Low-Down Archives April 2006

Solar Eclipse peeking through the clouds.


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Mar.29 - Pluto goes Retrograde

Apr.02 - Venus sextile Pluto

Apr.02 - Daylight Savings Time - North America

Apr.04 - Mercury trine Jupiter

Apr.05 - Saturn goes Direct

Apr.05 - Venus in Pisces

Apr.08 - Mars opposite Pluto

Apr.08-18 - T-Square - Mars-Pluto-Mercury

Apr.09 - Sun sextile Neptune

Apr.13 - FULL MOON in LI BRA

Apr.13 - Mercury square Pluto

Apr.13 - Mars in Cancer

Apr.15-18 - Arrowhead configuration

Apr.16 - Mercury in Aries

Apr.16 - Sun trine Pluto

Apr.18 - Venus conjunct Uranus

Apr.18 - Mercury square Mars

Apr.19 - Mercury trine Saturn

Apr.20 - Sun in Taurus

Apr.20 - Venus trine Jupiter

Apr.22-May.03 - T-square configuration

Apr.23 - Mercury sextile Chiron

Apr.24 - Sun square Saturn

In the next update...


PLEASE NOTE: Event dates are for Eastern Time (Toronto / New York time). Dates are also given for England (UK - London time) or Australia (AU - Sydney time), if different from Eastern Time.

Planetary degree, minute and sign (dd:mm Sign) are also given for aspects and New/Full Moons.

"How long does each event last?"

Not sure what a word means?
Look it up in the Glossary!

The Low-Down on the Far-Out

April 2006

Mar.29, 5:15 AM EST � SOLAR ECLIPSE � NEW MOON IN ARIES (08:35 Aries)  ("What's a Solar Eclipse?"  "What's a New Moon?")

This is likely to be an intense Solar Eclipse! For starters, it's in Aries, which is always an exciting time of aggressive, assertive and active energy. There are no planets in Earth signs right now, and the Sun and Moon are the only planets in Cardinal signs. What all this means is that the Fiery Aries energy is likely to bring a blinding flash of motivation, wanting, anger, risk-taking and/or assertive/aggressive energy. It can be a time to put plans into action or to find new motivation that renews existing projects.

The Sun and Moon form a Wedge aspect configuration with the Chiron-Saturn opposition. The active Aries energy can help to offset the tension, friction and "tug of war" between the demanding standards of Saturn and the human limitations of Chiron. As we struggle between living up to expectations (our own or others') and trying to find a place of acceptance of our human shortcomings, this Solar Eclipse reminds us that there is a spirit inside us that is capable of asserting itself and making its own choices. By bringing out who we are in unselfconscious courage, we can avoid getting stuck in the struggle, as well as bring some healing to our identity, courage, daring and trust in our own life force.

Adding to the intense energy is Pluto stationing Direct on the same day! Pluto is also exactly conjunct the Galactic Center, which brings a very larger-than-life energy and puts added importance into the mix. As we assert who we are and put ourselves "out there," this takes on extra significance because it has a transformative effect on our activities and our sense of Self.

However, transformation never happens in an instant. As with all Solar Eclipses, this energy will unfold over the next 5-6 months (until the next Lunar Eclipse this September). The groundwork for this developing energy takes place during this current 4-week New Moon cycle. (Don't forget, a Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon.)

We have other connections to the Transpersonal (outer) planets. Mercury is conjunct Uranus, bringing brilliant insight, inspiration and radical ideas for change. Venus is also conjunct Neptune, contributing an aura of compassionate diplomacy, subtle strategy and creative imagination. And Mars is also opposite that stationary Pluto, bringing a mounting challenge to assert ourselves even though we might feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the situation (or person) that makes that necessary. Venus and Mars are still in close trine, which helps us balance aggression with diplomacy, force with strategy, and directness with congeniality. Top of Page

Mar.29 � Pluto stationary Retrograde (26:45 Sagittarius) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about stations and retrogrades.)

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. Top of Page

Apr.02 � Venus sextile Pluto (26:45 Aquarius/Sagittarius) (AU: Apr.03)

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. Top of Page

Apr.02 � Daylight Savings Time begins in North America

If your country or region is going on Daylight Savings Time now, as most of North America is, set your clocks one hour LATER.

Apr.04 � Mercury trine Jupiter (17:25 Pisces/Scorpio) (AU: Apr.05)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities. Top of Page

Apr.05 � Saturn stationary Direct (04:23 Leo) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about stations and retrogrades.)

