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Outer Planet Transits (or, Dorothy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!)

By Natori Moore

Do you remember this handy little poem from elementary school?

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
These are the planets that live near the stars
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, too; Neptune and Pluto
I know them, do you?
Astrologically speaking, the planets that “live near the stars” are called personal planets.  No, that doesn’t mean we each get one of our own, like a personal computer or personal pan pizza.  It means that Mercury, Venus and Mars each represent a psychological function that we can recognize from our daily lives.  Venus symbolizes our approach to love and affection, Mercury our rational thought and communication patterns, and Mars our assertion, anger and sexuality.

When we cross the bridge over Jupiter and Saturn to get to the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), things become a little more complex.  The outer planets symbolize collective or subconscious awareness beyond our day-to-day concerns.  They symbolize the need to integrate spiritual and group concerns into the demands of our ego ideas, affections and impulses.  Thus, their transits to our natal birth charts are often difficult or disorienting.  Additionally, unlike the cycles of Mercury, Venus and Mars, outer planet cycles are lengthy and may stay with us for months or years.

Thus it behooves us to befriend the multiple facets of the outer planets.  Knowing the unique kinds of experiences we can expect during each type of outer planet transit may help us more easily manage these cycles.  On the way to the outer planets, we cross Jupiter and Saturn, the “bridge” planets that start us on the journey of experience beyond our familiarity zone.

During a JUPITER transit to your birth chart, you may experience an abundance of new opportunities and options, perhaps feeling overwhelmed by it all.  Travel, education, leaves of absence or sabbaticals, religious study and childbirth are some examples of the positive expansions this cycle may bring.  Of course, if what already exists in your life is a lot of stuff-under-the-rug that it’s time to look at, Jupiter can expand the rug crud until dealing with it is unavoidable.  We can manage this 3- and 12-year transit cycle best by being willing to grow and receive the new opportunities life brings.

If SATURN is the planet currently transiting your chart, you may not be lovin’ life.  Unless you’re using the demanding energy of Saturn to climb Mount Everest or accept an award.  These transits can be serious and difficult, but will pay major dividends if we face them squarely and focus on taking one step at a time toward what we want to achieve.  At each juncture in Saturn’s 7-year quarter-cycle, we are likely to gradually change one or more of the major structures in our lives.  This may include relationships, residences, creative work, or employment.  Actor Chad Everett and his wife renew their marriage vows every seven years – the 7-year Saturn quarter cycle would likely give them the impetus to recommit to each other at these times.  The larger 29.5 year Saturn cycle occurs near ages 30 and 60.  You can manage a Saturn transit best by acknowledging yourself for your achievements, letting go of what you no longer need, and making or renewing commitments to those life structures that have value for you.

If URANUS is transiting your birth chart, things may appear to be coming apart at the seams.  You may be increasing your awareness and feeling especially alive, even in the midst of chaos.  Events may happen “out of the blue,” resulting in a shock to your established world and the need for quick adjustments to new realities.  You may feel restless or rebellious, wanting to throw everything over and start again.  You may have inspiring flashes of insight and short-term but rejuvenating associations with people.  Key Uranus transits typically occur in the teen years, early 20s, and early 40s.  You can manage Uranus transits best by expressing your individuality and making changes without “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

If NEPTUNE is the outer planet currently transiting your chart, you may feel inspired but also sad or disoriented.  You may have difficulty motivating yourself.  One day you can think you’ve found the key to Nirvana; the next day you’re slouched over the breakfast table in your Fruit Loops!  Neptune transits can be difficult because they are so nebulous.  These “cotton candy” or “mirage” transits can produce some lovely illusions.  Yet you’ll want to keep your feet on the ground if they are ever to materialize.  You can manage this transit best through meditation, music, art and contact with nature and your spiritual self.  It’s also helpful to be patient with your unanswered questions and pay close attention to your nighttime dreams for inspiration and guidance.

If PLUTO is the outer planet currently transiting your chart, you are definitely not being visited by a perky Disney dog character.  Pluto transits challenge us to the depths of our beings.  Under these long, gradual and subtly transformative transits, you are outgrowing certain habits or values that are no longer useful in your life.  You may need to release certain people, possessions, or internal defenses to improve your psychological health.  You may experience wide fluctuations in mood, from elation to depression and all stations in between.  You may become obsessive about a person or situation, determined that it provide you with the riches and meaning that are usually actually found within yourself.  Manage Pluto transits best by reducing your life to the essentials, seeking in-depth psychotherapy or bodywork, and evaluating your level of willingness to change, grow and connect meaningfully with others.  Though enduring a Pluto transit can feel like slogging through cow dung, remember that the most beautiful flowering plants often need to start out buried in the smelliest fertilizer!

Do any of the above cycles seem familiar?  The good news is, these cycles are predictable in length, and purposeful, based on how they interconnect with an individual birth chart.  Outer planet transits are increasing in their importance as we move into the 21st century and want to live more effectively as a world community.  As these transits prompt us to leave familiar territory and to make inner and outer changes, they broaden our perspective and help us to encompass the future.  Even as we travel beyond “Kansas,” we are guided by God, our spiritual selves, and our higher nature. 

© 1995 by Natori Moore
All rights reserved
Originally appeared in Star Club News, March 1995.

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If you liked this article, you may enjoy this book:
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Planets in Transit : Life Cycles for Living (The Planet Series)
(Robert Hand, Charles A. Jayne)

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