April 2023

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Did you think March was hectic? Just wait. April runs us through a gauntlet of high energy and volatile change, with our heads looking backward in the final stretch. Relationships are an all-pervasive issue: a catalyst, a playing field, or just plain in the thick of the action.

Baseline, worldly desires dominate thought, talk, and information throughout the month, once Mercury enters show-me Taurus April 3. They get real right off the bat, with a square from Mercury to Pluto forcing out uncomfortable truths and heavy conversations. With Pluto newly, and briefly, in the friendzone of Aquarius, something in our thinking or perspective is ripe for evolution. Stabilizing is possible when Mercury sextiles structure-loving Saturn April 5; putting ideas into action is all the rage when Mercury sextiles go-getter Mars April 8.

Who’s in our lives is an issue from the outset as well. No theoretical or poetic concepts are in this arena; with Venus in Taurus until the 11th, the focus is on who’s present and available, who’s reliable, and who’s meeting specific and concrete needs. Adjustments, rearranging, and some clearing out come with the Libra Full Moon April 6, which continues a Uranian process of shake ups, awakenings, and good-byes that’s been going on since November.

This latest gear shift doesn’t have to be rough, though, at least not at first glance. A sextile on April 7 between Venus and Neptune, the two guardians of love, offers gentleness and compassion, if not romance. After that, we’re doing relationship surgery with scalpels instead of butter knives, with a trine between Venus and Pluto on April 11 ensuring clean and precisely targeted cuts – and homing in on desires with equal precision.

When Venus enters Gemini April 11, the social mode goes from holding hands and sharing snacks to juggling multiple people, interests, and activities, largely in packs of pals. Her sign change comes with a peak in energy, excitement, enthusiasm, exuberance, and generally over-the-top behavior. The Sun is making a once-in-12-year conjunction to Jupiter in Aries, igniting risk-taking, impetuousness, indulgence, massive ego inflation, and enormous outbursts enjoying the moment, without regard for what may come. (Inspirational image: Slim Pickens hootin’ and hollerin’ as he rides the bomb at the end of “Doctor Strangelove.”)

The sky has a guardrail in place. Saturn is almost immediately on the scene with his insistence on responsibility and accountability. Someone needs to clean up, or calm down, or act like a grown-up, or possibly actually commit to one of those people or interests or activities, when Venus squares Saturn April 14.

All of this occurs within a larger framework of resetting and rebooting relationships, from specific unions and agreements to personal and societal rules and patterns to the roles we place on ourselves. That’s an ongoing task of the next two years, and the immediate catalyst is the total solar eclipse that is the Aries New Moon April 19/20, which colors the whole month and beyond. It’s launching the next eclipse cycle, on the Aries/Libra axis, and overlaps with the resources and investments review of the Taurus/Scorpio eclipses, which are wrapping up this year.

The kickoff has maximum ram power, at the last degree and nearly last minute of the sign. You might experience (or angle for) a power up of anything and everything that started at March’s Aries New Moon – yes, the same sign, but that one was at the very beginning. This fresh – or refreshed – start isn’t subtle. It will speed up developments, alter trajectories, and in some instances separate people onto different tracks.

Our instinct is to go to ground, to touch the ground, to, simply, ground, but even that act leads to change. The Sun enters Taurus on April 20 and immediately squares Pluto, pitting personal desires against the needs of our friends and community and against the wave of the future. Something’s gotta give, and we’re not likely to win out against this influence. Consider it a growth experience.

And keep your eye on the ground. Significant activity is occurring down here, and attention to it could benefit you tangibly. Watch the details and your financial balances starting April 21. The second Mercury retrograde of the year launches then, complicating practical matters (double check fine print!) and inviting cleaning up unfinished business until May 15. His reverse march has a helpful start, with a sextile to Mars encouraging fussing over details and taking practical action, on April 23.

Read more in my Mercury Retrograde guide for OMTimes.

No matter how the month may have knocked you around, the last days offer firmer footing (perhaps support as well), when the Sun sextiles Saturn April 25. Take the opportunity to find your balance. It’ll come in handy when action hero Mars sextiles quick-change artist Uranus on April 29 and opens the door to new ways of taking care of others – and, of course, of yourself.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash