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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 215 | Mars in Capricorn: Refine Your Plan!

TRANSCRIPT Episode 215 | Mars in Capricorn: Refine Your Plan!

Hello Invisible Friend, April here, and the date today is January 1st, 2024. Welcome to Episode 215 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast, and to a bright new year. This week, a comfortably light start to the new year, with Mercury turning direct; Mars entering disciplined, hard-working Capricorn; Venus square Saturn, and the struggle to carve out a place for oneself; and the Libra Last Quarter Moon advises us to pause and rest before finishing this lunar cycle. Plus, I answer a listener question about the effect of transits as they make more than one exact aspect to the birth chart.

Venus squares Saturn (Jan. 1, 2024, 5:26 am PST)

The week begins with Venus square Saturn on January 1 at 5:26 am Pacific Time at 3º 17’, Sagittarius and Pisces. On the Sabian symbol, 4 Sagittarius, A little child learning to walk, and 4 Pisces, Heavy traffic on a narrow isthmus. Both of these symbols describe moving slowly. A little child because it’s just learning to walk, and the heavy traffic because there are just too many cars occupying a narrow space.

Venus is a planet of resources, and when it’s in a square aspect with Saturn, it can feel as if there’s not quite enough for everybody. Venus is in Sagittarius, a fire sign which shows great enthusiasm, a love of adventure, and a desire to throw ourselves into interests that really excite us. But Venus’s square to Saturn represents a conflict, a lot of competition for space and for resources. You might feel that you want to delve into some kind of creative or moneymaking venture that you’re really passionate about and then go on social media and see there are thousands of people doing the same thing and wonder, is there enough room for you?

Venus symbolizes relating and relationships as well. And a square between Venus and Saturn can either show a frustration with being on our own, or it can show the potential for a relationship beginning to get serious, but that there may be some concerns coming from Venus in Sagittarius about the potential for losing individual freedom.

Mercury turns Direct (Jan. 1, 2024, 7:07 pm PST)

Also on New Year’s Day, Mercury stations direct on January 1 at 7:07 pm Pacific Time. And it has been retrograde since December 12, then turned retrograde at 8º29’ Capricorn. And now it goes direct on the Sabian symbol, 23 Sagittarius, Immigrants entering. If there has been a sense of being held back from a project, an adventure, maybe even just a vacation trip, with Mercury in Sagittarius… Now, it feels as if the borders are opening, and we can move ahead. Mercury will go back into Capricorn on January 13th, but until then, let’s enjoy a couple more weeks of Mercury in Sagittarius, gathering bright and exciting ideas for the year ahead.

Libra Last Quarter Moon (Jan. 3, 2024, 7:30 pm PST)

And now for the Moon Report for the week of January 1, and it begins with the Libra Last Quarter Moon on January 3rd at 7:30 pm Pacific Time at 13º14’ Libra. The Sabian symbol for the Moon is 14 Libra, A noon siesta, and the Sun at this Last Quarter is on 14 Capricorn, An ancient bas relief carved in granite.

All of the Sabian symbols at 14º of the cardinal signs have this spirit of stillness. 14 Aries is, A serpent coiling near a man and a woman. It is still, but it’s getting ready to spring! 14 Cancer is, A very old man facing a vast, dark space to the northeast.

Now, the Last Quarter phase is one of the action points in the lunar cycle. It’s the point at which we take final action in the cycle based on our experiences to date. But this particular Last Quarter seems to point out the importance of resting and reflection for a time before we spring into action. The work of this particular Last Quarter is about the tension between collaborating with others, symbolized by Libra, and pursuing our own objectives alone, which is more in line with Capricorn. But in order to complete this lunar cycle, it’s necessary to find a way to do both, to run your Capricorn enterprise, but do it in a Libra-like way, inviting others as collaborators or guests.

Lunar Phase Family Cycle

This is the last quarter in a lunar phase family cycle that began on October 6, 2021, at the New Moon in Libra. It was on the Sabian symbol 14 Libra, A noon siesta, and that is the Sabian symbol for this Last Quarter as well.

A New Moon in Libra is a time when we set intentions or we initiate some kind of endeavor that is about relating with the rest of the world. We come out of the Virgo experience, which is a little more of a hermit kind of symbolism, where we are quietly doing our work on our own, paying attention to every little detail, and happy in our own work. Then comes Libra, and it’s time to put our pencils down, as they used to say when we took exams, and get out and share what we’ve done with the world.

So, that was the initiating point of this Lunar Phase Family Cycle. How have you done since then? The First Quarter in this cycle was on July 6th, 2022. The Full Moon was on April 5th, 2023. And now nine months later, we’re at this Last Quarter, and we have nine months left to finish up the final phase in this cycle.

Look to the house in your chart that contains 13º24’ Libra, which was the beginning point for this cycle, and see if you can find what you have been working on since 2021 that is a collaborative process.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void of Course Moon periods for this week.

