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

New Moon in Aries: The action within the movement

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A couple of blogs ago I wrote about Mars and initiation. I’m not sure if it will become a series or not, but it’s definitely a theme in action. Now, as I look at the New Moon, it’s filled to the brim with Aries/Mars energy!

 

First, the New Moon is sandwiched between the Sun (definition of New Moon in astrology is Sun/Moon conjunction) and Uranus in the Mars-ruled sign of Aries. Second, the New Moon opposes retrograde Mars in Libra (Aries counterpart).

 

Mars in Libra conjuncts the N.Node of the Moon, and is opposite the New Moon. The node is the point where the moon’s path crosses the ecliptic, and it indicates the evolutionary direction—in evolutionary astrology. The North node is the future trajectory, while the South Node describes the evolutionary past of the soul. With the Mars in Libra conjunction to the transiting N. Node, we are sent right back to Venus (Libra-ruled) to connect the dots.

 

Venus and Mars are the dance partners in this show of planetary design. The themes of right/left, male/female, passive/active, etc. The main theme is initiation. Ask yourself how you have started relationships (Venus) in the past (S. Node in Aries). Transiting Venus in Aquarius will help you to be more objective about what you see when you look. It will help you to keep a reasonable distance to examine your relationships with a “cool” mind.

 

Venus and Mars are in sextile to each other during this New Moon, showing that masculine and feminine energies unite in relative balance, with a tad bit of work.

 

Nevertheless, the new moon brings us right into the larger pattern of Pluto square Uranus, since Uranus is conjunct the New Moon, while squaring Pluto and Jupiter. You know, the biggie that everyone is talking about? Seven exact aspects spanning 2012-2015, transforming everything… What’s Jupiter’s role in this?

 

The Jupiter and Pluto opposition is asking us, “what’s possible?” and likewise, “what is impossible?” This is your chance to expand (Jupiter) your home (Cancer). Also, you can transform (Pluto) the structure (Capricorn) of your work, your business.

 

The presence of Saturn (in mutual reception with Pluto) still calls for restraint, and boundaries. Why? Because, we are still working out the negotiations (Libra), and involved in deep processes of self-(re)discovery (Uranus), for something that will be fairly long-lasting (Saturn).

 

When we have such intense aspects within the Aries/Libra archetypes, we want balance but not the stagnation that comes with perfect balance. I’m sure those very Virgo-identified are wondering why perfection has been “taken off the table” for such a long time. In other words, why are we working so hard?!  Well, Capricorn wants results, measurable and substantiated results – and Pluto carries the wreaking ball of transformation, er… the hidden key.

 

When Pluto is in an Earth sign, all the Earth signs are affected, since they form a natural trine.  Re-forming the Earth is happening: that means how we serve others, our work (Virgo), and our values (Taurus) are moving with Pluto in Capricorn. They are like the arms that have to move with the body. Remember, we need a body to drive the chariot – to light the kingdom of heaven on Earth.

 

Happy New Moon!

Ka Malana ©2014

 

Image credit: original is unknown. retrieved from http://meditationvisualizations.com/order-of-melchizedek/

The Sound of Crickets, Hafiz, and the Moon

Lately, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a most lovely cricket. For me, the presence of a cricket (inside my house) and right next to me on the couch, is usually a sign. Yes, this has happened to me before, but not exactly in the same way. I have no idea how he got inside, but I did coax him out. I want him to live!

The night he was singing the loudest, I was writing, and I needed the support. I was reaching within myself for my inner voice, feeling for it, digging deep, and really just trying to use words evenly. Crickets are special. This cricket may even be my ancestor.

In China, people have been known to keep crickets as pets.

ImageWatercolor by Qi Baishi (1864–1957)

This morning I awoke at 4:30am.  My body/mind/spirit wants to move deeper into my spiritual practice. I received the message that this is what I am going to be doing now. I’ve been nudged. Now it’s up to me to “go with it.” By 5:00am, I decided to go for a walk, and it was a little bit on the chilly side. Yes, I live in sunny California, so when it’s dark – I get sensitive to the cold.

I turned to head back home, and there it was: the brilliant, large, glowing moon. I felt like I could walk to it… and maybe even hug it.

Full moon photo via Lee Capps. http://earthsky.org/space/video-the-moon-illusion
Full moon photo via Lee Capps. http://earthsky.org/space/video-the-moon-illusion

 

Also, this morning, I opened a box of special books that were in storage (I was looking for the Secret of the Golden Flower), and I found this poem by Hafiz, that I’d like to share with you:

I Took It as a Sign

Someone sent a band to my house,

And it started playing

At five in the morning.

I took this as a sign

God wanted me to sing!

Then the moon joined in

And a few of the tenor-voiced stars,

And the earth offered its lovely belly

As a drum.

