April 2018 Astro-Energy Report – Hard As Steel, Soft As Silk
This month sees a concentration of energy in the signs of Capricorn and Aries, favouring pragmatic action fuelled by self-confidence and well-honed instinct. If you struggle with a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem, draw upon this energy to challenge the debilitating inner voice which says you’ve failed before you’ve begun, it’s not worth the risk – you’ll only make a fool of yourself! None of us are obliged to believe such harsh inner talk and yet we do, far too easily, and it’s time we resolved to stop and find a different way to approach life’s challenges. She/he who never dares never wins and has already lost when it comes to fulfilment of potential. Which doesn’t mean we’re all here to be super-heroes, magical healers, hyper-‘spiritual’ enlightened beings. It simply means we can all find more peace, more openness, more love when we let go the harsh inner critic and first allow some of that peace, openness, and love in. Only then can we share it with the world in our own particular way.
Whatever your priorities at this time, hold fast to the belief that you can manifest positive change in your own life. It may not be easy and there are often many forces which seem to be stacked against us when we try, but the evolutionary thrust which fuels human aspiration is more enduring than the obstacles which lie in wait. Pluto still steadily working its way through Capricorn reminds us we’re made of stronger stuff than we’ve led ourselves to believe. In discovering our hard-as-steel but soft-as-silk core we obtain the confidence that comes from knowing we can bend when we must and stand firm when we have to. And it’s okay to weep sometimes too, for tears speak of the depths we must dive to for the true self to be known.
Beware assuming too much this month. With Mercury retrograde until 15th April, and not yet in fresh territory by the month end, a willingness to rethink beliefs and learn something new will help life flow more smoothly. Check out the facts if you’re not clear, and if you feel completely clear, check them out twice! Certainty can be deceptive and blind us to important nuances of a situation. Open-mindedness will be rewarded this month, helping us avoid the inconvenience of dead ends and blind alleys.
April begins in the wake of the Libra full moon opposed by Mercury retrograde on 31st March. This moon illuminates relationships and how well (or not) we communicate within them. It reminds us that communication is not just about what we say, but how we say it, what we don’t say and our general behaviour towards others whoever they may be. Loving words mean nothing if we disregard other people’s feelings at the drop of a hat. And deception is not just about telling a lie but also failing to speak the truth when it needs to be heard. Our integrity in relationships is under the spotlight throughout April. Any conflicts or misunderstandings can foster insight into ourselves and other people if we handle them well. If, however, we get lost in the battle and need to have our own way without compromise there could well be some mighty arguments in the weeks to come!
Saturn squaring Mercury retrograde from 1st to 9th April reminds us there are unavoidable consequences to what we (do or don’t) say and how we (do or don’t) say it. Embracing this fact can help us hone our communication with careful consideration of desired outcomes and appreciation of pragmatic communication over emotional drama (the latter will most assuredly not work for us this month!). Saturn’s trine to Venus from 6th – 10th April and Mars’s trine to Venus from 6th to 15thsupport intentions to make relationships work, and as the Moon travels through Capricorn from 6th – 9th April, inter-personal problems can be addressed from a place of cool clarity rather than subjective emotionality.
Mars’s conjunction to Saturn which began at the end of March and continues until 10th April further enhances our capacity for effective action and a positive work ethic. If there’s much to be done and you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and demands, this alliance supports you in knuckling down and working methodically through your ‘to do’ list. Don’t see this as a chore but a gift: an opportunity to get to grips with the material world and the seemingly mundane realities of life which are as much a part of being human as anything else. This month we’re reminded forcefully that we’re not here to avoid being human but to embrace it, not to transcend it but to live it to the full. And that includes paying bills, cleaning the house, standing in line and earning our keep. The secret is to find the joy in those things as we do them, not resent their demands as if they distract us from the ‘real’ meaning of life.
From 8th – 14th April Pluto in Capricorn squares the Sun in Aries. If your birthday falls during this time your coming year may well be a game-changer for you. Be prepared to question yourself and how you deal with the challenges you encounter on life’s journey. There are new ways of dealing with old problems and you’re about to discover them! As can we all during this week when we must get to grips with powerful forces which impact our life and threaten to change its course if we let them. Remember, though, this may not be a bad thing! Sometimes a change of direction is exactly what we need even when it feels tough at the time. Pluto squaring the Sun reflects the potential for deep change and enduring transformation. Events during this week may well serve as triggers for exactly that. A willingness to surrender to change rather than resist it may be the difference between positive renewal and embittered battles which drain our energy for a long time to come.
10th – 16th April sees the Sun teaming up with Eris, providing us greater strength and a deepened capacity to face up to challenges, both inner and outer, and do whatever it takes to bring our lives into a state of balance. Not suppressive ‘calm on the surface but disturbed underneath’ balance, but radical, life-changing, rejuvenating balance from which new life is born. When the Moon travels through Aries between 14th and 16thwe can connect more readily with our intuition and instinct, knowing what needs to be done and when. Insights arising now may challenge previous assumptions and require a change of plans, but a readiness to revisit what we thought we knew can open doors to new ways of being. Mercury ends its retrograde journey through Aries on 15th, providing an added boost to our efforts in time for the new moon in Aries on 16thApril. This moon allows us to begin again where we need it the most and imbues those new beginnings with immense power, so be sure intentions around this time reflect your most confident self and not your most fearful one! The creative force of the universe doesn’t pick and choose what to run with. It simply provides the energy and we use it as we will. The energy of this new moon is influential and creative, chomping at the bit to begin something new. What that will be is our choice. Fears indulged now will be imbued with great power, as will the resolve to start afresh and take control.
