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TRANSCRIPT Ep. 78 | Mars in Cancer: Crawling with Pinchers

TRANSCRIPT Episode 78 (April 19, 2021)
Mars in Cancer: Crawling with Pinchers

Read the show notes and listen to the episode here

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 April 19th, 2021. And here with me to help us translate the skies above, is my friend, Astrologer April Elliott Kent. Hi, April.

April: Well thank you for that, Jen.

Jen: Of course.

April: Yes, I guess I am kind of a translator of a sort. It makes me think of a story that a friend of mine told. She’s a wonderful astrologer. But many years ago, when she was trying to some clarity on her career path, she went to an astrologer. And the astrologer looked at her Jupiter in Gemini in the 10th house and said, “You know, you really should be a translator for the United Nations.”

Jen: Ahhhh…..

April: And my friend was completely crestfallen, because she had no interest whatsoever in being a translator for the United Nations.

Jen: I see.

April: And of course, she realized, years later, what the astrologer was looking at. And I don’t know, I think it’s important for astrologers always to understand, and for our listeners, our clients to understand as well, that when you hear an astrologer talk about something, whether it’s me and Jen or who, understand that’s our interpretation. It’s not gospel.

Jen: That’s a really good point.

April: And that sometimes we have to be a little bit creative in translating the skies for ourselves as well. So if you go to somebody who tells you to pursue a career path that doesn’t make sense to you, know that, well, your opinion is the one that matters. So anyway, thank you Jen and yes, I’m very happy to take a look at this week’s sky and attempt to give a translation for our listeners.

 Jen: That’s awesome. Tell us what’s going on this week.

April: We have a lot of planets changing signs. Sun, Mercury and Mars will all change signs. And when we have a week, a lot of things are changing, signs. The moods and style of behavior are all shifting too. I think of the signs of the Zodiac has the planets move through them as being different costumes that they put on. A lot of that happening this week and a lot of other things that we will be talking about. So, what do you think pal, should we just jump right in?

Jen: Let’s jump in.

April: Where should we start?

Jen: Let’s start with two planets entering Taurus. Mercury and the Sun both entered Taurus on April 19th. Mercury at 03:29 AM Pacific Time, the Sun at 01:33 PM Pacific Time. Now, these planets are following in Venus’s footsteps. She entered Taurus last week.

April: Yes. We talked about that at some length on Episode 77.

Jen: Yes. Tell us about the sign of Taurus.

April: Well, Taurus is a languid sign. I think that I might’ve even said in a previous episode that Aries is, for instance, if you’ve gone out on a strenuous hike or something and you get to the moment of the hike where you just want to throw yourself down, relax, enjoy the view, have a little snack. So, that’s the energy of Taurus. It’s about consolidating our position and resting. Aries makes the big push, Taurus is where we sit down, let it all kind of assimilate inside of us and catch our breath a little bit and figure out what we need to get together for the rest of our journey.

As Mercury enters Taurus…this is of course the planet of communication. So, the style of communicating slows down quite a lot from Aries, which thinks fast and talks fast.

Jen: Aries is a fire sign, so that fits with what you just said. Whereas Taurus is an earth sign…

April: Right. The thing with Mercury in Taurus specifically, is nonessential communication tends to fall by the wayside. It’s not a real chatty sign. If there is a real reason to communicate something or to learn something, then Taurus is all for it. Otherwise it doesn’t like small talk, basically. I think Taurus and Scorpio of all the signs really are not huge fans of chit chat. Now, Mercury is also the planet of the magician, of the Alchemist. And so, it does have some association with magic. And I think of it going into Taurus as being the magic of making things grow, of manifesting desires. It’s a very magnetic sign. The magic, the intentions that we do during this season, this Taurus season are of the nature of attracting things to us, of manifesting our desires on a physical level.

And then the Sun tells us what is going to energize us during a particular season. The Sun in Taurus says, this is a time that energy and inspiration will come from communing with the physical world of enjoying what the physical world offers us and of enjoying simple pleasures, a good meal, a lovely walk, this kind of thing, counting our money. Taurus likes money.

Jen: And Venus rules Taurus. Doesn’t she?

April: She does, indeed.

Jen: What does that tell us?

