The Next Step Newsletter - April 2016
The Energy Changes


March Review


March 2nd: An earthquake of 7.9 magnitude occurred just off the coast of Indonesia; this is linked to the Uranus-Pluto square, an eruptive explosive energy.


March 3rd: A wonderful example of how Adidas is helping to clean up the ocean pollution to produce something useful  This reflects the Saturn square Neptune in Pisces symbolism (Saturn=taking responsibility for, Neptune in Pisces=the seas), together with Jupiter in Virgo (cleaning up the planet and making something useful=Virgo).


March 7th: 300 migrants have drowned this year so far in crossing by sea from Turkey to Greece. This tragic, desperate situation is linked to the ongoing symbolism between Saturn in Sagittarius (foreigners) square to Neptune in Pisces (migrants, refugees, those lost at sea). Saturn also represents borders and territorial boundaries, such as those between Macedonia and Greece, and other borders which are now shut to migrants, such as those of Hungary and Austria. The policies, regulations (Saturn) around this issue continue to be confused and unclear (Neptune).


March 8th: Martina Sharapova admitted taking a drug that has been on the banned list since January This reflects the symbolism of the sporting authorities (Saturn in Sagittarius, Saturn=authorities, Sagittarius=athletics) square to Neptune in Pisces (drugs, medicines, deception). 


March 8th: The recently agreed plan for Turkey to return migrants arriving from Greece may contravene international law This is again reflects the Saturn-Neptune square; Saturn=policies, regulations, in this case concerning foreigners (Sagittarius), migrants, and Neptune=slippage, confusion, things not being clear, concerning the homeless and destitute.


March 9th: Macedonia has now closed its border with Greece to migrants wanting to travel further into Europe Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia have also restricted access to migrants, blocking to Balkan route to western Europe. The symbolism of Saturn square to Neptune is the same as above.


March 14th: The ‘Seabin’ has been invented, which sucks plastics and oil (Neptune) out of the sea (Neptune in Pisces). It acts like a fish tank filter connected to a pump, and is highly effective in clearing an area of rubbish. Another wonderful example not only of Saturn square Neptune, but also Jupiter in Virgo, cleaning up the planet.


March 14th: In local elections in Germany, the hardline right wing anti-migrant party the AfD made substantial gains, putting Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party under pressure for their current asylum policy: The AfD uses slogans such as ‘secure our borders’ and ‘stop the asylum chaos’. This reflects the square of Saturn in Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces, as discussed above, and also the continuing Uranus-Pluto square (rebellions against mainstream parties, revolutionary mood).


March 14th: In the US Presidential race, the Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders has called Donald Trump a ‘pathological liar’ The race for the White House is becoming increasingly volatile and violent at Mr Trump’s rallies, a reflection of the Uranus-Pluto square (anti-status quo). Mr Trump has Mars conjunct his Leo Ascendant in his natal chart, a combative, aggressive ‘king’/aspiring leader of the Republican Party.


March 15th: Wonderful news, New Zealand has declared all animals as sentient beings This reflects Jupiter in Virgo, greater concern for animal welfare.


March 18th: Anyone living in the UK will have witnessed how fast the Chancellor’s Budget delivered on March 16th was unravelled within two days, with proposed welfare cuts being withdrawn. This is a clear example of the mutability we have this year, things that appear one day to be certain ‘policy’ (Saturn) can quickly unravel on the grounds of compassion (Neptune in Pisces).


March 19th: Istanbul has been hit by another suicide bomber attack, this time killing 4 people There have been a series of suicide bomber attacks on Turkey, both from the Kurdish terrorist group the PKK and also IS. This not only reflects the continuing Uranus-Pluto square (violent, eruptive, sudden and shocking events that are associated with loss of life and extremism), but also is reflecting the instability of the area, linked to the high number of planets in mutable signs at this time. At the Spring Equinox on this day, looking at the astrocartography, Pluto is on the Ascendant in Turkey (planet of death and transformation).


