The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Lunar Eclipse in Libra 2014

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

One must still have chaos in oneself
to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Mar.30 – NEW MOON in ARIES (09:58 of Aries)

NEW MOON in ARIES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Mar.30, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

London, UK:

Mar.30, 2014, 6:44 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Mar.31, 2014, 4:44 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience ARIES energy in your life.

It has been said that birth is one of the most aggressive, forceful events there is.

When something is born, it is as mysterious and magical and utterly life changing as is death. One minute it's not there, and the next minute it is. Breathing on its own. An independent entity. Real.

Birth. Changes. Everything.

Once something is born, you have to deal with it. There's no shoving it back into the womb. Birth is a one-way door. You can't unring the bell and you can't unbirth the baby.

Ready or not, here it comes!

The only direction from here is forward. The question is: to where?

Being born is like being fired out of a cannon. Where you point it has a lot to do with where you land. So your aim and your intention count for a lot.

But birth is messy. It's chaotic and messy and painful and terrifying and overwhelming. How do you stop the process to calmly reconsider your options and decide where you're going to go? It helps to be well prepared, but if you're not then you have to wing it. Shoot the baby out and pray for a soft landing.

Man’s main task is to give birth to himself.
~ Erich Fromm

Aries is where the zodiac rebirths itself. It is the point where everything from the previous cycle has been boiled down to its essence and now emerges as a brand new seed to be planted. The baby is gestated and now it makes its entrance.

Whereas the archetype of Pisces is about merging with the Universe and experiencing oneness with All That Is, Aries is the opposite. It is about individuality and autonomy. Pisces says "All simply IS," while Aries says "I am" and sets out on the adventure of a lifetime to find out what "I am."

The infinite Universe has been squished down into a singularity, a distinct entity: I am. I am. The vast potential inherent in the Piscean macrocosm is now the essence that forms the Aries microcosm. As above, so below. As without, so within. Like a hologram, all that the Universe is, is contained within the fragment that is born in Aries.

Fragment is a good term for it. The old is shattered and the new emerges, like a chick hatching out of the egg. Nothing gets born but that it destroys that which came before it and no longer is.

Birth changes everything.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
~ Henry David Thoreau

This New Moon in Aries is likely to feel a bit like being fired out of a cannon. The Sun and Moon are conjunct Uranus and there's not much that's calm and collected about Uranus! If Aries is the birth of something new, then Uranus brings the shattering of the cosmic egg that has enveloped it during gestation.

Cardinal T-square aspect pattern

There's nothing safe or calm about birth! It's life on the edge. Spontaneity rules. Even if you plan it all out carefully and all your resources are lined up with your Plans B, C, D and E, anything can happen. Anything can go wrong or go differently. Something utterly unexpected could suddenly emerge.

So right away, this lunar cycle announces itself with a loud barbaric yawp! And just like the poetry that comes spewing forth from the "yawp" in that clip from Dead Poets Society, the greatest gift of all that shattering mess may be something you don't expect, might even think is undignified or ridiculous, and yet is as precious as gold.

Being born takes courage! It takes guts to leave the old behind and take a step forward into the unknown. Pisces is that archetypal step into the fog, and Aries is where you land. And when Uranus is the ground you step onto, expect a bumpy landing! That doesn't make it bad, but you've got to think fast on your feet. You might get a bit bruised up or even find you're nowhere near the intended target, but whatever happens, there you are. You've arrived. Now what are you going to do with it?

It could be something fun, exciting and adventurous that emerges, or it might be something disturbing, scary or destructive. It's not easy to predict, and Uranus is after all the planet of surprises. However, part of thinking fast on your feet involves making the best of what happens.

Whether it's discovering unexpected possibilities or using your survival instincts, it's good to at least take note of the spontaneous ideas, reactions and instincts that rise up in you. Taking note of them doesn't mean they'll be your best choice in how to respond, but they might be; and if they're not then you have a chance to learn something about how not to react to it! That might sound simplistically naive but it's true. Sometimes the most valuable lesson is how not to do something, and in learning that you can change your direction to something more workable.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

The New Moon is also in square aspect (90°) to Jupiter and Pluto. In fact, it has become an integral part of the Cardinal T-square that has been hovering overhead since the beginning of the year.

The Cardinal T-square has been about Jupiter's vision, understanding, moral attitudes and quest for freedom coming up against Pluto's command for control and the establishment of systems that leave little room for error or deviation.

In the middle has been Uranus, trying to bring a new perspective to both sides that will unite them within a greater context – expand the playing field and there will be enough room to support all the diversity that wants to play there. However, Uranus' genius has often been unwelcome, as the warring factions prefer to polarize to each other: justice versus condemnation, narrow morality versus realistic boundaries, and idealism versus pragmatism.

The Aries New Moon comes into the mix and announces the birth of something that is beginning to emerge from this fracas; something that is greater than the sum of its parts and yet contains all the brilliant potential, dangerous destruction and quest for victory from its planetary components.

Being aligned with Uranus, what is being born could well arise out of the desperation to force its way through the tangled mess that has bogged down our planet in recent years. In other words, just make it stop!

If the New Moon does indeed bring an energy of furious anguish, the result could possibly be not at all what you intended—or it might be something you hadn't even considered and suddenly looks like a good idea to explore. That's the thing with Uranus; you just never know.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
~ Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Here's the thing. This is not a simple, straightforward birth. This beginning is likely to lead into something far more complex and thorny than you realize. The reason is that Mars Retrograde is about to turn the T-square into a Grand Cross. Yup, yet another reincarnation of the Cardinal Cross that has been lurking around every corner since around 2010.

This Grand Cross will come together from Apr.07 to May.12, but this energy will continue to unfurl as Mars goes direct on May.19 and gradually catches up to square Jupiter for the final time on Aug.01 and then plays out for another 3 weeks or so. The whole configuration will live in some form for close to 5 months – and that's not even counting the Grand Cross that formed from the same planets last January. 2014 is one complicated and intense year!

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The Grand Cross is closest on Apr.22, when all four planets are within a mere quarter-degree of orb. And on top of that, we're now heading into the eclipse season with the Lunar Eclipse in Libra on Apr.15 and the Solar Eclipse in Taurus on Apr.29, which will crank up the volume on this energy even more.

The upshot is that the New Moon in Aries actually initiates this long-term unfolding process. This is underscored by the fact that it is Mars, Aries' ruling planet, which moves into place to form the 4th corner of this Grand Square.

So whatever is being born could be one whopping surprise. It could fling you out of your comfort zone and propel you into a process of change and transformation. Yes, more change. Yes, more transformation. (Isn't Uranus-Pluto fun?) You might wind up feeling a bit like Will Smith in the birth scene of Men in Black - being an inexperienced midwife for something you have no earthly idea what it is, but it's kind of cute and precious anyway.

Whatever Uranus-Pluto is doing, the job clearly isn't finished yet. We're barely half-way through the seven passes they make, so don't get complacent! Read my latest article: Cardinal Grand Cross 2014 ~ Mars Management.

In the meantime, strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

Apr.01 – Sun square Jupiter (11:30 of Aries/Cancer)  (Mar.31 in HAST, AKT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself).

Apr.02 – Sun conjunct Uranus (12:28 of Aries)  (Apr.01 in HAST, AKT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants" characterize this transit. You are more open than usual to new experiences and open-minded to new perspectives. Your sense of humour and fun are finely tuned and may spring up unexpectedly and irreverently. It is more possible to break free of old habits and getting out of a rut you have been in. In fact, you may find it is fun to try doing something completely out of character...so much so that it's wise to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Have fun pushing the envelope, but try not to rip or shred that envelope. On the other hand, that might be the only way you can get out of a restrictive situation that's holding you back, and this transit could give you the impulsive courage to do just that. Your creativity may come in bursts and in unexpected ways, so try to take advantage of them when they present themselves or else write down your inspiration for future consideration.

Apr.02 – Mercury trine Saturn (22:30 of Pisces/Scorpio)  (Apr.03 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

Apr.03 – Sun square Pluto (13:32 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Apr.02 in HAST)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power – that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you – empowerment born of conflict and struggle.

Here comes the Sun!

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Apr.05 – Venus enters Pisces (until May.02)  (Apr.06 in AU)

Creativity, harmony and compassion permeate our experiences while Venus waltzes through Pisces. If you are an artist, musician, writer or other imaginative artisan, this can be a time of great creative inspiration. Even if you're not, this can still be a time when your appreciation of the arts is heightened and your sensual enjoyment of life increases. Relationships can be influenced by this placement, by encouraging more openness to love and romance. While this can make interaction smoother and more magical, it might also make you more vulnerable to deception or disappointment. Be receptive don't misplace your better judgment. This can also be a time when you are prone to feeling a Universal Oneness with humanity. You may find you have increased capacity for compassion, caring and connection with others. This, too, can be a mixed blessing – it can bring out your most loving side, but could also make you more easily taken advantage of. You might feel inspired to make a selfless sacrifice, or to donate money or resources as a form of service. It is all done in the name of Universal beauty, truth and compassion. Celebrate this transit by going to a concert of beautiful music, or stroll through an art gallery, or indulge in dreamy sensuality, or let yourself feel a loving connection with all that is around you.

Apr.06 – Australia changes to Standard Time (until Oct.05)

If you live Australia or elsewhere in that corner of the world, you might be switching back to Standard Time today. If so, it's time to turn your clocks one hour back the night before, or you'll be an hour early today! Check to see if your country or region participates in this time adjustment.

Apr.07-Jul.01 – Cardinal Grand Cross (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto)

Strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride over the next several weeks! That Cardinal T-square that's been following us since the beginning of 2014? The one with Jupiter opposite Pluto and Uranus square to both of them? This aspect pattern turning into a Grand Cross – think of it as a T-square with a serious attitude problem. Read the whole article...

Apr.07 – Mercury enters Aries (until Apr.23)  (Apr.08 in AU)

Directness of speech, fast perceptions and an attitude of "just do it" mark this transit. While Mercury sprints through Aries, you may feel the impulse to cut through and get to the point in conversations and other forms of communication. Body language speaks loudly now, as do actions. At its best, this transit can help words, awareness and insight to arise spontaneously, combined with the courage to express them. On the other hand, you could also say things out of anger, impatience or impulse that you later regret. It may be a time when you'd rather cut to the chase – acknowledge things and move on – rather than hang around to process the details. It's a great time to spin ideas that can be developed later. It is also a good time to think independently and follow your thoughts into new perspectives.

