April 2016 Forecasts
Mars in Sagittarius – Follow Your Inspiration
After last month’s eclipses do you feel as if you’re in a freshly renovated room admiring the makeover or adapting to sudden change and chaos? Some parts of life might’ve had a great boost, whereas others might feel all over the place. The planetary alignments over the next few months help us capitalise on the good stuff and sort through anything that feels like a pile of rubble.
In April there’s an interesting tension between a need for quick action and slow consideration. Mars is in Sagittarius, a fire planet in a fire zodiac sign, filling us with energy and motivation. From 6 March when Mars entered Sagittarius to 27 May we have a wellspring of vitality and enthusiasm to draw upon. Yet Mars doesn’t have a clear ride on its freeway. Other factors see Mars needing to take pit stops, or drive slowly through metaphorical lane closures, road works or other congestion.
Saturn and Mars – Powerful Focus and Drive
One factor is that Saturn and Mars are now in close quarters because Saturn is in Sagittarius too. Saturn represents the wise master or teacher or even the hard task master when necessary. On 25 March, Saturn went Retro, which creates an image of Saturn turning around and going back along its own path to meet up with Mars which is heading toward it. Mars is a young fit energy. It’s our inner hero. So the hero within each of us is running quickly with determination and focus, but suddenly there’s Saturn heading toward it saying ‘hey, slow down and listen as there’s things you need to do so you’re better prepared for where you’re headed.’
Mars in Sagittarius is happy to live out of a tent and backpack through life, but Saturn has the long-term sustainability themes in mind and comes along to help Mars get better organised. Yet Mars is not to be pinned down or stopped. In fact the Mars drive, purpose and focus only grows stronger. Saturn says ‘do this’ and Mars either says ‘no, you can’t stop me’ or ‘yes, good point… I need to be stronger and more prepared so will do more push-ups’.
Saturn Retro and Mars Retro – Check them out
If you want to check out these two having their conversation in the sky, here in the Southern Hemisphere they are right up overhead in the couple of hours before dawn, so look directly up and you’ll see they form a triangle with the star Antares. Mars has a noticeable red glow and is bigger than the other two, but don’t confuse it with Antares which also is reddish. Saturn is a slight golden colour.
Another factor slowing Mars down is that Mars itself goes Retrograde this month on the 17th. Approximately every two years Mars goes Retrograde (for about 2 to 3 months). This particular retrograde lasts from 17 April to 30 June. Saturn’s Retrograde lasts from 25 March to 13 August.
The combination of Mars Retrograde and Saturn Retrograde has a lot of intensity. The image that comes to mind is an Olympian weightlifter lifting heavier and heavier weights. We might feel as if a certain aspect of life gets heavier and needs more effort, but the more we lift those weights, the more triumphant we become. It’s a strength training month, like a busy month in an accelerated learning course so we can get the promotion we’re after.
Strength Training Intensifies – Focus and Push Through
Shout, grunt and growl… just keep the energy moving. Athletes don’t run races soundlessly. Getting into our more visceral selves is normal when under the pump. Use the intensity for single-minded focus. If something needs re-doing because it’s not quite there, then it just does. Mars might throw a temper tantrum but Saturn will stand firm and say ‘redo it or you won’t be ready for the next level – you have to master this one first’. Sometimes it’s just that something hasn’t cooked or developed enough yet and a bit more patience is required.
All through April the pressure of Mars being Retrograde and under the constant supervision of Saturn also Retrograde is almost like a piece of wood bearing the thud of a sculptor’s chisel. But the power of Mars only gets stronger and stronger until it amazes everyone when it emerges as a dazzling sculpture.
And dazzling really is the word for Mars because in our skies, it’s already brighter than Saturn and Antares but will continue to get brighter until its heyday on 22 May, when it’s the closest it’ll be to Earth in two years. The best months to see Mars in all its glory are May and June, but get started now with finding Mars. The Moon will make it easy to spot Mars, Saturn and Antares in their triangle later in April when they’re with the Moon from about 24 to 27 April.
