April 2014 Planetary Illuminations

4/1  Sun square Jupiter
4/2  Sun conjunct Uranus
Mercury trine Saturn
4/3 Sun square Pluto
4/5  Venus enters Pisces
4/7 Mercury enters Aries
4/8  Sun opposite Mars
4/11  Venus conjunct Neptune
4/14 Mercury square Jupiter
Mercury opposite Uranus
Pluto turns retrograde
4/15  Mercury square Pluto
Lunar eclipse at Full Moon 25 Libra 3:42 am
4/16  Mercury opposite Mars
4/17  Venus trine Jupiter
4/18  Venus sextile Pluto
4/19  Sun enters Taurus
4/20  Jupiter square Uranus
Venus conjunct Chiron
Jupiter opposite Pluto
4/21  Uranus square Pluto
4/22  Mars square Jupiter
4/23  Mars opposite Uranus
Mercury enters Taurus
Mars square Pluto
4/25  Venus trine Saturn
Sun conjunct Mercury
4/26  Mercury sextile Neptune
4/27  Sun sextile Neptune
4/29 Solar eclipse at New Moon 8 Taurus 2:14 am
Mercury trine Pluto
4/30  Mercury sextile Jupiter

Dates and  times are Eastern time zone – please adjust for your own locality.

MAJOR EVENTS 

Unlike recent months which have been full of minor planetary aspects that move quickly and don’t create lasting impressions, April’s big news is the Cardinal Grand Cross which will be building throughout the month but will peak in the middle of the month beginning with the lunar eclipse on April 15th and continuing through the following week.

Some of you will remember back in 2010 and 2011 when there were similar alignments as Uranus and Pluto began their dance and other faster-moving planets joined in.  At that time many astrologers called this dance the “Cardinal Crisis” or “Cardinal Climax” because the planets were in cardinal signs, the signs that initiate the seasons (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn).  I used the term “Cardinal Drama” instead, because to me this was neither a crisis or a climax but just one stop along the way of personal transformation.  At one point there were seven planets in a nearly exact alignment.

At the core of this drama is the square between Uranus and Pluto (see the sidebar for more information if this is new to you).  This intensely transformational planetary system has been operative since 2010 and in April we have the fifth of seven exact alignments.  Pluto, representing the destructive/regenerative force, turns retrograde in the middle of April so its influence is particularly powerful right now.

In April both Uranus and Pluto join three other planets in a Grand Cross alignment: Mercury and Uranus are aligned in a conjunction in Aries and they oppose Mars in Libra.  Jupiter in Cancer is opposite Pluto in Capricorn (see the sidebar for more information about this alignment) and both planets are in a square formation to the other planets.  For a few hours on April 14th the Aries Moon is also involved as it approaches the lunar eclipse on the 15th.

The energy now is a push to awaken from the struggle of the past few years.  The pressure for change is powerful and many of us have resisted the call to surrender the shackles that hold us to the earth (Pluto in Capricorn) and let go to a new energy that is breaking down the old ways so that something totally and radically new can replace it (Uranus in Aries).

Planetary cycles are opportunities for transformation.  It is the resistance to transformation that creates difficulties in our lives.  During this month of intense planetary energy, find time and space in your lives to be aware and awake.  Look at the problems you are facing with new eyes.  Open your mind to the possibility of new solutions that can change your world forever.  And most importantly: surrender your idea of What Should Be.  Generally, we are the co-creators of our lives.  In April 2014, we are being shaped and molded by Universal Wisdom.

April details

April begins on the heels of a New Moon in Aries that initiated the stirrings of the powerful forces that will be erupting in April.  Between the 1st and the 3rd the Aries Sun forms a more exact alignment with Jupiter (expansion), Uranus (change) and Pluto (destruction/rebirth), illuminating the growing tension and shining light on areas of our lives that require adjustment so that growth and change can take place.  A harmonious trine from Mercury (mind/communication) to Saturn (structure and organization) will aid us in understanding the underlying energies and helping us to create structures that support and aid us in the transformative process.

