The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Aries, April 11, 2021

Chart for the New Moon in Aries
Chart for the New Moon in Aries ~ 11 April 2021

New Moon in Aries
How Do We Change?

All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown
The moon rolls through the nighttime
Till the daybreak comes around
All my life’s a circle, but I can’t tell you why
Seasons spinning ‘round again,
The years keep rolling by.
~ Harry Chapin

Apr. 11 ~ NEW MOON IN ARIES (22:24 Aries)

The first of anything implies change. In Western astrology, Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. Something that is "first" indicates a yesterday that is no more and a tomorrow that will follow from whatever is done today.

In addition, a New Moon begins another Sun-Moon cycle, so it too involves change that lets go of the old as it steps toward the new. Therefore, a New Moon in Aries is a double whammy signifying a fresh beginning that can lead to further change.

So, how do we get from the old to the new? From yesterday to tomorrow? From what we once thought we knew to the awakening of fresh ideas, perspectives and understanding?

We don't always let go of yesterday gladly, and we sometimes fight to keep it from changing. We tend to prefer the familiar, and we don't always welcome tomorrow with its strange, unknown ways. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't," as the saying goes.

So, by what process can we, do we, transition from what was to what may be? In other words: how do we change?

The smallest spark can become the greatest light.
~ George E. Miller

Archetypally, Aries begins a new cycle in the element of Fire, via the Cardinal modality. Part of Fire's function is to break free of whatever was holding it back. Like the spark from which a bonfire is born, Fire jump-starts whatever it touches. In the extreme, it's like a flame-thrower blasting away whatever is obstructing its path.

Cardinal energy seeks a purpose, a direction, a destination, a reason. It yearns to create something new, something more, and it starts the process that will develop into something greater.

Together, Cardinal+Fire is the life force bursting out from the womb that sustained its gestation. After being held back, suppressed, nurtured and/or protected, it is now ready to emerge as something in its own right.

The birth process has begun.

That said, the force required to bring something new into being is substantial. They don't call it labour for nothing! Either you're running around trying to keep up with the momentum, or you're hanging on for dear life trying to ride the blast as far as it will take you.

One thing to remember is that this is just the impetus, the spark that gets you going. It takes another kind of energy to sustain you to get to where you're trying to go (Fixed). At the moment, it's like you've turned the key, started the engine and stepped on the gas. Later, it will then take fuel, maps, a reliable mechanic, and driving skills to keep you going to your destination.

So for now, we're at the beginning, at the point where things start to change from what they were into something else. We're still in the burst of inspiration that motivates you to pursue something new. Alternatively, you may not be consciously initiating the change, and here you are with your mouth gaping in surprise or excitement or shock or foreboding, as you witness the world shifting around you.

The change may be something you want and are hoping for, or it might be something that erupts rudely in your way, interrupting your present momentum. It could be something you know needs to be done some day, and suddenly someday is here; it can't be put off any longer. Or, it may be something you've been resisting, avoiding, dreading, denying or rejecting, but inevitably you must turn and face it.

So, keep your eyes open. Whatever it is, it's here. The time is now.

Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.
~ Roy T. Bennett

The chart of the New Moon in Aries reveals a powerful, dramatic, and potentially volatile yet complex energy that kicks off this new beginning. There are 5—count 'em, five planets in Aries!. You're about to get a year's supply of Cardinal and Fire energy with this New Moon! And just in case it's not warm enough for you, you can add dwarf planets Ceres and Eris, and a some asteroids to that Aries bonfire.

The High Fire energy ignites an atmosphere of activation, invigoration, motivation, animation, restlessness, and very likely a shorter fuse on your temper. It can bring enthusiasm and excitement, or upset and disruption, or just a kick in the pants to get you up off the couch.

The High Cardinal energy inspires the drive to channel all that Fire energy into a focused project or a goal or some other objective (as opposed to just immersing yourself in it for its own sake). It pushes us to get focused and take the first step, then next step.

The quintessential Fire planet, the Sun, is exalted in Aries, which brings extra sizzle to the Sun's enthusiastic, radiant life force. This placement can be strong, courageous, confident, playful and adventurous, and sometimes defiant, demanding, self-absorbed, ambitious or reckless.

