The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
When we think of Libra, we tend to think of harmony, diplomacy, peace, beauty and love. These are definitely some of the better qualities of Libra that we may aspire to.
Libra is the scales, the balance, where everything gets evened out in the end. Nothing dominates at the expense of the other side. Imbalances are corrected so that one side is equal or equivalent to the other side.
So, in terms of harmony, everyone goes away happy and satisfied with the arrangement, and if that's not possible then at least everyone is equally unhappy with the results.
Compromise is often necessary to "preserve the peace." Each side gets something they want, as well as having to make some sacrifices. No one gets it all, leaving the other side with nothing.
This can be especially true in personal relationships and interactions. For example, I may want to save money so that my spouse and I can go on a cruise vacation next year, but my partner prefers to use our money to enjoy local concerts, shows and fancy dinners, which can also get expensive. We have limited funds, so we can't do both.
A compromise is in order – for example, we might put less money in the savings account, pushing the cruise date back another year, so that we still have the money to enjoy local concerts and events in the meantime. Or we might look for ways to increase our cash that allows us both to get more of what we want.
Whatever we do, it's always a trade-off. In order to get something we want, we may have to sacrifice something else. The balance needs to be maintained or the arrangement will do more harm than good.
There is always a trade-off of what you're dreaming of doing and what you like to do right now. ...Giving up on your dreams does not come for free either.
~ Chris Hadfield, The Truth is in the Stars
On a personal level, Libra also represents our inner state of balance...or lack thereof. If you've got too much on your plate and your overwhelmed, you'll need to take some time out to rest, relax and recharge your batteries. Even if you feel you can't afford the time, you'll collapse eventually if you don't balance out your stress with de-stressing.
In order to pay your stress "bill" you need to withdraw money from your de-stress "account" and in order to do that you have to make regular deposits into that "account."
If this sounds more like Taurus, you're right! Libra is ruled by Venus, who also rules Taurus. It's easy to start talking about one Venus sign and then wind up sounding like you're talking about the other! And with Venus being exalted in Pisces, the sign of universal love, idealized beauty and spiritual peace, her Pisces side isn't usually far away either.
Venus happens to be in Pisces right now, so she's pretty happy about that. Art, music, beauty and anything that brings a feeling of peace and pleasure is likely to bring greater satisfaction than usual while Venus is rocking her golden girdle through planetary dignity. Her increased grace and gratification will add extra sparkle to the Full Moon in Libra.
However, she also has a lot of stress on her plate these days, and this too will colour the Full Moon energy. Venus is retrograde (until Apr.15) and as she stations Direct on the 15th, she stops just 23 minutes of arc shy of an exact conjunction with Chiron – close enough for a wink and a nudge but not quite close enough for a full hug.
In fact, Venus and Chiron remain within a 1-degree orb from April 10-22 – one reason why the whole month of April is likely to be more stressful than usual. On the plus side, this combination could allow healing and reconciliation between people who have been out of sync or estranged.
On the down side, it might also bring latent conflicts to the surface, where problems become unavoidable. And yet, by becoming more aware and dealing with these problems in a new way, the wound of imbalance can actually lead to healing and reconciliation. The wonderfully paradoxical Chiron can bring healing from woundedness, in a way that might not have otherwise been possible.
She was a girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And that’s important—you know.
~ Marilyn Monroe
At her direct station, Venus is also tightly square to Saturn (90°). These two stay knotted together within a 1-degree orb from April 5-24 – another reason why you may be relieved when April finally becomes May. In fact, Venus square Saturn haunts our skies within a 8-degree orb from Mar.24 to May.07, making 3 exact passes: Jan.17, Apr.08 and Apr.21. So, if your Venus has been feeling less than contented, harmonious, peaceful and sweet lately, you can probably blame it on Saturn. ;-)
Part of the reason why they stay together for so long is because both are moving very slowly right now. Saturn stationed Retrograde on Apr.06 and Venus stations Direct on Apr.15, so they travel in tandem for several weeks.
Rather than creating a state of reassuring stability, consistency and order, the problematic square aspect could bring out arbitrary strictness and a need for unpleasant discipline around all things Venus: money, resources, values, relationships, pleasure, beauty.
For example, you may find your cashflow falls a bit short during that time and you have to tighten your budget's belt for a bit. Interactions with those close to you might become too restrictive or lacking in good boundaries. Situations that call for diplomacy, negotiation and compromise might feel more like a rigid demand for political correctness or strict etiquette.