Apr.08 – Sun opposite Mars Retrograde (18:56 of Aries/Libra)  (Apr.09 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

When opposite the Sun, Mars is always retrograde. This also marks the half-way point in the Mars retrograde cycle. In the upcoming 6 weeks you will be involved in the deeper work of Mars retrograde. So: what have you been investing your energy in over the past 6 weeks (the first half of Mars' retrograde cycle)? Maybe you've been busy developing a new project? Or perhaps you've been wrestling with a situation that involves anger, confrontation, assertiveness, aggression or hostility? Or possibly you've been focusing on the need to strengthen and build up your physical energy, health or fitness, or changing your physical appearance?

The next 6 weeks call for a deeper, more steadfast commitment to your goal, ambition, challenge or issue. For example, if you've been consumed with frustration, impatience, anger or passions that seem to have a life of their own, this can be a good time to find some constructive or safe outlets for your emotions. This can make it possible for you to have your feelings, rather than them having you.

As another example: if you're involved in developing a project or improving your physical energy, be careful not to drive yourself to the point of burnout. Instead, pay attention to the times when you hesitate or shy away from taking action – this may be showing you important clues to what holds you back and how you can break out of being stuck. Or, watch for times when you go into overdrive and push to the breaking point – you will be able to see what is driving you behind your conscious purpose.

For example, maybe you're trying to prove yourself for reasons that have nothing to do with the task at hand, or you might be trying to win someone's approval so that you'll feel worthy, acceptable or visible. These clues may wind up being the most valuable and meaningful lesson of this Mars retrograde cycle for you.

Remember to take a break sometimes and allow yourself to appreciate and celebrate your victories, big and small, and to acknowledge what you've accomplished so far. If you're planning a launch or a significant decision, it might be better to wait until Mars goes direct before you assume that you're at the point of clear sailing. Use the final week or so before Mars goes Direct to ensure your t's are crossed and your i's dotted.

Apr.11 – Venus conjunct Neptune (06:41 of Pisces)  (Apr.12 in UK, AU)

This can be a time of romance and dreamy desire on one hand, or deceptive manipulation and self-serving negotiation on the other hand. At its best, this transit can inspire enormous creativity and healing faith in love and abundance. We can be extremely open to the loftiest possibilities of our close relationships and our ability to attract what and who we desire. However, it may not be as easy to assess these areas in light of the realities that must be dealt with in order to realise that potential. We may find it easier to have faith in the power of negotiation – that the Universe will ensure our desired outcome – but it is also easy to slide into wishful thinking that loses touch with the reality of the situation. If you are considering a major change involving income, investment, spending or resources, it is probably a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor. If you are starting a new relationship or negotiating changes to an existing one, it might be wise to take a long-term view to wait and see if your dreams really will come true or if your hopes are colouring your thinking a bit too much. A reality check with a trusted friend might also help with this. This transit begins a new cycle that brings these issues into our lives to explore and gradually unfolds over the next 12 months (approximately).

Apr.14 – Mercury square Jupiter (12:48 of Aries/Cancer)  (Apr.15 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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.

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Apr.14 – Mercury conjunct Uranus (13:11 of Aries)  (Apr.15 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Communication and thoughts can be radical, spontaneous, unusual and uncharacteristic under this transit. You may be compelled to speak your mind to say things you've held back from saying before now. However, as the saying goes, there is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded." It is a time when you are likely to be open-minded and flexible in your perceptions. Our eyes are wide open, and as a result, we may be a bit shocked, surprised or stunned by what we see. This can also release our creative genius and bring inspired clarity, especially as we look to the future. Encounters with groups, friends and the greater community are also possible at this time.

Apr.14 – Pluto stationary Retrograde (13:34 of Capricorn; until Sep.22)  (Apr.15 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, Pluto's energy is especially strong and intense. You might experience this in the form of intensity, power struggles, deep psychological awareness or strong libido. You could encounter the need to face aspects of yourself or others that are disturbing or difficult to accept. There may also be some part of yourself or your life that has fulfilled its purpose and needs to be shed like a snake's skin. Over the next 5 months (while Pluto is retrograde), you will work at loosening and letting go of that "skin," and working toward the rebirth that will come out of it. This can also be a time when you become aware of the areas where you need to strengthen your personal empowerment or possibly need to tone down the way you wield power.

Apr.15 – Mercury square Pluto (13:34 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Apr.14 in HAST, AKT, PDT, MDT, CDT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

This is an especially strong aspect because Pluto is stationary at the same time. Pluto is unusually strong right now, so the obsessive, paranoid or overbearing effect could be more pronounced than usual. On the other hand, so can the shrewd insight and transformative communication. Use it wisely.

Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Libra
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Libra

Will looked horrified. "What kind of monster could possibly hate chocolate?"
~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

Apr.15 – LUNAR ECLIPSE in LIBRA (25:15 of Libra)

LUNAR ECLIPSE
FULL MOON in LIBRA

Hawaii and Alaska, US:

Apr.14, 2014, 9:42 PM HAST and 11:42 PM AKT

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.15, 2014, 3:42 AM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.15, 2014, 7:42 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.15, 2014, 6:42 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience LIBRA energy in your life.

