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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 170 | Aries Equinox and Pluto enters Aquarius: What a Week!


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April: Hello, invisible friend, April here, and the date today is March 20th, 2023. Welcome to Episode 170 of The Big Sky Astrology Podcast.

This week, the Aries Equinox and New Moon; Pluto dips his toes into Aquarius; and Mars finally leaves Gemini after nearly seven months. Plus, I give an overview of Pluto transiting through the houses of the birth chart.

Sun sextile Pluto (March 20, 2023, 1:12 pm PDT)

The week begins with the Sun in a sextile aspect to Pluto on March 20th at 1:12 pm Pacific time, at 29°57’ Pisces and Capricorn. So, this is a week full of big shifts and it begins with what might seem like a fairly insignificant sextile, but no connection between the Sun and Pluto is ever unimportant. These two made a conjunction on January 18th, and this is the opening sextile in that cycle. The conjunction was a close encounter with powerful external forces where it might have been difficult to separate ourselves from issues of control or power or the feeling of being controlled. Now, we begin to see the choices that are available to us and whether we’re willing to take those choices or whether they’ll take us where we want to go is another story.

Since the Sun and Pluto are at the very, very, very end of their signs at 29°57’ Pisces and Capricorn, this is a sextile that favors picking up old threads instead of starting something from scratch. So possibly even something dating back to January of this year, or even the Capricorn Solstice around December 20th are things that you could revisit now, because you might be able to see them in a slightly different light and even see possibilities in them that you couldn’t see before. This is especially in the realm of career because Pluto is at the very end of Capricorn, and it’s even on the Sabian symbol, 30 Capricorn, A secret business conference. It will revisit this degree later in the year, in mid-June through late July, and then again in late December. So, it might be something that you pick up now but then really bring to fruition a little later in the year.

Aries Equinox (March 20, 2023, 2:24 pm PDT)

On the same day, March 20th, about one hour later at 2:24 pm Pacific time, the Sun enters the sign of Aries and that marks the Aries Equinox, one of the two days of the year when day and night are equal in length. This begins springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. And whether or not it’s looking like spring yet where you are, or autumn, that is what the celestial calendar is telling us. So, what we planned around the time of the Capricorn Solstice is now ready to be implemented.

The sign that Mars is in at the Aries Equinox gives us extra information, it tells us that the skills that we’ve acquired while Mars has been in Gemini for this very long transit are now ready to be deployed -our ability to communicate, to network with others the information that we’ve acquired. But very quickly after the Equinox, some of these skills are already going to seem a little bit obsolete because the energies will shift decidedly when Mars enters Cancer just five days later. The next few months in particular will carry the flavor of this Equinox.

Mars in Cancer might show concerns about our homes, about the housing market, about food, maybe interest in gardening, maybe difficulty with food supplies with the food chain, which is something that we’ve seen on and off over the last several years. The Equinox basically is the astrological New Year. This is the time when we symbolically are ready to hit the ground running to plant something new.

Aries New Moon (March 21, 2023, 10:23 am PDT)

And now for the Moon Report for the week of March 20th. And it begins with the New Moon at 0°49’ Aries on March 21st at 10:23 am Pacific time. It’s a very powerful New Moon on what is called the Aries Point, 0° Aries. The Sun and the Moon are also square Mars, which is of course the ruling planet of Aries. And, in this New Moon chart, we can see plenty of conflict, even anger with Mars involved. But there can be plenty of motivation too, and it really is just a question of finding a way to harness it. This 0° Aries point in your birth chart by house can show where to put your stake in the ground and move forward for the next 28 days over the next year through the next Vernal Equinox, and even for the next few years, because each New Moon, of course, begins a Lunar Phase Family.

This one will find its First Quarter point on December 19th, 2023, so you can make a note of that as a time to take action on something you’re conceiving at this New Moon. Then the Full Moon point where you begin to see what is really going on as a result of what you planted now is on September 17th, 2024, and then the final critical point, the Last Quarter Phase is on June 18th, 2025.

So, what do we initiate at an Aries New Moon? Well, really any kind of action, any kind of initiation belongs to the symbolism of Aries. Aries is that energy that we have to just get up and go, to take action, to get what we want. And a New Moon in Aries, we know we have a lot of energy and we want to do something, but we’re not yet clear in the slightest what that is going to be or what it’s going to look like. So, really, take your cue from the house of your chart where we find 0°49’ Aries, because that will tell us where to start something new at this New Moon that we want to develop over the next two and a half, three years.

