Astrology of April 2011
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of April focuses on Mercury in retrograde, an Aries lineup as the month takes off and also once again the outer planets: Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Mercury is in retrograde all month long, when you count the shadow period – the time when it is still catching up to the Zodiacal degree where it began to go backward – so we might expect the usual symptoms of missed communications and false starts. This is a particularly powerful Mercury retrograde, due to the fact that it contacts so many other planets as it moves backward through Aries. The times of its most heightened activity are the 9th, 17th and the 23rd. Mercury will be totally free of its shadow by next month, on May 11th.

The Aries New Moon, taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, in the beginning weekend of the month, features a long chain of planets in Aries, each feeding off the energies of the others. Mars and Uranus, in the beginning degrees of the sign and in almost exact conjunction, are followed by the Sun and Moon at the 14th degree – a degree with a particularly powerful Sabian Symbolconjunct Jupiter and directly opposed to Saturn across the Zodiac at the 14th degree of Libra. Finally, in the last decant of Aries, Eris and Mercury are in conjunction. The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is a serpent encircling a man and a woman, representing the process of transcending polarity in conscious evolution, and certainly that is precisely what these climactic times are all about.

Mars conjunct Uranus – and at the beginning of Mars' own sign of Aries – brings a creative spark of enlightened activity to the fore. It is an exciting time to be alive right now, and also, we must note, a time to temper the headstrong rush of activity with a dose of caution. It is definitely in the cards to go overboard with sudden enthusiasm and accidents are more than possible. Saturn opposed to Jupiter brings in this corrective energy of limitation as a counterweight to the rebellious and forward-going energy represented by Uranus and we do well to heed it during this powerful and climactic month.

Since Saturn, retrograde in Libra and exactly opposed to both the New Moon and Jupiter, is also now in forming square to Pluto, there is a great deal of emphasis on the darker side of limitation. Rick Tarnas, in his ground-breaking astrological study Cosmos and Psyche, refers to Saturn-Pluto as "conservative empowerment." This can be seen in reaction to the forward-going energy of Uranus in square to Pluto. So we have Uranus newly in Aries – and being given a kick this month by Mars – urging us to go forward, while Saturn holds us back, thereby pulling us in at least two directions at once. The revolutionary energy of Uranus has been prominent for weeks now, as evidenced by the Mid-East protest movement that has toppled at least one prominent dictator so far, and the reaction to that movement.

Now, with Saturn-Pluto, we will be seeing an even greater resurgence of conservative backlash within the collective. In our own lives as well, we will continue to deal with disillusion and loss of faith in ourselves, just as we are also getting a jolt of new energy to go forward and accomplish great things, freeing ourselves from the shackles of the past. We are getting both contrary impulses simultaneously, and this is complicated by Pluto in square to both Saturn and Uranus. We are thus experiencing a final surge of the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square from last summer, with all its potential drama. We win when rather than experiencing defeat we make these difficulties an occasion for learning and growth of character.

Pluto in his turn, stations on April 9th, squared by Mars in Aries, and is therefore very powerful in the midmonth timeframe. This midmonth time is also when Mercury retrograde conjuncts the Sun, and when Neptune enters Pisces for several months leading up to this summer. The entrance of Neptune into Pisces brings his planetary archetype of compassion and selflessness more fully into play. This is an energy that is also idealized in nature, wanting the best for everyone, and perhaps too, an energy somewhat confused by real-world considerations. We will very much need to access the sense of compassionate oneness with all the rest of humankind that Neptune brings. We are all in the same boat, as we are increasingly reminded, and the boat is leaking.

The Full Moon in Libra takes place on Sunday, April 17; along with the Sun and Moon, Mars and Saturn are now opposed, making it difficult to get things done. retrograde Mercury conjuncts Mars – exact on the very next day. Neptune and Pluto are also powerfully aspected at this time, Neptune by parallel, so the outer planet energies continue to be powerfully invoked. These energies take us literally out of this mundane world. Compassion is with us now, which we need both for ourselves and for others within the pressure cooker of the evolutionary impulse provided by Uranus and Pluto in combination. Their square is well within orb, and draws ever nearer right through the summer. These times are tough now and we need to be even tougher if we are to survive – and to prosper artistically – in the midst of creative chaos.

April 3rd New Moon New Moon Chart
This exciting and intense New Moon provides a huge punch with loads of energy for visioning new purpose and also for holding back from making it happen. It is exciting to jump forward but it can be powerful also to watch and let the energy build for important changes, remaining cautious before acting on them, and that is what this configuration provides. As the proverb goes: "trust in God but tie up your camel." The urge to go forward comes from a close Uranus-Mars conjunction at the second degree of Aries, near the New Moon at the 14th degree, plus the Sun and Moon in conjunction with optimistic Jupiter . This is such an intense energy that one would do well to beware the possibility of accidents. The holding back comes from two important factors. Mercury is in the early and stronger stages of its retrograde, and conjunct the new planet Eris for additional emphasis, while, even more important, Saturn – representing limitation – is exactly opposed to this New Moon , across the Zodiac from the remainder of the planets and therefore quite powerful as well in favoring a conservative approach. The New Moon squares Pluto representing evolutionary intent and radical transformation. The implicit frustration of this moment is obvious, but might be rendered less difficult when we let go of trying too hard to steer, reflecting that Spirit has its reasons and that all things come in time to those who wait. It is important to wait with as optimistic an attitude as possible and to observe everything that is happening to you now very carefully hoping for the best but making sure also to tie up your camel.

