Astro Basics

How to map your transits- and why you should do it…


The summer holidays here in Australia, are when thoughts turn to the beach, the cricket and…DIY.

In the first of our astro DIY series, I revamped the DIY chart post.

Yesterday, we looked at how to use an ephemeris. Today, we’ll be seeing what I do each year to map my transits…

It takes a couple of hours (depending on how heavy your transit year is) and gives you a pictorial representation of what’s going on.

I do this- look at transits as a big picture event, rather than something more isolated. I used to worry about individual scary sounding transits, reading all the possible (mostly negative) interpretations. The thing is, though, most of these last just a few days, or are exact for a few days. On the opposite end of the scale, many of the automated transit readings give an orb of influence that is out of the range of most peoples experience.

The year that I had all the biggies happening, I painstakingly marked on my calendar the dates when certain transits were exact- Pluto square Moon, Pluto square Saturn, Uranus conjunct Ascendant, Saturn opposite Mercury, Uranus conjunct Sun, Saturn opposite Mercury, Pluto square Saturn, Saturn opposite Mercury, Uranus conjunct Sun, Saturn conjunct DC/opposite ASC…and so it went. It was a big year- the nature of these transits and the congestion of planets in Pisces meant that it was a busy 3-4 years- and I was exhausted by both the plotting and the worry of what would happen.

Nothing did. Not on the surface. Plenty did below it.

Everything in those few years was taking place in the 1st, 7th and 10th house of my chart. My entire life was changing. When I plotted it, I could see that- I could see the forest. On their own, the transits were like individual trees- only part of the story. By looking at them in isolation, I lost perspective. By plotting the rest, I could see the big picture.

So this is what I do.

1. I use an excel spread-sheet that I drew up years ago. I was in the middle of a series of Pluto squares, Uranus conjunctions and Saturn oppositions, and boy was it multi-coloured!

I divide the month into 3rds- for no reason other than I can’t be faffed dividing it further. You can divide it into 4- one for each week. I eyeball the ephemeris and take a near enough is close enough approach. It’s a big picture I’m after, not paralysis by analysis.

This is what mine looks like for this year. It took me around an hour to complete.

2014 transits

2. I select a colour for each transiting planet and graduate it:

  • The darkest shade for the same degree as the natal planet being transited
  • The next shade up for 1 degree out.
  • The next shade up for 2 degrees out. I don’t go any further than that.

I’ve found that most of the “action” (if you can call it that) tends to occur at the degree or 1 either side- although Saturn transits, in my experience, can have long tails.

In my example, the blue tones are Neptune, the green is Uranus, the red/brown is Saturn, and the purple is Jupiter. As you can see, Neptune and Saturn are influencing me throughout the whole year. Uranus and Jupiter are in fits and spurts. For the first time in about 7 years there are no close Pluto aspects.

3. I tend to only go as far out as Saturn transits, but include a rough look at Jupiter as well. Jupiter moves just a little too fast for it to show up well on the grid.

4. I look at the house position of the transiting outers. Quite often you see a pattern forming, and very often it reflects the areas that you are most concerned about. In 2014, Uranus moves out of my 1st house. This is Big.

5. I look at what house and sign the Progressed Moon is in.  This gives you a backdrop for the period in question.

I take note also of the “terms” that the progressed Moon is in, as it adds an additional layer of info. Don’t worry about this too much if you don’t know what I’m talking about!

You can find your progressed Moon on…but that’s a whole other topic on it’s own!

6. I knock out a quick set of what I call astro t accounts:

  • The natal position of the planets involved (where the action is initiated)
  • The house being transited (where the action is occurring)
  • The house/s ruled by the planets involved (where you’ll see the outcome)

I tend not to worry about all of them- these days I do enough to get an idea of any repetitive themes. It’s the pattern that I’m after.


7. The concentration of colour on your spread-sheet will give you a good idea of what’s going on and where there are overlaps.

8. I grab my Moon calendar from the current issue of Wellbeing Astrology (the 2013 one is in the pic below) and mark up any close transits being made by the New or Full Moon. I take note of any falling in date ranges that have heaps of colour…these will act as trigger points.


9. I eyeball the retrograde dates and station points to see if any are occurring at key parts of my chart. If so, I’ll make a note of it.

10. I pin the charts on the cupboard door in my office and then worry about what’s coming… No. I. Don’t!

Yes, I pin the chart on the cupboard door, but most of the time, I put it to the back of my mind and simply observe as things happen, or if things happen. I used to worry- especially that year when I had so many transits- but these days I try more to dwell on what the possible positive outcomes could be, and what I can do to help the transit along. Note, this isn’t me trying to control the outcome or predict the future- I don’t try to do this…anymore. It’s more about me attempting to work with the transits and maximise my good day ratio.

For Saturn transits, I might deliberately challenge myself. When Neptune is conjunct my Mercury, I’ll probably lock myself away and write. I try and be more intentional about the transits. What is the purpose of Neptune transiting the 12th? What should I be learning from a 9th house Saturn transit?

As you can see, I have a Saturn year ahead of me. Most of the aspects (this time) are by trine, but that won’t make the year easy- it simply means that things will occur (good or bad) with fewer obstacles.

As Saturn is in my first house and rules the 11th, all Saturn transits for me will, in some way, relate to the first and have an outcome in the 11th. I’ll try and keep an eye on my health, connective tissues, and personal structures.

As Saturn transits are always about getting real and doing some metaphorical mountain climbing, I’ve challenged myself to climb a real one- in NZ in February. I’m making goals and taking more of a business approach to, well, my business.

In the background, Neptune is active, so my capacity to think logically will be more compromised than it usually is. My capacity to think creatively and imaginatively will be enhanced. So, the goals, I’m setting and the way in which I’m checking in on them will be creative in nature. I’ll schedule my non fiction creative bursts for outside the times when Neptune is at natal Mercury, and instead work on fiction projects during that period.

If you work for someone else, you can still do this. Eg, a Neptune transit can be used to go with the flow, to find creative solutions. while a Uranus transit can be an opportunity to change your look, change your work, think outside the box.

Try it for yourself. Don’t get hung up on making it perfect. What you’re after are patterns. What you then choose to do with them is up to you.