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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 223 | A Packed Pisces Party!

TRANSCRIPT Ep. 223 | A Packed Pisces Party! (Feb. 26, 2024)

« Listen and read show notes here Hello, invisible friend, April here, and the date today is February 26th, 2024. Welcome to Episode 223 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast.

This week, a dynamic Mars-Jupiter square pushes big ideas. The Sun and Mercury converge with each other and with Saturn. Expect the unexpected from Venus square Uranus. The Sagittarius Last Quarter Moon encourages us to tell our story. And I answer a listener question about the difference between planets, signs, and houses.

Mars squares Jupiter (Feb. 27, 2024, 12:30 am PST)

Mars in Aquarius squares Jupiter in Taurus on February 27th at 12:30 am Pacific Time at 10 degrees, 52 minutes, Aquarius and Taurus. When Mars is in Aquarius, it encourages us to pursue long-range future goals, but when it comes up against Jupiter in Taurus, in a square, we encounter pushback, both from our own internal resistance and resistance coming from outside us.

Mars is related to the work we do, so you could find that you are overwhelmed by having more work than usual, Jupiter, and that keeps you from focusing on what it is that you really want to be working on. This is the aspect of the multi-headed Hydra. In some tellings of this myth, if you cut off one of the Hydra’s heads, two grow back in its place, but in this case, it’s work tasks that we’re talking about.

This is definitely an aspect of overdoing things, and particularly when it comes to driving or exercise. We need to rein in our more contentious Mars impulses because overdoing it can result in sprains or other kinds of injuries. And impulsive actions can sometimes also get us into situations that don’t end up being the best for us and that it’s hard to get ourselves out of.

This aspect will probably have a bit more of an influence on you if there are planets or points in your birth chart within a couple of degrees of 11 Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, or Scorpio.

Sun conjoins Mercury (Feb. 28, 2024, 12:43 am PST)
Mercury conjoins Saturn (Feb. 28, 2024, 7:07 am PST)
Sun conjoins Saturn (Feb. 28, 2024, 1:25 pm PST)

On February 28th, the Sun makes a conjunction with Mercury at 12:43 am Pacific Time. Then Mercury makes a conjunction with Saturn at 7:07 am, and finally, the Sun makes its conjunction with Saturn at 1:25 pm. So, in this 13-hour period, there’s a lot of activity going on that connects the Sun and Mercury with Saturn.

It’s all happening on the Sabian symbol 10 Pisces, An aviator in the clouds. When I think of this particular symbol, I’m thinking of the ways in which we forge ahead, even if we can’t see the ground below us, even if we can’t see exactly what’s going on. We can enjoy the beauty of the clouds, but we need to remember that there are factors at play that we can’t necessarily see.

This is very appropriate, I think, when we have a cluster of planets in Pisces, which is a cloudy kind of a sign of having faith, even though we can’t see exactly what’s happening below us or ahead of us.

Leading up to the conjunction of the Sun with Mercury, we can find ourselves feeling a little foggy-headed. But then when this aspect becomes exact, close to 12:43 am Pacific Time, and maybe for about seven hours leading up to the exact aspect, Mercury is in a state we call cazimi, which means it is in the heart of the Sun, it’s at its brightest and strongest. And this can lead to great clarity and amazing insights.

The Sun’s approaching conjunction with Saturn can bring feelings of exhaustion or discouragement. Perhaps this is because we overdid things a little bit the previous day with that Mars-Jupiter square. But Mercury with Saturn, it can be very effective for focusing on difficult tasks that really takes a lot of focus and attention. This can consolidate, I think, that Mercury breakthrough, its cazimi. Basically, on this day, when the Sun is leading up to its conjunction with Saturn and we feel as if there’s no way to break through and get ahead, I think this Mercury-Saturn part of the equation tells us don’t give up, because success truly is just around the corner.

Mercury sextile Jupiter (Feb. 29, 2024, 1:53 am PST)
Sun sextile Jupiter (March 1, 2024, 4:15 am PST)

Mercury makes a sextile aspect to Jupiter on February 29th at 1:53 am Pacific Time, then on March 1st, the Sun is sextile Jupiter at 415 am Pacific Time. The breakthroughs from the Sun-Mercury-Saturn conjunctions on the 28th are now being tested. Will we take advantage of our new insights, and perhaps share them with a new audience?

