During a recent conversation with my boyfriend concerning the then current Mercury retrograde, he asked me to explain how and why the planets affect us. As an 8th House Aquarian, I am able to look at things with one foot in the logical/linear realm, and the other in the realm of the mystic. Luckily, with Virgo on my third house cusp, the natural home of Mercury (thought processes, communications, short distance travel, etc.); I am also able to clearly articulate this unique perspective to others. I shared with him my understanding of the nature of these topics, and he responded appreciatively, letting me know that it began to make sense to him. He then suggested that perhaps I should write an article containing the explanation I gave him, so that others who may only have a passing awareness of Astrology could benefit from a deeper understanding of the science.
(He's a very sweet guy, and I suspect that up until now he's been mostly humoring me while I drone on about my astrological perspective on things. And with me, everything has an astrological perspective!)
I think his suggestion is a marvelous idea, so here goes:
While most of us are aware of the scientific explanation for the effects of the Moon's phases upon us, relatively few of us have an understanding of the energy behind overall planetary movement, and the effects of that movement upon us both individually and collectively. We can begin to do so when we try to think of the planets in terms of energy. Their natural movement through the Universe can be thought of as people circulating in a room at a party. Their relationship to each other creates a unique energy that changes as they move closer, and then further from each other. All of us have experienced the flow of energy when a person passes near us. It can be felt in the air currents, and for those of us who are sensitive to them, in the energetic currents as well. Our own personal energies can fluctuate when we are alone, and then when someone else is near, especially if that someone has energies that either interact well with ours, or opposes them.
The planets interact in much the same way, either resonating well with each other, or creating friction. In addition, the Universal currents are affected by planetary movement, much like the air currents are affected when a person glides through a room, or when a freight train careens by. When looking at it from an energetic perspective, it's easy to comprehend how planetary movement affects us here on Earth, since we are also part of the Universal current. We can begin to understand as individuals, when we think of our Natal horoscope as our own personal blueprint. Planetary placement within each of our Natal charts indicate how we're constructed and what we're made of. What we choose to do with that information is entirely up to us, and is a matter of our own free will.
Now while we as Earth-bound humans may think of the Universe as a vast expanse of space, and perhaps question how transiting celestial bodies so far away from us can cause particular occurrences in our lives, it helps if we try to look at it from a planetary perspective. To the planets, which can be pretty huge themselves, the Universe isn't really that big after all. It's more like a large room filled with people; each of them moving about doing their own thing, and interacting with each other according to their placement in the room at any given time. How the planets interact with aspects of ourselves is indicated by the current planetary placement in our individual Natal charts. While the Natal planetary placement in our charts remains the same throughout our lives, much like a photograph of the heavens at the time of a person's birth, the planets are always in motion. They interact with our Natal planets as they move through the Universe, and indicate energetic changes, events and opportunities within particular areas of our lives, depending on where in our charts this interaction occurs.
It's really very fascinating! If you haven't had your Natal chart professionally cast, you may wish to, so that you can see for yourself how amazingly accurate it all is. I do apologize if that bit of advice sounds like a shameless plug, but when my friend Rita cast my natal chart all those years ago, I was absolutely flabbergasted at her accuracy. She kept close track of my steady progress into adulthood, advising me whenever the need arose, and facilitated my growth into the woman I am today. It is truly a gift having access to that kind of insight, and those who are interested would do well to avail themselves of their own personal guidance map, complements of the Universe.