ck around” period). Saturn will move from 25° to 18° of Aquarius from Jun 4 - Oct 23 (the “Find out” period). 
 
Even though Saturn’s back-tracking through the same degrees means that you’ll be reaping the karma from the past couple of months, not everything that goes wrong or falls apart during this period is necessarily going to be related to karma.
 
Saturn rules physical structure and stability, so when Saturn stations retrograde, things are going to fall apart. The stability and structure of everything begins to crumble and we are forced to reassess the stability of the systems that we’re utilizing, and all physical structures (literally examining the integrity of buildings and physical machinery that we use). As the “fixed” air sign, Saturn Rx in Aquarius means re-examining the security of all fixed assets. The stronger your foundations, the less “crumbling” you will see and the more you can utilize this retrograde period to reinforce your surviving structures and systems. 
 
If foundations aren’t stable, or objects are near their breaking point, then there is an element to this transit of having to fix or replace physical items. If things break, or if you lose your physical belongings, try not to take it too personally (Saturn does rule over “loss” in general). This is either a sign that you are not meant to have the object in your life, or that you are meant to learn how to fix that object. Saturn is the planet responsible for giving us opportunities to learn important skills over time through trial and error–the development of an apprentice into a master. Saturn retrograde periods are about learning to view roadblocks as learning opportunities instead of inconveniences, or horrible failures. 
 
Saturn doesn’t just rule physical structures and systems, it also rules socioeconomic and political power structures. Saturn rules Capricorn, which is the sign that covers existing traditional systems of organized government and economic systems. Pluto, the planet of destruction and transformation, experiencing a concurrent retrograde in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, will further emphasize the destruction and transformation of traditional socioeconomic and political systems through October. 
 
We are especially forced to reexamine power structures of every kind while Saturn is in Aquarius, the sign of the humanitarian: the person who stands strong in their belief systems, even if they oppose traditional power systems. This is why Aquarius is referred to as the “rebel,” who fights for change in unconventional ways. Saturn also rules Aquarius, the sign that covers the creation of new systems, reorganization of government and economic systems, an emphasis on the human collective vs. the top 1% of wealth-holders. It’s also the sign that is responsible for securing valuable information and valuable fixed assets, including intellectual property (Aquarius is the “fixed” air sign. Air is the classical element associated with information and intellect/knowledge).
We’ve had Saturn in Aquarius for a couple of years now, and we’ve seen the past few summers: every time Saturn stations retrograde in Aquarius we see an increase in social unrest and social justice movement as the stability of traditional exploitative systems of Capricorn begin to give way to the pressure of a strengthening collective. 
 
One major red flag that I anticipate for this transit is the intentional increase in the intensity of wealth inequality via market disruption. The creation of new systems that Saturn Rx forces will most definitely be taken advantage of by the top wealth earners, who will be utilizing the additional transit of Uranus retrograde in Taurus (August 24 - January 22, 2023) to stir the pot in the financial sector, creating a “whirlpool” of financial chaos that they will use to their advantage. Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius is the master of “controlled chaos,” and the chaos that is initiated during this period of combined Saturn+Uranus retrograde (Aug 24 - Oct 23) will be “harvested” starting when Saturn stations direct on October 23, 2022. 
 
The period of October 23 - January 22, 2022 is when Uranus will still be stationed retrograde, but Saturn will have already stationed direct, allowing the top 1% of wealth earners to regain control of the markets and of their assets, while the “collective” (represented by Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius) continues to suffer the brunt of the impact of the changes that are happening to our economic and political systems. I will discuss some of this in more detail when I talk about Uranus retrograde specifically, and how its current transit through Taurus is connected to the current housing market crisis, which will intensify before it resolves. 
 
