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April 2018


Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood

April 2018

April 15th marks a turning point, as not only does Mercury finally station direct, but on the same day, the Moon also waxes new in Aries. This is the first New Moon of the astrological year, bringing themes around courage, initiation, and pushing through limitations to stand fully in the power of our inner Warrior. Aries is a cardinal fire sign, and with this New Moon we can draw on the passion, ardor and clear fire of Aries to cleanse away that which no longer serves us and begin again. While the shadow of Mars ruled Aries can be impulsive, even aggressive, we must remember that Aries is also the sign of the first days of spring. The Aries archetype is the impulse to new life. Used wisely, Aries energy gives us the strength and conviction we need to fight for what is right. To channel our energies towards that which is life affirming and anti oppression. Positive Aries energy is behind movements such as #neveragain and Black Lives Matter, taking a stand and fighting for justice.
Aries is also connected with the development of the self. This is a good time to pause and set intentions around self actualization, self realization and self knowledge. What do you stand for? How do you want to show up? The Aries New Moon invites us to support those tender new aspects of self that we are bringing into the world. To protect them from would be predators and nourish them with just the right amount of rain and sunlight so they can grow strong and take root. To create healthy boundaries so that these fledgling parts of us will thrive. Every month, the New Moon is an especially potent time to reset in a particular life area. Look to your chart to see where you have 26 degrees of Aries to pinpoint where you can best plant new seeds around Aries themes.   
Working with the New Moon in Aries
Goddesses to tune in with during this New Moon include: Macha, the Morrigan, Ostara, Etain, Pele, Freya and Scathach. Crystals to work with: fire agate, garnet, quartz. Essential oils: cinnamon, ginger, clove, juniper, dragon’s blood.
Saturn stations retrograde on April 17th until September 6th, which is not an altogether rare occurrence, as Saturn spends approximately four and a half months retrograde every year. We might find ourselves reviewing or reorganizing our responsibilities, making sure we are on track, or revising and defining something of importance. It can also be a time of wrapping up a phase of concerted focus and hard work. You may wish to look at your chart and find the house that Saturn rules (the house that has Capricorn on its cusp) to find clues to the life area where you’ll experience Saturn’s retrograde. If you have any inner planets or points in any of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) between 9 and 2 degrees, you may experience a revisiting of themes that occurred between January through early April. Just a few days later, Pluto also stations retrograde until September 30th, giving us an opportunity to reassess our relationship to power structures in our life, including our relationship to our own power. This can be a very good time for doing deep and cathartic inner work, particularly if you have any inner planets or points between 18 and 20 degrees in a cardinal sign.
The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th, happy birthday Taurus! For all of us, this is the time to cultivate. To feel the grounded energy of place. To get our hands in the dirt and get back into our bodies. Taurus is a fixed earth sign, meaning it is a sign that takes place in the heart of the season (in this case spring) and resonates with the earthy, sensual material energy of the earth element. Taurus asks us to reflect on the concept of right livelihood. How we can be of service, build something of value and be paid fairly for our efforts. Taurus is also connected to the sacred sensual, the embodied pleasures of sex, and other earthly delights. Taurus is aligned with the earth and its resources. Kinder Morgan and the protection of our coastline will likely continue to be a hot topic, especially when Uranus makes its debut in Taurus for an eight year stay in mid May. Banking, money and finances are another Taurean area, and as I write this, the Dow is tumbling, and breaking news of a possible trade war is flashing across my computer screen. These concerns will also likely continue to be a subject of discussion as Uranus moves closer to its ingress into Taurus.
Venus picks up the pace and moves into Gemini on the 24th until May 19th. Life gets busy with social calls, workshops, coffee dates with friends and lively exchange of information. This is a good time for meetings, conversations and networking, vision quests and communication of all kinds.
April concludes with a Full Moon in Scorpio, arguably the sexiest Full Moon of the year, which happens to be Lunar Beltane, the lunation closest to the ancient fertility festival on May 1st. The ancestors in Ireland and Britain would have celebrated this very Taurean holy day on the closest Moon, rather than in accordance with the later adopted Gregorian calendar. Beltane (or, Beltaine) is the midpoint between spring equinox and summer solstice and is considered a cross quarter festival. Nature is in her full flowering abundant glory. Although known colloquially simply as “May Day”, Beltane has its roots in far richer soil. Beltane was, and still is, for pagan folk, a time to rejoice and to honor the abundance of the season. Some paths consider the time of the hieros gamos or sacred marriage between the Goddess and the God. It’s a time when all of nature is bursting with voluptuous culmination, and the dance of life is in full swing. The ancestors would build bonfires, carouse until the wee hours, and slip away into the shadows of the forest to take part in the sensual pleasures of the body. It has been said that children conceived on this night would be called “merry begots” and were born with the gift of sight. Like Samhain, it is believed that the veils between the worlds are thin at this time, creating an opportunity for the Fae to cross the threshold into this world and interact with the human revellers. One could never be quite sure whether that mysterious young man or lovely lass beckoning one into the woods was actually an otherworldly lover who had come courting.
Working with the Full Moon in Scorpio
Goddesses and aspects of the sacred feminine to tune into during this Full Moon include Inanna, Ishtar, Kali, Ereshkigal, Hecate, Cerridwen, Mary Magdalen and Green Tara. Crystals and stones: lapis, obsidian, iolite. Essential oils: patchouli, spikenard, frankinscense, myrrh, cedar.

An abundantly delicious Beltane to you and yours! 
Ingresses and Lunations April 2018 (all times PDT)
April 15th Mercury stations direct 2:21 am
April 15th New Moon in Aries 26’ 02 6:57 pm
April 17th Chiron enters Aries
April 17th Saturn retrograde 6:47 pm
April 19th Sun enters Taurus 8:13 pm
April 22nd Pluto retrograde 8:23 am
April 24th Venus enters Gemini 9:40 am
April 29th Full Moon in Scorpio 9’ 39 5:58 pm
I’m excited to announce my book launch at Banyen on May 24th! Please join me as I read from my new book, The Twelve Faces of the Goddess: Transform Your Life with Astrology, Magick and the Sacred Feminine. Take part in a guided meditation and simple ritual followed by Q&A. I look forward to seeing you there!
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