Pisces and Taurus, where the sextile is taking place – the Sun and Mercury in Pisces, Jupiter in Taurus – is a really nice combination of signs. Taurus provides a stability and security for Pisces, and Pisces helps Taurus get in touch with its empathy, its spirituality, and the ability to forgive. Now, sextile aspects, as I’ve said before, symbolize opportunities. And in this case, it’s the opportunity to take our Pisces talents and intuitive ability and to give them a solid form that perhaps can even provide for our security.

Venus square Uranus (March 3, 2024, 5:17 am PST)

On March 3rd at 5:17 am Pacific Time, Venus squares Uranus at 19º39’ Aquarius and Taurus. This is the kind of aspect that we normally associate with sudden changes in relationship, and some of them might come from other people, and some of them might come from inside you. When Venus is in Aquarius, we might get in touch with the feeling of being stuck in an ongoing relationship, or in a money-making situation such as a regular job. If you’ve been in a relationship that is feeling unequal or is feeling stale, this is an aspect that is very likely to bring about a resolution, that either things are going to change or the relationship will need to end.

Venus is a symbol of money as well as relationship, and this is an aspect that can bring about financial surprises. The square between the two indicates a conflict or an awakening. In this case, it can be the desire to do your own thing and not be tied down to a 9 to 5 job, versus the desire to have the security that you need to ensure your freedom.

So, this is an aspect that, again, if you’re in a job or other money-making situation that no longer engages you or makes you feel alive, this is a kind of a turning point day, often, in a situation like that one. This aspect will probably have a stronger influence if you have planets or points in your birth chart within a couple of degrees of 19º Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, or Scorpio.

Sagittarius Last Quarter Moon (March 3, 2024, 7:23 am PST)

And now for the Moon Report. It begins with the Sagittarius Last Quarter Moon on March 3rd at 7:23 am Pacific Time. The Last Quarter is the time in the lunar cycle when a thorough review and final action are called for to bring a matter to a conclusion. In this case, a cycle that began at the February 9th Aquarius New Moon began a lunar cycle that is now calling for resolution.

That New Moon had very exciting astrology, but also felt a little bit, I think, like trying to stay on a bucking bronco. Now, after a few kind of tumultuous weeks, where at one point we had five planets in Aquarius, a grouping of planets is now in Pisces, and this is probably going to feel calmer, but less focused.

A Last Quarter Moon in Sagittarius makes sense of things through sharing stories. This Last Quarter phase could also bring the cycle near completion through a journey somewhere, a trip, learning or teaching something, and generally telling others about your journey.

Lunar Phase Family Cycle

This is the Last Quarter in a Lunar Phase Family Cycle that began on December 3rd, 2021, with a New Moon at 12º22’ Sagittarius. Look to the house of your birth chart where 12º22’ Sagittarius falls. That describes the areas of life where you initiated or conceived of something new, some new project or some new aim that, ever since, you’ve been trying to develop.

The First Quarter in this Lunar Phase Family Cycle was on September 3rd, 2022, with the First Quarter Moon at 11º13’ Sagittarius. That is a moment when some kind of action took place related to that New Moon goal. The Full Moon in the cycle was on June 3rd, 2023, 13º18’ Sagittarius, when we began to see a fuller picture of what actually was initiated at that New Moon. And now here we are at the Last Quarter, the last action phase in this family cycle.

And at this time, we again tell the story, with Sagittarius, of what it was that we began. With Sagittarius, it’s usually more about the story, the idea of the thing, rather than the actual actions that are taken. So we began a new story at the New Moon of December 3rd, 2021, about who we were and what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. How far have we gone now along that path that we imagined for ourselves?

Now, this is especially true, again, if 12º22’ Sagittarius aspects something very strongly in your birth chart, a planet, an angle, or some other point. So if there is something important in your birth chart within a couple of degrees of 12 degrees Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini, or Virgo, this has been a particularly important lunar phase family cycle for you.

Void-of-Course Moon Periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On February 27th, the Moon in Libra trines Venus in Aquarius at 10:22 am Pacific Time, and it is Void of course, get this, for almost 33 hours. The Moon will enter Scorpio on February 28th, 7:09 PM.

