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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 238 | Mars vs. Pluto: Storms Approaching!

TRANSCRIPT Ep. 238 (6.10.24)
Mars vs. Pluto: Storms Approaching!

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Hello Invisible Friend, April here, and the date today is June 10th, 2024. Welcome to Episode 238 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. This week, determination meets resistance, as Mars squares Pluto. Mercury squares Saturn, and focus and discipline are challenging but will be rewarded. A Virgo First Quarter Moon, with more than the usual amount of tension. The Sun makes a conjunction with Mercury. Venus squares Neptune and dispels illusions and Venus enters home-and-family-loving Cancer.

Mars square Pluto (June 11, 2024, 6:21 am PDT)

Mars squares Pluto this week on June 11th at 6:21 am Pacific Time at 1º45’ Taurus and Aquarius. A square between two planets can be a little bit frustrating because we can feel as if we’re meeting resistance when we’re trying to act or to get something done. Mars is the ultimate action-taking planet, and it’s currently in Taurus, which is methodical and quite determined, especially when it comes to trying to secure resources or to protect ourselves, make ourselves safe.

As Mars squares Pluto, we meet resistance in doing those things. It could be unexpected forces that keep us from getting or keeping as much as we need or want. The Sabian symbols at the square are pretty interesting. Mars is at Sabian symbol 2 Taurus, An electrical storm, and Pluto is at 2 Aquarius, An unexpected thunderstorm.

So we have two different symbols here about storms, and that just means all is not going particularly easily. Essentially, I always feel that when Mars comes together with Pluto, in pretty much any kind of aspect, it’s not the right week to try to push your own agenda. Because Mars square Pluto says that others will not be receptive to that, and you will just end up suffering a lot of frustration.

You might have to confront whether or not there is something that you want very badly and have been trying really hard to get, and you may have to come to grips with the idea that maybe it just isn’t going to happen. And it could be that the timing just isn’t right, or it could be that this is really not the thing that’s meant for you.

Mercury square Saturn (June 12, 2024, 3:47 am PDT)

Mercury makes a square aspect to Saturn on June 12th at 3:47 am Pacific Time at 19º10’ Gemini and Pisces. The combination of Mercury with Saturn can actually be very beneficial because Mercury is about the way we think things through, the way we have to analyze problems that we come up against, the logistical challenges of getting anything worthwhile done and having conversations with people, maybe about things that are not that easy.

But when Mercury is in a difficult aspect with Saturn, such as a square, there is a little more frustration that comes with any of these things. It can still be very rewarding in the end, but it does mean that crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, attending to the details, anything that we’re studying for, and those difficult, challenging conversations with people in our lives that maybe really need to happen, still are not probably going to go really smoothly.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing, on the other hand, and Saturn gives us that discipline and that determination to work through any problems that come our way.

Virgo First Quarter Moon (June 13, 2024, 10:18 pm PDT)

And now it’s time for the Moon Report, and we begin with the Virgo First Quarter Moon on June 13th at 10:18 pm Pacific Time. It’s at 23º39’Virgo, and the Sun is at the same degree of Gemini. It’s a very dynamic First Quarter Moon chart, and in a way that’s good, because this is the moment in the lunar cycle each month when we are asked to take action, even if we don’t necessarily feel ready to take action – on specifically something that we thought about or initiated at the Gemini New Moon.

In the chart for this First Quarter, the Moon in Virgo is in an opposition aspect to Saturn and Neptune, and all of them are square the Sun, Mercury, and Venus. So there is a lot of square and opposition energy in this chart, and that means a lot of tension. But again, tension isn’t a bad thing when you need the motivation to act.

The Moon in Virgo can sometimes fall into the trap of becoming so perfectionistic about things that it can make it hard to just take action, because you are afraid that whatever action you take isn’t going to be quite right. So that’s why I like seeing the quarter Moon, either First Quarter or Last Quarter in Virgo because it will tend to push us away from that kind of tendency. The Moon in Virgo can be very good at tempering Gemini and again, we have Sun, Mercury, Venus, all involved in this square with the Moon. And Jupiter is, of course, also in Gemini too. So this is a time when there’s almost too much of a good Gemini thing, where it can be very difficult to focus in any one direction.

