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 isn't because Maynard's calendar is an extraordinary and reliable resource. After some research, I ended up buying a few astrology-specific planners and a moon calendar to try out for 2020. Here are my thoughts on them so far.
1. Llewellyn's 2020 Daily Planetary Guide- If I had to pick just one of these astro calendar to buy, it would probably be this planner. It isn’t perfect, but this planner 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 planets. The ephemerides in the back even includes the asteroid goddesses and Chiron. Love that!
However, the whole planner has such a dull black-and-white design with low quality thin paper and it doesn’t have a month-at-a-glance calendar, which is a big mark against it, but it includes all the information one needs within the weekly pages. It’s pretty inexpensive, and it shows! If they upgraded the paper quality and design, I would pay more for it. It has so much potential to be an amazing astro calendar/planner.
There are a few fantastic articles related to the upcoming year regarding the major cosmic events and how to find your opportunity days. There's also an in depth introduction about the building blocks of astrology. It has charts for the retrograde periods and planetary phenomena of 2020 and a page with the list of New and Full Moons and eclipses. It is a great astrology guide for the beginner and professional astrologer alike!
Yeah, it's not pretty, and it's missing the month-at-a-glance, but it's very practical and has all the times listed in PST, which is what I wanted. For reference, it’s about the same size as the We’Moon and Celestial Influences planners (5.5" x 8").
2. 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 leaves little room to write. 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 Daily Planetary Guide (above).
The reason this isn't my top choice is because I need more room to write in my engagements. It's a tad small for my needs at 5" x 7". It does have some room between the weekly pages to write in notes and intentions for the New Moon. It’s really a lovely calendar, but I recommend the Daily Planetary Guide above just slightly more because I like that the ephemerides includes the asteroid goddesses and Chiron. But this one has the edge for its beautiful design! It's printed in the UK with quality papers and inks and you can feel it. They published one for EST, but not PST. I’m so used to using PST that I forget to convert the three hours. So I'm passing this one along. If the timezone and size aren't an issue for you, you might prefer this one!
I also purchased their Moon Calendar (available in PST!) to hang on the wall. 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! I’ve decided to use this moon calendar in combination with the Daily Planetary Guide for the year. I’ve written in the bigger astrological events within the calendar so I can see them on the wall.
3. 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 want these 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 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, as well as weekly section with plenty of room to write your engagements. 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 the Daily Planetary Guide along with this one to get all the information I need.
I have another small quibble with this planner: the Full and New Moon icons are backwards (see photos above, Full Moon is filled in and New Moon is white)! 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 as white and New Moon filled in.
This planner is quality made with recycled paper and it feels good! 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.
It is the most expensive one I bought at $45 plus shipping, but it is worth it since it is super high quality book with a gorgeous design. If it had the times listed with the aspects, I wouldn't need another reference, and because of that I'll not get it again. But for this year, it will be a beautiful book to journal in and enjoy.
HOW I'M GOING TO USE THEM
So yeah, I’m juggling planners to make it work this year because there doesn’t seem to be a true replacement calendar for the amazing Celestial Influences. I'll be using the Daily Planetary Guide as my astrology reference like how I used Celestial Influences, and the Magic of I as a planner/organizer and for intention/goal setting. Since they are both small books they both fit on my desk like my 8.5" x 11" metaphysical day planner that I've used in the past (see more about it below). I'm passing on the Astrocal's Moon Diary. (I don't need three planners!) It was a tough choice between it and the Daily Planetary Guide, but there was more information in it that I could use.
OTHER ASTRO CALENDARS /PLANNERS
The DeAmicis 2020 Day Planner and Calendar looked promising, but I didn’t buy either because their website was really hard to navigate. When I was looking at the other planners available, I chose the first two over this one because they were available in spiral binding and honestly easier to buy! Since I had already purchased Astrocal's moon calendar (and am enjoying its aesthetic), I passed on this calendar. Mainly because I had no idea what to expect since they didn't have any photos of their calendar that I could find. I would love to see more photos on their site or a video walkthrough of this calendar. I'm sure the information in their calendars are solid as the DeAmicis are long time astrologers.
There's always the We'Moon 2020 planner too! I chose to opt out of the We’Moon planner because I heard they had accidentally omitted the Moon Void of Course info this year. They do offer a work around and how to write them into the planner.
Another wonderful planner I recommend is Benebell Wen's metaphysical day planner. It's not a full on astrology calendar, but she includes all the lunations and the most important planetary aspects throughout the weekly section. She also includes a chart of the personal planets and which sign they are in before the month. There's tarot, numerology and astrology reference sections at the back. It's a large planner! I've been using it since she first released it in 2017. I didn't purchase one this year since I ended up buying astrology planners to fill the astro calendar void. (There does not appear to be a PST astrology wall calendar with all the planetary aspects and times.) I had to settle for planners, which meant I did not need to get Benebell's planner this year. If you're looking for an overall day planner, then I recommend her planner. It's been my planner of choice since 2017 and combined with Celestial Influences, it was all that I needed! You do have to buy the PDF from her and then have it printed. However, she gives directions on how to do this! Also, a nice bonus: you can add your Natal and Solar Return charts to the front of the planner to personalize it!
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 good PST astrology calendar, please share!
Happy New Year!