March 19th: In Brazil, where the Uranus-Pluto square is angular (thus likely to manifest strongly in this geography), tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets to support the President who is threatened with impeachment The Uranus-Pluto square is associated with uprisings and riots, and large numbers of people protesting against the authorities. 


March 21st: An illegal vaccination ring is uncovered in China, which may have accounted for many deaths and disabilities Neptune in Pisces is associated with drugs, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and deception. Saturn square to Neptune is associated with the authorities punishing such practice.


March 22nd: There were devastating attacks by suicide bombers at Brussels airport and a metro station, with so far 36 people dead and many injured  Astrologically we have the Lunar Eclipse (endings, people being eclipsed) the next day, 23rd, but also Uranus is conjunct the asteroid Eris, both in Aries, the sign of the warrior. In myth Eris is known as the ‘Goddess of Chaos’, so similar to a super-charged Uranus in its potential. This conjunction is exact through much of this year, particularly May, June, September and October. At the time of the attacks, the Uranus-Pluto square was angular in the chart for Brussels, thus amplifying the eruptive, shocking, potential loss of life of this aspect. Horrific.


March 22nd: A Professor in Australia has developed a machine using nanotechnology, which could lead to highly targeted drugs for cancer treatment This is associated with not only the Uranus-Pluto square, linked to new medical breakthroughs, but also Jupiter in Virgo promotes those developments of the ‘tiny’, such as in nanotechnology. 


March 25th: Zero-emission wave electricity generators being used in Australia Here we are looking at a combination of Neptune in Pisces, associated with the sea, and the Uranus-Pluto square, linked to new inventions. Pluto is the planet of power, Uranus is associated with electricity.


March 27th: A Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the deaths of 70 people in Pakistan, and that they had deliberately targeted Christians celebrating Easter  This reflects the Saturn in Sagittarius symbolism of religious intolerance.


March 29th: A plane flying from Cairo was apparently hijacked by a man declaring he was wearing a suicide belt. The plane was diverted under his instructions to Cyprus, and for some hours it remained unclear whether the suicide belt was real or fake (Saturn square Neptune=what is clear and what is not, and Saturn is in Sagittarius, the sign associated with flight).



April 2016


For most of 2016, we continue to have a high degree of ‘mutability’ in the heavens, where we have many planets in mutable signs. This means that there is likely to be a lot of change as we go through the year. Whatever you plan may suddenly need to be revised quickly, things that we thought were permanent or at least long-term in our lives may dissolve (Saturn-Neptune square). Therefore we need to be flexible and open in our attitude. Just know that this dexterity is part of the picture in 2016.


The Uranus-Pluto square is still operational, and we can see its manifestations in many of the examples above. Pluto is about power structures, institutions and governments, and about the abuse of power. Uranus shines a light on this, and demands greater equality and openness, and will protest against such abuse, destabilising them in order to bring about radical change. It is connected to breakdown and breakthrough, both individually and globally. Many astrologers believe that we will continue to feel this aspect right up to 2020, by which time the astrology will be looking very different. 2020 will be a powerful new beginning in society in many ways.


After the dreamy blissfulness of much of March, when we had many planets in Pisces, particularly around the Solar Eclipse on the 9th, we will begin to feel new energy coming in in April. This is much more action-oriented, reflected in the New Moon at 18 degrees 04 Aries on April 7th at 4.23am PST, and 12.23pm UK time.  You will be likely to feel this strongly if you have any planets or angles between 15-21 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn). This is a high energy New Moon, partly because it is a SuperMoon, the second of six this year, when the Moon is very close to the Earth in its orbit, and therefore exerts a stronger gravitational and electromagnetic pull on the Earth. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the warrior, the pioneer, and the goal setter and achiever.


This New Moon is strengthened not only as it is a SuperMoon, but also because the Sun and Moon are conjunct Uranus and square to Pluto, thus shining a light on the Uranus-Pluto square, and all that we have been discussing above. The Sun is highlighting this aspect from April 6-9th, and is it likely to feel intense. This can provide a surging desire for newness in your life, depending on where this New Moon falls in your chart. Is it in your 10th house of career, and you suddenly know it is time to change what you are doing? Is in it your 11th house, and you may want to revise your friendship groups, particularly after any changes that occurred around the Lunar Eclipse on  March 23rd?



