In the Stars November 23-30, 2014…shining light on the astrology of the week: Bonus: The United States of Thanksgiving Review

The Sun shifted into Sagittarius on Saturday, the 22nd, and joined a New Moon that combines with Venus to make a bold, bright, zesty weekend. Mars continues in its exaltation in Capricorn, still powering through Capricorn until December 4. Mars here is capable of great work, so continue to capitalize on its gifts of productivity and efficiency. The Pluto-Uranus square is tightening up toward its 6th of 7 exact squares, the next one being December 15. Thus, we have a lot of powerful energy available through the end of the year to help us make positive changes and to energize our lives.

Overall, the coming week is colored by a Venus-Uranus trine. This is an aspect of surprising expressions of love and generosity. Many Thanksgiving dinners may be colored with romantic or beautiful, surprising meetings. Expect the unexpected. Give and receive life’s amazing bounty.

Start and end the day Sunday by counting your blessings. Sunday is an especially celebrative day, as the Moon forms a Grand Fire Trine with Uranus and Jupiter. This is an extremely optimistic, creative alignment. Use this bold gift from the heavens for something expansive and exuberant. The grand possibilities this day can deliver adventure and generous surprises. Perhaps the twain shall meet.

Monday the week starts on a serious, deliberate note with the Moon in Capricorn through Wednesday mid-day (11:23 AM Pacific Time). Capricorn, ruled by the planet of responsibility, Saturn, pushes us toward planning, action, and hard work. This is a short work week, given the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, so give Monday all the efficiency and industry that you can.

Tuesday is that turbulent day of the week when the Moon shines its light on the Uranus-Pluto square–now tightening–meaning the energy is revving up and becoming more potent and explosive, for better and worse. Mercury is conjunct Saturn, a discerning aspect good for editing or research. Set your shoulder to the Great Wheel intently on Tuesday, and you can realize some amazing results. Conversely, unconsciousness and laziness may result in shocks and challenging events. Own the right side of this coin.

Wednesday through Friday afternoon the Moon is in friendly Aquarius. Wednesday is loaded with aspects, making for a dynamic, interesting, unusual day. A Venus-Uranus trine is exact, though it colors the whole week. This aspect urges us to invite new friends to our Thanksgiving dinners, to meet new people and make new connections. Some may fall in love unexpectedly. Thanksgiving dinner should not be the same old routine with the usual people. Make it exciting and fresh—sensual, surprising, sizzling! Prepare a new dish from another culture for Thanksgiving. You might take your cue from the tremendous work of the NY Times food section staff, who combined to scour the states for their presentation of 52 distinctive holiday recipes for “The United States of Thanksgiving.”, and see the review below “the week in short.”

Friday starts off on a somber note with a Moon/Saturn square. Just like last year, this Black Friday is not a good one for shopping. The Moon is Void-of-Course nearly all day—until 2:03 PM Pacific Time. If you live in the Eastern Time Zone, forget any and all shopping on Black Friday. I remember last year that a friend of mine (who didn’t read my blog) told me that she had to return everything she purchased on Black Friday. Spare yourself the time and expense of the lack of good judgment on this day. Instead of shopping, decorate your home and tree for the season. The Moon does move into Pisces later in the day, and then it bathes the evening with the lunar light of compassion and inspiration. Enjoy a sweet and loving evening.

Saturday and Sunday the Moon continues in Pisces, which lends yet more kindness and compassion to the downslope of the long weekend. It draws our attentions to beauty and artistic expression. Saturday IS a good day for holiday shopping. These would also be great days to support live music and musicians by attending a performance.

Sunday contains a variety of different energies and themes. The morning through mid-day is energetic and creative and encourages initiative. The Moon is then VoC from 12:47-5:14 PM Pacific Time, so during this time read, hang out, putter, deocorate, or play music. Then when the Moon moves into Aries Sunday evening (at 5:14 PM Pacific), it’s time again to ignite your enthusiasm. Even though it’s Sunday evening, at this back end of the Thanksgiving weekend you might want to get something started on your holiday “to do” list. Create glow in your life from a fire in your fireplace or by lighting candles for inspiration and internal transfer.

The Week in Short:
Sunday: Extremely blessed, exuberant, imaginative day. Grand Trine in Fire for adventure and surprise. Seize it!
Monday: A call for hard work and accomplishment, but blessed with vision and compassion.
Tuesday: The weekly turbulence. Accomplish! Meet the challenges!
Wednesday: Friendly day, with unexpected surprises and connections.
Thursday (Thanksgiving): Make the day exciting, fresh. Join with new friends. Be open to surprising connections or romance. Expand your culinary horizons.
Friday (Black Friday): Not a day for shopping—Moon VoC all day. Pisces Moon lights up the evening.
Saturday: Kindness, compassion, and creativity. Good day to shop.
Sunday: Varied day. Energetic morning. Meandering Moon VoC afternoon. Enthusiastic evening to “fire” yourself up.

