Low-Down Archives for March-April 2012

New Moon in Aries, Full Moon in Libra

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

Mar.22 – NEW MOON in ARIES (02:22 of Aries)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Mar.22, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT

London, UK:

Mar.22, 2012, 3:37 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Mar.23, 2012, 1:37 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Life is either a great adventure or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

Happy Equinox! Ya, I know it was 2 days ago but Mercury is, after all, retrograde and things get delayed. AND besides, who hasn't done something over again during Merc retro? ;-)

The New Moon in Aries initiates a lunar cycle that is bound to be one wild ride! Some of it will be fun, some of it will be crazy-making, and some of it might feel like you're scattered in so many directions at once that you're not sure what is happening!

Let's start with the New Moon conjunct Uranus. Wheeee!!!! Unexpected weirdness, chaos, unusual phenomena and other wacky, off-the-wall stuff. As much as this could be disorienting and possibly even upsetting, it can also open the door to some great opportunities, fresh perspectives and fruitful experimentation that would otherwise pass you by unnoticed.

Then there's the New Moon conjunct Mercury retrograde. What the---?? Expect confusion, delays, miscalculations, missed appointments, wrong numbers and other mental mishaps. However, you could also expect some exciting creativity to emerge from your unconscious, especially through impulsive ideas and flashes of insight.

And let's not forget that Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, is currently retrograde as well. All things Mars have been, and continue to be, kind of wonky. Either too much or too little. Very extreme or very subtle. Hard to get clearly focused or motivated, or so acutely focused that you become obsessed about the tiniest detail and unable to move beyond it. This affects anger, motivation, desire, assertiveness and make-it-happen energy.

However, it's helpful to look at the underlying reasons for the wonkiness, not just blame it on the poor ol' planets (although goodness knows they so often deserve it!). For example, if you're overly focused, perhaps some part of you trying to draw your attention to something you need to be aware of � something that can put a whole new slant on issues, projects or goals that you're feeling stuck with.

Since Aries and Mars are about physical energy, this could easily be up and down more than usual or just unpredictable. Best to just try to ride with it and do the best you can. Is there something you can learn from this? Is something (more mundane than planetary influences) causing it that you need to take a closer look at and re-evaluate?

Mars is in Virgo, so a significant area of manifestation could be health, work and the ways you serve others or a higher cause. Progress made months ago in any of these areas could seem like they've been sliding backward for a while. With a New Moon in Aries, this brings a new beginning but one that requires you to aim your intentions and actions in a different direction.

Every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet never escapes itself.
~ T. S. Eliot

Mercury in Aries and Mars in Virgo, which means these planets are in Mutual Reception ("What is Mutual Reception?"). That means they turn to each other for energy, resources and guidance on how to navigate that sign's themes. But with both of them retrograde, the communication between them could be a bit discombobulated, out of sync or sporadic. On the other hand, these mutually retrograde planets might share Secrets Of The Universe that are as subtle as they are profound.

These signs Aries and Virgo are in quincunx aspect to each other (150�). That means they have nothing in common; nothing through which to understand each other. Their elements (Earth and Fire) are incompatible. Their modalities are as different as chalk and cheese � Cardinal Aries is all about initiating and acting on desire, whereas Mutable Virgo is about adapting, modifying and fine-tuning what is already there. Aries is Yang/Masculine and Virgo is Yin/Feminine, so they differ in their extroverted versus introspective orientations.

Mercury and Mars are challenged with bridging the gap between the two. Uh-huh, good luck with that. ;-) Two planets in quincunx are like two people locked in a room � they don't speak the same language, they come from totally different cultures with totally different beliefs, they don't even use the same body language. How are they going to communicate??

They have to be flexible and take things one baby step at a time. If they're going to interact at all, they'll probably have to invent a new way of connecting with each other. The fact that the planets in question are in mutual reception is actually very helpful, since they already know the language the other is trying to speak, even though the other planet doesn't know how to speak it (so to speak). There is an opportunity for them to learn from each other, provided they can accept the paradox and absurdity of their predicament and be open to starting from scratch to create something new.

For Mercury and Mars, this is likely to include communication itself. Alternative or creative forms of communication could emerge or become necessary � like art or poetry or music or dance or scent or texture or taste. More meaningful information might be found in the "negative spaces" � the pauses between words, things that are not said, the tone of voice, eye contact (or lack thereof), and other subtle body language that exist separate from yet parallel to the words. Action is another form of communication. The actions you choose to take (or not) can reveal your values, priorities, attitudes, expectations and beliefs.

