Pisces Lunar Eclipse: How to Survive Quicksand

Posted by & filed under Eclipses, Featured, Full Moon, Lunar Phases, Pisces.

The Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 24.20 Pisces is on Friday, Sep. 16, 2016 at 12:05 p.m. Pacific Time. See this link to find the timing for your city.

If you’ve ever seen a movie protagonist dramatically subsumed by quicksand, you may be surprised to learn that such a fate is highly unlikely. Usually, even if you should accidentally stumble into one of these wet, sandy pits, you’ll only sink to waist level. That said, if you thrash and struggle to get out, you will be pulled under a bit deeper. And eventually, unable to escape, your greatest peril comes from predators, hypothermia, or dehydration, not from drowning.

It’s not the quicksand that takes you down. It’s the panic.

Most of us wander into metaphorical quicksand from time to time, into situations that overwhelm and incapacitate us. The instinct is to struggle mightily for escape, but that’s the wrong approach. What’s called for instead is a variation on the advice for escaping actual quicksand: Very gently move your legs to increase viscosity, and turn your body slightly so you can gradually float to the top.

Gentle motion, flexibility, and floating: These are your survival tools for this Pisces Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse. Because if there is an astrological equivalent to quicksand, a Pisces eclipse would pretty much have to be it. At times like this, surrender—not struggle—is the key. (more…)

Virgo New Moon: Solitude and the Contented Heart

Posted by & filed under Eclipses, Lunar Phases, New Moon, Virgo.

virgo-solitude-postI work at home, almost exclusively by email, phone, or Skype. From the time my husband leaves for work until he returns home in the evening I rarely exchange non-work-related words with anybody, other than a visit with my neighbor or the occasional brief chat with the UPS guy.

Recently, a gregarious friend asked me whether I get lonely working like this, spending whole days alone. “Absolutely not,” was my lightning-fast response. “It’s heaven.”

And it’s the truth. The thing I hated most about my years working in an office was being forced to socialize. I particularly loathed the never-ending office potlucks, baby showers, and retirement parties. I was at work to work, not to stand around eating cake and listening to speeches. (Though heaven knows, I have nothing anything against cake.)

Mind you, I’m not a total hermit. After all, I do have approximately 50,000 planets in Leo, a Sagittarius Ascendant, and a seventh house Moon. But when it comes to pursuing my life’s ambitions, one need look no further than my Virgo Midheaven, straddled by Mars and Pluto, to locate my abhorrence of workplace “team building” exercises. When it comes to work, I’m not a team player. At best, I’m a quiet craftswoman, toiling away in her musty studio with a cat at her feet and the phone off the hook, humming a happy and contended tune. (more…)

Aquarius Full Moon: Conga Line

Posted by & filed under Aquarius, Full Moon, Lunar Phases.

aquarius-bunny-congaHere are some of modern astrology’s contradictory messages about Aquarius, the sign of this Full Moon: Aquarius symbolizes weirdness, iconoclasm, and innovation, but also friendship and membership in groups. So which is it?

Well, I guess it’s both, really. Aquarius signals sensitivity to the collective, whether it’s because you feel an affinity for it or something a bit like horror. And the truth is, humans are social creatures, so this is something that pertains to each of us.

Prowling Facebook early this morning, I spied some photos from a recent reunion of my high school class. Seeing them made me feel vindicated in my decision not to go. To my socially-anxious eyes, the entire scenario—from the windowless hotel banquet room to the manic gaiety of the conga line—resembled some little-known circle of Dante’s Inferno.

There seem to be at least two kinds of people in the world: Those who never miss their high school reunions, and those wouldn’t dream of going to one. I’ll leave you to guess which kind I am. (more…)

August Lunar Almost-Eclipse

Posted by & filed under Eclipses.

phantom lunar eclipseSeptember 2016 will bring a Solar Eclipse in Virgo (Sep. 1) and a Lunar Eclipse in Pisces (Sep. 16). Many astrological calendars and websites also list the August 18, 2016 Aquarius Full Moon as a lunar eclipse. When I noticed that this eclipse did not appear in the calculations for my Moonshadow personal eclipse report, I went looking for the reason.