April 11th First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
This First Quarter Moon, taking place in the early morning hours of Monday, April 11th, is traditionally a time of tension in our process, when we find that what seemed so easy conceptually at the time of the New Moon a week earlier becomes more difficult and complex as we get into the details and run into snags at this crossroads – which seminal astrologer Dane Rudhyar called the "crisis of action" within the cycle. Since the Moon is now in Cancer, there is a softer and more nurturing sense of ourselves available than at the time of the Aries lunation – when everything was go, go, go with little time to get into feelings or to smell the flowers. Now an entirely different energy prevails – which is the basis for the square between Cancer and Aries, where the Sun still resides. The power of the situation with this particular Quarter Moon is even more intense for several reasons, not the least of which is an especially strong Mercury retrograde period that is reaching one high point over the week of the 11th. Also, all the Aries planets are now being opposed by Saturn and squared by the Moon at this critical juncture. Finally, the Sun is in conjunction with a powerfully placed Eris (the recently named planetoid beyond Pluto) and as well a feisty Mars and Jupiter so that the gloves might come off in whatever personal conflicts come up for us Sunday or Monday morning.

April 17th Full Moon Full Moon Chart
This Full Moon continues the series of powerful lunations that began with the month's beginning New Moon in mid-Aries. With the Sun still in late Libra, it signals a culmination, in service to our process of spiritual evolution, of one stage in the energetic release and flowering of the seeds of new ideas from that time. One major difference in this mid-month time frame is that Neptune has now entered its own sign of Pisces, and is quite strong in these spring skies. The Full Moon trines and parallels Neptune and therefore even more greatly emphasizes this powerful energy of compassionate sensitivity to the plight of others, and to ourselves. Meanwhile the energy of Uranus in square to Pluto is still very much with us, representing an urge for truly revolutionary change that could begin at this very moment and within the heart/mind of each one of us. We thus constructively serve as the vital holographic link to the dramatic collective transformation that is beaming down to us from the beneficence of the surrounding cosmos. A strong Mars-Mercury conjunction exactly opposes Saturn, the dour-faced guardian of the door to this important next phase. We must also pass the tests that he imposes of concrete practicality and obedience to the standards of the past as well as of the present moment. As the poet Andrew Marvell expressed it, we must take all our past and all our future possibility and roll it up into one ball, so that we might tear our actions with rough strife through the iron gates that separate us from our emerging destiny.

April 24th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
The Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday in standoffish Aquarius contrasts with the Sun in passionate Taurus for creative tension. This is traditionally a time when we take stock of what has happened over the preceding three weeks of the lunation cycle – what has worked out and what just hasn't – particularly poignant in these troublesome and contradictory times that we are currently living through. We can profit enormously from the information that we glean at this juncture, a point within the cycle that seminal Western astrologer Dane Rudhyar called the "crisis of consciousness," and by making good use of the lessons learned as seed material for the next. In this case the information is particularly useful, and refers to key factors for one's process, since Mercury has only just one day ago - on Saturday April 23rd - stationed in conjunction with Mars and in opposition to Saturn. Although Mercury will remain in its retrograde shadow for the next two weeks, this station direct brings to an end the major phase of an unusually powerful Mercury retrograde period.

This configuration of the Quarter Moon that kicks off this last week of the month is interesting as well in terms of Chiron and Venus which are both closely aspected, in the very same degrees of Pisces and Aries as the Sun and Moon are in Taurus and Aquarius. This creates an interesting pattern of yearning and staying separate, with both joyful and also difficult connection to everyone around us, particularly significant others. Then, too, Mercury in Aries is closely opposed to Saturn in Libra, still emphasized by his position across the Zodiac from the personal planets plus Jupiter and Uranus. Saturn is said to be exalted in Libra, enforcing a slow approach to a hard-won and longer lasting sense of balance. This is an extremely powerful year that we are launching into, as is obvious already, leading up to the major changes of 2012 and beyond. We benefit by checking things out carefully and holding back as long as possible before we leap forward into the springtime rush of this climactic year.

The indications for each Sun Sign over this month are given below. Be sure to check out your Rising Sign as well, if you know it. You can now log in to My AstroGraph, or sign up for a new account for a free calculation and interpretation of your Sun Sign, Moon Sign, and Rising Sign. Please note that dates given in this column for astrological events are based on U.S. Pacific Time Zone (UTC +8), for other locations dates may need to be adjusted depending on the number of hours of separation.

Aries Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Cardinal Fire. Your ruling planet is Mars.

It's all new, Aries. It is an exciting and novel phase that is beginning for you now, taking off with an eccentric burst of energy right from the first weekend of the month. You usually get a boost from the springtime, but this time it's literally over the top. Partnership with significant others represents a steadying influence for you right now, that serves to balance you out and ground your creativity to your ultimate benefit. Holding back as well as jumping forward is definitely one of the joys of this climactic time period. Surprises lead you into uncharted territory that turns into powerful insight when you pause in your onrushing forward momentum for the briefest instant to look around you and allow your intuition a chance to pay attention.