One thing majorly different about this year’s retrograde “season” is Jupiter. In 2021, Jupiter “retrograded” backwards from Pisces into Aquarius, re-joining Saturn under Saturn’s rulership. This resulted in the dreamy fantasy-land of Jupiter in Pisces reverting back into a bold & confident social justice movement of Jupiter and Saturn together in Aquarius. Summer 2021 was a re-activation of the Jupiter-Saturn “Great Conjunction” in Aquarius that we saw in December of 2020. 
 
This year, Jupiter is “retrograding” from Aries back into Pisces. So, a revisitation of social justice movements and breaking down systems that don’t work to create new systems that work for everybody is another theme for this summer. This time, the energy will come from a more personal and passionate place, rife with anger thanks to Mars’ rulership of fiery and aggressive Aries. 
 
People will be fighting less for the sake of humanity, and are more likely to be fighting for their own personal survival needs. Root chakra activations galore. Once Jupiter finally regresses back into Pisces, that’s when we’ll see a resurfacing of more of the deep subconscious and collective themes that we explored during Jupiter’s forward transit through Pisces in April and May 2022.
 
So, the end of this Saturn retrograde (October of 2022) will reflect a lot more of the “collective” fight for social & economic justice with Jupiter Rx in Pisces stirring the deep collective subconscious–albeit a fight with severely unclear intentions, since Jupiter in Pisces makes things blurry & foggy again, while Neptune Rx in Pisces will be twisting reality to a level that makes most things virtually unrecognizable if you look hard enough.

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PLUTO RETROGRADE 2022

APRIL 29 - OCTOBER 8, 2022

Published Monday June 13, 2022, 1:57 EDT. New York, NY
Plutonian energy can get a little complicated, so let’s define what Pluto is “about” so you can understand the implications on a personal, professional, and societal/mundane level. Pluto is associated with Hades, the Ruler of the Underworld. This planet rules over tragic loss, death, grief, emotional & physical trauma, and intensity in general. 
 
Pluto can bring us experiences that shatter us to our core and bring us into a dark place in order to teach us the hardest lessons. Pluto is often referred to as the chthonic expression, or “Underworld” fragment, of Saturn: the most difficult and grueling lessons that we are forced to learn through intense loss and grief. 
 
One mechanism that Pluto works by, and a very important keyword for Pluto, is “magnification.” The way Pluto teaches us these difficult lessons isn’t always literal death or trauma, and it's actually quite irresponsible to interpret Pluto as just “death.” Pluto serves to take things that are very small and make them very large. Pluto will take a small problem and blow it “out of proportion” so that we are forced to see it and address the underlying problem.
Retrograde Bar Chart 2022.png
As the chthonic expression of Saturn, which rules "focus" (e.g. the focus of a microscope or telescope lens), Pluto magnifies the problems that we need to focus on so we can see what we are actually working with from literally miles away (the moon looks beautiful tonight), while Saturn does the actual “focusing” to take the image in the frame from Neptune’s blurry view into the Saturnian focus of a crystal clear image.
 
As the modern ruler of Scorpio, the sign that rules all “things lurking beneath the surface,” Pluto helps to expose the problems that may be festering out of sight by making them so big you can no longer ignore them. 
 
This is also why Pluto rules “virality.” Like a virus that spreads incredibly fast, or pop music sensation Rebecca Black who became a household name overnight, Pluto can take something “unknown” and inflate it to make sure the whole world becomes aware of it in the blink of an eye. 
 
During Pluto’s retrograde cycle, you will have a chance to complete the transformations that the intense and oftentimes traumatic experiences Pluto initiated while stationed direct. Seeing retrograde periods through a lens of “review,” Pluto retrograde is a time to reflect on the things that have shook you to your core, to take the grim lesson for what it is worth, and figure out a way to transmute the pain and horrific loss into something that is actually valuable.
Gold Titan Astrology - Saturn + Pluto.png
Saturn + Pluto, 2022, Gold Titan Astrology
Again, revisiting the concept of Pluto as the chthonic expression of Saturn: above ground, Saturn is the “God of the Harvest,” whereas Pluto is the “God of Underground Harvest.” This includes the mining of the most precious gemstones, which can only be formed under immense pressure and/or heat. Saturn is the ruler of the process of “crystallization” and of the crystals themselves, while the intensity of the pressure & heat required to crystallize them is under the rulership of Pluto–and it’s the same level of intensity you feel emotionally when you experience severe trauma and loss. 

