Saturn Retrograde April 6 – Aug. 25
Saturn begins its slow trek back into Scorpio in April. Long term plans seem to grind to a halt by the end of March and beginning of April, as a result. In the coming months, we must look back over recent commitments and decide what we can and can no longer commit to.
Saturn will re-enter Scorpio on June 21, as it makes its way to 27 degrees by the time it stations direct on August 25.
It is not unusual for Saturn to retrograde. It does so every year, and for about 4 months of the year. What is unusual this year is that it will back into a sign which it has already left.
Saturn’s transit back into Scorpio this summer brings us back into contact with fear: a fear which was prominent throughout Saturn’s transit in Scorpio since the end of 2014. We must re-visit the issues which were prominent, especially in 2016, as we restructure our beliefs and feelings around these.
Sensitive periods to watch for during this year’s retrograde transit are, when Mars comes into opposition to Saturn on May 28, and the entire period from June until October as Saturn transits Scorpio. August and September are particularly destabilizing.
Saturn is weakly placed all year, leading to a weakening of structures around the world, and a growing sense of fear around an uncertain future.
How this plays out for you personally will depend on what Saturn represents in your own horoscope. Change is necessary, of course, and not to be feared. Jupiter’s retrograde in Virgo (until the beginning of May) gets us to examine all of the fine print with a philosophical approach.
Saturn is known as the ‘Lord of Time’. It gives us an awareness of the passing of time, which is, in and of itself, stressful. We begin to look at consequence: the consequences of our past decisions, and their implications on our future, as well as decisions yet to be made.
This can paralyze us from taking the appropriate steps, but fear is simply the mind and body’s resistance to what is actually coming down the line anyway. We know this on a deeper level, but we may struggle to accept it.
Worst case scenario: we have personally and collectively made the worst decisions in recent times and will experience the very worst consequences of this. Think about the worst case scenario in your own life.
Okay. So, now take a slow, deep breath, allowing your belly to soften as you breathe in. And then let it go. If you can make peace with whatever you were thinking of, then maybe you can start doing something productive with your time.
Time is, after all, our most valuable commodity.
So why waste any of it!
Uranus re-enters Aries April 7
Things begin to get interesting in April. Fresh and new ideas and ways of being are offered up as Uranus, the planet of surprise moves into the beginning of the natural zodiac.
Aries, Mars and Uranus are all synonymous with the self. They represent a need to start something new, something never been done before. This fresh start necessitates endings, of course, and we've been intensely focused on endings recently, as many of the planets moved through Pisces, including Uranus.
The transit of Uranus in Aries - from April 7 until June 1 2024 - is one which will continue to increase a sense of individualism, and the resulting division, throughout the world. It will also lead to many innovative ways of expressing our individuality - many more technological breakthroughs, for example, as well as many more personal and global revolutions.
It was the initial transit of Uranus into Aries in 2016 which formed part of the unique mix of transits that saw Brexit occur, and which continues to break up unions of various kinds.
Uranus initially moved into Aries on June 27 2016, but backed into Pisces by September 1 2016, putting a halt on the impetus to break things apart immediately – instead looking at what was being lost. Now that Uranus returns to Aries on April 7 2017, remaining here for the following 7 years, it ignites many more fresh starts. Some may be personal and imperceptible to others, while some may be explosive and obvious for all to see.
Uranus in Aries promotes nationalism, individualism, originality, spontaneity, impulsiveness and innovation in the next 7 years. It’s an exciting transit, but excitement is a form of fear, of course.
A certain amount of fear is inevitable once we separate ourselves form others, or from how things have always been, whether it’s leaving a partner, a job, or a situation that no longer serves our sense of self and purpose.
We need to be mindful of our need to pull away and create something on our own. We must respect and honour that need, of course, but we must also allow for some collaboration (represented by the opposite sign Libra) so we can make the most of this new and exciting period in our lives.
You can read a more in-depth article on the Uranus in Aries transit here:
Mercury Retrograde in Aries April 10 – May 3
Mercury stations retrograde on April 10, just a few days after Saturn stations retrograde. This creates an intensely retrospective month, as we are asked to back track and heed signals for retreat. The signals usually come in the form of excess mental noise that leads to a need to withdraw for a while.
Mercury retrogrades in the sign Aries: a forward thinking and moving sign. This is not an ideal environment for Mercury to move backwards in!
Aries is a fire-dominant sign and can lead to fiery misunderstandings. It is head-strong, and anyone with the sign prominent will be familiar with the tendency to think less on things before taking action.
