Five Planets Retrograde In April – How To Survive Them

In April we have a record number of 5 (FIVE) planets retrograde. The Universe is asking us to “sort out” our life and redefine our reality and how we operate in it. This retrograde period is “three-dimensional” as it will ask us to look at ourselves (our thoughts, our communication – Mercury and our set of values – Venus) at our environment (Jupiter and Saturn) and at how everything  fits together in the grand scheme of things (Pluto).

5 retrograde planets

When is so much retrograde power in the air, we need to slow down any pay attention. Old patterns of thinking and old habits that no longer serve us will be brought to our awareness and challenged.

What is even more interesting is that 4 planets out of the 5 actually change direction in April. Yes, only Jupiter is already retrograde and won’t change direction. All the other planets station and change direction in April, increasing their influence few days before and after their station:

  • Saturn turns retrograde on April 6th at 27° Sagittarius
  • Mercury turns retrograde on April 9th at 4° Taurus
  • Venus turns direct on April 15th at 26° Pisces
  • Pluto turns retrograde on April 20th at 19° Capricorn

So if you have planets or angles around 27° Sagittarius, 4° Taurus, 26° Pisces or 19° Capricorn you will be especially affected. Pay attention especially if you have planets around 26°-27° in any Mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) because the square between Venus and Saturn, – both stationary – will hit you hard.

Retrograde periods are good times to remember, re-assess , re-think, repair ,  restructure, re-invent  anything that needs a “RE” in your life.

And although the world will seem to “slow down”,  for some of us things will feel “just right”. Yes, if you have in your natal chart 4, 5 or even more planets retrograde then you will rather feel “in sync” with this energy, especially if you have a combination of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn or Pluto retrograde.

For people with none, 1 or maximum 2 planets retrograde, things will be quite different. For example, I don’t have any planet retrograde. Everytime there are 4 or more planets retrograde I feel very tired, that’s why I learned to schedule holidays around the retrogrades and take the opportunity to recharge my batteries.

Now let’s have a look at how to deal with each of these retrogrades – focus on the one affecting you the most:

Saturn and Venus (26°-27° mutable signs)

I group them together because they are at the same mathematical degree and in square – so if you have planets around 26-27° in Mutable signs both Venus and Saturn stations will affect you.

The transit is quite heavy and will very likely ask you to sort out some emotional baggage from your life – old lovers, events from the past, buried feelings of rejection, isolation, and loneliness.

“The only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind” – Venus square Saturn will ask you to do some soul searching and decide what are you going to keep in this baggage. What are those key values that you cannot live without?

Anything else can be left behind. Remember, you will carry this luggage for the rest of your life (or at least until you have another potent Venus transit) – so you want to keep it light. How much are you willing to carry on your back from now on?

Now is your opportunity to really incorporate the Saturnine lessons. Your heart will be stronger and wiser after this process. And because Chiron is conjunct Venus, the opportunity for healing is real. Old wounds may the toughest to heal, but it is when we take the courage to face them, that we can release them and set ourselves free.

What to do about Venus retrograde: Make a list with your values, everything that is dear to you. For each value associate an object. How much does the object weight? Write it down – how many pounds/kilos? Now sum everything up. How heavy it is? What do you need to cut from that list so you leave only few items that you can carry on lightly?

Mercury (4° Taurus)

The lesson of this Mercury station is sustained focus. A Mercury Taurus retrograde cycle is here to teach us to focus our mind and be resilient against distractions.

What to do about Mercury retrograde: Make a list with all the worries, all the distractions, all the unfinished tasks that clutter your mind and affect your focus. Then “schedule” 1 hour per day to solve them. You may notice that by simply writing down your unfinished tasks and worries on a piece of paper, by “acknowledging” them, your mind can finally relax and focus on things that are more important. You can do this exercise anytime, best to do it around April 19th when Mercury and Sun will be in an inferior conjunction. Later in April you may discover you have found some innovative solutions for some of your worries, as Mercury will spend quite a lot of time near Uranus.

Pluto (19° Capricorn)

Pluto will activate the Jupiter Uranus opposition, making this station very confrontational – BUT also thanks to the progressive energy of Jupiter and Uranus, this station will give you an unique opportunity to achieve great progress in the area of your life (the house) transited by Pluto.

When direct, Pluto transforms matter and energy from one state to another. When retrograde, Pluto purges the “toxins” from the body, the mind, the spirit, so that a new cycle of life can emerge. What needs to be purged from your life?  Pluto stationary retrograde will ask you to allow natural death to take its course for anything that no longer serves you.  Let nature have its way. You will not only “survive” without this debrief, but you will be better equipped for the future.

