**Times where noted are PDT; degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th. Ah, this is when we really dig in to enjoy glorious spring. To be able to stop and smell the roses, to take in the gentle breeze as it soothes our tired skin chaffed from the winter cold, to rest in green pastures…. Well, maybe not just yet. Since Mars just went direct after being retrograde for what seems like a millennium and three astral bodies in Aries, we are not about to fritter the days away in the sensual, laid back spell of Taurus. Mercury hasn’t quite jumped into the fire with Uranus in impulsive Aries but is definitely in the frying pan so we’re more apt to have active minds conjuring up new and brilliant things to do and say, or possibly some rebellious trouble to get into. The Moon is also in go, go, go Aries, but is in the last “balsamic” phase, just before the next New Moon so none of us will really feel like starting anything new. Its best we wait a wee bit longer before revving up those engines and instead tidy up loose ends before moving on. We really might as well stop and smell the roses, and perhaps take some time to reflect on what we’ve learned from this moon cycle that began with the dynamic Aries new moon on March 22nd. It could give us inspiration on what the next cycle will be about.
The Taurus New Moon happens on April 21st at 1° Taurus. Now it’s time get to work. Solid and reliable is the signature of this moon cycle where stable routines can be set in motion. With Jupiter also in Taurus, and this New Moon in the neighborhood of a Grand Earth trine with Mars and Pluto, the celestial energies are all about manifestation. While the sign of the Bull is known to be stubborn, that is also the quality that has the focus and stamina to get big jobs done. The New Moon is also when the feminine and masculine lights of the sky are truly on the same page. Because they are in the same sign, the Sun and Moon speak the same language and in Taurus that could come in the form of song, once the toil of the day is done. Taurus will always have time to enjoy the pleasures of life, even in the softest lullaby.
Intellectual sparks will fly on April 22nd when Mercury strikes Uranus at 6° Aries. This is a day when we’ll really want to use our minds for their highest intention – to be brilliant, think outside the box, off the road and into the stratosphere where the omnipotent force lives. We’ll need some grounding to harness this energy or it will just feel like we have ADD. This is a Sunday, and it is Earth Day – what better day for creative meditation on the future of humanity’s life on this planet? We owe it to the Earth to make time to contemplate how we can restore her to optimum health and return her to dignity before its too late. Can you imagine the power of all our minds transfixed on this issue at once? Spontaneous combustion! Let’s crowd source this problem, people.
April 23rd through May 16th will see two powerful grand earth trine configurations between the Sun and Mercury in Aries, Mars in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. While Jim Sher will be writing much more at length about this, in a nutshell, under this configuration we would be wise to set our sights on moving mountains – especially in the arenas of life represented by the houses in our individual charts where these planets are currently traveling.
On April 24th, the Moon in Gemini will kiss Venus at 17° Gemini. This aspect has the potential to stir up a lot of happy talk. Even hermits may feel comfortable enough come out and socialize, network or otherwise find a way to connect with others. This could offer a brief release from the building tension between Uranus and Pluto, about which there is much anticipation in the astrology world due to its historical penchant for revolutionary changes in society.
The Uranus/Pluto square has been in play for a while and we’ve already had a taste of what it can do – the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street for example. They are only three degrees away now, and the first exact aspect won’t be until June, but Mercury is touching both these planets this week – Uranus on the 22nd as noted above, and now on April 25th, Mercury at 9° Taurus squares Pluto at 9° Capricorn. The effect of a faster moving planet joining a configuration of slower ones has the effect of a preview to the archetypal energies at play. Mercury squaring Pluto by itself could indicate dark thoughts or unconscious thought processes coming to light. With Uranus also in the mix, revelations of hidden information could be sudden or brought on by some unexpected external stimulus. Mercury also has the effect of stirring up rebel Uranus in Aries in a battle to break down dysfunctional structures represented by Pluto in Capricorn. Wherever Pluto is, authenticity is demanded. This week we may be given some foresight into what has true integrity and what doesn’t, either in our personal lives or on the world stage.
April 26th-27th will bring in an outlet of release for the tension in the way of several configurations involving the Moon in easygoing aspects with several other bodies. On the 26th, the Moon sextiles the Sun and trines Neptune, which also sextiles the Sun. Later in the day, the Moon sextiles the Sun and Mars, which are trine each other. With the Moon in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces, each the water signs they rule, feeling or intuiting our way through issues may be the best way to go. Mars in Virgo will add the ability to make subtle refinements that could have significant results and the Sun in Taurus will add sustaining power. On the 27th, the Moon sextiles Jupiter, also in Taurus, to amp up the game with philosophical benevolence and a dose of practicality.
The first quarter square of the Sun in Taurus and the Moon in Leo happens on April 29th. This phase of the cycle is what is known as the “crisis of action.” If we haven’t managed to put into motion any of the plans we made at the New Moon, this will be the celestial kick we need to get moving. This is also the day that the Sun trines Pluto, which should be like filling our tanks with rocket fuel. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get things done. If we are sincere about making a change in our lives, the energy of this aspect will finally make it easy to transform even the most resistant bad habits, entrenched adversaries or sticky problems.
Another lunar configuration on April 30th-May 1st may spur us to action of a spiritual nature. Mars in sensible Virgo has been pulling away from an opposition to mystic Neptune in Pisces but the Moon will touch both these planets within hours of each other to accentuate their current relationship. The true test of an opposition is to find the common ground, the bridge that brings the opposing sides together. In this case, finding the place where the sublime meets the mundane. With Luna on board, our instincts can guide us to the point of fusion. Adding complexity to the day are the Moon’s Nodes opposing each other in Sagittarius and Gemini and creating a grand cross with the Moon/Mars conjunction opposing Neptune. During the time this subtly pressurized configuration is in play, we may be faced with fateful decisions between sticking with what we know and the unknown the future holds. Again, listen intently to the Moon as she travels this space in Virgo. Her nurturing feminine wisdom may be precisely what is needed.
On May 4th, the Moon, now in airy Libra, meets up with serious Saturn in Libra, and conferences in Venus in Gemini and Mercury in Aries to help lighten the mood. Flirting and fast-talking can open the door but something significant better walk through or Daddy will make sure it isn’t invited for dinner.