TRANSCRIPT Ep. 21 | Cardinal, Fixed, & Mutable: Signs a la Mod-alities

Transcript: Episode 021 | Cardinal, Fixed, & Mutable: Signs a la Mod-alities

April 13, 2020

Jen: Welcome to the Big Sky Astrology podcast, with April Elliott Kent and me, producer and cohost Jen Braun. Hey friends, Jen here! Today is April 13th, 2020. And you know who’s with me – someone who gives away astro wisdom like Oprah gives away cars… my friend, astrologer April Elliott Kent. Hi, April.

April: Oh, hello Jennifer.


April: I know what you’re doing there.

Jen: Now listen.

Jen: To all of my podcasting friends out there, April Elliott Kent has for the second time in a row made Oprah Winfrey’s list of the top 15 astrology books with her book, “The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology.” Congratulations, April.

April: Thank you Jen. It is a good feeling because I’m in very illustrious company on that list, so thank you. I appreciate your mentioning that and we’ll put a link in the show notes…

Jen: We will indeed.

April: …to the website entry where they talk about these books, because there are some other great books on there that people are going to want to check out as well. As well as my “Essential Guide To Practical Astrology,” which I am very proud of. I will admit.

Jen: Yes.

April: I shouldn’t have a favorite among my literary children…

Jen: That one’s your favorite?

April: Well, it’s got the cow on the cover.

Jen: The cow is pretty awesome.

April: And it’s so cute.

Jen: And the insides are pretty awesome too.

April: I like it. Of all my books, it’s the one that sounds most like me. I think. The tone of it, the voice of it.

Jen: So probably people that enjoy the podcast would also enjoy that book if they don’t have it already.

April: I hope so. And also the Astrological Transits one, because what we’re talking about every week on the show is transits. We’re talking about what’s actually in the sky right now and what’s happening and that’s where I break it down in some detail on that book. So I’m very proud of my little books.

Jen: I’m proud of you.

April: Thank you Jen. I appreciate that.

Jen: Way to go.

April: If Oprah would like to give me a car, I’m open to it.


April: Oprah, hit me up, girl.

Jen: Are you an Oprah on a first name basis?

April: Well, isn’t everybody on a first name basis with Oprah?

Jen: With Ms. Winfrey?

April: Yes, or with Cher.

Jen: Madonna.

April: Madonna.

Jen: We just start naming one name people.

April: So this week we’re going to start off right away with, you know what?

Jen: Moonwatch!

April: Yes!

Jen: Should we play it?

April: Play it!

April: So this week we have a Last Quarter Moon at 25° and 26 minutes of Capricorn on April 14th at 3:01 PM.

Jen: Pacific Time.

April: Pacific Time. Thank you. I’m always reminded every time we talk about a quarter Moon and I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it.

Jen: What’s that?

April: One of my favorite Emmylou Harris songs, “Quarter Moon in a Ten-Cent Town.”

Jen: I don’t know that song.

April: Rodney Crowell wrote it, I think. So I think of that every time I talk about a First Quarter Moon or Last Quarter Moon. So this one is in Capricorn, the Last Quarter Moon as we know is the moment in the lunar cycle each month when we are reflecting on what has gone on so far since the New Moon in Aries and we’re at a pivoting moment, pivot is a word we’re hearing a lot right now in marketing and in business of how to respond to the current global pandemic and crisis and pivoting your business to better meet the needs of your clientele and so forth.

The Last Quarter Moon or the First Quarter Moon are really pivot points. And the Last Quarter is a pivot in a sense of, I’ve been trying this thing now for X amount of time in terms of the lunar cycle, it’s been like 21 days that you’ve been working in a particular direction and now is the time to pause and reflect and say, “What has worked? What hasn’t worked? And how am I going to use the time I have left to get to the destination that I was heading for?”

Jen: Yes.

April: The Full Moon is very much about just sitting and really looking at what’s reflected around you. The Last Quarter Moon still has that energy of the square. It has the energy of, there’s still space in the month to do something. So we might this week feel a little more energized in a particular direction. I know for a lot of us, I know for me from day to day, we were talking about this before from hour to hour, I never know my energy level is going to be, but at the Last Quarter Moon we’re inclined to have a little burst of energy to get us to the finish line.

Jen: Which sounds really nice.

April: A little bit of energy’s always a good thing. You know the Last Quarter Moon is always the Moon is in a square aspect with the Sun.

Jen: Yes.

April: And the Sun at this Last Quarter Moon is leading up to it square with Pluto, actually it will have just finished at square to Pluto and it will be making a square to Jupiter on the next day.

Jen: Can I jump in for one second and say for our newer listeners, the Sun basically is who we are and the Moon is what we need.

April: Yes, that’s a good way to put it.

