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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 192 | Sun Enters Virgo: A Helpful Friend!

TRANSCRIPT Ep. 192 (8.21.23)
Sun Enters Virgo: A Helpful Friend!

Listen and read full show notes here

Hello, invisible friend, April here, and the date today is August 21st, 2023. Welcome to Episode 192 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast.

Before we get started, I’d like to remind you that the fourth annual Podathon begins on September 4th. I have a week of special episodes coming your way, and I would love to hear some of your beautiful voices on the show, too. So I invite everyone listening to please leave a voicemail telling me how you found the show, how long you’ve been listening, anything you’d like to share about your relationship with the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. Just leave a message of one minute or less at I really look forward to hearing from you!

This week it’s a very busy sky, as Venus aspects Jupiter; Mars opposes Neptune and enters Libra; the Sun enters Virgo and opposes Saturn; Mercury enters its latest retrograde period; and, an adventurous Sagittarius First Quarter Moon. And I answer a listener question about Saturn transits!

Venus square Jupiter (Aug. 22, 2023, 5:16 am PDT)

On August 22nd at 5:16 AM Pacific Time at 15º18′ Leo and Taurus, Venus squares Jupiter. This is the second of three squares between these two. The first was on June 11th, and the last will be on September 16th. There is a tendency to think, well, Venus and Jupiter are the two luckiest, most fortunate planets, so any kind of aspect from them should be nothing but clear sailing. I do like Venus and Jupiter together, even if the aspect is a square, because when the aspect is a square, they’re kind of egging each other on, and in some ways that can accentuate the better qualities of each planet. But of course, sometimes it can accentuate their less desirable qualities. But let’s take a look at this Venus square to Jupiter from say, a point of view of money, which is associated with Venus and is associated with Jupiter while it’s in Taurus.

And one of the questions that’s good to ask ourselves at a time like this is how much money brings more happiness? And are the hours that we are exchanging for money worth it? Because time is a finite resource, we only have so much time on the planet and we want to make sure that we’re making every minute count.

So in this case, we’re looking at money and time as equivalent resources. Is the time that you are spending doing your job or spending time with your family, spending time with certain friends, is it paying off in the way that you would hope it would when it comes to a job? It can be, are they paying you enough or are you getting enough satisfaction from the job? Because that’s really important. If you’re spending eight hours, five days a week at a job, that is a lot of time to throw away on something that you’re not enjoying at all. So whether the enjoyment comes through relationships with other people or through the money that you’re making and the satisfaction of being able to support yourself, maybe a family, those are all ways to look at how you’re being compensated.

Mars opposed Neptune (Aug. 22, 2023, 1:34 pm PDT)

Later on August 22 at 1:34 PM Pacific Time, Mars in Virgo opposes Neptune at 26º59’. Mars’ Sabian symbol here is 27 Virgo, Grand dames at tea, and the Sabian symbol for Neptune is 27 Pisces, A Harvest Moon. And I would invite you to just step into those symbols for a minute and feel how different they are. The grand dames at tea – we imagine women who are very proper, who are part of a societal context that is about observing the rules. And this is in contrast to Neptune on the Harvest Moon degree. And think about the big, bright, full harvest Moon, and the magic that we associate with that.

When we have two planets in opposition, there is a tension of opposites. Mars in Virgo wants to do things carefully and by the book. And Neptune in Pisces is about that magical dance and interaction that we have with the world. Somewhere between the two approaches is the more desirable one, because Mars and Virgo is great for helping us get things taken care of. But Neptune in Pisces reminds us that taking care of business is not everything, and that we have to make room in our lives for magic and for the unexpected, and to direct our Mars efforts towards something that we dream of, something that seems really worthwhile and enchanting.

Sun enters Virgo (Aug. 23, 2023, 2:01 am PDT)

On August 23rd at 2:01 AM Pacific Time, the Sun enters Virgo. It’ll be in this sign through September 22. This is a season of harvest, and specifically of evaluating the quality of the harvest, separating the wheat from the chaff, deciding what improvements could be made during the next planting and cultivation seasons to improve our harvest for the next season.

