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Your Guide to Planetary Energies For April 17 to 23, 2017

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WE BEGIN the new week feeling a bit more stable and supported than we have since April began, thanks to a harmonious aspect between the Sun and Saturn. We're still in an adjustment phase, however; we continue to monitor and modify our patterned behaviors so that our actions more accurately reflect our higher values and beliefs.

The Last Quarter Moon occurs early on Wednesday (2:56am PDT / 9:56am GMT). This is the time to reflect on progress made and projects undertaken since the New Moon on March 27. We are called us to finish up any business that is still incomplete, so that we can begin the next lunar cycle free of energy drains and unnecessary distractions. 

THE SUN enters nature-loving Taurus on Wednesday, providing a solid foundation for activities related to Earth Day next weekend -- and for any ways that we each want to celebrate and honor the natural world that sustains us and relies on us for support.

Right after this change of signs, the Sun aligns with retrograde Mercury, taking us more deeply into our process of review. Important questions to consider, with this conjunction occurring in Taurus, are "What do I truly value? Have my recent choices reflected these values? Can I clearly see how my thoughts, words, and deeds are born from these values, or is there a disconnect?"

PLUTO'S INFLUENCE is heightened this week -- the dwarf planet is moving very slowly now and comes to its station on Thursday. This is the beginning of Pluto's five-month retrograde phase, a period when the planet's transformational effects are felt on deeper levels of our psyches. With Pluto in Capricorn, there is a shift underway in our shared understanding of authority, control, and fear. As Pluto takes us through experiences that bring those themes into our awareness, we build new strength within.

Ultimately, the inner growth that occurs during Pluto's retrograde phase leads to a stronger sense of inner authority. We realize more fully that no one can take our power unless we give it to them. Circumstances allow us to capitalize more fully on this new (or renewed) level of personal empowerment once Pluto goes direct at the end of September. 

THE LAST of three Venus-Saturn squares occurs next Saturday. Since late January, challenges to our relationships, resources, and values have required us to grow in maturity and discipline, and to reassess our goals in these areas. This final square marks a completion to some of the issues we've been dealing with -- but it may also be "the straw that breaks the camel's back" if we've been putting off making necessary decisions in these areas.

When in hard aspect (such as a square), Saturn plays the role of Dr. Phil, who asks, "How's that working for you?" There's always something of a reality check with these aspects, and a need to look at an issue with more objectivity in order to make choices that will serve us best in the long run. Saturn is concerned with the bottom line, and tends not to have much patience with sentimentality.

LIFE EVENTS start to speed up as we move into the last half of this week and beyond. One of the causes is a simple sign change: Mars, representing how we take action and assert ourselves, enters higher-velocity Gemini on Friday, after being in slower-moving Taurus since March 10.

Mercury also changes signs, retrograding back into pioneering Aries on Thursday after its short stay in Taurus. The crucial piece of this news is that by early next week, Mercury will be within range of its extended alignment with unpredictable Uranus. This conjunction -- which will last about three weeks instead of the usual three days -- represents the joining of the conscious mind (Mercury) with the Higher Mind (Uranus). This is a union that will be highly intuitive and insightful, but probably not calm or stable.

IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: It's a mixed bag this year -- so much depends on what you want to focus on! On the one hand, you have a greater capacity to take concrete steps in the direction of your goals. You also have the ability to tap into insights on a more regular basis, and to envision a new future for yourself. Be open to the new ideas that come forward! The primary challenge is likely to arise in figuring out how to handle relationship or financial issues. You may find yourself judging or being judged, which will give you the opportunity to reassess your expectations. It will be helpful to be realistic but not pessimistic. With relationships, it will be important to focus on how you can take responsibility for creating healthier and more balanced connections with others -- not by self-sacrificing or going into victim mode, but by not taking things personally and moving into a more objective and mature perspective.

In peace,

Pam

Highlighted Aspects this Week:

  • MON: Sun trine Saturn, Mars quincunx Saturn, Sun semisquare Neptune
  • WED: Last Quarter Moon 2:56am PDT (9:56am GMT), Sun enters Taurus, Sun conjunct Mercury
  • THU: Pluto stations retrograde, Mercury retrogrades into Aries
  • FRI: Mars enters Gemini, Venus square Saturn
  • SAT: Mercury semisquare Neptune
  • SUN: Mars sesquiquadrate Jupiter

Pam Younghans lives in a log cabin outside of Seattle, Washington with her two dogs. She has been interpreting astrology charts for over 30 years, and has been reading charts professionally since the mid-1980s. Astrologer Pam Younghans writes her weekly NorthPoint Journal based on planetary influences and guidance received. Her hope is to offer perspectives and insights to assist you in making best use of current energies.
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