Horoscopes Versus Transits – Explained

What is a horoscope? Is it the same as a transit?

“Why does my Year Ahead Report say Pluto is in my Seventh House, but my Horoscope says it’s in the 2nd?”

The Horoscopes Versus Transits question comes up semi-frequently, usually from people confused about an apparent contradiction between the two. And it is bewildering.

Astrology has different dimensions to it. There is the general cosmic ‘weather’ as played out in the alignments of the Sun, Moon, and planets.

For instance, say the current core alignment is an angle between Mars and Uranus with Mars also aligned to Venus, albeit harmoniously. Anyone born tonight will reflect the energy of this moment. The sky map of this time will become that person’s birth chart or natal astrology. In the future, that the Sun, Moon or planets re-connecting with any of this natal energy will be definitive.

Transits Manifest As Triggers, Epiphanies, Romance and Realizations

Depending on the nature of the person and their circumstances, this transit will manifest as a trigger, an epiphany, romance, realization or the sort of crisis that spurs opportunity.  Or, to be fair, an emergency dental appointment followed by an argument in cold rain and an unexpected vet bill. Saturn, I’m looking at you here.

(As an aside, the word planet means “wanderer” and “transit” comes from “journey” or “transition.”)

By comparison, the Horoscopes (meaning time watcher, or observer of the hours) interpret the astral ‘weather’ through the Zodiac Signs.  They’re not so specific as the transits to your birth chart, as those are unique, but they work as a sun or zodiac sign customized take on the current galactic vibe.

Reading for your Sun and Rising makes them the most effective but the Sun Sign alone Horoscopes are still pertinent: Sagittarius people respond differently to the influence of Jupiter than Capricorns. Scorpio and Capricorns are weirdly linked together for the next ten months. Aries folk are adjusting to Chiron and Pisceans to the full-undiluted Neptune experience. And so on.

The houses are just one aspect of the Horoscopes, but when you see “third house” or whatever in one of my Horoscopes, it is the Solar House. That means that I’m putting your Sun as the Ascendant for a delineation. The Solar Houses are a useful tool, but it’s not usually the same as those in your birth chart.

Broadly, the individual transit readings pertain to your inner development and the Horoscopes to the outer realm, with suggestions for adapting or interpreting the astro.

And the more you tune in, the better they work together.


Image: Samantha Eggar – Photographer Unknown

18 thoughts on “Horoscopes Versus Transits – Explained”

  1. Coming late to comment, but what Centaurus wrote further down encapsulates what I think, too. I resonate a lot with the idea of archetypal resonance in astrology, so I just wanted to leave a recommendation, in case anyone is interested in reading more about it, to check out Richard Tarnas’ work. A good starting point is “An Introduction to Archetypal Astrological Analysis”, which is available online, and is particularly relevant to the discussion here.

  2. As always, I love the Piscean flow. But my Taurus Mercury / Cap Moon really wants to wrap my brain around this. I understand casting a chart based on sun vs rising signs, and the difference between horoscopes & transits.

    But I haven’t quite grasped how my ‘lens’ should be different for reading my solar horoscope vs rising horoscope. Help?

  3. lol lol Or, to be fair, an emergency dental appointment followed by an argument in cold rain and an unexpected vet bill. Saturn, I’m looking at you here.
    Sorry to laugh, but this Saturn girl knows this kind of day/week well.
    And it always comes when i’m almost broke, the car brakes down and the dog is off to the vet for some major bill.
    The lesson i have learned is to never be that broke and save for a rainy day……. Plus keep your sense of humor….. chuckle chuckle.

  4. So transits are more like inner triggers based on outer events, and clues to the context of those out events can be found in the horoscopes/solar charts?

    1. I was wondering the same thing! I always knew both charts were valid, but had no idea how to relate them. I read what Mystic wrote as- the natal transits were the inner development and the solar horoscopes discussed the outer world effecting the situation? Like natal was your inner electrician working with the wiring and the solar was the world affecting you affecting the wiring? That’s a weird metaphor. But I REALLY liked your thoughts on it. I need to do more research!

  5. Also – I can’t remember if I read this or not but what I have observed is that solar houses are more like how your sun sign approaches an area of life in general, and your individual birth chart houses are more like your experience of that area of life.

  6. Yes – I find the “Transits and Ephemerides” section of astrotheme.com to be the most helpful tool to understanding transits. You can create a free account and keep dozens of birth charts there to play with and contrast with the current astro weather. It’s cool.

  7. I use an app called Time Nomad that has chart options, the most useful one being “Transits Chart” which shows the natal replacement (inner ring) and the current planetary weather (outer ring) AND it has a slider, so can move forward/back a day or week to check where a transit (i.e. Venus’ transit in Pisces) falls. It also shows aspects (there’s a slider for this too – can show all or major/minor aspects of different types). The app doesn’t interpret anything but a useful tool for me, at least, to figure out transits impact me.

  8. I esp pay attention to planetary weather mentioned in my horoscope that are involved in current transits to my chart. For example, the current Mercury-Neptune situation in Pisces, is trine my MC, and so even tho I am not a Pisces, it’s still been one of the more dominant energies I’ve been feeling lately. Uranus in Taurus too, even though it hasn’t been in a major alignment, I am paying attention because it’s opposite my Sun right now. These situations are still happening so I don’t quite know what it all means yet. I’ve been getting weird inspiration to apply to my life in a fresh way. At the same time, I’ve been super tired, kind of unmotivated (weird for me), and detoxing from overworking myself. That’s for sure influenced by (also) Pluto-South Node, which as a Scorpio, I am feeling in a broader sense even though that particular conjunction isn’t doing anything directly to my planets/points in my chart.

  9. Yes! You are psychic. Mars now on my Sun… tearing through to do lists, can’t drop off to sleep but when I do (Thank you Angel of Sleep and Angel of Dreams) I’m zombified and remember every scene with super clarity.

  10. Sitting here typing in a fave tee that ironically bears ‘wanderer’ on it’s front whilst I (ironically) get ready to move on again. Defying some a-typical warnings decreed by the skies.

    I agree and will add that any quest for absolutes will result in frustration as timing – divine or otherwise – is, and always remains the wild card despite our scrying abilities or precise planetary calculations. The assurance of outcomes is but a folly but the focus on a goal if it be true to a soul/heart is often assured. Ah – the world of polarity. Make of it what ye will.

    1. “The assurance of outcomes is but a folly but the focus on a goal if it be true to a soul/heart is often assured. Ah – the world of polarity. Make of it what ye will.” Love these words. Allowing the paradox is sometimes the biggest struggle. Also, letting go of the struggle. Ha! <3

    2. You are so right Centaurus about assurance of out comes and timing. It took me awhile to come to grips with that as when I first became interested in astrology, that is what I was looking for. When outcomes didn’t go according to plan or heaven forbid my goals weren’t in alignment with the astro, I felt like I had failed to follow the universe’s directions. And to be fair, sometimes I had. Hello Saturn, sorry I ignored your lessons for so long!

      I’ve learned now to stick to my own goals and look for the astro timing that supports it instead of letting the stars dictate what I should be working on. Not that I won’t try and work a transit and the unexpected opportunities and/or lessons that pop up if it suits me.

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