Transits to and from the Sun and Mercury, May 1954
In this article, Fagan displays his much admired interpretive skill as he discusses the predictive power of the fast moving planets, both to the natal chart and in the lunar return. He explains the meaning of these transits—alone or in combination with other planets—when they appear on the angles, or in the foreground, of a return chart. He shows how cyclic charts provide a layer of information beyond traditional house placement. Fagan, who calls the Sun the “chronocrator”—the main timer of events—shows how this transit can be used to predict events.
The position and configurations of the Sun on the date of the lunar return, both to the radical and transiting planets, usually give the clue to the main events during the ensuing month, and should be particularly noted. For example, President Roosevelt's lunar return preceding his death shows the Sun (vitality) in the background in opposition to Neptune and in square to the Moon and Saturn, the last two being in conjunction on the cusp of the 7th house (the "Anareta") and in the foreground. The Sun was also in square to the natal Mars. On the other hand, Lord Montgomery's lunar return for the famous victory of El Alamein most appropriately shows the Sun, Mars, Mercury and Venus all in conjunction in the constellation Virgo and on the Midheaven, the Sun and Mars being in conjunction with the radical Uranus.
Should the Sun fall close to an angle of the lunar return, especially that of the 1st or 10th houses, the native is likely to be highly complimented or honored by people of consequence, according to the nature of the planet configured with the Sun. Thus if the Sun on an angle is with Mercury, he will probably be complimented on his learning or business acumen; if with Venus, on his artistic skill, either as a singer, musician or dancer; if with Mars, on his success in war or sport; if with Jupiter, on his qualities as an executive or statesman, and so forth. On the other hand, should the Sun fall in the background of the lunar return, the "Great of the Land" are not likely to take any particular notice of the native.
The student should especially note if the Sun transits any of the birth planets on the date of the lunar return and make judgment accordingly. Education or vocation are emphasized if the Sun be with Mercury; love, friendship and art are emphasized, should the Sun transit the radical Venus. If the Sun is attended by the benefics, domestic and emotional affairs should prosper, but should the Sun be accompanied by the malefics, these may suffer. If the Sun transits the radical Mars, the spirit of conquest will dominate the native. He will be successful should the Sun configure the benefics, but may fail in his enterprise if that luminary be inhibited by the malefics. The Sun's transit of the radical Jupiter invariably presages a prosperous month should the Sun be also in conjunction or opposition to the transiting Jupiter. But should the Sun, Mars and Saturn all together configure the natal Jupiter, the native may lose heavily. These transits will be treated in detail as we proceed. The point to remember here is that the transiting Sun acts as a timepiece striking the "Hour of Destiny." The major planets may transit backwards and forwards over a radical planet for several months without anything unusual happening, but when the Sun—the prime chronocrator—joins issue with them, especially on the date of the lunar return, things begin to happen.
Transits to the Sun
When the natal Sun is transited by Mercury in the foreground, the native may receive a letter, news or engage in discussion which will have an important bearing on his life. These will enhance his self-importance should the benefics configure Mercury but it will be otherwise should this planet be configured by the malefics.
When the Sun is transited by an unafflicted Venus from the foreground, the native may be an honored guest at some function, social event, party or similar entertainment. He may be much in demand by the young people and to his gratification find the ladies particularity charming to him.
One's amour propre is liable to assault when Mars transits in configuration to the natal Sun from the foreground, causing the native much concern. The effects will be all the more serious and drastic should Mars be simultaneously configured with Saturn, Neptune or Pluto. An ecclesiastical or judicial rebuke is possible should both Jupiter and Mars configure that luminary. Under the strain of such transits one needs to be particularity wary of one's life and take no undue risks on the highways or elsewhere. Should Mars retrograde or be stationary on or near the Sun, the native is liable to succumb to the flu or a virus epidemic, and should take special pains to avoid this.
One's prestige and self-importance expands exultantly when Jupiter in transit configures the Sun from the foreground. Almost everything one undertakes prospers at this time: examinations are passed, degrees are conferred, certificates and prizes awarded, promotion granted, and in every way the native may "make good," assuming of course that Jupiter is unattended by the malefics. Under this transit the pious receive "divine grace," experience visions or are miraculously cured, while not a few adopt the contemplative life. Sometimes—but rarely— this transit coincides with the native's demise when the highest post-mortem honors are conferred on him.