At this New Moon, Mars at 8 degrees Sagittarius is widely conjunct Saturn at 16 Sagittarius, and they are both in a T-square to Jupiter at 15 Virgo, and Neptune at 11 Pisces. The Jupiter-Neptune side of this encourages us to think big, have big dreams and visions, wide horizons, and feel very idealistic, whereas Saturn keeps us grounded and pragmatic. This can help to make real our dreams, and remind us of what is achievable. Keep your vision high. On a mundane level, the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-square has been strongly associated with the migrant crisis (see examples above in the March review), and Mars in Sagittarius coming in to join this configuration suggests more anger, frustration, restlessness, and even violence coming into this tragic picture. Sagittarius always has associations with foreigners, and religious beliefs. My personal view is that this situation is one of such complexity that an energetic solution may be the most effective (ie global meditations, which have in the past reduced violence in areas of the world), rather than a logical one in which many nations are attempting to co-ordinate across many countries, with all of the legal ramifications of this (Sagittarius=legalities).


Another possible manifestation of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-square is international agreements of various kinds starting to unravel or be undermined (Neptune), or have legal or practical problems (Saturn in Sagittarius). These can be linked to the migrant crisis, the EU referendum in the UK, and even important US agreements with other countries may encounter obstacles.


The Sabian symbol for this New Moon is inspiring, and reflects the vigour and desire for newness and breakthroughs described above. It is a ‘magic carpet that hovers over the depression of industrial areas’. This has a sense of seeing the bigger picture (Jupiter-Neptune) of where our life may have become stale, and what we can do to invigorate it. It has a sense of being able to shift to a higher spiritual perspective, and see challenges and problems differently. Don’t forget that New Moons are the perfect time to set a new intention for what you would like to manifest in the coming month.


All of the above suggest an impatience, a desire to move forwards with vigour, and no longer tolerate any area in life that is stuck or has become routine. The area where 18 degrees Aries falls in your chart will indicate the area that will come under question, where you may have been operating in the same way a little too long, and it’s familiar, but it’s not exciting. You will want a shake-up now, and Aries is happy to go it alone too, not necessarily needing social approval. Mars, ruler of Aries, is also in the fire sign of Sagittarius, wanting action. This can make you feel restless and even impulsive.


However, what complicates the picture slightly is that on April 17th Mars goes retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius, and stays retrograde until June 29th, by which time it has moved back to 23 degrees Scorpio. This may be felt particularly by people who have an Aries or Scorpio emphasis (especially if you have an Sun or Ascendant around 23 Scorpio). When a planet is stationary, its symbolism is magnified, and this is the case on April 17th when Mars is stationary, and also the next day, April 18th, when Pluto is stationary before moving retrograde too. Therefore the 17th and 18th are days when anger, aggression, assertiveness, underhand criminal activity, and issues concerning power and power structures may all come to the fore. If Mars at 8 degrees Sagittarius and Pluto at 17 Capricorn are aspecting anything in your birthchart, you may have strong emotions at this time, but beware of any frustration and angry feelings that seem to come from nowhere. Think before you act, as Mars in a fire sign has a tendency to do the opposite. 


Mars from the point it moves retrograde on the 17th until the end of April is conjunct one of the four Royal Stars of Persia, called Antares. Antares is linked to dramatic world affairs, and Mars coming to conjunct it for the second half of April is likely to intensify and inflame issues; it is also often linked to changes in leadership. The Moon comes to conjunct Antares on April 25th, shining a light on issues that may come to prominence from the 17th onwards. 


Pluto went from retrograde to direct last September 25th 2015; think back as to what changes you have made since then (for instance, if it is in your 2nd house of money, have you experienced or initiated changes in your financial situation, or have your values changed?). You may be starting to review these changes again as Pluto goes retrograde on April 18th. See which house in your birthchart transiting Pluto falls for you, as this will give you insight as to which areas are going through deep change.  Also this may be linked to the Eclipses which occurred last September, which tend to last 6 months in their effect, that is until March 2016; Pluto moving retrograde now can help to integrate the recent March 2016 Eclipses too.


