Low-Down Archives for April-May 2013

New Moon in Aries, Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

Chart for the New Moon in Aries
Chart for the New Moon in Aries

Apr.10 – NEW MOON in ARIES (20:40 of Aries)

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past
or a pioneer of the future.
~ Deepak Chopra

NEW MOON in ARIES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.10, 2013, 5:35 AM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.10, 2013, 10:35 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.10, 2013, 7:35 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience ARIES energy in your life.

Find us on Facebook - Evolving Door Astrology

Change is glacial.

Even when it seems to come suddenly or quickly, the conditions and need for change have been building up for quite some time before it finally reaches the tipping point.

In the meantime, it creeps along so slowly that often we barely notice it. We're too busy with our day-to-day lives – we get up, get ready to start our day, do the work, pay the bills, make plans, and try to get through to bedtime again with some semblance of composure and balance still intact.

All the while, change is gradually pushing against the status quo. We adjust. We shift a wee bit this way or that and put it down to the natural wobble of progress that always seems to take the scenic route from here to there. These little changes are usually so tiny or minor that, despite some annoyance, we dismiss them as "that's just life."

And it's true – it is "just life." So what?

Well, little changes eventually add up to something bigger. Sometimes that's a good thing, something you want or have been aiming for. One day you wake up and realize that you've gone over the hump and you can start to coast instead of fighting an uphill battle. You're pointed in a different direction and the temptation to fall back into old habits isn't as strong. It can fill you with courage, excitement, inspiration and visions of future possibilities that you didn't dare to entertain before.

On the other hand, you may not want the change. It disrupts your plans, interferes with your life or conflicts with your values or beliefs. At a certain point, when that natural wobble doesn't find its way back to the path you intended to walk, you have to admit something isn't right.

That's the day the tipping point is reached, and you have a choice to make: do you accept the new reality or do you resist? Do you try to push the situation back to where it was before, or do you try to steer it in a whole new direction? Can you simply choose not to continue down that path, or must you deal with it which could mean even more stress?

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips,
and spreads like wildfire.
~ Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Aries is that tipping point where the old becomes new. Change has arrived. What now? Whether you want the change or not, the possibilities from here are endless. And what happens next largely depends on how you choose to react.

If the change is welcome, where do you want to go with it? There is momentum here; it can't just stay the same. What does your instinct tell you? What do your impulses say? What's the urge that comes with that momentum? What direction does it want to take you?

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to point yourself in the direction that is aligned with your passion and enthusiasm. Then muster your courage and vision and make your move!

Even if you want the change, some resistance is common. After all, you're leaving familiar territory to some degree. That's stressful, and apprehension is understandable. If you get a lot of anxiety then you might be dealing with a deeper issue, in which case it's wise to discover what that's about. With Mercury still in freefalling Pisces for a couple more days (even though it's now direct), freefloating anxieties and imaginings could disrupt or cloud your clarity of focus.

Scrimgeour: "It's time you learned some respect!"
Harry: "It's time you earned it."
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If the change is unwanted, your reaction will often be fuelled by emotion. You complain or protest or get angry. You push back, you confront, you stand up to. Or maybe you look around for a place to hide, hoping it will pass you by and fade away to nothingness. Does that mean you're running away? It might, but it's not necessarily foolhardy or cowardly – if you don't know how to deal with something, it may be wise to chill out for a while until you have a sense of what to do.

Here's the thing – just because you fight back against the problem doesn't mean it's going to slink away with its tail between its legs. Whether that problem is that you don't want the change, or that you do want the change but are being held back by resistance, it must be dealt with. The problem has taken a long time to develop and it's not likely to vanish just because you tell it to. In fact, problems often have a way of "fighting back" – this is their territory now and you can't have it back!

Wait—wasn't this supposed to be your territory??

The rock has met the hard place. This means war!

What to do?

May we muster courage at the crossroads,
courage for the conflicts,
courage to say, "no," courage to say, "yes,"
for courage counts.
~ Thomas S. Monson

This is the challenge in Aries. It lives at the crossroads where we encounter this critical turning point.

Do you fight back against the problem, or do you give in and resign yourself? Do you cut your losses and wave the white flag of surrender, or do you give the battle cry and gird your loins for combat? Do you go charging in where angels dare not venture, or do you let caution be your guide? At what point does caution become cowardice, or courage become crazy? It's not always clear what the best way is to react. There's no one right answer that fits all situations.