Jen: That’s what they represent. And with squares, something happens in our outer world that we have to respond to.

April: Yes. There’s some conflict. It’s not always in the outer world. We can have conflicts within ourselves too. And sometimes the Sun and Moon speaks of that.

Jen: Okay.

April: It’s not necessarily that somebody else’s standing over you like mother superior with a ruler. It could be that that’s within yourself that you’re saying, “Oh, I just haven’t given it my all yet in something that you’re wanting to do.” So that is also the energy of a Last Quarter Moon is that tension with on ourselves. However, the Sun being in difficult aspect to Jupiter and Pluto in the sky, now that does talk of the things that the world is throwing at us right now that we have to deal with.

Jen: Yes, and there’s a lot.

April: There is a lot and the Sun has been building up to this point ever since it entered Aries back at the Vernal Equinox here in the Northern hemisphere. Back in what, March 19th? I think.

Jen: Yes. It was March 19th.

April: Yes. As soon as it entered Aries, the energy started building toward this point, towards this square with Pluto and Jupiter. We talked a lot about Jupiter with Pluto, I think it was two episodes ago.

Jen: Episode 19 I think. And I can link that.

April: Yes. We talked quite a little bit, a lot about Jupiter and Pluto together and what that’s about. So now the Sun is squaring that point, it’s activating it, it’s bringing it to a crisis point.

Jen: So back on April 4th when the Jupiter Pluto conjunction happened, if we think back to that time, and significant things were happening in our lives, similar things might come back to us at this point because it’s stirring that up again. Stirring up that patch of sky where Jupiter and Pluto came together.

April: I think so. And I think the Sun is always a symbol of how we are assimilating experiences, right? How we’re bringing them inside ourselves and making them part of who we are and figuring it out.

Jen: I like that.

April: So there’s still a little stress around this. I mean, obviously we’re going through this gigantic moment and everybody’s having a hard time finding their way through it. And I think maybe the Sun squaring that just says, “Yes, here’s a crisis point. You really have to make your peace with what’s happening. You have to assimilate it.”

Jen: And wherever the Sun is in our birth chart, it’s where we’re meant to shine, right? Whatever house it’s in?

April: Yes, that’s definitely something we would say about the Sun. It’s the areas of life where we really learn who we are and usually find ways to express that.

Jen: Nice.

April: So the Sun is our guiding light and it’s the motor that runs our entire being. So as we’ve talked about before, it’s the reason you can get anything at all out of a Sun sign horoscope is the fact that the Sun is a really big deal in our chart. As we go down the path in astrology of all kinds of different techniques and jargon and aspects and all of that that we talk about on the podcast. The fact remains that if you go down to the bare basics, if you talk about someone from the point of view of the Sun in their chart, you can tell an enormous amount about where they’re at, who they are, and what they want to achieve. So it’s a really powerful symbol.

Jen: I like to think about the astronomy of it too. Because if you look at the Sun and compare it to the size of the other planets, it’s just huge. 1300 Earths fit in Jupiter. And then Jupiter is just this tiny speck compared to the Sun. So I’ll try to find a picture and link it in the show notes because I like to think about stuff like that.

April: The Sun’s big. And I mean you have to go a long way to outshine Jupiter. But the Sun manages that.

Jen: Yes. One more thing, which is wherever the Leo house in your chart is might be affected this week as well because the Sun rules Leo.

April: Good point. And going back to that idea of rulerships, which we’ve talked about on the podcast and we’ll of course link in the show notes to those episodes. So the Sun is the ruler of Leo. So if you have a lot of Leo planets in your chart, if you were born with the Sun in Leo, the Moon…

Jen: Like someone I know.

April: Yes. or the ascendant in Leo or Venus, whatever it is. Anytime the Sun is making these aspects, transiting Sun in the sky, it doesn’t have to be impacting your chart in particular, but if just the Sun up in the sky is making aspects to other planets like Jupiter and Pluto this week, it becomes very personal for you if you have Leo planets.

Jen: So there’s some carryover energy there.

April: Yes. Interesting week for Leos. I’ll report back to you next week.

Jen: Excellent.

April: You can speak to the tattered remains of whatever is sitting here in the chair across from you. So the Sabian symbols for this Last Quarter are kind of interesting. The Moon is at 26 Capricorn “a water sprite.” I’ve always been fascinated by the symbol because it’s the symbol for my natal Saturn.

Jen: Oh.

April: And it’s such a funny image for something in Capricorn.

Jen: Because Capricorn – for people that are new to astrology – is an Earth sign and this is a water symbol. What do you make of that?