Mercury in Aries delivers lively thoughts, impulsive self-expression, and a quick wit. It's a great energy to write or speak spontaneously, off the cuff, to get over the hump of inhibitions. On the other hand if you if you need to say something sensitive or controversial, impulsively blurting it out might not be the best idea, so consider preparing what you want to say and how best to say it ahead of time.

Chiron is also in Aries, from 2018 to 2026. This placement might be called the Wounded Warrior. It is ultimately about finding the courage to heal our wounds, not by vanquishing the hurting part of ourselves (or others), but through acceptance of our vulnerability. Ironically, this can lead to increased strength that doesn't sabotage itself in the name of shame, self-doubt or fear.

We are The Highwomen
Singing stories still untold
We carry the sons you can only hold
We are the daughters of the silent generations
You sent our hearts to die alone in foreign nations
It may return to us as tiny drops of rain
But we will still remain
And we'll come back again and again and again...
~ We Are the Highwomen, lyrics by Amanda Rose Shires, Brandi Carlile (based on 'I Was a Highwayman' by Jimmy Webb)

Aries, ruled by Mars, represents the archetypal masculine or Yang energy. Five planets in Aries seems to overwhelm the New Moon with this energy, and yet there is also a distinctly feminine presence here that cannot be denied. Check out all the archetypally feminine planets, all in Aries.

The Moon, of course, is in Aries which heats up our feelings and emotions with a love of excitement, directness and valour. On the other hand, if you need to feel safe, protected or hidden from harm, this energy might feel a bit jarring or abrupt. It can push you to find your assertive courage at a time when you'd rather curl up under the covers.

Venus is in detriment in Aries, meaning it's an uphill battle to bring out her classic qualities of diplomacy, harmony and discretion. Instead, Venus tends to display her passionate, assertive, spontaneous, independent, adventurous side.

Eris in Aries began from 1922-1927 and she continues there until transitioning into Taurus in 2044-2048. Mythically and astrologically, goddess Eris loves to "stir the pot" and see what kind of mischief she can inspire. Hers is a sharp-edged kind of justice that seeks to provoke the camouflaged, deep issues into visibility, often resulting in a rather chaotic outcome.

Ceres in Aries ...rhymes! (Okay be serious.) This Earth Mother goddess (Demeter in the Greek pantheon) can be confident, playful, active, determined and independent in this sign. She is conjunct Mercury, Sun and Moon, bestowing the urge to nurture ourselves and others by speaking our truth, acting on instinct, listening to our impulses, and mustering the courage to authentically be ourselves.

Adding to the feminine presence in the chart, the asteroid Persephone is also in Aries and exactly conjunct Venus. In mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Demeter/Ceres. For half a year Persephone resides in the Underworld with Hades/Pluto. During that time agricultural goddess Demeter mourns the separation by refusing to allow anything to grow until her daughter returns to her for the other half—which we call winter. In the New Moon chart, having Persephone and Demeter/Ceres in conjunction suggests a reunification or rejuvenation of the feminine-receptive-bonding principle.

This is an extensive alignment in Aries of the Lights (Sun and Moon), planets, dwarf planets, asteroids and miscellaneous bits of space dust. Together, the 8 bodies mentioned not only compose a Stellium (multiple planets in the same sign), they also create a kind of Rolling Conjunction.

In other words, even though Chiron at one end (9°) and Venus at the other end (26°) are too far apart (17°) to be conjunct directly, the planets between them form a bridge that connects them (a mechanism called Translation of Light). Everyone in the group is conjunct everyone else, regardless of the orb separating them.

And in this configuration, it is Yin or feminine energy that predominates in a quintessentially Yang or masculine sign. It suggests either a diverse yet harmonious balance of Yin and Yang energies, or it might be experienced as a struggle between them in a fight for dominance.

Either way, move over boys. The girls are here!

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~ T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

Other planets in the chart provide cooperation or conflict that fortify or shape the process of change. Let's start with Mars, the planetary ruler of the Aries New Moon and Stellium, and therefore a very key component. Mars is currently Out of Bounds by declination (March 21 to May 24), which can break down the natural boundaries around Mars' volatile energy.