What can complicate this is that the unwanted problem may have grown to look more benign and acceptable than it really is. It can be easy to dismiss the problem because it's familiar and you've survived up to now without a crisis, right? How bad would it be to just say, "Oh well, just let it go"? After all, just because there's a bit of a problem doesn't mean you can't just adjust again, right?

Only you can decide if the situation is a big enough problem that dealing with it cannot be put off any longer. But consider this: if the problem is arising now, then you have an opportunity to respond to it differently. Sometimes that's enough. It might ignite a spark that turns the engine and moves your courage and confidence into position to deal more effectively with the problem. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, when you change how you react, even a little, it can help build your confidence and make it more familiar, so that next time it will be a bit easier, until finally it catches fire.

I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads...
~ Federico García Lorca

The New Moon in Aries brings you to that tipping point. Suddenly the prospect of change is here. What are you going to do about it? Or with it?

There's no shortage of Aries fuel to burn! Venus and Mars conjoin the Sun and Moon, all within just over 3°. Uranus, also in Aries, is too far away to be conjunct but still adds his sizzle to the fire.

In addition to the ruler of Aries, Mars, being strong in his own sign, he is also exactly conjunct the dwarf planet, Eris. (Check out Marina Partridge's excellent article for more about the astrological Eris.) Although only discovered in 2005, Eris seems to live up to her reputation of being a sh** disturber! In mythology, Eris, the goddess of discord, has quite the temper and is vengeful in cunning ways. It was she who tossed the golden apple into the wedding party she was (rudely!) excluded from, which got the other goddesses fighting over each other as to who deserved this gift labelled "to the fairest." This eventually ignited the Trojan war! Nice work, Eris.

The implications for the New Moon in Aries are...complicated. At its worst, Eris' lust for retribution combined with Mars' angry fury could become explosive rage. Think heat-seeking missile with a nuclear warhead and an itchy finger hovering over the big red launch button. If you are around anyone with a temper problem, you might need to walk lightly on eggshells to some extent, especially in the few days before and after the New Moon. If you, yourself, are prone to react first and think about it later, this could be the time to learn how to count to ten before opening your mouth.

Eris/Mars energy doesn't have to be negative, though. If you need courage, conviction and enthusiasm to do something that could be difficult, or is just plain scary, this pair is likely to have your back. At its best, that presentation could be the best you've ever given. Going after that promotion or job offer, you may come across as especially confident and rarin' to go. That hot date could ignite more passion and fun than you thought possible. You might look out over your life and see so clearly where your path can lead that you wonder how you ever doubted it.

However, like a flame thrower, it's important that this energy be carefully channelled using a wise and rational sighting lens. Using only as much force as is needed, this energy could take you far through difficult territory. Go berserk with it and you could do needless damage that you'll regret.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
Seek discipline and find your liberty.
~ Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

That Aries tipping point is a powerful one! So much depends on how you focus and aim that shift of energy and how you ride through it.

Venus is closely conjunct Mars and Eris. On one hand this can temper the volatile Mars/Eris energy with Venus' better qualities of balance, harmony, fairness and love. Respond in the spirit of love and this could help you channel that Aries power in a way that doesn't leave scorched earth behind you.

However, Venus' presence could also greatly complicate and aggravate the energy. In the myth, Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) was one of the 3 goddesses who claimed Eris' golden apple. Paris, who had to pick only one of them as the fairest to win the apple, chose Aphrodite because she promised him the love of another man's wife, which in turn triggered the bloody Trojan War. (Be careful what you ask for...)

Seen in this light, the Mars/Eris energy could become entangled in the temptation of desire fulfilment that may not be in everyone's best interest. Short-sighted decisions that don't consider the bigger picture could become the fuse that lights a firestorm.

On the positive side, this complex energy can also lead you to peer deeply into your passions, emotions and desires and shine a light on how they influence your choices, actions and attitudes. You could gain considerable understanding about anger, revenge, jealousy and impulses. At the same time, this can be a powerful time to discover new ways to use your powers for good.

I saw the movie, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
and was surprised because I didn't see any tigers or dragons. And then I realized why:
they're crouching and hidden.
~ Steve Martin

As you go through this complicated territory, here's something to consider. The New Moon and company have no other major aspects to the rest of the chart. The most major connection is a semi-square (45°) to Neptune. This suggests that a reality check is in order, but it may or may not be the one you think it should be.

