Venus is moving into a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, while the Sun in Aries is moving into a square with Saturn and the south node of the Moon in Capricorn.
A meditation on this set of transits today...
* Venus' conjunction to Neptune in Pisces is romantic, dreamy, cooling, calming, fluid, emotionally uplifting, imaginative, hopeful, compassionate, and idealistic, whereas the Sun in Aries square to Saturn in Capricorn is controlled, powerful,willful, active, structured, dutiful, traditional, hard, dry, hot, and uncompromising.
* Venus conjunct Neptune craves intimacy, secrecy, benefits from women, friends, partners, or colleagues.
* The Sun/Saturn square is principled, enforcing, consequential, and wants to mold the world to its will.
* Venus conjunct Neptune is the ideal of paradise, of perfection, beauty, grace, and bliss forever.
* The Sun/Saturn square with the south node is an image of one trying to force something to happen with great effort. Imagine a man trying to cut down a tree with a dull or rusty saw. He is failing hard. Trying and trying but exhausting himself.
* Venus conjunct Neptune is the image that drives the man on in his efforts...the impossible dream of the beautiful home he will build with the wood from the tree that keeps him feverishly working at the impossible.
* If and when he is finally exhausted, he will then reach for a cold and intoxicating beverage. A potion of forgetting or "self-forgiveness." Or a potion of indulgence or "self-love." A potion of apathy or not caring any longer. The man, finally exhausted, says, "If I can't accomplish this task, then nothing matters. Nothing is worth my time. It's all an illusion anyway."
* Then, the man begins drinking his poison, just as feverishly as he was trying to cut down the tree.
* While he was sawing, someone might have come along and said, "Why don't you stop and sharpen your blade?" to which he would have replied, "I don't have time for that!"
* While he was drinking his potions, one after another, just as feverishly, one may have said, "Why don't you stop drinking all by yourself and come for a walk with me?" to which he would have replied, "What's the point in that?"
* These are, of course, the extremes of spiritual life informed purely by the ego. When spiritual life is rooted in the desire for personal happiness or liberation, when it is rooted in the impossible ideals of personal perfection or ceaseless inner empowerment, we are like the man trying to cut down a mighty tree with a rusty saw. The rusty saw is our selfish motivation. When our motivation is for personal gain, then we will suffer feverishly with whatever we are endeavoring for until we are finally exhausted by our finitude. A spiritual goal, a humanitarian goal, an artistic goal, or any other kind of "noble" goal, when it comes from the place of lusting for what we do not personally have, from what we want or desire in some way for ourselves, will eventually exhaust us.
* Once we are exhausted, we then sometimes think to ourselves, "Trees cannot be cut down." We don't stop to think, "Maybe a different approach. Maybe a sharpened saw would do the trick." Instead, we try to forget, try to deny, or try to pretend as though nothing matters anyway. We then celebrate this attitude and take it up as a lifestyle. We're still sawing away with a self-serving attitude, but now we're sawing thin air and saying things like, "There is no higher truth, no higher goals, no higher good...that's all an illusion, and there is no point here, it's all subjective. I'm only human, and so I'm forgiving myself of these pointless spiritual endeavors and just doing what I want."
* This so-called "letting go and just being human" may sound enlightened. But, it's actually even more exhausting because, now, even though we are still sawing away, we are no longer aware of what we're doing...
* Sometimes the pattern becomes cyclical. We eventually wake up from our intoxication and say, "My god. I need to get back to my sawing!" And so we take the rusty blade back to the tree and start all over again until we're exhausted once more and once more take to our drinking.
* Imagine that for many souls, there are countless lifetimes spent like this. Why? Because love is a choice.
* We know there must be something higher, but we cannot fathom that this something higher is not a personal goal or ambition but a personal person, a being, like us, who does not desire perfection from us, who is not asking us to achieve anything, but rather is hoping, waiting, and longing, for a surprising, mysterious, and intimate relationship. This relationship is not forced upon anyone, just as the man drinking and sawing, sawing and drinking, is not forced to stop.
* Without this relationship, we are always trying and failing, failing and trying. We fail at the trying and we try at the failing.
* Think about it. Our social media feeds are filled with two basic pictures of egoism. One is the confessional images we post of ourselves achieving something, of feeling so great because we've transcended something, ascended, gained, won, in some way or other aspired and attained victory. The other is the picture we post of just how good or bad we feel to have lost, or to have given up those pointless perfection trips and to have found self-love along with our ice cream sandwich, vacation time, or self-indulgent days at the spa.
* On the other hand, the natural result of using our free will to make love of the divine, and love of others, our first concern (as Jesus taught), is that we are able to be loved in return. We may thus enter into the bliss of so many eternal relationships and divine associations. In this heavenly realm, all is accomplished without vanity. En route to this realm, the blade of love and sweetness is sharp and effective in cutting through our illusions of isolation and yet cannot harm or exhaust anyone.
* And again, now, to our astrology of the day...
* The Sun/Saturn square can be like the rusty blade. The Venus/Neptune conjunction can be the hopeless selfish ideal we cannot stop chasing, the tree we are trying to cut down, or the intoxicating beverage of personal ambition or personal failure, looping endlessly. These images are made acute right now by the planets but they exist perpetually.
* On the other hand, what lies beneath these transits is the same truth behind all transits....that we may surrender both the relentlessness of personal ambition and personal failure, for the sake of love.
Prayer, an excerpt from St Francis: "O divine master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it's in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Visit AstroGraph.com and click on the glyph for your Sun/Rising sign to read your forecast for April 2019!
