With the Sun entering Taurus on Monday April 20 at 2:42 am Pacific time, a sense of wellbeing is in the ethers. Taurus is a very slow moving sign of the zodiac, but its ruler is Venus, and Venus is motivated by beauty, getting things shifted and re-shaped into a more pleasing environment like remodeling houses, gardens, or closets. It is a good time for reaching out in attaining those goals. As the Sun continues aspecting Pluto in a very positive format throughout the month, beauty and transformation is possible. Pluto has its positive sides as well as its challenging sides…it just depends on your frame of mind.

In the first few days of Pluto in retrograde motion, it may have seemed as there were barriers. The Mercury/Mars challenge on Wednesday suggests communication. Think before you speak, because Mars often spews things out without filters. The end of the day is far more volatile than the beginning of the day where great ideas are passed back and forth, but by day’s end, the mood shifts. Close it up and go home.

There is some juggling that takes place at week’s end as fun loving Sun and Venus juggle with the more practical Saturn (organization) and the coach, Chiron. By Saturday’s First Quarter Moon in Leo, things smooth out and the discovery of the ideal solution appear possibly from someone far away, or from one of your ‘guardian angel’ friends or acquaintances. The week finishes on a high note — Sunday is the Sun’s day, which rules Leo, where we find the Moon l in Leo ready to play wholeheartedly. So get together with those you love and bask in their warmth.

Tax due dates are stressful and this week isn’t any different as we approach the infamous April 15 in America. On Monday April 13, transiting Mercury leaves explosive Aries and enters the more plodding, and more cautious, sign of Taurus. Communications may seem slower in the coming weeks, but sometimes slow is far more effective than fast and rushed, which seems to be the way of the world these days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14 and 15, transit Venus in Gemini opposes (180°) the transit Saturn, which often feels somewhat limiting. This opposition often brings a reality check concerning relationships, but, in general, is a good transit for getting that project done and getting focused.

In addition, the pull of Pluto starting its annual retrograde motion on Thursday April 16 at 15° Capricorn 32′ slows us all down buying some time to re-group and form a practical plan of change and choices for the rest of the year. Sometimes, however, in the weeks that Pluto is in either a retrograde or direct mode (September 24), the news is filled with unfortunate situations of endings, losses and finalities that are unwelcome. Of course, this type of news is disheartening, but it is part of a greater plan –nature’s way — of closing doors and opening windows while allowing time to lick our wounds of loss.

As the week finishes, and Mars and Jupiter are in hard aspect to each other, the strained experience of the past week seeks release in an overindulgent weekend. Be aware that rash actions reap consequences so watch things like driving and walking into crosswalks while looking at your cell and not paying attention to what is around you! Then get ready for the New Moon at 28° Aries 25′ awaiting all of us on Saturday April 18. Since this New Moon falls in later degrees of Aries, in the more unconscious and soulful section of Aries, insight is gained in quiet moments of meditation and rest.

Just finishing a lunar eclipse (a full moon eclipse) is often exhausting, particularly if it falls on a nation’s (USA) Saturn, which rules government. How interesting that in the last few weeks, the Republican members of Congress, in an unprecedented, and, not particularly, smart move, bypassed President Obama sending a letter to Iran’s leadership about their ‘take’ on the upcoming nuclear agreement… Unfortunately for them, Iran’s leadership is well versed in international law and stated, that, though it was noted that upon the next election, in 2016, the Congress may change their mind completely about any nuclear agreement made at the present time, that international law is different in that international agreements are still honored! Well bully for both sides!

The bottom line is that this is a perfect example of the ‘anarchy’ that the last and final Uranus Pluto square of March 16 was indicating. Congress doesn’t ‘bypass’ Presidents! It just isn’t done. And this is also a microcosmic example of that last configuration and this week’s April 6 Sun/Uranus conjunction (again rebellious actions) hitting all of our natal charts.

Where is it that you need to bravely step up, or, step out of your thinking box to figure out a different alternative? Where is it you need to take a chance, a risk, a stab at something different? This combined with the Sun/Mercury alignment on April 10, gives all of us a fresh take on an old story. Fresh eyes are always wonderful. It may be someone may help you with those fresh eyes offering you fresh eyes as well as support as you step up. A contract, a conversation, a report, a phone call, or, even a text that wasn’t particularly effective earlier in the week, is made clearer at week’s end, particularly as transiting Venus finally leaves Taurus and enters talkative and problem-solving Gemini on Saturday April 11. With Jupiter going direct on Wednesday, April 8 at 10 am Pacific time and at 12° Leo 35′, a bit more ‘heart’ may engage everyone providing a more soulful message.

