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Natal Charts, Transits & Predictions

Understanding charts, transits, and astrological predictions.

The Natal Chart, or the Birth Chart, is very much like a snapshot of the sky at the moment we took our first breath. The Natal Chart shows the positions of the planets and points by sign, house, and aspect - as viewed from Earth - at the exact time and location of birth. It holds an important key to every individual because of two primary reasons:
The Sun Sign, is only the position of the Sun at the moment of the birth. It provides a "backdrop" of the individual's personality, which are altered by the positions of the other planets (at the time of birth). The Natal Chart provides the entire "snapshot" of the positions of relevant planets, and their aspects - at the time of birth. In other words, the Natal Chart provides a lot more information, than just the position of the Sun - thus allowing interpretations based on the synthesis of influences of the planets.
While gaining insights or predicting future events, the ongoing transits of the planets are considered with relations to the original positions of the planets at the time of the birth. In the absence of the Natal Chart, only a generic (and less accurate) interpretation may be achieved.
In the absence of an exact time (or location), a Natal Chart is derived by considering a range - based on the movement of the planets during the said period. This is assumed to be as good, but certain interpretations are based only on approximations.
Transits are the movement of the planets - from one sign to another, one house to another - based on their periodicity. We carry our Natal Chart with us, for the rest of our lives. With time, the planets and luminaries continue their movement and cycles. However, as the planets and points move ahead, they form special relationships to the planets and points in our individual natal charts - affecting us, throughout our lives.
For example, if the Sun in a Natal Chart is at 25 degrees Virgo, and Saturn is moving towards that same degree of Gemini (25 degrees of Gemini), Saturn is said to be transiting square the natal Sun. Similarly, if Saturn is in 25 degrees Gemini, we can look in the Natal Chart to see where Saturn would fall in terms of house position. If that degree of Gemini is found in the 3rd house, then we would know that Saturn is transiting through the 3rd house.

Transits tend to challenge and pressure us to make changes in our lives and in our attitudes. They pull our parts of ourselves, or our pasts, and "force" us to face them. They bring us joy and sometimes sorrow. Secondary progressions, on the other hand, reveal our cycles of maturity and growth, showing us how our personalities unfold.
Transits do not add something, but act to stimulate what is already there. In other words, planetary transits trigger (or highlight) certain psychological features that are already present in the Natal Chart.
Predictive Astrology - Explaining the basics of predictions
Most astrologers use a variety of techniques to understand the past, and to "look into the future" of an individual. However, all techniques and practices revolve around the Natal Chart, and the analysis of the planetary transits and cycles. Here are some "rules of the thumb":
Eclipses, and Retrograde Motions tend to change our preferences. It is advisable that major decisions and actions (like marriage, accepting a job offer, etc) should be deferred during this period - from a week before to week after the Eclipse (or Retrograde Motion) is over. By this time, we should get comfortable and "see through" our altered preferences and act accordingly. They usually do not mark a life-changing influence, and individuals are advised to "go about" their daily lives - but no major commitment should be made during the aforementioned period. This applies, throughout all transits of all planets.
Outer Planets First, Inner Planets Later
Inner planet transits, referred as "minor transits" have smaller periodicity. Not that they do not have major influences, they do - but only for a small period of time. For example, The Moon goes through each sign within 27.32 days, and the Venus would go through all signs in 225 days. Technically, each sign recieves 1/12th of the planet's attention. This is the reason that these transits are "minor".
The outer planets stay in each sign for a longer period of time, and thus, affect us in large chunks and influence life-changing events. The Jupiter, for example, spends almost a year in each sign - thus affecting the sign for a long period of time, to make us alter our lifestyles under its influence.

This is the reason that "major" transits of the outer planets are used to gain insights of the bigger scenario, and the "minor" transits of the inner planets are used to refining or exemplify the details within that period.
Working "outside in" offers the best technique to obtain a broader overview of the longer-lasting transits and conditions, and provides a better context for the refinements that the inner planet transits offer us.
Saturn-Jupiter forms the "Backdrop"
The period of revolution of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are 84 years, 165 years and 248 years, respectively. It is obvious that they spend a lot of time in each sign, and occupies the same position in the Natal Chart for the entire generation, per say. Unless it is a ruling planet of the sign, their impact are observed but do not form the general trend of a year.
On the other hand, Jupiter spends an entire year in a sign and Saturn spends almost 3 years in a sign. The transits of these two planets form the general trend of a year, or a period of 3-5 years.
A glance at the transiting Saturn by house provides "where a person is at" in an overall achievement sense, and the transiting Jupiter is by house provides "a person's general motivation". However, before analysing the details of Saturn and Jupiter in further details, a note should be made whether transiting Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto are making any major aspects to the individual's natal Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Ascendant, or Midheaven.

