Four planets – Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter, and Mars – form a rare aspect pattern called a Grand Cross this month. If you read about the Volatility Vortex (Uranus square Pluto) in my calendar, you have half the story. The other half is Mars square Jupiter, a distorted daredevil impulse, insecurity, or anxiety coupled with frustrated, backed-up anger. Flare-ups of anger and frustration almost always belie something more tender like sadness, fear, or unresolved trauma. If things are getting intense, slow down. Take some deep breaths until you are in touch with that more tender emotion. A better time to ask others to understand you comes at month’s end. Until then, you’re doing well just to understand yourself.

Day by Day

April 1-2 the Sun delivers a wake-up call as it hits the Volatility Vortex. An upsetting turn of events may work out to be an unexpected blessing if you use it to review your plan and strengthen existing relationships and alliances. Mutually satisfactory solutions present themselves later in the week. If the deal is halfway decent, you might want to go for it, as the astrological picture gets harder before it gets easier.

By the weekend, Venus’entry into Pisces ushers in a more compassionate, empathic, artistic vibe. Emotions are closer to the surface, especially April 5-11. Creativity, intuition, and imagination are high but they may work overtime, bringing up more difficult feelings– fear, anxiety, confusion, andstrange or unrealistic attractions, as Venus connects with Neptune.

Mercury spices things up April 7-8 as he enters sharp, active, creative and volatile Aries– and meets with up with Mars in confrontational Libra. It’s a duet or a duel. Flashes of anger and conflict arise and blow over quickly. Watch out for accidents, inflammation, and short tempers.

Caution lights are flashing April 12-15. As Mercury moves through the Grand Cross formation in the heavens, we see traffic jams, connectivity problems, and cranky, uncooperative attitudes. Everyone’s in a hurry, and things aren’t going according to plan. Listen more than you talk.

The Lunar Eclipse on April 15 carries balancing, confrontational, other-oriented Libra energy. The blessing is that Libra’s ruling planet, Venus, may be the only happy planet in the sky right now, offering us a ray of hope that we can cut through the tension with compassion and goodwill. Cookies work well, too. Look for an opportunity to solve conflicts and find common ground with others. Plant a seed of peace and goodwill, and you’ll see results emerging above ground as soon as the next Eclipse cycle in October.

April 18-22, bad situations get worse. The Sun and Mercury in fiery Aries transit the Moon’s South Node, and the Mars-Jupiter contact with the Volatility Vortex reaches peak strength. Fights pop up out of nowhere as many of us vent difficult emotions or rehash old arguments. We are likely to see disturbing news and experience difficult feelings. Exercise helps us cool our jets. Play it safe on the roads and in other dangerous situations.

April 23-24, yellow lights are still flashing as the Grand Cross winds down. The Sun and Mercury, now both in Taurus, bring the calm after the storm. Tempers mellow and minds slow down. These are good days to go shopping or cruise Craigslist for good deals. As Venus connects with Saturn, prices tend to go down. The Sun and Mercury check in with the creative, imaginative, artistic genius of Neptune, April 25-26. Artists, try a few new art forms and techniques. Allow space for confusion and look to increase your level of comfort with the unknown.

The Solar Eclipse on April 29 highlights the grounded, practical energy of Taurus. Letting go of tangible reminders of a painful past, outworn ideas about who you are, what you need, and what your worth is makes space for a personal update and reboot. Good ideas and practical, workable solutions are on the table. An investment of time or money now may pay dividends as soon as July. Pay attention to new ideas, hunches, and intuition.

Mark your calendar!

The best days for top priority plans are April 4, 11, 16, 17, 25, 26, 28-30.

Take it easy April 1, 8, 14, 15, 18-22.