April is the Month for Retrogrades
Retrogrades echo throughout this month asking us to stop and listen to their refrains while Mercury retrograde jinxes tax day. Sun in Taurus gets serious.
April is the month for retrogrades. Not only do Venus and Jupiter appear to be moving backwards in the sky, but this month Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto will also turn retrograde. Astrologers interpret retrograde motion as a time of “re-“. We re-think, re-do, re-define, and re-structure. Because a planet in retrograde moves more slowly, things can feel stuck or bogged down.
On April 2, Venus moves back into Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. The planet of love will end her retrograde at the same degree as Chiron, the wounded healer and teacher of the gods in Greek mythology. If you found a pattern for Venus’s retrograde cycle in Aries (see last month’s astrology article), the direct station on April 15 gives you a chance to heal and free yourself from that repetition.
On April 5, Saturn comes to the full stop that starts a retrograde period, which lasts through August 25. Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius asks us to reexamine our understanding of foreigners, international trade, borders, and higher education. Nevertheless, a supportive aspect between Mars and Pluto in strong, stable earth signs makes this a productive day.
Tarot Card Astrology: Sun in Aries, the Three of Wands
On April 7, the Sun sheds his light of reason on the annual theme of independent rebellion vs. leading through partnership. Facts supporting the rebellion could be revealed. The Sun is in his exaltation degree, exactly opposite Jupiter in Libra; in addition, the Sun rules this middle third of Aries, a double dose of power where he naturally succeeds. While the retrogrades quixotically question half of life, the Sun surges forward with confident clarity. Three cheers for the freedom of self-determination!
The tarot card for the Sun in the middle section of Aries is the Three of Wands. The most common image shows a man standing on a cliff between two wands, a third behind him and slightly to the right. He is overlooking a harbor with three ships (the three-masted ship is a common symbol for this card). The man’s far-seeing perspective lends authority. The scene could be interpreted as someone who worked his way up through the ranks, now owning a fleet of ships that come and go at his command, doing his business. The tarot card astrology suggests the reconciliation of the year’s theme: Do you work with a partner to eventually gain independence, or do you prefer to develop things solo and share when you’ve achieved success? Either way, the Sun sides with doing it your way. These energies continue to be highlighted for the next week.
Mercury Retrograde Monkey Wrenches Tax Day
Mercury begins his three-and-a-half week retrograde in Taurus on April 9. Not only does this period include tax day, but the sign of the Bull is traditionally associated with money, wealth, and resources. As a result, you might encounter delays to sending and receiving money. The observation of Easter pushes tax day back to Tuesday, April 18, so don’t waste your extra time!
Easter Day sees the tension from earlier in the month ease off as several planets move into friendly relationships. Mars, our warrior currently pacing the cage of Venus’s home sign, is graciously received by our Lady Love and relaxes for the day. The Sun, precisely centered between these two and in a supportive relationship with boundary-loving Saturn, releases you from what holds you back. Under these circumstances, Saturn acts like a starting block, something to push against to gain the traction needed to launch.
Tarot Card Astrology: Sun in Taurus, the Prince of Disks
Happy Birthday Taurus! On April 19 the Sun steps forward into Taurus, joining Mercury just before he steps back into Aries, meanwhile squaring an idealistic Aquarian Moon. Things slow down as you make serious decisions about how to fully realize the ambitions that excited you earlier in the month.
The Sun in Taurus is the tarot card Prince of Disks, which illustrated here shows the muscular Taurean bull carrying on his back the Prince in his chariot. Correspondingly, this fixed earth sign signals hard work, steady progress, and the strength of endurance.
Pluto goes retrograde in Capricorn from April 20 through September. The lord of the underworld, Pluto represents power and wealth, but also transformation. The retrograde is about breaking down what will change, the resulting manifestation arrives once the planet goes direct again.
The next day, Mars moves into Gemini, granting more energy and ease in taking action, but perhaps stimulating overactive thoughts. Moving meditations that use the left and right sides of the body in tandem will help you balance and focus.
Relax and get comfortable with the Taurus New Moon on April 26. It’s the time to plant things, literal or symbolic, that need to grow slowly and take time to develop.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.