The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Lunar Eclipse in Libra, April 2015

Golden Rule Poster from Scarboro Missions

The Golden Rule Poster

A word about the quotes used.

In my articles, I usually try to minimize references to religion, as such, because I want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable. However, for this update I decided to use quotes from the Golden Rule Poster, created by the Interfaith Desk at the Scarboro Missions, a Catholic orgnization in Toronto, Canada. The poster illustrates how this principle is echoed by many of the world's religions and faith traditions.

Although not entirely universal, the concept behind the Golden Rule, a.k.a. the Ethic of Reciprocity, is widespread across many diverse cultures, religions, philosophies and ethical codes. The concept is ancient and dates back to the 2nd millennium BCE, although the term itself wasn't used until 17th century CE.

My intention in using these quotes was not to turn the discussion of the eclipse into a religious one, but rather, because the concept seems so fitting for Libra and the lunar eclipse chart. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

~ Wendy

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

The Golden Rule, known also as the Ethic of Reciprocity, is arguably the most consistent, most prevalent and most universal ethical principle in history. Many regard it as the most concise and general principle of ethics.
~ Understanding the Golden Rule, Scarboro Missions

Apr.04 – LUNAR ECLIPSE in LIBRA (14:24 of Libra)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.04, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.04, 2014, 1:00 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.04, 2014, 11:00 PM AEDT

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Libra is the only zodiac sign not symbolized by a living creature (real or imagined).

It is represented by the scale or balance. Whatever is on one side has to be the equivalent of what's on the other side. They must balance out.

You'll notice I said equivalent, not equal.

Equivalent means to be "equal in value, measure, force, effect, significance, etc."

You can have very different things on each side of the scale, yet they balance out to zero. This is important because it leaves room for creative solutions. Feathers on one side, rocks on the other, in the right amounts will still balance the scale.

In terms of human interaction, this is about reciprocity. We each reciprocate or contribute something to the other that is equivalent in value. Tit for tat. Fairness.

We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.
~ Native Spirituality: Chief Dan George

This concept can run as deep as you can imagine. For instance: I buy dinner, and you provide the transportation and the movie tickets. Or John fixes Jane's roof and Jane gives him money in return.

Archetypally, this concept evolves through the Air signs. It starts in Gemini through the exchange of information. Gemini literally rules commerce � the exchange of goods and services for money or an equivalent barter.

In Libra this exchange ensures that the scales are balanced, and if there is unfairness it is also how the scales become rebalanced. Whether a scale for vegetables or the scales of justice, ultimately it is the process of negotiation and assessment that leads to a more workable agreement.

In Aquarius this becomes the exchange of contributed energy between the individual and the group, which could be your friends, associates or society at large. We are contained and supported by the community around us and we give back to it and contribute in various ways.

Treat not others in ways that
you yourself would find hurtful.
~ Buddhism: Udana-Varga 5.18

This Lunar Eclipse in Libra is an exercise in exploring what reciprocity really means, and how it can be used in various ways: constructive or destructive, conventional or surprising, uplifting or disparaging.

To reciprocate simply means both people contributing in kind. I pay you a compliment and you give back appreciation ("Thank you"). You invite me over for dinner and I bring the wine and help you do the dishes.

Unfortunately, reciprocal interaction can also involve a reflexive reaction that returns a negative action with another negative action. You accidentally bump into me and I angrily snap, "Hey, watch where you're going!" I say something thoughtless or hurtful, and you say something mean back.

It's hard to know the best way to respond when someone behaves toward us in a way that feels hurtful, cruel or unfair. One school of thought says we should let it go; that answering offence with retaliation only begets more of the same, whereas responding with compassion, tolerance or kindness will encourage the other person to let go of their hostility and soften their stance.

Alternatively, this might be seen by some as giving away one's power and letting the person off the hook for behaving badly. This school of thought believes that responding in kind creates a more immediate and crucial feedback loop. It's more honest, and lets others know when their behaviour is unwelcome. The problem is that mirroring back negative behaviour doesn't guarantee that the person will wake up and see the connection. Neither will the person necessarily respond to tolerance and kindness.

