The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Aries, April 2015

Chart for the New Moon in Aries
Chart for the New Moon in Aries

Apr.18 – NEW MOON in ARIES (28:25 of Aries; see sidebar for dates)

Greetings!

I am very pleased to present a guest writer for this New Moon in Aries article. Professional astrologer Michael Barwick has a long history of lecturing, teaching, writing and involvement in the Toronto astrology community. I hope you enjoy his interpretation of the New Moon. My plate is full to the breaking point right now, so my sincere gratitude to Michael for stepping in! In the meantime, below you will find my own interpretations of the ongoing planetary transits, as always. Happy New Moon!

~ Wendy

Aries New Moon 2015
A Fragmented Push Forward

By Michael Barwick

Showing up is 80 percent of life.
~ Woody Allen

Aries is fundamentally about being there. Sounds relatively mundane, and yet Aries does this very simple thing with great courage, enthusiasm and energy.

Science today tells us that the universe began with a Big Bang. Once there may have been nothing, but suddenly, something came into being that expanded very rapidly. The single point that emerges from the void of nothingness and pushes outward to be a specific something is in astrology represented by Aries. It's self-evidently true that without being, there is nothing. So Aries begins the great golden circle of life called the zodiac.

Aries is the element Fire in its Cardinal mode. Just being itself makes an impression on the world. On the largest scale, Aries symbolizes the dynamic assertion of being that rings throughout the universe: the great "I am" teaching many spiritual traditions speak about.

Aries is a Zodiac sign. Signs tell us something about the methods of operations, aspirations and style of planets placed within them. Planets in Aries behave in accordance with that orientation. Naturally, they incline to be highly energized, independent, action-oriented and assertive.

Aries signifies the dynamic assertion of the new and so do New Moons. New Moons in Aries always have an extra punch and signify potent opportunities to begin again and start fresh. Ours this year occurs at 2:56 p.m. EDT from here in Toronto, Ontario where I am writing this, and the chart for this event points to possibilities, from an astrological perspective, that are not very integrated.

Aries is the sign of the singleton and this New Moon is strongly marked by the fact that it is not really connected to the rest of the chart. The Sun-Moon pair are unaspected. This means two things: one is that the New Moon is pure in its expression, relatively unconditioned by other planets in the sky. Moon and Sun together in Aries gives birth to a fiery child, with plenty of go-go juice pushing outward into the world.

Unfortunately, a New Moon not connected to the other planets means that the other planets are inclined to ignore it and do their own thing.

The trouble is that there is plenty to be distracted by, starting with Venus applying and close to squaring Neptune (90°). Venus is in Gemini and far ahead of the Sun, where she has been making a spectacular evening star. A bubbly social energy is in the air: everyone wants to talk and mingle, particularly because Jupiter in Leo, which forms the favourable aspect of 60° (called a sextile), encourages everybody to have a good time.

However, Venus is disharmoniously joined by the negative 90° square aspect to nebulous, idealistic, yet vulnerable Neptune in Pisces. Is Venus connecting to the right people? How can one know who to connect to or if it's even worth it to be connected or if the connection is happening in the right way? If it sounds confusing, it's because it is! Nothing is what it appears to be, or worse, nothing appears to be anything at all. Venus-Neptune can be a lonely bittersweet yearning for someone or something to complete it, but disillusioned with all it sees because nothing lives up to its ideals of beauty, grace and glamour.

However, hook-ups between Gemini-Pisces planets are at their best full of imagination; Venus is about beauty and Neptune is transcendence. Why not take in some experience that is going to bring you to the place where they cross paths? Take in a tear-jerker movie. See some art that will take your breath away. If you don't have anyone to share the experience with, you can at least write about it (i.e. share it with yourself or with readers).

This is one way that Mercury in earthy Taurus, driven by an ambitious 90° square from Jupiter in Leo, might clear things up. Applying to a 60° sextile to Neptune makes him rich and able to detect form in the Neptunian mist if he reaches for it. It's a worthwhile pursuit because this energy can bring beautiful form to all that idealism.

Mercury and Venus are in each other's sign – Mercury in Taurus and Venus in Gemini (called a mutual reception in astrology). This makes them very open to each other, so perhaps it's possible to make it real, with a little tinkering.

For this to work, though, means the result won't be fixed in place; rather, it will be about fine tuning. As elegant as this solution may sound, it's not about wide swings on the dial. Too much is too much, and fine tuning can be the first casualty when there's excess.

Jupiter in Leo is like butter on birthday cake. Mercury in Taurus likes its sensual pleasures, and with expansive Jupiter in a celebrating mood, there's no limit to the supply. Mercury (and what you focus on mentally) must be careful not to bite off more than he can chew. Together they could pig out on sweet nothings and accomplish naught.

