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April 2016


Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood

April 2016

March was an eventful month Astrologically. Two potent eclipses and the ushering in of Spring and the start of the Astrological year.  We are now fully in Aries season, with buds bursting, and the spark of new life thrusting upwards and outwards in all directions.  Aries is the first sign, individuating out of the collective of the last sign, Pisces.  Aries is manifestation of spirit made into form, the spark of creation, and the rebirth of life in its myriad individual incarnations.  Through last month’s eclipse season, many of us have seen a door close, and perhaps another one that has opened unexpectedly, beckoning us across the threshold to a brand new path way.

As an example of how quickly life can accelerate during eclipse season, particularly when the eclipse touches on an inner planet or angle in one’s chart, I’m excited to share with you that my husband and I just bought our dream home on magical Salt Spring Island! It all happened very quickly, and we’ll be stepping across the threshold around Summer Solstice. 

We will be hosting a sweet little B&B, and I will be holding Astrology and Women Who Run with the Wolves workshops and retreats in the studio (yes, there is an ocean view)! I’d like to cordially invite you to come for an Astrology consultation, and make a day or a weekend of it, exploring the seaside vistas, rolling vineyards, artist’s studios, organic cheese farms, and the famous Saturday Market.  For those with a little less time, I can arrange to pick you up at the ferry, and drive you back after your consultation.  The direct ferry from Vancouver is one hour and fifteen minutes, and it’s only a 30-minute ferry ride from Victoria!  By the time you get back to the city you’ll be feeling rejuvenated and centered, the healing energy of Salt Spring staying with you long after you’ve left.  But if you feel you need a fresh infusion, you’re always welcome back!
Venus, the planetary archetype of love, connection, values and resources leaves dreamy Pisces and moves into the sign of the Spiritual Warrior, Aries, on April 5th.  The Goddess of Love in the sign of the Warrior is an interesting place for her to be.  In Aries, Venus is a straight shooter, and an uncomplicated breath of fresh air.  Perhaps too assertive for more reticent types, she nevertheless brings a dynamic to the cosmic weather that is fresh, self starting and no nonsense.  I have seen many other Astrology writers talk about how Venus in Aries is in her “detriment”, true enough by old school standards.  Also, that Venus and Mars are “opposites”.  IMHO, this binary, dualistic, male versus female, either/or dichotomy is in need of examination.  Mars and Venus may not be opposites after all.  As we move forward in our collective journey, even archetypes begin to shift, to take on nuances that did not exist when Astrology and cosmology were first birthed.  Maybe the Goddess of Love can also be a Warrior, and the Warrior can have moments of peace.

Mercury leaves the feisty Aries fray and enters Taurus just a few hours after Venus makes her way into Aries, perhaps lending a certain sense of calm and perseverance to the enthusiastic Aries energy that is permeating our psyches.  Although Mercury will begin to slow down around mid April in preparation for its retrograde later in the month (April 28th), there is still time to strike while the iron’s hot, and make headway on those new projects.  As Mercury gets closer to its retrograde station, things begin to slow down, and we get an opportunity to take a breath and make sure we are on the right path.  But this does not mean that life stops. The business of life must go on, retrogrades or not.  It simply means taking our time and engaging more in reflection than when we’re in our usual full steam ahead left brained worlds.  Due diligence goes a long way to avoiding the common pitfalls of Mercury retrograde time.  Double check the fine print, practice paraphrasing, and get the extended warranty.

April 7th delivers the only Super New Moon of the year in the sign of Aries.  Every month at the time of the New Moon, we get a brand new opportunity to begin anew; a chance to hit refresh and move through the celestial gateway into a fresh new chapter in some part of our lives.  This is underlined when that New Moon happens to be in the sign of Aries.  Check your chart to see what house (area of life) this particular New Moon falls.  That is the most fertile ground that you can plant your seeds of intention.  Don’t let this opportunity slip! Jump on the tide of this enthusiastic, can-do energy and prepare to manifest what your heart yearns for.  How can you focus your intention and create the magic that you want? Check out my New Moon Intention ritual and tailor it to the area of your life that is highlighted now.

