©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Note: The following is an excerpt from my hardcopy book, How to Read your Astrological Chart, available from RedWheel/Weiser at http://www.RedWheel/Weiser.com.
Many in our field insist on being terminally positive, refusing to acknowledge that bad things regularly happen to good people. They recite a glowing litany of evolved expressions of the transiting planets, neglecting to mention that pain and struggle may be involved in ascending to those lofty places. Clients who then experience the transit as agony blame themselves for not achieving such elevated results. They wind up concluding they are among the metaphysically challenged.
Considering a transit’s potentials, a balanced approach would be to include a range of manifestations, from the best to the more difficult. How would you know whether the worst, indeed, might be about to happen? A classical rule is that nothing happens during a transit or progression that is not promised in the birth chart. Scrutinize the birth chart to see whether its placements suggest the kind of situation you are concerned about.
Suppose that Pluto is transiting the Moon. What if this is a young child’s chart, and you–the mother, grandmother, or uncle–are worried that the child may lose its mother. Check the birth chart to see if it suggests the loss of a mother figure at an early age–not just one way but several. Adopt the classical Rule of Three–if the chart shows something once it’s potential, twice it’s possible, and thrice, it’s highly likely.
Suppose there is a lovely, untroubled Moon, such as Moon in Taurus trining Jupiter in Virgo. If so, the transit must represent another major shift in family life. It could show an ailing grandparent moving in, a new and not entirely welcome baby on the way, or a temporary time of stress in the life of the child’s mother–e.g. grief over the loss of someone she loves.
When a difficult transit sets off an already difficult natal combination, assess whether the person has learned to use those placements well or whether they are acting out the more negative expressions.
Suppose a woman has a Mars/Pluto conjunction in the 7th house, suggesting a controlling, aggressive, or even abusive mate. Now transiting Pluto is beginning a series of squares to that conjunction. Should you worry about this transit?
Begin by looking into her history. Ask about the relationship she is involved in and what happened in other committed relationships. Is she involved now with someone abusive or who has a history of abusing women, or has she been involved with such men?
Suppose she has never been harmed by a live-in lover or husband, and she instead has gone for dynamos who are highly successful. She has obviously not gotten entrenched into a pattern of abuse and is not likely to evoke it now. I’d relax a bit, but if the reverse were true, I’d be extremely concerned and would talk to her about getting help.
The historical perspective can be a powerful preventive tool. In my days as a mentor, an astrologer submitted work done for a consultation with a mountain climber who was preparing for a dangerous climb. His birth chart had a difficult combination of planets on the angles, and transiting Saturn was setting them off. Being a positive person, her take was that he would succeed in his goal, but she did not consider the possibility of a fall.
Noting that Saturn set off the same difficult group of natal placements seven years earlier, I asked what happened then. Indeed, he had suffered a terrible fall that required years of recovery. We would have to conclude that the coming Saturn transit was anything but a good time to tackle a challenging peak. This example shows how important it is to ask pertinent questions about the history, rather than jump to conclusions about what a transit will bring.
While the terminally positive might find this approach a downer, we have a responsibility to present reality checks when people act self-destructively. By warning a person about the worst outcome, though not in an alarmist fashion, we may help avert it. Honest confrontation can stimulate people to grow away from negative expressions, given the objectivity the chart can provide. Seek a balanced perspective–neither the most negative expression, nor the terminally positive.
Explore natal patterns being set off by transit. If a pattern proved troublesome in the past, it is an opportunity to master the difficulties, rather than to fall blindly into self-sabotage. Look at past transits to the same part of the chart to spot times when critical zones were active. This line of inquiry provides clues to the dynamics of any pattern that is periodically evoked and to how the person is likely to respond.
We’ve been through a period of human history in which more self-help, recovery and personal growth materials are available than ever before. It’s good to know about those materials so we can recommend them. People’s work to become more conscious can alter the nature of any transit. I would never want to be accused of being 100% accurate–if I am, I’m not doing my job of waking people up.
Readers: Where do you stand on this issue? Would a warning about possible dangers of a transit scare you or help you be prepared? Has an astrologer’s warning ever helped you avoid a problem? Let us hear from you in the comment section?
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