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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 65 | Mars, Uranus, and Revisiting the US Pluto Return

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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 January 18th, 2021. And here with me – on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – is my friend, astrologer April Elliott Kent. Hi, April.

April: Hi, Jen. I’m not actually in a full-on blanket fort this week, but I have decided that I would put a little partial covering over my usual podcasting station. It’s feeling very snuggly in here.

Jen: We’ll see if it makes a difference.

April: We’ll see. Yes.

Jen: If you ever need introvert time, you can just go in there during the day, put the blanket over your little recording cube, and spend some time alone.

April: I like that idea. It’s like my own little cone of silence. I like it. Well, as you say, it is Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday today, and we thought it was worth noting that, and especially in light of the fact that we had a pretty rough week last week as a country.

Jen: Yes, we sure did.

April: And the thing that I am always taking away from Martin Luther King’s teachings is the emphasis on non-violence. And I don’t think that that is ever the way to go about things. And it’s sad when things get to the point that people feel that’s the only way to achieve their objectives is with violence. And regardless where our listeners stand politically, I think that we can hopefully all agree that there must be a better way to handle our disagreements than what we saw last week at the Capitol.

Jen: It was pretty intense. The astrology lines up with what was happening last week. Wouldn’t you say?

April: Very much so. And we’ll be talking about that this week, because apparently, we have another interesting week ahead of us with Inauguration Day in the United States this week.

Jen: And we should mention we’re recording on January 11th.

April: Yes.

Jen: So we are making mention of what happened for us this past week with the seizure on the Capitol, but we don’t know what’s happening after today, obviously. So…

April: You are ahead of us. You know much more – as you’re listening to this – than we do as we’re recording it.

Jen: Yes.

April: The thing that was most striking last week was that all of the insurrection and violence and so forth has happened at the Capitol last week was at its peak of intensity as Mars was moving out of Aries and into Taurus. And we’ve been talking a lot about Mars in Aries ever since it went into that sign back in August, we’ve had the retrograde and it’s been a really, really challenging transit for Mars. And it was, I guess, not surprising in hindsight to see that a lot of the frustrations that we were seeing and associating with Mars in Aries, as it was making squares to the Capricorn planets, that inevitably have to erupt in some way. The timing of it was quite striking as well, and the New Moon last week in Capricorn was also a very, very striking chart with the Sun and Moon conjunct Pluto. So as we said, we’re recording just as that week is beginning, so we don’t know exactly how that’s going play out.

Jen: Well, I guess we’ll see. We’ll see.

April: Yes. So, we’re an astrology podcast and that is our focal point on things. And what we want to do for you this week is just give you an overview of the most striking features of this week. And it is, I have to say astrologically, a pretty contentious looking week. We’re going to take it step-by-step and tell you what we think.

Jen: Let me bring up one other piece of astrology.

April: Yes.

Jen: The United States is also coming up to its Pluto return and that’s in 2022… which just means that at the moment the Declaration of Independence was signed, Pluto is returning to that same patch of sky that it was in at that point. And so a lot of the themes from that time are being reflected now. And we even had an episode last year where we started talking about the beginning rumblings of the Pluto return. Do you think this is also attached to that?

April: Yes. Because the way I’m reading that Pluto return: We’ve never had one. We’re a young country and Pluto takes almost 250 years to make its trip around the Sun. So this is the first time that we’re experiencing this as a country. We’re not going to be the same country on the other end of this. And we don’t know what this country is going to look like, and we’re creating it now. This is the thing when we look at astrology and we think about cycles and trends. There is this belief, sometimes, that the future is out there waiting for us to catch up with it… that it’s already formed, that the transits dictate a particular course of action or a particular outcome. I’ve never believed that. And my guiding principle as an astrologer has always been: We are creating the future now. We work within particular cyclical guidelines, we might say, we know that the US has to undergo a rebirth. That’s what Pluto is about. That’s what that New Moon was about too… and anytime we encounter Pluto. But we don’t know how we are going to be reborn. We don’t know what shape things are going to take at the end of it all.