April: Well, it’s always been hard for me to parse out and to puzzle through. The thing that comes to me at this point is that Earth-loving energy. I mean, it’s a water sprite. I’m picturing some little fairies sitting under a waterfall, you know, and it’s like beautiful sprays of water coming up, there’s a Neptune kind of quality to it. But it’s also this thing of deeply loving nature. And it’s an interesting time for us on the planet because we’re being encouraged more and more to limit the time that we spend outside. And yet I’m seeing more and more people on the streets during the day walking their dogs, biking, walking with their families. If nothing else comes out of this whole crisis, it’s a wonderful celebration of how much the Earth nourishes us. Just like water, you know?

Jen: Yes.

April: I think that is something that really calls to us at this Last Quarter Moon. And the Sabian symbol for the Sun is 26 Aries, “A man possessed of more gifts than he can hold.” Which is a lovely symbol of bounty. And it says, “Yes, we have plenty of toilet paper now.” So we should focus on going outside and getting a big lungful of fresh air and enjoying being on the planet. It’s a really strange time that so many of us are so into our little homes and more and more disconnected from the Earth. And this is a reminder I think at this Last Quarter Moon among other things to say, it’s a grounding symbol, right? It’s about getting back into what grounds us in place. And it still is Capricorn. In interpreting the Sabian symbols, which I love so much, we still have to take it back to the basic astrological symbolism, and it is Capricorn. And the symbol of Capricorn, we associate so much with ambition, with earthly ambitions and trying to express ourselves out in the world and have a good reputation and be looked up to and everything else.

Jen: Your social standing.

April: Yes. And it has all those qualities. But if you meditate on the fact that Capricorn is across the wheel from Cancer, Capricorn is associated with the 10th house and Cancer with the fourth house and the two can’t really be separated from each other. They’re on the same continuum. And what we put out in the world through Capricorn is something that we dredge up from the bottom of the chart, from the bottom of the self, from the solar plexus, the Cancerian place. And everything that is inside us that’s deep and good and real and authentic is ideally what then gets expressed out in the world through the Capricorn point. So this speaks of authenticity. It speaks of getting grounded in who you are and who you really are.

And if nothing else comes in from this whole situation is the fact that we’re forced to stand still for a minute and slow down the pace of life and look within and hopefully reconnect with who we are.

Jen: Yes. And let the Earth breathe. Right?

April: Yes. Give it a little breathing space. And gradually things are starting to move into air signs, which is really interesting.

Jen: Oh yes. Between any two signs that fall opposite of each other, there always has to be that balance, doesn’t there?

April: Yes. My teacher used to say that signs that are opposite are moving toward the same goal. They’re just starting from different places. They’re trying to go for a place that’s right in the middle. It’s the essence of balance, which we were talking about last week at the Libra Full Moon about getting back into balance. I always think of signs as part of a polarity because you can’t understand one without the other.

Jen: That’s lovely.

April: Yes.

Jen: That’s one of the things I like about astrology.

April: Me too. Me too, Jen.

Jen: Yay.

April: Yay. So we also have the Sun going into a new sign this week.  Which is more big news for our solar friends and for all of us, if course. The Sun enters the sign of Taurus on April 19th at 7:45 AM Pacific Time.

Jen: So the Sun is moving from Aries – a fire sign – into Taurus, an Earth sign. From a sign Aries of “Me, me, me. Who am I?” into a sign of, “What do I value?”

April: And ‘What do I have?’ I was just speaking with a student about this the other day.

Jen: Oh yes.

April: And I’m telling you, the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks is just the best astrological metaphor ever. And if you think in that movie, how he goes through this horrible crisis, you know, in this plane crash and that represents the first house. It’s like we’re in this chaotic space and we land someplace that’s utterly unfamiliar to us. That’s the energy of Aries, is that part of us that learns how to cope with unexpected situations that are just thrown at us and we have to improvise and go “Oh” and figure out how to stay alive, how to stay safe. That’s job one with Aries.

With Taurus, things slow down for a minute. And in the Tom Hanks movie, what happens is, he immediately starts to look around to see what he’s got. So he starts to see packages, from the plane, cause he was on a FedEx plane. And they come floating up to the shore. And so he starts to get them and open them and see what he’s got to work with.

Jen: Cool.

April:  That is the essence of Taurus. What do I have to work with? So it’s personal qualities that we possess that others will find value in. It is things that we have in a physical sense that then if we need to we can exchange for money. So it’s like, what do I have that’s of value and not just in the sense of the possessions that I own and the rolls of toilet paper that I possess… I can’t get over this toilet paper thing.

We talk about Taurus and Scorpio as being the financial signs. Really, again, they’re on a polarity with each other. And Taurus is, “This is what I have” and Scorpio is, “This is what you have.” And it’s about the essence of sharing. But Taurus is very much that, “Okay, these are the things that I have and I will share them once I’m sure I have enough. But if I don’t have enough, I’m not going to worry, but I’m going to be a little bit careful.” Taurus is about also, again, it takes us back to the good Earth and enjoying the beautiful planet that we inhabit because Taurus represents those things that are freely available to all of us. And I think we talked about this when we talked about Venus going into Taurus, which is appreciating what is ours for the taking for absolutely for free.

