Real Time Astrology: April 1 – 11, 2015

A whole lot of snap, crackle and pop will be in the air at the first half of April. Whether you find this influence exciting and energizing or nerve straining depends on your individual personality. Either way, this brief time emphasizes specific key elements that hold very specific potential, whether we find utilizing this energy fun or not.

The turning point arrived Monday, March 30 as Mercury entered Aries at 8:44 P.M. CST, where it will remain until April 14. Mercury has had a rough ride so far this year; it contributed to the mental and emotional heaviness at the turn of the new year, suffered through a more unpleasant than usual retrograde in January and February, spend a little too long in cool, cerebral Aquarius, and messed with our sensitivity, our sleep/dreams and our everyday effectiveness in Pisces. With Mercury in Aries, we finally get our minds back to firing on all cylinders. All forms of communications will pick up speed with this transit, and we will feel for once we can cope with it. Aries is cardinal fire, excelling at taking initiative and control as well as providing the extra guts to keep us from shying away. This is a great time to start the conversations you have been mulling over but never got around to. Mercury in Aries will receive a lot of support in this endeavor, from a trine to Saturn Rx in Sagittarius April 2, a trine to Jupiter stationing direct in Leo April 6, a conjunction to Uranus in Aries- still in square to Pluto in Capricorn – April 8, and a conjunction to the Sun in Aries April 9. Even the square between Mercury in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn on April 7 can be used effectively to obtain knowledge that may have been latent recently.

Another boost will be jolly lucky giant Jupiter turning direct in the shiny happy sign Leo at 12 degrees on Wednesday, April 8th at 11:57 A.M. Jupiter has been retrograde in the sign since December 8, 2014, and has kept in check – to a certain degree- our personalities, our ability to make big strides and even our good humor. We will feel much more free to express our creativity and dreams again as Jupiter turns direct. The house of your natal chart that Jupiter stations direct in is where you can look to take calculated risks or seek out opportunity.

Venus will stay in earthy, stable Taurus until Saturday, April 11, continuing the feel-good focus on love, money and sensual delights and will underscore the good vibes brought on by Jupiter turning direct in flashy and fun Leo. Mars joined Venus by moving into  Taurus on Tuesday, March 31 at 11:26 A.M. CST where it will stay until May 11. Mars loves love, money and the good life as much as Venus in Taurus does, but Mars isn’t content to sit back and enjoy the show. Mars is the planet of energy, drive and fight; in Taurus, we fight for what we feel we’re entitled to. We fight for what we’ve worked hard and long to achieve and don’t take kindly to others reaping our profits. Taurus isn’t only about money, but about the personal value relationship to money. Mars in Taurus is a time to assert your worth: at work, at home, in love or in the world at large. Mars in Taurus needs to see a return on its investments. Anything less than what you deserve-assuming you really, truly deserve it!- is no longer worth investing yourself in.

Making sure that we are valued for our contributions and for being exactly who we are, and being unafraid to initiate change if our value isn’t appreciated or reciprocated, is the essence of the first half of April. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in cardinal air, Venus ruled Libra (read it here) will dominate, doing the unpleasant but incredibly necessary job of bringing into full view just how fairly we are being treated. If you’re in denial about your standing in any relationship as being anything less than equal and respected (or, if you’re the source of these problems) the Full Moon lunar eclipse in Libra, and the first half of April in general, may be a rough ride. However, if you’ve been aware that your worth hasn’t been given the credit it deserves then this brief period may provide the information and gumption to write a new narrative.

With Mars in Taurus, the sign of its detriment, it is unlikely that success will happen as quickly as Sun/Mercury/Uranus in Aries and Jupiter direct in Leo would like. Mars in Taurus moves along at its own pace, no faster or slower. This will no doubt be exasperating and tiring for the people who suddenly feel like moving mountains. Taurus is a sign that is very much in tune to the organic timing of nature; it marches along happily to the beat of the seasons and the life cycle but will not cooperate smoothly with anything it feels to be unnatural or out of step. Frustrations can arise from this but are not necessary. It is better to sync with this rhythm than try to go against the grain.

Regardless of how this affects you, energy well spent now will bear fruit, if for no other reason than the seeds were planted.

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Libra April 4, 2015

A Full Moon at 14 degrees Libra will take place on Saturday, April 4th at 7:06 A.M. CST. A total lunar eclipse will take place just minutes prior to the Full Moon, at 7:00 A.M.  In keeping with the themes of the previous Moon cycles at the first quarter of 2015, this Full Moon lunar eclipse in Libra is something of a rare event as well. This total lunar eclipse will last just under five minutes, making it the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. It is also the third in a series of four total lunar eclipses, something astronomers refer to as a tetrad. (The final total lunar eclipse in this series will occur September 28, 2015.) This is also a so-called Blood Moon, when the brief but highly visible total lunar eclipse appears red from our view on Earth. One does not need to see this Full Moon lunar eclipse in Libra for its effects to be felt, however.

