Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

April 2015

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Don't be a Fool April 1

April 1 is popularly known as "April Fool's Day," a long-standing tradition in some countries. This year, it happens to fall on a Wednesday, which is ruled by Mercury, and who better to play a prank than dear Mercury? The energy of Mercury causes Wednesdays to be generally unstable and good for movement, change, shopping, marketing and communications, as opposed to starting a long-term project, laying a foundation, etc.

Additionally on this day, we have a close conjunction of Sun and Ketu, with Mercury nearby, in the sign of Pisces, the site of the recent total solar eclipse of March 20. Ketu, depicted as a headless body, is known to cause mistakes, while Mercury has the tendency toward quick thought and impulsiveness.

Mercury is debilitated in Pisces, but on this day the debilitation is cancelled due to Mercury ending up in the navamsa (9th division) of Virgo, which is the exaltation sign of Mercury. So, we may be vulnerable to mistakes or mis-steps, but we also have the benefit of analyzing all angles before setting forth.

So whether you plan on a harmless prank or you are defending against said harmless prank, the best advice is to check things twice and peek around the corner before proceeding. Trust your intuition!

Total Lunar Eclipse - Full Moon in Virgo April 4

The second of the eclipse pair occurs during the full Moon of April 4. This total lunar eclipse is brought to us courtesy of Rahu, currently transiting the middle portion of the sign of Virgo. The Sun and Moon are at 21° Pisces and Virgo, respectively, while Ketu and Rahu are at 16° Pisces and Virgo respectively. Close enough for the full Moon to be briefly hidden by the shadow of the Earth.

Rahu and Moon will both be in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) Hasta, ruled by the Moon and by Savitar, one of the twelve solar deities known as the Adityas in charge of creation. Hasta has the power of gaining, in the sense of getting something in hand. The eclipse energy could perhaps prevent that ultimate goal of placing what we are desiring and creating into our hands.

The lesson in all of this could be that of listening and then letting go of that which we want deeply, a voluntary sacrifice of some kind that leads us one step closer to freedom. Mercury, ruler of Virgo and lord of the eclipse planets Rahu and Moon, will be tightly conjunct Ketu, the planet of spiritual compulsion and liberation.

When Moon enters Virgo on April 2, it begins its difficult traverse of the signs Virgo, Libra and Scorpio. Difficult due to the interaction with Rahu and Saturn. As mentioned in the March forecast, this traverse will continue one week per month through the remainder of 2015. Rahu moves on into Leo in January 2016, alleviating the affliction of the sign of Libra that has been in effect since January 2013.

Moon moves through the danger zone through April 9, when it clears Scorpio. The eclipse of April 4 is highly volatile for the Moon, and then the Moon begins to wane and weaken as it moves into the sign of Libra, which is currently pinched by the difficult of energies of Rahu and Saturn flanking it. Next, the waning Moon moves into its sign and degree of debility, Scorpio and into exact conjunction with retrograde Saturn. Finally, the Moon slips into Sagittarius, giving it exchanges of signs with Jupiter, which could feel soothing to our worried minds.

What can we expect from this first part of April? This could be a tough time, especially mentally and emotionally. Venus moving out of Aries and into own sign of Taurus on April 6 should help, Jupiter resuming direct motion on April 8 should help. The bottom line is that the Moon, ruler of our mental function and sensitivity, is moving through tough terrain. We can protect ourselves through awareness, but even then, in the moment, it may feel that we are in desperate situations with no way out. Keep rooted through spiritual practices and if that is not a part of your routine, take some time out each day for quietude, time in nature and deep breathing, as well as avoiding too much pressure through over-planning and activity.

Mars Continues Through Aries

Since Mars entered Aries on March 23, the strength of Mars has been very high due to being positioned in his own sign. Additionally, Mars is the current dispositor of Saturn, meaning that Mars rules the sign where Saturn sits (Scorpio), giving Mars some power and influence over all of the actions of Saturn during the three-year transit of Scorpio, through October 2017. This means that the lessons of Saturn are unlikely to be delivered with warm fuzzies attached (ever!) but especially during the next 2.5 years.

Additionally, from Aries, Mars casts his planetary gaze upon Scorpio and any planet sitting there, which gives even more force to the pressure that Saturn may be causing.

Mars from Aries also gets to look upon Jupiter in Cancer, as well as the sign of Libra, which as mentioned, has been through a rough time the past couple of years.

Before getting too worried about how Mars is going to push us around, let us focus on the positive qualities of Mars and aim toward bringing them forward. Efficiency, discipline, observation, focus, design skill, problem-solving, courage, planning, moving forward. All good things!