April: Well, we talked quite a lot about Venus in Taurus last week, and about how Venus being in her own sign is almost like a trine kind of energy where things are flowing and where Venus is pretty happy because Venus is about enjoying simple pleasures. Taurus likes that kind of thing as well. Basically, what’s happening is we’re having this big shift from Aries to Taurus where a whole lot of planets are confabbing in Aries. So, the speed of things has been a lot faster. I was telling you this morning before we started recording, I’m just tired. I’m just burnt out. And that is definitely…as we’re recording this it’s the last week of the Aries season, and I think that it is what tends to happen when you have a lot of planets together in a fire sign. It is very fiery, a lot of energy and you can get burnt out pretty easily.

Jen: Yes… feeling run down, and just at the very end of the race, maybe that kind of feeling.

April: Right. And this is the beginning of a new season and it’s Taurus, so it is more restful. And it says, “Yes, just slow down. You know, you got a lot done.” I think we have gotten a lot done probably on an individual basis while the Sun has been an Aries, while its ruler, Mars, has been in Gemini. And those signs work well together. And I know we’ve talked over the last couple of weeks about how it’s been a good time for attacking projects that you’ve wanted to do something with for a long time, but they just seem too daunting because you feel like, “Oh, I’ve got to do it just so.”

And the combination of the Sun in Aries and Mars in Gemin, has given us the ability to just leap in and do something. Just make, like, a rough draft, but get it all down, so that then we can go on. Now that everything’s shifting into Taurus is the time for looking at everything a little more deeply perhaps, and starting to really build a structure around this framework that we’ve put together during the Sun and Mars season.

Jen: Yes. It’s a stable influence. The other thing is that all of the planets have been in forward motion. They still are. And so, with this Aries energy and all planets moving in direct motion, it has had that feel of just go, go, go.

April: Yes. We’re on a runaway train, with it being in Aries…

Jen: Hang on!

April: Hang on!

Jen: Hang on everybody!

April: And then Taurus, it starts to slow down. We are getting towards the hill, maybe, it just started to slow down a little bit.

Jen: Cool.

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

Jen: What time is it?

April: It’s Moonwatch…

Jen: Moonwatch…

April: Play it!

April: Yes, our friends it’s Moonwatch. In this week, we have a First Quarter Moon in Leo that we’re ready to tell you all about. But first, first we need to tell you once again about our latest non-imaginary sponsor, artist Victoria Pendragon.

April: Well, Victoria Pendragon’s Personal Natal Chart Paintings. This is specifically what we want to tell you about, and they unite the cosmic planetary influences from the moment of your birth, and she interprets them with her knowledge of astrology. She started studying astrology many years ago, 1964, back when she was a student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Victoria says that these personal natal chart paintings sort of design themselves and they become a focus for deep meditation as on a subconscious level, the body recognizes itself in the image. That sounds so cool.

Jen: Yes.

April: And it can take meditation to an even deeper level than simply stilling the mind. Her unique approach to the chart incorporates a lifetime of mystical experiences.

Jen: The paintings take about four to six weeks to complete. One of the reasons that they take as long as they do is because Victoria uses an unusual painting technique. Her hands lost their flexibility as a by-product of scleroderma, which is a very serious disease that sidelined her for four years. So, she says she actually has to lay the painting on a table and she moves it around instead of her hands and fingers, which is amazing.

April: It really is.

Jen: It’s incredible, really, because this disease can be fatal. And the fact that she not only survived, but is making such cool, wonderful art, is fantastic.

April: It really is. You really must look at it because, the colors are so rich and vibrant and riveting.

Jen: They really are.

April: Victoria, has put up a dedicated web page just for this work that she’s doing, at You can also visit her website, to view her paintings, including some of the astrology work that she’s done.

Jen: Excellent. I will put links to both of those sites in the show notes.

April: Perfect. And, thank you Victoria.

Jen: Yes. Thanks Victoria.

April: Alright. We now return to the Moonwatch already in progress.

Jen: Perfect. Tell us about this First Quarter Moon, April.

April: Well, the First Quarter Moon always has a call to action, but don’t let excitement turn into agitation and get the better of you. The Sabian symbol for the Moon at this First Quarter is “A Case of Apoplexy.” And in some interpretations, it talks about the blood rushing up to a man’s head. It really does give you that vision of anger and excitement and getting a little over the top with that. So, there is a good warning there. I liked that the Sabian symbol for the Sun at 1° of Taurus is “A Clear Mountain Stream.”

Jen: Yes. I like that too.

April: Yes. That talks of a relaxing pause for reflection, perhaps, at this First Quarter Moon. First Quarter Moons in Leo are so nice for proceeding in the direction of some artistic or creative goal that you’re excited about.

