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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 147 | Aries Full Moon: Shouting from the Next Room!

Aries Full Moon: Shouting from the Next Room! (Oct. 3, 2022)

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April: Hello, invisible friend, April here, and the date today is October 3rd, 2022. Welcome to Episode 147 of The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. In a very light astrological week, Mercury makes the last of three aspects to Pluto, Pluto turns direct, and, a very interesting and introspective Aries Full Moon. Plus, I answer a listener question about unexpected planets.

Mercury trine Pluto (Oct. 6, 2022, 8:55 pm PDT)

The week begins with a trine from Mercury to Pluto on October 6th at 08:55 PM Pacific Time, at 26° and 7 minutes of Virgo and Capricorn. This is the last any sequence of three trines from Mercury to Pluto, the first was on August 22nd, the second was on September 27th. The basic symbolism of Mercury together with Pluto has to do with focus, with control of our minds and our thoughts and of seeing reality, of seeing things exactly as they are. Part of this sequence took place, of course, while Mercury was retrograde, and that generally speaking is a period when we are trying to get to the bottom of things, we’re trying to see things a little more clearly, to go within, to be guided by our own instincts and thoughts and ideas. So, Mercury trine Pluto has been a process of understanding what’s really going on in the world outside us, but more importantly what’s going on within.

There are so many things in life that we have no control over; most things! But when Mercury connects with Pluto, we’re reminded that there is something that we always have control over, and that’s how we look at things, our perceptions, how we frame the things that happen, so we’re at the end of a long process of doing this and of trying to figure out not only what is real, but what we want to create on a mental level. Because that’s always something that we have control over.

Mercury is on the Sabian symbol, 27 Virgo, Grande dames at tea, and that is one that we’ve been seeing quite a lot in recent weeks. I think that this speaks of that process of mental refinement, with Mercury on this degree. And the Sabian symbol for Pluto is 27 Capricorn, A Mountain Pilgrimage, another one that I’ve mentioned a lot in recent episodes. So, this has been a process of mental refinement and it is part of a process, “a mountain pilgrimage,” if you will, rather than sudden insights, which would be more the nature of Mercury with Uranus. If there’s some kind of project that you’ve been working on since late August, this might be a time when it finally falls into place, where your focus is complete and you really feel that you’re on the right track and you know exactly what you’re doing and where you’re going.

Pluto stations direct (Oct. 8, 2022, 2:56 pm PDT)

On October 8th at 2:56 PM Pacific Time, Pluto turns direct at 26°6’ Capricorn. Pluto has been retrograde since April 29th, about five months; it is retrograde for a good part of the year. I always think the slow moving planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are kind of like background music, because they move so slowly. They’re on a degree or two of the zodiac for months and months at a time, they’re retrograde for five months of the year, then they’re direct, and they are sort of like a low hum running underneath our lives to the point that sometimes we cease to notice them. Their influence is strong and it’s still going on, especially if they’re aspecting something in our birth charts, but generally speaking, we don’t notice them as much on a day-to-day basis, usually. The exception is when the planet is stationing to change direction, either it is direct and it’s going retrograde, or as in this case, it’s a retrograde turning direct. It rumbles, and we notice it.

I always like to frame everything astrological in as positive and life affirming a way as I can. It’s a little difficult with Pluto because Pluto is not it itself life affirming, in fact, Pluto is a little bit destructive. But I still think that each of the planets is ultimately working on our behalf. And the way Pluto does that is by stripping away everything that isn’t necessary and letting us figure out how to do the most with what we have left. It has something big it wants us to do, and we cannot do that if we’re all wrapped up in our own ego, in our own ambitions and objectives. So I think Pluto often tries to dismantle that and to take away anything that we’re holding onto because it reinforces our sense of self, but that might be getting in the way of us becoming the thing that we need to be to really give everything we can to the world.

I have a Pluto story that goes along with this Sabian symbol, 27 Capricorn, A mountain pilgrimage, and it’s a bit grim – but it came to mind when I saw that Sabian symbol and Pluto turning direct. I remember listening to an episode of a podcast, it might have been Omnibus – I’ll link to it in the show notes if I find the episode. But it really was quite horrifying and grim about how the path to the top of Mount Everest is now populated, if you will, by the frozen bodies of hikers who didn’t make it and are there frozen along the path. And, I mean, what a horrible and grim image. I’m sort of sorry to give you that, but at the same time, it does seem really appropriate to this idea of Pluto and the mountain pilgrimage.

