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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 239 | Cancer Solstice, Capricorn Full Moon: Origin Story!

TRANSCRIPT EP 239 (June 17, 2024)
Cancer Solstice, Capricorn Full Moon: Origin Story!

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Hello Invisible Friend, April here, and the date today is June 17th, 2024. Welcome to Episode 239 of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. This week, Mercury is busy making aspects to Neptune, Venus, and Mars, and entering quiet Cancer. The Sun squares Neptune and enters Cancer, marking the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. and winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. We have the first of two Capricorn Full Moons, and I answer a listener question about Pluto’s strongest signs.

Mercury square Neptune (June 17, 12:41 am PDT)
Mercury enters Cancer (June 17, 2:07 am PDT)
Mercury conjunct Venus (June 17, 5:42 am PDT)

Mercury has a very full day on June 17th. It makes a square to Neptune at 12:41 am Pacific Time at 29º52’ Gemini and Pisces. It enters Cancer at 2:07 am, and makes a conjunction with Venus at 5:42 am Pacific Time at 0º19’ Cancer.

Mercury is, above all, a planet of cognition and communication. And when it makes any kind of aspect with Neptune, we’re not necessarily seeing things as clearly as we might normally see them. Mercury is on the Sabian symbol 30 Gemini, Bathing beauties, and that’s so appropriate to me, like Venus’ aspect to Neptune, I believe it was last week, where I was talking about this Sabian symbol as revealing the ways in which things that we think are a particular way might end up not really being that way at all. Think of Mercury with Neptune as driving into a cloud or into some fog.

This is a pretty quick aspect. But we will feel the influence of it even the day before to some extent. And I guess what I would say about this is it’s not the very best day to be making permanent decisions, signing contracts, or making travel plans. Mercury is a ruler of all of those things, and when it’s connecting with Neptune, we just may not have all the information, or even necessarily recognize exactly what it is that we want.

When Mercury enters Cancer on that morning, it’s entering a sign where there’s nothing really wrong with our ability to think, but Cancer is what we call a mute sign – it’s symbolized by the crab, which makes no sound. So, when Mercury, the sign of communication, enters this sign, and it’ll be there through July 2nd, we will tend to keep our thoughts a little more to ourselves and consider our words very carefully before we do speak. There is an emotional component to language when Mercury is in Cancer, because Cancer is ruled by the Moon. And because we might feel very sensitive or vulnerable while Mercury is in this sign we will hesitate, probably, to speak as straightforwardly as we normally would and this is true even if you’re born with Mercury in a very assertive and talkative, even fiery sign. Mercury in Cancer will probably tone that down quite a bit.

And then Mercury’s conjunction with Venus at 5:42 am is on the Sabian symbol 1 Cancer and Dane Rudhyar described this symbol as On a ship, the sailors lower an old flag and raise a new one. While Mercury is in this conjunction, a couple things are possible. First of all, we tend to be a lot more diplomatic when Mercury is connecting with Venus. And it gives a beautiful quality to one’s communications. But the Sabian symbol asks, what do you stand for? Where are your loyalties? When we think of a flag, that’s what we’re thinking about. But is it that we really stand for and stand by? Is it our family and friends? Our country, the values that we hold?

Sun square Neptune (June 20, 2024, 11:12 am PDT)

The Sun makes a square aspect with Neptune on June 20th at 11:12 am Pacific Time. It’s on the Sabian symbols 29º53’ Gemini and Pisces, so the Sun is just leaving its Gemini season as it reaches the square to Neptune. Which is more important: that others idealize you, or that you become a truer version of yourself?

The Sun in connection with Neptune often talks about a bit of a crisis of confidence or an identity crisis. Who am I really? What do I want? But the square aspects to Neptune often do make us wrestle with this question more than we would if the aspect were a gentler one, like a trine or sextile. When the Sun is square Neptune, and this happens twice each year, it means we’re really forced to ask that question of ourselves. To stand as a strong example to people in our lives. To emphasize kindness and spiritual awareness over just doing things that get us attention.

