Neptune Retrograde Meaning
If you were to chance upon a text regarding Neptune's role in astrology, you would likely be inundated with its soft-touch spiritual themes, ranging from its ability to inspire heady artistic visions as well as pitch us into mystical whirlpools of healing. In part, this is true: 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.
There is much more to Neptune, however, and not all of it so rosy....
In the foggy realms of Neptune, boundaries tend to disappear altogether, leaving us open to deception and delusions. While part of Neptune's tendency is admirable, in so much it generates a well-intentioned desire to serve without reward, the danger with planet Neptune is to dissolve entirely into the 'other,' sacrificing our ego-identity as we search for salvation.
If Uranus seeks what's new while Pluto seeks what lies beneath, Neptune seeks the ideal. The placement of Neptune in the natal chart by sign, house, and aspect can describe an area of life where we seek to be redeemed from the disappointing reality of human existence. This process is usually unconscious—by throwing ourselves into work or relationships past all point of separation, we may be seeking much more than a happy marriage or a pay raise.
Somewhere deep down, we may believe that this area of life will lead us to deliverance and that by sublimating our personal, ego-based needs to the greater good, we will somehow manage to atone for our sins and be welcomed back into Eden.
Neptune also involves a fair amount of fantasy. There's something of Dionysus in Neptune: music and dance, diversion and indulgence converge into one, leading us from this plane of existence into sacred, non-linear consciousness. As a higher octave of planet Venus, highly personal affections of romance are transmuted by Neptune into collective, unconditional love.