On the first day of this year, I swore I would make no resolutions beyond trying to be a kinder and better version of myself.
Well, that’s not exactly true; I was sincere, actually. But old habits die hard, and I didn’t stick to that no-resolution resolution. I soon returned, like a swallow to Capistrano, to my calendars and planners and markers, sketching out an ambitious schedule designed to increase my market share of the planet.
Half a year later, those calendars and their neglected goals look a bit faded, have curled up a bit around their yellowing edges. They’re a little bit embarrassing, like old photographs taken when you were very young and innocent and hadn’t quite filled out yet.
Six months ago, Capricorn’s season encouraged a fresh commitment to becoming your best, most successful self. The Capricorn New Moon (Dec. 23, 2022) was square Jupiter in Aries; that was a New Moon that fairly bristled with ambition and enthusiasm for new challenges.
At midyear, the Capricorn Full Moon (July 3, 2023, 4:39 am PDT) is the mirror image of that New Moon, the response to its call. Half a year away from that New Moon season, we see the shape that those ambitions have taken. Were our eyes bigger than our stomachs? Are we in over our heads – or at the top of the mountain?
The slower pace and reflective spirit of the Sun’s Cancer season offers the time and perspective to redefine and refine our Capricorn New Year Resolutions. There’s space to examine the bright optimism of all those New Year calendars and planners and evaluate our progress to date. Best of all, we’ve still got time to change our strategies—and for that matter, our resolutions.
At the tail end of your third day of vacation, you sit in companionable silence with your sweetie, sipping wine on the beach as you watch the Sun go down. After a few days away from the daily grind of appointments, deadlines, and email, your shoulders are loose and relaxed, and your mind feels unwound and delightfully empty. “I could get used to this,” you tell your companion.
And then, in an instant, a brilliant insight springs, fully formed, into your mind. You recognize it immediately as the missing piece of a particularly vexing work puzzle you’ve been trying to solve for months. The happy, languid, empty-headed you of a few minutes ago has been transformed, replaced with a version that’s charged up, fully awake, and eager to get to your laptop.
You glance over at your partner, ready to make your apologies. But the one who knows you better than anyone else has already recognized the change in your posture and the gleam in your eye. Before you can open your mouth, your dear companion just smiles and says, “Go ahead.” You knock back the last few drops of Sauvignon Blanc and hightail it back to the hotel room, ready to follow your inspiration until dawn.
When Mercury makes a sextile aspect to Uranus (July 6, 2023, 9:54 pm PDT), inspiration – like lightning – can strike without warning. But it won’t stick around indefinitely, waiting for you to capture it in a bottle. You’ll need to leap up and run to it, arms wide open and full speed ahead. Happily, Mercury plunges into mellower waters in just a few days and you can resume your relaxing vacation then. But for now, by all means – go ahead!
Songs by the Sea
In the early 1970s heyday of Southern California’s accidental desert lake, the Salton Sea, my family spent many happy summer days and moonlit nights camping there. Each evening, we’d gather around a fire pit to eat freshly-caught Corvina for dinner and recount the events of the day. Stories were told, jokes were made, and remembrances were shared. Eventually, someone would pull out a guitar, and voices united in various degrees of tunefulness around old folk tunes and John Denver songs. Sometimes, new friends drifted over from nearby camps and joined in.
What is it about a moonlit beach on a summer night, gathered around a campfire, that loosens our tongues, softens our hearts, and opens our imaginations? The sister you fought with earlier in the day sits behind you and braids your hair. The cousin who beat you mercilessly at cards just an hour ago is singing harmony with you. The parents you overheard bickering this morning are laughing together. Total strangers feel like old friends.
When Mercury, planet of communication, trines ethereal Neptune (July 9, 2023, 4:57 pm PDT), our internal radio antennas are tuned in to the frequency of sweetness, fun, and music. Petty grievances evaporate. A benign spirit of fellowship prevails. And we share songs and laughter, and tell stories that, while they may not be entirely factual, are – at the heart level, at least – perfectly true.
Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent
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