Welcome to the month of April, a time that always makes me think of "Spring," a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It begins with an indictment, a subtle rage: "To what purpose, April, do you return again?" This is followed with a line that gives me pause: "Beauty is not enough." I'm always struck by the largeness of such a statement, and wonder every time I read it: Can beauty ever be enough? Whether in the form of justice, romance, or simple daffodils, beauty is, after all, what we often hope will make our suffering worth it.
Well, have you suffered, reader, or has suffering evaded you? Have the stars and planetary movements of March offered you sweetness or have they plagued you with difficult emotions like bitter rain? Whatever your circumstance, I'm here to remind you that although beauty is not always enough, it is something to live for. Hope springs from beauty and wisdom too, that's why we love poems, paintings, and the constellations.
With Venus in retrograde in Aries and then Pisces, with the moon moving from Aries, to Libra, to Taurus, the planets call each of you forward and ask you to have faith in your power to change the world around you. So, make something beautiful, something brave, and something new.
The new moon in Aries on March 27 conjunct with sun in Aries will set the tone for Aries this month. Most of us know moon energy as shadow energy, the work that’s done under the surface—the desires that rise from our subconscious selves. A subtle power. When the moon is in Aries, it is charged with action, a bright, bold way of being despite its sliver of light. Aries, the new moon is all about aspirations and intentions and, for a long time now, you’ve worked hard to make outer manifestations of your inner world—your dreams and ambitions. This month will see that hard work pay off but there is a catch, as there always is.
Ambition must be tempered with reflection. Ambition may bring certain forms of success but when you rush onward without looking back, success will often come at the expense of your spirit. In response to this catch, and because there are no coincidences where fate is concerned, the planets are aligned in such a way that reflection is inevitable unless you plan on practicing some very heavy avoidance techniques. Don’t be avoidant, Aries. Venus in retrograde in your house has wisdom to share with you. Venus in retrograde wants you to stand back and witness the relationships in your life. Which relationship dynamics hold within them keys to your creative, erotic and spiritual awakening? Which relationship dynamics take away from the work you feel called to in the world and create stagnancy? Pay attention to the role that you play those dynamics.
And, because Mercury—the planet of communication—will leave the shadow of its influence and come back around in retrograde, take note of the way these dynamics surface in the form of messages, dialogue, and plans. We communicate what is important to us through the words we use and the commitments we honor. To be your best self, be impeccable with your word.
When Mercury, god of communication, entered your house at the very end of March, a truth entered you heart. This truth, this knowing, rang loud as a church bell and has continued ringing ever since. The truth can be hard to hear, however, so there’s a good chance you’ve been filling your mind up with “logical thoughts” and “reasoning” in an attempt to make the truth something else—a possible outcome, a story with many endings. And, in some cases, you might be right. The truth has varied foundations and is always a story with many endings. We all experience it differently and find it hard to agree point by point—especially when stubborn Mars, the god of war & strategy, is influencing you to fight rather than surrender.
That said, the truth you’ve been hearing in your heart, the call of your intuition, does not need your logic or your reason. It needs to be embraced, accepted, and acted upon or it will eat up your days with anxiety and uncertainty. What you wish for in this world is something you deserve and there is no reason to convince yourself you need something else.
If you trust your gut and speak your truth, you will find yourself welcoming your birthday month with a newfound resolve to live your best fucking life. Surrendering to the moment rather than fighting against it will remind you what true strength looks like: how to be unafraid in the face of loss when you know you haven’t lost yourself.
When I was at my lowest financially, I would wake up and turn on “Money, Power, Respect” by The Lox. Counter-intuitively, something about chanting the words money, power, respect, all you need in life, money, power, respect, got you eating right while not having any money was very bolstering to my spirit. I had an imaginary mission, a persona, a girl inside of me who was gonna hustle hard ‘til she got what she needed to be “eating right.” Whatever it feels like to have lots of money, I wouldn’t know. The song drove me to be present for my materialistic desires, to acknowledge the way the material world affects our emotional interior, and to investigate what power means to me.
Gemini, this month will call you toward a similar path of investigation. You might find yourself examining the ways you trade money or material goods, objects, for affection and intimacy. You might begin to interrogate what wealth means to you and how you might work to expand its meaning.
Mars, the god of war and strategy, will enter your house near the end of the month and bring with it a feeling of restlessness. The restlessness can take many forms and you must be careful to make sure that it doesn’t lead to fractures between you and loved ones. If there are unhealthy power dynamics or broken points of connection (respect) in your relationships that are situated in imbalances of wealth—attend to these issues with generosity and openness. Just because the god of war has come for tea doesn’t mean you should let him drag you into the arena.
