Editor's note: This week we debut a new monthly column by local astrologer RJ Speiser. Below, she explains her take on what astrology actually is – proof of predestination? tool for self-evaluation? secret decoder ring? – then gives her horoscopes for April for all 12 sun signs. Read it and weep! or, er, rejoice!
Illustration by Anna Cruz
“I defy you, stars,” cried Romeo in Shakespeare’s best-known drama before succumbing to bitter karma and taking his own life. So, was Romeo’s deadly decision a choice of fate or free will? Astrology asks the question, are the tragedies in our lives predetermined in the celestial world at birth? Are there larger forces in the sky working beyond our control? Are there soulmates we are destined to meet?
Well, let's unpack this. NASA will maintain that the notion of planetary influence on one's love life is downright impossible and potentially certifiable. Religion will suggest there’s a pretty chill guy in the sky always willing to listen post-heartbreak. I, however, see astrology as a tool of self-empowerment. By allowing myself to remain open to astrology, I co-create my world – including relationships – to make better choices and learn life lessons sooner than later. More importantly, I believe astrology can teach self-acceptance.
For gas giants that are so very far away, the stars (as interpreted through astrology) actually offer us the opportunity for inward exploration, a way to tap into our own consciousness to embrace and accept the way we think, feel and act. Perhaps astrology simply helps us make sense of why frustrating things happen or why depression hits us like a crashing wave at times. Likewise, I read birth charts to help friends understand what makes the girl or guy they’re dating a cold-hearted asshole. Simply, astrology is a tool that helps us become better at letting go and understanding why things no longer serve us, so we can enjoy our daily life more and more.
I believe we are all born under difficult circumstances in order to learn and grow from them. Perhaps that’s where the predetermination comes in. Astrology is an apparatus which can be judiciously executed to decode the challenges we will inevitably face in love, work, career, etc. However, free will definitely exists in terms of what we choose to do with the information available to us in our birth charts. It is completely up to the individual to decide what narratives we want to create regarding our circumstances.
For example, understanding that Romeo’s birth chart probably had his natal Venus – the heart chakra – in Scorpio – intense feelings when in love – is one lens available to understand why he experienced deep psychological and emotional pain once separated from his beloved. Unlike, perhaps, the guy you’ve fallen head over heels for who treats you less like a romantic partner and more like a friend (Venus in Virgo). Astrology offers methods of reasoning to help come to terms with why someone acts a certain way. Likewise, if you allow it to, astrology can free your mind by using compassion to accept we all have a personal journey to walk in this life and we need to meet people where they are at.
As planets move through transitions or the 12 zodiac signs, we can use those archetypes to objectively evaluate energy, both in the conscious collective and within ourselves. When a planet moves through each lunar cycle into a new phase (i.e. Scorpio into Sagittarius), it embraces a unique energy we already carry with us. How much that energy affects each person is also unique and based on what signs the planets hold in your natal birth chart.
So, for those of you who think I just stare up at the night sky convincing emotionally vulnerable people that they will find love this month, please know that is the opposite of what I do. I use planetary transits to help individuals better understand their life experiences, as I believe the stars act as a mirror. Thus, my advice to Romeo would have been to ask him to explore all the places within himself (or his birth chart) that he is self-loathing, volatile, unrequited, defiant, etc. To truly help him, I would use the birth chart to teach him how to understand and accept why chaos was ruling his life and give purpose to his heartbreak by dissecting what he would eventually learn from it. Astrology helps us accept spiritual responsibility and understand our darkest shadow self. So, let us look at the planets discussed below and utilize the planetary changes this month to become empowered by this knowledge.
April Horoscope for Sun Signs:
Aries (March 21-April 19)
With the sun, moon and Mercury this month in Aries, you will find yourself able to directly and clearly communicate with the people around you. Your ability to be straightforward and logical while speaking will help you cut through any tension you’ve been experiencing. Just be careful to pause and think before you speak, as Aries is all about action and can often be aggressive in nature. The new moon this month will help you access all the tools needed to manifest any new project. You will find all the passion needed to harness your focused energy and start something new. Likewise, as your natal sun settles into Aries this month, you will feel able to shine brightly and feel stronger in achieving your personal goals.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Venus will be in Taurus this month and since Venus and Taurus have a great relationship, you will be able to access better self-love. Perhaps you will enjoy more “me” time this month. Use some time this month to reflect on your needs, as it will offer you grounding and peace of mind. Taurus is all about practicality and taking time before making any big decisions. Since the sun will enter Taurus by the end of the month, this is a great time to start resting and giving careful thought to all of your personal self-care needs. Do you need a massage? More sleep? Treat yo' self.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Venus will enter Gemini by the end of this month and will give a boost to your intellectual interests and hobbies. Venus will offer you a boost in your social circle as well. Geminis are known for their love of face-to-face communication and being able to bounce stimulating ideas and creativity off whoever they’re talking to. As an air sign, which rules the mental world, this sudden surge of Venus will provide the flames to go out in public and charm any person with your gift of gab. Enjoy social outings and creative events this month (art shows, open mic nights, check out Orlando Weekly'
s event listings