When you arrive at the tipping point and you push the problem away and it pushes back, it may be puzzling and even bewildering for a while. How could this be?! I never thought the problem was this bad. Why can't I seem to just fix it? Why is it that the more I push against it, the harder it pushes back? Is it really that mighty or am I just that small? And if it's this persistent, then maybe I should just give up. Maybe it's right and I should just learn to live with it.

When something pushes back stronger than you expect it to, it's often because you're seeing it with new eyes. You're seeing what it's really made of, whereas you previously only saw the tip of it above the surface. You've shifted it enough that you've broken its camouflage. You're now in a position to see it more clearly and accurately...but be careful about projecting your current beliefs and expectations onto this new perception. Jumping to conclusions could short-circuit the growth potential of what's happening. It may be better to stay open to the experience and keep coming back to your centre, rather than rushing to move forward.

Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear,
instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is
that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse
and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck.
This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.
~ Pema Chödrön

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Apr.12 – Pluto stationary Retrograde (until Sep.20)  (Apr.13 in AT, NT, UK, AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, Pluto's energy is especially strong and intense. You might experience this in the form of intensity, power struggles, deep psychological awareness or strong libido. You could encounter the need to face aspects of yourself or others that are disturbing or difficult to accept. There may also be some part of yourself or your life that has fulfilled its purpose and needs to be shed like a snake's skin. Over the next 5 months (while Pluto is retrograde), you will work at loosening and letting go of that "skin," and working toward the rebirth that will come out of it. This can also be a time when you become aware of the areas where you need to strengthen your personal empowerment or possibly need to tone down the way you wield power.

Apr.12 – Mercury enters Aries (until May.01)  (Apr.13 in NT, UK, AU)

Directness of speech, fast perceptions and an attitude of "just do it" mark this transit. While Mercury sprints through Aries, you may feel the impulse to cut through and get to the point in conversations and other forms of communication. Body language speaks loudly now, as do actions. At its best, this transit can help words, awareness and insight to arise spontaneously, combined with the courage to express them. On the other hand, you could also say things out of anger, impatience or impulse that you later regret. It may be a time when you'd rather cut to the chase – acknowledge things and move on – rather than hang around to process the details. It's a great time to spin ideas that can be developed later. It is also a good time to think independently and follow your thoughts into new perspectives.

Apr.15 – Venus enters Taurus (until May.09)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)

Apr.17 – Sun conjunct Mars (28:08 of Aries)  (Apr.18 in UK, AU)

This transit gives you energy to burn! However, that energy could be productive or volatile, or even both. You are likely to be a lot more motivated and enthusiastic about whatever you do. But you could also be more impulsive, distracted and erratic too. Anger can flare quickly, and if you don't try to control it or hang onto it, it can pass just as quickly. Sexual energy or desire may be high now, which can be fun to take advantage of, but could also get you into trouble if you don't use some good judgment about who, when or where to act on that desire. This transit represents a new beginning in how you use and work with your energy – physical, emotional, spiritual and motivational energy. It can be a great time to initiate new goals, or to set plans into motion. It may be easier to stand up for what you believe – to assert yourself, to confront someone or to express yourself in ways that you had previously been inhibited. It takes practice and awareness to learn to tell your genuine impulses (that reflect and express who you are) from unconscious motives (that may be passive-aggressive, manipulative or hostile). This transit could give you an opportunity to observe both sides of this potent energy.

Apr.18 – Venus sextile Neptune (04:44 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Apr.19 in AT, NT, UK, AU)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a façade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!

Apr.19 – Sun enters Taurus (until May.20)  (Apr.20 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Taurus! This is a time when we all get in touch with the part of us that wants things tangible, practical, plentiful and pleasurable! Taurus is also connected to money, finances, possessions and resources of all kinds, so this is also a time to take stock of what you HAVE in your life – literally and figuratively. Take some time to examine your values. What people, things or principles are worth spending your time, effort, energy or money? It's also an opportunity to explore how separate or enmeshed your sense of self is from your possessions. Do you think less of yourself if you can't surround yourself with wealth? What forms of abundance and blessings are in your life, and are you consciously grateful for them or do you take them for granted? Use this Taurus energy to approach goals in a methodical way, appreciate your blessings, and understand life at its most concrete, basic level. This might sound about as exciting as watching the grass grow, but the Taurus way is to slow things down enough that you can experience and take pleasure in the simple things, in the Here and Now. Enjoy it!