Aries instinctively communicates things directly, spontaneously and in a straightforward way. With Mercury and Mars contributing such an unusual combination of energies, you might find that when you're tempted to convey thoughts, feelings and ideas in the usual Aries way, something else comes up in the back of your mind that says, "Wait�what else is being communicated here? Is that what you really wanted to say? Is that what they really mean?" It can be a bit disconcerting at first, almost like your mind is tripping over your tongue, but if you work with it and allow yourself to be open to it, you could discover something about yourself and others that you had completely missed before now.

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.
~ Kahlil Gibran

However, there's more to Mars right now than communication chaos. He's part of that lovely Grand Trine in Earth signs that's been gliding through our skies for the last few weeks: Mars trine Jupiter trine Pluto trine Mars � all approximately 120� apart (give or take less than 4� degrees), forming an equilateral triangle.

Grand Trine Kite

The Grand Trine is waning now, as they grow farther away from each other. However, before it breaks apart completely, Mars opposes Chiron forming the spine of a Grand Trine Kite. And at the moment of the New Moon, the Mars-Chiron opposition is EXACT�to the minute!

Mars in health-conscious Virgo opposite Chiron could put even more emphasis on health and wellness issues, as well as the need to find a workable balance between the demands of the body and the aspirations of the soul. Be alert for chronic, recurring or difficult to diagnose health conditions, as well as a growing sense of angst about feeling held back by physical limitations.

You might also find there are questions about your reasons for taking action which need to be confronted. For example, are you doing something because you truly believe in its goodness, benefits and restorative potential, or are you doing it just for the result as a means to an end? Neither reason is all good or all bad, but being honest with yourself about it is important. Otherwise, your unconscious motives or hidden agendas could sneak up and blindside you.

The challenge of the Mars-Chiron opposition must be confronted in some way. Otherwise, you might find the rewards and benefits of the Grand Trine are a bit elusive, or slip all too easily into the negative side of the trine � laziness, lethargy, taking things too much for granted, an attitude of entitlement, or a lack of discipline and focus.

At the same time, the Grand Trine's creative abundance of resources, both subtle and prominent, can also be used to address and work with the Mars-Chiron struggle. You'll get the best of both if you make sure you're not using one to escape from the other.

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
~ Unknown

All in all, this New Moon in Aries is a different kind of rebirth. The archetype of Aries is like the seed that begins to germinate before the sprout emerges (which is more Taurus). Aries is the fertilization of the egg that sparks its growth into a living entity. But conditions must be just right for that growth to be sustained. The seed requires tilled ground, aerated soil, the right kind of fertilizer, just enough warmth and moisture, etc. The egg needs the body to be ready to provide nourishment, it must be fertilized in the right place at the right time so that its development can proceed correctly.

New Moon in Aries, the Ram

With this New Moon having such potent energy, there is enormous impetus: for growth, for starting exciting new projects, for inspired movement in new directions, and for the liberation of pent-up desire, creativity and motivation. However, this energy is also somewhat fragmented, conflicting, indirect and chaotic. As a result, it may be necessary to dig a little deeper before planting the seed of your hopes and wishes. There may be starts and stops, times of drought followed by times of flood, as well as out-of-sync timing.

Don't give up! But don't assume it will magically fall into place if you just keep doing what you've already tried. This will likely require creative solutions, a bit of risk taking and a willingness to examine what is holding you back from within you.

You might be challenged to see the possibilities from a very different perspective before the full picture makes sense. And that full picture might not look the way you thought it would. Don't let your expectations block you from the unexpected possibilities.

This will likely start to come together more after Mercury and Mars go direct (Apr.04 and Apr.13, respectively). It might take until the New Moon in Taurus (Apr.21) before you're really ready to move forward. In the meantime, your time is well spent by continuing to explore the strange worlds of indirect communication, scattered potential, creative paradox and conflicting motives. You're getting a rare glimpse of what lies behind, beneath and in between the surface of things. Don't waste it!

