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Growing through difficult transits

Difficult transits Image by Tahir Siddiqui.

A good friend wrote to me recently after receiving an astrology reading. The reading gave her some context for the difficulties she’s currently experiencing. However because several difficult transits are occurring simultaneously in her chart she feels dis-empowered, and like many people feels her only choice is to hang in there and wait it out. She writes, “Reading it and going ‘aha….aha…aha’ does make me question how much free will we really have!”

I responded by suggesting an old analogy, that astrology is very much like a weather forecast. We cannot stop the rain and the bad weather coming, but we can choose to wear warm clothes and carry a big umbrella. Unfortunately this is a great metaphor, but difficult to apply in real life! As my friend responded, “I wonder what sort of umbrella will help me move out!”

So, the topic of this post is the kind of umbrellas we need for difficult transits. More than this it’s about how we can not only survive difficult transits but grow stronger through them. Just as plants need rain to thrive, and wind to make them more resilient, we too need the challenge of difficult transits to catalyse our growth.

Growing through difficult transits from Saturn

Difficult transits from Saturn tend to bring a sense of limitation to the area of the chart they touch. Sometimes this is a real physical obstruction such as illness, while at other times the obstruction is within us. We may feel incapable of achieving what we set out to achieve or bring ourselves down with negative self-talk. Establishing where the blockage lies is a good first step towards resolving it. Look to the sign and house placing for clues to this.

The positive side of Saturn transits is that through overcoming limitation we develop great will-power and tenacity. Like Capricorn the mountain goat, we can climb to great heights through determination and persistence. It’s all about testing yourself and your boundaries. Push gently at first to gauge your own strength and resistance, then slowly and consistently push until you break through. Don’t force anything, don’t exhaust yourself. Just push gently.

If your obstacle refuses to budge, consider moving around or over it. Allow yourself to go where the energy flows. Like a trickle of water slowly wearing a path through a great stone wall, be flexible and move with the Tao. And remember, as Eckhart Tolle writes, ‘All structures are impermanent.’ No barrier can outlast the gentle force of your faith in yourself.

Umbrella needed during these difficult transits: gentle persistence, trust and flexibility

For more on Saturn transits check out Saturn Transits: When things get serious.

Growing through difficult transits from Uranus

Uranus breaks things down, changing in dramatic ways all things that are stagnant or stale. Uranus is a friend who comes to your house, takes one look around and says, ‘Whoa! Time for a clean-out!’ Without thought for nostalgia or sentiment he sets to. Old newspaper clippings you’ve been hording, Auntie Jean’s fig jam at the back of the fridge, your ex-wife’s underwear, loose change that’s been hanging around since before the Euro was introduced, out it goes.

‘Hold it right there!’ you say. ‘I like these things. You have no right…’ But your friend Uranus doesn’t take no for an answer.

Of course during difficult transits from Uranus you may well find yourself saying goodbye to much more significant things than fig jam and old knickers. Depending on the planets and houses involved you might have to let go of relationships that have run their course, a career that no longer reflects who you are or outdated ways of thinking. It may well be painful but after this big clear out you’ll feel a marvelous sense of release, spaciousness and freedom.

Umbrella needed during these difficult transits: ruthless detachment

Growing through difficult transits from Neptune

When Neptune passes we awaken to the true nature of things. This sounds lovely, but when we’ve been deluding ourselves about something it can be downright humiliating and miserable. Let’s say you’ve been seeing a guy for a while and you think he’s just wonderful. Strangely your friends and family don’t agree. For some reason they’ve all got it in for him and for months now you’ve had to defend him from their unreasonable persecution.

Along comes Neptune and your eyes are opened. You realise with a sick feeling just how deceptive and conniving he is. Worse, you see how badly you’ve treated your friends, who’ve only had your well being at heart. You are filled with sorrow and disillusionment. But Neptune also rules unconditional love and as the transit progresses we can discover within us great wells of compassion for ourselves and others, even those who’ve deceived us.

