April 2011: Unity between Spirit and Purpose: The Cardinal Initiation

There is no need to point out that March 2011 was a difficult month for the world population. Japan was hit with a 9.0 earthquake followed quickly by a tsunami. The violence in Libya escalated to the point that on March 17, 2011, the United Nations voted to approve a no-fly zone over Libya. Less than a week later, on March 24, 2011, NATO voted to take over the no-fly zone activity while leaving the Coalition Forces to continue actions protecting civilians. Meanwhile, erratic weather patterns continue in the United States while economic problems continue in Europe. There is a high level of energy in the world right as you enter the month of April 2011: the Sun in Aries, Mercury retrograde in Aries, Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn are all in cardinal signs. Mars will move into Aries shortly and Venus will move into Aries after the Sun enters Taurus around the third week of the month. On top of all this cardinal energy, Neptune will move into the sign of Pisces for a short period giving a clue to a major paradigm shift that will occur in the year 2012.

Alice Bailey, in her book Esoteric Astrology, writes that the cardinal signs are those of initiation and transformation. They deal with your will or your power. The sign of Aries, according to Alice Bailey, is “the place where the initial idea to institute activity takes form. It is the birthplace of ideas.”

When ideas take shape, there is a drive to find ways to incorporate those ideas into your life. With Aries, there is a willingness to fight for your ideas until you can find that unity between spirit and purpose. In finding that unity, there is hope that the unity can extend to all people.

With Mars entering the sign of Aries on April 2nd, you’ll want to rush into things, often without thinking. You’ll want to create change, often without having a plan for implementing that change. You need to be very careful of your actions on this day and not rush into things. Even the weather seems to be hectic and very erratic with continual storms brewing. But Venus forms a sextile to Pluto several hours later and this can help you feel more grounded. With this sextile, you’ll be reminded of your values and priorities. You’ll feel more compassion for people around you. And, you’ll find yourself willing to reach out to friends so that you don’t have to go through situations alone.

The new Moon, with Sun and Moon in Aries, occurs on April 3rd, followed by a conjunction between Mars and Uranus later in the day. Although this conjunction is not exact at the time of the new Moon, it will be felt in this chart. Another important energy that will be felt is the opposition between the new Moon and Saturn retrograde.

Again, the cardinal energy is strongly manifested during the new Moon. You’ll feel impatient and want to start new things. But if you try to rush or force the changes, you’ll become frustrated. It’s not going to be easy to get things going so fast. What’s more important today is for you to review past events in your life to assure that you have a solid foundation before you start implementing changes. Again, you need to reach out to your family and friends. While seeking their support, try not to push only your ideas and concepts. Listen to what they have to say. You’ll receive some valuable input even if you don’t use all the information you’ve gathered.

With Mars forming a conjunction to Uranus a few hours later, you’ll feel frustrated that things aren’t going as quickly as you’d like. But it’s important not to act too rashly nor take out your frustrations on other people. They may not show it, but they are experiencing the same feelings you are. Also, be very careful with your finances. This is a very erratic day for the stock market.

On April 4th, you start getting clues as to the next major paradigm shift which will occur in the world. This is when Neptune enters the sign of Pisces for the first time in 165 years. The reason that these are only clues is that Neptune only goes up 00°55.7’ of Pisces before it turns retrograde and re-enters the sign of Aquarius for a last time on August 4, 2011. Neptune will re-enter the sign of Pisces on February 12, 2012 and remain there for approximately 14 years.

Neptune is considered one of the “new” planets, along with Uranus and Pluto. It was discovered around the same time period in 1843 by John C. Adams, astronomer and mathematician, and Urbain J.J. Leverrier, French mathematician, although they were actually working separately. It rules the sign of Pisces.

Because Neptune stays in a sign for approximately 14 years, it is considered a generational planet. It represents areas where you need to pull the curtain back and see what’s really behind all the illusions found in society. It also represents the importance of understanding your dreams and not living a life of paranoia. When Neptune is found in Pisces, the illusions may be more difficult to spot because there is a desire to believe what you want, rather than what is real. On the other hand, when Neptune is found in Pisces, you also have the opportunity to balance the spiritual aspects of your life with the practical means of achieving your goals.

Spiritually this is a very important day. If you read Alice Bailey’s book, Esoteric Astrology, you will see that Pisces (as well as the signs of Gemini and Virgo) focuses on the importance of love and wisdom in life. With Pisces specifically, it is the union between your soul and your personality. If you can remember to utilize the energy of love and wisdom, many of the changes you want to make will bring better unity in the world.

