Astrological Transits: The Beginner’s Guide…by April Elliott Kent

Astrological Transits_April Elliott Kent
Ka Malana holding up April Elliot Kent’s book: Astrological Transits.

Some people are just so easy to converse with!

That’s how I feel about April Elliott Kent.

When she and I met, I didn’t realize that I’d be taking my astrology anywhere. As a solo practitioner of astrology, I didn’t really have any astrology friends. I was mostly closeted about it for a while. I was discovering it all on my own, with the help of books, while maintaining and editing my own constant reflections upon the transits. To me, it was my private scientific investigation.

Eventually, I had this blog, and I was meeting with the occasional client. I was still feeling out what exactly I wanted to do with my clients in the astro realm. I kept looking for the “WE,” the co-creating. How could I really be of service in a way that also worked within the flexible framework of my highest values and within my integrity? These were the types of questions that I began asking myself while healing from a major back injury, when I met April two years ago, in my new city.

I didn’t realize that April was such a popular and well-established astrologer!

She was just such a great friend to me from ‘go,’ and I noticed that we linked up nicely when comparing our charts, but I really only looked ‘after the fact’ for any astrological connection. Then, after a while, I started to read her blog posts on the New and Full moon (just like I had been writing about on my blog!) and I kept getting more and more of this sense about her as a WISE woman, with a delightful conveyance of the astrological archetypes. Truly her writings are highly accessible, and contribute to anyone’s monthly astrological undertakings.

To say that I have developed a deep respect for this woman as a person far surpasses even my own understanding for what she knows about astrology! That being said, I want to move onto a review of her book. Yes, I will basically be doing that from the perspective of being a friend and a fan.

A Beginner’s Book is a beginner’s book; it is something that you can understand if you don’t have a lot of background knowledge. The full title of her book is Astrological Transits: The Beginner’s Guide to Using Planetary Cycles to Plan and Predict Your Day, Week, Year (or Destiny). Side note, I can admire a woman who uses parentheticals. It’s one of my favorite features for writing in TODAY’s complex world. I applaud her use of parentheses in the title of this book.

If you notice the way I photographed the book, it appears as though it is as big as my heart–no, even bigger. It takes up the entire space of my chest. Why did I photograph it that way? Although this book is a “beginner’s book,” I see the value in all things “beginner,” and recognize that this book is for me. ☺

I commend this text for its concise organization, while containing a lot of solid “How To” information. April writes to TODAY’s astrologer: Astrological Transits makes what is classic, accessible.  I am also referring to her writings, here, where her style really shines.

For the non-astrologer: Other books like it (Beginner’s Guides: sure there are some exceptions but…) rarely do they include a tiny little box of helpful tips specifically like, “how long this transit lasts,” and the approximate age that you may experience a particular transit.  You do not have to be an astrologer to learn from this book!!! Whether you are an astrologer or not, consulting with another astrologer can be very helpful, as it helps to guide your understanding of what you are learning, experiencing, and evaluating.

Here’s an excerpt: I like April’s advice here about the Sun transiting the 10th house of a natal chart; it’s good advice for anyone, at any time!

The trick to enjoying the Sun in the tenth house is to imagine not that you’re in an inferior position that must be escaped at all costs, but rather that you’re in the perfect position to get where you’re going. Part of that journey begins with a plan—for your career or even for your whole life. If you already have a plan, revisit and revise it. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t recognize it when you arrive. Also, since you probably work plenty hard already, work smarter—and learn to delegate. Even if you can do anything, you don’t have to do everything. Partner with others who like to do things you don’t care for, and vice versa. You’ll go much further with help from others than you can alone.”

Please visit her here  @ BigSkyAstrology.com, where she’s been publishing for 15 years! Astrological Transits: The Beginner’s Guide to Using Planetary Cycles to Plan and Predict your Day, Week, Year (OR DESTINY) is her newest book!

In Astrological Transits, astrologer April Elliott Kent teaches you:

  • How Today’s astrological weather affects your birth chart and what is going on in your life
  • Ways to make the most of good transits and harness and transform the energy of challenging ones
  • The roles recurring planetary cycles play in your life and how to anticipate important transits

Astrological Transits Full Book Image

The planet Jupiter: Guru & Teacher, Nelson Mandela

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Leader and Teacher

Nelson Mandela has passed away today. He left us a legacy of wisdom, beyond any words.

The voice of Sagittarius manifests as optimism. Nelson Mandela had both Sagittarius Ascendant and North Node.

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http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Mandela,_Nelson

 “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”  ― Nelson MandelaLong Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

I want to spend a little time and attention on Jupiter just now. In astrology, Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius. He’s the guru and teacher – a benefactor. He helps us to make use of knowledge (his complement on the zodiacal dial is Gemini, knowledge).  Jupiter is wisdom, and is pretty relevant right now. We’ve got the Sun and Mercury transiting in the sign of Sagittarius (per the tropical zodiac).

The word “guru” means to remove ignorance, or darkness. Guru is a benefactor by helping to support that which leads to the enlightenment of the student. A teacher arrives when the student is ready, they say. I say *also* that the teacher lives in you, and assumes external manifestations as the student realizes itself as the teacher. This is important, for the student to see the teacher outside of himself first – this part of the process is not to be skipped, for this is how we realize our ideal.

