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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 181 | Pluto Backs into Capricorn, Venus enters Leo: Look on the Bright Side!

TRANSCRIPT – EPISODE 181 (June 5, 2023)

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April: Hello, invisible friend, April here. And the date today is June 5th, 2023. Welcome to Episode 181 of The Big Sky Astrology Podcast.

This week, Venus enters warm-hearted Leo for an extended stay and immediately aspects Pluto, the Lunar Nodes and Jupiter. The Pisces Last Quarter Moon weighs speed and variety against heartfelt experiences. Mercury enters Gemini, Pluto enters Capricorn, and I answer a Listener Question about how to read an aspect between two planets in the chart.

Venus enters Leo (June 5, 2023, 6:46 am PDT)

The week begins with Venus entering the sign of Leo on June 5th at 6:46 am PDT. It almost immediately makes an opposition to Pluto at 9:04 am at 0°05’ Leo and Aquarius. So, Venus is going to be in Leo for a long time. It will get almost to the end of the sign, 28°36’ Leo, and then it will turn retrograde on July 22nd. It’ll then retrograde for a while, go direct on September 3rd, and finally enters Virgo on October 8th. So, we have an extremely long stay for Venus in a sign, because usually it’s only for about three weeks or so, a little over three weeks.

What can we take from Venus being in this very warm-hearted creative sign for so long? Well, first of all, love like a lion. The word courage comes from heart, and the heart in astrology is symbolized by Leo. So, we’re being asked to share our creative power and to share our true selves with the world. We’ll talk more about what it means for Venus to be retrograde in this sign when we get closer to that station, when it’s going to be turning retrograde. For now, let’s just consider the nature of Venus, about what it is that we enjoy, what brings us pleasure, the people that we care about, and how we show that affection. And Venus in Leo doesn’t hesitate to show its feelings.

Venus being in Leo talks about the kinds of things that we might enjoy. This is a very sociable sign, and in particular, Leo really likes to entertain. So, if you’ve been putting off having parties, having people around to your house, this is a great time to do it. Leo likes a party, and in particular, it likes showing hospitality to the people that it loves.

Venus opposed Pluto (June 5, 2023, 9:04 am PDT)

Now, Venus in an opposition to Pluto on June 5th at 9:04 am, tones down that Venus in Leo quite a lot, but it is a very fast aspect. The effect of Pluto on anything in Leo is to unfortunately make us feel a little bit badly about ourselves for what we’re sharing. Leo is the sign that just wants to give and give and to please and entertain and delight the people around us. And Pluto has this way of saying, “Hmm, you’re really not doing that right? What is so great about what you have to offer? Why do you think people will enjoy what you’re giving?” It’s a really negative planet sometimes. So, that’s why I think, Venus going into Leo’s very exciting and I think we’ll have a lot of opportunities to enjoy that, obviously, in the coming months. But for now, I think, as it initially goes in on June 5th, maybe keep yourself to yourself a little bit and with the people who know and love you best.

Venus square the Lunar Nodes (June 8, 2023, 1:37 pm PDT)

On June 8th at 1:37 pm PDT, Venus in Leo will square the Lunar Nodes. Venus will be at 3°04 Leo, and the North Node of the Moon is at 3°04’ Taurus. Venus and the North Node in Taurus are both symbols of happiness, of contentment, of having what’s important to us. But the question really with this combination is what’s most important, Venus is in a square aspect of the Nodes, and it’s a little bit of a provocative aspect.

Venus in Leo wants to be noticed and it wants to be appreciated, it wants applause, that is Venus in Leo’s idea of success, of happiness. But the North Node in Taurus really thinks about wealth and satisfaction in a different way. I think if I had to condense this aspect to one question, it would be, “Would you rather be famous or rich?” I think Venus in Leo obviously would love to be famous, but the North Node in Taurus would rather be rich.

The question is, what constitutes wealth for you and riches? But the North Node in Taurus, I think what we’ve all been trying to achieve in the last 18 months with the North Node in this sign is some level of security. And I think for many people while the North Node’s been in Taurus, our greatest hope, our greatest ambition has been, “I just want to be comfortable. I want to have a secure source of income. I want to have people around me that I enjoy spending time with, and I just want to be comfortable.”

Venus in Leo, and especially because Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus where the North Node is says, “Gee, can’t we ask for a little bit more than that?” And it doesn’t have to be being famous, but it sort of takes the idea of wealth or riches or satisfaction and kind of bumps it up a little bit.

