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This week in astrology: Venus enters Pisces, Mercury enters Aries

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As I write this week’s column, these are the current planetary positions:

Sun 16/45 Aries
Moon 9/1 Cancer
Mercury 28/18 Pisces
Venus 0/50 Pisces
Mars 19/47 Libra retrograde
Jupiter 11/57 Cancer
Saturn 22/19 Scorpio, retrograde
Uranus 12/42 Aries
Neptune 6/32 Pisces
Pluto 13/33 Capricorn
North Node 2827 Libra
Chiron 15/25 Pisces

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~Dalai Lama, XIV

This week and month may give us ample opportunity to seek inner peace, and hope that that peace translates into greater peace around and and throughout all the world.

Moon in Cancer, and the first quarter square to the Moon, creates an environment in which we feel anxious to get things accomplished that we recently started. We sense the need to see ourselves making some progress in new areas of our lives. We feel a greater urgency to make whatever corrections are needed in order for our paths to be cleared of whatever obstacles (old thinking patterns, current hesitations, or external challenges) stand in our way.

Venus just entered Pisces (April 5-May 7) where our views of love and romance soften in the watery realms Neptune. Desires and longing increase, rising up from whatever unfulfilled needs and hidden yearnings have gone unfulfilled. We may not know exactly what it is we seek, however, we feel strong passions and a compelling urge to satisfy our need for connection and meaning. Love, money and resources, and our desire for personal fulfillment and self worth increase. This all against the background of the rather edgy, fiery impact of the growing Grand Cardinal Cross. Pisces, ‘go with the flow’ energy’ riding into the spaces of the Cardinal ‘do it now’ energy, makes for a strange combination of feelings. By allowing ourselves to avoid getting distracted by old wounds, unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior, and fantasies and illusions, we can use the Pisces energy of Venus to see that we always have choices. Look to the house/area of your life where Pisces reigns, and consider what it is in that area of your life that you may be feel like it needs to be released. Is there some issue, relationship, project, or part of who you are and how you live that needs time to heal? What are you spending too much time obsessing over? What are the ‘what ifs’ that keep you rooted in fear-based thoughts and inaction? If you have the courage to answer these questions for yourself, you will be able to use the energy and passion of Venus in Pisces to help you through whatever transitions are before you.

Transitions are normal, inevitable, and productive times. The time before transition, however, tends to be like the stages of labor when you’ve worked so hard to make something happen that you feel worn out. The moment before birth, called transition, is a time between the hard work and pushing to make life happen, and the beginning of new life. In the in between time, we can rest, reflect, and turn our thoughts and heart toward the expectation of our highest good. It is the moment of surrender, when we allow ourselves to let go of the illusion of control. Such a time is now, when we must let go to the Divine will that is moving, not only in our lives, but in the lives of everyone and in the movement of the energy, the elements, and the the life force that infuses us with what we need to take our next breath. Venus in Pisces is the soothing, calming breath that we can use to help us through this transition period.

On April 11, Venus comes into exact alignment with Neptune in Pisces at 6 degrees. It is at this time we are able to see whatever areas of our lives need to release in order to heal. If shadow elements rule, it is also a time when we bring out our addictions to deal with what we can’t seem to let go of. Stop, look, and listen! What do you know in your heart of hearts that is warning you to release in those areas of your life that you continue to pretend are okay? Saying goodbye allows you to open the door to healing and new life. Hanging on, burying yourself in excuses, rationale, or overindulgence and addictive behaviors, are all ways to miss the boat on this opportunity to prepare yourself for sweeping changes and a fresh start. Venus’ transits and aspects are allowing us to experience, feel, and confront those parts of ourselves and our lives that could do with an overhaul. The Grand Cardinal Cross is bringing sweeping changes into some parts of our lives, and Venus in Pisces is providing an emotional life jacket. Remember to keep breathing through the process. Venus in Pisces is compassionate, empathetic, and understanding--be sure to allow that compassion to allow you to be more understanding of yourself at this time.

The shadow side of Venus in Pisces is the tendency to be the victim or the martyr in close relationships. It is also a placement that awakens our longings, though is very vague about how those longings actually may be fulfilled. This is a crucial time to “keep your wits about you” for the tendency might be, if acting from unhealed and unclear compulsions, drives, and wounds, to put yourself in the position to be the martyr or accept the victim role. A healthier approach is to identify the areas of woundedness, weakness, loss, or longing, and be understanding of that part of you. Unacknowledged wounds show through even when we think a nice smile or kind behavior covers it up. Facing the truth may be hard and not so pretty, but it is far better than trying to hide what cannot be hidden.

