Category Archives: About Astrology

planets in transit

Astrological Transits of The Planets

What are the transits of the planets and how do they influence our astrological birth chart?

As the planets slowly make their way through the Zodiac, they pass through the different houses of our birth chart and create different aspects with the positions of our natal planets. We call this the “transition” of the planets, which triggers the behavior and events that we can expect to influence our life each day.

The effect of each planet’s transition will depend on its location in relation to the other planets and houses in our natal horoscope. The day to day events and changes in our lives are influenced by the transits of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. In addition to Earth, these planets are the closest to the Sun, so their progress is relatively quick and their transits are measured in days and weeks. These are referred to as “inner” planets

The “outer” planets, those furthest from the Sun, are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Their transition is slower and they have more influence on the long term effects on our lives, which is measured in years and decades.

The duration of the period in which a planet has an influence also depends on whether the planet in transit is in retrograde motion on the date in which we are interested.

Planets can stay in retrograde motion from between 21 days to five months. Mercury moves fastest and will stay in retrograde for 21 days, while Pluto is the slowest and takes 5 months – the other planets are in between.

The effect of a planet’s transit throughout a natal house will be felt throughout the duration of its stay in that house.

Transits of the Inner Planets

Transits of the Sun

The Sun is the source of all energies and it takes one year to travel through all 12 Houses, spending roughly one month in each. The Sun’s energies stimulate the activities of the house it occupies at any given time and, depending on its aspect to the natal planet, will reinforce or weaken the planetary effects.

When the Sun transits an inner planet, it may trigger a dormant aspect between that inner planet and a slower moving outer planet. If a planet is being transited by another planet at the same time that it is being transited by the Sun, the effect of the transit will be strengthened.

Transits of the Moon

Unlike the Sun, the Moon spends only a very short time in a natal house – approx two and a half days. Because of this, the effects of the Moon happen so rapidly that we will feel them more as sub-conscious urges and impulses to situations, rather than be totally aware of what is happening.

Transits of the Planet Mercury

Mercury spends about a week in each natal house so we will only feel its influence for around 4 weeks during the year. During each of those weeks it will influence our mental outlook, communications and dealings with others and we may feel the urge to travel. When Mercury is in retrograde motion during its transit it may hold us back and there will be delays in the matters over which the planet has influence.

Transits of the Planet Venus

Venus spends about three weeks in each natal house. As the planet of love and enjoyment of material things, the transit of Venus will bring different degrees of enjoyment. The effects of Venus in transit will be felt as subconscious experiences rather than as specific urges to action.

Venus is in retrograde for about one and a half months each year. During that time the planet’s influence will be to slow down or delay matters of the heart.

Transits of the Planet Mars

Mars spends around two months in each natal house. This planet will provide you with the energy needed to assert ourselves in the pursuit of what we want for ourselves. However, the negative influence of Mars in retrograde is that, for three months during the year, we may experience setbacks and delays to our plans and objectives.

Transits of the Slower, Outer Planets

While the faster moving inner planets influence our daily lives, the slower moving outer planets influence us more in the longer term. These effects will felt over years and even decades and need to be considered when we are attempting to interpret what is happening in our daily lives.

Transits of the Planet Jupiter

As Jupiter transits through our natal chart, it will allow us to open up and expand our feelings, triggering new opportunities. Jupiter stays in each house for about a year, during which time it will be retrograde for about four months.

Transits of the Planet Saturn

During the period it transits each house, Saturn brings opportunities to develop more self-discipline and how to face responsibilities in the areas of our lives represented by each house. The transit of Saturn can bring difficulties but these also offer opportunities to become more wise as we get older.

Saturn stays in each house for around two and a half years and will be in retrograde for about four and a half months.

Transits of the Planet Uranus

Uranus in transit brings major changes to our lives. It influences us to give up the rigid behaviours of our past and forces us to rebuild to make us better equipped for living in the now.

Uranus is in each natal house for about seven years and is retrograde for about five months of each year.

Transits of the Planet Neptune

Transiting Neptune brings opportunities for self-discovery and will encourage us to use our creative abilities in the areas affected by the house it occupies. Negatively, it can also lead to confusion as it can adversely affect your ability to discern the difference between reality and illusion in those same areas. This is because Neptune can energise our psychic abilities and if we are unused to these feelings, then we can be unsure of our judgement.

