Calculated for UT
Venus 'out of bounds' Apr 2
Mercury conjunct Neptune Apr 3
Jupiter conjunct Pluto Apr 4
Mercury enters Pisces Apr 7
Full Moon in Virgo (Citrā) Apr 8
Sun enters Aries Apr 14
New Moon in Aries (Aśvinī) Apr 23
Mercury enters Aries Apr 24
Sun conjunct Uranus Apr 26
Pluto stations Retrograde Apr 26
Mars in Capricorn Mar 22 - May 4
Mars is adding to the strength of these challenging times, but that doesn't mean it is easy. For some, it is a strong transit, but for others it can show tense situations. Mars is exalted by exact degree on May 2, which means it is moving towards its strongest position from Mar 22 and away from the restrictions of Saturn after the first week of April.
This places a lot of planets (Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars) in Capricorn in April and the themes of restriction are never far from our minds.
Mars and Saturn like being in Capricorn, although signs they aspect can be afflicted. Saturn currently aspects Cancer, Libra and Pisces strongly, which represent the home and sense of safety (Cancer, which also rules the lungs), the economy and social life (Libra), and hospitals (Pisces). Mars will now also aspect Cancer, so the possibility of frustration at home is heightened. Mars also aspects Leo and Aries, which challenges governments to stop free movement.
The upside of Mars in Capricorn is we can do well when we're restricted as we focus on a task. This means dealing with our fears of recent weeks, with more courage and discipline, purging our systems for a good spring clean and more action.
This may also be expressed in more challenging ways, of course, as both 'malefics', Saturn and Mars, create a tense environment. Mars represents the armed forces, for example, while Saturn represents the populace. As they come together by the end of March and beginning of April, this shows some struggle, a need to resist enforced containment, but also the fear of the consequences if we do.
There is much we can do to express these planets' conjunction. If you have a task to focus on, and can discipline yourself while in isolation, there is much you can achieve. Think of it this way: if you were not restricted in your movement, you may never have this opportunity to do X, Y or Z in first place.
This is why Mars is exalted in Saturn's sign, in that when we can focus our energy, we are more powerful.
We just need to be mindful of what we are focusing on!
Venus in Taurus Mar 28 - Jul 31
It is with greatest pleasure that I report on one of the nicer transits of the year. No, this is not going to remove other, more intense, indications, but at least it gives us something to ease the pain. This may be simply the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, or indeed, life itself, as and when we see others who cannot; those taken ill or those who have passed.
While we're here on Earth, wouldn't it be something if we could connect more to it. This is a time to get out and enjoy nature, responsibly, of course.
Venus is 'out of bounds' in April and May, (Apr 2 - Jun 1) and will retrograde during this time (May 13 - Jun 25). This creates a need to review what we are enjoying from next month, and if it's worth it.
Make sure you get out and about when you can. Spare a thought for those in apartments with no outdoor space and be grateful if you are in a place which allows you to venture out into nature during lockdown. By tapping into the healing power of nature, we can overcome much of the current tension.
Venus in Taurus will help with the other transits, allowing you to 'bloom where you are planted'. Wherever you find yourself, and whomever you find yourself with, look for something and someone to appreciate. This becomes easier while Venus is in Taurus.
In times like these, this transit is all the sweeter. And when the threat of the virus passes - and it will - we can appreciate life and its simple pleasures all the more.
Jupiter in Capricorn Mar 30 - Jun 30
Jupiter's entry into its sign of debilitation - in both the sign Capricorn and its 9th division - is cause of concern, of course. It's conjunction with Pluto, exact on Apr 4, brings further concern, but also some interesting possibilities, of more insights into the virus, for example, and the development of a treatment. Saturn's inclusion suggests it has its limitations, but it also points to a complete reworking of systems which caused the issue in the first place.
Jupiter is now moving out of the same sign as Ketu, which shows more possibility for containment alongside Saturn, while it's aspect to Cancer, the opposite sign which represents, among other things, the chest and lungs, the desire for healing, to connect with each other authentically. Jupiter no longer blocks Ketu as it moves signs, which means more possibility of gaining access to more spiritual connections.
