Planetary Trends for April 2023 by Belinda Dunn

WHAT’S UP – April 2023

Belinda C. Dunn

Aries/Libra Full Moon

April 6 @ 12:34 am EDT

Aries Solar Eclipse

April 20 @ 12:13 am EDT

Mercury retrograde

April 21 @ 4:35 am EDT

The unmistakable signs of spring are everywhere, and April begins with a combination of inspired initiative and purposeful intention. Just as planting a garden is a combination of vision and experimentation, planetary trends provide a testing ground of possibility. It begins with preparing the ground for what is viable and productive in the long term. Some seeds sprout and grow into healthy plants, other seeds fall on barren ground.

There are numerous factors to consider in the manifestation process, and a Full Moon on April 6 illuminates the optimal way forward. Culminating with this lunation, the Sun in Aries powerfully activates and energizes both Jupiter and Chiron. Recently, Jupiter exactly conjoined Chiron (March 12) after months of building momentum around issues of self-reliance, courage, confidence, trust, healing, finding one’s bliss, and following one’s heart.

Aries is the zodiac sign of personal growth that supports acceptance of life on its own terms, without denial or rose colored glasses. In many cases, this process has required a genuine attuning to one’s own path along with a willingness to go it alone, if necessary. The natural passion, independence and fortitude of Aries has tested the authenticity of many relationships both personal and professional.

The Full Moon astrology chart shows Sun/Jupiter/Chiron joined in Aries, a powerful symbol of initiative and opportunity. At the same time, Moon in Libra opposes these planets. As with any Full Moon, there is an atmosphere of intensity, promise and pressure, but in this case, relationships come to the forefront. Often taken for granted, relationship skills develop over time with maturity and self awareness, listening and learning as well as honest communication. It is not easy to tame the needs and drives of the ego self in order to build these skills. In reality, for most humans, it takes a lifetime.

It can be helpful to watch for matters coming forward the first week of April. There is tremendous momentum to get the ball rolling. But the question remains. . . to what degree are your goals supported by others? Is it necessary for others to understand or join you? In some cases, there may be a clash, a need for clear communication, a standing up for yourself. In other cases, people around you may be fully supportive and cheering you on. In the end, it doesn’t matter, as these planetary trends place the focus on being true to yourself.

As the days and weeks of April unfold, these themes continue to emerge, culminating in a Solar Eclipse on April 20. In the final degree of Aries, this eclipse sets the stage and seals the deal. Perhaps months of contemplation, reflection and preparation have brought you to this point. Perhaps circumstances shift and change abruptly, forcing your hand.

What tends to be true for any eclipse, solar or lunar, is the revealing of what has been hidden, but working on a subconscious level. Astrologer Lorna Bevan writes, “Eclipses are the dramatic cosmic wild cards in our horoscopes. They shake us out of feelings of complacency so that we can move from one level of maturity to another. They are some of the most dramatic tools the universe uses to get us to pay attention to areas in our life that need to change. They uproot us, surprise us, and get us moving to a higher plane, and they work very rapidly.”

A deep dive into the archetypal meaning of Aries can elucidate current trends, especially the long term effects of a Solar Eclipse in Aries. Aries is associated with Mars, the planet of action. The word that comes is dynamic, defined as, “characterized by constant change in activity or progress; positive attitude, full of energy and new ideas.” The noun for dynamic is, “a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process.”

On the personal level, this Solar Eclipse in Aries highlights those areas of life that can be enriched through action, accomplishing goals that demand exertion and stamina, such as physical fitness and healthy competition. Aries instills a tremendous boost of motivation and entrepreneurial know-how. In combination with Jupiter in Aries, it is advisable to grab hold of this positive momentum like a lifeline for months to come.

Mars energy is very passionate, albeit impulsive, forceful and raw, and will fight for justice driven by the perception of what it “thinks” is right. Therefore, the tendency to battle it out and force solutions, underscores the need to choose your battles wisely. This eclipse can bring out the very best in selfless and heroic acts. Admittedly, in some cases, it can bring out the worst of human nature in acts of control and aggression.

