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Highlights for Sep. 28-Oct. 4, 2020: Lovers, Latchkey Kids, & the Sculptor’s Chisel

Lovers, Latchkey Kids, & the Sculptor’s Chisel

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

One night is enough

Together, Venus and Mars tell a story of passion, where beauty and pleasure meet physical desire. This week, Venus in Leo meets Mars in Aries in a rapturous trine aspect (Sep. 28, 6:02 pm PDT). When this aspect is exact between two planets, it means they’re in signs of the same element, which in turn means that their natures emerge from the same quality and disposition. Their attraction to each other seems inevitable, like the relationship between the head cheerleader and the captain of the football team.

In this case, Venus and Mars meet in the fire element, lively, expressive, and magnetic. Here, two lovers give themselves to each other on a rich carpet spread before a roaring fire. Is it the beginning of a greater love story, or simply a night of erotic pleasure? It hardly matters; one night can be enough to conceive a child – or any other act of creativity that can live on long after the lovers have parted.

Latchkey Kids

When Saturn is retrograde in a birth chart, this is often a person who grew up with relatively little external authority. Sometimes their father was missing from the picture, or else rather faded, receding into the background. They might have been a latch-key kid, or taken on responsibility for their siblings from a young age.

When transiting Saturn is retrograde – as it is for half the year – I see it as the time when we are left to our own leadership or authority, to figure out things like boundaries, rules, and responsibility. There’s been quite a lot of improvisation around our responses to the pandemic, for example, since Saturn last turned retrograde on May 20.

This week, as Saturn turns direct (Sep. 28, 2020, 10:12 pm PDT), I imagine our leaders will begin to flex their muscles and enforce rules. But the leadership we internalized during these months of Saturn’s retrograde make us, to some extent, less willing to take orders.

The sculptor’s chisel

We have more gifts than we know, and the greatest is the honor of being one true, authentic, and utterly unique self. We get only one chance to be this person, with this body and this biography. It seems to me, now past my second Saturn return, that the entire process of living exists only to bring us closer to who we really are. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “…And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” When we encounter bumps along the journey – hard transits, if you will – we’re given a chance to chip off more artifice.

Take this week’s square from Mars to Saturn (Sep. 29, 2020, 2:49 pm PDT). Imagine Mars is the sculptor’s chisel, and Saturn is a huge block of marble. What’s inside that cool chunk of rock? The sculptor thinks he knows… and his mission is the hard work of uncovering it.

Mars took its first pass at Saturn on August 24; you may not remember the date, but check your texts and emails – your memory of an unpleasant interaction might be triggered. What if something that felt (and probably was meant to be) pushy or cruel or hateful was the hand of an unseen sculptor, taking its first big whack at you, trying to release the beautiful figure it sees in you? Now, the sculptor removes the next layer of unnecessary rock and begins the fine carving. And as the third and final square forms (Jan. 13, 2021), a truer and more beautiful you will emerge.

New forms for old symbols

This Harvest Full Moon in Aries (Oct. 1, 2020, 2:05 pm PDT), lies on the Sabian symbol A man teaching new forms for old symbols. It’s the halfway point of a New Moon lunar phase family cycle that was initiated back on April 5, 2019, at 15 Aries, and which reached a critical point in its development on Jan. 2, 2020.

More recently, it reaches back to the March 24, 2020 New Moon in Aries. That was just as the pandemic and lock-down were at their beginning here in the U.S. We were like horses in a burning barn, then, wild, fearful, and in the dark about what we were facing. Now, six months later, with the Full Moon in Aries, we’ve adjusted, mostly. Humans are nothing if not adaptable. To paraphrase the Sabian symbol, we’ve learned new ways to do familiar things. The siege is not over – Mars, the ruler of Aries, is locked in hard aspect to Saturn and Pluto at this Full Moon – but we’re learning how to live within it.

The beauty of everyday things

Imagine walking into a small, rustic home. The afternoon sun falls softly on wood floors and whitewashed plaster walls. Furnishings are minimal, well-used but cared for, and there are few ornaments. A hand-knit throw is draped on a reading chair, and a contented cat is curled in one corner. The only sound comes from wind and birdsong in the trees.

This is the aesthetic of Venus in Virgo (Oct. 2, 2020, 1:48 pm PDT through Oct.27). Like the Shakers who eschewed ornamentation as “prideful,” Venus in Virgo celebrates the natural world and our place in it, rather than using physical objects to make ourselves stand out. When it comes to love, money, fashion, or home, Venus in Virgo wants to help, to serve, to be a good steward. To keep things simple, and to honor the beauty of everyday things.


A volcano can stay dormant for thousands of years and still be capable of tremendous damage. Roman writers described Vesuvius as having been covered with gardens and vineyards before it erupted in 79 CE, destroying Pompei.

When Pluto is retrograde (since April 25) for half of each year, it’s like a dormant volcano. It seems that forces of power and control have receded and that happiness and pleasure are the law of the land. But under the surface, destructive power is building. And a day or two around the day that Pluto stations to move direct (Oct. 4, 2020, 6:30 am PDT) is when it’s most likely to blow.

Writing and collages © 2020 April Elliott Kent

Jen and discuss all the week’s planetary highlights on this week’s episode of the podcast:
49 | Saturn & Pluto Leave the Station

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1 comment to " Highlights for Sep. 28-Oct. 4, 2020: Lovers, Latchkey Kids, & the Sculptor’s Chisel "

  • Diane

    Oh my, I was definitely that Saturn Rx kid! Older parents who did not expect one more, and pretty much left me to my own devices. Still not very impressed with “authority.”

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