Transcript for Ep. 104 (Dec. 6, 2021)
Venus Turns Retrograde: Cheez Food Sirens!Listen to the episode and read full show notes 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 December 6th, 2021. And, here with me – to share an unfortunate example of a transit in real life – is my friend, astrologer April Elliott Kent. April, how’s it going?
April: Oh Jen, when good transits go bad.
Jen: Gosh! Tell us.
April: Well, a lot of our listeners are also readers, they’re also on my mailing list, and so, they will be aware of a little bit of what happened to me when I was luxuriating on the central coast. And, on the very day that Mars squared Saturn, Mercury and Mars were together on Neptune in my 12th house and getting an aspect from Saturn, and somebody impersonated me on Instagram, spoofed my account.
Jen: Which is a real problem in the astrology world, and also just in the wellness community in general. I’ve seen that happening a lot.
April: It’s happening to a lot of us. And, I heard from a lot of my readers saying, “You’re the third person this week who I’ve reported a spoof account, a fraudulent account”. And the terrible thing was that, what they do then is go into direct message to the people who have been following you on your account, pretending to be you and saying, “Hey, you know, here’s a PayPal link, pay me a hundred bucks for a reading” or something. And I guess they do a convincing job because a couple of people wrote to me and reported that this had happened. They said, “This wasn’t you, was it?” And, I said, “No, I would never ever, ever do that”.
April: So, you would go to my website to work with me. So, public service announcement here.
April: If you suddenly get some strange Instagram instant message or something like that from someone that you have been following, that sounds a little bit off or a little bit odd, definitely report it to them and definitely report it to Instagram. My mistake was I reported the fraud to Instagram and somehow it got my account locked out.
Jen: That’s too bad.
April: It is. I really enjoyed Instagram and really loved sharing my things there. So, I won’t rule out using it again sometime in the future, but I haven’t been happy with the response that I’ve gotten from Instagram say the least. And, I was terrified that people were out there getting defrauded in my good name. Just as I say, this is happening to a lot of astrologers, tarot card readers, healers, all kinds of people, so just be a little bit careful, a little bit wary. Always good to email them directly or go to their website or something like that. If you want to work with them,
Jen: Can you explain to folks how the Mars, Saturn, Neptune… how that translates to what happened to you?
April: Yes, I would say Neptune, it can be at its worst about illusion, about fraud. It’s in my 12th house, so it’s things that you don’t really see coming. And, Mars and Mercury were on my Neptune, and that’s a trigger. At least, you get Mars there every two years, but having the two of them together there as a sort of faster moving trigger on Neptune in my 12th house, which can be about fraud, it can be an attack, a fraudulent attack because Mars can be an attacking planet. Saturn was also squaring my Neptune and a couple of other things have happened over the last week too that actually were my fault that I got called to account on, and that’s okay, Saturn will do that. But that one was frustrating because it really wasn’t anything I did wrong at all.
April: And yet, the powers that be with this strength kind of slamming the door and saying “No more”. So, it was not a wonderful experience, my friend.
Jen: Oh, my gosh!
April: I am shut down, man, I’m shut out. So, come see me on Facebook instead, so far, I’m still there.
April: Well, what is going on in the sky for everybody starting this week, my friend?
Jen: The first week begins Monday, December 6th. We’ll start with Mars squaring Jupiter. This happens on December 7th at 10:21 PM Pacific Time. Mars is in Scorpio at 26°, 24 minutes, and Jupiter’s in Aquarius at the same degree. Tell us what this means.
April: The Sabian symbol for Mars on this degree is “A Military Band On The March”. I feel we’ve talked about that before.
Jen: We have. That makes me think of Mars, for sure.
April: Yes. Especially Mars in Scorpio because it’s especially strong in that sign and it speaks of focus and attention and precision. And, the fact that it is squared Jupiter, you know, Jupiter is still in Aquarius. And, it does give a little bit of the possibility of taking on a little more than we can comfortably handle, something we talked about in our last episode. But, it also says, “If you take the right kind of action, now you can really alter the future and how things are going to be progressing and unfolding”, and that’s Jupiter in Aquarius. That is on the Sabian symbol, “An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled With Violets”. And, I just picture little Violet, like my little cat, just like a bunch of them crammed into an old bowl.