Expect the unexpected, and don't be surprised if it involves a mind bending change of perspective. Your weird and wonderful adventure is waiting around that impossible corner. ;-)

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
~ Andre Gide

Mar.22 – Mars Retrograde opposite Chiron (06:55 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Mar.23 in AU)

Your efforts and physical/emotional/mental energy may struggle with fundamental limitations and latent imperfections under this transit. Weakness or chronic problems in health may flare up now, especially if you are under a lot of stress. It will help to do whatever is necessary to support and take care of yourself. You may find it works better to minimize or prevent deterioration, rather than to attempt a complete cure of whatever ails you. Emotional health may also be affected, bringing out latent issues related to anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage. This is a time when you can probably see all these problem areas more clearly, and as a result it can seem like they are getting worse. While this may or may not actually be true, you are in a position to respond to these issues in a different way now – precisely because you are able to see the nature of the problems more objectively and clearly. So don't allow yourself to just be intimidated by difficult experiences you might have now; use them to take steps toward a new well-being.

Mar.23 – Mercury Retrograde enters Pisces (until Apr.16)  (Mar.24 in AU)

Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, which can put you in a very dream-like, meditative space. Logical or analytical thought may not be easy to achieve during this transit – or you might find that logic and analysis seem to ride in the slipstream of intuition. Creativity and imagination could rise spontaneously or unexpectedly...or they might seem to go underground where you can't access them at all for a while. In fact, much of your usual mental awareness could seem less than solid, reliable or accessible during this transit. On the other hand, you may find you have access to a different kind of perception and awareness during this time. Your psychic and intuitive abilities are likely to be much more sensitive now. Dreams could be more vivid, and you may float in and out of daydreams that could actually provide valuable information and insight. It's not always possible to put your life on hold for 3 weeks (while Mercury is retrograde), but it will help to take some time out to just drift and "be" during this time.

Mar.24 – Sun conjunct Uranus (04:30 of Aries)  (Mar.25 in AU)

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.

Mar.29 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Venus (25:21 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Mar.30 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

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Mar.29 – Sun square Pluto (09:31 of Aries/Capricorn  (Mar.130 in AU))

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.

Apr.03 – Venus enters Gemini (until Aug.07)  (Apr.04 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and values take on an air of curiosity, communication and cleverness. It is a good time to discuss, think about and create strategies to improve these areas or make them more enjoyable. You may be especially curious, flirtatious or easy-going now – so much so that you might drift into superficiality (which might be a welcome rest from more intense or committed social activity). It can be a good time to exchange ideas and information with others, especially in a social context. Schmoozing and networking with others are prime examples of this. This can also be a good time to negotiate contracts and agreements with people, in this atmosphere of information exchange. Just remember that it's one thing to use charm and humor to influence the direction of the discussion, but it may not be wise to indulge in blatant manipulation of others.

Venus stays in Gemini an extremely long time (4 months!!) because she will go retrograde in Gemini from May.15 to Jul.27 (between 07:29 and 23:59 of Gemini). This retrograde cycle can show you new ways to express yourself creatively, lovingly and strategically. It can also point you in a new direction in relationships that encourage communication � not just how you talk with others, but especially how you listen as well. (Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read even more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.))


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Apr.04 – Mercury stationary Direct (23:50 of Pisces) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets. )

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3� weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. This period has challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again.

Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow, your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.

Apr.05 – Venus square Neptune (02:13 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Apr.06 in UK, AU)

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

Chart for the Full Moon in Libra
Chart for the Full Moon in Libra

Apr.06 – FULL MOON in LIBRA (17:23 of Libra)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.06, 2012, 3:18 PM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.06, 2012, 8:18 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.07, 2012, 5:18 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.

I know the world isn't fair, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?
~ Bill Watterson

Feeling a bit out of balance? A little prickly, anxious or touchy? Indecisive about whether to focus on the more remote Big Picture or the more accessible Littler One?

Relationships struggling? Communication been a bit confused or murky with your partners and significant others?

Social interactions seeming a bit ambiguous or out of sync? Feeling the need for some amiable connection but finding it more demanding or exhausting than you expected?

Sense of beauty, pleasure and ease feeling bit sharp around the edges?

Feeling like the only way to fix these problems is to throw caution to the wind and reach out for anything that seems different?

Happy Full Moon in Libra!

Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving.
~ Albert Einstein

Libra is all about balance. Yang/yin. Masculine/feminine. Aggressive/passive. Self/other. Independence/interdependence.

And yet balance is tricky. It doesn't always feel warm and fuzzy. It doesn't always bring a sense of relief or ease.

Much depends on how the imbalance got there to begin with and what has kept it from coming back to balance again. It depends on what benefits you're getting from the imbalance, or what you fear or expect will happen if the situation is brought back into balance again.

