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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 106 | Aries First Quarter: The Nike Moon!

TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE 106 | Aries First Quarter: The Nike Moon! (Jan. 3, 2022)

Listen and read full show notes here

Jen: Welcome to the Big Sky Astrology Podcast, with April Elliott Kent and me, producer and cohost Jen Braun. Hey friends, Jen here. Today is January 3rd, 2022. And here with me – to say, “Thanks a million” – is my friend, astrologer April Elliott Kent. Hi, April.

April: Thanks Jen. Or, thanks a hundred thousand.

Jen: I set you up there.

April: Thank you. I do appreciate it. Because, we are celebrating on The Big Sky Astrology Podcast, 100,000 downloads since we began two years ago.

Jen: That’s so great!

April: It feels kind of good.

Jen: It does.

April: It’s like, you like us, you really like us!

Jen: For us just being such a small podcast, and now we’re only publishing every other week, it does feel nice, I have to say.

April: We feel the love. We feel the validation. Because, otherwise we’re speaking into a void.

Jen: Yes.

April: So, it is lovely to see those numbers. And we want to thank you all for continuing to listen and download. We are really thrilled with your support. Thank you so much.

Jen: Thank you very much for all the love.

April: And, we want to say “Woo hoo hoo”.

Jen: Yes, we do. Yay!

April: What’s our goal going to be for the new year, Jen?

Jen: Good question. Because, we’ve had two years…

April: And over 100,000 downloads…

Jen: Yes.

April: Well, maybe it’ll be that thing of eventually meeting in person, Jen. Maybe that’s what we’re going to be celebrating in the new year. Who knows?

Jen: I think that would be lovely.

April: We shall see.

Jen: You might have to come to me though. We’ll see.

April: Yes, we’ll see. We’ll see. I know that’s all part of your diabolical master plan…

Jen: …is to get you to come to Minneapolis!

April: Absolutely, it is. Well, this is our first episode that is fully in the year 2022, so once again, happy new year to one and all, and we hope that you have great plans for the year ahead and wonderful things that you are going to be doing.

Jen: Totally.

April: I also wanted to mention to people now that I think about it, that I’m doing a full day event on Saturday, January 15th for the NCGR chapter in Florida, Florida Atlantic. And, that’s going to be all about the astrology of 2022. So, there’ll be a lecture that’ll kind of give an overview and then the workshop, we’re going to go into people’s individual charts and talk about how the events of the coming year are going to be impacting people personally with their own charts.

Jen: Oh, that’s cool.

April: Yes. So, we will link to that in our show notes, or you can just Google “NCGR Florida” and you should find their website and the information about the event. So, I hope that we will see some of you there.

Jen: Sounds good. We’ll certainly be talking about that on the podcast as we go along.

April: Yes, we will be covering gradually throughout the year here on the podcast as well, of course. Now, my friend, what do we have coming up this week?

Jen: We begin on Monday the 3rd. Jupiter is squaring the Lunar Nodes at 03:39 AM Pacific Time. Jupiter is at 1° and 2 minutes of Pisces squaring the Nodes in Gemini and Sagittarius. Tell us about this, April.

April: Well, this is the last really major aspect that we will have to the Lunar Nodes in Gemini and Sagittarius, because they’re going to be moving of course into Taurus and Scorpio on the 18th, which we will talk to you about in our next episode. When a planet makes a square to the nodal axis, it’s basically propelling us, I think from the comfort and security and complacency of the South Node toward the evolution and the growth that’s represented by the North Node. So, this is again, a little bit of a final exam with these Nodes in Gemini and Sagittarius.

And, Jupiter says it’s important to look at the big picture, to consider all points of view, even though in our own Jupiter, we tend to get a little in entrenched in our own beliefs sometimes. But, whatever the planet says, this is the force that comes forward and makes you decide if you’re going to just lay back in the South Node or move forward to the North Node. And, with Jupiter, it’s like it might require some risk, it might require that you take some chance, some leap of faith that you’ve been thinking about since Jupiter was initially in Pisces last spring, I think it was, early summer. You know, Jupiter in Pisces is very strong and says, even if you’re not exactly sure what’s going on happen, if you make this big leap of faith, it’s still well worth doing it. It could really help catalyze your growth from that entrenched South Node in Sagittarius which is, I think I know everything there is to know and getting out of that position instead, moving towards the more curious open-minded learning quality of the North Node in Gemini.