Umbrella needed during these difficult transits: unflinching courage in the face of reality

Growing through difficult transits from Pluto

Difficult transits from Pluto tend to bring our shadow to the surface. Those who think they don’t have a shadow are usually the ones hit hardest by Pluto transits. Our shadow is all the things we feel ashamed for wanting, all the parts of ourselves we’d rather hide. The problem is, hiding them doesn’t make them go away. In fact our shadow tends to become more pronounced and perverted the more we try to suppress it.

The Plutonian shadow comes in many forms but usually manifests elements of obsession, fear of losing control, death and the darker side of our sexuality. Allowing yourself to experience these aspects of yourself fully, without judgement, can release you from them. Their compulsive quality will relax and shrink back into proportion, just one part of a healthy balance of shadow and light within your being.

Umbrella needed during these difficult transits: loving acceptance of our dark side

Growing through difficult transits from Chiron

Difficult transits from Chiron can bring up old wounds from painful experiences in the past. Perhaps something that is happening in the present is similar to your past experience, triggering fears and painful memories. Or perhaps a person who hurt you deeply comes back into your life, offering you the opportunity to forgive. Occasionally, experiences you are having now can leave new wounds.

The beauty of these transits is that through our experience of being wounded we are able to heal others. Chiron brings empathy for others in pain, and gentleness towards ourselves during our process of healing. They say time heals all wounds but sometimes what is needed is acknowledgement of our pain and forgiveness of those who have hurt us, as well as space to rest and recuperate.

Umbrella needed during these difficult transits: self-nurturing, forgiveness and reflection

During all difficult transits it’s important to stay present so we can respond with clarity and wisdom to the experiences the transit brings. The most effective way of staying present that I’ve found is meditation. This can be traditional sitting meditation, or a more dynamic form such as yoga, tai chi or walking meditation. Any simple activity can be a meditation really: singing, dance, even the washing up. It just needs to be done with full awareness.

George Gurdjieff wrote, “The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and “consciousness” cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and “will” cannot evolve involuntarily. The evolution of man is the evolution of his power of doing, and “doing” cannot be the result of things which “happen.” In other words, we must be active in our own growth if we are to make the most of difficult transits.

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Are you currently experiencing a very difficult transit? Please share your experiences below

5 Comments on Growing through difficult transits

  1. This is useful, well thought-out and put in a way that’s simple yet effective at the same time. I’m having these transits all at once, with my Sun squared by t. Pluto and opposed by t. Uranus, my Venus opposed by t.Neptune and squared by t. Saturn, and I must admit, it’s helpful to read this. Thankyou for sharing your wisdom, Faith.

    • I’m so glad it’s helpful to you Aeterna. I currently have transiting Pluto conjunct my natal Venus, Sun and Moon and square my natal Pluto. My life truly is a roller coaster right now! I’m enjoying the ride by releasing my expectations and allowing things to just be exactly as they are. It really helps! Thanks for the comment. It’s nice to know people out there are getting something from my posts :)

  2. Mrs L Gregoire // October 28, 2016 at 11:26 am //

    Brilliant content, loved it thank you.

  3. Demitra M. N. // October 29, 2016 at 1:05 am //

    Transiting Uranus conjunct my natal Moon (second pass this year). While I’ve not experienced anything remarkably emotional during this transit, I have found myself unable to resist small redecorating jobs around the home during the transit — areas that have been desperately in need of rejuvenation. Last week my bathroom got colorful face-lift; my hallway, a much nicer rug and runner; and today, quite unexpectedly, I found (finally!) the absolutely most perfect lamp to replace the one that I had no choice but to use until I could find better but within my budget. I have to admit, these are the kinds of unexpectedly ‘ruthless’ Uranian changes I like the most. Ha, there’s still a third pass next March to look forward to.

    Thanks, Faith…I really liked the ‘umbrellas’ you provided for each transit. An entrepreneurial mind during an Uranus transit: I find myself wondering how each transit message would actually look on an appropriately colored umbrella. Hmmm… how revolutionary would it be to see umbrellas everywhere get an astrological overhaul in design! Still, I suppose there are much bigger issues these days that need attending to in our world first… but hey, it’s not the worst idea ever. :-)

  4. Faith,

    I’m inspired by your example and greatly appreciate you sharing these useful tools for gracefully weathering life’s storms, just when I needed this kind of a reminder to gently keep surrendering to what is. Thank you very much!

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