Brace yourself, Cancer, because life is about to get BUSY. The Sun is zooming through Aries and your ambitious tenth house until the 19th, heating up public and professional matters. But you'll also have five (yes, five) challenging retrograde planets to navigate around this month. It won't be a straight shot to the metaphorical penthouse, and at moments, it'll be more of an obstacle course. But if you keep your sights trained on a well-defined goal or two, you can still accomplish plenty.
As the month begins, Venus and Jupiter are already retrograde, to be joined by Saturn, Mercury and Pluto. Retrogrades occur when the Earth and another planet pass each other in their journeys around the Sun, creating the illusion that one of them is moving backward. Since retrogrades govern the past, unfinished business often comes up to be handled, and people we haven't seen in awhile (if not years) can resurface.
Caring Venus, which has been retrograde since March 4, remains in this tricky position until April 15. Venus rules love, beauty and your values, and when she goes retrograde for six weeks every 18 months, it can disrupt interpersonal harmony. Exes creep out of the woodwork, and old tensions flare. On April 2, Venus will back into Pisces for the duration, causing ripples in your outspoken and adventurous ninth house. Be careful about dishing out unsolicited advice to friends or playing life coach for your lover. Think twice about making spontaneous travel plans, because with Venus in your house of long-distance jaunts, anything that CAN go wrong on the road just might. Turn that philosophical lens on yourself because this is a fruitful time for personal growth work. You could have an epiphany (or six) about how you come across to others, which could inspire a positive attitude adjustment. Are you a business owner? Venus retrograde is a great time to reward your loyal customers with special discounts and offers.
Expansive Jupiter is powered down in Libra and your fourth house of home, family and self-care from February 6 to June 9. Cancer is the natural ruler of the zodiac's fourth house, posing a special challenge for you as the celestial homebody. You could struggle to feel settled, perhaps itching for a move or major renovation. Maybe you're on the road more than usual, or a roommate decides to move out. Parents (especially mothers) and children can feel out of sync, and a relative's needs could overwhelm you. Do your best to ramp up the self-care, even if that's just adding a ten-minute shoulder massage at the nail salon to your usual 90-minute deep tissue appointment. Make like an actual crab and carry your "home" on your back, bringing copious creature comforts wherever you go.
The April 11 Libra full moon gives you permission to retreat, so open up your schedule! Escape to Chateau Cancer, or clear the air with family if tension has been building up. The full moon will form a tense square to potent Pluto, which could stir up some control issues. Don't mince, but don't pince either—your sharp words could be a bit TOO direct. No below-the-belt jabs allowed, even when you feel hurt—especially then, since you're more venomous when you're on the defensive. A powerful woman could enter your sphere at this full moon, revealing opportunities you may not have noticed on your own.
The first planet to start its retrograde path this month is stern Saturn. From April 6 to August 25, the ringed planet will reverse-commute through Sagittarius, cracking the whip in your sixth house of health and organization. Cleanup on aisle Crab! Saturn is the planet of discipline and structure, and his retrograde will reveal where you've glossed over important details. If you've been vaping for breakfast or working through lunch (and even dinner) at your desk, the jig is up. Saturn retrograde gets tough about you managing stress, taking proper care of your body and delegating.
Saturn also sounds the call for quality help. Is Team Crab rock-solid, or are you doing everyone's work for them? Cancer, you love to save a few dollars, but instead of hiring the flaky neighbor kid to walk your dog or mow the lawn, pay for a professional service. One Cancer friend of ours is an attorney who insists on going to a "pay what you can" yoga studio where classes are often canceled with little notice. (We'll be suggesting she invest in a studio pass now.) You may also get doctor's orders to attend to a nagging health issue. Another Cancer we know will be having surgery for carpal tunnel during this retrograde, which she's left untreated for years. Now is the time to take care of this stuff, or at least get a second opinion.
The next planet to go retrograde is Mercury, the most famous of these cosmic U-turns. Mercury retrograde can disrupt technology, communication and travel—hello, major misunderstandings and mixed messages! From April 9 to 20, Mercury is retrograde in Taurus and your eleventh house of teamwork and technology. Group dynamics could get tens,e and your social media rants could stir up time-sucking friction. Think twice before you press "post" or try to mediate between warring colleagues. Log off and go engage with the nonvirtual world. Aren't there some cherry blossoms opening near you? This is also a great time to reconnect with old friends. Don't be surprised if a couple ping YOU out of the blue!
From April 20 to May 3, Mercury will back into Aries and your tenth house of career. You could be at odds with a client or colleague, and a promising project could temporarily stall. Use this time to tweak your plans and tighten up before launching. Back up your electronic data, especially at work, and be careful what you send out through any company email accounts. The tenth house rules men and fathers, and Mercury retrograde could exacerbate unresolved stuff with a guy in your life. Is it time to clear the air for once and for all? If you're in a management position, check in with your employees and make sure everyone's clear about their roles and expectations. Be open to hearing feedback, even if it feels harsh or negative. If you can really listen, you could get some eye-opening info that improves your own work performance and relationships.
Speaking of which, the final April retrograde comes courtesy of calculating Pluto, which will backtrack through Capricorn and your partnership house from April 20 to September 28. Pluto turns retrograde at approximately this same time every year. No lighthearted summer flings for you! Playing-for-keeps Pluto calls you to sift through old relationship patterns, many rooted deep in your unconscious. The dwarf planet reveals where we "disown" parts of ourselves and project our fears and insecurities onto others. This retrograde can be a healing time to process deep-seated wounds around relationships, some of which may stem from your parents' example. An old lover or business associate could resurface, and "it's complicated" barely even begins to describe this intense connection. If you're feeling enmeshed in a codependent bond or some other dicey entanglement, this retrograde can make you aware of the need to disengage. Other people's demons or addictive patterns are not yours to solve, so step back if you've gotten dragged into anything like this.
Luckily, a little levity returns on April 19 when the Sun starts a month-long visit to Taurus and your eleventh house of group activity. Dodge any retrograde heaviness by hanging out with friends and laughing (your sign can always find humor, even in difficult moments) or just enjoying some fun distractions. Spinning your wheels? Crowd-source solutions instead of trying to figure it out yourself. Rarely do we find answers through our own internal monologues. Unburden yourself of any shame or pride. All the people YOU'VE helped will be happy to come through in return. Bonus: Your bonds will deepen when you allow others to contribute to your happiness.
The April 26 Taurus new moon may bring fresh connections and an exciting opportunity to collaborate. Seeds planted today could blossom in the coming six months. Make lunch plans with that cool new coworker instead of grabbing salads with the same clique. Link up with a group of forward thinkers around a world-bettering issue. There really is power in numbers! Your social life also gets a reboot, so start that sci-fi book club or join a monthly mastermind circle. This might be a great date for an online debut, since the eleventh house rules technology. But with Mercury retrograde until May 3, it may be better to do a "soft launch" now and roll out full-scale production in a couple weeks, after you work out the kinks.