The Astrology of April features a Grand Trine in Fire signs early in the month, with the Sun, Saturn and Jupiter all participating. Saturn and Jupiter are both stationing this month, making them more prominent in their symbolic influence. Jupiter changes to retrograde motion early in April and Saturn goes to direct or forward motion just after the mid-month New Moon. Jupiter in harmonious relationship with Saturn may provide some sense of relief from the rigors of our transformational passage lately, with the outer planets, especially Saturn and Neptune, all conspiring to force us to face the changes that are constantly in the making. The Jupiter trine reminds us to remain optimistic in our outlook and to imagine the positive outcome, which as everybody knows can easily become a self-fulfilling prophesy. As Jupiter stations it squares the Uranus / Mercury midpoint almost exactly, while Jupiter in square with Uranus comes on in full force during the later stages of the month and on into May and June. The dynamic interchange between these two archetypal energies occurs every three to four years and always represents a peak for innovation. We really do have to be getting on with it – as even the conservatives among us are starting to realize, since time is of the essence for our spaceship Earth and for ourselves.
The element of Fire relates entirely to getting on with it, and most of the planets are in fact to be found in Fire signs the first two thirds of the month, bringing the factor of intuitional growth very much into our energy fields. We grow through all our experiences at this time, the more so the more we can bring our awareness to our process and begin to truly pay attention to what is going on within us and around us. Neptune and later Venus in Air may help us to tune in. The other two elements, of Water and Earth, are also significant this month although under-represented. Only Uranus and Mercury, later Mars, hold down the Water element, making the occasions when the Moon comes into its own element all the more precious during April. And only Venus in Taurus embodies the Earth element for the first ten days, making the relationships in our lives more important than ever in this first part of the month.
The huge outer planet configuration of Saturn opposed to Neptune has waned, although it will return in June, and Mercury is in direct motion and free of its shadow for the first time in six weeks or more, but there is still a lingering effect of all that recent introspection to be found in the current patterns, as Saturn opposes almost exactly the Chiron / Neptune midpoint for the entire month. Chiron, "the Wounded Healer" in combination with Neptune refers to the wound of separation from the divine. We somehow find that our spiritual center cannot hold, or that finding that center means abandoning an important part of our past, our family of origin or one component of our network of friendships, which is painful. opposed to Saturn this internal conflict becomes more poignant. There are the practical considerations, and then there are the demands of Spirit. How to choose? And having chosen, how to reconcile with all that has been left behind. Only through surrender, and faith in the ultimate beneficence of the universe, can we find total acceptance of our paradoxical situation, creatures of paradise and birds of prey all at the very same time, the contradiction and the glory of the human condition. As saints and spiritual leaders remind us, "The only thing that has to be healed is our sense of separation" from the divine. This month we may find ourselves put to that challenge and equally to that opportunity to rise above.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
As Pluto moves back and fourth across the Galactic Center all this year and last, it aspects the U.S. Moon by sextile, almost exactly. Therefore these powerful New Moon lately, which all aspect transiting Pluto directly, also trigger the Pluto sextile to U.S. Moon, symbolizing the massive transformation of public attitude in this country that is on-going right now. We saw direct evidence last November of this shift in the prevailing political winds, and we are seeing further momentum for change in the current timeframe.
With the New Moon and Solar Eclipse last month, on March 18th, there was a square aspect to transiting Pluto formed, and with this month's New Moon, there will be a trine, that also sextiles the U.S. Moon. Of course the biggest story last month was in connection to the Iraq war. The fourth anniversary of the invasion took place on March 19th – and anti-war protests of the weekend prior underscored the increasing public perception of what is now largely regarded as a botched and immoral act of invasion on trumped-up grounds, and in violation of international law. It is also interesting to note that the current Jupiter – Saturn trine from the end of last month, which is also prominent this month, forms a Grand trine with U.S. Chiron, indicating that some hidden secrets of shameful conduct are likely to emerge, as indeed has already been the case. With the trine involved, we might look for potentially positive outcomes in terms of increasing consciousness around the nature of these activities.
This month, as the process of increasing public dismay in regard to the war continues, we are likely to see events around the 10th and also the 17th of the month with the Aries New Moon that reflect these same attitudes and that represent a further evolution of public opinion. And public opinion indeed must change still further if we are to dig our way out of this mess. Not only the real reasons for the U.S. invasion must come to light, but the public in general must begin to accept some level of responsibility for what has been done in their name in the wake of 9-11 using vengeance as a generalized motive. As we get closer and closer to the coming entry of Pluto into Capricorn, squaring the U.S. mid-heaven, and also the following Saturn – Pluto square and Uranus – Pluto square, the years 2008 – 2012, these next few spring seasons will be very hard for this country but also very eye-opening.
We can begin to see some of the unrest and the changes that are beginning to come down in the current political climate of debate over the conduct of the war and the supply of necessary human services at home. This has been the earliest start to a presidential campaign in recent history. We might look once again to mid-month for further revelations and accompanying attitude adjustment on the part of the American population. Although not everyone is on the same page with regard to these ideas, everyone is at the right place for themselves to be at this moment. Change comes gradually, and in its own time.
The Full Moon that begins the month on Monday, April 2nd (), is a powerful one, especially in terms of the outer planet configurations that it heralds. A stationing Jupiter trines Saturn, while Uranus begins to fully participate also and Mercury conjunct Uranus serve to remind us of what is going down. We are at the same time entirely stuck in our attempted evolution and truly breaking out of those stuck places, all at once. Following the eclipse of last month, this is our opportunity to assess the movement we have made with respect to our Spring Season resolutions and to share that progress with others around us.
The Last Quarter Moon of the following week, coming on Tuesday, April 10th (), represents a time of tension in our process of growth, and is a powerful one as well, since it triggers the positions of a newly retrograde Jupiter and Saturn. Saturn is within a degree opposite the Chiron/Neptune midpoint for the entire month, and exact at this time, so we are faced with an essentially spiritual dilemma of how to connect the enormous energy of the numinous within us to our physical plane existence, something that is happening all the time on a more or less unconscious level but which our task now is to make more conscious, and to proceed on our journey from the standpoint of soul and not ego. Of course we are still in our bodies and will continue to behave accordingly, but our challenge is to attempt the mechanism of flight above and beyond this limitation anyway.
The New Moon of Tuesday, April 17th (), brings some of these factors into greater relief since it almost exactly trines Pluto and the Galactic Center. The New Moon also aspects Chiron by quintile, bringing a higher vibration to this energy of pain and loss that is already in the mix with Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The Saturn – Neptune opposition will return in June, and still lingers in the background at this time, referring symbolically to the disappointment of the ideal being brought down to the real, and yet also to the possibility of transcendence, where by grace we may rise above this apparently irreconcilable conflict to a higher synthesis that takes both viewpoints into account. We really are, as Sting put it, "the ghosts in the machine" as well as just the machine itself, grinding along.
The final lunation of the month is the First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 23rd (). This traditionally represents a "crisis in action," when we must strive for the viability of what we have planted in the New Moon phase, and watch closely the tender shoot as it faces up to the world and struggles to attain maturity, and when there is likely to be a certain amount of tension in our process as a result. At this point the Sun has crossed into Taurus, and the Moon in Leo echoes the limitations and also potential for long-term growth represented by Saturn, now in direct motion there. Meanwhile a sesqui-yod from the Sun and Moon illuminates Jupiter, so the contrast between these two energies is also very present for us now. The Sun's ruler, Venus, now in Gemini, reminds us that we might just be able to think our way through, especially if we pay the most careful attention to everything that happens to us and seek always the third way, resolving polarities.