For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is the closest I can come to adequately describe the energy of the month ahead, condensed into a sentence.
Many of us spent last month struggling to keep up, especially if the Mercury retrograde in Pisces while conjoining Neptune, has been hitting a potent or activated area of the natal chart. There may have been moments where some of us felt as though we were dangerously close to losing the battle, whatever our personal battles might be. However, as we roll into April, with the third and final Mercury/Neptune conjunction exacting on the 2nd, many may soon come to the other side of this transit, understanding we have made it through, yet still feel defeated. If not, at least not trusting that the battle is over.
If this resonates with you, consider what you are gaining from this passage of time. We still cannot quite see what is on the other side of the birth canal, yet there is a general feeling in the air that this period is an initiation of some sort. We are being called to pull ourselves together just as we feel ourselves fraying at the ends. Therefore, one thing to be gained is an understanding of where the loose ends are located, just how much has frayed from the strain, and how much work is needed to mend these strands in our lives. We are gaining the understanding of where we might direct our focused consciousness in our life so that we can prevent the accumulation of an emotional or spiritual load, so we can let it roll right off of us as it is served by life.
If we can utilize this timeframe to see the degree to which we have mastered this ability, whether we are using a difficult passage of time in a positive and productive way. We are learning where to direct our focused attention. We are learning how to master struggle. Wouldn't it be nice to master struggle so that whatever the external events may be, they can pass straight through us without diminishing our emotional poise and the lightness in our heart? Learning the degree to which we can stay balanced amidst difficulty is a valuable gain during a passage of time that feels like loss or diminishment.
The month of April carries with it its own set of challenges and opportunities. One of the signature themes of April's astrology is found in the South Node. The Moon's South Node is associated with decrease and this month it will be caught up in the aggressive energies of Pluto and the contracting and restrictive energies of Saturn. Also this month, Pluto and Saturn will station to do their own retrograde.
Wherever the sign of Capricorn is in our chart, you can expect to experience the pressure building. It is a time where debts are to be settled, paybacks received and what is not rightfully yours to keep is to be returned to where it rightfully belongs. Diminishment through the release of built-up pressure created from karmic debts is in order.
General Theme of the Month – 6 of Coins
It is time to consider where you are personally standing in this hierarchy. What might be your role in an unequal situation? Is it time for you to behave more responsibly with the power you have accumulated? Alternatively, is it time for you to accept the help being offered without shame?
If you are operating from a place of excess, either physically or energetically, April is a good time to reinstate balance. The 6 of Coins demonstrates this through a simple act of generosity. The youth standing on a hill of gold and silver generously gives one to another who has been doing without. What is depicted is a simple act of sharing and receiving. This more to do with fairness than dominance and submission. As one relinquishes excess, he comes closer to being able to look at the other who has suffered as a result of this excess eye-to-eye. Equality and balance are re-instated.
This exchange is truly an act of mutual benevolence. The figure on the mound of coins doesn't have to freely give up what he has accumulated. And the one in the position below could choose to hold a grudge over the time he has gone without.
Whether it is time, money, love, kindness or attention, harmony can be reinstated by choosing to bring care back into our relationships, personal and collective, by giving with a benevolent heart and receiving what is being offered with grace and appreciativeness. In this way, neither the moral or material position of superiority. In this way, the struggles and battles have served a purpose. In this way, decrease brings an increase in kind-heartedness. Our own suffering will continue to exist as long as it continues to exist in others.
Physical – Knight of Coins
All knights in the tarot represent movement made and actions are taken. However, this knight is not a knight of action because he has this abnormally large coin that he brings with him. It acts as a shield, a guard he uses to protect himself. Also, he is the guard of the coin.
This is about investing in accumulated wealth and possessions. Because of the influence of the previous card, a card depicting the act of sharing and a return to equality, this knight showing up in the position of the material plane suggests that we might all have something that we could stand to physically shed...something that is not serving our greater mission.
As I said, the mission of the knight is to take action, and this cumbersome coin is stalling his ability to serve his mission. Because this is in the position of the physical, this could be as simple as assets and accumulated possessions. But this could also be pointing to outdated relationships, partnerships and day-to-day rituals that we are reluctant to let go of. It could be referring to the ways in which we THINK we are creating a safety net in our physical lives that have actually become cumbersome and are no longer serving us.
Look at the ways your investments of time, money, and other accumulations might be holding you back from living in a more authentic and direct way in your environment. Release them and enjoy the increase in liberation. April is a month of increase as a result of the decrease we encounter. In that way, the heavy heart some of us have been encountering can be washed clean and made light again.
Intellectual – The Fool
The Fool has to do with the beginning of a journey. It is a moment of initiation. The initiation can only commence once we have built up the faith and trust that where we are being led is good.
When we begin any new journey, we are well-advised to lighten our load, not taking anything that will restrict our free movement. In the place of the intellectual theme for the month ahead, we see that holding onto any outdated concepts, fears, out built-up belief systems are best o be shredded and left behind.
Our first steps forward should be made in a state of ignorance of what is ahead, replace with faith, lightness, and trust in the new territory that is being presented to you.
This is why he is blindfolded. He knows nothing as he is about to step into the rabbit hole. He is in a fertile, unripe state of intellectual being. This allows space for true wisdom to eventually replace a less evolved understanding of the nature of reality.
We also see in the background the orienting star that will guide him on his journey. His ability to align himself with this orientation is enhanced with the closed eyes and an open heart. In this way, he calibrates the mind with the heart and is well guided.
By shedding outdated beliefs we are creating a beginner's mind. The light of our Inner Being shines brightly within when there is a clean slate, uniting the physical being with the eternal.
Spirit – 4 of Swords
The Fool in the position of the intellectual theme of the month ahead alludes to the possibility that through diminishment in our lives, through stripping something down to the essence, we might encounter the opportunity to grow further into the vastness of the eternal – gaining through loss.
The 4 of Swords is in the place of the spiritual theme of the month ahead. It is a sword, alluding further to the juxtaposition of the material versus the mental and spiritual.
The 4 of Swords is a card of solitude. It is the depiction of meditative rest after a period of struggle. What has been difficult has been set to the side, as indicated by the swords shoved into the ground above.
She lets the conflict rest for some time to recollect herself spiritually. She centers herself, letting her thoughts subside, seeking a clean mental slate so the orientation of the Innermost Self can clearly transmit its guidance.
This is a card with the value four, a number of the material. She grounds herself into the earth. The conflict is grounded. It is through this detachment she is able to find inner peace.
If you are one of those who have been thrown around by turmoil created from the difficulties that have presented themselves, this month is your chance to integrate lessons learned. It can be a period of time used for regaining equilibrium and inner peace. In this way, we are able to experience loss and gain simultaneously.
Shada McKenzie • Tarot & Astrology • Santa Fe, New Mexico