personal growth

Transits and Transformation: Turning Crisis into Healing

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to our birthchart planets, or “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose-calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

The planets in our birthchart also “progress” through time, particularly the inner planets which move more quickly. The placement of the planets in our “progressed” chart offer additional information about the person that we have become; this serves as a transparent overlay that defines us at this moment in time. The relationship of the planets in our progressed chart to our birthchart offers additional information about our current situation.

These transits can initiate great opportunities and personal distress for us, but even in the most difficult of crises, hidden in the pain is a gift that opens the doorway into the realization and connection of the soul. Each planet can be identified as a god demanding us to delve deep within ourselves. Encounters with these gods through the challenging planetary transits (squares and oppositions) bring burdens, but also offer great gifts. In making an offering to these gods, we are better able to receive their gifts of transformation.

Saturn

The myth: Saturn was the son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). During his rule he created the division of time and the seasons, establishing cosmic order and history. Saturn, fearing that his children would depose him, swallowed each child at birth. His last child, Zeus, eventually overpowered Saturn in a great war and imprisoned him in the Tartarus, a dark gloomy region at the ends of the earth.

The burden: Saturn places restrictions and obstacles before us, making it difficult to move forward in our desired direction. We may feel sad, lonely, and weighed down by an overwhelming sense of inertia. Saturn is the god of time, telling us that time is fleeting and we must take our lives seriously. He wants us to be responsible, to respect society’s structures. He is the difficult father that can instill insecurity and self-doubt. During a Saturn transit we often feel dark and lonely, mirroring Saturn’s gloomy imprisonment. The structures and rules that Saturn values so much can feel oppressive. We are likely to experience difficulties in our daily lives: back pain, dental problems, automobile breakdowns – events that limit our ability to move forward as we desire.

The gift: Saturn is like the Beast in old fairy tales; behind his ugly and fearful exterior lies the Handsome Prince. Herein lies the alchemy over which Saturn presides: the psychospiritual process in which pain and difficulty leads one to greater wholeness and integration. Saturn is not stingy in his rewards when we delve deep and obey his call for introspection and discipleship. The limitations and obstacles are simply tools to encourage us to look within and convert the lead of our existence into the gold of increased awareness.

The offering: When we enter into discipleship with Saturn, we discover the truth about ourselves and our nature. Saturn demands that we look deeply into our motivations, our desires, and our truths. Spend as much time alone as possible, journaling, examining the structures of your life and look at ways they can be improved. Offer up a plan for the future and Saturn will reward you with spiritual and material success. Open gently the doors to feelings of sadness and insecurity; this is the base material for the alchemical process. When you face your darkness with courage, you allow the light to enter and Saturn’s blessings will certainly follow.

Uranus

The myth: Uranus was the sky god married to Gaia, the earth mother-god. Uranus ruled the limitless space of the heavens. He and Gaia had many children, all of them odd and deformed: the giant Titans, the Cyclopses, and monsters with multiple limbs and heads. These children did not meet his ideals, and Uranus forced them back into Gaia’s womb (the earth). Ultimately his son Saturn castrated Uranus , symbolizing an archetypal battle between these two gods.

The burden: Uranus demands freedom of expression, revolution against repression, an idealistic utopia. Uranus rattles our cages, pressuring us to remember that we are creative and unique individuals. If we cling tooo tightly to Saturn’s structures and the security they bring, the challenging Uranus transits can increase anxiety and shake our very roots. We may suddenly crave changes in all structures of our life and experience insomnia and restlessness.

The gift: Uranus offers the gift of individual freedom and new beginnings. Uranus often provides brilliant insights and breakthroughs of awareness. A veil is lifted, and we are able to see past our fears to more freedom, an ideal life that better suits the person we have become.

The offering: Uranus requires us to let go of old habits, routines and structures that keep us from actualizing our potential. It demands that we open our minds to new ideas, new visions. It floods us with electrical energy and asks that we channel it into new pathways of thought, of feeling, and of living. Think outside the box; imagine new ways of structuring your life that serve your own unique potential.

Neptune

The myth: Neptune was the brother of Pluto and of Jupiter, and after the three brothers overthrew their father Saturn, Neptune received dominion over the seas. Neptune was known not only for his watery domain, but also for his legendary rage which caused him to create great storms with his trident and gave him control over earthquakes. Neptune had many lovers, but fell desperately in love with the water nymph Amphitrite who later became his wife.

