Just like April itself is full of change, the planets this month also express turbulent transformation. Jupiter is in Gandanta the entire month; Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto become retrograde; and much of this takes place in the sign of Sagittarius.
Jupiter becomes retrograde on April 10th and stays in Gandanta, almost at a standstill, on the cusp between Scorpio and Sagittarius. He moves less than a degree during April. See Jupiter in Gandanta.
All planets slow down considerably when they become retrograde. What is remarkable with Jupiter’s retrograde now is that it takes place at the Gandanta point. Read more about how retrograde planets affect us.
Jupiter crossed over from Scorpio and into Sagittarius at the end of March. He moves less than a degree into Sagittarius before he becomes retrograde on April 10th. Jupiter has a short stay in Sagittarius because his retrograde brings him back into Scorpio on April 22nd.
We look to Jupiter for truth and guidance. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius - the sign where so much of the planetary activity is now taking place. But Jupiter is at a standstill in Gandanta and it seems difficult to know how to proceed, especially if we want to start something new. We may feel like we need to be more clear before making big decisions.
We see examples of this unstable energy in England that is having an identity crises over Brexit. In the United States, Muller finally turned over his report. But the times are astrologically turbulent and other investigations are far from over. Jupiter moves back to Scorpio on April 22nd and will stay there until November 4th. Much more is still waiting to be revealed.
The moment that the Sun enters Aries marks the beginning of a new year according to the traditional Hindu calendar. The Sun enters Aries on April 14th.
The gandanta Sun receives an aspect from a Jupiter in Gandanta. The Sun is also in gandanta since the cusp between Pisces and Aries is a gandanta position.
Mercury (the planet of communication) is debilitated in Pisces on April 14th, the time of Mesha Sankranti. The very next day, on April 15th, Venus joins Mercury in Pisces. Venus is exalted in Pisces, which cancels the debilitation of Mercury. This is a very positive.
Powerful Pluto is also transiting Sagittarius and just when he comes to the last degree of this sign he turns retrograde. He stays retrograde until October 2nd. Pluto’s transforming energy in Sagittarius makes us take a deep look at beliefs, values and ideals. We see power struggles and conflicts regarding the direction. Our view of life will have shifted when Pluto leaves Sagittarius in February 2020.
Saturn’s retrograde occur regularly just about every twelve months and lasts roughly 4 ½ months. This time Saturn’s retrograde is unusual because of his close conjunction with Ketu. The two will be in the same nakshatra - and are often within the same degree - from May 8th until the end of the year.
Saturn is connected to the first chakra, the root chakra. Saturn governs foundations and structure. We want our foundations to be stable and firm.
Saturn, the Lord of Karma, can bring suffering. We often fear Saturn, but facing his limitations can also make us strong. Saturn shows us the reality and he does not wear rose-colored glasses. Buddha was shielded in a palace during his youth, but once he encountered suffering (a manifestation of Saturn) he began to search for truth and enlightenment.
Ketu can manifest sudden change. Ketu is associated with the past, and with detachment, loss and confusion. Ketu is also one of the most spiritual influences. A spiritual Ketu has intuition, insight and dispassion (Vairagya).
Their conjunction is in itself not that rare. Saturn and Ketu come together every 11 years. Their close conjunction will normally last up to a month. But this time, the length of their close conjunction is very unusual because it will last for the remainder of 2019.
Saturn with Ketu can manifest upheavals and changes on a large scale. Last time this conjunction took place was late 2007/early 2008. The financial recession in the United States began in December 2007.
Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius aim for high ideals but can also cause dissatisfaction, separation and disappointment. Old and outworn attitudes and thought patterns need to change.
On a personal level, it is very important to be truthful. Be honest with yourself and examine your attitudes. Try to remain flexible and embrace change. May and June are astrologically challenging, so it is good to prepare by establishing positive habits now.