This makes me think of that sign in the Ted Lasso, Jen.

Jen: Ted Lasso!

April: Yes. When he put up the “Believe” sign in the locker room.

Jen: I love Ted Lasso.

April: I do too. And, Jupiter is definitely a sign of belief. It’s not like faith, exactly. That’s more of a Neptune thing. Faith says, “Yes, I sort of have the feeling that it’s all going to work out”. Jupiter says, based on everything I know, maybe because of it or in contradiction to what I know, I’m going to believe that this is how it’s going to work out. So, there is a real sense of mission there and a real sense of creed to say, “I believe in a thing”. So, maybe this staking your claim to something that you believe and not being unshakable about it because that goes against the mission of the North Node in Gemini. But rather to say, “Based on what I believe with all the information I have, I am going to make some kind of move, some kind of leap, embark on some kind of journey”, and that catalyzes our growth during this time. So, write a little believe sign and stick it on the wall by your desk, so you could be reminded.

Jen: Thank you for bringing up Ted Lasso in the first episode of the new year. I appreciate that.

April: Ted is a man for all seasons.

Jen: Absolutely. And, this whole conversation is actually making me think about – I have a website now that I wanted to mention for folks, it’s And, ‘Braun’ is spelled ‘BRAUN’. Talking about this Jupiter squaring the Nodes is making me think of a story that I told on my blog. And so, I’ll link that in the show notes if folks are interested.

April: Very good. All right, what do we have coming up next, pal?

Jen: We have Venus sextile Neptune on January 5th, at 08:03 AM Pacific at 20°, 45 minutes. Venus is in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces of course. This is the second of three sextiles that Venus is making to Neptune because her retrograde motion. The first one was November 30th, the second one is, as I said, January 5th. And the third one will be at the end of February, February 24th. Tell us more.

April: Sextiles, as we’ve said before, and in fact, we have a whole episode for newcomers that you can go back and listen to, “Let’s Talk About Sextiles”. I think it was.

Jen: Episode 16, I want to say.

April: Very good. Very good. So, we talked a lot about the quality of the sextile and while it is a major aspect, it’s one that’s often overlooked. And, I’m often guilty now that we try to streamline our show sheet a little bit because we’re covering two weeks in a half an hour, I’ll often take out the sextiles. And initially, I had taken this one out and Jen said, “No, maybe we should put it in because we have it three times”. So, it’s not just a fleeting sextile.

The reason I’ll tend to overlook them a little bit is because sextiles are more of the nature of an opportunity. A trine is something that just kind of falls in your lap. A square is something you have to work hard for. An opposition is something you’re kind of experiencing through watching other people do it or getting feedback from people. But a sextile is strictly optional. And, as my teacher used to say, “You can get the benefits of a trine if you do the work of a square,” with a sextile. Sextiles always represent opportunities that you can take or not take. If you don’t take the opportunity, it’s fine, nothing is particularly bad, but you’re missing out on a possibility. They can also be aspects that talk about a new influence or contact coming into your life. You might meet an important person or meet somebody who puts you in contact with someone else who ends a up being helpful or influential in some way in your life.

Now, this is especially true, because we’re talking about Venus, which is a social planet and a connecting relationship planet. So, as Venus makes the sextile to Neptune, it can be people who come into your path or return to your life, who you knew before, because Venus is retrograde. And maybe, you have a little unfinished business there that’s of the nature of Neptune, some disappointment, maybe some sadness or maybe it’s a creative or artistic relationship you have with that person. Maybe there was some bit of artistic work you left undone and now you come together to do some more of it. It’s opportunities. And, look for the people that are showing up in your life around this time of January. You know, say the 4th through the 6th and especially look back to around the end of November and think, yes, was there somebody then that showed up in your email box or friended you on social media and you hadn’t talked to them in a while or something.