This Lunar Eclipse can be seen from North America and much of South America. Since it is a Total Lunar Eclipse, the Moon will turn a dark red colour - sometimes known as the Blood Moon.

It's okay to look directly at a lunar eclipse (it won't hurt your eyes the way a solar eclipse can).

What makes this eclipse especially interesting is that it is the first in a set of 4 Total Lunar Eclipses in a row (spaced about 6 months apart). In addition, all four of these eclipses will be visible from North America, so don't miss them!

Are we having fun yet??

By the time this Lunar Eclipse occurs, the Cardinal Grand Cross is in full swing. If the turbulent energy of one doesn't make you feel like you're plugged into a light socket, the other one will!

So let's cut to the chase.

On one hand the Eclipsed Moon isn't very precisely aligned with the Grand Cross. Nevertheless, there is definitely a heated dialogue happening in the wide and separating but still powerful never-say-die conjunction between the Moon and Mars.

Even at almost 9° apart, the gaping maw between Mars and the Moon still acts like a sizzling synapse that connects the Lunar Eclipse with the Cardinal Cross.

To tap into this combined energy, we must listen carefully for what is being said across the expanse between the Moon and Mars.

(Time for a whispering musical interlude...)

Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.
~ Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

When you're waiting for something to happen, the waiting and anticip.....ation can be agonizing. Every single child who ever went on a long car trip with their parents has heaved a sigh and whinged, "Are we there yet??"

Electrical arc (Jacob's Ladder)

Years ago I remember a TV ad for a dehydrated soup mix – add the water back in, heat and stir, and voila! It's soup again. So the stereotypical stay-at-home Mom would stand by the stove, patiently stirring the pot, while the obligatory cute kid hovers and asks, "Is it soup yet?"

In all the Frankenstein movies, there is the iconic electrical arc that rises quivering along the diodes in the mad doctor's laboratory, as he tries to bring his patchwork creation to life. It seemed to represent the synapse between matter and life.

And here we are on the precipice of two dominant sets of energy – the Cardinal Grand Cross and the eclipses – and we wonder where we are and what's coming next.

Are we there yet? Is it soup yet? Is it a monster yet??

There must be repolarization; but humanity today must be compelled to repolarize itself. It must be compelled to open itself to the Night-force, the Mystery of Space and the Brotherhood of the Stars; for it would not do it willingly, whether as individuals or as nations. And this is our present world problem.
~ Dane Rudhyar, The Pulse of Life : New Dynamics in Astrology

Eclipses are known for essentially breaking open the outer shell of what is. A crack forms that lets the light in and lets the inside come out. The problem is that this is not usually done in a nice calm, soothing way. A cracked shell tends to be seen and experienced as a flaw. Something's wrong. There's a disturbance in The Force. So it usually feels less like an adventure in change and contrast, and more like being shoved over the edge of the nest. It's time. Fly! NOW!

The Eclipsed Moon is also a Full Moon, so this is a time of fruition and full emergence. Whatever is inside of that shell has been gestating and now it is ready to be born, to emerge, where you can now see what it is.

That Full Eclipsed Moon is in Libra, the sign of balance (or lack thereof). Balance is a state of equilibrium but an eclipse is an imbalance of sorts. When the egg breaks, the equilibrium of the shell strength that protected the gestation process is broken with it. Now we have a life force bursting through. Something new is emerging – or perhaps, a new way of relating to something old. Repolarization, as Dane Rudhyar called it. You've gone as far as you can go until the only thing left to do is to turn around and see it with fresh eyes, ready to resume your journey from the other direction.

The question is: what are you seeing differently now? The second question is: compared to what, or when?

There are typically two sets of two eclipses per year – one solar and one lunar eclipse, about 2 weeks apart. And then in about 6 months there's another set of eclipses. The last eclipses were the Lunar Eclipse on October 18, 2013 and the Solar Eclipse on November 3, 2013.

If the New Moon initiates a new cycle then it follows that a Solar Eclipse (a precisely aligned New Moon) also initiates something new. And if the Full Moon brings that initiation to fruition, then a Lunar Eclipse (a fully aligned Full Moon) is the culmination of whatever was begun at the previous Solar Eclipse about 5 months before it.

You've got to shake your fists at lightning now
You've got to roar like forest fire
You've got to spread your light like blazes
All across the sky
~ Joni Mitchell, Judgment of the Moon and Stars

So... what was being born in your life last November? Check back in your journal, your emails, your Facebook posts. Go ahead, I'll wait.

(Dum-de-dum. Time for another musical interlude...)

So: what did you find?

The Solar Eclipse in November 2013 was in Scorpio, a sign with an obsession about secrets and transformation. At that time, you might have sensed something was starting to emerge from your depths, but it has probably taken until now for you to see it more clearly. Now you're in a position to see it in its entirety. Now the question becomes: It's here – what are you going to do with it or about it?

Whatever started then is now standing in front of you, in the bright light of the Full Moon. As the Moon turns deep red within the eclipsing shadow, you might be reminded of its source and how it began last November. You might even become aware of why it has taken this long for it to emerge out of the darkness and into your life. You might have tried to deal with it before but weren't ready, so the last however-long-since-then have been spent gathering resources and cultivating strength so that you are now ready to try it again in a new way.

