Low-Down Archives March-April 2009

March-April 2009

For the New Moon in Aries and Full Moon in Libra:
March 26 to April 24/25, 2009

Mar.26 � NEW MOON in ARIES (06:07 of Aries)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Mar.26, 12:06 PM EDT

London, UK:

Mar.26, 4:06 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Mar.27, 3:06 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.

Happy Equinox! I know that technically the Equinox was a week ago (Mar.20) but with enthusiastic Aries, it's easy to find something to celebrate! Here in North America, we have spring to celebrate, gradually awakening our hibernating psyche that have hunkered down through a long winter�at least we have here in Canada and the northern USA. Hail the return of the Goddess of Spring who will soon blossom in vivid colour!

And this is indeed a very goddess-oriented New Moon! Venus is retrograde and is closely conjunct the Aries New Moon. Venus in Aries is more like a warrior goddess or huntress than a sweet, earthy Mother Nature. Or, we could say that as Mother Nature she is more like a thunderstorm or a scorching heat wave than a nice breezy day. She is the Great Goddess of antiquity giving birth to a new world, channeling raw life force with every powerful push.

When Venus is retrograde, our familiar goddess of love can turn into the goddess of war. Venus becomes consumed in the fiery passions of the Sun while she is close to or conjunct the Sun. She undergoes a transformation as she completes the old Sun-Venus cycle and begins a new one.

Aries is the sign of beginnings, as well as aggression and life force. Venus' preferred nature is to be loving, soft and pleasurable, so for Venus to be in Aries, she is out of her element. (In astrological terms, Venus is in Detriment.) This combines well�or worse, depending on your point of view�with the retrograde also bringing out her more forceful, less tolerant side. Your warm and fuzzy Venus energy can become like a kickboxer with a short fuse, at worst, or perhaps a trained athlete with a focused purpose, at best. Or you might experience a surge of ardent passion and desire. It all depends on how you focus and use the Aries energy.

The New Moon in Aries is a new beginning in the sign of beginnings. At its strongest, it can bring initiative, enthusiasm, anticipation and rejuvenation. It's that liberated feeling of wanting to go out in your t‑shirt and shorts in the spring, even though there are still traces of melting snow on the ground � you know that the old cycle is setting and the next one is rising like the morning sun. You can feel in your bones that with renewed life, all things are possible. Venus retrograde is conjunct the New Moon, which signals the beginning of a new Sun-Venus cycle. Mercury is also in Aries, conjunct the New Moon and approaching the fruition point of the Sun-Mercury cycle. There is an awakening of awareness, bursting to express itself (perhaps a bit too hastily sometimes, but enthusiastic nevertheless).

There are signs of new life everywhere! However, this new life is not breathing freely on its own just yet.

The Sun-Venus conjunction is not yet exact (Mar.27), so Venus is technically still in the old cycle. This may feel a bit like the morning sky before sunrise, where the day is clearly beginning but it hasn't quite arrived yet. And with Venus being in cranky retrograde, there might even be storm clouds on the horizon, threatening a turbulent beginning to a new phase of life. Beginnings can be exciting, but they also signify an end to what was. If you don't really want to let go of the old, or if you don't feel quite ready for something new, this could be a time when you feel like you're a bird being pushed out of the nest before your wings feel strong enough to fly.

Pluto squares all those planets in Aries (Sun, Moon, Venus and Mercury). This could be like a breech birth that requires some extra help to survive and thrive. If the struggle is too great, your plans or expectations might need to change, letting go of the potential you're hoping for and being open to something different instead. The one thing that is probably not wise right now is to try and control the process to conform to specific demands or desires. There is likely a larger force at work that could limit your options or make it necessary to compromise. It may be necessary to share the creative control or work cooperatively with people or circumstances that are pushing you in a different direction.

People with natal planets or points in the early degrees of Cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Libra and especially Aries) are most likely to feel the strongest need for compromise and adjustment. A personal reading can help you get focused on the best way to respond to your situation without getting caught in counter-productive or destructive reaction.