Jen: That’s great.
April: It’s a lovely image anyway. And just says, “Be a little bit careful and don’t knock over the ancient pottery bowl” – which could be a square – “by taking on a little more than you can comfortably handle”. Always the danger with Jupiter. I speak from some experience on this.
Jen: Yes. Jupiter always expands whatever it touches, for better or for worse.
April: It does indeed. Jen, do you know what time it is?
Jen: What time is it?
April: It’s time for Moonwatch…
April: Play it!
April: Yes, it is Moonwatch, the first of two in this episode, of course. And, this one is for the Pisces First Quarter Moon, which is on December 10th at 05:35 PM Pacific Time, on 19° and 13 minutes of Pisces and Sagittarius. On two of our favorite Sabian symbols, actually, Jen, “A Table Set For An Evening Meal” and “Men Cutting Through Ice”.
The Moon is making a conjunction with Neptune, a pretty close one in the chart for the First Quarter Moon, and the Sun and Mercury then are together and square all those planets. A First Quarter time is always the time in a cycle to initiate action, but with Neptune involved, we’re trying to move through somewhat foggy conditions. Hopefully the Sun and Mercury are cutting through the fog. But, the Moon and Neptune maybe says, “Don’t move too fast. Sit for a moment, like at the evening meal, to think about what we’re feeling and sensing, and then move ahead, rely on your intuition after you’ve sat with things for a little while”, because Neptune is very intuitive.
This is the First Quarter continuing a lunar phase family that began with the March 13th, 2021 New Moon, at 23° of Pisces. So, it’s possible that some ideas you had or conceived around that time are now finally ready to be acted upon to think back to what was going on with you then. Maybe look in the Pisces house of your chart where 23° Pisces would fall and see if that gives you some clues.
Jen: Great. Next, we have Venus joining up with Pluto on December 11th at 08:28 AM Pacific, at 25°, 19 minutes of Capricorn. What does this mean for us, April?
April: Whenever we see things with Pluto, the tendency is to shiver a little bit and think, “Oh no, this doesn’t look good”. This combination – and it’s the first of three conjunctions that we’ll get a Venus with Pluto. There’s this one, there’s one on Christmas day, like we were saying earlier, when we were texting about this, coal in your stocking on Christmas day, and then, on March 3rd, 2022. This one is on a very nice Sabian symbol, “A Water Sprite”.
And, whenever I see Venus with Pluto, I’m always reminded of what my wonderful colleague, Michelle Gold once said about this combination. She said, “Whenever Pluto is conjunct something, it burns away something that isn’t of the nature of that planet. When Pluto is with Venus, it’s burning away anything that isn’t authentically love and enjoyment, and all the wonderful things we associate with Venus. I think it’s a time of actually getting rid of things that no longer suit us, letting go of people and situations that just aren’t in tune with us.
Jen: Yes. And, it could also be related to money. Don’t you think?
April: Oh, absolutely, especially since it’s in Capricorn. And, as we’ll talk a little later in the episode when we talk about Venus turning retrograde, it’s going to be a really interesting beginning of the new year, especially for those of us who are in business and often take this time of year, the end of December, the beginning of January to really hit the ground running with new ideas and new offers and changes to our rates and all kinds of things that you tend to want to do at the beginning of the year for your business. This is not going to be the right kind of time to do those sorts of things. Rather, it’s going to be about getting realigned with what we value.
So yes, it’s about money, but it’s more money in the sense of “Are we valued sufficiently? Are we getting paid what we should be paid for the things that we’re doing? Are we enjoying the way that we’re earning our money? Is our money working for us?” And, it’s about that alignment of the fact that money represents our life’s energy. It’s hours of our lives, that we’ll never get back, that we’re exchanging for this money. So, it’s really getting clear about that, are the ways that we’re earning our money in tune with what’s true about us?
I’m kind of excited actually about this conjunction and about this retrograde. I’m not going to say it will be a walk in the park because it could hurt to let go of things that we have thought were really important to us and would always be there for us. It can be friendships, it can be work relationships, it can be all kinds of things, it can be possessions, it can be your Instagram account.
April: Just suddenly gone. So, the last time we had a conjunction between Venus and Pluto was at the beginning of this year, on January 28th. Then we had a square in April, an opposition in June and another square on September 5th, so, that has been the cycle over last year. So, this initiates another cycle like that. We’ll have a few conjunctions and then we’ll proceed through the year to have square opposition square.
Jen: Do you think this starts a new story, or could it be a continuation of what has been happening?
April: Well, two planets coming together in a conjunction, we can always see as the beginning of a new story, but because of the nature of Pluto, which is about letting go, well, that implies that there have been things there before and previously. The whole time that Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, I think it was, there’ve been a lot of things that we’ve accumulated. You know, we came through Pluto going into Capricorn, we had this huge terrible meltdown of the economy. That made a lot of us grab out for things that represented security, financial security or relationships or whatever it was that maybe now at this point, after all these years, we’re looking at with new eyes and saying, “I needed that at the time. Maybe, I don’t need it now”. Does that sound like a reasonable answer?
Jen: Yes, it makes sense. And, I would say that with this Venus-Pluto conjunction being the first of three from now until March, like these three could also just be connected.
April: Yes. This is a big one, because we get to do it three times. That implies that there’s something really deep to it. Ordinarily, Venus conjunct Pluto, is a couple of days in our lives. But this, because it’s tied up with the Venus retrograde and we experience it three times because of that, it’s a bigger story. So, to consider what it means for you personally, “What is Venus in your chart? Does it rule some planets? Are you having aspects from Pluto to your Venus? Where is Pluto traveling through your chart?” These are the kinds of things to look at. It’s pretty significant for you, Jen, because you have a lot of planets ruled by Venus.
Jen: I do.
April: So, it’s important. But, most of us have – we all have a Venus somewhere, and our little Venuses will tingle as well even if they’re not at degrees that really get in the middle of this conjunction.
Jen: Make sense.
April: Well, we close out the week with the Sun square to Neptune on December 11th at 10:21 PM Pacific Time, at 20° and 26 minutes of Sagittarius and Pisces. Now, we do have a Mercury square at those same degrees, Mercury square to Neptune a little earlier in the week on December 7th. These two give a similar message, I think, which is always with squares to Neptune. It is about seeing things as they are instead of the way we’d like them to be. So, these can be aspects with a touch of disillusionment about them, but they can also be a much-needed wake-up call and an opportunity, as we say with these ,to appreciate things as they are, instead of telling ourselves that they are something else.
Always, Neptune is a place where we tend to leak energy a little bit. So, when it’s in a difficult aspect or even when it’s an easy aspect with Neptune. The Sun is about our physical vitality and our confidence, so when it’s an aspect to Neptune, especially a square, we usually need a little more rest and to take care of ourselves and just have a nice cup of tea and relax a little bit.
Jen: Bring your cozy blanket.
April: What do we have coming up in week two, my friend?
Jen: Week two begins the 13th of December and goes till the 19th. And, we have Mars entering Sagittarius on the 13th, that Monday, at 01:53 AM Pacific Time. Tell us about this, pal.
April: I like it. Sagittarius is a spunky, enthusiastic, and optimistic sign. So, having Mars going in there speaks of taking leaps of faith, acting on something that you’ve been wanting to do. This kind of goes back to that Mars square Jupiter that we were talking about last week, it’s very similar themes. But there can be disputes because of Mars. Mars can be arguments or disagreements over what we believe, the whole time the Mars is going through Sagittarius. Not that that hasn’t been happening 24/7 for as long as we can remember. Arguments are particularly apt to become a little more heated on the subject of what we believe and such while Mars is in Sagittarius.
Jen: That word “heated,” I associate with Mars.
April: Especially in a fire sign like Sagittarius. Our tempers tend to be a little shorter, but we tend to let go of the anger a little faster. Mars in Scorpio has been very strong, really intense, really holds onto those feelings and they last a lot longer and they take longer to let go of the negative ones. But yes, Mars in a fire sign, it gets good and mad really fast, and then, you’re just over it.