The reason I cover the Void-of-Course Moon periods in a week is because I believe that they are opportunities for us to revise our habits, to break old patterns, or try to consciously develop new ones. And this is a really significant Void-of-Course Moon. Being so long in duration, it gives us an amount of time we can really work with it.

It begins with a trine aspect between the Moon and Venus, and trine aspects indicate a reward. And it tells me that the efforts that we’ve been making to get along with others, to compromise and negotiate, is now paying off, and if we’ve been doing that work, we are being received more favorably overall from most of the people that we encounter.

This is going to be an especially good Void-of-Course Moon period for initiating new social habits. If you haven’t had a strong group of friends or other people that you connect with on a regular basis, this is a time to take some kind of action to change that pattern. It could be that friends invite you to go out for a drink after work, and instead of instinctively saying no, you go ahead and say yes. It could be that you decide to attend a meeting of an organization that is related to something you’re really passionate about. Maybe an astrology group, maybe some kind of gardening group, whatever it is that you’re really interested in. This is a wonderful Void-of-Course Moon period for reigniting the social connections in your life.

And on March 1st, the Moon in Scorpio trines Neptune at 11:47 pm. It’s Void-of-Course for a little over six hours and then enters Sagittarius on March 2nd at 5:56 am. Here on the West Coast of the United States, this is mostly happening overnight. It’s a little bit later as you go east of here.

A trine aspect, again, indicates a reward. And the potential reward of this one is the feeling that somebody cherishes you for your loyalty, steadfastness, and honesty. Moon in Scorpio often points out the parts of ourselves that we would like to disown a little bit, that we feel maybe we’re a little too honest or a little too harsh or not trusting enough. And what is nice about this particular aspect is the trine to Neptune loves you regardless of any of the qualities that you don’t really appreciate about yourself. So, this probably indicates an opportunity to connect with people close to you who are really letting you know that they love you and appreciate you just the way you are.

Now, for a Void-of-Course Moon period, this can mean appreciating yourself, breaking the habit of going so deeply into your psyche and examining every little thing, that it’s hard for you to relax and trust and connect with other people in an easy and loving way. This is an opportunity in this Void-of-Course period to love yourself a little more, to accept yourself as you are. That is the promise of Neptune in a good aspect.

Listener Question: Signs vs Planets vs Houses

In this week’s listener question, listener Kellie with an “ie” writes, “If I have Uranus in my first house, is that kind of like being an Aquarius? How would that work when I am a Scorpio Sun or Libra Rising, which is a really different style of energy from Aquarius? Same for if Mars is in a conjunction with the Sun, would that make an Aries-like personality? Or Mercury conjunct the Sun, more like a Gemini? And would a Neptune in the 7th house be a similar energy to Neptune in a conjunction with Venus? Descriptions from your first book had me thinking about this, and, the distinction between planets, signs, and houses. Can you please tell a bit more about this?”

April: Thank you so much for that question, Kellie. And thank you for reading my book, “The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology.” Now, planets, signs, and houses are not the same thing. They do not serve the same functions in the chart. However, as I like to say, there is a certain amount of Venn diagram overlap among them.

Let’s first talk about how they’re different. In natal astrology, the study of individual birth charts, planets symbolize dimensions of your character. The Sun talks about your confidence and your feeling of being unique and the reason you’re here. Mars would talk about your ability to defend yourself and to actively pursue what you want.

Signs tend to represent a style of doing things. So, if Mars is the way in which you go after what you want, the sign that it’s in talks a little bit about your style of doing that. Mars in Libra is going to do that by being fairly disarming and perhaps making the other person think that it’s their idea, whereas Mars in something like Aries or Leo maybe are much more straightforward.

And then houses describe the areas of life where things happen. Mars in the third house would say that you really inhabit the Mars side of yourself in third house environments or situations, which might have to do with your immediate neighborhood and environment, your siblings, your neighbors, people that you encounter day to day. And also in the way you speak, the way you drive a car.

Now, for example, Uranus, since you mentioned it, is that part of us that naturally wants to break existing rules and pursue things in our own way. Aquarius is a sign whose modern ruler is Uranus. And Aquarius is often described as independent and rebellious with a strong social consciousness. But its traditional ruling planet is Saturn, which accentuates that fixed sign quality of Aquarius and gives it more of an interest in staying put and managing or organizing people. Those, generally speaking, are not part of Uranus’ job description at all.

