Skip to content

Sorting Out Tough Astrological Transits/Progressions

I have been feeling particularly nostalgic this summer and dedicated a lot of time to processing personal and collective grief through my own dedicated rituals. It was almost 5-years ago now that Tem discovered the “lump in his throat” and in many ways it feels like it has lived in mine ever since. On Tem’s birthday I did a card spread asking him what I needed to know about this heartbreaking journey and the cards revealed: Sacred-Tear-Gems. Then, while I was looking through old blogs yesterday, I stumbled upon one from Mary Plumb titled “Cry, Baby, Cry.” These tender reminders are precious to me. While I often think I might float away, Alice in Wonderland style, in a sea of my own tears— I am eternally grateful for the love we share that allows such deep emotion to move through me. So, for today’s Virgo New Moon, linger in the past with me for a moment and savor the words of our dear Tem. And remember what a gift it is to have people, pets, and projects in our lives that require  diligent care and attention.  

Rae Sapp


Sorting Out Tough Astrological Transits/Progressions

Anyone who works with astrology for at least a few years, even at a beginner/novice level, will notice that many times our transits coincide with significant events or life situations amazingly well, but often they do not. I would guess that most astrologers have grappled with this seeming inconsistency.

There is something in astrological tradition called the “rule of three” — which means that you need three similar indications of a certain type of event for it to manifest in a life. For instance, you may have an eclipse in your 12th house, Saturn making a station on the ruler of the 12th house, and a planet transiting the cusp of the 12th. Just one of these conditions might not produce a very strong 12th-house event. We can view transits as “windows of potential” that open, but it can take more than just one transit to deliver change. With the outer planets, which are much slower-moving, there is a longer time period for that window to stay open, giving the faster-moving planets a chance to reinforce or negate what is shown by the outer-planet transit.

There is also the “natal chart promise” to consider: Is the type of event that one might expect from a particular transit very likely to occur, given the “karma” of one’s natal chart? Also, the transits and progressions of close friends and family will have a lot to say about how your own transits manifest. Finally, what is happening in the collective makes a big difference, since we are all connected to those larger events, visibly or invisibly. (In this issue, see Raye Robertson’s article, which examines the personal and the collective in astrological work.)

Recently, I had an up-close and personal lesson in this. In my own natal chart, I have Saturn square my Moon–Pluto conjunction, but the natal square is applying, about 2° from being exact. These last few months, that square had reached exactitude in my secondary progressed chart, and interestingly, the progressed Moon (and the progressed North Node of the Moon) happened to be conjoining progressed Saturn at the time the square became exact. All of this progressed activity was at 29° of fixed signs. The progressed Sun was also at the midpoint of the natal Saturn–Pluto square. This progressed configuration signals major life events that might challenge a long-held and very deep inner pattern.

And true to form, various challenges and calamities occurred. What triggered all this on the level of transits? Although there were some transits from Saturn to personal planets, it was primarily the August eclipses (one opposite my Leo Sun, the other directly on my natal Moon–Pluto) that led to a very difficult four-month period marked by loss, expense, and a falling-away of more superficial activities. In fact, the death of my best-friend-kitty occurred the day after the solar eclipse on my Moon. A Saturn transit square natal Mars happened around the time my old Subaru was totaled by a falling oak tree in my driveway in the middle of a calm, rainless night. An expensive new septic field (Pluto) had to be installed at my house around the time of the eclipses. An expensive roof repair and some dental problems (Saturn) put the frosting on the cake. And hardest of all, a beloved family member is going through some very serious health problems.

I have to say that I’ve noticed a huge positive change in my own way of being (and how I relate to others) in response to these hard times. It feels like accelerated evolution. What do astrologers call squares — developmental stress? Well, I’m definitely on board with that description! And I’ve heard of so many others going through their own calamities since the eclipses in August. For all of us, I wish for a much more sane, calm, and joyous 2018.

— Tem Tarriktar 


  1. Dear Rae,

    Thank you for you tender words and posting this from Tem. I’ve been feeling him a lot lately too. I noticed the Venus station direct quite close to his Sun.
    I will never forget him and what he said to me when I was in a grief ridden state over the death of a close mutual friend, Robert Blaschke.
    “Some people are irreplaceable.”

    Onwards into this gentle New Moon evening,
    May love keep us all close,

  2. I love this article, and the wisdom, of Tem & Mary.I had only talked to him on the phone. But what a bright, shing gentle star.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *