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There is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing can be quite passive, but listening requires an active engagement of the attention on auditory input.

There are times when we can get by with just hearing - when we feel comfortable, safe, and in familiar surroundings, knowing we can kick back, put on the mental autopilot mode, and rely on our assumptions. But if you're walking through a dim forest you've never visited before on a new moon night with no flashlight to guide you, I guarantee you'll be listening very intently to the world you're moving through.

Such are the times we find ourselves in now. Things are unfamiliar, and they're about to become even more strange. Because not only has the world shifted. Now our internal workings are starting to reshape. So neither the perceived (the world) nor the perceiver (that's you!) is entirely familiar anymore. So it's time to listen - both externally and internally. Ready? Here's how:

Sun in Taurus: 4/19/20 - 5/20/20

For insights and herbs to align you with the stabilizing and cultivating energy of Taurus, read here.

Here are some simple home remedies to support you during these viral times.

New Moon in Taurus: 4/22/20 at 7:26 pm PDT

This is one of the best seed-planting moons of the year. Plant some seeds tonight and tomorrow morning - be they the seeds of plants, or the seeds of ideas and intentions. But first, take a moment to connect with your values, so that you plant those things that matter most to you.

This new moon is aligned with innovative and electrifying Uranus, but also challenged by the slowing force of Saturn. So curb any impatience you may feel, and instead make longterm plans now - aiming for fruition around the Taurus full moon on 10/31/20. Although new moons are internal times, this chart is very social, so plant seeds that connect you to others.

Retrograde Bonanza! ☞ 4/25 - 5/14

Most of the planets have been in direct (normal) motion so far this year, but this month things shift. When a predominance of planets are in direct motion, our actions are focused outwards in our lives, in our relationships, and in the world. But when the balance starts to tip towards more planets in retrograde motion, we enter into an internal reworking mode. Those things we have set in motion sink deeper into our psyches, where the bigger shifts take place during times of retrograde.

And when several planets station (slow down, pause, and change apparent direction) within a few weeks time, as is happening this month, the pace of life gets downright sludgy. Especially when Saturn is involved.

Why is everything so crazy right now??? There are many influences behind the Corona Virus situation. A major influence is that three planets (Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter) are close to each other throughout 2020. This combines energies of death-and-rebirth, restructuring, limitation, isolation, community, expansion, contraction, empowerment/dis-empowerment/re-empowerment - all urging us to step into our truth, step up our game, shed what drags us down and no longer fits who we are, and step into a heart-led life - once and for all, for our own good, and for the good of all.

All three of these planets station retrograde this month, so things are about to shift in some way. Exactly how, I do not know. But I can tell you that your attention is best shifted in the next few weeks towards integration work within, so you will know better how to move forwards in the coming months... you'll experience some steps forwards once eclipse season starts in June... and then some steps both forwards and back in the autumn...

But what you will feel the most keenly - close to the heart, and close to the pocket-book - is the Venus retrograde. Read on for more details.

Pluto retrograde: 4/25/20 - 10/4/20

Take note of any significant events or encounters that occur 4/24 through 4/26. This will give you an indication of how to better connect with a deeper sense of purpose, with your deeper desires - not for the transient things of life, but for those experiences and accomplishments that you will be glad to have had and made when you breathe your last breaths. Pluto's alignment with Jupiter at this station indicates it's time to take a wise risk that enables the attainment of these deeper desires. Discard limiting "should's," be courageous, and direct your power into what you truly believe in.

Saturn retrograde: 5/11/20 - 9/29/20

Notice any significant events, encounters, or A-ha's during the days around this station - 5/10 - 5/12. This will alert you to internal restructuring you'll be engaging in through September. We have all been engaging in communal interactions in new and different ways, maybe interacting with new people and communities, and developing innovations in how we structure our lives. This retrograde indicates a time of letting those external shifts sink in, thus leading us to further insights and innovations that we'll put into active implementation in the autumn.

Venus Retrograde: 5/12/20 - 6/24/20

This is a critical influence that we feel keenly. Venus connects us with what truly matters to us, so the key word during her retrogrades is reevaluate. Often, Venus retrogrades can illuminate unnoticed issues in our finances and in our relationships. If you find yourself experiencing troubles in these realms, consider what really matters to you, and communicate it. Prioritize, and communicate your priorities.

This retrograde occurs entirely in Gemini, so we will best get to the bottom of our true longings, aesthetics, and priorities by engaging in Gemini ruled activities - read, write, talk with others, make things with your hands, learn, and teach. Then REFLECT on your experience afterwards. What did you learn? Be extra curious during this retrograde.

I am inspired by the relationship between both Venus and Gemini with the ears. So I think this is an important time to cultivate your capacity for listening. When we cultivate our sensitivity for listening to sounds, our sensitivity for hearing our inner voice increases as well. Try these practices:

☞ Lay down in a dark room, and listen to music in the evening, and do nothing else.

☞ Listen to a book on tape, or ask a friend to read to you, or tell you a story.

☞ Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, close your eyes, and focus only on listening as a meditation. What do you hear in the world around you?

☞ Talk less, and listen more when in conversation.

☞ Write down everything you hear for 5 minutes. Boom. You just wrote a poem.

Jupiter retrograde: 5/14/20 - 9/12/20

Last but not least, the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, makes its station. Any significant events, encounters, or insights 5/13 - 5/15 will give you a sense of shifts in your beliefs that will lead to greater breakthroughs in your life in the autumn.

What calculated risks have you taken since December, when Jupiter first entered Capricorn? How have these experiences shifted your expectations, and how might your beliefs need to shift to accommodate the new experiences you are growing into?

Full Moon in Scorpio: 5/7/20 at 3:45 am PDT

Expect ideas, images, inspirations and longings to surface from deep within at this full moon. And you may also feel compelled to communicate what's coming up for you now. If so, choose someone trustworthy and caring to be your ear, and/or channel these things through a creative medium of your choice.

Next month...

We begin our journey through an extra long eclipse season, and Mercury joins the retrograde mix. Until then, use this month to both focus and open your mind, and soften your heart so that you can embrace the New that will be available for you soon. Wishing you well - Rae


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