Posted by: Zane Maser | January 22, 2012


The context of the chart is the whole tapestry.
Each piece, such as the aspects, is a vital thread of the story.

Depending on how the planetary conduits of energies are used, even positive, ease-filled aspects have their shadow side, by which I mean that one person might tend to react to a trine of Venus to Jupiter with self-absorption, indulgence, overspending, and laziness, thus entirely misusing the earned potential of the aspect. Conversely, another person might use the Moon square to Saturn as an impetus to build a solid, positive sense of self: first, by deprogramming the negative messages, decisions, or beliefs from childhood through a focused affirmation, such as “I let go and fully release the pain of my mother’s lack of emotional support, filling that space now with Creative Light and Love.” Secondly, the person would need to reprogram a new message, one like “I am a worthy, lovable, and loving person with many gifts to offer. Doors of opportunity open for me now, and I move forward with confidence and strength.”

Thus, a person steps into the role of a loving parent to their fragmented, inner orphan and retrieves that part of their precious life’s energy to become whole again. They make a conscious decision to use the qualities of a difficult Moon/Saturn square in a constructive way, which moves them along a completely new track of positive self-esteem and greater emotional openness. Their psychological foundation is actually restructured along a positive groove that begins to magnetize a new, fulfilling life populated with individuals who are encouraging, supportive, and optimistic. Life is what we make it!

As a further example, for someone with the Moon’s North Node in the 6th house, a part of the crucial learning is to develop a full-bodied faith, which would eliminate the inner negativity and lurking subconscious fears—buried fears that are likely not relevant to the current lifetime. By consciously shifting the thought currents to a positive and productive attitude toward life, the power of their indomitable faith could actually work miracles, because this person has the capacity to be a natural-born healer, to give a remarkable gift to the world through their useful service to others. This individual also has the opportunity to overcome an inherent tendency to be critical of others, due to the realization that imperfections seen in others are really disowned, projected qualities within the self.

These few examples show how our spirit and soul decides, prior to embodiment, on the deck of cards—the natal map—that they will “deal with” in that given lifetime. We can either choose to accept our personal deck and do the best we can with our earned strengths and shortcomings (to be redeemed) or face an even weightier deck in a future life. Energy that is not dealt with becomes even more forceful, often at the most inopportune or inappropriate moments.

A Quick Look at the 7th House: How Love Can Prevail

Continuing on with a similar theme, here’s another illustration of how life and our chart tend to bring us what we most need to learn through the outer people, circumstances, and events of our life. This particular descriptor is shown by looking at the sign (and its ruler) on the cusp of the 7th house of marital and business partnerships and the planets therein, if any, and their aspects. The individuals we tend to attract to our self, especially our most intimate partners, seem to be the ones who personify the qualities we most need to develop in our self—those hidden, shadowy even golden parts of us that, when developed and integrated, make us complete.

While this tendency can be quite an annoying and painful mirror at times, it is also liberating. If we see and hear the message of our 7th house, we can make tremendous progress in manifesting these heretofore latent qualities. Through our own awareness and efforts, we become inwardly whole and thus able to attract partners who complement us rather than surreptitiously trying to supply our missing parts because we struggle with an inner sense of emptiness. Our significant partners are chosen from preference—not extreme neediness.

Electrifying the house of intimate alliances, the eventful and sometimes dreaded process of transiting Uranus—representing independence and autonomy, as well as separation and divorce—will inevitably stir up our 7th house issues of one-to-one relationships. Transiting Uranus signals the opportunity to make beneficial changes, even in the best of relationships. As the unpredictable planet of startling shifts, its purpose signifies a time to break free of outworn conditions, often in agonizing and drastic ways, and to make any desirable, progressive changes. This 7th house transit, or phase of one’s growth, can be the catalyst to bring previously glossed-over problems to the fore, perhaps as episodes of irritation and disruptive anger that severely test a marriage, as well as other important partnerships.

The flip side is that, when energies are suppressed, there is the potential time bomb for unexpected explosions that create sudden estrangements or endings of such relationships. If, perchance, the individuals in a close relationship do part ways under the awakening process of transiting Uranus, it would be an external, concrete effect of this transit, yet may not reveal the true purpose, or essence, of the transit, which can be to open the door to a greater authenticity and aliveness between partners, marital or otherwise. Through the inventive energy of Uranus, a greater integrity is possible in that one is freed from loveless relationships and outmoded commitments that no longer serve the growth of either person. Put differently, it can be a liberating time to let the truth speak—if it’s over, it’s over—and to give full allowance to each person for being who they are in the present moment.

Because such a Uranian transit has the potential to affect relationships in quite a positive way, due to the radical shifts that are made, it is an important passageway to renegotiate the love and honesty in one’s contracts—both marital and business—in order to reflect the higher level of consciousness one has achieved. Profound insight and a greater acceptance of one another’s true needs can result. This reveals the inward, psychological shift of the transit in terms of an authentic change in feelings, behavior, outlook, and awareness. Thus, out of the short-term craziness and disintegration comes a long-term sense of liberation and revitalized well-being. If love was the bedrock of the partnership in the first place, love will deepen and become even more real.

Enduring Love Shown Through the Transits

A few questions that might apply to any transit, particularly the outer planet transits, are: What is the essence or intent of this transit? How does it reveal where I am in the process of my learning and growth? In terms of the issues I am currently working on, what insight(s) does it bring? What direction does it point to in my growth? What eventual benefits might come from this long-lasting period of change and re-arrangement? Looked at in this way, a significant transit or progression, such as transiting Pluto crossing the Ascendant or Midheaven, signifies a crucial stage or fundamental piece of inner work during a given lifetime—one chapter closes, another opens.

An additional example of how love prevails is relevant here. Consider the effect of Venus and Jupiter (described as the “benefic” planets) when juxtaposed to that of Mars and Saturn (described as the “malefic” duo). Natally, and in their transits and progressions, the first pair of “lucky charms” tends to bring opportunities, prosperity, an active social life, and blessings, while the second pair can test us with a build up of harmful or destructive energy that motivates impulsive and unwise action, which leads to self-willed displays, strife, frustrations, sorrows, and separations. There are abundant occasions for both harmonious and challenging contacts as these planets travel because, while Venus takes about one year (approximately one month/sign) to travel around the zodiac, Mars takes an average of two years (generally two months/sign) to move through the signs. So, the brief but harmonious encounters of Venus for valuable and loving assistance in our life occur at about twice the rate as those of fierce and forceful Mars.

A similar advantageous dynamic occurs between Jupiter and Saturn, where Jupiter’s movement around the astrological wheel is more than twice the speed of Saturn’s. Hence, Saturn’s dampening tests and restricting lessons occur far less frequently than the relaxation, expansive growth, and grace bestowed by Jupiter. Besides, with the steadying hand of Saturn, we get time to exercise patience and for quiet reflection of our possible shortsightedness and previous errors in order to prepare for the next upswing in energy and learning. Because Saturn also has a goodly dose of Cosmic humor, we are being gently nudged to take ourselves less seriously by seeing the hilarity in our own foibles. Seen in this light and levity, there is marvelous wisdom in the flows and ebbs of Venus and Jupiter juxtaposed with Mars and Saturn, for they create the space Love fills.

Even the so-called malefics are a necessary, contrasting segment of a loving Universe when we contemplate the psychological tasks they invite us to undergo. What vital processes of emotional maturation do they call us to take care of? With Mars, we are encouraged to look at how we use our energy in our multiplicity of desires and drives that motivate us. As the agent of self-mastery, Saturn can help us focus our precious energy so we’re able to bear our tests of winnowing until we reach a greater level of perfection.

In the case of transiting Pluto, the planet of power that purges and removes, we must descend to the deepest layers of our unconscious and to the very center of our DNA. This necessity disallows the loophole of superficiality when it comes to the work required for greater self-awareness. Besides, we might not uncover our true power, strength, and determination were we given the chance to circumvent the deeper layers of our psychological muck. Is it even possible for us to fully heal without the required inner work these various planetary principles call us to confront? Not according to Carl Jung, who warned there’s no coming to consciousness without its attendant pain. After all, in the travail and tears, the full spectrum of the rainbow’s radiance lies hidden. What’s more, a rainbow is actually a full circle, but we normally see only half the picture!

Fortunately, we’re generally given adequate breathers between the strenuous efforts required to make little strides of spiritual headway during our lifetime. When we’re in the middle of such a disorienting, ego-dissolving episode of transiting Neptune opposing the Ascendant, for instance, it can feel overwhelming as the psychic waters rise above our head! Even with Mars and Saturn hitting us hard from time to time, there is the secreted opportunity that James Tyman referred to when he said, “We do not know how deep a lesson has gone until we have the chance to practice it.” This statement accurately sums up difficult transits that strike a sensitive point in the chart, say transiting Saturn moving into the 12th house, so we can finish an entire cycle, releasing the past and anticipating the future, or the restriction of energy and hard work suggested by Saturn aligning with the natal Sun.

Conjunctions and other aspectual contacts made by a transiting planet generally occur three times, occasionally more, due to its retrograde motion. The world catalyzing, much anticipated Uranus/Pluto square that will last from 2012 to 2015, creating seven exact squares, is an exception. At the commencement of such a process, the initial planetary contact is frequently overpowering, as though we are hit by a huge wave that knocks us to our knees. Our first rattled impression is “wow, what was that?” This sort of intensity occurs only if we have been living without much emotional awareness. When the wave dissipates, we pick ourselves up and go on, often without further reflection about its possible meaning or with flat-out denial that a problem even existed.

The second hit of a transit is a further wake-up-call that denial, inertia, avoidance, or lack of attention cannot continue because the issue at hand will not magically disappear. Too often, though, we operate under the illusion that we can continue to do the same old things, in the same old way or pattern, and somehow derive a new outcome! As the pain or crisis meter increases, some sort of constructive action is required. And if two direct bonks are not enough for some individuals, the third contact provides the final opportunity get moving to resolve the situation or thematic problem suggested by the transit. For the ones who are positively engaging the energies, it coalesces their learning for the much-deserved step up the ladder of growth. Earned rewards arrive!