No matter what the beginning process is like for you, it will grow and develop over the next 4 years, when the Sun and Venus again conjoin in Aries (in 2013), but this time Venus will be Direct. It is the fruition point of the Sun-Venus cycle, kind of like a Full Moon is the culmination of the lunar cycle. Remember that even difficult beginnings can grow into something worthwhile and fulfilling. Wear your Aries cloak of adventure and approach this initiation time like a warrior goddess who knows she has strengths that will see her through! 

Mar.27 � Mercury square Pluto (03:16 of Aries/Capricorn)

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. 

Mar.27 � Sun conjunct Venus Retrograde (07:15 of Aries) (Mar.28 in AU) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.)

When the Sun conjuncts Venus retrograde, it initiates a new beginning in all things related to Venus. That includes self-image, beauty, love, relationships, interaction, finances, resources, pleasure and sensuality. However, this new beginning is small and largely hidden, like a seed beneath the earth that is about to sprout. You are the co-gardener of your soul now, in partnership with the Universe. Therefore, be gentle, consistent and supportive of yourself, as you would a sprouting seed. You may not be clear on what the new beginning is until well after Venus goes direct, so be patient. Now is a good time to gather intuitive thoughts and impressions of what kind of changes you would like in Venus areas. Would you like to improve your self-image so that you are more loving and accepting of yourself? Perhaps you would like to stabilise your material security and help it grow gradually? Or maybe you want to bring more pleasure and harmony to your relationships and interactions with others? Start by connecting to the loving and blessed person inside yourself first.

Highly Recommended Reading:

Venus :
Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths

By Anne Massey

Everything Venus! 
For the beginner: Venus by sign, house, element, aspect and more.
For the more advanced astrologer: an in-depth exploration of the fascinating retrograde cycles of Venus.
Highly recommended!

Buy It Now!



Venus has a fascinating and complex, yet rhythmic pattern through her retrograde cycles. These retrograde cycles occur in the same 5 signs over an 8-year period. (Actually, those 5 signs change every 108 years, but within your lifetime there are only certain signs Venus will go retrograde in.) Currently, those 5 signs are: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio and Capricorn.

Right now, Venus is retrograde in Aries. The last time Venus was retrograde in Aries was 2001 (travelling through the retrograde Shadow from February through May). So� what were you doing in 2001? If you look closely, you will see similar or repeating themes between what was happening in your life then and what is happening now. For clues about what areas of your life are being influenced, look at your natal chart: what house is Venus in? What sign and house is Mars in? What houses does Venus rule in your chart? The areas of life signified by these houses are most likely to be affected. For example:

1st House: Self, outer personality, appearance, physical body, how you project yourself into the world.

2nd House: Money, income, possessions, values, self-worth, skills, resources.

3rd House: Communication, information, exchange of knowledge, neighbours, short travel.

4th House: Home, family, parents, the past, memories, your support system, emotional needs, bonding.

5th House: Children, self-expression, creativity, fun, games, the Self that you express.

6th House: Health, healing, work, your job, service, pets, people who work for you.

7th House: Marriage, committed or close relationships, love, your style of relating, social interaction, negotiation.

8th House: Transformation, deep-seated changes, psychology, mysteries, the occult, death and endings, inheritance, other people's money.

9th House: Philosophy, religion, what is meaningful to you, understanding, higher education, long distance travel.

10th House: Career, goals, reputation, social standing, obligations, commitments, responsibilities.

11th House: Friends, associates, clubs, groups, technology, computers/Internet, mass media, science.

12th House: Solitude, isolation, hospitals or jails, imagination, spirituality, connection to the Cosmic Source.

For more information about how Venus is working through your chart � and how to work your Venus! � it's best to book a personal reading with me.

Mar.28 � Mercury conjunct Venus Retrograde (06:26 of Aries) (Mar.29. in AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now -- so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them. 

Mar.29 � Daylight Savings Time begins in UK, Europe and Middle East

The UK and many countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Near-East begin daylight savings time on this date. Check the date and time of time zone changes in your country. 

