The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Libra, April 7, 2020

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

New Moon in Libra
Love in the Time of COVID-19

Think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end it itself.
~ Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Apr.07 – FULL MOON in LIBRA (18:43 of Libra)

In today's Coronavirus world, we are called upon to make choices that will greatly impact not only our lives but the lives of others too. By what values and priorities will we make these choices?

When we choose to act in a way that cares about others—even strangers—as well as ourselves, it is an act of love. Under the gentle eyes of the Libra Full Moon, we truly are living and loving in the time of COVID-19. And it is teaching us new ways to live and express love.

Libra is the zodiac sign most closely associated with love, ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love. Love is not just a feeling, it's also a concept. You can love a person in a way that intimately, perhaps passionately, connects you with that particular person. This is how we most often think of love.

You may also love someone because you carry them in your heart and want the best for them, even if you don't have a close relationship with them. This is a more universal kind of love that is willing to hold others in positive regard and acknowledge the best in them, even when they fall short of their best potential.

Love is also a chosen response or attitude. When you've made a commitment to someone, you inevitably go through times when you wish you could walk away. That's when love becomes a choice to honour your own highest intentions and values.

Libra is the sign of The Other – that which is Not You. Sometimes it's easy to love The Other because we see in them those things that we aspire to or feel we lack. At other times, it's harder to love The Other because in truth they are not us and often do things we disapprove of or wouldn't do.

So, in Libra we learn to balance the easy stuff with the hard stuff – the simplicity with the struggle. We must choose how to respond. In times of disagreement or distress, do we make war or make peace? When the going gets tough, do we accept what must be done or do we reject all but our own priorities?

The Full Moon in Libra presents us with choices, not just in terms of what we do but also the spirit in which we do it.

In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.
~ Rollo May

Venus is a busy girl these days! Not the least being that she rules both the current Full Moon in Libra and the upcoming New Moon in Taurus (Apr.22).

Venus has an important role to play over the next several weeks also because she's leading up to her retrograde cycle (May.13 to Jun.25), as well as now being Out-of-Bounds by declination (Apr.02 to Jun.01).

Over the next few months, she seems to be going in circles, dancing backwards in high heels that push her lovely head far up into the stratosphere. And because she is in playful Gemini, she's probably doing cartwheels at the same time.

It seems an awkward astrological energy to encounter at a time when most of us are confined to our homes, and must connect with each other only from a distance. The Full Moon is in a decidedly social sign, ruled by Venus in a decidedly social sign, yet COVID-19 means we are decidedly limited in how we can socialize.

Right now, Venus may reflect your Inner Child yearning to run outside to play and enjoy the beauty of nature during the changing of the seasons.

Or, you might channel Venus with some creative fun and innovative ideas. During this time of lockdown, quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing, there is an explosion of love and creativity happening both on and offline!

From people quarantined in Italy singing to each other from their balconies to people staging imitations of famous works of art. From musical take-offs about surviving COVID-19 to tips on how to cope with lockdown. From digital symphonies to virtual choirs. And from a million things to fill the boredom to letting your imagination explore outside the box.

Believe it or not, boredom and withdrawal can be healing, rejuvenating and boost creativity and innovation! Think of it as a mandatory vacation or a looong-term meditation that gives you an opportunity to de-stress if you let it.

Creativity can be an uneasy concept if you don't see yourself as a creative person. The truth is we all have our own brand of creativity and it doesn't have to be about artistry. Every time you do something in your own way, put a little of your personal flare in it, or think up a different spin on how to do something, you're using your natural creativity. If you don't recognize your creativity, then think of it as simply having fun in a spontaneous or unpressured way.

So, playful and expressive Venus is here to help you explore new ways to discover and express your personal creative nature. Being in Gemini, and being in trine aspect to Mars and Saturn in Aquarius, this can work well in the realm of the Air element: thoughts, ideas, self-expression, communication, gathering information, and letting your mind explore and connect the dots.

You could read a book. Or write a book! Write poetry. Follow an idea down the Internet "rabbit hole" to see how far you can go with it. (Just remember that there's a lot of misinformation out there, so a little scepticism is good to keep in mind.) Or you could rearrange your bookshelf according to topic, book height, book thickness, alphabetized by author, colour, or any other way that makes sense or sounds like a fun thing to do.

You get the idea. Find ways to express, explore and nurture your sense of love for yourself, for your loved ones, for humanity, for life. Even if you don't often feel it. Remember, love is a choice, so choose it. Even if it's for just a few minutes a day.

