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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 38 | Taurus Last Quarter Moon – but wait, there’s S’more!


038 | Taurus Last Quarter Moon – but wait, there’s S’more!

August 10, 2020

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Jen: Welcome to the Big Sky Astrology podcast, with April Elliott Kent and me, producer and cohost Jen Braun. Hey friends, Jen here. Today is August 10th, 2020. And here with me is my friend – who’s teaching us S’more ways to read the skies – astrologer April Elliott Kent. Hi, April!

April: Hello and happy Monday, Jen!

Jen: Happy Monday to you, pal. How are you doing?

April: I’m doing pretty well. How about you?

Jen: I’m doing great. It’s your birthday week… I mean, I know last week was your birthday week to everybody. But it’s actually this week. So we’re going to say happy birthday one more time.

April: Well, thank you. And I’m going to thank you and Joanie for my fantastic birthday song.

Jen: My wife Joanie made a cameo last week…

April: It was fantastic. We are going to get the entire Braun clan on here during the course of this!


April: All of my shy family members have not yet made an appearance. That was fantastic. It delighted me. And of course, it was another opportunity to use my favorite sound effect, our harp sound effect. So thank you for that.

Jen: Yes. I know you love that effect. So I purposely wove that in as well.

April: Thank you.

Jen: You’re welcome.

April: I did appreciate it. I mean, this is the birthday week and I’m celebrating on Wednesday as one does – with cake. My neighbor has volunteered to make me my favorite carrot cake.

Jen: Yes.

April: And there are other snacks that we wanted to talk about this week. Because, we love our National Days and there are two very delicious ones this week.

Jen: Do tell.

April: Well, August 10th is National S’mores Day.

Jen: Which, we should say what that is for the rest of the world… I’m not sure if that’s a thing around the world?

April: I don’t know if it is.

Jen: In the United States, there’s a dessert called a S’more… which is graham crackers, and in the middle, you roast a marshmallow over a campfire traditionally and you put some chocolate in there. And it’s a sandwich called a S’more.

April: And it is delicious. And they call it that because once you’ve had one, you want some more.

Jen: That’s right. Yes.

April: And of course, we’re both past Girl Scouts, right? You were a Girl Scout, weren’t you?

Jen: Not for long, but yes, I was.

April: Now, we talked about that because I talked about how at my camp, we weren’t learning survival skills. We weren’t learning about camping. But we did learn about S’mores, which is important.

Jen: That’s great.

April: So August 10th, we’re thinking about S’mores. And on August 15th, it is Lemon Meringue Pie Day, which apparently is a source of a little bit of controversy between us. Because I quite like lemon meringue pie.

Jen: I support you liking lemon meringue pie.

April: Thank you, Jen.

Jen: I mean, that’s fine.

April: But you yourself are not a mad fan of it. Although you said…

Jen: Well, my grandmother has a very famous lemon meringue pie recipe. At least famous in the Milwaukee area.

April: Well, what is it famous for?

Jen: It’s just really delicious. Her meringue was quite delightful if you like that sort of thing. And she made a homemade pie crust that she always called her “never-fail pie crust.”

April: That sounds delicious.

Jen: And it was her traditional dessert that she would always bring to different events with the family.

April: I love it, but I can’t make it. And we’ve got an entire tree full of Meyer lemons that at any given time is just overflowing with lemons. And so I’ve tried them many times. I’ve also tried lemon bars. I don’t have great skill with custardy desserts.

Jen: Would you like me to send you my grandmother’s lemon meringue pie recipe?

April: I would love it. I would love it.

Jen: I will do that.

April: And of course, now our listeners are going to be clamoring for this recipe as well. I don’t know if you want the secret to get out quite that far?

Jen: I’ll check with my mom. I’ll check with my mom.

April: Okay. And see what she thinks. So there are a couple of wonderful things for you to celebrate this week. And there were a couple of other nice things that we’re celebrating and wanted to share. And one is that we’ve hit something of a milestone on The Big Sky Astrology Podcast.

Jen: Indeed we have.

April: Since late November, we have now reached a total 25,000 downloads.

Jen: It seems like a lot for a small, independent podcast like us.