As the month begins, you are entering an exciting weekend when anything can, and probably will, happen. You are at an important moment in your life, a moment of actualizing evolutionary intention, and it is vital that you recognize this fact. Sudden events might easily transpire now that will have the effect of allowing you to see something that you were previously in some way blind to regarding your condition or the human condition in general. These rapid changes in your state of consciousness – you might call it epiphany – has the effect of opening you to new ways of looking at the world around you. The precise moment of the New Moon takes place on Sunday morning, April 3rd, and this is likely to be an exciting day for you in some way, shape or form. Perhaps changes that you were only considering come to a sudden crisis of meaning at this time, enjoining you to take the plunge or back off from an uncertain future. The action you take is up to you, although it helps to be aware that you can postpone certain inevitable changes for only so long if you are truly on your evolutionary path. All this is complicated by the Mercury retrograde period which began in earnest as recently as the end of March and which will continue for this entire month or more. This particular Mercury retrograde is particularly strong for you, and the fact that you are in the midst of it means that this is the wrong time to commit to decisive action. You are engaged in redoing what was done previously, during the opening months of this onrushing new decade, and taking another and perhaps deeper perspective on events as you come around the mountain one more time. You do better by taking action that has been contemplated for some time but is not yet final; or else in researching possibilities for the future but remaining with a wait-and-see attitude until mid-May. The First Quarter Moon of Sunday and Monday, April 10th and 11th – which is exact on Monday morning the 11th – is another powerful time for you when you might encounter appropriate limits to contemplated growth, or when family issues could interfere with how you thought things were lined up to play themselves out in your favor. Partners also come into the picture at this time even more strongly, and serve as a corrective to unchecked activity, a useful grounding energy that balances out some of your wild exuberance. This is the role that they have been occupying all month long but comes into sharper focus over the briefly difficult period of these few days. The Full Moon of Sunday evening, April 17th, is powerful for you and represents a further stage of your journey, a time of weighing the energies of self and other, perhaps coming to a better overall balance. This is an important season for relationship concerns, and potentially includes the concept of mentorship on the part of significant others in your life. The last two weeks of the month, punctuated by the 23rd and 24th , when Mercury stations and the Last Quarter Moon takes place on Easter Sunday, are essentially a time of contemplation and of fostering greater consciousness as you reflect on the trends that your life is taking right now. Relationship continues to be an important part of these musings, and also the awareness of inevitable transformation as you respond to the radical forces at work both within you and outside of you.

Taurus Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Fixed Earth. Your ruling planet is Venus.

You have grown tired of the same old rut and yet may have hesitated to jump the tracks, Taurus, until now. There is an important opening this month that propels you into a new way of looking at the world. Ready or not, here it comes, and it includes the best glimpse that you might ever have of your own secret internal workings. Intuition tells you which way it is that you need to go. You are gloriously idealistic now and ready to be of true service to others. You might finally be available for a novel approach combining conscious and unconscious; a sense of freedom and simultaneously a sense of dutiful responsibility.

As the month begins, you are aware of cosmic consciousness unfolding. Your destiny calls you in this current monthly timeframe, and you may have no real choice but to answer. A mystical impulse suffuses your thinking as you make necessary course corrections that enable a better fit between your actions and your ideals. Due to the retrograde of Mercury in your sector of dream vision, you will spend most of April mulling over your situation rather than taking decisive novel action, or at least that is the plan. Astrologers feel that anything initiated during the retrograde of Mercury will likely be redone, or at least radically adjusted, after Mercury returns to direct motion and leaves its shadow the second half of May. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, brings loads of energy to your process, even though this energy is almost entirely expressed at an internal level. You are fully turning now to your inner world of dream imagination, a world that is just as rich, even though stranger, than the world of waking conscious activity. There are fundamental transformations as a result in the way that you perceive the universe that surrounds you, and that filter into what you consider an appropriate plan for the future. It might be important to shelve these major revelations that are coming to you now and place them in cold storage, taking them out now and then to refresh and refine your understanding of them. This is better than to rush into action right now, due to the nature of the Mercury retrograde period of time that lasts the entire month when you take the period of the retrograde shadow into account. With the First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, you are entering into a time of relative challenge and trial, when your progress toward your goals and even your concept of them will be tested. You are operating from the standpoint of a high degree of idealism, coloring your attitude toward future goals and societal involvement, and it is wise to temper this optimism with a healthy dose of skepticism also, which the practical limitations of your situation might supply to you. The Full Moon of the evening of Sunday, April 17th, might be the occasion for an attempt to sooth the warring polarities within you that is largely successful. This is a time of relative calm and balance. Your idealism has a good conduit to your outer as well as your inner personality, in a better form of integration of all your disparate parts, as you come into a new sense of yourself in the coming weeks. With the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, when the Sun is in your sign, and when Mercury has changed into direct motion, you are even more centered in yourself, although still mulling over and attempting to make sense of the transitions throughout a particularly wild month of many changes and realizations.

Gemini Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Mutable Air. Your ruling planet is Mercury.

You are entering into what is fundamentally an optimistic time period now, Gemini, even though you are also left with a feeling of déjà vu and a sobering reminder that everything is not exactly what it might appear to be. Let your faith win out and you will be the better for it, even if things do change once you have set your course in any one particular direction. Since your ruler Mercury is retrograde this month it might be best to withhold judgment regarding any particular final outcome. You have the power now to imagine a future life path that really works for you instead of one that just pretends. This is a marvelous opportunity and not to be missed, even if the devil really is in the details of working it through over the next few weeks and months.

