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.” ―
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.” ―
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.” ―
© 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.