By Dorene Carrel
April is a fairly active month, highlighted by Mars, Pluto and Mercury all turning retrograde. Along with Jupiter and Saturn, there are now five retrograde planets. This retrograde emphasis over the next few months favors a more inward focus, with emphasis on reviewing and revising plans and goals. This is also a good time to get more in touch with your intuition and dreams. In mid-month, a grand earth trine between Mercury, Pluto and Jupiter allows us to aim higher and deeper, taking a more grounded and authentic approach. Towards the end of the month, Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury form a mutable t-square, which shows us how to integrate our visions and ideals into practical forms.
The New Moon occurs on April 7 at 18 Aries. Along with the spring equinox, this is another significant time for new beginnings. This lunation is conjunct Uranus and square to Pluto, which accelerates the occurrence of radical changes, breakdowns and breakthroughs. It is also a Super Moon, which adds extra power and potency. The harmonious trine to Saturn helps us to integrate these changes so we can apply them to our daily lives in beneficial ways. The first two weeks of this month are the best for taking action, before we move into the retrograde cycles. The Sabian symbol for this degree, “The ‘magic carpet’ of oriental imagery; the use of creative imagination,” suggests the value of creative visualization to manifest our highest visions.
April 14-17 features a grand earth trine between Mercury in Taurus, Jupiter in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury/Jupiter expands our perspective, while Mercury/Pluto brings more depth to our insights and communications. This period is favorable for formulating a practical, sustainable plan for achieving our goals. An ongoing project or goal can bring tangible rewards at this time. The Mercury retrograde shadow period begins on April 15, which signals us to begin taking a more patient, cautious and long-term approach, and to put off major decisions until late May.
A dynamic period begins on April 17 when Mars turns retrograde at 9 Sagittarius and the next day Pluto turns retrograde at 17 Capricorn. Mars, which turns retrograde only once every two years, turns direct on June 29. During this period, there is an emphasis on reviewing important beliefs and goals. Are we really walking our talk, or just pretending or procrastinating? It is time to commit to living our visions in a more authentic way and be open to a change of priorities. Pluto travels through mid-Capricorn over the next five months, allowing us to examine power and control issues in greater depth. These stations may trigger volatility and powerful changes, perhaps due to new revelations on the world stage.
On April 21 the Full Moon occurs at 2 Scorpio 31. This water sign favors taking a deeper approach to exploring our feelings, use of personal power, our fears and deeper motivations. How can we best cooperate with others to achieve common goals? As this lunation is aligned with the asteroid Juno, we can also examine our deeper needs in close relationships. Venus aligns with Uranus the next day, providing more detachment and need for independence. The Sabian symbols for these degrees, “Natural steps lead to a lawn of clover in bloom,” and “A house-raising party in a small village enlists the neighbors’ cooperation,” seem to echo the theme of working with like-minded others to achieve higher personal and spiritual goals.
A mutable t-square between Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn/Mars occurs later this month and through mid-May. This pattern helps facilitate the process of examining our beliefs to see if they really fit and work for us as we move into new and higher levels of awareness. As world and personal changes occur faster now, it signals us to be more open to change and to see alternatives. With the Gemini empty leg, we will gain more by being open-minded, curious and less critical.
Mercury turns retrograde at 23 Taurus 35 on April 28, traveling backward until it reaches 14 Taurus 22 on May 23. During this period, it is favorable to focus on self-care and self-nurturing through simple pleasures (massage, good food, walks in nature, etc.). It is important to slow down, do less to accomplish more, and avoid making major decisions until after May 23.
May features a stationary direct Jupiter and Mercury. Blessings for a prosperous Spring!
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Dorene Carrel is a professional astrologer with over thirty years of experience. Donations towards this column are appreciated. Paypal accepted. Please use my email, firstname.lastname@example.org as reference.
All references to Sabian symbols are from An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation and Its 360 Symbolic Phases, by Dane Rudhyar.
Check out my astrology blog at www.astroconnections.blogspot.com for ongoing astrological observations on current events.