Transformational Astrology

April 2011

by Henry Seltzer

The Astrology of April focuses on Mercury in retrograde, an Aries lineup as the month takes off and also once again the outer planets: Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Mercury is in retrograde all month long, when you count the shadow period – the time when it is still catching up to the Zodiacal degree where it began to go backward – so we might expect the usual symptoms of missed communications and false starts. This is a particularly powerful Mercury Retrograde, and the times of its most heightened activity are the 9th, 17th and the 23rd. Mercury will be totally free of its shadow by next month, on May 11th or so.

The Aries New Moon, taking place on Sunday, April 3rd, in the beginning weekend of the month, features a long chain of planets in Aries, each feeding off the energies of the others. Mars and Uranus, in the beginning degrees of the sign and in almost exact conjunction, are followed by the Sun and Moon at the 14th degree – a degree with a particularly powerful Sabian Symbol – conjunct Jupiter and directly opposed to Saturn across the Zodiac at the 14th degree of Libra. Finally, in the last decant of Aries, Eris and Mercury are in conjunction. The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is a serpent encircling a man and a woman, representing the process of transcending polarity in conscious evolution, and certainly that is precisely what these climactic times are all about.

Mars conjunct Uranus – and at the beginning of Mars’ own sign of Aries – brings a creative spark of enlightened activity to the fore. It is an exciting time to be alive right now, and also, we must note, a time to temper the headstrong rush of activity with a dose of caution. It is definitely in the cards to go overboard with sudden enthusiasm and accidents are more than possible. Saturn opposed to Jupiter brings in this corrective energy of limitation as a counterweight to the rebellious and forward-going energy represented by Uranus and we do well to heed it during this powerful and climactic month.

Since Saturn, retrograde in Libra and exactly opposed to both the New Moon and Jupiter, is also now in forming square to Pluto, there is a great deal of emphasis on the darker side of limitation. Rick Tarnas, in his ground-breaking astrological study Cosmos and Psyche, refers to Saturn-Pluto as “conservative empowerment.” This can be seen in reaction to the forward-going energy of Uranus in square to Pluto. So we have Uranus newly in Aries – and being given a kick this month by Mars – urging us to go forward, while Saturn holds us back, thereby pulling us in at least two directions at once. The revolutionary energy of Uranus has been prominent for weeks now, as evidenced by the Mid-East protest movement that has toppled at least one prominent dictator so far, and the reaction to that movement.

Now, with Saturn-Pluto, we will be seeing an even greater resurgence of conservative backlash within the collective. In our own lives as well, we will continue to deal with disillusion and loss of faith in ourselves, just as we are also getting a jolt of new energy to go forward and accomplish great things, freeing ourselves from the shackles of the past. We are getting both contrary impulses simultaneously, and this is complicated by Pluto in square to both Saturn and Uranus. We are thus experiencing a final surge of the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square from last summer, with all its potential drama. We win when rather than experiencing defeat we make these difficulties an occasion for learning and growth of character.

Pluto in his turn, stations on April 9th, squared by Mars in Aries, and is therefore very powerful in the midmonth timeframe. This midmonth time is also when Mercury retrograde conjuncts the Sun, and when Neptune enters Pisces for several months leading up to this summer. The entrance of Neptune into Pisces brings his planetary archetype of compassion and selflessness more fully into play. This is an energy that is also idealized in nature, wanting the best for everyone, and perhaps too, an energy somewhat confused by real-world considerations. We will very much need to access the sense of compassionate oneness with all the rest of humankind that Neptune brings. We are all in the same boat, as we are increasingly reminded, and the boat is leaking.

The Full Moon in Libra takes place on Sunday, April 17; along with the Sun and Moon, Mars and Saturn are now opposed, making it difficult to get things done. Retrograde Mercury conjuncts Mars – exact on the very next day. Neptune and Pluto are also powerfully aspected at this time, Neptune by parallel, so the outer planet energies continue to be powerfully invoked. These energies take us literally out of this mundane world. Compassion is with us now, which we need both for ourselves and for others within the pressure cooker of the evolutionary impulse provided by Uranus and Pluto in combination. Their square is well within orb, and draws ever nearer right through the summer. These times are tough now and we need to be even tougher if we are to survive – and to prosper artistically – in the midst of creative chaos.

