by Joan Kiley
April began with Fool’s Day, of course! The Sun and Uranus were conjunct in Aries, and that pair were square to both Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter in Cancer. Thus we could easily have made fools of ourselves through impulsive action, if we didn’t let the Taurus Moon provide some badly needed grounding. Yes, we’ve all got the potential for rebellious urges during the month of April, right from the git-go! That Sun/Uranus conjunction and T-square with Jupiter and Pluto continued for the first week.
On April 6, the Moon conjoined Jupiter in her own sign of Cancer, and Venus entered Pisces, which accentuated the need for a big emotional investment in this month’s action. At about that same time, the Sun and retrograde Mars entered into opposition, where they will remain for the second week of the month, while Venus conjoins Neptune.
On April 7, Mercury joins the Sun and Uranus in Aries. That combo could trigger some anxious energy, and if you feel fear rising, try to get to its source, rather than plot some negative reaction to a careless remark made by another. This is not the time to take silly actions by others in a personal way. Remember Mars, the ruler of Aries, is retrograde right now, and in the sign of its detriment (where it is least comfortable).
This retrograde Mars, plus the Venus/Neptune conjunction in Pisces, gives a strong need for awareness of our internal life motivations. The Sun/Uranus/Mercury drives us to the external action-driven place. Does this feel a bit crazy-making? It certainly canS. So be conscientious about self-care, try to be understanding of yourself and others, and do what helps you to feel grounded and centered…often.
The opposition between the Sun and Mars marks an important time for sky viewing this year! On April 8, 2014, the Earth will pass between them just as they are in exact opposition, which means that Mars will be at its brightest point for a two-year period, and in a convenient place for viewing. Mars will look like a bright red star, but with a steadier light than twinklers. Early in the month, Mars is rising in the east at sunset but by late in the month, it will already be up in the eastern sky when night falls.
The most exciting nights for viewing will be mid-month! On the night of April 13-14, the Moon will be nearly full and quite close to Mars. The next night, April 14-15, there will be a total lunar eclipse, and the Moon blood-red in color, will appear next to red Mars! What a sight! It also happens to be the first evening of Passover, so perhaps a night viewing can be added to the First Seder festivities.
This Full Moon in Libra 25 degrees will be exact at 12:42 AM PDT on tax day, April 15. The Moon sits very close to the North Node, and the Grand Cross is building. Mercury is conjunct Uranus in Aries. Be careful not to blurt out the first thing to cross your mind. It could end up being offensive, embarrassing, or both! If on second thought, it feels like a truth to be spoken, put some tact with it, and speak.
So what is this Grand Cross that’s been talked about repeatedly for months? I will give you a simplified explanation. It’s what happens when four planets form a square formation, each 90 degrees from two others, and opposite the fourth. You can visualize it, or just draw it out. Draw a square with lines drawn also between opposite angles. Make a dot at each of the four corners. These are the planets: Uranus, Pluto, Mars and Jupiter. Uranus and Mars are opposites, Pluto and Jupiter are opposites. Squares and oppositions are angles of tension, conflict and disagreement. They are also the angles that get major things accomplished when the energies of the planets involved work toward resolving their differences.
Now, Pluto and Uranus, slow-moving planets symbolizing deep, long-lasting transformational change, have been in a square position for several years now. They will make 7 exact squares between June 2012 and March 2015. What makes this Grand Cross so significant is that Mars (motivation, action, ambition, potential violence) and Jupiter (expansion, inspiration, opportunity, truth-seeking) are also exactly involved by significant aspect with these two outer planets of transformation. All four planets are in Cardinal Signs. Cardinal is the quality of initiative, high energy, and enthusiasm.
It is not as if this Grand Cross is an “event.” It is a process that has been building since December of 2013 and will continue well into May 2014. And it is a critical part of an even larger process of changes that have been evolving the consciousness of our world for some years. We, both as individuals and as part of the collective, have been given opportunities to become aware of systems of function and belief that are no longer useful for ourselves and for the world. We have been encouraged to drop/release them and build innovative, useful and more sustainable systems of function and belief in their stead. And it is happening, all over the world, with the earth and her inhabitants. The Cardinal Grand Cross may be a significant turning point in this great series of changes.