Jen: Yes.

April: The beauty… why I feel passionately about preserving open spaces in the United States for instance, where I live. To me that’s very, very important. Because it’s something that we should all be able to share and it’s something that we all own and should treasure.

Jen: Yes. You gave me a little list recently of things that are important to you and that was on the list, and that’s a Taurus thing.

April: That’s a big thing: what is it that is just beautiful and available to us.

Jen: Yes. I was thinking about how Taurus is about worth. But it’s also about, “How do I value myself?” and self-worth.

April: Right. Because Aries is about figuring out the self. “I exist here on the planet as separate from anybody else.” Is the work of Aries. And then in Taurus, I guess it is value… and it’s also about, “What is my place? What is my place in the scheme of things? How am I valuable?”

Jen: Got it.

April: If we start from a place of assuming everyone is valuable, which we don’t now. A lot of us have a lot of self-worth issues and you’ll usually see something hard in the chart around planets in Taurus or planets in the second house. Yes, it is about self-worth because it’s about security. “Do I have what I need?” And that’s what that usually comes back to. And, “Am I essentially worthwhile? Am I essentially worthy and invaluable?”

Jen: I have heard that when you’re looking at a sign, and if you struggle with something personally, you can look to the opposite sign and reach for that opposite sign’s highest form of energy. And that can help you with whatever you’re going through with that particular sign in your birth chart.

April: That’s an interesting idea.

Jen: We should link that article that you have also about how people can find their birth chart.

April: Yes, we will. So how do you imagine…? Because you’re a person that has stuff in Scorpio and in Taurus…

Jen: I do. And I’ve always thought of Scorpio as the energy we exchange with others. And so for me, that’s a sharing of what I know and what I value and finding commonality with people that way. I don’t know if that is a Scorpio thing or if that makes any sense?

April: That totally makes sense. It’s absolutely one of the ways that I hear myself describe it to people over and over is Taurus is about what I have, and Scorpio is about sharing. And letting yourself be changed by somebody else.

Jen: Oh, I like that.

April: And until you’re really strong in your Taurus self, it’s impossible to really do that. Unless you’re really secure in who you are, you can’t really let that go in order to merge with another person at a deep level, which is the promise of Scorpio.

Jen: That’s lovely.

April: So the planet that rules Taurus of course, is Venus and Venus is slowing down right now. If you look it in the sky, normally it’ll move a degree in a little less than a day. And right now it’s really going slowly.

Jen: Okay.

April: And it’s sitting at this almost trine with Mars. A trine as a lovely facilitating aspect that says it’s two planets are in harmony with each other. And Venus and Mars – among other things – they are relationship-oriented planets when they come together. They talk about passionate connections and relationships of all kinds. And what’s interesting about this is Venus is so close to making this exact aspect with Mars, but it’s not quite making it, because Venus is getting ready to turn retrograde. And that’s going to happen, let’s see, May 14th. So it’s a way off.

But what’s happening is… because Venus is slowing down, it can’t quite catch up to Mars. So how we might see this reflected in the world – and this is on the heels of the Libra Full Moon that we talked about last week that was so important around relationships – that Venus and Mars speaks of those connections that aren’t quite happening. That it feels like you’re so close to getting there with someone or in a relationship, but you can’t quite get there.

And it could also just be expressing this weird circumstance we have right now where people are connecting but they can’t actually be together connecting. They can’t hug each other. They can’t physically be close. There’s that distancing of the Mars in Aquarius and the Venus in Gemini.

Jen: Right. That frustrating distance.

April: It’s a little frustrating, because it’s like we have lots more opportunity. Probably, it’s like we’ve discussed this of we’re getting together with certain people in our lives on a more regular basis since this has happened, but it’s mediated conversation. It’s through the computer. It’s through the telephone. What’s interesting to me to see this Venus-with-Mars not quite coming together.

Jen: Venus and Mars are relationship planets and there’s some relationship energy there and we all have a Venus and a Mars. You’re not talking specifically about opposite-sex relationships or anything like that… you mean any relationships. Right, April?

April: Absolutely. Yes, it’s the concept. The Venus part is the attraction and the Mars is what you go after.

Jen: Yes. Which again, you’re not referring to sexual orientation when you say that.

April: No. And I’m not even talking about sexuality. I’m not even talking about sexual connections. I’m talking about the energy that attracts us to other people.

Jen: Yes.

April: If it’s a platonic friendship, it begins with a spark of recognition and of excitement out of interest. That’s Venus and Mars at work too.