For up to a week before and after this date, Saturn�s energy is especially intense and strong. You might experience this as physical or mental heaviness or sluggishness. You might find you have to "get real" with some responsibilities, or make some difficult decisions. This can be a turning point in long-term projects and plans that you've been developing over the last 5 months or so. Or, you may start to deal differently with old limitations, either finding ways to move beyond them or finding ways to make peace with them. If you�re dealing with closure or endings in some area of your life, this could be a time when you can finally start to let go and move forward. Top of Page

Apr.05 � Venus enters Pisces (until May.03) (AU & UK: Apr.06)

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. Top of Page

Apr.08 � Mars opposite Pluto (26:44 Gemini/Sagittarius)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely. Top of Page

Apr.08-18 � T-Square � Mars opposed Pluto, square Mercury ("What's a T-square?")

T-square aspect configuration - Mars OPP Pluto, SQR MercuryThe intensity of the Mars-Pluto opposition is brought into sharp mental awareness as Mercury squares both planets, forming a T-square aspect configuration. The Moon also forms a Grand Cross on Apr.11, which could bring the energy into acute focus. At worst, our communication and perceptions could become entangled with hostility, aggression and overreaction. At best, this can be a time when you gain deep insights from instinctual or raw experiences. You may be more sensitive to antagonistic energy during this time, so it will probably help to take some time out if you start to become too caught up in it or too overwhelmed by it. Better to leave some things unsaid than to blurt out something you wish you'd kept to yourself. On the other hand, it could also bring the courage to speak your mind and take a stand in a way that is long overdue and will clear the air. Use your best judgment to decide which path to take. Top of Page

Apr.09 � Sun sextile Neptune (19:19 Aries/Aquarius)

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. Top of Page

Beginner-plus reading

Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer

by Michael R. Meyer

Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologyer, by Michael R. Meyer

Michael R. Meyer's excellent book on Humanistic Astrology! Preface by legendary astrologer, Dane Rudhyar, on whose ideas this book is based. If you are a student of astrology, or you just want to learn more about how to read the natal chart, this book is a must-have!

Buy it NOW at

Apr.13, 12:39 PM EDT � FULL MOON IN LIBRA (23:37 Libra) (AU: Apr.14) ("What's a Full Moon?")

This Full Moon not only brings the current lunar cycle to manifestation, it also sets your direction for the long-term development of the Solar Eclipse energy from Mar.29.

What began as a burst of energy now seeks a balance and symmetry of that energy. Part of this means bringing empowerment to the equation, particularly in the form of embracing the "shadow" (the feelings, motives and behaviour patterns you'd rather not acknowledge). We have all been going through a long-term exploration of morality and principles (that have been developing since Pluto went into Sagittarius in the early 90s). It is now possible to bring a breadth and depth of understanding from this process to the way we balance our own agendas, needs, priorities and desires against those of others.

Venus, ruler of our Libran Full Moon, is in hard aspect to the Sun and Moon, creating a bit of a dilemma...and also a turning point. There is a choice to be made � in terms of how we establish that balance of priorities, as well as how far we are willing to surrender to this process. Is it enough to go with the flow of the Universe? How much should we participate consciously and wilfully in what happens to us? Each of us must make the decision that is right for us, but the truth is that that none of the choices is likely to be easy. There is a price to pay, whichever way to decide. This therefore presents a turning point that will steer our direction for the coming few months.

Some of that choice also may involve argument, confrontation or conflict that requires us to defend or go after what is important to us. In a way, we are not so much choosing our path now, since the apparent choice has probably been already set into motion. Rather, we are struggling to understand why we chose it (as the Oracle in the Matrix says) and therefore how to establish a mental focus that will carry us along that path.

This is an unfolding process over the coming week or so, as Mercury plays out the T-square to what is left of the Mars-Pluto opposition. Yet, by the time Mars catches up to the final square to Mars, they will both have shifted into the next signs � Mercury into Aries and Mars into Cancer. This suggests that the reasons we continue on our chosen path may not be the reasons we were first drawn to choose it. This is a complex process indeed!

Watch for echoes and reintegration of the Solar Eclipse energy as various planets aspect the Solar Eclipse degree:

  • Mercury conjuncts it on Apr.22.

  • Mars squares it on Apr.28.

  • Venus conjuncts it on May.10.

Apr.13 � Mercury square Pluto (26:42 Pisces/Sagittarius) (AU: Apr.14)

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 the last of 3 passes (Feb.28, Mar.04 and Apr.13), and marks the outcome of the retrograde cycle. The affected issues, described above, have been developing over the last 2-3 months, and now reach a point of fruition and emergence. Watch for deep awareness and insight that have developed during this time, which may have initially felt overwhelming and now may be more easily integrated and understood.