Learning how to excavate or harvest the “diamonds” and “pearls” that are formed as a result of the intrusive and uncomfortable emotional process of Plutonian transformation (this is the sextile between Scorpio-Capricorn) allows you to use the retrograde period to harvest value from even the most intense and uncomfortable experiences. Be warned: it's a nearly impossible feat to accomplish when Saturn is simultaneously stationed retrograde for the remainder of Pluto’s “backtrack” until stationing direct on October 8th. The structure and discipline necessary to reap value from trauma will be hard to come by until Saturn stations direct on October 23.

 

GOING VIRAL

One grim example of this is the Pluto retrograde cycle we saw in 2020, which began on April 25, 2020 only weeks after Pluto conjoined Jupiter in Capricorn in February/March. With Jupiter as the ruler of global affairs & expansion, and Pluto as the ruler of virality & death, this Jupiter-Pluto conjunction coincided with the spread of the Covid-19 virus onto a widespread global stage, with a resulting increase in global deaths, fear, and panic (seemingly overnight, or literally “viral”). 
Pluto Rx USA.png
Taken from CDC.gov (Public Domain)

While the nations that ignored the problem experienced an increase in death & loss during Pluto’s retrograde period (*cough,* I live in the USA), other nations like New Zealand tackled this viral problem with extremely intense control measures, working to guarantee isolation of the virus took top priority compared to the liberty of their citizens or the profit of their private corporations.
It’s also worth noting that Pluto rules over “amplification” (another Pluto keyword that is highly related to “magnification”). The PCR testing used to identify the Covid-19 virus stands for “Polymerase Chain Reaction,” a method DNA/RNA amplification, which allows scientists to target a tiny segment of a virus’ genetic material (if it’s present at all) and create such an overwhelming number of copies of it (the “amplification”) that they can clearly tell whether or not the person is infected with the piece of genetic material they’re looking for. This is such a great example of Pluto in action: taking something very small and making it so overwhelmingly large that it’s nearly impossible to overlook. 
As Pluto’s 2020 retrograde period came to an end when Pluto stationed direct on October 5th, the USA had just recently hit 200,000 deaths with White House staff (including Trump) testing positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile, New Zealand officially declared itself virus-free on October 7th, 2020, only two days after Pluto stationed direct. New Zealand’s initial response to Covid is a testament to the overwhelming potential of utilizing the energy of Pluto retrograde in combination with extreme discipline (especially as it relates to banishment of any kind).
Pluto Rx New Zealand.png
Taken from CDC.gov (Public Domain)
The outcome of the retrograde period depends fully on the disciplined action you take to handle whatever viral problem Pluto has been showing you while stationed direct, and specifically how extreme that action is. Mars (action) and Pluto (extremity) are co-rulers of Scorpio for good reason. The extreme actions you take determine whether you let trauma and grief destroy you–turning you into a pile of ashes–or whether you rise from those ashes in a blaze of glory (Scorpio is symbolized by the Phoenix).

On a more personal level, an example could be using your traumatic experiences to create deep and meaningful art. Scorpio’s opposition to Taurus, ruled by Venus (the planet that rules music, the fine arts), means music and art are some of the best ways to transmute pain into power. When you create art as a way to cope with and heal from your dark and intense experiences, especially art that helps other people heal from similar painful and traumatic experiences, you are “harvesting” value from the Underworld.Pluto Rx is a great time to release old, stuck trauma by transmuting your pain into something that doesn’t hurt as bad, or if you’re really lucky, something that actually brings you joy (and maybe even some royalty checks).
 