As the month begins, you are in a very string intuitional place regarding future trends for yourself. Some version of your future is sitting out there for you, and yet of course it is multiple potential futures that await, and that depend on your faith and your decision process to become actualized. You have such a concentration of planets right now in your eleventh sector of wishes and goals, and of social networking also, that you cannot help but be swept along into some notion of what you might be able to manifest over the months to come. The purity of this vision for your future and for yourself is complicated by the fact that your ruler, Mercury, is also retrograding through the same sector of your Solar chart. Anything that you think through to its conclusion now will have to be adjusted over the five week time span represented by the Mercury retrograde period and the time after stationing direct when Mercury is regaining its former Zodiacal longitude. This will be mid-May, so it might be best to adopt a "wait-and-see" attitude until then. You still have the opportunity now to begin to imagine what you truly want to get out of life and the enthusiasm and also the steadiness to pull it off. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, represents the peak of the energy of this first part of the month, and takes you mentally down many paths the lead you forward into your next phase. These first two weeks are the best times to dream and plan and perhaps to journal regarding where you are headed. Since Saturn, representing limitations, is also strongly constellated now, the difficulties inherent in what you visualize are also part of your thinking at this time. You are in the process of firming up your concept of who you are, in relation to others around you and also for yourself alone. This is a powerful time relationship-wise, as well as with regard to your individual progress toward your goals. It is in some way inevitable that you cannot have the one without the other. As the month continues to unfold, the First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, might give you pause. This is a time when you become very much aware of the implicit difficulties in making your vision more concretely available to you in actual physical terms, and when your faith is tested by events. It is also a time when you are likely to rise to the occasion and take an active stand for what you believe in, perhaps making your case in no uncertain terms. As always, moderation is the key to success without overdoing a dogmatic approach to solving interpersonal problems that could arise. The Full Moon of Sunday, April 17th, represents a time of greater balance, when you are getting a glimpse of the mystical underpinning of all that you see and do. Bringing this factor into your thought and decision process is crucial for you at this time, and ameliorates any difficulties that you might be experiencing when you take only the more obvious physical world into account. The last two weeks of the month are punctuated by the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, the same weekend when Mercury turns to direct motion, indicating a shift in your awareness. This period of time represents a profound learning experience when you will likely spend much of your energy rehashing the events of the first half of the month and mulling over your possibilities. There is much to gain from contemplation during this time, as you absorb the lessons of this powerful lunation cycle and prepare for the next.

Cancer Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Cardinal Water. Your ruling planet is TheMoon.

You are going all-out for professional goals right now, Cancer, and mostly winning. There are still many surprise turns of the road and changes in attitude to contend with and things do not simply take their normal course of action, but basically you are forging ahead. While taking it to the top and going all out for what you believe in, and where you feel your greatest contribution lies, you are simultaneously holding back and reconsidering your position. In so doing you connect more fully to your home and family. Midmonth bumpiness starting around April 11th involves a series of trials that also serve you by providing tests of character. Security issues could arise in this context, as you contemplate even more deeply and fully who you really are.

As the month begins, you are going all out for professional success. The New Moon that punctuates the first weekend of the month, taking place on Sunday morning, April 3rd, gives you a burst of energy for career pursuits that is also quite complex, including surprise enlightenment, optimism, caution, and a penchant for looking back as well as forward. You are entertaining an active vision for your future that is more consistent with your high ideals and enhanced mystical viewpoint on the world around you; one without compromise or at least as little compromise as is actually possible. You are feeling the call to action, but this is complicated by Mercury retrograding backward through your sector of professional life, making it likely that you will be re-examining your entire approach in that area. The usual symptoms of the retrograde period apply even more strongly to your case: miscommunication, mechanical breakdowns and missed connections. All these could make doing business rather more challenging than is normally the case, and also make you question any startling new directions that you might be tempted into starting off in. Such questioning is important and timely; it is best to wait for finalizing any new decision until mid-May, although it's a great time to be pushing ahead to completion, albeit with revisions, any pre-existing project from before the very end of last month. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th might be the occasion for discovering a few kinks in the road of your progress. You might encounter obstacles test your mettle, or that personal and professional priorities conflict. If any one or any thing gets in your way at this time you are likely to react strongly; you might find that when you get your back up you can be quite a fighter. When the going gets tough it is not only the tough that get going, but also the motivated. The Full Moon of Sunday evening, April 17th, is a time of greater peace and of relative balance. You are called to a kind of fulfillment, a mystical atonement for pushing too hard in the past. A certain degree of fuzzy logic pervades your thinking now, a relaxation into grace, together with the contrary notion of a refusal to accept anything less than practical that remains at odds with just letting go and letting god. There is no real resolution; you might just have to learn to live with the paradox. The Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, when Mercury has also just turned to direct motion, might represent a kind of received wisdom concerning your situation. You are spending these last two weeks of the month in contemplation of what has gone down and the lessons that you can glean from these events. There are potentially painful realizations that you might be inclined to push away, but which can be extremely valuable when looked at head-on, without any attempt at judgment. You will find at the end of all your striving that you did not get to precisely the place that you were aiming at, but that the journey has provided its own reward.