You know, the Sabian symbol for the North Node at this square is 4 Taurus, The rainbow’s pot of gold. And Venus wants to push us in the direction of that pot of gold. And it says, the way that we will do that is by sharing more of ourselves and our talents and those wonderful open-hearted social impulses of Leo.

Pisces Last Quarter Moon (June 10, 2023, 12:31 pm PDT)

And now it’s time for the Moon Report for the week of June 5th. We begin with the Pisces Last Quarter Moon on June 10th at 12:31 pm PDT, it’s at 19°40’ Pisces, on the Sabian symbol, A table set for an evening meal. It is square the Sun at 19°40’ Gemini, on the Sabian symbol, A cafeteria. So, the conflict between these two Sabian symbols at least, is pretty straightforward. Do we take our time to enjoy a leisurely meal with the people in our lives as the Pisces Last Quarter Moon would like to do, having wonderful conversation in a beautiful atmosphere, maybe we have some candles and some nice music. And we’re just taking the time to enjoy not just a meal, but a whole leisurely evening with people that we care about as opposed to that Sun in Gemini, which might be inclined to just grab a bite at a cafeteria on the run between appointments?

So, we get to ask really at this Last Quarter Moon, what’s more important, having convenience and variety or taking the time to settle in with people that we care about?

The Moon is in a conjunction with Neptune at this Last Quarter, and of course is square the Sun. Neptune’s considered the modern ruler of Pisces. So, it really emphasizes this quality, I think, the Neptune, of taking our time not being so goal driven, instead, being interested in the processes of maybe planning the meal, setting the table, inviting people and the excitement of getting ready to have this lovely evening meal.

This is the Last Quarter Phase in a Lunar Phase Family that began with the New Moon on March 13th, 2021 that was at 23° Pisces. The First Quarter in the Lunar Phase Cycle was on December 10th, 2021, and the Full Moon was on September 10th, 2022, so we are starting to finish up this Lunar Phase Family.

So, the question is, if we go back to March 2021, take a look at the area of your chart that contains 23°03’ Pisces, and think, what were you initiating at that time? What felt really important to you? And that is a story that’s been unfolding gradually ever since. Now, we are at the point in that cycle where we can look at where we began at that time and think, “What can I do now to adjust my course so that I can be sure to complete the intention that I set at that time?”

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. The first is on June 6th. The Moon is in Capricorn that day and will sextile Neptune at 9:40 pm PDT, it’s then void of course for about four hours, before it enters Aquarius on June 7th at 1:41 am.  Anytime we have Saturn or a planet in Capricorn that’s connecting with a planet in Pisces or with Neptune, and here it’s a sextile, so it’s an opportunity aspect, this combination says, “I may have a dream, but how do I make it real?”

And Moon in Capricorn’s really good at making things real. It’s good at taking something abstract like a dream or talent and saying, here are some possibilities I can think of, of really doing something with that, something that will last. So, that’s really the meditative work for this Void-of-Course Moon period. How can I take something that really is calling to me, maybe on a creative or artistic level, how can I break this down into actionable steps to help me go after what it is that I want?

On June 8th, the Moon in Aquarius in its Disseminating phase, makes a square to Mercury at 9:24 pm PDT, it’s void of course for a little under six hours and then, enters Pisces on June 9th at 3:14 am. The Disseminating Lunar Phase is a time to tell your story, and I like that in combination with the Moon in this very driven aspect to Mercury. During this Void-of-Course period, tell your story, even if it’s a little bit emotionally charged to do so. This can also be a time when instincts are in conflict with logic because of the tension between the Moon, very intuitive, and Mercury.

Then, on June 11th, the Moon in Pisces makes a sextile to Pluto, and this is the shortest Void of Course Moon period I have ever seen. It begins at 6:20:08 am PDT, it is void of course for about 16 seconds, before it enters Aries at 6:20:24 am. Now, obviously, this is way too short of a Void-of-Course Moon period to really actively do much with, but I’m imagining it as the Moon welcoming Pluto back to Capricorn.