And by the way, if you’d like a little more guidance working through the Phases of the Moon each month, be sure to sign up for my mailing list, at, and each month I’ll be sending you a link to download a new workbook, a Lunar workbook for that New Moon cycle.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On March 21st, the Moon in Pisces makes a sextile to Pluto at 8:58 am Pacific time. It’s void-of-course for just about an hour, and then enters Aries at 9:01 am. This is just a brief hour-long period to meditate on what makes Pisces, Pisces, we’re in this very Piscean time, or we have been with the Sun and Mercury and now Saturn having moved into that sign, now everything’s beginning to shift a little bit into Aries, but at this Void-of-Course Moon, it is thinking about ways in which we can be a strong advocate for caring and for healing and to sidestep the lower expressions of Pisces. As it sextiles Pluto, Pluto is always an influence that’s going to keep us honest and say, “Okay, are you being compassionate or are you being a pushover? Are you surrendering to what is beyond your control? Or, are you kind of letting yourself be a victim?” So, these are things to be looking at, noticing, and thinking about on the morning of March 21st during this Void-of-Course Moon period.

Then on March 23rd, the Moon in Aries makes a sextile to Mars in Gemini at 10:13 am Pacific time, it’s void-of-course for about an hour and a half, and then enters Taurus at 11:42 am. So, this is another relatively short Void-of-Course Moon period, and you can take a coffee break with the Moon and Mars as they make this cooperative sextile. The Moon in Aries wants to make things happen, and when it connects with Mars in Gemini, this is a good launch time for things.

My research has found that things we begin at a Void-of-Course Moon can last for a long time, because the Moon isn’t interrupted in its course by an aspect to another planet. So, if you’re looking for a good time to launch something, this is a pretty nice Void-of-Course Moon period.

Then on March 25th, the Moon in Taurus sextiles Neptune at 9:19 am PST. This is a nice long Void-of-Course Moon period for about eight and a half hours before the Moon enters Gemini at 5:41 pm. So, we can really sink our teeth into this one. It is a nice waxing Moon in Taurus that ends on watery Neptune, and it sounds kind of like a good day for gardening, specifically for handling issues like drainage, creating water features, installing irrigation, dealing with things like any kind of mold or rot and things like that. It’s also the day that Mars enters Cancer, and look for the energy and pace of things to slow down a little bit externally and to begin to move inward, and that’s just the right tempo for the Moon with Neptune.

Pluto enters Aquarius (March 23, 2023, 5:23 am PDT)

Pluto enters Aquarius on March 23rd at 5:23 am Pacific time. It’ll be in Aquarius on and off through January of 2044. So, as we know, this is a tremendously important shift in a very slow-moving planet that talks about the collective and how things will be shifting in society, not just in our own personal lives. Pluto will retrograde back into Capricorn and sit at that 29th degree between June 11th and then January 20th, 2024. So, we’ll go back and revisit a few things from the last few months that may not have gotten completely finished up. Then, it’ll retrograde into Capricorn again between September 1st and November 19th, 2024.

Now, Pluto is one of the gods of change. The change that he brings us to distill us down to our essential selves. It’s like being cooked in a pot. Pluto wants to get rid of whatever is extraneous and just bring us down to what we truly are. Pluto has a long cycle, 248 years, and it has a bit of an odd orbit, and so it spends different amounts of time transiting through different signs of the Zodiac. It spent 18 years in Capricorn and of course spends a few months more in the next couple of years, but basically 18 years in Capricorn and it will spend 20 years in Aquarius.

And during this time, we can begin to look for societal changes related to Aquarius, things like technology, politics, future thinking and innovation. I talked to quite a lot about Pluto in Aquarius in my last episode, Episode 169, so you might wanna go back if you didn’t hear that episode and tune into that part towards the end of the episode when I’m just talking generally about Pluto in Aquarius.

