Slow Burn

Aries season starts with a Mercury retrograde.

Last week’s Chiron-flavored Pisces new Moon made old scars ache. The emphasis on suffering and shame wasn’t pretty, but this is a new week. So you soaked pillows with tears and sobbed in the shower. So what? You’re human. Pisces season is usually a cryfest of confusion and all-consuming feelings anyway. But as of Tuesday the 20th, Pisces season is over; Aries season is here! The 20th marked the Sun’s entry into Aries and also Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. The equinox is one of two times per year that darkness and daylight are of equal length. Near the equinox, we tend to ponder the balance (or imbalance) in our own lives too: work schedule, nutrition, play, and rest. If you’re feeling lopsided or drained, make adjustments.

Since Mercury and Venus have been in Aries for a few weeks, we’re already familiar with Aries’ direct communication style and daredevil urge to speed ahead, consequences be damned. We know what we want, and we’ll react fiercely to anyone who tries to slow our steamroller. Yet, rapid, straightforward progress is about the last thing the sky has in mind. That’s because Mercury goes retrograde on Thursday the 22nd. Sigh. Be prepared to accept delays and pause—or tweak—your plans. Though it seems weird, I must mention: With four planets currently in Aries (a Fire sign) you’ll want to use extra caution with fire hazards. No unattended candles! Make sure stove burners are turned off. Over the weekend a few challenging angles could make it hard to consider another’s point of view. People may disagree and express strong opinions. But confrontation, much like a Mercury retrograde, is a chance to gather information and learn.


Aries is a brave sign that doesn’t fear conflict. As the first sign of the entire zodiac, enthusiastic Aries boldly initiates the new: New season, new growth. Ruled by planet Mars, its symbol is a horned ram. Aries is the rush of nectar and burst of colors that announces spring’s arrival. Here in Seattle, we have the confirmed presence of cherry blossoms. It’s all happening! Life is returning to the cold soil. Aries is a steaming volcano rising from the Piscean ocean. We’ve just passed through dreamy Pisces, where we had to make sacrifices and consider others’ feelings. But here in Aries, we’re wide awake with sharp vision, wondering: “What do I get?” We’re thinking about our own goals and wishes; we’re eager to create. Aries is a born leader, and also competitive. Whereas ambitious Capricorn works steadily toward long-term goals, impatient Aries wants to succeed now or never. Another attribute of Aries is rage. Physical exercise, drum practice, protests, written rants, and even bouncy castles can be outlets for channeling that inner fire. Rage can create change, and Aries-style passion takes many forms.


From the 22nd until April 15, planet Mercury is in retrograde. The planet appears to move backward in the sky, bringing about tech glitches, miscommunication, misplaced items, and transportation troubles. People and stuff from our past are tumbling in to help us reflect before we wreck. Here come the exes and old friends! Oh, and Ichiro’s a Mariner again?! ‘Tis the season for comebacks and boomerangs. Each Mercury retrograde (there are about three per year) is slightly different, depending on which sign or signs Mercury occupies. Since Mercury spends this whole retrograde in Aries, we can expect impulsive behavior, false starts, and the need to rethink how we’re going to accomplish something. Setbacks and delays will happen. Finish projects instead of launching new ones. Research and edit, but avoid making huge purchases or commitments. Mercury doesn’t move past its post-retrograde shadow until May 4, so make the most of this chance to slow down and reevaluate.


The Moon is between signs (void) most of the day on Wednesday the 21st, making us want to rest and daydream rather than focus and be productive. The Moon and Jupiter create a risk of overdoing or overspending in the morning. The late evening looks sensual. On Thursday the 22nd Mercury goes retrograde. Make changes to your home or just tidy your living space. On Friday the 23rd Venus squares off with Pluto, stirring up obsessions and power struggles. Love and career issues will require significant action. But even if topics get heavy, positive aspects throughout the day support lasting transformation. Saturday the 24th brings frustration within partnerships. People are sensitive and snappy. You may feel your movement is somehow restricted. Be careful of accidents in the morning too! On Sunday the 25th, try to surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy. Irritable moods mean it’s not an ideal time to reach an agreement. It is a good day to continue the healing work you started near the Pisces new Moon last week. Monday the 26th will deliver an opportunity or gift that fills your sails with confidence. A Leo Moon sparks creativity too. Tuesday the 27th looks positive. In the evening you may have to get real with yourself about an emotional truth.