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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 212 | Sagittarius New Moon: Borrowed Eyeglasses!

Transcript Ep. 212 | Sagittarius New Moon: Borrowed Eyeglasses (12.11.23)

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Hello, Invisible Friend, April here, and the date today is December 11th, 2023. Welcome to Episode 212 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. This week, a Sagittarius New Moon square Neptune calls for us to clarify our own vision instead of borrowing one from someone else. Mercury turns retrograde and sextiles Venus. The Sun trines the North Node and makes an exact square to Neptune. And I answer a listener question about how to make the most of a transiting configuration that mirrors the same one in your birth chart.

Mercury sextile Venus (Dec. 11, 2023, 11:17 am PST)

The week begins with Mercury’s sextile aspect to Venus on December 11 at 11:17 a.m. Pacific Time. They are at 8º 17’ Capricorn and Scorpio. The combination of Mercury with Venus is productive for creating pleasing communication. Very often I’ve found that people who have particularly lovely voices often have some kind of nice aspect between Mercury and Venus.

But more to the point, it is an opportunity – sextile aspects are always about an opportunity – to tune in to those that we care about and sometimes come to some kind of detente or to settle a disagreement. Mercury is on Sabian symbol 9 Capricorn, An angel carrying a harp. Here is an opportunity to tap into our higher nature and to speak with great kindness and as much empathy as we can muster.

Venus is on an interesting Sabian Symbol, 9 Scorpio, Dental work. And dental work, of course, is a sort of a destructive process, really, but sometimes necessary. It is about eliminating decay, digging in and finding problems before they get worse, and ending pain. So, we’re looking at a process here with Mercury and Venus of solving long standing problems in our communications with those close to us, things that perhaps we’ve been happier to overlook, or that we just really didn’t understand the depth of the problem, or the exact nature of the problem. And now we have this helpful sextile aspect this week to help us achieve a more pleasing rapport with those close to us.

Sagittarius New Moon (Dec. 12, 2023, 3:32 pm PST)

Now for the Moon Report for the week of December 11th. And we begin with the Sagittarius New Moon on December 12 at 3:32 p.m. It’s at 20º40’ Sagittarius, on one of my favorite Sabian symbols, 21 Sagittarius, A child and a dog with borrowed eyeglasses. This particular New Moon finds the Sun and Moon together in a conjunction with Mars. They’re beginning to get farther away from Mars, but they’re still in the vicinity – so that we know there’s a lot of passion and a propensity, perhaps, to a short temperedness or conflict with others. But it is a dissipating aspect. I don’t expect it to cause a lot of problems. But the Sun and the Moon are also square Neptune, and I’ll talk a little bit later in this episode about the Sun’s exact square to Neptune.

Whenever Neptune is on the scene, we have to assume that we’re not necessarily seeing everything that clearly. As a person of a certain age, I have several pair of spectacles that are used for a variety of different functions. And lately, I find that I keep picking up my computer glasses, which of course are for seeing things that are about two feet from my face, when I am in fact looking for my long-range spectacles, and then I walk around in a haze until I finally figure out what’s going on, that I’m just wearing the wrong glasses.

Well, we need to look at things, of course, through the right glasses. Our own glasses, not somebody else’s, and the ones with the right prescription. Both the figures in the Sabian symbol for this New Moon are kind of innocent and uncalculating. They don’t necessarily know the difference between their own point of view and one that they’ve borrowed from somebody else.

That can be our position as well at this New Moon. So we have to be careful about choosing the right way to look at things and to make sure that we’re looking through our own eyes and with our own beliefs and convictions, and not something that we have inherited or borrowed from somebody else.

The New Moon point is in a nice trine aspect to the North Node in Aries. And this tells me that this process of making the effort to see more clearly points us in the direction of our most cherished ambitions symbolized by the North Node. Because once you can see exactly where you are, you’re in a much better position to figure out how to get where you want to go.

Lunar Phase Family Cycle

All New Moons initiate a new 36-month Lunar Phase Family Cycle, so the work of this New Moon will continue for about a three year period. If 20º40’ Sagittarius aspects something closely in your chart, and this would be something within a few degrees of the New Moon point in Sagittarius, but also if you have something near that degree in Gemini, Virgo, or Pisces, this could be an important New Moon cycle for you. And there’s a bigger lesson to be learned than you can really accomplish in the next 28 days of this particular New Moon cycle, but you have plenty of time over the next three years to keep working at it, getting a little clearer about what it is that you want to accomplish.

