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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 226 | Aries Equinox: Irrational Exuberance!

TRANSCRIPT Ep. 226 | Aries Equinox: Irrational Exuberance! (March 18, 2024)

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Hello, invisible friend, April here, and the date today is March 18th, 2024. Welcome to episode 226 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. This week, the Aries equinox begins the astrological new year, and the Sun’s aspect of Pluto brings a trial by fire. Venus makes a conjunction with Saturn – are you ready to get serious? And what do we make of Warrior Mars entering loving Pisces? Plus, I answer a listener question about starting things when Mercury is retrograde.

Sun enters Aries/Equinox (March 19, 2024, 8:06 pm PDT)

On March 19th at 8:06 pm Pacific Time, the Sun enters Aries, and the moment that the Sun enters Aries is the moment of the equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the beginning of spring, the vernal equinox. And, in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the beginning of autumn, the autumnal equinox.

Aries is one of four cardinal signs. Along with Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, these are the initiating signs, they’re the signs that begin a new season of the year. And we’ll often use terms like “Aries Season,” just to talk about the sign that the Sun is currently moving through. This is actually the beginning of a season, spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and fall down under.

As much as we like to make resolutions at the beginning of each January and plot our course for the calendar year ahead, astrologically speaking, we associate the Aries time of year with that New Year energy. Planting new things, making irrationally exuberant starts. This is the beginning of the energetic New Year. It’s time to go plow the fields and scatter the seeds.

This is the season for initiation, for starting new things. The sap is beginning to rise. We feel energetic and excited. The chart for the Sun’s ingress or entry into Aries symbolizes important themes for the coming 12 months, and in particular, for the next 3 months.

Mundane astrologers, meaning astrologers who study global trends, especially in politics and finance, pay close attention to the chart for the Sun entering the sign of Aries. And what they’ll normally do is cast the chart for the capital city of a particular country, and by doing that, they can get insight on what will happen in that country over the next 12 months.

But you can also cast it, of course, for the city where you live, and see what might be going on in your hometown in the coming 12 months, and in particular in the next three months.

Sun sextile Pluto (March 21, 2024, 1:03 pm PDT)

On March 21st at 1:03 PM Pacific Time, the Sun makes a sextile aspect of Pluto, and this is one of the more important aspects in that Aries ingress chart. It’s a powerful aspect for initiating new projects, for entrepreneurship, and what we embark upon at the equinox has the potential to bring us power and influence over the next few months.

But first, we might have to go through a kind of trial by fire before we achieve our success. Pluto is on the Sabian symbol 2 Aquarius, An unexpected thunderstorm and power and influence can come our way from out of the blue; but we have to always make sure when Pluto is involved, that we’re headed for the highest potential of anything that we undertake.

Venus conjunct Saturn (March 21, 2024, 4:09 pm PDT)

Venus makes a conjunction with Saturn on March 21st at 4:09 pm Pacific Time, at 12º26’ minutes, Pisces. This is an aspect that introduces the idea of seriousness and boundaries in relationship. This is a combination, especially in Pisces, that explores the idea of how can we show kindness without being taken advantage of.

If you pass by a homeless person on the street, what is your impulse? If you want to help them, how do you see helping them? This is a Venus/Saturn question. We often keep our distance from those in need because we don’t want to be burdened. We might be concerned that what starts out as a kind gesture to someone in our lives might end up with a commitment to give more of our resources and privacy than we want to give.

Saturn in this scenario says, we have to establish good boundaries in order to have good relationships, and if we do, then we can be confident in the level of help and commitment that we can give. In close personal relationships with others, this aspect is a reminder that intimacy is not just about having feelings for someone. It’s about what you do and what you show within that relationship.

This is an aspect that can bring relationships to a new level of maturity and commitment. It moves pretty quickly, but usually, unless Venus is retrograde in just the right way, we only have this aspect once every nine months or so. So, it’s fairly important, and if you’re in a relationship, this might be a time when it takes on a new level of commitment.

When Venus comes together with Saturn, it’s time to get serious with the relationships that we’re forming with other people.

Now, Venus is also connected with the financial matters, and when it’s together with Saturn, we begin to get serious about our money, and our money as something that represents how we value ourselves and how others value us as well.

I’ve talked to a lot of business owners in recent weeks who have really been talking about how slow business has been and how difficult and a little bit scary it is. And I think that’s just, it’s a bit of a sign of the times probably, but also it’s coming up to tax time here in the United States and a lot of times people just don’t spend a lot of money in February and March.

Saturn’s boundaries are important in our financial lives too, and that includes boundaries that we put around our spending. If money is tight, we can either make more money or we can limit what we spend. Use what we have more wisely. Either option requires self-discipline.

