Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

April 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Rahu-Ketu Stir it Up in April

As we begin April, we will still have our outer planets in the same position as in March. Jupiter in Venus' earth sign, Taurus. Saturn and Rahu in Venus' air sign, Libra. Ketu, the counterpart to Rahu, in Mars' fire sign, Aries.

In general, the planets that share a sign with the nodes have their energy amplified by them. That means that Saturn's energy, currently strong due to exaltation and retrograde motion, is being further strengthened and projected by Rahu's presence in Libra. Depending on how Saturn acts for each individual, this could be bringing intensity in some arena of life. Saturn can bring challenging situations that call for us to muster detachment, patience and tenacity.

Ketu also amplifies, and by the end of April, four planets will have entered Aries to join Ketu. This might get loud! First Venus, then Mars, Sun and finally Mercury will enter Mars' fire sign.

The nodal axis, Rahu and Ketu, tends to cause a churning motion by the fact that these shadow planets move naturally in retrograde motion, against the tide created by the movement of the other planets. With so many planets coming into the sphere of this stirring, we may see April becoming a month of big change and movement that delivers strongly influential events to many people.

With Venus and Mars as the rulers of the signs that contain the Rahu-Ketu axis, we may also see the influence and interplay of these two very human planets that represent the feminine and masculine qualities that we all embody.

The first third of the month will be somewhat a continuation of the planetary weather we experienced in March; Sun, Mars and Venus in Pisces are calling us to let go of what no longer serves us, to clean and sort out with the intention of clearing our space in order to create or birth new phases, projects or relationships in our lives. Take this time to consciously pay attention to finishing things while using the Pisces flow to dream and envision what is next.

The energy may begin to change and become more direct and less circuitous as the middle of the month settles in. By month's end the train will be on track and gaining speed.

Mercury in Pisces April 9 – 28

Just a short while before the new Moon in Pisces occurs, Mercury also enters Pisces. Mercury represents and influences the part of our mind that is informational, analytical and connective. The wing-footed archetype of Mercury is symbolic of quickness and movement; with a speed we can't really measure, our thoughts race through the mind as we collect and organize data, filtering it through our central processing units and using it to make decisions, communicate our thoughts and exchange with others.

Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo, an earth and an air sign. He functions best in his own signs and that of his friends, Venus and Saturn, also rulers of air and earth signs. In Pisces, Mercury finds his area of difficulty; Pisces is a realm of vastness and depth, displaying all the realms of possibility. As a detail-oriented planet, Mercury sometimes has a hard time doing his job in the face of the vast and watery environment of Pisces.

As Mercury moves through Pisces, the other planets that had been placed there, Venus, Sun and Mars, will all move into Aries. Aries is a direct and action-oriented sign, often inspiring us to initiate actions in our lives. Since Mercury, as ruler of communication and exchange, is a big part of many of the things we do in life, we count on having smooth exchanges and efficient communication to help us along.

It may take extra effort to be clear and precise in our communication this month. Think about how hard it is to listen and talk under water. As a kid, playing in the swimming pool with other kids, underwater conversation was endlessly entertaining and very humorous, but not necessarily effective as communication.

In the endless sea of choices, how do we identify the best one quickly? Mercury is an ace at comparison, analysis and diagnostics. In the face of many choices and paths, Mercury could burn out trying to select the perfect one; try to relax the need for things to be "just so" and "totally right" as you're moving ahead with your life this month. Instead, reach out to the Mercury qualities that can have a good time playing in the ocean: humor, flexibility and lack of concern for gain or outcome.

Mercury in Pisces could also be very good for a follow-up examination of the things that have recently passed out of your life. As you watch them walk away, it may be a good time to take some notes and to make sure you've learned something from them. How did that person/phase/process fit into the larger story of your life? What is your take-away wisdom and how are you going to apply that to your current situation? I'm not kidding about taking notes. Dust off your journal and let your Mercurial mind ramble.

With the other planets charging forward energetically, our brief stint of Mercury going through Pisces could really help to remind us that the goal and the path are one. It could be very easy to focus on the goal at the expense of enjoying the rhythm of who and what are immediately in your present surroundings.

New Moon in Pisces April 10

In the wee hours of Wednesday, April 10, the Moon and Sun will align at 26° Pisces, closely conjoined with Mars, and with Venus only a few steps away. This part of Pisces, nearly the end of the sign, is like the crest of the wave just before it breaks on shore. The oceanic quality of Pisces implies the untapped power of our consciousness. We are each like a wave of that ocean, a stream of will that collects momentum. When a wave breaks on a beach or shoreline, it marks a transition in the life of that wave, that collected energy that we identify as a wave is broken and dispersed, only to collect again in another form.