This Lunar Eclipse is conjunct Mars, which is the traditional ruler of Scorpio. In other words, a Scorpionic energy is joining forces with our Libra Moon, connecting the current eclipse with its counterpart back in November.

Add to this the fact that Pluto is stationary. He turned Retrograde a mere 8 hours before the eclipse. That makes Pluto (often regarded as the modern ruler of Scorpio), and therefore Scorpio energy in general, are extremely strong, intense and powerful at the time of the eclipse. As if things weren't "interesting" enough!

Mars is retrograde in Libra – a chance for a do-over, not only from last January (when Mars began this retrograde cycle from within the Shadow) but also from last November (when its zodiacal homeland, Scorpio, was undergoing an eclipsed volcanic eruption). Libra emphasizes a time of repolarization – the need to turn around and see what was happening 5 months ago from a fresh perspective.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
~ Thomas Edison

Are we there yet? Is it soup yet? Is it a monster yet??

What have you seen transforming in your life since November? What changes have you been struggling to make happen? As you turn to look at the progress you've made (or haven't made), what do you see? What does it feel like?

If it feels more like a monster, like you've failed to live up to your goals and ambition, then this is a chance to take a close look at what happened. What worked and what didn't? What tripped you up and what supported you?

Nothing fails 100%, so it's important to acknowledge what you did right and give yourself a pat on the back for the times when things went right. Don't negate it by saying "...but then this bad thing happened." Find out what worked and build on that.

On the other hand, nothing succeeds perfectly either. There's always a "yes but" or a "oops, I hadn't anticipated that." Dr. Frankenstein may have brought his monster to life but failed to understand the implications of what he had done.

(A video interlude this time...)

Remember that monsters are classically misunderstood. We get scared of what we don't want to see or don't understand, and then we lack the courage and patience to look close enough to see the humanity in them. We often persecute the misunderstood parts of ourselves (and of others) like a torch-wielding crowd hunting for Frankenstein's monster.

Don't treat your Inner Monster like that. Instead of running away or running after it with a torch, stand your ground and have the courage to make friends with your monster's Inner Human.

With Mars being retrograde in Libra and playing such a central role in both the Cardinal Cross and the Lunar Eclipse, this is a time to learn to rebalance your energy, focus and passion so that you can give it another go (whatever "it" is for you). If your monster has failed to come to life since last November, then give him another jolt of passionate and compassionate life force and try it again. Give yourself the chance to finish your transformational journey to become a more fully formed human being – to fulfil the inspiration and potential that rose up in you 5 months ago.

Alternatively, if you have made successful progress since November then it's time to acknowledge and appreciate your achievement. Yay! Look at what you did! Throw a party, invite all your friends and loved ones and celebrate what you've accomplished! What comes next becomes the focus. What still needs to be done? Maybe you've discovered fresh potential – doing something with what you've done that you hadn't seen before. One great idea usually leads to another.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
~ Marianne Williamson

Hard Wedge aspect pattern

While all this is going on, Venus (the ruler of our Libra Lunar Eclipse) is going around and serving some soothing tea and sympathy. She is in Pisces, and feeling very exalted about it. Flanked by idealistic Neptune on one side and healing Chiron on the other, Venus steps onto the battlefield armed with a teapot full of aromatic medicinal herbs.

She's participating in a Hard Wedge aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon. Being in super-close sesqui-quadrate to the Moon and semi-square to the Sun, she's not about to take any crap from them. Although she's a powerful resource, she won't allow herself to be used, abused or otherwise confused. The compassionate, idealistic side of you would do well to follow her example – lead with your heart but let your objective mind make your decisions.

Besides, Venus has other Piscean fish to fry.

The three amigos in Pisces form a Wedge aspect pattern with the Jupiter-Pluto opposition – that stationary Pluto! This gives some relief and a creative outlet to part of the Cardinal Grand Cross. Venus leads them all in some rousing gospel music to inspire them to aim for the highest and most enlightened vision of potential they're capable of.

Wedge aspect pattern

At its worst, Jupiter-Pluto can bring out judgment, blame and intolerance, insisting that others must conform to our beliefs and way of understanding life. What's especially tricky about this is that the nature of the opposition aspect makes it very prone to projection, so it's much easier to point fingers at the other guy and accuse them of being intolerant, controlling and domineering. There can be a fine line between protest and conviction versus scorn and contempt.

The Venusian school of Piscean fish could potentially bring a chance to see the situation through compassion and a forgiveness of fallible humanity. If you're not obsessed about being right – and demanding that the other guy must concede this – it frees you up to see things more openly and clearly, which in turn allows you to see insight you had missed.

On the other hand, if you get stuck in the need to be right and the belief that safety is only possible if you can show that the other guy is a scumbag, the Piscean energy could make your perceptions a bit slippery and self-justifying. If you can't rebalance your understanding by seeing things from both sides, at least to some extent, then you might be missing an opportunity to grow and find some peace.

One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphood was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so—but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence, the act. He preferred people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous.
~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Mercury is tightly conjunct Uranus in Aries, and both are opposite that restless Mars. This combination of volatile energies can make your mouth drop open and words fall out without you even realizing what's happening. Oops! Did I say that out loud??