Leo Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Fixed Fire. Your ruling planet is TheSun.

New horizons beckon, Leo. You are building a bridge to a different universe, and it involves new ways of seeing and of being, not so much of doing. Travel might well be involved but the emphasis is on the novelty of the perspective that is gained thereby. Even your day-to-day communication is more sober and serious and to the point, as you are called into greater conscious service to the surrounding collective. You are presented with not only a vision of the way things are and the way they could be, but of how you might be able to make the crucial difference. You have the lever that you need to move the world closer to your true heart's desire, now all you need is the place to stand.

As the month begins, you are visioning new realities that seem to overtake the tracks that you have been running in for a long, long, time. A feeling of unlimited possibility is balanced by an equally powerful feeling of self-limitation, but the eventual collaboration might be even more fruitful as a result. Due to the massive line-up of planetary energy in your 9th sector of higher mind activity, you are dwelling into new perspectives on yourself and your world. During this month also, you might well be engaged also in travel plans or on actually executing on them. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, is the powerful moment when all of these themes come together. You are developing a new concept of where your career and professional life might be heading, and how this area of your life might change in response to changing conditions and evolving perspectives. There is a sense of being of true service to others and to the world around you that is becoming more concretely available to you as a valid mode of operation. This is in spite of fears that you are being even too self-sacrificing in providing for others around you instead of yourself. There is a way that your self-interest is served along with the needs of others when you participate whole-heartedly and not from feelings of guilt or an artificial sense of duty. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, might serve to firm up some of these attitudes by stimulating your strong response to events that seem to counter your deepest intentions for yourself. You are making a stand for yourself at this time, and for what you truly believe, to the extent that you can state these without ambiguity. A strong dose of imagination, and of idealism, pervades your thought process at this time and it might take several weeks to really sort things out. The Full Moon a week later, taking place on Sunday, April 17th, might provide a time of relative calm and balance, and a mellowing of quandAries with your work life, as you reach a form of fulfillment with your desires. Over the next few days you will get more comfortable with where your career might be heading, although there are still likely to be a few surprises to contend with so that it pays to be light on your feet and not too stuck on any one point of view on the matters at hand. The Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, might be a good time to reflect on where the arc of development of these last three weeks has taken you and how far you still might need to go. Mercury has just changed into direct rather than retrograde motion this same weekend, so that it will be easier to make definite decisions after a couple more weeks have past.

Virgo Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Mutable Earth. Your ruling planet is Mercury.

This is the moment when you are being asked to put the pedal to the metal, Virgo, at least in terms of getting clear on your ultimate vision. No more fooling around with the potential for radical transformation in your life, it's time to get serious in your commitment to change. You are exploring new ways of being and of grounding your experience with a sense of protection that does not flow from monetary considerations or the expectations of others but instead from a strong sense of your own inner worth. This month is more about the research necessary to rethinking your basis for security along with your creative presence in the world and your approach to intimacy. Next month you take off with it.

As the month begins, you are boiling away in the caldron of change. You might be tempted to duck out, mentally travel to some place more conducive to ease, but change has you in its grip and will not let go. Since your ruler Mercury is also retrograde in this same sector, it might be best to research and review the opportunities that you have on your table right now, rather than making any sudden movement in the direction of your perceived destiny. Your values and the way that you Marshal your resources are subject to radical transformation at this time and yet in some inner portion of your being you are also refusing to accept this; practicing a form of non-violent resistance against yourself. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, is a powerful one and serves to exacerbate these issues. The urge continues for deep contemplation of potential radical change, and also the resistance to any concept of change whatsoever. Significant relationships in your life figure into this equation as well, and might be facilitators or else foils for the arc of your own development. You are making a strong stand for yourself now, and that stand could involve movement either toward or away from intimate others in your life, depending on what you see as your deepest need corresponding to your next evolutionary step. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, brings further possibilities into the light and also forecloses on some of them. You are in the process of evaluating what works and what doesn't in the midst of your current arc of development, and seeing how what is going on for you personally relates to the broader picture of your ongoing set of goals, wishes and desires. Important partnerships in your life come into the picture now as well, and could perhaps be a source of confusion as well as of helpful feedback. There are illusions and potentially self-deceptions that are intimately related to your understanding of their purpose in your life for you at this powerful juncture. With the Full Moon of the following weekend, taking place on Sunday, April 17th, you are seeking a balance point that integrates concepts of self and other. Your evolutionary purpose in the events of the current month is still unclear, but you are earnestly engaged in working out the solution. Over the remainder of the month, punctuated by the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, you will be mulling over what has gone before, attempting to make sense out of it. Although your ruler Mercury changes to direct motion on that same weekend, it remains within its shadow period until at least the first week of May, so that is another factor that promotes refection on previous events rather than launching into any form of new activity. As you ponder the essential meaning of this important phase of your life you might find that there is more to soul sense than what rationality alone can supply from the limited standpoint of consensus thinking.

Libra Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Cardinal Air. Your ruling planet is Venus.

This is a powerful month for you Libra, and one that is full of changes. You are very fixated on relationship considerations right now, and relationship is rising up to meet you. You are suspicious that there might be a better way of connecting with significant partners, and impatient to find it, even though it might be just a trifle impetuous to do so at this time. With Mercury retrograding through your partnership sector nearly all month long, you are reviewing and rethinking your position, with all the returns not yet in. Still you are more than aware that an important tide is turning, and it is likely to arrive more fully by next mid-month. Ready or not, here it comes, and it sweeps everything before it.

