Mars Retrograde in Virgo
Mars backtracks in the sign Virgo until May 20th, having re-entered the sign on March 25th. This retrograde motion of Mars is somewhat challenging, but not insurmountable. Though the planet of action prefers to be moving forward, at least it is moving! In March we experienced the slow down and stand still of both Mars and Saturn in the same sign, resulting in a very tense situation. Mars-type individual's feel this tug backwards particularly strong during April and May. We find strength during Mars retrograde in things that we used to do and in an inner strength, not always obvious in our external affairs.
The influence of Virgo on our actions is more critical and exacting. This is not in and of itself, a bad thing. However, we must be aware of frustration bubbling up as a result. The energy would be best spent in perfecting a skill, action or plan, while using strategies which produce results later on (after May 20th). If you are working on something new, then do not expect it to move ahead swiftly or without the need for a re-working of the finer details because of this transit. This requires us to re-invent ourselves and any original plans we may have had. Stay loose but firm in your convictions - like a yogi.
What areas of life are you currently renegotiating?
Mars moves into the lunar sign Hasta on April 13th and continues in this lunar sign until June 28th - moving forward here from May 20th. It then moves into its own lunar sign Chitra, before moving out of Virgo by the middle of July. That period is primed for events to take place so be patient if you are wishing things would happen faster. Hasta's symbol is a hand, representing our ability to achieve a task through daily work and diligence, as we prepare for such events.
By the time Mars stations direct in May - slowing as it does so by the middle of the month - we will be more clear about how we can then implement an action in order to move forward. Use the time before then to clean up any messiness around certain issues. As always it would depend on what the planet represents for you specifically, as well as the area in your horoscope it is transiting. There are three key areas of focus i.e. the two houses Mars rules in your chart (where the signs Aries and Scorpio are located), and the sign it is currently transiting; Virgo. Be sure to use the sidereal zodiac calculation for your chart or consult with a Vedic astrologer.
Venus in Aquarius Mar. 31st - Apr. 27th
Venus is moving through Saturn's air sign Aquarius in April, leading to a powerful exchange of energy between Venus and the Saturn/Rahu (the Moon's north node) combination in Libra. Though Saturn and Venus exchanging energy is conducive to commitment and responsible behavior in relationships, Saturn's alter-ego, Rahu, is adding an unpredictable dimension into the mix.
Be mindful of how you venture forth in your pleasure seeking, as things that have been outworn must be shed in order to move forward into greener pastures. Jupiter's influence on Venus, and on the Saturn/Rahu conjunction in Libra, at least keeps things meaningful for all concerned.
Be gentle with yourself and others with the necessary changes taking place.
Mercury in Pisces Apr. 4th - 20th
Mercury delves into the depths of Pisces from April 4th, and we may find ourselves a bit lost for words as a result. This period is conducive to a more dream-like interpretation, and favors more creative communications, as well as being more flexible in general. It may not be the best time to hammer out specific points of view, especially while Mars is also retrograde in Mercury's sign. It would be best to re-work things more creatively, without necessarily coming to any definite decisions at this time.
Because of Mars' influence from Virgo, we have an interaction of energies between the planet which likes to make things clear and rational (Mercury) and a planet which likes to jump ahead without the need or consideration of a prior debate. Yet neither planet is able to do this effectively due to their transits. Mercury's weakness may show up as a lack of clarity and irrational thinking, while Mars' retrograde transit may point us in another direction entirely. Stay loose and flexible throughout the months of April and May. There is an added need to keep things loose in April as we experience the eclipses and the resulting feeling of things shifting around.
Keep your ideas, and how you plan to implement these, as close to your chest as possible. Not because you are intentionally deceiving anyone, but that you may need this time to consider all possibilities at this time. Communicating anything at this time may require clarity later on at any rate. Spend more time imagining various scenarios and eventualities, keeping the mind open for insights.
Mercury in Pisces favors all kinds of creative endeavors which do not need the inclusion of a rational debate. It would be best spent seeing forms where there were none before, or blending ideas with others in order to see what bubbles up from the unconscious as a result.
On a practical note, those with the signs Gemini and Virgo as rising signs may need to take some time out of their busy schedule in April. Mars' influence on their ruler may force issues, but a reconsideration must be included in any action taken. The action-oriented impulse in us will not be too impressed by our mind''s dreamy nature in April, but we can enjoy our meanderings nonetheless.
