This Month: April 2018
Back by popular demand! This month's Skyvibe is written by wonderful Astrologer and Sydney Astrology School colleague Joanne Rixon... enjoy. ~ Marc Laurenson
Let the Sun Shine In
Welcome to April, the first 'normal' month of the year as far as Moon phases are concerned. This month we have only one New Moon and one Full Moon. There are no major aspects between the outer planets, and most of the planets are staying put in the signs they currently occupy, but we do have a couple of retrogrades to contend with.
When a planet retrogrades, it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. We know that this is physically impossible; it is just the illusion of backward motion when that planet is viewed from our perspective on the Earth, a little like traveling on a train when you pass a slower moving train – it is moving forward, but from your perspective it seems to be going in reverse.
Let's start with that most notable, and dare I say it, 'pesky' of those retrograde planets – Mercury. All of the planets (except the Sun and Moon) turn retrograde from time to time, but none, in my opinion, makes its presence felt like Mercury. Travel is delayed, computers, phones, TV's and toasters all start acting haywire, communications are misconstrued or lost, frustration abounds.
Perhaps it is as a result of our modern world, so dependent upon technology in every aspect of our daily lives that has magnified the effects of this very small planet causing so much mayhem. We entered the month with Mercury retrograding through Aries, but on 14th April he will cease his backward motion at 4° Aries, where he will sit for two days before resuming forward motion on 16th April.
Whenever a planet stations at a degree in the zodiac it is drawing attention to the energy of that particular point. Mercury is a fast moving planet, so when he stands still it is wise to investigate what he is trying to tell us. One way to do this is to consult the Sabian Symbol for that degree, in this case it is a rather cryptic one A White Triangle is seen; it has Golden Wings. This symbol is telling us that we do not need to feel stuck in a present situation; we can rise above it to something more spiritual, joyful and beautiful. Mercury is the planet of the mind, so take some time to still your mind whilst he is still to meditate on this image and allow your spirit to take flight.
The other two planets turning retrograde during April are much slower than Mercury, Saturn and Pluto. Saturn stations on 17th April, turning retrograde on 19th April when he will retrace his path through Capricorn until 7th September when he once again turns direct. Pluto turns retrograde, also in Capricorn, from 24th April until 2nd October.
The New Moon occurs at 11.57am on 16th April, the same day that Mercury turns direct. The New Moon is at 26° Aries, and the Sabian Symbol for this degree reinforces that of Mercury's stationary degree - Through Imagination, a lost opportunity is regained. A dear friend of mine creates a visual representation of all her New Moon wishes each month to focus her intentions and bring them into reality, so use your imagination to create a mood board for all of your hopes, dreams and wishes and meditate upon them – the Universe is giving you a wonderful opportunity to manifest something amazing.
The biggest astro-headline for the month is that Chiron, which has resided in Pisces for the past eight years, will move into Aries on the day after the New Moon, at 6.09 pm on 17th April. It will retrograde back to Pisces on 26th September before turning direct and again entering Aries on 18th February 2019 where it will stay until 15th April 2027. During its long stay in Aries, Chiron will not make any major aspects to any of the slow moving outer planets.
The last time Chiron was in Aries was 1968 to 1977, the time before that was 1918 to 1927. If you were born during these years, you will be coming up for your Chiron return during the next nine years. Your first Chiron returns happen around the age of 50, when Chiron returns to the degree he occupies in your natal chart. It can trigger a 'healing crisis', when issues arise that need to be addressed before you can move on to the next stage in your evolutionary journey. The key words for Aries are 'I Am', so for those who have Chiron in Aries, the issue could be who you are, your right to exist, to have your needs met, to be an individual with the courage to express yourself.
Chiron was 'discovered' in 1977. Originally a Kuiper Belt object, residing in the farthest reaches of the solar system near Pluto, Chiron was ensnared by the gravitational pull of Neptune and catapulted into an orbit between Saturn and Uranus, occasionally straying into territory between Jupiter and Saturn, and at times out past the orbit of Uranus. Because of this eccentric orbit, Chiron can spend anything from 1½ to 9 years in a sign. He spends the longest time in Pisces and Aries, significant because they are the last and first signs of the zodiac. Chiron is the link between the unconscious and the conscious, the immaterial and the material, the spirituality of Pisces and the embodiment of Aries.
The textbook definition of Chiron is 'the wound we need to heal', but the incomparable astrologer Liz Greene has a different take on Chiron's role in our chart. She sees Chiron as a deep-seated longing for oblivion, the urge to return 'home' in the sense of that place we were born from and will someday return to. A longing for death at its most extreme expression. The opposite for this longing for oblivion is to rejoice in life, represented by the Sun. All of the planets up to Saturn serve the development of the ego, they are in service to the Sun. Chiron occupies the space between the personal and inter-personal planets; it mediates the issues between individual and collective issues. The only way to resolve the Chiron issue in your chart is to make your Sun happy, live up to the full potential that you were born with. Look at your own chart – where is your Chiron? Where do you feel disempowered, belittled, wounded? Now where is your Sun? What sign and house is it in? What are you doing to live the life promised by that Sun? Yes, it really is that simple. And that complex. How many of us truly have the courage to really live life to the full, regardless of the obstacles the world puts in our path? Take a minute to think about the mythology of Chiron. He was a Centaur and the teacher of royalty until he was accidentally wounded by Heracles' poisoned arrow. He was literally shot in the foot. Now think about how many times you metaphorically 'shoot yourself in the foot' – in other words succumb to self-sabotage. That is the lesson of Chiron in Aries.
The Sun will enter the earthy sign of Taurus at 1.13pm on 20th April. Venus starts the month at the beginning of Taurus, where she is very comfortable, and stays in her home sign until 25th April when she moves into Gemini. The month ends with the Full Moon in Scorpio at 10.57am on 30th April. The Full Moon will square the Nodes and sextile Saturn, so this could be an emotionally intense time for some, particularly around family issues. Take a deep breath before you engage and wait for the energy to wash over you. That is the nature of transits, they are transitory.
I hope you had a happy and safe Easter and enjoyed the time off.
— Joanne Rixon, April 2018