If the emotional imprints of these traumatic experiences are still too strong to transmute, or the memories are too horrific to ever gain “value” from them… sometimes the only thing to do is to separate yourself from that pain entirely (hello again, chthonic Saturn, ruler of “separation”). Allowing yourself to release the energy of your past traumas emotionally through a LOT of crying and true forgiveness, as well as releasing the trauma energetically/physically through stretching to release energy stored in your hips and lower abdomen, are all very important steps in shedding old versions of yourself so you can step into the new version that you are meant to become.  

This is a true “ego death,” which is an especially difficult transition for anyone to go through; but even more difficult when you inherently associate your traumas, wounds, illnesses, disabilities, and other sources of grief (Scorpio) with your personal identity and sense of self (Aries). If all you identify with is trauma, then releasing that trauma feels like abandoning your entire self. 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT


The “trine” between water signs Scorpio and Pisces can sometimes be seen playing out in response to this. An overload of trauma can easily send someone into a frozen state where the person is in so much shock that they are unable to “release” their trauma to heal from it (fixed water, Scorpio). Simultaneously, they are unable to face the disturbing & traumatic reality of their circumstances. The result is a nearly hypnotized, liminal mental state, where the person isn’t really “feeling” anything anymore. Instead, numbness takes over as a defense mechanism against the trauma overload (mutable water, Pisces).
Hypnotized.jpg
“Name five things you can see, Four things you can feel, three things you can hear…” If these types of consciousness exercises that are designed to help you “ground” yourself in dissociative moments haven’t actually helped that much, it’s because nobody ever taught you to release the energy that is overloading your system and causing the anxiety/depression that leads to the dissociation in the first place. So, when you “come back down to Earth,” you are right back where you started with no relief, still operating within the body chemistry of a physical trauma response, while everyone around you is saying “see, don’t you feel better now? Just keep breathing deep.”
You need to remember the tools and develop/practice the skill of actually releasing the energy of the trauma that’s stored in your physical body in order for the grounding exercises to aid you on your healing journey. Otherwise, you’re just surfing back and forth between an anxious/depressive state and a dissociative one; which ends up being more draining than just being anxious/depressed all the time, or dissociated all the time.
 
If this is something you’ve experienced, Pluto retrograde is an important period of time for you to actually get another chance to heal from past traumas you’ve been forced to numb away. Instead of “disconnecting” your consciousness from your body and drifting into the void as a way to remove yourself from the pain and sinking feeling (what is referred to as “dissociation”), you need to be “disconnecting” your consciousness from the memories of the painful experiences and throwing the pain itself into the void (Scorpio, water), while keeping your consciousness “connected” to your body (or “grounded”) and remaining fully conscious in the present moment (Aquarius, air). 
 
That’s how you achieve the actual pain-relief and emotional & mental stability (Fixed water & air) you seek, without needing the pills and potions that ultimately just make you feel foggy, or like an empty-shell version of yourself in the long-run.
 
Pluto is the planet of endings, which means saying all of your goodbyes. That includes the last goodbye of a funeral. It includes painful breakups and divorces. It includes saying goodbye to the pain you cling to simply because that pain is the closest feeling you have to the version of yourself that existed before you got hurt. That pain doesn’t do you any good. It simply rots away at you from the inside out like the infection that it is. 
 
Pluto’s retrograde cycle is about cutting away the rot and moving on from the pain that can’t be transmuted into inspiration to start something new. It’s about saying “goodbyes” that are long overdue, so that you can finally say the “hellos” that the next chapter of your life has been patiently waiting to bring you.

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SYNCHRONICITY:  PLUTO STATIONS RDAY BEFORE ECLIPSE

It’s worth pointing out that Pluto’s 2022 retrograde cycle began April 29th. A day later, we were blasted with the uncontrollable energy from the open “portals” of the activated Lunar Nodes, a period referred to as “Eclipse season,” which started with the Solar Eclipse in Taurus on April 30th, and lasted until the consecutive Lunar Eclipse in the opposite sign of Scorpio on May 16th.