In mundane astrology, Neptune is often seen as the big deceiver. People are told to be careful when Neptune is strong in a mundane chart. It can indicate obscured information, or information being withheld. It can indicate lies and deceit as well as scandal. But there are also positive sides to Neptune. Neptune can indicate a desire to understand and implement spiritual values in daily life. It can indicate compassion for people in society who need help. It’s through this desire to understand your spiritual values and incorporate them in your life that you can find increased balance. And, with more compassion, you can also develop better relationships with people in your life.

When Neptune is in Pisces, alliances between governments and private businesses or investors increase. Many economists consider that the Hanseatic League, also known as the Hanse or Hansa, was at its prime during 1356 to 1371 Neptune cycle. The Hanseatic League was a group of trading cities and their guilds that established a monopoly that stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea, primarily found along the coast of Northern Europe. They had their own legal system and became a strong political entity. Most of the trade focused on timber, wax, amber, resins, furs, rye, and wheat.

Beginning in 1361, the League went to war against Denmark. When the war ended and the Peace Treaty of Stralsund was signed in 1370, King Valdemar IV of Denmark and his son-in-law Hakon VI of Norway agreed to grant the League 15 percent of the profits from Danish trade. This gave the League both a trade and political monopoly in Scandinavia.

During the 1684 to 1698 Neptune cycle, the Bank of England was chartered. Historians write that the Bank of England was the result of the Glorious Revolution in which William and Mary overthrew King James II. At the time they took control of the monarchy, William and Mary inherited a weak economy. They needed a centralized source of financial control. The Bank of England was officially founded in 1694 when it received its Royal Charter. Its initial purpose was to manage national debt and stabilize public finances. The important aspect of the bank was that it was a corporation where investors controlled the assets.

The political clout of corporations and investors will increase when Neptune is in Pisces. In the United States, the media is called the “Fourth Estate.” The first three estates are the Executive Office (the Office of the President), the Legislative body (Congress), and the Judiciary body (the Supreme Court). With Neptune in Pisces, there will be a “Fifth Estate.” This fifth estate will be corporations who swing their political clout to improve their bottom line.

The increase of corporate clout in the political arena does have an effect on your personal life. If the corporation is civic-minded, you’ll find better products and services. However, if the corporation is purely profit-driven, you’ll see the cost of goods and services increase.

At this time when Neptune enters Pisces, there are three other energies also in Pisces, Chiron, Ceres, and Venus. This means that leadership plans for economic growth are still unfocused. The leaders may be trying to create alliances with other organizations, especially business organizations, but they aren’t certain how to implement these alliances. There are too many rules that are contradictory to developing good alliances.

Personally, you need to be careful with some of the alliances you plan right now. Since spiritual goals are important, keep those in mind when you decide to form alliances.

On April 7th when Venus forms a quincunx to Saturn, you’ll feel that people are either asking too much of you or are critical of your actions. As long as you hold on to your value system, you’ll be able to navigate these feelings and find a way to achieve your goals.

Usually when Pluto turns retrograde, as it will on April 9th, you don’t feel it very much because Pluto represents subconscious feelings. However, you’ll start hearing various rumors regarding political intrigue, especially as it relates to military actions. While you want to know what is really going on, you won’t get all the facts right now. Eventually you will but it probably won’t be until September 16, 2011 when Pluto turns retrograde.

Ceres forms a sextile to Pluto retrograde on April 11th. In many ways, Ceres and Pluto have a symbiotic relationship. While Pluto wants to have power over everything, so does Ceres. But Ceres wants to have power on a personal level. Home and family are important and she doesn’t want any one else interfering with how things are done. Meanwhile, Pluto wants to control not only how everything is done, but how it’s done in the external world. There are a lot of opportunities to compromise at this point. One wants security for home and family, the other wants security for the nation. If both sides can find a mutual and common ground, the security for both can be ensured.

In your personal life, you need to determine what ensures security for yourself and your family. You also need to look at the external circumstances in your life and determine if they can provide you with the security you seek. You might have to compromise, but it doesn’t need to be bad for any of the parties involved.

Later that day, Mars forms a square to Pluto retrograde. When Mars entered Aries, it formed a conjunction to Uranus. Later in the month, it will form an opposition to Saturn retrograde. This creates a cardinal T-square between the outer planets. Tension can occur when there is a cardinal T-square because people want change to occur quickly but haven’t considered how to implement that change when it does occur. All they know is that they are tired of the old way. It can be a frustrating day because you may not feel like you’re in control. You may feel that unknown circumstances are working against you. Try to think of this day as a potential period of initiation. Rather than pushing hard for change, try to find the unity of spirit and mind first. Imagine how you would like to implement that changes and what you would be filling to do to see them become successful.

