April has already had devastating planetary events with earthquakes, craziness in the political arena; and plenty of frustration for a lot of people.
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces (the mutable or changeable signs) are in the spotlight. The energy feels intense, fast moving and transformative, We want to grab hold of something tangible that feels absolutely right! At the same time, there are four retrograde planets so we also feel stymied in our attempts to get where we want to go. The carrousel is moving so fast we can’t get off to catch the carrousel we really want to be riding. But as we approach the full moon on Friday, April 22, we might want to reflect more on Earth Day than on our own issues. It’s all connected, right? Read on for tips on how to turn this chaos into creative opportunity.
Astrology is not about cause and effect but it helps us understand the earthly drama.
Before we talk about the specifics, please keep in mind that astrology is not a cause-effect system. It is a relational system. There is a relationship between Saturn currently transiting Sagittarius and the current focus on belief systems. In the collective realm we have political candidates who represent the extremes of the bell-curve in terms of beliefs. We have those who think we should build walls to keep all foreign elements out and we have one who thinks there is enough for everyone if we just figure out how to distribute our resources. There are some who really believe the super rich should not have to be taxed. There is one who believes young people should have tuition free college. There are several who believe that women are a container for new life, but have no authority over how that new life should happen. There is no planet causing the extreme display of hubris in the presidential race. Saturn in Sagittarius, however, suggests hot-headed expression of beliefs. Sagittarius is the sign we associate with the higher mind, with systems of beliefs, with religions, and with legal systems and the laws therein. Extremes in belief systems are being aired and sorted out as we move through the political drama. Astrology is a way of understanding the drama. What is your drama? Where are you expressing your tightly held beliefs? Are you open to new ways of thinking?
What do we do with four retrograde planets—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto?
April currently has four planets retrograde and Mercury will be retrograde on April 28. A retrograde planet is not moving backwards. It appears to be moving backward because it is moving so slowly. Some of our affairs are just moving very, very slowly. What you thought might take a week, figure much longer.
A note to students of astrology: Peter Malsin’s book, The Eyes of the Sun (1997), offers some helpful guidelines for understanding retrograde as an energy and I am using some of his insights in this article.
Reflecting—Creating—Intuiting (read more about this in The Eyes of the Sun)
Basically, these retrograde periods give us a chance for reflection. With four planets orbiting so slowly there is a good chance we will get caught in conflicting thoughts and beliefs represented by these different planetary energies. We have to sort some things out and take our time doing it. This period of slowness may also stimulate creative expression. That’s a positive outcome for the big retrograde breezes! As we reflect, we put things together and out pops a new idea, project our unique integration of life knowledge. Great. For other people the retrograde cycles are times of irrational projection. Peter Malsin suggests that retrograde planets increase the unconscious energy of the planet. Me versus you, Us versus them. For example, some of my best friends are immigrants, however…..we don’t have room for anymore foreigners who need to be taken care of. Listen to the politicians and you will hear a lot of projecting. Other people may use the unconsciousness of the retrograde planet differently: someone may just channel some intuitive wisdom or power like they are channeling form Divine Source. Hint! Relax and let your intuition give you some advice, or go for a reading or talk to someone to sort out any confusion.
Mars and Saturn retrograde
Let’s look at Mars and Saturn together because both are currently traveling through the sign of Sagittarius. Mars says hit the peddle, let’s race ahead; Saturn says, hit the brake, not so fast, BE CAREFUL. Right now, with Mars and Saturn sitting in the same automobile, and both planets retrograde, we are just downright afraid (at least in some area of life). Am I making the right decision? Will I have enough money? Should I take a job I don’t really want just to get some income or should I wait? Should I file for divorce, or should I wait and see what happens next year? On and on. We are worrying and we feel stuck. This is a natural response to Mars/Saturn retrograde. Saturn makes us want to “get it right.” We don’t want to make a mistake and yet we are impatient to get on with it. The invitation is to be with the questions and reflect on the questions. The invitation is to find creative solutions and be patient as well.
Try not to complain. The fixed star, Antares, can strike at any moment.
Mars slowed down at 9 degrees of Sagittarius and that put it right in the line up with the fixed star Antares (9 degrees of Sagittarius). The Fixed Star, Antares, is associated with reckless behavior, dangerous events and angry situations. Another way of saying this is Antares and Mars together means some people may suffer greatly during April or experience great tragedy. We have already seen tragedy from big earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador. Just this week we had flooding in Texas with hardships for many people and animals. So, if you have a roof over your head, and if you trip but you don’t fall down and break something, consider yourself lucky. If you have a serious situation to resolve, try to be patient and do the best you can during this slow moving time. Our problems are important and some problems need to be resolved. Just remember, it could be worse. Things will be resolved but the timing might be frustrating.