Jen: Okay.

April: Certainly we see it with romantic and sexual relationships, particularly with Mars involved, but really it’s just about what is interesting? How can I get to know this person better? People that you will reach out to in your life, your friendships almost always begin with: you meet, there’s something interesting about it. But somebody has to reach out to the other person to keep it going. To really initiate a relationship. That’s Mars. And Venus is what is kind of pulling you towards a person to begin with.

Jen: Okay.

April: Yes. Certainly, all kinds of relationships fall under this. Not so much family ones. Because family ones… it’s because you’re connected by things other than interest and attraction. There just happened to be in your vicinity and you get to know each other that way. But there are certainly family members you like better than others as well, you want to spend more time with.

Jen: Or even chosen family members. There are people that intrigue you more than others.

April: Yes. Absolutely. That’s good that you point that out. So we’ve talked about before when we talked about Mercury retrograde, I know we use some tortured analogies one time to describe the shadow period of Mercury retrograde. So we’re not going to spend a ton of time on that… Venus says the same thing.

Venus, as I said, will turn retrograde, which means it appears from our Earthly perspective to be moving backwards. And it’s really just, we’re moving at different speeds. And Venus will turn retrograde actually happens at 21 degrees 49 minutes of Gemini on May 14th.

But on April 10th at the end of last week, it entered the shadow of its retrograde period, which means it reached 5° of Gemini, which is the point where it will eventually turn direct at the end of its retrograde period. That means we’re already feeling Venus retrograde.

Jen: So basically it’s like when you’re in a car and you’re on a highway, you’re about to pass someone. And it looks like they’re going ahead of you; and then you catch up to them and you look over and it’s like you’re moving at the same speed. And then you pass them, and you look backwards, and it looks like they’re actually moving backwards. Now, of course, they’re not actually moving backwards… but it appears that way. It’s the same thing as a retrograde.

April: It’s important to remember during retrograde times that it’s not reality. It’s an illusion and it’s a perspective. There are difficulties that we would associate with Venus going retrograde and we can say “Things that are ruled by Venus, this is not a good time to be moving forward.” And that’s true right now as it’s in its shadow period. We’ll talk about this obviously a lot more in May when it actually turns retrograde, but already because Venus is going so slowly and we’re in the shadow period, we would caution back.

When I was doing a lot of work with people getting married to choose a wedding date, I would advise them, it was my number one nonnegotiable which was you “Don’t get married when Venus is retrograde. And the reason is because your perspective is off. There’s something you’re not seeing about the situation. Venus retrograde is also supposed to be a problematic time for buying or selling real estate or making other significant purchases for the same reason. There’s something you’re not seeing.

I was telling you before we started recording about a close friend of mine who is constantly doing real estate transactions with Venus retrograde. He’s in the middle of two right now, which hopefully will go very well. But I just remember a time that he bought a condo during Venus retrograde and I was kind of, I didn’t say anything because at that point why would you?

Jen: What can you do?

April: Yes, what can you do? There’s nothing he could do either. But down the road there was this hidden mold issue. Everybody in the condominium, they ended up having to move out. They sued the company that built them. It was a whole big scene. It was a mess.

Jen: Wow.

April: Now that wasn’t because of Venus. It’s not Venus up there, sending out death rays. But what it says is “No, this is a symbol from the universe to say proceed with caution because you don’t have all the information. You don’t see everything that’s going on.”

Jen: Okay.

April: So that’s true right now with money. A lot of people are really freaked out about the state of the economy. But the Venus slowing down and getting ready to go retrograde says, “You don’t have all the information.” So that is what we’re going through with our friend Venus.

Jen: And there are actually a lot of retrogrades coming up this summer. Venus will be one of the many.

April: Venus is one of them. We have another Mercury retrograde. I think Mars is going retrograde by, I think in like September.

Jen: Yes, I think it’s the second half of the year.

April: Yes. And when we have those periods of time, I remember we had one at the beginning of the year, two or three years ago, and I remember thinking how frustrating it was because everything was retrograde. And at the beginning of the calendar year, we’re all charged up and excited. We want to set our resolutions and get moving forward and all of that.

Jen: Right.

April: But with everything retrogrades, its like the universe is saying “Not so fast.”

Jen: “Look within.”

April: Yes. Which is much nicer with the Sun in Taurus than it has been with the Sun in Aries. It’s been very frustrating with the Sun in Aries wanting to just charge out and do things and be unfettered and fully alive, and it’s been approaching this square to Jupiter and Pluto the whole time.

Jen: And Venus will be squaring Neptune three times over the coming months.

April: What a delight. We will have so many opportunities to explore that. Because God knows we haven’t done enough with Neptune where Mercury is involved, so let’s just go down that Venus road.

April: Yes, that’ll be really interesting.

