Monday 4/17/23: Sneak Peek at a Big Week; New Moon in Aries (Eclipsed!); Sun Squares Pluto; Mercury Goes Retrograde
It’s Monday. Do you know where your planets are? I’ll tell you.
Mercury is in Taurus, slowing to a virtual standstill in the sky above. It will turn retrograde on Friday. Translation: it’s time to slow down and REview our progress over the past three months. So why is there such a buzz in the air?
For one, Mercury is oh-so-close to a meet-up (conjunction) with rebel Uranus, priming us for a bolt of clarifying, liberating shock to the system — involving technology, aviation, information systems — and maybe astrology, too. But guess what? That meet-up will be delayed — like many other events this week — because Mercury will retreat from Uranus when it turns retrograde, and won’t make the connection until June 4th.
For another, the Sun is charging through the last degrees of me-me-me Aries, and its pioneering drive is amplified to possible extremes by the square the Sun makes to Pluto on Thursday, April 20th. Pluto refers to power and resources; the Sun refers to leaders of business and state. I expect we’ll see plenty of power plays and news from underground, for better or worse. This Sun-Pluto square is made more potent because it comes after a seven-day stretch of no exact aspects among the planets, except those involving the Moon. Years of observation note that there is a higher probability of sudden events akin to an ice shelf suddenly collapsing into the sea. Gosh, it was there a minute ago. Now, it’s gone forever. As an example, Avid Readers will recall such a pattern the week Queen Elizabeth passed away, and the week the former guy was elected in 2016.
And there’s more! We are now at the end of the lunar cycle — a time to wrap up projects begun on the New Moon last month. With little light from the Moon to guide us, we may feel listless or restless, sensing something new is right around the corner, but we don’t know what. This is a time to fly under the radar — if you need to — and you can bet that there is much that is happening now — hiding in plain sight. Such activities, however, have a higher probability of being outed within the next several weeks because…
…the New Moon is also a solar eclipse. More on that in a minute.
Highlights of the week:
- New Moon in Aries (again!) — also an eclipse — on Thursday AM ET
- Sun squares Pluto on Thursday
- Sun enters Taurus on Thursday
- Mercury goes retrograde on Friday
- Mercury sextiles Mars — for the second time this month — on Sunday.
- MONDAY: Moon is in Pisces, driving the day with a need for empathy; to work with impressions and ideals. Themes of dreams, escapism and intrigue — possibly bordering on the surreal — are suggested, as Moon meets up with Neptune at 2:56 PM ET. Then the Moon goes void — i.e., wanders without as much focus — for the next six hours. You know the Moon void drill: stick to routine concerns; roll with the twists and flakes; don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Chill! At 9:09 PM ET, see if you notice the change of pace as Moon enters impulsive, impatient, pioneering Aries. This agenda is supported by a cooperative connection with Pluto — the Powers That Be — at 9:41 PM ET.
- TUESDAY: Moon sextiles Venus at 11:46 AM ET, suggesting harmony involving initiatives re: money, social expression, women and the arts. That creates an easy flow to the morning. Oh — but Venus is in double-talking Gemini — so perhaps someone is trying to have it both ways? Conflict may rear its ugly head around 6:16 PM ET, Moon is squared by Mars in Cancer. My money says home and homeland security are likely on the agenda.
- WEDNESDAY: except for the background buzz of the patterns described in the opening paragraphs of this forecast, this day has jubilant, expansive potential. The only exact aspect is a conjunction between the Aries Moon and Jupiter. Potential downside: overconfidence; braggadocio. If you’re on the West Coast, the New Moon begins at 9:12 PM ET. For East Coasters, it’s 12:12 AM ET on…
Here is the chart for the New Moon, set in Washington D.C.:
- It’s rare to have two consecutive New Moons in the same sign. Last month, the New Moon was at 0 Aries — the very beginning. This month it’s at 29 Aries — the very end. I see this as an echo of patterns in the chart for last month’s Aries Ingress, suggesting that this whole astro-logical new year is the beginning of the end. This is what is supposed to be happening. Corrupt forms are supposed to outed. Yes, the breakdown of corruption may disrupt the integrity of the whole structure, but these old form must be called out and cleared out before anything new can take their place. And yes, because these corrupt forms may have been granted truckloads of power, this transition may well be messy. Use this as a coping strategy for these all-too interesting times. Remember that Aries is self-reliant. The cavalry is not coming to save us; we are our own saving graces. This need for self-reliance will become clearer and clearer in 2025, when Saturn (structure; authority) and Neptune (vision; idealism; blurring of boundaries) both enter Aries. You can prepare for next stage in development by showing up and being counted NOW, whenever opportunities to write the next chapter arise. Have you checked your voter registration lately?
- The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is “a duck pond and its brood.” Sabian sage Blain Bovee suggests that this image raises “weighty issues” — given that “brood” is another word for “ponder deeply.” Perhaps what is pondered is related to having a secure habitat, and from the perspective of the United States, that makes sense. Note that in this chart the New Moon is in the 4th house — of home, family of origin, real estate, and it squares Pluto (power and resources), which sits right on the cusp (borderline) of the 2nd house — of money, values and (self) – worth. Debt ceiling debate, anyone? In your own personal world, apt seeds to plant on this New Moon may be related to fostering and finding comfort in family, whatever this means for you. Astrologer Lynda Hill has more on that. Blain Bovee notes that the image of a line of ducks (in a row?) suggests themes of inheritance — i.e., being in line for something by virtue of birth or some other status that may not be accessible to everyone. Hmm. All humans created equal…or not? Hmm. Ponder on that, when digesting the news over the next month.
- Chiron — the wounded healer — is at the root of this chart, set for the United States. Chiron is in Aries, where it is working through issues of the wounded self (and the wounded warrior). For a refresher on what Chiron in Aries has been activating, look here.
- With Mars and Mercury in a sextile (cooperative connection), I expect plenty of walking the talk — in — yet again — matters of material comfort and home/homeland security. There are more placements we could discuss, but you get the idea.
- You are more personally affected by this New Moon if you have planets at the end of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn…or the beginning of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. Off the top of my head, that includes King Charles, George Takei, Jessica Lange, Dolly Parton, the Brexit Exit, Boris Johnson, Adolf Hitler, Clarence Thomas, President Biden. VP Harris, and the Biden-Harris inauguration.
Yes, this New Moon is a solar eclipse — and we’ll have a lunar eclipse on the Full Moon of May 5th. Once again, I am pleased to offer several paragraphs of personalized eclipse insights so you can understand how these extraordinary cosmic events may be reflected in your own unique horoscope. I’m not exaggerating when I say that eclipses are extraordinary, especially as accurate timing tools for human experiences in space and time. And by “personalized,” I mean that these insights are handcrafted by yours truly, after a careful study of your horoscope. The insights cover both eclipses, and you can order yours for $65, using this exciting new button I just created! If you know I don’t have your birth data, please email that to me: date, time and place. It may take a few days for your insights to be sent, as the response to this offer has been delightfully overwhelmingly.
- THURSDAY: At 12:29 AM ET, the Moon enters Taurus, seeking to establish the status quo, bringing stability and calm in the wake of all the Aries noise. At 1:04 AM ET, Moon makes its weekly clash with Pluto, prompting a catharsis or power play. At 4:13 AM ET, Sun follows the Moon into Taurus. Happy birthday to all the bulls and cows!!! Now is the time to build something solid out of all those Sun and Mercury-in-Aries pioneering ideas. Tend to your garden; take time to stop and smell the roses. Those born in the first few days of Taurus may be getting a whiff of the irresistible pressure of transiting Pluto on their respective Suns. If you’ve been on the planet since the ’80s, look back to 1984 and 1985 for clues to the potentially empowering changes to come for you over the next two years. Consult your local astrologer for details.