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Ruled by water, those with Cancer in their charts are often swayed by the tides of their emotions. This month is an excellent time as the sun transitions into the fire sign of Aries, which will provide you with a boost to be more candid and confident. Aries and Cancers contrast and yet truly complement one another. Think of Aries as the passionate, athletic football player and Cancer as the emotional drummer in a band. Although they are worlds apart, Cancer’s watery and emotional nature can learn from Aries' strong and fiery sun/moon/Mercury conjunction this month. Mercury rules how we communicate and when in the sign of Aries, you may find yourself feeling comfortable being forthright in speech, thought and action. Where have you been afraid to speak up for yourself? Have you been holding back discussing your emotions? Now is the time to express how you feel to those around you as Aries will have your back.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
As a fellow fire sign, Leo will be asked to step into personal roles of leadership. Where Leo is usually looking for areas where control can be expressed, Aries is seeking to win. Together, these fire signs create a passion that can get anything accomplished. Aries is ruled by Mars, whereas Leo is ruled by the sun. As the sun moves direct into Aries, this will push those with Leo sun to feel more competitive and driven in nature. This giant push by the sun will help you find an area in your life to be a leader and help others. This month you can get anything done – need to finish that giant grad paper for school? Trying to start crossfit? Dude, you got this.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Virgo and Aries is the odd couple as they pair up this month. Aries is about aggressive, bold movements, while Virgos tend to be passive and reserved in nature. Typically, opposites in astrology can complement each other, but with this sun pairing Virgos may feel tense as their ability to shine (sun) is being challenged. This, however, is very exciting because one thing Virgos and Aries can see eye-to-eye on is honesty. The sun transit this month provides Virgo with the opportunity to be more honest. Aries will offer you the chance to go outside your comfort zone and speak out, whether for a larger cause (i.e. march against Monsanto) or tell your boss directly when they're crossing boundaries at work. A wonderful practice this month will be embracing honesty as a tool of self-empowerment, as it will remind you that who you are at the core is a loyal friend, partner or employee. Don’t like the noodle dish at a restaurant? Let them know. Have you been blowing someone off to spare their feelings? Be an Aries for a moment and tell them how it is.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libra and Aries are actual polar opposites and sit 180 degrees apart from one another in the zodiac. As the old saying goes, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Well, Venus rules Libra (feminine sign) and Aries rules Mars (masculine sign). Gender is a fluid spectrum, so we are analyzing these constellations as mere energetic archetypes (since we all have masculine and feminine energies within us). When the sun moves into Aries, Libras will have a chance to embrace those masculine parts of self, especially in the area of physicality. Libra is ruled by air and all about idealism and intellectual stimulation. Aries is about movement in the physical world and can help Libra become more oriented to get physically active this month. Perhaps those with Libra sun will try an adventurous sport or a kickboxing class at the local YMCA. This is a good time for Libras to find balance in their health life. As Olivia Newton John once famously advised, let's get physical!
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
As Jupiter moves into Scorpio this month, you will begin to focus on areas in your life where you want to develop more knowledge and education. In addition, Jupiter in Scorpio will ask you to consider where you can be more thoughtful in your financial spending, as Jupiter rules material wealth. Scorpios are highly intuitive and with the support from Jupiter (wise in nature) you can transform personal boundaries around money and good fortune. This could mean looking into better saving investments or spending less nights eating out. For female Scorpios seeking male romance, Jupiter can also bring good luck for potential dates as it represents a husband in a woman’s chart.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The sun in Aries is such a wonderful boost of enthusiasm and energy for those with a sun in Sagittarius. Simply put, Sagittarius and Aries make a great couple. The nature of Aries will push you to be more outgoing this month. You may find this sudden urge of energy manifest in either a beach trip, a weekend of travel, game nights with friends or taking on a new adventure. Sagittarius understands the fiery nature of Aries and as this energy moves into the sun, it will not only give you a boost of energy to try new things, it will also provide the practicality in taking this new adventure seriously. Get out and dive deep, bro!
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
With a retrograde Saturn in Capricorn, you will be finding yourself a bit at odds when trying to get organized. The sun and Saturn are bitter enemies and as Saturn begins to slow down; it will force those with a Capricorn sun to get serious about their work life. It will ask you to become more focused on the day-to-day hustle in order to empower yourself through hard work and discipline. The Aries sun may ask you to stray away from the office work, but it is all about finding balance here. This will be a great month to work hard inside but also find time to play outside! You can use the fiery nature of Aries to accomplish all your planning and organization goals.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Aquarius is very attracted to the charisma of Aries and is inspired by their direct force in moving ideas forward. Aquarius is the progressive water-bearer, who doesn’t fit into the traditional mold – while Aries actually is
the traditional mold. These signs push each other and will help Aquarius look at areas of conflict and remain open to vulnerable conversations with friends and loved ones. Aquarius tends to be soft and indirect, while Aries is hard and forceful. This Aries sun will help Aquarius use their idealist nature to be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. This month would be a great time to watch a documentary on an important social issue or something you wouldn’t usually take time to learn about. Aries offers you new perspective.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The combination of Pisces experiencing the energy of an Aries sun makes for a dreamy combination. Pisces tend to be dreamers and fantasize about their needs romantically, while Aries expresses their needs through physical exertion. This Aries sun will help you find a way to put fire behind your dreams. Have there been needs you’ve been dreaming about but not able to reach? Aries will ask you to get out of your head and heart and put something concrete into action. It says, "Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, you are a good person and need to share it with the world."