Moon in Virgo forces Gemini to slow down a little bit. Now, Virgo’s also a Mercury-ruled sign, so it has a few of those same tendencies that Gemini has to be doing a lot of things at any given time, but it is an Earth sign and that grounds it quite a bit, and it’s in this opposition to Saturn, which could also make a big difference in helping everybody just slow down a little bit and try to focus on one thing at a time. This setup is a very dynamic, what we call T-square configuration, where we have the Moon opposed Saturn and Neptune, and they are all square the three planets in Gemini. Sometimes when you have a T-square like this, there is an escape hatch that you can use, and it’s represented by the sign that would fill in the T- T-square into a grand cross if there were a planet there.

In this case, it’s Sagittarius, the only one of the mutable signs that isn’t occupied by a planet. So if things begin to get a little bit tense, a little bit frazzled and stressful around this First Quarter, try to use some Sagittarius methods: spend time outdoors, do some travelling, or maybe plan your next big trip, reading a worthwhile book, getting out and interacting with animals, all of these are Sagittarian ways of calming yourself down and getting grounded at this First Quarter Moon.

Lunar Phase Family Cycle

This is the First Quarter in a lunar phase family cycle that began with a New Moon on September 14th, 2023 at 21º58’ Virgo.

Whatever it was that you were thinking about at that New Moon, and thinking about initiating as a new project, this would be the moment in that Lunar Phase Family Cycle to take action. The First Quarter Moon always says, “Don’t feel like you have to wait to be perfect to do something, just act on it now.” Take some kind of action in the direction of that dream or objective.

At the Full Moon in this cycle, on March 13th, 2025, you can get a bigger picture, you can have a better sense of what it is you really want to do. And then at the Last Quarter in this lunar phase family cycle, on December 11th, 2025, there will be time for one more action, where now, based on everything that you know about that great September 14th, 2023 New Moon dream, now you can take the final action to make it a reality.

What are some Virgo New Moon projects that you might have had in mind? Just look in your birth chart at the house of the chart that contains Virgo. Matters related to that house would have been something that you might have imagined making real.

Virgo, as an Earth sign, isn’t happy to just leave things in the realm of the imagination.  It wants to have a project with quantifiable and easily observable steps along the way.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On June 11th, the Moon in Leo squares Uranus at 12:16 pm Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for almost ten and a half hours. This is the longest Void-of-Course Moon period we have this week. And then it enters Virgo at 10:39 pm.

Void-of-Course Moon periods are the ones when we attempt to break old habits that are no longer working, maybe never did work, and try to take some step in the direction of creating a healthier habit to take its place. Void-of-Course Moon periods that begin with the Moon square another planet usually present a challenge or a conflict.

In this case, it might be something like, is your desire for attention and accolades, which we often see with the Moon in Leo, keeping you from being free? If you think about people who talk about how much they dislike being on social media, for example, but they feel they have to stay there in order… I mean, not just to have people read your posts, but to stay in contact with people, see what the people in your life are doing and maybe thinking – that might be the kind of conflict that you could take a look at during this Void-of-Course Moon period. And think, is there a way you can improve that relationship in your life with social media and in a broader sense, with the people that you care about, staying in touch with them in a different way?

On June 14th, the Moon in Virgo opposes Neptune at 10:53 am Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for about 19 minutes and then enters Libra at 11:12 am. Oppositions that begin a Void-of-Course Moon period usually indicate some kind of insight. And an insight that might come to you during this Void-of-Course Moon is about whether keeping yourself on a very straight and regimented path, represented by the Moon in Virgo, whether that is keeping you from letting yourself be surprised by what might happen, what life might bring your way, if you’re not so focused on a particular end goal so that you miss everything else that’s possible that’s going on around you.

And on June 16th, the Moon in Libra trines Mercury in Gemini at 11:05 pm Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for just 33 minutes before it enters Scorpio at 11:38 pm, there is a gift that comes to us at a Void-of-Course Moon that begins with the Moon trine another planet and the gift here is this is a much stronger time than usual for socializing, for making beneficial connections with others.

