If you’re counting on stay-at-home rules expiring mid-May, you might want to reconsider your options because according to celestial portents, no one and nothing is going to shift into turbo-drive any time soon. This week is the first in a series of shifting planetary patterns that unfold over the next three weeks, and while you may notice a slight change of tone, it’s a slow build that culminates mid-May. Given the ongoing COVID-19 interruption of regular routines, it’s probably best to be aware that even more interference is on the way. These are not necessarily the positive patterns we’ve been waiting for—they are all retrogrades. Pluto begins its retrograde phase on April 25; Saturn starts its retrograde on May 10; Venus Retrograde begins May 12; and Jupiter goes retrograde on May 14. The best way to cope with this season of retrogrades is to use this week and next to get as much done as possible. Once the retrogrades set in, daily life might resemble the invasion of the molasses monsters, so prioritize your time and energy around your most important goals and then apply as much patience as possible to every situation.
Pluto’s retrograde, beginning this Saturday, persists until October 4. As part of its retrospective, Pluto returns to the degree it occupied on January 3, which means we’re reviewing events that occurred during that time through a Plutonian lens. Pluto, as most of us know, signifies the process of death and rebirth, which is likely to translate into a lot of thinking about what has transpired and what we need to learn about the inexorable and uncontrollable power of nature. Yes, there are other subjects that will grab screen time during its review, which means you can also expect lots of frustration and even more haggling about who’s to blame for the pandemic. Given Mr. Trump’s recklessness, which now includes encouraging his followers to break the rules and gather in large groups, we can also anticipate a surge in COVID-19 cases that will likely result from such reckless behavior coming home to roost.
Saturn Retrograde begins on May 10 and lasts until September 28, and as part of its retrospective, Saturn returns to and turns around on the position it occupied on February 3. As Saturn retraces its path, we’re reviewing all that’s happened since the crucial start of the pandemic in the United States. But that’s not all. Jupiter Retrograde begins on May 14 and because Jupiter also returns to and turns around on the position it occupied on February 18, this planetary review is extensive—we’re looking at all that’s been put in motion since the pandemic began, especially rules and regulations.
Venus Retrograde begins on May 12 and lasts until June 25, but how this retrograde will plays out is not as clear cut as the other three retrogrades. Normally, Venus Retrograde is all about relationships (she is the goddess of love, after all), but because Venus also represents money and values, her retrograde is also a review of what’s important—and that’s where we could run into trouble. Venus “turns around” three days before the shelter-in-place order is supposed to end in several states, including New York and California, so the first way we might feel her influence is through a change in those stay-at-home orders. That’s not hard to imagine, especially with so many people protesting to be free, even at the risk of spreading the virus and causing an increase of infections. Venus is not a pernicious planet and her retrogrades aren’t as dramatic as those of Mercury or Mars. Nevertheless, Venus is a social force and because she is retrograde in Gemini, a convivial Sign, there’s a high probability that those who are sheltering in place will start to crave contact with others even more than they already are. If those shelter-at-home orders aren’t lifted, the isolation may be more than many of our fellow travelers can handle.
A Sun/Uranus conjunction exacerbates the need to break free from whatever enslaves. We’ve been in it for a week and it’s exact and separating on April 26, lingering until May 3. Uranus represents the rebel with or without a cause and when it combines with the pure power of the Sun, those rebellious urges are almost impossible to deny. Of course, it doesn’t help that the “leader of the free world” is assiduously fomenting unrest in his own country—something we should all pay close attention to because it is a preview of what lies ahead, particularly around the elections. A country divided and at war with itself can easily be conquered by a despot whose aim is to exploit strife for his own purposes. One of the lessons we are learning through this pandemic is how important government actually is to the regular routines of daily life. We may grouse about how ineffectual and bureaucratic governments—local, state, and federal—are, but in the midst of a crisis such as this, the magnitude of which we haven’t really seen before, a uniform and functioning government is a necessity. Mr. Trump is only interested in dismantling the government and intensifying the chaos of that dissolution; unlike Venus, he is a pernicious presence.
One of the things that brings joy during this time of the coronavirus is just how many people are practicing kindness and compassion. There are far more people who care about each other than those who don’t, so try not to despair about our human condition. We’ve known for a while that something had to give—now it is, and each of us needs to be part of envisioning a better future for all of us.
One last note: Happy Earth Day! And just in case you were wondering where Earth Day originated… you guessed it: hippies. Although if you read about its history, you will find an amalgam of people joined together out of mutual concern to celebrate our planet.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Allow yourself to shine—there’s absolutely no need to hold back or pretend that you are not vital. Even in the midst of this pandemic madness, you have a lot to contribute. As much as this sounds like a cliché, because it is, follow your bliss and your passion will inspire others to follow suit.
Taurus April 20-May 20.
You are in your element—the Sun is in your Sign and you’re enlivened by the impulses of spring, ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. Good—have at it, and as you implement your plans, be sure to include alternate timetables; that way you’ll be well prepared for any retrograde interference.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Yes, it is a lot of work and there are going to be many moments when you just won’t feel up to it, which is why it’s important to manage your fatigue. Of course there are a lot of things that no one else can do, but for these few moments you need to learn how to delegate so you can get some rest.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Finding your internal balance and maintaining it is essential if you want to manage a growing sense of futility that the restrictions put in place to manage the pandemic will be kept in place forever. They won’t. But there is a long way to go before we are safe, so be as patient as possible with this process.
Leo July 23-August 22
Turn your lead into gold by refusing to be overwhelmed by the COVID-19 virus. Yes, there are restrictions and yes, again, they are necessary. But there are no restrictions on your imagination and creativity, which means if you use this time wisely, you will have transformed strife into self-confidence.
Virgo August 23-September 22
There is no controlling the outcome of anything, and while that can be a hard lesson to learn, especially for someone who thrives on organizing the details, it is also a worthwhile lesson. Consult your Tarot deck and meditate on The Fool, because part of his wisdom is the knowledge that life goes on no matter what.
Libra September 23-October 22
I’m banking on time as the great healer, even if we can’t hurry it up because time allows things to heal at their own pace—and that includes us. Use the time you have wisely by bearing witness to all that’s come before, all that is, and all that will ever be. You can’t go wrong tuning into eternity.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
This would be a bad time to lose your sense of humor, and while I know that very little is funny right now, it’s still possible to laugh at our foibles. I’m not suggesting that the suffering of others is silly. I’m simply reminding you to find your sense of humor because laughter will strengthen your heart.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
We often think of pleasurable pursuits as trivial because we don’t always recognize just how much our body, mind, and soul benefit from fun. So although we’re in the midst of a terrible phase of human history, continue to take pleasure in the small things that make you happy—joy has exponential benefits.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
No matter how intensely the external or internal storms rage, you can always channel your intensity into creative projects as a way of transforming your feelings and managing your stress. I’m not suggesting you deny what you’re feeling; I’m simply suggesting that you find a healthy outlet—like art.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
In the midst of COVID-19 intensity, it might be wise to remember the first rule of magic: whatever you focus your attention on becomes your reality. This is not about finding a magic cure for the virus; it’s about finding a positive attitude that allows you to manifest healthy ways of managing the stress.
Pisces February 19-March 20
You’ve got a lot to say and trying to hold it back would be like trying to keep your eyes open when you sneeze. So rather than trying to keep your feelings hidden, give yourself permission to share them with others, knowing that if you say something completely inappropriate, you’ll hear it and quickly make amends.