Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.
Preparation Meets Inspiration
Young people born just a few years before me were encouraged – forced, sometimes – to learn to play a musical instrument. Many homes had a piano, and generations of young people dutifully practiced their scales and learned simple pieces. They might never have enjoyed playing, any more than other young people enjoyed the skills they reluctantly acquired – cooking, say, or overhauling a car’s transmission.
But let’s imagine a girl who, having acquired some proficiency with the piano, one day puts away the sheet music and begins working out the chords of a popular song. Within an hour, she’s playing it pretty fluidly and with real pleasure. And in that afternoon, she’s suddenly happy about those hours of practice that were so boring at the time. Because now, they provide the means for her to play something that excites her.
This is what it can be like when Mercury, planet of skills, unites with Uranus, planet of inspiration and excitement, in a harmonious trine (Aug. 16, 2022, 10:46 am): it’s one of those moments when preparation meets inspiration.
Venus’ annual journey through the zodiac shows what our desire nature is hungry for at any given moment. In my book on transits, I use the analogy of a shopping mall, with Venus favoring particular kinds of stores as it moves through different signs. In Leo, Venus wants nothing to do with discount big-box stores; we will find them a bit sad. We want luxury.
Especially as Venus trines Jupiter this week (Aug. 18, 2022, 1:03 am PDT), we’re all too likely to overspend on things that aren’t strictly necessary. But you know what? It’s been a tough world for awhile now – so let’s allow ourselves some of the little luxuries that make us feel happy and good about ourselves. Just wait until Venus enters Virgo (Sep. 5) to make large purchases. You’ll be more likely, then, to do your research and find the best value.
I’ll say this for my mother: she was unfailingly supportive of my dreams. When I begged for a guitar, she scrounged up the money and ferried me over to White Front department store to buy a cheap little 6-string acoustic. When I was determined to win the weekly talent contest at a local country-western club, she took me every Tuesday night until I succeeded. She believed in my singing and music and helped me in every way.
But she was also a Taurus with the Moon in Virgo, who had grown up on a farm during the Depression. She knew that dreams don’t always come true and a girl’s gotta eat. So she insisted that I take secretarial courses in high school, and those typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping skills paid the rent throughout my 20s.They’ve also proven invaluable in my astrology career.
This week’s powerful Taurus Last Quarter Moon (August 18, 2022, 9:36 pm PDT) is in a supportive grand earth trine with Mars in Taurus, Mercury in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn; if we work diligently toward practical goals, this trine will bring rewards. The Moon is on the Sabian symbol 27 Taurus: An old Indian woman selling beads. In that symbol, I see my Taurus mother working long hours at K-Mart to support her kids, teaching me to gather “beads” – skills – that I could always sell for my own survival.
The Sun in Leo is past last week’s shadowy, slightly desperate opposition with Saturn, when efforts to indulge in our creative pursuits may have felt blocked and futile. But with the Sun on the Sabian symbol 27 Leo, “Daybreak,” we’re ready to stretch out and celebrate our gifts. Now that we’re more confident in our survival skills, our strength and confidence are returning – as surely as the Sun rises each day.
A Faster Highway
I live a few blocks from a busy thoroughfare that connects three mid-town neighborhoods with busy retail areas. The avenue was designed a century ago as a trolley route that serviced what were, at that time, bedroom communities for downtown workers.
By the 1930s, the trolleys were increasingly replaced by buses, and later automobiles. Consequently, while there are many things I love about my neighborhood, the congestion along the avenue is not one of them.
Unless you’re the patient type, which I fully confess that I am not, navigating our main drag is an exercise in frustration at most hours of the day. It’s the embodiment of Mars’ transit through leisurely Taurus, which ends this week.
As Mars moves into Gemini (Aug. 20, 2022, 0:56 am PDT), we may feel much happier on a faster highway. But even if a Gemini type lives in a busy place, like Los Angeles, they find ways to adapt to their lengthy, frustrating commutes. When I lived in the Pasadena area and commuted to my office near downtown, my seven-mile morning commute could easily take an hour. Blessed with the Moon in Gemini, I spent that time sitting still in traffic eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee, finishing my makeup, and occasionally writing a song. These days, I’d be listening to podcasts instead of the drive-time radio jocks who used to amuse me. But the modus operandi is the same: Gemini will go to any lengths to avoid boredom.
As hard-driving Mars moves through easily bored Gemini for a protracted period (through March 25, 2023, with a retrograde period between Oct. 30, 2022 and Jan. 12, 2023) we’ll find its light, zippy quality is terrific for, say, catching up on correspondence or fighting speeding tickets. But trying to do too many things at once can be perilous; and while focus will be challenging while Mars is in Gemini, it’s not impossible. Just work for awhile on one thing, move onto another, then circle around to the first one again, like a hummingbird busily pollinating.
Appeal to the Invisible
Mercury in Virgo is literal, pragmatic, and adept at taming disorganization with spreadsheets, checklists, and hospital corners. But on those occasions when logic leaves us stranded in an existential cul-de-sac, spinning around and around with no rational solution, it’s time to appeal to the invisible.
Enter Mercury’s opposition to Neptune (Aug. 21, 2022, 0:40 am PDT), a reminder that intuition and logic are complementary. Not everything that’s important in life can be quantified, says Neptune. Fair enough, replies Mercury; but neither are all the things we believe really true, just because we want them to be.
These two act as checks on one another’s excess, and when they’re in opposition it’s time to adjust the balance.
Writing and collages © 2019-2022 April Elliott Kent
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