In marked contrast to the foregoing is the effect of Saturn's transit to the radical Sun. In this case dismal frustration or delay may dog the native's path. He may fail in examinations, be passed over for promotion, and his name is not apt to be on the honor list. In extreme cases the native may be dishonored and removed from his position. Sometimes, against the promptings of his better nature, he stoops to acts which forever afterwards he regrets. The wound to one's self respect engendered by this transit has caused some to renounce the world for the cloistered life. One's health is rarely satisfactory under this configuration.
Overnight, the transit of the erratic Uranus from the foreground to the Sun can lift the native to the highest pinnacle of greatness and fame or dash him to the ground in ignominy. It all depends on Uranus' attendant configurations. Generally speaking, the transit of Uranus coincides with one of the most colorful, if not the most thrilling, periods in the native's life. It seldom fails to bring publicity in some form or other and frequently in the press; and it often entails removals to a new position, different surroundings and a new entourage. But the influence of Uranus is seldom enduring and the widely acclaimed hero of today is forgotten with the worship of tomorrow's champion. Fame is a fickle mistress.
There can be few more mortifying transits than that of Neptune to the radical Sun, for under its influence the native is apt to be deemed incompetent (perhaps too old, feeble or foolish) and removed from office, retired, even disgraced, degraded, expelled, exiled or dethroned. No longer taken seriously his presence may be ignored and his orders disobeyed. With his dreams of success and promotion dashed to the ground, he may become an object of ridicule and the local clown. Under this transit, schoolboys and cadets are often subjected to every humiliation and mockery to the merriment of their cruel tormentors.
When the frigid Pluto transits the Sun from the foreground of the lunar return, the friends and supporters of the native may desert him and he may often find himself lonely, friendless and turned adrift. The stress of circumstances may force boys to forsake the parental roof in search of a job, and girls to abandon their mothers to find security in marriage. Sometimes bereavement snatches a loved one away and in his despair and aloneness the native turns to another for solace.
Transits of Mercury
When Mercury transits the angles of the lunar return the doldrums of yesterday give place to winds ranging from light zephyrs to squalls dependent on Mercury's configurations with the other transiting bodies; and when the breezes blow all things begin to stir and action is enjoined. As the bearer of information or news in some form or other, the "Winged Messenger of the Gods" seldom fails to set things moving. In short, Mercury's transit puts the native on the qui vive, making him awake, alert and busy. Generally speaking, the native usually receives a letter, hears news, reads a book, or gets an order which precipitates him into action. Being a convertible planet, Mercury's influence is considerably conditioned by the configurations he bears to the other transiting bodies. If the benefics are in configuration the news will be favorable and lucrative, but if Mercury beholds the malefics the news will not be auspicious. But good or bad, Mercury invariably ushers in a busy period, with little time for rest or relaxation.
Mercury's transit of the Moon from the foreground keeps the native on the move all the time and generally causes him to make changes in his ménage, or become personally active about the home or office. He may be called upon to "keep house," help in the kitchen, rearrange his own rooms or office material, assist in removing, loading and unloading furniture, and so forth. Ladies may be asked to "keep house" for a friend or neighbor who is obliged to be absent from home. In the search for books students may have to ruminate through many bookstores. But whatever the activity the native is kept on his feet, running hither and thither, doing now this chore and now that. This transit is much in evidence in the lunar returns of those who travel and who pack, transport and unpack luggage, and the like.
When Mercury transits the Sun from the foreground the native will be much affected and take to heart some news or idea that will come his way during the operation of this return, and which will, to some extent at least, affect the course of his life at this time. Sometimes this idea comes in the form of an inspiration or a vision projected from the unconscious into the conscious mind, when the latter is in a state of tranquility and when the sense of "self" is completely absent, if only for a split second. This is almost certain to be the case if Mercury is configured with Uranus; but it generally happens that the native instantaneously and thoughtlessly proceeds to translate the inspiration in terms of his own particular racial, religious, political and social background, at which time it ceases to be significant.
To keep inspiration untainted and unsullied by one's conditioning calls for an awakened intelligence of a high order. To clothe a formless vision of supernal beauty in the form and habiliments of one's favorite saint is an all too common travesty of reality, and yet it is on such distortions that many sects have been founded.