The Sun is also a symbol of physical vitality. And when it comes together with a planet like Neptune, you can feel as if you have a little bit of an energy leak, and you might see that even a day or two leading up to this aspect – so between say June 18th and 20th, you need a little more rest than usual, and you need a little more alone time than usual.

Sun enters Cancer (June 20, 2024, 1:51 pm PDT)

And also on June 20th at 1:51 pm Pacific Time, the Sun enters Cancer. And this marks not only the beginning of a 30-day solar season but also a 3 month season of the year. The Sun entering Cancer marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is a time of year for incubation of the data and ideas that were collected during the Sun in Gemini. This is when we hop on the nest and let our ideas develop and eventually take form.

In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the beginning of a true vacation season. In the United States, we prepare to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, and this is also a season of often looking back to childhood, times that we spent with family and friends during this season of the year. Memories of our early lives, including our bonds with our families, often come rushing back in a cloud of nostalgia.

The Sun at this solstice is in a conjunction with sweet Venus in Cancer, but still that lingering square with Neptune at the very end of Pisces. Love what is real about your origin story, about the influences that shaped your early life, but don’t let yourself believe in fairy tales about the old days.

Pluto, in Aquarius, is in a quincunx aspect, a 150-degree aspect, with this solstice point. And the message of this combination is, you cannot move forward as long as you’re stuck in the past.

Capricorn Full Moon (June 21, 2024, 6:08 pm PDT)

And now for the Moon Report, and it begins with the first of two Capricorn Full Moons – this one, and one that we’ll have on July 21st. This Full Moon is on June 21st at 6:08 pm Pacific Time. It’s at 01°07’ Capricorn and the Sun is at the same degree of Cancer. With two Capricorn Full Moons coming up, there is a lot of Capricorn/Cancer introspection to be done.

This is a Full Moon that reminds us of the importance of balancing our domestic and professional lives. Full Moons are times of illumination when we’re able to see more of what is going on. In this case, what’s going on in our professional lives. And it introduces the waning cycle of the Moon, which is a time of release, letting go, in this case, of professional goals that have put us out of sync with our personal lives. Letting go of excessive ambition or being a workaholic. But it’s also about that willingness to break with the past in order to reach for something more. We may, during this Full Moon time, find ourselves at odds with authority figures in our lives. That can be parents, your boss, or a teacher, anyone in your life whom you look up to or are in a position of authority over you.

The Sun and Moon are both square Neptune at this Full Moon, and it’s likely we’ll discover that neither our home lives or our professional lives aren’t exactly what we thought they were or hoped they would be. And into each of these, there is the encouragement from Neptune to bring more kindness, empathy, and understanding.

Lunar Phase Family Cycle

This is the Full Moon in a lunar phase family cycle that began with the New Moon on December 23, 2022. That was at 01°32’ Capricorn. That is a time of year when we’re looking back at the calendar year and making our preparations and our goals for the year ahead. The goals that we envisioned then, our priorities, the lists that we might have been making of things that we wanted to achieve in the coming year, are some of the goals that we’re looking at closely now.

In this Lunar Phase Family Cycle, there was a First Quarter Moon on September 22nd, 2023, at 29º32’ Sagittarius. That would have been a time of taking some kind of productive action toward those goals that we envisioned at the end of 2022. And now we’re at the Full Moon in this Lunar Phase Family Cycle. And that means that whatever we thought we were initiating back at that New Moon, we now see exactly what was getting underway. The lunar cycle is in many ways unconscious, especially at its beginning. And however we dedicate ourselves to trying to formulate clear directions at the New Moon, it’s almost impossible to do it completely because the New Moon begins in darkness. And by definition, we can’t necessarily recognize what’s really going on.

And that’s what happens when we reach a Full Moon. That everything is illuminated, and it’s much easier to see what we’re really trying to accomplish. Then on March 22nd, 2025, is the Last Quarter phase in this Lunar Phase Family Cycle, and that is the time for taking action. Once again, with the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge of what we’ve been doing over the last two and a half years.

