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TRANSCRIPT Ep 011 | Saturn Returns We’ve Known and “Loved”


011 | Saturn Returns We’ve Known and Loved

As April faces down her second Saturn return, we explore these important astrological rites of passage, as well as how astrocartography can help you find your place in the world. Plus, this week in the Big Sky: Mercury in Pisces, Venus in Aries, and a Leo Full Moon that reeks of Neptune – complete with disillusionment and drunken chickens. All in under thirty minutes!

Special offer for podcast listeners: Want to learn more about your own Saturn return? Use the discount code bsapod10saturn at checkout for 10% off a 60-minute reading with April! Offer valid through Feb. 10, 2020.

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Welcome to the Big Sky Astrology podcast with April Elliot Kent and me, producer and co-host Jen Braun.

Jen: Hey friends. Jen here. Today is February 3rd, 2020 and as always here to help us understand the shape of things is my friend, Astrologer, April Elliott Kent. Hey, April.

April: Hi Jen. I see what you did there.

Jen: The shape of things. Did you see that?

Jen: Because I saw that you and Big Sky Astrology were mentioned in an article in Shape Magazine and the podcast was also mentioned in this article on astrocartography. And I just wanted to throw that out there.

April: Well, just in case we have anybody who’s joining us because they saw the mention in shape magazine. Hello and welcome. That was my good buddy Maressa Brown that wrote that article and reached out to me about astrocartography. Even though it’s not something that I know a whole lot about and I’m not a particular specialist.

Jen: You know plenty. Let’s give you some credit.

April: I will take some credit. I do know a little bit and I’ve worked with that a little bit, but I did refer her also to my friend Ralph MacIntyre, who’s also here in the San Diego area and does a lot of work with astrocartography and with Astrolocality. And both of these refer to methods that you can use to find out the best places for people to live or visit in order to accomplish various things.

Jen: Yes. I think it’s fascinating. It’s actually on my list of things that we should do an episode on sometime.

April: Oh, on the ever-burgeoning list?

Jen: I have a long list of topics that we should cover as we move forward.

April: It’s a good one. It’s a little bit of a complicated topic, but it’s actually a pretty simple concept. Which is if you took the time that you were born and you take the coordinates of a different place, you can say “At the time that I was born, this is what the sky looked like in this place.” So I was born for instance in Indiana, but if I take the way this guy would have looked at that exact moment I was born and how the sky looked in California, where I live now, the relationship of the earth and the sky is slightly different even though the planets are all in the same place. So what happens is you get a different rising sign. A lot of the time you’ll get different signs on the house cusps. Sometimes planets in your chart will change house and you can move to particular places on earth where a planet in your chart becomes a specially strong. That’s what’s fascinating with Astrolocality.

Jen: Yes.

April: And what happens, I find over and over again, if you’re having a big transit in your chart, say Saturn is crossing over your sun or something like that, you’ll often find yourself, if you move at a time like that, if you look at your chart cast for that place, you’ll see Saturn is very strong. So we just sort of get magnetized to these places that are helping us learn a thing that a transit’s trying to teach us at a particular time. So I think it’s fascinating.

Jen: Yes. And how would your chart look if you are living in Minneapolis?

April: It would look very similar. Very similar to where I was born. Because the line of longitudes not so different. It would be slightly different. And I might end up with a Scorpio ascendant.

Jen: Oh, just like me!

April: Just like you! And the interesting thing about astrocartography is you don’t even have to be in a place, I think I mentioned this in the article, you don’t even have to go to the place to get it’s influence. You will meet people, for instance, who live in a place where Venus was very strong in that place at the time you were born. If you meet a person from that place, you’ll have a very Venus response to them or them to you. So that’s a really interesting. Yes, we could definitely do an episode on that.

Jen: Yes. Are you saying we kind of attract the people into our orb that are represented in our chart?

April: Oh, definitely.

Jen: Yes. That’s a whole episode in and of itself. Let me grab my pen and write that down.

April: Keep a list there. Keep a list there with your little Virgo planets that like list-making. Hey you know?