Before I knew it,

I realized

All human beings could be happy

If they just had a few music lessons

From a Sweet Old Maestro

Like Hafiz

September 19, 2013 Full Moon in Pisces: Harvest Moon

The Sabian Symbol for this lunation is Pisces 27: “A Harvest Moon”

The full moon takes place at 4:13A (PDT) and 7:13A (EDT)

The theme is about the collective and social dynamics of working together. What does that mean? Pisces/Virgo is the harmonizing axis for intuition, compassion, practicality, and being of service (not to be confused with servitude!).

Noticing at this lunation that we have some other challenging or “creativity-making” astrological aspects (cardinal cross, transiting Saturn conjunct Venus transiting the north node) let us be mindful of what we have worked for and created, envisioned, and have some gratitude for that process, and recognize our ability to make a difference. To BE a difference in the health and well-being of us all.

Virgo/Pisces

This is where we make God (with a capital ‘G’) come to earth through our own actions of service and of love. Recognizing the need for more patience in the world (be more patient), lending a hand (hold the door for someone), lending your ear, or your shoulder- without the brownie points – because no one saw you, because you love someone 🙂

With Virgo/Pisces in balance, a person just doesn’t go out looking for a cause, or looking for someone else to have a problem they can solve, a person sees that it’s the tiny little assistance that makes all the difference in the experience for most of us. It’s the connecting. You can even hold courage for someone, hold faith, and hold confidence in them. The best way of helping sometimes is to let someone do something by themselves and let them find the courage within. So compassion and service expresses in many ways.

Employed or not, physically capable or not (sick or healthy), everyone is contributing to the vision (Pisces) of humanity. That means that everyone is working!! If you don’t realize the impact you already making, then you can’t make an impact! It is our collective efforts that bring health, healing, vision, and purpose to the planet.

Look around, a lot of people are really trying their best. Both Virgo and Pisces make the difference on earth, molding and envisioning, like the mutable water and clay they represent being earth and water signs. High intuition, vision, and the culmination of things made real. It’s so necessary for us to look outside with compassion – and hold it within, too. There’s but a hair of a difference between us all…

Saturn conjunct Venus in Scorpio: Serious

This aspect makes relationships less demonstrative, and more serious. Saturn brings business wherever he goes. He’s the teacher, Chronos, father-time. Saturn restricts us so that we learn things like discipline and determination, even self-determination. Venus is money, values, relationships. Saturn can stifle or be too rigid, authoritative, or overly critical about anything he touches. Saturn can also *stabilize* and bring security to anything he touches. Saturn appears when someone’s in it for the “long-haul” or the long term picture.

A conjunction is about the energies of both Venus and Saturn being infused with one another ~as with all conjunctions, the energy acts in unison but not always on the same note, if yah know what I mean 😉 ~ Sometimes these energies don’t blend well in our lives, but when they do blend well, effort (and sometimes struggle) materializes into form or reward (Venus, money, Bravo!, positive-feelings). The last time that Venus was conjunct Saturn was at the end of November, last year, 2012, in the sign of Scorpio. The next time that Venus will be in conjunction with Saturn will be the end of November 2014 in Scorpio. After that, Saturn enters Sagittarius, in December, 2014. Saturn will not transit Scorpio again for another 28-30 years. If you’ve heard of Saturn’s return, you’ll know that a Saturn cycle is roughly that time frame. Following the Venus/Saturn cycle in Scorpio, is a Venus/Saturn cycle in Sagittarius. Since Saturn is the “slower moving” (further away from Earth) planet, it occupies the sign for a longer period of time. Therefore, its effects are longer lasting.

New Moon in Virgo

 

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Photo by Ka Malana

New Moon in Virgo

Time to set goals, and make some plans!

We’ve got this wonderful new moon on September 5th, 2013 at 13° 4′ 21″ Virgo.

7:36 am EDT

6:36 am CDT

5:36 am MDT

4:36 am PDT

 

There’s nothing like nice, clean, earthy energy to help us get going on our tasks, releasing the heat of the summer (ever so slowly) and preparing for autumn. If you are looking to change your diet, improve your nutrition habits, start a new exercise regime, or just develop better habits, this new moon will support you. Get out some paper and a pen and write a list of your goals. Use this moon cycle to initiate whatever your chosen endeavor to be more healthy and whole. Be as detailed as necessary – just enough to make your vision tangible and real. Watch for any tendencies to overwork or be overly critical about your plans or outcomes during this moon cycle, and then just return your focus to your breath.

 

If you did your due diligence, you already wrote down your goals, so let go of your grasp on the outcome. Definitely utilize this time to start shaping your ambitions – 2 1/2 days before and after the new moon. Virgo is the sign of discretion. Target what is productive and release what is unproductive.

 

The Sabian Symbol for this new moon is “A Family Tree.”