Have you been feeling up against the wall, Cancer? Like there’s nothing left to do but abandon everything you thought you wanted and begin again from scratch? Perhaps, rather than the term abandon—which is scary, I know—I should use the phrase “change.” And, when I say change, I mean the kind of change that ripples the very foundations of what you believe about your life and who you are. A total and complete shift in approach and perception.
Take heart. As a sign ruled by the moon, you know much more about living through change than you give yourself credit for. Throughout this month you will feel the shift from Aries new moon to full moon in Libra to new moon in Taurus. You will be filled with ambition and energy, you will seek balance and peace, you will move forward with strength of will and sense of self.
That sounds hopeful doesn’t it, Cancer? I bet you’ve been needing a little hope lately, a little faith in the universe to bring it on home to you. Oh, I know you’ve been working hard to get your power back, cutting off toxic situations one by one. I know that every day you wake with ideas about self-betterment and self-care. Classes, certifications, new jobs, new lovers, are all well and good but, Cancer, to fully enrich yourself with all those things, you must try to move forward with faith in your core self and what you bring to your relationships and your projects.
There’s not a whole lot of planetary movement happening in Leo’s house but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of emotions. In fact, it seems as if all the planets have scattered around the wheel and left Leo to her own devices. Now the lion is roaring in her celestial cage and she’s gonna break the bars and get real free.
Well, Leo, what are you going to do once you get free? It’s a question you’ve been holding on your heart for some time. Pouring all your energy into work and creative projects. Your battery is spent but you’re going and going—dreaming of an escape hatch. Have you planned the perfect road trip in your mind over and over? Have you imagined a torrid love affair that will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before? Do you have a plan for looking and feeling brand new that involves a complete physical overhaul? Are you ready to build a whole new life on the burnt ruins of your old one?
Alright, Leo, go on and do it then. Drop everything and take to the road, quit your job, profess your undying love to someone whose intentions you barely know, drop that manuscript in the trash and start writing something only God understands. Just remember one thing Leo, everything in our lives that holds us back is something we’ve courted—something we’ve invited in. So, you can run but if you don’t figure out why you chose those things in the first place, you’ll choose them again wherever it is you wind up running to.
Has the beginning of spring felt less like an awakening for you and more of a gradual death? Perhaps you’ve been plagued with visions, thoughts, or dreams, that make the world feel a little upside down. The flowers burst through the earth in bright green tufts and the trees sprout little spots of life but the rain comes down cold and unyielding. There are some flowers that can’t survive the last shreds of winter, the cold days that sneak into the new season.
There are some relationships, love, work, family, in your life that won’t make it through the circumstances they are up against and you know this. In fact, you’ve been preparing to let go for a long time now, despite the devotion you feel in your heart.
Virgo, although you are often swayed by the needs of others, in your spirit is a great intuitive force. Because of your boundless affection, you have a hard time seeing people’s intentions clearly. But, you know a bad situation when you’re in one and it weighs you down more than you care to admit. Just because you’ve started guarding your heart against it, doesn’t mean it won’t keep bringing you down. Just because you’ve convinced yourself that you can leave any time and start over, doesn’t mean you’re safe from feelings of loss and grief. It’s time to be honest, think about your future self. What does she need to feel valued and full of purpose?
Let me tell you about Jupiter, about what it’s like to have Jupiter in your house. Jupiter brings luck to the sign it inhabits and incredible flourishment. Jupiter throws his thunderbolt down from the sky and the rain that follows is a tumult of synchronicity, new opportunities, and beautiful encounters. Jupiter wants to open the sky up for you, Libra, and all you have to do is let it.
Actually, the truth is, beautiful things are happening for you whether you want to believe it or not—but you can’t experience them if you refuse to see them. Perhaps you’re stuck on an old heartbreak and it keeps following you like a shadow into new relationships. Is there a story you’ve told yourself about who you are in love, a story that allows you to keep people at a distance lest they prove you wrong and make a vulnerable fool out of you? In guarding your heart without speaking your truth, you inact old patterns that reify the negative things you believe about yourself. It’s a mechanism of self-avoidance, self-harm.
Or, perhaps, there’s been a trauma, a great loss that won’t stop raking your spirit. Jupiter wants and needs you to turn your wounds into points of wisdom. The full moon in your house mid-month is all about shifting your perception. Let loss be your teacher instead of your abuser. Honor your survival, find a way to be grateful for beauty, how it persists for you.
For the past few months you’ve been working in the material world, really getting your shit together. An onslaught of responsibilities, an endless re-branding of the self, an inability to plan beyond the next week due to constantly shifting commitments and financial possibilities. Now all that work has begun to pay off and feelings of scarcity and uncertainty, the lack of purpose that plagued you all through fall and early winter, have receded into a new sense of self. In fact, you’re so busy that you don’t even have time to be tired and you find yourself eating badly and neglecting the rituals in your life and keep your heart satiated.