One should treat all creatures in the world
as one would like to be treated.
~ Jainism: Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

The pivot point here is awareness. We all have said or done something not out of malice but out of distraction or ignorance � lacking awareness of the effect our actions might have on others. It's literally thought-less, and it's not necessarily intentional.

If the other person becomes angry or vengeful, we may feel unjustly targeted since we don't know what led to their reaction, which may in turn drive us to react angrily too. And using the eye-for-an-eye approach, by returning behaviour in kind, we still need awareness for it to work; otherwise we "will only make the whole world blind," as Gandhi once observed.

You can see how easily this can escalate! Each feels unfairly blamed, each has a valid reason to feel mistreated, and both sides have contributed their share to the dynamic. Just because intentions may be believed to be good, it doesn't necessarily make them effective.

This is the Aries-Libra axis: action and reaction. Do unto and be done to. Anger and retaliation. And in Scorpio, where Libra evolves to in the zodiac, that retaliation is perfected into a fine art in the form of revenge.

But wait, you say, isn't Libra supposed to be about diplomacy and kindness? Yes, that's one way it can manifest. On the other hand, what's really important to Libra is that balance, and whatever will bring about that balance is fair game. If it seems like peace is out of reach � you can't get there from here � then war may be seen as the optimal solution. It has been suggested that beneath all the smooth charm, Libra is really just a polite Aries. ;-)

What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.
~ Judaism: Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a

The Libra Lunar Eclipse starts with the Sun-Moon opposition across the Aries-Libra axis and aligned closely with the nodal axis (where the paths of the Sun and Moon cross each other). It's a Full Moon and then some! So closely aligned that if you're in Australia, New Zealand or the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you'll see the Moon pass through the Earth's shadow, turning her a deep orange-red colour.

What you won't see up in the sky, regardless of where you are, are Mercury and Uranus playfully flanking the Sun and, in full brat-mode, hurling spitballs at the Moon. In other words, the Aries energy in the eclipse chart is about acting on impulse or instinct, and with Mercury and Uranus involved, this could lend a comical edge to it all. On the other hand, this energy could come across as self-absorbed, single-minded or reckless.

The Aries planets are disposited by Mars who is feeling sluggish and relaxed after a big meal in Taurus. His advice to the Aries contingent is to chill out and leave poor Moon alone.

Venus, also in her own sign of Taurus has the final word in all matters of this chart (being the final dispositor). Being in Taurus, she and Mars are inclined to be laid back and built for comfort rather than speed. On the other hand, Taurus can also incline them to being extremely stubborn, especially in practical matters (or what should be practical, as opposed to ideological or conceptual).

This is a key point to remember in this eclipse energy, since Venus rules not only Mars (which rules all the Bad Boys in Aries) but also the eclipsed Moon in Libra (her other sign). This gives Venus a LOT of influence over the chart. On one hand, Venus brings a strong desire to lean toward whatever will bring contentment, ease and pleasure. On the other hand, feeling good isn't a guarantee of it being good for all concerned, and it might take some conscious effort to change if things aren't working out as you'd hoped. Therefore, it's good to be aware of how you're behaving and how it's being received � you don't want to get stuck in a blind spot.

In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
~ Christianity: Jesus, Matthew 7:17

[diagram] Wherever Uranus is, these days, Pluto is sure to follow. And Uranus is conjunct the Sun at this eclipse, with Pluto forming a T-Square aspect pattern with the Sun and eclipsed Moon. The good news is that Uranus and Pluto did their final exact pass in the Cardinal Square back on Mar.16. The maybe-not-peachy-keen news is that the echoes and ripple effects are still very active and will be for some time to come. It is a strong reminder that there is still work to be done.

Think of this time (give or take about 10 years) as a Cosmic Decluttering of the global psyche. These big heavy planets have stirred up a lot of muck and sludge from deep in the collective unconscious. Now it's our job to sift through it and decide what to keep, what to let go of, what to change and what to repurpose.

