Note: The following is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s Astrological Analysis: Select Topics in Chart Interpretation, the text for Donna’s correspondence course for intermediate astrology students. You can order this ebook at Moon Maven Publications.
Each aspect in the natal chart contains a host of promises, since even the most difficult of combinations has gifts to bestow once we learn to use the energies of the two planets well. Throughout our lives, transits to a natal aspect represent windows of time when we are challenged to make changes in how we are using that aspect. If we are wise, we gradually learn to let go of self-defeating ways of expressing the energies of those planets and, instead, to capitalize on their strengths.
Never is that more true than during the periods when the natal aspect is echoed by the transit –that is, when one of the planets involved natally is the transiting planet as well. For instance, suppose that Saturn is square Mars in the birth chart, and now transiting Saturn is opposite natal Mars. The aspect isn’t the same, but the pair of planets in the picture (Mars and Saturn) are. What you may experience at that time is a reactivation of old issues and behavior patterns tht you may have worked on for years. The transit gives you a chance to integrate those energies at a more mature level.
In those recurring intervals, you will be challenged anew to master the lessons of Saturn and to make substantive progress through self-discipline, hard work, and a more mature perspective on your old limitations. You may wish to consider how you’ve been using your Saturn energies in the seven years or so since the last such aspect.
If you’ve worked hard in the areas of life represented by that natal aspect, the transit may very well be a time when your efforts reach fruition – provided, of course, that you have been both diligent and wise. Sometimes, we work much harder than we need to, when not only our methods but even our game plans are flawed. If so, it may be time to evaluate your priorities and redirect your efforts toward more appropriate ends, so you won’t wear yourself out.
The Midlife Cycle: The so-called Midlife crisis of the late thirties to mid forties is a crucible for much change and growth, because the astrological picture at midlife includes a series of outer-planet aspects by transit to their own natal positions. Transiting Uranus makes an opposition to its natal position in the chart, transiting Neptune squares natal Neptune, and transiting Pluto squares natal Pluto.
In the process, the transiting outer planets trigger all the aspects that the outer planets form in the birth chart, giving us the chance to learn how to use those aspects better and to fulfill more of their innate potential. (The exact ages when these aspects occur vary from generation to generation, because the orbits of these three planets around the Sun are not as regular as the orbits of the inner planets.)
The energies of the outer planets are not as accessible to our consciousness as the inner ones, nor are they easy to express; instead, they require a great deal of maturity to handle well. This sort of meandering through life and having a variety of experiences seems to be a necessary part of growth and evolution — as though the life journey were a long pilgrimage through a wilderness.
It’s easy to lose our way with the outer planets; where these planets are located in our charts, we often do so repeatedly — learning much from our mistakes as we stumble and fall on our faces. It is usually at midlife, when all the natal aspects to an outer planet are also set off by transit, that we bottom out on the less-productive uses of these energies and are impelled, if we are blessed with sufficient maturity, to work toward more uplifting expressions.
An Example of a Reactivation
Let’s suppose you have a Venus-Neptune conjunction in your birth chart. The slogan for that combination might be: “Someday my prince will come – but first I have to kiss a lot of frogs.” (Of course, there are many ways to express that particular combination, but this is a fairly common pattern.) During earlier transits to that conjunction, over the years, frogs of countless varieties are likely to have appeared – looking for all the world like princes.
Unfortunately, your heartfelt efforts to turn the current frog into the prince you know he could be are doomed to failure after wrenching failure. Reluctantly, you’re forced to conclude that this particular frog will remain a frog until he croaks. Still, you may persist in the notion that, if you could just somehow succeed in morphing yourself into a princess, your prince would surely appear.
A likely window for changing this persistent pattern is during the Midlife Cycle, when transiting Neptune squares natal Neptune, because in the case of this particular conjunction, transiting Neptune will square natal Venus as well. One of the numerous ways that this transit can manifest itself is that the frog of a lifetime arrives – clad in such elegant, princely attire that you are certain your soul mate has finally come along.
If he is not in fact a prince, the experience of trying one last time to kiss someone into princeliness may represent the bottoming-out of an old codependent pattern of relating through rescuing. Under this transit, the romantic haze that has always clouded your ability to see potential partners clearly may lift. Sadder but wiser, you now begin to look more realistically at new prospects.
Relationships will never be the same, and that’s a good thing! Until now, that same romantic haze has kept you from recognizing the occasional true prince who does come your way (perhaps because you can’t get past his frog-like spots and raspy voice). Now you may recognize him – and learn how to relate to him in a healthy way.
Transiting Outer Planet Aspects to The Birth Planets: We’re in a phase when many of the outer planets are in aspect to one another, and for people who have those aspects in their birth chart, the challenges and patterns they’ve struggled with can be strongly reactivated. For instance, the long oppposition between Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo has brought out some long-standing issues for those born in the 60s with Uranus in Virgo opposite Saturn. See Life Patterns of People Born with Uranus-Saturn Aspects for more understanding of how this has worked. Likewise, the long transiting square between Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Libra is bringing up many familiar issues for those born with aspects between this pair of planets. See How the Pluto-Saturn Square may Affect People born with that Aspect, and if it does apply to you, you’ll find lots of helpful articles in the category A Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit.
Note: If you liked this sample from Astrological Analysis and would like to order a copy, go to Moon Maven Publications. It’s the text for her correspondence course for intermediate astrology students. You can read about it at Email Course–Astrology at the top of this blog.
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