Sounds nice, but let me point something out; spiritual experience often requires a sense of loss; loss of self, loss of identity, loss of separation. We're seeing this when we see people in isolation, yearning for connection. What we truly miss is our connection to something beyond. It's just that we're always too busy to listen to the yearning within.
Saturn's current transit in Capricorn, the strongest planet right now, requires us to slow down and look within. The answers are not out there. Saturn, along with Pluto, and now Jupiter, asks us to connect with something which is accessed within; so we can connect with others more authentically.
Jupiter's initial ingress into Capricorn will likely see an event or death occur which represents the need to get real. This may be through the passing of someone we look to for advice, for example, a Jupiterian figure we seek comfort from. Perhaps this will be a figure which represents a higher wisdom or position in society who is challenged to step up, or step down.
There may be something coming out of the Vatican or the British royal family. I am thinking of the Pope and Queen of England in particular for two reasons: 1) their symbolic roles, and 2) both have the sign Sagittarius rising in their natal charts, which is ruled by Jupiter. Jupiter's debilitation, although cancelled, challenges them in family and community matters as it transits their 2nd house Capricorn. Again, this may just challenge them to step up, to say the right thing, to boost morale.
Jupiter represents morals and ethics, which are about to be tested. There are many examples of this. Who gets treated first, for example, or whose life is saved, and how does one choose. The list of ethical considerations is endless when dealing with a pandemic.
Other examples are those making money from people's fear, or the use of a vaccine, and the subsequent acquirement of treatment, perhaps even a situation where business concerns trump moral ones, and the choices that must be made in who gets the vaccine first. This is Jupiter's first of 3 ingresses into Capricorn. It returns here again in November.
Jupiter is conjunct Pluto as it enters Capricorn which is why this is not so straight forward. Jupiter expands whatever it influences. It's conjunction with Ketu, at the time of the eclipse last December, showed the expansion of the virus. Pluto represents the hidden world and death, which also points to the possibility of saving lives through finding a cure or treatment.
Every time Jupiter and Pluto have come together or in opposition in history, there has been new insights into the depths of our being, or the depths of space. One example is the invention of the microscope during a previous opposition, in 1590. As space programs are not so high on the agenda in 2020, it suggests this energy will be put into our 'inner space' as new cures and treatment plans are developed. This could even lead to cures for other illnesses.
We can only hope this conjunction will bring a treatment for the latest coronavirus over the coming months, as Jupiter and Pluto are closely together until November this year, both moving back into Sagittarius once again by Jun 30 as they come into a tight conjunction at that time, bringing back issues to review that occur during April.
As Jupiter leaves Sagittarius behind, however strong it has been here, it shows the possibility of containing the virus as it joins Saturn and moves away from the south node, i.e. the virus. Saturn's presence brings with it another possibility, however: whatever treatment or cure that is found has its limitations.
This may express itself in a treatment developed for the virus which has its downsides or side effects, and we may lose a sense of hope moving forward if there is a second wave of the viral outbreak to contend with later in the year. At least at that point, Ketu will have already moved into Scorpio, away from Jupiter in Sagittarius.
And all this time, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is close enough to make us continue to sense the 'end times' for the entire year. By Jun 30, Pluto returns to Sagittarius. Saturn also returns to the beginning of Capricorn, bringing both closely together again by the autumn, but at least they are in different signs at this point. Pluto returns to Capricorn by the last day of the year. Before that, Pluto meets with Jupiter on two more occasions: on Jun 30, as they both move back into Sagittarius, and again on Nov 12.
With Jupiter involved with Saturn and Pluto, we will need to find something more meaningful to gravitate towards. This is already making its presence known in people rallying together and doing the right by each other. There is, however, yet another possibility with Jupiter in Capricorn, that is, feeling demoralized.
If we can look to the strengths on offer, which may not be so obvious from the outset, we can gravitate towards something altogether more meaningful.
Mercury in Pisces Apr 7 - 24
Mercury is conjunct Neptune in Aquarius by Apr 3, and a few days later, on Apr 7, it moves into its sign of debilitation, with a strong aspect from Saturn. Our minds are weary at this stage, after Mercury has transited Saturn's signs for months now, since mid-January, and is still not away from a planet that can show limiting, negative thoughts at the very least, or downright despair.