Uranus provides the Cosmic Cattle Prod to shake us up and wake us up. We only have to read or watch the news these days to see the abundance of shocking stories and chaotic state of affairs that the world is in right now. The various collectives around our planet have outgrown their worldviews. We have made amazing and profound changes in recent years, decades, centuries, to the point that we can't go back to the way we were. The world has become bafflingly sometimes agonizingly complex, and trying to keep up with it all is as exhausting as it is exciting.

Of course, human nature being what it is, that doesn't stop us from wanting to slow things down or even slam it into full reverse and backtrack to a time that was simpler, easier and more straightforward�at least, that's what it looks like from our modern-day overwhelm. The result is that most of us walk around these days feeling like someone zapped us with the raw end of an electrical wire just before we got hit by a freight train. Who wouldn't want to dial it back to a time that surely must have been more manageable than now??

I am a stranger to no one;
and no one is a stranger to me.
Indeed, I am a friend to all.
~ Sikhism: Guru Granth Sahib, p.1299

Pluto hovers at the crossroads, holding up a No Exit sign. Shortcuts and escape hatches will only leave us stuck in the same mess we're trying to get away from. There's no going back. No way to unring the bell. The only way out is through. We must keep going. One day at a time, one step at a time, one trauma at a time.

On the up side, with every step we are generating fundamental change. It's a HUGE job. We are transforming the planet on multiple collective and individual levels. Pluto says, "This change is for better or worse�the choice is yours." Whatever ingredients you put into the pot, that's what the soup will be made of. The inevitable imperfection of life virtually guarantees that some of it will be toxic or bitter. The important thing is to make sure there's enough of the good stuff that the mistakes don't overpower the goodness of the meal.

The problem is that everyone has a different idea of what's toxic and what's healthy. Uranus in its passion for diversity makes it acutely clear that our world has never been, nor is it likely to become, a homogenized mixture where everyone sees life the same way.

Even if one group were to wipe out or dominate over everyone else, human nature is just too multifaceted to stay the same for long. Indeed, the universe in general is far too diverse and pregnant with creative possibility to squeeze itself into a tiny fraction of its natural spectrum without rebounding in an inevitable explosion of its true nature.

Lay not on any soul a load you would not wish to
be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone
the things you would not desire for yourself.
~ Baha'i: Baha'u'llah, Gleanings

Pluto's transformation process is usually triggered when the rock meets the hard place. There's nowhere left to go and something has to change, not merely adjust itself to fit. The heat and friction generated by this impasse figuratively melts away resistance, and the lump of coal becomes a diamond�or it ignites and burns itself out into ash and dust. One way or another, the die is cast and the process of metamorphosis unfolds.

We are at a critical turning point in human history, both physically and socially. The air, earth and oceans have absorbed our discarded waste in increasing amounts. The planet can no longer swallow what we don't want, and we must learn to take more responsibility for the results and consequences of our actions.

Socially we are also at a crossroads. In the past, conflicting groups would wage war with each other, and both would retreat back to their respective camps in between battles to stitch their wounds, regain a sense of normalcy and re-strengthen their collective identities.

In the case where one group has triumphed over another, the conquered may never forget the humiliation and failure and what they perceive as injustice. The human psyche has a long, tenacious memory that doesn't let go of defeat easily. In many political hot spots of the world, resentments and distrust are rooted in conflicts from centuries or millennia ago, and they're still not resolved to this day.

One word that sums up the basis of all good conduct� loving kindness.
Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
~ Confusianism: Confucius, Analects 15.23

Nevertheless, we have somehow managed to evolve and progress through the centuries socially, technologically and spiritually. We have survived millennia of war and conflicts of interest, but our modern world holds at least one difference: we're running out of places to run to when we feel cornered. Our planet is much smaller now � those we regard as enemies can find their way to our camps more easily.

And the Internet means the whole world comes into our living rooms at the flick of a switch, with complete strangers targeting us in offensive or threatening ways. It's a lot harder to seek refuge by a metaphorical campfire with like-minded people whom we trust.

How do we stop the conflict from escalating, possibly to the point of no return and certain mutual destruction?

This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
~ Hinduism: Mahabharata 5:1517

The Uranus-Pluto square, T-squared with the Lunar Eclipse, urges us to find solutions that will cultivate mutual survival and peace.

On a personal level, this T-square can manifest as a problem or challenge in your life that seems irresolvable and yet you know you must do something or suffer serious problems. Maybe it's a health issue, maybe it's a relationship that's not working well, maybe it's a negative self-image, maybe it's a financial crunch. Whatever obstacle you may be facing right now will likely improve by finding a better balance between what you must do and what you want to do.

It might help to think of it as a quest to create a win-win situation between you and the focus of your conflict. The goal is mutual success and benefit. If one side tries to simply obliterate the priorities of the other, without a broader understanding of how to address the root issues, you may only succeed in recycling the energy so that it comes back to haunt later and even more problematic.

Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
~ Islam: Prophet Muhammed, Hadith

Uranus brings the urge to break free of the deadlock. No clear solution to the problem? Throw it out! Tired of being stuck in the same old mud? Consequences be damned�just do whatever you have to do to get out of it! At least, that's what it can feel like. And breaking through the barrier of inhibition might be just what you need, but be aware that you'll probably still have to deal with Pluto's consequences in some form.

The Libra Moon might believe that any balance is a good balance. This is the "it's all good" perspective that believes there will be something positive to be had, no matter how difficult the result. Pluto, on the other hand, keeps coming in with the annoying reality that not all that glitters is gold. No matter the optimistic take on it, there are still some serious lessons to learn. There's no free lunch here.

Nevertheless, Jupiter sings and dances an enthusiastic "Yes!" to Libra's upbeat viewpoint. Jupiter forms a Wedge aspect pattern with the Sun-Moon opposition, and therefore encourages you to find creative and positive solutions through understanding, spirituality, learning and hope.

In fact, whereas Pluto may bring the worst about human nature to your attention, Jupiter can show you some of its best potential. However, with a quincunx aspect (150�) joining the two, it may not be easy to know how to hold both in your awareness and understanding simultaneously. As a result, you might swing between one minute believing the best can be achieved and the next minute being convinced that disaster is inevitable.

The truth is the world, and therefore individual lives, are in so much flux right now, with so much at stake, that it's like being Dorothy in the tornado and trying to predict where your house is going to land and whether the locals will be friendly or hostile. In Dorothy's case, as well as this lunar eclipse, there are lots of both to go around. And you won't be able to acknowledge one and dismiss the other without losing a very important part of the story.

Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
~ Taoism: T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien, 213-218

So how does the idea of reciprocity fit into this? Let's face it: being nice to someone doesn't guarantee that they'll be nice back, but it sure improves the odds. And being harsh with someone might not mean they'll smite you, but they're not very likely to send a smile and a kind gesture either. And if peace, harmony and mutual benefit is our goal, then the best way to encourage that to happen is by interacting in that way. Less flies, more honey.

What does that look like? Well, what it doesn't look like is allowing ourselves to be exploited and walked all over by others who are not really interested in reciprocal interaction. Libra can be very giving, to the point where we might not know when to stop of it's not in our best interest.

There must be both give and take � equivalent exchange of equal value. It's one thing to give the other person a chance to come around, while you continue to give, but if it doesn't happen you're probably best to let it go and hope a better opportunity comes around again later.

These eight words the Rede fulfill, 'An ye harm none do as ye will.
~ The Wiccan Rede

You start with empathy�and if that isn't coming to you, then you could use reason and observation to create a good imitation. Start with what you like, yourself. What's your pleasure? What are your priorities and needs? What's important to you?

The other person might not have precisely the same desires but it's not a long walk to extrapolate the same idea and then see what that looks like from their perspective. For instance, if you like to be comforted when you're unhappy, you could just listen when the other person is upset. We all need to feel heard.

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Sometimes it's not a question of what we should do, as much as what we should avoid doing. If you don't like people interrupting you, observe if you might be unintentionally doing that to others. For example, sometimes our silence says more than our words. Simply being receptive and open-minded, and giving someone the room to find the right words without interruption or judgment is the most precious gift you can give.

Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.
~ Zoroastrianism: Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

For the next 2 weeks, and over the next several months, your exploration of reciprocal exchange will unfold. Look for this in unexpected ways that happen in familiar places, situations and interactions. Watch for it in global events and how you interpret what's happening and how you react to it. Be aware of how it occurs in your personal relationships and day-to-day interactions. Observe how your view of life changes depending on how you respond to positive or negative situations.

Your homework is to see how you can embrace the positive and negative at once, knowing that it's not just one or the other. And see what happens when your actions and attitudes allow room for mutual understanding, even if you don't agree or approve. And finally, think about the most enlightened way you can imagine yourself responding to a conflict or disagreement, and ask yourself how this reflects your highest potential.

The rest is your choice.

1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
~ Unitarian Universalism: First and Last Principles

Apr.05 – Mercury conjunct South Lunar Node (10:00 of Aries)   (Apr.04 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

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

Apr.05 – Sun square Pluto (15:30 of Aries/Capricorn)   (Apr.06 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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

Apr.06 – Mercury trine Jupiter (12:35 of Aries/Leo)

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

Apr.06 – Sun conjunct Uranus (16:27 of Aries)   (Apr.07 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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

Apr.07 – Mercury square Pluto (15:31 of Aries/Capricorn)   (Apr.08 in UK, AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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

Apr.08 – Mercury conjunct Uranus (16:33 of Aries)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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

Apr.08 – Jupiter Stationary Direct (12:35 of Leo; until Jan.07.2016)   (Apr.09 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, you may feel a surge of idealism, inspiration and confidence. A quest for knowledge, truth, optimism and faith could become a beacon of energy in your life. On the other hand Jupiter could also bring an increase of judgement, blame and elitism. Jupiter has been retrograde for about 4 months. It is now changing direction again and resuming its normal direct motion.

You may have been exploring and developing the deeper qualities of spirituality, beliefs, confidence, knowledge, faith and/or optimism during that time. Or you might have found ways to expand your horizons�directly through travel or indirectly through the study of other cultures and languages. For the next 3 months (as Jupiter retraces its steps through the Shadow), you can start to apply and integrate what you've learned over the past 4 months. For example, if you have been taking a course or exploring your religious beliefs, this might be a time when you are able to put your discoveries into practice or place them into your worldview.

This turning point may be uplifting, overwhelming, inspiring and/or illuminating. You could discover new meaning in areas of life that had become stale or worn out, or you might realise that your old ways of understanding don't work for you anymore and need to be let go. Whatever you've learned or gained over the last 4 months, it is now available to be expressed and used more openly and directly in your life.

Apr.10 – Sun conjunct Mercury (19:58 of Aries)   (Apr.09 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

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.11 – Venus enters Gemini (until May.07)   (Apr.12 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.

Apr.12 – Mars sextile Neptune (08:51 of Taurus/Pisces)   (Apr.13 in AU)

There is potential for inspired action now. You could achieve a softening or soothing of the blunt force of anger, frustration, confrontation and conflict, without this resulting in powerlessness or passivity. It may be easier to move forward with your plans and intentions based on the power of faith or ideals. It's important to not get lost in those ideals to the point where you lose sight of what's realistic, but this is a time when you may be more inclined to take a leap of faith and say "Oh what the heck!" Your emotional impact on others (or their impact on you) could be greater than is intended or expected, so use this expanded energy wisely.

Apr.14 – Mercury enters Taurus (until Apr.30)

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

Apr.15 – Venus opposite Saturn (04:07 of Gemini/Sagittarius)   (Apr.14 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments – literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you – is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side.

Apr.16 – Pluto stationary Retrograde (15:32 of Capricorn; until Sep.25)   (Apr.17 in UK, 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.17 – Mars square Jupiter (12:43 of Taurus/Leo)   (Apr.18 in UK, AU)

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

Next Update:  NEW MOON in ARIES - available by April 18, 2015.

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