Sagittarius is the sign of our big dreams, the risks that we want to take, the adventures that we want to embrace, and that won’t necessarily all happen for you overnight. But this is the New Moon season to start to calculate an idea of what you want that to look like. Then in nine months from now, at the First Quarter Moon at 19º Sagittarius on September 10, 2024, it’s time to take some action toward those big dreams.

Then nine months after that, on June 22, 2025 at the Full Moon at 20º39’ Sagittarius, you begin to see the picture and it will be much clearer than it is right now. Then, finally, at a Last Quarter Moon on March 11, 2026, at 20º49’ Sagittarius, there is one more action that needs to be taken to bring this project to its completion.

Void-of-Course Moon Periods

Let’s look at the Void-of- Course Moon periods for this week. On December 12, the Moon in Sagittarius squares Neptune at 10:49 p.m. Pacific Time. It’s Void of Course for almost nine hours, so we know this is a pretty important Void-of-Course period.

Then the Moon enters Capricorn on December 13 at 731 a.m. Pacific Time. When we see the Moon square a planet, we know there’s conflict. The conflict here is between the need to be right, which we often see with the sign of Sagittarius, versus self-doubt, or the willingness to entertain other points of view, which is symbolized by Neptune. And this more or less echoes the New Moon symbolism of the child and the dog with borrowed glasses and gives us a nine-hour period, though most of it is overnight, at least here in the United States. Put that intention into your subconscious to have dreams that help you resolve something about letting go of the need to be right all the time. But also, working to clarify what your beliefs really are, and that tends to diminish some of the self-doubt that we can see when Neptune is on the scene.

On December 15, the Moon in Capricorn makes a conjunction with Pluto at 8:04 a.m. Pacific Time. It’s void of course for almost two hours and then enters Aquarius at 9:56 a.m. We have a conjunction, and this is tension and pressure, a little more than conflict. But there is this strong need that Moon in Capricorn has to be in charge of things. Versus Pluto, and the realization that there’s always going to be something or someone that’s more powerful.

And finally, on December 17, the Moon in Aquarius sextiles the Sun at 4:04 am Pacific Time. Then, it is void of course for almost 8 hours, a full day to work with this one before the Moon enters Pisces at 11:58 a.m. The opportunity here, because it’s a sextile aspect, is that the need to feel part of a group, which is symbolized by the Moon in Aquarius, can be answered if only you let yourself be who you really are, and that’s symbolized by the Sun.

Mercury turns retrograde (Dec. 12, 2023, 11:09 pm PST)

Mercury turns retrograde this week on December 12 at 11:09 p.m. Pacific Time, and it will be retrograde through January 1, 2024, a fun way to start the new year. It turns retrograde at 8º 29’ Capricorn, on that Sabian symbol, An angel carrying a harp. This is a retrograde period for listening to what higher powers want for us.

Mercury in Capricorn is a very down to earth and practical sign for Mercury. But this is a reminder that retrogrades are really for retreat and contemplation, rather than that forward moving ambition that we associate with Capricorn.

During its retrograde season, Mercury will back into Sagittarius between December 22 and January 13. So we’ll get an opportunity to go back, review Sagittarius work, which has been, I think, about collecting a lot of ideas and big things that we would like to tackle in the new year. While Mercury is retrograde, we can tip them out of the bag onto a table and sort through them and look at what really seems to be the thing that calls to us most urgently.

Then Mercury returns to Capricorn on January 13, and it will finish up the Mercury and Capricorn work until February 4 when it enters Aquarius. So, we have a good long period of Mercury in Capricorn and doing a little bit of review into Sagittarius as well.

While it’s going through this retrograde dance, Mercury is touching on a couple of aspects that we have seen since the end of October. One is Mercury’s square to Neptune. The first pass was on November 27, then we have one on December 26, and again on January 8. Mercury square Neptune is very intuitive, very artistic, and very creative, but the downside is we’re not always confident about what it is that we’re doing or thinking (since we’re talking about Mercury). So, I like the idea of holding off on making hard and fast New Year’s resolutions, at least until we’re past the square to Neptune on January 8.

