By Cosmic Cannibal, staff writer

Photo credit: Cosmic Cannibal

How are you holding up? If you’re anything like the rest of us who are sequestered amidst this global pandemic, you’re probably a wee bit worried (and antsy and lonely and just generally freaked the heck out). But if there was ever a time to take a chill pill, it’s now. True, the severity of Covid-19 and its subsequent quarantine isn’t something to scoff at, but like every other serious life event, the cosmos has your back. 

Here are five upcoming planetary transits that can help you stay calm, stay connected, and ground both your thoughts and goals for the rest of April. 

1. Taurus Season. 

Approximately every 30 days, the Sun enters a new zodiac sign, thus ushering in a new astrological “season”. On April 19th, Taurus season begins, and you can expect a (welcomed) change of pace from the restlessness of Aries season. 

During Taurus season, we take all the inspiring ideas concocted during the me-first of Aries season, and try to craft a plan of attack for bringing those ideas to life. In other words, now’s a time for building. 

Does that mean we should all scramble and try to build and produce as much as we can? H- NO! The frenzied urgency of Aries season is a thing of the past. Taurus is in charge now. And fixed sign Taurus takes its time, working suuuperr slooooww to stabilize, sustain, and conserve energy. And that’s something we could all use right now. 

Another benefit of Taurus season is the desire to stop and smell the roses. 

Yes, we’re all heading towards an indefinite future. And yes, finals and essays and graduations are all on the immediate horizon, but the Taurus sun wants us to slow down and take a breath. By doing so, we will be better able to organize and simplify what work needs to be done, then take steady action towards actualizing it. 

Though all the zodiac signs will feel the tranquility of Taurus season, earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn), as well as water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces), will feel most at ease. 

Taurus season lasts until May 20th. 

2. Venus in Gemini.

Technically, this is an ongoing transit — Venus entered Gemini on April 3rd — but that doesn’t mean we can’t still benefit from it. In fact, we already are. 

Venus is the planet of relating, it represents our ability to harmonize and connect with others — especially through mental and social activities. This planet is very comfortable in Gemini, an air sign that is all about immediate relationships and intellectual pursuits. More to the point, Gemini is the sign of communication.

Though many of us are feeling nostalgic for the days when we could actually go out and socialize with other people, Venus-in-Gemini can definitely help us assuage any loneliness caused by all the social distancing of this quarantine — if it hasn’t already. 

Right now, there are many ways to connect with others virtually (like, Zoom) as well as more traditional avenues (like calling people on the phone). As mentioned, Gemini rules over communication, this includes writing (in all forms), snail mail, email, and telecommunication. 

So if you haven’t already, reach out and connect with people via these avenues of communication. Call or text your friends! Write them a letter! Or set up a special Zoom night and you have a virtual group date! 

Air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), as well as fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are more likely to feel the benefits of this transit, because Gemini is most compatible with them. (They’ll also feel the reverse effects when Venus turns retrograde on May 13th — more on that to come.)

3. New Moon in Taurus.

In astrology, the Moon rules over our emotions, instincts, habits, and imagination. The lunar luminary has eight phases, during which it connects with the Sun in varying ways. New Moons take place when the Sun and Moon are conjunct (in the same sign & degree). They are especially important times for setting new intentions. 

Sensitivity, sympathy and contentment abound when the Moon is in Taurus, as the earth sign grounds our emotions, encouraging us to conserve our energies and enjoy what’s right in front of us. As such, the 22nd is a good day to kick back, relax, and channel some gratitude. 

True, there is an unprecedented pandemic going on, but there are many things we can all be grateful for. Maybe it’s your health or the health of your loved ones. Or maybe it’s the fact that you are actually figuring out this online instruction thing. Either way, the Taurus New Moon will help you be more appreciative. 

However, this lunation also presents us with the opportunity to build a better future.

The New Moon acts as a lens through which we can focus the energies of the Taurus Sun. It also gives us a chance to assess what’s most of value to us. So ask yourself: what’s worth my time right now? What’s worth my resources? Whatever comes up, use it as part of your future-building intention. 

Summon some Taurean persistence to get through these unprecedented times (or maybe just set the intention to get through this semester!)

4. Pluto Goes Retro.

Outer planet Pluto turns retrograde on April 25th. Simply put, a retrograde takes place when a planet appears to be moving backwards (but it’s not really moving backwards, so don’t worry). When an outer planet like Pluto, the planet of transformation and regeneration, goes retrograde, it turns its potent powers inward. So its effects will be felt in a subtler way

Currently, Pluto is transiting earth sign Capricorn, an ambitious, persistent, and self-disciplined sign. Though Pluto’s placement in Capricorn hasn’t been easy (e.g.: the collapse and attempted rebuilding of our nation, economy, and society), there will be a silver lining when the outer planet goes retrograde.

Pluto’s chief goal is to bring to the surface conditions that have been dormant so that they can be transformed into a source of power. But when he goes retro on the 25th, Pluto wants us to start reassessing our power as a group and better preparing for the future. 

It’s normal to ignore the uncomfortable truths that Pluto exhumes, but we can use this retrograde to help us release our collective obsession with order, and reorient society. Pluto retrograde will bring about the biggest changes on a macro level, but it will still encourage each of us to look inward and find constructive ways to endure and empower ourselves during these hard times. 

This retrograde will be especially intense for earth signs, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn (particularly Capricorn placements between 20° and 27°); and most challenging for Cancer, Aries, and Libra. 

5. Mercury in Taurus.

Mercury is the planet of communication. It symbolizes mental activity, our unique verbal and mental expression, how we reason, gather facts, learn, and perceive relationships.

Currently, Mercury is in the alert and clever fire sign Aries. Mercury-in-Aries has propelled us to be more direct, forceful, spirited, and spontaneous in the way we communicate. As such, concentration and patience have been M.I.A., and many of us are starting to feel mentally burnt out. 

And while some may have benefited from the spontaneous ideas of Mercury-in-Aries, there will definitely be a slowing down starting the 27th, when Mercury enters Taurus. We will all be more deliberate, practical, and peaceful in the way we communicate with each other, getting our point across without being overly aggressive. Indeed, consideration and diplomacy abound during this transit.

What’s more Mercury-in-Taurus encourages us to think with our senses, so this 3-week-long transit is perfect for activities like painting, drawing, listening to music, or making food — anything that relieves stress or provides freedom from all the noise.

The stabilizing energy of Mercury-in-Taurus will definitely make the rest of the semester much easier to get through. We can write and think more mindfully, taking a deliberate approach to assignments. No more frantic fretting over the future! The mental tranquility that arrives on the 27th when Mercury enters Taurus reminds us that we are in control.

Though each sign will enjoy the placidity of Mercury-in-Taurus, earth and water signs will benefit the most from the transit.