This is a little more consequential than the usual Venus sextile to Neptune. It says, here is an opportunity to possibly go back revisit and redo a few things that are of the nature of Venus. So, relationship, maybe financial decisions, maybe artistic things and also of the nature of Neptune, a healing kind of quality often with that or resolving some disillusionment or that sort of thing.

Jen: I like that Neptune is on the Sabian, “A Relay Race.” And with Venus sextiling Neptune three times, I do like the concept of this planet going back and forth three times, kind of like a relay race. Passing something to Neptune back and forth, perhaps.

April: And, especially as Mercury is getting ready to turn retrograde as Venus now is, we’ll talk about that later in the episode, there is, yes, very much that return to the past and passing off information or something from one person to the next. So.

Jen: And, next week the Sun will make the same aspect to Neptune – I like that. Alright, what’s up next, pal?

April: We have a conjunction from the Sun to Venus, on January 8th at 04:47 PM Pacific Time, 18° and 43 minutes of Capricorn. This is an inferior conjunction for Venus. It is between the Earth and the Sun, and it’s moving really rapidly to the morning sky. Just under a week from this conjunction, it will look very low, in the east, the kind of Southeast just before Sunrise, so you can see her as the beautiful morning star. So, when planets are in a close conjunction with the Sun, if they’re very close within, I don’t remember the number of minutes, it’s 20 to 30 maybe What time is it?

Jen: Do tell me.

April: It’s time for Moonwatch…

Jen: Moonwatch…

April: Play it!

April: This is turning into a Broadway musical!

Jen: Oh boy!

April: This is gone beyond an introduction to Moonwatch.

Jen: You know, had you told me at the beginning of this podcast, “Hey, by the way, we’ll be singing every week”, I’m not sure what I would’ve said.

April: I’m pretty sure I’d have said “No, I don’t think that’s going to happen”. But here we are, friends – it’s Moonwatch! And this week, we have an Aries First Quarter Moon on January 9th at 10:11 AM Pacific Time, at 19° and 27 minutes of Aries and Capricorn. The Moon is making a square to Sun and Venus and Pluto. Poor little Moon, we would think that she’s outmatched, but she’s in Aries. And, Aries is never outmatched, not even by Capricorn.

You know, my neighbor has this gorgeous little cat, Max, who Jen knows.

Jen: Yes. I have seen pictures of Max.

April: He is so delightful. And, Max actually is a Sun sign Aries with a Capricorn Moon and a lot of Capricorn planets in his chart, we happened to know when he was born. And boy, what a tough little character he is. He’s indomitable…

Jen: Because of the Aries and the Capricorn?

April: Yes. It’s actually a surprisingly good combination, and he’s sweet as anything. But Aries and Capricorn are both not to be trifled with. They’re going to set their course and they’re going to go after it. Aries is a little more impatient about it. And, at a First Quarter Moon, which is also of the nature of initiating action, “Let’s get moving. Whatever it was that we started at the New Moon, now is ready to get a little action behind it”. So, the Aries First Quarter says, “You don’t have to have it all mapped out. You don’t have to have the whole plan in action. Just do something. Take that first step”.

And, I always think of the Aries Moon as the Nike Moon, “Just do it”. The people that I’ve known with the Aries Moon have been some of the most motivational people that I’ve known. Back when I was doing music, I had a friend with an Aries Moon that was pushing me to get out there, “Make that demo. Do that gig’. And, in astrology, I’ve known some Aries Moon friends too, that are similarly really motivational. So, think this as a motivational First Quarter Moon. Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that things will go that easily. Mars, which is the ruler of this Moon in Aries is square Neptune is getting close to an exact square, that happens the following week.

