TRANSCRIPT: Big Sky Astrology Podcast, Episode 10
010 | Neptune and the Zen of Groundhog Day (January 27, 2020)Download the full transcript (PDF)
[00:00:00] Jen: [00:00:00] 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 27th, 2020. And of course, with me, but sitting far, far away from me is my pal – astrologer April Elliott Kent. Howdy, April!
April: [00:00:28] Howdy, Jen. How are we today? And I mean that in the royal sense.
Jen: [00:00:32] Oh, the royal sense! We should have a cup of tea!
April: [00:00:35] Actually, a cup of tea sounds really good just about now, but sadly I don’t have one.
Jen: [00:00:40] We’ll have to just pretend.
April: [00:00:42] We’re not going to be quite that English about this whole thing.
Jen: [00:00:45] What makes you bring up the English thing? Do tell!
April: [00:00:47] Well, actually I did want to talk a little bit about… you know, I’m not a big watcher of the royal family, but as a Leo, I do have a certain fascination with royals. I cannot tell a lie. [00:01:00] I was struck by how neatly the timeline of this whole Meghan and Harry saga has lined up with some of the astrology that we’ve talked about in our recent episodes. We talked in Episode 7 about that January 8th conjunction of Jupiter with the South Node. And what we said about it at the time was that it was a symbol of learning and context and a kind of a healing from the Saturn/Pluto times of the past year.
And that was the date actually, that the couple came out and announced that they wanted to work towards achieving financial independence and stepping back from their duties as senior members of the royal family. And most of this seems to have been in response to the fairly brutal treatment that Meghan has been getting from the British press. So I thought that was kind of interesting that that was their Jupiterian response to Jupiter with the South Node, which is, “You know what? Enough with the Saturn/Pluto/South Node treatment.”
Jen: [00:01:57] Yeah. And the South Node is about releasing [00:02:00] things that no longer serve, right?
April: [00:02:01] Yeah, exactly.
Jen: [00:02:02] And Jupiter amplifies things. So Jupiter was amplifying what needed to be released for them.
April: [00:02:08] I think so.
Jen: [00:02:09] Interesting.
April: [00:02:09] And then we talked in Episode 8 about Mercury coming together in a conjunction with Saturn and Pluto, which happened on January 12th just before the Sun came together with Saturn and Pluto on January 13th.
Jen: [00:02:21] So they’re all sharing the same area of the sky.
April: [00:02:23] Right. And what we said at the time was: This is when the official story of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction is unveiled, right? Or that this is when we see leaders and heads of state – and I might’ve even said something about royalty, I don’t remember – collide with the hard realities of Saturn and Pluto. And January 13th was the date that the queen came out and made a public statement in which she was actually really supportive of Meghan and Harry stepping back from their royal duties.
Jen: [00:02:54] Interesting.
April: [00:02:54] Yeah. And then on January 18th when Mercury made the square to Uranus was when the official [00:03:00] statement actually came out from Buckingham palace. And the queen indicated that they had reached in an accord, they had all reached an agreement between Harry and Meghan and the royal family – saying that, “Together, we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.”
Jen: [00:03:16] Right.
April: [00:03:16] And this was just a couple of days after Mercury had entered Aquarius, and just after it left this period of radio silence after he had made the conjunction to Saturn and Pluto on the 12th. Which I imagine was probably a day that the queen was having some pretty interesting and in-depth conversations with the young couple and Charles, and so forth.
Anyway, I know everybody is sick to death of the story probably, but because I don’t follow the news a lot, it was kind of going over my head and it was when somebody said something about it yesterday on some website I was in. I thought, “Oh, this has probably really been tracking with the astrology of the times.” And I think it’s a fun way to point out: Astrology is not just something theoretical. [00:04:00] It’s something that – if you’re watching, if you’re paying attention – you see it playing out all around you in lots of different ways. Clearly, we’re all not trying to figure out how to get out of being in the royal family. But there’ll be some kind of corollaries to our own lives as well. So anyway, I just thought it was kind of interesting.