Consider, for example, relationships. One person wants to go to a football game; the other wants to go to an art gallery. Who wins? One might say, "Well I'm going with or without you." Ultimatum! The other has a choice: they can give in or they can go to their place of choice alone as well. Or, they could have a fight that destroys both their interests in doing much of anything but staying home and watching TV.

Any of these situations constitute a balance of sorts. One form of balance is simply finding a solution to the conflict. You don't have to like it. It doesn't have to be your first choice. It only has to give you a way to get unstuck and moving on to whatever's next.

Perception is a mirror not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.
~ A Course in Miracles

What makes it remain out of balance? Problems and disagreements come up in relationships all the time. That's normal. But if one person is getting their needs met in a way that takes away from the other getting their needs met, then it's an imbalance.

What does it mean to not get your needs met? Life is compromise. When we compromise, we put a bit of what we want or need as a lower priority. If we find a way to get our needs met in a different way, then this can counterbalance the loss. "I'll go to the football game with you today if you go with me to the art gallery tomorrow." Being able to do this requires our ability to delay gratification and to trust that our partner's word is reliable.

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Getting to YES:
Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Second Edition)

by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

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At what point does compromise become surrender? This is where relationships can get tricky. The answer to this is different for everyone. The factors involved are far broader than just compromise and counterbalance. Even if you go with me to the art gallery tomorrow, I might feel so resentful that you got your needs met first that the agreement doesn't feel satisfying or fair to me.

What happens in a situation like that, where a compromise doesn't rebalance the conflict? One common reason is that my old buttons have been pushed. Up comes the memory of my mother promising I could go to the movies after I clean up my room, yet because one thing was out of place that agreement was revoked.

Old unfairness that was never resolved or reconciled into a state of healthy balance can lurk in the unconscious for a very long time. When a similar situation arises later, our memory brings up our need to resolve that original imbalance. Distrust bobs up to the surface like a bad egg and we're sure we smell something rotten in the deal.

What makes this even more crazy-making is when our personal issues become intermingled with our intuition. Am I really picking up that you won't make good on your promise? Or is it just that I've been triggered into that painful memory? Or is it both??

This kind of dilemma is an ideal breeding ground for indecision, lethargy and distrust of everyone, including yourself. Clarity can come by doing a reality check with someone else ("Am I going crazy, or are they going to let me down?"). Becoming more self-aware is also an invaluable skill that can help you navigate the ambiguous waters of doubt and distrust.

Confrontation might help to see what's really behind the promise (integrity or just wanting to tell you what you want to hear), but it could also put the person on the defensive and reluctant to be open and honest about their motives or mindset. And then it's hard to back down or back off. There's a fine line between avoiding conflict because you're afraid of retaliation (i.e. running away from a fight) versus suspending confrontation until you can observe the situation and get more information about what's really going on.

People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to...rather than detracts from...our lives.
~ Stephen R. Covey

Another example of perpetual imbalance concerns the side that has the advantage in a situation. If my upper hand is gained by having benefits that really belong to you, then it's going to feel like a loss if I have to give up some of mine so that you can have your fair share. Depending on what's involved, the dominant side may fight to keep what they have � sometimes quite vehemently.

There are a number of factors that influence the outcome of this problem. What is the scope of the problem? How much will be affected by a change to that balance? How significance is the issue? Are we talking about someone's ability to survive or thrive, or is it more like coping with annoyance? How dependent is the dominant side on their extra benefit? Scarcity tends to breed competition, as well as a winner/loser mentality, which can easily translate into a rationale of "I deserve more because I'm better or because I'm entitled to it."

This may apply to everything from countries, religions and races on the collective level, to addictions, attitudes, lifestyle habits and one's self-image on a personal level. Depending on the stakes, this kind of problem can be an annoying adjustment at best or an inevitable, explosive crisis at worst. The rebalancing process can be painful and arduous, but the results can be dramatic in the long run and well worth the fight.

Let's go back to relationships and the dilemma of compromise versus surrender. At what point do you say, "This isn't working for me"? What tips the balance from "I'll just have to deal with this" to "I can't do this anymore"? The answer is different for everyone and for every relationship. As we've seen, there are many factors that can suddenly take on a life of their own when weighing the pros and cons of how well an agreement is working.

