Actually, let’s talk for a minute about building a house. Let us say, for the sake of argument that you decide that you want to build your dream home. You probably have some vague ideas about how it will look, about the various features and styles of decor, about the layout. You’re quite serious about the whole idea, so you buy a plot of land to build the house on, and at that point you’ve reached a liminal point in the development of your house; liminality is that evocative space of inbetween-ness that represents a transition from one state to another, in this case the transition from having a vague idea of what kind of home you’d like to live in to needing to have a definite plan about the exact kind of home you’re going to build.
So you consult with an architect and after negotiation what you are left with is a set of blueprints.
The key understanding here of course is that the set of blueprints is not a house, it is only a potential house, albeit a very specificfally realised one. It is an idea of a house that is formally determined within certain parameters; the kitchen will be here and face the East, it will have a garage and you’ve decided that it will have a pool-house at the bottom of the garden.
Your house gets built, it might run over budget, so you make certain cut-backs. You decide that you can manage without the pool-house but at least the kitchen units are just what you wanted. You paint the living room in a deep red tone that you particularly love.
So, what started out as a rather vague and formless idea was translated into some fairly exacting plans which in turn, through the process of construction, through the realisation of those original specifications and the contingencies of life, became something quite unique. Life happens. You have children and need to build an extension. You inherit some money when great Aunt Bertha kicks the bucket so you finally build the pool-house. There’s a hurricane which blows the oak tree over and caves the roof in but the insurance pays out and you fix it all up and have enough money left over to redecorate the house.
Okay, that’s enough talk about building houses.
One day, a human soul forms a vague notion about being born into a new life situation. It decides that there are certain factors that it wants to incorporate into its new incarnation, it wants to have these qualities developed and experiences of one sort or another so that it can learn to be closer to the inner divine nature unto which the Universe ceaselessly cleaves and so it chooses the plot into which it will be born, the family, the parental influences, the culture and so forth and then the soul is born into life and at that exact moment a blueprint is drawn; a plan that defines within some fairly precise parameters how this soul will manifest into material existence. The blueprint of that human soul is its nativity.
But of course, the nativity is not the personality, any more than the blueprint is the house.
And this is the most important understanding that we can begin with when we consider transit theory: if the kitchen in our house faces East, it is never going to get the evening Sun, no matter what colour we paint the walls or what appliances we decide to install in that kitchen. Of course, if we decide that we want the evening sun in our kitchen we can perhaps save up our money over many years and work very hard to move the kitchen into another room on the west side of the property, so we can – in a very real sense – override the blueprint, but it will take enormous effort to do so, and we may have to make sacrifices and compromises along the way, but with enough focus and determination, our blueprint can be transcended, but on the whole, the likelihood is that expedience and the vagaries of existence will dictate that we will keep our kitchen where it is and learn to live with it that way and get the best out of it. We make small gradual modifications and learn to fit into our home while at the same time modifying, fine-tuning and tweaking our home so that it better suits our needs.
Sometimes we come into some money unexpectedly (think Jupiter-Uranus) and we get to build an extension (or move the kitchen!) Other times we might determine that we really want that pool-house that we didn’t manage to build at the start so we save our money and make economies in other areas (think Mars – Saturn) and one day we get to build the pool house. Sometimes there is a hurricane which makes the oak tree in the garden blow down and flatten the roof (think Uranus=Mars/Pluto), but the insurance pays out more than expected (think Jupiter=Moon/Pluto) and you get to redecorate the house.
So, what we started out with changes according to the ongoing processes of transition and progression, fundamentally our soul-house will never change, we cannot change our city apartment into a beach house regardless of what influences move us forward in our lives, but within the broad framework of the nativity blueprint, we can experience evolution.
What of course you should realise is that transits always have a common quality (a hurricane is a hurricane for everybody in its path) but how you experience it personally is intrinsically, well, personal. It might blow the oak tree down onto your house, but your neighbour, who doesn’t have an oak tree in their garden and whose house sits in the lee of a sheltering hill?