Just bad luck that Venus and Saturn have to be in a stressful square aspect while this is happening but, like all "negative" influences, this can still be worked to your "positive" advantage.
The problems that you've got running around in your head right now – don't worry them to death. Just let your heart make sense of them. They're house guests, and they all go eventually.
~ Milton's Secret
Start with the fact that Saturn's problems don't usually appear out of nowhere, and even if they do, there are often warning signs that you might have missed. This is a good time to be honest with yourself about how an issue might have become an outright problem because you just kept putting off dealing with it.
We don't usually welcome Saturn's scythe that seeks to prune back our excesses and separate us from our attachments, and it's not uncommon that we avoid, deny or rebuff the message that Saturn whispers before he's finally forced to yell in our ear.
So, you may have been aware for a while that you need to rein in your spending or your consumption of chocolate. You might have put off having that difficult conversation with someone close to you, hoping that it would resolve itself, and now it's apparent that you can't avoid it any longer. Or you know your schedule has been way too full for far too long, and your hope that it would let up on its own has now become the realization that you simply must make the time to take care of yourself or else Saturn will do it for you.
Saturn is very supportive right now of you doing a strong reality check with yourself. What have you been putting off, hoping the problem would magically go away? Some issues that have been haunting you for a while are now closer and more "in your face." Although it might seem that things are only getting worse, it is actually the perfect time to take advantage of this. As much as it may feel like a curse, it can actually be a gift in disguise. With these issues being so close to the surface, it actually makes them easier to work with.
April is therefore a great time to make some real progress with problems, challenges and obstacles, especially in Venus areas. Although Saturn can make you feel stuck, ask yourself what is one thing you can do now to step forward along a more productive path. You don't have to do it all at once – Saturn is all about taking things one step at a time, so what is your next step? Then do what you need to do to do that.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
When you look at the chart of the Full Moon in Libra, it's hard to miss that Cardinal Cross T-square! It really dominates the chart. This is yet another echo of the Uranus-Pluto square and the Cardinal Cross that has been haunting us since 2008, so don't be surprised if this Full Moon brings up issues that you have been working through for many recent years. In particular: where you're going and the goals you are aiming for; where you're stuck and need to get loose; and where you're unfocused and need to empower yourself through clarity.
In this T-square aspect pattern, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter in Libra, the Sun is conjunct Uranus in Aries, and Pluto squares them all. Eris, whom one is wise not to ignore, is also conjunct the Sun and Uranus, adding extra sizzle and spice to an otherwise already-lively configuration. (Thank you, Eris, what would we do without you...?)
This powerful consortium of planets boosts our urge to move forward and get our ducks in a row for future manifestation. Cardinal energy is nothing if not about where we point the bow of our ship. What are you aiming for that you've been developing (or avoiding?) these last many years?
The Libra Moon says we need balance through Jupiter's wisdom. This can help to counterbalance the change, upheaval and release of energy that is happening all around us, currently channelled through the Sun-Uranus conjunction. Pluto says this can only be done through disciplined transformation if it is to be effective and lasting. Otherwise you risk being constantly stuck in react-mode, swinging back and forth between extremes and never reaching a stable balance point. This can cause your trajectory to zigzag all over the map, and then you wonder why you feel like you're spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
The Full Moon in Libra conjunct Jupiter just adds to the potential indecision, especially if you get stuck in trying to find the perfect solution that will end all problems, forever and ever, amen. Libra is at its best when it finds an answer through compromise and negotiation, which means it's not likely to be ideal for both sides. It's better to expand your vision of possibilities, options and solutions to discover a resolution that is in the greater good for all concerned. In other words, use your better judgment and be willing to see both sides in a fair way.
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius
and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
~ Marilyn Monroe
One of the saving graces of this Full Moon chart is the sextile between Venus and Mars, which thankfully also has a longer-than-usual shelf life thanks to Venus' slow motion. The sextile aspect (60°) indicates the ability to weave together different energies in a creative way, drawing from and strengthening the qualities of the signs involved that are similar or compatible.
In this case we have Venus in Pisces (in exaltation) and Mars in Taurus (in detriment and in Venus' sign). Venus' talent for making things more pleasant and satisfying can ease the struggle that normally-zippy Mars feels when he's stuck in slow-motion Taurus hell.
