When an outer planet transits one of our natal planets, especially when they conjoin or create difficult aspects in our natal chart, we often experience long and protracted periods of intense learning and growth. During such times it’s incredibly important to look after your health.
As long-time readers of this site surely know, over the past six years I’ve been experiencing a series of challenging transits from Pluto and Saturn to my Sun, Moon and Venus. The process of transformation these transits catalysed has been exhausting and has taken its toll on both my physical and mental health. When you are going through such transits, understanding your personal astrology of health can be very empowering.
At its most fundamental, our health is affected by the element that is most strong in our birth chart. Sometimes two elements can be at play, but usually there is one that is stronger. Understanding which element is running the show can give you a big picture view on your own constitution so you can best look after yourself during challenging transits.
To make the most of this information you will need to reference your own birth chart. You can create one for free at astro.com.
The Fire person during challenging transits
The fire person is prone to inflammation of all kinds and during challenging transits this is prone to flare up. Skin problems, autoimmune diseases and allergies, asthma, irritable bowel and other gastrointestinal conditions are all likely to become worse during a challenging transit. Emotionally, fire people are likely to experience stress as anger and irritation. They are prone to outbursts and can sometimes be downright scary to be around!
The Earth person during challenging transits
The Earth person has a tendency to get stuck in material concerns. Preoccupation with possessions, work, status and physical appearance are some of the ways this can manifest. This can mean that the earth person ignores, or is too busy to notice, emotional up-swellings that may be a sign that something is wrong. Conversely they can become preoccupied with imagined physical ailments and fail to acknowledge real mental or emotional health problems.
The Air person during challenging transits
The Air person is the one most likely to suffer from anxiety, insomnia and agitation during a challenging transit. All the air signs relate to the mind, to thinking and communicating. Under pressure the mind becomes busier and busier. It becomes very difficult to slow down your thoughts and you can begin to feel quite mad. During challenging transits air people are also prone to losing their train of thought and becoming confused. They need to learn to calm the mind and become more grounded in their body.
The Water person during challenging transits
The Water person is very emotional in nature and the most prone to sinking into depression during a challenging transit. The water person is also likely to suffer from complaints that involve retention of water in the body such as fungal conditions and edema. Watery people also have a tendency towards self imposed isolation and sometimes self medicate to escape their painful emotions. This often undermines mental and physical health.
If you’re not sure which elements predominate in your chart, check out my article on the four elements in you. It has some handy tips for working with each element and finding balance.
Individual health traits are shown in the birth chart
Looking at the elements provides some good general information, but to really look after yourself during a challenging transit you need more specific information on your personal health and constitution. To understand this better you should look to the placement of the Moon and Mars in your birth chart and to the houses ruled by Virgo. I will use myself as a case study to show you how this to do this for yourself.
The Moon and your health during challenging transits
My Moon is placed in Capricorn, in the 8th House, square to Pluto. The 8th House rules inheritance and several of my physical health issues are genetic in nature. With Pluto in the picture its not surprising that my health is both characterised and exacerbated by obsessive and self destructive behaviours. Capricorn is prone to skin complaints and these are certainly a challenge for me!
With the square from my Moon to Pluto I am prone to emotional over-reactions and to becoming fixated on things that don’t really matter. Being a predominantly fiery person this stress often translates into anger and irritation. During challenging transits I have to be very careful not to lash out at my partner and family.
Mars and your health during challenging transits
Mars shows our physical energy and libido. In my case Mars is in the sign of Leo and I do think my energy is somewhat like a lion’s. I can chase down an antelope if necessary, but I don’t see much point in running unless there is something to be caught. I therefore get very little aerobic exercise which has obvious impacts on my fitness.
In my chart Mars is unaspected and I am overall not a very physical person. Difficult aspects to Mars can cause lethargy and fatigue as well as issues expressing anger in a healthy way, which is very damaging to our health in the long term. If Mars is placed in an incompatible sign (Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Pisces) or house (2nd, 4th, 7th, 12th) your energy may become quite sluggish if you don’t take deliberate steps to keep things moving.
The house of Virgo during a challenging transit
In my chart Virgo is ruler of the 4th House. The fourth house shows your foundations. During a challenging transit these foundations will be tested. They will either be proven solid and secure in the face of the storm or they will shift and buckle under the pressure.
The 4th house shows your upbringing. I have Pluto placed in this house. My upbringing was intense, abusive and filled with painful endings and strange new beginnings. It taught me how to let go but also forged self destructive behaviours. Developed by the child as ways of coping, these behaviours lead to ill health in the adult. For me these behaviours include workaholism and perfectionism.
As you can see, with Moon in the 8th House square Pluto and Pluto itself located in the 4th House ruled by Virgo, the god of the underworld plays a huge role in my personal health profile.
So how does this manifest in my life? Well, imagine an engine revving way too hard. It’s been revving for months without a proper tune up or oil change. Its parts are no longer nicely lubricated. The radiator is dry and the friction causes a nasty smoke. In the same way, a body (and mind) that is in continual motion, fueled by frenetic energy that is driven by obsession and anxiety, will become exhausted, depleted and unwell.
The 6th House of health during a challenging transit
The other house to look to when considering health during challenging transits is the 6th House, which is natively ruled by Virgo. The 6th House shows health, but also work and service. The implication is that if you work too hard, giving too much of yourself to others, and nothing to yourself, you will become sick.
The 6th house opposes the 12th House and this is our inner realm, our spring of inspiration where we go to fill up our cup. This is especially important to do during challenging transits. However, like all opposing houses this pair of houses needs to be kept in balance. If we lean too heavily into the 12th House, we may become mentally ill, disconnected from reality, unable to function socially, self absorbed and neurotic.
Contemplating the planets in your 6th House can help you understand your physical health, while planets in your 12th House tell you much about your mental health. Uranus sits in my 6th House. Uranus rules illnesses of a sudden and catastrophic nature. Thankfully my Sun, Moon and Venus all form supportive sextiles to Uranus and I have yet to experience anything of this nature. Still, I keep up with my regular medical checkups!
General self care tips during challenging transits
Challenging transits create a great deal of stress as we wrestle with both external circumstances and our own inner turmoil. Stress in and of itself is very damaging to our health, but in addition it often causes us to fall back on our most primal and ingrained behaviours, which can further impact our well being. If we continue to push ourselves mercilessly over the long course of a challenging transit then something is very likely to give.
The following may seem obvious but it’s incredibly easy to forget these simple things when we’re caught up in the turmoil of a challenging transit. Whatever your constitution and personal astrological makeup it’s essential to:
- Get plenty of good quality sleep
- Take a multi-vitamin – stress is very depleting
- Reduce stress in whatever way works best for you
- Eat a healthy, fresh and balanced diet
- Get out, move your body and have fun
- Meditate or do a form of moving meditation such as yoga or tai chi
- Get creative or enjoy the creativity of others
- Use affirmations to overcome any habits that undermine health
A challenging transit is a marathon and it can take a great toll on your physical and mental health. Understanding your personal constitution and your ingrained habits and traits can help you better care for your health over the long haul. This will ensure you come out the other side healthier and happier than when you began the transit.
I love hearing how you’re experiencing the transits. Share your thoughts in the comments below.