April 2019 Forecast

 
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April is the month of Fools, and with Mercury conjunct Neptune this April Fool’s Day (technically exact on the 2nd), that’s especially true this year. The origins of this odd Western holiday are unclear. Nevertheless, it evokes the archetype of the Fool: clown, comedian, innocent, and wise man. This is a card of starting off on new adventures, of the sacred naivete of someone who knows that they know nothing, and of the willingness to take a risk. The Fool speaks in riddles, especially when Mercury in Pisces meets Neptune. As we make our way through the month, consider the wisdom of childlike play.

We have a dark moon at 15 Aries on April 5th. This moon squares Saturn in Capricorn, indicating that making a brave new beginning with this lunar cycle will require us to overcome challenges. Saturn is the set of weights you have to lift to build muscle or the schedule to which you stay accountable when you want to accomplish an important project. His influence is not inherently bad; it just always spells hard work. Only (non-sacred) fools think they can get everything they want without working for it. Set the intention to overcome a challenge with this new moon. Then, do the work throughout this lunar cycle.

We still have Venus in Pisces for most of this month, giving us more fantastical, musical mermaid vibes. Mercury is still in Pisces for most of April too, and though this sign is not an easy fit for this planet, the placement does speak of unusual creativity. Muting Mercury’s “normal” logic and speed results in slow, unexpected poetry. Both Mercury and Venus take turns sextiling Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn (from the 7th through the 14th). These Pisces-Capricorn sextiles are somewhat friendly offerings to take what we learned during the weird Piscean March of 2019, take responsibility for what we can control, and use our imaginations to transform circumstances.

Jupiter stations retrograde at 24 Sagittarius on April 10th. We have a lot of hype about retrogrades right now, so relax, because Jupiter is retrograde for about five months every year. If you have natal Jupiter retrograde, you’re in good company. Jupiter Rx is still jovial. You can still be ambitious and test your luck. This retrograde period will take Jupiter from 24 to 15 degrees of Sagittarius, stationing direct on August 11th. You can time positive shifts with the retrograde and direct stations of this maximalist planet. Use this retrograde to review what you learned from mid-January through April, to revisit past adventures, and to prepare for future opportunities. If you fall off your horse, just get right back on.

At the same time, the sun in Aries begins squaring everything in Capricorn, starting with Saturn on April 10th. Aries season is all about new adventures, beginnings, and winning. Aries likes to be first. So in between the dark moon in Aries and our upcoming full moon in Libra, we must meet yet another set of challenges. Play to win. When the sun squares the moon’s nodes on the 12th and Pluto on the 13th, make sure that you’re playing the game for the right reasons. What are you nurturing? Why do you care?

As we make our way to the full moon mid-month, Mercury and Venus square Jupiter from Pisces (on the 12th and 15th). This set of squares has us looking at our dreams again—are we dreaming big enough? Too big? Envision what you might dare to do with the rest of the time that Jupiter is in Sagittarius. Start making your biggest plans for the final push when Jupiter is direct (August 11th through December 2nd). The sun makes a trine to Jupiter from Aries on the 15th, an aspect that speaks of energy, adventure, luck, and fun.

On the 17th, Mercury finally leaves Pisces and moves into Aries. Mercury here is original, opinionated, direct, and quick to make a decision. So if you’ve been mulling over something while Mercury floated through Pisces, you may figure it out fast once he gets into Aries. Mercury meets Chiron immediately (exact on the 19th), so prepare to think and maybe even talk about healing your personal wound of authenticity, rage, or masculinity.

Our full moon this month is at the last degree of Libra, on April 19th. This one squares Pluto in Capricorn, indicating a transformative transition. The moon also opposes Uranus in Taurus, which combined with the Pluto square, takes the late-Libra placements in the room right back to the change-making earthquakes of 2012 - 2015. During that time, all of the Cardinal signs were engaged in major life changes. This is now, not then, so the key difference is that Uranus is in Taurus instead of Aries. We’re growing something sustainably innovative now.

The next day, April 20th, the sun enters Taurus and meets Uranus (exact conjunction on the 22nd). All of the Uranian Bull themes—rewilding ourselves and our world, hedonistic innovations, and pleasure revolutions—are highlighted with the sun here. When the sun is in Taurus, we begin to feel the real warmth of spring. Things will heat up fast with Uranus involved.