There seems to be an increase in violent events in the news since Mars went OOB, which is often the case. To channel the OOB energy, it helps to convert anger, defiance, fear or restlessness into a more Saturn-friendly format where it can be channelled into productivity, creativity, originality or innovation. Since Mars is in Gemini, this could be applied to outside-the-box observation, perception and thought.

Mars is tightly sextile aspect to the Sun, Moon and Venus (60°). Mars sends Gemini letters home to the planets in his sign, reminding them that it's possible to think things through instead of just bluntly taking action. In fact, Mercury and Mars are in Mutual Reception, meaning each is in a sign that the other rules (Mercury in Aries, Mars in Gemini). This can indicate a mutually supportive connection that enhances the value of taking action based on clear thought, quick intuition, and speaking your truth without inhibition.

BUT—cautious Saturn in sextile to cerebral Mercury will say it's usually better to think before you speak, lest you blurt out something you might regret later. Saturn reminds us that it's more effective to consider the Big Picture, rather than simply acting in the moment. To manifest lasting change, it helps to keep the long-term implications in mind and to be aware of what your actions are contributing to the situation.

Mini-Trine aspect pattern

Inspirational Jupiter in Aquarius is also sextile the Sun, Moon and Venus, offering visions of the greater good that could be had if you're willing to be supported by faith throughout the change process.

Jupiter also trines Mars, and together with the Sun, Moon and Venus, they form a Mini-Trine aspect pattern. When you speak to the highest vision of what you want to accomplish, and focus your mind through awareness and intention, seeds may be planted that can blossom into a new landscape. A cooperative effort involving patience, faith, confidence and action can help you make this happen.

On the other hand, Mars is square Neptune which may complicate or blur the focus of this process. You could be filled with inspiration. You can see the path ahead so clearly you can smell the breeze. But then you take a few steps and lose your focus. What happened? It was there! It's possible you got lost in the vision and tried to capture too big an idea, only to find it's not substantial enough yet. Further developed of the idea is needed, so when you went to grab it, it burst like a bubble and dissipated into mist.

That's okay, though. Now you've seen that the potential is there. It will take time, patience and work to sharpen it into greater clarity. These qualities are not exactly Aries' strong suit, but that's okay too. Aries doesn't have to do everything – that's what the other 11 signs are for. ;-) Manifesting an exalted, passionate visions requires a long-term project.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation,
unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
~ Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Pluto. You just knew Pluto was going to show up soon or later...

Pluto is square Eris (90°). These two have been locked in mortal combat since January 2020 at the first of 5 exact passes of their square aspect (90°). These square passes continue until the end of 2022, although they hiss and spit at each other for a few years before and after. These two have overseen some intense social upheaval in the last several years, and this isn't about to finish anytime soon. This is a long-term process of fundamental change that must be played out, one complex step at a time.

Pluto square Sun, Moon, Venus

In the New Moon chart, Pluto is precisely square Venus and closely square the Sun and Moon.. Just when you start to get in the zone of all those uplifting sextiles, along comes Pluto to remind you that the whole of life is more serious and consequential than Aries can handle on its own. True transformation doesn't happen in an instant of change, even though changing something in the moment can alter the direction of the momentum.

It's interesting (and concerning) to note that the New Moon is in the exact degree to square last year's Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (Jan. 12, 2000, at 22:46) and the final Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (Nov. 12, 2020, at 22:51). This transit could possibly reactivate some of the issues that arose during the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunctions of 2020. Examples might include: COVID-19, racism, abuse of authority, police brutality, and protests (violent or otherwise).

Mars passed through Aries in August-December 2020, squaring Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. During that time we saw another spike in COVID cases in many places around the world. There have been 3 or more planets in Aries since mid-March, which squares Pluto by sign (if not by degree). Since late February, the global number of COVID cases have been rising sharply. I don't imagine that a New Moon squaring Pluto will calm it down much, so this is a time to be extra careful about wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, and staying at home when you can.

Graph of COVID cases worldwide up to April 2021
Graph of weekly COVID-19 cases worldwide, January 2020 to April 2021 (from WHO)

That said, the more constructive side of the Pluto square aspect is that it reveals stuff that is dysfunctional, toxic, corrupt, buried or latent. Not exactly a consolation prize for a difficult transit, but it does have its uses.