And I always say, when it comes to Pluto, “Everybody wants to be transformed, but nobody wants to do the transforming because transforming is ugly and messy and scary.”

Jen: Yes.

April: Very, very difficult times. And all I can say is, I mean, at the heart of it all, I’m a Jupiterian person, I’ve Sagittarius rising, a lot of planets in the ninth house. And I have always liked to believe the very best in people and especially in my country. And the things that happened last week really made that difficult. The Pluto and Saturn have really been getting the best of my Jupiter these days, I would say.

I was telling you before: There are fewer and fewer people that any of us have that seem to see things exactly as we do at the moment. And that means we have to have disagreements and we have to explore the basis of those disagreements. And really, let’s talk about the astrology of it, because that’s why folks are here.

Well, speaking of the Sun entering Aquarius this week…

Jen: Yes, yes…

April: Yes. Being a new Solar season, the Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th at 12:40 PM Pacific Time. And we are entering the most spectacular Aquarius season in decades. Between February 9th and the 11th, six planets are going to be in Aquarius. And we did talk about this extensively in our special solstice episode that we did for our subscribers.

Jen: Yes. We spoke quite a lot about it.

April: Do you want to tell people how they can get their mitts on that episode?

Jen: Yes. Just kick in $5 on And we can send you that episode – the one we just did where we talked quite a lot about the Aquarius stellium that’s coming up. April, say what a stellium is, won’t you?

April: A stellium is when you have a group of planets together in the same sign.

Jen: And everyone can hear you pouring water in the background!

April: Yes. Sorry about that!

Jen: How appropriate, the water bearer!

April: It is. I am doing my Aquarius business here. It has to be more than three planets, I believe, and I think you needed to have some outer planets as well, like Jupiter out. You had to have at least one of those involved. And it’s been a while since I looked at that.

Jen: I haven’t heard that part… I thought it was just three or more planets. I guess some people have defined it a little bit differently, I’ve seen actually.

April: I think so. I think we talked about this one time and we diverted people to Donna Cunningham’s blog. Because she wrote an ebook about stelliums. We’ll dig up that information and link to it in the show notes.

Jen: Sure. Yes.

April: So people can have that. Because, I know there are a lot of people who are probably listening who were born in the late 1980s when there was a big stellium of planets in Capricorn, for instance. And that can 1962, where we had a similar grouping in Aquarius. So I think that that particular book would be interesting. I think someone might have made it available for free as an ebook. Anyway, we’ll send people to the appropriate place for that.

Jen: Yes. So anyway, folks can kick in five bucks. They’ll get that episode as well as a year’s worth of Solstice and Equinox episodes, at

April: I’m sorry. I took us a little bit off track with that, didn’t I?

Jen: No, it’s all good. It’s all good.

April: It is that kind of day.

Jen: It is that kind of day.

April: Well, what is Aquarius about? If you talk to people and you ask them about Aquarius, they’re immediately going to go to the idea of group affiliations that hits the sign of groups and the sign of friends.

Jen: Like the Peanuts characters!

April: Like peanuts characters. Right. Like Charlie Brown and his Aquarius-themed shirt. Aquarius, I would say, of course does rule group affiliations. And what this means is: People working together toward long-range goals. It’s not necessarily the same cozy, comfy friends of the heart that we have our deepest conversations with. It’s people who kind of see the world the way we do and want to work together with us to achieve whatever we want to achieve. Now what’s unfortunate is these Aquarius planets – the Sun and everything else that’s going to be moving into Aquarius – will be in hard aspect to Mars and Uranus in Taurus.

And this sort of bends Aquarius’s liberty-loving spirit towards radicalism and possible violence. And that has to do with Uranus, which is very radical, very unpredictable… and Mars, which is not averse to using force to get its way. So, I think that is the way we have seen this arise recently in particularly in the events of January 6th, but it’s not the only way that it can play out. There’s nothing that’s ever been done in the world that’s worthwhile that was not done by people unifying together behind a particular objective. And that is also the promise of Aquarius.

Jen: So that is the possible beautiful side of Aquarius, is to invent something as a group or to…

April: …to create something.

