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Highlights for May 17-23, 2021: An Unsealed Letter

An Unsealed Letter

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


If you’d asked me when I was young whether I’d rather be rich or famous, fame would have won handily. Today, I’d lean the other way.

But actually, an extreme amount of either wealth or fame seems to come with its share of problems. It seems that our happiest, lightest, most joyful characteristics risk being dimmed or obliterated in either situation.

This week, as the Sun – symbol of the happy, full-hearted child within – trines powerful Pluto (May 17, 2021, 2:48 am PDT), true power comes from neither wealth nor fame, both of which make us vulnerable to the whims or avarice of others. Rather, Sun trine Pluto illuminates the power that comes from joyfully embracing our authentic selves. That’s power that can’t be taken away.

In the end, this kind of power can’t be given to us. We can become obscenely wealthy and still lose a partner. We can be elected to office or crowned a monarch, yet lack the love and respect of our constituents. Pluto reminds that real power can only come from within.

Dance partners

In the current dance between the Lunar Nodes, the finest moves and the best partners are quick, light, and improvisational. This week, as Venus conjoins the Moon’s North Node in Gemini (May 17, 2021, 1:38 pm PDT), cherish the people in your life who make you laugh, and most importantly, make you think. They are the readers, the conversationalists, the forever youthful – and they are the ones who are dancing you toward the right direction.

Flaunt it

It’s not always comfortable to strut your stuff before the world. It’s definitely not something Taurus usually finds comfortable, and believe it or not, it isn’t always a cakewalk for Leo, either.

At this week’s First Quarter Moon in Leo (May 19, 2021, 12:12 pm PDT), the Sun is at 29.01 Taurus on a very showy Sabian symbol: A peacock parading on an ancient lawn. The Taurus qualities of patience, organization, and quiet self-confidence, aren’t showy, but they’re exceedingly valuable. I’m reminded of the old saying, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” Taurus has definitely got it – and at this Leo First Quarter Moon, it’s time to flaunt it. The First Quarter phase is a time of action, so act upon your Taurus New Moon desires!

The Moon at this First Quarter is on the Sabian symbol, An unsealed letter. If you can’t bring yourself to strut like a peacock, at least leave your true heart unsealed, open to discovery – along with your dramatic beauty, bold self-confidence, and captivating warmth.

Getting serious

When Venus is in Gemini, she wants to keep her options open. But that doesn’t mean she can’t be lured into commitment with the right person. And the right person might look a lot like Saturn in Aquarius: unique, brilliant, with tons of interests and lots of fascinating friends. And with a serious side, too, and a commitment to giving the world a better future.

This week, as Venus trines Saturn (May 19, 2021, 6:58 pm), it’s time to hit pause on Venus in Gemini’s flirtatious ways and get serious. Whether it’s committing to one partner, one idea, or one project, getting serious suddenly feels worthwhile.

The season of mingling

The Gemini season, prefaced by Mercury and Venus entering this sign in recent weeks, begins in earnest as the Sun enters Gemini (May 20, 2021, 12:37 pm PDT). It’s a social season, and as mandates related to the pandemic have eased, many more of us are gathering with friends and considering the usual summer getaways. It’s Gemini’s job to connect people and their ideas with one another, and at this time of year the mild weather and natural beauty draw us outdoors as surely as a spring flower attracts bees.

Within hours of entering Gemini, however, the Sun makes a square aspect to Jupiter, newly in Pisces (May 21, 2021, 8:03 am PDT). Jupiter kept showing up as the pandemic reached peak misery last year, and it remains to be seen how things will work out, pandemic-wise, as the Sun in sociable Gemini encounters Jupiter…and ever-larger crowds. It might be worthwhile, if difficult, to play it safe a little while longer; but of course, that’s not really Jupiter’s style.

Give Neptune a Voice

When any planet connects with Neptune, you might assume that all its ventures are doomed to failure, victims of a lack of clarity and a surplus of deception. Mercury square Neptune, in particular, was vilified in most the astrology books I read early in my journey.

Maybe the fact that I have this aspect in my birth chart muddles my judgement and proves the very myth that I’m trying to dispel. But I really like this aspect. Squares force us to reconcile different sides of our nature. When it goes up against Neptune, Mercury fights against fog and confusion – and along the way, learns to express Neptune’s poetry and sensitivity, and to give it a voice.

As Mercury squares Neptune this week (May 22, 2021, 7:43 pm PDT), give Neptune a voice. Sing. Create art. Make beauty. Listen to those who are hurting. It’s a fast aspect for most of us, just a couple of days; but for some of us who are born with it, it’s a life’s work.


It was welcome news when Saturn entered Aquarius last spring, and then again last December, where it remains. After the long siege of Saturn together with Pluto in Capricorn, it felt as though we were breaking through to a new, fresher cycle.

The reality, of course, has been a but different. I still have confidence that, in the long run, Saturn in Aquarius will initiate a more enlightened era. But as Saturn turns retrograde this week (May 23, 2021, 2:18 am PDT), it’s time to address some foundational issues that will help us move forward from a stronger platform.

Saturn turns retrograde on the Sabian symbol A train entering a tunnel, suggesting the need for narrow focus. When Saturn’s turning retrograde or direct, it’s best to avoid taking on new responsibilities. Instead, let’s focus on commitments that we’ve already taken on, sometimes reluctantly, and renegotiate them. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a situation that’s significantly different than you’d expected. Or maybe your personal circumstances have changed (as is true for most of us, this year) since you signed up, and now you need to back away.

That’s not to say you should use this as an excuse to give up on something simply because you’ve lost interest. Persistence is a Saturnian virtue. But some challenges simply aren’t ours to undertake, and as Saturn turns retrograde we are better able to recognize them.

Writing and images © 2020-2021 by April Elliott Kent

Listen to this week’s podcast episode for more discussion of the week’s highlights!

Join me for a free webinar, Working with Eclipses, on May 22! Details here!

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2 comments to " Highlights for May 17-23, 2021: An Unsealed Letter "

  • Chris

    Your newsletters are such a gift. Thank you for the Mercury square Neptune information…I’ve got this one as well and have spent 60+ years battling fog and confusion but also recognize the good stuff you mention as well. It just feels comforting to have someone name it.
    I love your way with words ~

  • Jayne

    As always, a terrific highlights newsletter April! Your weekly missives exemplify the best of a the Neptune-Mercury Square.

    Thank you for describing the Tr Venus – Gemini NN conjunction. This transit is occurring in my Gemini 4H and it’s activating other relational aspects.

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