New Moon 5/6 April – Tending the Fires of Change

Flame gif

New Moon April 5th April is the first New Moon of our Astrological year, the energy of which sets the theme for the next twelve months. The 5th and 6th April are powerful days to set new intentions and to start afresh, but, looking at the planetary alignments, it’s very evident that there’s much more here than initially meets the eye.

This is a slightly longer post than normal, because the planetary alignments right now are a  prelude to and usher in a full year of huge planetary shifts, bringing with them the potential for enormous transformation, growth and empowerment.


So… grab a cup of something warm and delicious and take 5 minutes to read this through to the end.


We’ll start with the Sun and Moon in the cardinal (initiating) fire sign Aries. Energetically this is the first strike of the match that can ignite a single flame, bonfire or raging inferno.

This is the time of the year when we feel a strong desire to express ourselves, stand up and be counted and push forward with new initiatives. Although this fiery energy carries enormous potential to ignite real change, it isn’t always sustainable in the long term.  On its own, Aries does an excellent job of getting us moving. The Fire Warrior is dynamic, impulsive, impatient, can be quick tempered and kick-starts us on the journey towards our goals with a great deal of vim and vigour. The thing is, once the fire has been lit and the initial spark of excitement starts to die down, there can be the tendency to lose interest and move onto the next thing too soon. Or… we can move so fast and so hot, that we burn  out!

If you’ve ever made a fire, you’ll know that in the early stages, you need to feed and fan the small flames to make sure it “takes”.  Then, when it does, it needs to be tended, so it can build up a sustainable heat. Simultaneously, it  also needs to be contained, so that it doesn’t escape or go out of control  and burn everything in sight.  Its a balancing act!


Helping to temper the flames, we have Venus, Mercury and Neptune in watery, spiritual Pisces. The fish remind us to maintain our sacred connection – to pause, breathe and give our inner fires room to breathe.


And then there are the goats -standing by to help us to contain and sustain the fires of change. Pluto, the South Node and Saturn, are tightly conjoined in practical, enduring, earthy Capricorn and square to the New Moon.

This is a big deal astrologically and energetically because it sets the scene for the (hugely important) Pluto/ Saturn conjunction, which becomes exact in January 2020. This will have an impact on us all, but more so if we have major planets or points in the cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn. These two planets have been dancing together for a while already but the combination of all three around the  New Moon gives us a real taste of what’s in store over the next year.


A conjunction between Pluto and Saturn only happens every 33 years or so, so the last time was between 1982 and 1983. Many of you may have just been twinkles in the sky at that point, but for those of us who have been around for longer, this is a whole new evolutionary cycle that is connected to that time.

Saturn is all about structures and systems. Pluto is about death, rebirth, regeneration – profound transformation in other words. Together, they have been known historically to bring the collapse or crumbling of old outmoded structures and systems. Another way of looking at it is the restructuring or re-strategising of  the way in which we work with Power.

Either way, when this pair travel through the heavens together, things tend to get shaken up, as everything is tested for strength and resilience. Structures that have been built on strong foundations will often withstand the test, but those that haven’t, will likely not.

If we work with these energies consciously, embracing the changes that are being asked of us, this can be a supremely creative, empowering transit. If we resist, continue to do the same things we’ve always done and refuse to budge, we might experience it in a more chaotic way. The choice is ours.

The way I see it, is that we, as a collective, are being called upon to embrace a new way of thinking, a new way of being, a new way of working with power.  This is being literalised for South Africans right now, with the huge issues in our electrical power grid, due to years of mismanagement (the crumbling of outmoded structures). It can also be seen globally as old political, economic and religious structures crash and burn.

We are being invited to transform – to  dissolve old, limiting beliefs, patterns of behaviour and destructive illusions and move into a higher dimension of consciousness… it’s time!


The other part of this is that Pluto and Saturn straddle the South node of the Moon in Capricorn (the karmic axis, which symbolises where we’ve been) and oppose the north node in Cancer (where we’re headed)

This strongly suggests that we need to move away from the rigid, weighty, linear, limited, blinkered, power-hungry, patriarchal way of doing things and move towards a place of compassion and, nurturance of ourselves, others and Mother Earth. In other words, this is yet another call to more fully embrace and integrate the masculine and the feminine.

When big change beckons and as we witness the dissolution of old outmoded systems, it’s easy to get caught in a spiral of fear.  If however, we connect with our true source of power, which is always there inside of us, this is an opportunity to move towards a more integrated, collaborative, empowered way of living.


