Easter – a lunar celebration. Venus retrograde – The honest heart. Autumn harvest ritual. Sun in Aries – my way or the highway! Mercury retrograde – messages from the unconscious. April moon calendar.
Easter – a lunar celebration
Will Easter be early this year or late? Why is it sometimes in March and sometimes in April? Here’s the easy way to work it out. Turn to the March page on the calendar and locate the first full moon after the 20th March or autumn equinox. Then count forward to the next Sunday to find Easter Sunday – simple!
This year Easter Sunday falls on the 16th April – if you look at the moon table in this article, you’ll see it’s just a few days after the April full moon on the 11th. The Catholic Encyclopaedia tells us that Easter is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre – goddess of the dawn, rebirth and renewal and origin of the word ‘oestrogen’. Eostre’s sacred animals were symbols of fertility – the rabbit and the egg – both immortalised in chocolate at Easter time, which in the Northern Hemisphere is the time of spring and rebirth.
But the origins of Easter date back even further to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Turkey & Syria) 5000 years ago, when the goddess Ishtar (aka Easter) made a journey to the underworld where she was stripped, killed and hung on a stake, then three days later, resurrected from the dead and became immortal. Babylonian scriptures called her ‘The Light of the World.” Does this story sound familiar?
In celebrating Easter (or Eostre or Ishtar), we are participating in an age-old ritual celebrating the return of the light after a period of darkness and death. Just remember that when you’re tucking into that chocolate rabbit!
Venus retrograde – The honest heart
Relationship planet Venus continues her retrograde journey through Aries and Pisces in the first half of April – a time when we assess the value of the people and things in our lives and clear out the dead wood. When Venus is retrograde, it is impossible to hide or pretend, as others will clearly sense our true motives and feelings, particularly in close relationships. In turn we become aware of any problems, differences or unresolved issues in our own lives. The best advice is to mull things over and avoid making firm decisions until Venus starts moving forward again on the 16th April.
Autumn harvest ritual
In the astrological calendar, the autumn equinox on the 20th March marks the beginning of the harvest season. Traditionally, autumn was celebrated with a harvest feast to give thanks for the abundance of the season. At a time of year when plants are setting their seeds and getting ready for the new cycle, this autumn ritual will help you celebrate your own harvest.
The ritual is best held just before sunset with friends and loved ones. Firstly light candles and set up a meditation or sacred space with seasonal elements such as baskets of nuts and seasonal fruit, seed pods, autumn leaves, stalks of grain and anything else you associate with the word ‘harvest’. Next take a bunch of dried herbs (e.g. sage or rosemary) and perform a smudging ceremony by wafting the smoke from the herbs around to help cleanse the atmosphere and relax the mind.
Sit in a circle, hold hands and observe the beauty, richness and warmth all around you. Close your eyes for a few minutes to acknowledge and reflect on all the good things in your life. Then, surround yourself with a beautiful golden ball of healing light. Draw that light into your body and anchor it in your heart. Once the light is anchored, imagine a golden beam of light streaming from your heart, melting away any pain and carrying love to those who have helped you on your journey, including those present. Feel the pulse of energy passing between you, knowing you are all part of the great cycle of creation.
End the ritual by giving thanks for the gift of life and sharing your stories. As night falls, enjoy delicious plates of food and drink and celebrate the harvest, both inner and outer.
Sun in Aries – my way or the highway!
This year from the 20th March to the 20th April, the sun travels through uber-masculine fire sign Aries. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the seed, the new beginning, the hero, with keywords “I am” and “I initiate”. The symbol for Aries is the horned ram that rushes fearlessly into new situations, heedless of danger with no consideration for others. Arians are true individuals, keen to build their own personality and ego. The typical Arian is young at heart, independent and adventurous, displaying strength, boldness, initiative and courage. Negatively they can be angry, headstrong, selfish, domineering and arrogant. Arians need to learn how to cooperate with others, complete projects they have started and conserve their energy. If you want to annoy an Aries, boss them around or tell them to calm down. Each zodiac sign rules a part of the body and for Aries it’s the head. When Arians are out of balance they often suffer from headaches, migraines and injuries to the head. The Aries colour is red and when they get angry we talk about ‘seeing red’.
Mercury retrograde – messages from the unconscious
For a little planet, Mercury gets a lot of attention, particularly when the crafty trickster goes retrograde every four months. On the 11th April, Mercury will slow down, grind to a halt and travel backwards through earth sign Taurus and fire sign Aries until the 5th May. In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication – helping us put our thoughts into words, plan our daily activities, interact with one another, and explore new ideas and information.
When Mercury is retrograde, our unconscious and intuitive sides are particularly active. This can be a time of frustration and misunderstandings when things keep going wrong or breaking down. If this happens to you, take it as a sign to be more conscious of things you’ve been ignoring or are perhaps unaware of. As Mercury travels backwards through Taurus and Aries, ask yourself: “Is there unfinished business to take care of?” or “Do I need to slow down and consider others?”
|Aries||Good month for a makeover as Venus helps you see yourself as others see you. Relationship issues could come to a head in the lead up to the full moon.|
|Taurus||You could find yourself feeling angry or irritable, so keep the communication channels open and let others know where you stand in a firm, but polite manner.|
|Gemini||There’s lots going on behind the scenes right now, so don’t jump to conclusions – lie low, keep your mouth shut, avoid gossip and see how things pan out.|
|Cancer||If you’ve got important decisions to make, wait until the second half of April when things will become clearer. Friends are a source of comfort and pleasure.|
|Leo||Generally a favourable month, but if you’re thinking of booking a holiday or signing up for a course, wait until the second half of April. Career prospects look good.|
|Virgo||Good month for completing unfinished tasks, sorting out your finances and checking your super and investments. Take time out to chill and relax.|
|Libra||Avoid making any hasty relationship decisions as you’ll see things differently by the end of the month when Venus changes direction. Deep breathing will help you relax.|
|Scorpio||Niggling health problems could rear their head, so get plenty of rest and listen to the messages from your body. Take good care of your partner and reap the rewards.|
|Sagittarius||Creative projects could prove frustrating, but stick in there and you will succeed. Emotions and health are strongly connected this month, so keep your cool.|
|Capricorn||You could be surprised by news from close family members or perhaps you’ll be the one spilling the beans? Good time to renovate and refurbish home and garden.|
|Aquarius||“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is the advice this month. Whether it’s fake news, juicy gossip, accusations or hot tips – things are not what they seem, so don’t get sucked in!|
|Pisces||Finances are a major preoccupation, but make sure you have all your facts straight before making big decisions. The more you take responsibility, the better things will turn out.|
April moon calendar
Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your star sign.
|9th-12th||Libra||Air||Full moon 11th|
|14th-17th||Sagittarius||Fire||Easter Sunday 16th|
|26th-28th||Taurus||Earth||New moon 26th|