...Not if Mars, a little further down in Taurus, can help it though! Astrologers point to Mars as a planet in its detriment because he is in a sign that is contrary to his nature. Mars is weighed down and cannot move as freely as he'd like in Taurus. He is a very sensual beast too, with a tendency to indolence. But he is swinging into position to form a harmonious 120° trine aspect to Pluto in Capricorn. At that time he will be more able to take action and tackle something practical and worthwhile. Here is a channel through which to actually make something happen, rather than just thinking about it.

The other planets are only weakly tied in to the chart. Saturn is in Sagittarius and retrograde (appearing to move backwards in the sky), still trying to make some sense of his recent entry into that sign before he briefly goes back into Scorpio later in the year (Jun.14 to Sep.17).

His current aspects are waning (and therefore dissipating in strength) except for a minor friction-laden aspect to Uranus (called a sesquiquadrate, 135°). Mythologically and astrologically, these two planets have always shared a violent disagreement anyway. Although it is a minor connection, it reinforces a dis-integrated feel.

Uranus moves forward in mid-Aries, but his last pass of his long-running square to Pluto is over (although still relatively close). Yes, there is a call to action, but as we progress from New Moon to New Moon, its strength will be less and less. Uranus is swifter than Pluto and will move further away from his slower brother. The turbulent times their square aspect has brought to the world still remain, but new vistas, new horizons, and new positive futures await.

Although it's still quite a little bit away (Jun.22), eventually Jupiter will trine Uranus for the third and final time. As before, it can just help everyone to feel some respite, but the wise see this as a time for visionary breakthroughs and re-imagining where one is going.

The core challenge of this New Moon in Aries is to answer the call to a new initiative, a new impetus and/or a new drive. The question becomes: are you truly making it your focus or succumbing to distraction?

The New Moon in Aries grants the opportunity strike out in a new direction, to shake off the past and move into something exciting, dynamic and novel. To weave the disparate threads together will require commitment, courage and consciousness. In that way, one's world can become what one wants it to be.

Michael Barwick has been a professional astrologer in Toronto for nearly 30 years. He apprenticed under one of Toronto’s most famous astrologers, namely Julie Simmons—thanks to an Ontario government program at the time! A well-known local speaker and consultant, Michael has spoken multiple times at Cleveland’s Midwest Astrology Conference (MAC) and the State of the Art (SOTA) conferences. He has also spoken for Astrology Toronto (AT) and the Canadian Association for Astrological Education (CAAE) and other organizations in Ontario. Michael is currently serving as President of Astrology Toronto, a non-profit organization with a mandate to providing quality astrological events for the local community and educating the public about astrology. Michael has seen through his personal life and practice that astrology is a powerful tool for self-understanding, empowerment, and authentic living. More if his articles can be found on Michael's website.

Apr.18 – Venus is Out of Bounds (until Jun.01; from 7:55 Gemini to 26:26 Cancer)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?")

Venus goes Out of Bounds (OOB) for a little over 6 weeks, meaning that she ventures beyond the Sun's territory, which goes no farther than 23:26 degrees of declination. ("What is declination?") In this case, she is aligned with Earth's far northern reaches. She'll remain there until June 1st, peaking at 26:02:24 on May.10. That's getting pretty far out there!

An OOB planet is a bit rogue, untamed, raw or extreme in its expression. Venus typically expresses her energy in the areas of love, material abundance, values and pleasure, so you know that this can be a very "interesting" combination of influences! This is especially true if your own Natal Venus is OOB, but even if you don't, you are likely to feel the pull of this transiting Out of Bounds Venus energy.

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While Venus is OOB, you may find relationships straying beyond their usual boundaries into something more adventurous or unconventional. If there are unspoken, unacknowledged or unconscious yearnings for "something different," this can be the time when those desires break free and make a run for it!

This could be a positive thing, in that it gives the relationship some breathing space and expands its range of experience. It might, however, be experienced as negative, damaging or destructive. It could even spell the end of the relationship itself, especially if it's just not working and hanging by a thread.

Either way, it can help to take a step back and look at it from a broad perspective. Ask yourself what is the wish, desire, yearning or impulse that is trying to emerge, and then look at whether the way it's coming out is consistent with your values and ethics.

If the answer is no, how can you adjust it so that one is not fulfilled at the expense of the other? It might involve compromise, or it might benefit by changing the way you're going about making the change. The point is you don't want to wake up after the OOB Venus intoxication with a bad hangover that must be lived with.

Similarly, in the area of finances you might find your spending, expenses or bank balance slipping away from you in some way. It could be the urge to go ahead and buy that astrology software you've been drooling over, despite not really being able to afford it – or maybe you just decide to promote it to the top of the priority list and shuffle your budget around to make room for it. It doesn't have to be a bad thing, but do resist the urge to go to such extremes that you regret it later.

If a desire is determined to escape its usual restraints, there's probably a reason for it. Maybe you've been keep that part of you on too tight a leash, or maybe you just keep pushing it to the back burner in favour of other priorities. Explosions get messy and destructive, so it's wise to balance the extreme components with some cool, grounded assessment of what is the best way to let your desire loose.