Psychologically the Sun at birth signifies one's creative ability, which may express itself in art, music, drama, literature, education, or in the founding of an empire, a great combine, or a society. As the creator of the arts the Sun has been identified with the Greek god, Apollo. Running concurrently with the impulse to create there usually exists a powerful urge to shine and become famous, particularly so should the Sun be in the foreground of the nativity and in its own constellation Leo, or that of its exaltation Aries. Indeed, the deep current of one's ambitions and the root of one's vanity can, to no small extent, be determined by the constellation wherein the Sun is placed at birth.
Should the Sun, for example, be in the constellation Leo and in the foreground of the geniture there will be a yearning for splendor, palaces and the regal state or else an identification of one's self with the great of all time. In Aries, dreams of absolute control and domination may condition the mind; in Taurus, the quest will be for the understanding of the "facts of life;" in Gemini for journalistic, literary or theatrical achievement; in Virgo for oratorical or military success; in Libra, for the aesthetic and the pursuits of peace, and so on. It therefore follows that if the benefics transit the natal Sun one's creativity will be augmented and there will be greater opportunity to shine and become distinguished; whereas the transits of the malefics inhibit one's creative capacity or subject it to adverse criticism with a corresponding loss of prestige. Fundamentally both luminaries signify one's amour propre, for the Sun denotes the pride taken in one's "brain-children" and the products of one's creative genius, while the Moon denotes exhibitionism and the pride taken in one's personal appearance. The Sun symbolizes the slowly moving hub of the inner mind; the Moon the whirling periphery of phenomenal life.
Physiologically the Sun denotes the vital reserve and it is common knowledge that the conditions of the mind (Sun) and the emotions (Moon) directly react on the health. Recognition and success usually ensures bountiful vitality, while failure and a fall from grace only too often undermine the constitution. Vulnerability to even the common cold is perhaps more often due to frustrated desire than to the mere prevalence of the infection, the native becoming particularly exposed in this respect should Mars transit in opposition or conjunction to the natal Sun, especially when Mars is stationary or turning retrograde.
The radical Mercury signifies one's mathematical and mechanical capacity and the ability to absorb and impart information. Children are usually sent to school, or youths go into business when the progressed or converse Sun comes to the conjunction of Mercury's position at birth. Mercury's transit to its own place at birth, and in the foreground of the lunar return, stimulates the native to undertake a series of calculation, make fresh plans, draw up new schemes, deliver speeches or perhaps expedite business transactions. School children will make substantial progress in their work, consequent on a change of teachers or the introduction of a more suitable technique. But here, again, Mercury's convertible nature must not be overlooked; for should it be configured with the malefics in transit the change in technique or teachers may prove to be more of an impediment than a help, and the child may find itself overworked. It is quite surprising the number of people who take up new studies, deliver lectures or join study groups under this transit.
The love that is cherished for another with the yearning for intimacy is symbolized by the natal Venus. Those born with an unafflicted Venus in the foreground are remarkable for their friendly affectionate natures, their mild dispositions, their soft speech, their gentle manners and general inoffensiveness; for Venus is "par excellence" the planet of "Peace and Goodwill among men." Love's function is to unite and not to divide, and love alone is the only integrating power in the world. Venus recognizes no frontiers, no sovereign governments, no ideologies (which set men against men), no national flags, no castes, no sects nor color barriers. Love is the apotheosis of intelligence and should not be confounded with the smoldering fires of passion (ruled by Mars). Peace can never be established by force, nor at the point of the sword, for the means employed always determines the end. Significant peace moves frequently occur when the Sun is passing through one of Venus' constellations, Taurus or Libra, especially the latter. (Armistice Day commenced at 5 a.m., G.M.T. at Compiegne 49 N 26', 2 E 53' on November 11, 1918 when Venus and the Sun rose in 21 Libra 08' and 24 Libra 19' respectively.) The true peacemakers of the world will be found to have the Sun in these constellations at birth. The native will pour out his devotion on those in whose horoscopes his natal Venus occupies an angle, being much enamored by their appearance. Should his Venus configure their Moon he will be in love with their deportment and behavior; or if it should configure their Sun, with their minds and outlook on life.
When Mercury transits the natal Venus from the foreground, a letter may be received from someone dear to the native or a discussion on love may ensue. Whether the letter or conversation bring joy or grief depends on the concurrent configurations to Mercury. He may travel to some place of pleasure or return from the theater humming the latest ditty, or perchance a picture in a magazine may so captivate his eye that he pins it on the wall. The native should be prepared to entertain social callers and relations.
Mars and Natal Strength
The natal Mars signifies the native's skill and strength to fight and defend himself. Should Mars be in the foreground and configured with the Moon the native may be loud, coarse, aggressive, forthright, argumentative, garrulous and too hasty to be accurate or careful. Devoid of shyness, he will be in the forefront in most things. The success or otherwise of a general in the field almost exclusively depends on the transits to his Mars and to his Sun (self-esteem). Soldier kings, dictators, power politicians, and fighters will be found to have the Sun at birth in one of Mars constellations, Aries or Scorpio, or else in the constellation Virgo.
While Venus is the planet of tenderness and love, Mars is the significator of flaming passion. If the nativities of married couples or lovers are compared it will be found that mutual configurations of the Sun and Mars (by opposition, conjunction or square) predominate to such an extraordinary degree as to constitute one of the most convincing proofs of the truth of astrology. Even an unusually platic (wide) orb is sufficient to attract the sexes. In those cases where such interchanges are not apparent it will be found that the lover's Mars dominates one of the angles of the mate's horoscope or else it is in conjunction or opposition to the mate's Mars. Oddly enough, while similar interchanges between the Sun and Venus are quite prevalent in the horoscopes of pals and companions, they are comparatively rare in the genitures of the married.
Sadism may occur when Mars is more prominent than Venus (especially should Mars be in conjunction or opposition to the Sun, Pluto or Algol) and when the heart is hardened by the Sun or Venus being configured with Saturn. Marked cruelty is also frequently in evidence when the Sun is in opposition or conjunction with Algol (1 Taurus 20'). When Mars interchanges with the Moon in another's horoscope, the Mars person delights in teasing and arousing the other's temper. Passion can so easily be turned to hatred that perhaps that is why divorces are so common.
When Mercury transits the natal Mars from the foreground, the native may have to exert himself to gain some information, or even fight for it. Or else he may learn something or engage in a conversation that precipitates an argument. Transits to Mars always entail effort, strain, labor, danger, risk and the spirit of conquest. Newspaper criticism, gossip or scandal may provoke the native to seek redress, or commence litigation.
The birth Jupiter symbolizes that which, in the native's estimation, is all that is joyous, great, good, noble and best in his life. For some this represents character, for others titles, distinctions or wealth. He who has Jupiter in the foreground at birth likes to sit on the seat of the mighty, be loaded with academic distinctions and titles, surround himself with all the good things of life and win for himself and his family honor and renown. He likes to be thought respectable, orthodox, cultural and belonging to the better class. But contrary to general opinion the expansive Jove is a spender, never an accumulator. He is the giver, never the one who covets or begs. Recklessly extravagant is he who has Jupiter in the foreground configured with Mars; and cautious with money is he who has the same planet in the background configured with Pluto and Saturn.
When Mercury transits Jupiter from the foreground, the native's social status will be recognized and he may receive letters to that effect or be entertained by people of consequence. In every way his prestige will be enhanced and the elite will pay him respect and make social calls on him. He may receive some news that will cause him personal joy but all this depends on Mercury being free from configurations with the malefics. Should Mercury be stationary or turning retrograde the effects will be all the stronger.
The natal Saturn signifies our psychological blockages and inhibitions that give rise to a deep sense of emptiness and inferiority complexes. He is the planet of obdurate inertia and inhibits or slows down the normal functions of any planet he configures, which more frequently than not produces a condition of morbidity. An angular Saturn may make one at times feel lifeless, insufficient, fearful, empty, incapacitated and unfavored and so the mind sets the process of overcoming that state of dependency into action. Hence Saturn is often the planet of want, hunger, grasping and avariciousness, but his hunger is seldom appeased, even though he may become the richest man in the world, and virtually all the world's successful financiers and business men have had Saturn in the foreground at birth. Should Saturn, however, configure Pluto, the native often shuns the world for the security and solitude of the cloister and its rigors. Generally speaking, the radical Saturn denotes one's sense of loss, sorrow, and dependency and controls our religious life with its vigils, mortifications and penances.
