(In plain English, by popular request)
By Carole Devine

After a couple years of stress, it looks like a more comfortable year is ahead. I’m a bit burned out on war and politics, so this will be a more personal and metaphysical approach to the outer planets’ transits. We can tell whether or not a year will be generally a challenge by how the outer planets line up. For instance, during the depression in the early 30’s, the planets’ formations were particularly stressful.

The outer planets, that is, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, and their constantly changing interaction, show us the outline of history -- not events, particularly, but our evolutionary lessons as time goes on. They influence the collective mass consciousness in particular directions so that we can concentrate on one lesson, or combination of lessons, at a particular point in time. If you have positions in your personal chart that coincides with these, then you will feel it more than others. The drama going on in politics, entertainment, or any other scenario that gets our attention is just how we each choose to express these energies in our own unique way, some of us having more influence over the masses than others.

Jupiter/Pluto and Jupiter/Uranus are the only planets that are in stressful positions to each other this year. They are in similar relationship every three or four years, so it isn’t earth shaking. Even though the USA and George Bush have some difficulties, it is not that way with the general mass configurations that affect us as a global community. The combination of Jupiter and Pluto is good for reform and change in law and religion, and in fact, with Uranus in Pisces (representing reform in spiritual matters among other things) and Pluto sextile Neptune for the last several decades, we have been heading toward this for a long time. You can expect to see people being more dedicated and focused on finding out the truth up to late July. Most of us will over extend commitments, too.

Even though Jupiter opposes Uranus later on from April through early June, I don’t consider that a negative thing. Any combination of these two is called a “Thank the Lord” aspect by someone I don’t remember. It brings relief of tension and positive fast-moving events. Often mass consciousness is open to new ideas and more flexible than usual. Humor is evident. It is even supported by a positive connection to Saturn most of that time, which adds discipline and a sense of responsibility on the part of all of us.

From now through May a positive interaction between Saturn and Uranus indicates that we are more intuitively sensible in general and better able to assess situations correctly. However, from around May 25 through June, we have some repeating formations from last year that affect the USA and George Bush requiring some adjustments or else they may learn things the hard way. As I said before, if we did not have to consider the natal charts of George Bush and the USA, it would be a great year. However, they are powerful influences on the whole world, so we will be aware of their issues. That has all been discussed before, so there is no need to repeat it all now.

What Do the Outer Planets Mean for Individuals?

Aries and Leo are fortunate to have more focus in their lives than usual, especially if there are planets in one’s natal chart in the middle of these signs. Many changes are going on for the better that will last a long time. However, those born close to February 4th through 7th, May 5th through 8th, August 7th through 10th and November 7th through 10th, are finding it hard to be absolutely sure of direction. There can be flexibility (or confusion) added to a fixed nature, but at the same time, feelings of ineffectiveness. On the other hand, particularly with Aquarius, insights could be quite sensitive and inspired. It is a good time to study or concentrate on spiritual matters. There is a slow evolutionary process going on that, although not clear now, will be understood in a year or so. Keep things open-ended.

People born at the very beginning of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius will find it a very exciting year. Old molds are broken, new adventures abound and existing conditions are suddenly and abruptly changed. Hang on and enjoy the ride! However, those who are born in these same signs but later on… March 11th to 14th, June 11th to 14th, September 14th to 17th, and December 13th to 16th are in a profound time of their lives where major insight into oneself is what counts. Many will recognize some past behavior patterns that are no longer bringing rewards and will seek to change them. Or it may be forced for some reason, depending on how introspective and humble one might be.

You have all probably heard ad nauseum about father time, Saturn, which most people see as the “bad guy” of the zodiac. I love Saturn. Think about it. Saturn rules bones and structure. We would all be belly-crawling worms without our skeletal structure. My teacher, Gina Ceaglio, put it quite well one evening when she was lecturing about Saturn through the houses. She said that if you have system, order and structure in your life wherever Saturn is exerting an influence, “Who is going to hassle you?” The only time people feel discomfort about Saturn is when structure or discipline is needed. Therefore, if Saturn is transiting your second house (determined by your time of birth, not your sun sign), money problems (a second house issue) will not manifest unless you need discipline in that area. I am still in the middle of that one, and I’ve never been so “on top of it all” financially in my life. I guess I didn’t need that lesson anymore. Incidentally, for those of you who don’t know, Saturn has a 27 to 30 year orbit, so it will only go through a specific house once every 27 to 30 years.

The signs especially experiencing Saturn’s influence right now are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Saturn entered the arena affecting these by going into Cancer on June 3, 2003. It will remain there until July 2005. This is a shorter sojourn than usual, the average being two years and six months. At the very least these signs will find that things move slowly. Usually, when Saturn is active in a sign that affects you, it takes longer to reach goals, obstacles are more likely to manifest, and you have to work a little harder in general. If you need structure or discipline in an area of your life, then you would be mercifully granted some experience pointing this out to you. Everything is ultimately good. But, if discipline isn’t needed, “Who’s going to hassle you?” You might find, instead, that things are simply moving a little more slowly than you’d prefer.

