Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

April 2004

by Kerry Shamblin

Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

Full Moon n Pisces April 5

As the Moon continues to wax through the first days of the month, soak up that bright, soothing lunar energy. The full Moon occurs near 1:00 am PDT on April 5 at 20 degrees into the sign of Pisces, expansive Jupiter's mutable, watery sign. This may be the last big dose of water energy we'll see for awhile. During the next couple of months, the Moon, who travels the course of the zodiac each month, will be the only planet making visits to the water signs until late June, when Mars will plunge into Cancer. The Moon will be in water signs during these dates in the coming months: April 1, April 8-9, April 17-18, April 27-28, May 6-7, May 14-16, May 24-26, June 2-3. Drink up, cool off, get grounded during those days.

Mercury Retrograde April 8 - April 30

The next big event will be Mercury going retrograde in the early degrees of Mars' firey sign of Aries. This is where things should really start to get exciting. Mercury will jot from Aries back into Pisces during his retrrograde cycle, which will last from April 8 - April 30. He will reach Pisces on April 22 and will remain there until May 8. Our messenger planet can help us to remember how to be cool when it starts getting hot during this time. It is almost as if Mercury made it into Aries and realized that he left his towel and sunglasses behind while on his sojourn at the cosmic beach, represented by his previous station in Pisces. Seeing for himself that he's going to need his wet towel and sunglasses during the next couple of months, he's running back to collect them and to take one more cool dip, letting his nervous mind dissolve into the cosmic ocean for a spell before he catches up with the rest of the company again.

Partial Solar Eclipse April 19

During the first half of Mercury's retrograde cycle he will have a close encounter with the Sun and Moon during the week of April 14 -21. There will be a partial solar eclipse on April 19, which will be visible to our friends in South Africa and Antarctica. During this time, the Moon and Mercury will stand between the Earth and the Sun at the powerful point in space that is given the status of "planet" in Vedic astrology: Rahu. Rahu, the north node of the Moon and Ketu, the south node of the Moon, are the points that mark where the conjunction of the Sun and Moon lines up to allow for eclipse. This eclipse, which is essentially a conjunction of the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Rahu this month, occurs in the very early degrees of Aries, at what we consider the beginning of the zodiac.

It should also be mentioned that retrograde Jupiter will be aspecting the solar eclipse, which is a good thing. Jupiter remains in Leo, and this influence on the new beginnings generated this month will benefit them. Jupiter's expansive nature felt from his current position in the Sun's sign will give heart to our pursuits.

Because of the worldly nature of Rahu, this eclipse may spawn new projects, growth, and cycles that affect the outer world that we share, rather than intense progress that occurs on our inner pathways. The new Moon, which is traditionally a time to begin anew, is amplified this month by the energy of Rahu and Mercury, and could signal the time for new cycles. The lunar mansion in which this eclipse/new Moon occurs is called Ashwini, which can be translated as "possessing horses." The symbol for this nakshatra is a horse's head, and it is known as the "star of transport." Projects or change initiated during this time have the opportunity to tap the power and stamina of the horse, and may extend over the next few years. This lunar mansion supports travel as well as healing.

Here is a bit of the myth surrounding this lunar mansion, Aswhini, where the Sun reaches its most exalted position each year:

Surya, the Sun god, was so bright than no one could come around him. His father helped him by dividing him into twelve smaller suns, each with its own universe. Our local Sun was then married to Sanjna, daughter of the celestial architect, but despite his reduced state, the Sun was still so brilliant that Sanjna was unable to bear him for long. Seeking relief, she went on a sojourn, bidding her handmaiden to stay with and care for her husband. Not surprisingly, while Sanjna was away, the Sun and the handmaid, Chhaya, fell in love. (Chhaya means "shadow.") Seeing this upon her return, Sanjna turned herself into a mare and galloped away. The Sun following suit, turned into a stallion and pursued her until they reached a meadow, where they concieved of twin sons known as the Ashwins, two horsemen who are believed to be divine, mystical "physicians of the gods."

The passion involved in this myth will most likely filter down into worldly events this month. The lunar mansion of Ashwini is located entirely within the sign of Aries, ruled by Mars. Mars and Venus, together the planets of passion and representing the male and female parts of sexuality will provide some intensity this month as they travel through Venus' earthy, springtime sign of Taurus. Venus is in hot pursuit of Mars as he rolls his tank through her verdant meadow. Venus has the desire to show Mars how to love, knowing that Mars' power channeled through love could change the world; Mars wants to show Venus how she could actually get something done around here if she could only funnel her creativity into action and planning. While from an objective standpoint we can see that both of them have a good point, Mars and Venus push/pull energy toward one another can often manifest as embroiled arguments or other passionate encounters between domestic partners and co-workers. While Venus actually moves faster around the Sun than Mars, she will remain in close pursuit of him for the remainder of 2004, finally catching him for a rendevous in December.

As you may now perceive, there is much going on with the planets this month. While normally I wouldn't recommend travelling during Mercury retrograde periods, this one may be an exception due to Mercury's presence in Ashwini, "the star of transport." Do however, be aware of the nervous, mutable energy of Mercury combined with the powerful working ability and initiative of Mars. This combo could create situations of compulsive, rash behavior that could result in the loss or destruction of resources. In order to avoid extreme frustration in the face of this type of mishap, channel some of your energy into creating an atmosphere of calm, levelheadedness. Rather than wavering on decisions or indulging in quick, rash choices, make time to think quietly and deeply each day about the actions you are about to make. These moments of grounding will have to be self-created this month as we aren't getting much support from the planets.

I also predict hot weather and hot situations in most arenas, especially politics. The trick will be to transform this active heat into healing rather than destruction, which is supported by the featuring of Ashwini's energy this month. Seek out the wet and cool, both literally and figuratively to help maintain balance as our spring progresses. May we all appreciate the gifts that the planets give to us this month and always.

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