When Mars is retrograde, which happens every two years, the desire to act and change things as we outlined above is pulled back somewhat. It becomes a time to be more introspective, particularly looking at how you feel and deal with anger, in yourself and from others, and how you go about doing things; do you rush at them for instance, then not finish properly? Can you act in a more constructive way? It may make you think about your self-motivation, or whether you tend to procrastinate. So it is best used to think about the way you act, and save any major new project until June 29th when Mars moves direct again at 23 Scorpio. If you have a planet or particularly your Ascendant or Midheaven at around 20-26 Scorpio, this can be a major time of rethinking your identity and projection to the world, and your direction. So this can be quite a complex time from April 17th, wanting to rush again as suggested by the New Moon in Aries, then needing to, or having to pull back and rethink things, before a major push again at the end of June. It can have a feeling of push/pull; do you push forwards or pull back and rethink your strategy first? Mars retrograde is an excellent time to rework your goals, your sense of purpose, and your course of action, to revise your strategy and what you want to achieve, before moving forwards fully at the end of June. Try to see this period not as one of frustration and delay, but as a productive period of deeper thinking about what you want to achieve and how, and then launch with more clarity at the end of June. Mars retrograde is not a perfect time to initiate, or get into a fight, legal or otherwise. Try and initiate new projects in the first half of April, before the retrograde begins.


It is worth noting in the astrocartography that Mars is angular, therefore likely to manifest strongly at or about April 17th, in Turkey and Syria. 


From the 14-20th of the month, Mercury moves from 13 to 20 degrees Taurus, forming a beautiful Grand Trine in Earth with Jupiter at 13-14 degrees Virgo, and Pluto at 17 degrees Capricorn. This can bring abundance, success, achievement, leadership and optimism into your life, depending on where these planets fall in your birthchart. If you don’t know, it would be very useful for you to purchase my tutorial videos, which which explain this very clearly, and can be used forever, and for any update I ever do: For instance, if you have an Ascendant in early Sagittarius, you are likely to have transiting Pluto in the second house of money and self-worth, transiting Mercury in the 6th house of work routine (and health), and Jupiter in the 10th house of career and life path. This is likely to be particularly successful for you in your work, with more money coming in, and could also represent deep healing for you too. The meaning of this Grand Earth Trine will have the general meaning described above, but also have more specific individual meaning depending on where it falls in your chart.


From April 19-23rd, Venus in Aries joins Uranus and squares Pluto, thus highlighting the Uranus-Pluto square again. Venus is linked to currencies, so we may see some big swings in those around these days, but personally we may also be feeling intense, extreme emotions, particularly around issues of originality, independence and freedom, and worldly achievement versus familiar security.


Then we have a Full Moon at 2 degrees 30 Scorpio on April 21st at 10.23pm PST, and 6.23am UK time. This is always a time of completion, fruition, and/closure, depending on where this is falling in your chart. Full Moons often bring with them a lot of emotion, we feel full of feeling, and this may be particularly the case as Scorpio is an intense water sign, where feelings go deep, and may have been repressed for a long time. Where is this shining a light for you? Particularly with a Scorpio Full Moon, long-buried secrets may be revealed, which can help you move forwards. It can bring emotional issues to resolution, and completion or closure. Remember that a Full Moon can also be very productive in bringing things to fruition which you may have worked for, and this is particularly the case if it falls in your 10th house, as that is your career house.


Overall, the energy in April is action-oriented and intense, with some fast moving changes taking place. It will be particularly important to have a spiritual practice, and keep grounded and centred throughout the month. Remember that this high degree of mutability continues all year, which together with Saturn square Neptune can suggest that things you believed were stable, long-term and even permanent can shift or change quite quickly; hence the need to have our own sense of centre to guide us through.


“There is a force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”


                                                                    Mahatma Gandhi


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