Jen: It’ll be an opportunity to re-evaluate what’s important to us and how do we see reality and things like that.

April: Yes. I prefer to look at it as hopefully making nice aspects to Saturn.

Jen: Oh, look at you being all positive.

April: Being all cup-half-full.

Jen: You’re a ray of Sunshine.

April: Oh, thank you. But I’m headed straight for Pluto and Jupiter, so enjoy this sunny disposition while you can.

Jen: Okay, so April, I was wondering, since the Sun is moving from Aries into Taurus, I don’t believe we’ve talked about modalities yet.

April: Oh.

Jen: I thought perhaps you could talk a little bit about Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable signs.

April: Oh, excellent!

Jen: What do you think of that?

April: I would love to do that.

Jen: Okay. Riff away.

April: Alright. Well modalities. There are three modes of operation amongst the signs and one of them is Cardinal, one of them is Fixed and one of them is Mutable. The Cardinal signs, which we’ve been talking about a lot recently, we’ve been talking about Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn because that’s where a lot of the planetary action has been. Cardinal signs, think of them as the main compass points of the chart and of the Zodiac. They form the basic skeletal outline for the whole chart. They say, “Who am I?” Which is Aries. “Where do I come from?” Which is Cancer. “Who am I interacting with and who do I attract? Which is Libra. “And what am I going to do with all that and how am I going to serve the world?” Which is Capricorn.

Jen: Love that.

April: Yes. I think of them always as the things that pin us in place on the world. And they are also initiating points. They are the points that initiate each new season. So Aries initiates spring and I’m talking Northern hemisphere. Aries initiate spring, Cancer initiate summer, Libra initiates autumn and Capricorn initiates winter.

Jen: And each one falls into one of the four elements.

April: Yes. So we have Aries representing Cardinal fire. Cancer represents Cardinal water. Libra represents Cardinal air. And Capricorn symbolizes Cardinal Earth.

Jen: Yes.

April: These all share something in common we know, the signs. They all want to be leaders and initiators. They all want to be the one in the room that starts things. We can say, if you get a whole bunch of these people together in a room and put them on a committee, how smoothly is that going to go? Because everybody wants to be the boss. Everybody has the big idea and wants to call the meeting to order and set the agenda. Right?

Jen: The Libra is laughing!

April: Yes. Because we know that Cancer and Libra are the stealthy ones with this. Because you think, “Oh they’re so sweet.” And it’s like… yeah, put them on a board and you’re going to see that these are people who are just as strong willed as Aries and Capricorn!


April: That’s Cardinal. If you have a lot of planets in your chart that are in these Cardinal signs, you will tend to be an initiator. Not so much a leader necessarily, but really the Cardinal signs just don’t want to follow somebody else. It’s not that they’re intent on leading everybody to the promised land. They just don’t want to be a follower. And this one Libran famously said to me one time “Lead, follow or get out of the effing way.” It’s just, let’s just move, let’s keep things moving. And then having initiated things, maybe they’re not always super interested in keeping them going. They would prefer to leave that to the fixed sign people, which brings us to fixed signs.

Jen: Yes.

April: Fixed signs follow the Cardinal signs on the horoscopic wheel. We have Taurus, which is fixed Earth. We have Leo, which is fixed fire. We have Scorpio, which is fixed water. And we have Aquarius, which is fixed air. So the quality of fixed is just what it sounds like. These are the people that keep things going. They are steadfast and purposeful and they can be very stubborn because that’s the downside.

Jen: Said the Leo.

April: Yes. Said the Leo. It’s the downside of sticking with things at all costs, which fixed sign people will do. They see that as their job to consolidate all of the experience that’s been initiated in the Cardinal experience. So the fixed sign people go, “Okay, this having been started, what are we going to now have to do? What are the resources that are going to be required? What are we going to do with the resources that we have to keep this thing going?”

They all have something to do with security as well. So Taurus is about finding security again after you’re in a new situation, which is indicated by Aires, and so you find yourself in a new situation and you have to find a way to be secure in having what you need around you to keep yourself alive, basically to keep yourself going.

Jen: Okay.

April: Cancer then, as the next Cardinal sign will initiate… they will build a family, for instance. It talks about the family of origin. And the Leo experience coming right after that, we think of Leo as a sign of creativity. And it requires you to have had enough security in your home life, in your family that you have the luxury of thinking about being creative, of playing…

Jen: Yes. Self-expression.

