Visual astrology is based on events you can actually see in the sky, like Mars passing between the horns of the bull in the constellation Taurus, or one planet making a 90 degree angle to another, or Venus having the whole sky to itself, or Pluto standing still. Astrology began with these sky events, which for me have a sort of primordial power, and then gradually became more abstract.
It is possible to bring a considerable amount of visual astrology into the birth chart through using the actual constellations (as opposed to the imaginary zodiac that we have) and particular stars (for a Fixed Star report go here).
And there are also features of the traditional birth chart we can focus on: aspects between planets, unaspected planets and stationing planets are all events in the sky that can be seen.
But what about transits and progressions, which show us how the natal chart is being activated during the course of our lives? Transits have a considerable degree of abstraction, in that they involve a real planet making an aspect to a point in the sky where a planet used to be many years ago. And Progressions are entirely abstract. This doesn’t invalidate either of them, in fact they work very well. They can make you gasp at the synchronicity of it all, like the Pope’s Progressed Sun conjoining the US Sun on his recent, and first, visit to the US.
But there is still a certain level of power that can only be there when the actual sky is involved. With this in mind, I thought it would be worth experimenting with transits as repetitions of sky events in the birth chart. For instance, the Iraq War began with Pluto stationing on the Midheaven (yes, really!)
When Pluto stationed last September, it became clear that there had been a remarkable fall in the levels of violence in Iraq, and General Petraeus announced that the ‘surge’ was working. Things remained quiet until the next time Pluto stationed in March 2008, when there was an outbreak of fighting that spread to a number of cities. Only a few days ago, with Pluto still just about stationing, Moqtada Al Sadr gave the Iraqi government and the Americans an ultimatum to leave his militia alone or he’ll start a full-scale war. He means it, and he has the capacity to do so.
So it would seem that the Iraq War is indeed sensitive to stationing Pluto.
George Bush was born with stationing Neptune – as well as 12th House Sun in a wide square to Neptune. When he was elected President in 2000, Neptune was within 9 minutes of its stationing point. In 2004, he was again elected under a stationing Neptune. Neptune had just finished stationing when he was elected Governor of Texas in 1994, and was stationing in 1998 when he was re-elected.
So it is possible that if you have a stationing planet in your natal chart, it will not only be strongly influential, but will also act as a trigger for events in your life. The point here is that it has nothing to do with any aspects the stationing planet might make with your birth chart. It is pure sky event. It is that you look upwards over a period of days, and you see Jupiter, say, standing still relative to the stars, and you know that is saying something to you personally, for he chose to stand still at the moment of your birth.
We can also do this with pairs of planets that are in aspect in the birth chart. These 2 gods work together in your life. So whenever they are aspecting each other, they are speaking to you. These aspects can be observed, and again they are not transits, it is not about angles to the birth chart.
Take the case of Tony Blair and Saturn-Neptune. He was born in 1953 under a conjunction of these 2 planets in Libra, and can be seen as an reflection of his religious convictions and socialist ideals, both of which fuelled his career. Under the 1972 opposition, he went to Oxford University. Under the 1980 square he got married (to a Catholic) and began his political work in London. There was a conjunction in 1989, and the year before he had been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet. Under the square of 1999 he was busy enacting the early legislation of his time as Prime Minister. And then under the opposition of 2007 he stood down as Prime Minister. So the cycle of Saturn-Neptune hard aspects describes key moments in his political life, and can be seen as the gradual unfoldment – for better or for worse – of his early religious and political ideals.
Interestingly, he did not become an MP (in 1983) under Saturn-Neptune, but under a Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Libra, and this perhaps reflects the extent to which the pursuit of power was on his agenda. As an early friend said, Tony Blair wanted to be Prime Minister, and he didn’t mind too much which party he was affiliated with. And as soon as he stood down as PM, he resigned as an MP as well.
Though the Moon’s Nodes cannot literally be seen in the sky, they are not entirely abstract, as they represent the places where the Moon’s path crosses the Sun’s path, and this can be located in the sky. George Bush was born with Uranus conjunct North Node, and in his case the cycle seems to correspond to the various scrapes he has got into: during the 1976 conjunction, he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol; during the 1991 conjunction he sold a load of shares (against advice) pretty obviously on the basis of insider knowledge; and during the conjunction of early 2007 he was looking into the political abyss due to the mess he’d made of Iraq. All have a common denominator of reckless behaviour (not helped by a natal unaspected Saturn). He always seems to get out of his scrapes, but with Uranus conjunct Node, you’d hope he’d have started learning something by now.
Using the same method, you could see what happens to George Bush every time Saturn is unaspected.
Speaking for myself, natally I have both Neptune and Jupiter stationing, and a Neptune-Node-Jupiter conjunction, so there are plenty of ‘sky transits’ to unpack here. The Neptune-Node conjunctions of 1974 and 1991 were both pivotal for me in determining my future direction (Node) but also involved a lot of confusion (Neptune). There is another conjunction in 6 days, but I think there is less confusion this time, and a clearer sense of expansive possibilities.
Anyway, I’ll be interested to see if these ‘sky transits’ work for other people.