Even More Retrogrades – Five all Up – Review & Prepare
Okay, so you think having Mars and Saturn both Retro at the same time is intense, but we actually have two other planets going Retro this month as well. Pluto goes Retro on 18 April (until 27 Sept) and Mercury goes Retro on 29 April (until 22 May). All of these Retros strongly affect April’s astrology. There’s also Jupiter which has been travelling Retro since 8 January. Jupiter will be the first of the lot to go Direct and that happens on 9 May.
April is an interesting month with all these five retrograding at the same time – Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Pluto and finally Mercury at the very end of the month. Here’s the dates at a glance:
- Jupiter Retrograde – 8 January to 9 May
- Saturn Retrograde – 25 March to 13 August
- Mars Retrograde – 17 April to 30 June
- Pluto Retrograde – 18 April to 27 September
- Mercury Retrograde – 29 April to 22 May
I’m thinking of the various times I’ve seen new owners take over commercial premises and how they cover up their shop fronts and work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to fit out their new stores before the big reveal. Often you see lights on at all hours streaming through the cracks in the covered display windows, until one day suddenly there’s the shop in all its glory.
So if we look at the Direct dates for all these retrogrades, we get the sense of some of the possible dates for our own personal big reveals:
- Jupiter first – 9 May goes Direct
- Mercury next – 22 May goes Direct
- Mars next – 30 June goes Direct
- Saturn next – 13 Aug goes Direct
- Pluto last – 27 Sept goes Direct
Depending on where you are in your individual cycles and level of preparation for new visions and goals, there are opportunities right from May to move things forward with more ease.
Five Retrogrades – Make Extra Time for Sudden Extras
Retrogrades can bring on the need to reassess, review, back track, go deeper, scrutinise and get to the bottom of something. Often we need to get to know ourselves more deeply and pause to fully appreciate our recent growth. Life brings reminders of the past to check where we stand now. Long lost friends or exes might be in touch. Or we are forced by circumstances to complete a back log so our paperwork is ready for an important opportunity.
Retrogrades are almost like time out of time. We often need to stretch time to make room and space for the unexpected of retrogrades. Anything we’ve previously taken a short cut with, we need to notice now and do properly. We get slowed down by long contemplations, complex decisions or challenging conversations that have to be had. It’s a time to stand up for ourselves and take care to prepare our words.
There’s often a sense of rehearsing or preparing even if we don’t know what we’re rehearsing for. And often during retrogrades we might feel we have to scrimp, scrounge or do without something in the short term so that we can reap a long-term gain. At the end of the day, everything is moving us forward, even while we might feel we are being stalled or going backwards.
Jupiter & the North Node Help Mars in Sagittarius
Watch Mars getting brighter each morning before dawn for inspiration with your own brightening vision. And let’s not forget that Mars is in optimistic Sagittarius. There’s good cause for the optimism because Sagittarius’s ruling planet Jupiter is still loosely travelling with the North Node. In June both Jupiter and the North Node make their final exact alignment which sees many of us embracing new dream directions.
Right now, Mars in Sagittarius fires us up with passion, adventure and experimenting. We are meant to be following exciting leads and directions but it’s all under the watchful eye of Saturn plus the energy of April’s Retrogrades. There’s homework needed but there’s no reason we still can’t act quickly if everything is in place. In many instances this month we might need to take leaps of faith and act quickly, but behind the scenes, check and double-check. If there’s no need to act quickly, there might be benefits in waiting, tinkering and improving your plans.
The combination of quick action and slow consideration creates quite a contradiction. Mercury’s Retrograde at the end of the month (29 April to 22 May) will help us make sense of it all. In the meantime, if things get too heavy, remember Mars is in Sagittarius giving us motivation, enthusiasm, fun and optimism to always draw upon. Or if things get too over-excited, fast or risky, Saturn and the Retrogrades bring cool off periods to anchor and ground us. Good luck juggling the paradox!
April’s New Moon SUPERMOON
For information on the New Moon in Aries on 7 April, go here around that date. The interpretation will stay online until the next New Moon four weeks later.
April’s Full Moon
For information on the Full Moon in Scorpio on 22 April, go here around that date. The interpretation will stay online until the next Full Moon four weeks later.