On Sunday, the Moon in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces early in the day, and then conjuncts Jupiter in the afternoon. As the moon waxes (grows fuller), the energy also grows supporting the square to Uranus in Aries later in the day/early evening indicating some edginess or uncomfortable thoughts, exchanges, or emotional turbulence. Then the Moon opposes Pluto in Capricorn in the evening, and matters related to transition and change rise to the surface, affecting our emotional temperament and mood.

On Monday, the Moon remains in Cancer all day, continuing to highlight our emotional need for feeling safe, at home, and comfortable in our own skin. We seek to nourish ourselves and take care of those in our charge. We feel compelled to make things right. Dreams may be edgy or it may be hard to sleep due to lunar aspects to Chiron in Pisces, Venus in Pisces, and the Sun in Aries during the night. Early morning begins with the Sun square Mars in Libra, making us feel somewhat compelled to get up and make things right. We feel the need to make changes, take action, or get something accomplished.

On Tuesday, the Sun in Aries opposes Mars in Libra, making for a standoff with ourselves about what we really want and need. Being pulled by the strong currents of the growing Grand Cardinal Cross, and the Sun in particular, Mars in Libra struggles to hold some kind of inner balance between the need to please, connect, and create beauty and the need to act on our own behalf. Knowing what you really want and need though, is essential for making good decisions and healthy choices. When feeling the need to take action while still being uncertain, follow the dictate: “When in doubt, don’t.” At the very least, hold off decisions, actions, and choices until you have a clearer idea of what is needed. Acting on Aries impulse right now is not a great idea. Feeling the opposition, however, can be good if you are better able to notice those areas of yourself and your life where you are in need of change, uncomfortable with current conditions, or unhealed or unaware of what is necessary for growth and health.

Late at night on Monday, or early in the morning Tuesday (depending where you live), Mercury enters Aries. Mercury’s transit through the murky realms of Pisces, may have clouded communication or allowed you time to reflect more than usual. With Mercury in Aries, we become more sensitive to how our actions affect others. We also feel more compelled to make up our minds or take action. Transiting Aries from now until April 23, this will be a time when we have a lot on our minds and a need to take action and/or speak out more openly about our ideas, plans, and objectives. “Be careful what you wish for...” comes to mind when Mercury in Aries takes the stage. Keep in mind how your actions carry energy and power.

The Moon in Cancer, in its last degrees, is void of course over night. Early in the morning, the Moon enters Leo. This transit of the Moon lasts from early Tuesday morning until early evening Thursday night. The Moon in Leo activates the energy of the growing Grand Cardinal Cross perhaps making you more aware of the areas of your life being accentuated, affected, and energized. Notice what about yourself and the way you are living is being affirmed by the emotional energy of the Moon in Leo. Leo rules our dramatic persona--how we want to be seen and known. Notice what elements of your personality are seeking attention, wanting to be understood and heard, and are looking for ways to make their entrance into your life.

Early Wednesday morning, perhaps while you are asleep, Venus in Pisces seisquiquadrate Mars in Libra, awakens us to potential stressors in our relationships. There is an edgy, competitive, and self-deprecating nature to this aspect, and it’s probably not the best time for making choices or decisions for we are acting more out of a need to please and placate that we are to be heard and understood. It’s a difficult time to reconcile inner turmoil, especially if we are trying to do it through unhealthy and weak relationships. The stimulation of this aspect can be thrilling, however, it is not necessarily a very balanced or harmonious one.

Thursday and Friday, as the Moon in Virgo grounds us somewhat, it also makes some stress aspects to some of the major planets and the Sun. On Friday in particular, you may feel some of this edginess in the form of a greater awareness of oppositions and polarities in the way you view, understand, and feel. It may feel more complex than it is in reality. That inner turmoil that is generated though, may be helpful in identifying what it is that needs to go, what it is that still needs healing, and what it is that you really need and desire. The Moon awakens us to our emotions, and our emotions awaken us to deeper levels of our being. Allow your emotional feelings to be a barometer to your health.

On Friday, Mercury in Aries seisquiquadrate Saturn in Cancer calls you to task to finish some piece of business, or redo something you thought you had taken care of.Saturn the Great Teacher is also the great task master teaching us to take care of the details of life. With Mercury in Aries, you can expect that what has been on the back burner or ‘lost in space’ betwixt and between, is now going to show up demanding your attention. Plan ahead, and use the time to get things done.