What to do about Pluto retrograde: Keep a diary and write down in detail each event, each thought, each feeling that triggers a defense mechanism inside you. For each of these items, write down what are you afraid of losing if you “submit” to change. And then write down what could be the possible “benefits” for each of these changes. 

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New Moon in Capricorn and Uranus Turns Direct

On the 29th of December we have the final New Moon of the year. A New Moon, and a new year with new beginnings. Say  goodbye to  2016 once and for all and start your brand new journey into 2017.

The energy of the New Moon in Capricorn blends with the energy of Uranus which turns direct immediately after the new Moon. Uranus stationing direct also activates the mighty Uranus – Jupiter opposition (I will say it again, Jupiter opposite Uranus will be THE astrological event of 2017). Thus, the New Moon will set the tone for the upcoming year, so pay attention to the themes that emerge around this date.

new-moon-capricorn-uranus-direct
Art by Jahna Vashti

The Capricorn New Moon will ask us to break the chains of the past and reinvent new structures and new rules. The New Moon is also conjunct Mercury retrograde, pointing towards what we need to start with if we want to achieve the long awaited freedom:  with our mind.

Capricorn plus Uranus will invite us to be authentic and original. Even a bit weird. In 2017 authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice. 

And how can you express your authenticity? Again, the planet closely conjunct the New Moon will give us some hints, and this is Mercury. Which part of yourself needs expression? How can you use words (Mercury) to show the world who you are? Mercury retrograde will now help us dig into old perceptions and patterns and see what needs to be cleared out.

Another way Mercury can play out is by encouraging us to have deep conversations with the others.

The Capricorn New Moon energy encourages the need for structure, discipline and organization. It is a good time to set goals and plan for the future. (What a good timing for New Year Resolutions!)

What else can we learn from the Capricorn energy? Capricorns are very good at assessing reality and seeing what needs to be done to get from start to finish. We all know it, succeeding on our own merits is so much more rewarding than winning a quick buck. By having ownership and  getting things done, we achieve something far greater: a sense of empowerment, a sense that we can do whatever we set our minds to.

A New Moon always brings something new into our life. And because this New Moon is in Capricorn, it is likely that a new situation or an external circumstance arising in our life will require more responsibility, inviting us to take charge.

But the Capricorn New Moon will not simply leave us there with things to finish. She will also show us the way. Just like the mountain goat, from the reign of great highs, can have a panoramic view of the land stretching in front of her eyes, so will we now be able to see the bigger picture, and realistically plan how are we going to get there.

The New Moon in Capricorn is ultimately teaching us how to be our own master, how to turn discipline, tenacity and drive into something sustainable that is there to stay.

The New Moon in Capricorn is a lesson of the power of undying commitment. If you allow the “if” to interfere with your goals, you will never achieve them. There is no 99%. There is only 100%.

The New Moon is making  pretty awesome aspects to Jupiter, Venus and Uranus. We only have  Saturn (which is also the ruler of this New Moon) applying a challenging square to Chiron, the wounded healer. Feeling weak or being in a position where others think we are incapable can be very hurtful for us right now.

The New Moon  is also sextile Mars; and Mars is conjunct Neptune and South Node. This is why I mentioned at the beginning of the blog that authenticity will ultimately replace enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice. The theme of Mars with South Node and Neptune is letting go of the past and of unhealthy spiritual beliefs that don’t even belong to us. Only then we can move into tomorrow with fresh perspectives.  Mars is the planet of action, the South Node represents the past and our Karma, and Neptune is  and the planet  of spirituality. What do you need to forgive or forget to move on?

2016 was a 9 universal year in numerology – the end of a cycle. 2017 will be a 1 year. A new cycle is about the begin. This New Moon can empower us to move in a bold direction. For this, we need to break free from bad habits – and the New Moon will help us form new ones. Our life can be much freer than we have ever thought. We just need to move out of our comfort zone.

Few things to keep in mind and reflect upon, because Capricorn is a serious and reliable sign and wants you do to your homework: do you keep you commitments? When not, what makes you give up and when yes, where does the determination come from? What keeps you going?

When you set goals, how do you know if they are appropriate? Are your goals realistic? Do you have any sort of mechanism in place to make sure you recognize true opportunities when they arise?

The New Moon in Capricorn is teaching us that intention is a great start, but is not enough. The transformation of that intention into reality is the key, and is only by putting together intention and action we will achieve what we have committed to.