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine
Bring me a higher love!
~ Steve Winwood and Will Jennings, Higher Love

And what if you're feeling anything but creative or upbeat or hopeful or loving? A lot of us are not these days. We just want to crawl under the covers and say, "Wake me when it's over." A stressed-out Venus is a sad, discouraged creature, so it's a powerful resource to discover how to tune into the best potential about your Venus energy. Right now, Venus is sesqui-quadrate to the Moon and semi-square to the Sun (135° and 45°, respectively). These stressful aspects are cousins to the conflict-oriented family of square aspects (90°).

Venus and the Sun are in a prolonged semi-square aspect from late February until mid-April. (See the New Moon in Aries article for more about this). So, we've been living with this energy for about 6 weeks and for about another week. This has manifested in the growing need for social distancing around the world, as well as needing to find alternative ways to feel a close connection with others.

Now, the Venus-Sun semi-square is a key feature of the Libra Full Moon, so it is brought into clearer focus. You might be feeling the struggle of social disruption more vividly now, but hopefully you will find that the struggle is starting to normalize somewhat as you find your comfort zone in how to connect in new ways.

Hard Wedge aspect pattern

Together, Venus, Moon and Sun form an aspect pattern that I call a Hard Wedge, which can create frustration, irritation and a prickly sense of dis-ease. When the Full Moon is in an edgy relationship to its planetary ruler, its energy is at odds with itself. It can accentuate the difficult qualities of the Full Moon sign—Libra in this case—and push our energy into being ungrounded and uncentered.

Libra is all about relationships and interaction. It's our interpersonal connection with the world, one person at a time. Libra represents our human need for mirroring. We see ourselves through the eyes of The Other, which is a complex dynamic. It's not easy to be an independent, separate person when in Libra's territory. It's tempting to take too personally the opinions and behaviour of those around us. On the other hand, it is that reflection principle that is an important part of how we come to know and understand who we are. So, it's a bit of a contradiction in Libra.

If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you've not been alone much,
or if when you were, you weren't okay with it,
then just wait.
You'll find it's fine to be alone once you're embracing it.
~ How to Be Alone – poem by Tanya Davis, video by Andrea Dorfman.

During this pandemic, we are called upon to love ourselves enough to keep ourselves safe, as well as doing our part to help keep others safe as well. At one level, this is about civic duty as a member of society. But at a higher level, this is about practicing love. And that puts us squarely in Libra's territory, even if we are challenged to do it in a different way than we usually do.

Ironically, the best way we can love each other is to stay away – at least 6 feet or 2 meters. This can feel counterintuitive, especially at a time when distance and separation might feel exactly wrong to the emotional part of us that needs reassurance and connection.

In the few times I've gone out in the last several weeks, I've noticed that when passing a stranger on the sidewalk, they typically avoid eye contact – as if that might transmit the virus, or perhaps fearful that I might think they're not distant enough. We're all living with a stressed-out Venus right now. And it's made harder because we tend to associate physical closeness with acceptance and connection, while physical distance is equated with rejection and disapproval.

This is a time that requires physical distancing, not emotional distancing. The term "social distancing" was an unfortunate one to choose, and many places are trying to change the term to the more accurate "physical distancing." Either way, our challenge is to unlearn those cultural assumptions so that we don't feel compelled to take it personally. And that involves relearning what it means to be connected and what that looks like.

This is the paradox of the Hard Wedge in the Full Moon chart. It can bring a go-away-come-closer kind of dynamic that can be disorienting and frustrating. And the Libra quest for balance and peace becomes easily disrupted as we must rethink how to do things we used to take for granted, like rubbing our eyes or touching our faces without thoroughly washing our hands first.

It requires us to be as mindful as possible, which means we need to be clear about the priorities. We might feel the need for a literally, physically close connection, but this could also put everyone concerned at risk. On the other hand, being mindful and vigilant to the max can become obsessive and absurd. (Check out the video for a chuckle.) Again, Libra is looking to find that just-right middle ground that will focus the need for vigilance without overdoing it or underdoing it.

Another cultural assumption is that we often equate being alone with being lonely. We may take it personally, as if the Universe has turned its back on us and pronounced us unlikeable, unlovable, or unworthy. And that hurts. Many of us have never really learned how to be alone without it feeling like a punishment.