The burden: Neptune commands the dissolution of ego and the yearning of the individual for a divine experience. During a challenging Neptune transit, the dissolving process can be confusing and disorienting and leave us vulnerable to fantasy and deception. In our search for the divine we may seek solace in drugs or lose ourselves in excessive media exposure. We are more likely to be deceived at these times due to a temporary inability to discriminate between fantasy and reality. We may be overly empathetic and lose our sense of self.

The gift: Neptune unites the soul and the self with the divine and facilitates the ascension process. During a transit of Neptune we have a direct doorway into the wisdom of the unconscious. Our dreams speak loudly to us if we listen, and provide information from the collective unconscious as well as our own subconscious mind. Neptune also offers the gift of empathy, psychic ability, artistic creation and music.

The offering: Neptune calls upon us to dissolve the boundaries of our individual ego and merge with the consciousness of the divine. We can honor Neptune by spending time in meditation and contemplation, and in body/mind/spirit activities such as yoga or tai chi that will unite and align us with the wisdom of our inner selves. We can ask to recognize where truth lies so that we can follow Neptune’s higher road of spiritual awareness. Neptune’s gift is none other than realization of the individual soul.

Pluto

The myth: Pluto is the god of the underworld, of death. Pluto owned a helmet that rendered him invisible, and he left no traces on the earth. Pluto is also the god of wealth and bestower of riches. He was often portrayed as being deaf to prayers and unappeased by sacrifices. He fell in love with Persephone and abducted her into the underworld, making her his queen and demonstrating that he wasn’t completely without heart.

The burden: In psychological astrology, Pluto represents the will of the higher self, the transpersonal self. Pluto’s realm is empowerment and transformation; he is unconcerned with our individual desires and plans. Transits of Pluto instigate death and rebirth, endings and beginnings. A Pluto transit can feel like a tornado in which one’s entire world is picked up, spun about, and dropped in a completely new and different place. Pluto takes us into the underworld and forces us to view emotions and qualities that have long been buried in the unconscious.

The gift: Pluto offers nothing less than complete spiritual evolution, the release of the caterpillar into the divine destiny of the butterfly. Pluto is the god of buried treasure – he reveals the ugliest aspects of our nature: jealousy, aggression and rage, revealing our true inner power that lies beneath. He forces us, often kicking and screaming, to let go of those aspects of our life that no longer serve our empowerment process, freeing us to realize our greatest potential.

The offering: Pluto insists that we step aside to let him facilitate our transformation. He demands that we trust the process, to let go of our own desires and plans for our future and allow the transformation to take place. Surrender is the key here, and a desire for wisdom. A Pluto transit may bring us the ultimate power struggle – that between the will of our higher self for transformation and our own individual desires.

The synchronicity inherent in the cycles life offers us many opportunities as well as challenges. Understanding the nature of these cycles provide insight that can assist us in our own evolutionary process.

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By | 2013-08-16T14:05:46+00:00 August 16th, 2013|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Lessons|5 Comments

From the archives: The Ebb and Flow of the Cycles of Time

astrological transitsby Lynn Hayes, reposted from 2006.  Mandala by Paul Heussenstam.

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to each other as they travel through the solar system, and also to our birthchart planets. We call these movements “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose—calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

Some periods are harmonious and bring opportunity, and some are difficult and bring challenges and pain. However, hidden in each cycle is a gift that can aid us in our evolutionary journey as individuals and as the human collective.

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By | 2012-04-23T06:44:23+00:00 April 23rd, 2012|Astrology|4 Comments

Preparing for the upcoming Solar Eclipse on July 1

lunar eclipse July 1 2011I generally reserve my posts on the faster moving cycles for my Facebook and Twitter pages, but we have a few things going on right now that are worth mentioning here.

First, the Sun is moving into a potentially challenging alignment with Uranus and Pluto that will last until the solar eclipse on July 1st.  I see this eclipse event as the trigger for the big Uranus/Pluto square which is as close in July (less than two degrees) as it will be until the two clash for real next year.

As individuals, we have a number of different influences that make up our personality.  These are clearly identified in our birthchart which makes it easier to understand how these different facets of our personality interact and work together or clash.  As the Sun moves closer to the exact square to Uranus on June 26th and to Pluto on June 28th these different facets within us could become more difficult to integrate.  Remember that planetary cycles don’t create problems for us unless there is something that requires adjustment in order to find balance.

