April 2017 - Push Me/Pull You

In April, five planets will be retrograde, creating the illusion of spinning backward. During a retrograde, we’re asked to slow down, correct course and handle unfinished business. The past becomes pivotal. This is hard to accomplish during fiery Aries season, which is all about embracing the new. 

As April begins, two planets are already retrograde: Jupiter until June 9 and Venus until April 15. In astrology, Venus and Jupiter are known as “the great benefics” for their positive and helpful powers. Jupiter is retrograde in Libra, the sign of harmony and balanced partnerships, while Venus started out in “me first” Aries moves into compassionate Pisces. This is a time to reconnect with the past, making sure we haven’t cut crucial corners or thrown out the metaphorical baby with the bathwater. Yes, change and progress are good, but retrogrades reminds us to value those things that stand the test of time.

Joining the retrograde brigade this month are Saturn, Mercury and Pluto. We start with structured Saturn, which reverses in worldly Sagittarius from April 5 to August 25. Is something in your life built on a shaky setup? You’ll find out when inspector Saturn goes backward. Sagittarius rules global politics, cross-cultural affairs, travel and education. These areas could get even more strained as boundary-enforcing Saturn tightens its grip.

Here’s hoping this retrograde will actually remind us that this world needs to be safe for people of all cultures, identities and religions. During Saturn retrograde, anything built on a flimsy foundation will crumble (I’m looking at you #45).  Here’s hoping Saturn retrograde topples any shoddy and destructive attempts to take away environmental protection, educational programs, religious freedom, health insurance, etc.

Mercury then follows suit in Taurus on April 9. The cosmos is calling for a major review of all practical processes initially. Reflecting on your core values, cataloging your possessions, accounting, working on self-esteem – all these issues are brought into focus by Mercury stationing here. Taurus as first of the earth signs is also concerned with tangible results so it may be important now to see what your investment of time, love and money has brought you in very real terms.

The Full Moon in Libra on April 11 reminds us that compromise is a key to success in relationships. Yet it opposes the willful Sun in spontaneous Aries, which is more interested in acting independently than slowing down to accommodate others. Knowing when to take charge of your life and when it's appropriate to meet others halfway is the lesson of this Full Moon. Being fair to yourself and others helps to find a healthy balance between these contrasting forces. .

Feeling more grounded is natural as the Sun moves into earthy Taurus on April 19. Again, the pace is still slow as Taurus never likes to do anything in a hurry. After the rush of Aries excitement, Taurus is the sign that teaches us how to stay with a task in order to finish it. It’s here where we learn patience and the art of taking time to smell the flowers.

Mercury moves back into Aries on April 20 which prompts a change of focus in our retrograde review. Now Mercury is concerned with what inspires us. It’s like we need a mental jump start to generate fresh ideas. On the same day, Pluto stations for his annual retrograde which intensifies this highly reflective atmosphere and asks us to look at issues connected to power and control, death, endings and the nature of our inner shadow. This is a time for some serious soul-searching. Blind spots are revealed now. On the world stage, Capricorn rules governments, patriarchy and hierarchy. It will be interesting to see what else gets revealed (Russian investigations?) during this probing period.

Thank goodness Mars gives us a little light relief when he moves into Gemini on April 21. This transit does give us a feisty desire to connect and to communicate and we may feel busier with meetings and paperwork. Mercury and Mars are now in mutual reception which means that these two planets can help each other out if they get stuck. Mercury retrograde can help Mars to think before speaking and Mars can give Mercury the courage to face challenging conversations in order to clear the air. This would be an excellent period to put on your thinking cap to brainstorm ideas and devise new strategies to achieve your goals.

The New Moon in Taurus on April 26 is a favorable Moon to commit to consistent effort toward a goal. What's enhanced now is the ability to dig in, to find a rhythm that can be sustained over a period of time. If there's a dream that's seemed elusive, there's more focus and discipline in the air now to make it a reality. Because it draws out the sensualist, this new Moon is a lusty one. It's great for reigniting the passion in your relationship or for inviting more pleasure in. A methodical approach to managing your resources enables you to advance at work rather than getting caught up in idealistic dreams.