 

Eclipse Season is a period for surrendering to the plan that the Universe has in store. As major energy shifts took place during this 2-week period, the chaos of the cosmos unfolded around you. After May 16th, you stepped out of the “storm” to come out on the other side, in a whole new reality. It may look very similar, it may not feel like an entirely new reality, but I promise it is. The entire world was entirely reshaped behind the scenes in those two weeks, and this happens every time we experience a set of Lunar/Solar Eclipses (which happens about twice per year).  

Gold Titan - Taurus Scorpio Eclipse Calendar.png
What does the very beginning of Pluto’s retrograde cycle coinciding with Eclipse Season mean? As you shed and release painful emotions that you’ve held onto for years (or even your whole life), it’s extremely easy to lie to yourself about what you have “gotten over” as a way to make the grieving process easier. 

 

Whenever Pluto stations retrograde, many people’s first instinct is to “regain control” over their emotions by locking the uncomfortable and heavy emotions away in a tiny box and burying that box very deep in the back of their brains. When Pluto stationed retrograde the day before a Solar Eclipse, there was no time to “regain control” as the chaos of the cosmos took over for the first two weeks of Pluto’s retrograde movement. 

 

The emotional weight that would normally have been put on the backburner during the retrograde period by those looking to avoid the difficult process of grief, was immediately blasted with the tidal wave of Eclipse energy. This forcefully stripped away many of those emotions (or at least some of them) so that we could step out of the two-week period on May 16th having subconsciously released a significant amount of traumatic and heavy energy without being consciously aware of it, or without having to exert much energy doing so. 

 

Take the rest of Pluto’s retrograde cycle to reflect on what has been eating away at you emotionally since January 2022, observe what about that situation changed the most between April 30 and May 16, and then pick up where the Universe has left off and continue releasing the negative emotions through October 8th, 2022. 

 

The momentum Eclipse Season provided to transmute large amounts of negative energy means you can come out of the Pluto retrograde cycle on October 8th free from things that have been eating away at you for a long time. That’s just in time for the Scorpio New Moon Solar Eclipse on October 25th, 2022 which starts a new chapter and begins the next Eclipse Season that ends on November 8th, 2022 with the Taurus Full Moon Lunar Eclipse. 

 

You’ll be called upon to transmute and shed a lot of negative emotions related to the area of your life that corresponds to the house in your birth chart ruled by Scorpio/Pluto, and will be especially true for Scorpio placements.



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NEPTUNE RETROGRADE 2022

JUNE 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2022

Published Thursday July 7, 2022, 6:58 PM EDT. New York, NY
Neptune has stationed retrograde, so let’s talk a little bit about how this might look. Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces. Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, and can be viewed as co-ruler with Neptune. Not everything is always as it seems, and this is what Pisces teaches us. As the sign that rules optical illusions, distortion, smoke & mirrors;  its ruler Neptune plays a major role in all of these processes. While Jupiter is the planet that rules the dark and foggy truth of Pisces (or the truth that is being hidden), Neptune is the one responsible for “doing” the hiding by controlling the perspective so that the individual who is perceiving the illusion is forced to be fully submerged in the illusion. Jupiter is “behind the scenes” or the stage crew on set making the magic happen in the shadows, and Neptune is the “scene” itself, where the controlled perspective and mood lighting all contribute to the illusion that brings the scene to life. 
Optical Illusion.png
Neptune - in frame.jpg
Neptune is the planet that rules all photography, videography, or any kind of art that needs to be “in frame” in order to be viewed correctly. This is one reason why Venus (the “art”) is “exalted” in Pisces. The art is celebrated when it is put in frame and forced to be the center of attention, especially when it is enhanced with bright colors, blur tools, and filters (re: overly photoshopped Magazine covers that have plagued society for decades). With this interpretation of Neptune, the retrograde period may cause issues for “setting the scene” or “creating the vision.” While Neptune is stationed retrograde, you may find it more challenging to “set the mood” with lighting, special effects, and forced perspective. This could be applied to any creative endeavors but can also apply to everyday life as well. A romantic date night by magical candlelight might not have the same sweep-you-off-your-feet effect as when Neptune is stationed direct, especially for heavy Pisces placements.