Apr.13 � Mars enters Cancer (until Jun.03) (AU & UK: Apr.14)

The fiery energy of Mars is poured through the sensitive, emotional waters of Cancer. This is not the easiest placement for Mars, since its sharp edge becomes somewhat softened and diluted. However, this is also a time when it is possible to use your assertive and proactive energy for the protection of yourself or others. This is like the mother bear that can become extremely fierce when protecting her young, and in the same way you have an abundance of energy to defend your "children"�literally or figuratively, in the sense of creative projects, loved ones, your Inner Child, or your home "nest." This is also a time when deep emotional issues may erupt to the surface, like buried anger, repressed frustration or unconscious fear. The focus of your feelings may be a little unstable and moody, but it also gives you an opportunity to nurture, vent and express those feelings. Observe how you respond to any deep feelings that emerge, either in yourself or in others. Does your Inner Parent try to repress or scold that Inner Child, or are you able to respond lovingly, caringly and sensitively? This is a learning experience that can teach you how to nurture yourself ...and others.

Apr.15-18 � Arrowhead/Quadriform � Mercury square Mars, tri-octile Jupiter ("What's a Quadriform?")

Arrowhead or Quadriform aspect configuration - Mercury sqr Mars oct JupiterThis aspect configuration takes the intense mental energy of Mercury square Mars and challenges us to take it to a higher level through Jupiter. The question is: Will Jupiter's expansive nature just amplify the volatile anger, frustration, temper and directness of Mercury and Mars? Or will Jupiter's ethical and principled sense of perspective create a broader understanding of our impulses? At its best, this combination can bring a sharp wit that is used with compassion. At its worst, it can use truth like a weapon, lashing out at others in blame and judgment. Observe how you respond to this energy, but if you see yourself using the damaging edge, give yourself the wisdom you wish to give others...and then give it to them too.

Apr.16 � Mercury enters Aries (until May.05)

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.16 � Sun trine Pluto (26:40 Aries/Sagittarius) (AU: Apr.17)

Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river.

Apr.18 � Venus conjunct Uranus (13:16 Pisces)

The warm receptivity of Venus can become somewhat cool, detached and unpredictable when combined with Uranus. This is a good combination for carrying out a dispassionate strategy, or for networking with acquaintances and associates. It can also be a time when you might liberate yourself from old connections � for example, choosing to end a relationship, stepping away from an outworn friendship, or being open to experimenting with new kinds of connections with people. It can also be a time of impulse spending, or wanting to use your resources and finances for a humanitarian purpose. Finances may become a bit unpredictable or unstable�either bringing income when you didn't expect it, or spending it when you may or may not have. Whether you want to liberate your own life or someone else's, this is a time when freedom and independence become the focus of pleasure. Experimentation is also tempting, and while this can be invigorating, it might also leave you with consequences you hadn't anticipated. Embrace your spontaneity, but don't divorce your judgment.

Intermediate level reading

Cycles of Becoming The Planetary Pattern of Growth

By Alexander Ruperti

Cycles of Becoming, by Alexander Ruperti

It's back in print!!!

This amazing book teaches you all about planetary cycles. Pairs of planets form interlocking aspect cycles, which become greater than the sum of their parts. Drawing on the ideas of legendary astrology Dane Rudhyar, Ruperti examines the combined cycles of all the major planets. After reading this book, you'll never look at aspects the same way again!

Buy it NOW at

Apr.18 � Mercury square Mars (02:32 Aries/Cancer)

Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging�or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit (Feb.05, Mar.18 and Apr.18), and marks the outcome of the process affecting the issues described above. This may bring an eruption of tension that clears the air, a resolution to conflicts, or the realisation of courage.

Apr.19 � Mercury trine Saturn (04:34 Aries/Leo) (AU: Apr.20)

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.20 � Sun enters Taurus (until May.20)

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 � Venus trine Jupiter (15:44 Pisces/Scorpio) (AU: Apr.21)

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.22 - May.03 � T-Square � Chiron opposite Saturn, square Sun ("What's a T-Square?")

T-square aspect configuration - Saturn opp Chiron sqr SunThe Sun now acts as a grounding rod for the Saturn-Chiron opposition. This is a time when your sense of purpose, identity and confidence may be put to the test. You may have to examine the consequences of decisions made in the past several months and assess whether you've been successful or not. You may question whether your chosen direction in life is in your best interest, and whether you are making the most of the learning opportunities hidden inside obstacles, delays and mistakes. Although this may be a time of tension and frustration, it is also a time when you can shape, strengthen and improve your plans, ambitions and goals. The backbone of this energy lies in finding a balance between striving for success through strict diligence and cultivating acceptance of your human fallibility.

Apr.23 � Mercury sextile Chiron (09:29 Aries/Aquarius)

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.

Apr.24 � Sun square Saturn (04:43 Taurus/Leo) (AU & UK: Apr.25)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit�perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries�accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Next Update: New Moon in Taurus - Apr.27.2006 (AU: Apr.28)

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