When the Sun enters a sign and enters the season of that sign, it tells us the qualities that will shine, that will make it possible to be noticed. And in the case of Virgo, these are qualities of practicality and of usefulness. So this might be the friend who always knows how to fix that weird problem with your printer or with your wiFi. Someone who’s always helpful and kind in that very practical way.

The Sun is also a symbol of pride, of how we feel good about ourselves. And during Virgo season, we need to take pride in the Virgo areas of our charts. For example, Virgo was in the second house of your chart, you will need to feel some pride in your ability to support yourself to make a living. This could translate to putting together a kind of proposal to take to your boss to say, Hey, it’s time I got a raise.

Mercury stations Retrograde (Aug. 23, 2023, 12:59 pm PDT)

Later that same day, on August 23 at 12:59 PM Pacific Time, Mercury stations retrograde at 21º51’ Virgo. Mercury will be retrograde through September 15, so until September 3, both Mercury and Venus are retrograde. This is a time to evaluate past plans and systems, to analyze past data, to take a close look at past relationships. Having both of them retrograde at the same time really emphasizes the mandate of retrograde periods, which is to retreat and to look within for guidance. There’s a lot of falsehood out there, I think, and a lot of overreaction about Mercury’s retrograde periods, and a temptation to blame every single thing that goes wrong on Mercury being retrograde. I think this is truly a misunderstanding of the cycle. Mercury is the planet that is retrograde the most often. Not the most amount of time necessarily, because the outer planets Uranus through Pluto are also retrograde for a lot of the year. But Mercury’s the one that is going in and out of its retrograde state numerous times during the year.

So Mercury’s retrograde times say, Hey, there’s a time for pushing ahead and initiating new communication, new connections, new systems. And this is not one of them! And particularly with Mercury in Virgo, it’s about the practical side of Mercury. Mercury has two faces. It rules Gemini, which is dedicated to communications and to sharing information from one person to the next.

Mercury in Virgo also has some of those qualities, but is also centered around figuring out what to do with the things that Mercury likes to collect. So this is an excellent time to clean things out, to go through your dresser drawers and reorganize them to get all of the old stuff out of the closet that you’re not using or to get ready to change your seasonal wardrobe.

When we talk at Mercury Retrogrades about backing up your computer or saving your photos, all of that, I think that that is an important piece of advice during this retrograde. But while you are doing it, take that time to examine what has filled up all of the systems in your life. Can you get rid of some of this stuff on your computer or back it up to another kind of external drive or something like that with all the photos on your phone while you’re sitting in the evening watching television or something like that.

Be browsing through the photos on your phone and getting rid of the ones that. Are either duplicates or they’re not the best shot, or you took a picture of the shopping list before you went to the store, something like that.

Sagittarius First Quarter Moon (Aug. 24, 2023, 2:57 am PDT)

And now for the Moon report for this week, and we begin with the Sagittarius First Quarter Moon on August 24 at 2:57 AM Pacific Time. It’s at 1º Sagittarius and the Sun is at 1º Virgo. This is a dynamic First Quarter Moon; the Sun in Virgo is opposed Saturn in Pisces, and they are both squared by the Moon in Sagittarius.

The First Quarter is always a dynamic phase because the Sun and Moon are in that tense square aspect. It is the time in the Moon cycle when we are compelled to move forward, and it’s a leap of faith. The First Quarter is that phase when those things we first conceived at the New Moon have been gestating going round and round in our minds, and until finally now we’re in a position to want to act on them and we have to move forward with a kind of a leap of faith, because it’s still a new project or undertaking.

The Sabian symbol for the Sun is 1 Virgo, A man’s head, and I think it’s a really good descriptor of Virgo’s intellect and the desire to compose a careful plan. But the Moon Sabian symbol is A grand army of the Republic campfire. It shows these soldiers around the campfire, and I imagine them talking about what’s going to happen in the next day’s battle.