Neptune occupies each house for about five months of each year.

Transits of the Planet Pluto

Pluto in transit will topple the established order in the affairs of the house that it occupies. It will then create the opportunities from which new beginnings can emerge. We will feel that nothing in those areas is the same and that major changes are afoot.

Pluto spends about 20 years in each natal house. It is in retrograde motion for about five months of each year.

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retrograde planets

What does it mean in Astrology when we say a Planet is Retrograde?

An explanation of what we mean when we say a Planet is Retrograde.

Have you ever sat in a stationary train at the railway station, which is alongside another train? Then, as you watch the other train, it appears to be moving backwards?

But, to start with, you are unsure if the other train is travelling backwards or if your train is moving forwards?

The same happens with the planets. Although all the planets always move around the Zodiac in the same direction, sometimes it looks like some planets are moving backwards. We call this apparent reverse motion of a planet “retrograde” motion.

Retrograde motion happens in several stages. First of all the retrograde planet will appear to stand still, while the other planets continue to move forward. Next the planet appears to start to travel backward through the starsigns, followed by another period when it appears to stop moving, before it resumes its forward motion.

Retrograde motion occurs with all the planets, except the sun and moon.

The inner planets (Venus, Mercury and Mars) spend less time in retrograde motion than the outer planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). This is because the orbits of the outer planets around the sun take much longer because they are further away. The time a planet will spend in retrograde varies from about 22 days for nearby Mercury to about 160 days for distant Pluto.

A general misconception is that when a planet is retrograde it always signifies something negative or not pleasant. A retrograde planet will prolong the influence of that planet in the sign and house of a horoscope in which it is located. So if that influence happens to be an unpleasant one, the prolonged negativity will be blamed on the retrograde planet.

On the other hand, we need to remember and take note of the fact that if a retrograde planet is producing a more pleasant effect, that too will be prolonged by the retrograde planet.

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astrology houses

Astrology Houses

The twelve Signs of the Zodiac show the positions of the planets along the path of the Sun (called the ecliptic) on any date. These planetary positions don’t change very much at all during the 24 hours of a single day. However, the rotation of the earth sees a new rising sign about every two hours – because there’s 12 Signs of the Zodiac.

Each of the Houses in Astrology represents the different areas of your life as follows:

First  Self-image, first impressions, our general outlook on life
Second  Self-worth, earnings, possessions
Third  Communication
Fourth  Home, parents, family
Fifth  Pleasures, romance, children
Sixth  Health, work
Seventh  Partners, marriage
Eighth  Change and our attitude towards that change, sexuality
Ninth  Beliefs, philosophy, travel and foreign cultures
Tenth  Career, reputation
Eleventh  Friends, aspirations, personal goals
Twelfth  Secrets, soul growth, karma, limitations

The First House is Aries and you simply rotate anti-clockwise around the Zodiac Wheel above, so that the Second House is Taurus and so on, finishing with the Twelfth House of Pisces.

The Houses are also distributed across the four Hemispheres, but to complicate matters, the Southern Hemisphere appears in the upper part of the horoscope and the Northern Hemisphere in the lower. If most of your planets fall into one particular Hemisphere, this will be the effect:

Northern Hemisphere
People with a majority of Planets in the Northern Hemisphere tend to be very private individuals who are very subjective. They will also be very sensitive to the moods of others.

Southern Hemisphere
A majority of Planets in the Southern Hemisphere will result in an individual who will be able to focus on self or what is important to them, including humanitarian causes.

Eastern Hemisphere
A beliver in free will, those born under a strong influence of the Eastern Hemisphere will have strong self-motivation and be very independent. They have strong self-belief.

Western Hemisphere
Those born under the main influence of the Western Hemisphere will always take others’ views into account and are happiest caring for others as they like to feel needed.


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The Importance of Elements

The Elements are also significant when you look at the groupings of the houses as follows:

Individual Houses: These are the First, Fifth and Ninth Houses (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), which are controlled by the Element of Fire. They focus on life identity.

Temporal Houses: These are the Second, Sixth and Tenth Houses (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), which are controlled by the Element of Earth. They focus on meeting material needs.

Relative Houses: These are the Third, Seventh and Eleventh Houses (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius), which are controlled by the Element of Air. They focus on relationships, social contact and mind-sharing.

