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©2016 by Richard Nolle
last revised MAR 30, 2016

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT, aka GMT). Location for all mundante charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2016 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761), and charged to any major credit card. Orders may also be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart."
-- Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

The Skinny

April is a turbulent confluence of trends and energies, judging from the combination of celestial markers that converge this month. They include the second in this year’s trio of consecutive Stealth SuperMoons (i.e. a new moon SuperMoon), a high point in the Mars Max cycle that began in February, and the start of the second Mercury Max cycle of 2016 . . . plus a few odds and ends.

Memo on Mars Max

Synodic Cycle of Mars Mars Max is the name I have given to the cycle in the Earth-Sun-Mars relationship, during which Earth and the Red Planet make their biennial close approach. It’s a time when Mars looms larger and brighter than usual in the skies of our home planet, and by the same token all things associated with Mars take on an extra prominence in human experience. I’ll leave it to those unfamiliar with the concept to consult pages 11-18 in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights; or the free online February forecast (the month when this year’s Mars Max began); or my free online article on Mars Max.

For now, suffice it to say that Mars Max signifies a time when human belligerence, impulsiveness and haste all run hot. Practically speaking, this means to expect an uptick in "fires, crashes, clashes and explosions" at every level of experience. Accidents and aggression surge, fires from arson wildfires are more common than usual, interpersonal conflict and violence run high from the individual to the collective. Expect a surfeit of all such, from garden variety street and domestic violence to mass shootings (schools, workplaces etc.), from terror attacks and gang violence to wars (civil and international) and rumors of wars. It’s not that none of this happens outside a Mars Max; only that it happens more as well as more extremely during the Mars Max cycle.

Read up on it, and you’ll see what I mean: the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, the start of World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 9/11 attack, the peak of the second Gulf War (Fallujah) – these are just a few examples of Mars Max at work. (For more, read the sources cited above.) Now you know what to expect this month – all month long, since the whole of April is subsumed in this year’s Mars Max. Further, you can expect that April will be more turbulent than March, since Mars spends the whole month within a degree of the point in the sky at which its retrograde begins on April 17. This point – the retrograde station at 9° Sagittarius – is one of the three prime hot spots in any Mars Max. Get ready.

We can’t do anything about Mars Max happening, since its built into the structure of our little niche in the solar system. All we can do is prepare, by cultivating calm and awareness, by being alert to our surroundings and the people around us. We’re much less likely to blunder into mayhem that way. This applies especially to those of us born under significant astrological factors around nine degrees of the mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces – Sagittarius in particular in this case. Check your chart!

April’s Stealth SuperMoon

April 7, 2016 New Moon (Stealth) SuperMoon April brings up the second in a trio of what I have come to call Stealth SuperMoon; that is, a new moon SuperMoon. Full moon SuperMoons get all the press, for obvious reasons. They’re gloriously huge in the sky, so big and bright that people can’t help noticing them – especially at sundown, when that great, big full moon rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west.

A new moon, even if it’s a SuperMoon, is on the other hand invisible to the naked eye. The Moon and Sun are in the same spot in the sky when the moon is new, which means that the Moon gets lost in the Sun’s glare when it’s above the horizon; and it goes down below the horizon at sunset. We can’t see it, but it’s still there – and, because it’s a SuperMoon, this invisible Moon is much closer to Earth than usual. It has the same pronounced tidal pull on the crust, seas and sky of our home planet as all SuperMoons. We just can’t see it. Hence, a stealth SuperMoon. (As the fox told the Little Prince, "what is essential is invisible to the eye.")

The April 7 Stealth SuperMoon is at 18(Pisces. I figure the shock window for this alignment runs from the 4th through the 10th. This one also ties in with the Uranus-Pluto square, being conjunct Uranus and square to Pluto. Watch for a surge of ideological fervor and nihilistic behavior, what with Mars Max being on at the time (and widely conjunct Saturn). Terrorism, atrocities individual and collective, just plain insanity run amok.

As for the storm and seismic activity uptick and extreme tidal surges so typical of SuperMoons, this one is sure to make its mark. So, during the April 4-10 shock window, don’t be surprised by headlines and breaking news of powerful storms with high winds and heavy precipitation and floods associated with those storms; as well as extreme high tides, and a surge in moderate to severe earthquakes (Magnitude 5 and up); plus, an uptick in volcanic eruptions. And, especially if you live in or plan to be in geographically vulnerable areas – e.g. along the coast in the case of tidal surges, or in an area prone to seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions) – then it’s a good idea to have your emergency preparations ready. Remember too that storms can strike anywhere, so keep your go bag, candles, canned food etc. handy just in case. If traveling, plan on weather delays.

As always, it’s a point worth emphasizing, that SuperMoons are astronomical in scale, involving particularly potent alignments of Sun, Earth and Moon. This makes them planetary in scope. Even if you’re far from risk zones for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and/or tidal flooding, the fact remains that you’re under the sky. Earth’s atmosphere is every bit as responsive to SuperMoon’s geophysical tides as the seas and crust. In short, there’s no place on earth beyond the reach of a SuperMoon.