April: I guess so, but I mean, I’m super ambitious, so of course I want it to be a million. But you know, we are a fairly new and boy, I’ll tell you what: I don’t care if it was 10 people. If we had 10 people listening on the regular, I’d still want to do this when you. Wouldn’t you?

Jen: Absolutely. I love doing this podcast.

April: I think it’s so much fun. And the fact that people are listening at all is always something of a minor miracle to me. So I’m really delighted. And we heard from one person who is listening regularly, who had some nice things to say,

Jen: Yes. I’m going to read this review from Janetcetera via Apple Podcasts in Canada. Who said “Highlight of my week. I absolutely love this podcast. It’s shorten and digestible. It’s hilarious and thoughtful. I feel such a connection to April (I’m a Leo too) and often find myself weeping or wanting to reach out and hug her when listening or reading her essays. And I love Jen’s Midwestern accent. I’m from Ontario, so she sounds like home. Thanks from Vancouver, Canada.”

April: Aww. You sound like home.

Jen: We loved that review. Thank you.

April: I think that’s so nice. And I love Janet’s handle, “Janetcetera.”

Jen: That’s right. I like that too.

April: It’s very clever. We like the word play. So thank you so much for that.

Jen: That was really sweet.

April: Very much appreciated. Alright. Well, I suppose we should probably talk about the news of the week. What do you think?

Jen: I think we should get to it.

April: Okay.

Jen: Start us off, April.

April: Well we have Mercury square Uranus on August 10th at 5:51 AM Pacific Time Zone. And this falls on the degrees of 10.40 Leo and Taurus, so we round up to 11. The Sabian symbol for Mercury at this square is 11 Leo “Children in a Swing in a Huge Oak Tree.” Which we’ve actually covered quite a lot on the podcast.

The Sabian symbol for Uranus is “A Woman Sprinkling Long Rows of Flowers.” Uranus is going to turn retrograde on this degree later in the week. So we’ll talk about that a little later in the show. We also had these same symbols back in Episode 23, when we talked about the First Quarter Moon in Leo. Well, Uranus is disruption or rebellion or things going somewhat catawampus. It can work a little bit like a Mercury retrograde sometimes when Mercury makes a close, hard aspect to Uranus.

Jen: Oh really? That’s interesting.

April: But watch it and see. I think you’ll probably find that it’s true and that seems to happen.

Jen: Yes, okay.

April: This is a continuation of the story that began on April 30th when Mercury met up in a conjunction with Uranus.

Jen: The opening square.

April: Yes. And that happened at 6° Taurus, “A Bridge Being Built Across a Gorge.” So you can go back to Episode 23, “Talking Taurus and the Void (of Course!) Moon,” to hear more about that one. Is that the one that your parents were on?

Jen: They were on Episode 22, I believe. So, the one before it. We had a couple of Taurus episodes back to back. So I think it was the one right before that. I’m pretty sure.

April: That’s why I was confused. So, it’s also awakening of our ideas. I mean, these can be little flashes of inspiration. Anytime you get Sun or Mercury connecting with Uranus, it can be a time of great inspiration. It’s not necessarily – well, they are more bolts out of the blue when you’ve got a square.

Jen: I was thinking of it as surprising news, maybe.

April: Yes. It can be that as well. It can be something you didn’t expect to hear.

Jen: But maybe pleasant, surprising news because of the nice Sabian symbols.

April: This is what I’m wondering. Because they are nice symbols. And we have another aspect we’ll talk about later this week that has some pretty unpleasant symbolism generally, but that the Sabian symbols are nice for. We shall see. I like the idea of “Children in a Swing in The Huge Oak Tree.” That is the play, the creativity, the fun of Mercury being in Leo. “A Woman Sprinkling Long Rows of Flowers” I like, because it suggests that, although this seems to come out of the blue, the idea that you get – the inspiration, the news – it’s actually been growing for awhile, probably.

Jen: Oh, interesting.

April: Because of that symbolism of cultivating, of growing. So, like they always say, it’s, “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration” when you have actually worked at something for a long time… and then all of a sudden it just -bam! – seems to come out of the blue.

