|April is a month of blessings and challenges. Much was unearthed during the Mercury retrograde and now it’s time to work with the debris that is left on the surface after the tides have receded. Three planets go retrograde, and we move into a firm commitment with Spring.|
April 2 begins on a dreamy note with the Moon in Pisces conjunct Venus in the sign of her exaltation. Venus loves to be in this water sign where she can connect and express freely. We have a sense of being all one; a small but integral part of this glorious human family. The good times are strong with the ruler of Pisces, Jupiter, in his home sign of Sagittarius. The entrance of Venus into Pisces on March 26, gave us some sweet relief at the end of a trying Mercury retrograde. On April 2, Mercury conjoins Neptune for the final time, weaving in some final threads to the retrograde lessons.
Mercury retrograde in Pisces was one of the defining features of March (5-28). Pisces is the ocean and the outer planet Neptune is God of those waters. Many of us felt like we were being pulled under, and we weren’t sure if we’d re-emerge or where. Mercury retrogrades are periods of reflection, revision, and reordering; but Mercury is the trickster God. The journeyer who guides us through the subconscious, so these processes are non-linear. In ordinary life, we’re focused on details and progress, but Mercury retrograde brings our awareness into the larger whole by slowing us down and tripping us up. If we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we shouldn’t, we can enjoy the surreal experience of time melting a little. If we remain attached to the status quo and doing things the “right” way, these trimester sojourns can make us quite miserable.
The experience of Mercury in Pisces has been a long one. Mercury entered on February 10 and glided into a conjunction with Neptune on February 19. Depending on your inclination, this was like your mind being submerged in the dreamy, cosmic womb of the divine mother or the scary, psychedelic waters of the River Styx (some of us got both). Mercury moved to the last degree of Pisces, and stationed retrograde on March 5. From there, they began to move backwards through the sky, retracing their steps, but with a bit of mischief in their heart. On March 24, Mercury moved into their second conjunction with Neptune, and hung out there as they prepared to station direct on March 28. Mercury slowly began moving forward again, and will encounter Neptune for the final time on April 2.
Generally, Mercury retrogrades are times when conversations are continued and information is added. We’re shown where there are leaks in our boat and directions we could head that were hidden to us before. This Mercury retrograde has been an intense one for many of us. Personally, I had my laptop screen crack (the second time that’s happened in a Mercury retrograde since I started doing astrology–ha ha), and of course there were the typical technical errors, typos, delayed transactions, and confused details. Most significantly, old narratives of a difficult emotional nature resurfaced in our collective psyche. Mercury will remain in Pisces until April 17. Mysteries have been unveiled and changes have occurred, but it will take awhile to assimilate and embody this long strange trip. I’d love to hear how it went for you so drop me a line and tell me your retrograde story.
Mars broke free from stubborn Taurus and entered the freebird sign of Gemini on March 31. On April 3, he will sextile Chiron who’s begun moving through Mars’ home of Aries. The energy of Chiron in Aries is new, but the healing he’s bringing is long overdue. Aries is the sign of the warrior. The one who desires to demonstrate valor and courage, but who would rather go it alone and risk death, than compromise their ego and admit vulnerability. Chiron has come to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this patriarchal mindset. Collectively, we’re moving away from the ancient pattern of achieving security through dominance-over others, towards a model of power-with people. The Moon is with Chiron at the sextile, moving towards the Sun, so the energy of this transit is carried forward to the Aries New Moon.
Pluto is conjunct the South Node on April 4, which is also heavily influencing this Moon. Pluto is the God of the Underworld; creator and destroyer. He breaks things down so he can build them back up again. The cycle of death, decay, and rebirth are under his purview. Pluto transits often force us to change, transform, or take control of something that has gotten out of hand in our lives. Like the gorgeous and formidable Indian Goddess, Kali, he restores balance through decimation and regeneration. The South Node of the Moon, known as Ketu in Vedic astrology, is a place of fear and loss. It is a karmic position of attachment where we’ve brought in energy from past lives. April is a unique month because both Pluto and Saturn are conjunct with the South Node, which hasn’t happened since January 1985, when they all met in Scorpio. The combination of these planets in Capricorn means that we won’t be able to effort our way out of this configuration; although hard work will be required. In April, change may occur that is out of our control, and we won’t be able to alter the course. We’ll see and feel where we’re restricted, and though we might want to fight like hell, it’d be better to go slack and simply slide out of the bonds (like how they teach you in self-defense class).