FACING REALITY

Neptune’s rulership goes beyond photo and video. Anything that results in the contortion of facts, information, or perspective in order to create a false reality is under the control of Neptune. If you notice someone’s behavior seems “off” through December 4th, this is actually the truth being revealed to you as Neptune’s deception is rendered less effective during the retrograde period. People who normally want to charm and entice you into believing the fantasy they’re trying to sell you may not have the energy to “maintain the illusion” any longer, resulting in people accidentally “slipping up” and revealing their true intentions. Between now and July 28 (when Jupiter stations Rx), if someone “jokes” about something that isn’t funny to you, especially something you’ve already expressed sensitivity towards, they are most likely exposing their true self at the hands of a Retrograde Neptune. Jupiter (the “truth”) also rules humor and comedy in general. So before Jupiter stations retrograde on July 28, people will be exposing themselves through their humor without even realizing it. Once Jupiter stations retrograde, humor will also experience some blockages and jokes will be a less accurate indication of the truth.
 
It is important to listen to your intuition/gut feeling when something is wrong, and if you’ve been ignoring that gut feeling, this retrograde period will show you again in a way that is less open to interpretation and more literal or direct. Neptune has an incredible ability to get intuitive messages delivered subconsciously, subliminally, and in a way that avoids the explicit truth (such as our dreams, which are under rulership of Neptune). As the manipulator of perspective, Neptune is the planet that rules all avoidance: avoiding the dark truth, avoiding accountability for your actions, avoiding uncomfortable emotions and conversations. While stationed retrograde, Neptune’s messages will be less cryptic and more direct, as avoidance is “reversed” into confrontation and we are forced to face reality.
This is "avoidance" is why Neptune-prominent individuals and people with Pisces placements are often described as “delusional,” or “living in their own little world,” in addition to the traditional “dreamy” or “sleepy” stereotype. This “bubble” of safety that is created when a Neptunian steps into the fantasy world that they have created for themselves in their head is often just a form of denial or avoidance of the real-world issue. This bubble pops during Neptune retrograde, and all of the false realities that you have created in your head will dissolve and leave you forced to face reality, no matter how disturbing.

Allegedly Astrology describes this detail of the transit perfectly in a tweet reading, “Neptune Retrograde feels like...the scene in A Clockwork Orange where they clamp his eyes open and force him to watch disturbing films while his favorite music plays.”

