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Planetary Illuminations - April 2018



Throughout the month of April there are no planets in air signs. Air is the element of objectivity and space, of the intellect and mental reasoning, communication and comparison.  When there is a lack of an element present, either in current planetary placements or in the birth chart, there can be overcompensation by the other elements.  In April we have mostly Aries and Capricorn planets - fire and earth - with a little water thrown in from Jupiter and Scorpio.  Fire and earth are naturally antipathic - they don't understand each other and don't support each other. So throughout April, except to find a conflict between our motivation and desires (Aries) and our responsibilities and commitments (Capricorn). 

We also have several planets changing direction (or rather, appearing to change direction from our vantage point here on earth):  

  • Mercury turns direct April 15th after spending a few weeks in retrograde. 
  • Saturn turns retrograde April 17th
  • Pluto turns retrograde April 17th

Planetary changes of direction signify shifts of energies.  Simply stated, retrograde planets inspire us to look back and re-evaluate the areas of life governed by those planets.  Most of us already know about Mercury retrograde, and when Mercury turns direct the wheels start rolling again and life becomes simpler.  Saturn retrograde asks us to re-examine our priorities in order to perfect our path.  Pluto retrograde takes us back into areas of our lives that need to be transformed.  

We also have Chiron (wounding and healing) changing signs, moving from Pisces to Aries on April 17th.  I'll be writing more about this significant change, but briefly this will be a shift into an exploration of the wounding and subsequent healing of the Self. 

Because we are missing the air element, we may find ourselves reacting out of frustration (fire) or fear (earth) rather than analyzing and using our intellect to solve problems.  We can counteract this by consciously using our drive (fire) and practicality (earth) instead. 


April begins on the heels of a Libra Full Moon which you can read more about here since these energies will spill into the first few days of the month. 

Mercury is very active during the first few days of the month, including a conjunction to the Sun on the 1st, so despite the lack of air we will find plenty of mental activity and communication although it may not be that easy to clarify what is meant as we attempt to share our ideas.

This will be especially true between April 1st and the 5th.  During this period we may experience a higher degree of conflict, especially verbal such as arguments and disagreements.  Without the space afforded by the air element, taking a little more personal space will help us to find that needed perspective to resolve any issues that come up. 

A harmonious aspect between Jupiter (confidence and luck) and Pluto (transformation) will begin to align during the first week in April and will culminate on the 12th.  This is a time when fortune generally favors your goals and dreams if you can remain focused enough to recognize opportunities when they come your way. 

Around the 9th you may run into an event that forces you to make some kind of choice - to retreat to the safety of the past or to move more boldly into the future. Only your intuition can guide you as to which choice to make, but whichever one you choose you will end up in just the right place in the end. 

Watch for a bit of conflict on the 11th as power struggles may emerge at that time for a day or so, but a harmonious aspect the same day will help to smooth things out and resolve conflicts easily.  The Jupiter/Pluto blessing described above is at its peak now and will help shine a light of fortune our way. This is also a day or two of peak creativity and insight - perfect for artists or spiritual practitioners. 

Mercury turns direct on April 15th right at the Aries New Moon. New Moons are times of new beginnings, and Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, so there is a sense here of a completely fresh start - a clearing away of the old and a renewed sense of purpose.  A challenging aspect from Pluto to the New Moon will necessitate the surrender of something which is no longer needed in order to open the doors for a new Springtime in our lives. Chiron at its final degree before changing signs reveals the completion of the healing of an old wound, and pleasant Venus aspects help to lubricate our interactions with loved ones both at the New Moon and for a few days afterwards. 

On the 18th we may feel a desire for change, or perhaps awaken to a new insight.  This aspect is fleeting but can open a portal into new experiences. 

The Sun enters Taurus on the 19th, bringing us into the Taurus season of earthly pleasures and comfort. 

Pluto turns retrograde on the 22nd. These retrograde shifts aren't always accompanied by a significant event, but with Pluto we can never be certain.  Pluto is retrograde for half the year, every year, and during these periods we are asked to look back and see what in our life requires transformation.  Maybe it's something as simple as going through your closet and clearing out the old to make way for the new.  Or something as significant as letting go of an old friend whose friendship has been toxic and damaging to our sense of self.  

Harmonious aspects on the 23rd and 24th help to energize us with general good feeling and facilitate the flow in our relationships with others.  Venus enters Gemini that day and for a few weeks we will likely crave communication with others and find ourselves interested in a wider variety of people than is usual. 

This harmony will shift into something somewhat darker on the 25th and 26th when misunderstandings can lead to conflict and issues of power imbalances may emerge. Awareness gleaned from these events may turn out to be significant for our soul's growth. 

The Full Moon in Scorpio occurs on the 29th, with both the Sun and Moon in a challenging square to the lunar nodes, forming a Grand Cross that carries with it a powerful force. When the nodes of the Moon interact with a lunar event (lunation), the effect is similar to that of an eclipse (where the nodes are aligned with the Sun and Moon).  

The Scorpio Full Moon encourages us to go deep into the fire of the soul and emerge with great courage, unafraid of conflict and power.  This Full Moon harmonizes with Saturn which helps to provide the stability and focus to ground all of this energy and help us to utilize the energy force if we apply our conscious intention.

I hope that this month brings you many blessings! 


PLANETARY CALENDAR (dates and times are Eastern time zone)

4/1    Mercury trine North Node
          Sun conjunct Mercury
4/2    Mars conjunct Saturn
4/4    Mercury square Mars
4/5    Mercury square Saturn
4/9    Venus square North Node
4/11   Sun square Pluto
          Venus trine Mars
4/12   Venus sextile Neptune
          Jupiter sextile Pluto
          Mars sextile Neptune
4/15    Mercury stations direct
           New Moon 26 Aries 9:57 pm
4/17    Venus opposite Jupiter
           Chiron enters Aries
           Venus trine Pluto
           Saturn turns retrograde
4/18    Sun conjunct Uranus
4/19    Sun enters Taurus
4/22    Pluto turns retrograde
4/24    Mars sextile Jupiter
           Venus enters Gemini
           Venus sextile Chiron
4/25    Mercury square Saturn
4/26    Mars conjunct Pluto
4/27    Mercury trine North Node
4/29    Sun trine Saturn
           Full Moon 9 Scorpio 8:58 pm
4/30    Sun square North Node

Lynn Hayes has been a consulting astrologer since the mid-1980s, working with clients to achieve greater self-understanding and empowerment. She uses the birthchart to identify psychological and evolutionary patterns and systems, and then uses a process using a powerful combination of methods including "vision crafting" to permit breakthroughs in all areas of your life and heal old wounds that can prevent you from moving forward. Clients report rapid progress in breaking through areas where they formerly felt "stuck," and achieving a level of self-understanding not before known. http://www.astrodynamics.net

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