Astrology 4/9-4/15: Quenching The Blade

Astrology 4/9-4/15: Quenching The Blade
Photo by Thierry Brésillon

The Moon wanes over a week of powerful changes.  First, Tuesday sees small Pluto station retrograde in Capricorn, shadowing the early week.  Friday, however, holds Mars’ long awaited direct station.  The retrograde malefic throws it back in drive in an almost perfect opposition with Neptune in Pisces.  Meanwhile, the Sun in Aries creeps towards a Saturday opposition with Saturn in Libra, adding a layer of seriousness to the second half of the week.

 Pluto Stations Retrograde: Drilling Down

On Tuesday, Pluto stations retrograde at 9 degrees Capricorn.  The station pulls the mind inward during the days surrounding it, thoughts gravitating toward unseen realizations.  There is a certain subdued and slightly off putting profundity that shadows the first couple days of the week.  The small body’s retrograde phase will last until September 17th this year.

With Pluto beginning backward movement through Capricorn and Uranus’ direct progress through Aries, the two bodies are well on their way for their square in late June. The two planets flirted strongly with the configuration in 2011, but it will not be until this June that angle between the two is perfect.   The Uranus-Pluto squares are a big part of the story of the first half of the decade, and ff you haven’t yet, you should peruse my summary of their action here.

Mars Direct:  Fire, Water and Steel        

Retrograde since January 23rd, Mars stations direct in Virgo on Friday, April 13th,  signaling the end of the red planet’s instructive and destructive backward journey.  Mars’ about-face begins a slow march forward, and will see many sources of irritation quiet down, yet is by no means the end of the issues raised by the planet’s retrograde.  It will take until June 20th for the planet to revisit all of the degrees and issues that it’s spent the last season retrograding through.  The next couple months are about applying the fixes you’ve devised and testing out the improvements you’ve engineered.

The answers we can expect out of Mars’ direct station will be considerably different than the process thus far has implied, as the red planet begins its forward march almost precisely opposite Neptune in Pisces. Here the blade heated and shaped over the last several months is quenched in the primordial mindsea itself.

This opposition juxtaposes the precise and the amorphous, the concrete and the imaginative.  On a personal level, it suggests that the way forward not only involves grounded action, but also deep imagination.  One can solve small problems endlessly, hacking a path through the jungle, but without vision, without direction, no real progress can be made.  The individual actions must have a greater collective meaning.

The larger picture should inform our small actions, but conversely, it must not overwhelm them.  Another facet of this configuration is the struggle for clarity about what to do amidst so many huge issues.  We can rarely solve big problems in one fell swoop, and attempts to do so are generally ill-fated.  The key is a dynamic dialogue between the huge and the tiny, the whole story and the moment.

Piercing The Infinite

  The power to reconcile Neptune’s amorphous ubiquity and Mars’ actionable practicality can be seen as a tool- the trident.  The 3 pronged spear wielded by Poseidon and Shiva alike is undeniably martial, yet inextricably linked with the mystical and oceanic.  3 barbed tines not only pierce- they catch, fixing the volatility of the infinite.  The trident  represents mastery over, or at least power in, the dreamy, dangerous realm of the mighty waters.

So, literally, the trident is the tool that grants some power over the aquatic realm.  Neptune’s symbolism includes physical waters, but it extends beyond them.  Psychologically, Neptune’s realm is the primordial ocean of the subconscious, the vast reservoir of mind from which our small sense of self emerged and to which it will return.  There are a number of spiritual symbolisms attributed to the trident, such as representing power over the 3 worlds, the power of the 3 gunas, the power of the 3 channels of nadis and the power of the 3 supernal sephiroth.  The root of these is the power of trinities unified, and the power of unity to expand into the world of multiplicity.  Follow the tines and you will see the 3 become 1.  Follow them the other way and the 1 becomes the 3.

The trident is thus the sacred weapon for this particular phase of our larger myth- the tool by which the power of the infinite is expressed in the finite world.

En Masse

Collectively, Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune asks for precise, concrete action amidst huge, amorphous concerns.  March raised similar issues, though in a more premature form.  The KONY 2012 campaign exemplified this desire to reconcile huge goals with small actions. The ill fated media bomb, however, did not quite meet Mars in Virgo’s standards for precision and factuality, and was thus criticized brutally- as is Mars in Virgo’s specialty.  Still unanswered, the question remains- how to do big things with many little actions?

