Today, April 15th, Mercury moved forward and is no longer retrograde.  Mercury will be in his sign of debilitation, Pisces, until May 9th. Mercury is the planet of the intellect and when at his best will facilitate clear-heading thinking and efficiency. Pisces is not his best sign and due to this placement we might not see the fog of Mercury retrograde lift as quickly as usual.

Today is also the New Moon which is exact around 9 p.m. eastern time.  It takes place in the very early degrees of Aries (Sun entered Aries 4/13 in the late evening.) in the Nakshatra of Ashwini, ruled by Ketu.  A Nakshatra is a 13 degree segment of the space occupied by the various constellations.  In Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) they are used to fine-tune the qualities of planetary placements and will often indicate the unseen and powerful energetics of the various qualities of the constellations.  Ketu is the south node of the Moon and is connected to karma, ancestry and deeper spiritual qualities of a life.  Ketu is not known for bringing ease or mundane benefits as it is more concerned with the transcendent qualities which are more concerned with the “self.” Jyotish also includes the deities of each 13 degree segment.  The deity associated with this Nakshatra is Ashwinis – twins who are considered to be the celestial physicians.

Generally the first New Moon in the sign of Aries will indicate new beginnings and the newness which Spring brings to the world after the winter season.  All New Moons bring about a new lunar month as the energy begins to build towards the light of the Full Moon.  Prana is at its lowest point in the spinal column and the New Moon marks the beginning of the building of prana and the higher level of energy that more prana will give to us.

This New Moon is, of course, the beginning of the building up of prana and does mark a time of new beginnings. The New Moon is also a time of healing both the body and mind.  As the Ashwinis rule this New Moon we can use this energy to make changes in our diet and lifestyles which will promote greater healing.

It is important to remember that with Mercury still debilitated and Ketu ruling the inner energy of this New Moon, that as much as we want to enjoy the newness of the spring, we are also still working with elements of the old hanging onto the energy of the new beginnings.   It is still time to work on inner healing and to take up responsibility for our own state of mind/consciousness. Aries is ruled by the fiery Mars which has been aspecting Mercury and the Sun for weeks. This indicates that we all need to be aware of our own impatience with ourselves and others.  Mars always requires a conscious effort to prevent him from impulsive and aggressive decisions.

Mars is going to be an important player for the entire year and he begins to step into power on May 3rd when he enters his sign exaltation, Capricorn.  Due to his retrograde motion he will be in Capricorn until November 5th.  It is fitting that this New Moon is in a sign ruled by Mars as it will be imperative for all of us to learn how to work with the “builder general” of the zodiac.  It can be helpful to give serious thought to what we want to change and achieve in the next six months.

Mars generally demands action and too often when under his influence the action is impulsive or ego based.  It is notable that Mars is also a planet of math as well as focused thinking.  Mars occupying the sign of Capricorn brings the ability to use the energy in a more positive and focused manner. This energy can assist one in achieving goals and manifesting positive change – if we work “with” the higher aspects of his energy. If we allow Mars to run amok we will end up hurting ourselves and others through aggression and anger.

I suggest that until May 3rd it is best to continue with the inner reflection which leads to emotional healing and focus our attention on ourselves rather than others.  It is not practical to try and change others nor does it truly make sense to delay inner peace until we have our outer circumstances in line with what we think they should be.  Mars being so strong is most likely going to bring about drama and impulsive actions in the world – we do not want to attach our happiness to a world that is going to be responding to Mars.  We can only work to keep ourselves at peace, our bodies healthy and our focus on achievable and worthwhile goals.

Mars can be a tough energy but he is also an energy which favors physical activity, laughter, creativity and independence.  By participating in positive action and refusing to play the victim it is possible to break through mental blocks, improve physical well-being and gain an independence which can cooperate with others but not put personal happiness or peacefulness on the shoulders of those around us.

Mars is also an indicator of the planet earth and the ruler of siblings and cousins.  As we move forward during this energy the push to improve life on this planet it is important for all of us.  For that reason we can look at goals from a perspective of working with others to help raise the energy of the planet itself, keeping in mind that science has now proven that we are interconnected beings (collective consciousness).  One of the best remedials for Mars would be seeing community as important as our individual selves.  Mars likes the word “mine” as he likes the concept of the people in one’s life having to satisfy their ego’s desires.  Working to observe how often the words “my/mine” comes into the thoughts of goals and the future will help to tame the lower energies of Mars.  Mars is also courage and it takes courage to move through these earth changes.  It may take courage and discipline to go back to school or even to not eat that piece of chocolate cake but it also takes courage to stand up for what one knows is right even if it means ruffling some social feathers.

The signs which will be most affected by the Capricorn placement of Mars will be Capricorn, Aries, Gemini and Cancer.  Those who have these signs prominent in their charts will be on a path to achievement and challenge.  However, we all have those signs somewhere in our charts and the transits will also move during the next six months into those signs to energize and perhaps upset all human beings on this current journey. Take a bit of time in the upcoming days to contemplate what is important and the best ways to achieve both our goals and inner peace.  A New Moon plan can be a worthwhile activity!