The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
~ Albert Einstein

This Full Moon in Libra is likely to bring out a lot of these kinds of issues and challenges. It's a tough chart, full of dilemmas, traps and stalemates, but also rich with potential for rebalancing some tricky, persistent or touchy problems.

Quadriform Kite at the Full Moon in Libra

The Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon) is the spine of a Quadriform Kite. The Quadriform (a.k.a. Thor's Hammer, God's Fist or Arrowhead aspect pattern) involves the Moon in sesquiquadrate aspect (135�) to Neptune on one side and Venus on the other. This is especially significant because Venus is the planetary ruler of Libra, the sign of the Moon. So the Moon is in hard aspect with its dispositor (ruler of its sign), which tends to bring out the difficult qualities and characteristics of the sign in question.

The Moon is vexed by Neptune on one side and Venus on the other. Neptune is about Universal Oneness, a higher sense of love, grace and beauty, and one's relationship with All That Is. Venus is the more personal, accessible version of these � art and beautification, love and connection, and relationships with other people.

With the Moon having to choose which one to give precedence to, it could result in a struggle between the "high road" and the "low road." This could manifest, for example, as you having to decide whether to go on a date with Mr/Ms Right or Mr/Ms Right Now. Venus in Gemini might answer, "Why not have both? Who has to know?" ;-) However, Venus is also in square aspect (90�) to Neptune, so ambiguity, deception and one-sided self-serving use of the imagination are likely to deflate those plans like a leaky balloon.

If the Moon in Libra is about establishing and regaining balance, then whatever is out of balance in your life right now is likely to take on a conflicted Venus/Neptune aura. Do you make a conscious choice as a solution, or do you simply have faith that the right solution will appear? Either path has its benefits and traps. A conscious choice could be so analytical, rational or superficial that it simply doesn't work with the intuitive, emotional or practical sides of you. Simply surrendering your decision to the Universe (which includes anything from blind faith to reckless denial), means you don't get to have a say in your own life � and isn't that an important part of being a conscious, sentient entity?

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
~ Albert Einstein

More about Negotiation

Getting Past NO:
Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation

by William Ury

Move from confrontation to cooperation! Written by the co-author of Getting to Yes, this sequel expands on its invaluable principles and methods. Available in Kindle edition and Paperback.

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In Canada:

The question posed by the Full Moon is not so much "What will you choose?" as it is "What happens after the choice is made?" The rebalancing process has important implications for whomever or whatever is involved. We could be talking about a relationship between two people, or the connection between two drives inside of us, or the interaction between two segments of the collective.

The side that has been dominant might fight to keep its advantage, and might even complain bitterly that it's unfair for it to have to give up anything ("Who do you think you are? You're not my equal!"). The other side might not quite know what to do with its newfound abundance and could try to become dominant to make up for what it has lacked ("You owe me!").

A certain amount of detachment and objectivity is a great help when dealing with how to be fair. Women especially tend to handicap their own interests with the ingrained conditioning that others should come first, but men are not immune to this in their own way. With the Moon in difficult aspect to spiritual Neptune and gracious Venus, this self-sacrificing quality that seems so noble and diplomatic could actually be the very thing that keeps you stuck.

It's essential to take a giant step back, where you can see both sides of the situation equally and therefore see the bigger picture of where the imbalance actually lies. With Saturn also in Libra (although not close enough to be conjunct the Moon), practical priorities can be a valuable tool to help when assessing the state of balance (or lack thereof).

However, the Moon is quincunx (150�) Jupiter in Taurus, making the results of changes difficult to identify and understand. It could take a lot of tinkering back and forth before you find a better balance. It might even be necessary to make changes that are too big, too sweeping, too dramatic before you gain an understanding of the effects of changes you're trying to make.

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection
to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
~ Barbara De Angelis

Relationships in particular are likely to feel the effects of this Full Moon. What might be in focus may not be changes you start to make, so much as the results of changes you've already begun to make. It could become apparent that you need to change your strategy a bit or that you don't understand what's at stake as well as you thought.

Venus, the dispositor of the Full Moon, is herself disposited by Mercury in Pisces, just freshly out of retrograde. With Mercury still pretty much stationary (only 16 minutes of arc from it stationary point), the ability to make clear choices or to clearly assess the results of choices is likely to be a bit fuzzy for a while.

Mercury coming out of retrograde is like someone waking up from a very deep sleep � it takes time before your brain is functioning normally again! In the same way, it takes time before Mercury matters lose their retrograde quality. Mercury, as Venus' dispositor, passes this woolly brained energy to Venus to assist her in making and assessing decisions � not the best ally she could have right now.

