Tuesday Toolbox

Tuesday Toolbox 15…


So anyways, we’re interrupting the usual Toolbox session for another slight deviation.

I know that we haven’t talked about aspects much yet- well, not at all, really- but this isn’t so much about aspects, as understanding planetary movement.

I re-posted, on the Facebook page, a piece I’d written about Saturn in Sagittarius. It prompted a lot of traffic- a surprising amount of traffic- more than it got the first time around.

It also prompted a number of questions- one on the Facebook page, and more to my inbox. Each of these questions were worded something like:

What do you mean by first pass, second pass, third pass?

I had to re-read the piece a few times before it hit me- I’d never explained anywhere what this means. So, here goes.

All planets- except the luminaries, ie the Sun and the Moon- are retrograde at various points. Of course, they’re not really going backwards, it just appears that way from our position on earth. Like when you’re in a train in a tunnel and the train beside you appears to be going backwards simply because you’re moving forward at a faster speed.

  • Mercury is retrograde for around three weeks three times a year
  • Venus is retrograde every 18 months or so for around 6 weeks
  • Mars is retrograde every two years for about 10 long, frustrating weeks.

All the others are retrograde once a year, for longer periods:

  • Jupiter is retrograde for around four months each year.
  • Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto each spend around 5 months each year retrograde.

If you’re interested, I pop the relevant dates each year up on the website. You’ll find the dates for 2015 here.

When a planet is retrograde, it seems to be moving backwards through the sign it is in- sometimes into the previous sign. Once it turns direct (moving forwards) again, it will retrace its path.

This means that it might pass the same point on the zodiac three times. In the case of the slower moving planets, it could cross the same degree more than that.

  • The first time is reaches a point is referred to as the first pass.
  • When it reaches the same point during its retrograde motion, that point is said to receive the second pass.
  • Once the planet is again direct, that same point will receive its third pass.

Ok, let’s break this down a little more.

Jupiter is currently in Virgo.

  • On 8th January 2016, he will station retrograde at 23 Virgo 14’
  • On 9th May, 2016, he will station direct at 13 Virgo 15’
  • This means that he’ll pass all points between 13 Virgo 15’ and 23 Virgo 14’ three times.
  • Any point between 0 Virgo and 13 Virgo 15’, and any point between 23 Virgo 14’ will only receive one pass.

But you’re probably not as interested in Jupiter- Jupiter transits rarely attract the trepidation that accompanies Saturn.

  • Saturn was previously retrograde at 4 Sagittarius 56’, backtracking into Scorpio.
  • Saturn is next retrograde on 25th March 2016 at 16 Sagittarius 24’.
  • He’ll turn direct at 9 Sagittarius 47’ on 12th August 2016.
  • In 2017, Saturn will be retrograde in Sagittarius at 27 Sagittarius 48’ and will turn direct at 21 Sagittarius 11’.

This means that all points between:

  • 0 Sagittarius and 4 Sagittarius 56’
  • 9 Sagittarius 47’ and16 Sagittarius 24’
  • 21 Sagittarius 11’ and 27 Sagittarius 48’

will receive three visits by Saturn while he is in Sagittarius.

Those of you with planets and chart points at:

  • 4 Sagittarius 57’- 9 Sagittarius 46’
  • 16 Sagittarius 25’- 21 Sagittarius 10’
  • 27 Sagittarius 49’- 29 Sagittarius 59’

will only receive one pass by Saturn. If I were you, I wouldn’t be too upset by that!

Generally speaking, the first pass can be the most difficult- it’s when you’re feeling the unfamiliar energy of the transiting planet.

The second pass is about absorbing the energy and bring it inward, while the final pass allows you to integrate it and make the changes that need to be made.

The more passes a slow moving planet like Saturn makes, the more important the lesson.

Get it?

If you want to know if Saturn will be impacting your chart while he’s in Sagittarius, check out this page.

If you want to be more specific about the timing, you’ll need an ephemeris. If you don’t know what that is, you’ll need to check out this post.

If you want to map your transits in the way that I do each year, you’ll need to look at this post.

Back to normal programming next week…