Joyful greetings my fellow humans!! The uber-emotional intensity of the Eclipse window is now on our heels and so we can exhale and take a deep cleansing breath as this time of renewal is ushered in! The days are longer, the sun is warmer, the trees are filling out, and here in Texas the bluebonnets are in their full glory! Yes, spring has sprung and we are just days away from the first New Moon of the lunar new year, which brings refreshing rejuvenation like a moisturizing mist falling upon the skin after a long trek in the dry and dusty desert.   
Most people begin the process of initiating the new year in January, at the Gregorian new year. However aligning ourselves with the lunar calendar, which is essentially the calendar of the four seasons, corresponds more directly to our biological natures, thus creating the potential for internal alignment.  
The new moon is this Thursday, April 7th and is uin the sign of Aries – The Warrior, The Pioneer, The Initiator. Just as the insistent and determined sproutlings force their way through the crust of the earth at this time of year, so too are we infused with the spirited and ardent impulse to vivaciously leap forward into the fullness of our life paths.  
Each new moon is the opportunity to release ourselves from the previous lunar cycle’s difficulties, imbalances, grievances, or misalignments – and be reborn with a renewed, clear intention that lives in our hearts and is in alignment with our deeper mission and purpose. This first new moon of the astrological year is HIGH TIME to stake our ground for what our deepest hopes and dreams are for the upcoming year. Essentially, to be in the highest alignment with our potential, we need to ask:
What do I believe in so wholeheartedly that I am willing to fight for?  
What projects or goals do I have for myself this year?
In what areas of my life do I need to take ACTION?
What am I aligning with?  
Am I in integrity with my beliefs?  
Am I suiting up and showing up fully for my life, my family, my community?  
Am I doing my best?
And then from this place, getting our game plan on, and going for it! No forward movement is too small. Sometimes we have a feeling, a vision, a dream…but we don’t know how we can get there. What I love to tell my clients is that all we have to do is orient ourselves in the right direction (aligned with our aspirations and needs), and Spirit guides the way. We have to believe that there is a higher orchestration always there to lead us and lay the path, and we must trust that we are a crucial piece of this mysterious-sacred puzzle of life.
But if you are feeling you have some great intentions and plans in place, but might need to work on things a bit more before they are truly ready to manifest (or you are still uncertain and sobering up from last month’s eclipse season and saturation in Pisces energy)… Then you are in luck because Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, will go through a retrograde period this year from April 17th- June 29th!
We hear a lot about Mercury retrograde because it happens three times per year. But Mars only retrogrades once every two years, so this is significant. Energetically Mars energy is instinctual, raw, sexual and animalistic. It represents what angers us, what motivates us, our pure physical and sexual energy, or lack thereof. Mars also relates directly to our essential energy, our desires, how and what we initiate, what we want, do, and how we do it. It is the process of initiating, pursuing and achieving our goals and intentions.    
Because Mars rules the forward energetic motion of our lives, it is a bit counterintuitive when it is moving backwards, but as with every other planetary process, this period has significance. It is basically a downshift into the essence of how we run our energy, what motivates us, what it is we desire to achieve, and how we utilize our energy to get there.  
The invitation here over this period is to reassess all of these areas, inviting more of an internal review than an outward show of initiation. The usual fast and furious forward movement of Mars may feel frustrated during this time of re-evaluation, and some plans may backfire or fizzle out and never take hold. Taking a realistic assessment of our goals, projects, and means to get there is crucial.  
Energetically this reversal of energy could also potentially produce experiences of lethargy, anxiety, or bouts of anger or rage. The intensity of the possible internal combustion is magnified because Pluto, the planet that rules the Soul and shadow realm also turns retrograde the very next day following Mars. This is quite the pair of intense energies. We may have to revisit some of the deeper wounds and issues that we felt we had distanced ourselves from in the recent months. Turning towards whatever may come up and inviting movement, along with getting our daily dose of exercise and vitamin D from sunshine will help combat these possibilities.  
During this every-other-year review, we get to re-align ourselves with the core of our energy, and burn off any stagnation, idleness or impotence. Upon completion of this retrograde cycle come June, as a result of this reassessment, we then may explode forward with clear, powerful, direct, potency in all areas of our intentions and goals.  
This does not mean that we will not produce any results between now and then. It means that we will have a deeper focus on the how, when, why and what we are aligning our energy with, bringing laser-like discrimination to the detail of what we are creating. Two steps forward, one step back, still gets us ahead- are you ready to dance?
2016 is the year to grow deep roots that create firm foundations under the wings of our dreams and visions so that they make take flight! Utilize these Aries/Martian energies to clarify your flight path and vitality of your internal engine so that you may manifest abundant success and fulfillment to come!
So happy New Moon my fellow Warriors!! I wish you all vitality, clear, confident, inspired vision, and passionate expression and fulfillment in all that you do!
I love to give personal readings to people who are looking for support, validation, or guidance on their paths! Check out my website and learn more about working with me.
In gratitude and radiance!~
Shannon💜
www.shannonjonesastrology.com