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Highlights for Aug. 24-30, 2020: Marathon


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

If the world says no…

Are you running a sprint, or a marathon? Mars, currently journeying through Aries, favors the former. But this week it makes the first of three, square aspects to Saturn (Aug. 24, 2020, 11:20 am PDT), who has different plans. The immediate results desired by Mars in Aries can be satisfying, but are not necessarily long-lasting or leading to more substantial goals. In these three squares (the others are on September 29, while Mars is retrograde, and on Jan. 13, 2021), Saturn is like a tough coach who is intent on turning a young athlete with raw talent into a disciplined champion. You may have lots of energy and ideas, but if the world says “no” to you this week, consider that it might be Saturn’s way of curbing your impatience and protecting you from impulsive actions.

Preparation meets inspiration

Young people born just a few years before me were encouraged – forced, sometimes – to learn to play a musical instrument. Many homes had a piano, and generations of young people dutifully practiced their scales and learned simple pieces. They might never have enjoyed playing, any more than other young people enjoyed the skills they reluctantly acquired – cooking, say, or overhauling a car’s transmission.

But let’s imagine a boy who, having acquired some proficiency with the piano, one day puts away the sheet music and begins working out the chords of a popular song. Within an hour, he’s playing it pretty fluidly and with real pleasure. And in that afternoon, he’s suddenly happy about those hours of practice that were so boring at the time. Because now, they provide the means for him to play something that excites him.

This is what it can be like when Mercury, planet of skills, unites with Uranus, planet of inspiration and excitement, in a harmonious trine (Aug. 25, 2020, 8:17 am PDT): it’s one of those moments when preparation meets inspiration.

Flying into your future

I flew in an airplane for the first time when I was in high school. I’d taken innumerable road trips with my family over the years, and I was used to that slow pace of travel. This was my first experience with covering territory in two hours that would once have taken two days of driving.

Unquestionably, there’s something nice about a road trip. You gain an intimacy with the terrain, which was fascinating in the 1960s and 70s, before every city and town in America looked quite similar. You savored every inch of the journey. And I missed that, in flying. But by taking an airplane, your vistas increased dramatically.

Sometimes, making a bigger life for ourselves requires that we let go of some of the details, let go of the treasured minutia of each mile, so that we can cover new ground, and more of it. This First Quarter Moon (Aug. 25, 2020, 10:58 am PDT) pits the Sun in down-to-earth, eye-on-details Virgo against the Moon in Sagittarius and its wider lens. Taking a leap of faith can be scary. But if you’ve paid attention to detail and planned carefully, now is the time to trust that you’re ready to jump in a plane and fly into your future.


All things being equal, Venus transiting through Cancer highlights the joy of being at home with our families and our pets, cooking meals together and enjoying simple pleasures. But as Venus makes an opposition to Jupiter (Aug. 25, 3:26 pm PDT) this week, it’s on the Sabian symbol, “A hen scratching for her chicks,” so many of us are a little bit worried about where the next “scratch” is coming from. Venus in Cancer’s top priority is to provide a loving, nourishing environment for her family, and this week it’s clear that will require a foray outside one’s little nest. An opposition to worldly Jupiter in Capricorn is just such an occasion. We might see her selling her homemade wares at an open-air market, perhaps, or enter the welcoming embrace of corporate advancement in order to earn what’s needed. It may even just be more socializing and companionship she’s looking for. This week, listen to Jupiter and step outside your comfort zone. The world and its treasures await you.

Beauty and Reality

Venus faces two interesting aspects within a couple of days of each other. One is a trine to Neptune (Aug. 27, 2020, 2:13 pm PDT), a lovely aspect that makes everything shimmer in a lovely haze for a couple of days. The other is an opposition to Pluto (Aug. 30, 2020, 6:27 am PDT), which wakes us up to cold, hard reality.

If you’ve ever fallen madly in love with someone who was no good for you – who was, in fact, a destructive influence in your life – this formula will be familiar. Someone, or something, can seem like the answer to all your prayers, can make everything in life seem beautiful. And then… he drinks too much, she steals from you, he cheats with your best friend, she winds up living in your car. And yet, it’s hard to walk away… because, “I’m in love.”

Venus trine Neptune reminds us that seeing things as beautiful is a gift. But Venus opposed Pluto points out that seeings things as they really are is another kind of gift, even if it doesn’t always feel as good.

Belief and faith

Mercury finishes the week with a trine to Jupiter (Aug. 29, 2020, 6:28 am PDT) and an opposition to Neptune (Aug. 30, 2020, 11:44 am PDT). The two aspects boil down to this: that it’s easier to have belief (Jupiter) than it is to have faith (Neptune). Mercury in practical Virgo trusts what it can see, touch, hear, and taste; its belief is that excellence and good works naturally lead to bounty and success (Jupiter in Capricorn). But this week, that trust may be challenged. Maybe one has played by all the rules and still lost out. Maybe sadness loss touches your life or that of someone close to you. Life doesn’t make sense when good, responsible people play by the rules and still lose. But even if it doesn’t make sense logically, faith suggests a reason beyond logic.

Writing and collages © 2020 April Elliott Kent

Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights  in our latest podcast episode,
40 | Mars vs. Saturn, Virgo vs. Sagittarius, April vs. Gravity

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1 comment to " Highlights for Aug. 24-30, 2020: Marathon "

  • Paula

    I love how you share current transits, aspects and times, so that we can put it on our calendar. I rarely have time to look these up myself it seems, so it helps me with my day to day planetary watch.

    I also appreciate that you share your experiences as an example yet don’t apply your insights to a specific political viewpoint. It is refreshing to read your emails always.

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