We are in the week of the second eclipse mentioned last week. It is also a Total Eclipse (Saturday, April 4, 2015) but a Full Moon, rather than a New Moon. Full Moons, especially eclipses, are less concerned with leaders of countries, but rather with the concerns of the People of a country. The Moon rules the people in mundane charts.

This Full Moon eclipse falls the day after Good Friday, which is April 3 and is exact on the first full day of Passover which begins April 4. Could it be there is increasing tension between Israel and Palestine? Or, in a perfect world, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone got ‘it’ and put down their guns and talked true peace. In a similar scenario, it might even be a more permanent solution, similar to that Christmas Eve in 1914 when the Western Front of World War I, the French and the Scottish and their adversaries, the Germans laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday season in ‘no man’s land’ the territory between the two battle field areas. This is a true story and is beautifully illustrated in the film, Joyeux Noel.

Bottom line — fighting is exhausting and with this Full Moon in the third of several eclipses that began in late 2013, and one of two back to back Total eclipses, perhaps this last one at that middle degree of Libra finally sends the message to not only the leaders in Washington, but to those closer to home with the realization that peaceful solutions and honest discussions are really the only way to go. Compromise and understanding and each individual or group giving something to facilitate that — perhaps pride, the issue of not wanting to be vulnerable — it takes many forms. What peaceful gesture coming from you facilitates a real change? And are you patient with baby steps rather than large giant ones?

The Total Solar Eclipse of last week happened just about an hour before Spring Equinox — equal day and equal night — where the days in the Northern Hemisphere now become longer. A Solar Eclipse at that very position in an ingress chart has a lot to do with the leaders of countries. The idea of Solar surrounds those who lead, or, who have strong Solar — Leo like — characteristics. It wouldn’t be a surprise if over the course of the next few months, the leaders of the world come together to make a change — perhaps with growing international threats –and realizing that strength comes in numbers. Leaders of countries, communities, organizations, and families, all take a hard look at how their lives (the Sun has to do with one’s life) and communities must shift. This different perspective is not only expressed through communities, but also in countries, political parties, organizations and families. In other words, if you keep doing what you always did, you get what you always got.

What psychological hang-ups keep you from letting go or telling the truth or releasing something that needs releasing? Is emotion or fear of being discovered, exposed and vulnerable getting in the way of progress? Is a recent emotional upheaval keeping you from making important decisions?

These are all very good questions to ask as we move through the shadow of the still existent energy of this last eclipse and the one coming next week on April 4, which is another Total Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) at 14° Libra 21′ — interestingly enough on the USA Saturn, which has to do with government and the Democratic Party. In other words, this is not the time to ‘decide’, but to explore, investigate, and ask lots of questions. More clarity comes during the summer months.

Yup, today is the final Uranus Pluto square. One the East Coast of the USA it occurs around 10:54 PM. On the West Coast of the USA, it occurs at 07:54 PM. A lot of people think that this chaotic energy which began on June 24, 2012 is now over. It isn’t. In fact, it is at the peak of its edgy and controversial chaos. My friend, Steve Pincus, a brilliant Uranian astrologer in San Francisco gave a fabulous presentation on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in San Francisco showing us the graphics of this configuration. It was an incredible visual. It is called a Graphic Ephemeris that looks like a cycles chart that we sometimes see on stock valuations, except that it shows the intertwining activity or dance between the planets.

When looking at this graphic, what was fascinating is that when the 90° angle between these two planets began back in June, 2013, the two lines were close but not intersecting. Like a twisted vine in the jungle, the configuration of December 2014 and today’s alignment shows no space between the two. In other words, it is literally twisted! And it takes a while for these two to become untwisted — and for ‘light’ to again dance between them for at least another few months. This is important to know, because the twisted and convoluted mix between these two could bring some severe protests, realizations and exposes around government officials (both parties), taxation abuses, corporation abuses an even medical abuses where the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies are really eating at the trough of the new health care laws. Keyword for this period is: Expose!