I think the lesson, maybe, of this Venus with Saturn is about always knowing the reality of your situation to the extent that you can and not being afraid to face it head-on. And also, doing the practical things that we would normally associate with, say, Virgo or Capricorn, which is to have a budget and stick to the budget.

Mars enters Pisces (March 22, 2024, 4:47 pm PDT)

On March 22nd, Mars enters Pisces at 4:47 pm Pacific Time, and it’ll be in this sign through April 30th. Mars has a lot of meanings, and one of them is the way in which we go after what we want and also, how we protect ourselves. How do we reconcile the planet of war, Mars, in the sign of unconditional love and peace?

First, take a look at how a fish defends itself against a predator. They escape. Fish are very fast swimmers. They’re very agile. Many species of fish will swim in a school because this offers safety in numbers. Some of them can blend in with their surroundings. So, when Mars is in Pisces, we will protect ourselves by escaping if we can, and if we can’t, maybe by blending in and hanging out with others.

Mars symbolizes, also, what makes us angry. When it’s in Pisces, we’ll tend to get angry if we feel we’re being exploited, and also when we see weaker or disadvantaged people mistreated. Mars in Pisces by transit, as opposed to in somebody’s birth chart, might make us prefer to just kind of back off, swim away, let things work themselves out, rather than get into a fight with someone.

Mars is a symbol also of what we get enthusiastic about. This is a combination that loves art, music, film, and musicals. And don’t forget that Mars is a planet of relationship. And when it’s in Pisces, it’s actually very romantic. But when it decides that a relationship isn’t working out, if the other person is taking them for granted, or in some other way makes them feel unsafe, the instinct, again, would be to make a quick getaway, rather than to get into a confrontation with the other person.

While Mars is in a sign, we decide where to focus our energy. And while it’s in Pisces, we could think about making and enjoying art, showing our love. These are really good areas to focus on when Mars is in Pisces.

Venus sextile Jupiter (March 24, 2024, 9:37 am PDT)

Venus makes a sextile to Jupiter on March 24th at 9:37 am Pacific Time, at 15º48’ Pisces and Taurus. This is an especially nice aspect, anytime we have Venus and Jupiter together. Venus in Pisces specifically is loving, kind, inspired. Its Sabian symbol at this aspect is the flow of inspiration, but its connection with powerful and stable Jupiter in Taurus, I think creates helpful boundaries that can stabilize finances and relationships.

It’s the hope, after the Venus-Saturn aspect, which can be very serious, not necessarily feel very joyful. The Venus with Jupiter does feel pretty joyful. Jupiter is on the symbol, Old man attempting vainly to reveal the mysteries. And that feels like a fairly Jupiter in Taurus message, because Jupiter in Taurus has a strong sense of what’s right and wrong, but the connection with Venus and the flow of inspiration makes it likely that we will disregard a lot of Jupiter’s good advice and move along flowingly in our own way.

This is a good aspect for taking a little bit of a risk, whether it’s with another person and risking sharing your feelings with them, or a little bit of a financial risk, and this doesn’t mean going out and blowing all your money on the lottery. But it does say that when Venus and Jupiter connect, Jupiter does have that little element of luck. So it’s not a bad time to change your investment strategy a little bit – or maybe buy just one lottery ticket.

The Moon Report

And now for the Moon report, this is one of those unusual weeks without a major lunation, a New Moon, Full Moon, or Quarter Moon. The Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse falls next Monday, March 25th. This lunar eclipse falls at 5 degrees 7 minutes Libra. We’ll talk more about this next week.

To begin to think about this eclipse season, look back to the previous years when eclipses fell near this degree. With the lunar eclipse most recently, that was a lunar eclipse on March 23rd, 2016. That was at 3º17’ Libra. Then we have to go all the way back to 1997.

So, these are timeframes to think about. Just take a few notes. Look at where 5 degrees Libra falls in your birth chart and also what might have been happening in your life, especially that fits the profile of that house of your chart back in the spring of 2016.

I’ll be giving a class on lunar phases and eclipses on Saturday, March 23rd. So, if you’d like to get a little bit of a head start on the eclipses, And also learn more about the Lunar Phase family and all of these other things I talk about on the podcast. Go ahead and join me for this class. It’s on Zoom at noon Pacific time. To sign up, just go to

Void-of-Course Moon Periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On March 29th, the Moon in Cancer trines the Sun at 11:52 am Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for about 41 minutes and then enters Leo at 12:33 pm. A trine aspect brings a reward, and the reward that can be shown to us during this kind of short Void-of-Course Moon period is about spending time with those we love – Moon in Cancer – sharing kindness and laughter, and focusing a little bit more on that than we sometimes do. It’s a terrific aspect for socializing, whether it be with family or with friends who feel like family.