ARIES (March 20-April 19). It’s all new, Aries. It is an exciting and novel phase that is beginning for you now, taking off with an eccentric burst of energy right from the first weekend of the month. You usually get a boost from the springtime, but this time it’s literally over the top. Partnership with significant others represents a steadying influence for you right now, that serves to balance you out and ground your creativity to your ultimate benefit. Holding back as well as jumping forward is definitely one of the joys of this climactic time period. Surprises lead you into uncharted territory that turns into powerful insight when you pause in your onrushing forward momentum for the briefest instant to look around you and allow your intuition a chance to pay attention.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19).  You have grown tired of the same old rut and yet may have hesitated to jump the tracks, Taurus, until now. There is an important opening this month that propels you into a new way of looking at the world. Ready or not, here it comes, and it includes the best glimpse that you might ever have of your own secret internal workings. Intuition tells you which way it is that you need to go. You are gloriously idealistic now and ready to be of true service to others. You might finally be available for a novel approach combining conscious and unconscious; a sense of freedom and simultaneously a sense of dutiful responsibility.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). You are entering into what is fundamentally an optimistic time period now, Gemini, even though you are also left with a feeling of déjà vu and a sobering reminder that everything is not exactly what it might appear to be on the surface. Let your faith win out and you will be the better for it, even if things do change once you have set your course in any one particular direction. Since your ruler Mercury is retrograde this month it might be best to take a wait and see attitude for eventual outcomes. You have the power now to imagine a future life path that really works for you instead of one that just pretends. This is a marvelous opportunity and not to be missed, even if the devil really is in the details of working it through over the next weeks and months.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) You are going all-out for professional goals right now, Cancer, and mostly winning. There are still many surprise turns of the road and changes in attitude to contend with and things do not simply take their normal course of action, but basically you are forging ahead. While taking it to the top and going all out for what you believe in, and where you feel your greatest contribution lies, you are simultaneously holding back and reconsidering your position. In so doing you connect more fully to your home and family. Midmonth bumpiness starting around April 11th involves a series of trials that also serve you by providing tests of character. Security issues could arise in this context, as you contemplate even more deeply and fully who you really are.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) New horizons beckon, Leo. You are building a bridge to a different universe, and it involves new ways of seeing and of being, not so much of doing. Travel might well be involved but the emphasis is on the novelty of the perspective that is gained thereby. Even your day-to-day communication is more sober and serious and to the point, as you are called into greater conscious service to the surrounding collective. You are presented with not only a vision of the way things are and the way they could be, but of how you might be able to make the crucial difference. You have the lever that you need to move the world closer to your true heart’s desire, now all you need is the place to stand.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is the moment when you are being asked to put the pedal to the metal, Virgo, at least in terms of getting clear on your ultimate vision. No more fooling around with the potential for radical transformation in your life, it’s time to get serious in your commitment to change. You are exploring new ways of being and of grounding your experience with a sense of protection that does not flow from monetary considerations or the expectations of others but instead from a strong sense of your own inner worth. This month is more about the research necessary to rethinking your basis for security along with your creative presence in the world and your approach to intimacy. Next month you take off with it.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is a powerful month for you Libra, and one that is full of changes. You are very fixated on relationship considerations right now, and relationship is rising up to meet you. You are suspicious that there might be a better way of connecting with significant partners, and impatient to find it, even though it might be just a trifle impetuous to do so at this time. With Mercury retrograding through your partnership sector nearly all month long, you are reviewing and rethinking your position, with all the returns not yet in. Still you are more than aware that an important tide is turning, and it is likely to arrive more fully by next mid-month. Ready or not, here it comes, and it sweeps everything before it.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) A sudden change in the cosmic weather has you almost reeling, Scorpio, as you adopt a stronger stance on a helping role. You are going all out for education and ratiocination, and for connecting others up with a pathway forward for yourself that allows you to be of true service to the surrounding collective. Communication with others around you is key. You are jumping ahead of where you were standing only a few short weeks ago, desiring to make your daily existence count for more than a simple paycheck, but you still have much thinking and rethinking of your basic position before you are ready to commit. When you do finally launch, it will involve your deep interior process even more than your outer one.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is a deeply paradoxical month for you, Sagittarius. You have on the one hand a huge opening to better connection with yourself and with others, and the unleashing of all your natural creativity; while on the other something seems to be holding you back from too exuberant a display of personal fireworks. All this is complicated by the Mercury retrograde period that lasts virtually all month long, and which enjoins you to follow up and finish existing projects before launching yourself into new ones, no matter how keen the impulse. You do best to wait until perhaps mid-May to set out upon any brand new endeavors. Your unique individuality is sizzling right now, even so! Holding back can also be ultimately creative, concentrating your energies so that when you do finally release them it will prove to be even more amazing.

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CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) It’s a wild, wild world inside of you these days, Capricorn.  While still continuing to shine at outer world pursuits, you are feeling the queasiness of instability running through your sector of home and family. You are being rocked to the core. Mercury is retrograde in this area of your universe as well, so that you are busy reviewing familial arrangements which will continue to shift as the month wears on. You may be striving to hold on, but change in inevitable, perhaps dramatic and certainly surprising, and part of a larger cycle of transformation that has held you in its grip of tough love for the past year or more. Newfound possibility will eventually work its way into even your professional life, but there is no need to be afraid. Fore-warned is fore-armed.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) New information is coming your way, Aquarius, and whether you are ready for it or not, it is causing quit a stir in your psyche. Communicating your deepest truth to others around you might spur you on to new activity even though you might also be tempted to stay stuck in the mud of outmoded belief systems. With Mercury retrograde in your sector of communications you are also more inner than outer; reflective as opposed to ebullient. Whatever you are not yet ready to give up is in essence holding you back from where you need to be, but the natural caution that you are exhibiting also has its advantages. Sometimes it is better just to watch carefully, and to wait for the opportunity to reveal itself in no uncertain terms.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) You are fumbling your way forward, Pisces, although in fits and starts. There is a torturous winding way that leads you up from where you now dwell to whither you are going and this is the way that you must inevitably traverse. In the current stage of this years-long journey, you are taking off in some very new ways this month. You are like a butterfly escaping the net, and yet you are in such a complex process of transmutation, with so many rotations of the rotisserie, that it will probably be well into the next month of May before you see your safe landing place. When you do, however, you will know it, and know it all the better for all the twists and turns of your arriving.

Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs is available on his website. Holding degrees from MIT and the University of California-San Diego, Henry is a popular speaker and also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.

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