What Can Activate Individual Planets?
When we look at a person's birth chart, we can assess which planets the person is likely to identify with (those in the same element as the rising sign, for example) and which planets are likely to dominate the chart (e.g. focal planets).
But what we often fail to realize is that depending upon many environmental and cyclic factors, some of the planets may be -- at the moment -- amplified beyond their usual degree of expression.
Environmental factors include physical and emotional health, level of busy-ness, major life events (births, deaths, etc.) and
even the weather. A personal illness or another's death, for example, can dampen the expression of Fire signs in a chart severely, while bringing the dependency of the Water sign planets, or the shocked detachment of the Air sign planets, to the fore.
Being very busy and stressed, on the other hand, can exaggerate the Earth signs and Saturn in the chart, while going to a comedy show, a sports event, or dancing might amplify one's Fire signs. Weddings and births are known to bring out the romantic nature of the planets in Water signs, while a beautiful Spring day may increase the expression of Venus and the Air and Fire signs.
Even the foods we eat can alter our planets relative expressions, e.g. hot, spicy foods can bring out Fire and Mars. Long spells of overcast weather can make one melancholy, i.e. intensified Earth signs and Saturn.
One of the reasons we gravitate towards certain people (friends) is that they mesh with our primary and favored chart factors and don't "tweak" our most sensitive chart areas. Other people "set us off" by triggering the most stressed parts of our charts. In other words, even other people alter which planets (in us) express themselves.
Therefore, we always need to take into account temporary and environmental factors in our clients' lives, especially if they are intense ones.
Transitory Amplification of Individual Planets
But even more important are the intensifications due to transits.
The most striking examples of this pattern that I can give both involve the amplification of planets in water signs in two of my clients:
In the first case, a female client had only Jupiter in water (Tropical Cancer) and it was unaspected by any other planets and therefore disconnected from her psyche (usually).
She went through life never wanting to have children, when suddenly, the urge to become a mother became so overwhelming that she got pregnant in a short liason and gave birth.
For years, she didn't understand "what came over her" that she did this. When I did her reading, she had -- at the time of the overwhelming maternal urge -- a very major transit that activated her Jupiter for the whole year. Mystery solved!
The second case is a little sad, and illustrates an important metaphysical point. One of my male clients also had only one planet in Water, and wouldn't generally be characterized as soft, tender, or nurturing. When he had this planet intensified by a major transit, he temporarily began to act more watery.
He met a woman who had 5 planets in Water, who thought she had met "a match made in Heaven." They married after a short courtship. But once the cycle was over, they quickly realized how incompatible they were, and promptly divorced.
In other words, it is very important to know a person for a while, because how they are acting (and how you are feeling) could be the temporary result of a transit (or environmental influence). If you only know them a short time before you partner, you may be very surprised later.
The same goes for making other major decisions. Since our own planets often are temporarily magnified or diminished by these influences, it is worth taking the time to get our full measure and see if where we want to head (or leave) stays constant over a long enough period.
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