Now, depending on where you live, this might not be the most practical time of the day or the evening to do something to further those kinds of social interactions, but what could be very helpful before you go to bed on this night. Maybe make a short list, maybe three to five people in your life that you would like to see more of, get to know better, or make some kind of overture toward.

Sun conjunct Mercury (June 14, 2024, 9:32 am PDT)

On June 14th at 9:32 am Pacific Time, the Sun makes a conjunction with Mercury at 24º06’, Gemini, on the Sabian symbol, 25 Gemini, A man trimming palms. We see that all the time in San Diego!

The closer the Sun and Mercury get to this exact conjunction, the more possibility there is for inspiration, insights, and charisma is also high. So this would be an especially good morning to give a class or a lecture or a workshop. But keep it concise. Gemini has a very short attention span, and so will people, on this day. The Sabian symbol talks about trimming back, A man trimming palms. And I think that’s good advice when we have the Sun together with Mercury, is to keep your message very short and to the point. It is a great day for inspiration though, but it gets better within a half hour, say, either side of the conjunction.

Venus square Neptune (June 16, 2024, 8:46 pm PDT)

Venus squares Neptune on June 16th at 8:46 pm Pacific Time, at 29º52’ Gemini and Pisces. The Sabian symbol for Venus is 30 Gemini, Bathing beauties, and the Sabian symbol for Neptune is 30 Pisces -it’s still just sitting there- The great stone face.

This is an aspect that will often bring awakenings to reality, especially around finances and relationships. They are not always welcome awakenings, but I always think it’s better to know where you stand with things. The Sabian symbol for Venus, Bathing beauties, speaks to that Neptune dimension of beauty and glamour. But if you saw those bathing beauties without their makeup, with their hair all wet, maybe they wouldn’t be quite so glamorous.

And The great stone face, the Sabian symbol for Pisces 30, it’s a symbol of becoming our own ideal self. Dane Rudhyar stated this as, A majestic rock formation resembling a face is idealized by a boy who takes it as his ideal of greatness. And as he grows up, he begins to look like it. And this is another symbol of idealization, but in this symbol, the boy is growing into his ideal of greatness.

Generally speaking, Venus with Neptune always gives us some sense of illusion or delusion. If it’s a pleasant aspect between them, generally we’re just singing a happy little tune about how great our relationships are, and our money, and everything else. But when you get a hard aspect like a square between these two, you kind of wake up to the reality of your situation.

Maybe a person you were in a relationship with is not quite as lovely as you thought they were, but also this is about letting go of that idealization and maybe growing to really appreciate the reality of what is.

Venus enters Cancer (June 16, 2024, 11:20 pm PDT)

And on June 16th at 11:20 pm Pacific Time, Venus enters Cancer, and it will be in this sign through July 11th. Venus in Cancer is home-loving. It’s a wonderful time to beautify your home, to entertain in your home, enjoy family, gardening, cooking, pets. This is a very cozy Venus. You will have plenty of time after Venus goes into Leo on July 11th to get out and party and go to shows and enjoy people out in the world.

But while Venus is in Cancer, it tells us that what we will enjoy, what feels really comforting and lovely are those times in our own homes, eating the food that we have prepared, alongside the people in our lives that we care for the most.

Listener Question: Profections

In this week’s Listener Question, friend of the show, Listener Elliott asks via SpeakPipe, “Hola, April! Listener Elliott with a question about profection years. What are they and why should we care? It seems like it’s basically you just start counting on the wheel when you’re born. I found a picture of it on if anybody wants to look at it. It’s just a big chart with numbers in it. But I am in a fifth house perfection year. What are they? What do we do with them? Do they hurt us? Do they help us? How do we work with ’em? Profection, not perfection. Thanks.”

Elliott, that is a great question. Profections, as you say, not perfections. The term comes from Latin, perfectio, which means to advance at a certain rate. And this is a technique that comes from a fairly old tradition, the Hellenistic astrology tradition, and it’s used to anticipate the major themes for the year, as well as highlight particular tendencies in the birth chart, related to a house of the horoscope and its ruling planet.

I want to say up front that I am not an expert in Hellenistic astrology at all. There is a lot of detail that can go into this technique, but what I’m offering here is just a very basic introduction and we’ll be sure to link to some resources in the show notes. Profections is a technique that can be used for the year, for the month, for the day, even for the hour. I’m going to be talking here just really about annual profections, which are in effect from one birthday to the next.