As the month begins, relationship with significant partners in your life is on your mind and in your heart. Both more superficial and procedural and also deeper transformation is now arising to alter your previously entrenched positions in this area, and this applies to personal and also to business partnerships. The fact that Saturn is now emphasized and has been sitting for some time now in your identity sector implies that you currently have a certain tendency for fixity but the process of these first two weeks of April might actually change all that. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd creates a focal point of energy that could sweep away before it everything that is not nailed down within your relationship dynamic. A great deal of calm balancing is required on your part to weather this storm and maintain self-focus and this is your task over the course of this climactic period of time. Mercury is also retrograde now in this same sector of your chart, so you might be aware also of rethinking your current relationships, looking to them for review and revisioning. Any new relationships that enter your life right now will be accompanied by this tSunami-like energetic flow, so that it might be a good time to watch and to wait, rather than to plunge right into anything. You fullest participation in your day-to-day environment and health practices is not only implied but also required at this point in time. You are still in the process of making some deep-rooted changes at the very core of your being, resulting in a new basis for emotional security. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, provides plenty of opportunities for looking forward into the future, and also backward, especially concerning important relationships in your life, as you strive to find the truest essence of your dynamic with both newer and existing partners. You might hit a few snags in the road at this point also, since there are inherent conflicts in the energetic mix for this somewhat difficult moment in time that follows an intense weekend. The Full Moon that comes along a week later, taking place on Easter Sunday, April 17th, provides a sense of fulfillment and a perhaps also a feeling of relief, as you reach for the balance point between considerations of self and other. The following weekend puts you back into a peak of intensity as Mercury turns direct in your partnership sector, subtly shifting the energy, while you are reminded once more of issues of home and family, and of your own security needs, that have been brewing for some time now without fully reaching their resolution. The Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday evening, April 24th, is exciting and presents surprises as well as insights, making that day and the week that follows the perfect moment in time to begin to sort things out. You are sifting through the details of what has happened for clues for what is to come. It's a tricky business, but a vital one, although like much of your life these days it is prone to error and subterfuge, both on the part of others and also just on your own.

Scorpio Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Fixed Water. Your ruling planets are Mars and Pluto.

A sudden change in the cosmic weather has you almost reeling, Scorpio, as you adopt a stronger stance on a helping role. You are going all out for education and ratiocination, and for connecting others up within a pathway forward for yourself that allows you to be of true service to the surrounding collective. Communication with others around you is key. You are jumping ahead of where you were standing only a few short weeks ago, desiring to make your daily existence count for more than a simple paycheck, but you still have much thinking and rethinking of your basic position before you are ready to commit. When you do finally launch, it will involve your deep interior process even more than your outer one.

As the month begins, you are feeling the heat of unformed priorities, an energy that excites and also surprises and confounds as well as motivates you. You know that you must be on your way to do what Jesus called "my father's work" – that dharma or task that you were put here on this earth to perform, this time around. And yet you perhaps do not really know where to go or even how to begin to find it. This is a month of confusion and you must let confusion reign, at least in part. There is a strong energy moving you forward, and an equally powerful factor holding you back, and in addition, Mercury is retrograding in your sector of day-to-day activity, health, and of your discipleship to your higher Self, so that it is hard to pin anything down. It is said that what is begun in a rush of momentum during the period of Mercury retrograde must be undone once it has safely returned to direct motion in mid-May. The New Moon of Monday, April 3rd, is a powerful one, and really lights up this area of your Solar chart. You inner world is calling you but the voice you hear is unclear. You possess boundless optimism on the one hand, and yet something in your depths seems to be holding you back, or at least warning you not to go where you are summoned until the stream runs clear. Relationship is a changing landscape for you right now and contributes to your process of spiritual evolution, and also to the crazed wonder of your situation. With the First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, you are reaching a bend in the road; a place where further obstacles arise and where you will be tested in some way. There is a mystical madness that almost overtakes you now, but filled with joy also, as you recognize that certain aspects of your situation are simply not strictly of this physical world. Old and stultified belief systems will hold you back at this point while it is the new and emerging patterns of perspective that have the most promise, but which are relatively unknown and therefore scary. The Full Moon of Sunday, April 17th, and the days immediately following, bring you to a more pleasant and relaxed place, one where significant others in your life are definitely more in the picture – for the better for the most part. This will seem like a time when it is difficult to accomplish anything at all and yet also one where what you do accomplish will have a cosmic aspect and be longer lasting. You might feel as though you are being held back to no good effect but there is cosmic purpose in everything. With the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, there will be further revelations and a broadening of perspective. You might encounter interpersonal difficulties at this time, but these events too have their benefits in terms of increased awareness. As the song says, "you can get shown the light in the strangest of places when you look at it right."

Sagittarius Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Mutable Fire. Your ruling planet is Jupiter.