Both symbols are squared by Saturn at 5 Pisces, the symbol is A church bazaar, and that is a societal setting as well, sort of like the campfire, but it’s a symbol of the larger community, not just a small army of it. Keep in mind the larger question of what it is that you’re planning for and acting upon at this First Quarter Moon.

Lunar Phase Family cycle

This is the first quarter phase in a lunar phase family cycle that began at the New Moon on November 23rd, 2022 at 1º37’ Sagittarius. That was the New Moon when you conceived something of the nature of Sagittarius, something you wanted to learn, or knowledge that you want to share, maybe a trip you wanted to take or a new degree perhaps that you want to pursue.

And now is the time to act upon that. You’ve had nine months to let the idea germinate and really get to the point where now you have a little more of a sense of something you could do. For example, if you wanted to pursue an advanced degree, this might be the time when you enroll in classes or when you actually begin classes – it is that time of year. Then at the Full Moon on May 23, 2024, we’ll get a fuller picture of what it was that we conceived last November, and then the Last Quarter in this cycle will be on February 20, 2025 and that’s when we decide how to fine tune and how to bring that project to completion.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week on August 21, the Moon and Libra sextiles the Sun at 1:31 PM Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for almost three hours, and then enters Scorpio at 4:22 PM. The Moon in Libra speaks of wanting to get along with others, wanting to be sociable and putting other people first to some degree. But the sextile to the Sun, which on that day is still in Leo, reminds us that it’s wonderful to get along with other people and to collaborate, but don’t lose track of who you are and what it is that you need.

On August 23rd, the Moon in Scorpio sextiles Pluto at 10:10 PM Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for about an hour and a half, and then enters Sagittarius on August 24 at 1:07 AM. Sometimes pursuing a goal, which is indicated here by Pluto, especially a worldly goal – Pluto in Capricorn – requires that we set our emotions aside or that we control them. When the Moon is in Scorpio, our feelings tend to be very intense, very strong. Our emotions are close to the surface. But during this Void-of-Course Moon period, be conscious of holding on to your emotions. Because to the extent that you’re able to do that, you will have a much easier time reaching your goal.

On August 26, the Moon in Sagittarius squares Mars very early in the morning Pacific time at 4:56 AM and it’s Void-of-Course for a little over one hour before it enters Capricorn at 6:05 AM. The Moon in Sagittarius describes the need for freedom and the focus on the big picture. But Mars is in Virgo, so the Moon in Sagittarius impulses and needs are a bit in conflict with the need and desire of Mars to do excellent work. The Void-of-Course moons are always about changing a pattern that we might have fallen into, and the Moon in Sagittarius square Mars in Virgo does say it’s wonderful to keep your eye on the big picture. But at some point, in order for the big picture to become real, we have to attend to the practical details of making it a reality.

Mars trine Pluto (Aug. 24, 2023, 5:23 pm PDT)

On August 24 at 5:23 PM Pacific Time, Mars trines Pluto at 28º 22’ Virgo and Capricorn. Work and force are represented by Mars. And when they come together in a positive way with Pluto, there’s no stopping us. Pluto is a very powerful force and can take our individual efforts and propel them in a much larger direction.

Use your strength on this day, your Mars strength, for the greater good. Your most careful and precise efforts can assist in a greater project, and that is what’s represented, I believe, by this trine from Mars to Pluto.

Sun opposed Saturn (Aug. 27, 2023, 1:28 am PDT)

The Sun opposes Saturn on August 27 at 1:28 AM Pacific Time at 3º50’ Virgo and Pisces. The Sabian symbol for the Sun is A black child playing with white children, and Saturn’s Sabian symbol is Heavy traffic on a narrow isthmus. So these symbols to me paint a picture of getting along with others, even though we’re different from one another, in order to be able to share a tight space like that narrow isthmus with all the traffic.

When the Sun opposes Saturn, it can be a day when we feel a little blocked. I’m going to talk more about that in the listener question for this week. And when Saturn blocks us, it’s to keep us from making a mistake or moving onto something before we’re really ready for it.