Before I describe how profections are calculated, let me just say that when I’m working with traditional techniques, I tend to use the same house system and the other techniques that are associated with that tradition, even if I don’t normally.

For profections, then, I will use Whole Sign house system, which is mostly what’s used in Hellenistic astrology. And I will use the traditional planetary rulers, which I pretty much do these days anyway: Mars as the ruler of Scorpio, rather than Pluto; Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius, instead of Uranus; Jupiter as the ruler of Pisces, instead of Neptune.

So with that in mind, first, look at your chart in Whole Sign system and determine what is the rising sign. Count one sign per year from the ascendant for each year of life until you reach your current age. That sign or house, they’re the same in the whole sign system, is your profection house of the year.

The planet that rules that sign is called the Lord of the Year. Its condition in the birth chart gives a lot of information about the circumstances and outcome of the year. And any planets that are in that house in your birth chart are also activated during the profection year.

The first house in the profection wheel begins at birth so at age zero. Every 12 years, the same sign and house repeats. So you’ll have a first house perfection year at ages 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, and so on. Then you will go to the second house perfection year. Those are at the ages of 1, 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, and so on. So you can see here that getting your hands on a profection wheel helps a lot with quickly figuring out which year you are in and previous ages when you were in the same profection year.

In each of these profection years, the matters of that house tend to be more important than usual. Elliott mentions that she is in her fifth house profection Year, so we might expect matters associated with children, self-expression, enjoyment, love, to be especially important during this year.

Next, consider the planet that rules the sign on that house, the Lord of the Year. Is it a benefic, traditionally Venus and Jupiter, or a malefic, traditionally Mars or Saturn? Generally, Mars and Saturn as a Lord of the Year, we could expect to be a little more difficult, while Venus and Jupiter might be more positive.

But it is more complicated than that, as it so often is in astrology. For example, if you were born during the daytime, expect Jupiter to be especially good for you and Mars to be especially troublesome. For a nighttime birth, Venus is better even than usual, while Saturn is even tougher. But their general strength by sign and aspect also make a big difference.

Issues that are related to the house that contains the Lord of the Year are also highlighted. As an example, in my 7th house profection year, that’s a house of relationship, I met my husband. And Mercury, which was the Lord of that year, because I have Gemini on the 7th house, falls in my 9th house, and I met and later married somebody who’s from another country, which of course is associated with the 9th house. This is also an example of how a natal tendency, something that’s built into your birth chart, can become especially important in a profection year.

Now, if you have any natal planets in the profection house for the year, they are activated as well and describe the quality of the year. If someone in a second house profection year has Saturn in that house, that tells us something about that year financially. But if Saturn is in one of its stronger signs, say Libra or Capricorn, Saturn can perform very well in this year.

You can often get a feel for which houses work well for you by profection, by going back to the ages when you previously had this profection year. In a fifth house profection year, such as Elliott is having, those ages would be 4, 16, 28, 40, 52, and 64. Look back at the years you reached those ages, depending on when your birthday falls during the year.

And finally, the Lord of the Year is also very sensitive to transits. So, look for transits to the Lord of the Year, by the Lord of the Year, and transits happening through the perfected sign or house for the year.

So, if Pisces occupies the fifth house, that’s currently being transited by Saturn and Neptune. And depending on the condition of those planets in the birth chart, Saturn could bring benefits while it’s there, and Saturn often shows benefits by rewarding a long time of hard work. So, that’s generally how they work.

As for what we do with them, I consider them just a little bit like solar returns, just because both of them are techniques that we can use at each birthday to tell us something about the year ahead.

I like profections. I think they’re definitely interesting to play around with. It’s a relatively simple technique to get started with.

But as with everything in astrology, you can get into the minutiae of profections and get pretty detailed about them. And I will invite anyone who would like to learn more about profections to check out the resources in this episode’s show notes.

Elliott, thank you, as always, for your question, and we all wish you a bright and happy 5th House profection year.

Now, 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 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, please be sure to subscribe to the show or follow it in your app of choice, leave a rating or 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

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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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