Jen: It makes me think of the lavender fields of Tasmania. The long rows of purple. Really beautiful.

April: Ooh, Tasmania. I did not know. I didn’t know that this was a Tasmanian thing. We have this in the North County of San Diego. It’s not lavender, but I think it’s tulips that they do at some time of the year.

Jen: That’s beautiful.

April: Yes. Up in Carlsbad, I think. It’s just gorgeous. Rows and rows. So just imagine rows of beautiful flowers that suddenly, there’s some inspiration. So show up for it. If something like this is coming, go ahead and make the time, sit down at your desk or your easel or whatever and allow Uranus to come in and do its work.

Jen: I think that’s lovely.

April: And next on our show sheet, we have…

Jen: Moonwatch!

April: Moonwatch! Play it!

Alright. This week we have a Last Quarter Moon at 19° and 28 minutes of Taurus on August 11th at 09:45 AM. We’ve talked before about the Last Quarter Moon being the moment in the lunar cycle for reflection, for taking stock, for making any last-minute adjustments to hopefully get everything out of the lunar cycle that we had hoped to. And we have also talked in the past too, about how in general in your life, this is a good phase for doing that kind of work.

Jen: Right. And I was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little bit?

April: I mean, it’s just that the mood of this lunar phase is reflective. And so, to some extent, yes, we’ll be reflecting on things that began three weeks before the New Moon. But realistically in most New Moon cycles, you’re not going to have a ton happen in three weeks. I mean, every now and again, you’re going to get one that’s life changing, but mostly they’re smaller goals.

Jen: Yes.

April: But the Last Quarter supports overall contemplation and thinking about “What am I doing achieving my long-term goals?” Including in life, generally.

Jen: So it doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with a timeline.

April: Correct. That is what I would say.

Jen: I’ve heard some astrologers associate New Moons and lunar cycles with… of course there’s a 28- or 29-day period. But also, with a six-month period and with a two-and-a-half-year period. Would you say that as well?

April: Yes. Generally, with the lunar cycle, you’re going to look at the sign that the New Moon is in, and then you know that six months later, you’re going to have a Full Moon in that sign.

Jen: Okay. Yes. That makes sense.

April: And that is a moment of: You start to see the results, perhaps, of what you initiated at the New Moon previously. The two-and-a-half-year cycle perhaps refers to the progressed Moon.

Jen: Okay. Yes.

April: I can’t think of any other off the top of my head. We’ve skirted around the idea of secondary progressions, because they’re a little more complicated and I am preparing some material on that that I’ll be letting people know about. But by progression – which is a symbolic system of moving the chart forward in time – the progressed Moon changes signs every 2 ½ years.

Jen: Got it. Okay.

April: Beyond that, I’m not sure what people would be referring to, but I don’t claim to know everything.

Jen: Thank you for that. That actually makes a lot of sense putting the two-and-a-half-year period with the progressed Moon, because I never understood where that math came from. And that totally makes sense.

April: There could be something that I’m just not getting, but that’s one of the cycles I work with. So that springs out in my mind.

Jen: Yes. For sure. Okay.

April: I liked the Sabian symbols for this one. The Sabian symbol for the Moon at 20 Taurus is “Wind, Clouds and Haste.” Haste is not usually something we associate with Taurus.

Jen: The sign of the bull…

April: …it is moving at a more languid pace until it charges. But that’s more speed than haste. Haste has this suggestion of “I’ve got to hurry up.” You know?

Jen: Right.

April: And not necessarily well considered. But I loved the vision of the symbol always because I love the sky. You know, my business is called Big Sky Astrology. To me, it speaks of looking up in the clear, beautiful Midwestern sky where I grew up and watching the clouds moved along by the wind. But this does suggest conditions in which things are moving quickly, which will be interesting for this Last Quarter.

Jen: Yes.

April: The Sabian symbol for the Sun in Leo at this Last Quarter is “Zuni Sun Worshippers.” The Zuni are a Native American people, and I’m not going to claim to be an expert in them. I doubt that Elsie Wheeler was either… the woman who intuited the Sabian symbols. But it’s a general sense of revering nature and acknowledging its importance in our lives. And also the natural rhythms and cycles of life. Putting these two together, I just felt: It’s the importance that nature plays in our lives, that ritual plays in our lives, of being intentional about what we’re hoping to do moving forward. And again, it’s this contemplation of the Last Quarter Moon. It’s, “How have I been doing up to now?” And really kind of tweaking that a little bit so that we have a strategy going forward. And ritual can be part of that. A lot of people use ritual in that way still. And really acknowledging the rhythm of the Sun in particular.

Again, this is the season of Leo. It’s the season for creativity, for relaxation, for recreation. But generally things are moving fast. The Moon is still pretty close to Uranus at the time of the Last Quarter Moon, so there is a little bit of that..

Jen: …unpredictability.

April: Unpredictability. And things kind of moving suddenly very quickly. A trine to Jupiter gives a nice sense that things that are unfolding have a benign and instructive spirit to them. And the Sun is trine Mars. Mars is getting ready to make some difficult aspects to other planets in the sky. But it’s nice that now it’s being warmed by the Sun. It’s getting a spirit of heart-opening, loving Leo energy.

Jen: Yes. A nice, flowing energy.

April: Okay. So, that is Moon watch for the week. What do we have next?

Jen: Next we have Mars squaring Pluto on August 13th at 23° of Aries and Capricorn. What can you tell us, April?

April: Well, it’s the one I was referring to earlier when I said there’s a really ugly-looking aspect, but it has some nice Sabian symbols.

Jen: Traditionally, this is not thought of as a kind aspect.

April: No, and I’m not going to sugarcoat it, but that isn’t to say that it’s catastrophic, necessarily, or that it doesn’t have positive results that we can see from it.

Mars is, of course, the god of war, of conflict… and in Aries, it’s like, we don’t want anything to stand in our way and we’re moving full tilt. Pluto refers to those processes that are beyond our control. So when you bring those two concepts together… of Mars, which is that sense in which we have agency to make things happen and to move in a particular direction… and Pluto which says, “Well, you really don’t.” You know?

Jen: “I am Pluto.”

April: Yes. “And I always get the last word.” And planetary aspects, I should say, are like dialogue between the planets.

Jen: I like that.

April: Yes. It’s a point in people’s studies where they can really get tripped up because it’s geometry. And it’s hard to get used to seeing the aspects. But if you just think of it as the planets are really the two characters in this play, and this is how they’re communicating with each other. The style of communication with the square is: There’s a conflict. There could be yelling. It would be Mars who yells; it’s beneath Pluto to yell. Pluto doesn’t have to yell, because it looks so scary. It’s like my husband always likes to say… he lived in Queensland Australia for a while where everything wants to kill you. There’s all these huge spiders and everything. And he said, “There were some spiders that were so big, they didn’t have to bite you. They’re so scary looking, they could just kill you just by you see them.” So that’s Pluto, a little bit of the time.

Jen: Okay. Yes.

April: So, Mars square Pluto sets up a dynamic for this week, where we learn a little something about the limits of our personal efficacy and power and how far we can push. And those Capricorn planets starting with Jupiter last week… so Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in turn are going to stop that Mars in its tracks. You can’t always just be pushing forward at warp speed. You can get tripped up.

But the Sabian symbols for this one are really nice. They’re two of my favorites actually.

Jen: What are they?

April: Well, Mars is on the symbol, “An Open Window and a Net Curtain Blowing into a Cornucopia.” Which just sets a whole mood for me… that’s so relaxing and peaceful and contemplative and nothing like Mars in Aries whatsoever.

Jen: And bountiful.

April: And bountiful with the cornucopia there. The Sabian symbol for Pluto is, “A Woman Entering a Convent.” And it sounds weird to say that that is one of my favorites. But I love it, because it speaks to me of going into a place of autonomy and quiet, where your whole job is to serve and reflect.

Jen: Which sounds really 6th house.

April: Well, it’s that dynamic between the 6th house and the 12th house. Because the 12th house is a place of retreat. But having Pluto on the symbol, to me, takes a lot of the edge off Pluto. Because it says, “There is an opportunity here for you. If you will pause and you will let yourself retreat a little bit and reflect in a quiet room.” I used to have this little office near where we lived, and it was actually a room in a church. They had a complex associated with it with offices.