In the case of the Aries New Moon, Pluto seems to indicate that the changes you make now could have—and perhaps should have—far-reaching implications. You might find that something in the current situation is pushing some emotional buttons that are buried quite deep in your unconscious. For example, you might experience a struggle around embracing your masculine or feminine energy. One possibility is that the already-dominant side of you doesn't want to relinquish or share the space in your psyche. If so, this dynamic might get played out in your interactions with people who express the gender energy that you are reluctant to own.

How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?
How can I go forward when I don't know which way to turn?
How can we go forward into something we're not sure of?
~ John Lennon, How?

At the basis of the Aries theme is the question: what do you really want?

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You are being challenged to develop a greater mastery over your instincts, assertiveness, anger, drive and/or impulses. On one hand, you may be seized by an intense inspiration of what could be, while on the other hand it may be a bit intimidating to realize the degree of change that you must set in motion to accomplish it.

What do you really want? And what is in your way? It's likely to be something at least partly inside of you more than entirely outside of you. Is there something you don't want to change, which is holding you back? Not everything must be (or should be) sacrificed in order to go with change, but if you're stuck between not wanting to let go and not wanting to stay the same, it's possible there is a deeper issue keeping you paralyzed. This lunar cycle can give an opportunity to find out what that's about.

If you are faced with change—welcome or not—it suggests something has risen up from your unconscious. You may be ready for the change, or ready to tackle the controversy and complexity of the issues involved. One way or another, you are faced with a challenge—big or small—that involves approaching the situation in a new way.

Your biggest enemy may be self-doubt: "What if I'm wrong?" And it's a valid question to ask. No one is ever 100% guaranteed to be right, if only because we can't control everything in a situation. And it's only human to make mistakes. So by all means, ask the question and listen for answers from the Universe – just don't let it paralyze you.

Your second-biggest enemy may be never doubting yourself. Confidence is important, but no one is above making mistakes or misjudging. And if success means you have to exert control over the situation, you may be setting yourself up for failure when you become exhausted from having to maintain that control. So, a little humility is a valuable and practical quality.

Using your willpower is important, but brute force is not enough. You can't just force something to change. It also involves your mind, your intentions, your integrity, your vision, your desire, and even your fears. You are faced with an alchemical process of transformation. Your job right now is to take the first step, or the next step.

What do you really want?

To make it happen, you'll need to stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you.

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
~ Anatole France

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Apr. 11 ~ Venus square Pluto (26:44 Aries/Capricorn)  (Apr. 12 in ADT, NDT, BST, AEST)

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

Apr. 13 ~ Sun sextile Mars (24:14 Aries/Gemini)  (Apr. 14 in BST, AEST)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Apr. 14 ~ Venus enters Taurus (until 08-May-2021)  (Apr. 15 in AEST)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)

Apr. 15 ~ Sun sextile Jupiter (25:56 Aries/Aquarius)  (Apr. 16 in AEST)

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

Apr. 16 ~ Sun square Pluto (26:46 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.

Apr. 16 ~ Moon goes Out of Bounds (17:43 Gemini)  (Apr. 17 in AEST)

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may move in a different kind of rhythm. One possible effect is that you might feel more disconnected from the world around you; perhaps a bit alone, lonely or isolated. Or, this could be a welcome change where you can let the stresses of the world roll off your back more easily. Or, your emotions could be a bit erratic, extreme or harder to contain. The common thread through these diverse experiences is that your feeling state may reach beyond your usual range of feelings. If you're an artist, musician, writer or other creative person, this can be a very inspiring time as your creativity and imagination could more easily flow into 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." The Moon goes OOB twice a month for about 8-9 years at a time (and remains In-Bounds for about 8-9 years in between). Currently the Moon's declination is able to go beyond 23:26 from March 2020 to January 2030, peaking at a maximum declination of 28:42 in September 2025 (called the Maximum Lunar Standstill).

So for now, as the maximum declination of the Moon increases from month to month, so will the strength of the OOB effects. Watch to see how you respond to these times. You can work on finding ways to channel this energy into positive, productive, creative experiences, or use it as an opportunity to take another step in your emotional healing.

