I'm taking a fantastic Astrology class at The College of Psychic Studies this term with Demian Allan. It's a new world for me and my book-nerdiness has me reading loads to catch up, even though technically, it's a Psychic Astrology class and we are supposed rely on our intuition to figure out how the planets feel in the signs. I think I now have a decent grasp of what the planets and houses represent, it's what happens when they are in motion that I'm curious about. Especially transits, where we study the current path of the planets and how the interact with our birth chart. A few weeks ago I discovered a website called Astrology Club that offers lots of free reports, and I've been checking my transits. Could they really correspond to my feelings, motivation and personal energy levels? Last month I was feeling unusually discouraged when transiting Mars (action) was in opposition to my Neptune (dreams), pushing me to be more pragmatic. To top it off Saturn and Neptune are squaring off in my natal chart too, it's kind of like walking a tight rope.
Anyhooo, the theory is that transiting planets make short but powerful aspects to our charts. They push buttons and open doors for us, and when they are gone the effect disappears. What we call hard transits represent growing pains (squares and oppositions) whereas so-called positive transits (trines and sextiles) bring harmony, good luck and opportunities. The easiest way to get the hang of this is to check your transits and just get a feel for how they relate to your mood on a daily basis. I also found a great book called The Joy of the Zodiac, by Amanda Starr. Its a jewel of a book; small enough to fit in my purse so I can look at a friend's sign over coffee. This makes the process easier as I'm not keen on memorising it all.
I had already heard of planets, houses and signs, so big surprise for me were progressed planets. The theory is that if we study the path of the planets through the houses and signs during our first few months of life, we can use that progression to forecast our personal evolution. So for example, when I was born the sun was at 26 degrees Aquarius (the zodiac is divided into twelve 30 degree slices) and it moved into Pisces on the fifth day of life. The theory behind progressed planets takes each real day for a year, so my Progressed Sun moved into Pisces when I started kindergarten, essentially adding the sponge qualities of Pisces to my Aquarian nature. My Progressed Sun has spent the last thirty years in the same sign, which may explain why I have been so keen to understand what makes us tick on spiritual and psychological levels. Later this year my Progressed Sun will move into Aries, a sign of action, so in theory my focus should shift to doing something with the knowledge I've gained. We haven't discussed predictive astrology in class just yet, so keep your eyes peeled for an update!