Scorpio New Moon: Transformation is Hell

Posted by & filed under Featured, New Moon, Scorpio.

When astrologers speak of Scorpio, we’re obliged to use certain keywords—words like intensity, passion, sexuality, and above all, transformation. It’s the law. But here’s a secret: I’ve been practicing astrology since 1991, and I have never, not once, had a client ask me to tell them about transformation. Not even a Scorpio.

Yet transformation is what brings most people to an astrologer, because that is one painful process. And pain–painful romantic yearning, painful breakups, painful loss–gets your attention.

“I’m not afraid of being dead,” some people say, “But I’m afraid of dying. I don’t want to suffer.” Whether it’s dying, grieving, or just getting over some painful setbacks, we’d prefer to expedite the process of transformation. We like the idea of being stronger, wiser, and most of all, pain free. But the part where you actually have to go through the process that makes you that way? Not so much.

Presumably it was the same when you were being born. Being unceremoniously expelled from your dark, protective cocoon was not a comfortable experience. Suddenly there was a lot of squeezing and the next thing you knew, there were bright lights and screaming. There you were, in a new place. And I’ll bet you were afraid. So I can imagine our disembodied selves on the other side looking down at the process of birth and musing, “Well, I don’t mind being alive so much, but I’m really afraid of being born.”

Humans are wary of change, and we seldom embrace it with enthusiasm. Rather, transformation is usually the consolation prize for having survived some godawful trek across a barren, lifeless landscape. We may refer to these journeys as “opportunities for personal growth.” But most tales of rising like a phoenix from the ashes begin with a rather ghastly prelude, including unpleasantness like failed marriages, bankruptcy, or life-threatening illnesses. We may accept on some abstract level that we have to be tested in order to grow stronger, but in our heart of hearts, we’d rather let that cup pass away from us, thanks very much. (more…)

Taurus Full Moon: How I Broke Up with Cheez-its

Posted by & filed under Full Moon, Taurus.

My husband recently decided to make a significant change to his diet. Since we eat most of our dinners together, I figured I would jump aboard and try it myself. It was a pretty big change for me, though, and during the day I hewed to my usual habits, which included a regrettable volume of Cheez-its crackers. Still, within a couple months my clothes were fitting looser, so I was sold on easing into this new lifestyle.

Then, one morning after I gave our diabetic cat her blood test, I decided to test my own blood glucose level. I’d been thinking of doing this for a while, but to be honest I didn’t really want to know the answer. As I suspected, the number…was not good. And that was it for “easing” into a new lifestyle—I was all in. In an instant, as with the toxic boyfriends of my youth, I fell out of love with junk food snacks and heavy sauces. I will miss my cheezy overlords (even the bad boyfriends had their charms), but I know my life will be better without them.

As the Full Moon approaches in Taurus, a sign with a singular appreciation for the physical world, I’ve decided to stop hiding from the ways I’ve been destroying my poor old body. That’s how a Full Moon works sometimes: it shines a spotlight on something that you’ve actually known (or at least suspected) was going on, but had been unwilling to face. I spent a good part of that day regretting how badly I’ve treated a body that wants only to be useful to me.

Not that I’ve been entirely cheerful about this transition. With Taurus on the cusp of my sixth house, the house of daily routines and their contribution to health, my default setting in this area of life is indulgence and a stubborn refusal to change—the shadow side of this stalwart sign. But the good news about Taurus’ stubbornness is that it also works in your favor when you become determined to make a positive change in your life.

And happily, Taurus bears a message of common sense, asking nothing esoteric or magical of us. It’s usually something very obvious and practical that your mom might have told you, like “Stop eating so many Cheez-its,” or “You know that guy is no good for you” or perhaps “Geez, cut up your credit cards and pay off your debt!” Often, we make life way more complicated than it needs to be, and that’s usually because we just don’t want to make the simple, obvious changes we know we need to make.

This is an amazing Full Moon chart for undertaking change. The Taurus Moon and Scorpio Sun are in positive aspect to powerful Pluto, the planet of control, as well as Jupiter in Scorpio (“I believe I can change”) and Neptune in Pisces (envisioning a new reality). And Venus, the ruling planet of Taurus, is almost exactly opposed Uranus the awakener.

Where have you needed to wake up, get real, and get down to business? It could be a relationship that isn’t working, money problems, a house that needs repairs, or the desire to write a book. If you’re having trouble putting your finger on it, look to the house of your chart where 11.58 Taurus falls. (If you need help finding this, this blog post might help.)

Recognizing the need for change, and even what needs to be done to make it happen, is just the beginning. Luckily, Taurus is a sign that is not afraid to roll up its sleeves and get to work. As my Taurus mom liked to say, “Just because a solution is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy.” At this Full Moon, though, the simple solution might feel just a little bit easier.

