According to the calendar, spring is finally here despite the fact that, as I write this, I await a snow storm.  Because it is a spring storm, the snow will melt quickly.  Hopefully, for many of us, the eclipse storms of March have already melted from our emotional minds.

The astrological weather patterns have improved with the passing of one season into the next. There are inherent qualities to each planet and, as they move through the zodiac, the qualities will be affected by the signs as well as the relationships formed with their fellow planetary travelers.

One of the primary qualities of each planet is the classification known as “benefic” or “malefic.” Venus, Mercury, Moon and Jupiter are known as the benefic planets. Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu/Ketu are classified as being members of the malefic group.  It is important to not judge the planets by this simple classification because each group brings important qualities to life on planet earth.  For instance, we can look at Mars as a planet who brings the hard work and skill required to build a home.  His actions are certainly as important as the beauty that Venus will bring to decorating the rooms of the home.  What becomes important is to be able to have both influences in play.

For the past few months there hasn’t been much of a balance as the strength of the malefic camp was so powerful that the benefic camp was pushed into the background of life. Fortunately, the benefics move quickly and will eventually come to a constellation that strengthens their influence.

Currently we have Venus in the sign of Pisces which is his sign of exaltation.  He will be in Pisces until April 25th.  Venus in Pisces can help with relationships, many of which were challenged during the March eclipse patterns.  Creativity is now favored and it is a great time to enjoy  music, visit museums, beautify one’s home and take time to enjoy the flowers and scents of Spring.

Mercury is now in the sign of Aries which is not one of his strongest signs, but his movement into Aries brings him out of his sign of debilitation (Pisces).  The Sun will be joining the sign of Aries on the 13th of April.  Aries is the Sun’s sign of exaltation which harmonizes the fierceness of the Sun.  Venus will join the party on April 25th.  While Aries may not be the best sign for Venus and Mercury, this year’s journey into Aries is highlighted by the aspect cast by the greater benefic Jupiter from the sign of Leo.  Mercury will retrograde on April 29th until May 23rd and the entire retrograde will take place in the sign of Aries which means for the entire retrograde time period, Jupiter will be adding his benefic energy.  This is a time period during which we can enjoy a sense of confidence and look at life through a more positive mind-set than we’ve experienced for a while.  It is a time to view life through a more positive lens.  Creativity, love, and communication are all favored along with a renewal of our spiritual philosophy and taking some time to nurture ourselves.

Part of the challenge with the benefic planets is that they move more quickly than the malefic planets travel which can cause us to perceive that the respites are too brief.  The reality is that, by moving so quickly, the benefic planets actually bring more opportunities to reinforce a positive outlook on life.  The biggest challenge at the moment is the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in the sign of Scorpio. Saturn is the slowest moving planet and stays in one sign for two and half to three years.  For most of us Saturn is a challenge because he is the taskmaster of the planets.  I like to think of him as the sand which forms the pearl – the pearl being the consciousness which brings us to the truth of our “self.”  Through the knowledge of the self, life becomes both easier and more peaceful.

Scorpio is the most mysterious of all the signs as it is connected to our desire nature but is also strongly connected to the subconscious mind, dream state and the secrets of the universe.  Saturn is not well-placed in this emotional and fiery sign.  One of the tools of Saturn is obstruction of our mundane plans.  This is done in order to teach patience and equanimity. While Scorpios can be patient at times, there can be a distinct lack of equanimity if they are feeling thwarted in the achievement of a goal or the fulfillment of a desire.  Saturn does not really care about one’s impatience or frustration and ultimately everyone, at some point, must give in to the fact that control of the outer world is not a power assigned to human beings.  Control of the mind is the goal.  This is an important lesson for everyone and, as Saturn puts a damper on our desires, this is a time to examine the nature of our desires and to determine the true value of the desires.  Ultimately, if it is a worthy desire Saturn will help the achievement of the goal.  But, it will be on Saturn’s timing.

Generally Saturn is best approached through patience along with sustained effort.  Once the patience is put into place, one can move forward.  However, now that Mars is involved the heat has been turned up on the quest to satisfy the desire nature.  This is a time period to work consciously on maintaining a positive mind along with a sense of humor.  Mars is always ready to do battle, and those with strong planets in the fixed signs of Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus and Leo along with the mercurial Gemini are all under the glance of these two malefic planets who are joined together in a somewhat unhappy union.  Scorpios, in particular, need to be mindful of not putting their own frustrations onto their loved ones because that only causes hurt and certainly does nothing to please Saturn.

The good news is that Mars will be going retrograde on April 17thwhich will delay the exact conjunction with Saturn.  This delay in the exact conjunction gives us breathing room to enjoy the energy of Mercury and Venus.  The exact conjunction will happen in August as we begin to move into the next eclipse cycle.  More on that in a later blog.

Enjoy the rest of this Spring.  Sometimes we do have to give a boost to a more positive outlook, and right now is the time to treat yourself to activities that are creative, fun and healthy.