Today’s photo:  Cascading auroras over Salla, Finnish Lapland, on April 11 (photo by B. Art Braafhart, posted on SpaceWeather.com)

THE EXODUS of planets leaving Aries begins this week. On Monday, Venus enters Taurus, followed by the Sun on Friday and Mars on Saturday.
We still have some of the Aries fire to work with — most notably the alignment between the Sun and Mars this Wednesday, and the upcoming square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn (on May 20). But for this Taurus native, the idea of more planets anchoring the energy of grounded, placid, peace-loving Taurus is a relief.
THE SHIFT from Aries to Taurus occurs every year in late April, following the Sun’s regular cycle through the 12 signs of the zodiac. Whenever the Sun changes signs, it’s time to take the next step in whatever process is underway in our lives.
During the month of Aries, we have been supported in initiating new projects, having the courage to lead the way into new territory, and generally exhibiting the qualities of the Aries archetypes: the Pioneer, the Risk-Taker, the Assertive One. Each of us, of course, manifests these themes in different areas of life (the location of Aries in our natal charts) and with varying degrees of ease or challenge (current transits).
 
IN THE MONTH of Taurus, the energy shifts. With the support of the Sun and other planets now entering the second sign, we can use the coming month to stabilize and ground our process. Symbolically, now that the seed has been planted, we are sending roots down into the soil, both to add stability and to access resources that are needed to support further growth.
Venus is the first planet to step foot in Taurus this year. As the goddess of love, Venus represents everything that makes our hearts sing. When she enters Taurus on Monday, and then creates a pleasing sextile aspect with Neptune on Thursday, many relationship issues may start to settle out. Venus in Taurus can help us realize more fully what we value and need, and the Neptune influence will help us feel greater compassion for each other.
THERE MAY BE a few fireworks on Wednesday, however, since the aforementioned Sun-Mars alignment occurs on that day. Both planets are still in Aries, so their energy is fueled by self-interest and the need to fulfill the desires of the moment.
This can manifest in positive ways, through a sudden burst of energy that moves us forward, helping us take the initiative and encouraging us to begin the project that has been waiting for the right moment to be birthed. The Sun-Mars alignment can also manifest as irritations, impatience, recklessness and selfishness.
The good news is that there’s plenty of energy to utilize in productive ways — it’s up to each of us to find the best outlet, and to make sure we’re not stepping on anyone else’s toes as we’re rushing out the door. The compassion represented by the Venus-Neptune sextile (exact on Thursday) should be helpful in that regard.
I ALSO LIKE the Sabian symbol for the 29th degree of Aries, where the Sun and Mars are located at the time of their conjunction:
“The music of the spheres: Attunement to the cosmic order.”
It is nice to consider that the projects we begin as the Sun and Mars align are not only highly energized, but also in tune with the cosmos. Here’s a bit more about that symbol, from astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s book An Astrological Mandala:
“The individual who has entered into a new realm of possibilities should learn the harmonic principles operating in this realm. The music of the spheres is the celestial embodiment of principles of polyphonic interplay. Seek to understand and realize your place in the vast scheme of human evolution, in the immense Chord of the harmony of the universe. The message is to listen to your inner voice, to listen without personalizing this Voice in a glamor-producing manner.”
No doubt if we keep this last line in mind — “to listen without personalizing in a glamor-producing manner” — we will be more able to sidestep some of the more selfishly-oriented possibilities of this alignment.
NEXT WEEKEND is the time for insights, changes of mind, accessing higher consciousness, and thinking “outside of the box,” even if (or especially if) those ideas go against traditional or widely-held opinions and beliefs.
Uranus aligns with Mercury on Saturday, representing a strong collaboration between conscious mind and Higher Mind. Keep your pen and paper handy to jot down any “aha” moments. With Uranus, insights and solutions may appear suddenly, but then disappear just as quickly if not anchored in some way.
On Sunday, when Mercury moves on to square Pluto, we may become aware that our new ideas are already pushing buttons and setting up some resistance for us to deal with. This is not meant to discourage us — instead, it is to help empower us, as we more fully understand our own attitudes and beliefs, and how they are reflected in the world around us.
In other words, if we are willing to use Pluto’s magnifying glass to look at the situation very closely, we may find that we are really needing to change is not “them” but “us.”
Blessings,
Pam
 
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/ 
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