April begins as the recent eclipse season comes to a close. This may cue a sigh of relief for some, even though eclipses continue to resonate through our lives for several months. Last month was fairly intense and may have left us feeling somewhat battle worn! The challenges to our sense of self and personal autonomy may have felt harsh and left us wondering whether there’s any real hope of change or just more of the same old struggles in different packaging! Thankfully the second half of April provides ample opportunity to refresh and regroup, offering inner space in which to consider where we go from here.
As the Sun potentises this process we can each begin to find our own way to honour the past and those who have walked challenging paths before us, their legacy our freedom. They may be our ancestors or anonymous strangers whose identity we will never know, but they speak into our collective heart urging us to prioritise the pursuit of equality, respect and liberty for all, arresting the perpetuation of long-standing oppression and exploitation. The human tendency to seek power over others, to denigrate those deemed less worthy, fear difference and negatively judge what we don’t understand has created a world in which profound inequalities are woven through its very fabric. The burgeoning alliance between Uranus and Eris is set to expose the rotten core of a world built upon exploitation of the weakest to serve the most powerful. It challenges us all to seed a new one that equally serves all, in which no being is a chattel and respect is afforded to life itself, regardless of its form or apparent worth.
A square between Neptune and Mars from 3rd to 26th April may confuse our motivation and find us fighting other peoples’ battles instead of our own, motivated by an unarticulated imperative hidden in the darkened corners of our psyche. We may be vulnerable to influences not in our interests now and people who want to place their words in our mouths and their feelings in our hearts. Conflict may be especially messy and is really best avoided if at all possible. When tempers begin to flare or passions are aroused, commit to taking time out and creating peaceful space in which you and others can reflect, relax and return to state of balance before things get out of hand. The more we can each do this the greater will be the possibility of peace at a collective as well as personal level.
The New Moon in Aries on 7th April invites us to embrace the potential of this time no matter how intense it may feel personally. The natural inclination is often to roll our eyes and steel ourselves to survive challenges in the hope that peace follows in their wake. If I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked ‘when will things get better’ I’d be a millionaire! But this is not about ‘things getting better’. It’s about us getting better at living those things we want to avoid! For only in doing so can we get to know ourselves from all angles: up, down, inside out and back to front. Otherwise we never truly meet ourselves, but instead perpetuate a diminished version of who we are, devoid of guts and gumption, watered down and hemmed in by fear, regret and denial. This New Moon strengthens us to meet our true selves and play our part in the rise of the authentic self that typifies the birth of the burgeoning Aquarian Age.
13th – 17th April sees Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury urging discernment in what we believe, who we give credence to and the understanding we choose to adopt in our lives. Our search for meaning and need for life to make sense may be our greatest weakness at this time, preventing us from recognising the breath-taking beauty that lives at the heart of chaos as much as emerges from order and form. As Uranus continues to approach the dwarf planet Eris in the coming months things may make less sense not more. We may be taken unaware by unexpected events that turn parts of our world upside down, personally or collectively. Confidence in a divine order that plays itself out according to certain rules may be brought into question. The outcomes we thought we’d get may be elusive and it could feel like life is becoming increasingly unpredictable and unfair.
Not a pretty picture I know, but pretty won’t cut it now. We need to be bold, spiritual warriors of the most fearless kind, prepared to face life head on and embrace all it throws in our direction: good, bad and indifferent. Live all of it, with our souls on fire, our minds awake and hearts open to receive the deepest insights and most potent wisdom. It is time to live life in the raw, not air-brushed and turning its best side to face us!
The 17th and 18th April see first Mars and then Pluto station retrograde, joining Jupiter and Saturn who are already in reverse. Just when the energy feels fit to burst, this shift of direction by two planetary heavyweights augurs a commensurate shift in the following weeks, from tension and conflict to a more reflective orientation. We may sense a calling inward to contemplate our own thoughts and feelings rather than analyse and challenge those of other people. We may begin to recognise more fully just how vital it is to question every assumption we have made about life to date, to break through false floors and glass ceilings and get closer to the actual, timeless truth. Deep reflection is well aspected now and will offer powerful and potentially life changing insights to those who stop trying to force life into a convenient box. To anyone prepared to surrender and see what happens next, Mars and Pluto offer the promise of inner freedom which releases us from the need to fight with life but instead dance with it, alert and awake, sensing its moves, knowing its song and matching its tempo as it twists and turns through our being.
The 20th – 26th sees Venus conjunct Uranus and Eris, bringing a soothing and gentle touch to their imposing might. Although in Aries Venus is less gentle and receptive than she might be in some other signs, she is still mobilised for pleasure not pain, satisfaction not irritation and conflict. If you’ve seen too much of the latter in recent weeks, call upon this passage of Venus to dowse the flames and infuse your relationships with more positive energy, placing the pursuit of shared pleasure centre stage for a few days, not the perpetuation of conflict and power struggles.
The Scorpio Full Moon on 22nd provides wise illumination of our deepest feelings and invites honest appraisal of our emotional and psychological well-being. If we have been struggling for some time with emotional pain there is no shame in seeking help and asking for support. Being human is tough. Life can be hard and these days are incredibly intense. For those who have been soldiering-on battle worn and weary, this Moon encourages a softening in attitude towards oneself; a willingness to admit needs previously denied and vulnerabilities kept hidden from view. We are all in this together and not so different from each other. The need to show a certain coping and tough face to the world keeps many in a prison of loneliness, unable to connect authentically for fear of the mask slipping to reveal a scared, flawed and vulnerable human being. This Moon assures us it’s okay to be any or all of those things. We are who we are, and embracing that truth can be the most healing and restorative gift we can offer ourselves and each other under the penetrating radiance of this Moon.
As April comes to a close Mercury stations retrograde in Taurus on 28th, making five planets retrograde by the end of the month. The heavens couldn’t be clearer: we need to stop, reflect, revisit, remember and realign. And maybe we should add a relinquish in there too, for in doing the first five we will naturally discern with greater clarity what serves us well and be ever more greatly moved to release what fails to help us thrive. Not so long ago we may have only applied the notion of ‘letting go’ to those aspects of our life which were clearly not working, with a view to improving our everyday experience. Now letting go is of an altogether different order. We may be challenged to release the very comforts and pleasures for which we have previously striven. Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the biggest can be disguised as achievements which stick to us like glue, asserting we must carry them with us henceforth no matter what. Letting go of past glory can be the hardest thing of all, for what is left when those things that make us who we are begin to fade?
This question is left hanging in the air as April becomes May. We are in a deep and lengthy process of individual and collective realignment. Whatever we think it will entail can only fail to reflect the reality of the experience. There’s been a lot of comfort-blanket spirituality in recent times, but as we progress through 2016 those blankets may unravel to reveal a lack of substance where we need it the most. The final half of April begins the unravelling whilst simultaneously unleashing the guts and gall we need to be the spiritual warriors we truly are. Each and every one of us, no matter who, what or where, has within our grasp the power to break free from the past, step into the present and reshape the burgeoning future. It will take courage and may stretch us in ways we’ve not been stretched before. But together we can do it step by step and piece by piece, calling upon the power of love as a rectifying not an acquiescent force, and the power of resolve to fuel the engines of conscious evolutionary change.