UPDATE (Oct. 11, 2021): Jim Maynard didn't release a 2021 PDF version of the Celestial Influences calendar, as we originally hoped, but I'm so happy he is enjoying his retirement. I had thought someone would have purchased the rights to reprint, but alas. I'm updating this post with alternatives that have worked for me as a replacement to his calendar.
UPDATE (May 14, 2020): I just heard from Jim Maynard that the lower calendar pages have been made available as downloadable PDFs for both Eastern and Pacific Times for the remainder of 2020.
I’ve been using Jim Maynard's Celestial Influences calendars for years and he’s retiring after 46 years of making this amazing calendar. Quicksilver Productions (what he publishes under) says that they are trying to find a publisher to take over the calendar for 2021! I really hope they can find someone who can do as good a job as they have.
When I first found out that there wasn't going to be a 2020 release, I went in search of another astro calendar. I thought this would be easy, but as it turns out, it wasn't because Maynard's calendar was an extraordinary and reliable resource.
After some time and research, I have purchased & used a few astrology-specific planners and moon calendars.
Here are my thoughts on them, and in order of preference. (This post has been updated to add my 2021 reflections.)
1. Llewellyn's Daily Planetary Guide: (UPDATE 10/11/21: This is still my top pick.) If I had to pick just one of these astro calendars to buy, it would be this datebook. It isn’t ideal, it's 4/5 stars for me, but it is complete with all the planetary aspects and ingress times that a professional astrologer needs. (It has all of the planetary aspects listed in the weekly section in both EST and PST.) I like that it lists the sign with the aspects too. It’s very helpful when I can’t remember which sign a planet is in, particularly the fast moving ones. The ephemeris in the back even includes the asteroid goddesses and Chiron. Love that! I also like that it includes a blank horoscope chart in the back.
It also includes info on the Cazimi Moon times, Mercury retrograde shadow/storm notes, and opportunity periods during void-of-course moons, (the v/c times are boxed, which is visually helpful.)
However, the whole planner has a rather dull aesthetic on low quality paper and it doesn’t have a month-at-a-glance calendar, which I like in other datebooks (I do have the Astrocal Moon wall calendar (PST) nearby, which works for me).
It’s inexpensive at $13, and it shows! If they upgraded the paper quality and design, and added a metal spiral binding, I would pay more for it. It has so much potential to be the best astro calendar/planner if Llewellyn stepped it up just a little.
It is still a great astrology guide for the beginner and professional astrologer alike! It includes all the information one needs. There are weekly forecasts for the year, articles reflecting major cosmic events and how to find your opportunity days. There's an in-depth introduction about the building blocks of astrology with info on planets, signs, houses, etc. It also has charts for retrograde planets and planetary phenomena for the year, and a page with the list of New & Full Moons, as well as eclipses.
Even though it's not the prettiest datebook out there, its simple design could be seen as minimalist and practical. It has all the information I need listed for Pacific time, which is more important to me than I realized.
For reference, it’s about the same size as the We’Moon and Celestial Influences planners (5.5" x 8").
2. We'moon Datebook: (UPDATE 10/11/21: For 2021, I have been using the We'moon along with Llewellyn's Daily Planetary Guide (DPG) again.) I placed We'moon in the number two position, as I still slightly prefer the DPG, specifically as an astrology reference.
Both have Pacific times, which is a requirement for me, as I don't want to calculate timezones changes. Both have the same information regarding daily astrology happenings with ephemeris pages in the back. We'moon offers astrology basics and planet & asteroid goddess info in the back pages, as well as an astro yearly overview in the front pages.
We'moon's feminist vibe is in full color with beautiful contributions from a diversity of artists and writers. The ephemeris also has a page for the asteroid goddesses, Chiron, as well as Psyche, Eros, Lilith and a few more!
Both We'moon and the Daily Planetary Guide offer pretty much the same astrology information. We'moon is prettier, DPG is practical. I usually pick up the DPG for astrology purposes and use the We'moon for filling in my schedule.
While I enjoy the artwork and poetry/writings, I wish it had some room to write notes or New Moon intentions like Astrocal's diary has (see below). All the pages are filled to the gills, which is inspiring, but given the number of pages, I think having some room to write my own thoughts would be nice. Also, the We'moon's ephemeris has tiny font, which is why I prefer the DPG, as I find it easier to read.
I love the We'moon for so many reasons: They're a local publisher and have eco-consciousness in mind. The paper stock is of higher quality recycled stock and it's printed in full color with soy inks. It has a metal spiral binding too. For all this, its $20 cost is great.
The We'moon is a strong 4/5 stars for me, just like the DPG.
However, DPG just barely edges out We'moon for me. If I had to buy just one!
It's a bit heavy for my current needs (it's 14oz at 240pages vs. DPG's 9oz at 208 pages) and the ephemeris in the back with its very small, squished together font, makes it a tad less user-friendly than the DPG. I also really appreciate the boxed v/c moons and having the Cazimi Moon reminders within the DPG weekly pages.
If I wasn't using a datebook for my astrology work, I'd buy the We'moon.
3. Astrocal's Astro Moon Diary - The name sounds like it’s just a moon calendar, but it does include planetary aspects and times. It's a gorgeous little calendar with colorful pages. Beyond the weekly planetary aspects, it includes the eight fire festivals and even astronomy events for the year!
It's packed full of information, but it's small (5" x 7") and leaves little room to write in the weekly pages. It does have some room for notes and intentions for the New Moon page, which I do appreciate!
The month-at-a-glance shows moon phases and is located at the back of the planner. There is also an ephemeris in the back, though the charts do not include the asteroid goddesses and Chiron, and I really love having those listed in the DPG.