Many times an outer planet transits our natal point once by direct motion, moves forward and then retrogrades back over that point, only to turn direct again and pass that same natal point for the final time in that cycle. Generally, the seeds of the transit are being sown in the first part of this cycle (when the transiting planet first "hits" our natal point), and the "problem" or crisis reaches a head during the middle part of this cycle (when the transiting planet retrogrades back over the point). Finally, the situation is resolved around the time the transiting planet moves over our natal point for the final time in the cycle. Note: we often "see" or "feel" some sense of imminent resolution when the transiting planet goes direct after its retrograde period, before it passes again over our transited point. If our experience of the transit has been a crisis, then we feel marked release at this point. This is likely because a planet going direct after a period of retrogradation is symbolic, in general, of resolve.
Transiting Outer Planets
Transiting Jupiter is an influence that acts to expand and enlarge one's world, including one's inner world. Jupiter transits allow growth and expansion of consciousness involving the conditions and natures of the houses and planets involved. One's confidence and level of joy is increased in these areas of life, and the native will feel motivated to improve or gain in these areas. These are times in our lives when we feel a little more free and confident, and are not as aware of restraints. Problems arise when we overdo, and are so confident that we ignore reality and don't think of consequences. However, just as we need Saturn to remind us that we need to buckle down, we also need Jupiter to remind us that we won't get very far if we don't believe in ourselves.
Transiting Saturn teaches us to take responsibility for ourselves. Saturn's effect is to crystallize, to ground, and to solidify. Saturn makes us accountable for ourselves wherever it touches. Each house and planet governs specific areas of our lives, and of our personalities, and transits of Saturn will bring these areas up for “inspection”, re-organization, and restructure. At the outset of a Saturn transit, we might feel like the world is a cold place. If we are mature, we will at some point come to the realization that we cannot always pass blame for our lives. We need to reach within and pull out our own inner strength — to rely on ourselves. Saturn wants us to work hard, direct our energies into practical, useful, and meaningful projects, and to live in the here and now. This period in our lives is a time for building a solid foundation. Moderation at this point in our lives is necessary for our spiritual growth and our physical bodies as well. Saturn transits are times for learning about our personal limits as well as our inner stores of strength.
Transiting Uranus acts to disrupt, change, and re-do whatever it touches. Uranus frees us from thinking inside the box, and offers us opportunities for reaching out and trying something completely new. While Saturn slows us down, Uranus speeds up our lives, offering us chances to take some risks and to experiment with totally new ways of living and interacting with others and our environment. Uranus is forward-looking and does not have patience with lifestyles or attitudes that are attached to the past or the traditional. Transiting Uranus shakes us up and offers us a chance to be more aware of our individuality. Uranus doesn't accept stagnation nor does it accept restriction. Personal freedom is highlighted. Transiting Uranus acts to awaken and to make us aware of our feelings of being restricted and constricted.
Transiting Neptune acts to dissolve boundaries, and to sensitize, spiritualize, and refine whatever it touches. It makes us more aware, although it is important to note that Neptune awareness is unlike Uranus awareness. Neptune sensitizes us to our surroundings and to people, but that sensitization can also make us more vulnerable. Our personal boundaries begin to dissolve, and confusion can be a byproduct. Neptune can make us aware of inner dissatisfaction with our lives in the areas and parts of ourselves that it transits, and leaves us with a feeling of wanting more, spiritually speaking. We might open ourselves up to new dimensions of experience, but we can also open ourselves up to delusions and escaping reality. While Saturn reveals to us hard reality, Neptune doesn't want much to do with reality and boundaries.

Transiting Pluto offers us the chance to evolve and to rebirth. Pluto acts to strip away what is unnecessary or superficial in our lives. Pluto wants deep experience, of the transformational kind. Things that are not working for us, whether they are thought processes or lifestyles, undergo a transformation. Pluto transits bring about rebirths of sorts in the areas of life affected. Pluto transits are about letting go of things that are holding us back from experience.
Aspects in Transits
A transiting conjunction (0 degrees) tends to intensify the focus. The results can be dramatic or flowing, depending on the nature of the planets involved and their compatibility.
A transiting sextile (60 degrees) tends to involve easy changes. These aspects provide opportunities, and enforce changes that neither you nor outside influences can resist.
A transiting square (90 degrees) tends to set up a challenge. These aspects enforce us to take necessary actions, by circumstances of resistance from within and/or from outside influences.
A transiting trine (120 degrees) tends to create a flowing dynamic for creative opportunities to grow and expand. These aspects may pass unnoticed (or unappreciated) due to absence of challenge or confrontation, during this period.

A transiting opposition (180 degrees) tends to involve a conflict between oneself and another, and/or between one's inner world and the outside world.
When interpreting inter-chart aspects (aspects between two charts), in synastry, one should note that:
Each person whose planet is involved will likely take on the role of that planet, or play out the energies of that planet, in that particular interaction. For example, if A's Saturn conjuncts B's Sun, A will likely take on the role of Saturn in the relationship when B is expressing his or her own Sun qualities. Likewise, B will play out the energies of the Sun when faced with A's expression of Saturn. You can think of it as a game, in a sense. When B is expressing individuality, A picks up his or her Saturn role.
The sign and house placements of each planet should be considered. If one person's Sun conjuncts another person's Saturn, both in Scorpio, the interplay will be expressed differently than if the conjunction were in Sagittarius. We must pay closer attention to inner planet inter-aspects, as well as inter-aspects involving relationship significators in each chart. For example, if the relationship is a committed one, we note the planet that rules the seventh house for each individual and consider the interaspects it makes as especially significant.
Power Days, Energy Cycles, Fresh Start
If the transiting Moon conjuncts the natal Sun, which happens every month for a few days, these are generally considered "power days" that indicate heightened emotion based on the overall trend.
If transiting Mars comes near the sign of the natal Mars, it indicates an increase in personal energy, which wanes as Mars moves away from the sign of the natal Mars. This is known as Energy Cycle, that happens every two years. For that matter, one's personal energy is at its lowest when Mars transits the opposing sign.

If the New Moon contacts a natal planet or point, it indicates a renewed focus in that area of life for a period of approximately one month. For example, if the New Moon conjuncts our natal Venus, we will experience a "fresh start" and a new perspective in Venus matters (such as love and money).
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