A P R I L S K Y W A T C H
by Maya del Mar
The night sky springs to life in the West about 40 minutes after the sun sets. We start the month with New Moon, invisibly intertwined with Sun. By April 3 or 4, we can see, low in the twilight sky, that delicate moon crescent climbing out of the Suns embrace, and bringing its courageous Arian message to the world for the next month. This is just as fiery Jupiter stations, and then turns direct.
Low in the West, Mercury now climbs out of the twilight dusk for its best viewing of the year. It is bright, in a dark sky. Mercury rises each evening until Full Moon, but dims at the same time, as the sky gets brighter. Search it out during this first week of April, the years best opportunity for seeing this elusive fleet-foot.
Night after night, we can see Moon climbing eastward around the ecliptic, which is the planets pathway, towards its next monthly meeting with Sun. By April 7, it has reached bright golden Saturn in the constellation of Taurus, and by April 11, it is near brilliant Jupiter, now gracing the high night sky. As it touches each of them, Moon shares its new energy, and picks up their messages to add to this months repertoire.
Jupiter and Saturn together govern the social order. Aries says it is time for a new start, and as you watch this sky panorama, that new start is being set in motion.
The King of the Gods is on the move again.
Jupiter has been retrograde, nearly stationary, for the last four months. Jupiter is especially associated with the U.S., and notice that the U.S. invasion has not been doing much moving for the last four months, just like the planet in the heavens. Look at Jupiter nowyou cant miss it--and think of it now beginning to vault ahead for the rest of the year. The U.S., and all Jupiterian-ruled things, are on the move again.
Observe Jupiter frequently over the next few months, and you can see it move eastward towards Leos brightest star, yellow Regulus, the Heart of the Lion, also on the ecliptic. Jupiter will reach Regulus during the last half of August, and we will experience powerful earth events during that time.
Asteroid Vesta is easily visible to the naked eye now.
Again, during the dark first week of April, look high in the midnight sky for a naked-eye view of Vesta, the largest asteroid. Vesta is not bright, but bright enough to follow from night to night with binocularsprobably even in the cityas she moves slowly westwards (Vesta is moving retrograde now).
Vesta is in the constellation Virgo, a bit eastwards along the ecliptic from Regulus.
Perhaps we can find Vesta by first finding Regulus, one of the nights brightest stars, and then looking eastward along the ecliptic until we find Virgos bright blue star, which is Spica. Right now Vesta is about two-thirds of the way from Regulus to Spica, moving slowly towards Regulus. Check on successive nights for a small, moving "star."
Vesta will not stray far from this region, as she is getting ready to station and turn direct on May 11. She will begin then to move eastwards towards Spica, whom she will meet during the first half of August. But it is now, this first week of April, that she is at her brightest.
Vesta is a focal point for Aprils planetary charts. We can see this in the sky. She opposes the Aries planets, which by midpoint sit across from her on the dark side of the earth. West of her are the evening planets, now beginning to set, and East of her are the morning planets, getting ready to rise.
In the meantime, Vesta is nearly stationary, powerfully directing the show. Vestas protection of her hearth and turf rule the month. And whose hearth and turf is Iraqs?
Reddish Mars rises around 2:00 a.m. local time on April 1.
Mars is moving towards its best opposition with Sun during our lifetimes. This happens in August, during Mars retrograde. It is said that Mars then will appear the brightest that it has appeared for 50,000 years.
Watch Mars in the early morning. It will begin to brighten rapidly now. By August, it will brighten to 15 times its end-of-April illumination. It is as though Mars is looming during the summer months, and will culminate in late August. At that time both Sun and Mars oppose our marker of the times, Uranus in Pisces.
Venus, Jewel of the Morning Sky, hangs low in the morning dawn.
The days are lengthening, and as Venus approaches Sun, it will soon rise in Suns light, and be difficult to see. Catch it while you can.
Venus, also, reaches its conjunction with Sun in August. This will surely be a dynamic August!