Taking care of your health during challenging transits
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!
To get started tracking the transits in your own life, grab a free birth chart at astro.com and download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.
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.
Fantastic post, Faith. One I have really needed, but time taught me to do much of the same work.
I am mostly water and air, but my 4 water planets in Scorpio is located in my 9th house – which is a fiery house. Jupiter is here as well, and Neptune resides in my sagittarius house.
I have natal moon in Libra, 8yh house. In my 5th/6th house I have Cancer. So, when my Libra moon is under pressure from transits (and especially since it’s in square to Mars in Cap on the cusp of the 12th) my health house is affected.
When Saturn transited my 6th house, he put pressure on my Moon in the 8th.
During those years I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance. I also began having problems with my mother.
When Saturn transited my 8th house + Moon, I was severely stressed but I tuned into my 5th house of Cancer and got creative to begin healing my anger towards my verbally abusive dad. I also went into therapy.
Now, Saturn is transmitting my 12th house, and I have developed atopic eczhema in my face. Aquarius is on my Ascendant, and as Saturn is the co-ruler of this sign, I guess it would explain some of it, as well as the Capricorn thing around skin conditions in general.
The thing about the 12th house transits (which of course have put intense pressure on my Moon) is that one of the benefits are you know that whatever people are leaving, it is for the best. You transcend pain by living with it, because Saturn gives you that – time for mourning.
My mother cut me off in 2019.
Saturn squared my moon from the 12th = women + endings.
I have had women being particularly nasty and bossy and abusive of power towards me during the past couple of years. Women in power, women trying to overpower me are some of the things I have seen during 2018-2019.
In the end I discovered I was to be my own mother and take care of me. I have begun treating myself as worthy of love. And I hope that my skin will be better after Saturn comes about of my 12th house…. I am really tired of this thing… My food allergies has also taken a turn for the worse :-/
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience Anette. I’m glad the post inspired some self reflection xx
I am always grateful to you for sharing the dynamics of your natal and transiting aspects, your insight, empathy and wisdom, as these offerings always spark a resonance within. No doubt all of us experiencing the intensity of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, the passing Full Moon and Solar eclipse can connect on a collective level; especially if these planetary influences fall within the degrees of the ascendant-descendant, MC-IC angles.
Big transitions are upon the collective and for many of us personally! And I am one of those to be jumping the hurdles of change with a 6th house Sun and North Node in Aries, Libra and Neptune ascendant in Libra, Midheaven on the 23 degree Cancer point (full moon, solar eclipse) and Saturn-Pluto transiting my 4th house of home, which is where I teach, and has now turned to smoke and ash. . . .
Dear Little Sister Faith, please know you are not alone on planet earth. We are all together as we navigate life’s greatest opportunities to sur-thrive, Love, Observe and Be Free!!
Sending You Loving Blessings,
Hillary from Koh Samui
Thank you Hillary… Your love comes through so strongly in your message here. I hope that the smoke and ash you refer to is metaphoric, and that you are able to find a place of security and stability within yourself during this difficult time. I had a look at your website and the centre where you work looks like an amazing place. Much love to you, Faith
Thanks for sharing! So important to remember what we don’t fix we pass on.. and with planets in the 4th and 8th its all about family and inheriting karmic ties..that may have nothing to do with you but their on your watch..if we don’t watch, our kids become the receptors for all that fiery and angst
Thanks Faith, this is really insightful and useful!
Thank you lovely! Big love to you <3
Thank you so much for this article. I’ve had a hard time first Uranus going through my Aries stellium (Venus, Nadir, Chiron, Mercury, Moon, Sun). Then Saturn squaring the same planets and now Pluto conjuncting my Capricorn Mars while squaring half of the lot at the same time. All that and a Chiron Return exact next week at my Nadir. On many days I’ve been happy to just get out of bed. Those transits have left me in a very vulnerable place but studying astrology has helped. I’m thinking there must be a reason for all this.