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Cyril Fagan


Transits to and from the Moon, April 1954

Fagan displayed his keen understanding of the intrinsic natures of the planets in his descriptions of transits to the natal Moon. He considered these transits to be especially potent when the Moon is emphasized in the foreground of the lunar return.  A lunar return—a very powerful predictive tool—is the monthly return of the Moon to its natal position.  The foreground refers to placements within five degrees on either side of the angles. In the second half of the article, he described the transits of the Moon to the natal planets. 

Note: The prepositions "on" or "with" mean any close and powerful configuration, such as the conjunction, opposition and, to a lesser extent, the square (but excluding trines and sextiles which are too weak to be effective*). Thus the expression "Jupiter on Mars" means a transit of Jupiter to the conjunction or opposition of the zodiacal degree held by Mars at birth. On the other hand the expression "Sun with Saturn" means that the transiting Sun and the transiting Saturn are in mutual conjunction or opposition.

Transits to the Moon

SUN: When the Sun configures the Moon in the lunar return the native will become conscious of his dignity and importance and may experience a surge of pride and be the recipient of congratulations, provided the Sun is not afflicted by the other transiting bodies.  Even if it is afflicted, the native will still feel a sense of pride and even hauteur but under less pleasant circumstances. The effectiveness of such a transit, as in all others, depends, of course, on whether the configuration takes place in the foreground. Should it occur in the background its effects may pass unnoticed.  Such a transit occurred in General Eisenhower's lunar returns for (a) the day the war ended and he was hailed as the victor, and (b) for his election as President of the U. S. A.


MERCURY: The native usually experiences an unusually busy time should Mercury configure the Moon in the foreground on the date of the lunar return. Everything is in a whirlwind of bustle such as happens when removing, traveling or making alterations in one's environment and there is, generally speaking, little time for adequate rest or sleep.  Book hunting is not uncommon, especially with school children. Should Mercury be configured with the malefics, too much activity in sports and the like should be avoided. The arrival of a letter or news may create a considerable burst of activity.


VENUS: The transit of Venus to the Moon on the date of the lunar return is one of nature's most welcome analgesics.  Under its soothing influence the mind becomes spontaneously tranquil and at peace.  It is only in such a condition, when the mind is no longer agitated by craving or ruffled by anxiety, that the promptings of the unconscious are able to rise to the surface of the mind, in the form of a flash or inspiration, beatific vision or indescribable ecstasy.  Apart from such a possibility there is a tendency under this transit to pay more attention to one's dress and personal appearance.  The native feels in an agreeable mood and is at ease.  Often he (or she) is the object of affection and may succumb to its enticements. Invitations to parties, weddings, dances and the like are probable.

MARS: Inflammation of the emotions is the usual consequence of Mars' transit to the Moon on the date of the lunar return.  The slightest criticism or interference with one's plans proves so unbearable, that the native is apt to flare up into a hot temper or show his displeasure in some similar way.  Quarreling is almost certain to occur should the configuration happen in the immediate foreground.  It is, of course, highly dangerous for the native to be in control of automobiles, aeroplanes, motorcycles, machinery and the like when the emotions are in such a strained and heated condition, but the trouble is that the native is seldom aware of his true state and deludes himself into believing that he is quite normal. Indeed to suggest to him that he is driving rather recklessly would only precipitate another altercation.  The danger will be all the greater should Mars configure the other transiting malefics. A chain of small accidents is frequently the direct outcome of choleric emotions. Generally speaking, the native tends to be impetuous, hot-headed, over-hasty and not a little rash under this transit.


JUPITER: The transit of Jupiter to the Moon from the foreground enriches the feelings in every way.  The native's manner becomes assured, optimistic, heroic and exuberant, while his speech takes on an oratorical quality which frequently holds his audience spellbound.  Under this transit the native may be invited to lecture, address meetings, make speeches, attend dinners or participate at functions, meetings and the like, according to his capacity and walk in life, all of which is very gratifying to the ego, even if it does not necessarily put money in his pocket.  Generally speaking, this transit presages all-round improvements.  The native's popularity will be at its peak and he will be in demand wherever he goes.  On the stage and the platform he carries the crowd with him.


SATURN: Frustration, failure or defeat may plunge the native into the slough of despondency and undermine the emotional health, when Saturn afflicts the Moon from the foreground, especially should the Moon and Saturn mutually be afflicted at birth, as in the case of Napoleon I.  The effects are apt to be particularly dismal should Saturn be configured with Neptune, a configuration that brought about Hitler's defeat and suicide.  Under the combined impacts of Saturn and Mars in transit the mind may become brooding, irresolute, hesitant, forgetful, unsteady and the native may be in danger of falling or being knocked down.