Apr.19 – Mercury sextile Neptune (09:02 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.18 in HAST, AKDT)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit, with a little applied effort and focus. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) The possible disadvantage is that you might want so much to reach a state of inspired intuition, magical outlook and effortless communication, that you are willing to be deceived rather than fall short of what you are hoping for. Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Apr.19 – Venus square Neptune (09:03 of Gemini/Pisces)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.

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Apr.20 – Sun enters Taurus (until May.21)   (Apr.20 in HAST)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Taurus! This is a time when we all get in touch with the part of us that wants things tangible, practical, plentiful and pleasurable! Taurus is also connected to money, finances, possessions and resources of all kinds, so this is also a time to take stock of what you HAVE in your life – literally and figuratively. Take some time to examine your values. What people, things or principles are worth spending your time, effort, energy or money? It's also an opportunity to explore how separate or enmeshed your sense of self is from your possessions. Do you think less of yourself if you can't surround yourself with wealth? What forms of abundance and blessings are in your life, and are you consciously grateful for them or do you take them for granted? Use this Taurus energy to approach goals in a methodical way, appreciate your blessings, and understand life at its most concrete, basic level. This might sound about as exciting as watching the grass grow, but the Taurus way is to slow things down enough that you can experience and take pleasure in the simple things, in the Here and Now. Enjoy it!

Apr.21 – Mercury square Jupiter (12:49 of Taurus/Leo)   (Apr.20 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

Apr.21-22 – Mars and Mercury trine Pluto (15:32 of Taurus/Capricorn)

Mars and Mercury are conjunct in Taurus when they make a trine aspect (120°) to Pluto, all within just over a 24-hour period. It's effects can be felt roughly from Apr.18-23. This is bound to accentuate and accelerate both the beneficial and difficult qualities of all of these transits. Powerful, forceful communication is likely to be easier to access, but do use your best judgment about how and where you use this – it's not a good thing in all situations! ;-)

Apr.21 – Mars trine Pluto (15:32 of Taurus/Capricorn)   (Apr.22 in AU)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire – it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power – then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them.

Apr.22 – Mercury trine Pluto (15:32 of Taurus/Capricorn)

It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.

Apr.22 – Venus sextile Jupiter (12:53 of Gemini/Leo)   (Apr.23 in AU)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.

Apr.22 – Mercury conjunct Mars (16:18 of Taurus)   (Apr.23 in UK, AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

Apr.24 – Mercury sextile Chiron (20:00 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.25 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.

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Apr.26 – Venus sextile Uranus (17:36 of Gemini/Aries)   (Apr.27 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

Apr.28 – Mars sextile Chiron (20:09 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.27 in HAST, AKDT)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.

Apr.29 – Venus square Chiron (20:11 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.28 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

Apr.29 – Sun sextile Neptune (09:18 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.30 in UK, AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Apr.30 – Mercury enters Gemini (until Jul.08)

Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini, so the mind wants to fly fast and free. Communication and perceptions may come and go like a fresh breeze through an open window. This can create a wide variety of ideas but not necessarily productive application of those ideas. You might find it a little easier to articulate words, sharpen your mental focus, and collect and analyze your thoughts and information. This can give wings to your ideas and self-expression, but remember that you'll have to back up any promises and "fast talk" with action and substance. Let this be a time to explore possibilities and enjoy social interaction, rather than jump to final conclusions. Collect the raw data and exchange ideas, but be aware that understanding the broader meaning will likely come later.

Mercury stays in Gemini a LONG time because he's getting ready to go retrograde again. Yes, sorry to be the bearer of sad news ;-) but the good news is that he's very strong in Gemini, since he rules the sign. This, of course, will bring out all different sides of Mercury, from his usual gift with words and other expression to his devilish trickster side – all will be amplified while he's in Gemini, and especially while he's in his retrograde cycle. He enters the Shadow May.04, turns Retrograde May.18, turns direct Jun.11 and leaves the shadow Jun.26. Good time to find a creative or fun project that involves communication, observation, writing, teaching, learning or things to do around your neighbourhood.

May.03 – Mercury opposite Saturn (03:03 of Gemini/Sagittarius)   (May.02 in HAST)

The time has come to face facts. There may be a reality in your life that you've been avoiding, and you need to accept and deal with it. Or, you might have to conform to the expectations of others because there's no other way around it. Or, you could find that your ability to communicate, say what you want to say, or get your point across is harder for a few days. This will pass, but there may be concrete reasons why this might not be the best time to communicate whatever is on your mind. You might feel a bit as if you're being tested, and in some way this could be true. This transit may bring an opportunity to see how much you really know and how skilled you are at using that knowledge. On the other hand, this could be a time when hard work and preparation that you've done for several months could pay off. You may be able to progress to the next step in a project, or to make plans in an organised, concrete and responsible way. For a few days, taking a structured, methodical or factual approach to whatever you're doing may produce the best results.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in SCORPIO - available by May 3, 2015.

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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Aries: In the Beginning © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Illustration for Sabian Symbol by MoonBloom via CanStockPhoto.com.


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