A Naval Note

On a more  mundane and less idealistic level, Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune places additional emphasis on maritime military operations for the next 2 year phase, highlighting the US military’s pivot toward the Pacific, Iran’s threats about the Straits of Hormuz, China’s plans for a naval buildup and the scores of disputed islands along Asia’s Pacific coast.  Add to that recent discoveries of vast reserves of natural resources beneath the waves and you can bet that power over the seas will be a priority on more than just a metaphorical level.

Sun Opposition Saturn

While Mars stations direct opposite Neptune, the Sun moves into an opposition with distant Saturn.  This aspect seeds the second half of the week with a tendency to over or under commit to responsibilities.  Meet your obligations, but don’t build yourself a cage.

Meanwhile, On Another planet….

Just as Mars stations direct, Venus slips into the degrees she is destined to retrograde through later this season. This invisible move won’t cause any tidal waves, but the hand off from Mars to Venus is certainly interesting.  We’ll move slowly over the next several weeks from defining and refining personal power to analyzing and experimenting with our relationships and emotional energy.


Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. However, they are fun and can be reasonably accurate. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read your from Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out. I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at

Oh, and if you’re still concerned that your sign has changed, get a little clarity here.

Aries: The Ram

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity as to how to deal with the physical and fiscal problems the retro brought up.  Re-engineering your habits is key.  Yet Mars’ opposition to Neptune suggests that the proposed solutions to a practical problems also address less tangible concerns- the mental and emotional patterns underlying the individual issues that have arisen over the last several months.



Taurus: The Bull

Mars stations direct on the 13th, lending some clarity to questions about what, exactly, to devote your energy to. Yet Mars’ opposition to Neptune expands the answers a bit, pointing toward the possibilities that come from working within the context of a larger group of like minded people.


Gemini: The Twins

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity about what to do with your living situation, familial relations and other foundational concerns.  Mars station opposite Neptune suggests that you should look not just to your foundations alone, but how they support  or undermine your professional aspirations.




Cancer: The Crab

Mars turns direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity to questions about how to structure your time, as well as your thoughts, in order to accomplish everything you need to achieve. Mars’ configuration to Neptune asks you to consider not just the short term goals, but your further flung dreams as well.


Leo: The Lion

Mars stations direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity to the question of how to bring personal power to bear on issues surrounding personal resources, particularly financial ones. Yet Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune points out that is not simply a matter of your own resources, but the flow of time, money and energy between yourself and other people.  The solutions to financial issues here will likely involve negotiating a smooth flow between yourself and others.


Virgo: The Virgin

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity to a variety of frustrations.  The direct station concludes the most intense portion of your education on irritation and efficacy, and has hopefully left with some important lessons on personal power.  Yet Mars’ opposition to Neptune suggests that the answer to this cycle’s issues is not just about your power, but how you apply it to nebulous dynamics within relationships.


Libra: The Scales

Mars stations direct on the 13th, bookending a series of lessons on how to deal with annoying practical problems and unhelpful feelings of insecurity.  Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune suggests that the precision re- engineering of your cognitive patterns needs to be aimed at solving amorphous practical problems.

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bookending a series of lessons about helping to solve other people’s problems and dealing with annoying people. Mars’  station opposite Neptune suggests that the way through these situations is a compassion limited by practical concerns.   You don’t need to sacrifice yourself for other people, but it does you no good to carry resentment for them.


Sagittarius: The Archer

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bringing an end to a season of lessons on professional conflict management and the cultivation of career oriented personal power.  Additionally, Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune suggests that your professional energy needs to be supported, not dissipated, by your living situation.




Capricorn: The Goat

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, turning down the ambient friction a bit and signaling the end of a period of vacillation between different long term goals.  As clarity emerges about what big goals to follow, it’s important that you wade through the murk of the many little steps necessary to get there.


Aquarius: The Water Bearer

Mars stations direct on the 13th, bringing some clarity to ongoing shifts in the way you share time, money and energy with others. Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune suggests that it’s not simply a matter of other people sharing with you, though.  The road goes both ways, and you’ll profit the most by making sure the traffic moves smoothly in both directions.


Pisces: The Fish

Mars finally turns direct on the 13th, bringing greater clarity to the irritation you’ve been feeling with the other humans.  Mars’ direct station opposite Neptune in your sign suggests that the way forward involves being pickier about whose problems you help solve, as well as learning to help others solve issues without taking them on yourself.  Be part of the solution, not part of the cliché, I mean, um, problem.



Private Consultations

If you find yourself a little confused by the strange waters of the season, or interested in a personalized map of those yet to come, consider a consultation. For details, click here. Send inquiries to


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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


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Astrology 4/9-4/15: Quenching The Blade

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