Teachings in Metaphysical Astrology

May 2001

The Early Saturn Transits

It is important to remember that one of the greatest strengths of Western Astrology is also one of its greatest weaknesses.

And that is the tendency to explore a huge range of diverse factors.

I have met beginners who started to include Chiron and the asteroids in their studies, for example, too quickly, before they sufficiently understood the four elements, the modes, and the basic planetary principles.

There is so much richness in even the basics of astrology that one lifetime is not enough to master them.

My Guides recently reminded me of a very important tool in understanding the traumatic events in one's childhood: the early transits of Saturn.

Remember that the word transit originally meant just the conjunction, not other angles. For this purpose, I would avoid all other aspects (with perhaps the exception, in some cases, of the opposition).

Look at the first 10 years of your life, and see what planets and angles Saturn conjuncts, and when. Also examine which of these transited points are important (e.g. the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, M.C. and any additional planets powerfully connected to other planets by strong aspects of 2 degrees or less).

If there are not many conjunctions, and/or if Saturn opposes a particularly important point in the chart, then include the opposition by Saturn for these events.

Finally, begin the inner process of healing by looking back at each of those times in your childhood and remembering what happened and how it felt -- take the time to feel through whatever feelings arise to their complete release. You may be able to use the significations of the transited planet to clarify what the impact was upon you.

For example, a Saturn transit to Mars could represent intense anger or blame in your environment, while a Saturn conjunction to the Moon could indicate abandonment. Don't use any principle mechanically, let your memory be the final authority.

Following the Saturn conjunctions in your early life can help you to liberate yourself from your past, so that you can move forward more powerfully in your life.

Two Windows into Your Soul, part 2

I'm often asked what is the difference between using the Western astrological approach and the Vedic approach to charts.

Of course, the answer will vary with each practitioner of the art, but here are a few thoughts of mine:

1. The Western chart really seems to show temperament and basic psychological type very well. If someone has mostly Fire and Air -- especially the Sun sign, Moon sign, and Rising signs -- they are usually quite extroverted, for instance. [Note: if the fire and air sign planets are all in Water houses, or if the person's environment was very repressive, they may not be extroverted.]

If they are primarily Water and Earth, then they are likely to be much more introverted.

I find firey people spontaneous, lively, independent, and decisive; watery people as gentle, receptive, nurturing, and home-bodies; earthy people as disciplined, hard-working, problem oriented, and sometimes melancholy; and air people as detached, changeable, friendly, and communicative.

If they have primarily mutable signs (especially the personal planets Sun through Mars, plus the Ascendant), they are likely to be distractable, adaptable, quick, anxious, and mentally active.

If they are mainly fixed signs, on the other hand, they are likely to be more stocky, strong willed or a follower (extremes in this polarity), and have inertia in some areas of life.

Cardinal people, on the other hand, are the doers, and keep busy and active and often external (with the rare exception of a person who vacillates -- due to hard aspects in Cardinal signs -- almost to the point of paralysis).

On the other hand, I've found the Vedic idea that the mode of the Rising sign determines the proclivity towards travel quite accurately. Cardinal rising people love to travel, Fixed don't, and mutable like to travel sometimes. (Of course, other factors can modify this general rule.)

2. I use the Western transits to show what planets and signs are being activated for the purpose of learning the lessons of each of these natal planets, how to use them effectively, how to minimize their excesses, and how to integrate them into the rest of the psyche.

The Vedic method of Vimshottari Dasa, on the other hand, I use to see which houses (areas of life) are activated at different times. I use also use this method to ascertain when patterns and promises in the chart reach fruition or resolution, and for the general unfoldment of each of the major themes of the person's life (e.g. marriage, work, children, siblings, etc.)

3. The cliche is that Western astrology is good for psychological analysis and Vedic astrology for mundane predictions.

This is inaccurate.

In the right hands, Western astrology provides very accurate predictions, and Vedic astrology can indicate karmic patterns, temperament, psychological patterns, and much more.

It all depends upon the individual astrologer's skills and approach.

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