Jen: Yes, yes.

April: I think, it’s the opposite of Leo. Leo is about what we create individually and personally from our own individual spirits… the 11th house and Aquarius, both talk about what we do together as group and unity. And we create something beautiful or we can create something that is very destructive. The choice, I have to believe, lies with each of us. That brings us into Inauguration Day the next day. And it’s interesting… at what point, I’m trying to remember, did Inauguration Day move from March – where it was in the beginning – to basically the first day that the Sun is in Aquarius?

Jen: I’m not sure.

April: Yes. But it’s always held on January 20th every year.

Jen: Yes. But it used to be in March, is what you’re saying?

April: Yes.

Jen: Okay.

April: So it moved from a Piscean thing to an Aquarian thing at some point in history.

Jen: Interesting.

April: So we have Inauguration Day on January 20th, I think it’s happening around 11:30 Eastern Time or so. And just before that, or just after that, I should say, Mars makes a conjunction with Uranus on that day. It’s actually at 12:38 PM Pacific Time at 6° 44 Taurus. And the Sabian symbol for Uranus at seven Taurus is “A Woman of Samaria.” This is the beginning of a new synodic cycle for Mars and Uranus. They will make a second conjunction in August of 2022.

Jen: A new conjunction?

April: Yes.

Jen: Okay.

April: And in between Uranus will turn retrograde again this August. Here’s what I think about the “Woman of Samaria,” because I’ve been thinking about this one a lot. It’s a biblical story. And it is a story of reaching out to people of different tribes. Because Jesus specifically was a Jew; the Samarians were the enemies of the Jews. And yet he reached out to this woman for water. And I mean, it really is a symbol about reaching out to people that we consider different from ourselves who have historically even been our enemies. And I don’t think there could be a more appropriate symbol for Mars with Uranus on Inauguration Day. Now, is it going to play out that way? I don’t know. But it’s an interesting symbol. And if we’re going to look at the Sabian symbols, this is an interesting one to consider for this day. I don’t think it’s an accident that we’re having these difficult planets, Mars and Uranus, which can achieve very nefarious things or very positive things. And having them together around a symbol that speaks about reaching across the aisles.

Jen: Reaching out to groups of Aquarians with different beliefs.

April: Exactly. Jen, do you know what time it is now?

Jen: What time is it, pal?

April: Moonwatch…

Jen: Moonwatch…

April: Play it!

Yes, Moonwatch! This week – on the same day as the inauguration – is the First Quarter Moon at 1° and two minutes of Taurus on January 20th, 01:01 PM. And the Sabian symbols are pretty amazing on this one. The Moon is on 2° of Taurus, “An Electrical Storm” and the Sun is on 2° Aquarius, “An Unexpected Thunderstorm.”

Jen: Oh boy.

April: Both of which have a very Mars/Uranus vibe to them. And indeed, the chart for the inauguration – if you look at the chart for Washington DC – the Mars/Uranus conjunction is rising in the chart. Which gives it particular strength and really talks about the people of the country. And there is, as we can see a lot of friction there. What we have in the chart for the First Quarter Moon is the Sun and Saturn and Jupiter all square the Moon, Uranus and Mars…

Jen: Bringing a lot of energy.

April: A lot of energy. A First Quarter Moon’s energetic anyway. It’s the point in the cycle where we say, “Oh, okay, time to move, time to take some action.” And usually… you are a Libran with lots of Libra planets, and I’ve got the Moon in the seventh house… we’re always looking for ways for people to work together and things. But this is a lot of emphatic square imagery. The value of squares is that they make us confront things and work through them and they can be very energizing, like the electrical storm, like the unexpected thunderstorm. The difficult part of it is that it’s hard, and people can get hurt and feelings can get hurt.

I mean, it’s a pretty interesting First Quarter Moon to have on the Inauguration Day, but there was no way this was going to be anything but a contentious Inauguration Day anyway, regardless of who won. And that’s reflected really in this First Quarter Moon chart.

Jen: Yes. Right. I think the difficult thing about this chart is that it’s hard to know how to prepare for it.

