TRANSCRIPT EP 137 | Virgo New Moon and Mars: All the Things, All at Once! (8.22.22)Listen and read show notes here
Welcome to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast with your host, Astrologer and Author, April Elliott Kent.
April: Hello invisible friend, April here – and the date today is August 22nd, 2022. Welcome to Episode 137 of The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. This week, the Sun enters Virgo and makes a square to Mars. Mercury enters Libra, Venus takes a glamorous stroll through a rough neighborhood, Uranus turns retrograde, and the week ends with a Virgo New Moon.
But first, a big announcement. Coming up Labor Day, week, September 5th through 9th, I will be bringing you the Third Annual Podathon, with daily episodes, amazing guest astrologers and prizes my friends, so many prizes! Make a note to check your podcast feed every day that week for a New Mooncentric episode.
Mercury trine Pluto (Aug. 22, 2022, 2:58 pm PDT)
This week begins with Mercury making trine aspect to Pluto on August 22nd at 2:58 PM Pacific Time, at 26°36’ Virgo and Capricorn. Now, this aspect gives Mercury a little extra heft and staying power. As we know, Mercury moves really quickly through the skies and it represents processes that are very quick, very speedy and not necessarily long lasting in their effects. But, making a trine to Pluto definitely does give Mercury a little bit more depth. This is an aspect that is good for devoting yourself to a project that you hope will really come to something. Focus tends to be a little stronger than is sometimes the case when Mercury is making aspects.
Sun enters Virgo (Aug. 22, 2022, 8:16 pm PDT)
On the same day, August 22nd, at 8:16 PM, the Sun enters Virgo through September 22nd. Now, the Sun’s journey through the Zodiac tells us what will bring us the greatest happiness during each month, because that is the symbolism of the Sun – joyfulness, sharing ourselves in some kind of creative way with the world. When the Sun is in Virgo, we will feel happiest by getting our house in order both literally and figuratively. This is the season to organize your closets and cabinets, to gather your papers for shredding or filing, to put together piles of discards, to take to charitable organizations, refolding everything in your dresser drawers. This is the time of year for separating the wheat from the chaff, for discerning the things that are of good quality and the things that aren’t, what is serving us best in life, and the kinds of things that are dragging us down.
You can really feel the difference in your home. If you have a lot of clutter, a lot of stale old energy that is taking up space, and the Virgo season is the perfect time for freeing up that kind of clutter, that kind of energy. Virgo is a Mercury ruled sign, and we will use Mercury’s powers of perception and analysis during the season. And I do like that symbolism of Mercury being trine Pluto on this same day, because it says that Virgos ruler is connecting with Pluto, so it’s not just a matter of cleaning our closets and refolding our t-shirts and socks, it really is about putting that out as a symbol of a greater inner process that we’re going through, of putting things right, cleaning things out, putting things in order so that we can move forward through the rest of the year more lightly.
Uranus turns Retrograde (Aug. 24, 2022, 6:53 am PDT)
On August 24th, Uranus will station and turn retrograde at 18°55’ Taurus. It will turn direct again on January 22nd, 2023. Uranus will be sitting on this 18th degree of Taurus, where it’s been spending so much time, through mid-October. What does it mean generally when Uranus is changing direction? Well, as I often say with these big slow planets, they are retrograde a lot of the year, and so we tend to really only pay a lot of attention to that very close to the day that they are actually changing direction.
So, as Uranus is stationing, and it’s going to be going retrograde, it’s going to be appearing to move backwards. The energy change that comes with Uranus, the sense of the unexpected moving us in a new direction is, in many ways, moving us inward and to some degree backward. My interpretation always of planets that are retrograde is that these are times when we are invited to go within, to find out what we think about the matters related to that planet. Uranus is a really good planet for that because it is always about how we stand apart from everybody else, how we are unique and individualistic. So Uranus moving retrograde says, “I have my own idea of what it means to fit in and to not fit in”, which is another thing that Uranus is concerned with: fitting in, finding our people. And, there is this sense when Uranus is retrograde that we don’t have to be rebellious just for the sake of being rebellious. That what’s most important is to look within and say, “How might I have been living out of step, out of sync with who I really am?” And that it’s a lot less about fitting in with others, fitting in with society, fitting in with the outside world and much more this trying to find a way to be more congruent in who we really are and what we really want, and then how we are living our lives.
