Once I let go, I was carried along by the current, which while dangerously fast, buoyed me up and allowed me to keep my head above water. I overcame my fear by trusting that I would land in the “right” place.
There are times when we need to fasten our seatbelts, hold on, and ride out the turbulence. Then there are times when being restrained is dangerous, and staying in one place subjects us to a terrible battering by unstoppable forces.
In his inspiring monthly forecast for April, astrologer Rick Levine quoted a message attributed to Hopi elders that gave me a shiver, because I’d already experienced it in a dream. I have no idea whether this is authentic Hopi wisdom, and apparently it has been circulating the Internet for years, but it is relevant for the intense planetary alignment we’re witnessing. Here’s an excerpt:
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
This week, a rare configuration of planets in all four cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn – is close to alignment by exact degree. This is the “grand cross” you’ve been hearing about. When only three signs are activated, the formation is called a T-square. The cardinal signs are about initiating new systems, forms, and structures. In the summer of 2010, there was a powerful cardinal T-square by exact degree in the early degrees of Aries, Libra, and Capricorn. For many of us, life-changing events began around that time. However, since then, we’ve experienced discouraging setbacks, and our goal seemed always to be “just around the corner.” The two outermost planets in this alignment, Uranus and Pluto, represent blasting apart and breaking down – necessary prerequisites to breaking old patterns that continue to produce the same old results. As our lives began to change for the better, many of us attempted to move forward on old patterns of behavior. As those patterns broke down, so, too, did our progress.
The grand cross is exact by degree next week, when Mars moves into position. But it’s close enough this week that a few days hardly matter. Also, Mercury brings a sort of trial run, squaring Jupiter and conjoining Uranus on Monday, squaring Pluto on Tuesday, and opposing Mars on Wednesday. Mercury is often called the Messenger, and indeed his movements in the first half of this week could herald imminent events, both in our personal lives and in the world at large. Mercury’s square with Pluto is particularly powerful, as it occurs just hours after the planet named for the lord of the underworld turns retrograde.In addition, we have a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday, and eclipses often bring sudden developments in our lives. For most of us, these changes likely won’t involve circumstances we don’t know about already. The same is true for the grand cross. Major events in the world and in our personal lives have been developing over time. That’s not to say there won’t be startling news and stunning breakthroughs, but they most likely will relate to circumstances already in play. And don’t discount the potential for sudden, huge leaps forward.
Under the Uranus-Pluto square, the process of releasing, unloading, and shifting has been accelerated. With Jupiter opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus, the potential for growth is further amplified, and with a lot of old stuff cleared away, there’s plenty of room to grow. Aspects from Jupiter to Uranus and Pluto are exact on Sunday, April 20.
Pluto’s turn retrograde in the midst of this alignment turns a river into a cosmic tsunami. When planets are “stopped” to shift motion, we acutely feel their nature, the energy they represent. Pluto is about letting go, and he’s the planet of slow evolution and decay. It can take years of conscious intervention to identify old patterns and root them out at their source. It’s not as though you can just say, “Today I let go of all fear, worry, [fill in the blank]” and the cosmic garbage truck immediately arrives to haul away your unwanted feelings, all neat and tidy. The inner shift doesn’t happen until the “subterranean” process is complete. The more ingrained these patterns are, the more likely that a breakdown of some kind will be part of that process. Again, that goes for individuals as well as larger organizations such as societies and governments.
Right up until this past week, I had no idea what “letting go” would look like. I wish I could tell you what I did, but it just sort of “happened.” I woke up early the next morning, and the rest of the day was strange. I had no concept of time. Then, that’s often how we feel around eclipses, particularly in the space between two eclipses, which we’ll experience from April 15 to April 29. If some of us are feeling it earlier, this is likely a reflection of the pressure-cooker cardinal T-square, with Pluto all but stopped (what it would look like from down here if we could see Pluto).
Unfortunately, many of us have been unable to handle the intensity of this energy, which might be compared to a power surge frying electrical circuits. It’s very important in the next two weeks to keep your nerve. If you’re able to stay grounded, you can help people you care about who might be exhausting themselves fighting the current.
Challenges and struggles often make us more compassionate people, and when we face crises together, the better side of humanity can emerge. That possibility is heightened this week, with Venus in positive aspect to Jupiter and Pluto. Venus is in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. Among the characteristics of Pisces is compassion – literally, “to suffer with.” Often, we judge others harshly because they exhibit a trait we dislike in ourselves. Some people need to forgive themselves before they can show compassion for others, but for some it can work the other way around. It doesn’t matter how you get there. On Sunday (April 20), Venus carries forward the energy of the Jupiter-Pluto opposition – breaking down to clear the way for new growth – to Chiron, the so-called “wounded healer.” Who is better able to “suffer with” others than someone who has experienced tragedy and loss? Chiron in Pisces represents the collective wound, the tragedy and loss that humanity has accumulated over millennia, in part due to violence of its own making. Through compassion and empathy, we heal each other.
As each of us clears away old patterns of behavior and replaces them with new patterns that encourage empathy and cooperation, we heal the collective, one heart at a time.
Wishing you all infinite love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.