I don’t consider myself a very brave person but every once and a while I surprise myself. For instance: going to Europe at nineteen with a one way ticket and very little money and making a life there. Or jumping into the main area in San Sabastian, Spain to fight a bull. (I love animals and wouldn’t do this today but I was in my early twenties and enamored with Hemingway.) Or opening a restaurant in New York City with absolutely no experience and making it work for twenty years. At the inception of all of those events I felt clear, present, totally focused and in my power and though the odds were against me I succeeded. For me, that is the essence of Aries.
A New Moon is always a fresh start and audacious Aries is the first sign of the zodiac; it represents pure courage and confidence; it is the hero going into battle with no thoughts of failure. This particular New Moon takes place in late Aries plus red-hot Mars (the ruler of Aries) is in leisurely Taurus; what it lacks in speed it makes up in endurance. Mars (in Taurus) makes a square to expansive Jupiter (in Leo), exact on April 17, strengthening our confidence and giving us staying power. Mind planet Mercury is also in earthy Taurus and makes a conjunction with Mars on April 22, helping us to find our voice and speak our truth. They will come together again on May 27 (in Gemini) and on July 15 (in Cancer).
Sensitive Neptune (in watery Pisces) is conjunct the asteroid Vesta (the Greek Hestia), goddess of the hearth and keeper of the sacred flame. Neptune is associated with all the things we cannot see with the naked eye; inspiration, spirituality, compassion. Vesta is also deeply spiritual but expresses it in a practical way. The Latin word for hearth is focus; Vesta brings a hallowed quality to our ordinary life. Together they emphasize a dedication to spiritual and artistic ideals and infuse this fiery New Moon with a sense of devotion.
The energy is building in the house where you have Aries and like the crocuses, daffodils and tulips pushing through the moist earth this time of year, something is ready to bust forth, bloom or break free. Give it room, give it a voice and let it soar. And remember, true courage does not exclude fear; it acknowledges it but moves forward anyway. Take a risk, take a leap, extend yourself into new territory and most of all, say “yes!”
Pluto turns retrograde on April 16
Pluto begins its annual five month retrograde period on April 16. In mythology Pluto (the Greek Hades) was god of the dead and ruled the underworld. The planet Pluto is associated with birth, death, and transformation. When Pluto (in ambitious Capricorn) is moving forward it deals with external circumstances, exposing power struggles and political issues. When retrograde it is directed inward towards our own power issues and dark side. Pluto asks us to deal honestly and courageously with what frightens us the most. It is about making the unconscious, conscious. During this period we have an opportunity to purge, release and eliminate old patterns, habits and limiting beliefs that keep us stuck and prevent us from being fully alive. As Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.” –Marie Kondo (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)
The best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is a great metaphor and the perfect ritual for Pluto’s retrograde period. The author advocates not tidying up bit by bit but doing a massive clean-up all at once; think “Extreme Home Makeover.” Taking this kind of action can shift things on a deep level. A juice cleanse, detoxifying diet, therapy, or a shamanic journey are other worthwhile actions to take during this time. In other words, anything that allows us to look at what we’re attached to and where we are still holding on.
O lay down your burden / Lay it all down / Pass the glass between you / Drink it all / Place the light before you / Come through the door / The dragon doesn’t live here anymore. –Lay Down Your Burden, composed by Colleen Crangle (go to YouTube to listen to the magnificent Susan Osborn sing this powerful song)
The Aries New Moon has the energy and momentum to push us forward; Pluto’s retrograde invites us to look within. The combination of these two forces gives us the motivation to conquer our inner demons (or dragons) and become the hero of our own story. Each day the darkness diminishes and the light increase; each day more flowers spring forth and more birdsong can be heard. Get out in the dazzling sunlight; flood your senses with the beauty and richness of this delicious season. Love your life, love yourself, be happy. Love, Virginia
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of the earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”
–T.S. Eliot (Little Gidding)