This will be a potent, highly strung, agitated Full Moon. The Full Moon will take place at 14 degrees Libra; however, it will be at 15 degrees Libra, the beginning degree of the Via Combusta (also known as the “burning path/fiery path”) by the time it reaches an exact square to Pluto at 15 Capricorn at 9:18 A.M. CST and reaches its exact opposition to Uranus at 16 Aries at 10:59 A.M. The final exact square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn occurred March 16, but if you thought its influence had begun to wane this Full Moon will prove you wrong. This Full Moon will reactivate and re-energize the Uranus-Pluto square in a very big way. It will probably feel more like the square is exact here at the Full Moon lunar eclipse than it did back in March, so if you felt unscathed by the square back then you should brace yourself for the effects of this Moon.

Funny that this falls in between the beginning of Passover and just before Easter Sunday; a time when themes of forgiveness, redemption, grace and higher purpose receive extra focus and importance. Ironic, as these are the qualities that will be most needed but in shortest supply. The Full Moon in Libra draws our attention sharply to issues surrounding fairness and unfairness, equality and inequality, the proper balance between “I” and “we”. This Full Moon in Libra will be heated up from its conjunctions to the South Node in Aries and the North Node in Libra the previous night. Libra is ruled by Venus, a planet that rules our values. Mars, the planet of action, change and war, will be moving through the early degrees of the other Venus ruled sign, Taurus. So, there is a strong emphasis here on fighting hard for your own values while also keeping others best interests at heart, at pushing your ideals and causes forward without pushing others out of the way.

This will be a tough balancing act to pull off, and many will not succeed at it, or even be in the mood to try. Expect people to be in a raw, contentious mood. Even if you feel energized and invigorated by this energy, keep in mind many others will find it uncomfortable and unnerving, and may take issue with differences of mood or opinion. Libra is associated with peace, harmony and balance, so it may seem odd that this influence enables fighting. But, Libra demands it’s peace and balance at all costs and will not hesitate to fire shots or drop bombs if it feels that is what it takes to set the world right again. Agitated as it is by reactivating the Uranus-Pluto square and  its conjunctions to the North and South Nodes, this Libra Full Moon lunar eclipse is more fighter than lover.

Some people will not handle this pressure all that well, and the cracks will show in the form of next-level passive aggressiveness, snarky verbal attacks, judgemental attitudes, and in some cases dirty tricks will be pulled and people thrown under the bus. Some people will go out of their way to enable friction and confrontation while acting as an innocent or impartial bystander. Libra is concerned with social decorum and there may be a breakdown of respect and manners here. Regardless of how others are acting or treating you, with the Full Moon conjunct the North Node in Libra, going the extra mile to maintain respectful social interactions is called for here.

Social interactions will have a definite edge to them not only on Saturday but on Easter Sunday as well, as a dark square between the Sun in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn is exact at 10:08 A.M. on April 5. The Libra Moon will be exhausted from the energy of the Full Moon lunar eclipse, still hurtling through the Via Combusta and will enter Pluto ruled Scorpio at 2:04 P.M. The highly charged extroverted energetic outbursts of the Full Moon lunar eclipse on Saturday turn into something darker, deeper, more pathological on Sunday. (And, in a way this will be more in keeping with the underlying themes of the religious holidays…) While there is potential for many to glean the more positive energy from the Full Moon conjunct North Node in Libra, it will probably not last the full weekend.

A quick word of caution: April is historically a month of notable violent incidents regardless of the transits occurring, and this year the religious holidays coincide with some rough transits. Use a little extra caution and planning, pay a little extra attention to surroundings and listen to any gut feelings or strange hunches you may get. There is obviously no way to say for certain that anything will come of it, and hopefully this season passes without much incident. Sometimes just the heightened awareness of certain potentials prevents them from happening, so keep reasonable caution in mind.

Real Time Astrology: March 17 – 31, 2015

The end of March will be no less active astrologically than the beginning was, yet the activity swiftly takes on an altogether different flavor. Even amidst the nervous tension and unrest brought about by the final Uranus-Pluto square and the mega New Moon/Supermoon solar eclipse in Pisces (here), the moments and spaces in between begin to cool and crystallize. Chances to restore hope, sanity and equilibrium emerge yet may go unnoticed, drowned out. The chances still exist nonetheless, and it would be a shame for them to pass by unnoticed and unappreciated.