There is a moment in any life journey where things get kind of grim. Everything is not always terrible. I’m not astrological alarmist by any means. But I do know that those moments when Pluto is changing direction tends to be those moments where something stops us in our tracks, even if it is a unsuccessful hiker on the road to the top of Mount Everest, but something that stops us in our tracks and makes us look at stark reality. It’s never a happy experience when we see things without any artifice, with extreme clarity, but it’s necessary sometimes to say, “Look, this is the reality.” We celebrate the stories of those who made it to the top of the mountain, but the reality is, not everybody makes it. And, that has kind of been the story of Pluto in Capricorn ever since 2008 when it entered this sign. We are coming into the home stretch now, and soon Pluto will be in Aquarius. So, we are near the top of the mountain.

Perhaps there was a particular destination or ambition that we wanted to realize. that now as we’re getting towards the end of this very worldly and ambitious sign, we’re seeing, maybe we’re not actually going to reach the heights that we had hoped to reach when Pluto entered Capricorn all those years ago. But maybe we’re in a much better position now to reach the summit of the right mountain for us.

Aries Full Moon (Oct. 9, 2022, 1:55 pm PDT)

Now, for the Moon Report for the week of October 3rd. It begins with the Aries Full Moon on October 9th at 1:55 PM Pacific Time, at 16°32’ Aries and Libra. The Moon in this Full Moon Chart is opposed Sun and Venus in Libra, and it’s also sextile Mars and Saturn. So, these are very productive combinations of planets, which is nice because the Aries Moon wants to get things done. I guess it’s trying to reach that pinnacle, and it’s helped by Mars and Saturn. This Sabian symbol for the Moon at this Full Moon is 17 Aries, Two prim spinsters sitting in silence. And the Sabian symbol for the Sun at 17 Libra is, A retired sea captain.

Both of these Sabian symbols talk about withdrawal from interactions with the outside world. The exception might be the people that we are most comfortable with, like a close partner, which is symbolized by the Sun in Libra, that we can sit in silence with while not feeling at all disconnected from one another. You know, one of the great joys of a long, happy marriage is the depth of understanding that comes with it. And often, when you’re young, maybe you’re newly married or with somebody that you’re dating, you go out to dinner and you see an older couple sitting a few tables away at the restaurant and they’re not speaking to each other. And you might be tempted to feel really sad about that and think, “Oh, this is so sad they no longer have anything to say to each other”.

But you know, as somebody with the Moon in Gemini who loves to talk more than anything, my husband has Gemini rising and we will never run out of things to talk about, but you get to a point after 30 years where there’s just a lot less you have to say, you really do kind of understand and you develop a shorthand with each other. And that’s kind of like these “two prim spinsters…” that are “sitting In silence.” We think, on the one hand, “Well that sounds kind of sad,” but on the other hand we think, “They don’t have to talk to each other to understand each other.”

But the energy of the Moon in Aries connecting with Mars does talk to me about being very busy, but probably in more solitary pursuits. This Full Moon is probably less about doing, being out in the world, but more about getting a lot done on our own, and even on a more inward level than we would normally associate with Aries.

This is the Full Moon revelation point in a Lunar Phase Family that began with the April 11th, 2021 New Moon in Aries. Then we had a First Quarter in this sequence on January 9th, 2022, and the Last Quarter will come next summer, July 9th, 2023. So, we know that we are in the middle of a story that began in April of 2021, and things are being revealed about what was initiated or imagined or conceived at that time. We begin to see the nature of the story we’re in, which might be a little different than the one we thought that we were beginning.