On January 2nd, the Moon in Virgo trines Pluto at 3:36 p.m. Pacific Time. It’s Void of Course for a little over one hour and then enters Libra at 4:47 pm. When we see a trine beginning a Void of Course Moon period, we see that this is a time to count our rewards, that the service and diligence of the Moon in Virgo are being noticed and rewarded by those in power or in a position of influence symbolized by Pluto.

It can be something like a promotion or just a shout out from your boss or somebody else in a position of influence in your life that says, “You did a really good job on that.” And that’s what Virgo really wants to hear.

All of the Void of Course Moon periods this week are pretty short because everything is finishing up with an aspect of Pluto, which is at the very, very end of its sign. So then it doesn’t take the Moon very long to move on to the next sign. On January 5th, the Moon in Libra makes a square to Pluto at 3:41 am. The Void of Course Moon period then lasts for about one hour. And here on the West Coast of the United States, it’s really very early in the morning. It’s void of course for just one hour, and then enters Scorpio at 4:39 am.

Nevertheless, the Moon in a square aspect to another planet speaks of a conflict. And what is the conflict here? The Moon in Libra symbolizes cooperation and compromise. And Pluto in Capricorn is a symbol of control and power, especially in the sign of Capricorn. So it’s a pretty obvious conflict. But when planets are square each other, as I’m fond of saying, each one needs to have its voice heard. So it is important to collaborate with others. But it’s also important to have a strong sense of what you want and being in touch with your own executive power.

And on January 7th, the Moon in Scorpio sextiles Pluto at 12:22 p.m. Pacific Time. It’s void of course for only 45 minutes, and enters Sagittarius at 1:08 pm. Sextiles represent an opportunity. So this very short Void of Course period, maybe you want to take advantage of it by going to lunch with someone, or writing an email, or applying for a job, or something. But the opportunity here is the ability and willingness to seek and to tell the truth, that is what Moon in Scorpio is about, among other things. And if you are willing to do that, you can put yourself in a position of greater influence, greater power.

Mars enters Capricorn (Jan. 4, 2024, 6:58 am PST)

Mars enters Capricorn on January 4th at 6:58 AM Pacific Time. It will be in the sign through February 12th, at which time it will enter Aquarius and immediately find itself knee deep in an Aquarius stellium. I’ll be looking at that as we get a little closer to mid-February, but know that it’s just around the corner.

Capricorn is considered one of the very strongest signs for Mars. It is what we call exalted. And I think this is because the discipline and strategic gifts of Capricorn harness Mars powers so that they can be more useful. I think it would be good to use this Mars and Capricorn time to formulate our strategy for the coming year and to lay the groundwork for success. Maybe by writing out a schedule or a timeline for achieving particular milestones.

This is a good time for New Year’s resolutions, if that’s something that you do. And in particular, the ones that are physical in nature, because both Mars and the sign of Capricorn have a very physical component to them. So, if you are deciding that this year you want to get more exercise, you want to refine your diet in some way, strengthen your body and make it more healthy, this is a good time to be drafting those kinds of resolutions. Once Mars goes into Aquarius, it will be time to deploy your plan for the coming year, particularly in collaboration with others.

So this is a time to make good use of Mars and a strong sign to refine that plan. Especially after Mercury enters Capricorn on January 13th.

Listener Question: Waaaayyyy too much Uranus!

In this week’s listener question, listener Kelly with a Y writes, “Hello again to my favorite invisible friend! Your podcast has become such an integral part of my weekly routine, and my astrological education. Thank you for continuing to create it!”

You are most welcome, Kelly! I’m delighted that you’re enjoying the podcast.

She continues, “I have a question regarding transiting outer planets. Specifically, the havoc that Uranus is currently creating for my family. I have Jupiter at 24º Taurus in my fifth house. My husband has Chiron at 20º Taurus in his 10th house. My oldest daughter has her moon at 23 Taurus in the 9th house.

Let me tell you, this energy from transiting Uranus is waaaaay too much!

My question is, as an outer planet moves back and forth over a point in the chart, do you tend to see a change in the dynamic of the story that’s unfolding? Does Uranus come in with a bang and then things slowly unfold? Or, should I expect an unexpected number of bangs over this extended period of time when Uranus is influencing my family?

Don’t even get me started on my nerves surrounding this conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus that’s happening in 2024, smack in the middle of all these points. Any thoughts you have on how our family might move through this Uranian time would be greatly appreciated.”

April: Thank you for your question, Kelly. That is indeed a lot of Uranus shaking up your family.

You didn’t share exactly what Uranus has brought to your door. Transits of Uranus have been known to bring a good deal of disruption, but they can also be refreshing, giving us a new start in some area of life. But the tone of your message sounds like he’s causing a few problems and a certain amount of anxiety.

Let me address your main question, which is whether transits of an outer planet bring a different experience over time. By outer planets, we’re referring to Jupiter through Pluto. And if one of those planets is making an aspect to a planet in your birth chart, you will experience the aspect usually at least three times.