For example, if you're feeling like you're trying to run through quicksand and can't seem to make a lot of progress, perhaps you're missing the point of it all. In Taurus you don't rush things, as Mars is wont to do—that would be like guzzling fine wine or playing a record on 78. (Okay, I'm showing my age here...)
Mars energy (action, reaction, courage, passion, assertiveness), especially while in Taurus, stands to become more grounded and centred, and therefore more effective and powerful, when it is willing to slow down and only expend as much energy as is necessary to do the job.
Venus' lesson for Mars, while he's in Taurus, is that using more energy than necessary tends to be wasteful, since it could be better saved for doing other things. Why do more than you need to? Use the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours! Of course, if blowing off steam is de-stressing for you, then it's not wasteful but just part of the job to be done.
Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
The Venus-Mars sextile is in effect throughout most of April and June. There are two exact passes, on Apr.16 and Jun.09. However, they travel together within 6+ degrees of orb from Apr.08 until Jun.25 – 11 glorious weeks of Venus-Mars harmony!
Here's how it works. Venus is retrograde until Apr.15, and when she stations direct she is sextile to Mars with about a 1° orb. At this time, Mars is moving fast while Venus is virtually at a standstill. So Mars moves forward, completing the sextile on Apr.16, and keeps going. Venus starts slowly picking up speed and on May.08 she reaches a turning point when she becomes the faster of the two. At that point she starts to catch up, gaining on Mars until she reaches a second sextile on Jun.09. They remain within just over 6° until Jun.25.
So during that time, you have extra ability to bring your need for pleasure, relaxation, balance and beauty (Venus) together with your drive for action, assertiveness, excitement and risk-taking (Mars) in productive and creative ways.
There is always a possible down-side, of course. In the case of the sextile, the danger is in trying to take shortcuts by over-using manipulation and persuasion; for example, applying pressure in a negotiation or compromise that leaves you with more advantage than the other person. Mars' ambition needs to be balanced by Venus' sense of fairness.
Interestingly, at the exact sextiles, Venus is dignified and Mars is not. On Apr.16, Venus is exalted in Pisces and Mars is in detriment in Taurus, each at 26:57 of their respective signs. On Jun.09, Venus is in her own sign of Taurus and Mars is in fall in Cancer, each at 3:18. This makes Venus the stronger of the two, and Mars will work much better if he follows her lead.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.
~ Earnest Hemmingway, A Farewell to Arms
This Full Moon in Venus' sign of Libra offers you a chance to polish up your Venus and get her looking her best for the weeks to come. This is a great time to learn how to love yourself and others, not just in spite of your/their faults but maybe even because of them. Imperfections may grate against the Western image of Pisces' symmetrical grace, but they are also what makes us beautifully human. They show the parts of us that are growing, forming and reaching for connection to the Universe.
Take up the art of Kintsugi – repairing broken pottery using gold to join the pieces, making it even more beautiful and stronger than it was before. Think of ways you can take your broken pieces and bring them back together using love, harmony, beauty, connection to others.
Take your woundedness and express it creatively. Write a poem. Make a collage. Dance it out. Sing songs that express how you feel. Meditate or pray about it. Imagine a job where your struggle would make you the perfect person to hire.
Search online for stories about others who struggle with similar issues. Share your burden with a friend. Help someone else see the beauty in their broken pieces.
Remember that you are made of star stuff. You don't simply belong here, you ARE what here is.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants" characterize this transit. You are more open than usual to new experiences and open-minded to new perspectives. Your sense of humour and fun are finely tuned and may spring up unexpectedly and irreverently. It is more possible to break free of old habits and getting out of a rut you have been in. In fact, you may find it is fun to try doing something completely out of character...so much so that it's wise to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Have fun pushing the envelope, but try not to rip or shred that envelope. On the other hand, that might be the only way you can get out of a restrictive situation that's holding you back, and this transit could give you the impulsive courage to do just that. Your creativity may come in bursts and in unexpected ways, so try to take advantage of them when they present themselves or else write down your inspiration for future consideration.
For up to a week before and after this date, you may experience or witness a shifting of energy affecting finances, relationships, love, resources, values pleasure, beauty, harmony and/or balance. Situations or issues related to these areas that have been occupying your attention during the past 6-7 weeks (while Venus has been retrograde) may reach a turning point now. It is a time when decisions and choices could be made—perhaps out of necessity.
