Neptune retrogrades around midnight tonight EDT, and Chiron follows on Friday. These two planets have been linked since last summer although their tightest connection occurred this week. (You can find other articles on the Chiron/Neptune conjunction here.)
The outer planets are considered the “transformational” planets because they create big change at the foundational level. They also retrograde once a year, so it is not an unusual event to have Chiron and Neptune turning retrograde. What makes this event more significant is that Chiron and Neptune are turning retrograde just at the point where they are as close to a conjunction (14 minutes apart) as they will be until they unite next February, and they are both changing direction on the same day.
When planets turn retrograde (meaning they appear to move backward from our perspective on Earth) their apparent motion slows down to a crawl in preparation for their retrograde turn and it is at these times, along with the slowdown before they change direction to move forward again, that their influence is at its most powerful.
When transiting planets are retrograde they urge us to look back and experience the matters of that planet on a more internal level. The externalized experiences of our life become less important than the inner ones, so with Neptune retrograde we are drawn more into a personal relationship with spirituality and a practice that connects us more soulfully into our lives. When Chiron is retrograde we have greater access to our inner emotional experiences. Chiron encourages us to feel, feel, feel – and often forces the issue by pulling our blinders off where necessary to confront something painful within us. With Chiron retrograde this experience becomes more personal and more internalized.
Any time Neptune is involved things can get confusing; Neptune is the planet of illusion and confusion as well as spiritual yearning. It’s hard to define situations when Neptune is at work, and this is true as Chiron and Neptune continue to dance together over the next couple of months. On a personal level this seems to be manifesting for some people as a call to the soul – a yearning to break free of old ways of living that are not authentic for the person we have become. For some there has been the eruption of old painful experiences that need to be healed, such as the scandal in Ireland over the abuse of the reform school children.
As these two planets retrograde their influence will gradually wane as they move farther and farther apart but Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter will continue to be tightly conjunct until the beginning of August. This is a fabulous planetary event for anyone on a spiritual path or a path of self-knowledge, because these planets work on a soul level to connect us deeply to the Divine Self within as well as outside of ourselves.
Sure, it’s not easy, but what worthwhile thing is?!