Terminal Houses:  These are the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Houses (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), which are controlled by the Element of Water. They focus on our emotions.

The Importance of Qualities

Yet another significant grouping corresponds with the Qualities (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) of the Signs of the Zodiac. The significance of a cluster of planets in a group of these houses is as follows:

The Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Houses. They are the initiators of the Zodiac who are great at starting things but find it hard to see them through.

Because of their enthusiasm they can sometimes come across as domineering and controlling – and they can be, but you have to admire their energy and drive.

The Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are the Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Houses. They enjoy personal stability, which allows them to maintain order in their lives. Just as Cardinal Signs initiate, the Fixed signs are the “completer-finishers” that every team or relationship needs.

However they do have a tendency, thanks to their self-confidence, to believe they are always right.

Fixed Signs are patient, reliable and steady and will always remember the people who help them out.

The Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) are the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth Houses. They are the signs that are flexible and adaptable – they really do “go with the flow” and will happily put their own views to one side if it is for the good of the majority. Because of their versatility, they can be different people in different situations and environments – they are the chameleons of the Zodiac.

But their desire to please can get them into trouble and they are in danger of being seen to be indecisive and perhaps two-faced.

Among the most unselfish signs of the Zodiac, Mutable Signs will bend over backwards to help others and although they may stretch themselves thin in the process, they know how to bounce back with renewed energy.

All of this explains why, although you may know your Sun Sign and its characteristics, these factors mean that the combination of the other signs in your Birth Chart, will also have a huge influence on your personality and your life.

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compatibility and astrology

Compatibility and Astrology

When two people first meet, the chance of them having a compatible relationship will always depend on how their character, needs and personality traits will blend and their ability to give and take with each other in either, or both, social or business situations.

You can determine compatibility by comparing natal charts.

When doing a comparison, the first thing you should look at is whether they have a predominance of planets in one of the elements – a “predominance” is more than four planets in one element (the elements being Earth, Fire, Air or Water). A predominance of planets in one element will tell you something about their dominating characteristics and what they will bring to a relationship.

For example:

Anyone with a predominance of Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) will bring an impulsive enthusiasm to the relationship.

Someone with a predominance of Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) will have a stabilizing influence on the relationship.

A person with a predominance of Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) puts the relationship on an intellectual level.

A person with a predominance of Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) will literally flood the relationship with deep emotional actions and reactions.

Generally speaking, people are more likely to be compatible with each other when their natal planets fall into compatible elements, which are Earth with Water and Fire with Air. This means that if you have a predominance of natal planets in the Fire signs, you are more likely to have a compatible and successful relationship with someone who has a predominance of natal planets in the Air signs. If your companion’s planets are mostly in the Earth signs, you can expect assorted difficulties depending on which elements are involved.

Another important factor is to check how many of your and your partner’s/friend’s planets are in the Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable signs. These are called “Qualities”.

A predominance of planets in one Quality (i.e. five or more planets in a Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable sign) tells you how someone is likely to act in a relationship. For example:

A predominance of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) makes you anxious to see things get started.

Someone with a predominance of Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) is more likely to be stubborn and unyielding in a relationship.

A predominance of Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius) usually results in people who will be adaptable and willing to make compromises.

Finally, note how your and your companion’s planets are spread among the masculine and feminine signs.

The Masculine signs are: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius.

The Feminine signs are: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Most people have an even balance between masculine and feminine of five:five, or six:four. If you and your companion each have a normal ratio of planets, you should get along with each other. You should have no trouble working through things even when one of you has a gender ratio of seven:three while the other has a four:six ratio.

The trouble may come if there are more than three planets between you and your companion, in one gender. You will both need to work very hard to maintain the relationship. The reason is that the dominantly masculine person’s aggressive behavior will make the more passive and reserved feminine signs feel threaten and harassed.

If both of you in the friendship or relationship have a predominance of the same gender, whether it is masculine or feminine they are far more likely to share the same viewpoint and approach to life. Initially, this can be reassuring and give them a strong feeling of compatibility. However, they will soon feel a need for the kind of stimulation that comes from having mildly different points of view.

Unfortunately, anyone dominated by a single gender (eight of more planets either masculine of feminine) may find it difficult to establish a comfortable relationship.

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