Now, Mars is going to make a conjunction to the Moon South Node on December 15th. And, what this says to me is it’s time to leave the nest, because the South Node is where we feel comfortable. And, Mars is going to kick us out of that nest if we won’t go willingly. So, this says, to the extent that you’ve been entrenched in your own beliefs and unwilling to have discussions with people who think differently about the world, then I think Mars might give you a little kick to the shins, as it’s going over the South Node.
The nodes will leave Gemini and Sagittarius on January 18th, so I see this particular Mars aspect to the South Node is really time to finish up our work, our Gemini Sagittarius work of the last two years.
Jen: It’s probably worth mentioning. Folks may be hearing from other astrologers saying that the nodes are changing signs in like mid to late December, because the mean – or the average – nodes are changing sign then, but we always work with the true nodes.
Jen: Do you want to say anything about that?
April: I always think “Why be mean when you could be true?” I just think it’s more precise. I don’t know. I have Virgo planets. But yes, thank you for bringing that up because I wouldn’t have thought to mention that. And, there is quite a lag time between the mean and the true nodes.
Jen: Right on.
April: What do we have coming up next?
Jen: Mercury enters Capricorn on December 13th at 09:52 AM Pacific Time. Tell us more.
April: Well, I like Mercury and Mars changing sign on the same day. That’s a lot of activity, a lot of things changing at once, which is very fun. So, Mercury, the planet of communication going into Capricorn invites us to get serious, to get down to business. Just because Venus is not going to be in the best condition to make a lot of moves, especially with your business and that kind of thing right at the beginning of the year, you can still use this Mercury in Capricorn time to start working on your plans for next year.
Jen: How long will Mercury be in Capricorn?
April: It moves through there pretty quickly. It’ll finish up on January 2nd, then it’ll go into Aquarius. So, that’s plenty of time to buy your year-end planners and start… you know, I know Joanie and I both like to do that at the end of the year, we’ll figure out exactly what you want to do for the coming year
Jen: And my 11th house planets want to let folks know: I think Mercury goes retrograde in January at some point. My point is, if there are things that you don’t want to do while Mercury is retrograde, do them now.
April: That is always excellent advice. Very good advice, my friend.
Jen: Alright, what’s coming up next?
April: Jen, you may not believe this.
Jen: I don’t think I will.
April: But… it is time for another Moonwatch…
April: Play it!
April: Yes, friends, another Moonwatch. And, this is a Gemini Full Moon on December 18th at 08:35 PM Pacific Time, 27° and 28 minutes of Gemini and Sagittarius. And, it feels so fitting for bringing this lunar node journey to a conclusion, an eclipse season that featured the solar eclipse in Sagittarius, but the lunar eclipse in the new eclipse pair of Taurus and Scorpio. So, it’s kind of a bringing it all together, it’s bringing things to fruition, which is often the case at the Full Moon. It’s when things are fully revealed, and we see what the journey since the New Moon has been about, what the journey since the Gemini New Moon has been about.
Jen: We’re tying up loose ends, perhaps.
April: Exactly so. The Sabian symbols for this are a bit odd. The one for 28° Gemini is “A Man Declared Bankrupt”, and, the one for Sagittarius 28, it’s “An Old Bridge Over A Beautiful Stream”.
Jen: They’re so different.
April: So different. I don’t know what to make of the bankruptcy, and of course, it doesn’t sound terribly encouraging, but think about it for just a moment. My Gemini side which likes to be free and light and easy, looks at, “Oh, once you’re bankrupt, what else you have to lose?”
Jen: So then, you can go visit a bridge over a lovely stream, perhaps.
April: Exactly. Have a picnic. The stream sounds really, really nice. Bridges are great. They say, “I’m going from one state of being where I’m bankrupt to the next state of being where things are going to be better. And, in between is a beautiful stream”.