You know, when the Sun squares Saturn, which it does a couple of times a year, it can really spur us on. But when there’s the opposition to Saturn, it can feel like a blockage that’s very hard to move through. And again, I just want to point out the helpful interpretation of this aspect, which is Saturn is keeping us from doing too much too fast or doing the wrong thing.

Mars enters Libra (Aug. 27, 2023, 6:20 am PDT)

And finally on August 27 at 6:20 AM Pacific Time, Mars enters Libra. It’s an interesting contradiction, the planet of conflict and war in the very peaceable sign of Libra. When Mars is in Libra, we fight strategically, using our minds, tempering our physical impulses. Now this can also be a placement for Mars where we are able to use the strength of another against them. There is a martial art that does this – is it Jiu-jitsu? – where you use your opponent’s strength to deflect them from harming you. The best offense really is sometimes a good defense, and we see that when Mars is in Libra. The other adage that I’ll associate with this placement is catching more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Mars will be in Libra through October 13, and it is one of the traditionally weaker placements for Mars. I don’t want you to take that personally. If you look at your own birth chart and notice that Mars is in Libra, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be assertive and a good worker and defend yourself and all of these other things we relate to Mars. But what it does say is your approach to doing these things has to be a little more indirect. And as Mars goes from Libra into Scorpio in October, it enters a sign in which it’s much stronger. So if there is something that you need to do that really requires you to fight and defend yourself, try to put it off until October if you have the opportunity to do that.

Of course, sometimes Mars approaches us in the moment and we have to figure out how to defend ourselves. And while Mars is in Libra, the way to do that is to use charm and our own minds to defend ourselves.

Listener Question: Saturn transits

In this week’s listener question, listeners, Kelly with a Y, and Kellie with an i e asked related questions about aspects with transiting Saturn, and I thought this would be a good week to look at them since transiting Sun is opposed Saturn this week. Kelly with a y asks: “Hello, April, thank you for the weekly insights and the magic you bring to the world. How much of an orb would you give to a Saturn transit and should I be worried that three quarters of my family will have a Saturn Square during its time in Pisces? My oldest’s Saturn is at zero degrees Sagittarius. My youngest daughter’s is at 21 degrees and mine is 28 degrees, exactly conjoined Uranus. I would love any insights into the energy of transiting Saturn in Pisces square Saturn in Sagittarius, and our birth charts.”

And then Kellie with an ie asks, “How can an opposition to transiting Saturn, particularly of the transiting Sun or Moon, or even a natal planet, be used constructively? This week I heard a passing reference as being blocked, and I have to admit, I had the experience myself when I tried to set up a workshop when the transiting Sun was opposed Saturn. I have to hope there is some evolved way to work with these energies.”

Well, thank you, “Kellys”. First, a very quick review of Saturn and its symbolism. Saturn is a planet of discipline, restraint, worldly achievement, and maturity. Saturn’s job by transit is to help us master a particular area of life as it transits through a house of the horoscope. The idea is to exert discipline in the areas of life described by that house to overcome the problems that challenge us. In the third house, for example, this could be about working very hard and showing discipline and determination in learning something new or in the way we communicate with others.

Now, a Saturn transits a sign over a two-and-a-half-year period. The style of discipline and work that are required will reflect that sign. Right now, Saturn’s in Pisces. So showing more gentleness and kindness and accepting that things won’t always go along on a strict schedule. These are good ways to become more competent and mature, which is what Saturn wants from us. And as it’s transiting, Saturn makes aspects to its position in your birth chart. Your usual way of approaching goals and showing self-discipline are going to be challenged by a new way of doing things.

Imagine that you have a boss that you report to at your job. Now, this may or may not be a great boss, but you are used to them and their standards and expectations. And then let’s say your boss has to go out on extended leave and a new boss comes in to handle things in the interim. But this boss has a radically different leadership style and different expectations than your regular boss. So it’s kind of a big adjustment in how you’re going to do things day to day, and it also makes you take a fresh look at your own competence and discipline.

This is the case for Kelly with a Y and her Saturn in Sagittarius household. A Saturn in Sagittarius boss is one who knows a lot, but sometimes thinks that they know a whole lot more. There is a very strong sense about what is true and no hesitation in sharing those ideas. This is a boss who’s very friendly, at least until someone challenges them about what they believe.

