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Astrology for Oct. 17-23, 2022: Cloaks, Canopies, and Shadows

Cloaks, Canopies, and Shadows

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

The Cloak of Power and Authority

T his Last Quarter Moon at 24º18′ Cancer (Oct. 17, 2022, 10:15 am PDT) is the conclusion of a wish that was conceived on July 20, 2020, with a New Moon that was opposed Saturn and Pluto. We set out then on a tough path, with true heart guiding us but in the face of ferocious opposition.

James Burgess connects this Moon’s Sabian symbol, 25 Cancer Dark shadow or mantle thrown suddenly over the right shoulder, to putting on a cloak that represents power and authority. As he says – and this connects beautifully to the Moon with Saturn and Pluto at the beginning of this Lunar Phase family – if you don’t want Saturn’s responsibility, you can’t expect to hold Pluto’s power. But if we’re fully aligned and integrated in our own confidence, we can’t help but find success. So as we approach the end of a long, Saturn-Pluto journey, we’ve either been broken by it or grown deeper in our understanding of our mission.

The Sun is on the symbol 25 Libra, Information in the symbol of an autumn leaf. The information I glean from that symbol is that every journey eventually comes to an end – but that its conclusion can be the most breathtakingly beautiful part of it.

Interpret the symbol

A friend tells the story of going to an astrologer for advice about her career. The astrologer prescribed a job as a U.N. translator, which couldn’t have been further from her client’s inclinations. What my friend became instead, years later, was… an astrologer! She ended up as an interpreter of symbols after all, even if the reader lacked the imagination and curiosity to entertain anything but her own, narrow vision.

The Sun trines Mars this week (Oct. 17, 3:05 pm PDT) from the Sabian symbol 25 Libra: Information in the symbol of an autumn leaf. There’s information everywhere, if we’re open to seeing it. Pick up a bright autumn leaf and lay it gently in your hand; what’s it telling you? Perhaps its meaning is that every natural cycle begins with a tremendous life force and ends up in a crispy autumnal metaphor.

Regardless of what we do for work, Mars transiting the communicative sign of Gemini is driven to approach it with more incisive thinking and clearer communication. The Sun on its imaginative Sabian symbol reminds us that our minds, our communication, and our work will be improved our willingness to not just collect information, but to interpret its symbols – as widely and creatively as possible.

Beneath a Canopy of Trees

This week, Venus in Libra meets Mars in Gemini in a rapturous trine aspect (Oct. 18, 2022, 7:20 pm PDT). Together, Venus and Mars tell a story of passion, where beauty and pleasure meet physical desire. When this aspect is exact between two planets, it means they’re in signs of the same element, that their natures emerge from the same quality and disposition. Their attraction to each other seems inevitable, like the relationship between the head cheerleader and the captain of the football team.

At this trine, Venus and Mars meet in the air element, a lively, communicative, social meeting of the minds. Here, two lovers give themselves to each other on a picnic tablecloth beneath a canopy of trees, the wind rustling through their leaves. Is it the beginning of a greater love story, or simply a night of erotic pleasure? It hardly matters; one night can be enough to conceive a child – or any other act of creativity that can live on long after the lovers have parted.


A hiker makes his way slow and painfully toward the summit of a mountain, completely uncertain whether he’ll make it to the top. It’s the goal of his lifetime to reach this peak, and he’d almost rather die than admit defeat.


Because as he grows more tired, more keenly aware of his insufficient planning, defeat’s grim alternative looks likely. He spots a small airplane hovering overhead. It spots him. It grows close enough to drop a rescue ladder; will he take hold of it?

As the Sun and Venus square Pluto (Oct. 19, 2022, 6:33 am and 11:02 pm PDT, respectively), its on that Sabian symbol I’ve been writing about for weeks, 27 Capricorn: A mountain pilgrimage. For months, it seems, we’ve attempted some taxing, even perilous journey. Now, the Sun and Venus, on the symbol 27 Libra, An airplane hovering overhead, indicate that others have come along to offer a hand. Do we accept their help, or stubbornly insist on doing it all ourselves?

 Latch-Key Kids

When Saturn is retrograde in a birth chart, it’s often a sign of a person who grew up with relatively little external authority. Sometimes a parent was missing from the picture, or else rather faded, receding into the background. They might have been a latch-key kid, or taken on responsibility for their siblings from a young age.

When transiting Saturn is retrograde – as it is for nearly half the year – I see it as the time when we are left to our own leadership and authority, to figure out things like boundaries, rules, and responsibility for ourselves.

This week, as Saturn turns direct (Oct. 22, 2022, 9:08 pm PDT), it’s likely we’ll see authorities in our communities flex their muscles to enforce their rules. But during the months of Saturn’s retrograde, we’ve internalized our own rules, our own authority, and will be less inclined to take our marching orders from anyone else.

Loving the Unlovable

I have this my theory that everything and everyone has someone who is uniquely designed to love it. You see this reflected in our hobbies, our collections, and our passion projects. What is it that we love, that brings us pleasure? In a birth chart, that question is answered by the sign and house placement of Venus. And the journey of transiting Venus through the signs each year tells us what might catch our tastes for a month or so.

This week, Venus enters Scorpio (Oct. 23, 2022, 00:52 am PDT). Scorpio compels us to love what is not conventionally lovable. To treasure cactus instead of roses, snakes instead of puppies, funerals instead of christenings, movies with complicated heroes and sad endings.

While Venus in Scorpio, we’re called to love what scares us and to revive what’s broken. Instead of going shopping for something clean and new, let’s see what we can make with what we’ve already got.


The Sun enters its shadowy Scorpio season this week (Oct. 23, 2022, 3:36 am PDT). In Scorpio’s season in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are short and the shadows are long. The flat, autumn light is less forgiving, and if we look in the mirror, we see every imperfection. The nights are longer, and in the darkness it’s somehow easier to locate our faults and weaknesses, fear and grief. But it’s a little harder to share them, because that means admitting them to ourselves first.

I don’t think we change as we age. I think we just become more comfortable being who we’ve always been. We don’t feel the need to be false—more cheerful, more accommodating than we feel—in order to make others more comfortable around us. We become our Scorpionic selves, stripped of artifice and the comforting fictions of youth.

The Scorpio journey is about stripping off layers, year after year, and getting to know the essence of who we are. Because we may not be able to count on good genes or good luck, and some bad decisions can’t be undone. We may lose loved ones. We will probably lose some of our health. But we never lose the person we are underneath our clothes, underneath our skin. In the end, maybe that’s enough to keep us brave.

Writing and collages © 2017-2022 April Elliott Kent

More about this week’s highlights in the latest episode of my podcast!

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