Moonletter April 2020

By Ben Belinsky

Welcome to the Moonletter for the forthcoming mooncycle beginning on March 24th 2020 with the new moon in Aries, and spanning the full moon in Libra on April 8th, 2020.

New Moon in Aries – 24 March

A few days after the spring equinox and the sun has moved into Aries. It’s a new moon conjunct the centaur Chiron and a chance to look at the world with different eyes. Pure Aries lives in ‘the now’. It has no past and no future, no memory and no anticipation, only a sense of identity, of who/what they are and the urge to act

Picture by William Blake of man surrounded by rainbow colours
Glad Day or The Dance of Albion by William Blake

Chiron in Aries questions all that identity stuff. Showing us another perspective; a view from another dimension if you like, beyond our cultural conditioning and the constraints of our language. Sure, not everyone gets Chiron. It’s a ‘place’ one only goes to out of inner necessity.

Chiron has been described by many astrologers as the wounded healer in the shamanic sense – where we are wounded is where we can heal. Or in Leonard Cohen’s words, “There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” From the Chironic point of view, this pandemic is a wounding that can lead to deeper healing.

At the same time the procession of planets through Capricorn has got us to the point at this new moon where Pluto is at the exact midpoint of Mars and Jupiter, focussing the energies of these two planets. This could lead to incredible will to deal with and manage situations but with the caveat that any over-the-top approach could spark some sort of kickback.


Full Moon in Libra – 8 April

By the time we get to the full moon in Libra, Mars and Saturn have both moved on to the sign of Aquarius. Saturn will retrograde back into Capricorn on 4 July before finally moving on into Aquarius in December while fast-moving Mars won’t return to Capricorn for another 2 years.

Saturn’s presence in Capricorn (its own sign) has been acting as a buffer or a control rod for all the challenging energies buzzing about. Without that moderating force, Pluto and Jupiter will be free to play out their dramas, Jupiter acting as an amplifier, Pluto stripping away deceit and clearing the way for an Orphic journey to the underworld. (Spoiler: In the myth of Orpheus, he does return – if only he hadn’t turned around and looked back at the last minute …)

But just the day before the full moon, Mars makes a square with Uranus. If these were normal times, I would be going on about tense conditions that could lead to accidents. That is still the case, but Uranus in Taurus is pushing for changes in material conditions, in the whole concept of what we consider to be of value.

the evening star reflected in the ocean
Venus as the evening star reflected in the Pacific

The way through all this? Venus in Gemini appears as an evening star in a beautiful relaxed angle to the tough guys, Saturn and Mars in Aquarius. Can Venus’ charm tame them? And why is it always left to feminine energy to keep the world together?

Our relationships, the way we communicate and share with each other, our kindness to each other. If we can create that reality and keep it going …

Go well


Key Dates this month:

20-MarSun enters Aries – Spring Equinox in Northern Hemisphere03:51
21-MarPersian, Kurdish, Zoroastrian, and Bahai New Year – Nowruz
Mars conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn
22-MarSaturn enters Aquarius
23-MarMars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn
24-MarNew Moon in Aries09:29
29-MarDaylight savings time begins in UK and Europe
30-MarMars enters Aquarius
31-MarMars conjunct Saturn in Aquarius
05-AprJupiter conjunct Pluto in Capricorn
07-AprMars squares Uranus
08-AprFull Moon in Libra02:36
9-15 AprilJewish festival of Passover
10-AprGood Friday for Christians
12-AprEaster Sunday for Christians
19-AprSun enters Taurus14:47
23-AprNew Moon in Taurus02:27
24-AprFast of Ramadan begins for Muslims
25-AprPluto turns retrograde in Capricorn

All Key Date times are GMT

What’s going on in Capricorn?

It was fairly clear that the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was going to be a biggy in terms of impact. Just to rerun the technical details – these two slow-moving planets haven’t been conjunct in the sign of Capricorn since 1518 (before Pluto was discovered) and they won’t be conjunct again in this sign till 2754! If an astronomical event is as rare as this, it suggests that the impact will be unusual, global and significant. As this conjunction is in Capricorn, we expected it to affect the fundamental structures of society – the worlds of business and government. As it involved Saturn, we expected it to involve limitation, a kind of reality check. As it involved Pluto, we expected its influence to be profound. What we did not expect was a viral outbreak that is disrupting many societies at their most fundamental level.

Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are challenging our sense of security; everything external that we take for granted, from jobs, to what’s on the supermarket shelves, to the possibility of travel, all sorts of gatherings including sports events and eating out, even in some countries just to be able to go outside. And that’s in addition to exposing the failures and the cracks in the government and the social system.

If your sense of well-being depends on the availability of Coco Pops or toilet paper, then you’re in for a hard ride. Saturn and Pluto are stripping life down to what is essential. We don’t know what will be temporary adjustments and what will mean a complete sea-change in our way of life. Just to say this: while external reality is doing flip-flops, our sense of inner security is what will get us through.

So now we know the agenda, let’s look at the prognosis.

On February 16 the three heavy-hitting planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto were joined in Capricorn by Mars, the planet of action and decision. Mars acts like a trigger, setting off or manifesting the energies of whatever it touches and as it transits the sign of Capricorn it will trigger each of the slow-moving planets in turn.

20 March: Mars triggers Jupiter, boosting Jupiter’s expansive energy. Jupiter is the guru, the teacher. His role is to help us make sense of situations. This transit should enable us to grok the deeper meaning of what’s going on.

23 March, Mars triggers Pluto. Mars is still carrying the energy boost from Jupiter as it meets the Lord of the Underworld. It looks like an overdose of male energy and some mitigation would help keep things chilled. Fortunately, we’ve got an easy angle from Venus to help us pull back from the pressure of confrontation. Steady as she goes – with as much charm and diplomacy as you can muster.

What about Saturn? At times when there’s a lot of heavy energy buzzing about it’s good to have Saturn to absorb the excess so that things run nice and smooth. But Saturn has moved on into Aquarius (for a few months at least) and it’s tied up with another agenda – setting up the future business paradigm. Maybe we get some pre-echoes of that around this time, especially when Mars meets Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius on 31 March. As Capricorn is the sign of government and business, Aquarius is more about community and potentially the sharing economy.

So that by the time we get to 5 April, the first of three conjunctions of Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn is upon us. When Jupiter and Pluto get together it’s drama time. Jupiter expands and Pluto deepens. As we mentioned above, Jupiter does help to make sense of things. Its function as teacher is to give meaning in order for us to grow. But with Pluto, the teaching challenges us at the deepest level. Asks us to find meaning in loss. Asks us to have a good hard look at what our goals and aspirations are.

There are three hits of the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, 5 April, 20 June and 12 November. Getting us ready for the major conjunction of 2020 on December 21st when Jupiter meets Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius for the great mutation in air. But there’s a way to go before we get there.

We also need to bear in mind the impact on Capricorn’s opposite sign, Cancer, the sign of the family. The impact has been most newsworthy on royal families whose affairs are also the affairs of state. But for it will also mean adjusting to finding a way to work at home while the kids are off school.



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