Now, in this Full Moon Chart, Mars in Gemini, the ruler of Aries is within orb of the first of three square aspects that it will make to Neptune in the coming months. That one will be exact next week and we’ll talk a lot more about it then. But I do especially like the Sabian symbol image of the “retired sea captain” here for the Sun, because he is a very Mars-Neptune figure. He’s retired, he has pulled back from his career, from that intense engagement with the outside world, and that’s a little bit of what we are doing at this Full Moon as well.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On October 3rd, the Moon in Capricorn makes a conjunction to Pluto at 8:49 PM Pacific Time, it’s then void-of-course for about six and a half hours, before it enters Aquarius on October 4th at 03:20 AM. Here in the United States, this will be more or less a sleep time void-of-course Moon period. As the Moon comes together with Pluto, you can imagine it like this, imagine you take a glass of milk and you set it in the refrigerator uncovered next to a very strong cheese, like a Limburger cheese, that milk is going to absorb all of those smells, and the Moon is the milk, Pluto is the strong cheese. So, we want to be a little bit careful what we let our minds and our spirits get into contact with as we’re going to sleep for the evening. It could be that over the previous two days we’ve been dealing with some troubling or challenging emotions, whether it’s something we’ve been seeing in the outside world or whether it’s something just going on inside of us psychologically, emotionally, and we’re chewing on it, and this is the moment in that two-and-a-half day cycle where the Moon has come to rest at its ultimate destination, the destination of Pluto, which is about breaking this stuff down so that we can get rid of it.

On October 5th, the Moon in Aquarius makes a trine aspect to Mars at 03:45 PM Pacific Time, it then has a very long void-of-course Moon period for 14 hours. It enters Pisces on October 6th at 05:47 AM Pacific Time. So, if we have to have a 14 hour void-of-course Moon period, at least it is kicked off by a nice aspect, relatively speaking, the Moon trine Mars. Now, the Moon and Mars are sort of strange bedfellows. The Moon is about how we want to feel safe and comfortable, and Mars is that part of us that is very active and likes the challenge, doesn’t shy away from conflict. So, even though the aspect between them is a nice one, a flowing one, a trine, it’s not necessarily an emotional walk in the park. But the nice thing is that when the Moon is in Aquarius, we have the ability to back off and get a little distance, a little objectivity about our emotions. So, anything that is of the nature of Mars, which is conflict or something a little more challenging, especially tough conversations with Mars being in Gemini, we’re better equipped than usual to handle that, and what we can do is act on our emotions, the Moon with Mars. Or, it can be that we take intuitive action that instead of feeling that we have to plan everything out to the 8th degree, this is a day where we’re a little more comfortable being spontaneous.

And then, on October 8th, the Moon in Pisces makes an opposition to Mercury at 4:10 AM Pacific Time, it’s void-of-course for almost five hours, and then enters Aries at 8:57 AM. The two and a half days each month when the Moon is in Pisces are not normally ideally suited to breaking out the spreadsheets, analyzing things, looking at numbers. The Moon in Pisces works a little bit differently than that, actually a lot differently than that. It’s the time of the month where intuition comes out to play, where we tend to be guided a little more on a day-to-day level by going off schedule, off script, and just kind of seeing what happens.

As the Moon makes the opposition to Mercury in Virgo, which works very differently, we begin to see both the value and the limitations of either working on the Pisces level, which is unstructured, unscheduled, kind of undisciplined, as opposed to the Mercury in Virgo way, which is focused and systematic and likes to start at A and finish at Z and analyze everything along the way. Both approaches have their strengths and they can be complementary. And that is what we are asked to think about and to meditate on during this void-of-course period – that of course there are ways in which we need to be more attuned to our intuition, and when something looks right on paper but doesn’t feel right inside, we need to pay attention to that. But there also is great value in great strength in being able to analyze and strategize and come up with a plan and a system for doing things. It also works the other way. Mercury in Virgo can be a little too in love with its spreadsheets and really get thrown if things don’t fit into the formula that they have in mind. There can be great value in letting your mind play a little bit and take little leaps of imagination and faith.

Listener Question: Unaspected Planets

In this week’s listener question, listener Diane writes, “Hi April!” Hi Diane! “My question has to do with unexpected planets, particularly the luminaries. In my chart, I have a completely unaspected Pisces Moon and unaspected 12th House Leo Sun. Mercury is conjunct by Sun by 10° and Neptune is square by 9°. I hear different points of view on orb with requirements for unaspected planet, so I wanted to hear your thoughts on that and on how these planets effects can manifest. Thank you so much for considering my question.”

