Giving Thanks for Small (Astrological) Blessings

By Amanda Painter

We have a busy week astrologically, and in the U.S., it’s also a major holiday week: Thanksgiving Day is Thursday. With a strong orientation on gathering with family, it can be just as stressful, triggering or lonely as it can be joyful, warm and inclusive — depending on factors such as whether or not you have people to celebrate with; whether you share common values with those people; the degree of obligation and adherence to tradition (or flexibility) expected; and so on.

Jim Henson's Muppets parody Norman Rockwell's classic Thanksgiving painting, Freedom From Want.

Jim Henson’s Muppets parody Norman Rockwell’s classic 1943 Thanksgiving painting, formally titled Freedom From Want.

It can be a really beautiful day spent in spirit of gratitude for shared blessings. Whether you’re in the U.S. or not, I hope your life is touched by some of that essence.

Additionally, if you are estranged from family and friends, or ill, or otherwise alone and wish not to be, I hope you’ll join the conversation here, and reach out connect with your immediate community where you are. There are resources out there, and there’s often a local food bank, church or other group putting on a dinner who would love to have your volunteer help.

I also can’t help but think of how many people are fretting about cooking things ahead of time; or bracing for maddening travel (the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year here); or steeling themselves for uncomfortable dinner conversations with relatives whose political views are diametrically opposed to their own; or squeezing in an extra therapy session to remind themselves that they really are a functional adult, before stepping back into familial dysfunction.

Luckily, the Sun entered Sagittarius Sunday at 10:25 am EST (15:25 UTC), granting some optimism and, hopefully, a better sense of ‘the big picture’.

One thing you might find yourself grateful for (goddess knows I am), is that most of this week’s major aspects will be exact just before the big day. They’ll still be in effect for the most part, and if you are traveling on Wednesday or doing a lot of prep work, these aspects could make things a little more interesting. But overall, it looks like several of the events emphasizing tension and polarity will be separating long before the turkey comes out of the oven.

The one major exception is that on Thursday Saturn in Sagittarius will make its first of three exact squares with Neptune in Pisces. Eric is exploring in the 2016 annual readings the process of dissolving thought forms and spiritual beliefs — and the potential to create a new vision — that this series of squares represents. This week is just the beginning of a process that will stretch over the next year, and then ripple out beyond.

So perhaps consider Thursday an ‘observation day’. And since Saturn is one of the ‘social planets’ (governing that which is somewhere between ‘personal’ and ‘generational’) and Neptune is a ‘generational’ or ‘transpersonal’ planet, it might be worth noticing if anything seems to be shifting or loosening ideologically between the generations gathered socially around your dinner table.

More immediately, today (Monday) Venus in Libra is exactly opposite Uranus in Aries (exact 5:13 pm EST / 22:13 UTC). Although this aspect can indicate something sudden and unexpected jarring your love life or finances, you or a partner might simply need a little freedom today, or need to shake up your routines and play in new ways.

According to Rob Hand, the power of Uranus in this aspect is difficult only to the extent that you are wedded to your habits and rigidity. So if a loved one asks you to make something other than the same pie you make every year for Thanksgiving, try to take it as an invitation to get creative rather than as an affront.

This week is also building to the Gemini Full Moon, exact on Wednesday at 5:44 pm EST (22:44 UTC). On the same day, Mercury in Sagittarius conjoins Saturn and squares Neptune. That’s a lot of activity for your mind and emotions, especially since Mercury rules Gemini, where the Moon will still be on Thursday.

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Regarding the Gemini Full Moon, I let out a sigh of relief when I realized it would peak before the big holiday.

Full Moons can be tense and wacky enough; add a major holiday, and the interpersonal tension can be challenging to move through gracefully, depending on how it aspects your personal chart and those of the people around you.

The chart for this Full Moon suggests that it might take extra effort to keep conversations focused; people may keep changing their minds about what ‘feels right’. Watch for whether what you think and how you feel seem to be at odds.

With Neptune in Pisces effectively square the Moon, the Sun, Mercury and Saturn, how you think you feel might not be pointing you in the direction of clarity. That is, if something upsets you this week, be willing to check facts; all may not be quite what it seems.

Also, without getting into detail, minor planets involved in the Full Moon aspect pattern suggest that a particularly narrow view of yourself (such as self-criticism triggered by family dynamics) might be ripe to be cut short and transformed.

Just before the Full Moon, Mercury in Sagittarius enters the Saturn-Neptune square on Wednesday, activating the square and bringing it into consciousness. This could bring some balance between seeing the details and the big picture — though I suggest not letting your holiday fantasies and expectations (positive or negative) run away with you.

Also, from what I can tell, it’s what you don’t say that could cause trouble or confusion, if you keep quiet just to avoid confrontation.

I realize this may feel counterintuitive if you’re headed off to a large gathering fraught with old, familiar and dysfunctional behavior patterns (or lots of strangers whose political and religious leanings you do not know). And it’s essential that clear, lucid, fact-based thinking back whatever you say. But if we’re beginning a process of dissolving old belief structures to make way for new ones, what could be better than having everything out on the metaphorical table — regardless whether your favorite pie is on the literal one?

7 thoughts on “Giving Thanks for Small (Astrological) Blessings

  1. Pisces Sun

    Thanks Amanda. I can’t help but wonder where Ceres is in all the mix? I recall recently that writings about her played prominent on PW, speaking not only of her love of nature and the bounty she brings but also community gatherings, and the knowledge that springs forth from that sort of happening. Hopefully, her aspecting is of a nurturing loving nature surrounding the planets these days, so that all of us can keep her presence and our own presence in mind as we begin to allow psychological walls to be dismantled stone by stone? Observing, allowing some humbleness, thinking for a moment to consider where the other person may be coming from (often their motivations come from insecurity and fear) can assist us in responding. The purpose of Thanksgiving is Gratitude. If we keep the notion of gratitude in the forefront of our mind, than that should keep us present in the moment and hopefully shield us from jumping into heavy emotional fray. When we observe others, we can become more detached, not detached like we don’t care, but detached because we understand. It is a knowlngness.

    Peace in the world begins with peace in ourselves, our family, our home, our community, our nation, to paraphrase an old Chinese proverb. This is our opportunity to practice this form of conscious living and be grateful.

    1. Amy Elliott

      In the Full Moon chart, Ceres is almost exactly trine Mars (7+ Aquarius and Libra, respectively) and both are fairly close to a trine with the Moon at 3+ Gemini. Note Saturn at 6+ Sagg also, next to the Sun. Mars would seem to be in a rather tame condition here, albeit it is making its presence felt.

      1. Pisces Sun

        Thanks Amy. I was lead to re-read what Barbara K./be had written on the piece by Jude titled “Pushing Through” discussing transiting Ceres (the nurturer) at 6+ Aquarius, the point she was on yesterday, I would guess.

  2. Amanda Painter Post author

    Linda, Pisces Sun and Amy — thank you. And thanks for asking about Ceres! I’m thinking that maybe Ceres trine the Gemini Moon says something about our ability Thursday to foster nourishing ideas about what it means to share a meal with others.

    Rather fitting for Thanksgiving, for those who observe it.

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