Wow. There’s a lot going on overhead this week and next. It all started with Sunday’s (April 15) events: Mercury going direct after one of the stormiest retrogrades in recent memory–at least for me and the people who called me. Sunday also brought us an Aries new moon. New moons usually ease the tension, and this one was no exception, though it brought (for most of us) a gust of motivation and energy that will help us get things off the ground in the coming days. I try to do these newsletters around the new and full moons (I know, I miss a few) because casting a chart for the minute the moon enters its phase is one of the best ways to look at a short period of time and determine what will be the major influences during that period.

In the chart of this Sunday’s new moon, the two most aspected planets are Venus and Jupiter, both of whom are considered “benefic”, or fortunate planets. These two planets are captured in an opposition. While Jupiter is often seen as the Santa Claus of the solar system, it does have its drawbacks, one of which is excess. We all know what we do too much of, or at least most of us have a pretty good idea. If you don’t know what you do to excess, ask the three people who are closest to you. They will be more than happy to tell you what you should be conscious of over the next two weeks. Yes, these tend to be enjoyable activities, as Venus is the planet of enjoyment, but I’m saying just be conscious. This phase of the moon is not the ideal time for eliminating habits. Although it’s a good time to add new ones. If the habits you want to introduce now are of the physical nature, such as exercise, Aries’ Mars energy will help. But back to that Venus/Jupiter opposition. One of the things to watch during this time is your spending. Yeah, I know. But Venus and Jupiter make you really want to go shopping, although it might not be the best time to find bargains, and you might overspend and/or experience buyer’s remorse afterwards. In times like these, I have a little thing I call the “Capricorn Purchase”. It goes like this: “I’ll leave it here for now, and if I must have it, I will come back and buy the item in a very thought-out and deliberate manner”. Only once have I returned to find the item gone, and later I found something better at a better price. So I can honestly say I never lost on a Capricorn purchase.

But with the exception of the opposition, most of the Jupiter and Venus aspects are positive, which can actually be good for love and luck. Even an opposition is not necessarily bad, although it does point to discrepancies between the way things are and how we want them to be. If you take that knowledge, work with it, and use it to motivate you, much can be accomplished.

Two major planets are going retro this week. The first is Saturn, on Tuesday, April 17, followed by Pluto on Sunday, April 22. As I’ve said before, the best way to work with Saturn is to follow the rules, have a routine, plan, and work hard with your goals in mind. Pluto retrograde brings hidden truths to light. If you watch the news at all, you can see that this is already happening. But even more revelations will soon surface. Pluto and Saturn are planets of reckoning. Both transits last five months. It’s a time to go deep, question what is really important, prioritize, and make adjustments.

Make sure to channel any nervous or disruptive energy into positive action on Wednesday, April 18, as the sun conjoins Uranus. This is another aspect that is “close enough” in the chart of the new moon to be a big influence in the direction of activism, ideas and overall change. Make sure the changes you set in motion come from what you want to create, rather than what you’re anxious or fearful about.

On Thursday, April 19, the sun enters Taurus (8:13 p.m. pacific). Taurus is really one of the underrated “lucky” signs of the zodiac. And this day is one of the luckier ones this month. Make some plans to create and enjoy art and good food before the end of the month, which is when we’ll talk about the powerful completion and transformation energies of the Scorpio full moon on the 29th.

But for now, be sure to reconnect with and meditate on your vision, as we’re under the influence of the creative new moon. And even more motivation and clarity should surface around the 24th when Mercury is completely back up to speed.