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Highlights Oct. 1-7, 2018

Through the Looking Glass

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Beyond the Moon’s daily rhythms, the week’s most noteworthy highlights occur on just two days. The first is October 2 (or Oct. 3, depending on your location) when the Moon’s Last Quarter phase in Cancer begins (2:45 pm), and Mercury squares Pluto (5:03 pm).

This is the first Last Quarter Moon since the equinox, which marked the last quarter of the calendar year. Hindsight is the watchword of the Last Quarter Moon, particularly in Cancer. How did the person you were yesterday, last month, at the beginning of the year, or even a decade ago influence the person you’ve become? And how will it shape the person you’re becoming?

The sign of Cancer is naturally in a Last Quarter relationship to Libra. In a very real sense, Cancer is the Mother of all our Libran relationships; because if you haven’t been properly nourished and nurtured, it’s almost impossible to care for others.

The Cancer Last Quarter Moon proves invaluable as Mercury in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn, pitting measured diplomacy against practical, pitiless reality. No matter how kind and fair we try to be, some people simply do not have our best interests at heart; in negotiating with such people, we run the risk of nursing vipers to our bosoms. The wise Cancer Last Quarter Moon is like a triage nurse who has seen it all and automatically prioritizes care. “First, care for yourself,” it whispers. “Next, take care of those closest to you. And if there’s anything left for the rest of the world, they’re welcome to it.”

“When admiring other people’s gardens, don’t forget to tend to your own flowers.” ― Sanober Khan

Time travel

This week’s other critical day is October 5, when Venus turns retrograde in at 10°50″ Scorpio (12:04 pm) and the Balsamic Lunar phase begins (12:09 pm) at 27°29″ Leo.

Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, is designed as a kind of mirror image to its predecessor, including themes about opposites and time running backwards. Planetary retrogrades, and in particular retrogrades of Venus (the “mirroring” planet), are similar: they signal times when it’s best to look inward and backward for insight and guidance. This is why astrologers will suggest that people from your past could turn up while Venus is retrograde. But when Venus is retrograde in Scorpio, you might just as soon they didn’t.

Recently, and not coincidentally, I got thinking about the most toxic of my ex-boyfriends, someone I knew in my early twenties. A quick tour of the internet turned up a couple of ex-wives and hints of a criminal record, which seemed well in keeping with past form. And in that Googleicious half-hour, I revisited ground zero of my serious relationship history. Although I ended the relationship in 1986, during another Venus retrograde in Scorpio, and even though I’ve been happily married for twenty-five years and have built a good life, I could vividly remember the exact feeling of that destructive relationship. From the safety of my living room sectional, I time-traveled deep into the past—revisiting not just the ex, but the version of me who didn’t think she deserved better than that toxic, flawed relationship. When I finally surfaced, it felt for a moment as though my current life was a mirage, something I had only imagined.

That feeling didn’t last long, just a few minutes. But that diversion down memory lane left me freshly, intensely grateful for the choices that brought me to where I am now. My whole life could have turned out differently, tragically. By grace, I avoided the catastrophe of possibly marrying him, becoming bound to him by children and financial calamity and crime.

I imagine many of us who are past our teens have passages of our lives that we recall with a mixture of nostalgia, regret, and relief. And while people from the past do sometimes reappear while Venus is retrograde, they don’t necessarily show up in person, on the phone, or in our email. Sometimes, we just revisit them by delving into the past for a while. And I would argue that it’s healthy to occasionally examine the darker roots of our relationship choices.

Venus’ patterns repeat every eight years, so she last retrograded through the Scorpio looking glass in Oct-Nov 2010, 2002, 1994, 1986, and so on. This season of remembrance, regret, gratitude, and healing has some connection to those moments in time. Let yourself remember and learn from them.

“All pain transforms to learning. All love transforms to self-awareness.” ― Vironika Tugaleva


Minutes after Venus turns retrograde, the Moon enters her Balsamic phase in late Leo. The Balsamic Moon marks the threshold between reality and imagination, between the past and present, between Alice’s everyday world and the backwards land she glimpses through the looking glass. Imagine staying up all night, partying with friends, and then walking home at dawn—the exact same landscape, at that hour, would look completely different than it does after eight hours of sleep.

Perspective is everything, isn’t it? The way we look at the world, the way we frame our experiences and our past relationships, is a choice. We can’t determine everything that happens to us, but we can always choose how we look at it, and sometimes we do a better job of that when we disconnect from our regular lives for awhile. While the Moon is in its Balsamic phase, our ships are a bit unloosed from their moorings. Drifting out to sea under a dark, moonless, sky, can be disorienting—but it’s also the best time to get a clear look at the stars.

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see. It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance.” ― Henry David Thoreau

© 2018 April Elliott Kent

Venus Rx Mini-Readings!

Venus’ retrograde times are rich opportunities to explore your relationships and financial concerns. Want some personal insight into the upcoming Venus Rx in your birth chart? I’m offering special 30-minute Venus Rx Mini-Readings –  read about them here.

10 comments to " Highlights Oct. 1-7, 2018 "

  • Betty

    Wow! How timely and perfect for me with wonderful insights. For the past several months, so many old, wonderful relationships from my past have turned up and I have visited some and will hopefully be seeing all of them in the near future. A family death brought me to my home state cross country so I am able to visit these prior relationships. They are all “happy” past relationships. As a natal Scorpio Sun, Venus Rx in Scorpio has been a blessing but I am also remembering a “not so pleasant” darker memory. Fortunately, I won’t be visiting this person but who knows…………….. Am taking a look at some regrets as well. Time heals all wounds.