The Grand Cross is a “moment” of great challenge, and it is a time when not just individuals with fame, fortune, and political position can influence the way the world evolves. Each one of us has an important role. Most of us have no clue how important our own role is. We have no idea how vastly the power of what’s in our heart ripples out into the collective. It’s like the butterfly wing effect of chaos theory, in which “a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.” (Wikipedia) That’s why it is critical that each of us opens to the awareness of what we need to change and act on that awareness.
Late on the 19th of April, the Sun moves into earthy Taurus, taking the Sun’s energy down a notch from the Aries fiery torch. And the Moon is in Capricorn, bringing more coolness. Nevertheless, there’s no real reprieve from the reality that three of the four planets of the Grand Cross are already lined up in the same degree, mere seconds from an exact T-square, and Mars is but one degree away from filling up the fourth corner of the Cross. Effectively, we will have hit the square.
Sunday, April 20, is Easter in the Christian world, ironically, a day associated with the cross of the crucifixion. Many family gatherings will be taking place, much church going, and celebrations. It is also one of the final days of Passover. People need to be especially patient, and especially careful in their travels and activities. My experience with Uranus/Mars tense aspects is an association with crashes and clashes, and potential for injury. Mars retrograde may lessen that tendency, however, the intensity level of the energy (Moon will conjunct Pluto during that day, but move on by the next day) being particularly high may keep it in play.
The days that the Grand Cross aspects are the strongest are April 20-24. Given that Mars is retrograde, we could look for more introspection around our actions, and a greater willingness to negotiate. Mars is in the sign of Libra, which seeks harmony and balance, may have a difficult time attaining it, but seeks it nonetheless. There is pressure to release the old, and bring in the new. There is also resistance, and a desire to maintain the status quo, but I think there will be less of that during this Grand Cross, as we will all get swept along with the flow of energy. Depending on the houses where these planets are transiting in individual horoscopes, each person can get an idea of what areas of life are most impacted. The degrees are 13-14 of the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
It is important to note that the planetary rulers of the cardinal signs will be heavily involved in the Grand Cross as well. Mars is the ruler of Aries and it is one of the planets of the Cross. Venus rules Libra and will be in the water sign of Pisces. Saturn rules Capricorn and is in the water sign of Scorpio. The Moon rules Cancer. Having two of the rulers in water signs, associated with the emotional life, and the other ruler being the Moon, tells me this is a very emotional time. To further accentuate this point, the Moon will conjunct Pluto in Capricorn on the first of those five days, and will conjunct Neptune in Pisces on the last of the five days. Also Venus will be trine Saturn on the last day. The feeling component is potent. A person would have to be truly cut off from their own heart and feelings to simply act without some sense of the consequences of those actions on their fellow beings.
By April 25, the cross is slightly out of aspect, but still active. The Moon exactly conjuncts Venus, and both of them are exactly trine Saturn. We can expect a spiritual sense of concern and connection with the whole of life on that day, and some knowing that our actions must be responsible and for the greater good. With the Sun conjunct Mercury in Taurus, there is a connection with all of nature. That day, or the next, would be great times to put your self out in a nature setting, and prepare to be in awe!
On April 27-28, take some time, if you can, to reflect on what the experience of the month has meant for you. It is the balsamic phase of the Moon, the last degrees before its dark time. You may feel called to rest and/or retreat, look inward, and reflect. This is as it should be. Acknowledge that you did your best. Things will be as they will. Trust in the outcome.
The Taurus New Moon at 8 degrees 52 minutes arrives at 11:15 PM on April 28. The Cardinal Grand Cross is still in play, but much less intense. The New Moon is sextile Neptune, now at 7 degrees Pisces. Know that a new cycle is beginning. It is a good time to accept who you are today, be grateful, and commit to moving forward with self-respect and grace.
The final two days of the month, we see a Grand Trine beginning to form between Saturn, Jupiter and Chiron. It never gets to exact, but will nevertheless play a role in the astrology of May. See you then.
See you next month!