The month of April features a variety of interesting transits. Here's an overview:
* The mood of the month ahead is rooted in the upcoming conjunction of the south node of the moon (Ketu) with Saturn in the sign of Capricorn (taking place all month long). This austere transit points toward diminishment, limitation or restriction, the setting of hard or firm boundaries, our relationship to authority (whether within or without), and detachment from whatever is frivolous or unnecessary.
* Remember, that while the south node may bring diminishment and constriction, hard times build character. It may be something that you once heard your grandparents saying or even an obnoxious gym coach, but it's true. Actually, most days are Saturnine, and most days for a huge majority of the population of the world, are all about coping with the inherent difficulties of life. To be alive for most species, in fact, is to be engaged in a struggle for existence. The main thing that shifts whether we struggle with the struggle or build spiritual character has to do with the ability we have to seek higher knowledge, to cultivate healthy detachment, and to develop a higher taste. Although Saturn and the south node can deliver a karmic bill that is limiting or depressing us in the month ahead, it may also bring exactly what we need to start inquiring about higher truth, or to rid ourselves of whatever we are clinging to that is actually frivolous or unnecessary so that we might cultivate a higher taste.
* The New Moon in Aries on April 5th, and then the subsequent squares from the Sun to Saturn and Pluto between the 10th and 13th, point to the desire to set a very strong intention in the weeks ahead, perhaps too strong, or too militant, structured or disciplined. With Mars, the ruler of the New Moon, entering mental Gemini, and with the Sun moving into a trine with Jupiter in Sagittarius, whatever intentions we are setting, we are likely to feel the need to argue, debate, fight, or assert ourselves verbally and mentally about it.
* In the Book of Changes, the I Ching, the 37th hexagram is called "Family Duties," and it has both a Cancer and Capricorn feeling to it. The hexagram expresses the need to create the right mood or feeling of security while also extolling the virtues of strong discipline, structures, and habits in order to keep a family together. Of course, for the ancient Chinese, the "family," was also a metaphor for the state or society itself.
* However, the third line of the hexagram tells the story of a man (or structure enforcer) who is too strong, or too firm, and because of this his family grows to resent him, or he hurts someone or does something that leads to regret. However, the line also talks about the rest of his family laughing and joking too often or at the wrong times, which is part of what leads to him being overly stern and rigid. Hence, the overall message is that to avoid the extremes of being too loosey-goosey or too strict (when trying to keep something together), we should adopt the golden mean of moderation. Everyone should know their part and try to do their best at helping to keep both ease and firmness at once.
* We see the same virtue or teaching coming from the Full Moon in Libra, which falls on April 19th and emphasizes the need for diplomacy, fairness, harmony, beauty, and ease. We CAN do things with ease and grace this month, even if the overwhelming emphasis of Saturn and the South Node in Capricorn, along with the New Moon in Aries, and Mars in Gemini opposite Jupiter in Sagittarius, has us feeling like we are on the warpath, or that we need to sober up, sit up straight, and swiftly eliminate all the noise or nonsense as quickly as possible. We can still do these things with an eye for beauty and balance, and with care for others.
* When the 3rd line of hexagram 37 changes, it creates hexagram 42, called "Expansion or Increase." The hexagram discusses, among other things, the way to improve one's current situation in life. It tells us that we should emulate the way of saintly people, and it also tells us that if we want the loyalty or devotion of others that we should act in a way that increases their spiritual happiness and joy. We should be generous, and then, whatever changes we are trying to create will be less of a struggle for us to implement. With a little planning and mindfulness, we can avoid being the family members who laugh or play at all the wrong times, as well as the white-knuckled father trying to hold it together too tightly.
* The other major transits happening this month include the continued conjunction of Mercury with Neptune in Pisces (April 2nd), the conjunction of Venus with Neptune (April 10th), and the squares of Mercury and Venus to Jupiter in Sagittarius (between the 12th and 15th). These transits may bring beneficial friendships, romantic liaisons, teachers, and learning experiences, but they may also indicate grandiose or irrational thinking, an aura of romantic and sensual indulgence, and the potential for opportunism, popularity-seeking, or emotional and mental manipulation for the sake of personal gain.
* Between April 20th and 23rd, the Sun will enter Taurus and conjoin Uranus, just after the Full Moon in Libra, providing a moment of insight, illumination, breakthrough, and brilliance. In the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus, expect the need for greater harmony and beauty to act as a strong and even defiant counterpoint to the month's earlier severities.
* Finally, between the 26th and 27th, Mars in Gemini will square Neptune in Pisces, bringing holy wars and visionary crusades, the heroic calling to sacrifice or even die for a cause, as well as the potential for aggressive or martial actions fueled by fantasies. While the potential to join a cause or to recruit others to a cause may be helpful during this period, we will have to be careful that we are not tilting at windmills.
* Like all months, the cosmic clock will turn and turn, and all of these things will come to pass, both in the ways we expect and in ways that we cannot yet imagine, both in the ways the astrologers predict and in those the astrologers can't possibly predict. But returning to the Saturn/South Node conjunction, we should remember to ask this question, "Am I using this human life to seek out my source? Am I asking the right questions? Am I cultivating healthy detachment from those things that only make me suffer endlessly? Am I cultivating a higher taste?"
Prayer: Build our eternal characters, and give us the power of a fresh start. Please bless us with the best habits and routines to keep our lives focused on you. But mostly, give us a desire for your wisdom and love, so that whatever we start, whatever we build and however we hold things together, it might be filled with the incomparable taste of your sweetness.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.