Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living

 

planets_in_transit.JPGRobert Hand, the author of some well-known books like Horoscope Symbols, here, Planets in Composite, Planets in Youth, Whole Sign Houses or Night&Day: Planetary Sect in Astrology, published Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living for the first time in 1976.

 

In 2001 he published a revised and expanded second edition which covers a period of 25 years of astrological practice and makes us happy. Happy because it is a joy to read a book where a vast practical experience, a profound understanding of astrology and an impressive capacity to express ideas and thoughts clear and bright are harmoniously blending producing a classic book of astrology and, in the same time, a standard for the upcoming astrologers. 

 

It is a book divided in two parts: the first one filled with theory has only 44 pages (3 chapters), the second one covering the interpretations of transits has 482 pages.

 

In the 1st chapter Interpreting Transits the author presents a list with the difficult and easy transits and explains the significance of aspects by numerology, assigning for each aspect a number (ex. square = 4 because 90 = 360/4).

 

In the 2nd chapter Timing Transits Robert Hand gives 6 rules to help us find more precise the time when the events generated by transits happen. I think Rule 3 is quite interesting:

 

"When a number a transits describe an event, the time of the event will be closest to the time when the average orb of all the transiting planets approaches to zero."

 

Also note that the effect of an outer-planet transit will be timed by an inner planet (Rule 1) and transits on midpoints are very important (Rule 4). Hand is an astrologer who uses midpoints extensively and is happy with the results.

 

After those valuable advices the author proposes another innovative aspect: the precession correction of the natal planets. The idea is that we should treat natal planets like fixed stars and make the proper correction due to the precession of the equinox. Even is not more than 1 degree for a planet in 70 years, this can help in timing transits. But the most important difference will be on Solar Returns where the position of planets in houses and even the Moon position will change dramatically. The question is: if we use the Tropical zodiac why to see natal planets like fixed stars? I mean that in the natal chart I place natal planets not on the sidereal signs based on the morphomaton (the constellations formed by fixed stars which can be seen on the sky), but on the tropical zodiac, in relation with the vernal point. Why not to keep the relation (longitude) with the vernal point if I used it at first? My opinion is that the correction of the natal planets due the precession is not sustained by good arguments. The tropical zodiac means the relation with the vernal point and we can’t change that relation for the planets of our solar system when the time passes.

 

In chapter 3 Case Study: Nixon and Watergate the author uses transits to analyze the events happened in 1972-1973.

 

In chapter 4-13 you can find the interpretations for the planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) transit through houses and in aspects with the other planets, the Midheaven and the Ascendant.

The aspects made by planets in transit are analyzed in a dual manner, taking in account what planet is in transit, for example Mercury transit square Venus natal has some interpretations and Venus transit square Mercury natal has different interpretations. It is a very good approach which we don’t find in every book on transits.


MY EVALUATION: 9,6

 

Conclusion. It is probably the best book on transits ever written. It is comprehensive, clear and… real! The explanations for every aspect are fitting with the reality and the author practical experience gives results. Also, you can notice the psychological approach because every transit delineation contains the feelings you may experience and your possibilities to act. It is not a fatalistic approach, he supposes you have free-will and tries to guide you in making the best choice and being aware of what is happening. My evaluation is 9,6

Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark

 

predictive astrologyBernadette Brady is an Australian astrologer who lives in Bristol, UK. She wrote Star and Planet Combinations (2008), Astrology – a Place of Chaos (2006), Predictive Astrology (1999), Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars (1998) and received  the Charles Harvey Award (2006).

 

Predictive Astrology – The Eagle and the Lark (1999), probably her most appreciated book, is a revised and updated version of the textbook The Eagle and the Lark (1992). She was distinguished with the Spica Astrology Award for the best astrological book in 1999.

 

Instead of preface we have the story of the Eagle and the Lark. Through this fable, Bernadette warns us that only with intuition (the lark) we can’t reach a high level in astrology, we also need the eagle (science, logic, techniques) which this book represents. Another idea emphasized by  the author, essential in predictive astrology, is the relation between fate and free will. For example, if you want to predict an event for a person and believe in free will, then you realize that you might be wrong! Because she can choose how to act, therefore is not perfectly predictable.  So, this is a very sensitive point in astrology.

 

Chapter 1. The Alphabet     

Here are presented specific keywords and characteristics (adjusted for predictive work) for the planets, planetary pairs, angles, planetary cycles, aspects, houses and transits. Is not much, but I think there are some useful guidelines for understanding the main idea. Especially, I like the explanations for aspects (conjunction, opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, trine, sextile, semi-sextile, quincunx).

 

Chapter 2. Working with Transits

In the first part of the chapter, the author presents an original method which should be useful for interpreting the meaning of transits. The planets and their natal houses symbolize the cause, the current transited house symbolize the main arena of action and the houses ruled by the planets symbolize the consequences. I think this scheme is valuable and brings to attention another important rule for transits: when a transit occurs, always look at the relation of the planets in the natal chart (aspect, sign and houses). For example, if you have a trine in natal chart a square in transit won’t be powerful, but if you have an opposition or square he will be strongly felt, making you remember what he symbolize. Because, even the natal aspect has a constant effect in the day to day life, the peaks of his manifestation are when he is reinforced by transits or progressions.

 

Back to the book, we can see how this grid imagined by Bernadette Brady is applying in specific situations when signs are intercepted or when appear multiple transits. After that, you can read a case study on Joan of Arc chart. I found this example quite interesting!

 

The chapter ends with a part named Feedback of Failure, where the author identifies four possible reasons for failure in predictive astrology: incorrect birth time, wrong house system, incorrect rulerships, wrong techniques. For the first case, if the birth time has an error of maximum 60 minutes the author advise us to use transit of slower moving planets over the Cross of Matter (ASC-DC and MC-IC axis) to rectify the chart and presents a practical example using the chart of Thomas Edison. For the second cause, wrong house system, the author propose some strange ideas, from my perspective. She writes:

 

"some people are Placidus people, while some people are Koch people, and so on."

 

advising us to use a different house system for every person if this is necessary. I think this is wrong! We must find a house system that works in general and not to change the house system for every person, trying to find which system is good for you, which one for me and so on.

 

The other causes for predictive astrology failure don’t get to much attention from the author.