Astrological update for the week of April 17-24, 2023

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Solar eclipse
. The big news this week is the solar eclipse at the very last few minutes of Aries. I wrote about this last week but it bears repeating as we enter the doorway to the upcoming pair of eclipses.

Eclipses are often bunched into a series of two or three pairs, but this year the two eclipse pairs operate on their own, without any others in the series. The first of the pair, the New Moon, occurs at 29º 57′ Aries – just three minutes of a degree from being in Taurus rather than Aries. The very last degree of a sign, the 29th degree, is called the “critical” or “anoretic” degree and is associated with the endings of cycles and new beginnings.  In this eclipse the Sun and Moon are a few degrees from the North Node of the future, signifying the pressure to release the past and move into an enlightened future.

The New Moon at the ending of a sign offers a sweeping away of the old and a fresh new beginning, especially with the Moon eclipsing the Sun, stripping away any artifice of conscious awareness and bringing us face to face with the raw truth of our needs and desires as described by Aries. In this moment which is rich with  the power of Mars (ruler of Aries), we can begin to let go of some of our willfulness as patterns are completed.  the Moon slips gently into Taurus just 20 minutes after the eclipse, forming a square aspect to transformational Pluto. We are in new territory, and this anaretic solar eclipse will help (force?) a push through obstacles into a birth of a new lens of experience.

Mercury turns retrograde. As you may know, Mercury is retrograde for three weeks four times a year, with a week or so before and after when it is at a virtual standstill before and after the change of direction. This retrograde cycle is a natural ebb and flow of information dissemination and assimilation and not to be feared! Yes, often there are glitches when Mercury is retrograde, but glitches can happen any time. Retrograde planets tend to cause us to retrace our steps, though, so if we’re not careful we may have to re-do our travel plans, or rehash a personal issue that wasn’t settled properly the first time.

Mercury turns retrograde April 21st, in the fixed sign of Taurus which can be stubborn and unyielding. When Mercury is retrograde we need to retain some flexibility and adapt to new challenges, and this can be more difficult when Mercury is in Taurus. Fortunately, Mercury will align harmoniously with other planets during its retrograde travels and this will help alleviate any stress that could come up. Mercury will turn direct on May 14th and will take a few days to pick up its normal speed and with it, the flow of information.

Here’s what else you need to know this week (Dates and times are for the Eastern time zone, here is a time zone converter to adjust for your locality.)

Monday April 17. The week begins with the Moon in dreamy Pisces, and for a few days leading up to the eclipse we have no interplanetary aspects. This means the lunar energies have a stronger effect. With the Moon in Pisces, and mystical Neptune getting involved in the evening, Monday is a great day for relaxing and becoming inspired but it may be more difficult to motivate and take action until the Moon enters Aries just after midnight on Tuesday. (Moon sextile Uranus 4:24 am, opposite Ceres 4:52 pm, conjunct Neptune 6:56 pm.)

The eclipse energies are likely to build throughout the week, especially after the  Moon enters Aries on Tuesday. Watch for eruptions of hidden truths to emerge, which may be uncomfortable but will be productive in the long run.

Tuesday April 18. The Aries Moon helps to energize us on Tuesday in primarily harmonious alliances with other planets for most of the day. If you’ve been putting off any activity due to lack of inspiration, today is the day to get going! Around 10 pm EDT we may find ourselves feeling irritated or edgy but this will soon pass. (Moon enters Aries 1:09 am, sextile Pluto 1:41 am, sextile Venus 3:46 pm, square Mars 10:16 pm.)

Wednesday April 19. The Aries Moon continues to drive us to take action, although the early morning could bring a few hours of emotional irritation. This will soon fade, and the rest of the day offers clear skies and positive energies as we build towards the New Moon and solar eclipse just after midnight. (Moon conjunct Chiron 5:24 am, conjunct Jupiter 5:26 pm.)

Thursday April 20. Solar eclipse occurs at 4:12 am EDT, followed minutes later by the Moon shifting into Taurus at 4:29 and the Sun entering Taurus a few hours later. The influence of Taurus inspires a yearning for peace and equanimity, but both the Moon and Sun will challenge intense Pluto during and after the eclipse which could serve to amplify any transformative changes birthed by the eclipse energies. (Moon square Pluto 5:04 am, Sun enters Taurus 8:13 am, Moon sextile Saturn 12:30 pm, Sun square Pluto 4:26 pm.)

Friday April 21. Things will begin to settle down on Friday but it could take a few days to regain our sense of balance. Thoughts and communication are highlighted on Friday, helping to process any post-eclipse emotional or energetic shifts as Mercury turns retrograde and turns our attention to cleaning up any unfinished business from the past. (Moon sextile Mars 4:36 am, conjunct Mercury 8:05 am, Mercury turns retrograde 8:34 am, Moon conjunct Uranus 12:09 pm.)

Saturday April 22. The focus on the mental realm continues throughout the weekend with the Moon slipping into Mercury-ruled Gemini on Saturday morning. When the Moon is in Gemini we tend to feel a little more impatient and require more stimulation. Things move a little faster, and we may become somewhat frustrated with any retrograde Mercury events that force us to revisit something in the past, especially in the evening when Saturn imposes limits for a few hours. (Moon trine Ceres 12:15 am, sextile Neptune 3:41 am, Moon enters Gemini 10:10 am, trine Pluto 10:48 am, square Saturn 6:59 pm.)

Sunday April 23. With only a few mild lunar aspects, Sunday will be a day of rest indeed. A harmonious Mercury aspect will build for much of the day, helping us to think and express ourselves more clearly. A happy end to the week! (Moon conjunct Venus, sextile Chiron.)

That Mercury aspect will culminate just after midnight on Monday and will linger throughout the day along with mostly benign planetary aspects. We will have a new forecast then so have a great week!

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