Jen: You have Virgo planets too.

April: I do. I do. I love me a list. I must confess so it’s appropriate. We’re talking about these lists in this kind of thing because we’re starting today talking about Mercury. And Mercury is also a guy who kind of likes his lists and likes to know what’s happening now and what’s coming up next. Sadly for Mercury, he’s entering Pisces.

Jen: I picture Mercury putting on his swim trunks and not too happy.

April: Well, I picture him either sinking into a bubble bath or perhaps going to a spa, having a spa day or going to the beach. As you say, Mercury is in its detriment and Pisces because it’s in its rulership in the opposite sign, which is Virgo.

Jen: Oh sure. Yes.

A Breaking news!

April: It’s the Full Moon this week. We have already made it halfway through this lunar cycle it seems. We were just talking about the New Moon and Aquarius.

Jen: Where did the time go?

April: You know, just a day at a time. And here we are. So we had that very grave sober Sabian symbol for the New Moon in Aquarius on January 24th which was Council of Ancestors. And we talked about that at some length. And then we last week had the First Quarter Moon in Taurus, which was a man handling baggage. So we talked a little bit about how we’re taking action toward our goals and handling our stuff, whether it’s, you know, literal and physical, or whether it’s psychological. So this week we have the full moon at exactly 20 degrees of Leo. In the Sabian symbols we would round up to the next degree. So we go 21 degrees.

Jen: Even if it’s 20 exactly?

April: Yes.

Jen: Okay.

April: The Sabian symbol for this full moon is sort of amusing.

Jen: What is it?

April: It’s intoxicated chickens! Messed up foul.

Jen: It’s a funny image.

April: It isn’t funny image. What’s it evoke for you?

Jen: It makes me think of drunk birds flying around Minneapolis in the spring.

April: Well, yes, you have told me about this. So tell me, is it all kinds of birds? What happens?

Jen: The birds that drink berries, the nectar in the spring or was it the fall? I’ll have to look it up, but if I can find it, I’ll put a link in the show notes. But basically they were drinking berries and they were getting drunk and they were flying crazy. I remember looking out my window and you could see them flying crazy through the air

April:  More like kamikaze chickens.

Jen: Or they would like try to land.

April: And do you think there’s a cautionary tale in there for us at this full moon?

Jen: I think there is a cautionary tale.

April: Well, the opposite symbol to this, the sun of course at the full moon, the Sun is at the opposite degree of the opposite Zodiac sign. So is it 21 degrees of Aquarius. And the Sabian symbol for that as A woman, disappointed and disillusioned. Which is a much more sober degree.

Jen: I see what you did there.

April: So I take this as referring fairly specifically to all that Neptune energy that we had last week. And I think both of these Sabian symbols are actually pretty good representations of Neptune. Because Neptune is both disappointment and disillusionment when something doesn’t end up being as we hoped it will be.

Jen: Oh yes, I guess disillusioned is a real Neptune word.

April: It is. And so…

April: Yes. Its a Neptune thing. Because why do we drink too much? And why do we indulge in substances to put us in a different state of mind? It’s because we don’t like the state of mind we’re in. And it’s, we’re sorrowful or we’re grieving something or we’ve lost something or we are disappointed, disillusioned in life. So I see there’s a real rapport between these two symbols, even now on the face of it doesn’t seem they have a whole lot in common. And it’s a lot more fun to just fixate on the intoxicated chickens.

Jen: Yes.

April: I think I actually used to make a chicken recipe before I went vegan. That was drunken chicken. Does that sound right? It’s like you would marinate it…

Jen: With Beaujolais nouveau?

April: Oh! Look at you with the French!


April: I don’t know what that means, but it sounds fantastic.

Jen: It means there are a lot of people in the world who speak French.

April: How do you say, “I am not one of them?”

Jen: I don’t know. .

April: So yes, I don’t know that I used to do fancy French chicken in that way, but yes, drunken chicken, that is our full moon. The full moon degree is not making a lot of aspects in the chart, but I think it is making a trip to Mars, which would indicate what was it last week they were squaring?

