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Astrology Highlights for Nov. 20-26, 2023: The Next Thing

Getting Somewhere

Anyone who has commuted to a job knows what the First Quarter Moon in Aquarius (Nov. 20, 2023, 2:50 am PST) feels like. If the New Moon is the feeling of waking up in the morning, the First Quarter is what it’s like after we’ve showered, bolted a cup of coffee, and headed out the door. And in Aquarius, the First Quarter is like navigating a throng of people, all busy, all moving in the same general direction but with different destinations.

If you ride the same train or bus at the same time every day, you will see the same fellow commuters; you may eventually even begin acknowledging each other with a slight smile or nod. On the freeway, your car is one of thousands jockeying for position, fighting to merge into another lane or make your exit.

You’re all going somewhere, more or less together, yet each of you alone. And yet…if disaster should strike, or someone should faint on the train, or a nasty collision occur in the number four lane, prepare to observe humanity at its best. Strangers leap unquestioningly to one another’s aid, with no political, racial, or gender litmus test.

At the Moon’s first quarter, we’re hell bent on getting somewhere. But at the First Quarter in Aquarius, we’re figuring out how to do it in the society of others.

Something That Fits

This week, the Sun and Mars make sextiles to Pluto (Nov. 20, 1:26 pm PST and Nov. 21, 5:18 pm, respectively), finishing their journeys through Scorpio on an emphatic note. Normally, the Sun is focused on being ever more decisively itself, and Mars on pursuing what the true self wants; but Pluto is insistent on becoming and pursuing something else, something more.

At this aspect, they can find a compromise. What if we make the kinds of Pluto changes that actually make us more fully ourselves – like getting rid of anything that’s false or no longer suits us? Maybe going through your closet and getting rid of what no longer fits our body or our personality? Shifting from going after what we’re determined to have, to what comes naturally? That kind of streamlining is empowering, and that’s just what Pluto wants from us.


Once, on a visit to New Zealand, I stepped outside on a cool, clear evening and looked up at the sky. What I saw made me a little dizzy: not just a thick blanket of stars, but constellations so different from the ones I’m used to! As an urban dweller, I had no idea that I’d become so familiar with the night sky – until I saw one that was utterly foreign.

Sagittarius rules encounters with the unfamiliar. Some of them take us as far away as the other side of the world, where the sky is upside down. But simply traveling to an unfamiliar part of your own city will do the trick as well.

Whenever you find yourself feeling a little bit uncomfortable, like a proverbial fish out of water, then you’re doing Sagittarius right. Whatever makes you look at the world, or even just your own life, with new eyes and wonderment – that’s Sagittarius territory. And that’s what you’re invited to explore over the next month, as the Sun is in Sagittarius (beginning Nov. 22, 2023, 6:03 am PST).

To Save the World

When we’re comfortable and well-fed, with a roof overhead and no immediate threats to our safety, it’s hard to find the motivation to save the world – or even just to think about the future. But Saturn’s ongoing journey through Pisces insists that we do just that.

As the Sun in Sagittarius squares Saturn this week (Nov. 23, 2023, 1:47 am PST), we find out why our efforts to get comfy and enjoy the crisper weather of this season have been thwarted by limitations, obligations, and a nagging sense of unease. A changing landscape is calling us toward action, and the future can no longer be ignored.


Here’s how to tap in to Mars: Imagine you’re a gymnast standing on a mat, your stomach a little fizzy, getting ready to leap onto the parallel bars. And then it’s happening. You’re flying through the air, fully present, completely centered in your body. And it feels absolutely, physically thrilling.

As Mars transits through the zodiac, it offers twelve different perspectives on throwing ourselves into the moment. As Mars enters Sagittarius (Dec. 13, 1:53 am PST), it’s time to go sky diving; and as we prepare to leap out of the plane, we’ll hope like hell that our parachute opens.

And that will be a good thing. Mars in Sagittarius craves freedom and adventure, in that order. Give Mars in Sagittarius a backpack and a dog, and it will wander happily with little sense of direction. Sagittarius does have something of a reputation for being accident prone, usually because we’ve misjudged the terrain or our own strength and capability. But this is generally a “happy wanderer” placement for Mars. Look to the Sagittarius house of your birth chart and ask, “Where can I do a little exploring in this area of my life?” Even if you do nothing more than ask the question, Mars will be happy.

Arriving Where We Started

We have more gifts than we know, and the greatest is the honor of being our one true, authentic, and utterly unique self. We get only one chance to be this person, with this body and this biography. It seems to me, now well past my second Saturn return, that the entire process of living exists only to bring us closer to who we really are. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “…And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.”

When we encounter bumps along the journey – hard transits, if you will – we’re given a chance to chip off more artifice, the patina that life has formed on us over the years. Take this week’s square from Mars to Saturn (Nov. 25, 8:57 am PST). Imagine Mars is the sculptor’s chisel, and Saturn is a huge block of marble. What’s inside that cool chunk of rock? A truer, more beautiful version of you? The sculptor thinks he knows… and his mission is the hard work of uncovering it.

The Next Thing

The North Node is the symbol of the brass ring that, if we reach for it, almost invariably leads us in a gratifying direction.

Mercury’s sextile to the North Node (Nov. 26, 2023, 7:48 pm PST) offers bright promise. Be on the lookout for a message, invitation, or piece of information that tells you you’re on the right track.

The message might appear in an email, a text, a social media post, something you hear on a podcast or watch on TV. And because you’ve come through Saturn and Pluto’s fires this week, your focus is clear and your eyes and ears are open in a whole new way. Something you couldn’t recognize or imagine just a month ago is suddenly sticking out with blinding clarity. “Here’s the next thing,” it says. “Here’s the direction that leads to happiness.”

And so, follow it.

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

For more on this week’s planetary news, listen to my podcast!

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