The next several weeks are an extremely bumpy astral ride, but fastening your seatbelts isn’t necessarily the best way to handle the flux. You’ll need a smart strategy to manage the disparate daily rhythms, as the regular routines of daily life turn irregular. Just about everyone is likely to struggle with the fits, starts and stops of interruptions, and almost everyone’s patience is certain to fray from the inconsistency. And as this emotional unraveling collides with an already militant atmosphere, more than a few of our fellow travelers are likely to blow. Anticipate meltdowns, yours or others’, and expect some of these I-just-can’t-take-it-anymore moments to have a detrimental effect—not everyone is able to deal with anger and very few are skilled at self-soothing. It is possible for some of these fluster-bluster moments to have a positive outcome—sometimes blowing your top clears the air, making it possible to see the emotional terrain of a situation with greater clarity. An angry outburst can be edifying for everyone, including the person erupting in frustration or impatience. That being said, it’s still a good idea to set your internal compass on kindness and compassion. That way, if you’re caught in an uncomfortable situation you’ll be able to find your way to higher ground.
Bump One: Saturn Retrograde begins on April 6. All retrogrades are about reviewing, reflecting and reconsidering recent choices. Saturn represents the principle of discernment, and through its critical eye we learn and grow—without Saturn we wouldn’t be able to distill wisdom from experience. Saturn began its transit through Sagittarius in December 2014. Sagittarius is the Sign where we search for truth—and we’ve certainly been doing a lot of truth-searching since this cycle began. Not that we aren’t always searching for answers, but it seems ironic that at the end of Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius—it ends in December 2017—we are collectively engaged in figuring out how to tell the true from the false. During part of its time in Sagittarius, from November 2015 – September 2016, Saturn formed a square to Neptune, which a friend likes to call “The Great Destroyer of Illusion,” and as Saturn, the voice of reality, collided with Neptune, fake news became part of the vernacular.
Not that it seems possible to be surprised by anything anymore, but as Saturn Retrograde unfolds, Saturn forms a trine to Uranus, the principle of startling developments, which means we’re in for few more revelations. Let’s hope the new information is based on fact not fiction.
Bump Two: Mercury Retrograde begins on April 10 and lasts through May 3. Most of us know the drill by now, but just in case you’re new to this information: Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to initiate new projects, but it is a good time to review what’s already in motion. Mercury signifies all things related to communication and travel, which means that under the influence of a retrograde, miscommunication is probable, as are delays and detours. If you haven’t yet backed up your computer, do it now. There’s a lot of information available about Mercury Retrograde and how its shadow effect precedes the actual day the retrograde begins and extends beyond the actual day it ends. My personal preference is to follow the 3-Day Rule: Just to be safe, consider the retrograde operative three days before and three days after.
Bump Three: Venus Retrograde, which began on March 4, ends on April 15. During these last weeks of this retrograde, Venus visits Pisces, turning moods slightly more sentimental. Venus Direct moves the goddess of love and beauty into Aries again on April 29, but for the next several weeks expect more than a few tender moments. Just don’t limit those moments solely to romantic engagements. It’s quite possible to feel the emotional effect of Venus throughout a wide range of relationships, with a wide range of significant others.
Bump Four—the biggest bump of all: The Sun, in Aries, is closing in on a conjunction with Uranus, also in Aries, and when these two dynamic forces form a perfect union, innovative urges surge like lightning bolts through the landscape of imagination, electrifying the desire to create something new. Honor those flashes of brilliance, even if you can’t actualize your vision immediately.
But that’s not all. This combination also represents a need to break free from whatever enslaves, be it a person, idea, regime, cult, or any other dogmatic system that insist on conformity. Aries is all about individuation and when the Sun shines its light through that filter, the need to know oneself as separate and distinct is undeniable. Add Uranus, the astro-revolutionary, and that need-to-be accelerates, rejecting all restraints. Pay attention: This conjunction is exact on April 14 and lasts until April 22. Under this influence, I don’t think it will be possible to deny radical desire but that doesn’t mean you have to throw every caution to the wind. Do what you can to stay centered and grounded in what you know to be ultimately true—not just what you want to be true—and let those higher principles guide you through the maze of what may be considered impulsive or reactive choices.
Bump Five: The trine between Pluto and Mars is waning, but that doesn’t mean that ambitions are dying down. Pluto is preparing for a retrograde phase that begins on April 20, but before the principle of death and rebirth reviews its most recent past, it forms a square to that Aries Sun, a square that is exact and separating on April 9 and completely over by April 17. Squares are fractious interactions, and while the Sun is inclined to compromise, Pluto takes no prisoners. The negative end of this square empowers ruthless behavior that encourages despots, big and small, to throw their weight around. The positive potential—if you can find it—provides a tremendous amount of energy and stamina. The best way to use this superpower wisely is to apply humility liberally.