Then, Mercury has been dancing with Mars. It made a conjunction with Mars on October 29, and it was in Scorpio. On December 27, they come together again in Sagittarius. And on January 27, there’s a final conjunction in Capricorn. Mercury and Mars together is a little hot tempered, doesn’t necessarily choose its words all that carefully. But it’s really a good conjunction for putting our thoughts into action.

The conjunction in Scorpio was very penetrating and a time to look very deeply into what was going on around us. We had a kind of x ray vision that allowed us to see deeply into our interactions with other people, maybe what their motivations were, and to dig deep below the surface.

As the conjunction comes together in Sagittarius, I imagine we’ll see a lot of us wanting to travel. And that will be a little tricky because Mercury will still be retrograde. So, traveling over the holiday season might not be the easiest, especially around the 27th, but it is a really wonderful time – and I do this every year between Christmas and New Year’s – sit down and go through my calendar and the ephemeris and figure out how I want to approach next calendar year. It’s a great time for that because Sagittarius sees all the opportunities and possibilities.

Then on January 27, there’s the final conjunction between Mercury and Mars in Capricorn, and that is the time to really get moving. And to take all of these things that you’ve been thinking about, all these big ideas that you would like to do something with, and then finally put them into action in a practical way.

Sun trine North Node (Dec. 14, 2023, 9:35 pm PST)

The Sun trines the Moon’s North Node on December 14 at 9:35 pm Pacific Time at 22º57’ Sagittarius and Aries. The Sun is on the Sabian symbol, 23 Sagittarius, Immigrants entering. And the Sabian symbol, 23 Aries, is A pregnant woman in light summer dress. I’m going to interpret this as being about leaving your comfort zone, leaving your homeland, and conceiving of something new.

Anytime we have anything in positive aspect to the North Node. It is pushing us further down the road of doing something new, which is what the North Node in Aries really wants. If you’ve been finding yourself trying to do the same things that have worked before, since the North Node went into Aries, you’re probably finding that it doesn’t necessarily go that well. Because the North Node in Aries wants us to take a chance, a risk, and especially to try something new. Well, while the Sun is in Sagittarius, we tend to feel a little more optimistic. And a little more as though we are going to be able to take those kinds of risks. So, it’s a nice week for that, for exerting our will, and just move in the direction of something different.

Sagittarius likes us to try new things. You don’t have to get on a plane and go to the other side of the world to experience Sagittarius. You just need to maybe drive across town and go to a restaurant you’ve never been to that serves a kind of food that you’ve never had, and the next thing you know, you’re having a Sagittarius experience. And you do enough of those on a small level, and before you know it, you have a lot more confidence and enthusiasm for moving in the direction of the North Node in Aries.

Then on December 16 at 7:43 p.m. Pacific Time, the Sun makes its exact square to Neptune, which we saw building in that New Moon chart. This is at 24º55’ Sagittarius and Pisces, and the Sun is on Sabian symbol 25 Sagittarius, A chubby boy on a hobby horse, and Neptune is on 25 Pisces, The purging of the priesthood.

So we’re back to that hobby horse degree that we saw an episode or two ago, when I was talking about that symbolism of the hobby horses as getting up on our soapbox and really pushing our own opinions and agendas to the point where we become a little bit tiresome. And then we see the purging of the priesthood. And both of these together say, eliminate anything that’s hyperbolic, that’s hypocritical, that is unkind, and to back off on the ways that we often try to force our opinions on others, and often, it’s to try to hide insecurity. The Sun with Neptune is always concerned with trying to figure out who we really are and addressing our insecurities, trying to build confidence.

Listener Question: Transits that Mirror Your Birth Chart

In this week’s Listener Question, Listener Rachel writes: “Hi April, I see that there is a Grand Trine in Earth signs around New Year’s this year. It happens that I have a Grand Trine involving these same planets and signs in my natal chart. The Sun in Capricorn, Moon in Virgo, Jupiter in Taurus. Is there any way to make the most of a Grand Trine like this? Are these moments especially lucky for we who are already blessed grand trine people? It feels like something to celebrate, after all my Pluto Capricorn, Libra rising Pluto trials these past few years. Thanks for the podcast.”