Now Saturn and Pisces has stepped in to bring a different style. The Saturn and Pisces boss values following instincts rather than opinions. They encourage employees to do what feels right to them rather than what the rules say or what the boss believes to be right. And this will usually be a fairly kind and empathetic boss, but sometimes the leadership style is a little bit confusing.

Kelly’s household has several members who are used to a Saturn in Sagittarius style when it comes to things like taking care of the practicalities of daily life, planning for the future, making important decisions. As Saturn transits through Pisces, it’s a little harder to know what’s absolutely true and what is not. We come to have to rely on faith a little more as a guide rather than knowledge. There’s the sense that all of the things you’ve believed to be helpful and true are no longer things that you can really rely on, and you have to move ahead, guided by your instincts without so many hard and fast rules.

The advantage of this – and the square is a very tempering influence – it says that we need to learn from it to be stronger and better versions of ourselves. So the advantage of the square is that we learn not to be quite so set in our thinking and our ways.

And Kelly, you asked about the orb of influence of this square. A general rule of thumb that I will use for a transiting planet, especially a slow moving one like Saturn, is about three degrees of orb. But you’ll feel it of course, more strongly the closer it gets. When we’re looking at an orb of something like maybe two degrees from exact. At least approaching maybe one degree separating.

We’re talking about a strong influence of Saturn, and you will probably have more than one exact square for each of you. The first one tends to feel a little more rugged because it’s the first experience of it. The second one feels uncomfortable, but a little more familiar, and by the time you get the last square from transiting to Natal Saturn, you have a pretty good sense of what it was you were supposed to learn and how good of a job you’ve done learning it.

Now as for Kelly with an -ie’s question, it’s a little different because what we’re talking about here are aspects from faster moving transiting planets to transiting Saturn, such as this week’s Sun-Saturn opposition’s a good example. These are much less consequential aspects than transiting Saturn to natal Saturn, for example, which you can feel for weeks or sometimes even months. The transiting Sun opposed to Saturn, however, is strongest on the day the aspect is exact and only maybe a couple of days leading up to the exact aspect and a day after it’s exact. Let’s say you’re planning an important event as you were near the date of an aspect like this.

There are a few things to keep in mind. Saturn’s first instinct to new challenges is to say no. So an event that’s scheduled for a day when a faster moving planet, such as the Sun, is in a conjunction square, or opposition to Saturn is not that conducive to having things run smoothly. Why is that? Because it’s Saturn’s job to make sure that the right things get done at the right time by the right people and in the right way. And fast moving planets come and go so quickly that Saturn doesn’t necessarily have a chance to figure out if what they’re proposing is the right thing.

So again, let’s imagine Saturn as the boss. And let’s say that on a day when the boss is kind of feeling their age and feeling tired and distracted, some strapping young whippersnapper comes into their office with this great new idea. This boss is in no mood. There is no time or energy to figure out if this person or their idea is worthwhile. So when the aspect’s an opposition, the boss just says No. It’s much better to plan things at a time when aspects are trying or sextile to Saturn. Because during those aspects, the boss might still not have the ability to completely understand what is being proposed, but will be a lot more apt to just say yes, to get you out of their office!

“Kellys”, I hope that helped you understand a little more about what to expect from our good friend and boss Saturn.

And if you, invisible friend, have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode, just leave a message of one minute or less at Or you can send me an email at April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com and be sure to put podcast question in the subject line.

Donor Thanks

Well, it’s been a big week, but that’s everything I have on my show sheet, so I think it’s time 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 in your app of choice. Leave a rating or review, and I hope 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

Thanks very much to everyone who’s shown support for the podcast over the past year. On each episode, I’m thanking some of my financial donors by name. This week, I’m giving a Big Sky Astrology podcast shout out to Kristin Hamzik and Asta Mačiulytė! Kristin and Asta – and Asta, I sure hope I pronounced your name correctly! – thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting the show with your donations.

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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!

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

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

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