© 2017 April Elliott Kent

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The Emperors Change Clothes

Posted by & filed under Jupiter, Saturn, Transits.

When planets with long cycles change signs, it’s big news. They bring their energies to new areas of life and for a time, they accomplish their work by impersonating different characters. This fall, Jupiter changes signs for the first time in a year, and Saturn moves into a new sign for the first time in nearly three years. Scenes from a couple of well-know films set the stage

Jupiter in Scorpio (Oct. 10, 2017 – Nov. 8, 2018)
The lord of beliefs, expansion, knowledge, and travel
The sign of the underworld, secrets and mystery, intimacy, and permanent change

MACNEIL HOUSE- FRONT DOOR- NIGHT

A cab pulls up to the house in long shot. Out of the cab steps a tall, old priest, carrying a battered valise. A hat obscures his face. As the cab pulls away, the priest stands rooted in the mist, staring up at the second floor window like a melancholy traveler frozen in time.

MERRIN:
I would like you to go quickly over to the residence Damien, and gather up a cassock for myself, two surplices, a purple stole, and some holy water, and your copy of The Roman Ritual. The large one. I believe we should begin.

# # #

In The Exorcist, a world-weary priest has come to do battle with an ancient, ugly foe that has taken possession of a young girl. He is armed only with the tools of his profession and the courage of his convictions.

Jupiter, the planet of convictions, has entered (as of October 10) the sign of Scorpio, guardian of power and psychological strength. Jupiter stays in a sign for just over one year, so through next November the stage is set for a battle with hobgoblins and monsters – but mostly the ones that live in our own hearts. The way to prevail is to make peace with our faults, accept our imperfections, and put our trust in beliefs that greater and stronger than we are.

Where will your faith be tested? Look to the house or houses in your chart where Scorpio guards the gate, and any planets that live there. Then, review Jupiter’s most recent journey through Scorpio (October 2005 through November 2006). What were your struggles then, and how bravely did you confront them?

Scorpio represents difficult territory, but also the potential riches of self-knowledge and integrity. And Jupiter is the holy man in this story, ultimately delivering growth and blessings to your gate. So take a deep breath, and gather your supplies. I believe we should begin.

Saturn in Capricorn (Dec. 19, 2017 – Dec. 16, 2020)
The lord of time, boundaries, maturity, discipline, and ambition
The sign of business, nations, parents and other authorities, goals, reputation

INT. DEATH STAR – CONFERENCE ROOM

Eight Imperial senators and generals sit around a black
conference table. Imperial stormtroopers stand guard around
the room. The Grand Moff Tarkin, governor of the Imperial
outland regions, enters. He is followed by his powerful ally,
The Sith Lord, Darth Vader. All of the generals stand and
bow before the thin, evil-looking governor as he takes his
place at the head of the table. The Dark Lord stands behind
him.

TARKIN

The Imperial Senate will no longer
be of any concern to us. I’ve just
received word that the Emperor has
dissolved the council permanently.
The last remnants of the Old Republic
have been swept away.

TAGGE

That’s impossible! How will the
Emperor maintain control without the
bureaucracy?

TARKIN

The regional governors now have
control over territories. Fear will
keep the local systems in line.

# # #

INT. LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER – COCKPIT

Luke is at ease, and his eyes are closed.

BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI’S VOICE

Remember, the Force will be with you… always.

Early astrologers painted Saturn with a grim countenance. He was the dark, menacing Sith lord Darth Vader, determined to use the Force for his own gain rather than the good of all. But there is another Saturn, dressed in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s clothing: the champion of just causes, the loving paternal mentor who urges us toward our highest calling.

Here is our choice while Saturn transits Capricorn (Dec. 19, 2017 – Dec. 2020; briefly in Aquarius between March 21 and July 1): Will we serve the light or the darkness? There are no easy solutions to the problems the world is facing, and we will be called to make hard, imperfect decisions. Saturn presides over the most difficult tasks, the hardest labor, the least popular decisions. When he is ennobled, it’s because his motivation is a desire to further the interests of those entrusted to his care, rather than serving his own selfish desires.

Saturn was last in Capricorn in 1988-1991, coming off a conjunction to Uranus in late Sagittarius and moving toward Neptune. This was an era of radical change and dissolution of boundaries and borders. This time, Saturn in Capricorn will approach a rendezvous with Pluto, exact in January 2020 (within a few degrees of the U.S. natal Pluto), for the first time since November 1982. The structures, bureaucracies, hierarchies, and societal rules we’ve come to rely on are changing—permanently. Take up your light sabers, and refuse to be “kept in line” by your fear. If we are on the side of the good, the Force is with us …always.