The Sun is semi-square to Neptune in Pisces on Friday as well. After a morning full of taking care of business, the afternoon and evening draw you to be more creative, channel energy into more ethereal and spiritual matters. This aspect awakens the desires, needs, drives, and compulsions for expanding outside of the day-to-day routines, the mundane concerns, and the normal patterns of thought and behavior. A dreamy time, a time to get out into nature or immerse yourself in something delicious to read, are ways to enjoy this energy. You want to do something; the something has to be nourishing to your soul. A good time to practice more mindfulness.

The Sun in Aries is quincunx Saturn in Cancer on Friday as well. This aspect tends to encourage negative thinking and low self esteem. Feeling we never do enough or are enough, the Sun in Aries with its desire to get to it slams up against Saturn, the slow plodder who says, take care of the details and progress slowly. The two are uncomfortable roommates. Notice the energy and how it affects you (how it makes you feel, thoughts that arise, physical and emotional sensations) and do something to use and counter the effects and use the energy wisely.

This week’s movement of the Sun in Aries, sets us off on a course to make a fresh start, to expand beyond our limits, and to live more a more dynamic and purpose-driven life.

Mercury’s entry into Aries, brings us energy and new ideas for how we may want to make change happen. We finally get some news or information that helps us with choices and decisions, and we get a firmer hold on the idea that we have to have a vision for any plan of action. Without an idea of what we want and where we want to go, we are ill equipped for doing anything more than just filling our lives with distractions, taking on more than we can handle, or living in a well of unfulfilled desires. Now is the time to allow a vision of what you desire to take shape.

Venus in Pisces triggers unfulfilled desires, and a quest for the idealized love, romance, or soul connection. Sometimes wishing makes it so, however, with some of the other aspects at play, this is an unlikely time to jump from the frying pan into the fire. Better to focus on healing and releasing whatever it is that drives you to seek fulfillment and connection outside yourself. If we are not healed within, it is unlikely we will find a connection that is going to be healthy. Work with what you have, where you are, and be as honest with yourself as you can be right now, for releasing what needs to go is nearly impossible if we hang on to that which we don’t want to admit is dragging us down.

Mars in Libra is part of the ongoing struggle to not only meaningful ways to find solutions, make compromises, resolve issues, or establish meaningful and healthy relationships but also to do so in a healthy way. It is a crucial month for shaking things out, eliminating old patterns, and creating some idea of what you life purpose and calling is, and how it helps serve others and support those you love. Love does not require you to cut off all ties or become a different person; love nurtures within the circles of life and nourishes, supports, and honors the person you are, in spite of imperfections, weaknesses, and difference.

Jupiter in Cancer continues to guide us through the process of taking better care of ourselves. Making space in our lives for reflection, refreshing our minds, bodies, hearts, and spiritual energy, and tending to our daily care and all life’s mundane matters.

Saturn in Scorpio continue to remind us to release our need to hold on, control, and live out of wounds and expectations. Connecting to our Higher Power, to the Divine, to God’s will, or to whatever connection you have and understand with the Creator, is Saturn’s lesson for us as we are transformed by that which is beyond our comprehension, control, or understanding. Finding ways to be peaceful and mindful in the whirling pool of life is Saturn’s lesson as the Great Teacher transits Scorpio. What within your soul, within your inner being, is allowing you greater freedom to allow life to carry you on the paths you are meant to be? Knowing that you are right now, right where you need to be, is knowing that you have what you need to fulfill your life’s calling. What talents, gifts, and bounty do you have to share right now, right here, where you are at this very time of your life?

Uranus’ transit through Aries is like the sickle that cuts the sheaves of wheat. Once the sheaves are cut, they can be ground into grain. The grain can be made into bread. The bread can nourish and give life. The cycle of life is one that is abundant with stages and transitions from one part of life to another. This is a time when Uranus is allowing us to see what is being cut out of our lives for new growth. What is growing for your optimum health and well being? What have you lost that you are better off without? And if you can’t think of a loss as a gain, how could the loss call you to a new direction or purpose? Move in unison to change, and allow yourself to ground and center wherever you are. Plant the seeds of your new life, and nourish yourself as you make changes to move you on the path that is open before you.

Neptune in Pisces, allow you to tap into your spiritual, intuitive, and creative gifts to help you express yourself. Spiritual growth, struggles, and searches take you to new levels of understanding and desire. From within you come questions that you seek answers for both through connecting to the Creative Divine, Universal Consciousness in and around you.

Chiron in Pisces continues to allow for spiritual healing to take place, in a very subtle and ongoing way. All experiences of life are filtered through this area of your being to serve a greater purpose in your own life and the lives of those you love and serve. Our spirituality and spiritual and religious practices are not divorced from our daily lives--they are part and parcel.

In the words of Meister Eckart, theologian and mystic:

“Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”

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