The Future Minders

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Mar.30 � Sun conjunct Mercury (10:33 of Aries) (Mar.31 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. 

Apr.03 � Venus Retrograde square Pluto (03:18 of Aries/Capricorn)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires -- the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.

Venus squares Pluto 3 times during the Venus retrograde cycle: Feb.05, Apr.03, May.02. This transit puts a powerful spin on the energy of this Venus retrograde cycle. It means there is a need to find a sense of empowerment in the context of relationship, and perhaps to learn how to deal with others whose handling of power is overwhelming or destructive. It can also indicate the need to strengthen self-worth or financial equilibrium during these shifting economic times. Pluto is also stationary during this pass (Apr.04), which will likely intensify the energy of both transits significantly! Pluto in Capricorn is restructuring the world economy, renovating the political and social infrastructures, and recalibrating our future goals. Venus in square aspect to Pluto signifies a need to adjust our balance point � individually and collectively � to deal with the inevitable disruption that comes with reorganization. Venus being in Aries suggests one way to do that is to not aim for long-term goals just yet, but to stay in the present and focus on just taking the next step. 

Apr.04 � Pluto Stationary Retrograde (03:18 of Capricorn)  (Apr.05 in AU) ("What's a Stat"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about 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. 

Apr.04 � Mercury sextile Jupiter (19:46 of Aries/Aquarius) (Apr.05 in AU)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. 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. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too. 


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Apr.04 � Mars opposite Saturn (16:21 of Pisces/Virgo) (Apr.05 in UK, AU)

This can be a difficult transit that pits your individual will and desire against anything or anyone that seem to block it. Authority figures can become adversaries who may seem to only want to say No in response to what you want to do. As a result, it is easy to polarize to others during this transit -- to rebel and fight by pulling in the opposite direction. It will help if you can manage to keep a firm grip on your own Inner Adult -- the part of you that is responsible and accountable -- instead of letting others act out that role in your life. Alternatively, if you find it easier to be the responsible, serious, structured Adult, then it will help to embrace your own spontaneous and exuberant impulses, rather than polarizing to others who exhibit those qualities. By owning both energies in this transit, you can work with both your spontaneous impulses AND your ability to cautiously pick and choose when and how to act. This may not be easy, since these energies do not mix easily, but when they work together they can generate potent productivity, ambition and results. 

Apr.05 � Standard Time begins in Sydney, AU

Australia is quite a patchwork quilt of time zones, daylight savings time, and time change dates. Please check the date and time (if any) of time zone changes for your location. 

Apr.06 � Mercury sextile Chiron (24:48 of Aries/Aquarius)  (Apr.07 in UK, AU)

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

Apr.07 � Mercury sextile Neptune (25:46 of Aries/Aquarius)

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.09 � Mercury enters Taurus (until Apr.30) (Apr.10 in AU)

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. 

Sabian Symbol for Libra 20: A Jewish rabbi.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Libra

Libra 20

A Jewish rabbi.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") depicts someone who is a source of deep wisdom and knowledge that has its roots in an ancient religious tradition. The rabbi is traditionally a teacher and advisor of Jewish law, and a spiritual leader of their community. You go to a rabbi when you want to learn about Judaism's rich, structured, scholarly wisdom.

About this symbol, Dane Rudhyar says: "The energies of the collective Unconscious are channelled through well-defined, age-old forms and formulas." (An Astrological Mandala)

Marc Edmund Jones, co-creator of the Sabian Symbols, says: "Here is the potential of high dedication by which an individual or a group may become a special channel for the aspirations of all." (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology)

Blain Bovee writes: "As a leader, a rabbi's task is to feed his community in order to help others find their right place and time regarding their heritage." (The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed)

This symbol reflects the Jupiter role in the Full Moon chart, of inspiring us and stretching our knowledge and wisdom toward our fullest potential. However, any tradition can also become limiting if we blindly follow its structure. There may be a warning here to use the wisdom available to you as guidance to teach you, more than as instructions to simply follow.


Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

Apr.09 � FULL MOON in LIBRA (19:53)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.9, 10:56 AM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.9, 3:56 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.10, 12:56 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

There is a little-known fact that floods can occur when water flows over ground that is very dry. You would think that dry dirt would soak up water like the proverbial sponge! And it does after a while, but the ironic truth is that there needs to be a certain amount of moisture already in the earth and the earth needs to be relatively loose and open for water to be most easily absorbed. Water can't penetrate into ground that's hard and dry, so the water will flood over top of it instead of seeping into it. The other extreme is also true � ground that is saturated can produce flooding because there is no room to absorb the water. These curious bits of trivia are actually very relevant for this Full Moon in Libra, as you'll see in a moment.

Libra is the sign of love � having that inner sense of well-being; feeling loved and lovable, feeling a close connection with another person, and being able to give these things to others. How do you attract love into your life? What makes you feel loved and lovable? And how do you bring that energy into your life to quench your need for love and connection? Other people are probably the first place we look for love, although other popular sources include your cat or dog, your teddy bear or the cupboard where you keep the chocolate.

We seek out relationships with people who can recognize and appreciate our better qualities and mirror them back to us. Relationships are like having a mirror that allows us to see aspects of ourselves that we can't see on our own. It's a little like trying to look at the under-side of your chin � you need a reflection of some kind in order to really see it. So we tend to attract people who mirror parts of ourselves that live in our blind spot, which we either don't realize we have or don't know how to embrace in a positive way.

However, even when you get that approving or appreciative gaze from another person, it may be frustratingly unsatisfying if you aren't able to absorb it. If you have been blocked off from human affection for a long time, you can become like parched earth that has forgotten how to drink in the moisture of caring affection. Conversely, if you are waterlogged with other feelings, worries, obsessions or thoughts, you may not be ready to take in the kindness of others. In both cases it may seem like warmth is all around you, but none of it is for you. You might be aware of others reaching out to give you love, but no matter how much you try to consume, you are always left hungry for more. And when you're reaching out for chocolate instead... well, I'm sure you get the idea on a "gut" level.

This is the kind of energy dynamic that is likely to emerge at the Full Moon in Libra. It will play out over the next two weeks � directly in your relationships or perhaps more symbolically in your ability to give and take, for example. On one hand, there is a lot of potential for love, affection, appreciation and connection and interaction with others right now. On the other hand, it may not be as satisfying, fruitful or easy-going as you hope it will be.

One of the culprits in this scuffle is Venus, planetary ruler of the Libra Full Moon. Venus is retrograde right now, but will be changing direction on Apr.17. That means all things Venusian are in flux and therefore somewhat unstable � relationships, finances, social interaction, negotiations, balance, harmony, beauty, fashion, etc. The fact that Venus will station conjunct Mars, after dipping briefly into Pisces, only further complicates her energy. It's a good thing Venus is exalted and strong in Pisces because being stationary and conjunct Mars is bound to be a challenge! At its best, it will give intuitive strength for whatever choices you need to make when Venus turns direct. At its worst, it could bring an erratic, confused, passive-aggressive kind of energy into relationships, negotiations and financial decisions.

The other rascal stirring up trouble at the Full Moon is Mars, who has been opposing Saturn since near the end of March (exact on Apr.04). During this time the evening news seemed to report a disturbing rise in explosive violence. Meanwhile, Mars is marching closer to conjoin Uranus (Apr.15). Mars is effectively lighting the fuse of the Saturn-Uranus powder keg that has been building for several months, even though their orb is quite wide at the moment (just over 8 degrees). (Saturn and Uranus are exactly opposite on Nov.04.2008, Feb.05, 2009, Sep.15.2009, Apr.26.2010 and Jul.26.2010.)

The Saturn-Uranus combination is about finding a balance between the straight-laced, ordered side of life and the chaotic, individualistic side of existence. Mars is acting as a lightning rod in this titanic struggle, challenging us to strike a balance in Saturn-Uranus areas through our actions, intentions and attitudes. With the Full Moon being in Libra � a sign literally about balance � the aspiration for equilibrium is there, although the balance point might feel more like a moving target that is elusive and slippery. Awareness is the initial step, and adjustment is the key. Venus and the Libra Full Moon aim to do this through diplomacy, compromise and negotiation. Mars in Pisces would say it's like steering mindfully through the rapids, requiring a delicate balance between deliberate action and surrendering to the flow of the surrounding energy.