Jen: [00:04:15] Well, it is interesting. And it’s interesting how, you can just look at the overall story… so we could look back at these specific dates. But we could also look overall at how we talked about that there would be this tearing down and these crumbling of old structures. And it’s interesting – you’d also mentioned about rebuilding things in a new way or something to that effect. And that’s exactly what’s happening with this: There’s this old structure, the monarchy, and here Meghan and Harry are doing something that’s never been done before, with such close ties to that family. And to see them step away willingly – to walk away from that – is just really fascinating.
April: [00:04:52] It is fascinating. I know there’ve been lots and lots of articles that astrologers have probably written on the subject… probably pulling in Uranus and lots of [00:05:00] other things. And I know the queen’s chart has really been highlighted by a lot of these recent transits and so forth too. So it’s all just really interesting to me. And a real high-profile example of how this stuff can actually play out. And this was on the heels too, of that week where we talked about the Lunar Eclipse… and there was a lot of other relationship stuff that was happening in the astrology. You would probably know what episode that was.
Jen: [00:05:25] It was Episode 7, I think. Because Episode 5 was the episode called Unboxing Eclipses, and it would have been two weeks after that that we would have been talking about the Lunar Eclipse, so that would have been Episode 7.
April: [00:05:36] You’re very shrewd! Listen to your …
Jen: [00:05:39] It’s all math! (laughs)
April: [00:05:39] …command of basic arithmetic! I like it! (laughs) You are the statistician of our duo.
Jen: [00:05:44] I do like math.
April: [00:05:45] Yes.
Jen: [00:05:46] You just have to work backwards.
April: [00:05:47] You’re right. It was that episode Saturn and Pluto Go to The Repair Shop, probably, that we talked about that Lunar Eclipse. I remember us being impressed by it because it was really dramatic Eclipse [00:06:00] chart, where half the chart was opposed the eclipsed Moon in Cancer. And I remember us looking at that and saying, “You know, if your relationship is having some challenges or is on unsteady soil, this is a time when things really get pushed to the edge.” And so certainly for that couple, that seems to have been the case. So Lunar Eclipses are really just very much a turning point in relationships. So that’s certainly what we saw with this particular couple.
Jen: [00:06:25] Yes.
April: [00:06:26] So I just thought that was interesting.
Jen: [00:06:28] It is interesting. But when you think about the crumbling structures going on in the royal family and all around the world, it’s sad and interesting.
April: [00:06:35] We have the luxury of being interested in it. And of course, for these people, it’s their lives.
Jen: [00:06:40] Yes, of course.
April: [00:06:41] And people have speculated for years that we’re sort of winding down that particular royal family. And it had to do with so many critical figures in the royal family born on or near an eclipse. And Prince William was born on the day of a Solar Eclipse and so forth.
Jen: [00:06:57] I didn’t know that.
April: [00:06:57] So it is a family that I’ve used as [00:07:00] examples before in lectures about eclipses, and they’re a very eclipse-sensitive clan… which you expect, because it’s the symbolism of leaders and royalties and so forth. It was one of the few things that court astrologers really had to be well-versed in, back in the day, was eclipses. Because they tended to foretell the downfall or the ascendancy of monarchs. So anyway…
Jen: [00:07:23] Interesting.
April: [00:07:24] …interesting stuff. But this is a new week and we have a whole different Moonwatch! (hums doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-dooooooo!) Because we do not yet have a theme song for that! (laughs)
Jen: [00:07:34] We may never have a theme song. (laughs)
April: [00:07:35] We may not. You just like to hear us go (hums doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-dooooooo!)
Jen: [00:07:40] You write music! You could write a Moon ditty! (laughs)
April: [00:07:45] (hums drum-like) I’m picturing one of those evening news/breaking news kind of songs for Moonwatch. (laughs)
Jen: [00:07:49] Yes!
April: [00:07:50] So this week it’s a First Quarter Moon, in response to last week’s New Moon on the “council of elders” degree.
So this First Quarter Moon [00:08:00] is at 12 degrees, 39 minutes of Taurus. And that falls on February 1st, so towards the end of this week, at 5:41 PM my time here on the west coast, 7:41 PM where Jen is, and so forth around the world. And it falls on the Sabian symbol for 13 Taurus, which is, “A man handling baggage.”
Jen: [00:08:19] Hmm. What do you make of that?