The Aries New Moon is in a square with Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto in Capricorn highlighting themes of power, limitations, and what we’re up against. This Moon is showing us where we need to let go so we can break on through to the other side. Aries is a time of new beginnings; the ego that springs forth and says, I Can! Saturn is the law of karma that says, No, you can’t. Questions of why are not helpful in this situation. We’re all born with baggage. The best course is acceptance and a prayer to show up for your part. The seed we’re sowing at this Moon is one of surrender and strength through submission. What we initiate in the Spring carries through to the Summer Solstice (3 months), and all the way through the yang part of the year to the Aries Full Moon in October (6 months), but the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is in effect for all of 2019. The energy of this Moon will influence the entire astrological year until Ostara next March, 2020. Here is a ritual if you would like to consciously work with this energy:
Aries New Moon Ritual
Adorn your altar with red candles, spring flowers, and anything with rams or horns. Ground into Gaia, cast your circle, call in your deities and supports, and take a moment to consider where you are right now. Give thanks for what you’re grateful for, and be sure to include yourself for creating time for magic in your life. Look at the topics ruled by Aries and Capricorn in your astrological chart (if you don’t know you can email me ahead of time). Do a meditation or visualization on how those areas feel. Are they connected? How? Spend some time checking in with yourself, and then consider what you’d like them to to look like. How could they be harmonized and optimized? Ask the Divine to show you what ego patterns or belief systems are holding you back from being truly free or in your power. This is less about getting material things that you want and more about transforming how we relate to these concepts so there’s more grace and ease.
It does not have to be a long meditation or visioning, ideally 10-15 minutes but whatever feels right to you is best. When you’re done, write about what you saw or heard in your journal. Pay extra attention to the emotional qualities that arose or that you’d like to cultivate. If you’ve gotten an indication of something that’s ready to go or be surrendered, write it down on a piece of paper, and make an offering of that thing to whatever form of the divine you connect with (could be a formless one). Then burn the paper in your cauldron or other fireproof container of your choosing. If nothing came, no problem. The important part is that you brought your awareness to reside in the connection. More will always be revealed.
The second week of April brings closure around the Mercury retrograde process. Slowly moving forward, Mercury begins sorting through the debris. Venus goes over the chaotic waters with her magic wand, but even the goddess may get confused here. The week of April 7, Mercury sextiles Saturn, the South Node, and then Pluto. On April 10, Venus conjoins Neptune, clouding our perception of the emotional truth. Don’t believe everything you feel because with the Sun square Saturn things might feel worse than they are. The Sun is in angular configuration to the planets it conjoined in January. You may reflect on where you were at the start of the new year and what has changed over the last month. The reapings of winter may be apparent now or you may be given a clue about the next step on your path.
Jupiter stations retrograde on April 10, and will be backtracking until September 13. We’ve been blessed with his gifts and abundance, but that flow may be slightly constricted as he retraces his steps over the next five months. This is an excellent time to consider what you’ve expanded into since he entered Sagittarius in November 2018. The Sag part of your chart has been stretched. You’ve been challenged to grow, and now we ponder the why and the how. Jupiter rules teachers and attorneys. He facilitates learning and justice, and he’s powerful. If we take this time to consider our individual responsibility, when Jupiter stations direct in the fall we’ll begin moving forward with greater wisdom. The week of April 15 starts out on a lively note when Venus in Pisces squares Jupiter. Both are in places where they like to party so you may be tempted to take a personal day and enjoy some fun in the sun. If there’s no negative consequences then let yourself enjoy, but beware that the Moon in Virgo won’t like it if you shirk your responsibility.
On April 17, the entire world rejoices because Mercury moves into Aries just in time for the Libra Full Moon on April 19. I haven’t felt this glad since Mars left Aquarius last year. Enough is enough of the watery slog. The cardinal fire does a good job drying Mercury out, and they are in position with Chiron for the Libra Full Moon. This is the second Libra Full Moon of Aries season. The first occurred on the Ostara, the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun was at 00 degrees. The second occurs the day before the Sun enters Taurus at the 29 degree of Aries. What a bookend. What balance. With Mercury so close to Chiron, our minds are fully immersed in the wound that lingers here. The Sun is close to Eris, so we may feel the way in which our pain keeps us feeling separate and apart. This is a great day to purify through fire. Steam baths or saunas are a nice ritual to open up the pathways and get the toxins out. Time starts to speed up when we enter the solar time of the year. Reflect on how much has grown in just a month with the increase of light and heat.