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Apr. 17 ~ Mars trine Jupiter (26:12 Gemini/Aquarius)  (Apr. 16 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

Energy, assertiveness, aggression and sexuality are amplified during this time. Physical, mental and emotional energy can run high. Your motivation can take on an air of confidence and purpose. If you normally shrink back from asserting yourself, this can be a time when it's a bit easier to find the courage to take a stand. It can also make you more sensitive to this amplified energy in others around you. If you are distressed by Mars energy in general (afraid of anger, intimidated by aggression, cautious about sexuality, etc.), this transit might bring a bit more of it than you can comfortably handle. However, it can also give you an opportunity to experience and make friends with this energy. If you typically enjoy high energy, this can be a time when you can make progress with plans and projects, and have flirtatious or impish fun along the way.

Apr. 17 ~ Mercury sextile Jupiter (26:16 Aries/Aquarius)  (Apr. 18 in AEST)

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

Apr. 17 ~ Mercury sextile Mars (26:33 Aries/Gemini)  (Apr. 18 in AEST)

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.

Apr. 17 ~ Mercury square Pluto (26:47 Aries/Capricorn)  (Apr. 18 in AEST)

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. 18 ~ Sun conjunct Mercury (29:14 Aries)  (Apr. 19 in BST, AEST)

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.

The peak of Mercury conjunct the Sun is when it is Cazimi, which means being exact within 17 minutes of arc. For the few hours that this takes place, a Cazimi planet is said to be very strong. In the case of Mercury, your perceptions, awareness, thoughts and ability to put your thoughts into words may be unusually clear, focused or direct – even more-so since this happens in Mercury's sign of Gemini. You are still cautioned that an extra sharp wit might still be used with negative consequences, intentionally or not.

Apr. 19 ~ Mercury enters Taurus (until 03-May-2021)

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. 19 ~ Sun enters Taurus (until 20-May-2021)  (Apr. 20 in AEST)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Taurus! This is a time when we all get in touch with the part of us that wants things tangible, practical, plentiful and pleasurable! Taurus is also connected to money, finances, possessions and resources of all kinds, so this is also a time to take stock of what you HAVE in your life – literally and figuratively. Take some time to examine your values. What people, things or principles are worth spending your time, effort, energy or money? It's also an opportunity to explore how separate or enmeshed your sense of self is from your possessions. Do you think less of yourself if you can't surround yourself with wealth? What forms of abundance and blessings are in your life, and are you consciously grateful for them or do you take them for granted? Use this Taurus energy to approach goals in a methodical way, appreciate your blessings, and understand life at its most concrete, basic level. This might sound about as exciting as watching the grass grow, but the Taurus way is to slow things down enough that you can experience and take pleasure in the simple things, in the Here and Now. Enjoy it!

Apr. 20 ~ Moon comes In-Bounds (03:00 Leo)

The Moon comes back In-Bounds (In-B) today. When the Moon is Out of Bounds (OOB) your emotional state may be a bit erratic, detached or isolated. This could be either a welcome change or a difficult energy for you to deal with. When the Moon comes In-Bounds, you typically return to whatever your "normal" is. If your OOB journey was stressful or intense, you may find some relief now that the Moon is back In-B and/or you are in a position to integrate into your life whatever you learned from your experience. If your OOB journey felt like a welcome reprieve from the everyday stress or "noise" of the world around you, coming back In-B will hopefully give you a fresh start, like coming back from a brief vacation. The Moon will go OOB next in about 2 weeks, give or take a couple/few days.

Apr. 22 ~ Venus conjunct Uranus (10:13 Taurus)  (Apr. 23 in BST, AEST)

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

Apr. 23 ~ Mars enters Cancer (until 11-Jun-2021)

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

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Apr. 24 ~ Mercury conjunct Uranus (10:18 Taurus)  (Apr. 23 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

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. 25 ~ Venus square Saturn (12:52 Taurus/Aquarius)  (Apr. 24 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.

Apr. 25 ~ Mercury square Saturn (12:53 Taurus/Aquarius)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.

Apr. 25 ~ Mercury conjunct Venus (13:47 Taurus)  (Apr. 26 in AEST)

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

Available by April 26, 2021.

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