Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello everyone.

The following question comes from a reader with a good understanding of astrology.  Please don’t get discouraged by the technical terms – her question posts an issue that applies to all of us and allows me the chance to spell out some fundamental astrological principles.

She writes:

How does a personal astrology chart interact with the bigger astrological influences?  I’ve wondered this often, and my current situation brings it up again.  In my chart I have transiting Jupiter conjunct natal Saturn in my 10th house.  My understanding of that, is this is a great time to make things real in the material world – particularly as it relates to my career.  And since I own my own business, for my company.  Jupiter is within 1 degree of my natal Saturn tomorrow.  But, Mars is in retrograde and there will be a void Moon tomorrow afternoon.

I can’t tell you how often this is the case.  One part of the astrology says “go”; another part says “no”.  Life is like that, isn’t it?  It’s a complex undertaking, not often reducible to black or white.

Our World of Cycles

When we are born, we enter a world in the midst of cycles.  The moon may be waxing or waning, the sun may be heading into the northern or southern hemisphere, some planets may be retrograding, others are in the signs they rule so are very strong, others may be weakened by aspect, etc, etc, etc.  And we step in to all this motion, stamped indelibly by these first impressions, or if you prefer, aligned perfectly with the needs of our soul’s journey. 

These cycles don’t stop.  Within a few moments after your birth, planetary positions have shifted and the degree on the horizon which indicates your rising sign has changed.  The cycles zoom ahead – all of the way to the present moment.

The moon completes a full cycle every month, the Sun every year.  Each planet has its cycle, with the outer planets taking so long they don’t complete a full cycle in our lifetime.  Some cycles repeat themselves over and over in our lives and some don’t have time to repeat at all.

Now it gets complicated

The position a planet occupied at the moment of your birth is always sensitized in your life.  The planet moves on from that point, but that point in the zodiac continues to hold meaning for you.  When another planet in its orbit passes that sensitized point or forms a mathematical angle to it, there is an opportunity to work with the issues described by the two planets, the original one and the one passing through.  Sometimes this is a purely inner experience, an awakening of some kind.  Sometimes the inner experience is reflected in the outer world and we learn more about ourselves in relation to others during the transit.

Now all of this can get very complicated, very quickly.  Just think of all your experiences and relationships even in the current point in time, all the roles you play, your interests, your feelings, your yearnings, what has gone before and your hopes for the future.  Every single facet of life is reflected in the cycles of astrology, so you can imagine how complex each moment is, astrologically speaking.

One thing is certain:  the experiences you came for, you will get.  My spiritual teacher once said that we came to this earth with something to learn and something to offer. You will have the opportunity to both learn and offer within the cycles shown in your astrological chart.

In this way, the unfolding of our personal astrology chart is part of and contained within the bigger astrological influences.  So if you are having an influence that lasts a few weeks, like the reader’s Jupiter transit of her natal Saturn, but Mars is retrograde at the time, the retrograde Mars is part of the unfolding of the Jupiter/Saturn transit.  That Jupiter/Saturn transit was always going to unfold that way, with Mars retrograde.  If you’re looking at transits ahead of time, they must always be considered in concert with the other cycles happening at the time.

Keep it simple

Like I said, all of this can get very complex.  So I appreciate the advice of my current astrology teachers, Darrelyn Gunzberg and Bernadette Brady.  They use the K.I.S.S. principle, which they say means, Keep It Simple, Student.  They advise us to pick two or three of the most important cycles unfolding in relation to our birth charts and interpret all of the lesser cycles in terms of these major ones.  In other words, if you are experiencing a major Pluto transit now, the theme of transformation through destruction and irrevocable change will be playing itself out in some part of your life.  The monthly lunar cycles, or Mars retrograde, or even a Jupiter transit to your natal chart must be interpreted within the meaning of regeneration shown by the Pluto transit. Everything will contribute to and become part of this overarching development. 

So, specifically in answer to the reader’s question, if Jupiter is bringing opportunities for expansion of responsibility and structure (Saturn) to her business (10th house), then retrograde Mars indicates that these opportunities will be found by looking back at ground previously covered, rather than initiating something brand new. In this way, the Mars retrograde becomes a helpful clue to discover the source of the Jupiterian opportunity.

Each moment is auspicious

There is more to be said regarding how to choose which cycles are the overarching themes, and the timing of the unfolding of experiences as they are revealed in the chart, but I think this is enough to digest for now.  I’ll just leave you with one other thought, something I have learned from my spiritual studies:  each moment is auspicious.  Each birth is auspicious because your Soul, the great Soul, has decided to enact a certain play in these cycles of space and time.  Your chart is a translation of the infinite light of the truth into everyday life in this world.


Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!