Apr.20 – Mercury conjunct Uranus (09:44 of Aries)

Communication and thoughts can be radical, spontaneous, unusual and uncharacteristic under this transit. You may be compelled to speak your mind to say things you've held back from saying before now. However, as the saying goes, there is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded." It is a time when you are likely to be open-minded and flexible in your perceptions. Our eyes are wide open, and as a result, we may be a bit shocked, surprised or stunned by what we see. This can also release our creative genius and bring inspired clarity, especially as we look to the future. Encounters with groups, friends and the greater community are also possible at this time.

Apr.20 – Mars enters Taurus (until May.31)

Making steady progress with your goals and stabilising your energy are among the effects of this transit. In general, this is a good time to move forward with your ambitions, especially doing the "grunt work" of routine, methodical work – putting one foot in front of the other, as it were, and making slow steady progress in your projects. It's a great time to "make hay while the Sun shines" but don't stay out so long you get sunburned. In other words, be careful not to get so locked into one direction or focus that you become stubborn, rigid, counterproductive, overcautious, or burn out from workaholism. It's common for physical energy to sag and slow down somewhat, although it will usually make up for it in endurance. Mars wants to be fast and impulsive; Taurus wants to go slow and steady. The trick is to pace yourself: do a little every day and don't beat yourself up if you can't do it all at once.

Apr.21 – Mercury square Pluto (11:34 of Aries/Capricorn)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

Apr.22 – Venus opposite Saturn (08:40 of Taurus/Scorpio)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments – literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you – is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side.

Apr.23 – Mercury sextile Jupiter (16:05 of Aries/Gemini)  (Apr.24 in AT, NT, UK, AU)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.

Apr.24 – Venus trine Pluto (11:33 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (Apr.25 in AU)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

Apr.24 – Sun sextile Neptune (04:52 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Apr.25 in AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Apr.25 – Venus sextile Chiron (12:37 of Taurus/Pisces)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Chart for the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

Behind every exquisite thing that existed,
there was something tragic.
~ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Apr.25 – LUNAR ECLIPSE in SCORPIO (05:45 of Scorpio)

LUNAR ECLIPSE
FULL MOON in SCORPIO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.25, 2013, 3:57 PM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.25, 2013, 8:57 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.26, 2013, 5:57 AM AEST

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SCORPIO energy in your life.

This Lunar Eclipse won't put on much of a show, being a very small partial eclipse. The Moon may darken somewhat but it is unlikely to take on the red hue characteristic of a full eclipse. It is best seen just east of Madagascar, as well as eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Partial Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on April 25th
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Wow. When I said in the last update for the New Moon in Aries that the Sun-Mars-Eris conjunction could be explosive, I had no idea how literal that might be. :-( Sometimes astrology symbolism does that – it manifests in surprisingly specific ways.

Last week saw the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and the subsequent dramatic pursuit and capture of the alleged perpetrators. I extend my personal condolences to the victims and their families, as well as my respect for the robust people of Boston for their resilient spirit in the face of devastation.

There are some things
you learn best in calm,
and some in storm.
~ Willa Cather,
The Song of the Lark

After a time of turbulence comes the phase of stabilizing the action/reaction/re-reaction sloshing of the waves that tip us back and forth. This is a time of self-protection – figuring out what went wrong and how we can avoid it in the future. It is also a time of healing – finding ways to calm emotions and return to normal again.

On the down side, this phase can manifest as paranoia and blame, searching for anything and anyone that seems to walk and talk like the duck we believe is the cause of the problem. The enraged upset we feel from the trauma can become projected outward onto whom or whatever happens to resemble the likely duck, regardless whether or not it is accurate.

This is based on fear and the need to protect oneself from a threat that is still largely unknown. Until we know what we're dealing with and how to neutralize the actual or potential danger, it's very difficult to feel safe. Only when we feel (at least relatively) safe will we finally stop pointing fingers of blame.

Astrologically, this illustrates the transition from one Mars-ruled sign to the other – from Aries to Scorpio (using traditional planetary rulerships) – and in our case, from the Aries New Moon to the Scorpio Full Moon.

We are seeing two different sides of Mars. In Aries, we see the outer expression of rage and force. In Scorpio we may see blame, condemnation and the attempt to lock everything down through control and power. The Aries Mars has a direct, in-yer-face blast of emotion. The Scorpio Mars is much more deeply emotional and more concerned with what the offending deeds say morally about the doer.

As a result, the Aries side of Mars tends to explode quickly and then clears itself quickly, whereas the Scorpio side of Mars holds onto suspicions and paranoia. Since Scorpio is a Water sign, that side of Mars is more concerned about wanting to avoid or prevent the same thing from happening again. Water is more vulnerable than Fire and therefore more concerned with self-protection.