From the planetary perspective, there are some strong modifying factors. Mars just entered the zodiac sign of Cancer on March 25 This is an important development after seven months of Mars in restless, here, there and everywhere Gemini. Throughout April, and most of May, Mars in Cancer supports an instinctive retreat to the quiet and safety of home. Like a crab burrowing into the sand, there is a settling of outer drives to take care of domestic matters, such as home improvements, gardening, landscaping, family interactions, and emotional well-being.

Additionally, Mercury enters Taurus on April 3, and due to a retrograde phase, Mercury transits through Taurus until June 11. Harmoniously blending with Mars in Cancer, attention flows to stabilizing and simplifying daily life. The welcome practicality of Taurus serves to stabilize and integrate security needs on many levels.

Mercury is retrograde from April 21 through May 14. Taurus is the zodiac sign of ownership, exchange, currency, banking and financial institutions. Due to recent bank failures, repercussions may continue to ripple through society. The degree to which effects are felt is linked to shifting value in the marketplace, public trust and consumer confidence.

No matter how outer conditions show up, this retrograde phase is an evaluation of personal finances, income and investments. Mercury retrograde is always a time for careful review in order to make informed decisions. This retrograde can really drive home the necessity to stay grounded, ensure the basics, and maintain stability during the inevitable cycles of economic fluctuation.

On April 20, the Aries Solar Eclipse is followed by Sun entering Taurus, and Mercury going retrograde on the 21st. The shift will be apparent and palpable. As Mercury goes retrograde, it is within orb of influence with Uranus. This initiates a remarkable activation of Uranus in its long term transit through Taurus (2019-2026). In and of itself, this transit shakes things up for purposes of reconstruction. Uranus, the wild card planet, frees up energy, and is known for sudden turnarounds in the midst of dead ends, limitations, and dysfunction.

This brings us to April 22, the annual recognition of our precious Earth, and the vital importance of preservation of endangered species and natural habitats. How appropriate for our Sun to be in Taurus for Earth Day. In 1970, over half a century ago, the first Earth Day was recognized, and the movement continues with more urgency than ever before. The combination of Sun, Mercury and Uranus in Taurus heightens awareness of human impact on the environment, climate change, sustainability, earth sciences and green technology.

All planets have been direct since mid-January. Mercury will be the first to back off, followed by Pluto going retrograde on May 1st. Thus, the final week of April brings a pause combined with Pluto’s intensity. The long awaited Pluto transit through Aquarius is just beginning. This year we get a taste of Pluto in Aquarius (March 23 – June 11). Pluto retrogrades back into Capricorn for the rest of 2023, only to return to Aquarius in early 2024.

Astrology is a language of archetypal symbols, and Pluto is a generational planet affecting the evolution of collective consciousness over the span of generations. Each generation builds upon the other against the backdrop of the prevailing zeitgeist, defined as, “the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.” Historian and astrologer Richard Tarnas states, “One of the things that’s crucial about understanding the whole idea of world transits is they represent very powerful archetypal wave forms that surge into the collective psyche, into the given culture, at a given time.”

The transition of Pluto into Aquarius takes place over several years, but it is November 2024 when Pluto enters Aquarius for the long haul, remaining in Aquarius for the foreseeable future, until 2043. The symbol for Aquarius is the water-bearer pouring forth the elixir of life upon planet Earth. Dwelling in the skies, above it all, Aquarius helps humanity look to the heavens for meaning, ultimately revealing the true purpose of human existence in the vast and undiscovered potential of cosmic consciousness.

It is clear to see, humanity stands on the threshold of unprecedented evolutionary development. Across a wide spectrum of human history, nothing like this has happened before. The stakes are high, there are no road maps to follow. On the positive side, Pluto in Aquarius promotes invention, innovation and adaptation, all necessary to survive and thrive in this new world dawning.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation.;

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