When Is A Transit Most Powerful?

planetsRalphie writes on How To Interpret Transits:

“I’ve been searching everywhere but can’t seem to find an explanation anywhere about the difference between when an aspect is at its “most powerful” and when it is “exact.” What is the difference? and how can they be determined?”

I feel transits are most powerful when they are coming in or “applying”, as we say in astrology.  Here’s an example:

Let’s say your sun is at 10 degrees Leo in your natal chart. Transiting Saturn is at 7 degrees Leo. At this point the transit is applying.

When Saturn reaches 10 degrees Leo, it would be “exact”.
When it passes 10 degrees Leo and moves to 11 or 12 or 13 degrees Leo, the transit would be “separating“.

The idea a transit would be more powerful when applying than it is when it is exact may seem counterintuitive.  But in practice, what happens is when the thing is coming upon you, you’re really aware of it. By the time the transit is exact, the energy has been absorbed to some extent.  You’re acclimated. You’re in it!  It’s like wedding jitters, as compared to being married!

Once the exact aspect has passed, I find things settle down pretty quickly.

But that does not mean, Pluto moves on and your feelings go with it.  This applies:

Outer Planet Transit? Expect To Lose A 10-Year Chunk Of Your Life

However, once a transit has moved on there’s rarely anything new to deal with. It’ll be the “devil you know”.

Just to be thorough, planets do turn retrograde so here’s another version of the example above.

  • Your sun at 10 Leo, Saturn at 7 Leo (applying).
  • Saturn turns retrograde at 8 degrees – it is now “separating”.
  • Saturn retrogrades to 5 degrees, then turns direct, heading for your sun at 10 degrees (applying).
  • Saturn reaches 10 degrees, conjunct your sun, exact!

Good luck with your studies.  Beginner’s Package available!

7 thoughts on “When Is A Transit Most Powerful?”

  1. I used to feel like this when Neptune quincunx’ed my MC.
    It was like…. “When will this end? Will it EVER END?!”
    Oh my, I felt dragged out – it had also quincunx’ed my Uranus shortly before, and everything was just on that wrong mountainside. I met idiots, psychopaths, my boyfriend was toxic, our relationship was as well and yeah… Well, everything in between you can say.

    Now Neptune are trining my stellium in Scorpio and in an applying sextile to my Chiron on Algol. Last year I started handdyeing yarn, and found it is aa hobby I love!
    I have dyed a lot of yarn now, but haven’t sold any of it (yet?).
    I don’t know if it’s the Neptune effect or the Full Moon but yesterday and today, I bought a ton more yarn for dyeing… I can’t explain why and I am not exactly sure what the heck I was doing. Somehow I knew I got to have it?

    So, that’s what I did. It didn’t felt wrong. But I am not exactly sure what the bleep will become of it! But somehow I believe in the Universe and the road will reveal itself when I am ready.

  2. Wow! This advice helps a lot. Thankyou Elsa. Can you give an example of how this might work say, in an upcoming conjunction or a trine though? This is really what I’m having difficulty with. What would be “most powerful” in those scenarios? Would the point where they are closest to earth before they start separating play a roll? Thank you so much. Sorry to bombard you ?

    1. I think I threw you off a bit by commenting on an article about transits. If it’s not too late, could you possibly add how to tell those things with different aspects as well? I just can’t seem to find the information elsewhere. Thanks again.

  3. Can a transit affect you beyond just the most powerful times? In other words, I am finishing up a Pluto Square Moon transit. With Pluto retrograding I still have the aspect at 6 degrees applying (bc Pluto is retro). So is it still affecting me? And at what orb can you say, ok, this isn’t affecting me anymore? I am SO OVER Pluto Square Moon. Most painful time in my life moving through 12th and across my ascendant. Thanks Elsa

    1. Welcome, Dawn. Six degrees past exact, you may still be processing events but I’d not expect anything new. I suspect you have something else going on.

      1. No nothing new, just processing. Still I will be glad when this is finally at 9 degrees. Pluto started in my 8th house as a child. Lots of trauma, all stirred up again last several years. I’m tired. TY for answering.

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