Jen: Oh, nice.

April: Yes. It had no internet. It had nothing. I just rented this room to write when I was working on a book. It was up high, it was on the second floor and I could open the window… and exactly what this describes. I had this little very gauzy curtain from Ikea or something, and it would blow against my arm. It was so peaceful in there.

Jen: Wow. That’s really nice.

April: And although that’s hard for Mars in Aries… This just says, “Look, if you get stopped in your tracks in something that you’re working on, try to see it as an opportunity.”

Jen: Yes. I like that.

April: It is frustrating, but try to find what you can from it… where you’re going in and going a little deeper… and maybe you’re moving in the wrong direction. And this is good opportunity to recalibrate.

Jen: Yes. Because we don’t want to be Pollyannaish about this aspect because it’s not traditionally an easy aspect. But I like that take on it, April. Because you can try to channel the energy: Taking action to transform in a positive way. Taking action is Mars, transformation is Pluto. I mean, if change is incoming, what do you want it to look like? What direction can you help move it? You can think back to March – like we were talking about last week – what were the personal stories playing out for you? What now can you do to move those stories forward in a positive way?

April: Right. Because that’s of course also when we have Mars and Pluto together… just like we had Mars and Jupiter, as you were talking about. And that was on March 22nd.

Jen: Exactly.

April: This is the first of three squares between Mars and Pluto. And the next one will come on October 9th. And then the final one is on December 23rd. And it’s actually on the same degrees, on the same Sabian symbols. So know that this is the opening salvo in an extended campaign. And this is always the toughest one when we encounter the first one, because it’s new and will trip us up… Mars in Aries moving with all haste… back to that Sabian symbol for the Last Quarter Moon in Taurus. And if we’re moving too fast, then the Pluto will really hit us hard and it has this way of making us feel we’re not terribly significant… is how it will feel. But this is the first one. The second one on October 9th will probably be a little easier. And the third one on December 23rd, a little easier still.

Jen: Yes. Okay.

April: We also have Uranus turning retrograde this week on August 15th at 7:26 AM Pacific Time. And it’s again on that symbol, “A woman sprinkling long rows of flowers.” So the last retrograde period for Uranus was between August 11th, 2019 and January 10th, 2020. And it will go direct again in January.

So for now, Uranus is stationing. And the couple of days on either side of the station is where it tends to be the most fraught. And it brings a little bit of extra energy, I think, to that Last Quarter Moon too. Because that Last Quarter Moon is close to Uranus, which as we said, was getting ready to turn retrograde.

What happens when a planet moves backwards is it becomes more internalized, I think, in its effects. And also, it is a time where it can sometimes act actually the opposite of what we associate it with. So if Uranus is about things being really unpredictable or coming out of nowhere or being very rebellious… or whatever it is with Uranus… as it turns retrograde, I suspect we’ll begin to see a little less of that. We’ve been seeing a lot of it in society.

Jen: We sure have.

April: Yes. People not agreeing about things and wanting to do things their own way and all of that. And this says, “We’re probably moving into a period through January of a little bit of that backing off, receding into the background a little bit,” I think. We shall see.

Jen: I guess we shall.

April: But, Uranus again, it’s one of those that’s retrograde half the year… practically five months or something. So it’s really around the time that it moves that we start to see the evidence of what it wants to do.

Jen: And if people know their birth charts – and we can link an article where you can find your birth chart – and Uranus stationing is hitting a sensitive point in your chart, then you’ll feel that energy more strongly.

April: Yes. And we’re looking at the point again, 10° and 41 minutes of Taurus… roughly 11° of Taurus. And that post that we link to attempts to guide you through how to find that point in your chart. I have a little video in there with it, as well as written instructions. So if you have something in your chart around 11° of a fixed sign – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius, for instance – those could be an interesting few days for you.

Jen: Yes. Okay.

April: And finally, we have a very lovely aspect between Sun and Mercury and Mars, which we touched on a little bit earlier. But this is on August 16th at 07:03 AM and 10:30 PM. The first one’s Sun, second one’s Mercury.