So, there can be a little naivete here, there can be a little bit of lack of seeing the full clear picture of what we’re going for. So, no, the imperative is to do something to get moving. Don’t do things you can’t undo, I would say with Mars square Neptune in this one. This is the first phase in a lunar phase family that began with the April 11th, 2021 New Moon, at 22 of Aries. So, we always suggest you go back to think about what your intentions were at that time. Look at the house of your chart that has Aries in it, especially the middle degrees of Aries, and, think about what you might have been up two at that time and what you can do now.

Jen: Lots of squares in this chart.

April: Very dynamic.

Jen: I mean, the Saturn/Uranus square is still just a couple of degrees away. Lots of friction, no planets on the other side of the chart. And April, I think you saw that there was some term for that – isn’t that right?

April: My brilliant colleague, Linea Van Horn – you can find her at, is her website. And we were co-presenting about the astrology of 2022 and she was talking about this phenomenon. And, they talk about it in Vedic astrology a lot. It’s called kal sarpa yoga. And, it’s when all the planets are sort of confined by the Lunar Nodes, between the North Node and the South Node. That’s all I know about it. We’ll find a good article about it and linked to it in the show notes. But I was excited here to talk about it because you and I have been noting that, that everything in this part of the year is going to be bunched together in one half of the chart. And that, there’s actually a term for that. And that, the definition comes from the Nodes, from the Lunar Nodes. That means everything is going to fall in your chart between Sagittarius and Gemini.

The exception to that is going to be anytime the Moon is traveling through those other signs on the other side. And then, I think we have that condition until…it might be when Mars enters Gemini this spring. Can’t remember for sure. But, that’s how people can look that up. But you’re right, there’s a lot of friction in this chart. And, I prefer to think of it as motivational, because I think it can be. And, the Capricorn planets, that triumvirate of the Sun, Venus, Pluto, is not without roadblocks as we try to move forward to do what we want to do. But, there’s a lot of energy that comes from pushing and pushing and pushing past those blockages. Because, they’re almost always from inside us, how we’re holding ourselves back.

Jen: It is about an internal process. Although, what I’ve heard about planets being all on one half of the chart is that then you’re sort of seeking that balance from outside of yourself. You’re seeking relationships and other things that might bring some more balance into your life.

April: That’s so true. And, I’ve noticed that for years reading charts for people who have a stallion, just a whole lot of energy in just a couple of houses or signs of the chart. And, when you talk to them, you would think everything was in the opposite sign, in the opposite house, because they’re so drawn to that vacuum that exists. When you have so much concentrated in a small little part of the chart, something in us tries to seek, as you say, the balance, and reaches out for experiences in other people and so forth that represent that opposing sign or house or viewpoint. So, that’s what we’re all coping with here in the first part of 2022 for the most part

Jen: Next we are going to dive into week two. Week two begins January 10th. And, we have the Sun sextiling Neptune on the 10th at 07:28 PM Pacific. The Sun is at 20°, 52 minutes of Capricorn. Of course, Neptune’s over there in Pisces, as we’ve been saying, and the Sun is on that same Sabian symbol, “A Relay Race”. April, take it away.

April: Well, we’re talking about creative possibilities in planning, because again, it’s a sextile, and sextile is an opportunity or a contact or a new idea. The Sun is very creative in nature, and, Neptune also has that artistic sensibility. I would say that while the Sun coming together with Neptune is often a little problematic because Neptune tends to diminish the Sun’s energy a little bit, I think there’s always an opportunity here with the sextile to energize the Sun a little bit so that we can sort of use that Neptune quality for good, for its empathetic, especially for its sensitive and artistic side. So, if there’s anything creative that you do or that you want to do more of in 2022, here’s an opportunity. Again, it’s a sextile, it goes pretty quickly, it’s just a couple of days, but think about how you can be maybe going back to old projects that you used to do or things that you used to enjoy working on that were a little more creative or recreational in nature and how you can invite that back into your life a little bit for the coming year.

Jen: Yes, definitely.

April: Well, and Neptune is all over the place this week, because we have Mars making the exact square to Neptune on January 11th at 01:43 PM, 20° and 53 minutes of Sagittarius and Pisces, respectively. And, Mars will be going out of bounds the next day, January 12th through February 10th. We talked about this quite a lot on our solstice episode. And, if you want to get on the list to get a copy of that, you just go to, donate five bucks, we’ll send this to you, tuot de suite.