Pisces is the sign of transition, the final sign of the twelve in the zodiac. It gives way to Aries, the first sign, the sign of beginning and initiation. Pisces gives us the gift of expansion through letting go of what may be weighing us down. It allows us to see and feel the endless possibilities that life offers, including withdrawal from the cycle of birth and death.

The New Moon is the time when from our earthly perspective, the Sun and the Moon line up, or appear exactly conjunct in the sky. We can think of the Sun, the center of our system, as the ultimate life-giving entity to our planet and the other planets in the system. When the planets conjoin with the Sun, we must realize that it is only true for us, from our perspective on earth. From this perspective, we get the experience of the waxing and waning Moon each month. Each encounter that a planet has with the Sun is somewhat of a re-birthing process.

When the Moon conjuncts the Sun, we can think of the lunar energy completely surrendering and merging with the ultimate power of the Sun. (Much like that wave crashing on the beach.) For a moment, there is no Moon, the lunar power is completely vanished, lost. And the moment passes, and the sliver of Moon grows and in a fortnight becomes a shining, separate and powerful entity.

The Moon is so symbolically beautiful in its representation of the mind and consciousness. Just as the Earth orbits around the Sun, our life-giving star, the Moon mimics that by orbiting around the Earth, reflecting the light of the Sun to us as it revolves around the revolver.

Certainly the timing and sign placement of this new Moon could not be more perfect. Just like the sign of Pisces, the new Moon day, amavasya, which is the day leading up to that moment of exact merging, is a time of both endings and beginnings. We close the last lunar cycle and completely withdraw for a moment. Then release to a new cycle; the eyes open, the hands move, the thoughts generate and we grow again. With the new Moon happening in Pisces, there is compounded interest in the subject of transition. Additionally, in the northern hemisphere, we get the underlying feeling of the new growth cycle that comes with our spring season. This new Moon occurs in the lunar mansion called Revati. According to Dr. David Frawley's translation:

Revati is governed by Pushan, the nourishing form of the Sun God. It has the power of nourishment symbolized by milk (kshiradyapani shakti). Its basis above is the cows. Its basis below are the calves. These three bring about the nourishment of the entire world.

The important message of this new Moon is that of trust and surrender. To know that what we don't possess is shaping us just as strongly and beautifully as the nourishment that we receive daily through the life-giving properties of the Earth via the Sun.

This truly is a time of new beginnings. If it is only a relatively small journey or undertaking that you may be embarking on or if you are making a decided and drastic change in your life, set your intentions and take advantage of sailing with the tide.

Venus in Aries April 10 – May 4

Last month I talked about the rebirth of Venus and Venus' combustion with the Sun. I am considering proximity to the Sun within four degrees for Venus. She pulls out of that orb as April begins, clearing the "line" on April 14.

With the new Moon energy just behind us on April 10, both Venus and the waxing Moon leave Pisces and enter Aries simultaneously. Interesting in that the two most feminine planets are leading the way into the most masculine of signs.

Venus' influence can show up for us through how we connect to others through relationship. Venus has this artistic and creative way of blurring the line between self and other so effectively that it can dissolve into a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

This is a good time to talk a bit about the polarity between the Aries and Libra axis, since this is the setting for the rest of our planetary explorations for April. Aries and Libra occupy opposite positions among the 12 signs of the zodiac, giving us six pairs of opposing signs. In most cases, signs that are opposite one another are quite different in quality, as you may imagine. Aries is sign number 1 and Libra is sign number 7. In an astrological chart, the 1st house represents the self and the 7th house represents the other, and that is the general pith of these two signs.

Aries is a fire sign ruled by the masculine planet Mars. Mars is quite focused on taking care of #1, the self, and does a great job of planning and engineering the food, clothes and shelter situation in order to ensure the success of personal efforts.

Libra is an air sign ruled by the feminine planet Venus. Venus considers the interrelatedness of all things very innately and is concerned with creating an environment that will encourage connection, happiness and celebration of beauty.

As you can imagine, Venus and Mars don't have much overlap in agreement on what is important or vital. Nonetheless, we as humans are charged with finding the delicate balance between keeping both Mars and Venus happy and functioning. We do this through the way in which we express our masculine and feminine sides as well as through the way in which we honor both the self and others in our lives.

The exciting thing about Venus entering Aries at this time is that March 28 marked the superior conjunction of Venus and Sun, after which time Venus begins her ascent as the evening star once again, finally coming into view in the west after sunset starting in May 2013. These transitions that Venus makes from morning to evening star and from evening to morning star can signal shifts in the ways we are expressing Venus in our lives through art, love and relationship.

With day seen as masculine and night seen as feminine, Venus as evening star gets the opportunity to fully show that femininity. While Aries is not the most comfortable position for Venus, we will still be able to use that fiery environment to initiate and begin new creative projects. The birthing process has never been a guaranteed comfortable experience, but we can garner the drive and power of Mars through Aries to muster the energy to get going.