First, I noticed that this eclipse did not appear on NASA’s list of eclipses. It seems that the earth’s shadow just misses touching the Moon; it will not produce a visible eclipse event anywhere on earth. It’s a kind of phantom, “almost-eclipse.” I checked with Astro.com, creators of the Swiss Ephemeris (tables of planetary positions used in many software programs). They told me that they listed the August 18 Full Moon as an eclipse in earlier versions of the ephemeris. They later discovered that this was an error and subsequently removed it. Other ephemerides do include the eclipse, however, and that is most likely why it appears in so many astrology calendars.

So … is it a lunar eclipse?

I may be proven wrong, but I doubt the August 18 Full Moon will really behave like an eclipse, astrologically speaking. It may, however, act as a kind of early warning signal for eclipses near the same point on Feb. 11, 2017 (22.28 Leo) and Aug. 21, 2017 (28.52 Leo). If your birth chart has planets or angles in the last ten degrees of a fixed sign, you will likely find those eclipses bring more change and drama to your life than the August 18 Full Moon.

There is, however, a connection between this Full Moon and a Lunar eclipse in the same series on August 8, 1998; that time period may emerge as relevant at the August 18 Full Moon.

© 2016 April Elliott Kent

MoonShadow reportThere are, however, a couple of eclipses coming up in September! Want to know more about how they will impact your birth chart? Order my Followed by a Moonshadow eclipse report – 3 years of eclipses for only $35. Click here for a sample and ordering information.

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Leo New Moon: The Grateful Flow

Posted by & filed under Leo, Lunar Phases, New Moon.

grateful-flowCreativity is a quality that most astrologers associate with Leo, the sign of this New Moon, and with its ruler, the Sun. We’re all creative, with a mad desire to connect with a powerful and loving Source. You’ve probably known people who deny that they’re creative at all. But ask them to remember when they lost all track of time because they were doing something they enjoyed. Nearly everyone can come up with something. It might have been something as simple as dead-heading roses, organizing a closet, or playing fantasy football. “But that’s not creative!” we might object, imagining that creative people wear berets and wield paintbrushes.

On the contrary—passionate absorption in anything is the hallmark of creativity. The moment when you’re fully and happily engrossed in some activity, delighting in its nuances and solving its delectable puzzles, you’re engaged in what therapist Phil Stutz calls The Grateful Flow. In his book The Tools, Stutz describes five techniques he uses to help his patients build happier and more fulfilling lives. The Grateful Flow uses gratitude to retrain the mind away from the endless loop of negativity and toward joyful engagement. (more…)

Capricorn Full Moon: The Midwife, the General and Mr. Wolf

Posted by & filed under Capricorn, Full Moon, Lunar Phases.

“I’m not here to say please. I’m here to tell you what to do.”
~ Mr. Wolf (Harvey Keitel),
Pulp Fiction

wolf-300Jules and Vincent, professional hitmen, have a mess on their hands. They’ve accidentally shot someone in the backseat of Jules’ car, and they need to get rid of the evidence fast. They retreat to the nearby suburban home of their friend Jimmy, who anticipates the imminent arrival of his volatile wife, Bonnie. With the clock ticking, Jules contacts his boss, who immediately dispatches Mr. Winston Wolf to the scene to manage the situation.

Poised and impeccable in a suit and tie despite the early hour, Mr. Wolf assesses the situation and quickly lays out a course of action: get some towels, clean the car, camouflage the gore with quilts. “Boys, get to work,” he finishes.

“A ‘please’ would be nice,” protests Vincent. Mr. Wolf’s smooth, professional façade turns sharp and bristly. “I’m not here to say please,” he retorts. “I’m here to tell you what to do. If self-preservation is an instinct you possess, you better f—ing do it, and do it quick.”

Mr. Wolf could only be a Capricorn. Smooth, civilized, professional – but just beneath the genteel surface is someone even a hitman wouldn’t want to mess with. After all, Mars, the planet of war and knife-play, is exalted in this sign. In restrained, tactical Capricorn, the savage Mars warrior becomes a general, and the butcher, a surgeon. (more…)

Cancer New Moon: Soulmates

Posted by & filed under Cancer, Lunar Phases, New Moon, Pluto.

soulmates_300Thanks to a generous colleague with an Ancestry.com account, I recently got my hands on a copy of my mother’s birth certificate. For years, I’d used a chart based on her recollection that she was born “just as the men were coming home from the fields for their supper.” Mom was born at home on a backwater farm in the early 1930s, so I’d never searched for her birth records, assuming her time of birth wouldn’t have been recorded. But there it was, crowded next to the doctor’s signature like a precious afterthought. I might actually have squealed when I saw it. (Maybe you have to be an astrologer to understand.)