With the potential for mental and emotional turmoil in early April, we could take the Mars approach and power through, focusing on work, sticking to exercise routines and planning ahead. That may work for some people, especially those with an active, strong Mars in the chart.

But Mars can go easily out of control given enough fuel, causing aggression, anger insensitivity, selfishness and even violent behavior. The key is to keep the ego in check. Anger is often the mask that insecurity wears. Mars moves through Aries for all of April, marching into Taurus on May 3.

Venus Transits Taurus April 6-May 1

Venus will be happy to move into her own sign of Taurus on April 6, for a rather quick glide through the fixed earth sign that reflects stability through material comfort and support. Venus in Aries was also contending with Mars; passion may have been running strongly, but there can also be tension in relationship when Venus and Mars are sharing close quarters or facing off across the field.

This freedom of Venus to be in her own domain should allow us space to recreate a more comfortable and pleasant environment in which we can get back to our business of creativity, loving relationship and enjoyment of the finer things in life.

With limitations! Venus, while in Taurus, will be opposite Saturn in Scorpio and also receives a hearty aspect from busy little Rahu in Virgo. The exact opposition with Saturn happens on April 15 and the exact trine with Rahu is felt on April 19.

Also remember that Venus is the greatest champion of love and beauty, desiring it so much that attachment can become an obstacle, especially in Taurus, where the manifestation of this desire can be focused on the solid, material realm. With Rahu aspecting Venus, the desire for relationship, love and beautiful things may rise up strongly. With Saturn aspecting so fully, we are learning enjoyment without possession and love without attachment.

Jupiter Resumes Direct Motion April 8

The current retrograde cycle of Jupiter began on December 8, 2014, and four months later, on April 8, 2015, will end with Jupiter resuming direct motion at 18° Cancer. After turning direct, Jupiter will take three months to move through the late degrees of Cancer, which is covered by the nakshatra Ashlesha, and into Leo on July 13.

As with any retrograde planet, we experience a concentrated energy in a certain portion of the zodiac due to the planet moving through it in forward motion, retrograde motion pulling it back through the same area and then forward motion advancing through the same territory for a third time.

In this case, Jupiter has been concentrating on the last drekkana (third portion) of Cancer, his sign of exaltation, which holds most of the nakshatra of Ashlesha (16°40'-30°00' Cancer.) Ashlesha is governed by the planet Mercury and ruled by Sarpa, the serpent energy.

Mercury is the ruler of the three nakshatras that lie at the end of water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), three spots in the zodiac known as gandanta points, the transition between the water and fire signs. Mercury's inherent dual nature shows itself as the ruler of these nakshatras, preparing, moving and changing what is needed for the difficult transition through the gandanta point.

As Jupiter finishes his transit through his sign of exaltation Cancer, which occurs only once every twelve years, we are moving toward a transition of our own, pushing through our own karmic knot, which we will feel most strongly for a week on either side of Jupiter's crossing into Leo, which happens on July 13.

As Jupiter has moved through Cancer, I have found myself having fleeting expectations that its exaltation would shower blessings and abundance down upon the world, transforming us all into golden beings, full of knowledge and auspiciousness.

What I have learned in witnessing what has really occurred is that Jupiter, as Guru, represents how we often expect teachers, saints and religious figures to instantly and magically transform us and fill us with knowledge and magnificence.

The lesson I have learned is that yes, Guru will shower us with knowledge and blessings, but unless our container is both clean and spacious, the blessings and goodness will reach us, but then run off and drain away.

The point is that it is ultimately up to us to prepare ourselves to receive; by expecting, hoping and begging for mercy and abundance, we waste our time and potential. The receptive nature of Guru's exaltation sign, Cancer, ruled by the Moon, has taught this crucial lesson of how to truly receive. There is both passivity in receptivity, but also action, in that we are in charge of our own container. If there is no room, or the environment is muddled, we cannot receive those blessings of Guru.

Use the radical, transformative energy of Ashlesha nakshatra during these next few months to transform your container. Clean your closets, breathe space into your cells, clear your mind and try to understand true receptivity.

Mercury Transits Aries April 11-26

Mercury is on the move, racing through Aries after a very brief transit through his sign of debilitation, Pisces. Mercury's mission generally involves communication and exchange, truly the messenger. Moving through Aries during late March/early April, Mercury delivers his words, ideas, currency and medicines in an effort to ameliorate the intense eclipse energies felt in Pisces (where Ketu sits) and in Virgo, his own sign (where Rahu sits.)

