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Highlights for Dec. 24-30, 2018

Backward and Forward

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

When I sat down this afternoon to outline my weekly column for this week, I found a pretty quiet astrological week ahead. Thanks to being confused about what day it was while I was down in New Zealand, I included the December 24 Mercury/Neptune square in last week’s column; otherwise, it’s as though the planets themselves decided to take some time off during the last week of the year.

However, it’s worth pointing out the Last Quarter Moon toward the end of the week (Dec. 29, 1:34 am). The Last Quarter is the time each month for contemplation and to ruminate on the big picture; and given that it’s the last week of the calendar year, I think it’s a good time to do what many of us do at year’s end, which is take stock of the year that’s past and a preview of the new one ahead.

2018: Splinters, intractability, and lack of supervision

Uranus made its debut in Taurus on May 15 (it retrograded back into late Aries in November). Many clients reported major shifts in the foundations of their lives around this time, with jobs ending, relationships splintering, and sudden changes of all kinds. Mercury, Venus, and Mars took turns moving retrograde, which made for a particularly vexing, intractable, and in some cases heartbreaking second half of the year. Between June 26 and November 16, many relationships underwent radical configurations. The Venus Rx in Scorpio, in particular, was quite wrenching, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to Venus finally entering Sagittarius on January 7!

In November, Jupiter left Scorpio after a year-long stay in which the very worst of people was exposed for all to see, hopefully with healing consequences for the future. Now, he’s in his own sign, Sagittarius, where up to now he has been like young Prince Hal carousing with Falstaff, completely unsupervised and free to make as much mischief as he likes (that’s about to change in 2019). And the lunar nodes moved into Cancer and Capricorn on Nov. 6 (through May 2020), initiating a time for critical reassessment of the balance between professional commitments and family responsibilities.

So, that was 2018. What lies ahead for 2019? We’ll cover the details week by week, but the big picture is dominated by just a few planetary happenings. In addition to sharing them on a collective level, give some thought to their positions in your own birth chart. (If you need help figuring that out, try this blog post.)

Looking ahead to 2019: The Gathering Saturn/Pluto storm

First, a bit of good news: Neither Venus nor Mars will be retrograde in 2019! The usual advisories are in effect during Mercury’s retrograde periods: March 5-28, July 7-31, and Oct. 31-Nov. 20. Schedule loosely, create contingency plans, and direct your attention to reviewing, revisiting, revisiting, and reconnecting with the past rather than forging new paths into the future.

Jupiter in Sagittarius will square Neptune in Pisces (exact Jan. 13, 14.22 Sag/Pisces;  June 16, 18.43 Sag/Pisces; and Sep. 21, 16.59 Sag/Pisces). All Neptune’s secrets and disappointments are brought out into the open, and with Jupiter on hand to help us confront, heal, and generally overcome them. Jupiter has the upper hand, here, since he’s the traditional ruler of both Sagittarius and Pisces; this year, optimism and strong beliefs are tempered, but not overwhelmed by, Neptune’s self-doubt and fluid sense of reality.

After a protracted retrograde into late Aries, Uranus returns to Taurus on March 6, to stay through 2025. The combination of Uranus and Taurus is most welcome for shaking up tired routines and getting us out of ruts. But it also hints at unexpected financial developments, natural disasters, and the cultural violence that erupts when people are unsure of the ground beneath their feet.

The Lunar Nodes intersect with Saturn and Pluto as the two titans approach their exact conjunction in January 2020. Tr. Pluto makes an exact conjunction with the South Node on April 4, 2019, at 23.03 Capricorn. The challenge we face collectively this year is to release fearful mind-sets and accept our past, bad decisions without punishing ourselves for them. Our mission: to surrender the need to for control, release grudges, and accept the things we cannot change. The Sabian Symbol of the conjunction degree is, “A woman entering a convent.” This conjunction points to heavy inner work that may be best done alone, in meditation and reflection, particularly if this degree makes a close aspect to planets in your birth chart.

As for Saturn’s conjunction with South Node (April 30, 2019, 20.31 Cap; July 4, 17.36 Cap; Sep. 27, 13.59 Cap), perhaps a cinematic example will illustrate it best. In Castaway, Tom Hanks’ character makes a daring escape from the remote island where he’s been shipwrecked for years. Through ingenuity, intelligence, and enormous resourcefulness, he’s cobbled together a raft from objects that have drifted onto the shore. He survives a terrible storm, dehydration, and exposure, and is finally found by a passing cargo vessel, lying prostrate on the raft. Even after his rescue, living in a house with a comfortable bed, he’s more comfortable lying on the ground.  As tr. Saturn conjoins the South Node, understand that the raft that’s brought you to safety has done its job and that it’s time to let it go. You’ve scraped and struggled long enough. Reach toward the Cancer North Node, and trust the safety and comfort that you find there.

Lunar Nodes in Cancer and Capricorn mean that’s where most of the 2019 eclipses occur. Look to the houses of your chart where these signs hold sway, and to planets in the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. You’ll find much food for thought in the eclipse section of this website, and in my eclipse report, Followed by a Moonshadow! The first eclipse of 2019 is coming next week, a Solar Eclipse at 15.25 Capricorn on January 5! More about that in next week’s column and the New Moon/Solar Eclipse mailing. Until then, I wish you a peaceful end of 2018 and a joyful dawn of 2019!

© 2018 April Elliott Kent

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4 comments to " Highlights for Dec. 24-30, 2018 "

  • Siobhan Merrill

    Hahaha! Castaway…so funny. I know I’m not supposed to laugh and only have praise for Tom Hanks. But oh well! Happy days to you!

    • April

      Oh, I’m old enough to have watched him in prime time on Bosom Buddies! It was hard to adjust to Serious Hanks. I do love that Castaway movie, though… 🙂

      • Mia

        I’ve weathered many storms in my life and will prepare for the gathering Saturn/Pluto storm ahead in 2019 thanks to your article! Merry Christmas & happy new year April.

  • Mary Streets

    Well I was looking at the eclipses in January… and Mars will square the eclipse degree 15 Cap from Aries a day or so around the eclipse in Leo. Hmmmm. Mercury triggers it first. Astrology is a perpetual moving being that we ride and use to weave or create our story… I am sure it is as alive as anything in our reality. Love your style… the walk about cat got me.. reminded me of a bad boyfriend. Thank you April

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