Neptune retrograde starts on June 21st 2019 at 18°43′ Pisces and ends on November 27th 2019, at 15°55′ Pisces.
Neptune is a transpersonal planet, discovered in 1846 by the French astronomer and mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. In astrology, Neptune rules idealism and imagination, but also illusions and confusion. The planet rules the water sign of Pisces and the twelfth astrological house, house of subconscious and deeper emotions.
So, our greatest task, during Neptune retrograde, is to avoid confusion. Between 21st June and 27th November 2019, we need to start leaving the present. The next three Zen stories help us understand the right attitude. Remember also what Roy T. Bennett said: „No amount of regretting can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future“. (Roy T. Bennett).
Neptune Retrograde’ Lesson about the Past
„Once there was a monk who specialized in the Buddhist precepts, and he kept to them all his life. Once when he was walking at night, he stepped on something. It made a squishing sound, and he imagined he had stepped on an egg-bearing frog.
This caused him no end of alarm and regret, in view of the Buddhist precept against taking life, and when he finally went to sleep that night he dreamed that hundreds of frogs came demanding his life.
The monk was terribly upset, but when morning came he looked and found that what he stepped on was an overripe eggplant. At that moment his feeling of uncertainty suddenly stopped, and for the first time he realized the meaning of the saying that «there is no objective world». Then he finally knew how to practice Zen“.
Neptune Retrograde’ Lesson about the Future
A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him, „Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now“. Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep
Neptune Retrograde’ Lesson about the Present
One day, while walking through the wilderness, a man encountered a vicious tiger. He ran for his life, and the tiger gave chase.
The man came to the edge of a cliff, and the tiger was almost upon him. Having no choice, he held on to a vine with both hands and climbed down.
Halfway down the cliff, the man looked up and saw the tiger at the top, baring its fangs. He looked down and saw another tiger at the bottom, waiting for his arrival and roaring at him. He was caught between the two.
Two rats, one white and one black, showed up on the vine above him. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about, they started gnawing on the vine.
He knew that as the rats kept gnawing, they would reach a point when the vine would no longer be able to support his weight. It would break and he would fall. He tried to shoo the rats away, but they kept coming back.
At that moment, he noticed a strawberry growing on the face of the cliff, not far away from him. It looked plump and ripe. Holding onto the vine with one hand and reaching out with the other, he plucked it.
With a tiger above, another below, and two rats continuing to gnaw on his vine, the man tasted the strawberry and found it absolutely delicious.
Neptune in Mythology and Arts
In ancient Roman mythology, Neptune, brother of Jupiter and Pluto, was the Roman god of the sea (the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon).
Neptune is depicted in the 7th and final movement of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite ‘The Planets’, subtitled The Mystic, as Holst described the god.
The Italian painter Agnolo Bronzino realized, in the 16th century, a Portrait of Andrea Doria as Neptune. The French sculptor Antoine Coysevox realized, at the beginning of the 18th century, a sculpture named Neptune. Today, you can find it at Louvre, in Paris, the capital of France. In Berlin, the capital of Germany was built in 1891 Neptunbrunnen, a fountain dedicated to the Roma God.
Next year, in 2020, Neptune retrogrades in Pisces between 23rd June and 29th November.