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Astrological Forecast for March & April 2017

by Armand M. Diaz, Ph.D.

This March and April truly represent a ‘change of direction’, as we have no fewer than four planets turning around to retrograde. While we began the year with all planets charging ahead with direct motion, we’ll begin to see the other side of the story this spring.

   Retrograde planets typically give us the opportunity to reconsider and re-assess things. They don’t necessarily slow progress, and in fact can make us very focused on the areas of life they signify. It’s true that externalizing that energy can be somewhat challenging, especially when inner planets like Mercury and Venus are retrograde, but life doesn’t stop during retrogrades. Besides, there’s a lot that will keep us moving forward through March and April.

   Perhaps the most dynamic aspect of the year - an opposition of Jupiter and Uranus - is exact on the 2nd. This aspect is associated primarily with changes in the collective, especially technological innovation and progressive social causes. Watch for news from companies like Tesla as well as scientific breakthroughs around this time. We may also see a progressive push-back against the rising conservative tide in Europe and America. Jupiter in Libra pushes for diplomacy, but Uranus in Aries is a more independent and even revolutionary force that has little patience to go through channels. As always, the give-and-take will play out on all sides of the issues.

   On the 4th, Venus stations for her six-week retrograde, until April 15th. Venus retrogrades are times when we often feel an acute desire for relationship, and very often find possibilities exist. However, with the planet of love and relationship going backward in the sky, it may be a better time to get in touch with your partnership needs and review your patterns than to go forward. 

   Do old lovers come back during Venus retrogrades? Sometimes they do - my clients have experienced this phenomenon frequently. However, while sometimes this does signal the rekindling of a relationship, it is often the case that we re-visit old partnerships so that we can fully process them and so move on. Very often, we are reminded why someone became our ‘ex’ in the first place. Still, follow your heart - it knows what you need.

   Another consideration for Venus retrograde is that things are often undervalued (Facebook stock launched on a Venus retrograde station - and initially tanked). It isn’t a good time to get things assessed, and investments should be made with caution. It is an opportunity to revisit artistic and entertainment pursuits from the past, so dust off your easel and put your old albums on the turntable (you still have a turntable, don’t you?).

   There’s an energetic burst in the first week of March, with Mars in an easy aspect to Saturn as Mercury and the Sun communicate with Pluto. With the moon waxing, this is a good time to advocate for yourself, express your views, and act with determination. 

   Things are rather different around the full moon in Virgo on the 12th, which is accompanied by a Mercury/Saturn square and a Sun/Saturn square a few days later. This is a time when it may be better to put yourself in service rather than demanding to have things your way. It’s not a good time to ask for favors from those in authority, and try to avoid things like performance reviews or negotiating a salary, which may not accurately reflect your value (especially with Venus retrograde). 

   Things won’t ease up much as the month concludes. Mercury tangles with Pluto and Jupiter on the 23rd and 24th, then goes on to square Uranus at the new moon on the 27th. On a personal level, these aspects suggest increasing tension, followed by a release - like Popeye, “we can takes so much, and we can’t takes no more.” 
   Discussions may be serious, and more may be implied than is explicitly stated. Once again, diplomacy and formality may fail. We may have some brilliant insights around this time, but a little fact-checking is probably in order - what sounds good may or may not match with facts and figures.

   On the collective level, Mercury often acts as a trigger for slower-moving aspects, such as the Jupiter/Pluto square on the 30th. We may find that things are moving very fast around this time, and it could be difficult to know what is going on, who is ‘ahead’ in the race, and what the players’ intentions are. With the moon just beginning to wax, we have a bit of control, if we can maintain enough self-awareness to use it.

   This year’s April showers may be thunderstorms. This month is about power and control issues. The retrograde planets will be digging in to hold on, while hot aspects in the sky demand movement. There’s potential for implosions and explosions throughout the month on the personal and collective levels. By all means, assert yourself, but pick your battles carefully.

