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A Psycho-Spiritual Approach to Transits For the uninitiated, transits are typically considered the cornerstone of predictive, modern

astrology. Transits occur when planets make specific angular relationships to the positions of the planets in one’s irth chart. Transits are not isolated incidents ut are happening all the time and correlate with the minor to life-changing incidents, maturation periods, psychological shifts, and transformations in our lives. !hen planets transit important factors in your irth chart, they "light up,# ignite, cataly$e or emphasi$e the energy and psychological factors associated with the factor eing transited. Too often, transits are approached from a perspective of correlating with either a concrete determinism %that is, transits are the signal that a specific, easily predicta le event is a out to unfold& or a lack of accounta ility %the universe is a system of causes upon which we can attri ute our various successes and failures&. 'owever, at a deeper level, transits represent an invitation to communion with something greater than the limitations of the separate self. Argua ly what distinguishes (ew Age spirituality from the )udeo-*hristian tradition are techni+ues and ideas that allow direct spiritual access into something transcendent or divine without the mediation of dogma or a spiritual leader. From this spiritual perspective, transits can allow one to relate to something eyond the individual self. ,efore descri ing astrological transits from a technical point of view, that is, efore defining them in precise terms, it is argua ly est to utili$e some analogies when discussing the underlying principles of transits and how they work. - will orrow two e.amples from my childhood. /n a particular trip to 0isney !orld, - fell in love with the amusement ride known as "1r. Toad’s !ild 2ide.# Sitting in a small vehicle, the ride’s participants are whisked and 3erked around into different rooms, with each room having a particular atmosphere4each room was in marked contrast relative to the room that preceded it. 5.hilarating as it was stupefying, 1r. Toad’s !ild 2ide +uickly ecame a favorite ride of mine, one that - would want to ride over and over again to the chagrin of my parents. !e will return to how this descri es transits, ut for the moment let us enter into a second childhood reminiscence. The second childhood memory that can help elucidate what transits involve concerns a particular children’s ook. The ook featured the travels of a penguin as he circumnavigated the glo e, and, like a lot of children’s ooks, this particular ook was interactive. The gimmick and selling point of the ook4the wow factor4was that a card oard cutout of a penguin could e manipulated y a magnet. That is, a magnet would guide along the penguin as he went along on his 3ourneys across the world. The illusion to a small child was that the penguin was moving y some unknown force, as the magnet was hidden eneath the page. 5ach in their own way, these memories can serve to illustrate the core concepts and guiding principles concerning astrological transits. The e.ample of 1r. Toad’s !ild 2ide speaks to the e.periential +uality of life as it evolves. -f we are conscious and aware of the rhythms and patterns of our life, then we might notice that many episodes of our life are radically divergent relative to the episodes that came efore. Standing where we are right now in our lives reflect ack 6 years, 7 years, or even 89 years. Are not the current e.periences, motivations, and environments different4perhaps radically so4from time periods that came efore: From the perspective of the soul, the answer is une+uivocally yes. -f indeed life has its own distinct episodes and chapters, then who or what is doing the changing: -s the ego making conscious decisions to write different chapters in our life or is something else: The childhood e.ample involving the ook with the magnetic penguin speaks to this dilemma4the sense that some force or forces are guiding our life’s 3ourney in various directions. 1r. Toad’s !ild 2ide alludes to the soul’s truth that life is constantly changing. ;ike eing on an amusement ride where we are whipped around to different rooms, the e.periential +uality of life’s constant change is reflected y astrological transits. The e.ample of the penguin’s children’s ook refers to the deep mystery of life’s ever changing flu.. Are we in charge of these changes4a comforta le illusion we often cling to4or like the magnets that shape and contour the penguin’s travels, are there deep and powerful forces that guide our life’s evolution: <eeping these core principles in mind4that transits concern our rapidly changing evolution and the deeper mystery of life4we can now speak of transits in more precise and technical terms. Transits occur as planets move a out in space making significant angular relationships to the positions of the planets at the moment of irth. !e may think of the positions of the heavens at our irth as a snapshot of our soul’s potentials. As planets move a out in space relative to the snapshot of the heavens at our irth, we e.perience different possi ilities and potentials. )ust as in 1r. Toad’s !ild 2ide, we change rooms and e.perience different possi ilities and potentials in our lives when planets make ma3or angular relationships to our irth chart. Transits are not only one of the most powerful techni+ues of astrology ut they are powerful. Period. (ot only do they unlock a hidden dimension of the universe and our life’s meaning in the cosmos, ut they illuminate something like a glo al mind or universal intelligence that is informing, permeating, and infusing everything we e.perience, from the most mundane periods of life to the most powerful and transformative e.periences in our individual and collective lives. Transits may e utili$ed y different people for different reasons, ut if one elieves that our e.perience on earth is to understand, to know, and to discover, then transits are one of the deepest, ama$ing, and illuminating methods to true knowledge that we have yet to unearth. The more one applies the truth of transits to one’s life, the more the divine mystery opens up, the more one’s perceptions change, and the more one’s orientation changes. Through transits, one learns that the earth and one’s life are not meaningless and ar itrary, ut one opens up to a new world of meaning and significance. Breaking through the Newtonian-Cartesian Paradigm From the vantage point of scientific materialism, the possi ility for the legitimacy of astrological transits is oth