Jen: It’s over 50 minutes long, the amount of material on it.

April: Is it ever!

Jen: It is the longest thing we’ve ever recorded! So you’ll get that – it has a three-month lookahead at what’s coming up. So, it would still be worth your while to get that ifs you’re interested.

April: It would. It might take you three months to listen to it. It’s a nice long episode, so enjoy that. So, we did talk about out of bounds planets on that episode, and we’ve mentioned them in passing here in our regular episodes. It just means the planet is acting a little bit out of character, a little bit Uranian in nature. But I think what it’s doing for Mars while Mars will be out of bounds is – it’s just even a little more reckless and wild than usual. It’s like, if you bring together the symbolism of say Mars with Uranus and you think it’s a little more accident prone sometimes. It is prone to act in haste and repent in leisure, realize that that is what’s bubbling along under the surface, take it a little bit cautiously if your Mars will let you.

A planet that is square Neptune is not always clear about what it’s doing. As I said before, be careful about doing things that you can’t undo. And, my metaphor for Mars with Neptune is, “Driving in a fog”. You are behind the wheel, you are intent on getting somewhere, but you have to slow down if it’s foggy, and Neptune’s a little foggy. So, don’t be afraid to pull off the side of the road, take time, regroup, wait for the fog to lift a little bit before you put your foot back on the accelerator.

Jen: Let me throw in: This is the closing square from a conjunction that began June 13th, 2020. We talked about that in Episode 29, “Neptune Washing Overall And The US Pluto Return”. And, that would be such a great episode to revisit, especially as the US is coming up to its Pluto return in February.

April: Exactly. I will point out too that along with the Pluto return, the US is having its Neptune opposition as well this year. So, this is kind of related to that as well, and especially our relationship to marginalized populations in our country, which are also ruled by Neptune according to some. So, yes, we encourage you, go back and listen to that episode. There was a lot going on then that I think is good food for thought now with Mars square Neptune. What’s next, pal?

Jen: Mercury’s turning retrograde on January 14th at 03:41 AM Pacific, 10°, 20 minutes of Aquarius. This represents a shift from Mercury turning retrograde in air signs to backtracking into earth. Fill us in on this, April.

April: Oh, Mercury retrograde. I have no problem with Mercury retrograde whatsoever. This will be retrograde through February 3rd. Venus of course is still retrograde through January 29th. So, there’s a lot of retrograde stuff going on. A particularly vexing retrograde I should thank for electronics because it’s in Aquarius, it’s squaring Uranus. Generally speaking: miscommunications among groups of people, between friends, all of these Aquarian things.

So, the usual things apply with retrogrades, which is double check everything, repeat yourself, follow up and try to not overbook yourself. This is something that I did during my world domination planning that I do between Christmas and New Year, is to note all of the Mercury retrograde periods in the year so that I try to leave a little space in my life if I possibly can, to be off schedule a little bit, to not be trying so hard to meet deadlines and to bring things to completion. Because, that’s not the right work really for Mercury retrograde. It can be good for finishing up things from the past, but it’s more inward directed, less outward directed. So, if we try to do a lot of outward facing things that are related to Mercury, signing contracts, buying a car, buying a new computer, any of that sort of stuff, it’s just, we’re working against the stars and not with them. It’s better to try to do that stuff leading up.

Now, that’s said, Mercury is a trickster and I am fully confident that as Mercury is retrograde, something in my life that I need vitally will decide to poop out on me, and I’ll have to replace it.

Jen: Hopefully there will be no pooping out!

April: Hopefully not. And Mercury will laugh and he will laugh, because he loves to do that sort of thing. So, hopefully my planning has held me in pretty good stead and getting redundancies into place, moving up to that. But really, the best thing you can do for yourself is try to not overbook and over schedule and just follow up. And, with all this nip tune around don’t jump conclusions that are negative. If you’ve sent someone an email and they didn’t respond, consider what might have gone wrong. They might have never gotten your email. They might have replied. You might not have gotten their email. Don’t jump to conclusions that could just be simple misunderstandings. Off my soapbox now.