© 2017 April Elliott Kent

Libra New Moon: The Way the World Works

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

The world has gone mad, and to write about it today would fill me with terror alternating with black depression. So instead, I’ve decided to share some thoughts about one of my favorite subjects, and one in keeping with the Libra New Moon season: marriage.

There are all kinds of reasons to marry someone. We might marry them because they are like us, or because they are enchantingly different; because they are smart or good looking or rich or because we wish to annoy our parents. I think that usually, we choose a mate from a place of such profound unconscious that it’s years before we realize exactly why we married the person we did.

On the surface, I married my Libran husband because he makes me laugh, I enjoy his accent, he smells good, and he’s practically allergic to dishonesty. (From an early relationship with a horrible, criminal boyfriend, I learned that dishonesty is the fatal flaw from which all other evil follows.) But over the years, I’ve come to realize that, like practically everyone else, I chose a partner because he possesses many qualities that I lack. (more…)

Aries Full Moon: Keep Fighting

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

The first message in my Facebook feed this morning was from my nephew, marking himself safe in “The Violent Incident in Las Vegas”. His notification linked to a news story about the latest mass shooting, this one involving a gunman opening fire from his hotel room into an open-air concert next door, killing at least 50 people and injuring hundreds of others.

I closed down Facebook and made breakfast.

To entertain myself while I brewed coffee, I put on the latest episode of one of my favorite podcasts. The hosts were describing the horrors in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The hosts sounded like I felt, their voices flat, as if letting themselves fully feel what they were talking about would splinter them into a million pieces.

I turned off the podcast.

Next on the day’s agenda: an essay about the Full Moon in Aries. I mean, what can I say? That it’s the best Full Moon of the year for getting motivated, standing up for yourself, fighting the good fight? All that’s true, of course, but it feels a bit inadequate to focus on personal growth when the whole damn world seems to be falling apart. (more…)

Virgo New Moon: Practical Magic

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

Years ago, we were visited twice each month by a marvelous woman who cleaned our house. The place felt terrific after Angela had been here – not just clean, but calm. Centered. It was as though the place had been Rolfed instead of merely mopped and dusted.

Angela came to us through our elderly neighbor, Mildred. One day, after Angela had been coming to our house for about a month, I thanked Mildred again for the referral and remarked how wonderful and peaceful our place felt when Angela was finished with her work. Mildred nodded, sagely. “Oh, she’s a very spiritual person,” she said.

Yes, I thought, that’s exactly right. Angela was devoutly religious, but she never spoke of it. Rather, her spirituality was something that came through in the way she approached her work with a spirit of care and gentleness, and something else I can only call magic. Hers was the practical, everyday magic of smoothing the wrinkles from the linens, making the woodwork gleam, and leaving the floors shiny – but with an extra dash of cheerful calm that transformed this simple work into something more.

This ability to settle and soothe the discord of daily life is the practical magic of Virgo. Ordinarily when I think of magic, it’s the heady style of Scorpio that springs to mind, a fragrant and thrilling pastiche of pentacles, black velvet, and patchouli. As for spirituality, that adjective has always belonged, in my mind, to my Pisces friends, warm and sweet-natured, unfailingly compassionate, and full of concern and good works for a wide range of social causes.

But most of us are not full-time priestesses or everyday saints. We’re just people with jobs, carpools, and colicky pets. We may wish for more time – and tranquility – to spend in meditation, but it’s Virgo and the sixth house that represent the everyday world where we spend most of our time. Do we feel well? Do we have work to do? Is there bread for tomorrow’s breakfast? Traffic snarls, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook, washing the dishes: this is the Virgo stuff our days tend to be made of. (more…)

Pisces Full Moon: The World Without Us

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

pisces-full-moon

In the middle of an exceptionally busy week when a series of deadlines had worn me down to a nubbin, I dragged myself to a client’s office to do some bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is such precise, Virgo work that I enjoy doing it now and then; it’s a bit like working a crossword puzzle. In an uncertain world, there’s something comforting about getting numbers to line up right.

But everything went wrong on this particular morning, as it often does when you’re feeling rushed and overextended. I was buzzing with tension; my attention wandered, and I kept making foolish mistakes. In the end I made a catastrophic blunder in the checking account reconciliation, blurted a frustrated profanity, and nearly burst into tears.

This client has known me for many years; he’s no stranger to my moods, but somehow likes me anyway. So today, as I sat there with blurry eyes, apologizing profusely for my mistake, he just came over and stood by my desk. “You need a break,” he declared. “If you keep pushing yourself so hard, you’re either going to become a very angry person, or just a very…” He struggled for a word. “A very stiff one.”

During Virgo’s season, the world of work beckons with such allure that before we know it, things can get out of hand. Suddenly our calendars are packed far too full and we are wound far too tightly. We look at the world and see only its imperfections, an endless Dead Sea Scroll of tasks that need Virgo’s capable hands to sort it all out and its methodical brain to analyze the root causes of the problems.

