Look Up! ... Squares, Oppositions, A Spiritual High Season ~ April 1 + 2

Greetings Sky Gazers,
March 30, 11:45am PDT marked the beginning of the 2014 Easter lunar cycle that ends April 28, 11:14pm PDT. The April 15 Easter Full Moon lunar eclipse is the first of the three major planetary Full Moon Festivals that occur in the spring. These Festivals form a spiritual high point of the year. Celebration of Light gives a brief introduction to these 3 spring Festivals and introduces one to The Festival of the Risen One ~ Easter. As this lunar month and the spring season unfold more information will be shared about these 3 Full Moons.

This lunar cycle not only inaugurates the spiritual high season of the year, it is also a doorway "into a new way of being and into a new world paradigm yet to unfold throughout the remainder of the 2010s." See Nick Fiorenza's Lunar Theme below and the Cardinal Grand Cross diagram that follows to learn more.

Lunar Theme: Actualizing Revolutionary Change "This New Moon catalyzes an unprecedented lunar cycle providing opportunity for and stimulating revolutionary change in many facets of our personal lives and in the world. The main event occurring in this lunar month is the Mars-Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto Grand Square. This Grand Square gateway is intense, challenging and deeply cathartic ... This lunar cycle is also highly inspirational to mobilize and emerge into new vistas of creative participation." Click the lunar theme link for more insights by Nick Fiorenza.

Image: www.UniversalLifeTools.com

Cardinal Grand Cross – 2014 is broken up into 7 sections. You can read the bits that interest you and skip over others. You can get a good grounding in astrological terms, if needed. Be sure to watch the 5 minute video covering the major points of interest and energetic potentials of the Cardinal Grand Cross of 2014. These include the April 14/15 lunar eclipse, the April 23/24 peak of the Cardinal Grand Cross, the April 29 solar eclipse and the significance of the #13.

I offer the following description of the Grand Cross from Lua Astrology as a quick and helpful guide describing the celestial energies influencing our lives at this time. This description expands on the insights provided in the above image and in the current Lunar Theme snippet quoted above.

Mars and Uranus lie opposite one another as do Jupiter and Pluto. All four planets are square to each other ... Squares and oppositions are typically noted for being tense aspects. Squares tend to produce conflict and demand action of some kind to resolve the situation. Oppositions can indicate where we project out ‘stuff’ that we don’t want to deal with. Oppositions can be as the name implies and characterize where we come into opposition with other’s beliefs, ways of being, needs, wants and desires. Oppositions can generate a need to make a decision that is foisted upon us from what seems to be an outside force, although often it is a projection of an internal dilemma.

Both squares and oppositions are dynamic aspects that request we change something in our lives and change is rarely easy. Even changes that we desire can evoke their own kind of stress.

... we all have a chance to dance with change. A new rhythm is thundering through the heavens and we must change step accordingly.

Mars retrograde in Libra [the astrological sign not the constellation] shows where you may be feeling on the defense, where you need to negotiate, compromise or agree to disagree. This area of your chart is ‘fired up’ but energy is flowing inwards.

Jupiter shows the area of life that is being expanded, where you need to broaden your understanding, where you need to gain a bigger perspective, where you need more faith.

Uranus shows where change is needed and necessary, where you feel like rebelling, where you are awakening, where you need space, where you need a more objective viewpoint.

Pluto shows what is being broken down in your life, where elimination needs to happen, where you can empower yourself, where fears need to be faced.

As the Moon grows in the light provided by our Sun, we too grow in the light of our Soul.

Rise and Set Times
Rise/Set/Transit Times ~ Major Bodies
Use this link to find exact times for the
planets, Sun and Moon in your area.

April 1-4, Tuesday-Friday
The waxing Crescent Moon transits reddish Aldebaran our star of enlightenment
and the Pleiades star cluster, which seeds this star with universal light.
Imagine light descending on Earth.
This lunar phase brings up obstacles from the past that can impede the new incoming
energies and one's growth in consciousness. It's time to overcome these obstacles.
Binoculars provide a glorious view of the Pleiades in a dark sky;
this sparkling cluster sets around 10:30pm.
April 1-4 Dusk Map ~ Springtime Pleiades

April 4, Friday
Find Mars near Spica using the Big Dipper.
Mars rises around 8:00pm tonight.
See the "Winter Circle" around Jupiter and the Moon.
April 4 Maps/Text

April 5-6, Saturday - Sunday
The waxing Crescent Moon transits reddish Beltelgeuse,
the shoulder star of Orion, and the planet Jupiter.
April 5-7 7:40pm Map ~ Betelgeuse, Orion's Valentine Star
Note: Orion's belt stars point south to Sirius, our brightest star, and north to Aldebaran.

