• MODULE TEN: PLANETARY TRANSITS

  • Day 1: Reading Ephemerides

    This module only covers two parts however it is quite detailed and the activity takes some extra time to do so there has been 2 days a piece allotted for each section.
    Planetary transits describe the daily motion of the planets against the backdrop of the progressed and the natal charts or any other type of chart. The planets effectively have another role to play which shows how by looking up close they work and how they can be used in interpretation to help assess future trends and also to give an understanding of current situations as they presents themselves on a daily basis, especially when a transit sets off a series of events that link by aspects and precipitate major events.

    The aim in the end is to use transits realistically to plot a planets progress and without relying on them or getting carried away by unduly imagining what future events will take place. Their purpose is to help decipher important timings in the chart and—develop an awareness of how planetary patterns emerge and form into a set of connecting aspects involving different planets—and or alternatively watch a planet on its own to keep an eye out on anything unusual happening with it in terms of the other different celestial objects and planets in the chart.

    Fortune Emblem

    An ephemeris refers to the astronomical data compiled of the planets as they transit through each sign in terms of their degree and minutes for each day of the year. There is also information on the moon phases and the last days of aspects in the ingress of the moon from one sign to another along with information regarding eclipses and Chiron and the moon’s nodes. In all you will find an ephemeris just about covers everything in regards to what you need to know in reference to doing astrology and especially for doing planetary transits.

    There’re two types of ephemeris which are the noon and midnight ones. If you intend to do astrology quite regularly it certainly helps to buy an ephemeris, however for this course at present we can just refer to the ephemeris on Astro.com. When calculating transit times remember the times given in an ephemeris are for G.M.Time so you will have to adjust the time either backward or forward so many hours (called standard time) to place you are working out, and in addition also allow for daylight savings time if applicable.
    Below is an example page taken from a noon ephemeris.

    1 Table of  Noon  Ephemerides

Astro ActivityModule Ten/Day One - Activity

To access the ephemeris login to https://www.astro.com/ and after clicking on “my astro” and selecting a chart and then the “extended chart tab” and “arriving at your extended chart selection page” in the second section down from the data where it says “methods” click on where it says ephemeris and then click on where it says “to click here to show an ephemeris”.

When it’s downloaded scroll through and you can see that it has each month for the year 2015 showing each day with each planet transits through a sign. You'll notice the Sun takes about 1° each day while the moon takes roughly two and a half days to travel through a whole 30° sign. Then in the next column you have the planet Mercury transits for the month, then Venus and Mars transits in the next column and so on with each column showing how long it takes for each planet in days and by degrees to pass through a sign. Notice the slow moving planets take a lot longer to go through with Pluto, and Neptune, and Uranus, moving very slowly indeed in terms of minutes.

And then you have the moon's nodes North or true node and its South node, and then next comes the symbol of the crescent moon with a cross which is an additional celestial object called Lilith. That is not usually included in the standard ephemeris however if you want to find more out about this object, simply look up the history of Lilith on any astrological service which gives information on the planets. Just google “Lilith in astrology” then you’ll come up with a lot of different information on it.And last of all you have Chiron at the end.

The “R” and “D” that appears in some columns stands for when a planet goes “retrograde” and “direct.” Quite often especially the outer planets will be moving forward and then they stop and appear to go backwards before once again becoming stationary and then going direct again. Mercury being the quickest does this three times a year, whereas the outer planets can do that for up to months at a time. There are certain interpretations of what a planet means when it goes retrograde, however it needs to be taken into account that what you read can be a mixed bag and therefore not to take the meanings too literally, as retrograde can mean also the opposite of what is commonly meant by retrograde. For example with Mercury retrograde additionally it signifies times to go over ones paper work or contracts and to preferably not start a new project until its going direct again for example. However if there has been a project on the go and it's caused some delays then in a retrograde period it can signal it's time when things are freed up and back on the move again, so you always need to look and ascertain the situation at hand regarding a retrograde planet.

Retrograde periods are not really a crucial factor when it comes to interpretation, unless of course there are other indications and your dealing specifically with the planet Mercury which rules communication—but with the outer planets and even the moons nodes it doesn't seem to have much effect because of the long time involved.

What you see in transits is quite often that the transiting planets will form aspects between themselves. This is what astrologers use to give information in relation to world events. Sometimes a transit pattern may coincide with certain aspects in your chart which can be significant if other things indicate in the chart also. However the transiting aspects especially when between any of the inner planets to any of the outer planets can cause some noticeable effects on world events. The key is to look for those particular times where and when they are happening and just out of interest sake take note of where they are in your chart to see if there is any connection with your personal views on things in relation to the world event. This can be a good way of seeing how transits work and getting experience as a result about transits in your own life.

If you are looking to buy an ephemeris one of the most popular and best ones I recommend is

http://www.amazon.com/American-Ephemeris-Century-2000-2100-Midnight/dp/0976242230

It covers from 2000 2100 and is good value for the price. You can also get an ephemeris from 1900 to 2000. They are both excellent and have a lot of information.

If you click on the link it will take you to amazon.com on the page which has the book. Open the ephemeris up and scroll down until you come to a page which has the transiting planets on it. You'll notice at the bottom of the page that there is a section which has all the astrological data of the moon’s phases and eclipses, and the last aspects with the day and minutes of each planet, and the ingress of the moon when it goes from one sign to the next. Also there is information on the moon’s nodes, the Galactic centre, and various other bits and pieces about Chiron, all of which can be handy when assessing the transiting planets in the monthly chart or any other type of chart.

 

Next: Module Ten - Day 2