Lives are up for grabs as we enter the shadow of the Total Solar Eclipse on March 20 at the last degree of the zodiac — 29° Pisces –.Eclipses bring shadows — and then, eventually, light is shed and we see clearly about three months later (end of June in this case). This eclipse falls at the fixed star known as Scheat. Long considered a star of hardship–astrologers often call it something else and if you look at the name, you can surmise what that might be.

However, Diana Rosenberg, a wonderful specialist in fixed stars and, unfortunately, having passed from the earth plane just awhile back, told me that Scheat falls in the constellation of Pegasus (my favorite mythological character –I just love horses). Pegasus is above the head of Andromeda, the chained woman, who is soon to be rescued by Perseus who just slew the Medusa. Diana Rosenberg’s take on Scheat is that it represented ‘freedom from bondage’! With all this hyper-activity and this eclipse, look to the summer for more freedom from whatever bondage you may be experiencing.

So how is that silent close working for you? As our dear departed Joan Rivers said, “Let’s Talk!”. If that more agreeable solution worked last week, great. If not, you may need to be a bit more courageous this week and cut loose of something you’ve been unwilling to release thus far. This is particularly true as transiting Mars is now in the kitchen with high levels of heat along with volatile Uranus and Pluto, on Wednesday, March 11. Since we are moving into a Last Quarter Moon on Friday, March 13 and since the last of the Uranus Pluto squares occurs on the following Monday, it may be time — if you want that relationships conversation, or, that contractual agreement to complete to be a bit more compromising as well as a bit more direct by asking the questions no one wants to ask for fear that people or contracts go away. But if you don’t ask, then it probably has problems down the road when it is far less convenient.

Refuse to be angry, because that never works, but do lay out your very clear position, point by point as to why you want to do it this way or that way and then stop and hear the other side’s views. Think about them, and, turn them over and around in your mind. Take a day or less to figure other options out. That is important. It might even be a good idea to list those same points on paper and give them a copy, because these transits of Mars require presentations that are very clear and sometimes the paper and the spoken word are really different. And, of course, everyone processes information differently. This is a far better approach than walking away and taking your toys with you. The reality is that even if you follow Joan Rivers’ advice to talk — you may decide it just isn’t worth it. If you decide that, then know when one door closes, a window opens!!

I want to further explore the lesson of Mars traveling through its own sign of Aries until the beginning of April. It is running with transit Venus as well and in mid-week, Venus, who is usually pretty easy going, aligns with confrontational Uranus and Pluto. With Mars hanging around these same degrees for another week, things get testy; people get restless and somewhat reactive. Frustrated is a more likely explanation of the current environment. This is particularly true when it comes to agreements and contracts.

Even though Mercury is coming back to where it began its retrograde (known as its shadow point), the agreements made a month or so ago, may come back on the block with everyone expressing the desire to have things more ‘their’ way. Do not react. Do not give an answer. Do not appease by saying ‘yes’, which you will, indeed, regret as we get closer and closer to the last and final Uranus and Pluto square in mid-March. Have your position and your position papers ready — make sure you’ve checked and checked your position — then do, as we used to say in real estate, your ‘Silent Close’. A Silent Close is when the contract has been negotiated and turned upside down and nothing else is negotiable. You put the pen down next to the paper and say nothing — thus ‘The Silent Close’ and a solid agreement begins. How strategic is that?!

I am coming back from South Africa later this week. I have been on an adventure. How about you?? Let’s talk about adventure — the definition of adventure from my perspective is the ability one has to make a new thing out of something that seems old and outworn, or, going someplace that is challenging and foreign. This doesn’t necessarily mean foreign countries, but could be as simple as studying something completely outside of your realm of expertise. It can also mean going to the same restaurant and not ordering the same thing!

This ability to try new things without a guarantee of how they turn out — requires a certain level of healthy detachment as well as a certain level of courage — whether it is a large or small adventure. Changing our patterns is what the present cycle is about — what needs dissolving, or, dissolution, or, re-organization that is within your immediate realm. As the Sun moves into Pisces this week, it aligns with Neptune — and Neptune, the god of the sea, definitely dissolves, or, at best changes the structure of what it washes over.

As Mars enters the sign of Aries, the warrior or hero or heroine of the zodiac, the courage is there to start anew. As they say, “let the Force be with you”.

In the USA we celebrate Presidents Day on Monday February 16 this year. I have always found it quite interesting that many of our more notable presidents were born in the first three months of our calendar year. Of course, we have George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, many other great thinkers, radicals, revolutionaries and inventors — known for their courage and enlightened minds were born in the first three months of the year — like Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, Angela Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Margaret Sanger, and Jane Goodall to name a very few.