How many times do we lose an occasion for soul work by leaping ahead to final solutions without pausing to savour the undertones? We are a radically bottom-line society, eager to act and to end tension, and thus we lose opportunities to know ourselves for our motives and our secrets.
~ Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

The Aries-Scorpio line of energy can, of course, also manifest in a constructive way. Aries courageously sets out to confront or face a threat, while in Scorpio we dig below the surface to understand the undercurrents and dynamics that are driving the situation. If we can identify what is motivating something from under the surface then we can better understand the nature of what we see above the surface and how to deal with it.

Think of the Gulf Stream. This Atlantic Ocean current affects the temperature and behaviour of air masses, but what we see on the surface are hurricanes along the east coast of North and Central America. Although we can't stop a hurricane, our knowledge of what goes on under the surface helps us predict when and where a hurricane might land and how destructive it is likely to be, as well as helping us to minimize and protect ourselves from the damage.

This is the positive side of Scorpio's characteristic paranoia and grudge holding. Suspicion and paranoia are meant to detect danger before it happens, allowing us to be prepared if and when it happens. Grudges are a way of holding danger at bay so that we can function. It might not seem like heaven, but there is a reason behind Scorpio's attitudes. And as with all of us, it's based on that most primal of needs: self-preservation. It may not be the most noble of causes, but it's honest.

There are two kinds of anger: hot and cold. Boys and girls experience both, but as they grow up the anger separates according to the sex. Boys need hot anger to survive. They need inclination to fight, the drive to sink the knife into the flesh, the energy and initiative of furry.
It's a requirement of hunting, of defence, of pride. Maybe of sex too.

And girls need cold anger. They need the cold simmer, the ceaseless grudge, the talent to avoid forgiveness, the sidestepping of compromise. They need to know when they say something that they will never back down, ever, ever. It's the compensation for a more limited scope in the world.

Cross a man and you struggle, one of you wins, you would adjust and go on – or you lie there dead. Cross a woman and the universe is changed, once again, for cold anger requires
an eternal vigilance in all matters of slight and offense.

~ Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

[This is such a perfect description of Aries Mars and Scorpio Mars! -wg]

Speaking of grudges... This Scorpio trait is usually seen as negative, and to be sure this can have a very caustic effect on both the grudge holder and target. A more understandable motivation behind it is the need to remember how something bad happened, in order to avoid it in the future. Holding a grudge can be a signal that you don't feel safe yet and are still in self-protection mode.

It can also be a way of staying loyal to the part of you that was hurt; feeling that moving on would be tantamount to abandonment. If the hurt part of you already feels abandoned by whoever hurt you, moving on can feel like you're doing to yourself what was previously done to you. This is the entangled emotional logic that can happen in Scorpio.

The problem with a grudge comes when we get stuck in it. To someone who has been deeply hurt or disrespected, a wall of protection can seem utterly necessary. To "forgive and forget" seems ludicrous. It's sometimes said that it might be better to "forgive but never forget," and yet it still takes a lot of courage to dismantle even a bit of that wall. It's easier to protect oneself by going to the extreme of shutting the offending person out completely and vowing to never trust again.

Just what does it mean to forgive? This is a concept not usually associated with Scorpio—more typically with her sister Water sign, Pisces. And yet it is in Scorpio, archetypally speaking, that we encounter the blockage that both protects us and traps us, and from which we need to untangle ourselves from. In Scorpio we wrestle with the dilemma: do I "let it go" and risk getting hurt again, or do I stand my ground and risk always living in fear of what (or who) is on the other side of that wall?

Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The whole forgiveness issue is important in the Full Moon chart because Neptune—that cesspool of compassion, love, openness and forgiveness—has the closest aspects to the Sun and Moon. Neptune trines the Moon and sextiles the Sun, which can be like a siren call to crusty old Scorpio. "Come on in, the water's fine," Neptune tempts. "Let go, let go, let go of that survival instinct and just trust the Universe..." Scorpio would rather get a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

At its best, the Neptune factor can indeed melt a bit of that ice that fortifies Scorpio's protective walls. If you're ready to let go of something and you make the effort, you can probably make some progress with it. On the other hand, Neptune's passion for illusion could reinforce that wall by embellishing your perception of what it is protecting you from. For example, if you've had a long standing disagreement with an old friend, you might find your longing for the connection you used to have is enough for you to get past it....or the whole issue could take on a sharper edge as your emotions are stoked from "I wish they would change" to "They probably were never a real friend to begin with!"

