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Highlights Nov. 19-25, 2018

A Place for the Departed

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


For a brief time I lived in Santa Cruz, California, where the members of the City Council alternate serving a year-long term as mayor. I always thought that was an interesting, less rigidly hierarchical approach to governance, at least in theory.

Mars in Pisces (through December 30) takes the Aquarian democratic ideal of collective action one step further. Pisces has a dream, and it’s Mars’ job to see that it is realized; but Mars in Pisces represents an even less structured approach to achieving results. This is the Patreon model of commerce, the Little Free Library approach to public services, the SETI@home crowdsourcing search for alien life. In this paradigm, roles are less prescribed; everyone does what they can, and whatever is essential somehow gets done. (Basically, it’s the stuff of a Capricorn’s nightmares.)

Jupiter in Sagittarius works quite differently. We talk a lot about the luck and fortunes of Jupiter, and less about its role in governance. But in mundane astrology, it represents the clergy and the high courts, which uphold a society’s most cherished principles and laws. And while Sagittarius is an adaptable, freedom-loving sign, it’s also pretty opinionated. When Jupiter is in Sagittarius, folks get enthusiastic about promoting belief systems and policies that they’re passionate about – including the belief that their way of looking at things is the only true way.

As Mars in Pisces squares Jupiter in Sagittarius this week (Nov. 19, 5:30 pm PST), Pisces’ faith that people are fundamentally good and helpful comes into conflict with Sagittarius’ belief that a strong society requires good governance. Neither of them is wrong, exactly, and since both signs are ruled by Jupiter, they at least agree on one thing: laws exist and must be upheld. But how should it be done – with the honor system, or with catechism and legal briefs?

“Self-governance does not mean no one is responsible. It means everyone is.”
Heather Marsh, Binding Chaos


Considering my parents were married and raised their family mostly during peacetime, we certainly lost our share of members too soon. My father was first to go, dying in a car accident in 1970. Then, during one memorable period between 1995 and 2002, we lost a brother, mother, and the aunt and uncle who helped raise us.

This week, we’ll gather together for the Thanksgiving holiday, as we always do; and this year, it’s on the day that the Sun enters Sagittarius (Nov. 22, 1:01 am) on the Sabian Symbol (read about the symbols here)Retired army veterans gather to reawaken old memories. The same day, the Full Moon at 0.52 Gemini (9:39 pm) is on the symbol A glass-bottomed boat reveals under-sea wonders and panoramas. Our gatherings do tend to resemble retired army veterans getting together to reminisce. We laugh together; the memories are warm. But look a little closer and you’ll see a shadow around our eyes. And look at the floor beneath our feet; it seems clear, bottomless, like the unfathomable deep of the ocean, full of beautiful mysteries but threatening to pull us under.

The Scorpio season, with the Sun and retrograde Venus tracing the contours of loss, was an exceptionally painful one. The Full Moon and Sun on this day form a square aspect Mars in Pisces; the wounds are still raw, and holidays make them ache even more. But as the Sun prepares to conjoin Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius—for the first time since December 1995!*—a candle has at last been lit, and is generating faint but growing warmth. It’s the day of Thanksgiving; prepare a meal and eat together, and remember the old times. Set a place for the departed, and be thankful for what you have left.

* Jupiter has a 12-year cycle, but in 2006 the Sun conjoined Jupiter at 29.30 Scorpio, just 12 hours before Jupiter entered Sagittarius.

“For every departed glory there is always a new discovery.”
Sunday Adelaja


The lumbering, outer planets are retrograde half the year, every year. Neptune’s retrograde periods are like lungs breathing in and out, or the inexorable tide, coming and going. It turned retrograde on June 18, and this week Neptune stations direct again (Nov. 24 at 5:09 pm), and the tide comes in. Here in California, where so many have lost so much in last week’s wildfires, we hope for rain. Neptune stations on 14 Pisces, whose Sabian Symbol, A woman wrapped in fox fur, we met a couple of weeks ago. She is so prosperous, so safe and well cared-for, this woman. May she represent a healing return to safety for those who’ve lost so much.

It’s only when we feel safe that we have the confidence to risk that safety, to stretch ourselves and reach for more, to embark on adventures and explore new places and ideas. As the week comes to a close, the Sun unites with Jupiter (Nov. 25, 10:33 pm), officially christening Jupiter’s year-long journey through Sagittarius. It stretches before us like recess toward the end of a long school day, a reminder that book learning can only take us so far. At some point, experience really is the best teacher. It’s time to take a chance and fly.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
John A. Shedd

©2018 April Elliott Kent

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4 comments to " Highlights Nov. 19-25, 2018 "

  • Well bottoms up! Even tho I’m spending another people-less holiday I’m going to focus on me. As this seems to be the lesson required to get anything done. I often feel like I’m a walking foreshadow. I experience all the themes earlier than others. I’ve had my safety. Now I get to plunge into those Neptunian waves and experience a good thrust of the ocean. This really spoke to me ““For every departed glory there is always a new discovery.”
    ― Sunday Adelaja” as I leave one housing situation for a new one. Sometimes I wish I knew what work needed to be done but alas I was born without a book. And so here I go trailblazing and sailing.

  • […] in common rather than what separates you. My astute astrologer pal April Elliott Kent observes in a recent essay that “while Sagittarius is an adaptable, freedom-loving sign, it’s also pretty opinionated. […]

  • Rebecca Carina

    Such a positive and instructive view of Jupiter in Sag and its relationships! Thank you.

  • Sherry

    Wow, April! This is such a profound writing and so appropriate for Thanksgiving. As always, I love your personal experiences as part of the article. Eloquently put with the point being impressed upon. The Sabian Symbols are so important in the explanation of the writings you do. The planets most certainly do know what is “in the pudding” and it is up to us to look to them and heed their advice. This article definitely hits home for us all. The three quotes are so appropriate for the whole experience of the planetary setting of the week.. There’s a time for everything and so mote it be. Have a Blessed holiday to all.! 😉

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