Sagittarius has a special understanding for nature…

Nelson Mandela on the nature of leadership:

 “When you want to get the cattle to move in a certain direction, you stand at the back with a stick and then you get a few of the cleverer cattle to go to the front and move in the direction that you want them to go. The rest of the cattle follow the few more energetic cattle in the front, but you are really guiding them from the back. Nelson Mandela then added: That is how a leader should do his work.”

“We have laid the foundation for a better life. Things that were unimaginable a few years ago have become everyday reality. I belong to the generation of leaders for whom the achievement of democracy was the defining challenge.” — Speech to Parliament in Cape Town, March 26, 1999

With his sun in the sign of Cancer, he acted as guru to the whole consciousness of the human family, centering his energy strongly at home working for freedom from apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela helped guide people through truth and reconciliation (healing) out of the ignorance and darkness of apartheid.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” — Statement at the opening of his defense in the Rivonia treason trial, April 20, 1964.

His chart’s ruling planet Jupiter (Guru) is currently transiting his solar home sign in Cancer – just as a hero/leader/guru returns home beyond the veil of the material plane. May he be eternally in peace.

Photo credits are from http://www.voicesfromhaiti.com/2013/07/nelson-mandelas-gift-written-by-irmina-ulysse/. Please see the link in honor of his birthday. A day when humanity was given a tremendous gift through his life and his deep and enduring wisdom.

The “Do It Yourself” Lunation: Be your own teacher

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 Artwork by Pridescrossing, available at http://pridescrossing.deviantart.com/art/Reach-For-The-Stars-286706760

Sun conjunct Moon in Sagittarius trine Uranus in Aries. December 3, 2013 UT 00:23 in @ Sagittarius 10.59

Sagittarius has this special ability to follow a star. A star can be a hope or a vision, and it can also be an unknown destination. It is an inspired direction, much more than an urge. Compared to the other fire signs,  it’s not like an Aries-type impulse, and it doesn’t have the Leo-type leading style. Sagittarius is the adventurer, the one who throws caution into the wind, because breaking free of the world, and being spontaneously oneself while seeking the divine is a necessity–the only true necessity.  Sagittarius doesn’t look back to see who follows.

Sagittarius knows that there’s something bigger “out there,” something inextricably worth the journey.  What Sagittarius understands better than any other sign is that “experience is the teacher.” You will learn as you go, just follow the signs.

Because there is a part of the centaur that is wild and untamed–and Sagittarius is the centaur–here is in Sagittarius, the representation of a being who traverses at least two worlds. One world is wed with instinct, and the other is embedded in reason. This is a powerful combination of innate talent and perception. It is a true recipe for the visionary and explorer – equipped with the talent, the vigor, and the courage to complete the quest, to recover and to uphold the divine mystery.

A true Olympian on one hand, and an epicurean on the other…Sagittarius is super sagacious about human problems and yet so completely unbothered by any mundane affairs, preferring either to contemplate expansive questions about the meaning of life – or toss out a good laugh about the absurdity of it all.

This new moon is perfect for letting loose and experimenting with building new traditions. If you’d thought of jazzing up your holiday celebrations this year in new ways, this moon will help you hitch your wagon to a star, and plan out something enjoyable for an eclectic group (Uranus). If you’re missing loved ones this year, you may find it easier to connect with them by looking up at the stars, and feeling his or her presence in your heart. If you just aren’t “feeling it” this year, then this new moon can help you to let go of trying, and just ease into whatever it is that you really do feel–with no need to push, or go beyond what is true for you.

However this new moon manifests for you in your life (and in your natal chart), Sagittarius offers up the possibility to see a chance and take it – to connect with something seemingly distant and beyond ourselves, and at the same time that which is deeply within.

Full Super Moon, Lunar Eclipse May 25, 2013

(this post was converted from my blog at keen.com – it was originally published on May 25, 2013)

This full moon, super moon, (in fact ‘super’ in astronomical terms) takes place on May 25th, 2013. In astrological terms, this full moon will be in the sign of Sagittarius.  Sagittarius is the sign of wisdom. Wisdom’s counterpart is knowledge, or Gemini.

This moon illuminates the wheat from the chaff. After this moon, it will be easier to make decisions about what gets your energy and what does not. Let us be clear in our intention (Sagittarius) to sow better seeds (Gemini). Those seeds can be words or deeds, and they can also be seeds of inspiration that we plant. The full moon shows us what we have already planted, or have neglected to nourish.

The gardener watches all of this with detached observation, has some faith in his or her intention, and plants again with higher knowledge (Sagittarius) – the wisdom that comes from experience. Let’s try to do that with our thoughts, and our deeds.

Spend some time tonight and look up at the stars. Soak up the cosmos in a single, deep breath. Take a moment to embrace the silence of that deep knowing without mind or thought. The ultimate pregnancy is in swelling silence and expansion. Be an empty vessel, filled up by love itself.  Just for today, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Just step off of it completely…

Sabian Symbol

An old owl perched high up in a tree.