The Moon is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, which can put an emphasis on reprioritizing what's really important to you, deep down. Saturn's decree is always "get real," and Scorpio is very much about "getting real" on an emotional level. This can make it easier to speak directly from the heart, from your passion, to be intensely honest about how you feel. What could come out with that friend is anything from "I've really missed you and I realize that you're very important in my life" to "You're a pathetic excuse for a human being and I never want to see you again." (Don't hold back, tell us what you really think, Saturn.... *cough*)

The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

At the other end of the Scorpio-Taurus axis is the Sun. The Sun, Mars and Venus have been travelling together since around the New Moon in Pisces in early/mid-March, when there were about a hundred planets drifting around in Pisces. They got us all soggy, sensitive and sappy in Pisces, and then shocked us into attention in Aries.

Now they are in stable, let's-take-our-time Taurus. Although Venus is on the verge of pulling away, they're still in a rolling conjunction and also combined with the South Lunar Node. ("What's a Rolling Conjunction?"  "What's a Lunar Node?")

Whereas the New Moon in Aries was ruled by Mars in his own sign of Aries, Venus is now the ruling queen since she rules them all in Taurus. Whereas the Mars energy of anger, rage, shock, aggression and courage was dominant during the stellium in Aries ("What's a Stellium?"), we now encounter the Venus energies of pleasure, sensuality, patience, endurance, gradual growth and substance.

This is the "show me" sign, where a bird in the hand is worth a whole flock of them in an acre of bushes yet to be caught. Never mind some investment that might pay off big down the road—Taurus will take a modest interest rate in a reliable investment that's not subject to the ups and downs of the economy, thank you. Whereas Scorpio is about what's real emotionally and psychologically, Taurus is about what's real in assets, skills, finances, resources and whatever will sustain growth.

Venus in Taurus has the power not just over the Sun and Mars, but over the whole chart. Using traditional rulerships, Venus is the Final Dispositor. ("What's a Final Dispositor?") In other words, all of the planets are ruled by other planets that are ruled by Venus. As the traditional ruler of Scorpio, Mars rules over the Full Moon party, but Mars (and therefore the party) is on Venus' dance floor now and she gets to call the tune.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
~ Roald Dahl

So what does that mean? This is a very Earthy chart. Not only is there a Stellium in Taurus, an Earth sign, but the Scorpio Moon is also conjunct Saturn, a very Earthy planetary energy. This could make the Scorpio energy extra gritty, blunt and stubborn, as inside emotional honesty may be expected to reflect (or be reflected by) what's happening outside in physical reality.

Pluto in Capricorn, although a bit wide to aspect the Sun and Moon, is well within orb to connect with Saturn and Venus, so everyone along the Scorpio-Taurus axis gets his message through the cosmic telephone tree. Pluto, combining Scorpionic and Saturnian energies, underscores the "get real" maxim. Pluto is in harmonious trine to the Taurus trio (Venus, Sun, Mars), and in creative sextile to the gruesome twosome in Scorpio (Moon, Saturn).

Pluto can help you find the pay dirt when you're digging down into the depths of what you're feeling and the action you're taking as a result of it. So where you decide to dig will greatly affect what kind of pay dirt you're going to find.

Do you want to get some rich soil that will nourish something you're trying to grow? Don't be lured by the warm, soft sands of the tropical beach—you'll get what you need by digging in the smelly old compost heap. In other words, if you're ready and willing to really do the work, that work can pay off in valuable rewards, although not like gold coins falling from the sky directly into your wallet. This is about renewed energy, intuition, fortitude and resources that will enable you to create something that is authentically your own.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
~ Dalai Lama XIV

This also happens to be a Partial Lunar Eclipse...just barely! The amount of Moon surface passing through Earth's shadow is exceptionally small (lasting only 27 minutes if you stretch it to its edges). In fact, it is the second shortest partial lunar eclipse of this century, undercut only by a 12-minute eclipse in 2042.

Will this eclipse have much of an eclipse effect? Good question. I've seen some very minor eclipses (astronomically speaking) have some pretty strong effects, and I've also seen some major eclipses pass with mostly a whisper. I suspect this one will definitely be felt, for a few reasons. One is that this is the Full Moon that is the fruition point of that extremely intense Aries New Moon we had back on Apr.10. Another reason is the dynamic line-up of planets between Scorpio and Taurus, which would make this a notable Full Moon even if the Nodal axis weren't also involved.