- THURSDAY: A practical to-do list gets a boost from a cooperative connection between the Moon and Saturn, exact at 8:30 AM ET. At 12:25 PM ET, the patterns we’ve been waiting for all week drops: Sun in Taurus squares Pluto in Aquarius. Sun in Taurus suggests leaders are not budging (budgeting?); Pluto in Aquarius takes the power of the people — and networks — and technology — to extremes. Here are some headlines from past Sun-Pluto squares. Much action is likely being put into play — not visible yet — reflecting the sextile between Moon and Mars at 12:36 AM ET on…
- FRIDAY: Maybe we’ll hear a bit of focused communication around 4:05 AM ET, as Moon meets up with Mercury. Speaking of Mercury — did you BACK YOUR COMPUTER UP? At 4:34 AM ET, Mercury turns retrograde — and there will be absolutely no whingeing about it.
A pause, while we discuss the Mercury retrograde phenomenon and what it means for YOU:
So many people who know nothing else about astrology have heard of Mercury retrograde. Often it elicits curses and groans, and that’s a shame. Yes, all of the flights on American Airlines may be grounded because of a computer glitch, and the entire country of Finland may be offline because of a transportation strike. These things actually happened on the first day of Mercury retrogrades past. But there’s much good that can be accomplished when the Messenger Planet appears to be retracing its steps.
Mercury—which in the language of astrology refers to mindset, travel and communication—will appear to move backward through the sky until May 14th. It’s not really moving backward, but that is how it looks from our perspective here on Spaceship Earth. Mercury goes retrograde 3-4 times each year, for a period of 22 days.
Contrary to popular belief, Mercury retrogrades are no reason to freak out. Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap because we are geared, in this crazy modern age, to always be thinking, doing, moving FORWARD. You know what that gets you? BURN OUT. We need our down times, and Mercury retrograde is a perfect time to give our minds a rest. Why else would your computer, phone and/or car choose THIS time to malfunction? Because you are supposed to be slowing down. And as you slow down, it is vitally important that you FOCUS.
When Mercury is retrograde, be prepared for travel delays, scheduling screw-ups, mechanical breakdowns, computer crashes, having to repeat what you’ve just said, misunderstandings, the past coming back for a second look, surprise reunions and having to repeat what you just said. Use your FOCUS and double check important details, like email addresses, instructions for assembling IKEA furniture. Read the instructions more than once — and don’t hesitate to ask for help. FOCUS!!!!!!!!!
If you are looking for a job, Mercury retrogrades are a perfect time to reach out to people from your past. Mine your address book and trust that your contacts will be happy to hear from you. However, do not be frustrated if your target is away on vacation or keeps rescheduling meetings. Also, triple check your emails and resumes before you hit “send,” as there is a higher probability of typos and other sloppy snafus.
In your business, you’ll need to make sure all communications have been received and are clearly understood. Be mindful of the higher potential for communications equipment to go on the fritz. MAKE SURE YOUR FILES ARE BACKED UP. Also be aware of a higher-than-average probability for delays in shipping and travel arrangements. For this you will need an extra dose of patience.
You may also find it profitable to REview a project from the past. Maybe you shelved it then, but now is the time to REconsider. However, be advised that a spontaneous, “out-of-the-blue” idea for advancement may not be so sound when Mercury turns direct. This is why the conventional wisdom advises against finalizing and/or signing contracts on deals during Mercury retrograde. An exception might be supported if you are REnegotiating or RElocating. If you absolutely must close a deal, triple check everything.
This is a good time to schedule a corporate REtreat. Any activity that affords the opportunity to REview past performance is encouraged. REsearch on a new strategy is also favored.
Mercury retrogrades are not favored for launching a new website or a new communications system. There is a higher-than-average probability of technical glitches and confusion. I can tell you horror stories about a certain prestigious college’s lackluster launch of a website/communications portal which occurred several years ago, on a day when Mercury was stationary retrograde. The portal was completely redone the following year. No surprise there.
