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We are so casual when we say, “What came over you?” or “I don’t know what’s gotten into me” or “What’s gotten into her lately?”
Just about every time that is referred to, a transiting planet is moving through the zodiac over sensitive points in the person’s natal chart. Certainly, these are just more of “life.” But, with further examination, we see that we are all connected to the larger collective and usually these planetary movements, called transits, represent very significant trends in our life.
If one is not used to identifying these energies or archetypal shifts, one can be at a great disadvantage. This is where astrology raises its hand and indeed shows it true value in giving us a heads-up and clues to how to deal with these energies.
Granted, many books have already been written about this subject, but it just might be a good time to review what these indicators feel like. Better yet, we are all a bit better off if we have an idea of how long these TRANSITory events will last and how to deal with these ever-shifting surges of archetypal energy.
Starting with the inner planets and working outward, let’s examine each of the major planets:
THE SUN – Since the Sun moves at a very regular interval, it is not always easy to notice. Certainly, we can often feel when the Sun ingresses (moves into) a new sign of the zodiac, but we mostly feel the characteristics of the sign while we take the Sun itself for granted. Why? Because the Sun is the life force itself. Without it, we certainly are extinguished.
Mostly the Sun acts as a trigger in astrology. What does this mean, when other larger planets are geometrically lined up (called aspects) with our natal planets, the Sun often comes along and triggers events, whether they are internal or external. This Solar Fire has much to do with our ego, consciousness itself and our sense of self. It inspires us to express ourselves. Usually, the Sun moves by quickly and we can only feel its energy for about 2 days.
How best to deal with it? Express yourself; take care of your needs, but watch that it not become too much about “you.”
THE MOON – The Moon is very much like the voices of the children in the backseat of our car as we are traveling. While the Moon doesn’t “cause” that much to happen, it specifically represents our moods – and – that can be one big deal. Just like a kid, incessantly letting their immediate emotional needs known seems so paramount. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…
Clearly the most overrated planet in the zodiac, we must take great care with the Moon. Since it moves so fast, 28 hours through each sign, its effects are very temporal. We know so much about the Moon because we can see it! Most times, it is written about is when it is in combination with the Sun, i.e., a lunation, or commonly known as a New Moon, Full Moon or any type of Eclipse.
When the Moon is activated, things can get very hairy. That is because it is the most irrational of all the planets; it wants its needs met, and right now! Thank goodness we have the Moon as she is our source of intuition. The Moon mainly triggers events down to the minute. Other planets are usually in position first before the lunar hit, and the Moon picks the time. Many times we don’t understand lunations because all we “see” is a Full Moon or New Moon. Added regard must be given to what sign it is in; what other planets the Moon is in cahoots with; and what sensitive points are lined up with it in the natal diagram. The Moon’s sign usually represents the “mood” of the lunation. This is why some Moons float by uneventfully and others occur at the same time our Emergency Rooms fill up.
How best to deal with it? A very difficult question with many answers. In most cases, one needs to take care of themselves emotionally but be very careful not to fall into a sense of victimhood which can tempt you to become a guilt-tripper. Other people are not responsible for making us feel better.
MERCURY – Mercury is extremely overrated because “Mercury Retrograde” is one of the very few astrological constructs people are aware of and therefore gets disproportionate attention. Every ninety days, Mercury goes backwards against the backdrop of the stars and appears to go in reverse. All planets go backwards except for the Sun and Moon. The outer planets generally are retrograde (Rx) for five months out of the year while they turn and go forward through the zodiac for seven months.
In general, you won’t even notice a Mercury transit going over one of your natal points. Since it represents communication and all mental activity, you may feel the subject change while you’re at a party; that’s about it.
How best to deal with it? Generally, there is not much to say about Mercury while it is going direct, but it certainly can be very disruptive when it is retrograde. Then, about the only thing that can be said is that during its twenty-one day Rx period, be patient, make sure of any and all communications and arrangements. And, don’t buy any electronic equipment, or you very well may have to return it.
VENUS – Once again, a very minor planet when it comes to movement, or transit. Usually, the Moon, Venus and Mars get lots of press by those who write daily horoscopes. That is because they are known as “personal” planets and move quickly. Venus certainly can make you feel romantic for a day or two if the other strong, outer planets are relatively quiet at the same time. Mostly, it will feel like a pleasant day and you may have significant relationship experiences while she is around.
How best to deal with it? Enjoy. Have a glass of wine. Indulge.
As we move outward, not only do the planets take longer and longer to travel through the zodiac’s three hundred and sixty degrees, but their effects become much more significant and noticeable.
