April 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Volume 2, Number 4

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.


April Star Watch

By Terri Smallwood


Welcome to April, and Happy Spring, Star Watchers! Spring officially began in North America at the vernal equinox on March 21, ushering in the beginning of nature’s new year. This theme of renewal is echoed in the childlike spirit of Aries, whose time of influence also began with the vernal equinox.

Although typically considered the “first” of the 12 signs of the zodiac, Aries also can be looked at as a continuation of a cycle of energy that flows through all the signs. In nature, circles and cycles are an integral part of the order of things. Linear time, linear progressions are human constructs. Looking into the night skies, into the depths of the Universe, one understands how wonderfully the planetary bodies revolve, dancer-like, around each other. To truly understand the place of Aries within the zodiac, it is essential to look at the entire cycle and how Aries emerges from the deep waters of Pisces. One of the ram’s horns curls back toward that mysterious union, and one curls the opposite way, bravely into the future.

Many in the Christian tradition look at the compassionate, mystical Piscean nature as being the nature representated in Jesus. If Pisces represents Jesus-the-man, then Aries represents the fiery spirit of the Christ reborn on Easter morning. The symbolism of resurrection is an example of how the spirit of Aries, cloaked in newness, comes forth into the world a courageous leader and an innovative spirit, and also a sacrificial lamb. As if remembering the feeling of being adrift on the waves of the collective consciousness that is Pisces, the Aries individual seeks to separate himself, and uses the vehicle of Mars, his ruling planet, to achieve this. Mars carries with it two forces, that of destruction and creation. The destructive forces of Mars are what wrests the individual spirit from the Neptunian ocean; then the creative powers of Mars forge the spirit anew.

Forge is the operative word. Fiery Aries rules metalworkers and craftsmen of all varieties. Aries is also a cardinal sign, a sign of leadership and initiating action. Easily misunderstood, Aries have been stereotyped as ego-driven, demanding and selfish. In reality it is the inadvertent selfishness of the infant that we see in the typical Arian. Not yet fully aware of his impact on others, Aries is not capable of fully grasping how his actions may affect others. This is one of the key lessons for the Arian individual, and can be learned by observing Libra, the master of relationships, the opposite sign in the circle of the zodiac.

Despite the occasionally selfish outburst, Arians are typically good-natured people who make friends easily and are admired for their good qualities; courageousness, vitality, clear perception and an attractive charm. They make inspired leaders, although they can lack the focus to consistently follow through on their ideas. An Arian businessman may create hugely successful ideas but rely strongly on his team to implement them. By learning to share his ideas, courage and vitality, Aries can use his influence as a natural leader to encourage and rouse others to great causes. In this way, we see Aries fulfilling one of his most important roles, that of seed-sower. It is the seed planted in Aries, in the early spring, which blossoms into the fullness of nature that is Taurus.

This year, the Sun enters Taurus on April 20. Dependable, steady and determined, this fixed earth sign is concerned with the practical side of life. Unlike Aries, Taurus is more concerned with conserving energy than expending it. The seeds sown during Aries are nurtured and brought to their fullness during the time of Taurus. Unconcerned with abstract ideas and unproductive flights of fancy, Taureans prefer to deal with the concrete realities of life. Learning to combine this need for practicality with the inherent creativity that is also part of this Venus-ruled sign is a skill that can bring much pleasure to the average Taurean. Cooking, gardening, and interior design - these are the sort of practical hobbies that Taureans can use to bring out their natural artistry in their daily lives. The task of beautifying their surroundings is one that would appeal to the average Taurean as well. Occasionally accused of materialism, Taurus does enjoy being indulged by luxurious surroundings and quiet work. Please don’t confuse this with avariciousness or laziness. As a repository for all the seed energy planted during the time of Aries, it is the job of Taurus to concentrate energy into a single strong resource, so that when it’s time to pass the torch to Gemini, the seedling will be a sapling and well equipped to continue its journey though the signs.