URANUS: Under the promptings of Uranus' transit to the Moon from the foreground of the lunar return, that which is different, novel, young and replete with adventure, gives such an emotional thrill as to rejuvenate the mind altogether, causing the native to forsake the beaten track in search of "fresh fields and pastures new."  Uranus is "par excellence" the promittor of deviation, change, novelty and instability and tempts the native to break with the past, to change, remove, travel and form fresh attachments.  Fundamentally the craving is for excitement and thrills which frequently find their outlet in speeding or in embarking on some new and romantic adventure. But such episodes are fraught with danger should Mars and Saturn configure Uranus.  As often as not these adventures come into one's life uninvited and most unexpectedly, completely revolutionize the current of one's thoughts and the way of life.


NEPTUNE: Neptune signifies that which is pompous, exaggerated, puffed up, magniloquent, turgid, fantastic and ridiculous; and it often magnifies out of all proportion the effects of any planet configured with it.  In association with the benefics it brings the most outlandish benefits and pageantry but with the malefics it causes touchiness, grave but ridiculous pomposity and conceit, and in frustration, uncontrollable rages and passions.


PLUTO: Pluto, the most anti-social of the planets, is the significator of detachment, isolation, exile, and extreme loneliness; and it is the cause of shock, fright and the desire to escape and seclude oneself from society.  The average Plutonian is proud, aloof, sullen, touchy, resentful, sarcastic, rebellious of control, taciturn, easily taking offense and demanding satisfaction.  If Pluto is with Neptune, the most innocuous criticism is often magnified into an outrageous insult, and almost everything the native says or does is shrouded in mystery or colored with scepticism.  Unfortunately he is apt to make enemies of everybody, not excepting his closest friends.  Seldom submitting to discipline, and unable to settle down, he lives or wanders alone.  More often than not his anti-social disposition makes him an outlaw or a heretic. The weird, the horrible, the grotesque and the demoniacal hold a strange fascination for him (especially should the Sun and Mars be in the constellation Scorpio).  When Pluto configures the Moon, the restless spirit of revolt fires the imagination and keeps the native in a constant state of nervous tension.  Under its strain he is tempted to break away from kith and kin, often to become a rebel or outlaw, or should Saturn be with Pluto, to become a hermit. This configuration is common in the themes of those who are fleeing from the "arms of the law."  Even if the native does not break away from his environment he may find himself isolated, ignored and lonely; indeed, the ache of loneliness has caused many to marry under this transit.

Transits of the Moon

Many people would deny that they react to the changing moods of their social surroundings and would assert that their dispositions seldom vary from day to day, year in, year out.  The monotonous routine of their workaday lives, performing the same chores day after day, and even following a repetitional pattern in their reactions and pleasures tends to dull the preception of the workings of their minds and blunt the sensitivities.  But despite our lack of awareness of it, changes in our dispositions are occurring from morning to night.  Often these changes are too obvious to those who have to associate with us.  Most of these mutations can be traced to the transits of the Moon over the natal planets, more especially should the Moon be in phase (i.e., in conjunction, opposition or square to the Sun) and in the foreground of the lunar return.  Should the Moon not be in phase and the transit occur in the background of the return, its effects may be quite ineffective.


The transiting Moon denotes the movement—the behavior—of the society in which the native finds himself, be it only a few or a multitude, and the birth planet transited by the Moon symbolizes the way in which the native will be forced to respond to that movement.  In other words the Moon, at the time of transit, denotes the attitude of the public, or those in his immediate vicinity, to the native and the planet transited denotes his reaction to that attitude.  In this respect the Moon is the positive or active body, while the transited planet is the negative or passive body.


When the Moon in phase transits the natal Sun from the foreground of the return, the public is inclined to admire and applaud the native, which is very flattering to him, giving him much satisfaction. This is an ideal occasion for exhibiting one's masterpieces, getting married, giving a performance, or making one's debut into public life, whether at court, on the platform or on the stage, provided, of course that the Moon is unafflicted by the malefics.

When the Moon in phase transits Mercury those in his society are eager to learn from him and they give him the opportunity to impart information. Advantage should be taken of this transit to teach the young, instruct the unenlightened and generally to discuss literature, science, art or business, as the public are sure to be in the right mood to listen. The native may be very busy at this time and inclined to travel.


