The Astrology of April features Pluto, Mars and the Solar Eclipse in Aries (see chart ) from the end of last month that sets the pace for the current cycle. Pluto, symbolizing death, rebirth and transformation, has also just stationed retrograde and is therefore at almost a standstill in the April sky, while Mars, representing our outgoing and aggressive urges, and our anger as well, is opposed to Pluto as the month begins, and rules the Solar Eclipse. Pluto remains widely sextile and in close parallel with Neptune throughout the month, so that there is a spiritual component to our transformation at this time.
While anger that explodes into rage and violence is obviously counterproductive, the emotion can have positive overtones, consolidating within us the necessity of standing up for ourselves, or defending our boundaries. As Mars opposes Pluto along the way to the mid-month Full Moon, we are likely to be experiencing all these different sides of our aggressive and egoistic nature, and experiencing also the transformation of these along the lines of a higher manifestation as a result of the changes we succeed in putting ourselves through during this crucial nexus.
In April also, Saturn stations direct in Leo during the first week of the month, opposite Chiron, bringing back a touch of the wound of misplaced authority that we saw as recently as February and that will perfect again in June. We may be forced throughout the month to take a stand against those who would co-opt our power, or against our own tendency to knuckle under to an outside authority that does not represent our truest intentions for ourselves. All this month we are riding the energy of the Solar Eclipse from the end of March that had Mars and Pluto opposite, both letting out anger and transforming it, although as that opposition gets closer, it becomes more powerful, leading up to the Aries – Libra Full Moon of April 13th. At that time we can see one culmination of our upward spiral of development. With the entrance of the Sun into Taurus a week later, at the time of the Last Quarter Moon, the beginning of a new form of wisdom may come when we must recognize the limitations of what we have been attempting, and when we face the new awareness that that recognition brings.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
In last month's column, we stated: "With Mars and Chiron both activated, the military and the concept of aggression are up for public review and reflection, and as well the pain of the realization of where that aggression can lead us in the world."
It has in fact been an extremely active month for reaction in this country both against the war in Iraq, and for the minority polarity position of staying the course, and the situation is likely to become more exacerbated after the March 29th Solar Eclipse that begins the present lunar cycle. On March 22nd, the Last Quarter Moon squared and opposed the U.S. Midheaven, and triggered transiting Pluto, which sextiles U.S. Moon, signifying a transformation of public awareness. President Bush had just been quizzed by veteran columnist Helen Thomas in a now famous exchange. The president was challenged to provide the rationale for the war and had no answer, resorting to the empty rhetoric of "No president wants to go to war." It was the first time he had ever called on her in the five years of his tenure. Helen Thomas has always been a critic of this war; but increasingly now, she is not alone. One correspondent, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, summed it up this way: "In increasingly aggressive questions to President Bush and Vice President Cheney, in a growing focus on the death toll in Iraq, in downbeat assessments on the invasion's third anniversary, many journalists now reflect the view that the war has gone horribly wrong."
In the present month, the situation is likely to continue, perhaps with some new and startling information that may come to light, since Uranus is currently on the U.S. Sun/Jupiter midpoint while the eclipse squares U.S. Uranus. In the eclipse configuration also, a stationary Pluto aspects U.S. Saturn, Mars and the Moon, indicating some transformation in the nation's leadership or the perception of leadership, and as well the role of the military. With transiting Saturn and Chiron nearing opposition, in the next few weeks and months we may well see a continuation of the crisis of leadership in this country.
The Aries Solar Eclipse New Moon from last month () that began the current lunar cycle, has a stationing Pluto opposed to Mars. The eclipse degree of 8 plus Aries also exactly Chiron in Aquarius, bringing the energy of the Wounded Healer into the monthly mix. With the sextile, we may find that there is a positive impulse for change to the way we view the patterns of our reactivity, if we can allow ourselves to open to it.
The First Quarter Moon () of Wednesday, April 5th accompanies a stationary Saturn, which changes to direct motion within an hour of the early morning First Quarter Moon. Chiron is widely opposed to Saturn right now, and the opposition gets closer after Saturn's direct motion about an hour later, perfecting in June. Neptune is brought into this configuration as well by aspect to the Sun and Moon. Mars is exactly opposed to a powerful Pluto at this time as well. Since Pluto and Neptune are also linked, the transformational energy of this time is powerful, and softer and more filled with numinous awareness of dimensions beyond this physical plane. Since Mars is involved, anger and even violence may emerge as well, so it is a paradoxical period of time.
The Full Moon () of Thursday, April 13th, aspects Pluto and Mars, by trine and sextile, just as Mercury squares Pluto and Venus nears conjunction with Uranus. Transformative and perhaps startling new awareness comes into our consciousness. This same evening, Mars crosses into Cancer and begins to pull away from the opposition with Pluto.
The Last Quarter Moon () takes place on Thursday, April 20th, in the first degree of Aquarius and Taurus, and thus coincides with the entrance of the Sun into Taurus and a shift of the ambient energy. This phase of the lunation cycle traditionally represents a "crisis in consciousness" when we sum up the successes and failures of the previous three weeks of the lunation cycle, taking the lessons gained into the next stage of our lives.
The Taurus New Moon () of Thursday, April 27th, squares Saturn as it opposes Chiron, and brings the wound of misplaced authority strongly into our awareness, as well as the energy of new growth and nature. At this time also, Mars reaches 8 plus degrees of Cancer, exactly the eclipse degree from the beginning of the previous cycle. We might expect poignant reminders of the earlier events that accompanied this powerful Aries New Moon, hopefully along the lines of transforming our anger and our pain into more reflective and less reactive postures.