 

Beneath the tree, its trunk and its branches, is a system of organization—the tree’s roots. These roots draw up nutrients from the water and soil and provide nourishment. At the base of it is connectedness, rootedness. This allows for the tree to move and sway in the wind without breaking or leaving the ground. Virgo is a mutable sign – flexible and changeable.

 

Be settled and moveable at the same time, just like a tree.

 

Trees have families, too! Up in the Northern California, where I used to live, the Redwoods all networked together underground, finding their rootedness – their stability—with each other.

 

Take a lesson from the tree, and see how you organize your roots underground. What supports you? All families run deep into the past and are legacies of achievement and success otherwise we wouldn’t be standing here today at all. I encourage you, this new moon, to really use active meditation for driving your roots deep down into the earth and connecting with the center of this planet.

Full Moon Virgo, March 19, 2011: Illumination

Are you servicing your soul (Pisces) with your pragmatism (Virgo)?

If ‘yes,’ excellent! If ‘no’… then, who do you serve?… If you don’t serve you , then who does?

I’m looking at the full moon chart for March 19, 2011, and it’s not the easiest due to the mutable grand cross configuration involving the moon’s nodes; but, before anyone gets too carried away by being flustered: the good news is that Venus and Neptune are making very harmonious contacts. Venus (love and values) is sextile Mercury (communication and thoughts), so let’s just say that communication is active (Aries) and somewhat objective (Aquarius).  However, that’s not the whole story for communication: next to the full moon is Saturn, which tends to have a reserved or restrictive quality—meaning that you may have a meaning/need/or feeling to convey but have not the words to convey it, or you may realize you need to say something, but can’t quite get the big picture (Jupiter) to fit with just words, so what to do… ?

Let it be

Here’s where Neptune, a planet making harmonious aspects to the moon’s nodes, comes in—use its better energies: surrender your issues to a higher-power for resolution. The moment you release to Spirit though, is the moment you have to make your senses very acute and await a reply. That’s right, it doesn’t mean your job is done just because you’ve surrendered your worries and issues. It means you’ve requested help, and then you listen keenly/watch very perceptively for your reply. One more thing: you have to honestly want that answer, whatever it is. Be willing to accept it.

Sun opposite moon

Now it’s tough to say all this, and get away with it, simply because there are so many factors of “affect” going on in the sky currently. Uranus is newly in Aries and very close to the transiting Sun, but not officially conjunct (or joining energies) with the sun yet (March 21st 2011). Uranus is worth mentioning because wherever he is in the sky, usually coincides with very unpredictable events—real wild-card surprises. Usually the purpose of his symbolism is to bring your awareness into a greater expression of humanity, usually in terms of “setting free” and “individuating” certain aspects of your life. So during this full moon, Uranus is on the Sun’s side.  The Moon however (in opposition to the Sun, as is perceived with a full moon) is on the same side of the tracks as Saturn. Emotions are challenged. Our life-force wants to be set free, but our sense of security wants to stay right where it is. For Virgo, this could be with health or with work.

The full moon could be in any house

As you know from my previous blog, a full moon brings forth new knowledge or illumination to the area of the chart where it occurs.  For example, if the moon became full in your 7th house (astro-terminology)—that would be the house that indicates “other,” one-to-one relationships, marriage or business partners.  Or, depending on your birth chart, the full moon could occur in your 4th house, having to do with things home-related, projects coming to culmination in the house. You see, it depends on “where” a planet is transiting with regard to your natal configuration.

Other clues about the days on or around March 19th?

We can, however, think back to December 21, 2010, when we had the Total Lunar Eclipse.  Do you remember the days before Christmas? This was the winter solstice which happened to coincide with a total eclipse of the moon at the last degree of Gemini, a point that this full moon will be squaring (in difficult angle). When there is a difficult angle, say a “square,” this can bring friction or creativity. The choice is yours. Just be aware that somewhere the flow has a kink in it. Find it and make the best of it. For example, did you begin thinking up New Year’s resolutions that it’s time now for you to refer back to?

Opportunity to grow more deeply

I’ve got more good news: Jupiter is very close to Mercury so you will be growing and learning intellectually. You’ll be more aware of the bigger picture, and the ramifications of your current beliefs. My only caution to you with this aspect is to watch that you don’t overdo something with words, or by expression of too much over-confidence. Jupiter has the ability to enlarge concepts and make them very grand.  Since Mercury will be squaring Pluto your thoughts and conversations will likely be serious and go deep beneath the surface. It all depends on your natal aspects, and how the planetary arrangements/archetypes have worked on your psychology throughout your years.

Certainty

One thing is certain: the future is not fixed, and how everything looks right now may be very different from how it looks tomorrow, or the day after. Get in touch with your deep intuition (Neptune in Pisces). Again, this is the good side of Neptune ! Which will be heading back into Pisces on April 4th, 2011, the sign it rules—home at last.  Sometimes tapping into your source is your only real safety against an unknown future.

With Love and Gratitude ~