Astrology can be confusing and overwhelming. You may or may not be familiar with the word “transit” – astrologers tend to use this term a lot because it is a very important part of astrology, and it is especially important in predictive astrology.
Maybe you are not familiar with the term “transit” but you read that “Jupiter moves into Scorpio” or “Venus switches signs and is now in Virgo” – these are in fact, planetary transits.
But most importantly, you want to know how a transit is going to affect you. What does it mean for you that Jupiter moves into Scorpio? What does it mean for you that Venus is now in Virgo?
If an astrologer says “look at where you have 28° Leo in your natal chart to see how the Eclipse is going to affect you” – how do you know where you have 28° Leo?
To understand how the planetary transits are going to affect you, let’s firstly try to explain what a transit is.
Every day the sky is changing. In Astrology, the movements of the planets in the sky relative to the Earth are called ‘Transits’.
When the Sun moves across the sky, and rises a little bit east or west than it did the day before, that is a transit. The transit of the Sun.
When the Moon is Full and shines brightly in the night sky, or when the Moon is a tiny sliver of a crescent waxing moon, that is a transit. The transit of the Moon.
In the same way, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, rise and set in a different place in the sky every day. These are also transits.
Let’s look at the definition of the word “transit” – “the act or fact of passing across or through; a passage from one place to another”.
We now understand that a “transit” is only relative to something. When you want to know how a planetary transit is going to affect you, you are in fact looking at your natal chart, transited by the planets in a specific moment in time.
A transit chart is always a comparison between the sky at the moment of your birth with the sky at a specific moment in time.
Let’s say your birthday is January 1st 1970. This is your natal chart, and it never changes. However, a transit can be at any moment in time. You can look for transits on June 5th 1998, or October 10th 2017, basically at any moment in time, in the past or future.
Below I will take you step by step through the process of reading transits, so that you learn how exactly the planetary transits are going to affect you.
Of course, you can follow the process with other people’s natal charts, and will be able to find out how the transits are going to affect them.
Firstly, you will create your natal chart. There are several websites where you can generate your chart – we will use astro.com
Go to www.astro.com
1. On the astro.com landing page, you click on “Free horoscopes”
2. You will then be prompted to the page below. Click on “Extended chart selection”
3. Go to the “guest user” section and click on “click here to go to the data entry page”. (later if you wish you can also create and account on astro.com to store your data)
4. You will know create your guest profile to generate your natal chart. Put your name down and the birth details: birthday, time of birth, country, and birth town as shown below:
5. Almost there! You now go to “Chart type” and scroll down until you find “Natal chart and transits”. Then you select “Natal chart and transits”
You then go to “Start date for charts marked with*” and you put the date for the transit you are interested in. If you are interested in the transits for today, you leave it as it is, because the current date is set by default.
If you are interested in let’s say the date when Jupiter moves into Scorpio, which is October 10th, you then put this date “10 Oct 2017”
Lastly, go to “House system” and select “whole signs”
6. Your chart and the planetary transits for October 10th 2017 are generated! All the planets inside the wheel, colored black, represent the position of the planets at the time of your birth. This is your natal chart. The planets outside the circle, colored green, represent the transits, i.e. the position of the planets in the sky on October 10th
When you read transits, what you really do, is to compare the position of the planets at the time when you were born, with the position of the planets for the date you want to forecast.
Now you know that “transit” in astrology means a comparison – between the sky at the time when you were born, with the sky at a given date. Imagine someone took a photo of the sky when you were born, and then they take a photo of the sky right now.
If you compare the two photos, you will see where the planets are positioned in the sky right now relative to where they were positioned when you were born. This is what a transit is.
In our example – let’s say you want to see how Jupiter’s move into Scorpio will affect you.
For this, you look where Jupiter is found outside the circle (if you want to see where Jupiter was positioned at the time of your birth, you would look inside the circle – remember inside the circle is your natal chart, outside the circle, is the transit)
Planet Jupiter is highlighted in red – can you see it? This is the Jupiter transit.
You now want to see how the Jupiter transit is going to affect you. For this, you need to look inside the circle, and find the corresponding number (from 1 to 12). The numbers from 1 to 12 are called houses. When a planet inside the circle is in a certain house, you call it a natal placement. When a planet outside the circle is in a certain house, you call it a transit.
In Jupiter inside the circle is in your 12th house, you say “my natal Jupiter is in my 12th house”. If Jupiter outside the circle is in your 12th house, you say “Jupiter currently transits my 12th house”.
The planets inside the circle never change. Your natal chart never changes. But the planets outside the circle always change.
This is how you read a transit. You look at the planets outside the circle and which houses they pass. In the example below, Jupiter will transit your 12th house.
7. Let’s take another example. In the same chart, you now want to check the Moon. You want to find out which house in your natal chart is transited by the Moon.
In the example below, Moon transits the 7th house.
8. Now let’s take a different example, a little more difficult. Let’s say you read that the Solar Eclipse in Leo falls at 28° Leo, and you want to find out which part of your chart will be affected.
In the example below, 28° Leo is in the 9th house. Although you don’t see the 28°, you can see a small grid – the sign of Leo is split into 30 small lines, each one representing one zodiacal degree. Therefore, 28° Leo is where you count the 28th line inside the sign of Leo.
This is how you find out how a transit is going to affect you.
You now know that for someone born on January 1st 1970 at 5:32 AM in LA, California, Jupiter is going to transit their 12th house, so matters related to the 12th house will come into focus from October 10th, when Jupiter moves into Scorpio, until November 9th, 2018.
Astrology is a bit more complex than that, there are different ways to calculate the houses (you may be more familiar with Placidus house system for example) – but the whole signs, the system we just used, is a very good start if you are just starting with astrology.
Also, although houses are the most important things to look at when you want to interpret transits, they are not the only thing to look at. Planets also transit signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc.) and make aspects to your natal planets (conjunction, trine, square, opposition etc.)
But I will write more about these in the next articles.
Now it’s time to practice. You can play around with your chart, choose a few dates you want to check transits for, and see how the planets transit the houses of your natal chart.