This is a personal story, courtesy of a natal 9th house stellium. I started to look at Saturn and it’s cyclic effect on me as I once again come into a transit of transit Saturn square natal Saturn. I am not a medical astrologer and admit that as this is my own chart, it can be notoriously hard for me to be objective, yet I have decided to publish this data in the hope that my experiences somehow help others to understand transits of the outer planets. (I am assuming the reader has some understanding of the nature of Saturn, Chiron and outer planet transits. Here are articles on Daily Transits, another on Midlife transits and one for Saturn.)
No single transit works alone, and it is the ‘repeated themes’ of aspects that show the larger picture, the transformation asked by the outer planets, yet it is uncanny how predictable the Saturn cycles are for timing of major events. Saturn brings things into solidity, and sometimes into manifestations that seem hard to cope with, especially dealing with problems of the skeleton. Yet behind all the transits, if one is willing to seek it, lies answers that simply would not have caught our attention if not for the Saturn trigger.
Many of my generation had similar transits of the outer planets of course. It is how they affect the personal planets in individual charts that determines the probable events and how we cope with them, and how willing we are to listen, to grow, change and become more aware. In my natal chart I have strong aspects from Saturn/Neptune and Pluto to Sun and Moon, so any transit aspect that triggered those natal ones were going to be up close and personal. It was.
To cut a long story short, in early 2013 I developed a swollen right knee, had a small exploratory operation in January 2013 and as no diagnosis could be made, was left to ‘see what happened’. I started to visit different doctors to try and find out what was wrong, a total of 5 in all and three chiropractors. None seemed able to help alleviate the symptoms, let alone find out what was happening. By late 2013 all major joints in my body were affected except my shoulders – spine, hips, knees, ankles, wrists, neck and jaw. I had lost a great deal of weight which looked nice, I think buying some new, smaller clothes was the only bonus at that time!
Finally in May 2014, I found the rheumatologist who diagnosed severe and aggressive reactive arthritis similar to ankylosing spondylitis and had x-rays done which showed massive damage to both hips and the fact that my right hip had rotated 30 degrees in it’s socket! He told me I had to have both hips totally replaced immediately, and within 3 days I was in hospital. It’s unbelievable that no-one else had picked this up, including two other rheumatologists!
The total hip replacement was successfully done, the problems came in the days later when I was overdosed with morphine and almost kicked the bucket. However, I survived and underwent rehab for 5 months (on crutches) until late November 2014 when I had the left hip replacement operation. This time I could not have morphine for pain, so it was an extremely painful event.
Then followed 18 months of recovery and rehabilitation. I had to learn to walk all over again, and slowly resume a somewhat normal life. Trial and error on various medications finally found one that put the condition into a mild remission. I am a determined person (Mars, Venus and Moon in Aries) and successfully attained an outward appearance of normality.
The Outer Planets
Here is a list of transits and a chart for the day of the operation.
To have 3 of the generational planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) transiting the 6th house, Capricorn is a sure indicator of possible health problems involving bones. Saturn is the natural ruler of Capricorn, Uranus is going to bring sudden events and Neptune is going to add confusion (in this case misdiagnosis and drug reactions) to the mix. The outer planets spell out the theme and transit Saturn was heading for it’s first square after the Saturn return, transit Uranus was heading into it’s opposition and transit Pluto was beginning a square to natal Pluto. These are the ‘midlife’ aspects that so often have a profound effect on us all. One of the factors I think important, leading into this time period, was the transit North node exactly conjuncting my Sun in May 2013, and moving on to conjunct my north node as everything moved into the critical phase. The nodes often indicate major life events.
The Transits as they Happened
(Skip this section if you are not into transits blow-by-blow!
At the start of 2013, when this event began, transit Pluto was retrograde in the 4th house, around 15 Scorpio. It made an inconjunct to natal Venus in 9th and opposed natal Jupiter in 10th and I had a long term dilemma about my spiritual direction and values, having spent a large amount of my life being something of an out there spiritual warrior, and now a stay-at-home Mum.
Transit Saturn was in the 6th house around 7 Cap and exactly squared natal Mars. I felt very inhibited generally at taking any action to change the status quo.
Transit Uranus in 6th house was at 2-3 Cap as well, the only major aspect an applying square to Mars. Neptune was in 6th at 1 Cap, Progressed Sun at 5 Aries and Pr Moon at 18 Leo. All was (reasonably) quiet before the storm.
In March 2013 when I was offered a job helping set up a private school based on the spiritual philosophy I grew up with, and I agreed to help despite the knee problem and worsening symptoms. During April 2013, transit Saturn, Uranus and Neptune joined Pluto in retrograde motion, and I have these planets all retrograde natally, things hummed along ok. As Pluto turned direct at 12 Scorpio on 24th July that year, I was running the school, and assuming those responsibilities highlighted the aspects Pluto was making to the natal chart.
Within a few months the school suffered a division of the parents into two groups and became an emotional battleground, and I faced a monumental decision about my spiritual and whole life direction, as well as the best education options for my children. Leaving that group was traumatic and yet had to happen. Transit Saturn and Uranus both went direct within a day around 11th September 2013. I left the school 13th September and transit Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune were all making a square to natal Mars! A call for action, confusion, distress, a great challenge.
However it was transit Pluto that was starting to be the heavyweight; it was now biquintile natal Mars, trined Uranus, opposed Jupiter and squared my north node. A serious call for transformation, and one I had a great deal of difficulty working out because of the Neptune factor.