What you should appreciate then is that events (transits/ progressions / directions) will affect you according to the nature of the event in general terms and according to the nature of your blueprint in specific terms.
A transit then will always begin to manifest in relationship to the blueprint of the nativity tempered by the general quality of the transiting influence. A transit of Neptune square the Moon is rather like having a flood in the kitchen because of a burst pipe under the sink. Because your kitchen is made in this certain way, it is going to be affected: the flood won’t affect the attic or the garage. If you have Saturn in Cancer and the 5th house then, what you can understand is that the general quality of Saturn square the Moon will undoubtedly make itself felt in the broad Saturn-squaring-Moon kind of way (feeling isolated, emotionally flat, strained relationships with women, wives and mothers) but in your case that sense of isolation will be partly influenced by themes of children too, or love affairs, or creativity, and family issues will be part of it too. That leads you to suspect that maybe you feel isolated from other women because you don’t have children of your own just yet so you don’t feel like you have a proper family; it makes you feel isolated and depressed. Your relationship with your mother feels strained because she wants grandchildren. On the other hand, maybe your lover is making you feel isolated because his mother doesn’t approve of you, or because he’s too moody and cranky, or you’re down because your responsibilities to him don’t leave you enough time to spend with your own family.
And that’s just the Saturn angle. If your natal Moon is in the third house and Taurus then you have to factor in other potentials; your daily environment, siblings, your car, any of these might be part of the problem and with Taurus, there’s a money angle too. Let’s put all that together and what you’ll see is that there’s strain in your life because you’re feeling lonely and isolated, it’s due to children: maybe with Saturn in the 5th it’s because you don’t have them yet (Saturn in the 5th often denotes delays in motherhood, older mothers), or perhaps for some reason your children entail extra responsibility so they take up your time. And now your car has broken down (3rd) and you don’t have the money to fix it (Taurus), and all of this feels difficult because it’s a square aspect, frustrations and obstacles stand in the way of progress. Perhaps your sister just had a new baby and you feel left out and isolated (Saturn) from the family (Cancer) and from your mother (Moon) because she’s giving all her attention to your sister’s (3rd) new baby (5th).
So, do you see? This is how the transit begins to show itself, through the blueprint.
As the aspect develops (it approaches partility) and transits usually involve very specific events which develop the situation that is manifesting out of the nativity blueprint. This is usually found in the transiting data. Here, let us say that Saturn squares the 3rd house Taurus Moon from its position in the 6th house and the sign Leo. So what happens is that your boss (Leo) starts getting really down on you about your work (6th) which only adds to your sense of frustration, depression and isolation. Or maybe you develop a heart (Leo) problem (6th) and that’s what is adding to your woes. Maybe your father (Saturn) develops a heart problem and you have to spend time with him. Any of these are possible, but crucially, they overlay the foundation qualities of your natal Moon and Saturn placements and bring the themes that are at work in those placement into sharp relief which causes you to take action or make an adjustment to relieve, fix or improve the situation.
So, how do things work out? Well, you can have a guess at this too, and there’s nothing especially wild about the guessing either. Here, the rulerships are key to the outcomes, so you discover that Saturn rules your 10th and Moon rules the 5th (and Saturn of course), so maybe you decide to change your career (or even give it up entirely) since your boss was giving you such a hard time anyway so that you have more time for your family situation, or you get pregnant (5th) so you have to change your vocational aspirations (10th) as a result of that.
Now as you can see, there are a great number of potential outcomes here, but they do tend to fall within certain parameters which are based on your blueprints, on the nature of the transiting points and their relationship to each other and also on a specific catalysing event which occurs to move the situation forward. Thus, your house has an oak tree in the garden (blueprint), there is a hurricane (hard transit) which causes the oak tree to fall on your house (transit event) and this results in you having to rebuild the house, but you take the opportunity to improve it in some way at the same time (outcome that evolves the blueprint).