This can also make you prone to snap decisions and instant perceptions—some of which will be good ones, but others maybe not so much. It might be wise to let that Libra Moon take a step back and reconsider what just happened if your friends are giving you that "I-can't-believe-you-just-did-that" look.

On the other hand, Mercury plugged into the Cardinal Grand Cross via Uranus could bring out your outrageous side. Your Inner Monster that's been pent up inside may be aching to come out and play. Under these transits, it could break free and strut around in all its glory – perhaps to your Rocky Horror!

(Time for an outrageous musical interlude...)

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
~ Stephen King

There's no question that there is some pretty intense energy flying around right now. At best you could find you are so roused and inspired that you charge through any and all obstacles in your path. On the other hand, you might find you are the obstacle that's being mowed down by someone else. Or what's being knocked down is an obstacle inside yourself that brings you face to face with something in yourself that is exhilarating or scary or both.

A weird sense of humour will be a super valuable resource right now. However, don't be surprised if this time feels very heavy, stressful or out of control. Regardless whether it feels fun or frightening, you may find you have to dance very fast in some tricky situations in order to keep from falling on your face. Your best motto is: Keep Moving. Even if you need to stop and take a break from it all, keep your spirit, heart and mind moving in some other way. Don't just stop, give up or shut down. Pick a different focus or direction and go with that for a while. Take a vacation, even if it's just in your head.

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For example, if you're just weary of it all, do something fresh and enjoyable after you've closed the door on the world to get away from it all. Pick up that hobby you haven't touched in a long time. Treat yourself to some pampering, like a bubble bath or a massage or even pounding a pillow. Find a safe way to let go of the heaviness and just let yourself be in the moment at the centre of the hurricane, even just for a little while. Don't just seize up or give up – redirect your energy into something more fulfilling. Get plenty of sleep and eat nourishing food. Feed your spirit, your body and your brain.

And above all, know that you are growing and therefore be firm but gentle with yourself, even (especially!) when you have to get tough. Beat up the obstacles in your life, not yourself.

This is a time of opportunity. You're at a crossroads. Do you choose a new direction? Stick with the current one and see how far you can take it? Wander off the path to explore the marshes? Making progress is likely to require a lot of focus, effort and determination. May the energy of the times raise you up to the best you can be. This is a time of calling and questions.

Are we there yet?? Is it soup yet? Is it a monster yet??

Patience, grasshopper.

One step at a time. One day at a time. One breath at a time.

You will get there.

Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable.
Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself,
and see if we may not eff it after all.
~ Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Apr.16 – Mercury opposite Mars Retrograde (16:03 of Aries/Libra)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this transit. You may encounter conflicts of interest with others and want to solve them NOW, but in your haste to find a quick fix, you could create more problems than you solve. On the other hand, it can be a time of sudden or impulsive decisions, as well as taking action on ideas you've been mulling over for a while. There is a strong tendency to say what's on your mind ...perhaps more abruptly or harshly than is wise, which could result in argument, overreaction and hurt feelings. Although argument can clear the air and be healing, it can also wound those involved and create ill will that lasts far beyond the original problem. This energy is potentially powerful, yet volatile. It can be used to pump up your motivational fire ...or to explode in hurtful anger. It is like a race horse that can achieve great things when carefully paced, but can be dangerous if allowed to run out of control.

Apr.17 – Venus trine Jupiter (13:12 of Pisces/Cancer)  (Apr.18 in UK, AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Apr.18 – Venus sextile Pluto (13:34 of Pisces/Capricorn)   (Apr.17 in HAST)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.

Apr.18 – Sun opposite North Lunar Node (28:22 of Aries/Libra)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit involves a creative release or a letting-go of a piece of your self-image that you don't need anymore. However, this letting go can often be difficult, especially if what you have invested a lot of your sense of self in whatever you're letting go. It might feel like circumstances are wrenching it away, or you could feel quite relieved to let go of this old baggage. Letting go can free up a lot of creative energy, life force and joie de vivre, which can then be rechanneled into other forms of self-expression. Follow your heart! It is time to begin letting go of something in yourself that no longer serves you well. This could be a negative belief about yourself, or perhaps dropping an inhibition that has eroded your self-confidence. This transit only happens close to the eclipses, so its energy is likely to come out around the timing of those events more noticeably.

Apr.19 – Sun enters Taurus (until May.20)  (Apr.20 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

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.20-24 – Grand Cross within 1° orb (12-14 of Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)   (Apr.19 in HST, AKT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.  Read more about the Cardinal Grand Cross of 2014)

You might feel or observe some extra intense and high octane energy for a few days, while the Cardinal Grand Cross tightens up its focus. Tempers could be a little shorter than usual during this time. You might feel a bit strung out, or you might feel super energized and motivated, or even a bit of both. Watch your energy level and if you're getting too stressed out, do take some time out to just relax and meditate or take a break for a couple of minutes. Pace yourself as much as possible, but don't forget to have fun with it too! As much as this configuration can bring a lot of stress, it can also bring excitement, inspiration and determination to overcome obstacles. Just keep an eye on your mood and energy, and listen to your body since it will tell you when it needs a break from it all.