Mercury enters Libra (Aug. 25, 2022, 6:03 pm PDT)
On August 25th at 6:03 PM Pacific Time, Mercury enters Libra. It will be in Libra through September 23rd, and then again, between October 10th and 29th. Mercury will be retrograde between September 9th and October 2nd. So particularly being retrograde in Libra, there is this important sense of needing to weigh the consequences, especially of our words and our decisions about entering processes of mental fairness and exercising careful judgment. I think of Mercury as being pretty strong in Libra, it is an air sign, which seems to be a happy place for Mercury to play, but there is the difficulty of indecision when it comes with Libra.
Now, the plus side of this indecision is, again, we are weighing things, we are weighing consequences, we are judging things which means we have to carefully evaluate all sides. So, it’s the opposite of Mercury in Aries, which just says, “Yes, let’s get to it. Here’s what we’re going do”. Mercury in Libra is exactly the opposite. And it says, “No, we have to really think it through, with all the information that we have”. Libra is the sign that comes after Virgo, and in Virgo, we gather all the information and we analyze it. So by the time Mercury gets into Libra, it kind of sees all the sides and all of the things that we might do if presented with a particular situation. It is the time to really make sure that we are proceeding in the right way. And of course, Mercury will be retrograde while it’s in the sign, which comes down a little more on the side of waiting before we act or make a decision because retrograde times are best for really mulling things over and considering them. This is a particularly careful Mercury in Libra.
Venus square Uranus (Aug. 26, 2022, 9:34 pm PDT)
On August 26th, Venus squares Uranus at 9:34 PM Pacific Time at 18°55’ Leo and Taurus. The Sabian symbol for Venus, 19 Leo, is “A Houseboat Party,” and in this symbol, we see the joyous revelry of Venus in Leo. The Sabian symbol for Taurus is that 19 Taurus, “A Newly Formed Continent”, and it’s just been sitting on that degree for the longest time. I guess the way I’m feeling this combination, with these Sabian symbols, is that we’re on this houseboat having a party, and that runs aground on this newly formed continent – something stops us in our tracks, something interrupts the party.
Now, Leo likes to have a good time, but if you look closely at Leo, there are a lot of rules there, a lot of protocols, a hierarchy to the guest list. I think of all the fixed signs, Taurus and Leo feel the most fixed, to me, not really wanting any surprises and not liking to move forward at any great speed. This little square between Venus and Uranus – again, is pretty quick one, it’s only a day or so either side – says that something new is emerging, the “Newly Formed Continent”, and that Leo is having to figure out how to deal with that.
Sun square Mars (Aug. 27, 2022, 10:27 pm PDT)
Also, on August 26th at 10:27 PM Pacific Time, so August 27th most everywhere else, the Sun will square Mars at 3°56’ Virgo and Gemini. The challenge between the Sun and Mars in hard aspect goes a little bit like this. It is that the Sun represents the monarch, the king or the queen, and royalty don’t feel as if they need to fight for recognition, that it is theirs by birthright. And Mars kind of begs to differ. Mars understands that sometimes you really have to fight for what’s yours. The Sun in Virgo is saying, “We must do the right things and do them properly”. While Mars and Gemini is saying, “No, let’s do all of the things all at once”.
Virgo is always trying to slow Gemini down, but both are ultimately mutable signs, they are Mercury ruled signs, their gift is their curiosity, their dexterity, the ability to multitask and to hold a variety of ideas in their minds at one time. But their challenge is to avoid losing focus and splintering all of their energy, especially their mental energy in all directions.
Just the symbolism of Sun and Mars says that on a physical level, we may feel some challenges this week, particularly if you are somebody with important planets in Virgo or Gemini, say the Sun or the Moon or the Ascendant. You might feel a little emotionally stirred up, physically drained during a week like this, especially as we are building up to the exact square on the evening of August 26th. So, pace yourself, especially when it comes to mental fatigue and indulging a little too much in that mutable sign habit of trying to do way too many things at one time.
Virgo New Moon (Aug. 27, 2022, 1:17 am PDT)
And now here’s the Moon Report for the week of August 22nd. It begins with a Virgo New Moon on August 27th at 1:17 AM Pacific Time, at 4°3’ Virgo. It’s an intriguing Sabian symbol. It’s “A Man Dreaming of Fairies”. It has both that Sun in Virgo dimension of living in the rational world, and yet at the same time that Neptunian, almost, Piscean kind of element of the man dreaming of these fanciful creatures. This is akin to that opposition between Mercury in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces that we talked about on last week’s episode. It’s trying to find the balance really between the rational logical world and the imaginative world. And the nice thing is we see them coming together in this degree with the Sun and the Moon, both together on 5 Virgo, “A Man Dreaming Of Fairies”.