On April 20, the Sun enters Taurus and Venus enters Aries. They can’t see each other, but they can feel one another because he’s in her sign and she’s in the sign of his exaltation. Taurus season is an earthy sensual time when we make real on the promise that burst forth at the equinox. The sign of the bull likes to buckle down, work hard, and revel in life’s natural rhythms. Taurus is tuned in the body’s clock and won’t rush for anyone. Venus in Aries adds some heat to our relationships, so even with the Sun getting grounded, our passions will be running high. Things aren’t all placid in Taurus country because the Sun immediately encounters Uranus on April 22, and Venus meets Chiron on April 23. We may seek a heightened sense of freedom and autonomy that week, and long to walk down the road less traveled. The meeting of Venus in Chiron could have us running from our wounds, but don’t gallop off into the sunset too quickly. Give yourself a couple weeks and see if the inspiration lasts before buying your tickets.
The intense Saturn-Pluto energy this month culminates at the end when Pluto stations retrograde on April 24, and Saturn does the same, conjunct the South Node, on April 29. These two are dangerously close to one another, activating the archetypal principal of power and control. Pluto empowers and intensifies Saturn’s impulse towards reaction and constriction. Together they believe might makes right, and advocate punishment for our own good. This configuration has implications for the United States of America in particular. The USA is a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon, and Sagittarius rising, and is going through it’s Pluto return, which only happens every 250 years (Pluto was in Capricorn on July 4, 1776). Saturn and the South Node are impacting the USA’s Pluto return, and many speculate what new rebellion against tyranny will be launched. Check the news to see how these elements play out in the collective through stories of religious fundamentalism, political conservatism, repressive violence, religious intolerance, and anti-environmental policies. Fear mongers may attempt to increase conformity and xenophobia through scare tactics. Over the next two years, we may see an increased attack on freedom of speech, religion, culture, and sexuality. With Uranus in Taurus, Gaia will certainly be fighting back against polluters, but they will still continue to try and exploit her. Let us all do our part by continuing to show up for the causes we hold most dear. All of us are essential; now more than ever.
P.S. The birth time of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was recently released and she is a Libra Sun, Aries Moon, and Sagittarius rising with Venus on her ascendent. Check out this article to read about the synastry of her chart with the USAs, and why astrologers predict she could be the first woman president.
The first two days of March belong to Venus as she departs Capricorn and the powerful forces she encountered there for the still space of Aquarian air. On March 1, Venus in Capricorn squares Uranus in the last dangerous degree of Aries. This dynamic tension may produce interesting results in your love life and creative world. Stay flexible and be spontaneous. The following day, on March 2, Venus enters the calm, cool, and collected fixed sign of Aquarius where she’ll stay until March 26. This transit lends relationships an analytical and detached vibe this month.
Venus also sextiles Chiron in the first degree of Aries on March 2. This passing note offers an indication of what the Chiron’s time in the cardinal fire sign will encompass. Chiron re-entered Aries on February 18, where he will stay for the next 8 years. Chiron reopens old wounds to allow in greater healing. The shadow of Aries is the ego: violent, selfish, and petty. We’re grappling with the results of this force unchecked in the collective. Chiron has arrived to bring a balm and shepard us towards greater expression of the healthy ego.
On March 5 the world turns upside down as Mercury stations retrograde for three weeks. Just kidding. It won’t be that dramatic, but it will be almost that dramatic. Not all Mercury retrogrades are created equal and this is one for the classic playbooks. Mercury is in their detriment in Pisces so we’ve already been at a disadvantage around communication, technology, and travel since they entered on February 10. This experience is similar to trying to find a penny you dropped in the ocean. You’ll probably find a bunch of other stuff, some great, some not, but even if you really look, you won’t find that coin. Neptune, the outer planet of psychedelic trips, is adding some additional haze to Mercury’s mind. The retrograde will last until March 28, and Mercury will station direct conjoined with Neptune. The combined effect of these bewildering influences is that March may feel like you’re trying to find a penny in the ocean while tripping on acid wearing flippers put on backward. Chances are you’ll fall down even in small waves. This is a great opportunity not to take life too seriously. What’s a plan or a deadline really? Things are only as important as we decide they are. If time is rubber then allow yourself to be stretched.
The Sun in Pisces will amplify these far out vibes with a conjunction to Neptune on March 6, the Pisces New Moon. This is a fertile Moon ruled by Jupiter in his home sign of Sagittarius, and an excellent night to set intentions you’d like to see come to fruition over the next six months. March 6 is not a chill day though, as the earth shaker Uranus will ingress into Taurus for a seven year stay. Wherever Uranus goes he brings innovation and upheaval. Taurus is a Venus ruled earth sign associated with all things Gaia: food production, money, animals, sexuality, and environmental stewardship. We can expect big changes in these sectors on a global scale. Uranus has an affinity for technology so expect an increase in debates over crypto currency, lab grown meat, and the global labor force. Check your chart to see where this energy is going to land for your personally, and then notice if there’s any activity around the New Moon.