Apr.20 – Jupiter square Uranus (13:29 of Cancer/Aries)   (Apr.19 in HST, AKT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Why and how do you want to change or grow? Both Jupiter and Uranus are about growth and change, as well as freedom and idealism, but they have rather different agendas and styles of going about it. Jupiter is all about purpose and reaching for the moral high ground, whereas Uranus is more about liberation and allowing freedom to rule, even if that means chaos. These two agendas are at odds right now, pulling in different directions due to a conflict of interest. Jupiter says, "What good is freedom if it doesn't bring greater meaning into your life? Chaos is the absence of meaning." Uranus says, "You can't know what the moral high ground is, nor what it means, unless you allow for all possibilities, not just the ones you think are virtuous. Chaos can create room for true meaning to emerge." And how to you want this change to occur – through a gradual evolution that builds on what came before, or through an explosion of unprecedented, spontaneous, mind-blowing awakening? Do you hunger for fresh principles you can believe in and apply to your life, or would you rather wipe the slate clean and start fresh? Both the Uranus and Jupiter sides of this argument are within you. You may, however, need to choose which has the higher priority in your life, or which one feels more compelling and attractive. You might see this discord playing out in your own life, or the world around you might be locked into a conflict like this in some way. The solution might not be for one to win out over the other, but rather to recognize that both sides have validity in their own way and to find a way for them to coexist or compromise.

Dates for the current Jupiter-Uranus cycle:

Apr.20 – Venus conjunct Chiron (16:10 of Pisces)  (Apr.19 in AU)

Unresolved problems and old wounds in relationships and finances may be in the foreground now, with potential for a new beginning and healing. However, in order to heal something, it is first necessary to become more aware of what is out of balance, which can make a situation seem to get worse before it gets better. You have the ability to wound those close to you, as well as to bring healing, as you explore what is and isn't working in your relationships. It is also a time when your approach to finances and resources may require that you face some hard realities that may not be easily or quickly resolved, but dealing with any problems will give you the chance to achieve a new balance. This is especially true when it comes to the ways that you see your physical resources as a reflection of your self-worth, and the relationships in your life as a reflection of your lovability. These issues may become aggravated under this transit, but ultimately this is meant to increase your awareness of these issues so that you can start to heal them in new ways.

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Apr.20 – Jupiter opposite Pluto (13:34 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Apr.21 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Once you have something fascinating or enlightening in your sights, what do you do with that? Alternatively, when you discover something disturbing, unsettling or with heavy implications, how do you respond? For example, do you want to understand and explore it, figure out what makes it tick and discover what it means? Or do you try to steer it, control it, utilize it and manipulate it to take advantage of it?

Neither of these alternatives is all good or all bad; they can potentially be used well for whatever best fits the situation you're in. However, it may not be possible to do both at once. It's very difficult to be receptive to what something can teach you, while also exploiting it for what it can do for you.

Under this transit, you may have to choose between the two, which could leave you feeling anything from mild frustration to a bit of panic, depending on what's at stake and how attached you are to each alternative. To resolve this dilemma, the urge to polarize could be very strong. In other words, feeling pressured to choose one "side" and crank up its volume, in order to drown out the other side and distance yourself from it. However, this kind of response tends to only perpetuate and amplify the problem, rather than solve it.

For a lasting peace, both sides of the issue need to be included in the solution. Sometimes compromise will be necessary, but if you become locked into a polarized extreme it could make compromise seem like failure (when it's probably not). There may be a difficult reality that must be faced AND also an opportunity to understand it from a higher perspective. They don't have to be (nor should they be) mutually exclusive.

You may need to embrace a position of power in some way, and from there you must choose whether to balance it with compassion and understanding or with condemnation and self-righteousness. Alternatively, you might be called upon to take a stand about something involving moral values, ethics or principles, and you'll need to decide whether to take the path that gives you control and influence for your own benefit or for the greater benefit of all involved. For example, it may be better to allow an enemy to save face, in order to avoid both of you becoming locked in opposing extremes. Avoid all-or-nothing rigidity; aim for a win-win flexibility.

Jupiter is opposite Pluto: 1900, 2912, 1925, 1937, 1950, 1962-63, 1975, 1988, 2000-01, 2013-14, 2026, 2038-39, 2051.

Dates for the current Jupiter-Pluto cycle:

Apr.21 – Uranus square Pluto (13:34 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Apr.22 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

If you haven't noticed that the world is been heating up in the last few years, with controversy becoming the norm and escalating competition for dominance by competing philosophies and priorities... well you just haven't been paying attention. Uranus and Pluto have been moving into position for the square aspect (90°). Think prize fight between the Hulk and Darth Vader. I'd suggest loading up with popcorn and grabbing a seat on the sidelines, but in this drama there aren't really any true sidelines. Everyone will be (and are being) affected by the massive changes that our world is undergoing.

This square aspect is the first major turning point in a roughly 140 year cycle that Uranus and Pluto make together. The last conjunction (the start of the cycle) took place in 1965-66. The social upheaval that occurred during that time was legendary. We are still feeling ripple effects 40+ years later. In fact, those ripple effects, which themselves produce more ripple effects, have built up to the point where they are becoming waves crashing into each other. We have 3 years of exact passes of the square transit, with its effect spread out over a good 15 years, all told, possibly more depending on how you look at it.