That said, astro-locality mapping often shows areas of special vulnerability during a SuperMoon shock window. In the case of the April 7 alignment, meridian lines for the Sun and Moon (plus Uranus, which is conjunct this SuperMoon) draw a longitudinal (north-south) line over Scandinavia, central Europe and west central Africa, and right through the Bering Strait. The eastern US and Canada, Gulf of Mexico and western South America are picked up by the Sun-Moon-Uranus horizon line, which through Southeast Asia, China, Mongolia and Siberia. And finally, there’s a Pluto horizon arc pointing suspiciously at Hawaii and the Pacific Coast of Canada. (Follow the line across to southern Greenland, the western extremes of the UK and the Iberian Peninsula, etc.)

Solar Storm Signals

There’s a little bit of March that spills over into April; namely the March 23 Sun-Mercury superior (far side) conjunction, which signals a period of solar storminess from April 3 through April 9, give or take a day or so. (The superior conjunction is typically followed approximately 14 days later by solar storms directed toward Earth.) You’ll recognize it when it hits: an increase in strong solar flares (M and X-class) and CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections), along with heightened geomagnetic storms here on Earth (Kp 5 and up).

Who cares? People whose nervous systems get scrambled under this kind of stimulation. Infrastructure that goes haywire, from satellite systems to power grids to computers and networks. And don’t forget: dump Gigawatts of extra solar energy into Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and you get more than a bunch of pretty lights (auroras) in the sky. You get an increase in strong storms and seismic activity too – especially since all this incoming will arrive during the April 7 Stealth SuperMoon shock window. An extra boost to the storm and seismic signal that’s already buffeting our home planet then. And there are more solar storm signals this month, associated with key points in the Mercury Max cycle – see below.

Mercury Max Returns

Mercury's Synodic Cycle April brings the second of this year’s Mercury Max cycles, as the little sun-grazer reaches its maximum eastward elongation from our parent star on the 18th. It’s a cycle that continues through the April 28-May 22 Mercury retrograde of legendary ill repute. The cycle ends in this case on June 5, when Mercury reaches its maximum elongation west of the sun. All of these terms – elongation east and west of the sun, retrogrades and so on – all refer to Mercury’s apparent motion as seen from Earth.

The reality is that these appearances are due to the interplay of Earth and Mercury in their orbits around the Sun. And that’s what makes Mercury Max – a real astronomical cycle, as defined by astronomical software, the USNO Nautical Almanac, etc. - so much more fundamental and significant than the traditional astrological lore associated with Mercury’s apparent retrograde cycle. Mercury Max is the real deal, genuine orbital dynamics as seen from our home planet – actual, observational astronomy you can see in the sky, not silly storm and shadow stuff dreamed up by people with their noses in an ephemeris.

Anyone interested in understanding the truth about the Earth-Mercury-Sun dynamic will find plenty to chew on in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights (pp. 18-25); or in my free online article on the subject. But for now, here’s the essence of it: Mercury Max is the phase in the Earth-Sun-Mercury relationship when Mercury makes its close approach to Earth. It’s then bigger and brighter than usual in our skies, which is why I termed it the Mercury Max cycle. At such times, all things mercurial take on a heightened importance in human experience – intellect, communication, curiosity, commerce, travel and transport.

Old style astrological tradition would have us believe that such times will see all things mercurial go awry, but that’s not at all true. The screw-ups happen only because people who aren’t diligent enough to double-check everything get tripped up in the natural chaos of events. Those who know what they’re doing, on the other hand, use mercurial traits to profit from that chaos. So Mercury Max is a time to stay sharp and focused. Assume nothing, double-check everything, follow up from beginning to end. You’ll eat the competition’s lunch!

Remember that you’ll want to stay as sharp and focused as you can throughout the whole Mercury Max cycle; but especially so within a few days either way of the five key points within that cycle: the beginning (April 18), the retrograde station (April 28), the Sun-Mercury inferior conjunction (May 9), the direct station (May 22), and the end of the cycle (June 5).

Also be aware that solar and terrestrial weather – M and X-class flares, CMEs and strong geomagnetic storms (Kp 5 and up) - can disrupt the normal flow of goods, energy and information more than usual during Mercury Max, and especially around those five key dates; particularly if they’re close to other geophysical risk periods – such as, for example, the April 22 full moon this time around. So if you’re thinking you can just leave everything on automatic pilot without giving a thought to power grids, computer networks, highways and airline schedules – well, think again. Backups and backup plans: those are the watchwords now! (And remember, those key date solar storms can scramble bioelectrical systems too – as in, human beings.)

Other Geophysical Storm Signals

Last among the geophysical storm windows this month is the above mentioned full moon on the 22nd, which couples with Mercury Max to indicate a heightened risk of powerful storms with heavy precipitation, higher than normal tides, and a surge in seismic activity (quakes and volcanic eruptions), from the 18th through the 25th. Having your storm kit ready and your pantry stocked is not a bad idea at times like this. And if you have to travel during this window, be prepared for weather and traffic delays.


All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Charts are set for the location of the Great Pyramid - a purely arbitrary choice, since location is irrelevant to these charts. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from the Earthquake Alerts ör QuakeWatch app for iPhone.

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