Venus (love, beauty) enters Pisces (transcendence) on the 5th, and for a few weeks we will be drawn towards the mystical – creativity blossoms now and the desire for spiritual connection is strengthened.  Under this influence our relationships can become magical – or deluded.  This mystical force can help us to move more easily through the planetary energies if we keep our eyes open and don’t succumb to the power of illusion.

Mercury (thoughts, ideas) enters Aries (initiation, self-direction) on the 7th and begins to align with the cardinal formation.  The self-preservation of Aries conflicts somewhat with the transcendent urge of the Pisces Venus, but we can merge these two dynamics consciously by holding the sense of self (Aries) as we allow ourselves to surrender to flow (Pisces).

On the 8th an opposition from the Sun (conscious mind) to Mars (aggression and excitement) helps to energize us but could also bring up conflict that requires resolution for a day or so.  A conjunction from Venus to Neptune on the 11th calms the nerves and enhances creativity and feelings of romantic and universal love but may also blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

By the 14th and 15th the Grand Cross is in full swing when Mercury (mind and communication) interacts in stressful aspects with Jupiter (righteousness), Uranus (radical ideas) and Pluto (intensity and conflict).  Pluto is stationary as it turns retrograde on the 14th, and it is more powerful than ever at this time so our thoughts and communication with others will be intensified.  Pluto tends to expose secrets and unearth emotions that have been submerged and there can be an explosion of compulsive and obsessive traits under this influence.

These qualities are a part of the Full Moon in Libra that is also a solar eclipse as the sun eclipses the lunar light.  A lunar event becomes an eclipse when it occurs near the lunar nodes and because the lunar nodes represent our fate, eclipses have long been tied to events that are important and which can change our very destiny.

The Libra Full Moon is opposite the Sun in Aries, offering an opportunity to find balance between our desire for harmony and peace (Libra) with our need to assert ourselves and find our own way (Aries).  Because of the Grand Cross in the cardinal signs of action, this is a time to forge a new direction and wake up to a new integration of forces that may appear to be pulling us apart.

This Full Moon eclipse is not all difficult and full of conflict – Jupiter, planet of abundance and opportunity, harmonizes with Chiron (expanding our ability to find healing in the midst of stress), Venus (opening hearts and facilitating optimism), and Neptune (enhancing our connection to our spiritual source).   Watch the pages of Astrological Musings for more details.

The intense light and awakening energies of the Full Moon continue for several days as the strong formations between Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto continues to draw closer and more exact, culminating on the 20th and 21st of April.  Where the eclipse on the 15th will expose the cracks in the veneer of our consciousness and our day to day lives, the coming together of these three planets will bring about a peak experience of transformation and change.  Doors of consciousness will open and soul memories will make themselves known.  This can be frightening as we feel the ground beneath us open up, but if we can find a way to let go into conscious awareness and mindfulness we will find the pathway that will lead us to our highest aspirations.

The addition of Mars (energy and aggression) to the planetary mix which peaks on April 22-23 will simply continue to energize the energies, making them nearly impossible to manage.  Surrender and moving THROUGH rather than fighting against or attempting to move around will be the key to using this time wisely.  Challenging interactions between Mars and Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto can be time of danger and increased conflict, so please be careful to avoid inflammable personal situations if at all possible, and use care when traveling, especially from the middle of April through the end of the month.

Mercury (mind and ideas) enters grounded and serene Taurus on the 24th, so once the Mars influence calms down after the 25th our thinking and communication will be more grounded and we will begin to feel more stabilized.  The Sun and Mercury form a harmonious sextile to Neptune on the 26th and 27th which is marvelous for creativity and clarity of expression.

The Taurus New Moon will continue to stabilize us and help us to find a grounded sense of peace after the storm of the previous planetary energies.  The Grand Cross is still in effect so transformation is still continuing to occur, but because we will be feeling more grounded at that time the integration may come more easily.  Mercury harmonizes now with Chiron, Jupiter and Pluto which helps us towards greater understanding on an intellectual level. However, Taurus is a fixed sign and if we become too fixed in our views and unable to embrace the necessary adjustments, we may find ourselves facing more challenges.

The intensity of April’s planetary alignments contains real gifts if we look for them amidst the chaos.  In any case, resistance is futile so we may as well adapt and go willingly into the crucible of transformation!