April: Yes. Because it’s, well: Prepare for the unexpected.

Jen: Right.

April: So, we have a couple of days after that to pull ourselves together a little bit…

Jen: Before the next big thing happens.

April: Yes, which is a square between Mars and Jupiter on January 22nd at 01:49 PM. Pacific Time, 7°, 59 minutes Taurus and Aquarius. So Mars is triggering Jupiter. Mars is a planet of insistence, of determination, possibly of violence. You think of a charging bull with Mars in Taurus… And in this case, a squaring that’s triggering Jupiter, the planet of law and judgment. Which is in Aquarius, which is just kind of an unpredictable sign, which way it’s going to go.

This is a square in a cycle that began with a conjunction on March 20th of 2020 at 22°, 48 Capricorn, a familiar degree to us by now.

Jen: Right. Because we had the New Moon last week here at this degree.

April: Right.

Jen: And the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January about a year ago was at this degree.

April: Yes. This is the last of three squares between Mars and Jupiter. The first one we had on August 4th, 2020, and we talked about that in Episode 37, “Full Moon in Aquarius and Many Happy Solar Returns.”

Jen: Your birthday.

April: Yes, it was my birthday. And the other one was close to your birthday was October 18th, 2020. And we talked about that in Episode 52, “A Scorpio Season of long Shadows and Fellowship.” I don’t know. Do you have much to say about this one, pal?

Jen: I’ll just add that when this cycle began on March 20th – which you said this was Episode 17, “Saturn in Aquarius” – I will link all of these episodes in the show notes. It’s interesting that this conjunction happened the same week that Saturn went into Aquarius the first time.

April: Worth going back and taking a listen to that, and a look at that.

Jen: Yes.

April: Basically it’s an aspect that talks about pushing the limits because Mars is about our personal determination to get what we want. And Jupiter is about what society says about that. “How far are you going to get with it? How can we give you what it is that you deserve to have?” All at the same time, recognizing that you’re part of a society. You’re not just one person with your personal rights… that we all act within a society. It’s probably the best I can do with that one.

Jen: So for folks, I mean a lot has been happening the last year, and in the last week as well. For your own personal selves, go back and look at these dates: March 20th of last year, August 4th, and October 18th… because those are the touchpoints that something might echo for you from your life over the past year.

April: And for many of us, that’s going to be difficult because one day has been much like the next since March of 2020. I only remember August 4th, because it was just before my birthday. But yeah, it all just sort of flows together… but a square between Mars and Jupiter is going to get our attention this week for sure.

Jen: Alright. And lastly, we have one more in this big week.

April: Yes. We’re going to talk about the Sun’s annual conjunction to Saturn, which happens on January 23rd at 07:01 PM Pacific at 4° and 20 minutes of Aquarius. Last week of course brought a conjunction between the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn. And now it is time for the Sun to come together with Saturn. And it is on a powerful Sabian symbol, “A Council of Ancestors.” Which is one I like a lot.

Jen: Me too.

April: Yes, the Sun coming together with Saturn is – I think I’ve talked about before – a real hard combination. Because if you picture the Sun it’s, you know… you put a little seed in the ground and the Sun is the thing that gives it the energy to burst forth. And Saturn is a container. And it’s a little bit like putting the Sun in a container that’s far too small for it. Speaking literally as a Leo about the Sun… I’m sitting now in this little recording cube, that’s all black inside and dark and it feels very Saturnian. Saturn is always the containers and you need to have some kind of containers in your life. But it’s hard for us to stretch and to grow in the ways that we might want to when the Sun is conjunct Saturn. I will say the leadup to this – from the time Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th to when it finishes the conjunction late on the 23rd – that’s the hard part. So the week leading up to it is a little bit more difficult than the day of.

Jen: Okay.

April: What about this council of ancestors? What does that say to you?

Jen: Two things. One, it’s a group of wise elders, so it speaks to me of some wisdom. But I think that really the unspoken half of this is: There’s probably somebody in the shadows, over here, looking for some advice.

