To identify the transits in effect now, turn to the Appendix at the back of this book and look up the current position of the planets. The planetary tables in the Appendix tell you what sign each planet is in. Jot down the positions of the planets from Mars to Pluto. Then make a copy of your birth chart and position the transiting planets around it. As models, look at Figures 16-2 and 16-3, which present Anne Morrow Lindbergh's chart. In each case, the inner wheel represents the birth chart, and the outer wheel shows the location of the transiting planets.
To know exactly where the transiting planets are and whether they're within a degree or two of your birth planets, you need to consult a professional, wander about on the Web, or — better yet — buy an astrological calendar, which can tell you the precise position of the planets at a glance. The best ones are Llewellyn's Daily Planetary Guide and Jim Maynards Celestial Guide and Celestial Influences calendars.
Showing the importance of transits
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the author of 14 books, the mother of six children, and the wife of the aviator Charles Lindbergh, who flew across the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 1927 and became an instant international hero (though his reputation was sullied later on when he accepted an award from the Nazi government). Unlike many wives of famous men, she became famous in her own right — which is exactly what you would expect from someone with a tenth house as packed as hers. Figure 16-1 shows her extraordinary birth chart.
After Lindbergh's triumphant solo flight, he became a goodwill ambassador to Latin America. In December 1927, he visited Mexico, where he met Anne, whose father was the American ambassador. A year and a half later, they married. Figure 16-2 shows Anne's chart in the center surrounded by the transits for her initial meeting with Charles. Notice that Jupiter, the bringer of opportunity, and Uranus, the lord of the unexpected, are conjunct in her seventh house of marriage. Any astrologer could have told her that she would meet someone soon and that he would be an unusual person.
The inner chart is the birth chart. The planets in the outer circle represent the transits.
When they married, Uranus was still in her seventh house. Almost three years later, tragedy struck when the Lindberghs' 20-month-old baby was kidnapped and killed. The murderer's trial, known as "the trial of the century," was arguably bigger than O.J. Simpson's. Her transits at the time of the kidnapping are shown in Figure 16-3.
Notice that Saturn, the planet of restriction, is now in her fifth house of children, and Uranus, the planet of the unexpected, is in her eighth house of death and transformation. Those two transits, I should point out, aren't nearly enough to trigger such an exceedingly rare and terrible loss. After all, everyone who had an Ascendant in the neighborhood of 21° Virgo also experienced those transits. A birth chart must show the potential for an event in order for it to happen. And there it is: The close opposition of her natal Uranus to her natal Sun, Moon, Mars, and Neptune clearly introduces the possibility of violence. The transits acted on the possibilities already there in her remarkable chart.
To follow your transits, make a copy of the empty chart on the Cheat Sheet and place your birth planet in the appropriate sections. (See Chapter 3 for more information on constructing your birth chart.) Then position the transiting planets around the outer rim. You'll see right away that there's a lot going on. Mars is here, Saturn is there, Pluto and Jupiter are together in a third place. So how can you tell which transits to concentrate on?
Here's the rule: The transits that pack the biggest wallop are those made by the slowest planets — Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — to the Sun, the Moon, the Ascendant, and the faster planets. Contacts made by the faster planets are usually short-lived. Contacts made by the slower planets to the slower planets (such as Uranus opposite your Pluto or Neptune conjunct your Saturn) may be too subtle to detect (unless the natal planet happens to occupy a prominent position in your chart). But contacts made by a slow planet to one of your personal planets — Pluto conjunct your Moon, Uranus opposite your Sun, and so on — signify the chapters of your life.
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