How many of us would willingly make the required changes and risk if our feet were not held to the fire three or more times? With resistance to change and the avoidance of uncertainty such an integral part of human nature, it is likely these infrequent, sometimes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities would pass us by, only to leave us functioning in the outworn patterns of stagnation and ineffectiveness wherein we have entrenched ourselves, be they jobs, relationships, or living situations. We are left to endure the rest of our life, but not to live it as fully as possible according the natal blueprint.

Perhaps the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth occurs when a given transiting aspect sets off a similar difficult natal aspect, such as the leg of a T-square, or hits a concentrated area of the chart occupied by a stellium (3 or more planets grouped together in the same sign). If the issue highlighted by the natal aspect remains unresolved, the transiting aspect illuminates the long-term pattern of crippling dysfunction. When a series of transits keep sensitizing a given point or area, they can pave the way for a major crisis and surge of growth. These challenging episodes provide the option for modifying or discarding long-standing patterns of homeostasis, particularly true of outer-planet transits that evoke major distress, upheaval, or significant loss. The intense suffering caused by such a transit often induces soul searching and powerful modification. “Outer planets create a lot of reality for everyone,” affirms Donna Cunningham. Though grueling at the time of their occurrence, outer-planet transits are a potent impetus for core transformation.

In our orderly Universe, it seems evident that a pervading goodness underlies the larger planetary cycles that we encounter over the course of a lifetime, such as the 12-year cycle of Jupiter or the 29 1/2-year cycle of Saturn. There is also an evident helpfulness in the laws governing life, which, as they unfold in our daily experiences, embody the potential for movement to a higher level of functioning and progress along our given Path. The larger, life-sculpting processes are actually merciful ones, because the level of intensity is moderated during these multiple, transiting contacts, which are alternately in our face and then back off for us to incorporate new information. The whole course of some outer-planet transiting aspects may last two to three years or longer, enabling us to assess the fall-out, assimilate the ruins, contemplate required changes, and formulate a psychologically mature plan of how best to respond. If, after a necessary period of reflection, an individual decides that a pragmatic course is the better part of wisdom, there are only two relevant questions one needs to ask: (1) What can I learn from this? and (2) What do I do about it now?

A final example of another merciful process is the Sun moving a degree per year as it progresses over our lifetime. Again, it’s a 30-year process, wherein the Sun travels from its natal degree, to the same degree in the following sign, and then onto another sign, or possibly two. This can be thought of as the evolution of the Self in progress. Over these 30 years of vital character training within a sign—day by manageable day—an individual is given a chance to determine how best to use the positive energies of the sign and thereby cast off any undesirable traits, which impede, rather than serve, the highest, long-term strivings of the soul and potential of the natal template.

In her writings, astrologer Isabel Hickey contends: “Space is curved. There is no such thing as a straight line in the universe. Everything, by cosmic law, must return to its source.” This statement is well worth contemplating, especially as it relates to the premise of a benign Universe and the power of prevailing Love at the beginning and end of any cyclic path. Whatever we want to receive, we must first send it forth unconditionally, because we meet our vibratory state (such as fear, selfishness, envy, kindness, generosity, or love) at every moment. Thus, inward tranquility can only beget peaceful effects. A nice beginning is to endeavor to express the highest qualities of our Sun sign, the Sun being the vital, spiritual center or heart of the chart. It is our essential self.

When we daily live with love and goodwill as our co-partners in thought, word, and deed we create an authentic lovingness as who we are that will be carried over as a subsequent spiritual and earthly inheritance, as shown in future natal charts. Thus, one day in a near or far lifetime, we can elect to be born with a chart with its goodly share of sextiles, trines, and/or amazingly fortunate placements by sign, house, and aspects of Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, and the North Node of the Moon, for instance. We might also have dignified planets in their own signs or the sign of their exaltation, or otherwise very strongly placed in an angular house. For good measure, we would want to sprinkle in a few squares and oppositions that help us cleverly channel our energies into wise achievement and masterful results. Harmony and balance are the ultimate expressions of a life lived well and of a Loving Universe.

Love is the underpinning of every chart.
Love is the alpha and omega.
Love is the ultimate gift from Divine Source.


Related Posts:

• Love Prevails: Part 1

• Cycles Upon Cycles

• Timeliness

• Winter Solstice

• Life Circulates

• A Psycho-Spiritual Principle

• Ego Benders

• Mental Pole Shift

• A Test of Tooth

• Approach and Avoidance

• New Kitchen Look, A Sign of the Times

• Spiritual Uprightness

• Giving Way in The Natural Order

Text © by Zane Maser, 2012. (This article was originally published in 2004 in Altair, Journal of the White Eagle School of Astrology, Volume XII, 2:23-31.) Photos © by Chris and Zane Maser, 2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband. (Photograph by Barbara Shaw)

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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