Trines, all things being equal can be quite nice. Mars is getting ready to go into battle with some big ferocious planets… Saturn and Pluto, even Jupiter is no walk in the park when it’s a square. So this is nice because it’s like he’s getting some warmth. He’s getting some love. He’s getting some sunshine from the Sun. He’s getting some information at a pep talk from Mercury going into August 16th at the end of the week. This is a time to act with heart, to act on your creative impulses and just try to ignore all that messy Mars/Pluto stuff from earlier in the week,

Jen: Yes.

April: There were some Sabian symbols that I thought you had some really good thoughts about.

Jen: Do you want to say what they are?

April: Well, the Sabian symbol for the Sun and Mercury is 25 Leo, “A Large Camel Crossing the Desert.” And the Sabian symbol for Mars at 25 Aries is “A Double Promise.”

Jen: They both to me speak about duality. A camel can have two humps. And it’s a double promise. It’s also interesting to me that the Sun and Mercury are together… because those are two planets together. So it’s again, that duality getting emphasized to me.

April: Yes. Good point.

Jen: But I think about “A Camel Crossing the Desert.” It’s methodical, it’s slow, it’s plodding… but it can go the distance, and presumably its goal is to get somewhere in the future. I think about “A Double Promise,” which is also future-focused. Inherently, it’s a pledge about the future. You will do something.

Both of these symbols to me are about planning. It seems like we’re getting a lot of cosmic messages lately around planning for the future. Like last week’s podcast, we had the Full Moon in Aquarius and we were talking about it being a future-focused sign. At the end of the year, Jupiter and Saturn are coming together in Aquarius.

So for me, pulling all this together, I think there are messages here around: What direction are you headed? And with the duality of these symbols, it might be about having a plan… but also having a backup plan.

April: Ah, that’s a really good insight. I’ve wondered about that double promise symbol… I’ve never known entirely what to make of it, but I like that. That’s a really nice interpretation.

Jen: Thank you.

April: I just love the picture of the camel crossing the desert. I love the desert. And I like camels, but boy, they smell bad.

Jen: Have you met a lot of camels?

April: We have the world-famous San Diego zoo…

Jen: Oh, yes.

April: …which is a really fine organization and does a lot of really good conservation work and this kind of thing. And they have a pretty nice environment that they’ve set up for the camels… but boy, they do not smell good. They smell very funky. Like…

Jen: Very camel-y.

April: Very camel-y. Yes. Is there a difference between a camel and a dromedary?

Jen: A dromedary has one hump…

April: Oh, so the camel has two?

Jen: …and a camel has two humps.

April: Aren’t you clever!

Jen: That’s the way I learned it in grade school.

April: Well, dromedary is fun to say.

Jen: It is fun to say.

April: And so is camel.

Jen: But I don’t know camels real closely, so I’m just going by what I learned in school…

April: But this can be a very positive Sabian symbols, as long as you keep your distance a little bit. I just see it walking off across the horizon.

Jen: Yes.

April: Well, my friend, I believe that is everything we have on our show sheet. Have we done it?

Jen: We have done it! Episode 38.

April: 38. We’re moving right up on 40. Aren’t we?

Jen: We are. 40 seems like a lot!

April: It really does kind of seem like a lot. I’ve loved every one of them.

Jen: I have too. For sure.

April: Well, we hope you are all enjoying it too. And thank you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast…

Jen: 25,000 times!

April: 25,000 times! And if there’s only 10 of you, you have really been working hard and we really appreciate it. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to subscribe, rate and review, tell a friend. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at our website, We hope that you will help us spread the word.

Jen: And if you’re in a position to be able to financially support the podcast, please go to and kick in a few dollars. We depend on you and we appreciate you. So thank you.

April: We do. Thank you.

Jen: Yes.

April: Well, join us again, bright and early next Monday. And until then, keep your feet on the ground…

Jen: …and your eyes on the stars.

Thank you for listening. To learn more about April Elliott Kent, please check out her website,, where you can sign up for her newsletter, read her thought-provoking weekly essays, purchase her books, sign up for a personal astrology reading, and more.

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