When glass, wood, steel or chocolate are tempered, they’re put through specific processes, sometimes pressurised ones, in order to make them stronger and more resilient. Steel for example is tempered when its heated up and then quickly cooled. That’s what you see when blacksmiths stop hammering the sword on the anvil and plunge the glowing hot blade into a barrel of water).

If we go back even further to the older roots of the word, to “temper” something meant to prepare it specially,by carefully mixing in new ingredients to create balance.

I see this as a year of alchemy, as we temper and tend the fires of our inner fires, as opposed to spinning around on the periphery, being pulled hither and thither by the crazy busy world in which we reside. It’s a year where we are invited to make choices from our essence, rather than from our ego, to live from the centre of our beings which is the only place of true power.


This New Moon and this New Year:

  • Imagine that you have one hundred units of power at your disposal every day – how are you using it?
  • On a daily basis, to what and whom do you give your power? You could draw a pie graph if you like.
  • How often during the day do you send your power into the black holes of political, economic and societal chaos? How much time do you spend wallowing in the past or projecting into the future?
  • What structures or systems could you introduce to remind yourself to bring your energy into the present moment (which is the only real power point there is)
  • What would help you to maintain and sustain your energy/power more optimally, so you have more of it to fire up your new intentions and endeavours.
  • If  ALL of your energy, all  of your power (or a  high percentage of it) was available to you every day, what would you do with it?
  • Where and how can you re-mix the ingredients of your life to bring you back to your true empowered potential?


If you are feeling the fires of change moving in your life, it might be an idea to have an update reading to see where and how this significant shift is playing out in your natal chart and how best you can dance with it. In an update reading, we also look at your Solar Return, which is a chart for one year, ,from birthday to birthday and provides a navigational guide for the year ahead.  If you haven’t had a birth chart reading, you can read more about it here 

Email me to set up an appointment. 

In Light, Life and Love


astrology update, new moon aries, sun in Aries Michelle McClunan Astrology reading



New Moon 26th April 2017

lying grass

By Michelle McClunan

On 26th April we have a new moon in Taurus , which celebrates the  recent re-emergence of the Venus from the underworld.

The planet of love and money (ruler of this new moon) has turned direct after her  retrograde journey, which happens only once every 18 months. This is often  likened to Persephone’s descent into the underworld, where she gets to face her shadow, amongst other things. During a Venus retrograde period (especially if Venus features prominently in our charts) we face the parts of ourselves which we dislike or disown.  In addition to this, any fears or insecurities about money, love, safety and self- worth very often come bubbling up to the surface.  This has been emphasised in 2017 due to Venus also being locked into a tight square with stern, restrictive Saturn.

The good news…( yes there is good news!)…. is that not only has she turned direct again,  but she is also separating from the square with Saturn,  and is about to embark on a brand new journey on the 29th April when she enters Aries.

This beautifully gentle new Taurean moon ushers in some very welcome earth energy, after all the fire and brimstone of the past month, which has left many of us scorched and gasping for breath… and for an oasis of some sort.  We need to be aware that there are still some sparks flying around, which could easily start more blazes if they’re not tended, but generally the energy seems to have quietened down a little.

This new moon is a good time to integrate any learnings we’ve received during our time underground and to set new intentions regarding money, security or relationships.

Taurean energy is not fast or fiery. It’s slow and stable, methodical and sensual. Remembering that we still have 4 planets retrograde, this is not all about forward motion and climbing the next mountain. It’s about being present and patient and then taking the next step and then the next. It’s always possible to deal with this moment and the moment 60 seconds from now!

The sun’s passage through Taurus and this  new moon also  encourage us to reconnect with mother nature in a big way.

With all that’s going on, Earthing or grounding is essential right now.

Earth is an electrical planet, and we are bio-electrical beings.  Emerging science  has revealed that direct contact with the EARTH gives us an  energy infusion, which can help to restore and stabilize the circuitry that governs our  physiology and organs, harmonise our basic biological rhythms, boost self-healing, reduce inflammation and pain, improve our sleep and engender feelings of calmness. This  must be why we always feel better when we spend time in nature!

If you’re still feeling fiery, anxious,  burnt out, sluggish, frustrated, or exhausted, take some time to reconnect with Mother Earth and ask her to  recharge you. Walk barefoot as much as you can. Try lying down on the grass for a while and allow her beautiful  energy to seep into your being. Revel in those small, simple, sensual  moments of comfort or joy – luxuriate in a bubble bath, sit under a tree, dip your toes in a stream, slow down, stroke a cat, bask in the sunlight, read a good book, sip or eat something delicious… and enjoy the long weekend!

Check out the upcoming  ART OF EARTHING workshop on 22nd May. If you’d like to do the workshop but can’t make the date, let me know and I might schedule another one.


In life and light