April 7, Monday - First Quarter Moon exact: 1:31am PST (08:31 UT).
This phase signals a balance between light and dark, moving toward the light.
Look for Luna in the daylight. She rises in the east around noon and
lies in the south just before sunset
By nightfall Luna has grown into a waxing Gibbous Moon.
Brilliant Jupiter is to the right of the Moon.
April  5-7 7:40pm Map ~ Esoteric Jupiter
The 2 bright stars above Jupiter are the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor.
Procyon, the Little Dog of Canis Minor, lies below the Moon tonight
April 7 Nightfall Map
Jupiter and Orion lie inside The Great Winter Hexagon, a sacred Geometry that
activates one's Divine expression on Earth. Pollux and Procyon are points of the Hexagon.

Mars and Saturn
Bigger, Brighter and Retrograde

Mars Saturn
Image: Hubble Heritage Project Image: Very Large Telescope (VLT)
Image Description Image Description

At this time both Mars and Saturn are in a close approach to Earth, appearing brighter and bigger, and having a stronger affect on humanity than usual. At this time they appear to move backward (westerly) in the sky. This is called retrograde motion. Mars is retrograde March 1 - May 19 and Saturn is retrograde March 2 - July 20.

... the effect of a retrograde cycle is pulling an arrow back on the bow moving the arrow away from the intended target or goal for the purpose of gathering power and strength assuring the arrow will reach its target if the aim and release are true. Taking time to go within, following inner guidance and aligning with the Divine will assist a true and steady aim. Shamanic Astrology 7/03

... periods of retrograde are periods of “re:” renewing, reflecting, restarting, etc. [re-evaluating, reviewing, revising, reworking, recharging] Instead of being viewed negatively, these retrograde periods are a positive time to slow down ... and possibly make some necessary changes. Llewellyn.com 2/13

When action oriented, forward moving Mars is retrograde, its backward motion frustrates us. We are paddling upstream amid a sea of obstacles. Angers and resentments run high. Internal pressures lead to outbursts and explosions. Physical vitality is low. Patience and persistence are one's allies in dealing with the agitation.

Saturn retrograde reformulates our belief structures, taking us back to our spiritual roots and intentions and integrity. It tends to reveal our limits. This is a time to be patient, humble and aware.

Retrograde Map Mars/Saturn ~ Esoteric Mars ~ Esoteric Saturn

BTW: These planets are at their biggest, brightest, closest and out all night long during opposition. Mars is at opposition April 8 and Saturn is at opposition May 10.

Mars at opposition on April 8, out from sundown until sunup

"The Martian Opposition of 2014"
A Fun and Informative 5-Minute Video

Note: Beginning April 8, red planet Mars can be seen in the southeast around sunset and in the southwest around sunrise. April Evenings Map A sky gazer can begin looking for yellowish Saturn above the southeastern horizon around 11:15pm and in the southwest to west in the predawn/dawn sky. Saturn lies to the left of Mars and Spica. Predawn/Dawn Map


April 10, Thursday
The waxing Gibbous Moon pairs up with bluish Regulus, heart star of Leo the Lion.
This lunar phase offers illumination and growth,
only if the obstacles from the past are cleared away.
4/10 Map/Text ~ Regulus and Leo the Lion

April 12 Saturday
Two planets visible at nightfall; three visible before dawn
See Night Sky Info for finder charts and more info on each planet.

April 13/14, Sunday/Monday Night
Mars and the Moon dance all night long, dusk to dawn.

Charting the Heavens
EarthSky Tonight ... nightly highlights/maps
This Week's Sky at a Glance ... weekly highlights/maps


This lunar cycle inaugurates spring's high spiritual season of the year, celebrating three major planetary Full Moon Festivals. The first aligns with the Christ, the second with the Buddha and the third with the spiritual and Divine nature of humanity. This lunar cycle provides celestial squares, oppositions and even an eclipse that gives us the opportunity of "actualizing revolutionary change" on a personal and global level. It challenges us to leave old ways of being behind, to live the wisdom gained from our past experience, and to "emerge into new vistas of creative participation."

Fiery fervor and vivid vision,
dynamic leap and awakening
into new situations.
Stress and pressure to the max.
Lose your head and be mindless...or mindful.
New perspective revealed,
action or restraint
is the dilemma.
Confidence and self-assertion are roused to the challenge.
Take the initiative, break new ground, make the move.
Stay strong and centered.
Take out the blame,
deal with it.
Keep kindness in the picture.

- Jacqueline Lasahn / New Moon


Look Up! ... Look Within,
Susan Sun at The Night Sky