TRANSCRIPT Episode 209 (11.20.23)
Sun and Mars enters Sagittarius: Gratitude with Attitude!
This week, the Sun and Mars spend this Thanksgiving week in the U. S. aspecting Saturn and Pluto and entering Sagittarius. The Aquarius First Quarter Moon speaks of disruptions in our domains. And, I answer a couple of follow up questions from listeners about birth times.
Aquarius First Quarter Moon (Nov. 20, 2023, 2:50 am PST)
The week begins with the Moon Report and a First Quarter Moon in Aquarius on November 20 at 2:50 am Pacific time, at 27º 50’ Aquarius, on the Sabian symbol 28 Aquarius, A tree felled and sawed. The Sun is on the symbol 28 Scorpio, King of the fairies approaching his domain.
The Sun at this first quarter is still in that close conjunction with Mars, so we’re still pretty stirred up, especially emotionally. The Sun is, of course, square the Moon, and the Moon is very close to Saturn, so we are getting an aspect from the Sun and Moon to Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. The First Quarter Moon, of course, is that moment in the lunar cycle when it’s time for action to take place on whatever was initiated at the Scorpio New Moon, and the Aquarius First Quarter does tend to favor taking a somewhat unusual, even shocking approach.
The tension between the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Scorpio centers, I think, on constancy. These are both fixed signs, and fixed signs will usually stick with things over the long haul. But Aquarius has the quality of suddenly breaking its patterns. It’s a little like what happens when an earthquake fault suddenly slips or shifts. It begins to feel to Scorpio, which is very constant, that this surprising behavior from Aquarius that seems to come out of nowhere can feel somewhat like disloyalty.
The Sun’s Sabian symbol depicts the king of the fairies approaching his domain. And I think that is our position at this First quarter. We’re in the place where we feel comfortable and in charge, and the Sun is in the conjunction with Mars, so we’re going full speed ahead towards something that began at the New Moon. But then there, right in the center of our domain, there is this tree that’s getting cut down and sawed. It’s very loud. It’s extremely disruptive. And it can seem unnecessary as well. I know if I’m walking through my neighborhood and I see a tree being taken down, my initial response is, Oh no, I feel so sad about it. But it’s the job of the First Quarter Moon in Aquarius to create change. And, after all, there are things that can be built from a tree that has been cut down and sawed up. And, for all we know, the tree in the symbol was sick. It was beginning to drop its branches, or otherwise be dangerous, and it really needs to be cut down.
What I’m taking from this First Quarter overall, is that if we are destroying something, we owe it to that thing to use the available materials that are left over. It’s good to get rid of what isn’t healthy or useful, that can even be dangerous. Even in the areas of life we consider the safest.
Lunar Phase Family Cycle
This is the First Quarter Noon in a lunar phase family cycle that began at the February 19, 2023 New Moon, which was at 01º22’ Pisces. All of the other lunations in this lunar phase family cycle are at the end of Aquarius. But they’re bringing forth the message and the mission of that Pisces New Moon. That New Moon was on the Sabian symbol, 2 Pisces, A squirrel hiding from hunters. It makes me think of that symbol that’s been coming up over the last couple of weeks, of the hunters setting out for ducks. They’re both kind of hunting degrees.
Stephen Forrest always says of Mars: Are you going to be the hunter, or are you going to be prey? And I think that is a little bit of the question, perhaps, for this whole lunar phase family cycle that began on that degree. So this First Quarter Moon is when action needs to happen, needs to take place, and kind of will take place, whether we’re conscious about it or not.
And this is building, again, on what was initiated at that New Moon, February 19th, 2023. This is a good time to go back and look at your journals. Look at what you may have written down at that New Moon, about what your intentions were and what you wanted to initiate and see grow over the next few years.
Now we’re at that action point. The Full Moon in this lunar phase family is on August 19th, 2024, and then the Last Quarter’s on May 20th, 2025. In August, we’ll have the moment to stand back and see the complete picture of what we initiated back at that New Moon, and it will be easier to see the action that was taken now.
Void-of-Course Moon Periods
Let’s look at the Void-of-Course Moon periods for this week. On November 20, the Moon in Aquarius squares the Sun – there’s our First Quarter Moon, it’s actually the last aspect that the Moon makes in Aquarius – at 2:50 am Pacific Time. It’s Void-of-Course then for about three-and-a-half hours, and then enters Pisces at 6:29 am. So that gives us about three-and-a-half hours to sit, with a little extra time and emphasis, to consider that First Quarter Moon in Aquarius.