This is simply not the case with transits.perience. in a sense. integrate meditation in our daily lives. Astrology.perience archetypal themes that contour and design another’s psyche. From the world view we have inherited from !estern science. certainly the outer planets of (eptune and Pluto carry e.# %8& Although empathy is found in animals. the night sky filtered light into the universe. commune with nature. !hen one endures a Saturn transit to one’s natal Sun. -n this instance. Areg . Transits from Pluto and (eptune can demonstrate times in our lives when incorporating spiritual or transcendent dimensions into our lives takes precedence over and a ove our normal iographical concerns. the prevailing mindset of the !estern !orld since appro. one may use one’s transits not solely for self gain or self interest. astrology affords an illumination into something eyond the material world. has held and still holds that the universe is patterned through and through with a deep intelligence. (ot unlike a giant. or world soul. one of astrology’s great untapped potentials is to transcend the narrow confines of self-interest and to understand the psychology of others. unifying +uality of transiting (eptune. /ften individuals use astrology as tool for control over life’s circumstances. accept the intelligence ar itrarily produced through the lind machinations of 0arwinian evolution.imately 8=79. upside-down strainer or colander. Through transits.pression of this domain. sacred.a surd and untena le. mundane e.ity as seen in human eings. an anima mundi. or a path eyond ego. the asis of these theories are so far removed from everyday e.istsC the human yearning for transcendence. one is participating with an energy that is larger than one’s self.ploration and personal growth. defined empathy as follows? "The state of empathy. -n no small way. The cosmology of some ancient cultures viewed the night sky as a dome.pansion of our consciousness into dimensions eyond the mundane. one can develop greater empathy with the individual that is orn with the com ination. then one has a direct e. transiting planets can e seen as gateways or portals to archetypes. or the dissolving. Still others still use astrology as an instrument for self e. it cannot reach the level of sophistication and comple. (eptune transits may e seen as overtly spiritual ecause they have a +uality that most would identify as 2 . To some degree. and one is a le to connect with universal themes. ecstatic. 0uring (eptune transits. or mysticalD(eptune sym oli$es the e. !hen one endures a difficult rite of passage in life as characteri$ed y a challenging transit. it may e seen as an invitation to cultivate compassion with those that are challenged y a particular energy not 3ust for a short period. Transits allow one to feel into4empathi$e4with individuals that may possess a similar configuration not y transit ut in their irth charts. ut in a lifetime.perience and can e considered the planetary sym ols most associated with the transpersonal or transcendent.periences the maturing or constrictive energy of transiting Saturn. or universal dimensions of human e. the stimulating wildness of transiting >ranus. 'owever. transits can eliminate the guess work when trying to "step into the shoes# of another individual@ they grant tremendous insight into another individual’s psychology. all astrological transits may e assumed to e spiritual or transcendent in capacity. where stars were not unlike holes in the dome which allowed light to shine through. the universe is machine-like and devoid of any intelligence. a therapist who has discussed the transpersonal implications of transits from (eptune and Pluto. the humanistic psychologist. (eptune is certainly the planetary sym ol that is most often associated with spirituality and transcendence. -n a similar way in which ancient cultures saw the stars as illuminating something eyond the dome of the heavens. where the planets serve as sym ols into something eyond three-dimensional reality. for e. we may connect with a mystical su personality. Analogously. Transcendence may e defined as the e.# %E& Significant transits from (eptune can align our consciousness with a heightened recognition of the importance of spirituality. 'owever. material worldD-t represents our longing for spiritual unfoldment toward the state of enlightenment of Self 2eali$ation.perience and appreciation of a dimension eyond self. Increasing Empathy with Others 5mpathy is one of the characteristics of emotional maturity. as the stars were seen as portals to a light eyond the dome. or incorporate numinous dimensions of reality in some capacity. ecause all archetypal energies connect us with a sense of something larger and greater than our selves. or eing empathic. however.periences est descri ed as timeless. This vantage point is simply not defensi le nor plausi le under the implicit assumptions of scientific materialism. *arl 2ogers.ogart. one is a le to understand to a much greater degree than the psychology of others. Astrological transits can e a method of deepening empathy with others. Astrological transits may e used as a timing device to demonstrate when a heightened sense of the transcendent may e availa le to one’s e.perience.perience that one can comforta ly lead one’s daily way of life as if nothing really ever changed or was revolutioni$ed.ample. is to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person. There is a fundamental incongruence etween the world view of science and the world view of astrology. ut to roaden and deepen one’s empathic connection with others. Although a reak down of this world view occurred with the results from +uantum physics and 5instein’s theory of relativity. !hen one goes through a significant transit. for the peace that only comes from e.pressions of self that are eyond typical. Connection with Transcendence Almost all attempts to define the relatively ne ulous domain of spirituality include transcendence as an integral e. astrological transits can reak down the hold of the (ewtonian-*artesian paradigm. -t some sense. and is considered a defining characteristic of emotional intelligence. ecause one is a le to directly e.perience of something that is in radical contrast to the mindset and world view of the (ewtonian *artesian paradigm. -f one e. suggests that "Bthere e.