What complicates this is that Venus is in square aspect (90�) to Neptune who tends to be, shall we say, a little rationally challenged! Venus is moving into square aspect with Mars, who is still in retrograde. The three of them form a T-square that makes Venus' job even harder.

There�s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.
~ Frank Herbert

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The net result is that you'll probably need to draw on your creative, intuitive, feeling side when making choices right now and assessing how well those choices are working. Rational or analytical thought could be a bit unreliable or may only show you part of the picture � and possibly not even the most central part. With the Moon being Full, you're bound to be very open and picking up on subtle or indirect cues from others.

Just be extra careful you don't confuse what you perceive about others in the present with unresolved issues from your past. Likewise, it will be helpful to do a reality check about whether your emotions in stressful situations indicate that you're truly trying to gain (or regain) more of what is fairly yours, or whether you're actually trying to defend and preserve a beneficial position that may be unfair to someone else.

Libra says: negotiation is an excellent tool when trying to figure out where the balance point should be. Give and take. Yin and yang. Ideally, if the balance is working well, and if you're able to accept the balance, it shouldn't feel heavy but light as a feather. Life rarely works at an ideal level, but changing the balance should make things easier all round.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
~ Groucho Marx


Apr.07 – Venus Direct square Mars (03:55 of Gemini/Virgo)  (Apr.08 in UK, AU)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

Venus is coming up for a retrograde cycle. This is the first of 3 passes of Venus square Mars: Apr.07, Jun.04, Sep.27. (Read more about Venus Retrograde.)


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Apr.09 – Venus Direct sextile Uranus (05:24 of Gemini/Aries)  (Apr.10 in AU)

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

With Venus coming up for a retrograde cycle, this is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Apr.09, Jun.20 and Jul.04.

Apr.10 – Venus Direct conjunct South Lunar Node (05:53 of Gemini)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This is a good time to let go of the "things" you don't need anymore. It's a time to release your creativity and transform them into new resources and assets. This could mean cleaning out your closets and selling the discards in a yard sale, for example. You might decide to change your hair style or something else about your appearance. Perhaps you discover that you're making a different impression on people than you intended, and this leads to a revision of your social skills. Or you could get feedback from someone close to you that challenges you to change your self-image. Something (or someone) that has been prominent in your life – in relationships, pleasure, partnerships, finances, possessions, beauty or appearance – is ready to be let go. You might need to say good-bye to someone you've been close to because the relationship isn't working anymore – or you might find you're able to let go of feelings that have been blocked and give yourself to a connection with someone. You might simply assimilate it into the background where it is no longer "front and centre," or you might need to cut ties altogether. Or, you could be ready to express something that has been brewing for a while, like creative self-expression or giving someone feedback. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" (as your grandmother used to say), but be on the lookout for something that is ready to subside from your priority list.

This is the only pass of this transit. It doesn't repeat through Venus' retrograde cycle.

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Apr.10 – Pluto stationary Retrograde (09:33 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Apr.13 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.12 – Venus enters the Retrograde Shadow (07:29 to 23:59 of Gemini)   (Read more about Venus Retrograde.)

Venus now enters the span of the Zodiac where she will go retrograde in about. This is similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, except that we are now building up themes and energies related to Venus � beauty, art, balance, harmony, love, pleasure, desire, fairness, diplomacy, finances, possessions, values. As Venus approaches her retrograde station, you may notice increasing experiences and events that emphasise these areas.

For example, money and income could either increase or decrease during the Retrograde phase, and then often returns to its former state after Venus turns Direct again. Romantic possibilities may heat up during the Venus cycle, only to cool down again afterwards if there is no real substance to sustain it. Or, existing relationships might go through a period of confronting and sorting through issues or problems that have been lurking in the background. If the relationship is on shaky ground, this might push it to the breaking point, forcing you to do some serious renegotiating or consider ending it.

In this time of global economic struggle, this Venus retrograde cycle could lead you to rethink and recalibrate your financial motivations and ambitions on an individual level, as well as all of us collectively on national and global levels.

