Inner Planet Activations
Inner Planet Activators (et al)
Astrologers divide the planets into many categories. One way to divide the planets is into "activating" planets and "activated" planets. "Activated" planets are slower; "Activators" are faster.
Three Groups of Planets
Therefore, the planets may be divided into three large groups: (1) the "Inner Planet Activators" (Sun, Moon, Mercury, & Venus; anything with a period the same as the Sun or less); (2) Mars (which is in a category by itself); and (3) the Outer Planets (other than Mars).
Inner planet activators have a period the same as the Sun, or less. That is, their period, or orbit, is less than a year. An argument can be made that Venus actually has a longer period, but that is beyond the scope of this article and these applications.
Mars and Beyond
Mars is in a category by iteslf. With a period of about two years, including a six month retrograde period, it clearly is not part of the outer planets (with periods of twelve years or more). It isn’t part of the Inner Planet Activators. And, clearly, it is an activator in almost all cases, despite having a slower orbit than the Inner Planet Activators. Mars deserves its own article, as do the Outer Planets (also called the "Generational Planets").
Inner Planet Activators
Inner Planet Activators fall into two groups: (1) "The Lights" (the Sun and Moon) and (2) everything else (ordinarily Mercury and Venus). These topics are also discussed at grandtrines.tripod.com.
The Lights: The Sun and The Moon
The Sun and the Moon are called "The Lights" because they light up the sky. The Sun is also known as the "Greater Light" and the Moon is known as the "Lesser Light." Together, they are considered the "most powerful planets" in the sense that they rule our daily, monthly, and annual affairs. They have several applicable patterns; eclipse patterns are a topic for another article. Also, all modern calendars are based on either the Sun or the Moon. Roman calendars, such as the one used by the U.S., are solar based. Other calendars, such as the one used by Islam, are lunar based.
The Sun has two key patterns: the daily pattern and the annual pattern. The daily pattern is the basis for the "Ascendant" (and Midheaven and the Houses) in an astrological chart. The pattern is so pervasive that we do not notice it. But, if you were to run an astrological chart whenever you received a phone call, you would find that a planet is almost always in an "angular position" (rising, setting, Midheaven, or IC) when that call comes to you. And, you’d find that sometimes they really do "cluster." (Nothing all day, then three calls on top of each other when Mercury rises.) Most of us do not notice this pattern, but it is probably the most "granular" (precise) activator of events.
Excluding eclipse patterns, the Moon provides the next set of key activations. Technically, it has a monthly pattern, but as the Moon transits signs the Moon has activations within "about" 2 1/2 day windows. This is the basis for many astrological predictions. Yes, Mars may be Pluto in your chart, and you might should watch for quarrels and arguments, but it may not be until the Moon touches or opposes one of them that the event explodes. And, don’t be surprised if the actual explosion happens when one of them is rising or at Midheaven.
(This would explain why Mars Square Pluto could be precise on, say, April 11th, but the big "blowup" occurs on the 9th or the 13th.)
The Sun also has an annual pattern, and for any person or event actually has two superimposed patterns: transit to natal and transit to transit. Transit to transit tends to affect "everyone" but some people more than others. As of this writing, the Sun will transit both Chiron and Neptune as it moves through Aquarius (conjunct), Taurus (square), Leo (opposition), and Scorpio) square) each year. Since Chiron and Neptune are S-L-O-W (say that VERY slowly) "outer planets," this kind of transit to transit event will occur each year on dates that change slightly from year to year.
Transit to natal, however, don’t change for the Sun. If your natal Chiron is in Aquarius, or Leo, then the Sun will square it on the SAME day each year, with only adjustments to the calendar for "leap years." (So, technically, it can "vary" a day or so because of calendar adjustments.) You can count on certain types of events happening on those days. I encourage you to keep a diary in something like a daily meditation book where you write events that happen June 4th of each year (and every other day) especially noting events on critical days (Sun square, conjunct, or opposite ANYthing Natal: Sun, Moon, Mercury, etc.)
If you would like to be really sophisticated in your tracking, you’d also note: days with the following aspects: trine, quincunx (inconjunct), quintile, bi-quintile, septile, & novile. Trines should favor you (they are usually strong points), inconjuncts are usually unpleasant, and I leave the rest to your experimentation.
Mercury and Venus (et al)
Mercury and Venus are also annual in nature, but are not as clearly predictable. The easiest way to understand these is to either have an astrologer do the work for you or to use a suitable computer program to predict the transits for yourself each year. A log would also be a good idea, but much trickier to maintain over the years compared to a Solar based log.
Mercury & Venus transit to transit inspired this article. At certain times each year these occur, and they tend to dominate "the News" in the world of astrology. In many ways they are the dominant forces occupying much of July, 2008 (when this article is being written). These often cluster, and a smattering of squares, oppositions and inconjuncts from these often "activate" events for individuals that are difficult to predict without custom astrology charts. I’ll write about them in my column, nonetheless, just realize that my predictive power regarding these is a bit weaker because you really need a custom tailored set of predictions for these activators.
Let me give an example. July 7th of 2008 has Venus Inconjunct Neptune. That’s an unpleasant aspect for most people, and it tends to favor liars and cheats. Venus is in Cancer (near the Sun, of course) and inconjuncts Neptune as it will each year until Neptune finally moves into Pisces. The SPECIFIC date of this inconjunct will vary from year to year, but it will happen with essentially the same energies pitting Venus in Cancer (the home; the family; the sign of sustenance) against Neptune in Aquarius (mental health; large groups of people; the internet; electronics). DEPENDING on "what else is going on," this will likely be an "annoying day" for most people.
A few may benefit from the misery of others (this is inevitable). SOME will have profound events, as these planets align to "activate" natal planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, etc. A Sun or Moon activation will require a "hard glance" at what is going on and what needs to change. An activation to (natal) Chiron or Pluto or other outer planets may result in profound life changes and often can affect people "around" the individual, institution, or event.
So, if I mention "Inner Planet Activations" in my analysis / predictions, situations described here may apply. That is, in some cases, it will just be an "annoying day." (Or, sometimes, a very good day.) But, *IF* you have a "major life change" on one of these days, you need to re-examine your natal chart (birth chart) and/or consult one (or more) competent astrologer(s).