Retrograde Mercury asks that we think long and hard before taking any action at all.
Mercury’s retrograde period is a time to pull back from too much mental stimulation, as there is enough input to work on without bringing in new stimuli. Rather, it is an opportune time to review all that has been taken in over the previous months: to redo, re-edit, re-work and reassess all that has been worked out previously.
Each of us reassess different things, depending on what Mercury represents in our horoscope. So, for example, for those with the sign Aries rising there is a need to reassess oneself and one’s appearance, for example, as well as the usual issues of communication and daily routines (Mercury rules 3rd house Gemini and 6th house Virgo).
As Aries is the natural first house of the zodiac, Mercury represents 3rd and 6th house issues of communication and routines for us all in a general sense.
Uranus joins Mercury as it re-enters Aries, offering up surprising and exciting new developments by the end of April and into May – in time for the new Moon in Aries on April 26; just as Mercury begins to slow down at the sensitive juncture between what we need to let go of and what excites us moving forward.
This period will disenchant and excite us in equal measures, as April creates a month of many endings, leading to many new beginnings.
Stay open and flexible for a smoother ride throughout.
Full Moon in Virgo April 11
The full Moon in Virgo is a chance to connect some dots; to see things line up, with details coming together to create a more detailed picture of the situation. This full Moon is full of creative juice and practical application.
Jupiter is adding meaning and a profound sense of awe at the wonder of life and how it all works. We have no choice but to become philosophical if we are to remain sane!
The downside of Jupiter in Virgo is that we get caught up in the details, and miss the big picture.
What we fail to acknowledge oftentimes is that the details we extract from a holistic experience can feel disjointed, and even irrelevant, in the context of the full picture.
Opposite to this full Moon is a powerful Venus, so there is the possibility of balancing the big picture with the finer details, as long as we are open to thinking outside the box: the box we have created for ourselves for some sense of order within the apparent chaos.
Mars in Taurus April 12 – May 25
Mars moves out of Aries and out of strength by mid-April. This will feel like a relief for some, but a wasted opportunity for others. Mars in Aries was brash and bold, leading to a need to move forward, but making many feel pushed or egged on, when many other indications pointed to many setbacks and disappointments.
Now that Mars enters the sign Taurus, we are held back by the fixed nature of Taurus. Venus, the planet which rules Taurus, is placed in exaltation at this time, and is preparing to move forward in the coming week. Comfort and confidence are the order of the day in late April and in May, as Venus stations direct, and the Sun moves into exaltation (see below).
Our drive is put on cruise control, in many ways; as we slow down to enjoy recent achievements.
If you have projects that were about to take off, then perhaps a better use of this period would be to tend to seeds you have already sown.
As the saying goes, ‘bloom where you are planted’.
Sun in Aries April 14 – May 13
The Sun moves into its sign of exaltation from April 14, and is known as Sankranti: a period of transition. All periods of transitions are inherently weaker, even if it marks a transition into great strength. The Sun's movement from the last to the first sign of the natural zodiac is a time to re-orientate ourselves to start again.
Moving house, moving jobs etc., requires more energy to maintain regularity, as old habits are replaced by more attention to new ways of doing things. This also offers up an opportunity to break with old habits that no longer serve our purpose and sense of identity.
The Sun is rhythmic and moves one degree per day in a very predictable manner. We feel better if our lives are lived in a rhythmic manner- keeping schedules, routines and exercising routinely. The initial stages of the Sun’s transit through its strongest sign – as the spring brings forth new life and new possibilities – is marred by the Moon’s debilitation on April 14 and 15, But this is only temporary.
A few days of patience is needed before the strength of our light-filled days (exalted Sun) and our sense of joy (exalted Venus) are lived to their fullest in late April and into May.
Make the most of these days, treating them as a recharge station.
Venus stations Direct April 15
Venus is in a powerful position in Pisces, but it doesn't feel like that until the latter half of April, as it reappears in all its splendor in the dawn skies. Venus still has to finish its last period in its retrograde phase for the first half of the month – a period which can be tricky for relating and agreements.
We may complain and feel unhappy with the ways things are, as Venus continues to backtrack through Pisces. This last phase represents a last temptation before Venus moves direct again from April 15. Perhaps a better idea would be to hold that thought and reconsider.
Venus retrograde offers up the opportunity to reassess what we value and who (as well as how) we love, but it can make us insecure when things do not match our expectations, and complain about things not going to plan.