On March 21st, the Moon in Leo opposes Mars at 11:34 pm Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for just about one hour and then enters Virgo on March 22nd at 12:42 am. An opposition aspect brings awareness and this particular opposition focuses our attention on the ways in which we pursue our own ideas and interests – Moon in Leo – versus acting – Mars – in the interest of the collective – Aquarius. Now, neither of these is right or wrong, they’re just different. Examine your habits for the ways in which you might focus a little too much on one side of this equation, rather than the other.

And on March 24th, the Moon in Virgo opposes Neptune at 8:49 am Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for about four-and-three-quarter hours and enters Libra at 1:37 pm. The awareness that begins this Void-of-Course period is how are we doing with balancing rational thought and practical tasks, Virgo, with intuition and a willingness to go with the flow.

If we have habits of leaning a little too hard on one of these rather than the other, this is a Void-of-Course Moon period for deciding that we are going to start new habits, where we have a better balance of the practical and the intuitive.

Listener Question: Starting Job when Mercury is Retrograde

In this week’s listener question, listener Elizabeth asks, “Hi April, I am starting a new job on April 1st, the day Mercury goes retrograde and the start of eclipse season. Is this an ominous start to a new step in my career? Should I be terrifiiiiied?™ Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us each week. I look forward to pressing play on your podcast every Monday morning and reading your email newsletter regularly.”

April: Well, Elizabeth, thank you so much for that question and also for your very kind words. Here is a little story that maybe doesn’t prove much exactly, at least not on its own, but it might make you feel better.

On September 3rd, 1984, I began a new job in the personnel department of a giant water utility in Southern California. I worked there for almost exactly seven years in four different departments. I progressed from the lowest level junior clerk position to one of the most senior executive secretary jobs. I made good friends that I’m still close to, to this day, and I earned a very good salary.

And, you might have guessed, on the day I started that job, Mercury was retrograde.

It was also a profession that’s ruled by Mercury – an administrative assistant, later an executive secretary. If a client came to me today and asked about starting a Mercury-ruled job when Mercury was retrograde, I might not be too sanguine about it. But it did work out, and it actually worked out really well. I would probably still be there today had I not fallen in love with astrology and decided to do this for a living instead.

Here’s something interesting though. My teacher used to say that if you wanted to do something numerous times, start it when Mercury is retrograde. I can’t say I did it numerous times, but about a year after I left that job, I went back and worked as a temp for a few months, to pay an income tax bill and to save money for my wedding.

Now, you are starting on the day of a Mercury station, but, in fact, depending on where you live, you might technically be starting when Mercury is still direct since it doesn’t turn retrograde until 3:14 pm Pacific time. But on the day of planet stations, it really doesn’t matter too much. The whole day is really under that retrograde influence.

So, should you be terrifiiiied?™ I gotta go with “no” here. I mean, I started a Mercury-ruled profession job with Mercury retrograde in Virgo, the sign of secretaries and other support personnel. And I just went from strength to strength. It kind of surprises me, actually, as I talk about it.

You also mentioned eclipses, and it’s not like eclipse season is a national holiday or anything. But I would actually use next week’s lunar eclipse on March 25th through the April 8th solar eclipse as defining the eclipse season, but you will start your job between two eclipses. The March 25th lunar and the April 8th solar eclipses.

The time in between two eclipses, which I like to call an interregnum period, it’s like the period between monarchs, is energetically intense. So look at what falls in your birth chart between 10 and 19 degrees of cardinal signs, especially Aries and Libra, because the lunar eclipse is at 10 Libra, the solar eclipse is at 19 Aries, and those degrees in between will be feeling the squeeze from these two eclipses. And not always in a bad way. I’m sorry to keep talking about myself, but I got married on a day between a solar eclipse that fell almost exactly on my descendant and a lunar eclipse that opposed my seventh house Moon. And that might sound kind of scary, but we’re going on 31 years of marriage, it’s worked out well.

So, my friend, you probably are moving into a pretty important career direction based on these eclipses. And starting when Mercury is getting ready to turn retrograde is pretty interesting. But to be honest with you, I can’t imagine that Mercury retrograde is going to do you that much harm in and of itself.

Elizabeth, I hope that helps. Thank you again so much for your question and for listening to the podcast every Monday.

And 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 Speakpipe(dot)com/bigskyastrologypodcast or email me at April at 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 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 years, and especially 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 Stephanie Barnhard and Elizabeth Boone!

Stephanie and Elizabeth, 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 at the Equinoxes and Solstices, including this week’s episode for the Aries Equinox, please go to You can make a contribution of $10 or more to get those bonus episodes. 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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