Water facilitates earth the weekend of March 9, as the Sun sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, and we gain better perspective on what was initiated in early January. Mars in Taurus gets slippery with Neptune on March 10, and we lose an hour of sleep but gain some joy as the clocks spring forward. This is prime retrograde time so don’t schedule anything crucial if you can avoid it.
The week ahead is not light and fluffy, but full of potential. The Sun will square Jupiter and sextile Pluto on March 13 and Mars will trine Saturn on March 14. This energy came to work and does not play. It’s important to cut through the Neptune fog and have a plan because you’ll want to make the most of these days of power. Illumination comes at the end as the Sun conjoins Mercury, and our beloved messenger is reborn in the waters of eternity.
The seasons magically and mercifully change, once again, as the Sun enters Aries on March 20, initiating Spring. Aries is first sign of the Zodiac. Symbolized by the ram who crashes through the gates of winter. There’s a struggle to emerge inherent in the sign of the warrior. Aries asks, Who am I? And, indeed, we may all be wondering that ourselves, as we shake off the doldrums from our long winter’s nap. The Sun begins moving into a conjunction with Chiron that will perfect on March 22, so this Wiccan sabbat is rooted in the fiery healing of our wounds around identity. With the ruler of this Sun, Mars, in earthy Taurus, we may explore the connection between our consumer consumption and personal values this Aries Season.
The Vernal Equinox, known as the pagan holiday of Ostara or Eostre, celebrates life returning to the land. The Goddess has rested and is now renewed. The God has matured, and desire stirs between them. This is a young time of year, but one bursting with promise, excitement, and a passion for experience. The fields are greening and the Sun’s strength is gaining. Ostara is one of two sacred days of the year when there is perfect balance between day and night, dark and light. This is a time of beginnings, taking action, and planting seeds for future goals. Traditionally, pagans dyed or paint hard boiled eggs and then balance them on their ends to symbolize equilibrium. Part of this practice was incorporated into the Christian holiday with a similar name, Easter.
Appropriately, the Libra Full Moon takes place on Ostara on March 20. Libra is signified by the scales because it’s the sign of justice, harmony, and the collective good. This is an excellent night to work magic to rectify any imbalance in our lives. This Moon is ruled by Venus in Aquarius in a sextile with Jupiter in Sagittarius and a square with Mars in Taurus. This mixture of spiritual empowerment and healthy friction will point us towards what we need to harmonize in relationships and the resources we have to do it.
A RITUAL FOR OSTARA
Go to a green space and celebrate the life springing forth by noticing and appreciating each bud and leaf that you see. You can begin by grounding into Gaia using these video instructions. Walk in nature with no other intention than being present with her. Tune into each flower/tree/shrub you’re called to by approaching slowly and staying with it for several minutes. You can connect with its life field by intending to have your consciousness merge with its own. If you relax your eyes enough, you may be able to see the white outline of its energy field. Ask if the flower/tree has a message for you about Spring. Walk deliberately, aware of your steps and breath, collecting your missives from nature. Bring a journal to record any words or images you’d like to capture. Make this walk a ceremony in reverence of life: yours, Gaia’s, and every being that you encounter.
If you can’t get outside, you can work with the earth by planting an indoor magical garden in a box. Imagine you’re planting qualities you’d like to grow in your life with each bean or seed you press into the soft brown dirt. Or, make a sacred meal out of seeds, sprouts, nuts, leafy green veggies, and salad with flowers. Thank Gaia and the thousands of hands that brought the meal to your plate. See if you can sense through smell, taste, and vibration the unique life force of each food.
Mercury will conjunct Neptune on March 24, as they slow down and prepare to station direct on March 28. The worst is over by that point, but we have yet to reach the shore. Expect to feel the ripples of this retrograde for longer than usual.Venus enters Pisces, the sign of her exaltation on March 26. Normally this is an unequivocally lovely time, but adding Venus to this bubbling cauldron may improve things or cause you to feel it more deeply.Mercury will conjunct Neptune for the 3rd and final time on April 2, and will not move into Aries until April 17. Splish, splash, we’ll be in this befuddling bath for nearly another three weeks.
The month closes out with Mars entering the mutable air sign of Gemini on March 31. Life takes on a quicker and more dynamic speed as he moves into an opposition with Jupiter. There’s still a lot of heavy earth in the mix, but we’re planning what we’re going to make with it.
Ostara Blessings to all of you!
Ostara Goddess by Helena Nelson-Reed