Jen: That’s good stuff. And folks can go back to Episode 12, “Mercury Retrograde…

April & Jen: …Where Are My Pants?”

April: Oh, we love it so much!

Jen: Best title ever!

April: You have to listen to the very end for the payoff, but yes, it’s so good.

Jen: Alright, what’s last?

April: Finally, the Sun will make a conjunction to Pluto on January 16th at 06:50 AM at 26° and 26 minutes of Capricorn. Only happens once a year. The Sun a has one-year trip around the Zodiac and it’s come here to Pluto. And, the two are not naturally simpatico. They have their issues. The Sun is all about the life force and the uniqueness of the individual and the supremacy of the individual. Pluto is about all of the other things. It’s like, you individually don’t count for a whole lot where Pluto is concerned. And, all of us have had an experience in our lives of encountering a negative Pluto person who makes us feel insignificant and like we’re being too dramatic about things or that we’re too full of ourselves or whatever it is, and really can make you feel down about yourself. They’re like this huge black hole that you walk into. And, that’s a little bit the way it can feel sometimes when the Sun comes together with Pluto. You might have a day or two where you’re feeling that you’re trying to put all of this lovely individual creative charisma out into the world, and you feel as if it’s met with dark deafening silence for the rest of the world.

So, I would say the best way probably to think about the Sun coming together with Pluto is that it’s about respecting the power that is in endowed in you and understand that it doesn’t belong to you. So, an example would be if you’re a boss in your workplace, you have a certain amount of power because of that, but the power is not about you and it doesn’t belong to you. It’s a function of the position that you hold and the responsibility that you have to something larger than yourself. We could think of the President of the United States or prime minister of a country as fulfilling the same role. They have enormous power, but the power’s not theirs. It is meant to be used to forward larger policies or ideas that are helpful to all. So, basically don’t fall in love with your own power when Sun is conjunct Pluto – if I had to take all of that Sagittarian, Jupiterian goodness I just spewed out there, bring it down to a very concise statement. Use your power, but don’t believe that you are powerful, I guess is what I’m saying. So, what’s the Sabian symbol for this one, Jen?

Jen: 27 Capricorn, “A Mountain Pilgrimage” which we have talked about…

April & Jen: …ad nauseum!

April: So, this is the inward pilgrimage. And, I think we have Venus/Pluto come together near that point or Venus retrograded near that point or something, where the pilgrimage is within. Why do you climb a mountain? Because it’s there. But I would say that within us, there is a mountain that we climb throughout our lives. And so, this is more about that inward pilgrimage to do better and to be more helpful, be of more use to the world.

Jen: Use your power to uplift others.

April: Absolutely. My friend, we have gotten to the end of the show sheet. Have we done it?

Jen: We’ve done it. We’ve done it a hundred thousand times over, and we do it with a grateful heart.

April: Yes. Thank you all so much. And you know, thank you for listening always, and to this episode of The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to subscribe, rate and review. And we hope that you’ll help us spread the word by telling a friend. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at our website,

Jen: We’re so grateful to everyone who showed support during our September Podathon. Of course, as you know, each episode we thank some of you by name. Who do we have this time, April?

April: We are giving a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Lex Robertson, Maria Nobre and Hillary Stifler.

Jen: Yay!

April: Yay!

April: Lex, Maria and Hillary, we do appreciate you and we thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting us with your donations.

Jen: Thank you to you three. As a small independent podcast, your donations mean so much to us. Now, if you would like that Solstice episode with the three-month preview that April talked about and would like to support the show in that way, please go to our website, If you donate $5 or more, we’ll send you that episode. And, of course you will also get our amusing bingo card.

April: That’s it for us this episode. Join us again, bright and early in two weeks’ time. And until then, keep your feet on the ground…

Jen: …and your eyes on the stars!

Thank you for listening! To learn more about April Elliott Kent, please check out her website,, where 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.

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