by Nan DeGrove

The new Moon in Aries on April 18th signified a turning point, a time when the springtime energy of renewal and revitalization gathers strength and summons the heart and mind to new challenge and purpose. This is the first official new Moon of Spring, as the last new Moon occurred at 30 degrees of Pisces. This new moon at 29 Aries again accentuates the closing degree of its sign. Aries is the Hero/Heroine’s journey in its myriad forms, and for each person, this Moon represents a call to a new phase, a deeper engagement with the Tasks one has chosen, or been chosen for, in this life. So often in myth and folktales the hero does not choose, but is chosen by fate, like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, or Psyche lighting the lamp, which causes blind Love (Eros) to fly away, and sets her on the path of her soul. Always, it seems, these heroes and heroines find courage they didn’t know they had, and that is, in part, the message of the new Moon, and the planetary themes that combine with it. We might also note, that the mythic hero/heroine’s journey is not a path of socially approved accomplishment, but more like a labyrinth, with many twists, turnings, reversals, and descents.

Psyche and Eros on a German postage stamp.

Psyche and Eros on a German postage stamp.

Jupiter Direct in Leo: the Gift and the Generous Heart

Retrograde since last December, Jupiter is now, as of April 8th, in direct motion in the middle of Leo, an area of the zodiac which is one of the portals of power (middle degrees of Taurus, Leo, Aquarius and Scorpio). Jupiter in Leo is the light of the soul, illuminating the places where we are, collectively and personally, trapped in old beliefs or illusions. Jupiter in Leo relates to the mystery of the Gift. It requires that we share, in some way, however, humble, our gifts and talents with the world, and that we recognize a gift when we receive one. Generosity and gratitude are Jupiter’s virtues.

Magi offering gold to the Christ Child, from the Star of Bethlehem, by Edward Burne-Jones.

Magi offering gold to the Christ Child, from the Star of Bethlehem, by Edward Burne-Jones.

Leo is the sign associated with the heart, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Jupiter’s magnificent radiance can be seen in the evenings now, and through May, as with Venus it reigns as an evening star—nearly overhead around 9 P.M., with Venus setting in the west. Venus can be seen with the new crescent Moon, both in Gemini on the evening of April 21st. Jupiter will be in Leo through early August. It is especially favorable for people in artistic vocations, and those who wish to break free of creative blocks and self-criticism.

Pluto: the Dark Angel

Pluto turned retrograde on April 16th, intensifying the effect of the new Moon. Pluto’s global effect continues to be seen in the breakdown of order in social and environmental systems, and the massive power of multinational corporations. On both personal and collective levels Pluto works like a composting process, breaking up old forms and habits to provide fertile ground for renewal/renaissance. Pluto is the dark angel shining light on the shadowy places where energies of life are denied or trapped. The retrograde cycle ( until September 24th) has a purpose: it gives us time to integrate and assimilate deep changes that are going on in our lives. Pluto demands depth—deep feeling and thinking, looking beneath surface appearances.

Nan De Grove is a gardener, painter and astrologer. She writes the monthly full-Moon column for The Lore of the Garden, as well as other occasional contributions. She can be reached at ndegrove@aol.com.

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