Learning to Speak Astrology: Part 3 – Following Your Life Cycles

 In Culture

Astrology is a language of archetypes, science, psychology, mythology and intuition. Merely understanding the language is in itself an insightful experience. Here is a Glossary of Terms and Concepts for Astrology.


Beyond using birth charts to understand your life plan, astrology can help you understand how your life is unfolding through the years and the meaning of events, inside and out. After you were born, the planets kept moving around the sky, so of course, there is meaning to that.

Planetary Cycles
When a planet has gone all the way around the zodiac from where it started at your birth, it has completed a cycle. The inner planets (Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) cycle quickly; the Moon, every 28 days; Mars, every two years. The outer planets cycles (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) range from 14 years to 248 years.

At times, a certain planet will form a certain angle to where another planet was when you were born. This is called a transit and it has a particular meaning for that time in your life. So, you can see that throughout your life, there are multiple planets, at various rates, creating multiple transits, each with a specific meaning and effect.

Some transits reflect harmonic dynamics happening in your life. Some reflect challenging dynamics. This is how astrology has been used to predict things. However, modern astrologers use transits less to predict events and more to predict issues, themes, opportunities and lessons in life. Free will affects exact outcomes. However, for example, it helps to understand that the mental confusion you’ve been feeling for several months is part of a Neptune-Mercury transit that will end soon, but is inviting you to tune your mind into more transcendent awareness. Therefore, you might want to go light on important rational decisions and activities and let yourself meditate and contemplate more.

Universal Rites of Passage
A Universal Rites of Passage Transit is a special kind of Transit marked by an outer, slower moving planet either coming back to where it started at your birth or coming into a special angle with itself. These are universal transition points in all our lives. The more notable ones are the Jupiter Return (every 14 years), Saturn Return (age 28-30 and 57-60), Uranus Opposition (age 38-42), Chiron Return (age 51) and Neptune Trine (around age 55). These are good times to get an astrology reading from someone experienced enough to understand the cycles. (More about these in Part 4)

Another way that astrologers can help you understand what is currently happening in your life is through a Secondary Progression. By advancing your birth chart one day for each year you’ve lived, believe it or not, insights can be gleaned mostly from the placements of the Sun, Moon and movement of other planets through Aspects and the Houses. These insights are primarily related to where you are in the unfolding of your potential during your lifetime. It provides a larger contextual backdrop to the more specific information attained through Transits. 

Images courtesy of Barry Kerr.

Images courtesy of Barry Kerr.

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