This article is the third in a short regular series of features from the keyboard of British astrologer Paul Wade. These will help to guide you from an interest in astrology with the desire to learn more, through to effective forecasting and prediction in four easy stages!
Having previously looked at the essentials of astrological forecasting and at the importance of the twelve astrological houses, Paul now considers the influence of those big five transiting planets...
PART THREE: THE TRANSITING PLANETS
Transits are probably the major method of astrological forecasting in use today, both within more serious astrological circles and in the wider media. Over the last two months we've considered how it's really quite straightforward to begin applying this technique for yourself, assessing current and future trends in your own life and in the lives of those around you.
To begin with you'll need an essential comprehension of astrological symbolism, a copy of your own birthchart or the birthchart of whoever you'd like to consider, a reasonable knowledge of the planets' orbital periods and some guide as to where each planet will be in the zodiac on the date in which you're interested. An easy way to obtain much of this information ~ and to find out how to obtain the rest ~ is to look at the prior two lessons in this series!
So far we've established that when assessing planetary transits it is advisable to concentrate largely on the slower-moving outer planets ~ Jupiter through to Pluto inclusive. This is due to their much longer orbital periods, reduced frequency of influence in the various areas of our lives and the considerably greater duration of their effects.
We have seen how in terms of assessing a transit's impact, the main emphasis should be placed on the houses of our birthcharts which are being implicated and the areas of life thus signified. The signs involved are generally less important to the individual than these former criteria, since the sign related influences will of course affect everyone concurrently.
Precisely what's likely to occur with regard to the affairs of each house is largely dependent on the transiting planet concerned. So what are the effects of the five outer planets when implicated by transit?
Jupiter: Jupiter has been termed the 'Greater Benefic' and as such is generally one of the most obviously fortunate influences so far as transits are concerned. It is linked with expansion, increase, good fortune, broadened horizons, abundance, prosperity, success and growth. However, such opportunities are unlikely to come and beat down our doors ~ Jupiter simply facilitates the cosmic circumstances for us to achieve these associations through our own efforts and undertakings. Thus the need to take the initiative is always present, although luck is usually on our sides where this planet's influence is concerned.
All transits can have their downside if we mishandle their effects. Jupiter's less desirable characteristics are often of the over-something variety! Over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending and over-optimism are some of the ways in which it can cause difficulty. A degree of caution and reserve is always necessary. Arrogance, neglect of details and a tendency towards irresponsibility can also characterise it's action. With care though ~ a most fortuitous impact!
Saturn: Saturn represents a very different principle from Jupiter. Formerly known as the 'Greater Malefic', we nowadays assume a more growth orientated approach towards Saturn's function. This planet is associated with achievement, with consolidation and with structure. It is actually even more analogous with the concept of success and fruition than is Jupiter, although this will surely need to be approached in a rather different way.
Saturn always entails such unfashionable concepts as hard work, self-discipline, dedication, self-denial, duty, obligation and hefty responsibilities. However, without it we would never achieve anything of lasting benefit. Jupiter's lucky breaks may come and go, but with Saturn we must slowly and determinedly plod towards our aims and objectives. This given the results are often very durable.
As Saturn slowly transits our birthchart it allows us to fortify and to reorganise each area of our life in turn and to put matters on a more solid footing. This reorganisation lasts largely until Saturn's return visit some thirty years later. It thus serves to demarcate important rites of passage ~ from youth to adulthood, from adulthood to maturity and from maturity to old age. Saturn's initial entry into each house can correspond with difficulties, problems, limitations, restrictions and inhibition in the widest sense. The worst response to such issues is to try to avoid them ~ we are rarely drawn to the need to restructure unless encouraged!
Uranus: Uranus relates to change, to freedom and to individuality. It will complete one full transit of our birthcharts in our mid-eighties. Due to the protracted duration of it's stay in each house ~ a characteristic shared with Neptune and Pluto ~ the effects of this planet tend to be most pronounced when it first enters a house or when it is conjunct with one of the birthchart's angles. Subsequently it becomes more of a background influence, gradually incorporated into our personalities with the passing years.
Uranus transits bring change to the area of our life which they are highlighting and ultimately allow us to express greater individuality with regard to the matters concerned. It's function can be sudden, unexpected and is most disruptive where matters are held together for the sake of security, supposed necessity, fear or maybe inertia! Any circumstances which are limiting and which are preventing us from expressing our true potential are the most likely candidates for a good dose of Uranian upheaval. However, activities in which we are truly able to be ourselves will simply enjoy a healthy boost. The unusual, the different, the new and the unique are all particularly favoured.
Neptune: Neptune will only have transited about half our horoscopes when we reach our mid-eighties. It's primary effects relate to intuition, imagination and idealism and it's transits allow us to create the perfect scenario in the relevant area of life. It's always important to maintain a fairly practical and realistic perspective with this planet however, since over-idealism can represent a major downside!
Hence the association of Neptune with losses. For example that perfect investment undertaken with Neptune transiting your Eighth House would require very careful assessment and ~ in the best of circumstances ~ at least one second opinion!
Neptune is also associated with spirituality and with a higher perspective, with compassion, understanding and with self-sacrifice. As human beings we unfortunately are often not as yet capable of taking such a viewpoint unaided, so Neptune's influence frequently begins with a period of confusion, dissolution and possibly deceit as circumstances around us cease to prove dependable. We are thus compelled to assume a less materialist and more philosophical outlook.
Neither is Neptune sympathetic to purely egotistical concerns. Kindness and thought for others, a cheerful yet detached perspective, faith, intuition and a trust in the overall wisdom of the Universe will bring the best results!
Pluto: Pluto symbolises complete change and transformation ~ not suddenly like Uranus but slowly, profoundly and with a focus on the very depths of our beings. It brings strength and intensity to whichever area of our lives it touches. Pluto transits question the central tenets on which we have built our existence and why we behave in the ways that we do. They bring hidden psychological baggage to the surface ~ allowing us to review and to rebuild matters from a fundamental standpoint. Outmoded yet deeply conditioned psychological and emotional responses are frequently notable candidates for such.
Pluto transits often confront us with highly sensitive topics which we would rather ignore, so it's effects can be very difficult whilst we are working through them. Issues of control, manipulation, jealousy, possessiveness, dominance and power are frequent. This planet can engender a very ruthless response, so attitudes which take no account of the feelings of others should certainly be avoided. It's entry into a house is often associated with destruction and with decay, yet in time a new order will arise providing that Pluto's essential challenges are squarely addressed.
Inappropriate resistance will generally prove useless anyway. It will usually only serve to extend and to prolong this planet's more difficult effects!
Today we have completed our discussions of the general methods used to detail and to analyse our planetary transits. Over our last two sessions we've looked in depth at the two most important interpretative factors where such an analysis is concerned ~ the planets and the houses.
Next time, in the fourth and final meeting of this short course in transit interpretation, we'll be drawing our prior studies together with a little practical application. Don't forget to point your browser back in this direction!
PAUL WADE -
Paul Wade is a professional astrologer and lecturer based in the rural South East of England. From here he runs a busy astrological consultancy, as well as speaking widely and writing for several printed and online publications. Paul also offers accredited astrological study within the educational mainstream and has lectured at Goldsmiths' College of the University of London since 1992. His website at www.astrologywizard.com is well worth a visit, with free forecasts, free astrological screensavers, fun astrology games and full information concerning Paul and his various activities!