Inner planet transits

A careful and balanced interpretation of the transits of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, possibly Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) can give a remarkably accurate and sophisticated picture of a person’s life and life cycles at a given point. At the same time, although the attention to detail might be a bit tedious for some (maybe most of us have better things to do with our time!), the inner planet transits can give great insight in the shorter term. They show what we are dealing with on a day to day basis, in a far far more sophisticated and accurate way than Sun sign horoscopes in the newspapers.

As always with astrology, how you deal with them is up to you, obviously you have a choice.

With a bit of honest self-observation and awareness, the transits of the Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars to points in the natal chart are often very obvious, particularly the conjunctions, squares and oppositions. I can remember one exceptionally pleasant afternoon when, while working as a nursing assistant on a hospital ward, the Sun was approaching an exact aspect to my natal Venus and Venus was likewise aspecting my natal Sun. With no other corresponding astrological indicators around at the time – love was everywhere around me! Similarly, the days when Mars approaches an exact square to my natal Saturn in my 12th are often a time of frustration or even temporary depression and isolation. A Mercury conjunction to natal Pluto brings a few hours or a day of Plutonian (transformative, deep, beneath the surface) thinking and communication. And so on.

Monthly transits of the Moon’s cycle, can also be fascinating to observe in yourself and in your environment. Everything gets a little bit dark and intense when the Moon moves through your 8th house, then all the paranoia disappears and everything lightens up when it moves into your 9th house for two or three days. Every month I always look forward to the Moon moving through my 5th house, a fun few days in some way, even when the rest of my life might be falling apart. And of course many people notice the effects of a Full Moon, even if they have no interest in astrology.

Looking backwards

At its best, a balanced interpretation of the astrological birth chart can give one a sense of belonging to life, a sense that it is actually okay to be who one is – a sense that however often it may appear otherwise, life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to.

Contrary to many people’s idea of astrology (often based on Sun signs and horoscopes in the media), it can actually be most useful as a tool for self-awareness when looking backwards at the past. Although astrologers “predict” the meaning of planetary cycles and patterns for the future, much of this is inevitably unknown and open to change. The events of a person’s past on the other hand, can be clearly interpreted using astrological correspondences, often with startling accuracy. Serious astrology can offer a greater understanding of the meaning of previous life experiences.

The Saturn return at around age 29 is a good example of this. Anyone over 30 can look back at that time (the exact period depends on the individual birth chart) as a major turning point of some kind. Issues of commitment, responsibility and “growing up” are themes at this time. People get married, get divorced, change career, start a family… the individual chart reveals more specific information, the changes may be relatively smooth or difficult. Or we can look back at where Jupiter was 12 years ago, the last time round, giving us an idea of where we might be ready to expand and grow in our lives now. And so on.

In fact astrology can help us see how the past, the present and the future are all connected. By understanding our past better, we can hopefully use this self-knowledge to consciously create a better future.

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