EXPLORING THE BACKROOMS

As I mentioned, Neptune holds dominion over the dream realm. Pisces is the sign that rules the collective subconscious. Every cry, laugh, feeling, hope, fear, wish, and worst nightmare of every living being feeds into the collective subconscious, fueling an abyss of chaos that contains both light & dark swirling together in harmony. When we fall sleep and our consciousness enters the dream realm, we go for a “swim” in this pool. The depths of information, inspiration, and vision are what we can “fish from” in order to create the dream of our desire (actively controlling your dreams while you are aware you’re dreaming is called “lucid dreaming”). In your dreams, Neptune takes the expansive subconscious of Jupiter’s domain and brings some structure to it to create the scene within your dream, although Neptune’s “structure” is not solid like Saturn’s “structures” are. They are still of the element water and therefore very fluid. Easily distorted, refracted, and popped like a bubble.
Dream World Neptune Swimming.jpg
Neptune’s “structure” is thin, a “veil” of illusion creating an unclear silhouette, or the “veil of separation” between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. The veil is thin, and almost practically nonexistent during Neptune’s retrograde cycle. Communication with the spirit realm is always easier during this period, whether you are divining while awake in your body or while dreaming. 
When you are exploring the dream realm and the details of your surroundings are unclear but “it feels normal,” or you seamlessly transition to a new location without much thought even though the two locations are unrelated, this is Neptune’s distorted yet controlled perspective that allows you to safely cruise through the infinite pool of the collective subconscious. There are many messages, clues, treasures, riddles, and answers to be found here if you aren’t afraid of what is lurking in the shadows.
Pisces Neptune fantasy.jpg
During Neptune’s retrograde cycle, the “facing of reality” we are forced to do will follow us to our dreams. The normally cryptic and otherwise elusive messages that Neptune delivers in our dreams will distort so heavily that the mystery of them disappears and the bubble disintegrates entirely, leaving us left in the dark with nothing to focus on but how the dream makes us feel.
The magical scenes Neptune brings to our dreams have faded and now the discomfort of the liminal space that remains forces us to zoom out and reason with the emotions that are left floating in the nothingness. Water signs are ultimately about emotions, with Pisces ruling over these distorted and uncomfortable emotions. These dreams will reveal many truths about your own deeper emotions and the emotions of others, which all mix together in the collective subconscious that feeds the dream realm, while Jupiter is stationed direct.
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On Jul 28, 2022, Jupiter stations retrograde and the dark (emotional) truths that were revealed by a disappearing veil will join said veil in the process of seemingly disintegrating. Without the ability to control your perspective in the dream realm, and the overall energy flow of the dream realm inverted by Jupiter’s retrograde, the distortion caused by both retrogrades combined is the perfect recipe for some disturbing nightmares and shocking dreams that make you question your sanity. It’s not that there will be no truth whatsoever in your dreams until Jupiter stations direct on Nov 23, but you will have to contort your perspective so much, you might sprain your neck looking at the dream upside down and still come out with no answers. I’d avoid orange juice before bed (while Neptune and Jupiter are stationed direct, this can actually help induce lucid dreaming as long as it’s not too acidic for you).
 

MEETING PENNYWISE

As the last sign, the only “collective” water sign, Pisces can be viewed as a mish-mosh of every sign that comes before it. It encompasses every energy and mixes them all together into a complicated melting-pot of emotions and beliefs. Ultimately, such an all-encompassing and swirling pool of energy is very easy to drown in, getting sucked under the weight of the collective’s full range of emotions and varying belief systems. Neptune is the planet that prevents us from drowning in Jupiter’s overwhelming truth.
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As the God of the Sea, sailors prayed to Neptune to keep them safe, and to protect them from the harsh expanse of the open sea. Creating a bubble of safety in a sea of chaotic darkness, Neptune protects us from the “monsters of the deep” and keeps us safe in our darkest moments. As I mentioned, Neptune is responsible for bringing some level of structure or stability to the highly fluid energy of Pisces. If Jupiter, which rules “flow,” is what allows the flow of water down the drain, then Neptune can be viewed like a drain-stopper, that allows us to avoid getting sucked down the drain with the water and ending up with Pennywise down in the sewers.
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This means that when Neptune is retrograde, but Jupiter is still stationed direct (Jun 28-Jul 28 and Nov 23-Dec 4), water will be “flowing down the drain” with no drain-stopper or any form of protection to keep you from getting sucked down too. This is a prime time for energy vampires to drain you of your energy, so extra spiritual protection is advised during this time. Being actively in tune with your own energy levels to make sure that you can make a conscious effort to monitor them yourself is a key to surviving these periods, since Neptune is the one who normally monitors those levels for us, subconsciously. Additionally, be very careful while swimming or participating in any aquatic activities during this period. Make sure you have some sort of life vest or protection when on a boat or near water, especially if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol (which are also ruled by Neptune). Rip tides and strong currents (ruled by Jupiter) can be extra dangerous now that Neptune’s nautical protection is weakened by the retrograde movement. While it’s always important to be aware of current and tides while swimming, the precaution is extra necessary now.