April: Yes, self-expression. Engaging in games and play and just having a fun time. That’s one of the jobs of Leo. Leo is one of those signs that people, they’re often surprised to find out it’s a fixed sign, but Leo is a very managerial sign. And I think that’s true of all the fixed signs. And this is where you get leadership is often with the fixed signs because they are steadfast, they will keep it going year after year. Scorpio requires that we have in the Libra experience where we have initiated partnerships or relationships with people to have figured out who we really want to bring close and share our PIN numbers with and share our bodily fluids with and all the rest, our bank accounts… that’s the Scorpio experience. It’s like, “I will now be there. I will go the distance with you. I will go deep with you. I will invest in you emotionally. And I’m there for the long haul.”

Jen: Sure.

April: In Capricorn, we learn to go out into the world and say, this is what I have to offer the world. Here is my gift. Here’s how I will represent the best qualities of commerce, and I want to say leadership because Capricorn is a little bit of a leader. But really it’s more about starting something like a corporation or something like that. It’s something that’s visible out in the world that other people can participate in.

And then Aquarius being the sign after that thing keeps that going. And I’m looking at my friend here with lots of planets in the 11th house, which is very much of the nature of Aquarius. And you’ve been very, very effective over the years at keeping these kinds of things going and pushing them out towards the future. So Aquarius is also one that people are surprised to find us at fixed sign because we associate Aquarius with being very quixotic and mercurial and sort of changing constantly. It can do that. But it’s also a very fixed sign. And if you ever doubt it, engage in Aquarian person in a political argument… because they know what they know, they’re very belief-oriented and they’re very fixed in their opinions, because it’s an air sign. So it’s about what you think, it’s about your opinions.

Jen: Okay.

April: Finally, we have the Mutable signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, which are kind of like batting cleanup. So we have the Cardinal sign people, which are initiators. We have the fixed sign people who are managers and consolidators.

And what is the job of the Mutable-sign people? Well, the first thing they do is get the ideas and everything out into the world. They’re the disseminators, they’re the ones that get out and spread the word. Gemini is famously the sign of communication. That is mutable air. So it’s where we take what we learn in the Taurus experience, which is “This is what I have.” And Gemini goes, “Ooh, and I could do this with it.” So picture kid with tinker toys and or Legos. And it’s like, “Ooh, I can make this and this and this.” So it’s just a pure curiosity of, “Oh, now what can I do with the fact that I’m alive and I have these tools at my disposal? What can I do?” And they’re very curious about it.

Jen: Sure.

April: Virgo comes right after Leo. Leo is the sign that life is a great play. “To me. I’m going to have fun. I’m going to express myself. I’m interested in playing.” If you have come from a place where you have a stable platform that you’re able to jump off from.

Virgo says “Yes, but I could do a little bit more with that if I just fine-tuned a little bit.”


April: Which you can imagine how much Leo likes, right? So Leo is just like, “No, no, I’m perfect just as I am, Mr. Rogers says so.”

Jen: I’m laughing because April and I both have Virgo planets!

April: Yes, we have Virgo planets. We say, “We could just tweak it, we can make this episode perfect if you just edited for another 10 hours.”

So that’s Virgo’s job. Virgo’s job is to take all of the lovely things that we have created, first in the Cancer experience and then is tapped into in a creative way in Leo… and does something with it. Not only perfects it, but makes it useful in some way.

It’s not enough to just express yourself and be creative for yourself. It’s like, “Well, how is that useful?” And that’s what Virgo asks. So Virgo takes all of our gifts and all of those things. It takes them out. It’s mutable Earth. It says, “What specifically can I do with this? What can I create from it that’s useful and helpful?”

Jen: Absolutely.

April: Sagittarius coming after Scorpio, it’s mutable fire. In the Scorpio experience, we figure out something about the quality of truth by going very, very deep with people. We learn to understand what is true and what is false. Then in Sagittarius, the job is to make a belief system from that. So in all the relationship experiences of Libra and Scorpio, then it comes together in Sagittarius says, “Ah, this is what I believe about the world. From interacting with other people and from going deep and really evaluating what’s true and what’s false. I now believe this.” Sagittarius is about our worldview. And that is ever changeable, hopefully is the nature of mutability… that’s not always obvious with fire signs, generally we’re a little bit passionate about things and Sagittarius is as well.

Jen: Broadening our horizons.

April: Broadening horizons, seeing more possibilities of the world.

And then Pisces, poor little Pisces always coming up last. It follows Aquarius and it is mutable water. It is, in my opinion, the strongest of all the signs. And don’t let anybody tell you differently.

Jen: Say more.

April: The reason I say this is they’re infinitely flexible, and they are malleable, and they are able to get away when they need to, and they’re very fluid, and they’re able to be with you in the world and in the experience… because they know they can get away any time they need to. So Pisces is interesting and it’s ruled by Jupiter. Right?

Jen: Yes.

April: So it’s kind of got a bigger quality to it than we tend to imagine.

Jen: Boundless.