Whether you agreed with their ideas or politics is irrelevant. The point is that each of them thought outside the box of the existing reality of their time. They were unabashedly willing to put their lives and reputations on the line to make their arguments or bring home their point.

With the New Moon (new beginnings) in the last degree of Aquarius on Wednesday, the next month heralds a month in which we prepare for radical changes coming for all of us at the end of March. As we approach a Total Eclipse of the Sun on March 20 at 29° Pisces — the last degree of the zodiac, it is a benchmark indicating a time to finish things and now. Inclusively, we approach the last of the seven Uranus square Pluto configurations on March 16, and then move into Spring Equinox just a few hours after the above named eclipse. The horse is heading for the barn with lightning speed and bringing vast changes in consciousness.

Before Mars leaves Pisces on Thursday February 19 and enters reactive Aries later that day please start some sort of spiritual practice — either meditating, doing yoga, or simply committing to a daily walk or swim without a telephone to sort through your thoughts and ideas. This keeps you in the saddle during that wild ride. It is exciting indeed, but as humans we only run on one circuit rather than several at the same time. What circuits feel like they are shorting out in your life? Whatever they are, do you really need those extra power surges??

This week I am starting my travels to South Africa a long awaited journey and for you my readers, you could find yourselves traveling another expedition that engages your highly intelligent problem solving skills. This practice puts you on a new and clear direction and path leading you to your next exciting journey. This is particularly strong over the course of the next few days as Mercury stations to go direct at 1° Aquarius 28′ and Saturn gets close to the 4th degree of Sagittarius.

Since late December, Saturn entered Sagittarius where it last traveled between 1985 and 1986. However, whenever a slower planet like Saturn puts its toe into a new sign, it takes about 3° to get its mojo going so that we all clearly see what our next steps of organizational planning might be.

Saturn rules disciplines, but Sagittarius wants to be free and have a long leash. This is the challenge of the next 2 ½ years. These next few weeks show us a picture of how to have vision but also shows us a picture of what we need to do (not always a lot of fun) in order to make that vision a reality. Double checking what you say, or, what you’ve done, rather than saying — oh that is good enough — is part of the learning curve we face.

Since Saturn will be stationing to go retrograde (appear to go backwards) at the 4th degree around mid-March, the plot is laid. This early preview at the Saturn in Sagittarius movies is just a preview. Previews are ticklers — they either titillate you or horrify you. Either way, they are designed to mirror back to you the ‘issues’. These ‘issues’ are, of course, ‘issues’ of others or other organizations. For example, the 3rd and 4th degrees of Sagittarius are the degrees of flight. Could the airlines find themselves on the hot seat as more mechanical problems result in tragic accidents, or, if the price of oil is still down, answering, honestly, while travel is becoming increasingly expensive?

The other issues to which I refer are our issues. What aren’t we willing to look at because it is just too uncomfortable or we are having too good a time, or, whatever? Don’t worry because it is just a preview. The real story starts in September 2015. But it is best to start correcting the behaviors that keep me or you or us from attaining our goals. Progress and advancement and specialization require time — not just a ‘good enough’ attitude. Dave Grant was a motivational speaker about two decades ago and I remember his comment, “If you have a choice between pleasure and pain, do the pain first, then pleasure is a true reward!” How much do you want IT?

Good news for more fun as the Full Moon appears on Tuesday at 14° Leo 48′. This is just a day after Uranus (innovative thinking) aligns with the Sun in Aquarius. Your brain is lit up with ideas, or, finding yourself in the right place at the right time, socializing, and feeling a general sense of happiness and joy as the Moon moves towards an alignment with good luck Jupiter on Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday. This is a perfect set up for the end of the week, when Mercury, the thinking planet begins stationing to go direct the following week and lines up with clear thinking and organized Saturn on Thursday, February 5. This along with a good stiff Moon in organized Virgo all the way through Saturday is particularly supportive of getting ‘it’ done — whatever ‘it’ is.

The weekend brings a very social Libra Moon having great conversations with whomever you happen to run into on the runway of life. Those ‘moments’ are key in opening some new doorways to new possibilities that hold true potential. Sunday supports closing the deal and presenting your ideas as Venus and Pluto support each other offering key teaching and coaching moments for many.