Venus also aspects her own sign of Libra during this time, bringing inspiration, compassion and beauty through her glance to the two planets occupying Libra, Rahu and Saturn.

Another aspect that will be affecting Venus and the other planets as they move through Aries is the presence of Ketu, the south node, in Aries. As discussed at the beginning of this forecast, Ketu has the quality of amplification for the planets that he aspects by his presence in the same sign. The internalizing effects of Ketu could be very helpful in generating the courage and discipline needed to create new forms in our lives.

Mars in Aries April 12 – May 22

Right on the heels of Venus and the Moon is Mars himself, entering his own sign like a returning hero. While Venus pulls out in front of the pack, Mars is going to be very close with the Sun all month long. Combust, as astrologers like to say. Mars handles combustion a little better than most of the planets due to his hot fiery nature being similar to that of the Sun.

The thing to leverage with this transit of Mars through Aries is a complete source of energy, vitality and initiative. Problem solving, planning, execution, skillful appropriation of resources; these are all things that can go really well under this influence.

What to watch out for is too much of a good thing. The Sun and Mars are both self-centered by nature and can cause us to ignore how what we are doing is affecting other people. Venus will be there to remind us, but the Sun and Mars combination in proximity to Ketu may make it really difficult to perceive. Making an extra effort to include others in decision making processes could help keep the peace.

Mars is the planet associated with conflict and war, ruling soldiers and police. When too strong, Mars can cause aggression, accidents, arguments and violence that can sprout up in many forms. Make sure to keep things as cool and calm as possible, no matter how hectic, exciting and frantic your days may become. Tap into the vast ocean of universal knowledge through Mercury in Pisces to keep perspective and humor as you confront the difficulties and frustrating obstacles that may arise.

Sun in Aries April 14 - May 14

The Sun moves into its sign of exaltation, Aries, on April 14, following Venus and Mars. When the Sun moves toward a conjunction with one of the nodes of the Moon, in this case, Ketu, we can expect some eclipses in our near future.

Another interesting point is that Saturn and Sun will both be exalted and opposite one another. Sun and Saturn are natural mutual enemies, so throwing this energy into the mix with the Mars-Venus-Rahu-Ketu energy should make things interesting.

The Sun, which represents our soul and essential being, is in a powerful position this month. This could feel quite inspiring and energizing. Connection with the life force could be stronger than usual; this could be useful for applications such as healing, farming, building, athletic training and personal development.

Again, the Sun in Aries can tend toward self-concern just as Mars in Aries can, and the combination of the two with Ketu nearby could really create the need for "me time." Which is totally fine and could possibly be planned for! Just make sure to pay attention to the world outside your bubble and cherish the connections with others.

The crux of this situation is to find a healthy mode of self expression that propels you forward without running over anyone's toes in the process. And to take it even a step further, to integrate the gifts of love, beauty and art that Venus offers into the building process that Mars excels at. Yes, we need to provide for ourselves. Let us do it with grace and compassion.

Full Moon in Libra (Lunar Eclipse) April 25

Right on schedule, the Moon arrives at its fullest moment on Thursday, April 25 at 11° Libra. There will be a partial lunar eclipse that will be visible to those in the Middle East, western Asia and western Africa. The full Moon will be only three degrees from Saturn, and about twelve degrees from Rahu, the eclipse-causing node of the Moon.

Even though we won't see the eclipse in other parts of the world, we will still be able to see Saturn near the Moon in the night sky.

On the other side of the zodiac, the Sun, Venus and Mars are caught in the eclipse energy as well, due to the proximity to Ketu, the other eclipse-causing node of the Moon. All of the planets except for Jupiter and Mercury will be caught in this eclipse energy.

In a strikingly noble posture, Jupiter and Mercury will be in adjacent signs to the Sun-Venus-Mars-Ketu combination in Aries, creating what is called subhakartari yoga, a condition of being "hemmed in" by benefic planets. This is a positive condition and certainly gives a silvery lining to any difficulties that may arise during this time. If we could always face our challenges with the understanding that they are opportunities for growth, would we act differently in crisis?

Jupiter and Mercury are both planets associated with learning and teaching. Having them as the positive forces that are holding space for our personal growth, which will come through different avenues for various people, is quite a blessing. Humbly face your difficulties with the realization that they are lessons that will make you stronger, wiser, more compassionate and more experienced.

The Full Moon and Saturn combination occurs in the lunar mansion called Swati, the meaning of which is translted by Dr. David Frawley:

Swati is ruled by Vayu, the God of the Wind. It gives the power to scatter like the wind (pradhvamsa shakti). Its basis above is moving in various directions. Its basis below is change of form. The result of these three is transformation.

This may signal a need for some movement to occur during this month. Do not be surprised to notice the theme of scattering arising. We are traversing a pivotal period of time that may require some cleaning out and reorganization to accommodate new developments.

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