Transit Chiron also reached 15 Cancer (in my 12th house conjuncting Uranus/Asc, squaring Venus) and started to play hard. It opposed that stellium in Capricorn and demanded that I start to find a way to heal. I sometimes wonder if Chiron had not been involved in the transits, and did not make so many natal aspects, if so much physical and mental pain would have ensued. There was still fallout from the school situation, many long term women friends were involved, secrets and betrayal.
From that Chiron demand for a healing solution, until I finally found it in May 2014, the outer planets continued their dance, with Jupiter and Chiron also retrograding during this period, and Chiron moving backwards and forwards over natal Uranus to activate it’s natal aspects and make sure that all the 12th house matters manifested for healing.
A graphic time line April – July 2014 < (5 degree orbs)
Transit Saturn again came into exact conjunction with natal Chiron, and the demand got louder. My body was going downhill and my hunt for medical help intensified and started to become desperate. I had endured pain, fever, the inflammation of all major joints for 6 months and could only walk with help of crutches. Transit Saturn was in orb for it’s square to natal Saturn, though not exact and exactly squaring natal Neptune and making an inconjunct to N Pluto. The solution was as far out of sight as ever, and the medical practitioner barn dance continued. I still can’t believe the Neptune factor in this, that I had to search and search for a right medical diagnosis and help for so long.
The end of May finally brought me the doctor who changed my life. (I would love to see his chart and our synastry aspects!). All outer planets were once again in retrograde motion – the stage was set.
What a mind-blowing transit chart for the day I finally had the operation that enabled me to walk again.
There are 10 conjunctions to natal planets and angles, and every transiting planet was conjuncting a natal midpoint.
(Inner ring natal, outer ring transits)
Transit Venus in 10th Taurus, conjunct natal Jupiter and Midheaven.
Transit Mars in 9th house, conjunct natal Mars (Mars return)
Transit Jupiter in 12th house, conjunct natal Uranus and Ascendant
Transit Neptune in 6th house conjunct natal Chiron
Transit north node in 7th conjunct natal north node (node return)
Transit south node in 1st conjunct natal south node
Transit Chiron in 12th house conjunct natal Uranus and Ascendant
What it all Means
As I mentioned, I am no expert at medical astrology and can’t interpret all the intricacies in this chart, only the ones that leap out and bellow.
The fact that Saturn was coming into it’s square, was squaring Neptune and was in Capricorn means to me that whatever event happened, it was likely to manifest in a physical form, probably skeletal and could be very confusing.
Transit Uranus squaring natal Mars ties in with the sudden surgery. Transit Neptune conjunct natal Chiron worked to both confuse and heal. Transit Chiron is a big player in the scenario, as it was opposing itself, and working from the 12th house to conjunct both my Ascendant and natal Uranus. Transit Pluto working from the 4th house was demanding a transformation of my perception of who I was, where I came from and where I was headed. It’s trine to Uranus meant that events happened fast, could be uncomfortable (inconjunct Venus) and would not be small (opposed Jupiter)!
The aspects when I had my second hip replacement at the end of 2014 were not nearly so intense. It was a continuation of the healing cycle. When I had recovered and was mobile and finding out who the new me was, at the end of December 2015 Pluto came into it’s exact square to natal Pluto, and my true transformation began. But that’s another story. 🙂
What did it all mean to me? Only in hindsight can I see the intensity of the planetary energy demands. Basically it was that I had to find my own path, not to be the perception of me that other people projected, as happened with the school. Every ounce of courage I had was demanded to be used, to confront the life and death choice of major surgery, to find a medical solution to a debilitating illness, to successfully rehabilitate my body, to leave the spiritual “box” I was in and find my own way, to be there for my family.
I wish I knew then what I know now…yet isn’t a Saturn transit exactly about that? I would not have the knowledge I have now without the experience, and now I understand that aspects to and from my natal Saturn are always going to have an element of confusion due to it’s natal conjunction to Neptune, it does make life events easier to work with. Some of us have particularly challenging natal charts, and I feel that working to understand the chart themes is vital to how we manifest events and cope with them.
As I write this, transit Saturn is again making it’s waning square again and highlighting the natal aspects. I started researching the data as my right knee began to swell recently. A couple of weeks ago my left hip prosthesis let me know it had worn out and I will probably need revision surgery.
I could be devastated, but I am not, though of course it is still a very uncomfortable scenario. The mechanical device has had a breakdown, it’s normal life is 10-15 years and I have had 14 years of pain free hip movement (the knees are not too good but they were not repaired) and Saturn (natally in 3rd) is doing his thing to ensure my mobility for the next few decades. It has made me more aware of posture, of caring for my body and being grateful for the blessings I do have in my life. Knowing about the Neptune factor, I am not so distressed at the (once again) lack of medical direction and know I must persevere and find the right practitioner, and also know that by the time this Saturn square is done, all will be well. I am also trying to work with the natal oppositions that are in effect, and direct the ‘spiritual warrior’ (Moon/Venus/Mars in Aries in 9th house) in an outward, 9th house direction.
Don’t fear hard outer planet transits is my message….seek their meaning and be prepared to change without resistance, and most of all remember that we are learning what we need to, and if meantime you can help someone else on their particular path with the benefit of personal, hard-won experience, then you are fulfilling Chiron in your chart.