Now, on a personal level, look for the House or Houses that Aquarius will travel through in your birth chart. And I have a blog post to make it easier for you to find that, and I’ll include that in the show notes. So, the House or Houses Aquarius moves through as well as the aspects that it will make to the planets in your birth chart. If you have planets or an angle of the chart, which are the House cusp of the 1st and 7th and 4th and 10th Houses at 0° of their sign, and especially if that sign is Aquarius, Leo, Taurus or Scorpio, you should begin to see Pluto’s effects pretty quickly actually between March 23rd when Pluto goes into Aquarius and when it moves back into Capricorn by retrograde on June 11th. Not everybody will notice something shift immediately.

And of course, we just had Saturn move into Pisces as well. So, having these two really important planets changing signs as they rarely do in such a short period of time, muddies the waters a little bit, and it can be a little bit difficult to say, “What is the influence at play here in my life? Is it really a Saturn thing or is it really a Pluto thing?” A Saturn thing tends to make us feel blocked, and a Pluto thing can sometimes make us feel demoralized or like there isn’t a lot of point trying to move forward. So, it’s always a little bit tricky when we have Saturn and Pluto doing something at the same time. They kind of tag team us.

Now because Pluto represents a very collective energy, often when it is changing signs, we do see it show up in the world around us pretty explicitly. Just last week of course, we had a couple of banks fail, and that was a little bit of an echo of what we saw when Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008. And now, as it was sitting at the very last degree of Capricorn, we saw a similar situation. We can expect a lot of things to change in the world around us, how it will affect you personally will probably depend a lot more on the Houses that Aquarius occupies in your chart, and then how Pluto in Aquarius is aspecting the planets in your chart. At the end of this episode, I’m going to walk you through Pluto through the Houses, and in my next episode, 171, I’ll look at Pluto aspecting the planets of the birth chart.

Mars enters Cancer (March 25, 2023, 4:45 am PDT)

On March 25th at 4:45 am PST, Mars enters Cancer, finally leaving Gemini, which it entered on August 20th, 2022, and it had a retrograde period between October 30th and January 12th also in Gemini. It’s just been in this sign a long time, seven months, which is very long. Mars usually spends a couple of months in a sign. So, we’re probably all little ready to see the end of Mars in Gemini. Mars is a planet that can burn us out a little bit, that kind of fries us, and the sign that it’s moving through, because we’re putting a lot of energy in the areas represented by that sign, we can often get a little burnt out in those areas.

Now, we can also get a lot done. It was a little harder to get things done with Mars and Gemini because of its retrograde and because Mercury was retrograde in Gemini as well during part of the Mars retrograde periods. Gemini is a sign that likes to do a lot of things at once, is kind of a juggler, and you probably had a lot of balls in the air. And it was kind of tough since August to get everything working together and to get the results that we wanted. And now maybe we’re hitting a little bit of a wall, thanks also to Saturn going into Pisces, I guess.

Anyway, Mars will be in Cancer through May 20th, 2023, and along the way it makes some very nice aspects to other planets. It will trine Saturn on March 30th, sextile Uranus on April 29th, trine Neptune on May 15th. So, even though Mars generally isn’t that comfortable in Cancer, it’s making some good aspects, it will have some allies along its way to help us get some things done.

The reason Mars isn’t that comfortable in Cancer is because they have really different approaches to doing things. Mars wants to tackle things in a direct fashion. It’s normally associated with Aries and Scorpio, which pretty much see what they want and go for it. But Cancer prefers to handle things indirectly. Mars rule’s conflict and when it’s in Cancer, conflict can be framed in terms of self-defense. And also, manipulation and emotionalism can complicate any attempt to resolve differences. So, we have to really recognize that, while Mars is in Cancer, is not the easiest time to push for what we want or to negotiate with others in a really straightforward fashion.

We have to understand that people will be coming from a place – and ourselves included – of feeling we need to defend what we’ve got, we need to defend our turf, and that will be coloring any kind of conflicts or negotiations.

Now, Mars in Cancer is going to be a wonderful time to do things to your home. If you’ve been putting off projects around your house, this would be an excellent time to tackle them, especially projects you can actually do yourself. Maybe not so great for dealing with contractors and especially before Mercury turns retrograde on April 21st. So, get out those power tools and the hammer and nails and go to town. If we don’t make a productive and intentional use of Mars in Cancer, we can see conflicts in our home, disagreements with loved ones and this kind of thing. So, we really need to be very intentional with this Mars in Cancer.