Void-of-Course Moon periods

Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. And all of the Void-of-Course Moon periods are very short because they begin with the Moon’s aspects to Neptune, which is at the very, very end of its sign. It doesn’t take very long between the Moon’s aspect to Neptune and when the Moon changes signs. So, these are brief little love letters from the Moon. Let the ideas register in your consciousness and then file them away for future reference.

On June 19th, the Moon in Scorpio trines Neptune at 9:19 am Pacific Time, is Void-of-Course for almost 13 minutes, and then enters Sagittarius at 9:32 am. Void-of-Course Moons that begin with the Moon’s trine to a planet bring a gift. The gift here is that being your true, fierce, honest self is beautiful and will bring you the love that you wish to have. Turn all of that Scorpionic ferocity into art – this is an extremely creative combination, the Moon in Scorpio connecting with Neptune.

On June 21st, the Moon in Sagittarius squares Neptune at 3:58 pm Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for only 10 minutes and then enters Capricorn at 4:08 pm. The Moon squaring another planet at the beginning of a Void-of-Course Moon period represents a conflict. The conflict here, I think, always between Sagittarius and the Neptunian Pisces, is that the Moon in Sagittarius bounces along with fiery enthusiasm and the desire for new, bold things. And that is somewhat at odds with Neptune in Pisces, which is quieter, more sensitive, and is a bit more low-key by nature.

So there’s a certain tension here between wanting to be out in the world and making a big, joyful noise, versus, being a little more introspective, maybe spending a little more time with yourself.

On June 23rd, the Moon in Capricorn sextiles Neptune at 8:05 pm Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course for just 9 minutes and then enters Aquarius at 8:14 pm. A sextile brings an invitation or an opportunity. Bring your Capricorn organizational abilities to bear and make your artistry, your hopes, and dreams all very real. And also, let your open-heartedness influence the way you do business and pursue earthly goals.

Mercury sextile Mars (June 21, 2024, 9:22 am PDT)

On June 21st at 9:22 am Pacific Time, Mercury in Cancer sextiles Mars in Taurus. This aspect occurs at 9º12’ Cancer and Taurus. The Sabian symbol for Mercury is 10 Cancer, A large diamond not completely cut and the symbol for Mars is 10 Taurus, A Red Cross nurse. What I’m reading from this sextile is that your ideas, represented by Mercury, are kind of diamonds in the rough. They might be very good ideas, but they are not fully developed yet. And there could be somewhere in your life someone who knows how to help you make the most of your potential. Maybe their ideas about things are very different than yours, and so they’re able to help you refine your thinking.

If this is a time when you’re working on some kind of project, something for school, or a project for your job, maybe a creative project, this is not the time to launch it out into the world. It is to look for help, and that could be from another person, it could be from a source like a book, or some kind of instructional video that can help you refine your idea so that you’re ready to take it out into the world.

Listener Question: Pluto’s Strongest Signs

Before I share this week’s listener question, I’d like to share a beautiful message from listener Elliott, which came in via SpeakPipe.

Elliott: Hey, April! Listener Elliott again! Hello everybody! I just wanted to leave a quick note because you answer these podcast questions every week since you started doing the solo podcast. Well, most weeks, sometimes you do mini-lessons. But anyway, there’s not really an easy way to always say, hey, thanks for answering my question, April, cause you know, I don’t want to send you an email or bother you, you’re working, but I think a lot of people might feel that way. So on behalf of all of the grateful Big Sky Astrology listeners who have had podcast questions answered, we just want to say thanks. It’s cool. We learn stuff. You’re a good teacher. And so on behalf of all listeners who want to be in on it with me, thank you so much!

April: Gosh, Elliott, thank you so much. What a lovely sentiment. I really love hearing from listeners and I’m very happy to answer all questions. So please keep them coming!