MARS – He is the last of the five personal planets, and boy, does he stir things up! He is THE instigator. He is very selfish and impulsive. He wants you to act right now and get what you can for yourself. Since Mars usually moves approximately 2 degrees in 3 days, we can feel him coming for a few days. Mars commonly makes us want to fight. We must be exceedingly careful when Mars is around. He is the one that is SO IMPORTANT to keep track of because Mars is the main trigger-man of the zodiac.
Mars can be extremely dangerous when he combines with tensions that have been building from all of the other planetary combinations. The Sun and Mars are the two are main triggers in the planetary arsenal. Mars is a planet of action and is extremely impatient. “Where’s the beef?”, Mars asks! Other planets are patient and their effects can be long-forming as well as long-lasting. It’s Mars’ job to get things going ASAP.
How best to deal with it? Very simple: Act. Act now. Be assertive, BUT, be cool and avoid being too aggressive because you very well may bite off more than you can chew. You can feel Mars coming if you feel rash…. Take a moment before you act, realize the consequences before you act or you may end up being sorry for what you did so impulsively. It is very common that you may find that your temperature rises for about two days and also you may get false sense of added adrenalin.
JUPITER – Largely overrated, Jupiter is mostly known as the planet of good luck. While the zodiac knows nothing about “luck”, Jupiter often does land opportunities right in our lap effortlessly. Many times it’s too good to be true. Other times, it is indeed, too real to be good. You must use a grain of salt during Jupiter transits which usually last about a month before and a month after exact contact. We can feel it swelling within and the great thing about the zodiac’s largest planet is exactly that: it makes us feel big, confident, and gives us an added boost of well-being, etc. We must also keep a bit in reserve because Jupiter will tempt you to “bet the farm.” You may very well feel quite differently after it passes and you find yourself looking for a place to spend the night.
Certainly, it seems like Jupiter is the deliverer of “good karma” that is due us. Many times we feel really great when it is around and it’s best to enjoy it and relax with the good graces of life.
How best to deal with it? G’head, take the balloon ride! Enjoy the view and most of all, have fun! Keep in mind though: you’ll probably want a soft landing when it eventually must come back down.
From now on, we’re dealing with the Big Boys of the zodiac. Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These are usually the planets that we can feel approaching way before they are exact and mark periods in our lives where we may have major chapters come to an end and commonly start anew.
SATURN – We can usually feel astrology’s “bad boy” coming a mile away. Never getting any credit, Saturn unjustly gets a bad reputation. Typically, we’ll feel added responsibility, slowness, sluggishness, stiffness in the body, and it very well may be that things “stop working” or “obstacles get in our way.” In many cases, it can represent a working through of karmic issues. With Saturn, it can be very hard to categorize correctly. On many occasions, we will simply find it time to straighten out our lives; especially with relationships with our parents.
The key to Saturn times seems to pivot around the word “responsibility.” If we are responsible, usually Saturn “takes it easy on us.” If not, well…
It is not that Saturn is a fear-inducing sentry as some would have you believe. Mostly, its “chaperone-style” is because there is a part of us INSIDE that grows sick and tired of things not working out simply because we have not been taking things head on. No planet gets a more incorrect projection of our inner state than Saturn. On one hand, clients may complain about the hardships they are “enduring” while on the other hand knowing that they’ve been avoiding stepping up to the plate.
A few little unknown facts about Saturn: The ringed-wonder commonly awards us for our great accomplishments. Also, without a doubt, the most significant planetary configuration amongst victorious people is their Saturn placement. If your Saturn isn’t strongly placed in your chart, you usually will not be able to summons the stamina required for success. Saturn consolidates.
How best to deal with it? Work. Take responsibility. Get extra rest and realize that you may be feeling cut off from life’s source temporarily, but remember, it will pass in about a month. Do not take your health lightly at this time if you are experiencing symptoms with your: knees, bones, joints, skin or teeth.
Saturn transits represent times where you simply need to make efforts so that your life will “work.” Usually, failures during a Saturnian time come when we take things too seriously or try to control too much.
CHIRON – The jury is still out on Chiron as its discovery has only been since 1977, which makes a relatively newborn in astrological terms. Much remains to be learned. Since Chiron represents our “wound”, transits of Chiron oftentimes are very important and seem very “destined.” There can be an obsession with a feeling of “here it comes again” with this renegade Centaur. Chiron is much more serious than folks think. Quite commonly, our lifelong wound gets worse or suddenly heals during Chiron transits. Much depends upon what sign Chiron is found in your natal chart.