This is a deeply paradoxical month for you, Sagittarius. You have on the one hand a huge opening to better connection with yourself and with others, and the unleashing of all your natural creativity; while on the other something seems to be holding you back from too exuberant a display of personal fireworks. All this is complicated by the Mercury retrograde period that lasts virtually all month long, and which enjoins you to follow up and finish existing projects before launching yourself into new ones, no matter how keen the impulse. You do best to wait until perhaps mid-May to set out upon any brand new endeavors. Your unique individuality is sizzling right now, even so! Holding back can also be ultimately creative, concentrating your energies so that when you do finally release them it will prove to be even more amazing.

As the month begins, you are really feeling your oats and are ready to be off to the races but there are competing forces within your awareness that also seem to be holding you back. This is because your ruler Jupiter in your identity sector is getting a huge boost from Mars and Uranus but is also directly opposed by restriction and limitation as represented by the planet Saturn. You must be aware also that the outcome of any endeavors that are newly begun in this timeframe still remains uncertain, since all month long Mercury is retrograding through this same sector of your chart. Of course you are likely to be subjected to the usual missed connections and communication breakdowns just to punctuate the point! There is a strong will present within you now to succeed in spite of everything, but it not an easy journey from where you are now to where you desire to be in your heart of hearts. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, comes along during the first weekend of the month, raising the stakes and entirely amping up the energy. You are experiencing now a powerful sense of commitment to an emerging future plan, however difficult that might prove. You are also in the midst of the Mercury retrograde energy, so that you cannot know what the eventual outcome might eventually be. This is a good time for research, for journaling and for getting clearer on your priorities, not such a good time to push the river. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, is a time of relative difficulty in your process when you might be forced to take a stand for yourself in some way. This is a time of trial by fire, when whatever it is that you think you are up to could be testing by events and circumstances. You might find that you have to flexible to get the most out of this particular monthly cycle. With the Full Moon of Sunday evening, April 17th, you are reaching out for a point of balance. The mystical side of life comes more readily into your thinking at this time, which could be of help in sorting things out. Of course, with Mercury still retrograde, not leaving its retrograde shadow until well after the end of the month, a certain degree of uncertainty pervades your thought process. Then, too, with Neptune newly entered into your sector of home and family, there is potentially confusion and illusion reigning in this area of your life. There might be painful places inside you as well, that are only now coming to light, places where you can makes gains by confronting them and accepting yourself in all your parts. Your psychological security is vitally important for your continued well being, giving you a place to stand amidst the uncertainty of the hour, and that sense of emotional security is somewhat threatened with Neptune so prominent at your nadir during this spring and summer. The solution is to trust more in faith than in reason, and to allow yourself to believe in paradox and simply to let go as necessary, rather than being overly dogmatic or mentally Fixed on particular outcomes. The final two weeks of this period of time, punctuated by the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, will be spent in mulling over these and other issues that have arrived to the level of your conscious thinking though the events of this particularly powerful month.

Capricorn Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Cardinal Earth. Your ruling planet is Saturn.

It's a wild, wild world inside of you these days, Capricorn. While still continuing to shine at outer world pursuits, you are feeling the queasiness of instability running through your sector of home and family. You are being rocked to the core. Mercury is retrograde in this area of your universe as well, so that you are busy reviewing familial arrangements which will continue to shift as the month wears on. You may be striving to hold on, but change in inevitable, perhaps dramatic and certainly surprising, and part of a larger cycle of transformation that has held you in its grip of tough love for the past year or more. Newfound possibility will eventually work its way into even your professional life, but there is no need to be afraid. Fore-warned is fore-armed.

As the month begins, you are definitely still out for success in the material world of professional commitment and acknowledged reputation, but with a distinct twist. Something is gnawing at you from deep down inside, affecting your sense of emotional security. There could be a series of startling revelations in the offing that provide you with important and timely information that might help you to reach a better concept of integration of all your various parts. With Mercury retrograding through your sector of home and family, it is in any case a great time for reflection and not such a good one for jumping out with brand new endeavors. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, gives you plenty of energy for these more or less internal tasks. You have a naïve sense of optimism now that is also countered by an extreme dose of practical thinking which is totally at odds with it, and which yet gives you a hint of grace unfolding. Your ongoing transformation is far from complete, since with each height ascended, new vistas emerge, together with new challenges. You are beginning to see how the events and accomplishments of your life reflect your inner truth. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, brings important partners into the picture as well, although not without a certain amount of bumpiness. It is just perhaps so difficult to allow for any strongly expressed viewpoint that is not your own. You are taking a strong stand at this juncture and might need to ensure that in interpersonal conflicts that may arise you stay calm and address your inward reactivity before speaking out. Communication can become confused at this point in time as well, so that it is good to adopt principles of "active listening" in which you repeat back to an interlocutor what it is that you thought you heard, before responding. The Full Moon of the following weekend, taking place on Sunday evening, April 17th, makes for a more peaceful time, although perhaps still one that is highly charged energetically. There remains loads of enthusiasm to be making important moves although much of it is directed internally. Then the Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, after Mercury has changed to direct motion, constitutes a terrific time to mull everything over that has happened in the first three weeks of this cycle. You are learning as you go, that is the beauty of this life, as long as you can stay open to the information that is streaming into your consciousness with every passing moment.

Aquarius Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Fixed Air. Your ruling planets are Uranus and Saturn.

