Cosmic Weather: April 2017 by Jane Lyle
Thoughts for April:
“The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months.
Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem. Tennyson and Walter de la Mare had to smoke. Auden drinks lots of tea, Spender coffee; Hart Crane drank alcohol. Pope, Byron, and William Morris were creative late at night. And so it goes.”
Helen Bevington, ‘When Found, Make a Verse Of’
April is full of natural creativity. It offers abundant opportunities to pick up something we’ve done, and find new ways to re-do or recreate that project, love affair, attitude, or journey.
During April, Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto turn back. Jupiter is already rewinding in Libra until June, while lovely Venus – one of the many goddesses celebrated in pagan springtime – will be retrograde until mid-month. The Sun enters Taurus, the Bull, on 19th April, favouring a down-to-earth, hands-on approach. It’s time to look back, look within, and tune in to the spirit of spring, 2017.
Image: ‘Flora’ by Ferdinand Keller. PD
Monday, 3rd April – Friday, 28th April:
Venus sashays back to the oceans of Pisces
April was, for the Romans, a month that began by celebrating Venus in her role as Venus Verticordia, changer of hearts. This festival, the Veneralia, was a time when Romans asked the goddess for her help with love and marriage. Astrological Venus is strong in Pisces, and many of us will be in tune with those ancient Romans this April.
April 2017’s Venus in fishy Pisces brings a subtle change of atmosphere in the realms of the love goddess. The allure of the past will be very strong – vintage fashion and beauty, classical music, ancient artefacts, and retro designs are all having an enchanting moment. The shimmering glamour of old Hollywood hooks us in again. Older artists, designers, musicians and creative people step into the limelight.
Past discussions about money continue – and can link back to talks and thoughts from late January – early February this year. Nailing down anything now could be tricky – there are pitfalls, or hidden factors lurking. So it’s wise to be cautious, and take things one step at a time.
In love and friendship, we feel an urge to be kinder or more compassionate. In many ways boundaries weaken or dissolve between self and other, past and present, tangible and elusive. There is empathy and bliss. There is also secrecy and potentially, sacrifice – of love, of expectations and dreams, or of time and personal ambition. Venus in Pisces can be in love with clandestine love, or hidden art and money.
Venus in Pisces can symbolise a dream lover, a passionate ghost, a partner who is far away – maybe in hospital, prison, online, or even on a ship at sea. With Venus rewinding, our past connections continue to influence the present with old friends, lovers, and crushes in our thoughts, or back in our lives. All these things are expanded by Jupiter, currently in Venus’ home sign of Libra, while Venus is in one of Jupiter’s traditional home signs, Pisces. There are big love hearts being drawn in the sand.
Romantic reshuffles are especially likely between April 15th – 20th when Venus in idealistic Pisces and Mars in sensuous Taurus connect. For some, it could be sex with an ex. For others, it’s about where a relationship is going, and what each partner wants.
Needless to say, there are a few little flies in the celestial ointment…..
April Venus also aligns with the potent fixed star, Scheat, at 29 Pisces, in the constellation of Pegasus the Winged Horse. This star emphasises mental creativity, ambition, and enthusiasm. Yet it warns against vanity leading to poor decisions.
Scheat is associated with shipping and ocean voyages. In it’s most sinister expression, Scheat signifies downfall – and is therefore associated with accidents, notably airline crashes and shipwrecks.
Saturn is challenging lovely Venus all month long as well. Saturn underlines the past, and what endures in friendships, love, art and music. Saturn represents the need for solidity, restrictions, and boundaries. We can expect many fluctuations and tensions around emotion, love, and finances this month. At best, we appreciate how small is beautiful, and how pleasure doesn’t have to be extravagant to be fulfilling. This looks like a global mood, for Saturn is aligned with the Galactic Centre at 27 Sagittarius this April.
Venus herself is retrograde in Pisces until 15th April, returning to Aries on 28th April. But I don’t expect much to change immediately when she turns direct. It’s still old territory, first crossed in January and February. We move towards something new by mid-May. Until then, what we’ve experienced so far this year offers a feast of food for thought.
Venus travels from 1 degree Aries, back through 29, 28, 27, 26 Pisces, and then forwards again to reach 0 Aries by the end of April. An astrologer can tell you more about what this means in your own horoscope.
Image: Beach Pyjamas on the Riviera, c. 1930. Vintage fashion photo, PD
Sunday 9th April – Wednesday 3rd May:
Mercury reverses in earthy Taurus today. Revising or redoing practical jobs, and checking computer security and financial records all over again might be top of the list during this time – 9th April until the 20th, when Mercury backtracks into Aries, finally turning direct on the 3rd May.
Generally, we should – as always on a Mercury retrograde - be prepared to check everything twice during this whole phase, particularly travel arrangements. And are you quite sure you’ve been understood? Sometimes we need to find various ways of communicating an important point during this phase.
This is a helpful time to reconsider or redo things. During the Taurus phase that tends to mean very slowly…….
But Mercury retrograde is usually a doubtful time to launch a new PR campaign, internet-based business, or anything involving communications, such as unveiling new technology. Things could simply go wrong – technical difficulties for example - or lead to unintended consequences. Delaying signing an important agreement or contract could be a wise move too, if at all possible. What’s agreed now may have to be unpicked and done again later on.
After 20th April, the pace quickens. Mercury, back in active Aries, will be bursting with ideas, things to say, and a mischievous love of chaos. At this point, we have a few days when we can firm up practical details of clever plans and ideas. And when Saturn flows with Mercury, it’s a productive time for research. Digging around in the past works well, for both planets are retrograde and Saturn is the Lord of Time.
Between the 26th April – 10th May we take a jaunty little walk on the wild side. Mercury aligns with Uranus, and there are electrifying light-bulb moments popping up all over the place. These can be exciting, yet disruptive days. Some jaw-dropping truth telling can shift beliefs and attitudes at this point too. Mercury and Uranus bring sudden, sometimes shocking, news. Rebellion and revolution are a strong theme.
Mercury turns direct on 3rd May, but we’re likely to be dealing with existing issues, or addressing this year’s misunderstandings until 20th May.
Mercury’s next retrograde is 13th August – 5th September.
Tuesday, 11th April:
The Full Moon rises in airy Libra, the Scales, at 21 degrees.
What’s fair? What is justice? What is strategy and what is manipulation?
This full Moon provokes such questions.
Diplomats of the world unite – we’ll be needing you!
There’s more in the Moon Diary.
The Moon is square Pluto, opposite Uranus, and widely conjunct Jupiter in Libra. These are dynamic aspects, their flavour is familiar, their mission is to encourage breakthroughs and moves towards constructive changes in our world. Easier said than done, of course.
Image: ‘La Justice’ tarot card, Tarot de Marseilles. PD
Friday 14th April – Monday 17th April:
During the Easter weekend the Moon travels through humorous Sagittarius, favouring friendship, gatherings, and weekends away. Do check your travel plans though. Mercury is retrograde, so plans tend to go awry due to those annoying events – such as strikes - outside our control.
On Friday, 14th April, The Sun in Aries joins with Uranus – promising some Easter surprises, illuminations, inspirations or upsets. The UK, USA, France and Eire are amongst places that may experience turbulent times (more so than usual) this weekend.
On Sunday and Monday, a flowing trine between the Sun and Saturn settles things down a little, and emphasises our sense of history and tradition.
Venus in indulgent Pisces is simultaneously challenged by austere Saturn. Potentially, this could limit our Easter egg habit, and our weekend spending on frivolities, just a bit. There may be Easter break-ups or endings for some of us.
Image: The White Rabbit by Tenniel, from ‘The Nursery Alice’ (1890), British Library via Wikimedia Commons
Saturday, April 22nd – Friday, April 28th:
International Dark Sky Week
“The soul of the newly born baby is marked for life by the pattern of the stars at the moment it comes into the world, unconsciously remembers it, and remains sensitive to the return of configurations of a similar kind.”
- Johannes Kepler, brilliant astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. ‘Harmony of the World’ (1619)
There was once a time when astronomers were also astrologers. When you see the night sky in all its glory, you see the visible patterns of stars and planets that all astrologers once used to guide them. With ever-increasing light pollution, many of us never see the night sky as it really is, or understand the awe and wonder it once inspired in every human being.
For more about the dark skies movement:
Image: Vintage National Parks Poster, PD
Wednesday, 26th April:
April’s New Moon rises in earthy Taurus the Bull, at 6 degrees
Yes, A new Moon in Taurus says why not get down and dirty?
Nature, pleasure, food and frolics are calling you!
There’s more in the Moon Diary.
Image: WW2 ‘Victory Garden’ poster by Morley Size. US War Food Administration via Wikimedia Commons. PD