It’s a funny job, podcasting, because you’re speaking into a void and unless you hear some kind of feedback, listener questions, or listener emails, it’s a little hard to believe it’s all real. So, thanks to all of you who have submitted questions and I hope that some more of you will be encouraged to do so as well.

In this week’s listener question, Listener Franie asks, “I have realized that when I learned astrology I always thought that Pluto was in its domicile in Scorpio and in detriment in Taurus, and also exalted in Aries and in its fall in Libra. Astrologer Mary Shea has said that Pluto is exalted in Aquarius and in fall in Leo, what should I use now in interpreting, as a whole generation was born with Pluto in Leo, and what does it do if it’s in the sign of its fall? Thank you for your time, and I do hope you will enjoy your summer break.”

Franie, thank you for the question, and for the good wishes!

Actually, Pluto, as well as Uranus and Neptune, are relatively new to our astrological symbolism. And, to the best of my knowledge, there is no clear consensus about their signs of dignity. For many years, Pluto has been considered the modern ruler of Scorpio and I see why. The two have a lot in common. By that logic, it would be in detriment in Scorpio’s opposite sign, Taurus. And by detriment, we mean it struggles to do its work there.

But while lots of astrologers have taken a crack at assigning the exaltation and fall, and personally, I find the choices that Mary Shea listed as pretty persuasive, there simply isn’t the kind of agreement that one sees with the planets that have been used in astrology for millennia.

I will tell you why I like the choices for Pluto’s exaltation and fall that Mary Shea listed. It’s particularly because of Leo being given as the sign of fall. Leo is ruled by the Sun. It is a symbol of life and of the sanctity of the individual. And on the other hand, Pluto is a symbol of destruction and it is the enemy of ego. Pluto would seem to have a very difficult time asserting its particular job description through the life-affirming sign of Leo – the death of ego attachment in the sign of ego building and protection.

On the other hand, Pluto in any sign gives tremendous emphasis and power to that sign and its symbolism. It makes sense that the Pluto in Leo generation has had tremendous influence in the world, and part of that is its sheer numbers. Not all of that influence has been positive, but of course that’s the same with Pluto in any sign. I’m not the kind to toss Pluto in Leo’s children out with the bathwater. I see this as a generation that taught us to fight for an authentic version of who we are. A generation that revolutionized music and the arts. And in astrology, my own field, this was a stunningly visionary generation that revitalized our approach to our art and brought to it great passion, humor, and brilliance.

I would add one more thing, and that is that a friend of mine, Dana Gerhardt, once wrote that she thinks that planets that are in the signs of their detriment or fall actually become more prominent in a person’s chart because we have to work so hard to do the work of the planet through a sign that is somewhat incompatible, that we kind of grow astrological muscles that make us very strong in these areas. And our demonstration of this planet’s symbolism and matters is actually often much stronger in these signs than we might expect.

Now with all of that said, I am aligned with those who use the traditional planetary rulerships of Mars as the ruler of Scorpio, Saturn as ruler of Aquarius, and Jupiter as ruler of Pisces. I’m persuaded that there’s a lot of what I call Venn diagram overlap between these signs and their modern rulers, Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune, respectively. I absolutely use these planets in my work, but I don’t assign them rulership over any signs or houses. I see them as associated rather than rulers.

So, Franie, I hope that answer is helpful, and I really do thank you for the question. Pluto is such a powerful generational symbol, and you can really tell so much about a whole generation by Pluto’s sign while those people were being born.

If you, Invisible Friend, have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode, please 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. These listener questions do tell me a lot about who is out there listening and how I can produce a podcast each week that really serves you well.

Donor Thanks

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, and if you like what you’re hearing, I hope that you will 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

I want to thank everybody who has shown podcast over the years, and in particular, since 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 monthly contributors Charlotte Benzinger and new donor but old friend, Maria Alexander!

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

If you would like to support the show and receive access to my bonus episode for this week’s Cancer Solstice, please go to and make a contribution of $5 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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