Transits in astrology
Pluto takes over twice as many years to transit some signs as it takes to transit ones on the opposite side of the zodiac, and has been in the fastest-moving part of its cycle in our lifetimes. Transits to the planets, luminaries, nodes and angles operate by means of aspects , in exactly the same manner as aspects in the birth chart, except that they are transient temporary rather than radical lifelong influences.
However, whereas in natal astrology quite large allowances are made for the orbs of influence of the different types of aspects, where aspects by transit are under consideration the orbs allowed are very much smaller. Opinions vary as to the size of allowable orbs for transiting aspects, but their effects will be felt most strongly when they are exact to within just one degree , and are very unlikely to be felt at all outside a distance of three degrees. This applies right across the board for all the major aspect types.
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It is perhaps advisable to allow three degrees for conjunctions and oppositions; two degrees for squares and trines, and no more than one degree for sextiles, semisquares, sesquiquadrates, quincunxes, semisextiles, quintiles and biquintiles. All other aspect types are best disregarded as immaterial.
While a luminary or planet is aspecting by transit a celestial body, angle or node in the birth chart, the transit will be experienced as the transiting body exerting a temporary influence, corresponding to its general nature and the type of aspect formed, upon the features of the personality, body and psychology governed by the aspected point in the birth chart.
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Whatever the nature of the influence, it will adjust the condition of the aspected point in the birth chart while it lasts, and may variously offset, clash with, harmonise with or accentuate the effects of the natal aspects and sign and house position of this point. Transits by the planets from Mercury to Pluto are more complex events than the straight direct passes through the zodiac evidenced by the Sun and Moon, involving repeated periods of slower retrograde motion in the reverse direction through the signs and degrees of the zodiac, interspersed with the more rapid direct motion in the normal direction through the zodiac.
Whenever one of these planets ceases to move in direct motion and turns retrograde, it appears to come to a halt, and is said to station retrograde. When it ceases to move in retrograde motion, it comes to a halt again, and is said to station direct. When a planet is close to one of its stations, it moves very slowly, and any aspect it forms by transit to a point in the birth chart will last much longer than it does on average.
When a planet stations within aspecting orb especially within one degree of a point in the birth chart, the effect of the aspect by transit will be not only much longer-lasting but also more strongly and keenly felt than a regular passing-by transiting aspect of the same type between the same bodies. When transiting planets turn retrograde, they very commonly form in retrograde motion the same transiting aspect they recently made in direct motion to a particular point in the birth chart.
At this point, the same issues highlighted in the life of the individual affected during the first direct motion pass will be brought into focus again, but usually with a sense that there is more still to be done to resolve them.
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Then when the transiting planet involved turns direct once more and forms the same aspect in direct motion for a second and final time, the issues concerned will meet with their final outcome as affected by the transit that has been ongoing. Occasionally the outer planets such as Neptune and Pluto then turn retrograde again and move far enough back through the degrees of the zodiac to form the same aspect by transit in retrograde motion for a second time.
When this happens, it will be experienced as a further recurrence of the issues highlighted by the particular transit concerned being brought into focus in a manner suggestive of slight backtracking or a lack of complete resolution. And then on the third direct pass of the transit the issues or activities will finally be definitively resolved as far as they are going to be by the transit that has been in progress.
Transits to the houses exactly resemble natal chart placements of planets and luminaries in the houses. When a real-time planet or luminary occupies a zodiacal sign and degree placement that falls within the area of the zodiac spanned by a particular house in the birth chart, then the transit of that planet or luminary to that house is effective. Within three degrees of the cusp of the next house, the planet or luminary concerned will exhibit some influence in the next house. While a luminary or planet is transiting a particular house, the transit will be experienced as the principles governed by the particular transiting luminary or planet exerting a temporary influence upon the area of life corresponding to the transited house.
Whatever the nature of the influence, it will adjust the condition of the transited house in the birth chart while it lasts; and its impact should be considered in the context of how the principles governed by the transiting body as expressed through the transited house sit with those governed by any natal planets in the house, as well as in the context of conjunctions it forms to them and aspects it forms to planets in other natal houses during its passage through the house. Transiting configurations and their applications.
Transits both to single points in the birth chart and to houses in it should be considered not only in isolation, but in the context of aspects between the transiting body and other real-time bodies. For example, a transit made by Saturn to a particular house will take on an altered, more awkward and conflicting feel while real-time Mars forms a square to real-time transiting Saturn, although real-time Mars is not transiting the same house or necessarily aspecting any planet within it.
Transits operate both in isolation where the transiting planets are not in aspect to any other real-time planets and as configurations. A particular case of transiting configurations that is very well known is that of transiting New and Full Moons.
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When a New Moon forms a transit to any point or house in the birth chart, the real-time Sun is in conjunction with it and forming exactly the same type of transit. The transit will be experienced as the combined effects of the solar and lunar principles synergically activating whichever house they are transiting or point in the natal chart they are aspecting.
Some might say that one does not take the transit chart in isolation, but the natal chart as compared to the transit chart. A flaw with this argument is that it ranks all transit charts in equality to the natal chart, when the natal chart is clearly much more important.
It is true that one can do such comparisons, but how do you know which transits are more powerful? Is it simply a matter of taking the closest orb? Such an approach fails to consider that to a given individual, some things are far more important than others. One can have a very tight transit to an unimportant planet that has little emphasis in the natal chart because it has not been activated as a time lord, falls "achrematistikos" an untelling position , etc, whereas another planet that is in full bloom because it is activated as lord of the times can get a transit with a very wide "orb" and be much more noticable in fact such a planet does not need a transit at all to become active.
This is why time lords and their natal configuration were considered far more important. Each individual reacts differently to the same transits in the sky that are going on at any given time, not just because the positions are different between natal charts, but because there is temporal separation between charts and planets need time to "mature" in a given nativity.
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Transits are still considered relevant, particularly if natal planets do not testify about a given subject matter and since as Schmidt says, "the planets are in the service of heimarmene", trying to give the native his due, the natal planets may not always give testimony, or testimony may be deferred to the later time. Valens says that planets are not testifying unless they are active time lords. So transits may be mute if they are not relevant to the testimony of a given subject.
This is one of the reasons why I developed the program Delphic Oracle with the transit interface, because at any given time it is important to know if that transit is actually "active".
Now one might ask why so many of the transit delineations seem to work? It is usually the case that one of the 7 planets is a time lord in at least one method.
It is rarely the case that it is not active at all, but there is another dimension that time lords provide to transit delineations: i. Having a planet be a time lord for spirit tells you that a transit delineation can be interpreted in terms of ones reputation and ones actions and goals for example.
A planet as lord of the decennials tells us whether we have reached the main course that our life is intended for according to Schmidt. There are also techniques within each time lord method to tell us which ones are the most important and represent major turning points and which ones indicate no change or status quo. All of these have to be interpreted in accordance with what is possible in the context of the natal chart.
The reader of these delineations should keep this in mind; because of heimarmene, some things are not possible, for instance that a 6 month old give birth This is the largest section of the site, and there are sections on how a transiting planet aspecting the lord of a given house in your chart brings about these affects.
Keep in mind that at this point I have not done these delineations through full scale Hellenistic analysis. Most come from my personal conjectures about general principles found in medieval astrology.