When the Moon in phase transits Venus, the native may find himself enamoured with those who approach him.  Frequently his friends or relations decide to visit him under the impact of this transit or else he is invited to parties and the like. Delightful opportunities to arrange a gay evening, make love, seek pleasure and generally to make oneself popular with both sexes may occur under this transit.  Much attention is usually paid to dress, ornament and personal appearance.


The attitude of the populace tends to become intimidating, if not menacing, when the Moon in phase transits Mars from the foreground and the native may find himself embroiled in a heated argument or quarrel, or be forced to defend himself against violence. Public speakers, lecturers, performers, and those who directly contact the public-need to be unusually circumspect, and if feasible should not appear in public at this time. The native may be apt to lose his composure should the Moon at birth be in conjunction or opposition to Mars.

When the Moon in phase transits Jupiter from the foreground, the native may find himself in favor with people of consequence who, to his great joy, do much to advance his interests.  The public will be impressed with the native's integrity and worth and he will often win their respect and confidence. This beneficent transit affords an excellent opportunity to seek interviews, apply for promotion, address the public or engage in any undertaking that will augment one's prestige.


The transit of the Moon in phase to Saturn usually marks a dark day for the native, especially should it be prominent in the lunar return.  Often he may feel dejected, lonely, aged and deserted, or else cold, miserable, even ill.  Should both the Sun and Moon simultaneously transit Saturn, this grievous state may be occasioned by a loss or even a bereavement.  Nothing of importance should be done when this transit is in operation, and the native would be advised to treat the period as a "Day of Rest."  The predominant influence is often one of disappointment, delay and frustration; appointments are not apt to be kept, friends may disappoint, amusements pall, the environment is distasteful and the public indifferent.


Circumstances or the force of public pressure may disturb the even tenor of the native's way and oblige him to do something unusual when the Moon in phase transits Uranus.  This configuration usually acts with surprising suddenness and it is difficult to foresee.  If the Moon is configured with the malefics in transit, the effects will not be pleasant, but configured with the benefics the native will find that any exceptional steps that he will be driven to take will be to his advantage.


The native often feels that he is made to look ridiculous when the radical Neptune is transited by the Moon in phase. Should the Moon be afflicted, he may feel apprehensive, confused and embarrassed, and think that he is making a fool of himself. Transits to the radical Neptune may make people uncommonly self-conscious, feeling that all eyes are on them. Such transits are usually in evidence when one is obliged to participate in public ceremonies, visit the doctor, lie on the operating table, report to the school principal, appear in court, or be in a similar embarrassing situation.


The transit of the Moon in phase over Pluto is often responsible for giving the native a nasty jolt or fright, and in extreme cases may cause him to go into hiding or take refuge in flight. The action of Pluto often is such as to make one feel alone, exiled, isolated and separated from the world. Under the powerful impress of Pluto, children often run away from home, wives desert their husbands and home (or vice versa), the religious enter a monastery or nunnery. The Plutonian is essentially an anchorite, living alone and in remote and secluded places, and generally out of sympathy with the world in general.

*Fagan’s position with regard to aspect strength was that sextiles and trines are so weak in comparison to conjunctions, squares and oppositions, that the former barely register in the lives of most people in comparison to the latter.  The siderealists contend that the benefit that many people believe accrues through sextiles and trines is realized through combinations that contain the traditional benefics, Venus and Jupiter, as well as Uranus.  This is a classic sidereal position, namely that trines and sextiles between malefics don’t become helpful due to the aspects themselves and likewise squares and oppositions between benefics are not rendered difficult because of the aspects themselves.  Most modern siderealists  think that sextiles and trines have more power than Fagan attributed to them, but their power is still considered second rank compared to conjunctions and the hard aspects.  The “trines are good squares are bad” idea has been a minor point at issue for decades.  Fagan went farther in rejection of that position than most.  His good friend, Charles E. O. Carter also espoused this position to a lesser degree when he stated in his Astrological Aspects, “I must frankly say that I doubt if anything has done sane astrology more harm than our constant prating about “good” and “bad” aspects, like children talking of “lovely sweets” and “nasty medicine.” [Charles E. O. Carter, Astrological Aspects, twelfth edition (London: Fowler, 1972) p. 13)].  In other editions Carter allowed as how it is hard to make something distinctly bad out of Sun square Jupiter or good out of Sun trine Saturn.  In the end, the western siderealists, like the eastern siderealists (the advocates of Indian astrology) do not attribute qualities to aspects per se that can alter or trump for good or ill the effects of planet combinations due to the supposed nature of an aspect.


—K. Bowser

We would like to thank Derek Kinsolving for scanning the original article from his collection of American Astrology magazines.



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