Jen: Yes. We’re in the double digits now with our number of episodes and it’s getting harder to keep them apart.

April: Well, last week we had Venus and Mars, both aspects of Neptune. Venus made a conjunction with Neptune and Mars made a square. So knowing that the full moon degree is squaring that Mars that so recently been involved with Neptune says, “Hey, if we made some wrong headed decisions, perhaps they’ll come to light now because the full moon reveals everything. As we’ve said before. So you know, it’s a trine and again, we like to think of a trine as a lovely aspect, but really what it does is just nothing stands in the way of the truth being shown in this case at the full moon. That’s Moonwatch for this week.

Jen: Okay. There we have it.

April: Well, what else do we have on the agenda for today?

Jen: Well, we talked last week about Saturn returns.

April: Yes, indeed.

Jen: Because you had your Saturn return. Well, you haven’t had it yet, because we’re recording a week early, but it’s coming up.

April: Oh, it’s coming.

Jen: It’s coming.

April: I hear the train a-comin’. It’s comin’ ‘round the bend.

Jen: But by the time that we’re all listening to this, you will already have had your second Saturn return. And it’s certainly a topic that I’ve talked about with some people that are having their first Saturn return. That’s a real interesting topic to people. What can you tell us about Saturn returns in general? And I’d be curious to know what you’ve been learning during your second Saturn return.

April: Okay, so you can do a return chart for any planet in the chart. All it means is that the planet has gotten to the point in its cycle around the sun that it’s returned to a particular spot again. So we do the solar return around your birthday every year because it takes the Sun about one year to make a complete lap around the sun. We calculate a chart for the moment that the sun gets exactly to the longitudinal degree it was in, in your birth chart. And we cast a chart for that moment. And that’s the solar return.

Jen: Okay.

April: We do the same thing with Saturn, but Saturn has a cycle of about 29 years. So we know that it’s a very consequential return because you have it so seldom.

Jen: So what you’re saying basically, just to break it down for people, is that Saturn basically is returning to the place that it was in the sky when you were born?

April: Yes.

Jen: Okay.

April: And it does that about every 29 years. So the first time that it happens, and for me it was in 1990. I got to have three Saturn returns because I had the first hit and then Saturn went retrograde and I get a second hit which is pretty common.

Jen: All the planets go retrograde except the sun and the moon.

April: Yes. So then it went direct. So I got three Saturn return hits and that was a pretty big deal. This time I just get the one, which is exciting.

Jen: Do you want to go into anything that was happening then for you personally?

April: Well, that’s when I started doing astrology readings for money.

Jen: Interesting.

April: Yes. And by the next summer I had left my boring secretarial job to be a full-time, professional astrologer.

Jen: Wow. That’s huge.

April: It is. And now I am at the Saturn return of that event because I met my second Saturn return.

Jen: Oh, their business is having its fast in return.

April: Yes, exactly.

Jen: So if you were going to unpack that, what would you say about that?

April: Well, the first and second Saturn returns in my experience are radically different. I mean they both have to do with gauging your success. And at the first Saturn return you’re at an age where you’re looking down the barrel of 30 and that’s kind of a scary number. And you reckon with your maturity and your mortality and with your external success. Very often at this age people do make a major career shift because you’re reevaluating where you’re at, and Saturn is intimately related with career and with maturity and all of the rest of it. So people will make major career changes. Sometimes they’ll get married or divorce. I actually got married when I was 31 in the wake of the Saturn return. Anything that makes you feel like you’re achieving what you feel you should be achieving in life. At the first Saturn return, I find it’s much more about what you feel you should be achieving. And especially based on other people’s expectations for you or what society in general might tell you that you should be wanting and doing at this age. So it’s a really big turning point.

At the second Saturn return of course, you’re at a different age. I’m 58 years old. I’m a very different person than I was at 29 and my colleague Eileen Grimes, put it really, really well about the second Saturn return. She said that “It’s interesting that in the previous Saturn return I was looking for myself professionally and now with the second return I found myself professionally.”