Venus makes two key aspects during this retrograde cycle. One is a square to Chiron (Apr.12, Jun.16, Jul.07), and another is a sextile to Uranus (Apr.09, Jun.20, Jul.04). You could be challenged to deal with persistent or recurring issues in your interactions with lovers, partnerships or adversaries. Other areas for this are the state of your finances, your spending habits, your attitude about material things and your values. With Venus travelling through Gemini during her retrograde cycle, this could also affect how you use words and other communication to express beauty and comfort, soothe distress or manipulate others into getting what you want. You could also have an exciting time exploring creative communication, creativity within your neighbourhood (local environment) or experimenting with new forms of self-expression.

Apr.12 – Venus Direct square Chiron (08:07 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Apr.13 in AU)

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

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit, due to Venus' upcoming retrograde cycle: Apr.12, Jun.16 and Jul.07.

Apr.13 – Mars stationary Direct (03:40 of Virgo)  (Apr.14 in UK, AU) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read my article about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, your energy could feel intense, erratic, volatile or liberated. After being retrograde for the last 10 weeks or so, the energy that has been coiling during that time now begins to release. Low energy will likely return: suddenly, erratically, forcefully or gradually. It's possible you may reach a point of decision about issues you have been struggling with in the past 2-4 months.

If you've been working on preparing or planning for a new project, the station could begin the launch process. If issues about anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage have been a thorn in your side for the last few months, this begins the phase when you will start to apply what you've learned and cultivated. It could begin with a resolution to your frustrations, or possibly bringing the problem to the surface where you will need to deal with it directly.

Depending on how constructively and therapeutically you have been working with these issues, this resolution could be a positive time of self-empowerment, or it could produce an explosion of the urge to control and force others to bend to your will (or someone else behaving that way around you). Over the coming two months, while Mars is still in the Shadow, you will apply and integrate the energy and learning that has been gathered and is now being released.

Apr.15 – Sun opposite Saturn (26:10 of Aries/Libra)  (Apr.16 in AU)

You may be obligated to fulfil the expectations of others or of society under this transit. A situation or project (which may have begun around 6 months ago) might require that you start to implement the plans and preparation you've been building. Or you might find that problems you've been putting off must now be dealt with. Although you could experience this as stressful or heavy, it can also be a time when you are finally able to move ahead with a project or goal. All commitment requires some degree of limitation and pruning back, since we must choose one path and leave other options behind. This may therefore feel like a time when you are pressured by obligation, necessity or restraint...or it could feel like the rehearsals are finally over and it's time to launch the rocket. If it seems like you're only seeing blocks or obstacles in your way, this might be a reflection of not having done enough preparation (in which case you will need to draw on your experience to solve the problems or deal with the reality in front of you). This can be a time when you reap whatever you have sown in the past (especially the last 6 months), so if your current situation seems negative or punitive, it might be a time when you need to look back over your actions that lead to this and be accountable for past actions and decisions. Whether you are taking the final step to implement your plans or are facing the results of poor past judgment, this can be a time when you are called upon to move forward in your personal growth and maturation. Use it to strengthen your responsibility (response-ability), and don't let fears of inadequacy erode your self-esteem.

Apr.16 – Mercury Direct enters Aries (until May.09)  (Apr.17 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.17 - Mercury and Mars Retrograde in Mutual Reception (until May.08)

When Mercury was retrograde in Aries, it was in mutual reception with Mars in Virgo. Mutual reception is when two planets are in signs that the other rules, and it sets up a resonance between the two planets through those two signs. When both planets were retrograde, their combined energy played havoc with just about everything! Accidents seemed more common, arguments and disagreements seemed more intense, tempers had sharper edges and Mercury's usual shenanigans were unusually frustrating! This time around, being in mutual reception again, both Mercury and Mars are direct. I'm hoping their combined energies can be used more easily as "powers for good." ;-) The positive potential in these two planets includes awareness of one's physical energy (and therefore greater ability to direct it consciously), as well as being forthright, outspoken and observant in stressful, confrontational or fast moving situations. Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle between their worst potential and their best. Like any other transit, Mars can heat up and speed up whatever it touches, which can be exciting, rejuvenating and energizing, or we could also feel stressed, anxious and triggered. If you find the less positive experiences are getting the better of you, try some Mars remedies: physical exercise, sports, competition and generally just get out and DO something. The worst thing you can do is to bottle it up or try to hide it. It's one thing to seclude yourself if you're concerned you'll be triggered too easily into conflict, but at least allow yourself to express and vent your feelings in private.

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!

Next Update:  NEW MOON in TAURUS, available by April 21, 2012.

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