If you have felt unusually introverted or extroverted during the retrograde period, this could shift back the other way again. If you have experienced difficulties or challenges in close relationships, this may be a time when decisions can (and perhaps must) to be made about them. Adjustments, compromises or renegotiations may be necessary; and if this is not possible or tolerable, it might be necessary to consider ending the relationship. During the retrograde phase, you may have encountered people or social situations from your past, and now it's time to decide if you want to continue with the contact or to bring closure and move on.
You might have experienced a change in your finances—for the better or worse. This change could simply revert to its previous state, according to a natural cycle of ebb and flow. Or, you might be faced with a choice of what to do from here—to change something in your life so that your situation improves (or so that an improvement continues), or to let go and move beyond this period of temporary change.
Whatever you have learned, embraced, questioned or invested your time in during the last 6-7 weeks, you will begin to apply and integrate in a new way over the next 4-5 weeks (while Venus is in the Shadow). This has been a detour allowing you to explore hidden territory, complete unfinished business or reconsider possibilities in the affected areas listed above. It's time to come back to the main path again, bringing with you new learning and values that will gradually be integrated into your life. The Direct Station is another shift in your life's balance point that enables you to keep moving, changing, growing and evolving.
Venus is in square aspect to Saturn and conjunct Chiron as she stations direct, bringing a need for healing, acceptance, discipline and reality-checking to all things Venus: relationships, interactions, money, spending, investments, resources and values. See the Full Moon in Libra article for more about this.
Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):
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.
It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now.
This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps.
Mercury makes a second pass to trine the North Lunar Node, this time going retrograde. Normally this can be a time when your ideas, thoughts and words seem like they're falling into place, or at least coming more easily. When Mercury is retrograde, this transit could bring some "second thoughts" about events and situations that shed new light in a positive or softer way. In other words, this can be a time when rethinking a difficult situation might reveal an easier way to deal with it or that perhaps you needn't be as concerned as you are. It's also an opportunity to think about how you can re-centre yourself on the path of your fullest potential.
The dates for this transit while Mercury is in the retrograde cycle are: Apr.03, Apr.18, May.14.
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!
When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.
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.
Mercury is retrograde in Aries, which can mean you're in for a lot of fluctuation in your thoughts and perceptions. You may find it difficult to make a firm decision because every event or feeling triggers a new thought or perspective. You might change your mind several times before making up your mind (probably best done well after Mercury goes direct). You might also find yourself blurting out things that you normally keep to yourself. This may be because you're so attuned to your inner thoughts and ideas that it's easy to "think out loud" – which may or may not be a good thing! You might experience more impatience and frustration than usual now, especially if you keep trying to carry on "business as usual" in your way of thinking and communicating. It is likely to work better if you take some time to focus on your inner thoughts and deciding what you really need to say, which can prepare you to use your better judgment when the time comes.
Your physical and mental energy are likely to be more available in Gemini – in fact, maybe a bit too available! You typically have the energy to pursue opportunities and ideas, but this can also make you a bit distracted or shorten your attention span. Inspired ideas can lead to impulsive action, which is great when you want to be decisive, take the initiative or find courage in the moment. However, if your ideas are not well grounded or thought out, you might "shoot first and ask questions later." The more you can focus your mind to go after what you want, the more effective your actions will be. With Mars in Gemini, "the pen is mightier than the sword." When conflict arises, it is more likely to be fought and resolved with words and ideas, than with fists. This is a good time to mentally focus your intent and then act on your ideas.
You may feel confident, optimistic and empowered today and a couple of days before and after this date. It can feel like the pieces are falling into place and you can make progress in what you're striving to do in your life right now. And if only because of this added self-confidence, this could indeed happen. Just an added caution, though: even though the lights are green doesn't mean you shouldn't look both ways before moving forward. In other words, a reality check as to the wisdom of what you want to do is still a good idea.
Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.
This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Jan.27, Apr.08, Apr.21. Although this is the final pass, both Venus and Saturn are moving very slowly and the influence of their energies will continue until near the end of April.
For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.
It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.
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© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Illustration of Libra Scales by StockShoppe, via CanStockPhoto. Image of Saturn with his scythe from Dr. Vollmers Wörterbuch der Mythologie aller Völker, third edition Stuttgart 1874, S. 406-407; [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Sculpture of Boy and Bird Fountain, Boston Public Garden, by Sculptor Bashka Paeff. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons