The Astrology Blog 17 April 2023
All times in BST
“Happiness is not something that just comes to you. It’s an active process.”
Kate Hudson – 19 April 1979, Sun 29 Aries, on Eclipse degree
“People are more than the worst thing they have ever done in their lives.”
Sister Helen Prejean – 21 April 1939 – leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, Sun 0 Taurus, on Eclipse degree
If you want to see the visual of the wheel with the sign and degree of the planets in your own or any other natal chart, to check against the signs and degrees important this week as outlined in the blog, here’s the link to Astrotheme.
Enter your data into the boxes provided, and you’ll also find an invaluable databank of thousands of celebrities. You can also store up to 200 charts of your own:
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Here’s your “at a glance” look for the coming week and we can see immediately that a quiet start to the week leads us straight into two big celestial events, the Eclipse and then Mercury turning retrograde, falling within a day of each other –
Thursday 20 April
- New Moon/Solar Eclipse 29.50 Aries 05.14
- Sun ingress Taurus 09.15
- Sun 0 Taurus square Pluto 0 Aquarius 17.25
Friday 21 April
- Moon conjunct Mercury 15 Taurus 09.07
- Mercury turns retrograde at 15.36 Taurus 09.36
Monday 24 April
- Mercury 15 Taurus sextile Mars 15 Cancer 04.20
THE SUN, MOON & ECLIPSES
It’s a brilliant lesson in symbolism and magic to think about the Sun and the Moon in terms of how we see them from planet Earth. They appear to be the same size. We therefore attribute equal importance to them in the horoscope. In other words, your Moon sign is just as important as your Sun sign. They weigh the same.
And it is only because they appear to us to be the same size that the wonder of Eclipses can happen at all, the disc of one fitting exactly over the disc of the other –
The Sun’s distance from Earth is about 400 times the Moon’s distance, and the Sun’s diameter is about 400 times the Moon’s diameter. Because these ratios are approximately the same, the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth appear to be approximately the same size (Wikipedia)
Eclipses occur every 6 months when a New or Full Moon is also conjunct the Moon’s Nodes. The North and South Node are not heavenly bodies, they are the imaginary points at which the Moon cuts across the Ecliptic (from which we derive the word Eclipse) which is the apparent path of the Sun’s motion as seen from planet Earth. It’s because the Earth’s axis is tilted that we don’t get Eclipses every month.
Back to symbolism, in traditional astrology the line of the Nodes (always exactly opposite each other) symbolizes a dragon. The Sun and the Moon (the Lights) are the eyes of the dragon, and the dragon “eating” the Lights refers to the phenomenon of eclipses –
- The North Node Caput Draconis – the head of the dragon is regarded as fortunate, as this is where the dragon feeds and gains nourishment. Good karma.
- The South Node Cauda Draconis – the tail of the dragon is regarded as unfortunate, being where the dragon excretes, ie where shit happens. Bad karma.
Eclipses work in pairs, sometimes in threes. A Solar Eclipse (on a New Moon) is therefore always followed two weeks later by a Lunar Eclipse (on a Full Moon) or vice versa.
- A Solar Eclipse – occurs when the Sun is obscured by the shadow of the Moon at the time of a New Moon
- A Lunar Eclipse – occurs when the Moon is obscured by the shadow of the earth at the time of a Full Moon
So this week it’s the New Moon/Solar Eclipse at the very end of Aries, and the next one will be Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 15 Scorpio on 5 May.
This Solar Eclipse falls at 29 degrees and 50 minutes, in other words only one sixth of a degree away from the next sign of Taurus. What orb should you allow? When I say “close to” a particular degree I usually mean within 2 to 3 degrees but with Eclipses the orb tends to be bigger, so allow up to 5 degrees, but the tighter the aspect the more important the planet/Angle in terms of indicating life events. I would say that this Eclipse is especially relevant for anyone with planets in the last 2 to 3 degrees of Aries or the first 2 to 3 degrees of Taurus.
Eclipses get mixed press but basically they’re points of significant change that often involve power issues and/or the crux points of triangular situations, ie as symbolized by the intricate relationship between the three bodies of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Who is going to overshadow whom?
There is often a flavour of death/rebirth symbolism – changing colours, the light disappearing and coming back on again. It can be powerful stuff, especially as this one falls in square to Pluto now at 0 degrees of Aquarius, another Fixed sign.
If you have planets or Angles at or close to the Eclipse degrees, then be on the alert for key developments in any situation that is about change, and establishing a new order. It may not be easy but when the shadows lift a new landscape is revealed.
Key themes to look out for –
- Being overshadowed, feeling in the dark
- Themes of empowerment – disempowerment, including transferal of power. Unsurprisingly Eclipses often feature at times of the change of a monarch, either through the death of a King or Queen or through abdications – examples to follow
- Themes of inevitability – Eclipses light a fuse that can’t be extinguished
- Themes of loss/endings that change your life and set you on a different path
- Themes of symbolic death/rebirth – out with the old, in with the new, literally or psychologically
- Sorting winners from losers between twos or threes (Sun, Moon, Earth), eg affairs, job applications or promotions, house buying, any competitive situation. One person’s loss is another person’s gain
- Dealing with that which, until now, has been hidden from us in some way
- Revelations – sometimes on the run up to the Eclipse, sometimes even exactly on the day
- Revelations in the not very distant future, when we learn what happened when we weren’t looking, when we were in the dark or “when the light went out”
- Tipping points of change and goodbyes – no going back to something belonging to your old life
- Getting out of your own way OR standing up for yourself or for someone else who’s “in the shadows”
ECLIPSE EXAMPLES IN THE MONARCHY
Top example is the abdication of Edward VIII, for the sake of a woman, Wallis Simpson. The eclipse symbolism in the horoscope of his brother, George VI, who had kingship thrust upon him, is unmistakable –
- Edward VIII officially abdicated on 10 December 1936
- A Solar Eclipse fell at 22 Sagittarius just three days later, on 13 December 1936
- His brother George VI was born on the 14th December, with his natal Sun at 22 Sagittarius – as you can see, exactly conjunct the eclipse degree
- The Sun (who incidentally rules kingship at a universal level) in his natal chart is conjunct the third house cusp – the beginning of the house of siblings
- His brother is eclipsed, and in fact spent the rest of his life in the shadows of exile, and George is crowned in Edward’s place
- Note also that, at the time of the abdication, Pluto was in the middle of a long transit over Edward’s Mercury – a final, uncompromising and irrevocable decision
In December 2019 – January 2020 we had history repeating itself with the tale of two brothers, William accepting the mantle of responsibility and Harry abdicating from his royal life for the sake of a woman. That was also reflected in Eclipse symbolism –
- Solar Eclipse 26 December 2019 at 4 Capricorn
- Lunar Eclipse two weeks later 10 January 2020 at 20 Cancer
- Solar Eclipse 4 Capricorn conjunct Prince Harry’s natal Jupiter 3.33 Capricorn
- Solar Eclipse 4 Capricorn opposite William’s Sun 0.07 Cancer and Moon 4.57 Cancer
- Lunar Eclipse two weeks later at 20 Cancer conjunct Meghan’s Ascendant 24 Cancer
- Lunar Eclipse opposite Kate’s Sun at 19 Capricorn and conjunct her Moon at 21 Cancer
BEATRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS
Beatrix Queen of the Netherlands b 31 January 1938
Abdicated 30 April 2013 in favour of her son Willem-Alexander b 27 April 1967
The previous to the event Eclipse fell just 5 days earlier on 25 April 2013 – A Lunar Eclipse at 6 Scorpio, opposite Beatrix’s Uranus at 9 Taurus, and conjunct Willem-Alexander’s Sun and Descendant at 7 and 8 Taurus respectively.
See how the Eclipse links to the synastry between them. Also on the day transiting Saturn, planet of empire building and responsibility with a cycle of 29.5 years, had reached 8 Scorpio.
IN YOUR OWN CHART – if you have planets or Angles at or very close to the Eclipse degrees look to see if those degrees also feature in the horoscopes of those closest to you
JUAN CARLOS OF SPAIN
Juan Carlos b 5 January 1938
Abdicated 19 June 2014 in favour of his son Felipe –
The previous to the event Eclipse fell on 29 April 2014 – a Solar Eclipse at 9 Taurus exactly conjunct Juan Carlos’ natal Uranus 9 Taurus, and exactly square Felipe’s Sun at 9 Aquarius in the 10th House (status).
A WORD ON ASCENDANT – SYNASTRY
Stunning synastry btw, as they both have their Ascendant at 19 Taurus. This starting point of the horoscope is determined purely by the time of birth and all 12 signs “rise” over the horizon in any 24 hour period.
The rising sign therefore changes approximately every 2 hours but that’s a rough rule of thumb. Some signs rise faster than others, hence the terms Fast Ascension or Slow Ascension, and in the Northern Hemisphere the Fast Ascension signs are Aquarius/Pisces/Aries/Taurus. Opposites apply in the Southern Hemisphere.
So to have exactly the same Ascendant as someone else is stunning compatibility in itself (Charles and Camilla both have 5 Leo rising, Rene Angelil had 2 Leo rising, same as his wife Celine Dion) but it’s even more fine timing when it’s a fast rising sign.
On the subject of Celine Dion with her heartbreaking diagnosis of SPS (Stiff Person Syndrome) this week’s Eclipse falls exactly conjunct her 10th House (career) Moon at 29.40 Aries which in turn is conjunct her detrimented Mars at 2 Taurus. I expect this will link to the inevitable news that her performing days are over, a personal tragedy for her that no amount of money will be able to fix.
The Eclipse will also fall conjunct King Charles’ Moon at 0 Taurus. If it wasn’t for the fact that the coronation plans are going full steam ahead this would be textbook conditions for abdicating in favour of William, something that I believe will happen in the not too distant future.
MERCURY TURNS RETROGRADE
Mercury turns retrograde approximately every 4 months, so 3 times a year for 3 weeks at a time. This one is strongly underlined by the fact that we have the monthly Moon – Mercury conjunction just half an hour before the exact moment of the turning point, and also Mercury aligning with Mars –
Friday 21 April
- Moon conjunct Mercury 15 Taurus 09.07
- Mercury turns retrograde at 15 Taurus 09.36
Monday 24 April
- Mercury 15 Taurus sextile Mars 15 Cancer 04.20
The Moon playing a strong role at this time may relate to news of a major female figure in the world. And as noted in recent blogs these degrees of 5 and 15 Taurus (or opposite sign of Scorpio) are super sensitive as they’re important all year, for Mercury now and then for Jupiter, and for both of this year’s Lunar Eclipses –
- 3 April – Mercury enters Taurus
- 7 April – Mercury enters shadow 5.52 Taurus
- 21 April – turns retrograde at 15.36 Taurus
- 15 May – turns direct at 5.52 Taurus
- This sequence will be especially significant for you if you have natal planets or Angles at or very close to 5 or 15 degrees of Taurus, or the opposite sign of Scorpio. These degrees will continue to be extremely important for the rest of this year
- If you have any planets or Angles anywhere between 5 and 15 degrees then you will get Mercury transiting those positions three times rather than once
- Jupiter is still whizzing through Aries but enters Taurus 16 May, and will make the turn for his long retrograde loop at 15 Taurus (4 September) and will turn direct again at 5 Taurus (31 December, New Year’s Eve)
- The first Lunar Eclipse of the year will fall 5 May at 15 Scorpio
- The second Lunar Eclipse of the year will fall 28 October at 5 Taurus
In terms of what’s happening this week note that Mercury’s link to Mars is the middle one of three. The third one will happen after both planets have moved on into their next respective signs. Sometimes these are separate events, sometimes it’s a chain creating a timeline –
- 8 April – Mercury sextile Mars at 6 Taurus/6 Cancer
- 24 April – Mercury sextile Mars at 15 Taurus/15 Cancer
- 21 June – Mercury sextile Mars at 18 Gemini/18 Leo
Look back in your diary and see if important events started to unfold on or around 8 April. If so, and especially if you have planets or Angles at or close to the now obviously weighty 5 and 15, then this middle one is likely to be the next link in the chain. An outcome or any kind of resolution or further changes can then be expected on the finale.
