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Life Arts    H4'ed 4/10/14

Astrology April 2014: Ready for Your Breakthrough?

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Have you felt a faster pace since the equinox on March 20, when the Sun entered Aries? If so, then you're experiencing the "let's get going!" energies of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and the sign associated with action and new beginnings.

Did you feel extra intensity on Tuesday, April 8? Did you experience or observe any clashes with other people or extreme impatience with the status quo? Did you feel any frustration at things not working or being unable to move forward? Perhaps you saw instances of aggression or even attack, as with the Heartbleed technology issue that came to light April 8 and sent information technology and security professionals rushing to defend online information and ensure sensitive personal data is safe.
If so, you felt first hand the power of Mars and Aries--and the potential consequences when these energies are suppressed or combined in volatile ways:
.  Not only was Tuesday our weekly "Mars day" (the day ruled by the planet Mars, which also rules headstrong, powerful Aries), but on that day the Sun in Aries sat exactly opposite its ruler, Mars, over in Libra.
.  The Sun is extra powerful in Aries because this sign suits solar energies so well.
.  Yet Aries's ruler, Mars, is less powerful than usual in Libra because Libra is the sign opposite the sign Mars rules. (This applies to all the planets, which are "uncomfortable" when traveling through the sign opposite the one they rule.) Unlike brash Aries, Libra is diplomatic and polite, which makes it difficult for Mars to feel fully free to express is passionate, sometimes aggressive powers. One result can be frustration and bottling up emotions to be polite until the pressure grows to release them.
.  Even more challenging, Mars is retrograde, meaning that it appears to be moving backward in the sky. As a result, it's difficult to express its high energy on the outer plane; rather, we're meant to apply its power on the inner plane to fuel our spirituality and inner growth. Without awareness of retrograde Mars's potential, we can feel frustrated, irritable, and angry when we come up against obstacles, especially on the physical plane.
On Tuesday, Aries's magnificent power became short-circuited, leading to confrontations, abrupt communication, and constant demands for decisions and action. In many cases, you may have seen the results in relationships, especially romantic ones involving couples (particularly married ones) and business and other partnerships of all kinds. If you or a loved one felt attacked, it may have struck you as being more personal and intense than usual, as the Sun faced off against Mars and brought these tensions quite close to home.
Intensities and Opportunities
If you felt any of these dramatic energies, or if you observed them in those around you or in local or world news, then you have a preview of what we'll all be experiencing in the second half of this month. 
For April 2014 brings some of the most intense energy of this era in human history as we undergo the cardinal cross (also called a grand square). Although the last two weeks of this month promise a white-knuckle ride on a cosmic rollercoaster, these very intensities will give us unprecedented opportunities for positive change.
Four major planets now occupy cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These are powerful signs that begin the seasons and demand that we exhibit leadership and take action in responsible ways. Later this month, these planets will come into a series of exact alignments that will bring clashes that create turning points in our lives. It may feel as if we're reeling from one crisis to another and having the make instant decisions in the most sensitive aspects of our lives. Yet by staying alert, riding these waves of energy as best we can, and making constructive decisions, we have the potential to break through to far better ways of living and relating to others.
April's Transformation Timetable: Mark Your Calendar Now
Here are all the key dates to be aware of, along with suggestions on what you may face:
.  Tuesday, April 15: Total lunar eclipse, 2:42 a.m. CDT (7:42 a.m. Greenwich time). The Sun in Aries will sit exactly opposite the Moon, which will be full in Libra. Between these two, the Earth will line up exactly to create a total eclipse, in which Earth's shadow completely obscures the Moon. A full Moon always brings an opportunity for illumination: in this case, watch for insights about your relationships (Libra) as well as your drive and personal identity (Aries). Because this will be a lunar eclipse, be alert to what must be released and left in the past (the Moon, which governs memory) so you can break through to new beginnings (Aries).
.  Sunday, April 20: Jupiter in Cancer forms an exact square (a 90-degree angle, which brings inner tension and turmoil until our awareness allows us to reach a turning point) with Uranus in Aries, 2:28 a.m. CDT (7:28 a.m. Greenwich time). How can we balance our need to feel secure (Cancer) with our need to pioneer into the unknown (Aries)?
.  Sunday, April 20: Jupiter in Cancer sits exactly opposite Pluto in Capricorn, 6:26 p.m. CDT (11:26 p.m. Greenwich time). Like this past Tuesday's opposition between the Sun and Mars, this configuration pits two planets against each other in a 180-degree angle that emphasizes differences and conflict, often from external sources. How are our safety and home life (Cancer) affected by turmoil in the work place and in business and corporations in general (Capricorn)?
