Just as the pains of growth reach our limits to tolerate the stretch, just as the clamorous, calamitous world puts us in a state of data overload, just as the rude awakening process that is this particular stretch of the evolutionary process we’re encountering gets to be just too much, just in time, the Sun leaves brash Aries and moves into the serene lands of Taurus. Reach out and touch someone may be actions to live by for the next 30 days as that may be the best antidote to a world starved for genuine affection. When the central core of our solar system finishes his birthing experience in Aries on April 19th, and enters the second stage of his personal development through the zodiacal archetypes, his focus turns from the act of becoming a human being to understanding the skin he is in, literally. Mastering the physical plane of existence helps the Sun in Taurus tune into the natural rhythm of life. Known for being the most sensual sign in the zodiac, Taurus is highly attuned to all five senses as they are his messengers delivering code from the non-linguistic realms. Seeing beauty, hearing soothing music, tasting a delicious meal, the sweet smell of a rose or the tender touch of a friend isn’t just about pleasure, although that is certainly an important part of it. There can be a tremendous amount of information conveyed through these non-verbal ways of communicating between humans and the Sun in Taurus will be the first to see them as the language of love. Ultimately love is what he seeks, the kind of love that can move mountains, part waters, and transform the savage beast within us all. Knowing love is the true essence running through all manifestation, the Sun in Taurus does have his challenges. Looking at the world through the Taurean lens, he is naturally attached to and identified with the physical experience. When he forgets what his purpose is in translating the natural world for the rest of us, materialism sets in. His gift, therefore, according to Dane Rudhyar is “detachment,” or as Jim Sher further refines the notion, “nonattachment” to the physical world. Although it is possible the Sun in Taurus will remain subservient to the natural forces his entire life, Sher says, he is “also capable of deep reflection. Because it is so intensely attached to life, this intensity may lead Taurus to a movement toward contemplating and discovering a much bigger picture.” So just as the universe’s pressure for change is peaking, we are being asked to pause, at the precipice, and reflect. Just in time for Earth Day, the Sun in Taurus asks us to slow down and look deeply at all the changes being presented, the roots of them, to make sure they are strong and authentic and have the potential to be as formidable as a redwood forest, and in touch with the rhythms of earth with its beating heart pulsating throughout the universe.
Not quite ready to slow down herself yet, Venus in Aries has another event-stirring encounter with forces that endeavor to transfigure our individual and societal ego-structures, and ultimately have us relinquish them altogether. April 19th through 22nd, Venus lines up in the crosshairs of the square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries, a life-altering formation in effect basically this entire decade correlating to a dramatic uptick in movement that is changing the game from evolution to revolution. When Venus dances with these transcendent archetypes, her own symbolic nature comes to the fore. “The Venusian function,” writes Rudhyar, “at the level of the individual consciousness, enables man to discriminate between that which has value for his individual growth and that which is valueless or potentially destructive.” When Venus aligns with Pluto, therefore, she will be asked to experience the death of that which does not serve her personal evolution. And death “does not have to mean cessation and annihilation; it can signify transition and reorganization,” says Rudhyar. When Venus merges with Uranus, any attempt at preserving worn out superficial values will be futile. No less than lightening from the sky, a visitation from another dimension may jolt her to the core and awaken her to her true beauty. In the socio-political arena, women of prominence are in the highly active crosshairs of the status-quo patriarchal preservationists. Perhaps they will get an assist from Venus’ transformational astral encounter. The first female president of Brazil is currently facing impeachment proceedings for fairly common (for Brazil) accounting irregularities, but for which she is being judged differently by her male competitors. In the U.S., it seems that Hillary Clinton can’t do anything without being severely criticized by the male dominated media, and as her ability to handle the criticism is strengthened (she has a natal Venus/Pluto square – she’s got this), that tactic may backfire, for as much as men stick together, it may prove that women will be the deciding factor as the primaries continue. A recent NPR report indicated “It’s essentially impossible to win the Democratic nomination without support from women. …According to exit poll data, there’s not a state that’s voted to date where women made up less than 54 percent of Democratic voters. …The common thread from all the data from the exit polls conducted to date show women, as a bloc, are supporting Clinton over Sanders.” The implications for the national election are clear.
The intensity of the Venus transit is heightened by the Scorpio Full Moon on April 21st (which happens to be exactly conjunct Hillary’s Scorpio Sun). This is when we get to see how we’re doing on the theme of this lunar cycle that began at the Aries New Moon. Where have we struggled in our quest for liberation? Have we begun to see how to take charge of our life simply by becoming conscious of the forces that are operating against our highest interests? The players haven’t changed but they are in new signs with new rulerships so how they play out their archetypal function has changed. Having moved on from fiery, independent Aries, the Sun in Taurus, ruled by Venus, now opposes the Moon in passionate Scorpio, ruled by Pluto (a bonus correlation to the concurrent Venus transit). The quest for liberation takes on a dramatic tone with the Scorpio Moon that enjoys the rollercoaster of life, the all-in thrill of it all. Intense feelings indicate the aliveness of any situation to the Moon here. It used to be said when someone was acting out the intensity of their feelings that, “Man, he’s really living!” The Sun in Taurus manifests as the opposite, avoiding dramatic highs and lows for the simple, steady pulse of contented beingness. The struggle between them is about the quality of life they want to lead, but ultimately the Sun and Moon must integrate their assets in order to arrive at the solution. Between them, Taurus and Scorpio both understand the forces at work, in the natural and psychic world respectively, a powerful amalgamation of attributes that could be a game changer.