The chart for this Full Moon shows the Sun and the Moon in a T-square with Neptune as sort of a final hurrah. I know the nodes have been squaring Neptune on and off during this last year. And so, this is about the seeking clarity, figuring out what’s really going on, finding the path with empathy, between the South Node of Sagittarius of “I know everything” and the North Node of Gemini, which is “Let’s ask the questions, let’s be curious”, and Neptune in between says “And through it all, let us remember that we are all connected and to have empathy for each other and to try to have love for each other”. Not easy though.
And, as always with a T-square, we talk about, where is the exit strategy? Where is the place when things get a little too tense, we feel overwhelmed? And, with this chart it it would be Virgo. So, do Virgo. We can do Virgo.
Jen: Make a list.
April: Yes. What else, Jen?
Jen: Break things down into smaller parts.
April: Smaller parts is such a great way to talk about Virgo, because it does like to break things into its little component parts where they’re manageable. That’s sort of Gemini’s way as well, because it’s also ruled by Mercury. What we have basically here is a tension between Mercury and Jupiter, because Mercury rules Gemini, and then the missing sign, which is Virgo, and Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces. It is finding a balance between those two. Don’t lose the forest for the trees, don’t get too hooked up in the minutia, but a little bit of it’s not a bad thing. It will bring this chart into a greater balance if you do, as you say, in just practical easy little steps for things.
Jen: Well, and I think often that Virgo is your day-to-day life. And, approaching the new year, it’s also a good time to just organize your day-to-day life and think about next year… and how do you want to spend your time?
April: Right. What sort of organizers do you need for your drawers and your closet?
Jen: All my Virgo planets are happy that you said that!
April: Don’t you love that? Do you love the Container Store? Do you have a Container Store? Have we talked about the Container Store?
Jen: I believe we have talked about the Container Store. They do exist in Minneapolis, and I do like organizing things. But see, what I like to do is: I like to take old boxes and things and make my own containers. Because, do you think Virgo can be… I’m trying to think of the right word…
April: It likes to recycle, it’s very ecological. I do the same thing. Actually, about every three years, I go on a wild tear and I reorganize everything and throw out a bunch of stuff. That’s exactly what I do. I’ve found… like in my bedside table, it has a little drawer in it and, I outfitted it with the little boxes that I found around that were the right size. Because, it just feels better to reuse things if you can.
Jen: Yes, it does.
April: It feels very Virgo virtuous.
Jen: Do you have some Velveeta cheese boxes?
Jen: Because those are such a great size!
April: You just wanted to bring up…
April & Jen: … imaginary sponsor, Velveeta!
April: I do love that cheese food. Oh, it’s the best. Well finally, Jen…
April: …we want to touch on the big news of the week, which is Venus turning retrograde, that happens on December 19th at 02:36 AM Pacific Time, at 26° and 29 minutes of Capricorn. Of course, it made the conjunction just days previously. And, Venus will be retrograde in Capricorn through January 29th of 22, and it will station direct at 11° and five minutes of Capricorn, so, that’s going to be its journey backwards from about 26° of Capricorn all the way back to 11°. So, all that territory in your chart, any planets that you have that are especially conjunct, square or opposed that area of the sodium pack is probably going to be the best territory for exploring this retrograde.
Jen: So, folks should look for planets between 11° and 26°? What, Aries…?
April: Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
April: So, yes, Venus is about money, it’s about relationships, it’s all these kinds of things, but especially in Capricorn an earth sign, it’s about how we are in our bodies. Venus is the goddess of love and pleasure, and it’s a good time to re-familiarize yourself with what your body really needs, what it could really use at this time to when in pleasure. And, it’s less about going out and looking for pleasure in the world and much more about finding it within yourself or in more solitary things. So, it could be a really good time for a little mini retreat if you’re able to organize it, or even just a nice bath or sitting down by yourself with a cup of tea and a book, whatever it is that spells some indulgence to you and makes you physically feel good is doubly helpful when Venus is retrograde.
Now, it’s not the best time to do certain things. I wouldn’t get married with Venus retrograde if I could possibly help it. Because, retrograde times are not so much initiating times. They’re more about sitting back and reflecting and examining your relationship with the planet, and Venus is a delicious planet to spend time alone with. So, I wouldn’t rush out and get married and I wouldn’t rush out and start a business that you hope to make money from. Did I tell you that my very first reading I did for someone years ago was on a Venus retrograde?
