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Astrological Musings

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Meanwhile, there is a lot going on this week so here is a tidbit to get you started:

As I write this in the hours before April 1st, we are seeing the beginnings of the influence of the upcoming square between Uranus and Pluto – this revolutionary (Uranus) force for destruction and transformation (Pluto) that will highlight the extremes of repression (Pluto) and liberation (Uranus) before it’s complete in 2015. This influence coincides with, but has nothing to do with, the prophecies of 2012.

Mercury has just turned retrograde, so for the next three weeks or so communication may be a bit haywire and we are apt to experience problems with technology and machinery. During Mercury retrograde periods it can be useful to review and revise rather than implement a new plan. This is a time to perfect and process, and then when the retrograde period is over you can put your plans into motion more easily. If you must sign contracts or start a new job when Mercury is retrograde, just be prepared that things might not go as smoothly as you hope, at least not at first. But just because you hit a rocky road doesn’t mean the venture will be doomed to failure, it just may offer a few more challenges than usual.

Pluto will be turning retrograde during the first week of April, and its motion has slowed down to a virtual crawl in preparation for its change of direction. When a planet is “stationing” and preparing to shift direction its influence is stronger, like a laser beam of light. In the case of Pluto, that laser beam takes us deep into the realm of the underworld, where death is followed by the regeneration of something new and magnificent in its place.

As the month of April begins, nearly all of the planets in the sky are in either Pisces or Aries. The Aries lineup includes Mercury (which has just turned retrograde), Jupiter, the Sun, and Uranus – the most active of the planets are in Aries right now, so there is a great deal of planetary energy circulating about. Mars, the most active and energetic of the planets, is at the very last degree of Pisces and by April 2nd will have moved into Aries. The Pisces lineup includes the Moon (for a day or so), Venus, Ceres, and Chiron, with Neptune entering Pisces on April 4th. These are the receptive planets: the caring and compassionate planets. This is rather a stunning combination of high energy (Aries) and flowing connectivity (Pisces) that could take some conscious effort to manage. These two forces can be integrated and balanced, but it’s not easy and until we find that balance we may find ourselves swinging from the heights of enthusiasm and assertiveness (Aries) into a maelstrom of confusion in our search for peace (Pisces).

With Mars entering Aries on April 2nd, there is a surge of life force that offers the potential for increased activity and a sharpening of the focus of our desires. Mars is known as the planet of warfare, but it is also the planet that provides us with inspiration and the enthusiasm that drives us. A nice sextile from Venus to Pluto that same day will help us to clarify our values as well as deepen our relationships with others and give them greater meaning.

The New Moon on April 3 is at 13 Aries and contains some powerful planetary alignments. New Moons mark the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and the Aries New Moon is a time to reach deep into the heart of your desires and see what is most important in order for your own direction to unfold. Aries is self-directed, with a purity and innocence that can elevate us out of the realm of ego and into an experience of pure Self. What is it you need for yourself now? This is the question asked of the Aries New Moon, especially since it is tightly aligned with Jupiter, the planet of our opportunities.

There are six planets in Aries right now, so the aggressive and instinctual force is particularly powerful and will overcome the more gentle Piscean influence of the other planets. In addition, Mars (Aries’ ruler) is exactly conjunct Uranus at the New Moon, accelerating the urgency to break free of any restrictions that bind us. It appears that this will not be all that easy a process though, because the New Moon and Jupiter are opposited by Saturn, the lord of limitations and constriction. Saturn is the balancing force here, keeping our feet on the grounds and ensuring that we honor our responsibilities. This could feel more like repression and confinement, and perhaps the frustration of delays and disappointments in accomplishing our desires. Saturn’s goal is not to make us miserable, but instead to ensure that we have undergone adequate preparation so that our ventures will be a success.

This is a bit of a “two steps forward, one step back” time, with the Aries New Moon and Mars/Uranus generating so much energy for action and the combination of the Saturn influence and retrograde Mercury holding us back and keeping us looking to the past. Understanding the planetary dynamics at work will hopefully keep us from sinking into frustration and despair at any temporary setbacks that occur.

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