We can always seek an inner intelligence beyond the details that are presented to us, as Jupiter allows us this inner guidance because of its exchange of signs with Mercury.
We are given the insights in the end, but we may need to let go of much on the way.
Sun in Aries Apr. 14th - May 14th
Following a period of letting go into the depths of Pisces, we once again step into new beginnings when the Sun moves into its sign of exaltation in Aries. However, the strength of the Sun immediately encounters the shadow of the eclipses and the opposing quality of Saturn. This sets the stage for; another intense power play between those in leadership roles and those who are led (or misled); in our relationships in general; equality issues overall.
We need to tap into a balance of power and weakness in our own being - our willingness to compromise, alongside our own needs. This is challenged as we interact with others around the eclipses. The eclipses which follow are in almost exact opposition to where they occurred last year. In other words, the solar eclipse is where last years lunar eclipse occurred, and vice versa. This points to turning the tables on a particular situation or a particular relationship. This occurs so we can see further into the dynamics of any given situation or relationship - to know how it truly ticks.
With the Sun in strength, but somewhat dimmed by other influences, we are not blinded by the light of our sense of Self, but are able to dim the switch long enough to see someone else's point of view.
Full Moon in Libra Apr. 15th - Full Lunar Eclipse
The full lunar eclipse in April is at 1 degree of Libra, just as the Sun has entered its position of strength opposite in Aries. The Sun having just moved is not particularly strong as yet, so we would ideally not let this intense eclipse shadow our sense of well-being.
The Moon is full and eclipsed by the erratic north node of the Moon, Rahu, and in the same sign as Saturn, which is moving retrograde. This occurs in the lunar sign Chitra which is ruled by Mars - also moving retrograde. This lends itself to a feeling of intensity, which may be experienced as an intense longing for union beyond our sense of separation and frustration. This longing for union may break apart outworn ways of being with each other. Venus, the ruler of this full Moon is transiting Aquarius, and Rahu's lunar sign, leading to extreme feelings during this full Moon phase.
Go beyond what you are feeling and touch that place within which is beyond any desires that disturb the mind. It may be best to take some time out on this eclipse day as a result. Take your time with any activity or interaction, knowing that there is a core sense of Self anchoring you in your present moment awareness. Any changes which are taking place in your life now and during this, and the subsequent solar eclipse on the 29th, point to necessary changes. Without such change there is no life, as life itself is a constant flux. Remind yourself of this during the last two weeks of April and into May.
Once we are in the eye of the eclipses and feeling the churning affects between April 15th and 29th, we may need to rise above the churning in order to ride the waves more comfortably.
Meditation is key in taping into the insights available during this time.
For timing and visuals of the lunar eclipse in April you can access this link courtesy of timeanddate.com:
Mercury in Aries Apr. 20th - May 5th
Having already exchanged signs with Jupiter, Mercury now exchanges with Mars - a busy little planet these days! Of course Mercury is always a busy planet, being the fastest moving planet, (second only in speed to our luminary, the Moon) and a representation of our analytical minds. Unlike the previous intuitive interaction between Mercury and Jupiter, this interaction with Mars more logical. Logic always requires some kind of force, as we attempt to pin something down and define it. Intuition is a way of seeing all possibilities and is a softer approach by far. With this more logical Mercury be mindful of any harsh words or thoughts by the end of April.
Any impulsive communication may seem appropriate after a period of not being able to articulate effectively while Mercury was placed in Pisces. However, we must be aware of Mars' added influence, creating a 'foot-in-mouth' situation. Think before you speak. Better still; listen more. There is much to learn during these transits and eclipses.
One way to use this Mercury transit is to delve inside to find out what makes us tick. Mars' retrograde period is asking us to find an inner strength, and Mercury is asking us to communicate from that place of strength. When things do not go according to plan, we have Mercury to help us remain flexible - maybe even laugh at the situation and ourselves. Mercury reminds us of our talent to be mentally adaptable, even when our actions keep things a certain way for longer. It would be best to use these transits to plan more behind the scenes and say less until things are more clear. Saturn and the eclipses keep things uncertain. We must allow some time before clarity is forthcoming. Saturn's involvement (also retrograde) is asking us to be more deliberate in our thoughts and how we communicate these. Hopefully this will balance Mars' impulsive nature. Otherwise we may find ourselves jumping in head first and then regretting what we have said, or implemented, later.