Each New Moon of course initiates a brand new Lunar Phase Family Cycle that will continue for two and a half years. So, we are beginning at this New Moon of course, a month-long cycle that has to do with all those things I talked about with the Sun entering Virgo. So, clearing the decks and organizing things and getting rid of the draws from our lives. But, it’s also a process that’s going to extend out through the next Virgo Full Moon that will happen in the spring of 2023, and then for two and a half years, as we get a First Quarter Moon, a Full Moon and a Third Quarter Moon all near this degree of 4° Virgo, and that will expand out for two and a half years. Things are changing very quickly in the world, within ourselves and in relationship with other people, we are having to adapt and to change, to respond to all of that. So, I think that that is a process we are going to be seeing play out for the next two and a half years.
Void-of-course Moon periods
Let’s talk about the void-of-course Moon periods for this week. On August 24th, the Moon in Cancer makes a sextile aspect to Mercury at 2:40 AM Pacific Time. It’s void-of-course for just about three and a half hours before it enters Leo at 6:09 AM Pacific Time. Here on the West Coast of the US in the Pacific Time Zone, this is probably a fairly little consequence to most of us, we’ll probably be sleeping through most of it. Do pay attention to your dreams, however, if you’re a person who has vivid dreams. I always think of a sextile as a messenger aspect, and it is connecting the Moon, which is the deep intuition with Mercury, which is also a planet that is attuned to new information coming in. If you are in a place where you’re experiencing this later in the day, this probably does talk about following your intuition, Moon in Cancer, when you’re evaluating whether to take advantage of new opportunities or invitations that might come your way.
On August 25th at 11:55 PM Pacific Time, which is to say August 26th, practically every place else, almost August 26th on the West Coast, the Moon in Leo opposes Saturn in Aquarius. It’s void-of-course for five and a half hours and enters Virgo at 5:25 AM Pacific Time. This is a nice one to sleep through, as most of us will be doing on the West Coast. But if you are living on the East Coast or especially in Europe where you’re going to be having this later in the morning, this can be a little bit of a tough aspect, this can be something where you are trying to get something for yourself – Moon in Leo. And, as I have talked about before with the New Moon that has Venus oppose Saturn, anytime something is opposing Saturn, you are reaching out for something and being told “No”, and in this case, it’s the Moon with Saturn. The Moon says, “Please notice me, please recognize me”. This could be something at your workplace where you’re hoping that the things that you’ve been doing will be recognized and you’ll be praised, and instead you might get a Saturn person in your workplace that kind of ignores you, or doesn’t give you that recognition that you want. It can also be something that is emerging in your environment that is uncomfortable, where you don’t get invited to go out to lunch with the rest of your workmates or something like that and you feel a little bit left out.
On August 28th at 11:27 AM Pacific Time, Venus makes the exact opposition aspect to Saturn, and the message really from this aspect is: Love is easy, but relationships take work. So, Venus can see Saturn as kind of a wet blanket or as the bringer of stability and commitment. Saturn can see Venus as really beautiful, but maybe a little bit frivolous. The Sabian symbol for Venus is “Chickens Intoxicated”, which is always a really amusing one to me. Saturn is on the Sabian symbol, “A Woman Disappointed And Disillusioned Courageously Facing The Future”. So, I think this combination is about confronting things that are hard instead of just kind of flapping around intoxicated. The ‘Chickens Intoxicated’ here, Venus at that degree, suggest to me all the ways in which we try to enhance the positive exciting delightful feelings of Venus in Leo. But at some point, the party has to end. We have to sober up and we do need to face what comes next and what’s coming up in the future.
Listener Question: the Case of the Wandering Progressed House Cusps
In this week’s listener question, listener, Maria asks, “Why is it that progression results for cusps and angles vary so much from software program to software program?” So here, I think Maria is talking about Secondary Progressions. So, for example, she says “On astro.com, my Secondary Progressed descendant is 17°45’ minutes Sagittarius, while Astrolog 7.0 says it’s 10°40’ minutes of Sagittarius. I’m sure solar fire yields yet another result. The planets themselves are pretty much the same, but not the cusps. Why is that?” And Maria, thank you for this great question. And I’ll very quickly recap. Although I’ve talked about Secondary Progressions before on the podcast, just a very quick reminder of what they are.
