Transits of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto to Natal Charts

The so-called ‘Outer Planets’, i.e. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are not part of traditional Vedic Astrology; obviously they couldn’t see them back then, so nothing is written about them in the ancient texts. With the advent of telescopes, the ‘modern planets’ were discovered, and soon thereafter astrologers began to incorporate them in natal chart analysis. But even today,Vedic Astrologers who strictly stick to the original texts will ignore the outer planets. My Vedic Astrology guru, Narendra Desai, was a Modernist. He said: “They are up there; why not use them?” Our modern world is rather more complicated than Ancient India, so it seems logical that we would need a few more significators. I have found when analyzing charts that when Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto is involved in a tight planetary pattern, clearly they do have effects.

For predicting events, one of the main techniques in astrology is to calculate the present and future positions of the planets in the zodiac and see how they line up with the natal planetary positions of the Birth Chart. The timing of patterns formed when transiting planets interact with natal planets gives dependable clues about when things are going to happen. The nature of the involved planets tells us what sorts of events to expect. A Mars transit over a natal planet will add energy to that natal planet’s functioning; a Saturn transit will delay or even obstruct the manifestation of the natal planet.

The visible celestial bodies, i.e., Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, can be easily tracked and correlated to events in a person’s life. Their cycles through the zodiac are repetitive, varying in duration from the Moon’s one month-long cycle, up to Saturn’s 28 yearslong circuit. These cycles correspond to ‘periods’ of activity affecting the various sectors of the natal chart and the natal planetary positions. Since they do repeat a number of times in an average lifetime, we get to experience each planet’s energy again and again in different parts of our life, giving us multiple opportunities to learn the ‘lessons’ of each of these celestial entities.

But in the case of the outer planets, the cycles are much longer. In fact, they are so long that we won’t experience all of the outer planets’ transits in every part of our chart during our lives. Uranus takes 84 years to make a complete circuit of the zodiac. Neptune takes 165 years; Pluto takes 248 years. So if you live a decently long life, you’ll experience a Uranus transit in each house and its conjunction to every one of your natal planets… but only once. And even with an extra long lifespan, you will not experience Neptune’s or Pluto’s transit in all parts of your natal chart. (This is, of course, aside from whatever each of these planets are affecting by their natal positions.)

Further, since the outer planets move so slowly through the zodiac, when one of them does contact a natal position, or form an aspect pattern with a natal planet, its influence will be lasting a rather long time. In the case of Uranus, since it takes about 7 years to transit through a sign, it will continue to affect the corresponding house of your chart for that many years. Uranus transiting over or opposite a natal planet can be effective for a year or more. You can double that for Neptune: 13 or 14 years transiting in a house; 2 to 3 years to complete a transit over a natal planet. For Pluto, it can be as long as 20 years to transit through a house; 3 or 4 years affecting a natal planet. Since these outer planet transits last so much longer than the visible planets, and are only going to happen once in your lifetime, they tend to manifest as noticeable departures from what you’ve come to expect as your normal experience.

Uranus is the planet of Independence, Freedom, Rebellion, and Disruption. Uranus tends to act in a Sudden Unexpected manner. We can call Uranus the planet of Surprises. It’s not necessarily malefic, unless you are the type that strongly prefers regularity and predictability in your life. If you like change & excitement, then Uranus is your friend. When Uranus contacts, or is directly opposite a natal planet, there will be some disruption to what that planet represents in your chart. For instance, if Uranus transits over your natal Venus, you could go through a period of wanting to be ‘Free’ of an encumbering relationship, i.e., it encourages Breaking Up. Alternately, Uranus + natal Venus can produce an Unexpected Romance, an Infatuation with someone. The 7-year transit of Uranus in your 10th house brings a need for Independence, therefore causes Disruption to your Career; its direct aspect on your 4th house isn’t particularly good for Domestic Life either. The once-in-a-lifetime transit of Uranus in your 1st house makes you a Rebel and/ or an Eccentric; its simultaneous opposition to your 7th house threatens your marriage.

Neptune is the planet of Fantasy and Illusion. Neptune is Irrational and creates Confusion. Therefore Neptune transits are mostly Bad. But on the plus side, Neptune’s Imagination can be good for Creativity. Some regard Neptune as the ‘higher octave’ of Venus, i.e., good for Spiritual Devotion and Martyrdom. When Neptune becomes conjunct or directly opposite a natal planet (within 2 degrees), it produces either Idealism or Confusion regarding that planet’s significations. For example: Neptune transiting opposite natal Saturn results in a 2 or 3-year period of Confusion about your Stability and Security. When this happens, there’s a sense of Impermanence and Doubt about the usually taken-for-granted structures in your life. If there are other simultaneous negative transits in your chart, Neptune influencing natal Saturn can actually manifest as your life ‘falling apart.’

Pluto is the newest addition to the modern astrologer’s tool chest: we’ve only known about it since 1930. Pluto is considered to have the qualities of the Hindu god Shiva: causing Complete Destruction, but for the purpose of Rebirth. The idea is that since it’s a ‘closed system’, something has to be removed in order for new growth to take place. Therefore, as with Uranus, if you like things to stay just as they are, a Pluto transit can be rather upsetting. On the other hand, if you are bored with your life and want a Big Change, or see transformation as being essential to your evolution, you’ll be able to welcome Pluto’s influence. Pluto also has a strong connection to Generational Change, i.e., Large Scale Events that affect a lot of people. The most recent example was the Pluto-Saturn-Jupiter conjunction of 2020, which manifested as the Covid Epidemic. And yet, with all the destruction caused by that, it did make way for some major changes, such as ‘Work From Home’, Zoom Meetings, Reorganizing Global Supply Chains, More Social Medicine, etc. In a natal chart, the once-in-a-lifetime transit of Pluto over a natal planet, or exactly opposite, results in the destruction of something in your life related to that natal planet. Alternately, something going on in your country or community directly affects the significations of your affected natal planet. This can end up, ultimately, for the good. But with Pluto, the process of getting there won’t be easy.