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Highlights Feb. 18-24, 2019

Ill-fitting conjunctions, startling oppositions, & shouty squares

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone. Click them to see the date and time where you are.

Tight shoes

As the week begins, the Sun enters Pisces (Feb. 18, 3:04 pm) on the same day Venus makes a conjunction to Saturn (2:52 am) and Mercury conjoins Neptune (10:36 pm). Venus in Capricorn sometimes believes there is a formula to love that, if followed exactly, will yield the desired results; in a conjunction to its planetary ruler, Saturn, that formula is, “Work hard, sacrifice, and grit your teeth through the hard bits.” Sometimes, this results in something like forcing a foot into an uncomfortable new shoe; yes, you might be able to stretch out the shoe, but you might also end up with bunions.

I just celebrated my 26th Valentine’s Day with the same man. No one makes it through a quarter century of marriage without appreciating the qualities of Saturn. But Saturn can’t do it alone. I think of us have seem people push themselves into a tight-fitting shoe for years, enduring relationship like prison, until one day something snaps; and then the shoe goes flying off, and the relationship breaks, scary and hard, like a femur.

The Sun’s month-long dip into Piscean waters is a season to celebrate the other side of the relationship equation: flexibility, empathy, and kindness. In this context, working on a relationship might look less like barbells, and more like the gentle yielding to another’s shape and tempo. Mercury conjoining Neptune reminds us to communicate with empathy, intuition – and sometimes, forgiveness.

Wheat from the chaff

T he Full Moon is inherently relationship-oriented. The Sun and Moon stand in opposition, observing each other completely and without impediment. But what we see in others is as much a reflection of ourselves as the reality of who they are.

The Full Moon’s sign describes something in ourselves that we’re initially seeking – and then, sometimes, alarmed to find – in others. This Full Moon (Feb. 19, 7:54 am) pits the forgiving Sun in Pisces against the discerning Moon in Virgo; and on the same day, Mercury makes a sextile to aspect to no-nonsense Saturn (Feb. 19, 6:39 pm). On the heels of yesterday’s Pisces/Neptune gentleness, the Full Moon shows us what it looks like when we don’t soften our stance. Criticism of others, or theirs toward us, should make us wonder: Why do we feel the need to hold ourselves apart from each other in this way?

Mind you, there are times we need to protect ourselves. Not everyone has our best interests at heart. Some people are an energy drain, demanding too much attention and deference at our expense. Virgo helps us see that. And the more adept we are at separating from the wheat from the chaff, the more safely and fully we can surrender to the tenderness that Pisces requires.

Cranky, shouty, itchy

Squares are cranky, shouty, itchy aspects; like mom or dad making us get up to go to school, or the alarm clock shrilling at us that it’s time to go to work, squares make us do what we don’t necessarily feel like doing.

On the other hand, as I’ve often said, if you have to deal with squares, squares involving Jupiter are the way to go. My mom, who had Jupiter rising in her birth chart, was the most effervescently positive person I’ve ever known. Even as she prodded me to do something that was the molecular opposite of what I wanted to do, she could eventually get me to laugh about it – or at least make me forget that I didn’t want to do it in the first place. Add the motivation of a square to the effervescence of Jupiter, and that’s an itch that’s kind of fun to scratch.

Mercury’s square to Jupiter (February 22, 12:39 pm) is a fleeting aspect, just one quick day – but that can sometimes be enough to change your whole mindset and to motivate you in the direction of your dreams. Mercury is in Pisces now, which is ruled by Jupiter; it’s a pretty upbeat Mercury placement as it is – but combine it with Jupiter, and it’s downright giddy. If you’re looking for a good day to brainstorm, this is it. And if you’ve been hold yourself back from showing the world that you’re smart and creative, this is the kind of planetary alarm clock that will wake you up and make you speak up.

VVenus makes its annual conjunction to Pluto this week (Feb. 22, 7:49 pm), which sounds worse than it (usually) is – who wants their closest relationships and money (Venus) to collide with the forces of the underworld (Pluto)? But again, this is a fleeting aspect. Although its influence is felt as early as the Full Moon, by weekend it’s mostly faded. But for a few days, it’s a reminder to deepen, and to acknowledge that even pain and loss can be transformed into love and creativity. Here’s one of my favorite Venus/Pluto stories, excerpted from Gardening for a Lifetime (2010) by Sydney Eddison:

Violinist Itzhak Perlman was crippled by polio in childhood and walks with the aid of braces on his legs and a pair of crutches. At a concert on the night of November 18, 1995, at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, one of the strings of his violin suddenly snapped during the performance. Stunned, the audience held their collective breath, expecting Perlman to stop and leave the stage. Instead he paused, then continued playing – adjusting, creating, compensating as he went along, and when he put down his bow at the end of the concert, a mighty roar of applause filled the hall. When it had died down, he spoke to the audience: “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

Here’s to making the most beautiful music we can this week, with whatever we have left.

© 2019 April Elliott Kent

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2 comments to " Highlights Feb. 18-24, 2019 "

  • I love your presentation – the art and guidance – beautifully done, I hope to have a reading with you soon.


    Dear April,
    This is the first time I have read Planetary Influences (and did so right after reading your Full Moon Essay which I have read faithfully for the past 6 years). You write with poise, clarity, and tender, personal engagement. When I read your essays for Big Sky Astrology, I feel you present at my shoulder, speaking directly to my inner, best self. I lost my dear mother two years ago in early May, just before Mother’s Day. The wisdom and insight that emerge from your analysis of the moon and planet relationships are like a strong mothering presence for me : mindful of the invisible, heart full of understanding, feet on the ground. Thank you for Being Here. love, Carol

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