HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
Transits are by far the easiest astrological forecasting technique to use. Anyone who knows the degree/minute of their natal planets can at once – with access to an ephemeris like Raphael’s – see how the heavens are affecting their daily lives. If, for example, your natal Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio and Saturn is at that same degree ofzodiac in the sky today, transiting Saturn is conjunct your sun. It’s as simple as that. Of course, the effects of slower moving planets (from Saturn to Pluto) are more intense and (obviously) longer lasting. They are the more powerful forces that bring about change in your life, often peaking on days which coincide with inner planet transits – the sun and Mars often acting as a trigger.
The influences of the inner, faster moving planets (the Sun to Mars) are themselves quite fleeting, and I will be omitting Moon and Mercury transits altogether as their effects are too short lived, and in some cases unnoticeable. (They are important, however, in techniques like Progressions and Solar Returns. You’ll also note I haven’t used the sextile in the interpretations, an aspect which I consider rather weak.) Use this Raphael’s Planetary Transit Guide to see what astral forces you may have to deal with, when it may be a good time to forge ahead with plans, take major decisions, look within, meet new people, or perhaps just stay at home!
SUN CONJUNCT NEPTUNE
The sun on your chart represents your sense of self and powers of will, Neptune your connection to the infinite, the world soul behind the plane of matter. (In ordinary language, that part of us which idealises, imagines, and yearns for some kind of spiritual truth. This deeper element in us ‘senses’ that such things of the spirit truly exist – because they do!) The maintrouble with Neptune contacts is that most people (understandably) prefer to beconnected to the plane of matter – what we call the real world – and Neptune does rather undermine this. The sun is your vitality, too, but this may be rather lacking in conjunction with Neptune. Neptune dissipates or blurs whatever is clear and well defined, and so you also need to be very clear about objectives today, and avoid getting more and more distracted by ephemera.
If all you are going to do is daydream today, then fine – this is a good time to develop your intuition or indulge the imagination. Fantasise about the future by all means, but be clear that what is real for you might not be so for other people. The sun is also about your ego, and in contact with Neptune your sense of self may not be as strong as usual. Genuine confidence may be lacking. It’s a good time to make sacrifices and put yourself at others’ disposal – your sympathies for others may be aroused, in any case.
SUN TRINE NEPTUNE
Trines usually possess a manageable flow of energy, and here you can direct this into ‘Neptunian’ channels – either helping others, or in more personal (yet spiritual pursuits) like meditation, tai chi or yoga. Also you may feel inspired to pursue someidealistic goal with someone else, but don’t let that person call all the shots. You are quite easily influenced by stronger personalities when Neptune is in contact with the sun, though at least with the trine this tends not to cause problems. Certainly, your romantic urges a re stimulated, though I mean in a general sense – in some way you are looking at the entire world idealistically, today.
This is, therefore, a day when spiritual issues may feel more important. Or this transit may manifest itself as an increased sensitivity to either beauty, art or poetry. This can also be a time when people are looking to you for help in some way - go and visit someone less fortunate or well off than yourself. This would also be a good time to time to engage with friends and family in a sympathetic way – to listen to their problems and be of some service. In fact, you may find you’re quite ready to help just about anyone in trouble – Sun-Neptne stimulates your charitable instincts. It can be nice to give, just as much as it is to get. More, perhaps.
You may want to do little other than escape the everyday world now and take refuge in the imagination. Certainly your idealism is also aroused – this is an effect of Neptune, who encourages you to see life with the proverbial rose tinted spectacles. In essence, it simply means that your take on reality is less critical and pragmatic, less judgemental and you want to move freely in your imagination. But there are warnings - be realistic about your actual abilities for success and achievement today and don’t go off on any wild goose chases after something you cannot attain. With this square you will almost certainly have difficulties turning any new ideals into concrete reality. Just finish up ordinary mundane tasks, instead.
This can, therefore be a good time to take stock of things, so long as you can discipline your mind to do so. Self discipline, however, is not a hallmark of this transit and you may become quite bored with the mundanities of everyday life! There may be a lack of confidence in your own capacity for success – in fact a lack of confidence in general. So much so that you can end up influenced by someonewho does have a strong ego – and you need some discrimination now to determine whether or not that person is good for you and whether their motives are pure. Being deceived by others, in short, is typically Neptunian.
SUN OPPOSITE NEPTUNE
You can now easily be misunderstood by people in your everyday life and you should beware of idealising everything you see. You can now easily indulge in fantasies of the future as an escape from the present. Also, do not place very high expectations on other people; you can now easily be discouraged and let down if you fail to see the difference between yours and others' ideals and viewpoints. Your imagination is very powerful now, but you may find it overrides your capacity for common sense – as if you’re prepared almost to believe the impossible!
