April 2017 sees an increase in retrograde activity, with roughly half of the month (9th – 15th April & 20th April – 3rd May) featuring four retrogrades. This is something we’ve not seen since September 2016 and is a celestial pattern which invites us to retreat, revisit and reflect.
The month begins with Venus retrograde in Aries (since 4th March) and Jupiter still retrograde in Libra (since 6th Feb). Relationships are an on-going focus, including those with the wider world which may demand bold compassion in defiance of the egoic mind that divides into friend and foe. As Venus retrogrades into Pisces on 3rd April, personal need is eclipsed by the dissolution of boundaries that separate me from you and them from us. Many current challenges demand that we find new and creative ways to live in a world that threatens to split into warring factions at the drop of a hat. Venus invites us to soften around the edges of individuality and separation, to embrace our own divinity and prepare to use it as a balm upon the world once she turns direct on 15th April. Only through right-relationship with oneself can we forge constructive connections with others, providing all parties a voice whilst allowing for nuances of difference and self-determination. If we continue reacting rather than reflecting and defending rather than responding, we remain in the mind-set of ‘me against the world’, further cementing the tyranny of ego over essence.
Jupiter retrograde reminds us no external voyage of discovery – no matter how enlightening – can match the wisdom won when we journey to our centre to discover who we are. If we cannot know ourselves in the deepest sense there is no one else who will solve our problems or heal our wounds. The usual enthusiasm and outward thrust of Jupiterian energy is turned inward now and we may find certain projects and plans, especially those intimately bound up with other people, have slowed in recent weeks. If so, Jupiter has applied the brakes to encourage reflection on our motivation and the values that underpin our goals.
In Libra, Jupiter asks why we connect with the people we do, what we bring to our relationships and the expectations we place upon others. This self-enquiry may be uncomfortable at times, for whilst awakening is intrinsic to our nature, it is not just a beautiful grace. It also holds us accountable and requires an inner quest which strips away the pretence of false selves to reveal the sacred core shared by all. Nothing but truth survives its challenge and with the retrograde trend building as April progresses, we must be prepared to place everything on its sacrificial altar, with no holding back to avoid the demands of the Real.