Without a doubt, if you feel Chiron coming, about two weeks before it hits, it’s best to give up all thoughts of being a victim. That’s what the wound feeds on. In some ways, Chiron represents what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain-body.
URANUS – Many times we can feel Uranus approaching sensitive points in our charts months beforehand. A very common feeling that arises during this time is one of being “fed-up.” “I’ve had it up to here!” It is a tricky balance that is needed. On one hand, one must go forward with the need for internal liberation, but, on the other hand, one must be careful to not go around blaming everyone else for your own sense of being trapped. Many times it is hard to distinguish. You’ll know it when Uranus is around as it is very intense and oftentimes causes us to lose sleep because it makes us so lucid.
Above all, this wild planet makes us want to be re-enlivened and can lead us to do some pretty crazy things. We tend to go too far in direct proportion to how repressed we have been. Uranus can mark the time of great, sudden liberation. It always acts exactly when the planets align and does so abruptly and surprisingly. The key to this planet is that we want to be more ourselves; freer.
How best to deal with it? Let go – go beyond any tendency towards repressing yourself. In most cases, there is a great tendency to think that others, or the world “out there” has been holding you back, however, with closer introspection we often see that we have simply been not ready to release our real self. That isthe keyword to Uranus: readiness
NEPTUNE – Now that we are dealing with the final two planets of the zodiac, we are really examining hard-to-understand collective forces. Neptune can be “on us” for a year or so, but it is very hard to notice because it sneaks up on us. It is very subtle yet extremely powerful. Things all of a sudden start falling away. One of the real dangers during a Neptune transit is that we often start to feel neglectful. The reason is not because of the dark side of this planet as is often written about. The real reason is that we are being called to GO HOME unconsciously. Yes, back to God. And, when that subtle universal enticement starts growing within us, we often mislabel it. We become disillusioned. Many times we feel unsatisfied with our job, our mate, our position in life, and on and on. It almost always marks the time of a spiritual crisis, if you will.
Neptune will not support us if we have all of our goals directed toward “earthly” ones. Neptune is THE spiritual energy. It is quite natural and common at these times to get lost in extramarital affairs, drugs, alcohol and other escapist attempts to transcend the ego’s confines. True Neptune is not about escape, it’s about transcendence of this world’s illusory nature, i.e. waking up from the dream of separateness.
How best to handle it? Take advantage of the growing sense of intuition that is going on that can be quite powerful. Do not look for shortcuts in your life or become discontented about people and things around you. In almost every case, suffering during a Neptune transit is because our heart has not been open and we are frustrated that “God isn’t answering our prayers” while the truth very well can be that we simply haven’t been listening. It clearly can be the most difficult of all transits to harvest positive change because “you” can’t really do anything about it – except surrender. Then, you’ll start to see things as they really are while you watch the illusions that have had you hypnotized start to dissolve.
PLUTO – The big mama. And, it’s not even a planet; right? Well, to astrologers it certainly is. I have written so much about the most distant planet and have even itemized the four stages of Pluto transits in this document: Newsletter.
There is so much that can be said about this massive force. All-in-all, Pluto calls us from within to mean more, to be more significant. We can feel it coming as much as a year before and its effects can last for years. It is often experienced as a dark cloud over our heads. Many times, if we are not owning our own life, it will separate us from our support systems. In reverse, if we seem to be trying to “get rid of our baggage,” it often brings us help on many fronts. To put it simply: old systems become broken down – now is the time to repair things across the board or let it go. The more we let go, the more it seems that we can be reborn. This is what’s been happening to all of us since January of 2008 because Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn then. Capricorn rules all forms and institutions.
How best to deal with it? Use courage and follow your heart. Be dedicated and let go of anyone or anything in your life that no longer serves you. This is the planet that represents total spring cleaning from the basement to the attic.
Oh, and one more thing. There has been much curiosity and speculation as to why Pluto was demoted from its planetary status in 2006. Instead of wondering why it was demoted, it may be more apropos to consider why it demoted us. Pluto doesn’t get demoted, thank you.
IN CLOSING: Each planet has its own nature, feeling, up and down side and archetypal essence. When we feel these planets “coming over us”, it is not some outside force. These are indeed life’s energy patterns. They are not to be avoided but instead to be seen as various parts of our inner mosaic that want to be heard and expressed.
Rick has been practicing astrology as an art, a science, a discipline and a way of life for over 36 years. In addition to his work with individual clients, he is known for his down-to-earth and humorous way of delivering his astrological knowledge to groups. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences and workshops, and has been guest on numerous radio and TV shows over many years. While he no longer teaches astrology in person, he is planning a YouTube series of lectures based on his book, “The Exquisite Zodiac”.