Jen: Nice.

April: “And there’s a greater sense of who I am and who I’m not and what I do well and what I don’t.” So I’m finding the second Saturn return is still about gauging our success, but it’s much more internally driven. It’s am I the person that I wanted to be at this point in my life?

Jen: Yes.

April: I remember doing a talk on this subject and I ran across this statistic. There was a survey done at the university of Lancaster that found that 58 was the age where the highest proportion of people were happy with their work life balance and they felt good about their lifestyle.

Jen: Interesting.

April: Now can I say that all of that is true for me? I don’t know. I’m working too hard. And I did at the first Saturn return as well. I was working really hard. I had my full-time job, I was doing astrology on the side. I started teaching classes. I had a housekeeping business with another person. I was playing music in clubs. I was doing a lot, working really hard. Does it sound familiar? You work with me! At the second stage of life I keep thinking that things are going to get easier and just kind of go on autopilot and it’s exactly the opposite at the second Saturn return.

Jen: You work a lot.

April: I work a lot and it’s like there are lots of things I want to do and there are things I still want to accomplish. And a feeling that very keenly in the last six months. I’m hoping now having gotten over the hurdle of the actual Saturn return… and that the universe looked at me and said “You did okay the first time. I will only make you go through it once this time around.”

Jen: Oh, is that right?

April: Yes. Well hopefully, and this is what I’m telling myself that yes, hopefully I’ll come out of the Saturn return feeling really good about things because that’s what happened the first time. And the nice thing about getting older in astrology is you’ve gone through all of these cycles a time or two and you can kind of get a sense, based on last time, what’s coming for you this time. And last time, like I say, I launched into my business and after that things really broke open. I started a whole new career and a new relationship and moved to a new city and lots of exciting things.

Jen: Perhaps this podcast will become super successful.

April: Well, this is what we’re banking on, Jen! So tell me about your first Saturn return. You had your first one back in May of 2000, you won’t have your second for a while.

Jen: Is that one mine was, you looked it up?

April: I did look it up.

Jen: Okay. May of 2000. I know what was happening. My wife and I moved into our house.

April: Oh wow. That was a really big change.

Jen: And Saturn’s in my seventh house, which is a little bit of a stern placement, but that would make sense in that respect. I think of Saturn as the school principal of the Zodiac.

April: Yes. Well put.

Jen: That he wants what’s best for you, but you might not always like it.

April: Or like any authority figure in your life that we could say wants the best for you. Yes.

Jen: Like a good principal that cares about your wellbeing and wants to help hone your talents and that kind of thing.

April: Right. And knows that you’re going to feel better about yourself if you’ve worked hard and you’ve achieved what you’re capable of.

Jen: That’s right.

April: So that’s exciting that that’s what you did at that age?

Jen: I guess so.

April: Well, it’s such an external symbol of success. And you do have Saturn in Taurus, which is the sign of property.

Jen: Oh, interesting.

April: So you and your wife together – seventh house – made that significant leap together. Is she your age? Were you having Saturn returns around the same time?

Jen: She’s seven years older than me, so our Saturns are square.

April: Yes. She had a square at that time, so. Yes. But that’s nice. It sounds like you had a pretty good Saturn return.

Jen: I guess so. I mean…

April: How was your career?

Jen: I became a certified hypnotherapist, I’m pretty sure.

April: That sounds like a significant career shift.

Jen: So, I was still working at my first job out of graduate school, but I was also doing hypnotherapy at the time just because I found it really fascinating.

April: Yes, hardworking gal, bought a house.

Jen: Bought a house with my honey.

April: That’s a good Saturn return.

Jen: Yes.

April: People have asked me before, students especially. They’ll say, “Well, if you have a good Saturn in your chart, if you have a lot of good aspects.” I’m like, “Is there such a thing?”

Jen: What does that mean?