April is woven through with the themes of Aries and Taurus. The month begins with the Sun in the middle degrees of Aries, and is followed on the 5th by the movement of Mercury into Taurus. Mars and Venus, the ruling planets of Aries and Taurus, continue their dance through the signs of their exaltations (please see March Star Watch), which culminates in a potently creative sextile aspect on April 21, shortly before Venus moves into Aries. It is this type of short-lived transit that characterizes the astrological skies this month. Typically only a day or two in duration, inner-planet transits may have a more mild influence than their longer-lasting outer-planet counterparts, but are no less significant.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are referred to as the “outer planets.” Jupiter and Saturn, being the closest to Earth of the five, play a special role in the ebb and flow of our life cycles, and are closely related to the changes each of us go through from infancy to young adulthood to middle age and beyond. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, having longer cycles, are affiliated more with generations than individuals. Because all of these outer planets are relatively slow moving, as perceived from Earth, when they form an aspect with each other, or with an individual’s natal chart, the influence can be very pronounced and quite long lasting. These are usually the transits that are credited with causing some fortunate event like a marriage or a promotion, or blamed for negative situations like illness or divorce. When we look at world events and astrology, it is the outer-planet transits that capture our imagination and cause us to ask “what if” and don our predictive hats.

By comparison, the day-to-day waltz of the inner planets through our lives seems humdrum and hardly worth watching. Certainly the inner planets, also called the personal planets, are milder in their influence by transit, although they are more important than the outer planets in individual nativities. The inner-planet transits are of shorter duration, lasting at the most a week, and often (as in the case of the Moon) only an hour or two. If the outer planets can be symbolized as carrying with them the immensity of the ocean, then the inner planet transits are the waves breaking on the beach. The influence of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are the subtleties that flavor the bigger picture of your life. The Moon can also be seen as a trigger that intensifies the transits of other planets as it swiftly passes through them.

The Sun in transit to another planet or to a point in your natal chart seeks to shed light on a particular issue or event. For example, on April 2, the Sun forms a sextile aspect to Neptune. Sextiles are considered harmonious aspects and indicate that the relationship between the signs these planets are working through (Aries and Aquarius respectively) is a mutually positive one. This aspect will only be influential for approximately 24 hours, but during its time of influence we can expect that the dreamy flow of energy from Neptune will work well with the vitality of the Sun. Neptune’s energy won’t magnify the physical strength of the Sun, but the two forces can spark psychic experiences and intuitive dreams.

Mercury in transit to another planet or to a point in your natal chart seeks to use communication and intellect to solve a problem or highlight an area of your life. The square of Mercury in Taurus to Jupiter in Leo on April 10 is one example. A square aspect is one that indicates a block in the flow of energy between two forces; in this case the fixed signs of Leo and Taurus. However, a square aspect is by no means a guarantee of a poor outcome, especially where benefic Jupiter is involved. Instead, this transit has the potential to fuse Mercury’s quick intelligence with Jupiter’s expansive nature so that one can easily grasp the bigger picture and lay strong plans to achieve it.

Venus in transit to another planet or to a point in your natal chart seeks to use love-energy and creativity to build relationships or beautify an area of your life. Venus in Aries tine Jupiter in Leo (April 29) is one such example. Here we see the easy flow of energy that is the mark of the trine aspect combining with the traditionally positive energy of both Venus and Jupiter. Here Venus’ task is simple - add grace, creativity and charm to Jupiter’s jocular bounty to spread peaceful waves of love throughout the planet.

Mars in transit to another planet or to a point in your natal chart seeks to use drive and magnetism to forward situations that may be stagnating due to a lack of energy. An example of a transit from Mars this month occurs on April 18, when Mars in Capricorn is squared by the Sun in Aries. Here the tension of the square is pronounced, as each planet is located in a sign that adds to its strength. The challenge posed by a Mars transit is to use the abundant energy available without succumbing to the selfish forces of ego. If that lesson can be mastered, than a transit such as this one offers a day of unbridled energy and the ability to accomplish startling amounts of work.

Studying the minor transits helps one to flesh out the full celestial picture at any given point in time. Coupled with a study of lunations (Please see the article Lunations à la Linda in this issue) it offers us the ability to feel more connected with the cycles of everyday life, as our energies ebb and flow with their movements, and the tone of our days is set by the undercurrent of energy that radiates down from the heavens into our personal spheres.


For a detailed listing of this month’s transits, see
the April Interactive Calendar