Mercury doesn't do its best in Pisces, as our rational minds struggle to deal with things we cannot understand. This is compounded by having all the planets on one side of the lunar nodes, showing a lopsided view of the zodiac, and more extremes.
The Mercury part of us wants to know it all. While it has access to it all in Pisces, it cannot work it out. Saturn's restrictions only add to a sense of bewilderment. One way to channel this is to focus on the bigger picture, not getting stuck on the details. Think outside the box, and accept you cannot know it all, accept limitations, and open up to something altogether more meaningful, beyond the everyday struggles - dare I say it, to find God.
Prayer and meditation are helpful ways to get around Mercury's need to figure it out in Pisces. This is not so much about working it all out, as it is about letting it all go. And listening, as this transit and aspects suggest, We really need to listen to one another.
Thankfully, Mercury doesn't stay very long in Pisces, leaving the sign for Aries by Apr 24, but it does mean the month is full of uncertainty, especially for the first half of the month, before the Sun moves into Aries. When this transit along with Rahu's transit in Gemini, as well as the Kala Sarpa Yoga (planets on one side of the lunar nodes) is taken into account, the month of April is full of confusion and unexpected outcomes, with little clarity forthcoming.
Both Mercury and Jupiter's weakness by debilitation are challenging our minds and morale to continue to say and do the right thing. Although there are other strengths from Saturn and Mars in Capricorn, as well as Venus in Taurus, the nodes' impact on these strengths and weaknesses can create extremely unstable situations.
My advice. Do something creative with this time of uncertainty. Use the restrictions to focus on a more creative side of you, to tap into something within. Pray, if you are so inclined, or meditate, and let the stream of life take you to where you need to be.
Full Moon in Virgo (Citrā) Apr 8
The Moon reaches its fullest in the early hours of Apr 8 UT, breaking the Kala Sarpa Yoga, but bringing the nodes into a stark contrast to our practical needs. That is, the unexpected and what feels uncertain, with our need to manage our everyday lives.
Virgo is the most practical of signs, and more detail oriented than the other earth signs Taurus and Capricorn, both of which are busy with other transits. With so much earthy influence, we are likely to be fully preoccupied with the details of our lives during this full Moon.
Mercury is debilitated during this time, so it may feel like the underlying sense of uncertainty is jarring for the Virgo full Moon and our practical, business concerns, as well as health concerns. We could get ourselves into all kinds of mental twists if we are not allowing things to float along as they are for a time.
It won't be long before things begin to shift again, especially as the Sun and Mercury move into Aries by the latter part of the month. For now, the full Moon, Mercury in Pisces and the gathering of planets in Capricorn, are asking us to restrain ourselves and focus on what we can do, not what we cannot control.
The full Moon is placed in Citrā lunar mansion, symbolized by a jewel and ruled by the divine architect. This shows the need to design our lives, and to have a sense of more control over the creative process.
Use this full Moon to fuel some creative endeavour that is of help, which is another indication of Virgo, i.e. to be of service - and share your talents.
Sun in Aries Apr 14 - May 14
The Sun finally moves out of Saturn's influence from Apr 14, as it moves into its sign of exaltation, Aries.
The Sun always transits Saturn's signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, in winter, but this year it had many other things to deal with, challenging our trust in life and in our leaders, as well as our confidence in ourselves.
Saturn was present during its transit in Capricorn from mid-January until mid-February, and there was the Saturn-Pluto complication to deal with on top of that. Then, once it left Saturn's other sign Aquarius by mid-March, it entered Pisces and received a strong aspect and further restrictions from Saturn. 'Social distancing' is now a term we all know well!
Looking ahead, into Aries, it seems we have finally reached spring by mid-April, as Venus transits Taurus at this time also. Both these transits are welcomed after a period of many challenges. This is not only good news for those with the sign Leo prominent, rising or Moon sign, but for us all as we are more able to tackle the issues with confidence.
Confidence is the key. Without it, we falter. With it, we feel like we can make something happen - and we trust. When, at other times, it seemed impossible, the strength of the Sun lights our way and lights us up. This is most definitely a relief from all the uncertainty of the nodes and the Kala Sarpa Yoga.