And then there’s the 11th house, which is often tied together in people’s minds with Aquarius because Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac. This is an area of the chart that symbolizes how we work with others towards societal or other goals, as well as how we imagine and would like to create our own future.

Now there is, as I say, overlap among these three. I believe it was astrologer Zipporah Dobbins who introduced the idea of the Astrological Alphabet, which makes connections between the 12 signs, their ruling planets, and the houses of the horoscope that they would occupy if Aries were on the first house cusp. I do refer to this system in my book, “The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology,” though, I was careful to distinguish between planets, signs, and houses.

In Chapter 22, I wrote, “It’s not that a sign means exactly the same things as its corresponding house or planet. It’s just that there is a sympathy among them and a lot of territory in common. A doctor, a hospital room, and a white coat and stethoscope aren’t the same things, but they all have something to do with health care. Likewise, the sign of Taurus, the second house, and the planet Venus all have something to do with pleasure,” and I would also say security. It’s common for astrology authors, especially when you’re writing books for beginners, to use this kind of system of similarities as a kind of shorthand to help the student get used to 12 major archetypes.

Critics would call this a lazy approach, but I prefer when I’m teaching or writing about astrology to build on what a student already has a familiarity with, which is generally the 12 signs of the zodiac because that can help move them into an understanding of planets and houses. And then, once they’ve gotten a little comfortable with that, they can gain practice distinguishing between them and combining them to understand what it means, for example, when we talk about Uranus in Libra in the first house.

But overall, and I think I stand apart from a lot of my colleagues in saying this, yes, I think there are a lot of similarities between, say, Venus in a conjunction with Neptune and Neptune in the seventh house of the chart. In both cases, the concept of relating and the relationships that we form, Venus and the 7th house, have a strong influence from Neptune. In both cases, we might see confusion in relationships, a strong desire to be a compassionate and healing influence in your relationships. And on the downside, maybe an unrealistic approach to relationships, or seeing people as we wish them to be rather than the way they are, or we might find ourselves in relationships, individuals who are kind of Neptunian, they’re musicians, artists, dancers, healers, counselors, etc. Or, on the shadow side, those who struggle with substance abuse or engage in deceptive practices.

The whole chart tells a story. We don’t know what other planets might be connecting with Venus and Neptune, or the signs that they are in, or whether there are other planets in the seventh house as well.

But let’s look at the example that you gave. “If I have Uranus in my first house, is that kind of like being in Aquarius? How would that work when I am a Scorpio Sun or Libra Rising, which is a different style of energy from Aquarius?” Well, with Uranus in the first house, especially, the closer it is to the Ascendant, the more prominent the qualities of independence, rebelliousness, and iconoclasm will be. These qualities will be very prominent in the way you meet the world and in how you are perceived.

But let’s say Uranus is in the sign of Libra and Libra is rising. Libra is concerned with getting along with others and those will be strong features in the personality as well, because the Ascendant describes the qualities that we cultivate and rely upon in order to get through life. Libra wants to get along, but Uranus in the first house might accentuate that sort of seesaw quality we sometimes see with Libra, first being very accommodating and then being very rebellious.

Meanwhile, the Sun in Scorpio, well the Sun is who you really are, underneath that Libra niceness of the Ascendant. In Scorpio, it is not your job to be nice, it’s your job to be real. And Uranus in the First House, which works against the Libra qualities that can be over-accommodating, can actually help the Sun in Scorpio get its work done because you’re willing to stick to your own convictions instead of trying to make everybody else happy.

Kellie, I hope that helps. Interpreting planets in signs and houses is one of the trickiest skills to master in astrology, but with enough practice, it all begins to fall into place.

If you, Invisible Friend, have a question you would like me to answer on a future episode, just leave a message of one minute or less at / bigskyastrologypodcast, or email me at april (at) bigskyastrology (dot) com and 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, 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

Thank you to everyone who’s shown support for the podcast over the past year, and during my September Podathon. 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 the talented Gwen Yi, a first-time donor to the podcast, and the marvelously named Martina Papinchak, who has donated to the Podathon every single year!

Gwen and Martina, 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 © 2017-24 by April Elliott Kent

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

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