On the other hand, you may ‘project’ this effect on to others and people in everyday relationships. If so, they will seem at odds with you because of their beliefs, fantasies or general lack of practicality and realism. But the source is likely to be your own unconscious mind. Positively, you may experience a deep sense of emotional and romantic connection with partners in stable relationships. However, the other type of Neptunian influence entering your life (as per the square) is the person who is deceptive and dishonest, a con-artist who appears to be more than they really are. Just be careful about whom you put your in faith today. And about what you believe!
Though sun transits, being quite ephemeral, are rarely augurs of major life changes, they can nevertheless prove minor catalysts for such changes occurring later on. This is often true when in aspect to Pluto, whose essence is all about ‘death’, transformation and rebirth. You may thus now be rather preoccupied with major personal transformations – and these may seem rather tense and urgent due to unexpected changes. Thus you may feel a little insecure today and you should work toward some form of self-improvement.
Crucially, you should resist trying to hold on to whatever isn't working out in your life. Certain minor issues and tribulations are better scrapped entirely, left in the past where they belong, but only you can be the judge here. On the other hand, a situation may breakdown quite irrevocably now, and this ought to be seen as a positive thing – if possible! In any case, it will almost certainly be an aspect of your life you can do without, as it isn’t germane to your future development, whether as a person or in your profession. (Your basic self and often the career you choose are symbolised, of course, by the sun.) Inevitably, something better will emerge out of whatever ends at this time.
There may be something more intense about you today – perhaps you feel the need to dig and search deep within. There is a sense of being driven to discover facts, of wanting to get down to the proverbial ‘nitty gritty’. This is the reforming and ‘purifying’ urge of Pluto, but be careful not to overdo this – square aspects involve a lot of energy and your need to get to the truth in a certain matter could cause problems with others. You’re likely to step on someone’s toes; at the very least to be insensitive where sensitivity might be better applied. You may feel simply that you want to get things done, but a subtler approach may be required needed with others, especially anyone who has power over you – like your boss, public officials, or even your landlord .
It could be said that this is a day when your basic life direction and sense of purpose are tested by sensitive and very personal matters. The temptation, as we’ve seen, is to try and dominate, control and exert power over certain situation. The main issue, as with all Sun-Pluto contacts, is this need to get rid of anything that is unsound, unworkable and no longer of value in your life. Or, as the saying goes, past its sell-by date, whether on a practical or an emotional level. But do remember that you may have to tread very carefully. Don’t expect smooth sailing in pursuit of objectives, but equally, don’t worry if the waters are a little choppy – skilled and experienced sailors are not made by calm seas!
SUN TRINE PLUTO
Sun-Pluto contacts are essentially about the application of will (of the sun) applied to the reforming and regenerating element of Pluto. The trine, due to its ‘easy’ sense of flow and movement (based on numerological ‘three-ness’) facilitates this desire for ‘off with the old, on with the new’. Therefore, it can be fairly easy now to separate the wheat from the chaff and be rid of what is not proving successful or feasible. It’s a day when you can engineer minor but important changes and learn how best to use your own will to accomplish various ends. For you it is now important to be clear about your objectives and intentions. Since this is a time when you can initiate new starts, look carefully at what really needs to change.
Anything that does not help you toward your goals, you should put aside for the meanwhile. This can be a good opportunity to examine any ingrained attitudes and emotional patterns that might limit your ability to achieve your goals. It may require a little effort, but once you look at yourself and your life honestly you may come to some genuine realisation. You’ll obtaina deeper insight into your real needs and their connection to the outside world. On the whole, at any rate, progress with ambitions should be more or less easy going.
SUN OPPOSITE PLUTO
The opposition is perhaps the aspect which suggests, more than others, conditions pertaining to encounters with other people – in any kind of situation. Often, one embodies the energies represented by one ‘end’ of the opposition, whilst dealing with the energies of the other through personal confrontations. (Need one add that it is always the personal planet one internalises whilst projecting the other ‘troublesome’ planet?) When the Plutonian factor emerges in relationships today, there areissues of ‘who’s really in charge?’, ‘who has the strongest will?’, ‘who really calls the shots?’. Again, because we’re only dealing with a daily transit, this can be a somewhat fleeting energy, but it may mean you are exposed to certain intense encounters with other people, perhaps someone whose presence in your life is as ephemeral as the transit itself.
On the other hand, a personal relationship can also now be more intense and reveal how your ambitions or values are at odds with those of a partner. In other words, something may have to come out into the opentoday. The sooner any conflict does so, the better. A loved one, for example, may disagree profoundly with something you are doing, whether or not they actually say so. But don’t force your will on them in an attempt to change their mind - you can easily make things worse and even damage the relationship. Try to be patient and honest with the other person, and make concessions where you can. It will be all be over with quite soon!