April: [00:08:21] Well, the First Quarter Moon we’ve talked about several times now, and it always is about taking action toward our goals, right? So we can say, “What was the advice that we took from our ‘council of elders’ at the New Moon in Aquarius? And from that, what sort of plan did we formulate for the short term?”
And so, the First Quarter is when we get the opportunity to actually take some action in implementing a goal or some kind of project that we have in mind. So, the interesting thing about this degree is we don’t actually have details about the baggage.
And I should say that there are a couple of different versions of the Sabian symbols that float [00:09:00] around. And one of them is just these very terse, very minimalist ones that were taken from the notes that Marc Edmund Jones actually took the day that he sat with Elsie Wheeler and channeled these Sabian symbols. But then he went afterwards and expanded on them in a book that he wrote, so he got a little more creative with them.
So, you’ll see versions and one of the versions out there goes into a lot more detail about how heavy this baggage is and what a difficult time he’s having with it. But just this nice minimalist phrase for the Sabian symbol is, “A man handling baggage.” So we don’t have details. Is it busy? What is the man’s attitude about the work that he’s doing here?
Jen: [00:09:42] Right.
April: [00:09:42] But we do know that it’s a symbol of industry, of work, of how we’re going to approach things on a practical level.
Jen: [00:09:49] Or is it emotional baggage?
April: [00:09:50] That could be it as well. But it is a First Quarter Moon in Taurus, which suggests…
Jen: [00:09:53] …physical…
April: [00:09:54] …yeah, a more physical manifestation of it, but not strictly [00:10:00] speaking. And by physical, I mean practical – having to do with money, resources, everyday stuff. It’s probably less philosophical. However, the Moon at this First Quarter is in a close trine to Jupiter, so the load is nothing we can’t carry. We have Jupiter there to help us with the load.
Jen: [00:10:01] Because the trine is a helpful aspect.
April: [00:10:03] And Jupiter is in Capricorn, which is also an earth sign. So there still is that element of practical assistance… perhaps assistance from people a little higher up, because that’s the Capricorn part.
Jen: [00:10:31] Okay.
April: [00:10:31] So I like it. It’s a helpful looking First Quarter, moving us along our way.
Jen: [00:10:36] Yeah.
April: [00:10:37] So what do you think about that? Does that make sense to you as an interpretation of the First Quarter?
Jen: [00:10:41] It does make sense. Of course, I did think of what kind of baggage it was – whether it was physical or emotional. But I did think about how Taurus is an earth sign and is very much a physical sign. So I thought it probably is physical baggage.
I have a friend that used to throw bags for one of the major airlines and put them into airplanes.
April: [00:10:59] [00:11:00] Oh, they do throw them!
Jen: [00:11:01] Oh, yeah!
April: [00:11:01] Have you been sitting there on the plane watching them just throwing them into the bottom of the plane? I’m like, “Oh, goodness!”
Jen: [00:11:07] Because it doesn’t say whether it’s his bags or someone else’s bags, or…
April: [00:11:11] That’s a good point, because I immediately went to the guys at the airport who are the skycaps, taking your bags and tagging them and doing all of that. But also, just carrying things along… and how will you practically initiate your projects and work towards your goals.
Jen: [00:11:27] Is this in your 6th house?
April: [00:11:29] It is, yeah. It’s square my Sun, so I’m carrying my own bags here.
Jen: [00:11:33] Yeah.
April: [00:11:34] Yeah. 6th house… We’re both hardworking gals, working hard to bring you our podcasting best. So that’s Moonwatch for this week.
And then we have an update on Venus and Mars.
Jen: [00:11:46] Well, last week they were squaring. What can you tell us about them this week?
April: [00:11:50] This week, they’re both making aspects to Neptune. So they’re kind of done with each other. Venus has started moving away from Mars. But there still is some residual [00:12:00] energy there in that they’re both connected via Neptune this week.
Jen: [00:12:03] Okay.
April: [00:12:04] So Venus in Pisces is coming up to make its conjunction to Neptune, which we talked about a couple of episodes ago when Venus was moving into Pisces. And we anticipated that inevitably this day would come. So that happens on January 27th at just about high noon here in San Diego. As Venus comes together with Neptune, we ask ourselves, “Is this thing or this person, is this what I really want… or am I fooling myself?”
Jen: [00:12:28] Because: the Neptune factor!
April: [00:12:31] The Neptune factor! Yes, it does have that quality. Unfortunately, it’s the same qualities that are so lovely when we fall in love and we choose to believe the very best about someone. That’s one aspect of Neptune. But the other one is: We choose to see what we want to see, and that’s not always healthy.
Jen: [00:12:47] Right.
April: [00:12:47] So, “Is the thing or the person that I want really what I think they are?”
Jen: [00:12:53] Yeah. It’s hard to see things realistically when Neptune is involved, isn’t it?
April: [00:12:56] It is, but it’s what Neptune wants. I think [00:13:00] we focus on the aspect of Neptune that’s very fuzzy and obscuring – like the cloud or fog that we’re driving through. But what we’re trying to do in a Neptune time is get clarity at figuring out what’s real, but it’s just really hard to do. It’s like jogging through oatmeal or through water.
Jen: [00:13:22] It’s like you’re on stage and there’s a fog machine and you can’t really see what’s out in the audience.
April: [00:13:26] Yeah, exactly. So you’re having to take your cues from voices and to know what parts of the stage they’re coming from. So Neptune is interesting: How are we fooling ourselves?
And Venus is always about what we want, what we desire, what we think is going to complete us and make us happy. So it does have to do with people in our lives, in relationships. Especially right on the heels of that Venus/Mars square, which had us really tussling with the elements of attraction with people and what you want, versus how you’re going to get it… and friction and conflict that comes up [00:14:00] between people and all kinds of relationships.
So now Venus is sort of gliding into Neptune. And to the extent that Mars has challenged Venus to expand its horizons a little more, Venus now has the luxury of saying, “Ah, I can kick off the shoes and not really have to work on self-awareness and all of the things that Mars was trying to provoke me into. And I can just glide right into the soothing bubble bath that is Neptune.”
Jen: [00:14:27] Neptune has a real spiritual side, doesn’t it?
April: [00:14:29] It absolutely does. That is one element of it.
Jen: [00:14:32] So there could be some of that?
April: [00:14:33] Yeah, there definitely can be.
Jen: [00:14:35] Yeah. It can be romantic, can be creative, right? Can be spiritual.
April: [00:14:38] Yeah. I would say if you’re a person who’s in some kind of Venusian work, especially if you’re in design or art or music…this can be a very inspiring week.
Jen: [00:14:45] Writing.
April: [00:14:46] Yeah. When you really are immersed in the process of aligning yourself with larger forces, and then you can begin to collect those. And once [00:15:00] you’re moving away from that conjunction, you start getting a little bit of distance, a little bit of perspective. You can do something with all that, but this is the week for just being fully immersed in that Neptune process.
Jen: [00:15:11] Meditate on the message.
April: [00:15:12] Yes. To some extent, go with it, get into the bubble bath and just kind of soak for a while and see what comes up for you. Venus is a little more comfortable with Neptune generally, I think, than Mars is. When you think about the energy of the planets: We talked about Mars at length last week. He’s gung ho. He’s going to get out there and he’s going to take the world by storm. And he says, “I want this and I’m going to go for it.”
Jen: [00:15:36] Right.
April: [00:15:36] So what happens when he gets entangled with Neptune? It’s a little bit different. So that’s on January 28th the very next day, early in the morning, about 2:34 in the morning, Pacific standard time.
So Mars is about physical energy. It’s about the way we propel ourselves forward. In the case of Sagittarius, into the direction of the things that we believe in. And it’s square Neptune, so we get to examine whether we are being [00:16:00] truly inspired by higher forces like Joan of Arc or whether we’re completely misguided and tilting at windmills like Don Quixote.
Jen: [00:16:07] Nice.
April: [00:16:08] We’ll know a little bit more when the dust settles, when the fog begins to drift away.
Jen: [00:16:13] I like that idea of Mars being what propels us forward.
April: [00:16:16] Yeah. He’s our locomotion.
Jen: [00:16:17] He’s our gas pedal.
April: [00:16:18] He’s the internal combustion engine. The Sun is really the driving force. The Sun is why.
Jen: [00:16:23] Okay. Yeah.
April: [00:16:24] And the Mars is how. How am I going to get there to do what I want to do?
So it’s interesting to look at the sign that Mars was in when you were born, because it tells us a great deal about how you tend to do things. What’s your path forward? What’s your locomotion?
Jen: [00:16:37] Right.
April: [00:16:38] You have Mars in Virgo. What do you think yours is?
Jen: [00:16:40] I like to make lists and check things off, and do things in a manner that goes: one, two, three, ABC.
April: [00:16:46] You like your statistics!
Jen: [00:16:47] I do, I do. And you too… you were born with Mars in Virgo.
April: [00:16:51] Yeah, cause there’s comfort in numbers.
Jen: [00:16:53] Yeah.
April: [00:16:54] I think Mars in Virgo has a very detailed idea of how it wants to get to where it’s going. And we can get [00:17:00] entangled in that a little bit and sometimes make things a little harder than they strictly need to be. But it’s because we really want to do it well. And Sagittarius has wildly different MO as it’s transiting there now. And it’s challenging for those of us with Mars in Virgo – who, by nature, are very systematic in our approach. Mars in Sag is not that way at all. It says, “You just, you gotta do it at some point. Just throw yourself out there.” It’s like throwing the little kid into the pool so they can quickly figure out how to swim – not something we recommend, by the way!
Jen: [00:17:33] No, absolutely not!
I’ve often thought of the birth chart as a stage, and that each planet is like a character in a play. The house is where things are happening, of course – what the stage is set like. And the sign is like a costume that the character puts on.
April: [00:17:50] I’ve used that exact analogy, I think, in my book The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology. It’s a really helpful metaphor. And then the aspects between the planets are the [00:18:00] dialogue.
Jen: [00:18:00] Oh, I like that!
April: [00:18:01] Yeah. And it’s frustrating when you’re trying to learn astrology and you’re trying to figure out how to synthesize planetary aspects – how planets act when they’re in these particular kinds of aspects. And if you just think of it as dialogue. So it’s Mars, it’s the young soldier or the young knight figure. And Neptune is like… it is the fog. It’s the nameless thing that he has to fight when he can’t even tell what the enemy is. They’re in dialogue. So we know it’s a conflict. It’s not like he’s just wandering into the fog and going, “Oh, this is pleasant and lovely and different.” He’s fighting against it valiantly.
So that’s a little bit what we’re doing this week with Mars. We’re fighting the energy of Neptune. Whereas Venus just wants to become one with it. Venus says, “Oh, this really is lovely. I’ve been wanting a quiet time-out to just take my long bath with my candles and enjoy myself.” And Mars says, “No, I’m going somewhere. I’m Mars in [00:19:00] Sagittarius. I’ve got places to go and windmills to tilt at.” (laughs)
Jen: [00:19:03] Yeah. Well, a conjunction is like the two planets energy sort of merge. And then the square aspect is a little bit of a fight. A spat. An argument.
April: [00:19:13] Yeah, tension between them.
Jen: [00:19:14] Yeah.
April: [00:19:15] Which can be good. It can be…
Jen: [00:19:16] …productive.
April: [00:19:17] Yeah. Productive. And provocation is a good thing if we’re trying to move forward. All things being equal, a square to Mars is not necessarily a bad thing. But the nature of Neptune is: It’s hard to fight with.
Jen: [00:19:30] Yeah.
April: [00:19:31] It’s like going to war – without getting political – like a war on terror. It’s a very nebulous enemy. It’s not like we are fighting with Germany or something. Right? It’s like, we’re fighting this concept. So that’s the work that Mars is trying to do while it’s square Neptune of like, “Yeah, who’s the enemy?”
Jen: [00:19:50] Oh, I didn’t know you used that example of the theater in your book!
April: [00:19:53] Yes! Yeah.
Jen: [00:19:54] Do you love theater? I mean, I know you like Shakespeare, you’ve said…
April: [00:19:57] No, not at all! (Jen laughs) I do like Shakespeare. [00:20:00] I’ll go….
Jen: [00:20:00] “No, not at all!” she says! (laughs)
April: [00:20:02] No, I tried it in high school. I didn’t ever like it. I will go to the Old Globe Theater here in San Diego occasionally. They have a beautiful outdoor Shakespeare theater that we used to go to every year, and we haven’t gone in a few seasons. And they do beautiful staging at the Old Globe. But no, I’m not a theater person. But it’s an elegant analogy really.
Jen: [00:20:24] Yeah. I do love me some theater!
April: [00:20:26] Do you? Are you a theater gal?
Jen: [00:20:27] Yeah! Oh, yeah. My friends and I – in high school – we started a Drama Club just to go to New York City to see theater.
April: [00:20:34] Excellent!
Jen: [00:20:35] Yeah.
April: [00:20:36] I could see you as being in that crowd. I’m thinking of the theater people at my school, and I’m thinking, “Yeah, I could see Jen with those people.”
Jen: [00:20:44] Oh yeah.
April: [00:20:44] I was over in the music department.
Jen: [00:20:46] Well, I was also in the music department.
April: [00:20:48] That’s right, you were.
Jen: [00:20:48] The music and the theater department had a lot of crossover. Well, there was no theater department. We did shows – plays and musicals – every year in high school, but there was no department per se.
April: [00:20:57] So who put on the plays?
Jen: [00:20:59] They hired a [00:21:00] director out.
April: [00:21:00] Oh, okay.
Jen: [00:21:01] And then the person who directed all of the choirs did the singing, and the orchestra director did the pit orchestra.
April: [00:21:09] So, the formative experiences of our high school years…
Jen: [00:21:12] … yes, yes.
April: [00:21:13] But no, not a theater person here, but I do like that analogy. So that’s what Venus and Mars are getting up to this week.
Jen: [00:21:20] Okay.
April: [00:21:21] And we started to talk last week, although it didn’t make it into the podcast because we immediately decided we needed to have a much more extensive, much richer conversation… about what ends up being your second-favorite movie of all time. Would you like to tell us about it?
Jen: [00:21:36] The movie Groundhog Day! Because we’re coming up on Groundhog Day, February 2nd. And yes – last week we actually started talking about the movie, and then we decided to leave that for this week. So, why do you love Groundhog Day?
April: [00:21:50] I think it’s an incredibly spiritual movie.
Jen: [00:21:58] It is.
April: [00:21:59] I mean, on the surface it’s all about how delightful Bill Murray is in it. And how witty the script is, and it’s an [00:22:00] engaging concept and so forth. But that’s a movie that could have been deadly dull if it was done the wrong way.
Jen: [00:22:05] Absolutely.
April: [00:22:05] Or super irritating. But you had Bill Murray and he was fantastic. I actually use it as an example in my eclipse report, Followed by a Moonshadow. In that report, I use a variety of films to describe eclipses falling in the house polarities of the chart.
Jen: [00:22:22] Okay.
April: [00:22:22] So for instance, I use It’s a Wonderful Life, which I know is your number one favorite movie, (Jen exclaims happily in background) when I talk about eclipses in the 10th and the 4th houses. And Groundhog Day is the one that I use to explore eclipses in the 6th and the 12th houses. Because the message of this film that makes it really lovely to me is how we find spiritual meaning in the mundane and every day.
Jen: [00:22:45] Yeah. Absolutely.
April: [00:22:45] So spiritual meaning is what we associate with the 12th house, but the 6th house is where we spend most of our time.
Jen: [00:22:51] Yeah.
April: [00:22:51] We’re just trying to keep our lives going. We’re cleaning the house, we’re washing the dishes, we’re paying our bills, we’re doing our job… 6th house stuff. [00:23:00] And if you can’t find a spiritual approach to that kind of mundane stuff, you can never really reach spirituality – because when do you have the time? Unless you’re living in a monastery and your full-time job is prayer and contemplation, how are you going to get there unless you find a way to exalt your 6th house existence? And that’s what I think that movie highlights really well.
He learned in the end, from the repetition of having a boring, mundane day over and over again. He learns that he can make that day whatever he wants it to be. He can make himself a tool for inspiration and caring for other people, and they don’t do it in a sappy way. It’s clever and it’s funny.
Jen: [00:23:44] Yeah. So for people that have not seen the movie, do you want to say a little bit about the plot?
April: [00:23:49] Well it’s your second-favorite movie – I think you should run it down.
Jen: [00:23:52] Okay. Bill Murray plays a weatherman named Phil Connors, who winds up going to Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day [00:24:00] to report on whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not. He’s crabby. He doesn’t want to go. He’s frustrated… but he winds up there. The next day he wakes up in the same town, in the same moment. He relives February 2nd over and over, each day with the same people saying the same things to him.
I’ve actually read some blog articles on this, and there are some theories that he winds up spending something like 34 years living the same day over and over by the end of the movie.
As April said, he comes to genuinely care about the town. He’s a town hero. And all of this for 12,000-plus days in a row. Did I leave anything out?
April: [00:24:38] I don’t think so. He learns to use his time – once he realizes he got nothing but time. He can’t kill himself. God doesn’t seem to want to kill him. And he’s just going to keep going in perpetuity, living this existence.
Jen: [00:24:52] Well, first he takes advantage of people. And then he gets bored, and that’s when he wants to die. And then he starts to accept and learn new things.
April: [00:24:59] Yeah. [00:25:00] So he becomes a master piano player. And he learns to do beautiful ice sculptures, and he uses his foreknowledge about what’s going to happen each day to save people from accidents and catastrophe and things like that.
So it’s a charming parable and it’s really, really relatable to me. We have all had the experience of having a daily life where we feel kind of stuck and bored and uninspired. And it really is about the spirit we bring to things that determines whether it’s going to be a satisfying existence or not.
Jen: [00:25:31] Yeah.
April: [00:25:32] So Groundhog Day, as you said, is celebrated on February 2nd. And that places it one day after one of the high Wiccan holidays, one of the old Gaelic holidays -Imbolc, or St. Brigid’s Day. And it’s placed almost exactly halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox here in the Northern hemisphere. Of course, it’s opposite in the Southern hemisphere.
So it actually marks the beginning of spring. You know, we may not [00:26:00] think of the beginning of February as spring, but that is the season that actually begins at this high holiday. And it’s a holiday that’s associated with fertility and with purification – the word February comes from the Latin term februum, which means purification. So this was a time of year that you started your cleaning – you did your spring cleaning, you would light candles and fires, you would make visits to holy wells for water that you could use to bless your home and your family.
So that is the symbolism of the holidays that somehow this groundhog festival got rolled into.
Jen: [00:26:38] Yeah, and it’s about rebirth. I think that’s why I love that movie, and I love It’s a Wonderful Life. You know, The Wizard of Oz would also probably fall into this category… of these movies about rebirth and redemption.
What I love about it is that… the scenery doesn’t change in this movie. The characters don’t change. What happens day-to-day doesn’t change. And yet by the [00:27:00] end, for Phil Connors, everything is different…
April: [00:27:02] Because he’s changed.
Jen: [00:27:03] …cause he’s seeing the world through different eyes.
April: [00:27:06] Yeah.
Jen: [00:27:06] His appreciation of the world has changed. And I like movies where journeys don’t end the way that we think they will. But how we view the journey changes.
April: [00:27:16] Right. In the original Roman calendar, the year began with March, which was aligned with Mars. It was the beginning of spring, so February was placed the month before that, which gives it a 12th-house resonance.
If we think of the beginning of the calendar year as symbolizing the 1st house of the chart, then the month that comes before it feels like the 12th house. And it’s one of the houses of endings. It’s where we release what’s old, it’s like the Balsamic phase of the Moon – letting go. Or the South Node of the Moon – letting go of the things that are not serving us and just the idea of letting go generally. It gave me a really different way of [00:28:00] looking at February…
Jen: [00:28:01] Interesting.
April: [00:28:02] …to learn that and to think of Aquarius – which the Sun is moving through Aquarius these days during that month.
Jen: [00:28:08] Yeah.
April: [00:28:08] It’s about purification. It is about letting go of the person that we are so that we can become somebody new. Like Phil Connors did in the movie. And letting go of the circumstances in our lives that really aren’t serving us either.
Jen: [00:28:21] That feels very Plutonian. I know we’re not talking about Pluto in this episode, but when you think of rebirth and…
April: [00:28:27] Well, Pluto’s a slightly different process. So look at it this way: The 12th house, or Neptune, are really about the processes that happen just before birth. You’re getting ready for a new existence. You’re in a holding pattern. You’re in the womb. And I’ve often thought: As much as we fear dying, people who are on the verge of being born must really fear being born. You’re going into an entirely new set of circumstances. You don’t know what you’re going to come into and you’re leaving something that’s very comfortable and very protective to go out into a scary world. It is about [00:29:00] that process: Becoming complete so that we are viable when we get out into the world to become something new.
Pluto’s a different part of the journey. Pluto is where we lose the sense of self. So if you think about it in terms of the wheel of the horoscope: If the 7th house symbolizes getting together with another person – encountering other people – then the 8th house is the house that comes right after that. And it says, “To really do the work of intimacy, you have to die. You have to let go of some sense of your own identity.”
Pluto, to me, is more of the nature of that 8th house experience of the loss of self. And the 12th house is subtly different, I think. It’s about: You have gotten to this point of purification. Everything that is not you, that’s not true, has fallen away. You are fully developed into this thing that’s waiting to be born.
Jen: [00:29:53] It’s about becoming versus letting go?
April: [00:29:55] I think so, but you have to let go as well because in order to be born, you have to let go [00:30:00] of the safety of the womb.
Jen: [00:30:01] Yeah.
April: [00:30:01] It’s a complex house.
Jen: [00:30:03] So it’s stepping into yourself? Stepping into it, maybe, is the way to say it.
April: [00:30:08] Yeah. Engaging with the world. People will ask me sometimes, “Why do we use the birth chart for astrology instead of the conception chart?” And we discussed this before and the answer I gave was: because it’s easier to find out, for one thing, when you were born. But it’s more profound than that: Because the birth chart talks about when you draw breath, when you first become engaged with the world. Up to that point, it’s conceptual, so to speak. It’s hypothetical, but once you draw breath and you’re out in the world and interacting with it, that is when your horoscopic journey begins. So we went to a deep place with this…
Jen: [00:30:45] Yeah.
April: [00:30:45] …but I remember a couple of years after Groundhog Day came out, I had the videocassette of it at my house. And somebody came over to visit – some rather rude person, actually. And she was giving me a hard time about having this movie. She thought it was a stupid movie. I said, “Well, have you watched it?” She said, “No, it just looks [00:31:00] like a stupid comedy. I don’t know why you’d have this video.” I said, “Because I think it’s a lot more than that.” I think it’s a really, really deep story and a really touching parable, actually.
Jen: [00:31:10] It’s a very Zen Buddhist movie.
April: [00:31:11] And of course, Bill Murray famously did remake The Razor’s Edge, I think – which was about a man’s spiritual journey.
Jen: [00:31:18] Oh, I don’t know that movie.
April: [00:31:19] It didn’t do well, and he was a lot more serious in it. And I think that Groundhog Day was brilliant because it took what are his real strengths as a comic actor, and really sold a story that’s pretty deep…
Jen: [00:31:32] Yeah.
April: [00:31:32] …without getting maudlin. So that’s At the Movies with April and Jen – with apologies to Siskel and Ebert. (laughs)
Jen: [00:31:42] (laughs) I watched Groundhog Day, I was telling you beforehand, a couple of months ago with my niblings – which are my nieces and my nephews. And they’re in their twenties, and they also thought it was an interesting movie with a lot of depth to it.
April: [00:31:56] Well, ironically, it is a movie that a lot of people talk about watching [00:32:00] over and over again. So we compulsively watch this movie about this guy living the same day over and over and again. And you do get more the more you watch it, because you can enjoy it on a very surface level. It’s kind of funny. It’s kind of an amusing comedy. But you can watch it on a different level and take a lot away from it, as we’ve talked about today, perhaps ad nauseum.
Jen: [00:32:20] Yes.
April: [00:32:21] So there you go. Well, what do you think?
Jen: [00:32:22] We’ve done it!
April: [00:32:23] We’ve done it?
Jen: [00:32:24] Yep, we’ve done it!
April: [00:32:25] All right. Well, we want to thank you all for listening to the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. And if you like what you’re hearing here, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
Jen: [00:32:34] And if you like the show, please do take one second to give us a five-star review. It really helps other people find the show.
April: [00:32:40] …and helps us enormously with our self-esteem. (April & Jen both laugh)
So join us again, bright and early next Monday.
And until then, keep your feet on the ground –
Jen: [00:32:49] – and your eyes on the stars!
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