Mini-Lesson: Transiting Pluto in the Houses of the Chart

In this week’s Mini Lesson, we look at Pluto moving through the Houses of the chart. Over the past few weeks, I gave a three-part mini lesson on Saturn entering Pisces, and then last week an introduction to Pluto moving into Aquarius, just some general thoughts about that. This week I’m going to look at Pluto moving through the individual Houses of the Horoscope. We think of Pluto, and rightly so as kind of a generational influence. Most of the people born in the next 20 years will have Pluto in the same sign. And it’s tempting sometimes to write off these slow-moving planets, as not having much to do with us personally. And, as a society, of course, we will all be shifting along with Pluto as it’s in this new sign, but the House placement of transiting Pluto in your chart personalizes these kind of collective and generational themes, and it’s going to symbolize where you will be more secretive and protective and probing, where you are trying to uncover the truth, where you are trying to get rid of what’s not necessary and to make yourself truly strong.

Now, Pluto isn’t always a nice guy, and his transits can also describe the areas of life that will bring out your jealous nature, your destructive nature, the controlling side of you. And that is just how every planet works. Every planet has a bright side and a dark side, and it’s up to us to lean more towards the light side. It can be a little hard to find with Pluto. Pluto is a pretty dark planet, but if we make friends with him, if we at least learn to coexist with him and master the lessons he’s trying to teach us, then we will be living in a more authentic way and in a more powerful way.

If Pluto is moving through the 1st House of your chart, what it’s doing is bringing a lot of energy that’s been festering with Pluto in the 12th House of your chart, possibly for many years, and now pulling it out into the open, into the 1st House where you can deal with it.

The 1st House is a House of identity. It refers to our immediate environment and to emergency situations. When Pluto comes into the 1st House, and especially as it’s moving over the Ascendant, it strips you of your artifice or any insincerity. The way I said it in my book on transits was “It’s like an actress caught by the paparazzi without her makeup.” Or, to use a current example, I guess Lady Gaga at the Oscars performing her musical number with no makeup. As Pluto goes through your first house, you will not always be at your best. You are dismantling what is insincere about the personality that you’ve been presenting to the world your whole life.

And what happens as Pluto goes over the Ascendant into the 1st House is you generally become a lot less interested in pleasing other people. And definitely by the time Pluto is finished in your 1st House, you will find that you are presenting a very different, a much tougher, but a much more genuine version of yourself to the world.

The 2nd House is the House of wealth and security and self-esteem. And when Pluto moves through this house, you will probably see great ups and downs in your financial situation. You can see great windfalls, you can find disappointing losses. There is definitely a desire to downsize and to declutter. And by the end of this transit, you will know what you truly need and you’ll be more prepared to do without all of the rest.

The 3rd House is a House of perception and communication, how we see the world. And when Pluto moves through this house, you can kind of see right through people and it’s not that comfortable. You will find you cannot abide being lied to. You will stand for nothing less than the truth. You will probably come to speak the truth without a lot of diplomacy, and you will see the world in much sharper focus.

The 3rd House also symbolizes your siblings and you might see one of them undergoes some important shifts in their lives. Your neighborhood is symbolized by the third house, and you might see it going through some big changes as well.

If Pluto is moving through your 4th House, that’s the House of home and family and upbringing. This can be a transit when you find you’re confronting your parents and authorities, your family, coming to terms with your early upbringing, and with your family history, it’s not uncommon to become the family whistleblower. Basically, this is a transit of figuring out what your true home is, who your true family is. You might possibly see yourself moving to a new place as well.

If Pluto is moving through your 5th House, this is the House of creative, self-expression, love affairs, children. When Pluto goes through this house, you can occasionally feel as if you’re going through the motions, doing things on a creative level that are designed to please other people instead of yourself. And the same is to in romantic relationships, of persevering in relationships that you know at a heart level are not right for you.

By the time Pluto is finished in this house, you will be more closely aligned with projects that mean more to you and love affairs that are more genuine. And, when it comes to your relationship with your children, it’s about learning to let go of the need to control your children or to get in those kinds of power struggles with them.