See? Simple, incredible and profound all at once.
Let us consider a couple of examples, beginning with the ever-intriguing Victoria Beckham who was recently panned by critics for her rather bland contribution to the US TV show American Idol. The Los Angeles Times dubbed her “the night’s saddest failure” while Sharyn Jackson from Village Voice said her face was “too crazy for the close-up” and added: “I always thought a British accent made people sound smart but I guess I was wrong.”
If we take a look at her nativity we can see a few intimidating transiting configurations right away:
What you can see is that Saturn applies by transit to Pluto in the 6th house and Libra while transiting Pluto applies to a square of natal Pluto from the 9th (and bearing down on her Midheaven too). As you can perhaps see, this is an enormously intense combination of transiting stresses: transiting Pluto opposing radix Saturn is creating a tee-square to transiting Saturn conjunct radix Pluto. Let us use the blueprint – event – evolution model to try and decode the possible influence of these transiting energies.
First of all, the connections are as follows:
- Pl 0pp Sa (Tr-Na): This event is in the past (throughout 2008) but crucially it describes the beginning of the current cycle of issues. The implications manifest into the 10th and 7th houses, thus vocation and marriage (and to some extent her marriage is her career).
- Saturn square Saturn in October just gone; this has a real ring of everday life issues to it but also of health. It suggests that worry and anxiety (Saturn in Mercury’s house) are having a detrimental effect on her health.
- She gets the first of five Pluto squares on February 20th this year. Pluto is in the 6th so health and daily routine are both implicated (that’s the blueprint part), while transiting Pluto is in the 9th, so foreign issues and travel are big factors that relate to these concerns. She is living in the US and has been offered a regular job (6th house) on the American Idol judging panel while her husband David plays soccer in Milan, Italy. That’s the source of the anxiety: while the cat’s away…
- Saturn squares itself at the same time, so the blueprint part is to do with her mental anxiety with the transiting Saturn in the 6th creating a health event.
- All of the influences play out into the rulerships of the planets, thus the 7th and 10th. The principle of Saturn – Pluto is hard labour and specifically the loss of one’s fortune or possessions, a real fall from grace in terms of the 10th and the 7th houses.
Conclusion, Victoria Beckham’s marriage and career will spectacularly collapse over the coming year, a process which may well be attended by some protracted mental health difficulties. There will be intrigues and quite possibly a custody battle which she will almost certainly lose. Victoria’s nativity evinces Uranus on the descendant too, so expect the revelations and the finish of the marriage to be sudden.
Ultimately though, it is an experience and a process that her soul requires. The eclipse may be something of a trigger, it falls within 4 minutes of the Venus square Neptune midpoint. The fantasy relationship falls away to be replaced by a painfully disappointing reality, custody battles, alimony and holding hostages to fortune, it all sounds rather painful in prospect.
Wonderful post! I think I’ll come back and read it again. Many times 🙂
Thank you for sharing!
Uranus conjunct Sun and Pluto on the IC is a challenging nativity to be creating blueprints with. I’m finding Saturn retro over that little cluster difficult to work out. I don’t know what to do with this intense energy. It feels like a pressure cooker and I’m not sure how to open the valve safely. There’s a part of me that wants it to blow sky high and there’s another part that wants me to bide my time and put some work into securing the foundations in the kitchen so even if it does blow we’ll all be safe. I just realised Saturn’s square Pluto right now too. I wish I knew what to do, a while back when Saturn crossed this territory I felt as though I just had to ride it out and bide my time but this time I feel like I need to do something. But WHAT? I need to work this out before it turns direct and swings by again in a few months. Time to renovate… or is just a lick of paint the business?
OK I got it – just renovated – the blueprint analogy seemed to help with the saturn = structure + pluto = subterranean/hidden aspect. I like the way you explain things, it sort’ve seeps in subliminally. Not didactic.