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Highlights for April 26-May 2, 2021: The Releasing Moon

The Releasing Moon

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

Holding on, letting go

The Full Moon initiates the waning half of the lunar month, when we properly finish up, fine-tune, and release what was conceived at the New Moon. That goes double for this Full Moon in Scorpio (April 26, 2021, 8:31 pm PDT), a sign dedicated to ridding ourselves of what is no longer needed or helpful. With the Full Moon square Saturn, it’s clear that in order to build for the future, we need to lighten our load.

However – Scorpio’s modern ruler, Pluto, is slowing down to turn retrograde within hours after the exact Full Moon; and Mars, its traditional ruler, is in Cancer, a sign that prefers never to get rid of anything. And so, letting go at this particular Full Moon may not be quite as straightforward as it seems.

To be fair, we in the modern world can be a little ruthless about letting go of things, the sooner to replace them with something shiny and new. Pluto retrograde, and Mars in Cancer, support us in making sure we’re really ready to release possessions, along with the past they represent (and sometimes, people that we’ve lost) and the feelings associated with it all.

This Full Moon is the culmination of a lunar phase family that began with the Oct. 27, 2019 New Moon in Scorpio, which was opposed Uranus. Unexpected loss or trauma within a week or two of that unsettling New Moon could be part of what we’re reviewing and releasing at this Full Moon. Take time to reflect, then ask yourself if it’s time to move forward a few more steps.

Come sit next to me

Pluto is retrograde for half of each year, but we mostly feel the heft of that on the days that it’s changing direction, as it will this week (turning retrograde on April 27, 2021, 1:01 pm PDT).

The expression “rolling over in his/her grave” was simply made for a Pluto station, when a day can feel downright haunted. It’s as though some rather large Plutonian boulders have been overturned, unearthing all the squirming, slimy things that were living underneath.

I’m usually uneasy on Pluto’s stationing days. That’s part of the Pluto journey. I don’t intend to rush, whistling, past the graveyard, desperately seeking comfort, redemption, or even wisdom. Instead, I’ll pull up a low, hard bench in the middle of the cemetery. I’ll listening to a cool wind in the trees, rustling the leaves of panic, confusion, grief, and rage.

I could as easily watch a horror movie, or read a ghost story. These are ways of letting the gremlins out to play, projecting our fears onto a blank screen or page where they feel manageable. So are dressing as a goth, devouring vampire books, or having a picnic in a cemetery. Flirting with death at a cool, ironic remove is cathartic, Pluto kabuki theater.

But every now and then, life makes it impossible to keep fear at a safe, rational, sanitary distance. Boulders get overturned, and long-buried compost is revealed. We find that what’s been long buried is rolling over in a shallow grave, begging for release.

Come sit next to me. We’ll listen carefully; we’ll watch for what comes next.

The Muse is with Us

What are your strongest skills and most valuable assets? How can they be used to provide beauty, comfort, and inspiration for others?

As Mercury and Venus sextile Neptune this week (April 29, 2021, 7:26 pm PDT and May 3, 3:38 pm PDT respectively), inspiration is strong and the muse is with us. It’s a fertile time for all manner of creative endeavors. But what we actually do this week is less important than the spirit with which we do it. Keep your eyes open for ideas, opportunities, and invitations to use even your most humble and practical gifts to make someone else’s life a little better.

Coming in from the cold

I was a high school junior – a chubby geek in overalls – when Julie, our school’s homecoming queen and quintessential southern California golden girl, asked me for a favor. She wanted to choose a guitar, and she knew I played; would I go to the swap meet with her and help her pick one out?

I don’t remember much about that outing. I probably did pick out a nice little 6-string for her. But mostly, I remember that Julie, whose popularity could have turned another kind of girl into a malicious shrew, was instead a warm and authentically kind person. She and I were never close, but half a Uranus cycle later, I remember her with fondness. She was a lovely, incandescent Sun to my ungainly, Uranian misfit; on the day we spent a little time together, I felt I’d been let in from the cold.

So, there’s a snapshot for this week’s annual Sun/Uranus conjunction (April 30, 2021, 12:54 pm PDT). If your light is a bright one, let it warm someone who has a hard time feeling part of things. And if you’re the wayward geek who doesn’t fit in, this could be the day you come in from the cold for awhile.

What we tell the world we are

Mercury’s trine to Pluto (May 2, 2021, 2:19 am PDT) marks a moment when, having been shaken loose by the Sun/Uranus conjunction a couple of days earlier, a portal opens for reinventing ourselves. It’s not unlike a young person who goes away to college and recognizes the opportunity to adopt a new nickname (or drop an odious one), and drop their “partier” label for a spot on the Dean’s list.

Names and titles matter. They are Mercury’s way of telling the world what to think of us.

Mercury in aspect to Pluto calls attention to the power of names, words, and definitions to influence how we’re perceived. Usually, that begins with how we think of and talk about ourselves. This week, take notice if you find yourself using self-deprecating jokes or putting yourself down. Note how often you apologize reflexively, when no apology is required, apologizing for simply existing. When Mercury connects with Pluto, it’s time to take control over our labels, names, and stories. They matter. So do we.

Writing and images © 2021 by April Elliott Kent

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