It’s not surprising, then, that in the midst of material upswing, your spirit has begun to call you down to the ground. When it was necessary to hustle, it was fine to ignore your deeper needs that went unmet. Now, those needs have begun to raise their voices and the cacophony of it is more than you can stand.
What have the depths of your psyche revealed to you? Have you found that while you were busy trying to become your best self, love slipped away? Or, perhaps what you thought was holding you back—career ambitions, aimlessness, or self-doubt—these were symptoms of relationships where which draining you of your inner strength. It’s time for you to start writing your own story again. It’s time for you remember how powerful you are, how loved.
When Saturn, the god of hard work and structure, moved into your house late last year, you tried your best to welcome his influence. Yes, that meant more labor, more study, more searching for purpose in a world that seemed completely ruled by chaos but you were up for the challenge. In fact, a challenge seemed like the just the right thing to distract you from the doldrums of your creative blockage and seemingly hum-drum life.
Don’t get me wrong, Sagittarius, I know you love a little hum-drum. A little convention, a house that’s the same when you return as when you left it, a pet that always comes when you call. But, that’s not all you love, is it, Sagittarius? Not your wild heart which wants something to rail against, something to bring out the animal in you. You want to bound and then you want to be bound, tamed. It’s a conundrum and not all lovers will know what to do with you.
But, when you find one that does, you won’t forget them. Not even when you leave them for someone else, and especially not when you’re typing away in your hum-drum life aching to split in two and run far from everything you’ve ever known. Unfortunately, you can’t split in two and you’ve got to admit: there are days when you’re happy with the life you’ve chosen than you’re willing to admit. So what of the wild heart? The open field? Isn’t there something you can make with your hands, something you can create out of nothing, that will give you the freedom you seek?
Well, Capricorn, Saturn, the god of work and structure, isn’t in your house but he’s not far and so it’s not surprising you feel the shadow of his influence. How is his influence felt? A pressure to move forward, a restlessness, a feeling of constant exhaustion and self-questioning. Have you committed yourself to projects that anyone else would balk at but you’ve been going full-speed ahead? Have you neglected to nurture certain relationships in your life thinking accomplishing your goals will do the work of nurturing those you love?
Have you, in your race forward, forgotten that there are other aspects of yourself that need development and devotion? Your creative spirit and your soft bleating heart, might be suffering under the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself.
And, the truth is, while the people in your life support you and want you to do well, they need space to develop their own separate goals and pursue their own separate dreams. When people you love take space to recharge and re-imagine themselves, try your best not to take it personally or see it as a sign of abandonment. Things aren’t so black and white. You’re not either completely alone or held up by community. You don’t have to convince people to show up for you, just show up for yourself and let your needs be known. When the time is right, your support system will surface.
Welcome April, Aquarius, a month that knows the passion in your heart and seeks to witness it. You’ve worked so hard to get here, this place of newness, rebirth, awakening, and your labor hasn’t gone by unnoticed. The universe believes in you and your hard work and it plans to give you everything want. All you’ve got to do is allow the blessings coming your way to unfold naturally. Be patient and stay open. If you’re single, call you soulmate forward. Imagine the kind of person you want to enter your life, write a wish list, believe that you deserve what you wish for. If you’re partnered, take time to savior the joy your lover brings to your life. Plan a trip together, take a class together, start a band together, experience something new.
If romantic love isn’t your concern, imagine the wheel of fortune turning and now you’re at top with the whole world before you. Is there someplace you’ve always want to see? Save up and see it. Spend money on yourself, invest in the enrichment of your own life and you will not find that investment wasted.
Whatever you decide to do next, the important thing is to do it with both your heart and mind in synch with one another. If there are doubts that plague you, voice them and be done with them. If there are obstacles in your way, took a good hard look at their size and shape and then run toward them knowing you’re strong enough to leap right over.
It’s been a hard road for you, Pisces, a long time coming toward yourself and it hasn’t been easy. How could it be when the planets of reckoning, dreams, and wounds have made a home of your house for so long? In a twisted way, years of hosting these difficult influences have made a true survivor out of you and survivors make good friends and even better lovers.
Take stock of what you’ve learned when Venus, the goddess of love and connection, enters your house because she wants your full attention. In retrograde she will demand your reflection so do your best and give it to her. Journal, take long walks, paint your inner landscape, spend some time looking at the mirror and notice where love emanates from your face. You have so much to give to this world and you are powerful and beautiful on your own.
Speaking of alone time, it’s valuable and instructive but it’s not necessarily your fate. When Venus becomes direct in your house mid-month, she’s gonna want to invite a lot of people over. You are her perfect host and know how to entertain, how to put people at ease, and give them loving attention. When you open your doors to love, it will come. When you offer up the sweetness you have in your heart, it returns to you ten-fold—oceans of sweetness.