“The United States of Thanksgiving,” by the food staff of the NY Times, reviewed by Gehrig Coleman:

The staff consulted with accomplished chefs, restaurant owners, and other food writers all over the USA to select a distinctive Thanksgiving dish from each state (plus DC and PR). This is wonderful entertainment and education to scroll through and simply read. There is joy in creativity, none more so that with that which nourishes. It is also a testament to alternatives in the bland, industrial food era. Much of the “Food TV” culture and food movements has characteristics of adding, substituting, combining ingredients of traditional dishes in new ways. That is evident here, but so are what regional differences we retain in the face of chain calorie dispensaries. One cannot scan these 52 recipes without individual inspiration. You can explore and enhance your holidays for the next decade from this one article and collection.

There are elements of history and pop culture, such as the entries for the two states whose border I straddle: Kansas and Missouri. The Kansas entry is Candied Sweet Potatoes, a recipe from the historic Harvey House chain that once had nearly one hundred manifestations in railroad stations during the heyday of the rails. Missouri’s selection is the “St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake” that urban myth tells us spread among Eastern Missouri homemakers in the middle decades of the 20th century. Not every recipe is “healthy,” but all would be delicious.

You can learn to twist your cranberry sauce with Oregon pinot noir or Arizona chiles. You might give your entire dinner a Caribbean slant with Florida mojo turkey and Puerto Rican mofongo dressing. One would think we would all gravitate toward several of the seven distinctive dressings/stuffings or five different takes on turkey.

Expanding your horizons here can be easy or difficult, quick or demanding. I’ve been fortunate enough to reap the blessings of home tamale production in Texas, but you’ll need to gather your kinship group or tribe for a full day to pull that off. Or you could use intelligence, like Cathy’s idol Marcus Samuelsson. The DC recipe was Samuelsson’s solution to President Obama’s first state dinner in 2009, hosting the president of India: he simply added garam masala to the very American pumpkin pie or tart. Personally, I’m intimidated by the thought of trying to produce acceptable North Dakota lefse, but I expect the North Carolina sweet potato cornbread to be easy, delicious, and a product of my kitchen frequently as long as I can still cook.

None of us will have access to all the ingredients, but each of us will be inspired by this wonderful vehicle to help us realize the soaring energies of the Venus-Uranus trine this Thanksgiving.

Ten Things to Do with Venus in Sagittarius (November 16-December 11)
1. Invite someone to dinner who is from a different culture or has a different religion.
2. Express appreciation to your in-laws.
3. Plan your next long-distance trip (or make a wish list).
4. Read a book about a far-away country, culture, or religion.
5. Expand your knowledge of metaphysics.
6. Write—to publish.
7. Visit a religious art exhibit (e.g., the Asian Art Museum here in San Francisco).
8. Explore a philosophy through a book, book-on-tape, or a lecture.
9. Take a hike (Sagittarius rules the thighs)
10. Venus in Sagittarius is idealistic in love: read some love poems that transport you to the ideal!
Exact Void-of-Course Moon times for the month ahead (one lunar cycle) are:
Pacific Standard Time:
Sunday, November 23 at 7:16 PM through Monday, November 24 at 8:31 AM (Moon into Capricorn)
Wednesday, November 26: 7:30-11:23 AM (Moon into Aquarius)
Friday, November 28: 9:14 AM-2:03 PM (Moon into Pisces)
Sunday, November 30: 12:47-5:14 PM (Moon into Aries)
Tuesday, December 2: 6:42-9:15 PM (Moon into Taurus)
Thursday, December 4 at 10:45 PM through Friday, December 5 at 2:28 AM (Moon into Gemini)
Sunday, December 7: 1:52-9:34 AM (Moon into Cancer)
Tuesday, December 9: 4:14-7:14 PM (Moon into Leo)
Friday, December 12: 4:48-7:19 AM (Moon into Virgo)
Sunday, December 14: 6:11-8:05 PM (Moon into Libra)
Tuesday, December 16 at 9:40 PM through Wednesday, December 17 at 6:52 AM (Moon into Scorpio)
Friday, December 19: 1:11-1:55 PM (Moon into Sagittarius)
Sunday, December 21: 4:35 AM-5:25 PM (Moon into Capricorn)
Monday, November 24: 3:16-16:31 (Moon into Capricorn)
Wednesday, November 26: 15:30-19:23 (Moon into Aquarius)
Friday, November 28: 17:14 AM-22:03 (Moon into Pisces)
Sunday, November 30 at 20:47 through Monday, December 1 at 1:14 (Moon into Aries)
Wednesday, December 2: 2:42-5:15 (Moon into Taurus)
Friday, December 4 at 6:45-10:28 (Moon into Gemini)
Sunday, December 7: 9:52-17:34 (Moon into Cancer)
Wednesday, December 10: ):14-3:14 (Moon into Leo)
Friday, December 12: 12:48-15:19 AM (Moon into Virgo)
Monday, December 15: 2:11-4:05 (Moon into Libra)
Wednesday, December 16 at 5:40—14:52 (Moon into Scorpio)
Friday, December 19: 21:11-21:55 (Moon into Sagittarius)
Sunday, December 21: 12:35 through Monday, December 22 at 1:25 (Moon into Capricorn)
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