.  Monday, April 21: Uranus in Aries forms an exact square with Pluto in Capricorn, 2:21 p.m. CDT (7:21 p.m. Greenwich time). How do we express our individual genius (Uranus in Aries) in a soul-centered way that benefits all levels of society (Pluto in Capricorn)?
.  Tuesday, April 22: Mars in Libra squares Jupiter in Cancer, 2:27 p.m. CDT (7:27 p.m. Greenwich time). How can we preserve our individual strength and identity (Mars) in relationships (Libra) and balance our personal needs with the importance of nurturing others wisely and well (Jupiter in Cancer)?
.  Wednesday, April 23: Mars in Libra sits exactly opposite Uranus in Aries, 2:08 a.m. CDT (7:08 a.m. Greenwich time). How can we balance the need for diplomatic actions, justice, and fair dealings with ourselves and others with the need to express our fundamental genius (Uranus) in a highly individual (Aries) way?
.  Wednesday, April 23: Mars in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn, 8:37 a.m. CDT (1:37 p.m. Greenwich time). What must change or even end (Pluto) in our relationships (Libra) and in large institutions (Capricorn) so our individual soul destinies (Mars retrograde) can be expressed in the best and most beautiful ways (Libra)?
.  Tuesday, April 29: Annular solar eclipse, 1:14 a.m. CDT (6:14 a.m. Greenwich time). The Sun and Moon will occupy earthy Taurus when the Moon passes across the Sun to create this eclipse. The Moon will be far enough from Earth that it does not completely obscure the Sun, and a ring of light will surround the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun. In any solar eclipse, the Moon is in its new phase, indicating this eclipse will bring us a new beginning of some kind. Because the Sun will occupy Taurus, look for new ways to enjoy nature, celebrate physical comfort and abundance, and honor the earth that sustains us so faithfully.
How to Make the Most of This Time of Change and Opportunity
This month’s high energies and clashing alignments include the fifth of seven squares between Uranus and Pluto.
This month’s high energies and clashing alignments include the fifth of seven squares between Uranus and Pluto.
(Image by Anne Nordhaus-Bike)
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Just knowing about these alignments and their exact dates will help you ride major waves of change in the coming days and weeks. Mark your calendar now so you can visualize what's coming and prepare for it.
In addition, clear your calendar as much as possible so you can adjust to ongoing changes and volatile energies. Be prepared for plans to go awry and for anything in your life that has outlived its usefulness to fail in some way or go off the rails so you can release it and move on.
Avoid launching anything new. We're all in a major phase of breakdown and transformation, so this time is best used to flow with such energies to clear out our lives (and our homes, closets, desks, and other areas) so we're ready for the new in May.
Be alert to other people's energies and challenges. Given the nature of this month's energies and the relentless pressures they will bring, many people will feel stress and may respond poorly or inappropriately at times. Withdraw when necessary, yet carry a spirit of tolerance and unconditional love for all your fellow humans and other creatures. As much as possible, take good care of yourself with extra rest, reduced demands (especially socially), and especially nourishing meals on a regular schedule.
For more tips and resources, see our More Astrology Resources page. There you'll find links to our three-part series on Astrology 2014; Parts 1 and 2 include extensive lists of resources. In particular, see the end of Part 2 under "Uranus" and "Pluto," as Monday, April 21, brings the fifth square between these two powerful planets. 
In addition, the More Astrology Resources page includes the Current Planets Position chart, which updates in live time every time you refresh your browser. Check it out to watch the planets' positions change in the days and weeks ahead and see how each of the alignments mentioned above reaches exactness on the days specified.
Make a Date With Yourself for May Day
By the time of the opening planetary alignment on April 20, the Sun will have moved into Taurus, a sign associated with spring's height and nature's beauty and bounty. It will remain in this practical, stable sign throughout the period described earlier in this article, offering us a way to weather cosmic storms. Also, Mercury will join the Sun in Taurus on April 23, giving us a few weeks in which our minds (Mercury) will be on all things Taurus.
When energies become intense, remember to turn to nature by looking out the window or going outside for a walk or sitting in a park. If it's warm enough, take off your shoes and walk barefoot through the grass. As you connect with the earth physically, you will help ground all the stormy energies so you can use them constructively while releasing pressure on your physical self.
If possible, mark your calendar for Thursday, May 1, and honor the old tradition of May Day. This observance brings an opportunity to cherish the earth and her bounty by gathering or buying flowers and sharing them with others. You might give a loved one a bouquet, or buy a bunch of tulips for your table to enjoy at mealtimes, or go to a park to enjoy lilacs in bloom. Whatever you choose, by enjoying flowers you will connect with nature and the power of beauty to calm and transform us.
Wishing you beautiful breakthroughs this month.
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Award-winning artist Anne Nordhaus-Bike paints colorful, calming watercolors inspired by nature. Anne's art has appeared in numerous solo and group shows as well as many arts programs, presentations, and performances. Her work has been (more...)

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