Uranus is conjunct the Sun from 15th to 21st April, heralding unexpected events, impulses and insights. Tension may be in the air as we yearn for the freedom to do and be as we wish, unbound by the shackles of life’s duties and demands. For those who can’t just shake off everyday life and head out for an adventure, frustrations may abound. But remember: the frustration of Uranus is eased when we recognise the true nature of liberation: that it comes from within not without. If we need external freedom to be free, we’re not free at all but instead shackled to the vagaries of an unpredictable world. If Uranus conjunct the Sun calls you into adventure, then by all means enjoy! But if you remain bound within the tapestry of your daily life, reflect on the true nature of freedom and see where that takes you…
17th April sees Chiron enter Aries for the first time since its discovery in 1977. In Aries, Chiron reminds us that a healthy ego is vital for a fulfilling life. Ego is not something we must simply transcend, but a core part of what it means to be human. Whilst ultimately we are all one, at a relative level we are individuals with our own needs to meet, life to live and lessons to learn. We need a healthy ego to successfully do these things and cannot overlook this fact in favour of premature peace or a false-self of pious spirituality. Not without unhelpful consequences further down the line, anyway! Chiron’s coming journey through Aries (which lasts for several years) tells us that a fractured ego under siege and in defensive mode can be transformed into a healthy and resilient one, in touch with the self and others, able to weather the storms of life and not be broken by their power. We can take great comfort from this message for many are fractured to some degree. Between now and when Chiron retrogrades back into Pisces in September we have an opportunity to know what such reordering of the self feels like, as Chiron helps us deal more swiftly with wounding challenges, encouraging us to stay in motion rather than getting lost in the thoughts and feelings of it all.
Saturn also turns retrograde in its own sign of Capricorn on 17th, encouraging reflection on the consequences we reap from the decisions we make. Occurring as Chiron enters Aries, issues of motivation are highlighted and we’re encouraged to look beyond the initial high of acting on an impulse or insistent desire, to the longer-term consequences. Do we lurch from one decision to the next, never following through, always in search of the next rush of excitement about the new? Do we hesitate and draw back from deciding, for fear of making the wrong choice? Do we make decisions always based on the safest option, or the easiest? Do we expose ourselves to unnecessary risk just to feel alive? However we operate, Saturn retrograde reminds us we bear the consequences of our decisions and we need to pay a lot more attention to what they’ve been throughout our life. Only by understanding how we choose can we make better choices.
Pluto conjuncts Mars from 20th April (to 2nd May), before turning retrograde on 22nd. This adds more intense energy into the mix, affording our actions and intentions enduring influence. Things set in motion now will carry that unremitting intensity so choose well where you invest it! Arguments and conflicts may escalate exponentially as power games abound and no one wants to back down. We may feel obsessed with the need to make our point, or get our own way, such that all else fades into insignificance. Until, that is, the beginning of next month when the energy begins to wane, revealing the fallout from the unremitting force of our desire. We may well get our own way for sure, but at what cost and will it be worth it in the long run? These are important questions to ask between now and the month end. If you decide the cost is worth it, this is a good time to strive ahead with plans. But the Sun’s entry into Taurus on 20th April reminds us if in doubt, wait a while, test the water and sniff the air. Be careful what you strive for. You may well get it, but along with a whole load of hassle beside!
As if to lighten things up a bit, Venus enters Gemini on 24th April, remaining there until 19th May. She can’t be doing with all this obsessive desire and needy power plays! All she really wants is for us to join her in some fun, which won’t sound like a bad idea by this point! Phone a friend you’ve not seen in a while and arrange a catch up. Buy that book you want to read and take some ‘me time’ to do so. Go to the theatre, watch your favourite film. Don’t let life get too heavy but instead resolve to change its energy by changing your own and focusing on some fun for a while. Whilst Mars and Pluto squaring Eris from 24th April until 8th May insist that sometimes you do have to do really tough stuff to get to where you want to be, Venus reminds us that balancing the rough with the smooth and effort with relaxation is the real key to healthy success. Be prepared to strive hard, yes, and tackle obstacles for sure, but also stay flexible and remember that sometimes an obstacle is not to be overcome but to be avoided by taking a different route altogether.
As the month comes to a close a full moon in Scorpio on 30th, squaring its own North Node in Leo, illuminates the power of self-awareness in the development of a robust and healthy ego. It’s impossible to look life straight in the eye without flinching if we won’t even look at ourselves. This Moon encourages deep reflection on our emotional life, how we respond to the world, feel about ourselves and express our emotions to others. Owning our shadow self and accepting that we are who we are goes a long way towards inner and outer resilience. But if we’re not feeling resilient, that’s fine too. We can embrace that, nourish ourselves and use this moon to rest and regather our energies. If emotions are intense, let them be. Feel them. Hear them. In the light of this moon, their message may come across loud and clear when before it was confused and uncertain. As the moon begins to wane and April comes to a close, we might just know ourselves a bit better, and love ourselves that little bit more as a result.