Adopt a playful attitude of flexibility to whatever twists you encounter. Avoid making major purchases (especially electronic ones), but don’t freak out if an appliance dies and must be replaced. Don’t believe everything you hear or read in the papers. Rumors have a higher probability of spreading during Mercury retrogrades. Avoid losing patience — that’s a big one.
When in doubt, be silent!
Do plan on RElaxing, REviewing, REsearching, REorganizing, REgenerating, REconnecting and REcreating…and REviewing your life with your astrologer.
Mercury turns retrograde at 15 degrees of Taurus…and retraces its steps all the way back to 5 degrees. It turns direct on May 14th and arrives at 15 Taurus again on June 1st.
Astrologer Robert Wilkinson (who wrote the book on Mercury retrograde) sees Mercury Rx in Taurus as an opportunity to review values and our sense of worth, with a mind to whether these values and worth build and maintain material comfort and security. old ideals with a mind to fresh application, “take a new look at what preserves and endures and/or remember the value of an old experience.” Mercury in Taurus suggests that this process of REview may be “sweet and steady” or “slow and stubborn.”
The Sabian Symbol for this Mercury retrograde is super-duper intriguing — though we told you months ago to it was coming. Mercury is at a standstill on the super-duper long lunar eclipse of November 8th, 2022 — Election Day. Thus, Mercury is activating that eclipse, and we can expect a potent flow of information — related to what was going on back then — that decisively advances the plot. Astrology. Is. Amazing!
The Sabian Symbol for that eclipse (and this Mercury retrograde) is “an old man vainly trying to reveal the Mysteries.” Blain Bovee says this is an image of an empty attempt to reveal that which cannot be known. Given that Mercury retrograde’s task in Taurus is to review what we think of as having worth, it’s interesting that this Symbol is one of a person of experience doing something in vain…coming up empty…and thus of no real worth! Where, then, do we find value? In the Sabian Symbol opposite 16 Taurus. This is “a girl’s face breaking into a smile,” which — according to Bovee — is “a sudden shattering of a rigid expression.” Just like that — without the laborious struggle illustrated by the old man. Meanwhile, Sabian Symbologist Saijin offers this take. Astrologer James Burgess has a helpful take, too.
Back to the forecast for the week:
- FRIDAY: After Mercury turns retrograde, Moon meets up with Uranus at 8:09 AM ET. Whenever a wake-up call is needed, Moon-Uranus connections are happy to oblige. Moon in Taurus continues on its need to preserve the status quo, with no interference from the other planets until 11:41 PM ET, when Moon gets a visionary lift from dreamy Neptune — and then goes void for the next six and a half hours. Chill!
- SATURDAY: At 6:10 AM ET, Moon enters pixie chatterbox Gemini, now seeking to be the smartest kid in the room. Just remember that with Mercury now retrograde, the chances of miscommunication are on the rise. A trine to Pluto at 6:48 AM ET adds depth to the morning headlines. A square between Moon and Saturn at 2:59 PM ET could put a damper on someone’s parade…through someone else’s need for authoritarian control.
- SUNDAY: As times change. Moon meets up with Venus at 8:43 AM ET, which could be delightfully entertaining, chatty and clever. An easy flow of energy between Mercury (thought) and Mars (action) could be applied to your Mercury retrograde REorganizng efforts all weekend. This pattern (a sextile) is exact at 11:19 PM ET.
Beth Owl’s Daughter’s always-in-sync Tarot Card of the Week offers further guidance.
No news round-up today, as this forecast is almost at 3000 words. I’ll be putting a list of hot stories together for Episode 34 of Off the Charts: A Stellar Newscast — and that will be out on Friday. If you missed Episode 33, here it is — and you can also use this link to sign up for an email notice when each episode is released.
Here’s the 411 on personal consultations. We will have a fine discussion together…about life, the universe and everything…as it pertains to YOU.
Thank you for reading this forecast — and sharing it with your friends. Referrals are the best best best!