Our natal chart is a snapshot of the sky at our moment of birth. We will carry this blue-print with us for the entire course of our lives, however, the planets and luminaries above us move on from that point in time, continuing in their cycles, forming contacts to the planets and points in our natal charts.
Evaluating these contacts, or planetary transits, is one of the main techniques used to assess current and future trends. Transits can act to manifest events or trigger what is latent in our psychological make-up, bringing often hidden parts of our nature to the fore, stimulating a need for reevaluation and adjustment.
Planetary cycles, like all life cycles, go through the same process: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, and dying back in preparation for the new. A particularly important transit is a planetary return, when a transiting planet returns to the same point in the sky that it occupied at the moment of your birth. It signifies the beginning of a new personal cycle as described by the planet or luminary involved.
The most regular return is that of the Moon every month, but more significantly is our annual Solar return, our true ‘birthday’, the ‘many happy returns’ of the Sun.
Other major returns are those of the outer planets – Jupiter and Saturn. The Jupiter return occurs approximately every 12 years and heralds a new phase of growth and development. The Saturn return occurs approximately every 28-29 years and heralds a phase when new realities and responsibilities must be faced.
One of the advantages of this knowledge is the help it offers us in understanding when it is best to strive ahead, or slow down and take advantage of the prevailing time for planning, taking stock before launching into new experiences.