the transit of the planets

Astrological Transits of The Planets

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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.

Image: The Solar System 2 Poster by prophoto at

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