Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 14, 2009

A Promise Fulfilled: When Transits Echo Natal Aspects

 Note: The following is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s  Astrological Analysis: Select Topics in Chart Interpretation, which You can order 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.

Some Typical Reactivations Saturn Transits Evoking Natal Aspects:  Saturn forms hard aspects (such as squares or oppositions) to its natal position about every seven years, during its 29.46-year orbit around the Sun; so, at seven-year intervals, Saturn will echo all of the major difficult aspects it makes in your birth chart. (It also forms trines to its natal position twice during that orbit, providing opportunities when Saturn’s better qualities can be developed with somewhat less stress.) 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 wrenchfrogkiss-a2ding 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.

Note: If you liked this sample from Astrological Analysis and would like to order a copy, go to Moon Maven Publications.

More Excerpts from Donna’s Books:

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  1. So, here we are at the final opposition of Saturn and Uranus. I’m finally getting some closure on the process that started back in November 08. Quite a journey, I wish I could say it had been easy. But then I suppose the lessons wouldn’t have been so profound. For me, it seems to have been about finding my 12th house Uranus and Plutonian self. Donna, you have lived with your Saturn/Uranus conjunction far longer than I have with my square – if I’m now working with these aspects will the future lessons be less debilitating? Thanks

    • The transiting opposition would have been challenging if it touched off touchy chart positions, but as a natal aspect, I find Uranus with Saturn has much to recommend it. We are the people who make the bridge between the past and the future, the young and the old, the leading edge and the deeply entrenched, the wildly innovative and the tried and true methods. It is certainly the signature of my own brand of astrology and the many astrologers of my generation. I have a chapter about the various aspects in The Outer Planets and Inner Life, volume 3, available at Donna

  2. I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely
    loved every bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new stuff
    you post…

  3. First of all I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick
    question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or tips? Thank you!

    • Hi, SS, hmm. So it only takes you 10-15 minutes to get going? That’s terrific! Seriously, I usually begin by rereading and revising what I had written in my last session. And since my schedule is flexible, I often don’t sit down to write until ideas are starting to clamor to be written, and then I don’t allow anything to interfere, no phone calls, no emails.

      And as for beginnings, that is the hardest thing, because it means getting clear about what you want to say and then crafting a beginning that would make it crystal clear to the reader what the point is and why they should be interested. Usually, I go through 4 or 5 versions of the first few paragraphs, revising ruthlessly, before I am satisfied that it does what it needs to.

      I hope that helps. I have been a subscriber of Writer’s Digest for at least 30 years, and though I don’t write fiction, I’ve learned so much about writing by reading it. How to make my writing as readable and interesting as fiction. You could read lots of back issues at the public library before deciding if it’s worth it to you. Donna

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