Pluto in your 6th House of routines, employment, service and health. You can see life or death circumstances in your job or daily routine. You might find yourself gravitating towards a job that’s concerned with some of these things. By the time this transit is over, your daily life is probably going to look very different than it does now. This is a transit that prepares us to be of true and optimal service, to perform good works without an expectation of reward, and basically to live a life that makes you feel proud of your ability to give to others.

Pluto in the 7th House, this is the House of closest relationships, and this is about figuring out who really deserves to be in your life at that level. Often we find ourselves in situations where we are figuring out who is able to handle us when we are at our worst. And, it is a time of having to get very real, very honest with partners. And it can also be a partner who is going through some kind of life-changing event, dealing with illnesses of parents or losing their job or any number of big transitions.

Pluto moving through the 8th House is, it’s the House of support from others, of blending of resources. There can be big rewards when Pluto goes through this house, but very often there are strings attached. So, be careful what you wish for, be careful who you take support from, but appreciate whatever comes your way, use it for the greatest good. We ultimately have little control, it seems, over what the universe will send our way. And, when Pluto’s going through the 8th House, we just have to learn how to use what is sent to us for the greatest good

Pluto in the 9th House, the House of beliefs is, I think, ultimately about adjusting your belief system to come to terms with what we learned in the 8th House, which is, we can’t really fully control the course of our lives. Of course, we can make better decisions, but we never exactly know what’s going on come our way. When Pluto goes to the 9th House, we can find ourselves at odds with institutions. We won’t like to be told what to do or especially what to believe.

Pluto in the 10th House is a House of public image, career, life path, also parents and authorities. This can be a time when your profession is fundamentally changing. We’ve seen that a lot in recent years, that, the face of retail has certainly changed, a lot of those jobs have gone away. Pluto going through Aquarius, I think a lot of professions involve with technology are probably going to see a lot of changes as well. But definitely, when Pluto’s in the 10th House, we are no longer happy about taking orders from people. We feel this strong need to be more in control of our career path, of our life path. And, if you fail to take control, you can find yourself in some really toxic workplaces. Pluto must be expressed, and if it’s not expressed as empowerment, then it is often going to be expressed as powerlessness and exploitation.

Pluto will not keep secrets when it is in the 10th House, and that’s your secrets, the secrets of the authorities in your life.

Pluto in the 11th House. The 11th is a House of future plans, hopes and dreams, groups and organizations. This is a transit ultimately about finding your true friends and allies. You’ll no longer be willing to just show people what they want to see instead of what you really are. So, this is about being strong enough to stand apart from the pack.

And finally, Pluto in the 12th House is a House of unconscious, of places, of confinement. Pluto likes transiting this house because there’s all kinds of juicy stuff in there that we try to ignore. It’s like a closet where we put all the stuff we don’t want to think about. And when Pluto goes in there, he goes to town, he digs up the old shame and pain and embarrassment and makes us look at it.

Generally, this is not a time when you’re going to get a ton of peace of mind, but you do have the opportunity to confront your old hangups and to find out what is really true about you and to become a whole and truly integrated person. But this is a really good transit for getting some kind of guidance. This can be spiritual guidance; it could be visiting a therapist or a coach or something like that. Because, the 12 House is inherently about our blind spots, and it can be hard to confront those and get past them if we can’t see them.

I hope you all found this helpful. You can find more complete descriptions of these in my book “Astrological Transits” and we’ll put that link in the show notes.

I will be returning to Listener Questions in the month of April, so if you have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode, please leave a message of one minute or less at Or you can email me April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com and be sure to put “Podcast Question” in this subject line.

Donor Thanks

Well, that is everything I have on this extensive show sheet in this huge week, so I’m going to wrap this one up. Thank you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to subscribe or follow the show in your app of choice. Leave a rating or a review, and I hope that you’ll help spread the word by telling an astrology loving friend about the podcast. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at

I want to thank everybody who has shown so much support for the podcast over the past year. It is truly appreciated. On each episode, I’m thanking some of my financial donors by name. This week, let’s give a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Ellen Seminara and Colleen Wahl!

April: Ellen and Colleen, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting the show with your donations. If you would like to support the show, please go to And if you donate $5 or more, I’ll send you my recent bonus episode for the Aries Equinox and the upcoming one for the Cancer Solstice in June.

That’s it for this episode. Join me again, bright and early next Monday. And until then, keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars!

© 2023 by April Elliott Kent

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