Pluto enters Capricorn (June 11, 2023, 2:35 am PDT)

And, speaking of Pluto being back in Capricorn, Pluto retrograde enters Capricorn on June 11th at 2:35 am PDT. Now, Pluto entered Aquarius on March 23rd, 2023, and his arrival was heralded by all astrologers as a real paradigm shift, and, it is, and it will be. But I think we all said at the time, remember, Pluto will back into those last degrees of Capricorn a couple of more times before it enters Aquarius for good. So now, it’ll be revisiting those last few degrees of Pluto. When it turns direct again on October 10th, it will be at 27°53’ Capricorn. So, it was last at these degrees between the first week of January 2023, and then when it entered Aquarius on March 23rd. So, let’s just look back at the first few months of this year and think, what is it that we could be finishing up from that time?

It’s almost as though we took a final exam in the first few months of this year and maybe didn’t completely ace it, so now we’re getting an opportunity to take it again. How well are we doing with the practical considerations of Pluto in Capricorn and how can we cross some Ts and dot some Is while Pluto is here, retrograde?

Pluto’s retrograde periods are times for going deep, for looking within about how to have more power and control in our lives. And Pluto of course, always likes to remind us the limits of that power and that control and to remind us that even though we can’t control everything, we can do everything possible to control the way we look at the situation.

Mercury trine Pluto (June 11, 2023, 3:26:04 am)

Also, on June 11th, Mercury at the very end of Taurus 29°59’ minutes, makes a trine aspect to Pluto at 3:26:04 am PDT, then it enters Gemini 32 seconds later at 3:26:26 am. So, Mercury has been in Taurus for a long time, since April 3rd. And, as it trines Pluto from Taurus, what we should ask is, are there any things that need to be said? Are there any important tasks that you’ve been working on since Mercury entered Taurus on April 3rd that need to be finished?

But Mercury is trine Pluto, especially at the very last degrees of these two Earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn, where Pluto will be. Our words have the ability to impress and to have impact, to have power. We don’t have to go around spilling our secrets necessarily, but the judicious use of information can have a very powerful impact on the people around us.

It’s interesting, the Sabian symbol for 30 Capricorn where Pluto is at this trine, is A secret business conference. So, it speaks of these very powerful and somewhat secretive pieces of information. So, this is a time to use the power of the information that we possess in the most impactful way possible.

Mercury enters Gemini (June 26, 2023, 3:26:26 am)

Then, of course, Mercury enters Gemini, and it will be in that sign, the sign of its rulership, through June 26th. It will be there only two weeks. This will at last be a really good time to catch up on correspondence and paperwork, maybe take a quick road trip, take an important exam, catch up on socializing, all the things that we know Gemini likes to do and has been itching to do really ever since the Sun entered Gemini. So, Mercury being in this sign kind of lets us catch up on a lot of Gemini things.

Venus square Jupiter (June 11, 2023, 8:39 am PDT)

On June 11th at 8:39 am PDT, Venus squares Jupiter at 5°37’ Leo and Taurus. This is the first of three squares that Venus will make with Jupiter. This is the first, then the second will be on August 22nd while Venus is retrograde, and then again on September 16th. Venus together with Jupiter is a combination that shows tremendous appetite. We want more and more of whatever it is that we like. This is a combination, especially when they’re square each other, that can be a little bit compulsive. It’s about eating more of what tastes good, shopping more than our bank account enjoys, getting involved maybe in relationships with kind of flashy and exciting people who may end up to lack some substance. But this will be a series of squares that can motivate and inspire us to go after more of what we like. And, if that’s been kind of a problem for you, if it’s a little hard for you to reach out and grab more enjoyment from life, this is an aspect that is really going to open you up.

Venus is on the Sabian symbol, 6 Leo, Old-fashioned woman and up to date girl. And then, Jupiter is on 6 Taurus, A bridge being built across a gorge. So, somewhere between the “old fashioned” part of us, the part that’s a little more restrained, a little more cautious, and the more modern maybe uninhibited side of us, A bridge is being built over the course of these three aspects between Venus and Jupiter.

Listener Question: Very different planets in a conjunction

In this week’s Listener Question, Listener Stephanie asked via SpeakPipe.

Stephanie: Hey April, it’s Stephanie here. I was wondering if you could enlighten me how you would choose to read a Venus-Mars conjunction in a chart.

April: Stephanie, thank you very much for that question. And, I think there are a few different ways of looking at this aspect in a birth chart that could actually apply to a number of similar aspects. So, if someone’s listening right now and thinking, “Oh, this aspect doesn’t apply to me”, just hang in there, because I’m going to offer some tools that might apply to you and your chart.