this medium that appears to carry life ever onward. "the Tao that can e named is not the Tao.perience that suggested that the visi le world of three-dimensional reality is shaped y forces that are not readily seen.# %6& Pluto transits. and peaceful. So. Although as the 5astern mystics suggest.perience. they may e seen as two sides of the same coin.# transits do allow one to understand the dynamic unfoldment or logical progression of the Tao in one’s life. The )ungian analyst )une Singer wrote of the strange relationship etween the visi le and invisi le worlds? "The proper relationship of the one to the other is in a commitment to the process of ringing a out an understanding etween the two worlds.tremely important way of articulating something which has always eluded concrete definition? the Tao. such as the latest advances in technology. The Tao is also a useful tool for understanding transits ecause the metaphor of the river of life that is essential to the Tao often provides an antidote to our !estern way of viewing life with discrete divisions and distinct endings and eginnings. Pluto may rather tear us apart from our attachments and what needs to e outgrown. As such.# %7& The commitment to studying transits is an e. /nce again. ut. and universal compassion. it demands a perceptual shift of great magnitude. although transiting (eptune and Pluto have radically different +ualities associated with them. a seeing through occurred into dimensions of e. used properly. the Tao has several analogues in many of the world’s wisdom teachings? *hi %*hinese philosophy&@ prana %Gedic though&@ <i %)apanese thought&@ li ido %psychodynamic theory&@ vital energy %homeopathy&@ luminiferous aether %science&@ or Hlan vital %'enri . Seeing through the isi!"e #or"d !ith the advent of +uantum physics in science and the rise of depth psychology. the literal and the archetypal. "(eptune is the transpersonal ideal. all terms point to the intuition that all phenomena move through some sort of medium or su stance that is impossi le to concreti$e ut can only e known through reflection upon one’s e.ike a river of eternally changing phenomena.cellent way to ridge the seeming incommensura ility of the invisi le and visi le world. the study of astrological transits has no inherent spiritual or ethical value. Pluto transits have a uni+uely opposite flavoring. there does seem to e an inherent egalitarianism to its study. is eternally present yet never static. the stream of individual and collective consciousness.ity and potential for depth. the in-depth study of transits can illuminate the rich interplay etween these two worlds. As transits defer to oth the empirical and the sym olic. unitive. astrology almost invaria ly deepens one’s notion of what spirituality is ecause of its comple. sensory world. often painfully and forci ly. astrological transits can e an e. and our illusions.cellent gateway into spirituality ecause there is a ridge to the empirical.heartfelt. /ften the enigmatic "eye of the soul# is the name given to the sensing tool that can discriminate and perceive things in the invisi le world@ however allusions to the eye of the soul can often e offputting to those who prefer to see the world in a more literal. The Tao is "the intelligent ordering principle ehind the unceasing flow of change in the natural world. Although there may e no inherent value in the tool of astrological transits. rip us from our attachments. Pluto is the ordeal that tests us in preparation for the transpersonal life. enlightenment. For those already on a spiritual path. Thus. our ideals.#%F& . Although there are important distinctions etween these terms.# -n psychology and science.ogart suggests. -n order to fully appreciate the nature of transits. the vision of unity. Although the heart of an 5astern philosophical tradition. purifying us of self-centered intentions and motivations. For those weary of spiritual matters and who do not elieve in anything esides the material world. Areg . fluid way of entering into the dynamics of transits that the Tao affords allows a more accurate understanding of the presence of transits in our lives. it can propel one into a much deeper relationship to one’s self and the world in which one inha its. ut can only e seen through with intuition and faculties such as imagination. The more flowing. Conc"usion Astrology is a tool. The invisi le world is never on the periphery of one’s sensing organs. Transits are a way to uncover the logic of the Tao. and like any other tool or medium.ergson&. the twentieth century was referred to y author 2ichard Panek as the "-nvisi le *entury. 3 . less sym olic fashion. !hile (eptune may gently ease us into a state of grace and transcendence. Recognition of the Tao Transits may also e an e. according to the Tao. pitting us in the darker terrain of our life. there is no intrinsic value within the tool itself. the pioneers of psychology and +uantum physics plum ed the depths of their respective areas of study with empirical tools to unearth the rather ama$ing finding that there are things which guide and contour life of which we were not fully conscious.