Also on the 20th, Venus moves into Aries and meets Chiron (exact conjunction on the 23rd). Venus in Aries is independent. Though Venus is a planet of relationship, Aries is the sign of self, so here she is more focused on herself and has difficulty sometimes relating to others. However, Venus here is fun, adventurous, and passionate. When she is with Chiron, we feel that wound of identity healing. Do your best to relate to others who may struggle with similar wounds at this time.

We have two more outer planets station retrograde at the end of the month. Pluto stations retrograde at 23 degrees of Capricorn on the 24th. This is another one that happens for five months every year, and it’s nothing to worry about. Pluto’s retrograde period is a time to reflect on power—how you’re empowering or disempowering yourself and/or others—and the various death-rebirth cycles we all go through as we change in life. Pluto will station direct at 21 degrees of Capricorn on October 3rd.

On the 29th, Saturn stations retrograde at 21 degrees of Capricorn. Again, this is a planet that stations retrograde every year for about 4 ½ months. It’s normal to have outer planet retrogrades, and it’s also normal to have them retrograde at the same time, so this is all business as usual. When Saturn stations retrograde, we become more aware of our limitations and responsibilities. Saturn will station direct at 14 degrees of Capricorn on September 18th. While Saturn backtracks over the middle degrees of his home sign, we can review what we’ve accomplished, address setbacks, and plan the next leg of our climb up this mountain. You want to be making uphill progress, not leaping off mountain cliffs without a parachute. Carry with you the sacred innocence of a fool beginning new adventures this month—along with the wisdom you’ve accumulated so far.

Image Credit: The Fool, The Magician Longs to See Tarot by Benjamin Mackey

March 2019 Forecast

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March is going to be weird this year. It’s one heady, cosmic ocean of feelings and psychedelic spiritual experiences, with some retrograde time travel thrown into the mix. Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Mad March hares. It’s like we’ve all been pushing ourselves so hard with our Saturn-in-Capricorn work ethic for the past two months that now we’re going way past taking a mental health day and disappearing into another universe for a tight three weeks. There are opportunities for the kind of awakening healing that takes ages of pain and releases it all at once. So leave the desk early; get some sleep. Listen to your dreams, schedule some reiki, read your rhymes at a poetry slam with accompaniment from a theremin ensemble–whatever it is that you do to vibe with the deeply sensitive energies of Pisces season. Just don’t get lost in the ether.

Venus starts the party on March 1st when she moves into Aquarius. In Aqua, she’s a lot less traditional than she is in Capricorn, but equally as distant. Venus here needs space from others to think, because this is the sign of genius flowing fresh inspiration to the masses. Venus in Aqua is out there: unconventional in love and creativity. In a recent email to subscribers, I referred to Aqua Venus as “a brilliant non-binary cyborg in an intergalactic polyamorous triad, getting direct downloads of creative genius from some future alien muse.” So that starts us off on an unusual month.

Then on March 5th, Mercury stations retrograde at 29 Pisces. He’ll be retro until he stations direct at on the 28th. As I said in February, Mercury in this sign is a poet, floating dreamily in the oceans of the unconscious, letting one word come through at a time. When he’s retrograde, he’s even deeper underwater, and the words take longer to float up to the surface. Good material for dancers, perhaps; not so great for tax appointments and conference calls. But we know this about Mercury retrograde. Leave extra time for anything to do with technology, and embrace the aspects of Mercury that are more available to you during this Pisces Rx. These are: spiritual communication, magic (especially for releasing and clearing blocks), liminality, artistic expression, dreams, and synchronicity. It’s an excellent time to detox from addictive tech anyway.

The biggest news (and #1 reason for March’s high weirdness) is Uranus moving into Taurus on March 6th. Uranus was in Taurus for a kind of trial period from May through November of 2018. Look back on that time for a clue about what’s awakening in your life. Now he’s moving in for a good, long time: this transit lasts through April 25, 2026. Uranus in Taurus will awaken innovations around the environment, food, bodies, sex, and money. On a wide scale, there are positive ways for us to use Uranus in Taurus to revolutionize pleasure, “innovate” our way back to older and better ways of living with the land, and rebel against Capitalist values. In the short term, Uranus is likely to disrupt the area of your life that is awakening, and it might not feel that pleasurable at first. You can read more about this major transit in my post here. Expect unexpected events in the first week of March

On the same day of Uranus’ ingress into Taurus (March 6th), we have a new moon at 16 Pisces. This lunation is conjunct Neptune, making it especially imaginative and sensitive. The moon is low-key squaring Pisces’ other ruler Jupiter, giving this one the flavor of the Jupiter-Neptune square that challenges us to go forth and attempt to create our big dreams. Sextiles to Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Taurus give this lunation a much-needed gravitational pull down to earth. Vesta, goddess of the sacred fires, is conjunct this moon too, giving it an added sense of the sacred. A ritual would be highly appropriate.