Jen: Yes, because Leo is about self-expression at its base. Isn’t it?

April: Yes. And Taurus is about making things real, putting them into a physical form. So, especially for artists like our friend Victoria or people who write or people who do pottery or cook or whatever it is you like to do that you consider creative, fun, restorative. And I talk to a lot of people in my practice who say they want to make more time in their lives for creative expression, especially as people get to a certain stage of life and perhaps they’re retired from the regular working work. And now they’re thinking “This is the time I’d really liked to be giving more attention to the creative things I haven’t had a chance to do.” This is the First Quarter in a lunar phase family that began with the July 20th, 2020 New Moon at 29° of Cancer. Just 1° off from this one.

And so, I think that if you look back to last summer and you may be thinking about some of the things you were wishing you had more time to do, or that you would really like to do more with. It can be a hobby, it can be a relationship. Perhaps there’s somebody that you know that’s really interesting, you’d like to get to know them better and be friends with them. Anything like that, anything that opens up the heart makes us happier and lets us share ourselves with the world, is a really good thing to focus on at the First Quarter Moon in Leo. Leo…

Jen: Leo… And this First Quarter Moon is actually square the point and opposes the point where Jupiter and Saturn joined up last December. Does this give us any information about how we should tackle this First Quarter Moon?

April: I think there’s an awareness that’s associated with the First Quarter Moon as well. And if you have something in your chart around 0° of the fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius that were all activated by that Jupiter/Saturn conjunction point at 0° Aquarius, this might be a moment when you get some awareness about what that’s going to mean for you, because it was a fairly enormous planetary conjunction. And when things are at 0°, it could take a little time to get your mind around what they’re trying to say to you and how they’re going to exhibit themselves in your lives.

So, in opposition, because this Quarter Moon’s opposed that point, an opposition always tries to bring awareness and say, “This is what you’re supposed to do with that.” It has something to do with serving humanity in some way on however limited a level. I mean, it might just be in your own community, even in your own household, in your own family. But there’s something that I think that conjunction in Aquarius wants from you and wants you to do. So, some awareness of that, I think. And also, the push to do something about it, and that’s the Sun being in Taurus square that point.

Jen: Yes. And if folks don’t know their birth chart, you can just think about if there are themes that were playing out for you around December 21st, last year that are coming back, then that is possibly an echo from that time. That’s one of the things that I really like about astrology is how themes return and it’s helpful for learning life lessons and things like that.

April: Yes. And it’s comforting because you always get another chance to get something right, or do it less badly or whatever it is.

Jen: Yes.

April: Alright. Well, next up, we have Venus making a conjunction with Uranus on April 22nd at 06:01 PM Pacific Time, 10°, 13 minutes Taurus. On a quite lovely Sabian symbol, “A Woman Sprinkling Flowers.” So, Venus and Uranus together, kind of an unlikely combination. Venus likes pleasure and leisure, and Uranus likes to shake things up a little bit. But putting the two together, this combination can bring unexpected pleasures, unexpected income, or unexpected expenditures, new developments in relationships. And I think the Sabian symbol suggests that even though there’s all these unexpected and new developments that we might imagine with Venus/Uranus, actually, they may have been a long time coming and the result of careful cultivation. So, if there’s something you’ve been working at for a long time, now might be the time that unexpectedly it takes off.

Jen: And maybe the developments arrive carefully, maybe slowly because she’s sprinkling flowers. She’s not pouring flowers or cascading flowers.

April: Right.

Jen: Sprinkling gives the idea of something slowly distributed, perhaps.

April: Doing a little bit at a time over a extended period of time.

Jen: Exactly.

April: Aries would be very impatient and just take the garden hose and let her rip. Venus in Taurus, says, “No, a little bit every day.”

Jen: Yes.

April: It has the gift of benign neglect, Taurus. It knows not to overdo it with anything and gives just enough to make things spring to life. So, we shall hope for good things from that. And on the next day, Mercury comes together in a conjunction with Uranus on April 23rd, 11:42 PM Pacific. So, really it’s April 24th, most everywhere else. With Mercury, we might see flashes of inspiration. Uranus always has that bolt-from-the-blue symbolism, flashes of inspiration. It can also be radical or shocking speech or information that comes out. And if you’ve been meeting any kinds of challenges on a practical level of trying to work through something, you might come up with some really innovative ideas for working your way through that. So, Mercury and Venus, both coming together with Uranus: really nice. And I think breakthroughs is something that we can probably associate with this.