April: Well, Rachel, thank you, and thank you for the question. And you’re right, I think that those of you who have cardinal planets, especially in the late degrees, have really been feeling a big push from Pluto, especially in the last few years. So, yay! Let’s celebrate this grand trine for you.

First, let me explain what a grand trine is. It is a configuration in which three or more planets occupy all the signs of a given element fire, earth, air, or water. So in this case, it’s the earth element. The earth element includes the signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. And if you have a planet in each of those signs, and they are close enough to each other by degree, they are all in a big, beautiful trine. The Sun is trine the Moon, the Moon is trine Jupiter, Jupiter is trine the Sun.

The conventional wisdom about a grand trine is that things move very easily, and the downside of that is that when you’re born with a grand trine, it can often be a little bit difficult to deal with hard aspects that come your way by transits because you’re not necessarily accustomed to how to work with them. It’s not a bad thing. It is just, yes, things come easily to you. But it can get a little complacent as well.

I’ve also heard a grand trine referred to as a closed system. You don’t have to go outside yourself to access those planets. Whereas if you have planets in difficult aspect to each other, the tendency is to work those issues out within relationships or with situations in the outside world, you can be pretty content on your own. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I mean that’s especially true with the Sun and Capricorn and the Moon in Virgo. Those are a couple of very self-sufficient signs.

So the rest of that conventional wisdom goes that what a person with a Grand Trine really benefits from is having some other planets in the chart that make hard aspects to Trine.

So, if you had Saturn square the Sun, for example, or Jupiter square Pluto, or the Moon making a hard aspect to something, then that creates the tension and motivation that can really help you access the positive qualities of the grand trine and get more from it.

Now, your question, Rachel, is really whether or not this kind of configuration is particularly lucky for somebody like you that already has this configuration in their chart and it’s by coincidence that it’s actually for you the exact same planets in the exact same signs.

This question’s a little bit similar to listener Elliott’s question in Episode 152, when she asked whether transiting planets, retrograde periods, feel different for someone who has a lot of retrograde planets in their birth chart. Because the idea is, if you have that in your birth chart, you’re used to it, and if something like Mercury goes retrograde, if you have that in your birth chart, it probably wouldn’t bother you in particular.

So it is possible, and what I have actually heard is that if something in your birth chart, an aspect between two planets, a configuration like this one is duplicated in the transits, in the current sky – yes, it will resonate for you in a particularly strong way. And it doesn’t even have to be an aspect to the planets in your chart that have the same configuration. Of course, in your case, it replicates it exactly.

Now, let’s talk about this transiting grand trine. The Moon moves very quickly. It is one of the bodies in this configuration. It’s only in that sign for a couple of days, so it’s only a couple of days that we’re going to have this grand trine in effect. Let’s say when the Moon is between the degrees of 5 and 11 Virgo, it’ll probably be at its peak. So I wouldn’t normally put too much emphasis on a configuration like this because the Moon moves so quickly. It’s a little different from the birth chart in that way. In the birth chart, the Moon’s sitting there in that position forever, but by transit it’s moving really quickly. But it’s a replica of your own planetary placements, and for that reason I do think it’s significant.

As for how to make the most of it, as it approaches, I would tackle a really challenging goal that’s associated with the house of your chart that the Sun in Capricorn is in, because making an effort, working hard towards something, can catalyze this grand trine energy.

The transit of Jupiter in Taurus to the Sun in Capricorn… Jupiter is at 5º35’ in this chart, so it could still be approaching your Capricorn Sun, and that brings the promise of reward, which is very exciting. I would also take a look at the grand trine involving the Sun, the Moon, and Uranus, which is at 19º Taurus. That will take place in the same time period, just after the Grand Trine involving Jupiter. That is an exciting one. Even though it is a Grand Trine, Uranus is such a spirited and unpredictable planet that it tends to make things move along.

Overall, Rachel, I want to say, enjoy this grand trine! It’s getting your new year off to a really nice start. For the rest of us who don’t have it in our birth chart, it’s also getting our year off to a great start. So let’s all take an opportunity to enjoy that. Thanks again for your question, Rachel, and I hope my reply was helpful.

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 email me at April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com and put “podcast question” in the subject line.

Donor Thanks

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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 weekly column!

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