Take everything discussed above and expect the energy to be planted a few layers deeper than if it were your regular, garden variety, intense Full Moon. This is where you plow the fields, spread the compost and brush off your very best seeds.

The Annular Solar Eclipse in Taurus on May.09 will give you the chance to sow your best seeds with mindfulness, intention and wisdom. Following that, we have yet another Lunar Eclipse that is even skimpier than this one. The May.25 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius only tickles the edge of the penumbra (the fainter shadow surrounding the central shadow case by the Earth), and actually begins a new Saros Cycle (a family of eclipses that share similar geometric qualities).

See you then! :-)

The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.
~ Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy

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Apr.26 – Mars sextile Neptune (04:55 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Apr.27 in UK, AU)

There is potential for inspired action now. You could achieve a softening or soothing of the blunt force of anger, frustration, confrontation and conflict, without this resulting in powerlessness or passivity. It may be easier to move forward with your plans and intentions based on the power of faith or ideals. It's important to not get lost in those ideals to the point where you lose sight of what's realistic, but this is a time when you may be more inclined to take a leap of faith and say "Oh what the heck!" Your emotional impact on others (or their impact on you) could be greater than is intended or expected, so use this expanded energy wisely.

Apr.28 – Sun opposite Saturn (08:12 of Taurus/Scorpio)

You may be obligated to fulfil the expectations of others or of society under this transit. A situation or project (which may have begun around 6 months ago) might require that you start to implement the plans and preparation you've been building. Or you might find that problems you've been putting off must now be dealt with. Although you could experience this as stressful or heavy, it can also be a time when you are finally able to move ahead with a project or goal. All commitment requires some degree of limitation and pruning back, since we must choose one path and leave other options behind. This may therefore feel like a time when you are pressured by obligation, necessity or restraint...or it could feel like the rehearsals are finally over and it's time to launch the rocket. If it seems like you're only seeing blocks or obstacles in your way, this might be a reflection of not having done enough preparation (in which case you will need to draw on your experience to solve the problems or deal with the reality in front of you). This can be a time when you reap whatever you have sown in the past (especially the last 6 months), so if your current situation seems negative or punitive, it might be a time when you need to look back over your actions that lead to this and be accountable for past actions and decisions. Whether you are taking the final step to implement your plans or are facing the results of poor past judgment, this can be a time when you are called upon to move forward in your personal growth and maturation. Use it to strengthen your responsibility (response-ability), and don't let fears of inadequacy erode your self-esteem.

Apr.28 – Venus conjunct South Lunar Node (16:51 of Taurus)  (Apr.29 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This is a good time to let go of the "things" you don't need anymore. It's a time to release your creativity and transform them into new resources and assets. This could mean cleaning out your closets and selling the discards in a yard sale, for example. You might decide to change your hair style or something else about your appearance. Perhaps you discover that you're making a different impression on people than you intended, and this leads to a revision of your social skills. Or you could get feedback from someone close to you that challenges you to change your self-image. Something (or someone) that has been prominent in your life – in relationships, pleasure, partnerships, finances, possessions, beauty or appearance – is ready to be let go. You might need to say good-bye to someone you've been close to because the relationship isn't working anymore – or you might find you're able to let go of feelings that have been blocked and give yourself to a connection with someone. You might simply assimilate it into the background where it is no longer "front and centre," or you might need to cut ties altogether. Or, you could be ready to express something that has been brewing for a while, like creative self-expression or giving someone feedback. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" (as your grandmother used to say), but be on the lookout for something that is ready to subside from your priority list.

May.01 – Mars opposite Saturn (07:59 of Taurus/Scorpio)  (Apr.30 in MT, PT)

This can be a difficult transit that pits your individual will and desire against anything or anyone that seem to block it. Authority figures can become adversaries who may seem to only want to say No in response to what you want to do. As a result, it is easy to polarize to others during this transit – to rebel and fight by pulling in the opposite direction. It will help if you can manage to keep a firm grip on your own Inner Adult – the part of you that is responsible and accountable – instead of letting others act out that role in your life. Alternatively, if you find it easier to be the responsible, serious, structured Adult, then it will help to embrace your own spontaneous and exuberant impulses, rather than polarizing to others who exhibit those qualities. By owning both energies in this transit, you can work with both your spontaneous impulses AND your ability to cautiously pick and choose when and how to act. This may not be easy, since these energies do not mix easily, but when they work together they can generate potent productivity, ambition and results.