Even if you live alone by preference, the mandatory seclusion we're in may become too much of a good thing. If you're not a fan of living alone, the echo of an empty home can push a lot of anxiety or depression buttons related to low self-esteem or alienation. And if you live with someone else, there may be times when you're about to climb the walls and swing from the curtain rod.

So, it's vital that you find things to do that nurture the best in you and help you feel good about yourself and about life. Embrace Venus in fresh ways to love yourself, love others and love life, even—especially—in hard times. Choose to step out of your usual routine in ways that inspire or activate your curiosity, and that allow you to see the world in a new way.

This is a time when it really helps to learn how to be alone in a positive way. For some beautiful advice about how to be alone,

Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.
~ Mike Norton, White Mountain

Little Eye aspect pattern

The energy in the Full Moon chart that you are tapping into here is an aspect pattern that Huber astrology calls a Little Eye or Little Ear – in this case, Venus sextile Chiron, and both are semi-sextile Uranus. The apex planet—Uranus in this case—is very sensitive and picks up ideas, energy and insight through the other planets.

So, the quest for social healing in the Venus-Chiron sextile can be helped through Uranian ideas – doing something completely different, looking at things from a fresh perspective, and taking a detached, broad view of the situation. Uranus is also connected to groups, like friends and associates, so brainstorming with others could be a good resource for all concerned.

Mercury in Pisces, still conjunct Neptune (exact Apr.03), and their combined energy is sent Special Delivery to Venus in Mercury's sign of Gemini. On the positive side, this can amplify your creative imagination and open up some inspired reflection about life. If you're trying to move your frame of mind to a broader or higher perspective, Neptune is elated to be of service. For best results, use the Mercury-Neptune to envision your highest intentions and ways to rise above fear, anxiety, hopelessness and pessimism.

On the other hand, Mercury-Neptune can also take a negative or depressed state of mind and make it much easier to get lost in it. In addition, Neptune is also associated with deception and Mercury with trickery. This is a time to be extra careful and cautious about products that claim to be protective, while the seller might be being deliberately deceptive or misleading. The peer-reviewed science may or may not support these claims.

That said, there's a difference between saying "there's no evidence to support this" (which we hear a lot) versus "the evidence shows this is not reliable." The bottom line is: if you want to try something unconventional to protect yourself, it's best to do this ALONG WITH conventional recommendations (social distancing, washing with soap and water, etc), but not instead of.

Neptune's imagination factor can also make it easier to jump to premature or untested conclusions. In an atmosphere that combines the unknown with medical danger, there are a lot of theories and assumptions running wild. Some might have some truth to them, but we won't know this for a long time yet. Others are likely being spread by Internet trolls whose only purpose is the equivalent of setting off firecrackers in a crowd and watching with amusement as everyone scatters in all directions.

It's good to keep one foot on the objective ground while letting your mind explore new ideas. Libra needs balance, so it's good to avoid becoming too entrenched in the worst-case-scenario. In the same way, it's best to avoid soaring into the stratosphere of imagine while assuming that just because a cloud looks like a duck it therefore must be an actual duck. The watchwords here are scientific objectivity, caution, and investigate.

Mini-Trine aspect pattern

And finally, the good news is that Venus continues to send some love to Mars (March 19 to May 10). From April 3-17, they both send some sextile-support to Chiron, and together they form a Mini-Trine aspect pattern that peaks at just 1½° on April 10. Mars conjoined Saturn on March 31, and until around April 12 Saturn is part of this team effort. Once the Chiron Mini-Trine has reached its peak, the stethoscope is passed to Mercury who creates his own Mini-Trine from April 11-22, peaking on April 18.

These two aspect figures have been in effect as the world has attempted to move heaven and earth to stabilize and ultimately contain the spread of COVID-19. The Mini-Trine consists of all sextiles and trines (60° and 120°) – cooperative and creative energy, and this has supported our global attempts to facilitate changes in our social habits in a positive, consistent and healing way.

These aspect figures have offered an opportunity to soften and stabilize our reactions to these difficult but necessary changes – first in the name of healing (Chiron) and now in the name of shifting our mindset and understanding (Mercury).

I don't just wish you rain, Beloved - I wish you the beauty of storms...
~ John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

We have indeed seen devastating loss, fear and uncertainty throughout the world since December 2019. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction has left an indelible mark on history and the ripple effects still continue.

