Transits In Astrology Can Change Your Whole Vibe. Here's How

The practice of astrology dates back thousands of years, and there's a lot more to it than just the 12 zodiac signs. Contemporary Western astrology tends to lean toward horoscopes and forecasting the future, but astrology experts will tell you this study goes well beyond divination. Everything from the sun to our solar system's planets plays a role in our everyday lives, according to astrologers. For this reason, those who practice astrology often believe it is vital to familiarize ourselves with its terminology.

"Transit" is one of those words that might have you confused as soon as you hear someone mention it while talking about astrology. You may already know words like "horoscope" and "sun sign," but don't let this one throw you for a loop — transits can be easily explained, and understanding how they can impact your life makes them seem a lot less scary.

Before diving into the definition of a transit, it's worth noting that astrologers not only believe planets can impact us in various ways — they also believe that their position in the solar system can have an effect on us, too. In fact, the position that each planet was in at the time of your birth is what outlines your astrological birth chart. Here is what you need to know about transits, the planets, and how it all comes together in everyday life.

What is a transit, anyway?

In short, a transit can be defined as movement. When it comes to astrology, the word is typically used to describe the movement of a particular planet. Because of their different positions within the solar system and distance from the sun, each planet moves at a different rate. Most astrologists refer to Mercury, Mars, and Venus as the "inner planets" and also include the sun and moon in this category. They get this name because they move relatively fast through the signs of the zodiac. As a result, they are thought to have a more direct effect on our daily lives, and they come and go rather quickly.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the "outer planets" — Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto — sometimes referred to as the "transpersonal planets." However, some astrologers do not include Jupiter and Saturn in this mix, as they were discovered well before Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. At one point, Saturn was thought to mark the end of our solar system. Because of how long the outer planets take to orbit the sun and move through the zodiac signs, astrologers believe they can have a longer-lasting effect on our lives.

With all of this being said, the transits of the planets impact each of us differently. Furthermore, many astrologers believe that it's partially dependent on whether a planet is in the inner or outer category.

Understanding the transits of the outer planets

Compared to the inner planets, the outer planets of our solar system take significantly longer to complete their passage through each zodiac sign. With that in mind, it's no surprise that they also take longer to orbit the sun — Jupiter spends 12 years completing its orbit, while Saturn needs 28 years to make the same trip. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto take 84 years, 165 years, and 284 years, respectively. However, each of the outer planets may require a somewhat shorter period of time to transit through the zodiac signs. Pluto, for example, can take as little as three years to make its transit, depending on its yearly retrograde. Neptune and Uranus can complete their transits in about six months, while Saturn may require multiple months. Jupiter, on the other hand, can move through the zodiac in just one to two months.

Despite seeming so distant, many astrologers consider the transits of these outer planets to be largely significant. They often have the longest-lasting impact on our lives, meaning it's worth taking the time to understand some of the astrological traits of each outer planet. Familiarizing yourself with these characteristics can also help you get a better idea of what to expect while each planet is on the move.

What happens when the outer planets transit?

Jupiter is often referred to by astrologists as the planet of abundance, optimism, and good fortune. When it's transiting, however, it can become a bit overwhelming — think overconfidence and the potential to make some not-so-great decisions. However, underlying issues in our lives may also rise to the surface when it's transiting, giving us an opportunity to tackle them head-on.

When Saturn is transiting, we may feel pushed to our limits, but try not to think of this in a negative light. Saturn is the planet of responsibility and structure, and it can remind us to reassess the boundaries we have in our lives. This planet isn't meant to limit us, but rather encourage us to exercise discipline when needed. At the least, we may feel more inclined to hold ourselves more accountable.

Uranus — the planet of unpredictability and rebellion — can even make some astrologers anxious when it's transiting. However, it may give you an opportunity to go off the beaten path in your life to pursue new interests. When Neptune is transiting — the planet of dreams, intuition, and mysticism — the situation can play out much differently. Instead of actually pursuing interests, for example, we may yearn for escapism. In daily life, this can result in a lack of focus.

Pluto is associated with transformation and evolution in astrology. When it's on the move, you can expect major (and sometimes disruptive) life changes, but they usually occur over an extended period of time.

Understanding the transits of the inner planets

Mercury — the planet associated with communication and intelligence in astrology — can, unfortunately, result in misinterpretation and miscommunication when it's transiting. However, it can also gently push us to use our knowledge to get organized and approach life strategically.

Venus, the planet of peace and love, can bring all of the beautiful qualities it embodies out in us when it's on the move. You might feel hopelessly romantic or go through a creative streak during this time. Just be aware that underlying issues in your love life may surface as well — try to think of them as approachable challenges.

Astrologists often regard Mars as the planet of action, passion, and courage. When it's transiting, it's not uncommon for us to feel empowered and prepared to take on even the toughest obstacles. While this can be positive, it can also open up the potential for conflict with others. When Mars is transiting, it's important to practice patience and be mindful of our tempers.

The impact of transits throughout your life

Although it's not as commonly talked about, many astrologists believe that transits can have a significant impact on our lives during certain periods. Specifically, it is thought that the movement of the planets can start to have a greater significance once we reach middle age. You can think of this period as the beginning of when we can finally break out of our shells. Some of the outer planets, like Saturn and Uranus, might come into play by ushering in change. We may break free of old patterns during this time and strive to fulfill subconscious desires.

Business astrologer and astrology teacher Kathryn Hocking notes that some experts also believe that certain planetary transits coincide with the dreaded mid-life crisis. For instance, Uranus' movement in our early forties might evoke a rebellious streak, hence the association with the stereotypical crisis. By the time we're headed toward our fifties, certain astrologers believe Neptune's transit can result in confusion or a desperate desire for escapism.

Regardless of whether any of this is true, you can better understand astrological transits by obtaining your natal (or birth) chart. This astrological chart can give you a better idea of how the planets may now be affecting everything from your career to your relationships. Many websites will generate your natal chart for you for free, but knowing your exact place and time of birth can increase the accuracy of the data.