When the planet is direct, then when it has turned retrograde, and makes the aspect again, and then once more, once it’s turned direct. In the case of Neptune and Pluto, you might even have the exact same aspect a few more times. But let’s use three as an example. In my observation, the first time a planet makes an exact aspect to a natal planet or point in your chart is usually the most challenging, simply because something new and unexpected has been introduced into your life.

In the case of outer planets, these are sometimes unpleasant surprises that introduce the major plotline of the transit. Since we’re talking specifically about Uranus, let’s assume that the issues involved have something to do with disruption, breaking with the past, rebellion, and a strong desire for freedom.

Let’s take your own natal Jupiter, for example. The first time Uranus makes the conjunction with Jupiter, it might introduce a challenge to your Jupiterian belief systems, sense of optimism, education, in laws, travel. Your life might be feeling a little small and lacking in adventure. Since all of this takes place in the fifth house of your chart, it might be the feeling that your life is kind of lacking in fun and creative opportunities.

There could be some surprises that involve your children. And they don’t have to be awful surprises, by the way. Or they can simply be feeling rebelliousness in their own lives. In the case of your daughter, she’s having a Uranus transit of her own, so she’s also showing up in your chart as a Uranian transit.

All of this is felt more intensely, I find, during the first aspect, so in this case, the first conjunction, which will be around early June of 2024. Then, the second time you have the exact transit aspect, you have a better idea of what the planet wants from you, because it has already shown up once and introduced a story.

So, the second transit might still be somewhat unsettling, but you’re not taken completely by surprise. And you’re in a better position to rise to the occasion and to begin doing the work that the transit is asking of you. This one comes for you in December 2024, the second conjunction, and at the last exact aspect, which for you will be in March or April of 2025.

I don’t know the exact minutes of your Jupiter, but there is a feeling then that you’re graduating, that you’ve gotten on top of it, and that you’re getting ready to take the lessons that you’ve absorbed and move on. You can kind of think of it as riding a horse and the first aspect, the first transit, is you scrambling to get on this wild horse and failing miserably and falling off and everything else. The second time, you manage to get up on top of the horse. You might not do it super gracefully, but you manage to get there, and you’re holding on for dear life. Then, you ride it for a while, you get comfortable, and by the time the third exact transit comes along, you’re ready to make a graceful dismount.

I like to remind my clients and students that transits from slow moving outer planets aren’t particularly events, but processes. For you, the sense of joyful, creative adventures is being awakened by Uranus. Your husband’s Uranus to Chiron adventure was exact in early June 2023 and sometime in December of 2023, and it makes its final pass in April 2024, and your daughter’s Uranus-Moon conjunction might have been awakened in early September when Uranus turned retrograde at 23º04’ Taurus, but I don’t know the exact position of her Moon, so it might be coming this May 2024 for the first time, and then the second and third times between January and March 2025.

As for the coming conjunction of transiting Jupiter and Uranus, on April 20th. I don’t think it’s cause for alarm. It is a big aspect. It’s an influential one. Jupiter will definitely crank up the volume on the Uranus influence. And this is especially important in your chart, because transiting Uranus is aspecting natal Jupiter as well, so you get a double dose, a double whammy.

But Jupiter is generally considered to be, ultimately, a helpful influence, even if it does shake things up a little bit first. Generally speaking, with transits, this is an approach to consider taking. First of all, consider your particular relationship with the two planets involved. Have other transits from Uranus through your life caused problems? Or have they been more of a liberating influence? Look, especially at the transiting Uranus square to natal Uranus in your early twenties and the opposition in your early forties.

Then look, especially, at other times Uranus has aspected this planet, so in your case, natal Jupiter. For example, when Uranus was in Aquarius, it would’ve made a square to that point, somewhere between May and July, 2001, and then February, 2002, November 2002. What were the main themes in your life that were playing out, especially with regard to children, creativity, fun? And how might those be connected to what you’re experiencing in the present?

And, are the two planets involved, in this case for you, Jupiter and Uranus, involved in an aspect to each other in your birth chart? Do you have a major aspect between them? Because if you do, these two planets have some unfinished business, a dialogue between them that gets activated whenever they come together by transit.

In any event, for your whole family, Kelly, I think it’s a great idea to embrace the work of the transit as much as you can, rather than holding yourself in fear of it.

What Uranus wants is to open up our lives where they become stale and to break us out of any self-imposed prisons. To the extent that you can enter into that work willingly, this can be a rewarding and exciting transit.

Kelly, I hope that helps. All the best to you and your family with these transits.

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

Well, that is everything 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, 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

Thanks very much to everyone who continues to show support for the podcast, especially during my most recent podathon in September. 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 Sandy Miller and Rachel Fletcher, who has contributed to the podathon every single year!

Sandy and Rachel, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting the show with your donations.

If you’d like to support the show and receive access to my upcoming bonus episodes for the equinoxes and solstices, including my recent episode for the Capricorn Solstice, please go to and make a contribution of $10 or more. You can make a one-time donation in any amount or become an ongoing monthly contributor.

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 © 2017-24 by April Elliott Kent

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

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