One question that comes to mind for me with this one is, are there ways in which we have been letting the group distract us from what’s important to us personally? Because the Moon in Aquarius is somewhat communal, group oriented, very sensitive to the needs and perceptions of the group. But it’s making this tense square aspect to the Sun, and the Sun is the symbol of the individual, so there is some stress here, there’s some conflict and tension between them. But always with the square, we’re trying to find a way to integrate the needs of both these symbols. So, it is important to do what is important to us personally, but there is something to be said as well for contributing to the needs of the group.
On November 22, the Moon in Pisces trines Mars at 7:10 am Pacific Time. It’s void of course for about two hours and then enters Aries at 9:19 am. The question here is, can you trust your intuition, which is the Moon in Pisces, to guide you toward right action, symbolized by Mars in Scorpio? And the nature of this aspect, being a trine, says that, well, we certainly feel that that’s what we’re doing. We may not ever actually know for sure, but this Void-of-Course Moon period for about two hours is a good time to think about that, to reflect on that. The question here is, are we using our intuition fully to propel us in the direction that feels right?
Mars is in Scorpio, which is a water sign, and in a different sign, it might demand more of an analysis, more of an intellectual response to our plans. But since it’s in water, and since the Moon is in a water sign, making this nice aspect to Mars, this is the time to meditate, to look at our dreams, to look at the ways in which our gut is guiding us. Because, at this moment in time, really can be trusted.
On November 24th, the Moon in Aries squares Pluto at 9:40 am Pacific Time. It’s then Void-of-Course for just under three hours and enters Taurus at 12:29 p m. The conflict in this square is between the Moon in Aries, which wants to do things its own way, at its own pace, for its own individual purposes. And when it’s squaring Pluto, this is putting us in conflict with the idea that we should be operating in the interest of the collective, symbolized by Pluto.
But it can also symbolize the ways in which we may lack courage to do what it is we want to do in the face of the pressure coming from powerful people or forces in our lives. And Moon in Aries never feels comfortable or right doing that. This is a Void-of-Course Moon period that begins with that sense of conflict. And often with these Void-of-Course Moons, the aspect that precipitates them, it’s something that comes across the transom and something you read, something you saw on social media, something you saw on television or heard on the radio. It isn’t always something that just jumps in front of your face and somebody poking you on the shoulder or something. So we have to be alert and look at these symbols as they come to us, but the nature of this one is that tension between what we do for ourselves, and, what we do in the interest of a larger cause.
Finally, on November 26, the Moon in Taurus trines Pluto at 1:52 pm Pacific Time, its void of course then for just under three hours, and then enters Gemini at 4:40 pm. The Moon in Taurus is slow and steady, and likes to do things at a languid pace. It’s very patient, and by taking this approach, the trine to Pluto suggests that we will be put naturally into a position of strength. We will appeal to people who are influential, and we can find ourselves gaining rewards.
If this isn’t your natural speed, this kind of slow and steady Moon in Taurus pace, it’s time to contemplate that, I think. Is there a way you can shift your approach? To be a little more patient, to wait for the right moments to act?
Sun sextile Pluto (Nov. 20, 2023, 1:26 pm PST)
Mars sextile Pluto (Nov. 21, 2023, 5:18 pm PST)
As I said in the beginning, the Sun and Mars are still traveling pretty close together, so they’re acting more or less as a team this week. And they’re both also making these big entrances into the new sign of Sagittarius. On November 20th, the Sun sextiles Pluto at 1:26 pm Pacific Time at 28º17’ Scorpio and Capricorn. And the next day, Mars sextiles Pluto, on November 21 at 5:18 pm, very close to the same degrees – 28º18’ Scorpio and Capricorn.
The Sun and Mars still traveling so closely together puts a lot of heat and steam and determination into our pursuit of the things that satisfy us personally, symbolized by the Sun. The Sun connecting with Pluto in this very convivial sextile aspect says there will be opportunities to pursue what you strongly feel is right for you, and that will connect you to powerful influences and people who can help you make that happen. The Sun is on the Sabian symbol, 29 Scorpio, An Indian woman pleading to her chief for the lives of her children. Again, a very emotional and very intense Sabian symbol, but that’s fitting for the Sun in Scorpio, and then Pluto in Capricorn is the chief.
