Transits are no big mystery. Even an arc or progression is simply a transit writ large on the life story and the transit itself, regardless of magnitude, is simply an opportunity to experience an ongoing evolution of nativity. Put another way, a transit is only an opportunity for experience, one that you weren’t born with, and one that you will handle no doubt, with reference to the placement of those transiting energies in your own astrology. This means, fundamentally that if you have a Mars Pluto square, then difficult transits of Mars to Pluto will not be nearly so brutal for you as they would for the person who has no Mars Pluto contact in their astrology, simply because you have experience. By the same token, the individual who has transformed Plutonic themes in their life has really been such grist for the mill that they can actually weather Hades’ worst excesses, if not with aplomb, then at least with a measure of dignity. In the case of Pluto, or indeed any of the outer planets, transits are astoundingly profound providing the native is alive to them and any measure of evolvement is enormously beneficial in living through them. Awareness, particularly self-awareness, is invaluable in this study.
Let us consider the three principles: Uranus, which shatters the crystallised forms, Neptune which dissolves and nebulises and Pluto which intensifies unto death; these are all very fundamental principles, difficult to examine and analyse; very often it is weeks or months later before we can see with any clarity what has happened. However, there is a common thread to all of these principles, they operate in very different ways of course, but fundamentally, they all promote change and growth, or they will damage you in the process.
Uranus first. Here is the principle of crystallisation, Uranus makes brittle and shiny, it is like a bright shell in quality and it is tied up in that sense with ego-formation, since it governs individuation, a crucial component of the ego; thus when we are different we are set apart. The impetus of Uranus then is to individuate, and we set off on that path and reach a point where we think “aha! Now I am a person of quality and difference, others will notice me, I shall stop here because I’m all done.” But Uranus won’t have that, because individuation evolves, our difference of yesterday loses its shine today, so we are forced through some shattering process to reinvent our individuality, to reassess and reconfigure. That is Uranus.
Now Neptune who does almost the opposite of Uranus and dissolves rather than crystallises; he takes away structure and forces us to confront the numinous and actually to find the value in it. We need to learn to respond to that small sense of value here, it is no good to say that we will create things of greatness, because where Neptune is configured we have to give up, let go and trust in a higher and less tangible Universe. Neptune speaks to the lilies of the field and not kings in high castles, so if you are able to work with that then you have a chance, otherwise, just watch it all slip away…
And finally, the toughest of the lot, the lord of darkness. Pluto is the most powerful and implacable impetus of them all, although I have a mind to Orcus right now which is at the very least interesting. Pluto says, “you know that one aspect of your life that is the most resistant to change? Well, brace yourself, because I’m going to kick the crap out of it until you give it up.” There’s no subtlety to Pluto, even if it is very, very deep. Inexorably, without mercy or respite, Hades destroys the concepts, values, beliefs and structures of our world until they are dust.
Very quickly though you will see this outer planet theme. They all do more or less the same job albeit utilising markedly differing approaches. At the end of a tough transit of any of Uranus, Neptune or Pluto, we are left with a new paradigm to contemplate. If the cycle is complete and we have worked with it, then we will undoubtedly be in some sense enriched by the experience and even if that enrichment feels like a dubious gift, it is still a thing of value.
Now, nowhere is this more true than a transit to any of the four major angles of the nativity. A transit of Pluto to the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven or Imum Coeli is so markedly powerful and affective that it simply cannot be placed in the same context of a house transit or even a planetary contact. This is an understanding that is borne out time and again. Indeed, as I write this Pluto is stationary and peregrine on the IC of my own astrology calling for a radical transformation of those issues relating to family, roots, childhood and so forth. My deepest origins are being made over. It will be the same for any contact of any of the outers by mundane transit to any of the angles, or by progression or arc as well, more so in fact. Progressions of Pluto by arc to the angles will have a once in a lifetime effect, and there is usually great upheaval in that especially since the natural inclination is to resist. You cannot resist that force, it will kill you in the attempt.
Now on the one hand, you ought to be rightly nervous about these kinds of applications, because they are never going to be easy, but on the other, when you are an astrologer you cannot really say that you didn’t see it coming. I was well aware that I have this incredible transformational opportunity looming in my life for quite some time and please note the language I employ here. I understand in theory more or less exactly how these contacts ought to work, I understand esoterically (if you like) what they are calling for and why they are calling for it, so I do not have the excuse of confusion and non-preparation. That is the lot of the astrologer. Fundamentally, for the ill-prepared however, the immediacy and upheaval of a major outer-planet transit to one of the angles will inevitably have this flavour of crisis to it. If you cannot see the destination point then absolutely it will have all the appearance of a leap in the darkness, thus it becomes risky, ill-prepared, poorly conceived and just a little irrational. If on the other hand you see the necessity for transformation then it becomes a different creature altogether, it is nothing more than a catalyst for evolution; something the adept welcomes and (respectfully) embraces. Whether the transit is from Uranus, Neptune or Pluto too, is hardly relevant except to determine something of the manner of the transformational push: the point is the impetus to change, not the manner of it, even if subjectively some transformations are going to be less painful than others. Uranus for example is scarily abrupt, quick and sudden, while Pluto takes his time, grinding everything down to the smallest granules…
As an astrologer, outer planet transits to the angles are a no-brainer. They will be felt, they will be major and they will alter the landscape irreversibly, but once it is all done with, you will be closer to yourself than ever before, and that is how the system was designed to work.
So don’t fight it.