Illustration by Taylor Dow

Fact and Fantasy

Saturn gets serious and Neptune goes retrograde.

Deadlines and commitments,

What to leave in, what to leave out

—Bob Seger, “Against the Wind”

Workin’ on mysteries without any clues

—Bob Seger, “Night Moves”

The two main characters starring in this week’s sky dramatics are Saturn and Neptune, two very different planets with opposite agendas. When reality-enforcer Saturn raises its voice on Thursday, we’ll feel pressured, blocked, and bossed around. And when mystical Neptune turns retrograde on Friday, it will create confusion, pessimism, and disappointment—a few days before and after its pivot.

We’re in the home stretch of Gemini season, and any transition from one sign to the next (known as a “cusp”) can feel stressful and destabilizing. We’re itchy and uncomfortable, tired of Gemini’s nonstop communicating, questioning, thinking, and overthinking. Though the Sun enters Cancer on Tuesday, I’ll wait to describe Cancer’s ways until next week. This one’s already stuffed with challenging cosmic movements.

This week also emphasizes unfinished business and old conversations—especially from late February. You might find yourself grumbling, “Didn’t we already discuss this issue months ago?” Sure, but maybe you’re returning to the topic because you didn’t fully understand the first time. Your job during this final week of Gemini is to plop your ego aside and consider someone else’s viewpoint. You’ll need to examine your own past behavior and choices too. How humbling!

SATURN’S PROGRESS REPORT

Once a year, Saturn gives us an annual performance evaluation by standing directly across from the Sun in a tense position called an opposition. During this yearly wake-up call, planetary parent Saturn reveals Reality with a capital R: no filter, no sugarcoating. Saturn’s opposition drives home lessons about commitment, responsibility, and authority. All-business Saturn doesn’t care what we’d like to be true; it’s only interested in actual truth. And sometimes the truth makes us wince. Right now, others may be demanding more from us. There’s increased pressure to fortify our structures and deliver the goods. This might take the form of: a huge bill from the auto shop, a firm “no” from your boss, or a rush to finish a hefty assignment. Pace yourself.

NEPTUNE TURNS BACKWARDS

Neptune, ruler of the sea, is a strange planet with positive and negative qualities. Like all outer planets preparing to change directions, Neptune’s themes will be most prominent in our personal lives five days before and after it goes retrograde. Neptunian themes include: vivid dreams (and fears), imagination (and deception), music and art (and illusion), spirituality (and paranoia), altered states of consciousness (and addiction), psychic intuition (and confusion), and deep union with others (and lack of boundaries). Like the ocean itself, Neptune is complex.

Whenever Neptune is involved, you don’t have all the information yet. You’re still clicking together the jigsaw puzzle. Facts will find you piece by piece this week, and the story will get clearer, but first life may feel fuzzy and foggy. Expect loud revelations and startling discoveries that will greatly influence how you proceed. But there is too much forgetfulness and uncertainty in the air now to sign any contracts or make consequential decisions. Better to wait until next week for those. Since misty Neptune also relates to nostalgia and our past, don’t be shocked to hear from exes or old acquaintances, à la Mercury retrograde. If you maintain any type of sobriety, this week’s Neptune activity could test your resolve. Ask for extra help if you need to, and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Keep inching your way through the weird mystery. Clues will come.

YOU CAN PLANET

A productive moon in Aquarius on Wednesday the 14th encourages new, forward-thinking strategies. Expect to hear news about housing on that day. The Sun-Saturn showdown on Thursday the 15th highlights personal responsibility and limits. Neptune’s retrograde begins Friday the 16th (and lasts until November). Friday’s a wonderful time for creativity and esoteric activities like tarot. A quarter moon in Aries makes Saturday the 17th extra tough. You’ll feel testy and tested. There’s also danger of blowing up verbally on Sunday the 18th, when people will be extra irritated and feisty. Yet there’s also hopeful do-over potential that day; if you’ve recently been rejected or disappointed, try a different approach. Reach out to someone new. Monday the 19th brings up issues about money or value and reveals wounds, yet also invites fresh faces in. Tuesday the 20th is the first day of summer and the beginning of Cancer season. Happy solstice! The entire day looks pretty positive. After a hard week, relief is in sight.

spacewitch@seattleweekly.com

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