I am not going to go into too much detail on this month’s Grand Cross or why this is making April the most challenging month of the year, though I will mention it when I get to those sections. What I have done, is every time I mention the words Grand Cross I have hyperlinked them to the article I have written, so you can click on the link and read more about this and then return here.
Instead, what I wanted to do with the Monthly Overview is start on a positive note, to remind you that this is not just a challenging month and even then it is more an opportunity for better balance and in a number of cases a breakthrough.
One of the planets not caught up in this month’s Grand Cross is Venus, who is not only out of the loop in this, but is actively supporting planets and areas of your chart that are under pressure. To begin with, in her final days in Aquarius and before leaving on the 6th April, Venus is not only wrapping up a period of activity that began when Mercury returned on the 12th April, but is providing some real support for Mars, Ceres and the North Node in Libra. Libra is where Mars will not only come under pressure from this month’s Grand Cross but will be the cause of it. Had Mars, in retrograde motion in Libra, not retrograded back to a point that will put him in opposition with Uranus in Aries and at a square aspect to Jupiter and Pluto, then we would have had what is known as a ‘T square’, still challenging with a lot of pressure, but not as intense as when Mars locks a Grand Cross into place, for a 4 day period from the 22nd April to the 24th April.
This makes Venus’ support in the early days of the month important, especially with a total lunar eclipse in Libra on the 15th April also likely to bring things to a head or to a tipping or turning point.
At the same time that Venus is a support for the forces in play in the Libra ruled area of your chart, bringing the confidence to see this as the opportunity it is for better balance and for a breakthrough, providing the pressure to push through barriers that would normally hold you back or where, if you weren’t being pushed, you may have long since given up or not even attempted something otherwise.
The same is true when Venus returns to Pisces on the 6th April, this time putting her in a positive aspect to two of the most powerful players in the solar system, Saturn over in Scorpio and Jupiter in Cancer. Saturn is another planet that is not going to be caught up in this month’s Grand Cross, so he and Venus will make an unlikely team. Saturn is the hard taskmaster of the cosmos and is all about discipline, focus and taking responsibility. Venus, on the other hand, is all about following your heart and letting the laws of attraction do the hard work. While one will provide the motivation, the other will provide the determination to see things through and to put in the hard work required, doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to make things happen.
Your Monthly Horoscopes and the Individual Monthly Horoscope Reports will detail which areas of your chart Venus in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio will influence, but for an example if you are an Aquarian, this puts Venus in your income sector and Saturn in your career sector and if you are a Virgo, this puts Venus in your relationship sector and Saturn in your communication sector, in both instances and wherever this puts them in your chart, working in partnership.
While Saturn is not under pressure from this month’s Grand Cross Jupiter, now in direct motion in Cancer, is not only under pressure from an opposition with Pluto that runs from the 16th April to the 24th April, but for a good deal of the month from a fairly challenging aspect to Uranus in Aries and for a shorter period of time to Mars in Libra, from the 20th April to the 24th April. However, with the Sun moving through Aries until the 20th April and Mercury from the 8th April to the 23rd April, there will be periods all month where pressure ebbs and flows.
This makes Venus’ position in Pisces from the 6th April important, for she’s not only getting support from Saturn, which is going to make it a lot easier to remain confident across the board, she’ll pass it forward, providing support for Jupiter. This creates a triad of support between the Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio ruled areas of your chart (the three Water signs). Using the same examples as above, for Aquarians this puts Venus in your income sector, Scorpio in your career sector and Jupiter in your work sector and this same triad of support will be the same for all the Air Signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius), though the planets will swap chairs for each sign. The same example goes for Virgos and all the Earth Signs (Virgo, Taurus and Capricorn), putting Venus, Jupiter and Saturn in your communication, relationship and friendship sectors.
So there is plenty of good news and good support this month, over and above the fact that most of the pressure from this month’s Grand Cross is not only a chance to develop the right balance, but with some real breakthroughs possible.
When the Sun leaves Aries on the 20th April and Mercury on the 23rd April, this will take them out of this pressure cooker, just as it’s about to boil over, making their return to Taurus a welcome reprieve, as well as bringing some much needed planetary activity to an area of your chart that hasn’t seen any since last May.
This marks the start of a period of activity that may wane a little when the Sun leaves on the 21st May but will flare back up into life again when Venus returns a week later, continuing what the Sun and Mercury start this month out to the 24th June.
It is also in Taurus that we’ll get a prize at the end of what could be a challenging month, in the form of a solar eclipse. While an eclipse will usually fall in the same sign as the lunar nodes, as is the case for the total lunar eclipse in Libra on the 15th April and they are definitely the cause of an eclipse, it is less to do with whether the Sun and/or Moon are in the same sign as the lunar nodes and more to do with the distance apart.
The North Node has been in Libra and the South Node in Aries since the 19th February, but the reason why this month’s Full Moon in Libra is a lunar eclipse but the New Moon in Aries on the 31st March isn’t, is the distance between the Moon and the lunar nodes.
The lunar nodes aren’t physical objects and are the point in the heavens where the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is intersected by the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, so when a New or Full Moon falls in this region, because they will literally pass in front of each other they cast a shadow, creating an eclipse. The closer the Moon is to the lunar nodes, the greater that shadow is and they are really close on the 15th April, creating a total lunar eclipse. If you want to see if this lunar eclipse will be visible from where you are, click here for more information from NASA’s excellent eclipse page. This will provide a map of where the eclipse is visible and the times, however the rule of thumb with a lunar eclipse is, that if you can see the Moon you'll see the eclipse, unlike solar eclipses which have a much smaller path.
The reason why the New Moon in Aries, where the South Node is now located on the 31st March wasn’t a solar eclipse but the New Moon in Taurus on the 29th April, where the South Node was located, is an eclipse, is all to do with the degree it falls and when the Sun and Moon align to form this New Moon, it’s very close to the South Node. This is a special eclipse, for when an eclipse falls in the same sign as the lunar nodes there is a lot of other stuff going on and especially so where the South Node is concerned, with its links to the past. There is none of that baggage in the Taurus ruled part of your chart and with the Sun having returned 9 days earlier and Mercury 6 days earlier, you're more than ready for the fresh start this creates an opportunity for.
To visit the NASA site to get more information on this solar eclipse click here – but astrologically this is a supercharged New Moon, turning an opportunity for new beginnings into something a lot more powerful.
If you haven’t read the article on the Grand Cross click anywhere you see this hyperlinked, but also remember that it’s not the only thing happening this month and while there are challenges this month, there are also plenty of opportunities. It’s all about balance, pacing yourself and keeping it real.

Anne Macnaughtan


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