Astrology of April 2008
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of April features Mars and Venus, along with Saturn and Pluto, as the powerful series of New Moon configurations that we have seen in recent months continues. This month, the New Moon of April 5th aspects Saturn, just after Pluto stands still in the sky with his retrograde station, while the Full Moon two weeks later aspects both Saturn and Pluto. At the time of the Aries New Moon, Venus prepares to enter Aries as well, squaring Pluto, meaning that we will actively seek to transform our relationship energy, one way or another. Mars, ruler of the Sun and Moon, regains his lost zodiacal ground from the very beginning of last year's retrograde. Mars is triply emphasized in the current month, since the New Moon also squares Mars. The symbolism of Mars includes our desires and aggressive urges, as well as the assertion of our right to stand up for ourselves.

Mars turned retrograde last November, on the 15th, and concerns stemming from that time may come up again for final resolution as April gets underway. Since Venus is entering the sign Mars rules, while Mars remains in Cancer, where Venus is exalted, relationships are particularly on our minds as we make peace with our desire nature and our animal passions.

The New Moon also closely sextiles Chiron, while squaring Jupiter, reminding us that any conscious awareness of old and dysfunctional patterns that may come up for us at this time are there in order that we might begin to transcend them. Jupiter is sextile Uranus at this time also, meaning that novel ideas are more than available for working our way out of whatever traps we may find ourselves in as a result of our prior conceptions.

The April 20th Full Moon may bring whatever issues we are working on to a head, since Venus squares Mars, while the Sun in the first degree of Taurus makes a tight Grand trine with a forming SaturnPluto trine in early Virgo and Capricorn. Saturn in close contact with Pluto reminds us once again that the organization of our lives and that of the surrounding social structure is changing, and changing dramatically right now, and that though matters needn't be dire, they are urgent. The Sabian Symbols for the Sun and Moon degree in this Full Moon configuration are "A clear mountain stream" and "A sight-seeing bus" reflecting the inclusive nature of these times that we are living through and the purity of purpose necessary if we are to reach our goals. More and more we are coming to the realization that it will take a remarkable transformation of our over-all collective intention to get us through with respect to the earth and social crises that we face, and that getting there will take all of us.

The revolutionary and transformative energy of Pluto is also available to us now, especially at the time of the Full Moon, and this helps us, by razing old and outworn psychic structures that have outlived their juiciness in our lives. Pluto stations in early April – appearing to stand still in the sky – meaning that his energy will be stronger during this powerful and transformative month. What we are seeing now is only the beginning of a vast shift that will in time radically alter the structure of our social setting, and our lives in general, bringing us eventually, through all our journeying, closer to the ideals to which we truly aspire.

Transits to the U.S. Chart USA

Last month we said that based on the involvement of Neptune yet another month of passion and excitement and potential confusion and high idealism was in the offing and indeed that has proven to be the case. Of course the most dramatic events last month were the March 4th primaries, the subsequent attacks on the campaign of Barack Obama, based on the record of inflammatory pulpit sermons from his pastor, from the campaign of fellow democrat Hillary Clinton, and Obama's speech on race that turned a potential deficit into a win, with the poles riding the roller coaster. Misinformation and confusion within the democratic race for the nomination, as well as high idealism, all were indeed present.

Interestingly, the speech took place at the time when transiting Mars was directly on U.S. Jupiter (hope). Mars rules the U.S. 4th house, representing our home concerns and security issues. Chiron resides there – a wound to feeling secure – reflecting the basic insecurity that runs through the American experience and that fueled the aggressive and fear-based response to 9-11.

In the current monthly transits, it looks like things are heating up in both the presidential campaign scene and for the military. This is because at the time of the New Moon, emphasizing Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, as Pluto stations, there are important transits involving Mars, representing the nation's aggressive urges and outgoing initiatives in general and the military in particular. At that time, and with the subsequent First Quarter Moon that transpires one week later, transiting Mars is on U.S. Sun while transiting Jupiter and Uranus together aspect both U.S. Mars and U.S. Chiron, indicating that sudden events could transpire that affect the military, and that there is some further cause for hope for changes in consciousness regarding the nation's continuing use of the military as its first and frequently only option. Meanwhile, transiting Pluto stations in square with the U.S. Midheaven, while Jupiter opposes the U.S. Sun and U.S. Mercury indicating that massive change in the way we see ourselves and our government is more likely than not.

For more information on the politics of today's America from an astrological perspective, see our new Zodiactivism feature.

April 5th New Moon New Moon Chart
This is a powerful lunation that emphasizes a JupiterMars opposition forming in Cancer/Capricorn. Jupiter sextiles the trickster energy of Uranus. With Mars in the sign of Cancer we will find loads of energy for family and nurturing ourselves and others.

The New Moon also stands in dynamic aspect to Saturn in Virgo, while Saturn closely trines Pluto in Capricorn just as Pluto stations. This trine represents a more graceful passage to the same place that we were driven during the events of 2001-2002. We must accommodate change to the very structure of our lives or those structures will be changed forcefully.

April 12th First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
This dynamic Sun-Moon square strongly emphasizes Neptune, Jupiter and Mars by opposing it and conjuncting the latter two. Mars draws nearer to its opposition point with Jupiter, giving this already tense configuration plenty of juice. Neptune in Aquarius is also emphasized, indicating that our ideals, and perhaps our illusions and potential self-deception, are also up for us during this somewhat difficult transition.

April 20th Full Moon Full Moon Chart
This powerful lunation trines Pluto, making a Grand Trine in the sky with Saturn and Pluto. Therefore the issues raised by the SaturnPluto trine will be temporally magnified. This Scorpio Full Moon in the first degrees of Scorpio and Taurus carries its own special energy for relationship and change. This configuration speaks to structural transformation coming down in our lives that we need to wise up to and the necessary course corrections that will follow. Because Mercury is conjunct the Sun at this time, and participates in the Grand Trine, the consciousness of where we are standing – or not – is raised. We have a real chance right now to take a stand and make a difference. As a nation and a culture we are indeed “between a rock and a hard place” and our salvation lies in recognizing the factors in our lives that must be adjusted, both collectively and individually. The good news with the trine is that relatively mild modifications can be extremely beneficial at this time, and save us more trouble later on should we ignore the signs of massive impending change.

April 28th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
This phase was identified by Rudhyar as the "crisis in consciousness" that comes at the end of the lunation cycle, when we look at what has been concretely accomplished and what remains. The Moon in Aquarius emphasizes the human family over individual ego, and connection over isolation. Jupiter continues to sextile Uranus, with Chiron at their midpoint, bringing great ideas into the picture once again in service of exploring the places where we are wounded as a human family, and where we are collectively trying to heal ourselves.