   Pluto makes an easy aspect to Ceres, the Earth Mother planetoid, on the 2nd, just a day after Earth Day. We may see an increase in awareness about environmental issues, health care, and our food and water. With Pluto in Capricorn ‘helping’ Ceres, there could be some significant strings attached. 

   Egos may experience some significant ups and downs - or maybe it’s downs and ups - around the end of the first week in April, as Saturn stations on the 6th and the Sun opposes Jupiter in the 7th and squares Pluto on the 8th. 

   Saturn stations tend to have a serious, somewhat heavy feel to them. Responsibilities often multiply, while the energy to address them is diminished. The waxing moon, just past the first quarter, should help us to maintain our energy levels, but get adequate rest and take care of yourself - Saturn stations often correlate with minor colds and other bugs going around. 

   On the flip side, the Sun/Jupiter opposition tends to (over)inflate egos. More positively, this aspect can also infuse a sense of optimism and faith in the future that helps us to move forward. The Sun in Aries wants its way, but Jupiter in Libra argues that we should take the other’s perspective into consideration. The dialogue may be between partners in a relationship or a business, or it could be internal. 

   Sun/Pluto suggests power struggles, with the Sun being open and above-board but Pluto operating beneath the surface. Read between the lines, check motivations in yourself and others, and recognize that despite appearances of cooperation it’s very likely that someone is out to win.

   As retrograde Venus squares Saturn on the 8th, we might feel it’s time to make a decision in relationships or finances. The Saturn station has painted our realities in stark shades, and we’ve had a chance to balance the needs of self and other. Saturn stands waiting for our decisions...

   But wait a bit. Although this may seem like a defining moment, there are reasons to hold off on a final decision. For one thing, Venus is retrograde, and decisions may need to be revised. It may be when Venus goes direct and meets Saturn at the end of April that the final decision is actually made. In fact, many of us will recognize that we’re actually revisiting issues that were on the table in late January - when we also thought we were making a definitive judgement. 

   Another indication that we may want to wait is Mercury’s station to retrograde on the 9th. The time around a station typically represents a peak in Mercurial mishaps, so despite our drive to find answers and be in control, we could be operating on faulty data. It’s likely that some of us will be ready to scale the walls and fight the good fight, but will either fail to get necessary information or interpret it incorrectly. Mercury goes direct on May 3rd.

   The full moon in Libra on the 11th highlights relationship, perhaps illuminating what we’ve learned during Venus’ retrograde, which ends in four days. Full moons are always active times, but typically they represent reaction as much as action. This full moon, as we try to maintain equilibrium (see the Libra in that word?), it may be that we see the results of the impulsive actions we’ve made over the past two weeks. There could be some reckoning, but also reconciliation.

   Yet the month’s activity is far from over, and power plays continue to dominate as Pluto stations to retrograde on the 20th. Pluto stations typically have a strongly implosive energy, and represent a time when we struggle within as much as with others. Who or what is really in control? That’s often the question that we ask, and with Mercury retrograde it could be that the answer seems elusive. 

   The new moon in Taurus on the 26th would normally be a time of quiet enjoyment and repose, but this month we’ll probably be feeling somewhat jangled after the recent cosmic weather. The energy picks up very fast after this new moon, too, with the moon going into Gemini as Mercury again meets Uranus (we may need to revise some of the insights we had in late March.

   The challenge for us this spring is to maintain perspective and composure in the midst of a fast-spinning kaleidoscope of celestial energies that threaten to throw us off balance. Stay in touch with your core (cor = heart) purpose, and remain true to the larger picture. Resist the urge to react - let the retrograde planets do their job of slowing you down so that you can think clearly and feel openly.

Armand M. Diaz, Ph.D. helps clients make decisions that are in harmony with their greatest potential, offering a truly integral approach to astrology. Armand has practiced divination for more than twenty years, working with the I Ching and Tarot in addition to astrology. He has published in various astrological journals, including The Mountain Astrologer.  His most recent book, Separating Aspects: The Astrology of Breakups, Divorce, and Other Partings, is available through Amazon and available on Kindle.  He can be reached through his website at www.integralastrology.net.

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