April 2016: Month of Retrogrades & Dialing in the Starlight
April is a high-pitched buzz of a month – a rapid beating of wings to maintain a hovering position in place. We have the fastest planet Mercury is in steady slow Taurus and three new retrogrades (Mars, Pluto and Mercury) join existing Jupiter and Saturn retrogrades… this is like a homestead of an astrological month with a formidable start… you are putting the work in where you eat and sleep – facilitating long-term growth. We are likely to be re-envisioning key structures of our lives; doing things differently, innovating, locking into deeper awarenesses as we travel back in archetypal time via these five retrogrades (Mars, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn moving backwards against the constellation belt from the perspective of Earth… hitting back over recent celestial resonances, like cosmic deja vu or universe re-do’s).
Visually, all of the planets are bathing in starlight from specific constellations – or the starlight from those constellations are intercepted by a planet before they hit Earth. Astrology is the study of correlation between these celestial placements and phenomenon on Earth. All of the retrogrades of this month are certain star lights coming into greater focus – the lens sharpening, twisting forward and back as the lights get brighter, really grounding in the vibrations we’ve been experiencing of late instead of moving in one linear direction along the constellation belt.
Strategies for this retrograde-heavy energy – how to not find it aggravating (if you are of the impatient variety) and how to lock into its zen are in the forecast… the Sun will be in the most impatient of signs until the 19th – Aries- but Aries is daring and excellent at executing missions if it knows what it is doing in the bigger picture and isn’t just acting from straight up impulse w/o deeper intention.
Cue in strategy. Mars moving backwards is all kinds of martial art…
We don’t fear or dread retrogrades at Monarch Astrology, ever. They are far too beneficial.
Venus enters Aries: 9:50 AM PST
Venus is in Aries until April 29 when it enters Taurus – so it colors most of our month of April. Venus in Aries people love beginnings: at one arch of their self-development they are likely to be interested the most in courtship and lose interest in the relationship once it becomes established in any way. Aries is all about self-discovery, so once the Venus in Aries values constancy or commitment in relationship, Venus in Aries will get it done, somehow.
I disagree with the notion that Aries are better at starting things than they are on the follow-through. Aries vitality comes from starting things. But as long as they are perpetually in a state of discovery, they are vital. So if discovery means engaging in follow-through, Aries will do.
While Venus is in Aries for the collective, we collectively value starting things, and getting to know ourselves from the perspective of newness. Being in situations that challenge us will engage the Venusian dimension of life this month.
There is a charming innocence to Aries – at times carelessness, but again – whatever Aries wants to become, it will engage all of its best war tactics to become. Venus rules over love and diplomacy, fairness and justice. This is a time where we can fight for those things. Warriors of love.
Look to diplomacy through open, blunt communication while Venus is in Aries. Say what you need to say – and engage your pressure valves. If you can exhaust anger or intense fiery feeling into physical activity, art, or leaning on a supportive friend — your communications with loved ones, as conflict arises, will be less loaded. The brashness of Aries is cute sometimes – other times it’s destructive. You have the wisdom to discern between the two.
This transit can have us in contact with anger or impulse that we either do or don’t value – and we’re learning what to do with it. Anger is like blocked will.
Remember consciously engaged Venus in Aries is an innocent babe – willing to direct it’s love energy on any concept or endeavor of choice, like a baby duckling who gets to CHOOSE its imprint. Course-corrects included.
(Image: Alessandra Ambrosio by Ellen von Unwerth)
Mercury enters Taurus: 4:09 PM PST
Mercury will retrograde the 28th of this month and go direct May 22 (still in Taurus), and we’ll get nearly ten weeks of Mercury in Taurus, culminating June 12.
A cue to slow way down? Mercury is the fastest planet, spending quite a bit of time in fixed earth, one of the most steady and sometimes stubborn energies of the zodiac.
This transit positively emphasizes earthy cultivation on the communication/commerce front.
Think about the modern love letter via text – text messages, though instantaneous once we press send – do not need to be composed instantaneously. The second we receive a text, we are not required to respond immediately. Is there not a romance in this kind of post – waiting for the response of the other? It has become personalized in its timing – the timing is based on when the fruit is ready to drop; not when the mail happened to arrive. How often do we really respect our own earthiness to know when to speak and when to let the thoughts sprout more?
Have you heard people undermining the value of written communication – not as “brave” or “real” as face-to-face communication? What kinds of communication do we value more than others? And how can we OWN what we value accordingly? In what ways would slowing down and tending to your communication world carefully be of benefit to you and your relations?
This transit SUPPORTS slow, thoughtful communication. In your own time. The bull, when it decides to not budge, will not fucking budge. If you are going to engage stubbornness or a stalemate, just be sure it’s intelligently employed and not fear-based. Slow and steady… but don’t get stuck on the sidelines.
Look to your projects at this time, and the ways they can benefit from methodical, attentive TLC. Momentum to be had here.
NEW MOON IN ARIES: 4:24 AM PST
This is a Uranian New Moon – with Uranus conjunct the Sun and Moon in the later-mid degrees of Aries. And we are out of Eclipse season which created quite a bit of change for us.
But we’re not totally out of that water as far as change goes. The New Moon being conjunct accelerator Uranus invites this New Moon to be electric. (add Eris into this mix…)
“That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.” — Paulo Coelho
With Uranus energy, we can become radical about upholding something of the past or we can step into alignment with our actual essence/actual individuality. Uranus is where we process or hold onto trauma, and it’s also where we separate ourselves from what we have known before. Aries is where we have the courage to set off on a new path, to begin something, to make a decision.
Use this New Moon to attune your antennae to your own personal liberation. That is, being yourself, fearlessly. Who you actually are, absent of conditioning. Yes in the long run, this radical identity can be integrated holistically into the culture around you. (This New Moon trines Saturn, planet of consensus culture, cultural norms, collective “reality”). The health of the individual impacts the health of the community!
Mars Stations Retrograde: 5:14 AM PST
Mars retrogrades slow down and hone in our impulses, as well as where we are exerting will, both in life in general – our pursuits/endeavors – and our romantic, pursuer energy.
Mars in Sagittarius deals with how we expand our will, how we engage with nature and truth, and how we act in self-evident ways that are natural to us.
We can feel more pinch – discomfort – or pent-up-ed-ness around where we feel our natural animal-self is being blocked or stifled. Since we live in a fairly sterilized culture… and aren’t meeting in community drum circles on the reg (or if you are, good for you!), we have some issues. We don’t always have the rites of passage we need to feel the warrior side of ourselves is engaged and diligently channeled.
This retrograde these things come to the surface. So that they can change, and that we can evolve. This is a great time to be engaging the body in positive ways. Feel the heat, the joy, in your blood. Engage discovery on the visceral level, learn about your body, your athletics. It will go a long way and also serve as a way to consciously evolve the impulse nature through this retrograde, rather than be offset by its unconscious tendencies.
(Image: Henri Lievens)
Pluto Stations Retrograde: 12:26 AM PST
Pluto, the higher octave of Mars, joins Mars in retrograde. Outer planet retrogrades are not felt as acutely as inner-planet ones. But, look out for deeper insight on your motivations and what compels you. This is a time where you can more intentionally touch root with your psychic soil, pull weeds and grow new plants.
The gift of shadow work is a refined and intentional will. Instead of acting on mysterious impulses, you will know why you do what you do, and also know how to change, how to become the best version of yourself. Become deeply accountable.
Strategy for this plus Mars retrograde – know your motives before you act. When you have the choice to think before acting, care and intention is going to take you a lot farther than idealized “fuck it”/whatever attitudes. Tune into the spaces where the road forward drops out – is unavailable – this may be a time where your motives or intentions are about to change before you can proceed.
Sun enters Taurus: 8:29 AM PST
The halting energy of Mars and Pluto retrogrades is quickly followed by the Sun entering fixed earth after being in cardinal fire. Slow slow slow. While emotional intensity – Full Moon in Scorpio – is building (exact on the 21st). Intentionality, steadiness, and care is related to vitality especially.
Take a rest – get out the ambiance, candles, incense… the romantic slow-cooked dinner, pleasures. If you are on the move or in transit, pack yourself some earthy comforts. Take room and space for self-care. Taurus likes to feel cushioned in plush abundance and earthy delights. No shame in this.
Take note that this Taurus Season is framed by a recently stationed retrograde Pluto and Mars. The theme will be around external reality mirroring internal reality. If you need an upgrade – if the outside world is getting on your nerves – it’s time to move some of the soil within. The polarity of Taurus is Scorpio (ruled by Pluto) – where our needs and desires are met by merging with something ELSE. Taurus is where we take care of ourselves. The more love we cultivate within, the more love we are capable of meeting on the outside.
Full Moon in Scorpio: 10:24 PM PST
The batty road of Moon in Scorpio – esp. a Full one – is paranoia. Actually, whenever the Moon is in Scorpio, it’s useful to know, because it’s going to be a time when our lens is attuned to undercurrents, and we are more likely to protect shadowy motives and our fears onto others. Where the Moon represents security, Scorpio represents sex, death and rebirth, and Scorpio is where we grapple with losing ephemeral security… and ultimately evolve into identifying with more eternal or transcendent forms of security, God.
SO, that being said, Scorpio Moons = tread with caution. It’s not that you shouldn’t go out or do stuff, it’s just that it’s so helpful to know the Moon is in Scorpio so you can employ a “wait and see” kind of mentality. Plus you can accept that parts of your emotional reality will die with this transit to make space for the new.
The Sun will be illuminating a deep gem within you – which is either already excavated and shiny to you, or is a power that is hidden beneath your shadows/baggage/fears.
When fear is showing up, sometimes it’s not because the smart thing to do is to back away – sometimes the fear is there because we are on our highest path, and the road of the Soul involves many traps and false doors. Think to times in your life that some major blessing was behind fear, which you had to face and overcome.
A prayer for this Full Moon is to surrender your fears to the angels for transmutation & for the necessary clarity of the Soul – where it is guiding you. When the emotional charge dissipates, may clarity remain.
(Image: Yvette Mimieux)
Mercury goes Retrograde: 10:20 AM PST
Mercury in lovely Taurus is conjunct temple Goddess Vesta at the moment of this station, and trining the Moon in Capricorn. So maybe it is safe to say that Mercury means business on a very sensitive level of care and spiritual alignment. Vesta is where we create space for deeper experience – a temple invites in Spirit, a clean office invites in a good work flow and productivity. However we design the sacred space, we invite an according experience. Take the very moment of this transit to initiate a sacred space in the mind. What kind of thoughts do you value and want to continue cultivating? And how can you facilitate that in a very practical, grounded way. i.e. diet or exercise, practices?
(Image: Jenny Nguyen)
Venus enters Taurus: 5:36 PM PST
Venus is in Taurus until May 24. Venus is the ruler of Taurus (as well as Libra) so we can say it’s a comfy position for Venus. While Mars is still in orb to a conjunction with Saturn, Mars is slowed down and needing to be very responsible about its efforts to have any momentum (to be in alignment with Saturn or have its efforts squashed). Venus in Taurus can help emphasize attractive, cultivation qualities at this time – tuning into values and alignment with those values. Patience! & pleasure.
(Image: Nicole Gustafsson)