Jupiter Enters Punarvasu Apr. 24th
Jupiter enters the lunar sign it rules; namely Punarvasu, on April 24th. This heralds the last sojourn of Jupiter in the sign Gemini, as Punarvasu connects Gemini to Jupiter's next stop in the summer - its sign of exaltation, Cancer.
Punarvasu is represented by the Goddess of abundance, Aditi and its symbol is a quiver of arrows. The symbolism of the arrow points (pardon the pun!) to an inner intelligence which does not need external stimuli for validation. This inner intelligence is represented by the planet Jupiter which finds itself in great strength in this sign.
Set your arrow on your target and take aim. Once you fire at your target, trust that you have already hit the mark.
Venus in Pisces Apr. 27th - May 24th
Venus enters its sign of exaltation on April 27th and improves the situation enormously in May. This will feel good to us no matter what else we have to contend with during the beginning of the summer. When Venus is so strong we can achieve a contentment with our lot, even when things don't seem to be moving fast enough, or in the direction we had planned. However, the situation in Libra and all of the revolutions which have been occurring around the world and around our lives, is calmed considerably (though temporarily) with Venus in such dignity. Jupiter's influence on Libra has also been keeping things somewhat peaceful. We can give thanks to a Divine plan, as we look beyond our egotistic needs at this time.
Venus in Pisces, the natural 12 house of surrender, allows us to forgo our own egotistical needs as we look out for one another and the perfection of this thing we call life. The area of the zodiac which represents loss and surrender is actually an opportune time to look after our relationships as we experience a loss of our egotistic nature. We can enjoy the days and nights with one another, wrapped in the glow of summer and a love we all share.
Allow the passions of Mars to be directed more productively into eliminating what doesn't work so well in your life, while at the same time finding all that does, and sharing this with that someone special. By May 4th Mercury will be transiting in Venus' sign Taurus which means our interactions will be given a boost in summer by such a powerful Venus. Put simply, you could praise another instead of finding fault. This would tune you into the Venusian impulse of appreciation, as opposed to the Martian impulse of criticism.
You may wish to read an article I wrote about the astrological view of relationships and one of the key elements in finding fulfillment through such interactions here
New Moon in Aries Apr. 29th - Annular Solar Eclipse
The Moon wanes into Mars' sign and joins the Sun, Mercury and the south node of the Moon, Ketu, on April 29th. This is an annular eclipse which means that the Sun and Moon are lining up exactly, but that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun, creating a ring around the Sun.
This occurs at 14 degrees of Aries by the time the eclipse is at its maximum. If you have any planets, or your ascendant degree, at this or the opposite sign Libra, then this is an eclipse for you to pay special attention to. Changes are occurring, or are about to occur in your life, and require nothing more from you than your awareness. Mars transits in opposition to this degree in July - a month which is primed for events and upheavals. We must all remain aware of the potential for change in the areas of Aries and Libra, and what these areas represent for us all individually, as well as generally in a sense of power plays between individual's, communities and nations.
Venus moves over the eclipse degree in June, pointing to more changes in our interrelations, with Mars looking on asking for direct action at that time. This is not a surprise once we consider the sweeping changes which have already begun in our social and economical spheres during recent eclipses in the Venusian sign Libra. Aries, on the other hand, is representative of Mars and our more selfish needs which need be find balance within these social concerns. This is the last eclipse in the sign Aries for many years.
A solar eclipse is a special kind of new Moon and a powerful new beginning. The Sun, Moon, earth and the eclipse points line up and point to changes which need to occur in our lives. Mercury joins in with this eclipse, with Saturn in opposition. In fact, nearly all of the planets are involved in one way or another with this powerful solar eclipse, as both Mars and Venus host the Sun and Moon, representing the ever-shifting balance which occurs between our needs and others' needs.
We can use this eclipse day to line up the body, mind, heart, and spirit in meditation - and find the strength, discipline, guidance and joy as we move forward with new insights into our lives.
For timing and visuals of the solar eclipse in April you can access this link courtesy of timeanddate.com:
OM TAT SAT