Little Eye aspect figure: Mars, Sun, Jupiter

Mars is at the apex of a "Little Eye" aspect figure: semi-sextile (30°) to Jupiter on one side and the Sun on the other, with the Sun sextile (60°) to Jupiter. This aspect pattern makes Mars ultra-sensitive, especially to issues about self-confidence, knowledge and having a sense of purpose and meaning. The Mars part of you may feel pressured to act on this, although not very well thought out or perhaps believing that action can be achieved effortlessly by faith alone. Better to plan out your moves carefully than to rely on impulses that could be more erratic than effective.

Megaphone aspect figure with Moon
ear trumpet or ear horn
Ear trumpet or ear horn

In addition, Mars is in a quincunx aspect (150°) to the Full Moon, forming an aspect figure that is called a "Megaphone" in Aspect Pattern Astrology. In this case, the Libra Moon is the mouthpiece of the megaphone, and the "Little Eye" is where the message gets amplified and broadcasted. Alternatively, the wide end can act like an old fashioned ear trumpet that was once used as a device to amplify sounds for the hard-of-hearing.

This amplification factor is made more-so because expansive Jupiter is in a position where it acts as a creative outlet for much of the tension in the aspect figure. That outlet can inspire you to reach beyond your familiar sense of self or your usual style of relating to others. You might be able to "listen to" a broader spectrum of information, or you could "speak to" a greater perspective of understanding in others. Combined with Mars, your instincts may be finely tuned and able to respond automatically to the "subtext" of what is happening around you. This could inspire the urge to act on (or act out) the bigger picture of what you pick up on.

The thing is: we often instinctively give what we want to get. It's like the little boy who gives his father a child-size baseball mitt for Father's Day. Someone who needs love and affection might go out of their way to give that to others, while secretly or unconsciously hoping to get the same in return. However, if we aren't able to absorb what we get back, we might feel compelled to do more and more and more, still trying to feel the appreciation and connection that always seem to elude us. When we do this, we are like the parched earth that isn't able to absorb refreshment, so the very thing we need floods out from us onto others instead. Don't get me wrong � I'm not saying that giving is always motivated by what we want to get back, but it is one strategy that our human nature sometimes uses to get what we need. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing � the right thing done even for the wrong reasons is still the right thing. However, a problem can arise when we do get what we need but are unable to absorb, receive and hold it within ourselves.

The energies at the Full Moon could possibly bring out this kind of issue. If you start to observe yourself being a bit compulsive in your interactions with others, it can help to take some time out and get some feedback and insight about it. Find someone who can be objective and who cares, since they can be a mirror in which to discover what is in your blind spot.

Awareness is the first step and adjustment is the key. Awareness shows you the door; adjustment of your perspective and actions can give you the means to move through it. Interaction with others provides a mirror that helps you discover what's been holding you back and what you can do about it. A soul mate, trusted friend, counsellor, astrologer or other advisor are all excellent candidates to hold up that mirror.

Apr.10 � Sun sextile Jupiter (20:49 of Aries/Aquarius)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Apr.11 � Mercury trine Pluto (03:17 of Taurus/Capricorn)

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

Apr.11 � Venus Retrograde enters Pisces (until Apr.24)

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.

Venus has just dipped back into Pisces briefly, where she will go Direct on Apr.17. She remains at 29 degrees of Pisces for almost 2 weeks: Apr.11-24.

Apr.14 � Sun sextile Chiron (25:11 of Aries/Aquarius) (Apr.15 in UK, AU)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit -- not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.

