The Astrology of April features Venus, Mars, Neptune and Pluto. The issues of limitation represented by Saturn must also be mentioned as a factor, because it remains in singular position, in Virgo, across the Zodiac from all the rest of the planets as it has for months. Mars is currently traveling through the opposite sign – Pisces – and will opposeSaturn from April 1st through April 6th, symbolizing the crux of a period of time during which we will accomplish what we are attempting, but with greater difficulty, and also with results that will be longer lasting and provide important lessons.
The New Moon from the end of last month squaredPluto, and as April begins and then again as it ends, Venus also squaresPluto. The transformational energy of Pluto therefore colors the entire month. Pluto in Capricorn represents necessary albeit painful restructuring. This gets harder when we refuse to let go and instead try to hang on to a dysfunctional past
Neptune is featured in these April skies as well, especially as a participant in a forming triple conjunction with Jupiter and Chiron. This symbolism is full of healing potential, and perfects after the end of the month. In the first week of April, as these planets draw nearer to each other, we begin to feel the effects in terms of greater spiritual commitment and also in terms of recognition of the places within ourselves where we feel a sense of separation from the divine. With Jupiter's presence, only now beginning to join Neptune and Chiron, the effect is magnified. This essentially refers to the existential pain of the human condition, and we can learn much about ourselves and our situation throughout this month and the next. By the time of the April 24th New Moon, which aspects these planets, their separation from each other is only two degrees for Jupiter and less than half a degree for Chiron-Neptune, so making this a focal point of a period when we might more fully tune in to the energy of healing and of a sense of oneness with the universe. There is healing available to us and it can come through our imagination if we honor this important function, and if we keep open to the potency of the cosmos, which is also the potency within us.
Venus is also extremely active right now and is in retrograde. She disappeared as the Evening Star last month around the time of the Spring Equinox, on March 20th, and reappears as the Morning Star with her Heliacal Rise on April 3rd. Since Venus rises in Aries, this is a powerful time for Venus energy, the beginning of a year and a half of a more masculine-oriented and empowered feminine spirit. As Venus returns to direct motion on April 17th, she also conjunctsMars, further emphasizing this empowerment from midmonth onward. As mentioned earlier, Venus is also squarePluto both as the month begins and at the time of the April 24th New Moon. VenussquarePluto and conjunctMars is a strong Venus who will let nothing stand in her way. We are seeing the return of the strong feminine as we did in the sixties when women burned their bras and protested the Vietnam War, and we are likely to see different but equivalent activity over the next few years. This feminine force will obviously be needed to aid in healing this country and the world, so badly damaged in recent years by warfare and greed, which can be conceived as runaway masculine energies. There is now hope as well as difficulty. We have a hard road to follow but at the end of our journey will be greater understanding, love and compassion.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month we mentioned the 10th of March as a time when there might arise further issues of deception, illusion and idealism, especially in regard to military matters. This is because the characteristic NeptunesquareMars in the U.S. chart was triggered by the Full Moon, transiting Saturn and transiting Uranus, while transiting Marsconjuncted U.S. Moon.
A few headlines from this period – March 9th and 10th:
Montreal - International Women's Day: thousands rally calling for a new world order
Israeli Apartheid Week took place in cities and on campuses around the world last week...
At Least 25 Die in Iraq Bombing
Obama Admits US Isn't Winning War in Afghanistan; Considers Talks with Taliban
In an interview with the New York Times, President Obama admitted the US is not winning the war in Afghanistan. His comment came weeks after he ordered 17,000 more troops to fight as part of an escalation of the seven-year-old war. Obama also revealed that the US is considering reaching out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.
These last three headlines point out the increasingly serious world situation that the U.S. faces in its attempts to provide the world with military solutions to pressing social problems, such as the tribal splits between factions in the Middle East and in Afghanistan.
Perhaps the most startling headline, in view of this saintly man's known restraint in such pronouncements:
Dalai Lama: China Has Turned Tibet into "Hell on Earth"
The Dalai Lama marked his fiftieth year in exile earlier today by demanding "meaningful autonomy" for his Tibetan homeland, where Chinese authorities have tightened security to stifle protests against their rule. The Dalai Lama slammed China for bringing "untold suffering and destruction" to Tibet and turning the region at times into a "hell on earth." His words came on the fiftieth anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese troops, which led to his exile.
All these items reflect a growing realization that the solution to the world's problems can no longer be considered to depend on military methods; that this is an illusion endemic to the American foreign policy (represented by Mars in the 7th house of partnership in the U.S. chart, and incidentally square to Neptune). Instead the world and the United States must begin to rely on a broader and more high-road manifestation of Neptune that reflects compassion and the unity of humankind. This is where the idealism of the American people would like things to go, and where perhaps things could go if the illusion of progress through military might could be transcended.
In the current month, the First Quarter Moon of Thursday, April 2nd, is likely to provide a moment of tension, since it conjuncts and squares U.S. Sun, while aspecting Mars in trine with U.S. Sun and inconjunct U.S. Saturn. The outer planet aspects that have been so powerful lately are also still in effect and likely to be triggered at this time as well, and at the Full Moon of April 9th. Transiting Pluto is opposing U.S. Venus, the chart's 10th house ruler, while also squaring the Midheaven, indicating the depth of the transformation that this country is in the midst of. More and deeper revelations will surely follow in the weeks and months ahead.