So I now have a proper birth chart for one of my parents, at least, and I’m having one heck of a good time tearing it apart. Astrological signatures seem to run in families as surely as high arches or a Roman nose, and it’s always good fun to compare the birth charts of parents and their children to see the recurring patterns. Not to mention that each of us were little transits to our parents’ birth charts, and it can be sobering to realize that your natal Mars conjoined your mother’s Moon represents the sweltering August afternoon hours of your agonizing birth. (Sorry about that, Mom. Guess you got back at me with that Saturn/South Node connection.)

How is it that when we think of soulmates, our parents seldom come to mind? Or for that matter, siblings, first cousins, and the grade school nemesis who unfailingly edged us out as the top student in our class? We seem to assume soulmates present themselves only as romantic partners or maybe the rare lifelong friend. That usually disqualifies the people who grounded us or gave us wedgies. (more…)

Sagittarius Full Moon: Wise Pilgrim

Posted by & filed under Full Moon, Lunar Phases, Sagittarius.

wise-pilgrim_300I’ve been ignoring current events to the best of my ability for some time now, but the occasional atrocity slips past the goalie. I heard about what happened in Orlando and Oakland, and the brutal murder of Jo Cox, a member of Parliament; I’m aware that Britain is deciding whether to leave the EU, and I’ve gotten the memo that the US Presidential race is just about as awful as one could imagine.

It’s all too big and too terrible, and when we try to swallow each day’s events in one tremendous social media gulp—the killings, the politics, the hatred, the news of friends variously losing parents and pets and jobs and health—we naturally choke on it.

The June 20 Full Moon is in Sagittarius, and while Saturn has been traveling through the Archer’s territory it’s been a challenge for me to locate Sagittarius’ wisdom, native optimism, and zest for adventure. It’s even hard to welcome joyous summer when you suspect that every beach has cut glass and scorpions lurking inside the sandcastles or snipers with military assault weapons hiding in the lifeguard tower. (more…)

Gemini New Moon: Pinwheels

Posted by & filed under Gemini, Lunar Phases, New Moon.

gemini-pinwheels-300If time seems to be moving especially fast these days, you may have gotten swept up in the energetic vortex of the approaching New Moon. The chart for the exact moment of the New Moon (June 4, 2016, at 7:59 pm Pacific time, 14.53 Gemini) features the Sun and Moon in a close conjunction with Venus, all in Gemini; they are just past an opposition to Saturn, and all four are square Jupiter and Neptune.

It’s a configuration called a Grand Cross, with at least one planet in each of the four cardinal, fixed, or mutable signs. And if you’re wondering what that might feel like, just picture yourself stuck on one of those circus wheels where they strap you on, spin you around, and throw knives at you.

But!—since this Grand Cross lies in the imaginative mutable signs, here’s a lovelier, lighter image. Picture a brave, shiny little pinwheel, catching the high afternoon winds and spinning furiously. Eventually, the winds will die down. In the meantime, how do you keep the whirligig from blowing away? (more…)

Sagittarius Full Moon: Improve the Silence

Posted by & filed under Full Moon, Lunar Phases, Sagittarius.

improve-silence-postWith Sagittarius rising in my birthchart, Mercury opposed Jupiter, and lots of planets in the 9th house, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m a born centaur. This is especially true on the occasions when I jump on my high horse (so to speak) and start delivering sermons like a self-styled Joan of Arc.

I’m most apt to get Sadgey when I sense someone else is being bullied or treated unfairly. It doesn’t have to be someone I particularly like, either. Mostly, I can justify those rants. But for every situation that really demands stark truth-telling, there’s one that calls for a little more restraint and judgment. At those moments, this piece of advice, attributed to Indian spiritual master Sai Baba, can be helpful:

Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve upon the silence? (more…)