There is much to consider challenging still, but at least we are more able for it.
There is, however, one issue with this combination. The Sun and Mars are strong, while Mars aspects the Sun in Aries from Capricorn, but Saturn is also very strong in Capricorn. Aries and Capricorn are at odds with each other. Aries is 'gung ho' and wants what it wants, yesterday. Capricorn has the bigger picture in mind at all times and the consequences of our actions are never far from our minds.
This creates a conflict between doing what we want (Aries) and doing the right thing (Capricorn), which is the main conflict I wrote about in 2020 in my article, Pluto, Saturn & Jupiter in Capricorn.
The Sun is conjunct Uranus by Apr 26, bringing with it the need for more freedom, from restrictions and controls, which may be expressed in a more obvious way at this point. Aries is symbolized by a fresh shoot in spring. It offers a new sense of life, of renewal - and of healing.
The first lunar sign of the zodiac, at the beginning of Aries, is called Aśvinī and is the domain of the twin horsemen the Aśvinī Kumaras, the physicians to the gods. This suggest a cure is high on our agenda as the Sun enters here from mid-April, while Uranus brings unexpected results, too.
Adding to the Sun's strength is Mars' exaltation. What do you get when both the fiery indications in the chart are so strong? Lots of fire, of actions taken, of overcoming our fears and breaking free from restrictions, increasing our confidence in times of great uncertainty on the planet.
Rāhu (True Node) enters Mṛgaśiras Apr 22
If you use the 'true' nodal positions, Rāhu moves out of the volatile Ārdrā and into the softer and more playful lunar mansion, Mṛgaśiras by the end of April. If you use the traditional mean node calculation, this doesn't occur until May 20.
Meaning, 'deer's head', Mṛgaśiras is just like a deer, innocent and curious, with a fondness for roaming about, exploring new avenues of adventure.
The nature of the deer reflects curiosity and having to be on guard, just as a deer is hyper-vigilant to any sounds or movements in their environment. The virus only serves to heighten this sensitivity. Rāhu exaggerates and distorts this all the more.
Churning the Mind
The Samudra Manthan is one of the best known myths in Indian mythology. It's connection to this lunar sign is due to it being where Soma, the Moon deity and the elixir is held, ie. the cure. The myth tells the story of this elixir or Amṛta (immortal nectar) being produced along with poisons by the 'churning of the oceans' by the gods and demons.
This is analogous of our own gods and demons, the thoughts that thrash about in our heads, the pros and cons, which offers disturbing thoughts along with some real gems and insights. This also points to poisons and cures, which is further enhanced in April due to the Kala Sarpa Yoga, as planets line up on one side of the nodes, and by Rāhu's entry into this lunar mansion.
In the story, Swarbhanu, was the demon who distracted the gods and drank of the nectar, thus becoming immortal. Viṣṇu saw this deceit and cut his head off, thus creating Rāhu, the head, and Ketu, the headless body, the lunar nodes and eclipses.
This story tells us a lot about our own shadow nature, our inner demons and our hunger for something, while our need to reject something else. Rāhu shows what we want, Ketu, what we reject. Placing this in a modern context, as the head of the demon, Rāhu, enters Mṛgaśiras, where the ambrosia is held, we are likely to see this play out in extremes in getting our hands on a cure, doing whatever it takes to get it, rejecting moral and ethical considerations in the process.
New Moon in Aries (Aśvinī) Apr 23
The new Moon in Aśvinī, the sign of the physicians to the gods, and of swiftness, suggests we are the stage of developing a treatment plan for the virus in this lunar month. While the swiftness also suggest mistakes, it does at least point to making some headway.
The new Moon is always a new beginning, anyway, and although this new beginning is within a period of uncertainty and upheaval on the planet, as indicated by the previous new Moon and lunar new year, it is still a new beginning, all the same.
You will notice that all the planets are on one side of the nodes, Rahu and Ketu, once again, creating a powerful Kala Sarpa Yoga at this time. Before this new Moon, the yoga is actually in its most potent form, when all planets are in all the signs between the nodes. This occurs between Apr 17 and 19.