THE PILLS AREN'T WORKING?

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical practitioner. Any and all Astrological medical advice is purely based on historical observations and ancient medical practice, and should be taken in consideration of the advice of a licensed medical provider. 

 

Continuing with Neptune’s “protection,” in medical Astrology, Neptune rules our immune system which protects us from illness. Immune system challenges may be highlighted during this time, and I always advise clients (and myself) to embrace a more natural and healthy lifestyle to help combat the decreased immune strength during this time. Virgo, ruled by Mercury, is opposite Pisces, ruled by Neptune. The natural and herbal healing methods of Virgo/Mercury may actually be more effective than the synthetic pharmaceutical healing methods of Neptune/Pisces (except while Mercury is retrograde from Sep 10-Oct 2), and cutting out toxins during Neptune Rx is important for maintaining immune system health. If you’ve been considering trying out a change in your medication, a decrease in dosage, or stopping use of any drug/alcohol altogether, Neptune’s retrograde period is a great time to consider trying that (of course, with the appropriate guidance from your licensed medical provider).

Neptune’s rulership over drugs and alcohol is signified specifically through their ability to distort your perspective and alter the vibration of your consciousness. Neptune rules alteration of consciousness in any way, shape, or form. This includes hypnosis, subliminal mind control, meditation, and simply getting high or drunk. You may find that a glass of wine doesn’t quite “take the edge off” like it did the past 6 months. You might have a bit more trouble accessing states of hypnosis or meditation. 
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The effectiveness of “numbing agents” of every kind will be rendered less effective throughout Neptune’s retrograde period, and a decrease in alcohol & drug use will benefit you during this period. If possible, avoid elective medical procedures through December 4th, as numbing agents and pain medications for recovery will be less effective overall. This is even more important for plastic surgery, when considering that Saturn is stationed retrograde through Oct 23 (Saturn rules physical construction of the body), and Uranus will be retrograde from Aug 24-Jan 22 (Uranus rules physical breakdown and reconstruction of the body). This is botch-job season.
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Obviously, for time-sensitive emergency medical procedures that fall before Neptune stations direct on  Dec 4, avoiding the procedure is not possible, so make sure you’re in communication with your anesthesiologist about the type of pain you will experience and how to make sure that the anesthesia will be most effective (regarding interactions with other drugs, dietary implications, etc.). Astrology isn’t always about “picking the right time,” but also about learning to work with the energies that are present at the moment when time is not flexible. This is a prime example of using Astrology to adapt to a scenario rather than rescheduling it.

TIME FLIES 

I’ve discussed Neptune’s role in bringing some sense of structure and stability to the “soup” that is Pisces, but I want to talk a little bit more about how Neptune’s retrograde cycle interacts with Saturn’s retrograde cycle. Saturn is the planet that explicitly rules physical structure, as well as “time.” More specifically, the separation of linear time into individual moments or “frames.”  Remember, Neptune is the ruler of forced perspective and rules those individual “frames.” Any one moment in time can be viewed as a Neptunian “avoidance” of infinite chaos, that is achieved thanks to the sense of “order” and “finiteness” Saturn’s space-time continuum provides us from the infinitely expanding, chaotic, womb of creation (aka outer space).
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This means while Neptune and Saturn are both stationed retrograde (Jun 28 - Oct 23), it might feel as though time is “slipping away.” The stability, consistency, and structure provided by Saturn is weakened during Saturn Rx; while Neptune’s retrograde adds to the uncontrollable fluidity–allowing time to distort itself uncontrollably. Hours might feel like minutes, and days might feel like weeks. If you find yourself disoriented with regards to time + scheduling during this period, know that you are not alone and that there’s not much you can do to prevent this. Your best bet is remaining as grounded as possible, practicing mindfulness to stay “in the moment,” and make sure you schedule extra long time slots for fun activities. Time flies when you’re having fun, and it flies even faster when Neptune and Saturn are both retrograde.

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