If you want to keep track of all the Moon Cycles of 2017, check out the Astro Butterfly Moon Phase Calendar. More details here

Jupiter Opposite Uranus – A Cosmic High Five

Jupiter in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. This is one of the most important transits of the decade – it only takes place every 14 years! – and it is exact on the following dates:

December 25th, 2016 – at 20° (Jupiter direct, Uranus retrograde)

March 2nd, 2017 – at 22° (Jupiter retrograde, Uranus direct)

September 27th, 2017 – at 27° (Jupiter direct, Uranus retrograde)

This is one of the most exciting transits you can experience and it will bring rapid changes and breakthroughs of all kinds.

jupiter-opposite-uranus

Jupiter is the great benefactor, the king of all gods, who magnifies everything it touches, while Uranus is the rebel, the freedom-seeker, the reformer and the revolutionary. Together, the two symbolize the faith and the courage to break free from the old and reinvent new ways of living, new social habits.

This is a very progressive aspect. Things are likely to happen in a BIG scale and impact our society as a whole.

In 1989 when we had the Jupiter Uranus oppposition on the Cancer Capricorn axis, the Berlin wall and the Communism collapsed and the Cold War was declared over. South Africa’s new prime minister F.W. de Klerk started to dismantle the apartheid regime. The successful Galileo spacecraft was launched in 1989, to be purposefully destroyed 14 years later, in 2003, exactly at the time of the next Jupiter Uranus opposition. No coincidences in astrology 😉

In 2003 when we had again a Jupiter Uranus opposition this time on the Virgo Pisces axis, the US space shuttle Colombia crashed, and the U.S. and Britain launched war against Iraq. This opposition showed another manifestation of the Jupiter Uranus energy. However we notice some common themes: profound changes in societal structures, taking a stand, revolutions, techonological progress, space discoveries, imprudence.

This Jupiter Uranus opposition is on the Aries Libra axis, signifying a revolution in relationships and partnerships, as well as opportunities for those looking for new relationships and partnerships. If you’re single, things can now move really speedily! Single or committed, Jupiter opposite Uranus is good news if if you’ve been feeling stuck in love or if you want to move your relationship to the next level.

However, let’s not forget that an opposition is an opposition and it will bring friction. Jupiter in Libra  wants us to cooperate with others in an optimistic and generous way. Uranus in Aries wants an “I did it my way” type of freedom – and  is not that interested in pleasing others.

As a result, we can feel a conflict between our desire to fit in and be a team player, and the desire to express our unique self.

Also, we can feel restless or bored if our everyday life does not allow us the freedom we need to achieve the highest possible version of ourselves. This is because during this transit we WILL feel an urge to improve ourselves, to make things better. Our energy levels can be very high and we may be more impulsive than usual.

Like with any Uranus transit, changes will come, and the best way to prepare for Uranus is not to prepare at all. When you are ready to accept an outcome, any outcome, when you allow the unexpected to happen, this is when you realize the full potential of every moment.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom – William Blake

To determine how the Jupiter Uranus transit will affect you personally, note the houses where the oppposition falls in your natal chart, as well as any aspect that one or both planets do to your natal placements.

If you have planets around 20-28° in Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) – especially Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, the Ascendant, the Midheaven, or if your natal Jupiter makes an aspect with your natal Uranus you will especially be in the focus.

Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries

Our thoughts, ideas and opinions will be a little bit “different”, if not unusual!, and our mind will shine brighter during this transit. Both Mercury and Uranus rule the intellect, with Uranus being the higher octave of Mercury. Uranus transforms the logical processes of Mercury into sudden shifts of awareness. Together, the two will look at mundane things from innovative, highly interesting perspectives.

mercury-libra-opposition-uranus

Image: Michael Cheval – Swing of Love

Speaking our mind, not matter what, will become more important than ever. The Mercury / Uranus aspect is found in the natal charts of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison and other epic figures that have set the foundations of what we call now “freedom of speech”.

Mercury in opposition with Uranus will also manifest in some sort of “rebelling” on a mental level. We can get easily distracted and disconnected from activities that bore us, and let our mind instead take off to some more interesting places. And because Mercury is in Libra, these places will tend to be beautiful and have plenty of socializing opportunities.

Things to do during this transit:

  • Question anything that society says is “the way it is”. Or, how Buddha puts it: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Doubt everything, find your own light 😉
  • Write a blog / conduct a research / communicate about an idea that no one has explored before. Research studies such as “Couples who drink more red wine stay together longer and partners are less likely to develop dementia “ or “How chicken feathers can be used to determine the speed of a tornado” were probably conducted during a Mercury /Uranus transit 😉
  • If single, check some internet dating websites – Mercury is in the sign of partnerships and Uranus can make anything possible 😉