In Secondary Progressions, this is a system we have of moving the chart forward in time to reflect your progress and I believe your internal growth in particular, the ways in which your are changing. In Secondary Progressions, each day after your birth is equivalent to a year of your life. So, if we look at the planetary positions on the day after your birth in the ephemeris, the table of planetary motions, we will see your Secondary Progressed positions on your first birthday. Now, you’re not going to see a lot of changes on the day after your birth in the ephemeris, but if you leave forward, say 30 days for your 30th birthday, we begin to see quite a lot of motion, especially with the Moon. So, this is the system that Maria is asking about.
In Secondary Progressions, what we do to find the house cusps is we begin by progressing the Midheaven, and then from that we derive the progressed Ascendant and the house cusps. And naturally, there are a number of different ways that you can use to progress the Midheaven. I’ll just talk about the ones I’m most familiar with that I see most often in calculation programs.
the first one actually doesn’t take any calculation at all. You just progress the Midheaven, a degree for each year of life. And, this is super easy, because if you know a person is say, 20 years old, then you just add 20° to the Natal Midheaven and you’re off to the races. Now, this is hardly ever really accurate, but it’s approximate. The Midheaven does move approximately a degree a day and therefore a degree a year, but it can be effective in some situations. Say you’re in the middle of a reading with somebody and they are talking about something related to their career, and you see that in this approximate system, maybe the Midheaven made a conjunction with their Natal Saturn 2° ago, and so you might say something well like, “Well, a couple of years ago, was there something in your career that really set you back?” And you can kind of get into the ballpark with it.
Now, in software programs and computer services, there are about three methods that I’ve seen commonly used. Here are the ones that are included in the options at astro.com, which is, I know a website, many of us have used for calculating charts. So, one method is called the Quotarian Progression, which moves the Midheaven about 361° per year of life. So the reasoning is that if a day equals a year in Secondary Progressions, then the Midheaven should move as it does in a day, which is about 361°. Frankly, I have not worked with this method at all, but if you want to, go to astro.com and it’s under the ‘Extended Chart Calculations”. I think, if you’re working in there, look down towards the bottom of the page, under ‘Calculation Options’ under “Progressions’, there’s a dropdown menu and you would select “ARMC36°/Progressed Day”.
Now, this seems to give a result, Maria, for your ascendant, that is close to what you mentioned in your question that astrologue came up for you, but it’s off a little bit, it comes up with an ascendant of 11° and something. I have not been able to quite figure that one out, but I suspect maybe some other difference, maybe a difference in the Atlas or something that astrologue uses. I’m not actually too familiar with that program, but it might be putting things off by that half degree or so.
The next method is the Solar Arc Midheaven. It’s calculated by counting one day per year from birth, then subtracting the position of the Sun on the day of birth from its position on the following day, and, the result is the Solar Arc or the amount of distance that the Sun has moved. So, you add this Arc to the Natal Midheaven and then you get the Solar Arc Midheaven. I believe this is the default method on Solar Fire. Although I changed mine a while ago, so I no longer recall.
I changed mine to the next method, the Naibod Arc or the Sun’s Mean Motion In Right Ascension, which is probably the fanciest astrological sentence I have ever said. But what this method does is it averages the Sun’s motion along the equator. So, it adds about 3 minutes and 57 seconds of arc per day – or year, since we’re talking about progressions, a day equals a year. This is the method that is used as the default at astro.com, and it matches up with the ascendant that you mentioned in your question, Maria. Now, I’ve been playing around with the Naibod Arc for a couple of years now, and I’ve been really impressed by its reliability in showing important life events compared to the Solar Arc Midheaven. But I would encourage you to look at your chart and all these different methods and especially against big events in your life, progress your chart to those dates using these different progression methods for the Midheaven and other angles. And I think you’ll be interested to see if one seems consistently more reliable than the others, because it kind of did for me.
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Well, that is everything I have on my very full show sheet for this week, so I’m going to wrap this one up. Thank you so much for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, please do me a favor and subscribe or follow the show in your app of choice. Ratings and reviews are always welcome and I would love it if you’d help spread the word by telling a friend about the show. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at bigskyastropod.com.
Thanks very much to everyone who’s shown support for the podcast over the past year. Each week, I’m thinking some of my donors by name. This week, let’s give a Big Sky Astrology Podcast shout out to Carrie LaRoche Sinay!
April: Carrie, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for supporting the show with your donation. Now, if you enjoy the show and you’d like to make a donation, please go to bigskyastropod.com and follow the link or just wait for the Podathon, the week of September 5th, and you can make your donation then.
That is it for this episode. Join me again bright early next Monday. And until then, keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars.
© 2022 April Elliott Kent