Every New Moon in each sign is different, year to year, colored with the other ingredients in the cosmic dance of the heavens that happen to be taking place NOW. Thanks to a conjunction with Uranus the Great Awakener, this particular New Moon in Aries is a potential paradigm shift, a big wake up call to your unique contribution in this lifetime.  Add to this a square to regenerative Pluto, and if you harness this flow, you can purge your past, heal your present and shape your future.  A trine to Saturn gives us that stick-to-it and see it through energy that will help us get our Aries plans not just off the ground, but grounded in a lasting reality.

April 9th brings the annual Sun/Uranus conjunction.  Although on one hand this can be pretty bombastic and volatile energy that must be handled with sensitivity, it also has the potential to awaken the collective to a truth that needs to be seen.   Expect the unexpected today, both on a world events level, and possibly a personal level.

Mars goes retrograde approximately every two years, and it will stand still at 8 degrees of Sagittarius on April 17th when it will begin to backtrack all the way to 23 degrees of Scorpio before it turns the corner and begins to move forward again on June 30th.  Use this time to take stock of where you’re investing your energy, and redirect if it makes sense.  Once Mars is in Scorpio territory (as of May 27th) themes of intimacy, shared resources, sexuality, and that which lies buried beneath the surface take center stage.  Pluto (Scorpio’s ruling planet) goes retrograde the day after, which will really shine the spotlight on Scorpio/Plutonian motifs.  We will be looking at power – who has it, who wants it, and who does not have enough.  Scorpio is a sign of unflinching honesty, and no holds barred truth telling.   In the light of the recent Ghomeshi acquittal, expect to see a growing and rigorous discourse on victim’s rights, and the way sexual assault is dealt with in our courts. 

April 19th heralds the Sun’s yearly sojourn through the sign Taurus, where it will activate the Taurus part in all of us for the next 30 days.  For Sun sign Taurus, happy birthday!  This is your personal New Year.  We all have every sign somewhere in our birth charts, and wherever Taurus is in your chart, is the area in which you will experience this energy for the next month.  Taurus is a Fixed Earth sign, meaning that it is a sign that embodies the heart of the season (in this case spring) and resonates with the grounded, practical element of Earth. The raw, survival oriented thrust of Aries (the beginning of spring) has now given way to a gentler, more self assured part of the spring season.  Life has a foothold, and is now supported to thrive, to prosper and to be cultivated.  Taurus is associated with “Aphrodite Pandemos”, the aspect of the Goddess of Love that translates roughly to, Aphrodite “common to all the people”.  This is an earthy, sensual expression of the goddess that is comfortable in her own skin, at ease in her own body and living well in accordance with the seasons of the earth.  Shades of Taurus also resonate with the Empress card in the Tarot; voluptuous, luxuriating in the pleasures of the senses, and cultivating material security and well being.

This month’s Full Moon is in the sign of Scorpio, at 10:24 pm on April 21st.  Expect the intensity to build, and something to come to a head, a culmination point, or a time is ripe moment.  Something can come to light, or a sudden solution presents itself.  Scorpios and Taurus may be feeling this Moon the most.

Venus leaves Aries for the soothing calm of Taurus on April 29th.  Venus is at home in this sign, and there may be a palpable shift in energy, as we finish the month fully embraced by Taurus Season.  A little slower paced and softer edged, we allow ourselves to relax and turn our attention to our nests, our gardens and our bodies.  This is the time to contemplate and cultivate beauty in all its forms: our body image, self-love, and beautifying our surroundings.  It’s also a great time to make goals around security and finances.  What do you want to grow in your business this year?  What kind of clients do you want to work with? Are you willing to show up in a way that will align with your perfect vision of right livelihood?  With so many planets in retrograde phase right now, we may just have the perfect opportunity to hear what our deeper selves have to say on all this.

Blessings on your Quest

Planetary Ingresses and Lunations (PDT)

April 5   9:51 am          Venus enters Aries

April 5   4:10 pm          Mercury enters Taurus

April 7   4:24 am          New Moon 18° Aries 04'

April 9   2:27 pm          Sun conjunct Uranus       

April 17   5:14 am          Mars stations retrograde 8° Sagittarius 54'Rx

April 18   12:23 am          Pluto stations retrograde 17° Capricorn 29'Rx

April 19   8:30 am          Sun enters Taurus

April 21   10:24 pm          Full Moon 2° Scorpio 31'

April 28   10:20 am          Mercury stations Retrograde 23° Taurus36' Rx

April 29   5:36 pm          Venus enters Taurus

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