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And yet, notwithstanding the tragedy of our times, there are some unique, positive things that are emerging through this ordeal. This burst of creative energy is one. Expanding our experience and understanding of what it means to be connected to each other is another. Seeing vividly just how interdependent we all are on this little planet of ours, will hopefully develop into an increasingly cooperative effort in terms of how we take care of it and each other.

There are 3 major planetary cycles that are currently coming to an end and beginning anew. Saturn conjunct Pluto (Jan.12), Jupiter conjunct Pluto (Apr.04, Jun.30, Nov.12), and Jupiter conjunct Saturn (Dec.21). These are like giant ship propellers churning up the water and turning the ship gradually in a new direction. The turmoil we are seeing is inevitable during times of great change.

This is a time when it's crucial that you keep bringing yourself back to your best self. Keep reaching for the loving part of you that knows how to find peace and balance amid the chaos and uncertainty. It's important to acknowledge "negative" feelings, but make a point of also touching base with some "positive" ones too. Keep some faith in hope, and know that the best hope comes out of doing what needs to be done.

Love each other in whatever way you can. Give yourself lots of love, too. Have faith in yourself that you can get through this. We will get through this – a little differently than we otherwise would, but we'll get there.

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create,
to overcome, to endure, to transform,
to love and to be greater than our suffering.
~ Ben Okri

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Apr.08 – Mars sextile Chiron (06:11 of Aquariuis/Aries)  (Apr.09 in AU)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.

Apr.09 – Venus enters the Shadow (05:20 of Gemini; in Shadow until Jul.29)  (Apr.10 in AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about the Shadow.)

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.

Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Apr.10 – Venus sextile Chiron (06:19 of Gemini/Aries)  (Apr.11 in UK, AU)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Apr.11-22 – Mini-Trine aspect pattern (closest Apr.18)

For almost 2 months, from March 19 to May 10, Venus and Mars travel in a prolonged trine aspect (120°). However, they never reach exact. This is because just as Venus catches up within a degree of the exact trine (Apr.18), she starts to slow down to prepare for her retrograde cycle and Mars moves on without her. (Venus' whole cycle begins Mar.22 until Aug.19, while the actual retrograde period is May 13 to June 25).

The Venus-Mars trine invites us to act on our desires and bring more pleasure and comfort into our lives, while finding more cooperative and diplomatic ways to express aggression, hostility and frustration. They start their trine journey in Earth signs (Mars in Capricorn, Venus in Taurus) where both are strongly dignified (Mars exalted, Venus in rulership). This makes it easier (and more likely) to make things happen in a concrete, physical way. For example, it can be a good time to pamper yourself with sensual delights—massage, chocolate, scents, music—and to soften harsh energy by combining it with beauty and love in whatever you do.

By April 3, Venus and Mars—still trine—are both in Air signs (Mars in Aquarius, Venus in Gemini) and leaning more toward interaction, ideas and communication. It should be a good energy for mentally creative projects, learning, writing or gathering information. The trine moves out of its 6° orb on May 10, just before Mars enters Pisces and Venus turns retrograde (both May.13).

Mini-Trine aspect pattern

In the middle of the Venus-Mars trine, during April 11-22, Mercury joins the fun to form what I call a Mini-Trine aspect pattern, where Mercury makes sextile aspects (60°) to both of them, forming a triangle shape. A Mini-Trine aspect pattern combines an easy-going trine aspect (120° - Venus and Mars, in this case) with two potentially creative sextile aspects (60° - to Mercury).

The Mini-Trine often brings opportunities that—if you act on them and take advantage of the energy—can help you herd your ducks into a conveniently neat and productive row (so to speak). This particular aspect figure involves the three planets that are the building blocks of our conscious perception and interaction with the world: Mercury (thoughts, ideas, communication), Venus (love, affection, values, comfort) and Mars (desire, assertiveness, making things happen). These combined energies provide the means to function in the world on a day-to-day basis—perception, interaction and action. If you're involved in a bigger project or ambition, they help

This Mini-Trine is in Air (Venus in Gemini, Mars in Aquarius) and Fire signs (Mercury in Aries), so the creativity moves most easily in the areas of passionate communication, flashes of insight, and spontaneous reactions based on quick perceptions. These cerebral impulses may or may not be accurate if you take the time to do a reality check on them, but the urge may well be to act on the belief that they are.

