The Gods of Change by Howard Sasportas


Great, accessible psychological guide to major transits

The late Howard Sasportas packed a huge amount of high quality astrological and psychological information into this intelligent, clear and accessible book  It was a constant companion for many years, both for my work as a professional astrologer and in following my own transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. It is a classic cookbook on the outer planets, covering their transits to each planet and through each house.

The first section, “The Collaboration with the Inevitable”, is an excellent summary of how astrology can be used as a tool for understanding ongoing personal transformation, helping to turn perceived crises into opportunities. Sasportas then moves on to look in great detail and depth at the transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to each planet in the natal chart. A very large number of case histories are dotted throughout the transit interpretations, with a wide range of examples of how each planetary combination can show up in daily life. These possible events are considered in the context of the psychological development of the individual, Sasportas drawing on his extensive knowledge of many fields of psychology, mythology and spirituality.


Much of the astrological material here is similar to other classic late twentieth century transit books such as those by Robert Hand, Betty Lundsted or Stephen Arroyo (who Sasportas acknowledges), but Sasportas masterfully integrated a huge number of additional psychological and spiritual insights from many sources. Over 25 years later, The Gods Of Change is still a wise, compassionate and substantial contribution to modern astrology.


Planets In Transit by Robert Hand


Still the definitive work on planetary transits

I picked up a cheap second-hand copy of this classic 20th century text recently, my old heavily-used copy having fallen to pieces several years ago. Although most people relatively new to astrology now learn astrological basics from the internet, this book still remains one of the modern classics that perhaps no contemporary astrologer can afford to be without. Just about every serious astrologer I’ve ever met has got a copy of this on his or her shelf.

For most of the book, Robert Hand explores the meaning of every possible combination of planets in transit to each other, this being one of the most commonly used techniques of astrological prediction. In addition to the planets, the ascendant and midheaven are also included but astrologers using Chiron will have to look elsewhere. The introductory chapters about the interpretation and timing of transits are well worth a read, and these are followed by a case study of Nixon and the Watergate scandals in the early 1970s. Then its on to a chapter for each planet and the transits it makes to all the others. RobertHandcolour

Hand’s interpretations are full of psychological insights, but the nature of specific events that may occur are also covered. For the first few years I had this book I tended to focus on the more obvious long-term transits of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) but eventually I became just as intrigued by the uncanny accuracy of the “insignificant” daily or even hourly transits of the Sun, the Moon and Mercury. The smallest and the largest life cycles have their part to play. Buy this book and prove or disprove predictive astrology for yourself. A massive contribution to modern astrology, thank you Robert.

Saturn in Transit by Erin Sullivan

One of the very best books on Saturn, great insights

Every so often one comes across a quality astrological book that really stands out from the crowd and stands the test of repeated reading over time. “Saturn in Transit: Boundaries of Mind, Body, and Soul” is one such book. I have continued to re-read this since I bought it several years ago. In the best possible sense, it is a Saturnian treatment of the transits of Saturn. There is also a great deal of other high quality non-Saturn astrology here.

In addition to her obvious extensive experience as a practising astrologer, Erin Sullivan draws extensively on depth psychology and classical mythology to portray Saturn’s developmental influence on our lives. The fourth section of the book, “The Personal Heroic Journey” stands out for me. Here the journey of Saturn around the birth chart is illuminated profoundly and accessibly. Sullivan begins the cycle at the midheaven and tenth house stage, “The Call To Adventure” as she terms it, in contrast to the more conventional viewpoint that places the ascendant and first house at the beginning of the cycle. From there on she comments on Saturn’s movement round the chart and the various inner and outer lessons it has to teach us.

Countless practical examples are referred to throughout, with two contrasting case histories at the end showing how different but essentially similar each individual’s “heroic quest for meaning” can be. As befits a book on Saturn it does all get a bit heavy going at times but is well worth the effort!


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.

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