If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT). Current UT date and time appear at the top of this page. (To update display, use your browser's reload/refresh button.)
THE NIGHT TRAIN
Mars dominates April, and not only in terms of the triple alignment gracing the evening skies for most of the month. Lining up with Jupiter and Saturn - the other two naked eye superior planets - the Red Planet sets up a celestial troika that makes for real visual drama throughout most of April. The trio will be aligned within not more than five degrees from one another April 7-23. (This configuration takes place in the constellation Aries, the sign Taurus: see my article on Signs & Constellations if you don't know the difference.) If you look to the western horizon in the evening twilight on April 6, when Mars aligns with Jupiter, you'll see a real wonder as the Moon joins these three planets all in one tight cluster in the night sky. Triple conjunctions of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are exceedingly rare: this will be only the third one this century. The last was in November 1921 (Libra), and the one before that took place in December 1901 (Capricorn). There won't be another until the August 2040 triple alignment in Libra, so don't miss the night train this time around.
That night train rumbles across the headlines this month, as martial themes, hot blood, rash impulses and raw avarice well up like the spring sap in the trees. Crashes - including a rash of air travel disasters and other fiery accidents - add to a sense of danger to the left, danger to the right, danger up above. (This is part and parcel of a surge in air travel mishaps begun last month and continuing into early May.) Statistically speaking, commercial airlines are still your safest travel bet. But a lot more people than usual are going to end up statistics over this period.
Some of the Mars mayhem in April is bound to be a case of Mother Nature on a rampage. For example, a combination of notable lunar cycles occurs on the 4th, when Luna crosses the celestial equator northward less than eight hours after the new moon at 15 Aries. Although far from being in the same league as an eclipse or SuperMoon, this is a potent new moon in its own right. Mars and Jupiter being less than a degree from their exact alignment on the 6th (squaring Neptune), and Saturn less than four degrees from an exact square to Uranus at the same time, look for this new moon to usher in more than the usual increase in natural disasters. The headlines from the 1st through the 7th will be replete with stories of flooding (both coastal due to higher than normal tides, and inland due to heavy rain), as well as strong storms and moderate to severe seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions and Richter 5 or greater earthquakes).
The new moon risk window is one of many this month. The Moon reaches perigee (closest approach to Earth) April 8, and hits maximum declination north of the celestial equator on the 10th. So no sooner than we finish up with the new moon than we're into another period of strong storm and seismic potential that lasts from the 8th through the 11th.
THE BEAR & THE BULL'S EYE
The Red Planet's prominence throughout April paints a picture of a time when more and more people feel unreasonable, tense and irritable; jumpy, greedy, angry and avaricious. Blessed is the peacemaker - let alone the innocent bystander - who picks out a safe path through such challenges. A current of criminal violence and all manner of conflict runs strong just about all month, from the Mars-Neptune square only minutes from exact arc on the 1st through the Mars-Uranus square that finally leaves five degree orb on the 26th. And that's just on the personal level. On the collective level, a resurgence of collectivism and militarism, terrorism and ethnic cleansing, saber rattling and outright bloodshed: these and like uglies would be par for the course during such a string of Mars alignments.
Speaking of avarice, the early part of April looks like a feeding trough for the hogs on Wall Street and other major equity markets. This is bound to be especially true for the first week or so in April, a time when the Mars alignment with Jupiter is the major keynote out in the heavens. But after the 12th or so there's a perceptible change in prevailing conditions, as the Red Planet moves in on its April 15 alignment with Saturn. It's a kind of an animal farm cycle of metamorphosis in the markets: the bulls become greedy hogs in the first half of the month, and then the bears slaughter the hogs in the second half. A hedge fund in trouble, a legal decision that jeopardizes the survival of a company (or even an industry) . . . Remember: over-valued speculative issues remain in a bubble bursting phase this month and next. Look for real value, and be especially careful of Internet high-fliers. The portals and "e-tailers" are especially vulnerable, while the infrastructure builders and suppliers are less so. Saturn's square to Uranus is within three degrees or less of being exact from mid-April onward, so the big adjustment is so near at hand that it could happen any day now.
The psychology of the markets aside, the human race is not alone in being cranky under this kind of Mars activation. Brute matter has a way of screwing things up at such times: accidents, material failures, explosions and natural upheaval are going to figure larger than usual in the headlines of the day for April. Most of us will escape unscathed through sheer dumb luck - but some because alerts like this one conjured up a little extra awareness and caution. Most especially, keep focused and watch your back throughout the middle third of the month.
IN THE CROSSHAIRS
While none of us is too far from April's Mars in Taurus bull's eye, people with prominent chart features in the fixed signs - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius - are especially in the crosshairs this month. The President and Mrs. Clinton are a couple of obvious examples: the Mars-Saturn conjunction of the 15th falls right on the eighth house Moon in his natal chart, opposing Mercury and Venus in hers. (Both charts get follow-up activation from the Jupiter-Saturn alignment in May.) Looking for other famous horoscopes getting similar activation? Consider the usual suspects: Pope John Paul II, Iran and Iraq (both with the Moon in Taurus in their national charts), Israel, Japan, China, India and Pakistan, Russia and her Presidents - just to name a few. Crackdowns and paybacks, slips from grace and karma catching up . . .
Of course, everyone's potentially in harm's way when the Moon is full at 29 Libra on the 18th. This is another of those risk periods for storms and seismic upheaval, and it's in effect from the 15th through the 21st. Days when such risks look highest include the 15th (Mars conjunct Saturn), the 17th (Moon crosses the celestial equator southward), the 18th (the full moon itself), and the 20th (Mars squares Uranus).
The last storm and seismic risk windows of the month are in effect from the 23rd through the 25th (30 hours either way of Luna's maximum southern declination on the 24th), and starting up again on the 30th (in advance of Moon crossing the celestial equator again on May 1). Geophysical storm warnings aside, the great geopolitical and economic turning points signified by the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction and the Saturn-Uranus square coming up in May will cast their shadows ahead into April. There's a growing sense this month that things won't be the same again in a fairly short time . . .
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)