The first tiny wave of relief came late on Thursday the 12th as Mercury left its extended transit of cool, intellectual Aquarius for Pisces. Mercury is considered in detriment in Pisces; however it does bring with it unmatched emotional intelligence as well as greater feeling and sensitivity of thought and communication. A welcome change of pace, despite some of the logistical issues that can sometimes occur with Mercury in Pisces. Getting in touch with and expressing our feelings, dreams, and emotions seems much less of a daunting task. Opportunities for healthy and necessary psychic release present throughout the end of March. Mercury in Pisces will conjunct Neptune in Pisces Wednesday, March 18; sextile Pluto Sunday, March 22; and conjunct Chiron in Pisces on Tuesday, March 24 before Mercury leaves Pisces for Aries late on Monday, March 30.  Recent worries, pains and failures can cause acute sensitivity around these days, but discussing them with anyone around you that you sense might be on the same page can bring healing and closure.

Mercury in Pisces now can be wonderfully stimulating to the imagination, and restore inspiration that may be running dry. These images and feelings can potentially find physical shape once Venus enters the sign of its rulership, Taurus, on Tuesday, March 17 at 5:15 A.M. Venus is just so at home and at its sweetest in the sign of the garden of earthly delights. Venus in Taurus appreciates whatever it has on hand; it always wants more, the best there is, but will enjoy more modest pleasures equally. Art, beauty, glamour, music, dance, cuisine and other physical, sensual joys will be a little easier to come by with this transit. Venus in Taurus makes a yummy, dreamy sextile to Neptune in Pisces Tuesday, March 24; squares dramatic, playful Jupiter retrograde in Leo Friday, March 27; and trines Pluto in Capricorn Monday, March 30. Good times for a good time! These will be accompanied by a sense of lazy self indulgence, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Moments of beauty do not last forever, and with so many other difficult energies at work, it would be a shame to let the pleasures of the season pass you by.

Venus in Taurus is also a good time to look for financial opportunities of all sizes, particularly when in aspect to Jupiter and Pluto. A chance to make improvements to your earnings is also something you do not want to pass you by! Things may feel a little too comfortable with Venus matters at the last half of March, especially with Mercury in Pisces distorting our thought processes, making things seem a little fuzzy, foggy and out of focus. The benefits of Venus in Taurus will end like every transit does, so resist the urge to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Issues surrounding money, compensation, value and security really come to the forefront as we end March. Mars enters Taurus Tuesday, March 31 at 11:26 A.M. CST. While Venus is at home in Taurus, Mars is in detriment here. Rougher, hungrier, frustrated; not as gentle or sweet. The day before Mars enters Taurus, Mercury will enter Aries and we start April off with tension and strains all over again before we even hit the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Libra on Saturday, April 4th that will strongly reactivate the Uranus-Pluto square…. and, just like that, we’re right back at a fever pitch. Appreciate the beauty and magic unfolding at the last half of March as much as you can.

Real Time Astrology: Solar Eclipse New Moon / Supermoon in Pisces March 20, 2015

One era ends and a brand new one begins in spectacular fashion on Friday, March 20, 2015. The spring equinox begins here at 4:36 P.M. CST as the Sun enters the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, and also marks the beginning of the astrological new year. The very same day will begin with a solar eclipse New Moon at the anaretic 29th degree of Pisces. (The New Moon happens at 4:36 A.M. CST; the solar eclipse just 10 minutes later.) A total solar eclipse occurring at spring equinox is a rare event; occuring only three times in this century and not at all in the next. Even rarer that this should also be a Supermoon, occurring at the closest possible point between the Moon and Earth. This is also the deepest total solar eclipse since 1999. Legitimate concerns regarding tidal waves and electrical grids – more so in the UK and parts of Europe- are being anticipated ahead of this event. We will be experiencing our own individual tidal waves and electrical storms as well.

What can you uncover while searching around in pitch black bottomless depths? We will be required to find out as the solar eclipse New Moon takes place at the final, highly karmic 29th degree of Pisces. Just as the total eclipse itself will remain unseen – a complete blackout that nevertheless directly affects energy patterns on Earth-  we will feel this Moon to our core  even if things around us appear normal on the surface. Many themes experienced during the previous New Moon/Supermoon in Aquarius/Pisces on February 18 (read it here) will resurrect with a vengeance and then some. From that article:

“Astronomers are looking forward to this New Moon as it is an opportune time to look deep into space for objects that are usually faint, obstructed from view by the usual light of the moon. This New Moon will bring things to light as a direct result of its lack of light, not in spite of it. It will hide its own illumination and step out of the way, allowing what usually remains dark and hidden to capture our attention. This New Moon will work its magic on each of us in this same surreal fashion. It is almost a crystal ball moon: the energy of Aquarius helping us to look into our futures and to think up innovative ways of taking us there; the energy of Pisces asking us to look deep into our soul connection to each other, to God, to all of life. We will be working with very large concepts and feelings here, make no mistake! Our hopes and dreams, our pain, our deepest soul yearnings will not be ignored and require our full attention and energy.”