Jen: And breakthroughs is Uranus.

April: Exactly. What do we have coming up next, pal?

Jen: Mars enters Cancer on April 23rd at 04:48 AM Pacific Time.

April: Doesn’t it seem like Mars just sped through Gemini?

Jen: Mars ran through Gemini!

April: Yes, with scissors!

Jen: With scissors! Exactly…

April: Yes.

April: Well, Mars is always about the things that we defend and that we fight for.

Jen: It’s a lot about the how, right, how we do things?

April: It is the how. And to some extent the what, but yes, definitely the how. And going from Gemini, which is kind of all over the place and likes to pursue a few different things at a time. Mars coming into Cancer, which is a Cardinal sign gets a lot more directed, a lot more focused. It is very much about defending loved ones, defending what we consider ours. It can also unfortunately be situations where we are battling it out within our family. And because Cancer is a little more inward facing, we can sometimes see a little more defensiveness and sometimes a little bit of passive aggression as well, especially as this Mars gets closer to the end of the sign and begins making an opposition to Pluto. So, you can start to see some of that stuff. Mars is kind of uncomfortable in Cancer. It is in its fall.

Jen: Which means what?

April: Which means that it’s a little disadvantaged in the sign. It’s a sign it doesn’t work naturally in. Mars, as we know is about just getting things done, being very upfront about things and pursuing them in an uncomplicated way. It’s like, I see the thing, I go after the thing, Mars in Cancer doesn’t work that way. If you’ve ever seen a crab, he kind of moves from one side to another.

Jen: The crab being the symbol for the sign of Cancer.

April: Yes. Yes. And it’s very protective. It’s got that hard, protective shell around it because it’s very sensitive.

Jen: Right.

April: The thing is though, as we’ve said before, when a planet is in a sign that it has a hard time working in, in a sign of what we call its detriment or its fall, often, it makes itself more strongly felt because we’re working so hard to express the planet through this sign that it’s a little incompatible with, that it ends up being very pronounced. So, we know during the weeks that Mars will be in Cancer, and I think it enters Leo on June 11th.

Jen: Yes.

April: That we’re liable to actually see a little more of Mars erupting in society because it is frustrated energy and you don’t want to frustrate Mars. It’s like when Mars was retrograde last year. Just know that people are probably going to be a little more prickly and a little more defensive and a little more frustrated. And that, for each of us as well, we just need to take a step back and take a deep breath. If things start to bother us and see if we can find a more strategic way to work through the issue.

Jen: That makes sense.

April: Alright.

Jen: Well, next up we have, we warned folks about this last week, we have Venus in a square to Saturn. That happens April 24th at 09:21 PM Pacific time. Venus is at 12°, 52 minutes of Taurus, squaring Saturn in Aquarius, of course. This would be the opening square from a conjunction that happened February 5th, 2021. And you can hear about that on Episode 67, “Venus Joins A Crowded Aquarius Party.”

April: Oh, I remember that. Man, that was the month that everything was in Aquarius.

Jen: Very much Aquarius energy that month.

April: Yes. So yes, as you say, you have been warned. We told you this Venus square to Saturn was coming.

Jen: We talked about it last week.

April: And, when I always think of those two coming together, is there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The sense with Venus and Saturn is we have to work for what we want – because the square is, working. And Saturn will reward us, but we have to give him what he wants first. And if we want to have good relationships, then we have to handle our baggage. The Sabian symbol for Venus during this square is, “A Man Handling Baggage.” Going along really with that Mars entering Cancer too, which is a little bit baggage to related. And the emotional reasons we become angry and maybe don’t handle our anger all that well, it’s all sort of folded in together, I think at this Venus square Saturn moment.

Mercury square Saturn, the next day on April 25th at 04:58 AM Pacific Time at the same degree. It’s almost precisely the same degrees. And Mercury makes the conjunction with Venus. So, Mercury is kind of the liaison between Venus and Saturn as they’re making this square and kind of transmitting information from one to the other, telling Venus, “Well, Saturn just wants you to do this.” And telling  Saturn, “Well, Venus is doing her best, so, she’s really working on it.” The Sabian symbol for the conjunction of Mercury and Venus on the 25th, it’s so fascinating to me. I don’t think we’ve talked about it. It’s 14 Taurus, “Shellfish groping, and children playing”…

Jen: That’s so funny …

April: …on the beach… and I thought, “Groping?” Because we have a very sort of diabolical association with the word, groping. But I think all of the things that I’ve read about it come back to that Cancer imagery.