The flip side of this - as Venus begins to move direct again - is that it grants us the ability to let go of petty concerns and personal points of view, leading to a peaceful surrender.
Until then, we may struggle to go with the flow.
Surrender is reached in the end, but is not an initial choice we make. We may have to complain an awful lot before we reach saturation, and begin to appreciate once more.
New Moon in Aries April 26
By the time the Moon comes around to an exalted Sun’s position, we are now set on another course with the many planetary changes that have taken place in April, and can re-set our dial at this new Moon.
This new Moon occurs in the lunar sign Aswhini, ruled by the south node of the Moon, Ketu. Ketu is moving signs this month, shifting from the north node's lunar sign into Mars’ sign, marking an ending to a very confusing period in our lives.
This new Moon phase represents a re-set point in the month and year.
The Moon then moves into its sign of exaltation, Taurus, late on April 27 GMT and into the 29, with the Sun remaining in its sign of exaltation until the middle of May. This means both our luminaries are exalted from April 27 to 29, and the third lunar day (Tritiya) on April 28 is known as Akshaya Tritiya, or the ‘never diminishing’ lunar day in the Hindu calendar.
On this auspicious day, any activities or intentions begun are given the full power of our luminaries, and the best possible shot at fulfilling our wishes.
Pluto Retrograde April 20 – Sept. 28
The intensity of the Uranus /Pluto hard edge relationships begins to smooth out in April, as Uranus moves into Aries. Pluto then stations retrograde in Sagittarius. This offers us some time to integrate recent upheavals around the world into our collective soul.
Things will never be the same again, but we are adaptable and innovative beings, capable of learning to live in new ways to support growth at all times.
Destruction is an unavoidable part of the package.
Now that Pluto is about to begin to move back through the sign Sagittarius, we are brought back to see the things that sustain our fears, so that we can understand them better and shed more outworn beliefs that keep us feeling held back.
Sagittarius represents laws, religion, higher education, spiritual studies, travel and adventure. Pluto represents the subconscious. In Sagittarius, Pluto gets us to observe the subconscious beliefs we hold and whether these hold us back in any of the above areas. Saturn’s concurrent retrograde transit in Sagittarius offers us the opportunity to bring these subconscious beliefs out into the open, to be able to assess them more objectively.
Have you noticed a lot more conversations about subconscious beliefs sabotaging efforts in popular culture in recent years? This is Pluto’s influence in sidereal Sagittarius since 2005.
Pluto is about destroying the things that hold us back from experiencing a new beginning fully, represented by Uranus. Now that Pluto and Uranus are moving into a more harmonious relationship in the same element of fire, we are offered an opportunity to see ourselves as we truly are, not what we might convince ourselves of through affirming otherwise.
The fire element corresponds to the sense of sight – both outer seeing and insight.
Once we are clear about our deeply held beliefs, we can either change them, or understand them on a deeper level; embracing them to become fully who-we-really-are.
The benefit of this is that we do not waste a lot of energy on something we do not really want - deep down. And by seeing who we truly are, and what we truly want, change happens more easily.
All that is left is to let the truth of who-we-really-are, and what we truly believe, come forward more strongly than our need to hold onto who we are not, and what no longer serves our moving forward.
Ketu enters Dhanishta (Mean Nodal Position April 14 -True Nodal Position April 29)
With Ketu moving signs, the nodes will no longer exchange signs. This has been mixing up issues, creating an inordinate amount of confusion.
Ketu’s position in Mars’ sign from April 2017 is a more dynamic expression of the south node. However, this transit places the malefic planet Mars into the mix of malefic planets, along with Saturn and Rahu, the north node. Ketu influencing all of the malefic planets' dramas is one to be mindful of, but one that can bring stillness in all of the chaos.
Ketu’s deeper connection to Mars - through the sign division of Scorpio - can be seen to enhance the transformative nature of Mars, and our ability to find courage through a sense of shared humanity.
Although this is not for the faint-hearted, it will promote breaking down of old, outworn ways and habits. Saturn’s return to Scorpio in the next few months also highlights this need to breakdown and breakthrough the limiting beliefs and fears we have about our lives.
This can, of course, be taken to extremes in the world around us, but just being aware of our own need to rise above the noise of our doubts, fears and insecurities, will allow us to connect more meaningfully with life.
Dhanishta’s symbol is a drum. The sounding of a drum can be fear-inducing or exhilarating, depending on its announcements.
A drum can either be used as a declaration of war, or to entertain and uplift our spirits, bringing people together.
Choose your battles wisely.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.