The stars go quiet for a while giving us the opportunity to digest the preceding transits. Mercury in Taurus, however, becomes the focus as he slows his pace down considerably, moving less than two degrees in seven days rather than his typical one plus degree per day. When he turns retrograde on April 28th he will complete the line up of five planets in retrograde motion, shifting the emphasis to reflection rather than unfettered forward movement. That combined with the unhurried Taurus Sun will substantially shift the pace of life to slow motion. This is good, people, the antidote to the frenetic pace we’ve been keeping! Yesterday we were all being thrust into a state of wanting change, like yesterday. Today it’s “Not so fast!” We need this time to reflect, to reconnect with what is true so that the imminent, inevitable change can be authentic and enduring rather than trivial and ephemeral. With Mercury retrograde in Taurus, we have the tremendous opportunity to experience the space between words, the sound of silence. What isn’t being said? What is felt so deeply there are no words? But communicate we must, so be patient with those for whom speaking their truth is a challenge. If we slow… our… speech… down… we will allow those listening the time to digest the information being conveyed. If we strive to ensure the other hears, not just in the audible sense but also in the comprehension sense, then what we say will be transformed from noise to meaning. If we wait our turn to speak, not only waiting until another actually completes a sentence, but waiting a beat or two longer to make sure they have achieved closure in what they intend to convey, we might be surprised at how many grand dénouements we’ve been missing in our personal narratives, that have been left unexpressed due to audience impatience, only to consigned to a lonely soliloquy on the internal stage of the mind. During this Mercury retrograde, we have the opportunity to give artful closure to all our scenes. By allowing others to complete the cycle of action of thought and speech we may write our own dénouements and experience well-earned catharsis.
Venus joins the planets lingering on the scenic route when she enters Taurus on April 29th. After her adventure in Aries and the turbulence of her Uranus/Pluto encounter, she’ll be ready for the vibrational shift to peaceful reflection. In Taurus, Venus is in tune with the romance of nature and becomes a whisperer able to decode the messages from the living physical universe. She lovingly tends the garden of earth and it blossoms with beauteous natural wonders. Venus in Taurus knows what pleases the senses and in relationships will lavishly put these skills into service to engage the soul. She will also put high value on any person in her sphere who is able to express love with equal measure. When Venus enters Taurus she tips the scales to five planets in earth signs, adding a real grounding force to daily life. Although four planets remain in inspirational fire signs to keep the adventurous spirit alive; practicality, reliability and stability are sure to be strong components of our efforts.
In early May, the Sun commences movement through the mid-degree range of Taurus, making multiple significant harmonious alignments that activate the energies of various configurations with his purposeful solar principle. Segueing from a sextile to Neptune in Pisces to a trine with Jupiter in Virgo May 1st through 3rd, the Sun may have us all channeling the generous, compassionate spirit of Pope Francis who has been making his mark on the world stage, most recently by taking in many Syrian refugees when all other European countries are closing their doors to them out of fear of strained resources as well a terrorist movements. The refugee crisis correlates to the developing Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune mutable t-square that will peak in June and which synchronistically is triggering the Pope’s natal Saturn/Neptune opposition. The Sun transiting these sensitive points may highlight the issues at hand, on the world stage or in our personal lives, and encourage us to manage any situation with grace and vision. The Sun’s alignment with Jupiter also creates a flowing grand earth trine that will be in effect beyond the timeline of this article with his trine to Pluto in Capricorn on May 7th (to be covered in the next AstroCast). As we transition out of this period, we may begin to tap into the breadth and depth of power at the core of our being. May we make the effort needed to apply it during this reflective slow down phase to move our own internal mountains.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
April 19 – Sun at 0° Taurus at 8:30 a.m.
April 19 – Venus square Pluto at 17° Aries/Capricorn at 1:49 p.m.
April 21 – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 3° Scorpio/Taurus at 10:24 p.m.
April 22 – Venus opposite Uranus at 21° Aries at 2:00 p.m.
April 28 – Mercury station retrograde at 24° Taurus at 10:20 a.m.
April 29 – Venus at 0° Taurus at 5:01 a.m.
May 1 – Sun sextile Neptune at 12° Taurus/Pisces at 5:01 a.m.
May 3 – Sun trine Jupiter at 13° Taurua/Virgo at 12:58 a.m.
May 4 – Sun inconjunct Saturn at 15° Taurus/Sagittarius at 9:36 p.m.