A Magical and Challenging Quarter Moon

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Henry Seltzer of ASTROGRAPH.COM
The Last Quarter Moon that comes along on Friday, April 13th, is an interesting one, befitting the superstitious black-cat glory of the date. As always this lunar phase signals a time of reflection and contemplation of the events of the lunar cycle thus far, in attempt to see these happenings and yourself more clearly. Meanwhile, at the time of the Quarter Moon, the Sun and Moon make a T-square to retrograde Saturn, in a quiet increase of inward tension. Your naturally contemplative stance is also aided this cycle by the retrograde of Mercury, recently turned to direct motion but still remaining in its retrograde shadow for the next ten days, and of the retrograde of Mars as well. Mars actually stations to direct motion later on the same day, in powerful opposition to Neptune, therefore strongly bringing in his spacey energy. This entire lunation has been Neptunian so that plenty of allowances have had to be made for the otherworldly dreaminess of this poignant archetype, which transports us to dimensions beyond the physical and allows us to tap into the deeper places within us. Now contrasted with the practicality and sense of limitation represented by Saturn, a basic polarity is set up that will stretch you and challenge you as you attempt to hold both perspectives simultaneously and reflect on where the cosmos is actually taking you.

Challenges in your life are there for a purpose; easy to forget in the passion of the moment, but incontrovertible when you review after the passage of time. As famous astrologer and mystic Alan Oken puts it, if you have a difficult experience and you do not learn from it, using it to ratchet yourself upward into a more consistently conscious state of being, what's the point? Ideally, your way forward involves both Neptunian vision and Saturnian grounding as – based on your experience – you make your way forward, sometimes slowly and painfully, sometimes joyously, to where you were all along supposed to go.

The combination of Mars with Neptune is a tricky one. You can't be entirely sure where you are standing. You might be making a drama out of ordinary events or on the other hand you might be seeing, in the Blakean phrase, "the universe in a grain of sand and eternity in a wildflower." Or it might be both deceptive illusion and a form of truth. It is difficult to discern illusion from true seeing, and hard for the logical mentality to accept the necessary paradox implied by living in the spiritual as well as the purely physical world. Yet somehow we must try, and for the highest, as we attempt to navigate the shimmering waters of Neptune and simultaneously bring real-world practicality into the occasion.