As all planets gather on one side of the nodes, it exaggerates the other indications, including the debilitation of Jupiter and Mercury, the planets associated with the nodes at this time. This can seem confusing and lacks a clear direction and purpose, any meaning, as if events that happen now seem meaningless and difficult to grasp.
Times of uncertainty require a new direction and plan of action, as this new Moon brings a new dawn, full of new possibilities.
This is further emphasized a couple of days after the new Moon, which places the Sun and Moon in exaltation on Apr 25/26, the third lunar day (tritiya) of this lunar month when both luminaries are in their strongest positions. This is called Akshaya Tṛtīyā in the Hindu calendar, meaning 'the undiminishing third lunar day'. This day is seen as the most auspicious of the year, cancelling out other difficult indications. And there are many difficult indications to cancel out!
Added to the strength of this time is Venus, which is strong in its own sign alongside the exalted Moon, as well as the exaltation of Mars and strength of Saturn. Although these particular transits are challenging, it at least shows we are up for the challenge.
The third lunar day is a particularly auspicious day for new beginnings, either on April 25/26, depending on your location, offering more potential for more positive results.
Mercury in Aries Apr 24 - May 9
Mercury leaves Saturn's influence finally, and its sign of debilitation, for fresher pastures and more clarity and direction in Aries, meeting with the Sun placed therein, and receiving a strong aspect from a strong Mars. We need this sense of direction to overcome our recent lack of focus.
This is a welcome relief for the restrictions of Saturn, which, although is staying in the background of our awareness, is at least not impacting our minds and everyday business as much. The time for hesitation and confusion is over. The time for action is nigh.
Mercury is conjunct Uranus by May 1, and again, as with any Uranus transit, it creates the possibility of the unexpected into the end of April and beginning of May, impacting how we interact, how we do business and travel, as well as how we think and process new information. This will be coming at us at a higher speed at this stage.
The pace of life picks up again as Mercury enters Aries, fuelled by Mars. We just have to accept that certain things are outside of our control or understanding.
But Mercury in Aries is not as bothered about that. It's more about being able to do something.
Pluto Retrograde Apr 26 - Oct 5
Pluto's role is to provide a sense of 'end times' in 2019 and 2020 as it conjoins Saturn. Why? Because we cannot keep going the way we are. Cycles of endings are as important as new beginnings, as nothing new can be introduced without clearing out the old. This operates from cells in the body to stars in our galaxy. This is particularly impactful on systems that run our lives as Pluto and Saturn conjoin in Capricorn.
This has been particularly impactful on how we live our lives, and how we must change in the coming years. While Pluto's retrograde points to going back to address some things before we get on with it proper next year, there is change a coming, and in a big way. Change happens slowly with Pluto, of course, as it returns to Capricorn by the last day of 2020 and for the next two decades.
Pluto stations at the very beginning of sidereal Capricorn, which is not only the 9th division of Capricorn as well, but also where Tropical Capricorn is, making this sign particularly impactful on many levels of our being. The Tropical Zodiac seems to be more symbolic of the need to change, while the Sidereal Zodiac shows the real changes that must actually happen, changes that are happening. And still, another part of us knows that, 'Nothing happens. All is'.
Of course, nothing may happen at all for Pluto's station, nothing that we are conscious of, at any rate, but it does point to something happening deep down, hidden within each of us, and in events that slowly unfold over the coming months, as these inner changes during Pluto's retrograde are expressed in the world around us in time.
Pluto will return to the degree at which is conjoined Saturn in Jan 2020 (28 degrees of Sagittarius) by the time it stations direct in October, making its presence known by the latter part of the year, probably in some things being brought out into the open at that point; some of which we may prefer to leave hidden. Let's hope it's not the virus again.
Pluto's retrograde is the first to occur in 2020, before all the other planets, without exception, begin to retrograde from next month.
Saturn stations on May 11, Venus on May 13 and Jupiter on May 15. Later, Mercury stations on Jun 18, Neptune on Jun 23, Uranus on Aug 15, and finally, Mars on Sep 10.
So there's plenty of time to work things out, it seems.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.