Sextile aspects do have a nature of asking, of persuading, and so there is this suggestion here that if there is something that you really feel you need to do in your path forward, you need to ask for what it is that you want. And there is the opportunity with the sextile aspect for your plea, for your request to be favorably received by those in power. I think the Sun and Mars being in Scorpio says that as we are doing this persuading of powerful forces to grant our wishes, in the end, we need to be taking action that’s based not so much on what we think the people in power want to hear, but rather on our instincts and our conviction, which is what’s been coming up over and over again over the last couple of weeks, as the Sun and Mars are traveling together in the very passionate sign of Scorpio.
So what we have this week are a few aspects where the Sun and Mars together are aspecting another planet. But then we also have these situations where the Sun and Mars are entering a sign and immediately making an aspect. That’s what we have coming up on November 22, and November 23rd, which is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States.
The Sun enters Sagittarius (Nov. 22, 2023, 6:03 am PST)
The Sun square Saturn (Nov. 23, 2023, 1:47 am PST)
The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 22nd at 6:03 am Pacific Time, and then it squares Saturn on November 23rd at 1:47 am Pacific Time, at 00º 49’ Sagittarius and Pisces. The Sun will be in Sagittarius until December 21st, when it enters Capricorn at the Solstice.
The Sun symbolizes the seasons of the year, and it’s the symbol of what lights us up and makes us feel alive. During the Sagittarius season, these are things like travel and celebration, holiday traditions, being outdoors. And that’s a little ironic because in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s starting to get chilly in a lot of places. But I think of Sagittarius as a sign that loves the outdoors and wants to be in nature.
The Sun goes into Sagittarius and it is always in Sagittarius on Thanksgiving. Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, contains many blessings and represents the blessings in our lives. And that is exactly what we celebrate at Thanksgiving time. What are we grateful for? And gathering with the people that we’re glad we have in our lives. We may disagree about things, but we’re still happy they’re in our lives. And to celebrate with a big feast, the bounty that we enjoy, even if we don’t have everything we wish we had.
Now, immediately as the Sun enters Sagittarius, it begins this square to Saturn, and that is one of the more difficult transits that we see in the course of the year, because the Sun longs for growth, and Saturn is like trying to put a seed in very hard, compacted soil: it has a very hard time expanding, growing, and thriving. The nice thing is, Saturn is barely in Pisces, it’s still at 00º 49’, so we have this very short period between the time the Sun enters the sign when it will make that square, which is when we begin to feel it, until the aspect is exact and the Sun is moving on.
The very early morning of Thanksgiving Day here in the US, as the Sun squares Saturn at 1:47 am is when the tide turns, maybe the day before we were having to travel and it was difficult or we were doing a lot of cleaning or shopping or cooking to get ready for the holiday. But as we wake up on Thanksgiving morning, the frustration and the tension and the sense of blockage or limitation is freed up. So it’s very nice to have these very short Sun Saturn squares with Saturn at the early degrees. This is a Thanksgiving with a little bit more of an emphasis on tradition and ritual because of the square to Saturn.
Mars enters Sagittarius (Nov. 24, 2023, 2:15 am PST)
Mars squares Saturn (Nov. 25, 2023, 8:57 am PST)
Next, it’s Mars that enters Sagittarius and squares Saturn. Mars enters Sagittarius on November 24th at 2:15 am Pacific Time. It’ll be in Sagittarius until it enters Capricorn on January 4th. Mars is a symbol of what we fight for and how we fight. When it’s in Sagittarius, we fight for our beliefs, and we argue about our beliefs. It could be very stimulating had it happened a couple of days earlier on Thanksgiving. Mars in Sagittarius will also want to take action towards your beliefs, toward your big goals, the things that you really, really feel strongly about. As I said, with the Sun going into Sagittarius, it favors being outside, having adventures, having physical exercise, maybe taking hikes.
As Mars squares Saturn on November 25th at 8:57 am, the message is about perseverance, whenever we have Mars with Saturn, but it can feel that there are blocks in the way. Again, we’ll have a fairly short period of Mars square Saturn, because they’re still at 00º54’ Sagittarius and Pisces. So this gets a little easier once we get past November 25th, but immediately as Mars goes into Sagittarius, we have the feeling of excitement, of a lightening spirit, after the intensity of Mars and Scorpio, and we may feel we really want to hit the ground running, and as we do, we run immediately into a brick wall. That’s the square to Saturn. Again, it doesn’t last long, and the key always with this kind of square is to not let ourselves be discouraged, to keep moving forward. It is about perseverance, and because Sagittarius is what we call a mutable sign, very flexible, this can be accomplished by going around problems rather than trying to go straight through them, which is Mars’ usual strategy.