Apr.15 � Mars conjunct Uranus (24:26 of Pisces)

This can be a potent, exciting and/or explosive time! Your energy level may be a bit wonky with a lot of ups and downs. However, there is also likely to be a lot of energy to harness for whatever purpose you want to apply it to -- just don't expect to always be able to draw on it predictably or consistently. If you have wanted to take action to break free of old habits or patterns, this is a great time to do that. Or, you might want to begin a new project that is unusual or experimental. This spurt of energy probably won't last, so you'll need to follow it up with some structure, discipline and realism if you want to continue whatever you've started. In the meantime, make the most of this upsurge of energy, motivation and drive, but remember that if you become reckless or destructive, you'll have to live with the consequences.

Apr.15 � Sun sextile Neptune (25:58 of Aries/Aquarius) (Apr.16 in AU)

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

Apr.17 � Venus Stationary Direct (29:11 of Pisces) (Apr.18 in AU) ("What's a Station?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about Stations.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may experience or witness a shifting of energy affecting finances, relationships, love, resources, values pleasure, beauty, harmony and/or balance. Situations or issues related to these areas that have been occupying your attention during the past 6-7 weeks (while Venus has been retrograde) may reach a turning point now. It is a time when decisions and choices could be made�perhaps out of necessity. .

If you have felt unusually introverted or extroverted during the retrograde period, this could shift back the other way again. If you have experienced difficulties or challenges in close relationships, this may be a time when decisions can (and perhaps must) to be made about them. Adjustments, compromises or renegotiations may be necessary; and if this is not possible or tolerable, it might be necessary to consider ending the relationship. During the retrograde phase, you may have encountered people or social situations from your past, and now it's time to decide if you want to continue with the contact or to bring closure and move on. You might have experienced a change in your finances�for the better or worse. This change could simply revert to its previous state, according to a natural cycle of ebb and flow. Or, you might be faced with a choice of what to do from here�to change something in your life so that your situation improves (or so that an improvement continues), or to let go and move beyond this period of temporary change.

Whatever you have learned, embraced, questioned or invested your time in during the last 6-7 weeks, you will begin to apply and integrate in a new way over the next 4-5 weeks (while Venus is in the Shadow). This has been a detour allowing you to explore hidden territory, complete unfinished business or reconsider possibilities in the affected areas listed above. It's time to come back to the main path again, bringing with you new learning and values that will gradually be integrated into your life. The Direct Station is another shift in your life's balance point that enables you to keep moving, changing, growing and evolving.

When Venus stations this particular time, she is conjunct Mars. Mars takes 4 days to catch up (exact on Apr.21), but is just 3 degrees away when Venus stations today. This puts an interesting spin on the Venus station! It underscores the possibility that this is a time to make decisions and put those decisions into action. However, both the Venus station and the exact conjunction take place in the final degree of Pisces, which is also the final degree of the Zodiac � another intriguing quality of this station! Venus remains at this degree for almost 2 weeks (Apr.11-24), so this period is likely to be quite intense and powerful.

The Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") for the last degree of Pisces is "The Great Stone Face" which alludes to the story of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The symbol reflects the magical moment when all preparation, development and manifestation come together to form the result, which then becomes the beginning point of a new cycle. It is the creation of a seed, produced by its parent tree which itself was grown from a seed, and this new seed will go on to produce a whole new tree. The fact that Venus stations on this momentous degree indicates not just a time of fresh beginning, but also of selecting carefully and wisely which seed you choose to plant, since this will largely determine what kind of results are possible. The Venus station brings you back to a point where you can double-check the decisions you have or are about to make. It's a second chance to consider whether you are making the best choice for all concerned.

With Mars conjoining stationary Venus on this degree, it suggests there is great power in your desire, intuition, decision or compulsion about which fork in the road to take. Caution is advised, however: although this impulse could feel like the Hand of God propelling you in a certain direction, it could just as easily be colored by your own unconscious motives, yearnings or fears. It's always a good idea to acknowledge and work with those unconscious feelings, but it might not be wise to equate this with "what is meant to be." This is a time when self-honesty and self-integrity (consistency between inner motives and outer intent) are important assets.