The Sun is a powerful force that illuminates our lives with nourishing warmth, but that powerful force, when strongly aspected with the planet of revolution (Uranus) and the planet of endings and new beginnings (Pluto) will likely reveal to us areas of our life where these different facets of ourselves require integration.

It’s human nature to avoid pain and seek pleasure, so when we are in a difficult time it’s tempting to hide out and wait until it’s over.  But if we utilize these intense cycles we can make tremendous progress in our personal growth.

Transiting Mars is in Gemini right now and everything moves a little more quickly which can be an aid in taking the kinds of action (Mars) that will create real change in our lives.  This will be a little more difficult over the next week because Mars is in a strong square to Neptune which confuses things and can sap our energy.  Mars will then face off against Chiron on the 28th which could bring up some emotional patterns which have been stuck in the subconscious but which require release so that we can move past them.

I’ll be posting more on the eclipse chart, but once again the Sun/Moon conjunction at the New Moon eclipse forms a grand cross with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto.  This is a little bit like deja vu all over again since  we had similar alignments last summer.  But all of this is preparing us for the big square of Uranus and Pluto next year.

The Uranus/Pluto square is dealing with major transformational forces rather than personal ones, so it is more likely to play out with great force in the global arena than in our private lives unless it directly aspects our individual chart.  (It will aspect my Chiron exactly next year – I can hardly wait!! [tongue in cheek])

In the meantime we can prepare by becoming more aware and conscious of our emotions and our inner world.  When you said you would do something did you really want to say no?  What are the feelings that keep you awake at 3 am?  Now is the time to give voice to the splintered parts of ourselves that keep us from feeling whole.

The Sun will point the way.

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By | 2011-06-24T06:14:49+00:00 June 24th, 2011|Moon|12 Comments

Practice makes permanent

I heard this quote over the weekend at a hammered dulcimer workshop: “Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but it does make permanent.”  Evidently Warren Buffett obtained this piece of wisdom from a golf pro, the point of which is that if you do the same thing over and over again, you will obtain the same results.

As an astrological counselor and guide I often have clients who want to know when their lives will get better.  Usually I can point to a particular planetary cycle that is activating a challenging place in their birthchart, and I can tell them that on such and such a date that cycle will ease up and they will start to feel better.  But sometimes, especially after a long slog of Saturn or Pluto cycles, habits of negativity and fear start to build up and it takes more than the movement of those planets off the natal chart to provide release.  It takes a complete change of perspective, and a new course of action.

If a musician practices a tune over and over, but practices it incorrectly, the mistakes will become habit and a part of his repertoire.  Tony Robbins used to say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Whether you play the piano, or golf, or tennis, or practice yoga, bad habits can lead to injury and a failure to accomplish the goal of the practice session.

If we want to change our lives, we have to shift our course and do things differently. Holding a vision is crucial to making this change, but the actions that we take must reflect that vision if change is to occur.

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By | 2010-09-16T14:59:27+00:00 September 16th, 2010|Life|3 Comments

Negotiating Painful Family Situations

Art by Melanie Weidner

Art by Melanie Weidner

It is a commonly held belief among explorers of the New Consciousness that as souls, we work with our guides to choose the life that we will next be born into.  For many people that’s a horrifying thought!  Why would I choose the kind of torment I experienced as a kid?

But the birthchart often reflects with eerie accuracy the psychological setting of the family of origin.  Pluto conjunct the Moon – your mother seemed terrifying to you?  Saturn square the Sun – you never felt you were good enough for your father?  Yet you were born with this astrological chart; the birthchart predates the events that cause us emotional pain.  This makes it hard to continue blaming our parents since it appears that we come into this world already prewired for certain experiences.   Later in life we learn to make conscious choices that lift us out of a state where we simply react to external stimuli that keep us stuck in the psychodrama of our lives.

I am always impressed by the tenacity and strength of my clients, many of whom have come through difficult childhoods with tremendous coping skills and an eagerness to transcend their limitations.  The nugget of transformation lies within every painful situation, and is a great gift.

I’m not so sure it’s necessary to forgive the ones that hurt us, but I DO believe it’s imperative that we end the cycle of blame.  As long as we blame anyone, whether it’s ourselves or someone else, we keep ourselves locked in a box of victimhood from which we can’t escape.  When we make a choice to turn away from blame and self-pity, we naturally open to the gift of power and transformation that awaits.

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By | 2008-08-28T20:57:48+00:00 August 28th, 2008|Inspiration, Life|Comments Off on Negotiating Painful Family Situations
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