It’s not going to be an easy couple of weeks, but really, we don’t need the stars to tell us that we are in an extended and distended phase of turmoil, tumult, upset, and upheaval. Or that our responses to these storms of shift will determine the outcome—not just for our individual lives but for the lives of all our fellow travelers, including the Earth which holds all of us safely in space. Do your best to stay present. And when possible help those less skilled at handling change—these are big bumps and most of us will need a helping hand to manage the stress.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
The secret to your success is flexibility—you’ll need to bend with these winds of change, or you will snap before the storm is over. I’m not suggesting that you compromise your principles or deny what you know to be true. I’m simply advising you to view each situation through an expanded perspective that allows for the foibles and flaws of others—as well as your own.
Taurus April 20-May 20
The brunt of the turmoil is internal, but that won’t necessarily neutralize the need to expel the stress and tension—you need to figure out how to do that in healthy ways. The good news is that your innate gift of patience is certain to kick in somewhere in the midst of your frustration. The not-so-good news is that it might not be enough to keep you calm. Breathe. Just breathe. This too shall pass.
Gemini May 21-June 21
There are a couple of situations in your social, emotional and psychological neighborhood— where you live, work, attend classes, go to church, or simply hang out—that are likely to challenge your live-and-let-live nature. And while it won’t be easy finding positive solutions to these issues, you do still have the gift of being able to stand in the shoes of another. Use that superpower, and let compassion relieve the stress.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Apply your burst of creative intensity to the projects that need attention and forget about who did or didn’t do what was needed to help you. Brooding about what should have happened will only bring you down and make it harder for you to appreciate the success that is rightfully yours. Learn this lesson well: Not everyone is as nurturing as you—that doesn’t mean they don’t care; it just means we aren’t all the same.
Leo July 23-August 22
Not everything goes according to plan or schedule, but that doesn’t matter much because what does happen yields positive results. Take a deep breath and keep working on what you love, whatever form that passion takes. Let your fire communicate the depth of your commitment to what matters most. Yes, you’re an idealist and a romantic, but while it’s important to be practical, it’s more important to dream.
Virgo August 23-September 22
It’s a lot of change, and none of it is happening in a way that pleases your need for order—really…it’s just one chaotic circumstance after another and you’re exhausted. And while I don’t disagree or blame you, I would offer this advice: Not everyone is at skilled as you at handling upheaval. Most people just collapse from the strain. Rather than criticize the reactions of others, try to empathize, if only because you’ll feel better.
Libra September 23-October 22
As always, it is all about relationship—almost every bump for the next several weeks focuses on how to handle difficult interactions with significant others, whether those partnerships are with family members, coworkers or simply the imaginary characters that populate your inner universe. I would love to advise you to take the Taoist high road: Take no unnecessary action. But I don’t think that’s possible. Instead, I suggest you keep an open heart, no matter how hard that might be.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
It’s a big mess of complicated interactions and the only way through is to handle each situation individually. Acknowledge your need for personal freedom, but don’t let that cut you off from important relationships. Also be willing to work hard, even if the projects or the work itself doesn’t interest you. Lastly, pay attention to your inner dialogue—it will let you know what’s next in your process of personal growth.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
As I write this, I am listening to a little baby outside my window who is alternately giggling with delight or crying in frustration. I was going to ignore it and then I realized that this baby is sending you a message: Be yourself—all of you, even if one minute you’re shrieking with joy and the next, sobbing in despair. And as you move between these realms, notice what triggers your mood, but also pay attention to what brings you joy.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
There is a lot going on at home—inside and out—and it is almost too much to handle, especially as you attempt to break free from the negative ties that bind you to codependent behavior. It’s seldom easy finding the strength to say no to old habits, but it is always worth the effort. Give yourself permission to redefine the notion of belonging and then see what develops when you are able to have a new perspective.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
It will take superhuman effort to hold back what you really want to say, so rather than waste your time on the impossible, focus on how you can present your assessment of what needs to change in a way that inspires others to shift. I realize this won’t be easy, but if you rely on your innate egalitarian perspective, you’ll find a common thread that enables you to compassionately express your concerns without causing harm.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Not only are you revisiting financial issues you thought were long gone, you’re also confronting issues of self-esteem and self-confidence that you also thought were long gone. Don’t worry; while there is certainly a lot going on, you still have the strength and stamina to sort it all out—and not every decision was a mistake. Some of your choices are yielding positive results.
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