This configuration involves so-called "easy" aspects, so it's possible its effect could go somewhat unnoticed other than a relaxed feeling of ease or mental liberation. You might find it's just easier to go with your first take on a situation, and it's frustrating to slow down long enough to take the context or other factors into account. These energies seem to suggest that your spontaneous intuition can give you valuable information, but it's also good to consider other possibilities before jumping to a final conclusion.

Apr.11 – Mercury enters Aries (until Apr.27)  (Apr.10 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

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.11 – Mercury sextile Saturn (01:16 of Aries/Aquarius)  (Apr.12 in UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's 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 ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Apr.12 – Mercury square North Lunar Node (01:37 of Aries/Cancer)  (Apr.11 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Under this transit, you might find you need to, or are compelled to, change your mind about where you are heading in your life. You could be confronted with facts or information that contradicts what you thought was real or true about your sense of life purpose, or it might seem like someone is getting in your way. You may be tempted to dismiss this, deny it, avoid it or rationalize your way around it. However, there is probably valuable information coming to you that is important to take into consideration. It doesn't necessarily mean your life destination should be abandoned; rather, you are challenged to see it more clearly. You might also need to communicate information or a point of view that could be unwelcome or unpopular, or difficult to get your point across. In that case, try not to go overboard in standing your ground and focus primarily on what needs to be said and the best way to say it.

Apr.12 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (01:45 to 21:21 Capricorn; OOB for about 1½ days, until Apr.14)  (Apr.13 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may be a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a little separated from the world around you, and as a result you might feel a bit lonely or in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the Bounds. In 2020, the Moon's maximum declination finally goes beyond the Bounds in March, for the first time since 2011, and will continue to go OOB until January 2030. For now, the Moon's maximum declination increases very gradually each month, and only gets to 24:52 by December 2020 (compared to her maximum declination of 28:34, which she'll reach in 2025). So, in 2020 the Moon is only a little OOB and this energy might not be very noticeable until around September. If you have the Moon or other planets OOB in your natal chart, you might be more sensitive to this energy.

Apr.14 – Sun square Pluto (24:57 of Aries/Capricorn)

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.


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Apr.15 – Mercury conjunct Chiron (06:33 of Aries)  (Apr.14 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

Words can wound, but they can also heal. This transit may bring new awareness of the ways that you need to heal...and perhaps also the ways that you wound yourself or others, especially through thoughts, words and attitudes. You might become aware of harming yourself through negative self-talk or harsh self-criticism. Or, you might expect rigid perfection of yourself and forget that you are a multi-dimensional being who is, by your human nature, inconsistent and fallible. Your mental focus or attitude might have a sharp edge to it that is harsh, or you may encounter harsh attitudes from someone else that are hurtful, perhaps without meaning to be. Words and thoughts can be powerful tools. By reframing the message or situation in a different way, it is possible to turn hurt into healing and ignorance into wisdom. For example, it may help to eliminate either-or thinking by accepting that paradoxes and contradictions exist and may not have to be fully resolved for you to find a workable balance within them. By adopting a bit of a philosophical attitude, you may find it takes some of the pressure off the need for everything to fit together perfectly, which can leave some breathing room for everyone involved to be human.

Apr.15 – Sun square Jupiter (25:56 of Aries/Capricorn)

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

Apr.18 – Mercury sextile Venus (11:47 of Aries/Gemini)  (Apr.17 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

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.

This is the closest time for the Mini-Trine aspect pattern between Mercury, Venus and Mars. See Apr.13 above for more information.

Apr.18 – Mercury sextile Mars (13:26 of Aries/Aquarius)  (Apr.19 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

This is the closest time for the Mini-Trine aspect pattern between Mercury, Venus and Mars. See Apr.13 above for more information.

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.20 – Sun sextile North Lunar Node (01:04 of Taurus/Cancer)  (Apr.21 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This can be a feel-good time when you feel like you're on your game. Your sense of purpose and direction feel like they're flowing just right. Opportunities may present themselves and you are in a good position to recognize them and know how to make them work to your advantage. Even if you encounter difficulties, you are likely to be more confident in approaching them and therefore better able to find effective solutions. Pay attention to people who cross your path for 2-3 days around this time, since they could offer resources, support or connections that could be helpful. Just be careful that you don't resort to manipulation to make things happy your way. If you have to force something to work then maybe there's a better solution.

Apr.21 – Sun square Saturn (01:38 of Taurus/Aquarius)  (Apr.20 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

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

Available by February 11, 2021.

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