New information is coming your way, Aquarius, and whether you are ready for it or not, it is causing quit a stir in your psyche. Communicating your deepest truth to others around you might spur you on to new activity even though you might also be tempted to stay stuck in the mud of outmoded belief systems. With Mercury retrograde in your sector of communications you are also more inner than outer; reflective as opposed to ebullient. Whatever you are not yet ready to give up is in essence holding you back from where you need to be, but the natural caution that you are exhibiting also has its advantages. Sometimes it is better just to watch carefully, and to wait for the opportunity to reveal itself in no uncertain terms.

As the month begins, you are enjoying the power of your words. The energy is building in your communication sector. This could be expressed in writing now, or in spoken interaction with your peers. You are likely feeling that this is an exciting time to be alive, and to be able to share with others. Equally, the information that you receive has an element that is truly and fundamentally revolutionary. Since Mercury is also retrograding through this same sector of your Solar chart, there is a reflective and largely internal aspect to your thoughts and verbal expression now, making this entire month an excellent time for journaling and inner exploration of any kind. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, brings tons of energy to this process and also to the exploration of your evolving world view, changing with these changing and challenging times. You are developing new opinions on how the world manifests itself around you and simultaneously reflecting on the past, and what beliefs you have that you cannot or will not let go of in the face of new information. Are you preserving a vital heritage or simply staying stuck and refusing to move on? Only time will tell. With the First Quarter Moon of Monday, April11th, you could encounter tension and snags as well as faith in your process. There is fuzziness and a soft and compassionate idealism that applies to your thought process now; paradox rules. This is also a time when the bumps in the road of your progress become more apparent and when you might be tempted to react more harshly than is necessary to perceived criticism. You are making a stand for what you believe, or what you think that you believe, over these few days leading up to the following weekend. Then, on the weekend of the 16th and 17th, culminating in the Full Moon of Sunday evening, you are entering into a rather calmer and more peaceful time period. You are embracing the delicate balance between self and other, and seeking to find the place where harmony prevails between outer and inner experience. Progress is slowed and accomplishment elusive but this also has the effect of focusing your attention more carefully on what you are attempting. At the time of the Last Quarter Moon in your sign, taking place on Easter Sunday, April 24th, when Mercury also has changed to direct motion, creating a subtle shift in your communicative energy, you are likely to be spending much of your thinking in mulling over the previous three weeks, trying to sort out the nuggets of useful and true information. Nothing is either good or bad, says the bard, but thinking makes it so, and this being true you now have the opportunity to evaluate your prior experience in order to bring the best of it forward into your next phase. It might be that some of it will provide clues to the places where you are stuck or exhibiting outmoded patters of reactivity that no longer serve you, and that will lose their power over you once you have the courage to face them and move on.

Pisces Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Mutable Water. Your ruling planets are Neptune and Jupiter.

You are fumbling your way forward, Pisces, although in fits and starts. There is a torturous winding way that leads you up from where you now dwell to whither you are going and this is the way that you must inevitably traverse. In the current stage of this years-long journey, you are taking off in some very new ways this month. You are like a butterfly escaping the net, and yet you are in such a complex process of transmutation, with so many rotations of the rotisserie, that it will probably be well into the next month of May before you see your safe landing place. When you do, however, you will know it, and know it all the better for all the twists and turns of your arriving.

As the month begins, you are poised on the brink of a new phase of your existence. One factor that is altering for you now is the way you see your plans shaping up for future endeavors, and as well the group affiliations that you favor and which aid you in getting there. You might be finding that your goals and plans do not fully align with your most complete truth, the inner vision that you have for yourself moving forward. There are large energies stimulating this vision now that it will take time to properly integrate. It could also be difficult to switch gears as the past is still a strong factor in your awareness, perhaps preventing you from whole-heartedly moving toward the unknown future that this new thinking and new visioning represent. The New Moon of Sunday, April 3rd, gives you a burst of energy and to impulse to move forward. You are beginning to be motivated in entirely different ways than you have before. There is a part of you that is holding back also, a conservative and cautious position within that you can also definitely feel. All this is complicated by the Mercury retrograde period, lasting all month long, that keeps outcomes essentially uncertain at this time. Your participation in the world is undergoing a tidal shift, and this reflects back to your understanding of your own deeply held values, your relationships, and also to the evolutionary shifts that are taking place within you. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, April 11th, represents an important juncture, when you are able to recognize many things about your current situation that were formerly in the dark. Your ruler Neptune having just entered your identity sector for the first time since you were born, you are feeling more empowered in the changes that you are in the process of making and also perhaps more challenged. There are inherent conflicts in your position that may only be coming to light at this time, and that might have the effect of your feeling embattled and at odds with the world around you, but this is not an occasion for despair but rather for rejoicing as the outlines of what you are up to become more clearly revealed in these times of trial. The Full Moon of the following weekend, taking place on Sunday April 17th, signals a time of more peaceful progress. You are still in a process of deep meditation regarding what is going on with you internally, since Mercury is nearing the end of its retrograde and is even more powerfully constellated. It is not an easy time to get things done, but it might be an excellent time for reflecting on what is most meaningful to you. The Last Quarter Moon of Easter Sunday, April 24th, brings in a mystical aspect, and an understanding that the true gold of your recent experience lies in the information received. In the midst of a time of relative interpersonal tensions, you might be tuning in to ancient patterns of behavior that have ruled you, as it were, from below. If so, it is for the purpose of accepting the wounded places within you and moving beyond them.