Astrology Column


Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer, trained at The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, and has more than 35 years experience. See her bio and contact info at the end of this column.

What's Up April 2016

Aries New Moon
April 7 @ 7:24 am

Mars retrograde
April 17 @ 8:14 am

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
April 22 @ 1:24 am

Mercury retrograde
April 28 @ 1:20 pm

Determined Energy 4 More Authenticity
April begins with a surge of courageous and determined intention to get the ball rolling in specific areas of your personal life. You probably recognize the need for improvement and transformation, bravery and stamina.

It is a big push, an illuminating experience based on a keen desire to arise above challenges, and take charge in ways that you haven't been able to grasp until now. For some people this has to do with health and lifestyle, for others it may be professional, while for others it can show up in finances and relationships.

Pinpointed in your precise astrology chart, the Aries New Moon on April 7 highlights the areas of life most ready for an upgraded transformation. New Moons always signify the opportunity to begin anew. It is an optimal time to clarify direction and set intention. Not only is this a potent SuperMoon, but the affects are intensified by the zodiac teacher of Aries.

When all is said and done, Aries encourages an honest appraisal of self. It points directly to you; your reactions, your sense of individuality and the courage to be true to yourself, no matter what.

Over recent years, I have been writing about the on-going Uranus/Pluto cardinal climax. This generational and social planetary pattern has been quite intense in its stimulating and potentially destructive effects. It may be helpful to consider the challenges you have faced over years, especially since 2012.

In what areas of life have you been forced to let go of preconceived expectations and adapt to circumstances beyond your control? In the midst of stressful social factors, how have you developed more self reliance, integrity and accountability?

Winds of Change
This New Moon in Aries aligns exactly with Uranus and squares Pluto. While these influences are long term and leading to considerable and on-going social changes, April is the final month of acute activation. There can be sudden changes of fortune and direction. In your personal life, you may find particular circumstances wrapping up and coming to a satisfactory conclusion.

Not only does the New Moon join Uranus in Aries (2010 – 2018), but Pluto is stationary retrograde on April 18. This sums up a potential for violent demonstrations and outrageous acts of rebellion. However, we don't have to look further than turning on the nightly news to recognize the instability of social breakdown, and potentially dire consequences.

This planetary pattern sums up the fact that humanity is at the crossroads. The necessity to wake up and evolve is evermore urgent and pressing.

So, the month begins with enthusiasm, zest and determination to move past stagnation and overcome great odds. After all, this is the season of Earth's renewal.

We witness the glory of nature in the exuberant push of growth upward and outward. Floral displays of every color and form tantalize the senses, drawing attention away from the complications of human drama. It is a lovely and enlivening month. The beautiful soothing forces of nature are to be respected as a healing balance to the chaos of current affairs.

Tangible Transformation
A significant stabilizing influence is Mercury and its transit through Taurus beginning on April 5. Due to a retrograde phase (April 28 – May 22), Mercury will spend over nine weeks in Taurus. As the zodiac sign of physical form, Taurus has everything to do with money, possessions, sustainability, ecology and nature. Taurus finds comfort and beauty in the tangible experience of earthy existence.

Despite a retrograde phase, more than likely, Mercury in Taurus will be a beneficial antidote to the pressure of problems to be solved. Yes, there may be delays in projects due to the need to make more informed choices. But, as the planet of communication, Mercury in Taurus can assist in identifying that which is of true value.

Grounding presence goes hand in hand with gratitude for the true and abundant gifts of earth life. A methodical and calming pace brings awareness, thereby enhancing and improving daily life. It speaks to really stopping and smelling the roses, taking a conscious and deliberate break from disruptive thought processes based on habitual emotional programming.

The backdrop, the scenery for April, is awe-inspiring and glorious spring. However, as in the movie theater, the action story is where things get more complicated.

On April 17, Mars, the planet of action, enters a retrograde phase. Mars goes retrograde every two years and two months, and the last time Mars went retrograde was in the spring of 2014.

Typically, Mars instills vitality, motivation, and the desire to act. During a retrograde phase, the normal outgoing and action oriented nature of Mars is turned inward. This can be frustrating, to say the least. It's like a racehorse running exuberantly free only come to an abrupt thunderous halt in front of an insurmountable fence.

Patience & Awareness
Since Mars will remain retrograde until June 28, it is vitally important to identify the areas of your life that need circumspection, thus you can develop an appreciation for this necessary planetary phase. Look back to earlier this year, where did you feel a sense of full speed ahead? The station point on April 17 is a turning point as outward drives can come to a halt.

You may find yourself running into barriers of time, money and resources. A sudden lack of interest can also signal a need to pull back and review plans. If you encounter the doldrums, this can be a sign to slow down, and address deeper underlying issues.

In addition to Mars stationary retrograde, within 24 hours, Pluto enters a retrograde phase on April 18. Both of these planetary urges tend to be willful, aggressive, controlling, combative and impulsive. It is wisdom to keep your wits about you, and exercise caution in the use of machinery, fire and explosives.

Be alert in thought, word and deed for attempts to control circumstances that feel out of control. These very persuasive planets can take charge and hijack the best of intentions. Take the extra time, even if just seconds or minutes, to consider potential consequences, and long term effects.

Now, if this isn't enough . . . . let's consider the planetary orbits of Jupiter, the planet of expansion, and Saturn, the planet of contraction.

In August 2015, and as recently as last month, Jupiter and Saturn activated in stressful alignment. We can see these effects in a wildly fluctuating stock market, legal matters, unstable global economy, and an unpredictable presidential campaign.

Foundation Work
Take a look at your personal life to identify areas that require patience and caution. Jupiter presents opportunity while Saturn tends to play the cynic or devil's advocate by placing obstacles in the way of progress. Jupiter will make its third and final square to Saturn on May 26.

Thus, these spring months tend to be filled with fits and starts of activity that must be examined for reality.

The reason for mentioning this planetary pair is to elucidate the potential for good in the larger scheme of things. Every planetary influence has its upside and downside. A positive interaction of Jupiter and Saturn will test structural foundations for strength and endurance.

It is important to acknowledge cracks in the foundation, so repairs and adjustments can be made.
There are many ways this influence is playing out in our collective experience as well as personal lives.

Obviously, the presidential campaign is demonstrating potential weakness in the structure of democracy. In your personal life, this can show up as the need to restructure financial areas, address legal matters or strengthen the physical body for long term wellness. Unexpected and additional expenditures of time, money and energy may feel daunting, but prove to be a good decision in the long run.

Resistance is Futile
To summarize, April begins with an intense and urgent call to make some significant changes in your life. The necessity for change has been brewing for several months, if not for several years. Probably these are major transformations that cannot happen overnight or without planning, conviction and determination.

As the month unfolds, there are numerous factors representing the need to step back, take a good look, develop strategy, and persevere despite obstacles. If a direction is not worthy of your life force, if a direction is no longer viable, than that is okay. It is time to let go. To quote from Star Trek, “Resistance is futile.”

The Full Moon on April 22 assists in the process of identifying what is needed, and what is best released. With the Sun in Taurus and Moon in Scorpio, the dynamic interplay between form and the formless plays out. Scorpio reminds us that life on Earth is impermanent, it's a passing show.

Taurus reminds us to enjoy the beauty, and share the love. Essentially, the planetary energies in April are out of the ordinary, albeit extraordinarily challenging, but truly enriching.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com Phone: 828-215-2101 Website: astrodelight.com