It’s really a lovely calendar, but I prefer the DPG because of the ephemeris pages, as I just said and because it offers Pacific times. The Astrocal datebook is only published for EST. I realized after getting this that I prefer the Pacific timezone. I'm going to pass on this in the future unless they decide to do a PST version.
If the timezone and size aren't an issue for you, you might really like this one! It's such a beautiful design. It's printed in the UK with quality papers and inks and you can feel it. It costs $25.
I purchased their Moon Calendar (available in PST!) to hang on my wall. (See photo above. I used it in 2020 and 2021, and plan to buy one for 2022.) It’s a beautiful moon calendar. It includes all the moon phase info, the sunrise and moonrise times and also some astronomy events (mainly the meteor showers), which I find useful! This moon calendar in combination with the Daily Planetary Guide works well for me! I write the bigger astrological events on the calendar so I can see them on the wall.
4. The Magic of I. I admit, I was swayed by the beautiful design of this planner and love that they offer one for the Northern Hemisphere for PST! (The creators are from Australia.) It’s truly a lovely planner, but IMO, it’s not for the professional astrologer. I think it’s best for a beginner or someone who is learning astrology. It’s missing important planetary dates and times. It has both weekly and month-at-a-glance planetary aspects, but it doesn’t show ingress times, just a list of planetary aspects that are happening that day.
For example: Sun conjunct Mercury is shown on every day from Jan 4th through the 15th. There’s no time and no indication which of the days they are exact. Another example: Saturn conjunct Pluto is shown only on January 1st in parenthesis (see photo above) and says its happening from Jan 2019 through Jan 2021, but does not indicate that Saturn and Pluto's conjunction is exact on January 12th at 8:22am—a major cosmic event that is not highlighted. I prefer to view these exact times in my astrology calendar. I do think it is nice to see everything that is happening on a said day for reflection, but I still need another astro reference to use with this planner.
It does list moon void-of-course times, has ephemerides in the back and also lists the New and Full Moon times on a page before the month-at-a-glance calendar. I love that this planner has the month-at-a-glance before the weekly section with plenty of room to write engagements and notes. There’s an astrology reference section and lots of places to write in weekly, monthly, and yearly intentions. So overall, this is a great planner/journal, but I will have to use another astrology reference to get all the information I need.
I have another small quibble with this datebook: the Full Moon and New Moon icons are switched (see photos above, Full Moon is filled-in and New Moon is blank)! I’ll probably get used to seeing the lunations in this way, but it’s throwing me off right now, as I’m used to seeing the Full Moon symbol blank and New Moon filled in/darkened. (UPDATE: after using it for the year, I never got over this. I know it's a small complaint, but all of my other moon references don't do it this way, so I found myself getting confused when looking ahead at moon events. I just stopped using it as a moon/astrology reference and only used it as a diary.)
This datebook is quality made with recycled paper and it feels good in the hand! It has that classic journal book-style with a vegan leather cover and feels so soft. However, I can’t keep it open on my desk, which is why I prefer spiral bound planners, but this would take away from the gorgeous aesthetic of the journal! I’ve been trying to smoosh it open, and since it’s the beginning of the year I’m using paper weights to keep it open. I think after some usage and smooshing it down, it will stay open. (UPDATE: Yes, it eventually stays open after some use.)
It is the most expensive one that I purchased at $45 plus shipping costs, but it is worth it given its super high quality paper and gorgeous design. If it had the times listed with the aspects, I wouldn't need another reference, and because of that I'll not buy it again. But for this year, it will be a beautiful book to journal in and enjoy.
HOW I'M USING ASTRO CALENDARS 2020 (AND 2021)
So yeah, I’ve been juggling astrology calendars to make it work because there doesn’t seem to be a true replacement for the amazing Celestial Influences. I use the Daily Planetary Guide as my astrology reference like how I used Celestial Influences and the Astrocal Season's & Cycles Moon Calendar nearby for my month-at-a-glance. (I ended up mostly using the Magic of I and We'moon planners for writing in my engagements.)
OTHER ASTRO CALENDARS /PLANNERS
The DeAmicis 2020 Day Planner and Calendar looked promising, but I didn’t buy either because their website was hard to navigate. I passed on this calendar mainly because I had no idea what to expect since they didn't have many photos of it. I would love to see more photos on their site or a video walkthrough. I'm sure the information in their calendars are solid as the DeAmicis are long-time astrologers, but from the photos that I could see, the astro info looked cluttered together in a box and I prefer calendars where there is room to write things in.
We'Moon 2020 planner. I chose to opt out of the We’Moon planner this year because the publishers had accidentally omitted the Moon void-of-course info for 2020. They offered a work around and how to write them into the planner. (UPDATE: this was fixed for 2021, I purchased it and used it in 2021, my reflections are above.)
Moon & Trine Co. Someone shared this one in the comments, but I chose not to purchase for a couple reasons: it didn't have a spiral binding and does not include an ephemeris in the back. If that doesn't matter to you, you might like this Pacific timezone datebook! They offer weekly and monthly calendars in high quality colored pages. They have a retrograde timeline table included in the front of the datebook and retrograde station and direct dates throughout as they occur. I do love that the Mercury retrograde days are highlighted in light purple throughout the book.
2020 is going to be an interesting year! It’s amazing how many astrologers have relied on the Celestial Influences calendar over the years. Hopefully, Quicksilver Productions will find someone to do future releases!
If you have a recommendation for a Pacific timezone astrology calendar, please share!
Happy New Year!