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Highlights for Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020: Background Noise

Background Noise

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Background Noise

I live in the city, between two freeways and above another. They hum along in the background, sonic insulation beneath the more raucous shrieks of nearby motorcycles, revving engines, emergency vehicles, and barking dogs. But in the first couple of months of the pandemic lockdown, our neighborhood fell silent. People weren’t commuting. There were fewer sirens. Dogs were happily walking with their owners or content at home with their company. Different and more melodious sounds took center stage – the wind in the trees and in chimes, someone practicing the piano, a staggering variety of birdsong. Without so much background noise, it was easier to focus on things that were important.

This is a pretty good corollary to eclipses in Gemini, a sign whose attention is legendarily divided and whose mind is dominated by the whoosh of daily life.  This week’s Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Gemini (Nov. 30, 1:30 am PST) is the first eclipse in Gemini since Nov. 28, 2012, and the first eclipse in a sign after so many years can often throw us for a loop. I don’t know about you, but my mind (Gemini) has been a fretful jumble over the past week. I try to read something and my mind – already chock full of information – just refuses to hold on to a sentence long enough to figure out what it’s saying.

We’re entering a year of trying to tune out our own mental background noise. Find the house of your chart where 8°38′ Gemini falls; it describes the situations and places that will bring you new ideas, perceptions, and experiences, but will also challenge you to focus and to learn.

Jester on the sidelines

At first glance, Mercury entering Sagittarius (Dec. 1, 2020, 11:52 a.m. through Dec. 20) doesn’t seem like a bad fit. Both planet and sign are talkative, interested in the world and in communication. So why, in traditional astrology, is Mercury considered to be in his detriment in Sagittarius?

It’s Mercury’s job to gather information, which includes remaining open to new ideas. But it’s Sagittarius’ job to make sense of information and formulate opinions. The masters candidate has to stop researching (Mercury) at some point and present her thesis (Sagittarius). The author has to surrender the manuscript to his publisher. The employer, having interviewed the best candidates, has to decide which one is the right fit.

Mercury is happy to adopt Sagittarius’ vivid, enthusiastic, jovial communication style for a few weeks. But secretly, he feels sidelined in Sagittarius’ court, where the king has made up his mind and is not welcoming new information. Mercury in Sagittarius is a jester on the sidelines… too often allowed only to entertain, and not to inform.


YYears ago, on the eve of my first book launch, a very successful colleague advised me to lose weight. “The total package is what will help you promote the book,” was the message. From a strictly practical point of view, it wasn’t wrong. Beauty is a powerful tool, and in this highly visual age not even a writer can avoid the public eye. Look at the most successful people in many fields, and you’ll see that they are overwhelmingly attractive. (This requirement is waived for extremely wealthy men.)

Venus is the astrological symbol of this kind of magnetic beauty, the siren call that brings others close enough to appreciate what else we have to offer. Venus expresses herself through the bright plumage, beautiful colors, and captivating forms that attract the eye. She is in all the ways we fascinate others and pull them into our orbit, from the attractive book cover to the beautiful author.

But as Venus makes a trine aspect to Neptune this week (Dec. 5, 2020, 8:54 pm PST), she reminds us that there are qualities of beauty that transcend the physical. That the enchantment of soulfulness, gentleness, and empathy make for powerful sorcery. That the most irresistible force of all is pure love, unconditionally offered. And that even when the cover is not terribly beautiful, what’s inside can sometimes be enough to draw us in.

Writing and collages © 2020 April Elliott Kent

Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights  in our latest podcast episode,

Ep. 58 | Gemini Lunar Eclipse and the Amazing Eclipse Maven

Helpful things…


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