Apr.17 � Mercury trine Saturn (15:37 of Taurus/Virgo) (Apr.18 in 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.19 � Sun enters Taurus (until May.20) (Apr.20 in 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!


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Apr.21 � Venus Direct conjunct Mars (29:32 of Pisces)

Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more -- winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness -- or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies.

Venus is still virtually stationary when this conjunction becomes exact, which makes this an unusually powerful transit. See Venus Stationary Direct on Apr.17 for more about the station. Because of Venus' unusually slow motion right now, Mars overtakes Venus in this transit. Venus finally catches up to Mars again in mid-Taurus on Jun.21. In the meantime, these two planets travel in tandem, about 6 degrees apart until mid-July. That means Venus and Mars are effectively in conjunction for about 4 months, stretching the interpretation above throughout that time. While they are in Aries (until the beginning of June), Mars is dominant since it rules that sign and Venus is in detriment in Aries. The energy flows in the direction of individuality, direct action and fast decisions. After that, and when they again conjoin, Venus is dominant since they will be in Taurus, a sign that Venus rules and Mars is in its detriment in Taurus. The energy will likely be slower, methodical and focused on pleasure and enjoyment.

Apr.22 � Mars enters Aries (until May.31)

Mars is in his own sign while in Aries, which stokes the fires of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and a pioneering spirit. Assertive, decisive action can come more easily now...but then, so can anger and conflict. This is a good time to initiate new projects and activities, and move old projects forward, taking advantage of the courage and daring that is in the air now. However, the results will be better if you are able to channel this energy through a focused goal, rather than going on impulse alone. The tendency to take risks is also high right now, which can be a mixed blessing. It's best to avoid complications and problems that can arise from being reckless or irresponsible, but do use this energy to muster the courage to take pre-planned action.

Apr.22 � Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow ("What is the Retrograde Shadow?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about the Shadow.  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now enters the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde (May.07-30). During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more involved process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected�email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next 2 weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct (May.30/31).

Mercury in Taurus is aspecting the Aquarian planets during this retrograde cycle � square Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, and sextile Uranus: Apr.22-25, May.20-21 and Jun.09-10. You may be called upon to find practical ways to manifest the greater vision that is now being born out of disruption, old festering problems and the yearning for a higher sense of purpose and meaning in your life. Be ready to first become aware of what is holding you back from this, and then to gradually find practical solutions to shift those blocks.

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Apr.22 � Mercury Direct square Jupiter (22:48 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Apr.23 in UK, AU)

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.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Apr.22, May.20 and Jun.10. You may have a dawning awareness of ways that your perceptions and thoughts are out of sync with a greater truth, and you will have the chance to change this over the next couple of months.

Apr.23 � Sun Trine Pluto (03:12 of Taurus/Capricorn)

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.24 � Venus Direct enters Aries (until Jun.06)

Your style of handling relationships, finances, resources and values now take on an attitude of assertiveness, directness and the pursuit of freedom and independence. Impulse buying may be a stronger temptation than usual, so be sure you can afford whatever it is! Your way of interacting may be somewhat more direct, open or flirtatious during this transit. You may have opportunities to acquire money quickly and casually...and spend it too! You may also be more open to trying new things in the areas of finances, relationships, interactions and your values. Trying out new ideas can take you into uncharted territory...which may or may not be welcome depending on how comfortable you are with change. But this still may be just what you need to get you out of a rut in the affected areas. This can also be a good time to celebrate and appreciate yourself just as you are, as a unique individual.

Venus now returns to Aries after hovering in the final degree of Pisces (and of the whole Zodiac) since Apr.11! See Venus Stationary Direct (Apr.17) for more information about this.

Apr.24 � Mercury sextile Uranus (24:54 of Taurus/Pisces) (Apr.25 in AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Apr.24, May.21 and Jun.09. Be alert for flashes of insight or recognizing a spark of potential. These may lead to innovative ideas that can help you let go of old cynicism, stubbornness and rigid attitudes that are getting in the way of progressive solutions to problems.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in TAURUS- April 24, 2009 (Apr.25 in UK, AU). Available by Apr.24.


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