While in Aries, Mercury moves past the Sun, moving through combustion, which is extreme proximity to the Sun that inhibits the full expression of a planet's energy. Entering Aries, Mercury joins Mars, the ruler of Aries, and proceeds to race forward, coming into conjunction (and planetary war) with Mars on April 22-23 (first Mars wins, then Mercury wins, a skirmish, really.) By April 26, Mercury skips into Taurus, joining Venus, planning on a lengthy sojourn there.

Mercury, like many small, fleet creatures, has the ability to move quickly and avoid blows due to his slightness, but his difficulty involves delicacy of constitution and vulnerability. Aries will be harboring both Mars and Sun for much of Mercury's transit there this month. This fiery combination may turn the heat up extremely on Mercury.

Guard your own body, mind and words during this time by supplementing with quiet time, extra watery influences and gentleness with your exchanges. The signs of Scorpio and Aries are always influencing one another, so this brings Saturn into the mix. The gift of Saturn in this equation could be the practice of silence rather than verbosity.

Sun Transits Aries April 14-May 15

By mid-April, we see a Sun+Mars+Mercury combination in Aries. Mars is strong in his own sign, Sun is in exaltation in Aries and Mercury will join his energy to whatever the group is doing.

With Sun and Mars so strongly placed during this time, we could forge ahead boldly toward our goals, especially with Jupiter's newly direct motion in effect from April 8. Because both Sun and Mars tend to lead with the "self" in mind, we can see this manifesting in a couple of ways.

One way is to take care of your own goals, ideas and self because your tendency may be to give too much to others. This is a good time to learn that selfishness can actually be useful in small doses, especially as a remedy for over giving.

The other way this strong Sun/Mars combination may manifest is an overblown ego and disregard for others. This is not an invitation to obtain what you want (or think you need) at the cost of others' well-being. It may be tempting, but if your tendency is already to take care of #1, try to temper your strength and hear the sweet song of Venus in Taurus reminding you that we are all related (and that selfish actions will someday come around to reveal a deficit.)

New Moon in Aries April 18

The new Moon of April occurs at 5° Aries, in the nakshatra Ashwini, right around mid-day in the US. Here we remember that the day prior to this exact conjunction is our amavasya, when the Moon has waned extremely, and we protect our mind and heart by getting quiet and still. We sit calmly in front of the fire, as Moon, Sun, Mercury and Mars will all be joining in the fiery sign of Aries.

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and Ashwini is the first nakshatra in the series of lunar mansions. After the moment of the new Moon, the growth of the Moon begins, and this first few days after the new Moon should be a good time to initiate new beginnings, especially after the Moon joins Venus in Taurus, the sign of exaltation for the Moon.

Ashwini's rulers are the planet Ketu, showing the desire only for spiritual experience, as well as the Ashwin Kumars, twin horsemen dedicated to bestowing the energy of healing. After the eclipse pair occurring on March 20 and April 4, we may be feeling the humility brought about by the aftermath of intensity. This is a good time to regather our forces and find the healing that may be needed such that we can rise up and start over again. We may have been asked to let go in painful ways. Here we find a way to heal our wounds and regain strength.

April 20-22 should be beautiful as we get to view the conjunction of Moon and Venus in the west, just after sunset. As the Moon continues to wax it joins Jupiter in Cancer (the Moon's own sign) on April 25-27. This combination can be seen overhead, just after sunset. Direct viewing of the planets and stars can be quite inspiring and educational on a physical level. The practice of astrological connection really does start there.

Mercury Transits Taurus April 26-July 4

When Mercury takes over two months to transit one sign, you know what that means: Mercury Retrograde! Just a heads up that the next one will be May 18-June 11 and a reminder that ALL retrograde motion is apparent rather than actual, meaning that there is an element of illusion at play. But we all know how tricky and real illusions can be.

The entire transit of Mercury through Taurus will be opposite retrograde Saturn. We can perceive this as either (or both) a blessing and/or a curse. Saturn is slow, Mercury is quick. This gives us the opportunity to balance speed and deliberation, essential to anyone walking through life.

Mercury and Venus are the two rajas planets, meaning that they promote desire and activity, helping us to motivate and get things done. Taurus is Venus' sign, so Mercury here will want to DO things, create things, travel here and there, acquire what is desired.

So Saturn's influence may insist upon going slowly and surely so that we are building things to last and discarding things that don't contribute to this goal. Mercury could be slightly frustrated by this stubborn limitation, but that is really the eternal struggle between the wisdom of age and the enthusiasm of youth. Beautiful things could be created and experienced as we meet in the middle and hear the tales of both sides.

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