The Vortex: Before and After April 2024

Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

It seems like everyone is waiting to see how this is all going to turn out. By “all this,” I mean everything we’re going through. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a big movie theater without a screen, and everyone around me is wondering how this story we’re caught in is going to end.

Well, I can’t tell you that, though I can say a little about the next few chapters.

We’re headed for a bold adventure with the astrology of April and May. I’ve learned to temper my optimism about developing aspects, but one way or another, the results of a tremendous series of events will be difficult to miss.

They will burst into the news, but few will make the connection between the April 8 total solar eclipse (and a series of conjunctions), and whatever they see happening in the world. It may not even seem like a coincidence.

Only the shadow streaking across the United States will get any coverage, as a kind of science feature. There will be a few features about people getting together for a party, heading for the path of totality like Deadheads flocking to the next show. The shadow will be cast from northern Mexico, across the lower Midwest, across New England and into southeastern Canada.

And that much will be exciting, as only the second to be cast across the continent in American history, moving at the speed of a jetliner. For a few strange minutes, day will turn to night. The contiguous 48 states and parts of Canada and Mexico will see a partial eclipse.

Photo by Eric Francis.

The Real Story is in the Background

Then there’s the invisible part. Eclipses speed the pace of events, they come with the sense that things are predestined, and they feel like points of no return. But most people make no connection to an alignment of the Moon and the Sun; that’s up to astrologers.

Even ordinary or routine solar eclipses coincide with cultural dramas or peaks in intensity. Yet everything is so over-the-top these days, one might wonder what that could possibly feel like. It was easier to notice things in an ordinary three-day news cycle.

Behind the eclipse are a series of unusual events that will raise the temperature, pressure and sense of imminent change.

In the deep background is Pluto in Aquarius, which is preparing the ground for massive social changes related to the effects of digital technology.

Pluto will predicate the kinds of changes to the environment that lead to observable events that stand out from the background noise — and we may be heading for some of those imminently.

Pluto events are almost always sea-changes — shifts to the total environment that seem to come from the deep background. There is something changing in the mental environment. If you’re perceptive, you’ll be able to tune into what it is.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Events of Early April: Eclipses of Venus and the Sun

On April 7, the Moon makes a total eclipse to Venus (called an occultation). This is basically the opening act.

The next day, on April 8, the Moon and the Sun align with the ultimate maverick, Chiron. So the eclipse has a small but high-potency planet directly involved, which bears the theme of standing out and apart; of bucking the system and defying norms.

Chiron is primarily about the holistic principle, which means whole-seeking. Under digital conditions, we are fragmented within ourselves and from one another. Whatever this event is about, Chiron serves as a factor precipitating the awareness that a healing process is necessary.

Then about two hours after the eclipse, retrograde Mercury aligns in Aries with another maverick, Eris, the goddess of discord (she’s the one that caused the reorganization of the solar system and the alleged demotion of Pluto).

Retrograde Mercury asks a question; it seeks inwardly. And when it seeks, it finds Eris, which on one level is about disruption and on another is about understanding what has happened to us.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Mars Conjunct Saturn is in the Mix

In a time of many conjunctions, another one is synchronous with the eclipse — Mars to Saturn, on April 10. This is the proverbial pipe-bomb — heat and energy (Mars) within a container (Saturn).

The energy eventually gets out, so I read this as a release point, or potentially some kind of precipitating event (as if there are not enough of those in a few days).

Whatever this represents must be handled carefully. It takes place in Pisces, so its true expression may be veiled or muted in some way. Because the eclipse is in Aries and is ruled by Mars, this event — just two days after the eclipse — represents an extension of the same flow of events.

Yet whatever the Mars-Saturn meeting is about may be seen as something unrelated to events of the prior few days. It will seem to stand on its own.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Jupiter and Uranus Conjunction, April 20

The show then shifts to Taurus. There is yet another conjunction. Twelve days after the Chiron total eclipse, Jupiter and Uranus move into an alignment that happens only once per 13 years; so about twice per generation. That’s rare enough, and it’s special. (The next one will be in 2037.)

The revolutionary principle of Uranus is met by the expansion and wisdom principle of Jupiter. The result is often brilliant; it’s an aspect of advances in many fields, great minds getting together, artistic breakthroughs, truly unusual ideas, groups finding one another and more along those lines.

In Taurus, we must look to themes of resources and money. This aspect does not usually portend bad events; I’ve never made that connection. But with the world economy built on a debt bubble, and much talk of a central bank digital currency, we must be aware of radical economic changes.

If negative, they will be sold as “the next great idea” or the solution to a fake problem. Whatever it is, the selling point will be that it seems too big to ignore.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Sedna Enters Gemini

For a second time in a few months, an ultra-slow mover will enter an air sign. That is Sedna, the goddess of the frozen waters, which enters Gemini on April 28. This is followed a few weeks later by Jupiter, the big magnifying glass, entering Gemini and making a conjunction to Sedna.

Pluto entering Aquarius describes collective events, and events where the one meets the many. And this same year, Sedna enters Gemini — a much more personal sign — for the first time since our hunter-gatherer predecessors were settling into little villages.

Sedna entering Gemini represents a shift corresponding to that of Pluto. Here’s how I’m coming to think of it. Sedna in Taurus (since 1966) has been about gaining an understanding of mankind’s impact on the physical environment; this seems to be a consensus among astrologers.

(It’s complicated; there are other themes; but Sedna is an Inuit goddess whose naming called attention to the melting polar regions.)

Gemini shifts the emphasis to the mental environment. I’m beginning to figure out that one expression of Gemini is the hemispheres of the brain (that was probably a no-brainer). Yes, there are “two people in there,” represented by the twins, and finding expression in the dual quality of consciousness.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Like Aquarius, but a Personal Expression

Whatever Pluto in Aquarius is about needs some correlation to personal awareness, and I have a feeling that is what Sedna represents in Gemini. It’s a different world when someone conceives of it with their whole mind; and divided people see a divided world all around them.

Marshall McLuhan proposed that all war is about the conflict between the hemispheres of the brain. This implies that the only real “healing of the world” must occur on the most personal level, where internal conflict is resolved and therefore not projected.

The trick to this is not believing that all that conflict is out there, and therefore none of it is in you; and that as a result, out there is the only place to take action. Sedna in Gemini is here to teach us that the most important environment is inner realm: consciousness itself.

Nothing happens without it, or without being perceived by it. In many ways, the mind is the only environment that matters. This could take a while to learn. Fortunately, Sedna will be in Gemini until 2066, so there is plenty of time.

With love,

Eric signature

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