Mercury sextile North Node (Nov. 26, 2023, 7:48 pm PST)
And finally this week, Mercury sextiles the North Node of the Moon on November 26th at 7:48pm Pacific Time. The North Node describes what it is that we’re supposed to be moving toward for greater growth. And as we know, it’s been moving through Aries for a while now, and that suggests that we need to do new things, not just try to rely on things that we’ve done before that have worked. This can be in your relationships, in your friendships, in your business, definitely. So, as Mercury, the planet of ideas and communication, comes into a nice sextile aspect with the North Node, it’s time to change the way we look at things. Mercury in Sagittarius is made for big visions and big ideas, and they’re not all going to be practical, and they’re not all going to work out, but do a little brainstorming around the time of the sextile, and see if you can pick out one or two ideas that are really new, that take you in a different direction, and have you exploring and pushing the envelope a little bit more in what you do.
Listener Question: Follow Ups on Birth Times
In this week’s listener question segment. I have a couple of related listener questions about Daylight Saving Time. Listener Elena asks, via Speakpipe, “Hi, I love your podcast. My question is this. My daughter was born during Daylight Savings Time on the night the clocks turned back. The clocks changed at 2 am. She was born 19 minutes later. On her birth certificate, it says 1:19 am since the clocks had just turned back the hour. Should I be using 2:19 am or 1:19 am since her rising sign changes based on those two hours? Thank you. I really appreciate your show and all that you do.”
And listener Susan sent this email on a very special morning. She wrote, “My niece will be born this morning in a few minutes, likely around 8 am Eastern time. And because of the time change, because Susan sent this to me on the day that the time changed at 2 am, I wonder how that affects her birth chart.”
Well, thank you, Elena and Susan, for these questions. Here is how I replied to Susan by email. “Congratulations on what is presumably the successful launch of your little niece. All major astrology software automatically takes time changes into effect when calculating a chart. These programs contain built in atlases that, as well as latitude and longitude of the birthplace, also include the dates and times that the clock time changes.
As long as the birth time has been recorded correctly in Eastern Standard Time, that’s the time that will be used for the chart.”
Now, this passage is all important, as long as the birth time is recorded correctly in Eastern Standard Time. This is essential because the chart will be calculated according to the time offset that was in effect. For example, Eastern Standard Time is offset from Greenwich by five hours. This is programmed into the software. And the day and time that Daylight Saving Time begins and the offset changes to four hours from Greenwich is also programmed into the software. From the days when I used to calculate charts by hand, I have old, hard copies of the American Atlas and the International Atlas. And they include these time changes.
This is pertinent to Elena’s question as well, and the answer is that she should use the recorded time of 1:19 am. As I mentioned in episode 207, in listener Teina’s question about birth times, modern methods of recording birth times in hospitals tend to result in very accurate birth times. I’m assuming that the monitors that record the time of birth are programmed to automatically adjust for changes in daylight saving time. This is also true of wall clocks in most public places.
Elena, you don’t say when your daughter was born or where, so if you have any questions about exactly how the hospital was recording time when she was born, it might be a good idea to contact the hospital where she was born, but I think that because they reflected the standard time – 1:19 am – instead of Daylight Saving Time, which would be 2:19 am, well, somebody was paying attention to the time because those clocks had to be set back an hour, and it was probably done automatically. But if you have any questions, just get in touch with the hospital and find out exactly what their procedures are for recording birth times.
Susan and Elena, thank you very much for these questions. I’ve been really surprised at how many questions there have been about birth times, which I had never really given a lot of thought to, if I’m honest. If you, Invisible Friend, have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode, just leave a message of one minute or less at Speakpipe.com/BigSkyAstrologyPodcast, or you can email me at april (at)bigskyastrology(dot)com and be sure to put podcast question in the subject line.
Well, that is everything I have on my show sheet, so I’m gonna wrap this one up. 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 in your app of choice. Leave a rating or a review, and I hope that you’ll help spread the word by telling an astrology loving friend about the podcast. You can read show notes and full transcripts and leave your comments about each episode at BigSkyAstropod. com.
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That is it for this episode. Join me again bright and early next week when I will be celebrating four years of the Big Sky Astrology Podcast. And until then, keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars!
Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent
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