First, the conjunction. The conjunction is an aspect in which two planets are at the same degree of the same sign and, it doesn’t have to be absolutely exact, they can be up to probably about seven degrees apart and still be considered in a conjunction. Think of these two planets like prisoners on a chain gang who have their ankles shackle together and they have to learn to walk in step and to work together. The more planets there are that are together in a conjunction, because you can have more than two, the more tricky it becomes.

Somebody once said, it might have been my teacher, that when you have a lot of planets together in a conjunction, it’s like having a nursery full of crying babies and you are trying to decide which one to pick up first. Also, planets that are in a conjunction with each other, I find are kind of like married couples that begin to resemble each other with age. They take a lot of their cues from each other and begin to simulate each other’s behavior.

Now, the less alike the two planets are that are in a conjunction, the more combustible this combination can be, the more challenging, the more frustrating. This is an aspect that just kind of has a little bit of the nature of Aries. There’s a lot of concentrated power and potential in the conjunction. And you can use these two planets together to move you in a particular direction.

Now, regardless of the aspect, what happens when we have two very different planets that are joined together? For example, the Sun or Moon with Saturn, Mercury with Jupiter or Neptune, and, as you point out Stephanie, Venus with Mars or with Pluto. They want very different things and their natures and temperaments are very different, but we have to learn to make peace between these two planets so each can make its particular contribution to our lives, to our charts.

I think, conjunctions, squares and oppositions between two planets that are very different in nature are probably the most aggravating, but also the most potentially motivating.

But sextiles and trines between them are certainly no walk in the park either, because we’re talking about planets that want different things and operate differently, and they represent parts of your character and your life that are somewhat at odds. If we take for example, Saturn and Uranus, Saturn is the rule maker and Uranus is the rule breaker. So, you can see, having them together in an aspect, especially something like a conjunction could be pretty stressful.

So, to go to your particular question, Stephanie, let’s look at Venus in a conjunction with Mars, because we are talking in this case about two planets that are almost opposites. We’re talking about Venus, which represents the element of pleasure and attraction, the things and people that please us, and then we sandwich it together with the planet of war and conflict and impatience. These planets are opposites, and opposites attract, but they can also repel. A lot depends on the signs and house placements of Venus and Mars and the aspects they make to other planets. Because, these help us evaluate which of these planets might have a little bit more of an upper hand.

If you have Venus and Mars together, say in Pisces, this is a sign Venus does very well in, it is the sign of her exaltation, but Mars doesn’t have any particular strength in that sign at all. So, we would say in that case, Venus is going to do a little bit more probably to influence the Mars side of our nature. Whereas the opposite is true if you have Venus and Mars together in Aries, a sign that Mars is at home in and Venus struggles in.

But let’s look at a few examples of possible things that might be true with Venus conjunct Mars in a chart. We could say this person might have relationships, Venus, with very Mars type of people, so people who are ambitious and fast moving and very passionate, they might also in their birth charts have planets in Aries or Scorpio, or Mars very strongly placed. This could be a person who has relationships that begin and end quickly or that contain a certain amount of conflict along the way. Venus rules money, so this can be a person who spends a little impulsively, but on the other hand, who might be highly motivated by money.

Venus with Mars generally is somebody who values Mars things, so, really respects and appreciates somebody who knows what they want and goes after it. It can be somebody who is a little more diplomatic in resolving conflict. Again, it depends on which of these planets might be stronger, Venus or Mars.

Stephanie, I hope that was helpful with your particular example. And for everybody else, I hope it gave you a way to think about planets that are in a conjunction trying to work together on that chain gang and aspects in general between planets that are very different from each other, like Venus and Mars.

Now, if you, my invisible friend, have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode, please leave a message of one minute or less at or send me an email April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com and be sure you put “Podcast Question” in the subject line.

Donor Thanks

Well, that is everything I have on my show sheet, 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, please be sure to subscribe or follow the show in your app of choice. I’d love it if you left a rating or a review, and I hope that you’ll 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

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April: Alison and PJ, 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 You can make a one-time donation or become a monthly contributor. If you donate $5 or more, I’ll send you my recent bonus episode for the Aries Equinox, and in June, I will send you my bonus episode for the Cancer Solstice.

That is 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!

Writing and images © 2023 by April Elliott Kent

For more on this week’s planetary news, read my weekly column!

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