April: Yes, I know. When they’re thinking, well, it’s like I presumably have a pretty good Saturn. It’s in the sign that it rules, Capricorn. It is in good aspect to Mars, which is better than a bad aspect of Mars, I suppose. And all things being equal, maybe it’s a pretty good Saturn … and they would say, “Well, if you have a good Saturn, do you have a good Saturn return?” And I’m like, “Well, when you look back at it, you’ll know if you had a good Saturn return or not. It doesn’t really work that way in the moment.”

Jen: I guess so. Yes.

April: Yes. You’re kind of on the ground, boots on the ground, head down doing the work and it never feels good. That’s not Saturn’s job. Saturn is not there to make you feel good. He’s there to get you to do the work that later you can feel good about.

Jen: Sure, yes.

April: Maybe we could say if you have a strong Saturn. Because you have a pretty good Saturn. Your Saturn’s in an angular house. So you’ve also got the Mars trining it.

Jen: Angular house, meaning first, fourth, seventh or 10th?

April: Yes.

Jen: Like if the birth chart, if you put a cross in the middle of it, those are four important points in the chart.

April: I guess what you could possibly say is, in hindsight, when you look back at it, if you have a good Saturn in your chart, probably you’ll feel happy with your Saturn return. You’ll say, “Yes, that was a time when my life took a really positive shift and I began to feel successful in a new way.” But that first Saturn return is, I mean, to go back to our Full Moon Sabian symbol, it’s a sobering transition.

Jen: Yes.

April: Because you haven’t been through it before and you’re thinking, “Wow, is this really what I’m going to be when I grow up?” And reckoning with that.

Jen: Right.

April: So I hope that’s helpful to some people that are listening. That are going through this transition, either the first one or the second.

Jen: And what I’m hearing you say too is that it’s about work a lot of the time, but it can also be about taking care of yourself. Right?

April: Yes. It’s about building a life that is satisfying to you in all ways.

Jen: Oh, I like that. That’s a quotable, right there.

April: Well, thank you. I’ve used this analogy and I don’t know if I’ve used it on the podcast. I know I was saying it to a client just the other day who was having Saturn going across her ascendant. And I remember really clearly when that happened for me, ‘cause it’s been pretty recently, maybe four years. And I remember thinking the very day that it crossed, I remember waking up and feeling really overwhelmed by a responsibility I had taken on. And I thought, “If your life is not what you want it to be, then it’s up to you to make it what you want it to be.”

Jen: Yes.

April: And that’s the challenge I think of the Saturn return. Is this how you want your life to look? Well, if it isn’t, the only one that’s going to make it that way is you. And that’s tough Saturn language, but that’s how Saturn speaks to us. Like you say, he’s the kindly but stern principal or teacher or a parent or some authority figure who really wants the best for you, but that can only be earned. It can’t be given to you.

Jen: Right.

April: You have to earn it. Helpful?

Jen: Yes. Happy Saturn return, my friend.

April: Thank you. I don’t know that happy is exactly the way one would characterize it, but “satisfying Saturn return to you.” But thank you.

Jen: Satisfying.

April: Well, I’m not seeing anything else on our agenda for the day. Do you think we’ve done it?

Jen: We have done it.

April: Well, thank you, all of you for listening to the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. We do come to you each week, every Monday morning we will drop into your podcast feed. And if you like what you’re hearing, we sure hope that you will subscribe to our podcast on whatever podcatcher thingy you’re listening to us on so you don’t miss a single episode. You can read, show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at

And join us again, bright and early next Monday. And until then, keep your feet on the ground…

Jen: And your eyes on the stars.

Jen: Thank you for listening to learn more about April Elliott Kent, please check out her website, or you can sign up for her newsletter, read her thought-provoking weekly essays, purchase her books, sign up for a personal astrology reading, and more. That’s all for today. If you like what you’re listening to, please take a moment to rate and review this podcast and hit subscribe to stay current with new episodes. You can follow Big Sky Astrology on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @bigskyastrology. Thanks again for joining us, and we’ll catch you next time.

© 2020 April Elliott Kent & Jennifer Braun

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