The Astrology of April 2019:
karmic clearing

by Juliana McCarthy

We begin April inside the fog of Mercury retrograde in his shadow zone. Technically, Aries the Ram is in charge, but his usual certainty is now challenged by Mercury, conjunct the ever-elusive Neptune. It may be hard to determine which direction to take or what to believe. But by mid-month, we’ll be ready to integrate the messages of Mercury when he finally leaves his shadow zone—the fog lifting. Until then, we can celebrate this period of heightened dreams, spirituality, and otherworldliness. Our hearts can open wider as we surrender to not knowing.

Meanwhile, conjunctions between the South Node, Saturn, and Pluto are eliciting powerful catharsis and purification. Karma is ripening and exploding as we face old traumas and misdeeds. We’re drawing them to the surface for the sake of transformation. So much is falling apart as old structures dissolve. It’s time to heal from the past and rectify it—especially wounds from childhood, ancestors, and past lives. Major themes of redemption and karmic clearing are at play. We're finding the courage to examine our misconceptions, harmful beliefs, and the pain we’ve either caused or experienced. This way, we can heal and open to new chapters, which are now ready to take root.

Pluto Conjunct the South Node

On April 4, Pluto, planet of transformation, forms an exact conjunction with the South Node. At the end of the month, Saturn, Lord of Karma, will do the same. The South Node represents a portal to past lives and old lessons we’re still unraveling. Now, we’re ready to purify mass-scale collective karma with potent reckonings and atonements. Our shadows are emerging so we can rework deep misunderstandings and faulty belief systems. Falling in Capricorn, sign of patriarchy, we’re looking at where our Capricornian energies have gone awry. Where have we shifted from integrity to rigidity? From conservatism to authoritarianism? We can look to the North Node in Cancer for balance. The Crab is imploring us to dive into the ocean of feeling and sensitivity, rebuilding our lives, relationships, and world from a place of deeper empathy.

Aries New Moon

An Aries New Moon arrives on April 5, in a wide square to the Saturn-Pluto-South Node conjunction. The Aries New Moon is the real start of the astrological New Year—a time of intention-setting and new beginnings. However, with this square at play, we can’t move forward without looking back. It’s time to confront and work through toxicity from our past. This isn’t about being comfortable, but about facing painful truths so we can grow and move forward. We’re breaking out of old traumas and ignorance, and transforming them into wisdom. This way, we can establish more authentic, meaningful relationships and pursuits.

Mercury Exits Shadow Zone

Mercury exits his shadow zone on April 16. We’re now emerging from the fog, the confusion of the past six weeks dissolving. It’s time to move forward. With Mercury in Aries, clarity and decisiveness are upon us. We’re ready to make decisions and charge ahead.

Libra Full Moon

A Full Moon arrives on April 19, at the final degree of Libra. This is the second Libra Full Moon of the year. The past month has been a compressed period of resolving relationship issues. Uranus is now conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon, and it’s time to liberate and unstick from old patterns and find more genuine ways of relating. Emotions could now erupt. If they do, it’s for the sake of recalibration. We’re facing old fears and aggressions with courage so we can make room for greater harmony, balance, and nuance. The Sun and Moon are again squaring the Saturn-Pluto-South Node conjunction. The emphasis this month is truly to extract and transform whatever we’ve outgrown within ourselves and our relationships. If we can open to any surprises or difficulties that arise, this period will feel cleansing, rather than painful. We can trust what the Universe has in store for our next phase.

Saturn Retrogrades +
Conjuncts the South Node

We end the month with Saturn retrograding on April 30 then forming an exact conjunction with the South Node. We’re now fully facing reality as we leave behind the uncertainty, escapism, and deception triggered by Mercury retrograde. The planets are pushing us to be accountable and true, to commit to rebuilding our relationships, lives, and world with a deeper sense of decency, sanity, and morality. We’re looking at society at large, rooting out corruption and imbalances of power, while dismantling the old paradigm—largely defined by patriarchy, materialism, and abuses of power. This is creating room for the new paradigm to begin in 2020—when Saturn and Pluto form an exact conjunction in Capricorn. These are not easy times, but they’re providing a beautiful opportunity to work through the old, stuck, and stagnant, and to embrace the possibilities of what’s still unwritten.

April 2019 Summary

April is marked by fogginess, deep karmic unraveling, and surprises. During the first half of the month, we’re still in the shadow zone of a particularly saturated Mercury retrograde. It’s time to relax into not knowing, embracing our spirituality, otherworldliness, and exalted love—rather than trying to bulldoze, fix, or control. Pluto and Saturn both conjunct the South Node this month, opening portals to past lives and old karma. We’re in a heightened period of looking back and working through traumas and harm that still grip us. As we do so, we’re cleaning our slates for the new paradigm to take root in 2020, when Saturn and Pluto join together in Capricorn. With a second Libra Full Moon arriving this month, relationship energy is high. We’re working toward conflict resolution and facing our discomfort and turmoil for the sake of liberation. We’re learning to be kinder, more authentic, and in our integrity. We’re opening to greater nuance as we dissolve our rigidity and fundamentalism. These are not easy times. So much is changing and falling away. If we’re struggling, we can remember to recommit to our sanity, feeling the strength of our spines and softness of our hearts. Our courage and compassion are growing as we join together to make these profound and necessary changes in our world.

As the first flowers of spring bloom all around us, may we appreciate the fires and storms that made them possible. May we release all concepts, dancing in the sheer phenomena of color, beauty, and magic.

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