This total solar eclipse New Moon/Supermoon coinciding with the Sun’s ingress into Aries and the spring equinox will, however, be a formidably deeper, stronger current. Permanent endings and new beginnings take real shape here. The equinox and new astrological year pivot on this 29th final degree of Pisces, demanding once and for all that we let it go, let all of it go. We are not who we once were, and we’re not going back the way we came. Particularly in the final throes of the very last square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn (read here), new ground breaks in real time, tangible ways in the new astrological year and the ways we have conducted our lives in these past few years will no longer hold up.

This letting go/permanent endings process that will be instigated by this anarectic degree Pisces Moon will involve, with more energy and urgency than usual,  intense dreams, daydreaming, sleep disturbances, changes in physical energy and fatigue. A particular emphasis on memories – the painful, the pleasant, the long forgotten- will accompany this Moon. Memories may pop up from seemingly nowhere, unprovoked. It may even be difficult to distinguish memories from imagination or dreams, just as it may feel we are in a limbo between sleep and wakefulness. Our psyches will be directly stimulated and may compete for dominance in the physical realm, allowing the surreal to momentarily be just as real and natural as anything else.

Not long after so much energy pivots on the final degree of Pisces, the Moon enters Aries at 5:28 A.M. It will not dissipate fully the energy of Pisces; instead it will likely add to the tension, in spite (or maybe because of) the upswing in energy that will follow.  Particularly later in the evening, as the Aries Moon opposes the North Node in Libra and the South Node in Aries. As the Sun moves into Aries late evening and heralds a new astrological year, the activation of the North and South Nodes suggests balance, equality and fairness will be the focus of the new season. Pisces can show us where we’ve allowed ourselves to be used, abused and taken for granted in the past; Aries can supply the courage to leave it behind and blaze our own trail; Libra can teach us that we don’t have to do it alone, as long as everyone involved is valued for the role they play.

Emotional fallout is very likely during and shortly after this time, so allow for some TLC for yourself and others. Depression is possible but fatigue and “burn out” are more likely. The ups and downs could really drain our batteries!

Our emotional intelligence will be coming through for us at this turning point, even if rational thinking can’t quite keep up.  Really go with your gut instincts with this one. As we’ll see during this Pisces New Supermoon eclipse, it takes nerves of steel  to follow our instincts and both will be necessary in the times to come.

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon in Virgo March 5, 2015

The Full Moon at 14 degrees Virgo takes place at 12:05 P.M. CST on Thursday, March 5. It will be in opposition to the Sun, Neptune and Chiron all in Pisces and square Saturn slowing to retrograde in Sagittarius. This is a strong Full Moon but not a warm, fuzzy one. It has a job to do, and a stressful one at that. In a month that is bringing so much chaos, the Full Moon in Virgo will attempt to bring order to the chaos.

With so much astrological activity happening in a very short amount of time, the difference in a smooth transition or a sloppy, messy one may come down to how much attention is paid to the details. The Full Moon in Virgo is a time to pay attention to the smaller picture, the fine print, to what is useful in achieving our objectives. Game plans need to be tight if they are to succeed. Some ideas that have been overlooked may be more beneficial than previously thought, while others will have to be thrown out if they lack practical application. Making all the varied  bits and pieces come together properly like a jigsaw puzzle requires discernment, which is something Virgo can excel at.

Tension, nervousness, and a “high strung” feeling will likely accompany this Full Moon. People will want to feel they are producing results; with the Full Moon opposing three bodies in Pisces and squaring Saturn, it won’t come easy. Expect to see more snapping, nitpicking and overall persnicketiness with this Full Moon. Projecting emotional baggage while acting cool and aloof will be a theme as well. Instead of criticizing the way others conduct themselves or the way they do business, take a look at the way your handling your own life instead…

The old saying that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” (that’s how I remember the saying, anyway) is a good one to keep in mind at this time. Remaining focused on productivity and getting things done will help clear minds and calm nerves. If you find you aren’t accomplishing much in your own life, try being useful in someone else’s (if they want and need it, that is. Don’t just assume they do!) With the oppositions to the Sun, Neptune and Chiron, giving if yourself selflessly and without strings attached will work some magic back your way.

The house of your natal chart that this Full Moon in Virgo falls in will give a clue to the area of your life needing the most attention to detail. An urge to “spring clean” your life can be felt here too. It is also a good time to change work and health habits. Much of what is labelled as healthy and natural today is actually quite far from being healthy and natural at all.  This isn’t limited only to things like diet, exercise, nutrition etc. but also our mental and emotional health,  our approach to our jobs and careers, and the amount of stress we face in everyday life. Our sensitivity to these things will be heightened by this Virgo Full Moon. Ignore what the establishment says is healthy for you and listen to what your body and mind says is healthy instead.

It takes skills to work magic. The Full Moon in Virgo is a time to harness the wild March energies and use them to work a little more magic into our daily lives.