May.01 – Mercury enters Taurus (until May.15)  (May.02 in AU)

Thoughts, communication and analysis work best when they are careful and methodical, during this transit. Your mental attitude and awareness may be somewhat serious and conservative – or down-to-earth, relaxed, and grounded in simple pleasures. Your perceptions may be a little slower to form, and you may have to search a little longer to find the right words. But there is also an increased ability to savour and appreciate your experiences more, and it can be a time when you can relax and recharge your mental batteries. You might find that your body instincts and sensory experience give you more information than your conscious thoughts. This is a good time to plan out how to manifest the ideas that sprang from your imagination in the past several weeks. Take your best ideas, perceptions and words and sow them like seeds. Then watch them grow over time.

May.01 – Sun trine Pluto (11:29 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (May.02 in AU)

Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river.

May.03 – Sun sextile Chiron (12:56 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.02 in MT, PT)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit – not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.

May.04 – Mercury sextile Neptune (05:03 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.03 in CT, MT, PT)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit, with a little applied effort and focus. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) The possible disadvantage is that you might want so much to reach a state of inspired intuition, magical outlook and effortless communication, that you are willing to be deceived rather than fall short of what you are hoping for. Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

May.05 – Mercury opposite Saturn (07:40 in Taurus/Scorpio)

The time has come to face facts. There may be a reality in your life that you've been avoiding, and you need to accept and deal with it. Or, you might have to conform to the expectations of others because there's no other way around it. Or, you could find that your ability to communicate, say what you want to say, or get your point across is harder for a few days. This will pass, but there may be concrete reasons why this might not be the best time to communicate whatever is on your mind. You might feel a bit as if you're being tested, and in some way this could be true. This transit may bring an opportunity to see how much you really know and how skilled you are at using that knowledge. On the other hand, this could be a time when hard work and preparation that you've done for several months could pay off. You may be able to progress to the next step in a project, or to make plans in an organised, concrete and responsible way. For a few days, taking a structured, methodical or factual approach to whatever you're doing may produce the best results.

May.05 – Mars trine Pluto (11:27 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (May.06 in AU)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire – it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power – then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them.

May.07 – Sun conjunct South Lunar Node (16:51 of Taurus)  (May.06 in PT)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit involves a creative release or a letting-go of a piece of your self-image that you don't need anymore. However, this letting go can often be difficult, especially if what you have invested a lot of your sense of self in whatever you're letting go. It might feel like circumstances are wrenching it away, or you could feel quite relieved to let go of this old baggage. Letting go can free up a lot of creative energy, life force and joie de vivre, which can then be rechanneled into other forms of self-expression. Follow your heart! It is time to begin letting go of something in yourself that no longer serves you well. This could be a negative belief about yourself, or perhaps dropping an inhibition that has eroded your self-confidence. This transit only happens close to the eclipses, so its energy is likely to come out around the timing of those events more noticeably.

May.07 – Mercury trine Pluto (11:26 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (May.06 in PT)

It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.

May.07 – Mercury conjunct Mars (13:01 of Taurus)  (May.08 in UK, AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

May.07 – Mercury sextile Chiron (13:07 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.08 in UK, AU)

Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.

May.08 – Mars sextile Chiron (13:07 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.07 in CT, MT, PT)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.

May.09 – Venus enters Gemini (until Jun.02)  (May.10 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and values take on an air of curiosity, communication and cleverness. It is a good time to discuss, think about and create strategies to improve these areas or make them more enjoyable. You may be especially curious, flirtatious or easy-going now – so much so that you might drift into superficiality (which might be a welcome rest from more intense or committed social activity). It can be a good time to exchange ideas and information with others, especially in a social context. Schmoozing and networking with others are prime examples of this. This can also be a good time to negotiate contracts and agreements with people, in this atmosphere of information exchange. Just remember that it's one thing to use charm and humor to influence the direction of the discussion, but it may not be wise to indulge in blatant manipulation of others.

May.09 – Mercury conjunct South Lunar Node (16:52 of Taurus)  (May.10 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

It's time to let go of old perceptions and ideas that are now just getting in the way of your ability to see things clearly. This might not be an easy task, because your new point of view might show you something you don't really want to see. It might mean you need to change your mind about something or someone. However, by clearing away the blocks to greater awareness, you can start to reshape the way you see yourself or others or life in general. To do this, you might need to release, share and communicate your observations of the last 6 months or so. Take advantage of this time of transition by doing some writing, or perhaps comparing notes with someone about things you've been mulling over.

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