New Moon in Aquarius: Doing the Math

do-the-math_250Earlier this week, I was this close to letting go of my 1986 Toyota Corolla. I had researched charities who accept vehicle donations. I had visualized removing the old plates, and clearing out the glove compartment and trunk. I was so close, after 28 years, to bidding farewell to this old friend.

And then, my husband got a bit wistful. He started talking about replacing the car’s engine. I let myself imagine how it would look with a new paint job. And just like Michael Corleone in The Godfather, just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!.

There comes a moment when it’s time to let go of things. But how do you know when enough is enough? I suppose it’s when you realize that something consistently takes more from you than it gives back. My old car keeps breaking down and takes its share of our money and peace of mind. But it still gives me a sense of connection with my past, and my husband loves driving it (when it’s running). So when we do the math—balancing the financial and the emotional elements of the equation—it keeps adding up in favor of keeping my dear old jalopy.

This formula can be applied to relationships with people as well. The New Moon in Aquarius, the sign of friends – and a conversation with a client who was weighing a knotty problem with a close friend – led me to think about the delicate balance of give and take that is the foundation of friendship.

For me, the rules of friendship are not complicated. They should be reciprocal. They should be enjoyable. They should be supportive. In the most rare and dramatic circumstances, they may and probably should be confrontational. (But there had better have been a lot of deposits placed in the “love, laughter, and support” account before cashing that particular check.)

When one day you do the math and realize that one person has been doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship – making all the phone calls, sending all the emails, initiating all the get-togethers, doing all the listening – it’s very likely you’re no longer in a friendship at all.

It can be tricky to end friendships, though. We have protocols for ending romantic relationships, including the words to use and the appropriate grieving period afterward. Not so with friendships. When I was younger, I ended a couple of friendships very gracelessly, simply because I had no idea how else to manage it. And for the same reason, I stayed in a few friendships longer than I should have.

One friend, who had let me down at one of my lowest moments, lingered on the periphery of my life for a few years longer than she should have; I held on because we shared so much history, and because of what she had been to me, once. When I realized I had literally initiated every contact between us for years, I finally realized that it was time to let the relationship go. And in the end, it was surprisingly easy: I simply stopped calling her. Thirteen years later, she still sends Christmas cards with notes about how much she misses talking to me; tellingly, my phone number hasn’t changed in twenty years.

This New Moon in Aquarius comes just one day before Venus turns direct, close to a conjunction with Pluto. During its rather difficult retrograde period (which began at the winter solstice), I’ve been doing some pretty serious thinking about what things are worth. Is the old car still worth another infusion of cash? Should I stick to my resolve to quit offering a service that was driving me crazy, even though doing so has left a sizable crater in my bank account? Do I still love my work enough to keep doing it, even when I feel as if I’m never really reaching my goals?

For now, the old car is worth it. I still value my work, and letting go of unwanted tasks has been worth the pay cut. I’ve navigated a 40-day Venus retrograde obstacle course of emails from people wanting something for nothing, or wanting me to do something I don’t want to do. I’ve gotten lots of practice saying “no” to what wasn’t worthwhile.

The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon degrees, 11 Aquarius, is one of my favorites: “In a silent hour, a man receives a new inspiration which may change his life.” In some of our silent hours this month, perhaps it’s time to “do the math” of our Aquarian relationships: friendships, and involvements with groups and communities. What are they worth to us? And what are we worth to them?

Friendships are entirely optional relationships. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. This is a good month to attend to them, and to take a silent hour or two to acknowledge where the balance sheet may have drifted into the red. It may be time to send someone a fruit basket… or it may be time to stop making all the phone calls.

© 2014 by April Elliott Kent

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10 comments to " New Moon in Aquarius: Doing the Math "

  • LB

    Very well said, April.:) This should be an interesting New Moon.

  • Dee

    Dear April,
    Thank you for this expressive post. I love your writing and look forward to your refreshing perspective every month. I appreciate what you share. Thanks again.
    xoxo Dee

  • Carla

    Thank you, April. This couldn’t be more timely or well put. I really needed to read this! I have reached a place where I am fed up with imbalance in a particular relationship. Lately, both the lack of reciprocity and feeling undervalued have become way too loud not to listen. It sounds like the moon will be supporting my exit!

  • Luana

    Nice, April. This really applies to me. Thank you for shedding light on a tricky subject.
    Your beautiful writing touches me every time. Have you thought of writing a memoir or putting your essays together in book form?

  • Louise Keefer

    Lordy! This is so much me! An Aquarius Sun, with the Uranus squaring my natal Chiron in Capricorn being exact today, right when I will be sitting in the Oral surgeon’s, at this time not even knowing if i will be leaving there with a root canal and a temporary crown, or with yet another hole where a tooth used to be! I guess this is not about the friends aspect so much, but definitely about letting go of what’s hurting, and healing, and being able to trust people who can help.

  • Loved this blog!! Thank you April always well said!

  • Steve

    Glad to hear the car lives on! I also see cars as faithful companions, give them names, etc so it’s pretty hard to part ways.

    On the astrology, this strikes a chord. The new moon is almost right on my DC and I’ve had a very interesting Venus retrograde (opposing Saturn in my 11th) where I’ve relived a broken relationship in a textbook retrograde.

    It started with a reconciliation at the beginning of the shadow, then an eye-opening reminder of why we’d parted ways the day Venus turned retro, after which it all fell apart again. I would’ve preferred a better outcome, but it’s taught me a lot, in part thanks to a psychology book that fell into my lap and described my predicament perfectly. Weird!

  • Ana Maria Oliveira

    I have Saturn at 11 degrees of Aquarius at 11 House. The Venus retrograde cycle took me a hard retrospective about the importance of my plans for future, the relationship I have with groups and organizations and, particularly, with the way I related to my friends. Even in my relationship with colleagues and my professional image, when the planet reentered in my 10 house of career. And I had everything, exactly as you, April, so well said in this article: some people wanting something for nothing (they thought I was simply available for them, so they started making demands); others just wanting me to do something I really don’t want to do (for me it wasn’t worth it and that decision belongs just to me and not them); even friends who call themselves “friends”, saying that they miss me, but they just send silly messages via mobile or Facebook … (but when they can visit me at my doorstep and do something with me, they don’t because they become too busy with their lives and so it stays for another day!) or those who just want to meet me when they need an ear to their problems.
    For me the new moon symbolizes a new beginning, but not before there has been an end, a conclusion of something (think Saturn here makes a kind of selection, is a call to reality). This experience of conclusion, maybe is related to the fact that my mother had passed away (when I was 15 years old, many years ago from now) exactly on the day when the Sun was transiting in conjunction with my Saturn and squaring my Neptune in Scorpio in House 8 (by the way in the exact degree of last eclipse Scorpio in November …).

  • Chris

    Thank you once again. You are lovely. 🙂

  • KaD

    Life takes and takes and gives nothing back-does anyone know where I can trade it in?

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