Jupiter is currently moving slowly (retrograde) at 14 degrees of Virgo. Jupiter is making an irritable aspect to Saturn at 16 degrees of Sagittarius. Both Jupiter and Saturn are in challenging connection with Neptune. No wonder we are all confused and irritable at times. We want to be optimistic (Jupiter) but Saturn throws a wet blanket on our hopes and Neptune encourages us to “check out” or find some kind of escape from all the worry and diminished dreams. We can reflect on our past patterns regarding escapism as well as our belief systems. Jupiter retrograde invites us to refine our mantras, mottos and unconscious beliefs that either motivate our days or hold us back.
Pluto retrograde and Pluto squaring Uranus might be the foundation of all the trouble.
Pluto is currently retrograde at 17 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto is still in a square configuration with planet Uranus (21 degrees of Aries). So here is the foundation of everything we are going through. These two planets are far away and they always orbit slowly. For half of any year they may be retrograde and even slower in their journeys. If you have followed astrology during the past few years you will remember that Uranus square Pluto has been in the news a lot. When Pluto connects with a planet, it intensifies that planet’s energy. Furthermore, Pluto destroys what it touches in order to create something else. Our entire human race is experiencing intense upheavals. Old ways of life are being destroyed. Uranus, planet of high technology, is bringing invention after invention to create a new world. Pluto is also the plutocracy, rulership by the wealthy. The plutocracy is destroying whatever it can to keep all the riches to itself. Uranus is often the rebel or the revolution itself (!) to bring society into a more humanitarian form. In mythology Pluto rules the underworld where riches are stashed away. Uranus is the creative progenitor who is more concerned with birthing something new than fixing dinner or attending to everyday chores. In addition, the Uranus/Pluto connection seems to correlate with many earth changes. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, severe storms and flooding, and sink holes seem to be more serious and frequent during the past few years. Finally, the fight over oil has humanity in a mess. War, terrorism, and people displaced from their homeland indicate massive migration, earth shifts, societal changes and struggles. What a mess.
Put it all together—at least say goodbye to “survival of the fittest”
I wish I could put it all together for all of you and for myself. The undertone is Uranus and Pluto in relationship to earth changes: earthquakes, violent weather, migration, holding on and letting go of beliefs, WAR, the struggle to understand we are one. Saturn square Neptune says BE WISE and walk through the Neptunian fog. Trust yourself to know your own truth. Don’t fall into the propaganda pit. Jupiter and Saturn and Neptune say sort through it, DON’T LOSE FAITH. Be careful and take your time. Be a grown-up! Mars retrograde with all this stew says keep going and don’t give up, and don’t worry if your dreams take a little time. There are no mistakes, there is just experience. We are here having experiences. Some people have harder experiences than other people do.
If we try to put it all together we might say the human species is struggling to move through some eye of a needle to reach another dimension where life on planet earth is improved by compassion, sharing, fairness and kindnesss. We might release the “survival of the fittest” tape that runs through our unconscious and hopefully find another motto for our existence. If we try to put it all together we might also say that we chose to be here now. Maybe we can remember to send love and good will to the innocent survivors of war and brutality. Maybe we can remember to be grateful that we live where we live and we are still relatively safe from much of the planetary horror.
There is always a gift
Hopefully you are also receiving gifts of life during this strange period. In some ways it feels like swimming underwater or hearing through water. We are holding our breath while we move forward and get glimpses of the workings of our own psyche. Under water, what we hear is what we hear. It is not necessarily what was said. Remember the gifts of all this slow moving energy: self reflection and inner dialogue; taking time to sort things out; rejoicing in creative moments that come from the introspection; being alert to projection and intuition (our own and that of others); being aware that we are fortunate if we are not struck down by lightening.
The bottom line: Stay grounded
The one thing that we can hold onto is remembering where we live! We all live on planet EARTH. No matter how much craziness is going on, I offer this little prayer by Wilfred Pelltier and Ted Poole, to help keep us grounded and to reflect on how we might move on. It is also offered to rejoice in Earth Day. Farther along, we’ll understand more about our connection with Gaia.
Wherever you are is home
And the earth is paradise
Wherever you set your feet is holy land
You don’t live off it like a parasite
You live in it, and it in you,
Or you don’t survive.
And that is the only worship of God there is.
(Pelltier & Poole)
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