Beliefnet
Astrological Musings

Here’s the introduction, you can read the article in its entirety here.

As April begins, Pluto has just turned retrograde as it does every year, spending about five months in retrograde motion (meaning it appears to move backwards from our perspective here on earth). Pluto is in charge of breaking down old structures that no longer serve us and facilitating their rebuilding, a process that can be difficult and painful or exhilarating and liberating. Pluto is not stressed this year by any significant transits, so overall the process should be easier than most unless Pluto is running over a sensitive point in your own chart.

(Many of the baby boomer generation with Pluto in Leo are experiencing transits of Saturn over their natal Pluto point. Some astrologers dismiss the effects of a transit to Pluto as being “generational” because Pluto moves so slowly and a transit such as the one from Saturn to Pluto will affect a large number of people at one time. While this is true, it doesn’t negate the powerful effect that Pluto has in the individual chart where it is constantly forcing confrontation in a particular area of our life as described by the house in the chart in which Pluto lives, and any aspects to Pluto in our chart which describe the way we face our darkest demons and overcome them. This transit of Saturn to Pluto that many of us have been experiencing over the past couple of years as Saturn has traveled through Leo has the effect of restructuring (Saturn) our power base (Pluto), something which requires a concentration of energy and resources. Like all Saturn transits we can feel tremendous restriction and limitation during these periods, but Saturn rewards us when we work hard at the task at hand, which in this case is releasing and rebuilding.)

Pluto’s retrograde turn also means that it will again conjunct the Galactic Center, an event which remains a mystery but which may have significance for us as a species (follow the link for more information). Historical parallels suggest that each time Pluto has crossed the Galactic Center (from our perspective on earth) there has been a major shift in focus and fate.

As April begins, the waning opposition of Saturn and Neptune may still be of some effect, creating tension between the urge to create and build form and structure (Saturn) and the urge to dissolve and transcend form and structure (Neptune). Saturn wants us to live a reality-based existence; Neptune wants us to transcend the material world and experience divine bliss. The key to managing any stressful planetary combination is to link the two energies and allow both to have expression in your life. Linking practicality with mysticism is a key right now and through July when the final opposition dance takes place.

Also still in effect are a series of Jupiter aspects: Jupiter’s square to Uranus occurred last month but it is still in effect and will continue through the month as Jupiter (adventure, theology, optimism) turns retrograde to pass back towards the square to Uranus (radical change, destruction of the status quo). You can see where a challenging combination of these two planets can be quite combustible – this is religious (Jupiter) revolution (Uranus) in its purest form. The urge for change is quite strong, particularly for those of us with planets in the mutable signs (Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini and Virgo) that are directly affected. Smoothing this revolutionary fervor are harmonious aspects of Jupiter to both Saturn and Neptune, which opens up doors (Jupiter) to the dichotomy that the Saturn/Neptune opposition presents us. Jupiter is the planet of ideas and philosophy, and during this phase it helps us to better integrate the struggle between form and spirit that Saturn/Neptune presents.

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