April: I think that’s all of us, you know? And I think it’s the moment whenever we have something at this degree, it’s the moment to look back. I’ve probably talked about this before on the podcast, but I’m getting to an age now – I’ll turn 60 in August – and I’m running out of elders. My husband said yesterday, “So who are the older people in our neighborhood now?” I said, “Honey, it’s us.”

You know, that’s not a bad thing. That means that we are the elders. And sometimes we’re late to understand that. When I talk to people of my generation – or even yours, Jen, you are a little bit younger than me – we’re all a bit flummoxed when we come to the realization that we’re now the elders. We’re the ones people are looking to for some kind of wisdom or some kind of advice.

Because in my heart, I always want to go back to my own elders, the ones that taught me. And I think we never outgrow that desire, that need, that yearning to be able to go to somebody and lay our concerns at their feet and say, “Help me. Guide me.” And I think maybe a message here is to not think so much in terms of age, it doesn’t have to be someone older than you. It doesn’t have to be somebody who is in your family. It can just be somebody who represents some kernel of wisdom that you need to hear at a given moment. So look around you this week and listen hard for those voices. And I think that you will find some guidance and some wisdom where you need it.

Jen: I like that.

April: Yes.

Jen: I’ll look around this week and dig up some stuff about how to manage stress. And I’ll put some information in the show notes for people. Because it is a stressful week.

April: It is.

Jen: And I like what you just said about: It might not be someone that’s necessarily older, but it might be someone that has some wisdom who is even younger than you.

April: Sure. We don’t grow wise just because we grow old, I think I would say.

Jen: Yes.

April: And hopefully, as we age, we’re trying… we’re learning from the life experiences that come our way and the difficult times – as we started out saying – as well as the good ones. They all have something to teach us. And the only way I think that we can go wrong is to not try, is to not try to grow wiser. And that’s what I’m going to take away from this Sun/Saturn conjunction this week. I think “council of ancestors”… I’ll go back to our friend Martin Luther King, Jr. that we started the episode with as someone that I consider, not a direct ancestor, but someone who has always really moved me and really speaks to me. And those are the kinds of voices that we can think back to.

Jen: Yes.

April: Alright. Well, intense episode, my friend.

Jen: Yes. And as we said, stressful week. Just take care of yourselves, take care of each other.

April: I think you should pin those instructions in every show notes that we put out, the ones for stressful times… because somebody out there needs to hear about that.

Jen: This year, they do for sure.

April: Yes.

Jen: Oh gosh, what a year.

April: What a year it’s been. Well for this week, my friend, I think that’s everything on the show sheet. Have we done it?

Jen: We’ve done it, pal. You can take the curtain down from behind you and let the light shine in.

April: I think I am going to keep it. I think I need it today. I think I need my little blanket fort here.

Well, thanks to all of you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you liked the podcast, please be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. It really means a lot in terms of driving visibility for the podcast. Leave us a rating or a review. And we hope that you’ll help us spread the word about the show by telling a friend. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at our website,

Jen: We’re so grateful to everyone who showed support during our Podathon. Each week, we thank one or two of you by name. Who do we have this week, pal?

April: This week we want to give a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Karen Carothers and Sara McNeil.

Jen: Yay…

April: Yay, woo-hoo!

Yes… Karen was actually a winner in our September Podathon.

Jen: Excellent.

April: And actually, Karen, you need to get in touch with me.

Jen: How does she do that?

April: Oh, just email me, April(at)bigskyastrology(dot)com to claim your prize.

Jen: Perfect.

April: Karen and Sarah, we appreciate you both. And we thank you so much for listening to our podcast and supporting our Podathon.

Jen: Thank you so much to both of you. If you’re a listener who didn’t get a chance to support us during our Podathon, you can always make a donation at our website, If you donate $5 or more, we’ll invite you to our special episodes for the Equinoxes and Solstices. And as we mentioned earlier, it’s not too late to get a copy of our Solstice episode, where we talk about all of these planets moving into Aquarius.

April: You want it, you need it, you got to have it!

Jen: You can have it!

April: Alright, that’s it for us this week. Join us again bright 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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