So what's a mere mortal to do?

It's so easy to get caught up in the "hoorayfor my side" politics, trying to persuade others with impassioned urgency. It's as if Pluto is stubbornly refusing to budge, while Uranus does his best to throw the knockout punch. The rock meets the hard place. Everybody's yelling; nobody's listening except to formulate their next argument. And in a competitive world, winning can feel like the only worthwhile conclusion, while losing can feel like the end of the world.

This is the kind of atmosphere that wars are spawned from.

When the negotiation of Venus is overridden by the winner-take-all attitude of Mars, there's more destruction than healing that takes place. Chiron's message is that some wounding can be a good thing if it removes the toxin and stimulates healing, but too much will only destroy what is still healthy and sabotage healing.

This is NOT about any particular political party or religion or nationality or any other group that forms itself around a philosophy or ideology or belief system. In fact, all groups are subject to this escalation of energy as a collective reaction. That kind of dynamic only serves to narrow the focus to such a sharp point that it's impossible to see anything else, and that almost never goes anywhere good in the end.

Here are some suggestions. Use this transit to observe the ways you get swept up in the turmoil. (This could be personal turmoil in your immediate life or global turmoil.) How much of your own opinion, perspective and passion is being amplified by the eruption of energy from those you identify with? Or how much is a reaction to the force with which your opponent is expressing their position and trying to persuade you?

Being influenced and having your own thoughts, feelings and actions affected by the collective currents around you may or may not be something that's beneficial for you. For now, just observe it and be aware of it. See where that leads you. Aim to respond rather than react. Question, question, question. Let go of the belief that you must win at all costs or that the end will justify the means. Trust your ability to find ways to rise above what you do and don't believe to be true – it will allow you see more of what is.

Last Uranus-Pluto square: 1932-1934.

Dates for the current Uranus-Pluto cycle:

Apr.22 – Mercury opposite North Lunar Node (28:22 of Aries/Libra)  (Apr.23 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

It's time to let go of old perceptions and ideas that are now just getting in the way of your ability to see things clearly. This might not be an easy task, because your new point of view might show you something you don't really want to see. It might mean you need to change your mind about something or someone. However, by clearing away the blocks to greater awareness, you can start to reshape the way you see yourself or others or life in general. To do this, you might need to release, share and communicate your observations of the last 6 months or so. Take advantage of this time of transition by doing some writing, or perhaps comparing notes with someone about things you've been mulling over.

Apr.22 – Mars Retrograde square Jupiter (13:48 of Libra/Cancer)  (Apr.23 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

Apr.23 – Mars Retrograde opposite Uranus (13:39 of Libra/Aries)   (Apr.22 in HAT, AKT)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Your energy is likely to be rather unpredictable, fluctuating or just plain "wonky" under this transit. Your moods could swing back and forth in reaction to outside circumstances that trigger your feelings buried under the surface. In particular, anger, confidence and impulsive desires could suddenly appear and disappear for no apparent reason. If you feel your freedom is being taken away or if you think your individuality is becoming lost in the Collective shuffle, you might feel the urge to abruptly push against whoever seems to be blocking you. This can come across as arbitrary rebellion, and it may not be easy for you or others to understand where this is coming from inside you. It might be a good idea to take some time out to focus inward and find out what's really going on under the surface, especially if these reactions are starting to spiral out of control. On the other hand, this doesn't have to be a "negative" energy. You might also feel more spontaneous than usual and be willing to try new things more easily than you usually do. It can be a time to discover new courage to venture beyond your comfort zone of what's familiar. Flash arguments could clear the air, leaving the way clear to make a fresh start. Essentially, this transit tends to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, which can have you howling in protest or shrieking with excitement...or both!

Apr.23 – Mercury enters Taurus (until May.07)  (Apr.22 in HAT)

Thoughts, communication and analysis work best when they are careful and methodical, during this transit. Your mental attitude and awareness may be somewhat serious and conservative – or down-to-earth, relaxed, and grounded in simple pleasures. Your perceptions may be a little slower to form, and you may have to search a little longer to find the right words. But there is also an increased ability to savour and appreciate your experiences more, and it can be a time when you can relax and recharge your mental batteries. You might find that your body instincts and sensory experience give you more information than your conscious thoughts. This is a good time to plan out how to manifest the ideas that sprang from your imagination in the past several weeks. Take your best ideas, perceptions and words and sow them like seeds. Then watch them grow over time.

Apr.23 – Mars Retrograde square Pluto (13:33 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Apr.24 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.

Here comes the Sun!

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Apr.25 – Venus trine Saturn (21:09 of Pisces/Scorpio)  (Apr.24 in HAT, AKT, PDT, MDT)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Apr.25 – Sun conjunct Mercury (05:49 of Taurus)  (Apr.26 in UK, AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

While the Sun and Mercury conjoin, they are also sextile to Neptune. This is likely to increase psychic awareness and imagination, as well as feelings of well-being.

Apr.26 – Mercury sextile Neptune (07:04 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Apr.27 in AU)

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.27 – Sun sextile Neptune (07:05 of Taurus/Pisces)

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.

Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in TAURUS, available by April 29, 2014.

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