There are many people who find astrology to be either overwhelming or who assume that it is to general to be believed. Astrology is ancient, incredibly complicated and often extremely accurate – however, one of the biggest misconceptions regarding astrological transits and forecasts is the belief that astrology deals with absolutes and limitations. And if this were the case, they would be correct in their frustrations or disbelief.
Absolutes would be described as the notion that astrologers might make an assumption about every Taurus simply because they are a Taurus. Limitations would be misunderstanding a sun/star sign as the only focal point in one’s chart.
Astrology is a lot like the weather. When a meteorologist gives a 90% chance of sun for the day and it ends up raining, people do not declare that meteorology is a crock. They simply learn to bring an umbrella.
When an astrologer declares that a certain transit or retrograde planet might bring with it difficult influences and energies, this is not a guarantee but a call to prepare yourself with a metaphorical umbrella.
So, when it comes to astrological forecasts, when should you bring an umbrella?
When a planet is retrograde, it appears from Earth to be moving backward, or in opposition to its normal rotation, however this is an optical illusion. For instance, a planet such as Mercury makes its way around the sun more quickly than does Earth, resulting in a period every four months where it elapses our movement in orbit. When this happens, it looks like Mercury is moving backwards for about three weeks, a period of time we call Mercury Retrograde – you’ve probably heard of the fun effects that ensue during this transition.
Mars, Mercury, and Venus, dubbed the inner planets, all scoot nearer to the Earth than the Sun during their retrograde phases, and their effects are felt more deeply and personally than the other planet-retrograde cycles, making this an excellent time to pack your metaphorical umbrella. The outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) spend nearly 5 months of the year retrograde and are therefore inherently less intense than the inner planet retrogrades.
Read this next: A Guide to Astrology Signs & Planetary Retrogrades
Squares & Oppositions
Every planet exists in an angle to the other planets; the distance between two planets in astrology are referred to as aspects. Some of these aspects, such as sextile and trine, promote harmonious exchange between the planets, and other angles have the potential to create friction, such as squares and oppositions.
An opposition exists between two planets when they rest 180° from each other. The opposition of two planets tends to create issues that cannot be resolved without compromise. Oppositions represent that which cannot be changed and requires acceptance. While not all oppositions involve dire circumstances, their challenges often present the greatest opportunities to learn.
When two planets are square, they exist at a 90° angle from one another, and the energies between them can cause frustration. Unlike the frustrations present in oppositions, these challenges often represent that which can be transformed into improvement and favored circumstances. Working effectively with the square dynamic most likely to bring about success and accomplishments.
As you can see, these planetary aspects can create complications – much like a rainy day – yet their influence often results in beautiful, blooming flowers and lush scenery.
The Saturn Return
Saturn is a slower moving planet and takes about 29.5 years to make its return to the position it was in when you were born. This is called the Saturn Return, and it can be one of the most difficult astrological experiences for those who are not well-prepared to learn Saturn’s lessons. You may have noticed many people struggle with turning 30, and this is typically because Saturn’s influence can be so significant. The influence of the first and most significant Saturn Return typically begins toward the end of our 20s with its full effect felt during the very beginning of our 30s.
Saturn is a stern planet that urges us to evolve, to grow up. Many of us take our 20s less seriously than we ought to, and Saturn is quick to bring this to our attention during its return. This is a time when many people struggle with their career choice and significant life decisions, even their core being. Saturn throws a lot your way and asks you to remain standing, stable and responsible – to keep climbing the hill no matter how steep it becomes.
This influence and its pressure have the potential to make or break a person, but the end result is ultimately up to you. For many, the Saturn Return removes us from toxic people and situations and dead-end jobs and propels us toward a life that is much more suited to the person we truly want to be, the life we truly want to live.
The Saturn Return is truly a time to prepare yourself for a potential down-pouring of challenging but life-affirming rain.
Weathering the Storm
While the position of the stars cannot guarantee a certain outcome or personality trait, they certainly do their best to guide us on our path. It can be easy to overlook mysterious forces of nature in the face of a society that demands scientific proof for nearly everything that exists. But it would be unwise to ignore the gift given to us by celestial bodies that only want us to be prepared for potential challenges.
Most of all, trust your intuition; and if you feel the urge to bring an umbrella, let that be enough reason to pack it in your bag.
Related Article: Your Essential Guide to 2019’s Jupiter Retrograde