Jen: Oh! No…
April: And it took me years to make good money doing readings for people.
Jen: Oh, interesting.
April: Yes. It wasn’t Venus that was making things fail, it was sort of mirroring something that was going on inside of me, which, I didn’t feel confident. I didn’t probably feel ready. I didn’t feel that I was good enough yet to be charging money or whatever. So, the way Venus feels good about itself in Capricorn is if we are building something in our life that is nourishing and supportive, it likes structures, it likes to have a schedule. It likes to have the little compartments, you know, in the drawer of the bedside table, I think that sort of a Capricornian thing too. It wants to know that the structures that it’s building are sound and really well thought out. Anything that helps you do that during this retrograde period is really going to be honoring Venus.
So, the last time we had Venus retrograde was last year between May 12th and June 24th, and it was in Gemini then. And the last time Venus was retrograde in Capricorn was back in 2013 and 2014. It was December 21st, 2013 through January 31st, 2014. Wow! Gosh, that’s so long ago.
Jen: But it’s good for folks to think back because there might be something that reminds you of that time.
April: Well, yes, I mean, Venus being retrograde at that time, you can look back and say, “Did I undervalue myself in any way at that time? Should I have asked for more? Should I have aligned myself with different kinds of projects rather than maybe just doing things because I think they’re going to make money for me or something?” It’s always about getting the values aligned with earning our living, especially since it’s in Capricorn, very practical financial considerations. I’m excited about it. I like when planets are retrograde generally, and I know it sounds kind of antithetical to the usual way we think about them, but it’s because I’m an introvert and I like quiet times and I like reflection and I think retrogrades really invite us to do that.
Jen: Yes. I was going to say, it’s just a more internal process.
April: Exactly. Well, there are lots of other things we could talk about, well we’re already well into this episode, so I think we will leave it at that. And we will remind folks that you can always read my weekly column at bigskyastrology.com. Because, we – by necessity now that we’re only publishing a podcast every couple of weeks – so a couple of things we just have to leave out in the interest of time. So, some of those will get covered in my weekly columns. So, make sure you go to bigskyastrology.com and sign up for my mailing list too, because I will send you out reminders and special offers and all kinds of cool stuff.
Jen: That is a great reminder.
April: Well, that is everything we have on the show sheet, Jen, have we done it?
Jen: We’ve done it. And I think I’m going to go make a grilled cheese with Velveeta!
April: Oh, stop it.
Jen: Because they do make the best grilled cheese…
April: Oh my gosh, they do. I love Velveeta. I haven’t had it in years. You siren.
April: You processed cheese food siren!
Jen: Hey, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like…
April: There you go. Can we truly call it a cheese? But it’s a cheese like product?
Jen: Or, cheese food.
April: Yes. Cheese… C-H-E-E-Z!
April: Well, thanks to all of you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast, possibly while having a grilled cheese sandwich.
Jen: Mmm, yum…
April: If you like what you’re hearing here, we hope that you will follow us, rate and review the show, and we hope that you’ll spread the word. Tell an astrology loving friend about it. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at our website, bigskyastropod.com.
Jen: We’re so grateful to everyone who showed support during our recent Podathon. Of course, each episode we thank some of you by name. Who do we have this time, April?
April: We are giving a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Terri Ehlert, Michelle Kapanen and non-imaginary sponsor, Mina Habibi.
April: Terri, Michelle, and Mina, we appreciate you. And, we thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting us with your donations.
Jen: Thanks to you three. As a small independent podcast, your donations do mean the world to us. Now, if you enjoy the show and you would like to support it, please go to our website, bigskyastropod.com. If you donate $5 or more, we’ll send you our upcoming Capricorn Solstice episode – only available to contributors. And of course, our most excellent bingo card.
April: Well, that is it for us this episode. Join us again, bright and early in two weeks. 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, www.BigSkyAstrology.com, 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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