For me the 8 April coincided with starting work with a new accountant who’s untangled a lot of things for me and has tracked down a sizeable tax rebate, something I’d attempted to do but failed! I love this for the combo of the mind planet Mercury with action man speedy Mars. She literally sorted that problem in half an hour.
Mercury rules the written word and books, and this aspect also coincided with being offered a book contract, for 2 books, but the publishers did exactly what I’d asked them not to do, or rather told them that I couldn’t do, which was to want one of them immediately. Because of my teaching commitments and soaring temperatures here in Greece in July/August, when I try to take my time off, my writing time has to be the winter.
So I had to kick it back again (Mars) and am waiting to see if we can renegotiate the schedule (can’t you just hear the looming retrograde Mercury lol). Am expecting that middle Mercury – Mars to produce something on that count, and I expect the third and final one in June will be conclusive in terms of contracts, especially as it falls with Mars conjunct my 9th House (publishing) Moon – Uranus conjunction.
I’ll leave you with the usual checklist of the kind of things to expect as Mercury turns around and puts on his trickster’s hat for the next three weeks,
Until next time, with love from Greece
Regardless of what is going on in the world, here’s a reminder of the usual checklist of the kind of themes to look out for when Mercury is retrograde, compiled from my own observations over the years.
You may already be experiencing some of these themes while others or similar may yet unfold during the next two weeks –
- Be cautious or at least selective in your use of social media. Avoid posting anything too personal or getting involved in any kind of angry debates. Also check privacy settings
- Guard against trying to construct situations or distressing yourself with regard to anything beyond your control. Forcing any kind of round pegs into square holes won’t be worth the effort and could cost you dearly
- Try not to struggle on with things that are clearly beyond your area of expertise. You can’t be good at everything! Ask for help (like my accountant in the story above!)
- Adopt the mantra of one day at a time … going too far ahead creates anxiety, especially with problems which have no clear or immediate answers
- Know that there are things you don’t know – yet
- Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink, repair, redress the balance and so on. Also remember rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off and try not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure
- Expect cancellations or rescheduling of appointments or personal arrangements
- Buy yourself time wherever needed – keep options open
- When in doubt, check it out – second hand opinions are a dead cert for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick – and don’t believe everything you hear
- Write things down and double check everything – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
- Back up all your computer work
- Don’t delete any documents – you may need them at a later date
- Getting back to ideas on the back burner
- Getting back in touch with those who’ve been neglected or important to you in the past – let them know how much they matter
- Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, tablets, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
- The same for cars – it’s best to avoid buying any mode of transport under a retro Mercury BUT it’s the ideal time for doing all the hunting and research
- Plan any journey with extra care, don’t trust to luck or to fine timing, and make sure tickets are covered on your insurance
- Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
- Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines – paperwork and admin of all kinds are a minefield
- Decide to ease the pain or cool the resentment. Write the letter you can’t send or you’ll never send – whether it’s to someone you’ve lost or to someone you want to strangle it’s great therapy
- Turning this the other way around you can also write a letter to yourself from someone you’ve lost – which is even greater therapy. I’ve done this in the past, from my twin Sue, and it was unbelievably powerful
- Stop trying to fix others – just focus on yourself. Changes starts with us, and within us, from the inside out, not the other way around
- Assume nothing. No matter how certain a situation might seem there is a good chance that it will morph into something else over the next couple of weeks – the “x” factor is at work …
- Reserve the right to change your mind/keep an open mind. As you start to see something from a different angle the truth, reality or logistics will evolve in a way that you couldn’t possibly have planned or expected
- KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOUR 🙂