  • Rhea

    Iv got a Cap. Moon with no aspects and nothing in Can. I wasn’t nurtured or nourished but I’m here.
    Does that really mean I can’t love or care for anyone?thats quite a statement How do you fix that, not that I haven’t and still am trying.


    • April

      My point was clumsily made, but what I meant was along the lines of, if the plane suddenly loses cabin pressure, put on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else with theirs. If you haven’t been nurtured or nourished by others, then it falls to you to nurture and nourish yourself. It’s not fair, and it’s not easy, and as you suggest is kind of a lifelong process. It has nothing to do with whether you have planets in Cancer; I was speaking metaphorically of Cancer as the archetype for nurturing. The Cancer archetype has hopefully presented itself in your lifetime as at least one kind person along the way who has modeled caring for you – a kind teacher, neighbor, friend, someone who has shown you kindness and made you feel valuable. That is the kind of emotional fuel we draw on to form loving and caring relationships with others. People can and do come through extraordinarily awful life experiences and form strong bonds with others, usually because someone, somewhere, showed them an example of caring. But my point was that the health and balance of relationships has a lot to do with how well we have accepted and cared for ourselves first. And none of us does that perfectly, or have perfect relationships, whatever our birth charts look like.

  • Faith

    Wow. That Thoreau quote will have me musing for at least a week. Perfect for making your point!

    And just yesterday I was wondering why on earth I’ve been thinking about the string of mostly sexual flings I indulged in during my 20s and 30s. And shocked at just how vividly I recall just about all of them in excruciating detail.

    And, Rhea, based on my experiences with a Cancer Moon conjunct Saturn, I hear ya!

    Thanks, as always, for the depth insights, April.

    Cheers, Faith

  • Rhea

    Thank you.
    It’s not easy though because all the time I have the given childhood evaluation of worth ,for want of a better word, so I settle for things and make decisions that are based on that. Give myself the potato peelings not the potato. In the meantime years and years are lost, in the confusion of wanting or getting what I feel I really deserve not what you’d like.
    This last Pluto move has broken my shell , when I thought it was already smashed , there’s stuff at the back of my mind that wants to be seen ,I’m scared of the pain.
    Does Pluto have a particular relationship with mothers ,childhood etc. Or is it just unearthing stuff.?
    Could you explain I little more please.
    Thank you again


    • Lynne

      Hello Rhea, Welcome to my world. everyone else seems to have parents/family/friends who love them, nurture them, want the best for them, but not me. 62 now and the devastation gets worse in your mind (IF YOU LET IT). My whole life looks like a battlefield for which I was The Scapegoat. I used to think it was me being too thin skinned, but alas, it was others, like you attract it. So, dear Rhea, how to countermand that??? do Venus, have your hair cut, styled, Pluto likes you to clean up, get rid of stuff(all kinds of stuff)Venus rx(me natal) no love that feels real, thats about self esteem and of course you probably don’t have much??? Nurture yourself, Love yourself, wounds and all. Pluto is usually the Father, the destroyer who burns downs the town and soon after new green shoots grow. New life, new perspective, look for the new coming and use your deep feelings to destroy the psyche and let in light. Venus rx, all those past years mentioned, all dreadful for me, but, hey, we survived them. I listen to the planets and I’m a Cancerian with a water trine, I wish it was an earth trine but you get what you get. Do Venus, love yourself, love yourself and finally love yourself. Are you getting that, there are a lot of damaged people on the earth, if others did that to you, then just nurture and love YOU Rhea. My father, charming to others, cruel and selfish and spiteful underneath ruined all his 6 childrens lives, but, last month he died at 85 years, thank goodness for that! 6 foot under now, I hope he’s proud of himself, but you do know he was also a product of his psyche/family etc. It cannot mend what he’s done and left behind, I’m just glad he is not on the earth anymore. So, Rhea. You are NOT alone, Capricorn is in the grip of Saturn its natural leader moving up to piss off Pluto 2019/2020, all you can do is LOVE yourself, I think that in my 60’s now, I just wish I had known that. Instead of the opposite.!!!!!! Cracked shell, loved that expression, very Cancerian, opposite Capricorn. Finally, Venus rx in Scorpio, don’t spend money, save it like a miser, then very near to Christmas or New Year pamper yourself with what you have saved….. YOU ARE WORTH IT. Rhea first, in a positive way. Have a bath/shower in the dark with only candles for light, recommended.

      • April

        Thanks for sharing your story, Lynne, and I hope that was helpful not just to Rhea but to many readers who are working to heal old wounds during this Venus retrograde.

    • Lynne

      Rhea, look at your Mother/Fathers charts. Superimpose them onto yours, look at all the patterns. My Father Pluto on my Sun! My Mothers Saturn near my IC exact opposition to my MC Pluto. Bloody doomed I was, BUT I’m still here, I’m a caring (too caring) good person and I’m learning to care more for myself, I cannot express how difficult that is for me, I really can’t, but I’m doing it, one brick at a time. One nail at a time, just like April said last month I think. Start small, think better.

  • Inspiring read April! Loved the emphasis on perspective-so important to shift our perspective from time to time and this retrograde is a great opportunity to do so

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