The Luxury of Optimism
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I was born at the Moon’s Last Quarter. Those born at this phase, I find, are fond of solitude and set lofty goals for ourselves. But what, in the language of the Moon, does a Last Quarter Moon feel like?
Well, it’s a bit lonely, actually, and prone to melancholy. The default setting is dissatisfaction; why haven’t I done enough, how can I be better, is there enough time on the planet to accomplish what I feel I was sent here to do?
In short, it’s an innately Capricornian phase of the Moon. And once a year, when the transiting Last Quarter Moon actually falls in the sign of Capricorn, as it does this week (April 14, 3:01 pm PDT), maybe we’ll all feel some of that loneliness, a bit of disappointment. A month into this pandemic shutdown, you may feel that you’re running out of time to accomplish what you’d hoped to, losing ground that can’t be recovered. And if you’re not someone who’s lucky enough to live with someone you like, you may be craving companionship and loving touch – even if you’re normally perfectly happy with your own company.
This Last Quarter Moon point is close to the degree of the January Saturn/Pluto conjunction, and is conjoined now with Jupiter/Pluto. So, it feels hard. It feels like we’re losing so much. And many of us are. Like a lot of self-employed people in non-essential professions, I worry about the future of my own livelihood. But this Last Quarter Moon offers perspective, too. If we have a safe home, food in the kitchen, a kind partner, enough money to keep the lights on, and haven’t yet had a loved one end up in the hospital struggling for their next breathe, here’s a reminder of the great privileges we enjoy.
The Sabian symbol for the Last Quarter Moon’s degree, A water sprite, combined with the Sun’s degree, A man possessed of more gifts than he can hold, speak of what we do have, what’s left to us in a time when so much is disappearing. Nature. Magic. A slower pace of life. A different, and maybe more authentic set of criteria against which to measure success. Those of us with the luxury of optimism are invited, at this Last Quarter Moon, to reflect on all of these things, to let go of disappointment and instead, to give thanks.
After the Deluge
The Sun’s passage from sign to sign gives hints about where we’ll find vitality in the month ahead. In Taurus’ solar season, which begins as the Sun enters the sign (April 19, 7:45 am PDT), relaxation and good living become essential to energetic well-being. If you’ve spent the month of the Sun in Aries rushing from task to task, finding it difficult to settle in to quarantine, working from home, and a world turned on its ear, you might be ready for a rest about now. We can get away with being in non-stop emergency response mode for awhile, but eventually we’ll start to burn out. That’s when it’s time to give ourselves over to Taurus’ season and its slower pace – to eat well, get rest, and refocus on simple pleasures.
This Taurus season is complicated, however, by a couple of things. First, of course, is a world that currently denies us many of the physical pleasures Taurus most enjoys. Also, Venus—the ruling planet of Taurus—is moving very slowly, and has entered the shadow of its upcoming retrograde period (May 14 through June 26, 2020). In its pure form, Venus has a very straightforward approach to money, relationships, and pleasure: acquire things (or spend time with people) that feel good, look good, taste good, sound good. During its long sojourn through Gemini, deprived of physical contact with most other people during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will rely on Gemini’s verbal realm for pleasure and connection. Zoom calls, emails, and text chains have reminded us how delightful it is to stay in touch, laughing and sharing virtual meals and happy hours. Many people tell me they’re actually visiting more with family and friends than they were before “social distancing!”
But there is poignancy in Venus’s slow movement. As it slows to a crawl, it can’t quite catch up its trine with Mars in Aquarius, a planetary connection that will often convert interest and attraction turn into actual relationships. Then again, that might not be an altogether bad thing; Venus will make three aspects to Neptune in the coming months, and that – as well as Venus retrograde – can lead us to discover that a relationship might not be all that it seems.
Writing and images © 2020 April Elliott Kent
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