Jen: Yes, for sure.

April: Because a crab is shellfish and they have those little pincher claws and they’re groping for things and really holding on to things and not letting them go. But it’s also children playing on the beach, which has more of a Leo kind of vibe to it and takes us back, I think to that First Quarter Moon where this all began. And saying, don’t let yourself get so bogged down in unresolved emotional issues and don’t hold on to the past and don’t hold on to bitter feelings, crabby feelings, and let yourself play and explore.

I like Mercury and Venus together, always. Basically, it’s a good moment to improve communication. I don’t know, on a natal level, I often find that people who have Mercury conjunct Venus in their birth chart have beautiful speaking voices or just have a really pleasing way of expressing themselves. That is a promise of this conjunction of Mercury with Venus. Mercury square Saturn, it’s a time to deal with difficult conversations, difficult communications. Or, to tackle a project, especially a written project -because Mercury rules writing – studying for an important exam or getting ready for an important meeting. These kinds of things really suit the symbolism of Mercury with Saturn.

Jen: I looked up when Mercury joined up with Saturn, and that was January 9th of this year. That was Episode 63, “Mars Enters Taurus, And There Was Much Rejoicing,” which I will link in the show notes. But as I was looking that up, I noticed that the Sabian symbol then – when Mercury and Saturn came together – was on the symbol “A Deserter from The Navy.”

April: Ahhh!

Jen: And I thought that was so interesting, because it also has some water imagery to it. And I don’t know how it all fits together, but I just found it kind of fascinating.

April: I don’t know. I love that “Deserter from the Navy” one, that’s one of my favorite symbols. And I just have the vision – of course, because it all comes back to cats for me…

Jen: Of course.

April: That the shellfish groping, because it makes me think of Toby. Toby is maniacal. He is determined to bite my toes. I get up in the morning. I have to get my feet into slippers immediately because he’s getting all nibbly and all graspy and things. On the one hand, it’s super annoying, on the other hand, it’s incredibly endearing.

Jen: Yes.

April: So yes

Jen: Well, he’s got those ears… those ears on Toby are just so cute.

April: He’s so adorable.

Jen: So. Darn. Cute.

April: So darn cute. We call him Tobias sometimes instead of Toby.

Jen: Yes.

April: And now we call him Toebitus, because he’s always biting our toes.

Jen: That’s great.

April: So, he’s like a little shellfish groping, nibbling and yes, but also like a child playing.

Jen: That’s so fantastic.

April: Alright, my friend, that seems to be everything on the show sheet. Have we done it?

Jen: We’ve done it. And the countdown is on. Two episodes until Episode 80, when we can start talking about eighties songs, specifically corresponding with each year.

April: Because we know that’s why everybody tunes in. It’s not the astrology. It’s the eighties music. We promise to keep it to an appropriate level, but we couldn’t resist.

Alright, my friends. Thank you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to subscribe or follow the show, rate or review. And we hope that you’ll help us spread the word by telling a friend. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at our website,

Jen: Thank you so much to everyone who showed support our Podathon last Fall. Each week as you know, we’ll thank some of you by name. Who do we have this week, April?

April: This week we want to give a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Martisa Register, Nicky Bonner and Celeste Brooks.

April: Martisa was I think one of our earlier podpals. I think she was contributing for a while.

Jen: Yes. That’s fantastic.

April: Nicki Bonner, I know Nicki. Hi Nicki. And Celeste Brooks, we want to give a special shout out because she is “Astrology by Celeste,” who is a darling person who introduced us to these lunar phase families that we’ve been talking about. Very clever astrologer, lovely lady, so warm, so engaging. Check her out. She does a lot of Instagram live chats and things.

Jen: So great.

April: Martisa, Nicki and Celeste, we appreciate you very much. We thank you for listening to the podcast and for supporting us during the Podathon.

Jen: Yes. We’re so grateful to you. Thank you so much. If you’re a listener who missed the opportunity to support us during our Podathon, you can always make a contribution at our website, If you donate $5 or more, we’ll invite you to our special episodes for the equinoxes and solstices.

April: And you’ll get a bingo card.

Jen: Don’t forget the bingo card.

April: So you can play along, while you’re listening to our past episodes.

Jen: Totally.

April: That is it for us this week. 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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