Mid-March is busy with transits from the Pisces sun, retrograde Mercury, and Mars in Taurus. The sun and Mercury Rx square Jupiter on the 13th - 16th, while also making a sextile to Pluto. These combined transits speak of accessing your inner sunlight to remove blocks, some of which are probably mental and/or emotional. Mars makes a trine to Saturn on the 14th, supporting the slow, grounded process of achieving these goals.

Spring Equinox this year is March 20th. As soon as the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, he meets Chiron at the first degree (exact on the 22nd). It’s another awakening transit, this time from the wounded healer, who wants to suck some of the toxic poison out of our associations with masculinity and this Mars-ruled sign. Mars trine Pluto on the 20th makes the vibe that much more intense, with its power and passion. The full moon at 0 Libra on the night of the Equinox will necessarily be opposing Chiron. This lunation is about war and peace, love and loneliness, fitting in and standing out. The pain of being misunderstood is sharply felt at this time. You need somewhere safe to express your vulnerable side, so you can be your whole self. You can read more about Chiron in Aries in my post here.

On the 21st, Venus square Mars and sextile Jupiter re-emphasizes the full moon’s message about independent self-expression. Mercury is still retrograde in Pisces a week into Aries season, so between that and all of the outer-planetary Uranus/Chiron activity, it won’t feel like the straightforward green light that Aries can sometimes be. Especially with Mercury conjunct Neptune exactly on the 24th making the whole retrograde vibe even more surreal.

On the 26th, Venus enters Pisces, sign of her exaltation. Venus in Pisces is especially charming, tender, romantic, and unconditionally devoted. We all feel the love with her in this sign. Mercury stations direct at 16 Pisces on the 28th, releasing us from the extended sleep of surreal healing. It might be a rather rude awakening: with Pluto conjunct the south node on the same day, hungry power structures aim to maintain the status quo (which doesn’t mean that they’ll succeed). Bring your futuristic Uranus-in-Taurus brainstorms and all of your Piscean collective love to the earth, because it needs them.

We close the month with a breath of fresh air. Mars leaves Taurus for Gemini on the 31st, where he seeks constant stimulation. Mars here is passionate about learning, writing, words, wit, conversation, and information in any form. Awakened from our prolonged stay in dreamland, we return to the small solaces of the mundane world and its logic.

Image Credit: Vintage late 60s to early 70s Psychedelic Blacklight Poster marked as GALAXY 1600.

February 2019 Forecast

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In February, in the northern hemisphere, the snow is piled on the ground, the skies are often gray, and the air is cold. The cold, rational quality of Aquarius is similar to Capricorn’s stony practicality. Winter is about survival in a time of scarcity, and hibernating until the earth is reborn in spring. But by the end of February a few hardy crocuses may bravely push through the frozen ground.

While the sun moves from air sign Aquarius to water sign Pisces, the astrological calendar for this month primarily features the elements of earth and fire. We are concerned overall with the material aspects of life. With Saturn, Pluto, and the south node together in Capricorn (as they will be for all of 2019), and Venus joining them in Capricorn on the 3rd, we have some bone-chilling winter cold in the emotional-mental-spiritual weather for February.

Once Venus leaves Sagittarius, she ditches her loud prints for a well-tailored suit and gets down to business. Venus in Capricorn is all about that good bone structure, aging well, beauty in maturity, and the attractive power of success. In this sign, she values achievements and the accumulation of material wealth. She commands respect with her combination of old-fashioned character and dignity. With Venus meeting Saturn on the 18th, Pluto on the 22nd, and the south node on the 24th, there is an increasingly serious theme of cold, hard truths: about relationships, about what we value, and about how far we’re willing to go to get it. Listen to the wise council of the north node in Cancer, who says “Protect what you care about; guard it with love.” Not all achievements are worth the price.