April: Yes, without a lot of boundaries. So with Pisces people, we see it comes after Aquarius, which is… let’s put together a big group of people. It’s like Capricorn says, “Let’s start this company.” Aquarius says, “Okay, I’ll hire all the personnel and I’ll come up with our mission statement and all of that.” And then Pisces is, they’re doing the team building exercises and making sure everybody can catch each other when they fall and those kinds of qualities. It’s really quite lovely.

Jen: Yes. I am so glad I asked about modalities!

April: Oh my God. I’m sure that we’re going to go very long in this episode! This should have been a mini class probably.

Jen: Alright.

April: So those are modalities and they just talk about how we’re comfortable working. And you can see, if you get all Cardinal sign people in a room, that gets a little bit abrasive. Same thing if you get all the fixe sign people in a room, which is everybody has their favorite way of organizing things. We’re big organizers in the fixed modality. The mutable sign people, it’s like this wind… what do you call them?

Jen: Windmill?

April: Windmill!

Jen: Wind turbine?

April: Wind turbine!

Jen: Wind tunnel?

April: One of those wind socks that’s outside the…

Jen: Should I keep going?

April: …that’s outside the car lot.

Jen: The Windy City?

April: Yes!

April: We are getting pretty windy here!

But then what you get is a lot of chaos and you get a lot of ideas, but not necessarily a lot of follow through. So this is why we say that signs of the same modality struggle with each other. It’s not that they can’t get along, but they all want to play the same role in the play.

Jen: Yes. And so they’re the ones that are squaring each other…

April: Or opposing each other.

Jen: Yes.

April: So, you have Aries opposed to Libra. You have Cancer opposed Capricorn.

Jen: This week we have the Sun in Aries squaring Pluto and Capricorn.

April: Yes. So case in point.

Jen: Yes.

April: When you see planets and signs that are of the same modality, you know that you have to take a look and go, “Okay, they’re probably squaring or opposing other and that means they can be energetic, they can definitely move each other along in a direction, but it’s not going to go smoothly.”

Jen: Yes.

April: So that is a mini-class on modalities.

Jen: That was so fantastic!

April: Awesome! I’m glad you think so. I’m glad you liked it. And we’ll give you a cheat sheet.

Jen: Yes. And you started with Aries because in astrology we always start with Aries in the first house.

April: Yes. It’s always the starting point. As symbolically, it is the starting point for everything. And poor Pisces because they’re always coming up last. But that’s an important role to play and it’s important that they are last. It’s not that they’re last in importance; it’s that their role in the overall wheel of life is to conclude, to take all of the experience and information that’s been gathered and let go of it basically and move on into the next experience in Aries.

Jen: Yes.

April: Well my goodness. That is everything we have on the show sheet.

Jen: Yes, it is.

April: Have we done it?

Jen: I think we have done it plus some!

April: Boy, have we ever!

Well we love you all and we sure hope you’re doing okay out there. And we know these are really tricky times. And I don’t know about you guys… it cheers me up to speak with you each week, Jen.

Jen: Oh thanks, April! Me too! I feel the exact same way.

April: And it tickles me to listen back and hear us giggling over our Moonwatch theme and all of that.

Jen: Yes.

April: So we thank all of you for listening to The Big Sky Astrology Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, please be sure to subscribe, if you’re on iTunes or I think Stitcher does that as well… so that you don’t miss a single thrilling episode. You can read show notes and full transcripts for each episode and leave your comments at our website,

Jen: And the Big Sky Astrology Podcast of course comes to you each and every Monday at no cost to you. And so, the show in part depends on your financial generosity. So we do know these are tough times. If you’re able to help out financially a little bit, April and I would just be over the Moon about that… if we could have a base of community support that we can count on. Just go to and you can either make a one-time donation on that site or you can become a monthly contributor, which would just tickle us.

April: Yes, would tickle us. And can’t you tell: Jen has everything in the 11th house?

April: I appreciate that. Thank you, Jen.

Jen: Yes.

April: Alright, well, join us again, as Jen said, “Bright and early next Monday morning.” And until then, keep your feet on the ground..

Jen: And your eyes on the stars…

Thank you for listening. To learn more about April Elliott Kent, please check out her website,, where you can sign up for her newsletter, read her thought-provoking weekly essays, purchase her books, sign up for a personal astrology reading, and more.

That’s all for today. If you like what you’re listening to, please take a moment to rate and review this podcast and hit subscribe to stay current with new episodes.

You can follow Big Sky Astrology on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @BigSkyAstrology

To help support the Big Sky Astrology Podcast and to keep it going for as little as a dollar a month, please visit

Thanks again for joining us, and we’ll catch you next time.

© 2020 April Elliott Kent & Jennifer Braun


0 comments to " TRANSCRIPT Ep. 21 | Cardinal, Fixed, & Mutable: Signs a la Mod-alities "

Leave a Comment