When Mercury transits the natal Saturn from the foreground, news received is invariably adverse and often plunges the native into gloom. Such a transit is often the bearer of news of a death, a calamity, a kidnapping, a court sentence or some other unpleasant event. Much of course depends on the severity of the transit, for if Mercury is rapid in motion and unattended by the malefics the news, though depressing, will be comparatively trivial.
Uranus and Deviation
The radical Uranus, the planet of deviation, denotes the element of newness, originality and the untried in the native's makeup. It denotes the love for something different, with the urge to be free to alter or change one's mode of life at will.
Mercury's transit to the natal Uranus from the foreground often brings news which may bring about a sudden and marked change in the native's mode of life, dependent on whether the news is good or bad. It may necessitate the native altering his job or his position, or changing from one place of residence or office to an entirely different one, or he may be obliged to undertake a journey at a moment's notice. Whatever the nature of the news it will cause the native to do something out of the ordinary and he may find himself facing an entirely new set of circumstances.
Because Neptune so frequently appears in the foreground of charts calculated for the moment of demise, it has been identified with Yama, the god of death. It is often the significator of apprehension, collapse, panic, hysteria, frenzy and surrender, and denotes the tremblings that overtake one when strapped to the operating table, the witness stand or the electric chair. Those who have this planet prominent in their genitures may suffer from exaggerated self-consciousness and be puffed up with their own conceit. It is virtually impossible for them to be natural. They live, move and have their being in a world of fantasy and make-believe, are forever playing a part and are fearful of the slightest criticism. They are excitable, easily agitated, blush guiltily, and should Mars configure Neptune, readily work themselves into a rage. Otherwise they live, for the most part, retired or sheltered lives, losing themselves in literature, drama, art, science, or in pursuit of pleasure. As is to be expected, this planet is prominent in the horoscopes of royalty. Somewhat masochistic in temperament, Neptunians are otherwise genial, inoffensive and rarely ambitious. They live so much in the figments of their imagination that they rarely know what is happening around them.
When Mercury transits in configuration with the natal Neptune from the foreground, in conversation the native may be forced to apologize, made to feel a fool or look utterly ridiculous. When questioned as to their guilt, betray themselves by blushing and appearing disconcerted.
Pluto, the most aloof of all the planets, signifies detachment—detachment on every level of existence —with the capacity to burst all fetters that bind. It is this that makes of Pluto the rebel. Hence the Plutonian is eternally at war with everything that seeks to restrain him in any way whatsoever. Those who have Pluto in the foreground are seldom orthodox and rarely conform to conventional standards. Early in life they will be found to break away from their mother's apron strings, from parental influence, from the creeds that have been imposed upon them by their elders, and in fact in all things to strike out independently. But it, unfortunately, all too frequently happens that in breaking free from one cage they only enter another and remain for the rest of their lives gilding its bars, and a remarkable number of Plutonians will be found leading lonely, silent lives in monasteries and nunneries of the severest type, especially should Pluto be configured with Saturn.
The true Plutonian should be like the wild things of the air and jungle, free of all shackles. The average Plutonian is in a constant state of revolt. He is aloof, sullen, touchy, resentful, sarcastic, rebellious of restraint, taciturn, easily taking offense and demanding satisfaction. The most innocuous criticism is magnified into an outrageous insult and almost everything he says or does is shrouded in mystery or tinged with skepticism. Unfortunately he is apt to make enemies of many, not excepting his nearest and best friends. Submitting to no discipline imposed by others, and unable to settle down, he often lives and wanders alone, a law unto himself. Ofttimes his antisocial disposition makes him an outlaw.
When the Moon is configured with Pluto from the foreground of the geniture it is impossible for the native to sit still. Like a caged animal he paces up and down his room, yearning for the open spaces. He is in a constant state of mental excitement, which may vent itself in a fit of explosive temper, especially should Pluto be in aspect to Mars. The weird, the horrible, the grotesque, the unearthly and the demoniacal have a strange fascination for him (especially should the Sun and Mars be in the constellation Scorpio), which he exploits or utilizes to the best of his ability. In several cases of convulsive fits, epilepsy and schizophrenia the Moon was configured with Pluto.
The transit of Mercury over the natal Pluto from the foreground frequently brings news which gives the native such a shock that he may be tempted to drop everything and go far away. Transits to Pluto, except, of course, the benefics, invariably bring about a condition of shock, fright and personal alarm.
We would like to thank Derek Kinsolving for scanning the original article from his collection of American Astrology magazines.