Well, thank you for that question, Diane, it’s a good one. Let’s first define the terms of what it means for any planet to be unaspected. This would be a planet that is not connected to any other by a major aspect, and that would be a conjunction sextile, square, trine, or opposition. To have a completely unaspected planet is not terribly common. And, the way we would interpret it is to say that this is a planet that is tricky to assimilate and to understand. Because what aspects to other planets do is symbolize people and circumstances that help us understand and develop that planet. In the area of life ruled by the unaspected planet, the person might be either very under or overdeveloped, and they would be overdeveloped for the same reason that if you have a planet in a sign of its detriment or its fall might be, which is that you have to work so hard to understand them and to work with them, that it’s like you’re developing a muscle that becomes really strong. So, these can actually be planets that express themselves really strongly in your personality.

Then, transits and progressed aspects to an unaspected planet in the birth chart, can be really unsettling because you’re being forced to take a serious step into developing this part of your personality or your life without necessarily having the kind of resources at your disposal that might make it easier to do that.

In the case of the Moon, I would think that this would give a very independent personality, but not necessarily by choice. This could describe an early home and family life that leaves a person very much on their own, figuring out how to care for themselves and for others, figuring out Moon things such as where to live, the right kind of diet, developing good relationships with people in your life, especially women, self-care, all of these might take more conscious effort than usual, and you might have had less guidance or mentorship, especially when young. So regardless, Diane, of your actual biography, an example might be someone who was raised without a mother or without a nurturing parental figure and who then had to figure out on their own how to mother themselves. Or, it could have been someone who moved a lot, especially when young and had to figure out where home is.

Now, you rightly ask a key question, which is the orb that we are talking about when we say a planet is unaspected. And for those who are a little new to planetary aspects, the orb is how many degrees off from being exact two planets can be and still be considered in aspect. And here’s the example I like to use. So, I’ve been married a thousand years and my husband and I have gotten into this habit a lot of people do when they’ve been living together for a long time, which is they tried to talk from different rooms or from across the house, and one person’s going, “Hey”, and the other person’s going, “What?”. And, this is an orb that is too wide. Okay? We can kind of hear the other person saying something, but we can’t really understand what they’re saying. The closer you get to each other in the house, the closer the orb and the easier it is to hear each other. Because, when two planets are in aspect, they are in dialogue, they are trying to talk to each other.

Now, some planets have bigger, louder voices than others. If you have the Sun in Leo and Jupiter in Aries, these are both loud talkers, they can be much further apart in the house and still hear each other, so we give them a much wider orb that would normally be, maybe a trine aspect. And a trine aspect would be 120°, but let’s say they’re 130° apart, they’re probably still hearing each other. So, that’s a big orb, that’s a 10° orb.

Now, in modern astrology, we base orbs on the type of aspect, typically around 7°, let’s say, for major aspects, other than the sextile which usually seems to be fixed for most astrologers around 5 or 6°. And then, if you throw in the quincunx, which is technically a minor aspect but feels pretty major, you would probably use around 5°.

In traditional astrology though, it was pretty common to use orbs based on the planets involved. I’ll link in the show notes to a table of William Lilly’s Orbs, which for the luminaries, are really, really wide, some up to 14° or more. For the luminaries, even their aspects to the outer planets are 8 to 10°. So, this jives with my personal experience and my generally Jupiter nature, I use a very generous orb up to 10° for the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. It just kind of makes sense to me philosophically and in practice, and by this standard, Diane, your Sun is not unaspected, thanks to its connections with Mercury and Neptune. But, as most things in astrology, the proof is in the pudding. But, if you are experiencing your Sun as unaspected, I suspect you might actually be misinterpreting traits that might be related to its placement in the 12th House where we generally have to work a little bit to become conscious around that planet, and even its aspect to Neptune, which can mean that we have to work extra hard to figure out who we are.

I hope that helps, Diane! I think the subject of orbs is really interesting and the subject of unaspected planets as well. I sort of hope that you will drop me an email and tell me a little bit more about your Moon and how you might have experienced it based maybe on some of the things that I’ve said today.

If you have a burning question about astrology that you’d like me to answer, leave a voicemail of one minute or less at or send an email to me April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com. And please put “Podcast Question” in the subject line.

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© by April Elliott Kent