Jupiter is now half way through Virgo. Whenever Jupiter moves through your sun sign, which is every twelve years for the duration of one year, you would probably describe it as a “lucky” year. Jupiter has been nicknamed the “greater benefic”, Venus being the lesser one. When Jupiter affects any part of the chart, things grow and expand. When it is in your sun sign, confidence is high. It isn’t that you are lucky; you are just more outgoing and sure of yourself, and therefore, since “as you think, so you are,” positive things are attracted to you. Other signs reaping the benefits of this on a smaller scale are Capricorn, Cancer, Taurus, Pisces and Scorpio. Only thing is, every one of these has another, but different, influence that is going to take precedence. Each person’s pattern is unique.


Very important note:

The above generalities are not meant to be a forecast to rely on. I only do it because it is requested, and for those who will not look deeper, it is better than nothing at all. I offer computerized reports on my website for that same reason. They are better than nothing at all. Most people cannot imagine how intricate and detailed a person’s chart is until they experience it. Nor do they realize how much work is involved. Each person on the earth is unique, as is his or her chart. When you add progressions, solar arcs, tertiary progressions, return charts, etc. to a forecast, each life becomes a one-of-a-kind story….just like DNA. Even then, your life isn’t totally predictable. It shows your line of least resistance, but it is only potential because of your decisions. However, on an ongoing basis, an Astrologer can tell you what the potential is for the current time in your life and give you a stronger sense of direction than you can most likely get on your own. Naturally, there are very spiritually advanced souls who can rely accurately on their own inner voice, but for most of us a birth chart is a blessed road map.


The Big Picture

Most of you may think that when we talk of transits (where planets are in real time), it sounds very disorganized and confusing. Actually, there is a pattern and rhythm to it all that is not only orderly, but philosophically amazing.

We can divide the planets into two categories…personal and generational. The personal planets are those close to the Sun. The Sun and Moon are the most personal at all, although not literally planets. Mercury, Venus and Mars are fast-moving and their cycles are so frequent that they cannot possibly have a great deal to do with the unfolding of history except as triggers. That is, when there are major configurations of outer planets in force, they will be like a “cocked gun” waiting for a “trigger” to set them off. Mars and lunations (full and new moons) are the strongest triggers. Eclipses, which are more powerful lunations, are even stronger. An eclipse is a new or full moon that occurs on the plane of the Ecliptic (the Earth’s path around the Sun). Outer planetary patterns can stay in force for many, many months or years, and so they can be triggered many times, as well, which makes it more difficult to pinpoint exactly when they will manifest most dramatically.
The generational planets, Jupiter to Pluto, are slow in their travel around the sun. Jupiter takes twelve years, Saturn averages 29.5 years, Uranus takes 84 years, Neptune makes it around the Sun in 165 years and Pluto takes 248 years to make the journey.

This is the way it works: Let’s take the two most distant planets, Pluto and Neptune. Pluto represents total change or re-birth. Neptune represents our spiritual growth. History about changes in our spiritual attitudes will be tied to the interplay between these. This long cycle starts at the time the two seem to align in the sky. That is, if you were looking into space, Neptune would appear to be right in front of Pluto. That starts a major cycle of about 500 years until the next time they align. We had such an alignment in the 1390’s and the next was in the 1890’s. Both of these new cyclic beginnings brought major change within the first quarter of the cycle. The protestant reformation in the 1500’s, for instance, and in this century we have yet to see where our spiritual discontent will take us. But change is definitely going on, and it is most important.

To continue, both are moving and so the faster one, Neptune, forms aspects to Pluto as it moves ahead. At the point where it would be 90 degrees ahead of Pluto there would be a conflict. That is when the rebellion is most evident, but that 90 degree aspect, which is called a square, will last for years. Then the opposition will form around 250 years after the alignment and bring another time of rebellion. Then there is one more closing 90 degree aspect (just imagine it like you would the third quarter moon phase) with more change to finalize that cycle of growth. Then back to a new alignment and the beginning of a new cycle of development.

Every two pairs of the outer planets are forming these huge cycles all the time. Pluto has one with Uranus too, and that one is really dramatic! In the sixties we had the last beginning of that cycle – the alignment, and you know how turbulent that was. The first 90 degree time (the first square) is going to arrive in 2012, and it will strongly resemble the mid-sixties. It is all complicated because Pluto also has a cycle with Saturn and Jupiter. The latter one is a fast moving drama that is easier to see since it’s usually in one’s lifetime.

I hope this gives you a vision of how the outer planets have long predictable cycles that give us the ability to understand what is happening and why on a larger, detached level. It is all a brilliant clock in the sky guiding us in our evolution so that we learn from our experiences. Some lessons move quickly, but others take centuries to unfold and conclude.

Ref: "Thank the Lord" combination of Jupiter - Uranus was coined by Reinhold Ebertin and appears in his Combination of Stellar Influences on page 172.


Solar Arc Directions
How to Read Life’s Roadmap
By Carole Devine

A thorough explanation of Solar Arc: math, theory and application.

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