Moonletter April – May 2024

By Ben Belinsky

Welcome to the Moonletter for the forthcoming mooncycle beginning on 8 April 2024 with the new moon in Aries and spanning the full moon in Scorpio on 24 April 2024.

 

New Moon in Aries – 8 April – Total Solar Eclipse

 

This is the so-called Great North American Eclipse that will sweep across northern Mexico, the continental United States and eastern Canada. You can get full details here. But by the time it gets to western Europe the sun will already be setting so you might just catch the tail end of it. The news media will be full of it, accommodation in the path of totality will be at a premium because this will be the last total eclipse visible in North America until August 2045.

But even if you’re not in that part of the world to see it, you should still get a hit from it. The sun and moon in Aries will be conjunct the centaur Chiron. And when I say conjunct, I mean exactly conjunct to the degree and minute of arc. Aries is the pioneer, the go-getter whose slogan has already been trademarked by Nike: “Just do it!” We’re talking about the sign of action and decision, an impulsive, competitive sign that will never back down from confrontation. But fortunately for us all, it’s a sign that mellows with age.

Also, at the time of the full moon, Mercury is retrograde in Aries. Normally, the planet of communication in Aries is quick thinking, loves the cut and thrust of debate and plays to win. But when it’s running retrograde in this sign, things may go awry: unchecked sources, arguing for the sake of arguing, better to slow down and listen instead of talking.

Venus, the planet of love, beauty and affection is in Aries as well. An impulsive, innocent Venus, falling in love a dozen times a day. But with Mars still dreaming away in Pisces and conjunct the restraining influence of Saturn, desire may not be translated into action. What will Mars in Pisces do? Will it dream or will it act? Will Saturn take the brake off and let Mars have its way? This could however be a good time for artistic creation, turning fantasy into reality.

During this period, the planets are all bunched together in a bundle shape, a very contained pattern but with Pluto as an outlier. And for those of us who are wont to scatter our energies on many different projects, we may find that things flow more easily if we keep a tighter focus. While Pluto reminds us to be aware of who holds the power in any situation.

But back to the Sun and Moon conjunct Chiron. In mythology, Chiron was the wounded healer and if the celestial body that bears the same name is strongly configured in a chart, it will be connected to an inner or outer wound which by being accepted, enables us to heal others. I’ve written a guide to how Chiron works in the signs and houses here.

In a configuration with the sun and moon in a total eclipse however … The moon blots out the sun – that incredible cosmic ‘coincidence’ that the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but the sun is 400 times further away, so that from the Earth, the moon appears the same size as the sun and when it passes between the earth and the sun, covers the sun exactly and you have a total eclipse.

Chiron in aspect to the moon can be a wound to how we take care of our own needs, finding it easier to deal with the needs of others than our own. Chiron in aspect to the sun can be a wound to our sense of self, our confidence, our self-esteem, finding it easier to motivate and inspire others. But to get an insight into Chiron conjunct a solar eclipse, we turn to the Sabian symbols.

These symbols were developed in 1925 by astrologer Marc Edmond Jones and clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler. They created a symbol for each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac, giving symbolic meaning to each degree.

The Sabian symbol for this degree of Aries is ‘a Magic Carpet’, something that enables us to transcend the everyday. Followers of the ‘Dune’ books and movies might call it, “travelling without moving”. But while the new moon in Aries is a pressure to move, the period leading up to a new moon is always a pause in the busy-ness of life. Moreso at the time of an eclipse, a brief lunar respite from the intensity of solar consciousness. And with the presence of Chiron there is a wound acting as a check on movement. To quote Leonard Cohen from his collected poems: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” So maybe the best way to be with the energy of this time is through meditation and journeying; looking at how we’ve reached this point in our lives, and what we have achieved.

 

Full Moon in Scorpio – 24 April

 

Pluto still has one more trip back into Capricorn before it takes up residence in Aquarius but this full moon has Pluto in tough angles to the sun in Taurus and the moon in Scorpio. This feels like a pre-echo or a trailer for Pluto’s influence in Aquarius. Pluto brings issues to the surface to be cleansed and cleared and in Aquarius, the sign of democracy, it reminds us that power is not just in the hands of corporations and governments.

The rest of the planets are bunched up in the space of three signs, Pisces, Aries and Taurus. Mars is nudging up against Neptune, suggesting that there are no straight lines for Mars’ action agenda, rather the meanderings of Neptune, crossing boundaries and guided by intuition rather than maps.

While Venus and Mercury are sandwiching Chiron, suggesting that there may be hidden barbs in the sweet talk. A more positive use of this energy would be in some artistic endeavour. The process might be challenging, but the results should be worth the effort.

But the big news is from the meeting of Jupiter and Uranus on 21st April. This occurs every 14 years so not that rare in fact. This conjunction is in the sign of Taurus, an earth sign that deals with physical matter, with the fertility of the land and in modern economic terms, with the store of value. Jupiter amplifies whatever it comes into contact with, while Uranus can manifest as a flash of insight that leads to innovation. Put these two together and there’s really no trying to predict the outcome. It’s a bit like shooting protons at each other at close to the speed of light to see what happens. Children should not try this at home without the supervision of a responsible adult.

Go well

Ben

A celebration of Beltane in Touraine, France

Key Dates this month:

01-AprMercury turns retrograde in Aries until 25 April
06-AprMuslims celebrate Lailat al Qadr – the Night of Power
08-AprNew Moon in Aries – Solar Eclipse18:22
10-AprMuslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr – the end of Ramadan
19-AprSun Enters Taurus14:01
21-AprJupiter conjunct Uranus in Taurus
23-AprFull Moon in Scorpio23:50
23-30 AprilJewish celebration of Passover
25-AprMercury turns direct in Aries
01-MayPagans and Wiccans celebrate Beltane (May Day)
02-MayPluto turns retrograde in Aquarius
03-MayOrthodox Christians commemorate Good Friday
05-MayOrthodox Christians celebrate Easter Sunday
08-MayNew Moon in Taurus03:23

All Key Date times are GMT

Moonletter April – May 2024 Audio Podcast

Moonletter Podcast

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