The full Moon, with Sun in Aries and Moon in Libra, which occurs on April 17th, is a void-of-course full Moon. The question raised at this time is: How do you negotiate with other people while you are still trying to make certain that you get what you need out of life?

Most of the planets (with the exception of Saturn retrograde in Libra and the Moon in Libra) are in the lowest half of the chart set up for Washington, DC. This is an internal full Moon where you need to make certain that your life is secure. It is also a full Moon between Mars forming a square to Pluto retrograde a few days earlier and Mars forming an opposition to Saturn retrograde the following day. This Mars energy is felt in the full Moon. You need to go slowly because you don’t know what circumstances are working for you or against you. You need to understand that there will be obstacles that get in your way.

By April 18th, when Mars forms an opposition to Saturn retrograde, you’ll understand the obstacles that are getting in your way. You may want to fight with others so that you can remove these obstacles but that’s not a good thing because you’ll lose. Arguments won’t work. Instead, pull back and remain silent. Use your silence as a means of regaining your ground. You can always start getting rid of those obstacles later.

The need to maintain your silence is very more important when the Sun enters Taurus on April 20th because so many of the planets are either in Pisces or Aries. Any arguments will turn personal. Other people won’t listen to your point of view and you probably won’t listen to theirs. However, if you can maintain your silence, others will feel that you are at least willing to listen to them.

Venus enters Aries on April 21st and also forms a conjunction to Uranus on the following day. Venus is not comfortable in the sign of Aries. There’s a problem between understanding what you want for yourself and what you need to do to keep other people happy. Communications will be difficult today because you don’t know what to say to others. You may get frustrated because they just don’t seem to be hearing you.

This frustration can grow deeper on April 22nd when Venus forms the conjunction to Uranus. This conjunction also starts a second cardinal T-square. This time between Uranus, Pluto retrograde, and Saturn retrograde. This could be a very difficult time period for global economy. Circumstances are out of control.

Emotionally, you may feel like people are not giving you the support you need. You find it difficult to feel affection either for or from others. If you need to be left alone, you will be. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to have others help you through a problem, it isn’t going to happen. You may find some solace in groups because they can understand your dilemma without getting emotionally involved.

Mercury turns direct on April 23, 2011. It initially went retrograde on March 30, 2011. It’s interesting to note that while Mercury was retrograde, it didn’t really form any aspects to the outer planets. Rather, it seemed to just dangle there. So, you may have felt that communications didn’t occur. You may have felt that you didn’t know everything that was going on. Some of those secrets may be revealed now.

When Ceres form a quincunx to Saturn retrograde on April 25th, you want to go out and protect your family. You also become very concerned about how your environment has been affected by global events. Saturn retrograde could indicate that past circumstances prevent you from being able to give the protection you want. There are several ways that this energy could manifest.

It could indicate that you feel other people are trying to tell you how to run your life or how to take care of your children. It could also indicate that you feel the laws of the nation are telling you how you’re supposed to conduct your private life. So, there is a desire to get rid of laws which impinge on your personal privacy. Still another way this energy could manifest is that you start reviewing your relationships with your parents, especially your father, to see if you are living your life the way you want to live it or the way they want you to live it. As you think of this month and the cardinal energy of initiation, you also need to understand that you don’t need to give your power away to other people. Rather, it’s important that you understand your own sense of power.

The real energy of the cardinal T-square created by Venus begins to be felt when Venus forms a square to Pluto retrograde on April 27th. This could be a very rocky road financially for a lot of people. Power struggles can arise with people who want to find employment. People are willing to fight for their rights. However, winning any battles is very difficult.

You need to be careful when you interact with others. They may take what you say and use it against you at a later time. You also may find that other people are trying to use your emotions to manipulate you. Do the best that you can not to let your emotions get in the way of your decisions.

The month ends with Venus forming an opposition to Saturn retrograde on April 30th. You could feel very frustrated because other people aren’t giving you the support you need. You might feel that you are trying to give affection to someone in your life and that person is just turning away from you. This is not an easy time period either personally or economically. You know that changes need to occur. At the same time you may not know how to make those changes. The good news is that this opposition means the cardinal T-square is ending and that your period of initiation is now moving to the next level: Deciding how to create plans that enable you to succeed with any changes you’ll need to make in life.

The month of April 2011 will be a rocky one because of all the cardinal energy. But if you can find the unity between spirit and purpose, you’ll understand how to incorporate those ideas into your life and move to the next level of spiritual awareness.