The beginning of this month still has the sun and Mercury in Aquarius, our coldest air sign, ruled by no-nonsense Saturn. So the new moon is at 15.45 degrees of Aquarius on February 4th. This lunation, conjunct Mercury in Aquarius, moves us away from the moon’s typically emotional realm and into analysis. Why do we feel the way we do, and how can we approach the problem in a practical way? Aquarius can be hyper-rational, but it is also a sign that has a different relationship to intuition, attracting unusual ideas in the absence of emotional blocks. A clear mind is an open mind. We may encounter unexpected perspectives at the beginning of this new lunar month.

It’s not all chilly, though. There are some fire transits to keep us warm, including 2019’s lucky star Jupiter in Sagittarius, who has some nice sextiles to the sun and Mercury in Aquarius on the 3rd and 7th, promoting fresh ideas and optimistic conversations. Mars in Aries is especially active, squaring Pluto in Capricorn on the 1st. This aspect challenges us to take action to transform an institution that no longer works—whether it’s a social institution or a personal pattern you want to kick. Power struggles are likely here, so pick your battles well. Mars then squares the nodes on the 7th, calling us to fight for what we care about most. The hottest aspect of the month is on the 13th, when Mars meets Uranus in Aries. This is a bombastic aspect, sure to light a few firecrackers. Take cover, unless you’re the one lighting them.

In keeping with the earthy theme of the month, as well as the emphasis on cardinal and fixed modes, Mars moves into Taurus on the 14th. Mars in Taurus is sensual, devoted, and determined. We can all use this kind of drive to stick with our commitments. In fact, the whole month has us initiating and sustaining important projects. With Venus in Capricorn and Mars in Taurus, this Valentine’s Day will probably be understated, favoring conservative gestures and long-term partnerships. Aquarius season in general is not a wise choice for a day of romance. Since Aquarius is a sign of community and friendship, not romantic love, February is always a much better time to honor friends with a Galentine’s Day celebration.

The most important transit in February is on the 18th: Chiron’s move into Aries. The asteroid of the wounded healer will be transiting this sign for the next seven years straight. If Uranus in Aries has been a series of fireworks and explosions, Chiron in Aries is the steady hearth fire that warms you. It’s still a fire, and it can still burn. But Chiron’s crackling fireplace can represent a space of rest and healing after the intensity of a Uranus transit.

Chiron was in Aries last year from April 17th – September 25th , so we’ve had a taste of this already. This transit can help us to heal individually and collectively from the wounds of toxic masculinity. Chiron can be the key that allows us to access the purifying fire of our own anger, confront it and use its energy in healthy ways. On a personal level, Chiron in Aries is also about authenticity and identity. In the next seven years, in some area of your life, you are asked to be yourself even when it makes you feel especially vulnerable. You can read more about this long-term transit in my post here.

Fire melts cold snow into water with some Piscean transits, too: pure, refreshing liquid that offers some healing in preparation for the spring to come. Mercury moves into Pisces early on in the month, on the 10th. Mercury in Pisces is not as quick and light on his feet as he is in Aquarius, spouting off radical intellectual ideas. Mercury in this sign is a poet, floating dreamily in the oceans of the unconscious, letting one word come through at a time. The sun enters Pisces on the 18th, beginning our solar Pisces season on the same day that Chiron moves into Aries. A full moon at 0.42 Virgo follows right on the heels of the sun’s ingress, on February 19th.

Mercury, the ruler of this full moon, makes an exact conjunction with Neptune on the 19th. This colors our discerning full moon with a dreamy Piscean flavor that tempers some of Virgo’s sharp perfectionism. The moon makes a trine to Mars in Taurus and Uranus in Aries. This is a moon that can help us see our way past through the cold winter transits and into the coming spring. As I mentioned at the beginning of this forecast, Venus will be meeting up with Saturn, Pluto, and the south node in Capricorn right around the time of this full moon. In the midst of such cold realities, the Virgo moon allows us to discern what is most important. This is the crocus pushing up through the snow: determined against the odds, hardy and yet delicate, the first to herald the arrival of a new season. You may find an unusual way to get through the winter storm at the end of February.

Image Credit: illustration from p. 251 of The Victoria history of the county of Bedford, edited by H. Arthur Doubleday and William Page, 1904.