But when you begin to look at the world as a problem to be solved, you may forget that it’s also an enchanting mystery that defies both logical explanation and our best efforts to keep it tidied up. Fortunately, the world does its best to remind us, delivering shape-shifting numbers that stubbornly refuse to be wrangled, or trickster hard drive malfunctions. When we’re too entrenched in Virgo’s linear mindset, even our keen minds begin to rebel, refusing to stay focused. When we overdose on Virgo, our wise spirits instinctively reach out for a gentle antidote of music, beauty, and daydreams – all of which can be found in its opposite sign of Pisces, the sign of this Full Moon. (more…)

Leo Solar Eclipse: Lights Out

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

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to The Eclipse to End All Eclipses. Rarely in my lifetime has so much attention been focused on a single celestial event. Mind you, I’m a big eclipse fan; as many of you know, I created a personal eclipse report that I’ve sold for more than two decades. And as the inexorable drumbeat of media has intensified over the last month, so has the demand for these reports.

But over the past few days, even as lines of eclipse-seeking tourists clog the highways of Oregon and social media nearly disintegrates under the weight of eclipse-related posts, the report orders have slowed a bit. One night, our electrical power was abruptly “eclipsed” for five hours. And in a development that, to my superstitious mind, seems somehow related, even our hot and humid August weather has cooled.

As we approach the threshold of the big event, it’s as though the Sun’s power is already dimming. And as the tingling, hair-raising suspense of the eclipse intensifies, maybe it’s time to turn inward, where a darkened sanctuary defies August’s beckoning sunniness.

This Solar Eclipse takes place in Leo, the sign in which self-hood struggles to be fully realized. The Leo self sings, dances, paints, delivers monologues; creation and performance are how it discovers who and what it is, and what it wants to become. When the authentic Leo self is given free rein, it eventually finds its audience. But while validation of an audience is intoxicating, it’s also dangerous. If we begin to spend more time performing for an audience than immersed in the joy of creation, too much time begging for attention and too little absorbed in happy, creative reverie, we lose the connection to our internal, uninterruptible power source. (more…)

Aquarius Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse: Radio Silence

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

aquarius lunar eclipse

The radio program This American Life recently devoted an entire episode to the topic of summer camp. Most of the kids that were interviewed loved camp, its rituals, language, and most of all, the feeling of belonging. Some said they thought about camp all year long, speaking “camp language” to bewildered hometown friends. A few even grew up to become counselors at the same camps they attended as children.

Listening to this program was as close as I’ll probably ever come to eavesdropping on actual aliens. I’m the molecular opposite of a summer camp girl. The few times I went away to camp, I was the miserable kid who counted the hours until it was time to leave. I loved being outdoors, but the enthusiastic singalongs and team-oriented activities – the Aquarian territory – made me clench up inside like a horrified fist. I was born when Jupiter was transiting Aquarius, but it was also opposed by a jumbo serving of Leo planets at the time. I’m simply not built for groups.

To this day, whenever I attend conferences (my profession’s version of summer camp), I hide out a lot, maintaining radio silence while conserving my solar energy for presenting lectures. I marvel at my socially adept colleagues, rock stars who glide through the days in glittering, confident packs. They clearly love camp, in the way I always imagine I will—until I get there, and find that I’m counting down the hours until I’m back in my quirky little home.

This Full Moon–a lunar eclipse in Aquarius–is designed to give a full and truthful accounting of how well we’re navigating Aquarius’ territory. The Full Moon never lies. It’s that interval in the lunar cycle when not even the night time is dark enough to hide our hurts, fears, and flaws. Are you a happy Aquarian camper? Are you spending time with people who engage your finest qualities, or do you disappear in a group, unappreciated and overlooked? Is there room within your tribe for disagreement and individualism, or is nonconformity quickly punished? It’s great to feel that you belong, and miserable to realize that you don’t. But whichever is usually true for you, it’s helpful to give yourself a little silence and space to remember who you are on your own, celebrate your own rituals, and create your own language. (more…)

Leo New Moon: Filled With Your Own Light

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

I began my life as a musician at the age of 12, singing with my cousin. I was a shy little Leo; she was a slightly older, brash and unafraid one, with a full-throttled voice. It felt natural to let her take the lead, while I mastered harmony. Harmonizing came so naturally that it never occurred to me to wonder why I felt so much more comfortable singing counterpoint to someone else’s melody.

My cousin eventually lost interest in performing. She didn’t need a stage; her personality and charisma were so big that she commanded attention simply by walking in a room. She would never be a harmony singer, drifting through life as a satellite, reflecting another’s light. But my Leo self was undernourished, so I kept performing. Unsure that I had any light of my own inside me, I needed lights upon me in order to be sure I existed at all. (more…)