April 14th-20th: Into the Fire

We begin this very active week with the Sun entering Aries early on Saturday the 14th, where it will remain until May 14th. The Sun is in exaltation in Aries, making this an easeful transit that flows without interference. The Sun entering Aries will have the effect of defining personal boundaries and helping to allow activity and action to be taken without as much emotional reactivity. The previous month amplified sensitivity, which allowed for greater empathy but also for more distraction. We will now be able to do our work in a more authoritative manner with added focus of purpose. With Mars in Sagittarius now, there is fire and passion that can work wonderfully for achieving goals and implementing physical change, although the current retrogrades may require that we move a bit slower in the process.

Mercury retrograde ends on Sunday the 15th, although we will be in the shadow period until May 5th. Coming out of Mercury retrograde will aid with mental focus and the ability to communicate our ideas and feelings to others with more clarity. Delays are lifted or softened. The shadow period is the time between when a retrograde ends and when the planet is able to get beyond the point it was at when the retrograde first began. We are retracing our steps, so to speak. Mercury is retracing the degrees of Pisces, finally moving forward to new ground on May 5th as it enters 23 degrees Pisces. This very long transit of Pisces is not the most comfortable territory for Mercury, who is debilitated in the sign. This lengthy transit (which will finally come to a close on May 9th, when Mercury enters Aries) places communication in a more emotional, intuitive realm. Interactions may be more abstract and not definite. It will be difficult to make plans, and we may need to wait a couple weeks until the shadow period ends to come at certain issues from a completely new perspective. We may get in our own way if we attempt to push for clear understanding in relationships or business dealings before then. A vague agreement may be all we can ask for until that point.

The new moon in Aries occurs on Sunday, bringing with it a renewed spark. This is the “spring cleaning” moon. Aries gives us physical vitality and strength, and the new moon is a time for shedding and removing what no longer aids us on our path. This is a useful day for literal spring cleaning of the house or environment, or for more energetic cleansing through exercise, stretching, or cleaner eating. It will be difficult to sit still during this day, however, and the mind may be restless. Channeled activity is a good idea; intentions that are set upon simplifying and purifying will have the best results. The moon will be at 2 degrees Aries in the lunar mansion of Aswini, the horse goddess. This is the first lunar mansion and so has a fresh, new energy. Aswini has a low tolerance for boredom and stagnation, and activity and action will spur us on throughout the day.

On Tuesday the 17th, Saturn will enter retrograde. Saturn’s retrograde takes place in Sagittarius, beginning at 16 degrees and traveling back to 9 degrees Sagittarius before resuming normal motion on September 6th. We will discuss this in depth over the next few weeks and months, checking in on its effects in tandem with the Jupiter retrograde that is still going strong. The main thing to remember during this time is that greater levels of freedom will be desired in different arenas of our lives (through the Jupiter retrograde), but the Saturn retrograde will force these to constrict more than is comfortable. This is an ongoing, give and take process that will slow down progress but not halt it. We may take two steps forward and then one back. Saturn will require us to deal with karmic work upfront and honestly. We are not able to skate by Saturn unnoticed into the wide open fields of Jupiter. We have to pay our toll and then are allowed to move forward. I will be doing a video post soon helping you to identify which areas of your life this retrograde may impact based on the house position of Saturn in your Vedic chart.

This intense week closes out with Venus entering Taurus on Friday the 20th. This transit lasts for roughly three and a half weeks. Venus rules over Taurus, and so is at home for the duration. This increases grounded creativity, allowing for more manifestation to occur in the physical realm. Venus is now well out of the combustion range from the Sun, helping the planet of love and beauty to shine fully in its own unique light. The Venusian energies pair perfectly with those of Taurus, resulting in sensuality and gentle, harmonious interactions should we allow them. This is a romantic transit, but is realistic at the same time. Taurus plants our feet firmly on the earth, and enhances creativity in a way that is intimately connected with the planet and the natural world. Music and dance will feel very natural, as will exercise and sport for others. This earthy transit balances out the more fiery, ungrounded energy coming from Sun in Aries and the Sagittarian Saturn retrograde. It gives us a definite, realistic outlet for our energy and creativity to flow.

July 1st-7th: Deep Water

This week, we are flying high with the positive associations between Venus in Taurus and Jupiter in Virgo. Venus entered its own sign, Taurus, on June 29th, which grounded the planet of love and beauty and will allow our aesthetic eye to reach new heights throughout the first few weeks of July.

This is a positive placement for Venus, and this can have far-reaching effects on our ideas about relationships and self-care. A gentle approach is best at this time, since Venus in Taurus prefers to come at things from a place of loving kindness. Brashness or impulsive decisions may be met with confusion or disdain from others. If you wish to connect, consider spending time with one another in nature. Jupiter adds an expansive quality to our relationships. Think of how your relationship can help others at this time. Consider the big picture, and work with others to help create beauty and love around you. This is an ideal time for renovation of homes, landscaping and gardening.

Mercury enters the sign of Cancer on Monday July 3rd, which weaves a thread from the past into our present actions. Nostalgia-drunk Cancer loves to study the past and dive deep into ancestral waters. Mercury brings a need to communicate ancient tradition and ideas from our own personal pasts. Music, writing and art take on a more emotional bent this week. It is possible to dive deep into healing waters and transcend the heavier energy of our modern world, if only for just a brief time this week. Visit the ocean or a body of water, take a bath or meditate to a tape of whale songs, waves, or gulls. This is a time to access our hidden emotions, and to tap into the feelings of those around us. Emotion and art can be blended seamlessly to bring about a shift in consciousness.

We are called on to deal with karmic ribbons in relationships as Venus shifts into an unpleasant square with Rahu and Ketu at the start of the week. Gentle Venus may want to run away from such obligations, but Mercury in Cancer will be there to guide us. There is a tenderness this week that may be harder to touch in different astrological climates. Work toward empathy, forgiveness and humility, and watch as difficult relationships mend or fall away. There is nothing wrong with letting go of something that no longer serves you.