In astrology, the transpersonal planets are often sometimes referred to as the outer planets. Because they orbit so far away from the Sun, they move much slower than the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars) and the impersonal planets (Jupiter, Saturn). Astrologers note that the effects of these planets last for much longer (because of the distance) and the effects are often generational versus individual. For example, it takes Pluto 254 years to complete the entire zodiac (hence, spending roughly 21 years in each sign). Thus, each generation will more than likely have the same Pluto sign even if they don’t all share the same Sun, Moon or Mercury sign.
Uranus: The Planet of Progression and Innovation
Personified by Uranus, god of the Sky (he married Gaia and together, they made Cronus), this planet dismantles the status quo in the cosmos and society. If you read my “Impersonal Planets” article (found under the menu tab) then Uranus’s role becomes much clearer. While Jupiter expands, Saturn trims any excess, and lastly, Uranus shakes things up when we get too settled with the status quo (aka Saturn). We can analyze Uranus from a micro level (our personal/professional lives) or macro level (shaking up the status quo in society). Any order maintained by Saturn is reconfigured in order to blaze the trail for something newer, something better, something more efficient (hence, the planet of “Progression”). Astrologers label Uranus as rebellious, unpredictable, chaotic and erratic; Uranus transits point to new situations and unexpected discoveries. In a birth chart, Uranus signs[ and the house(s) it’s stationed in] highlight(s) the areas in your life where things seem to be the MOST unstable or chaotic: always undergoing makeovers and (occasionally unpleasant) disruptions. Additionally, the natal Uranus sign can spotlight where you most fear the loss of freedom.
When positively aspected/angled to other planets, Uranus encourages us to be independent, innovative, and altruistic; when disharmoniously angled to other planets, Uranus tends to behave aloofly, insensitively and detach from reality. There’s a distinct sense of eccentricity with this planet by helping us find ways to break from the confines in our lives (introduced by Saturn); sometimes I refer to Uranus as the “Great Liberator.” Whenever Uranus enters a retrograde cycle, we may feel a certain struggle to “fit” within the framework of our given society, thus our rebellion is internal in nature. Depending on the area of your chart that Uranus travels through during this period, it’s quite possible that you’ll have trouble finding your niche in that sector although there is a definitive sense of individuality that must be upheld nonetheless (remember, Uranus is all about inventiveness and originality).
This penchant for change, excitement and revolution makes sense since Uranus serves as the planetary ruler of free-spirited Aquarius. It takes Uranus 84 years to complete the entire zodiac cycle (pausing in each sign for close to 7 years). It’s believed that inventors, the “mad scientists” (or mentally ill), and revolutionaries have strong aspects between Uranus and other personal planets.
Neptune: The Planet of Illusions, Visions and the Divine
Personified by Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea, Neptune represents the mysterious and impossible in life. Tied to both faith and mysticism, Neptune in the natal chart unveils how we express our imagination and indulge in surrealism. Neptune signs spotlight how we react to dreams, illusions and spirituality: serving as a bridge for “Divine Love.” The Neptune house, in the natal chart, can reveal when the individual is most inclined to daydream or detach from reality. The house placement can also show the area of the person’s life where they are most kind and selfless. Neptune interacts wonderfully with both the Moon and Venus, and functions as a higher octave of both in some essence. When positively aspected in our birth readings and daily transits, Neptune promotes selflessness and peace; when disharmoniously aspected, Neptune drives us to be unrealistic and irrational. I’ve noticed that in some of my clients’ charts where disharmonious aspects between Neptune and other planets are present, they are prone to escapism and incessant daydreaming so that they don’t have to deal with the stressors of reality. Those with strong (harmonious) angles between Neptune and the personal planets can help those natives grasp the subtleties of their environment: internalizing those effects.
Of all the outer planets, Neptune fascinates me the most! When in direct orbit, dreamy Neptune can sometimes give way to denial and avoidance of the concrete/tangible in our lives. The ever elusive nature of Neptune dissolves boundaries and . There’s a strong desire to stick our heads in the sand; and since Neptune travels so far away from the Sun, the effects of this planet are more subtle and seem to last a bit longer. When Neptune enters a retrograde cycle, it provides us with the opportunity to tackle the issues we’ve swept under the rug. The best way to figure out WHERE the work needs to be done is look at the house placement and the sign that Neptune is in. The house that Neptune is moving through in your chart can show you the area of your life where you tend to romanticize things and the sign that Neptune is moving through can show you how to remedy those problems.
Just as the ocean depths that Poseidon rules are vast and unexplored, it would only make sense for Neptune to operate as the planetary ruler of enigmatic Pisces. Clairvoyants, mystics, “magicians’, psychics, and others in touch with “different planes of existence” often have Neptune scattered throughout several natal houses OR with harmonious angles between Neptune and planets. Neptune, in my opinion, is the Great Dreamer. It takes Neptune 168 years to circle the entire zodiac, spending roughly 14 years in each sign.
Pluto: The Planet of Rebirth and Power
Although I love Neptune, as a Scorpio Ascendant (Pluto in my 1st House), I have soul ties to this planet ! Hades personifies the planet Pluto. In Greek mythology, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades were brothers. Zeus was given rulership of the Olympians; Poseidon, the seas; and Hades, the Underworld. According to legend, Hades was inflamed with his domain; as the eldest of the three, he felt he should have been allowed to reign Mount Olympus instead of being relegated to the damp, dark place of the dead. In the tale, Hades grew to resent his brothers who were revered by the Greek populace, while he was cursed. All of this is relative because astrologers link Pluto (Hades) closely with power struggles and how we handle (deep) internal transformations. In astrology, Pluto represents everything that is hidden from sight (just as the Underworld was hidden—and people weren’t interested in seeking it until “that time” had come!). I love to link Pluto with major crises and upheavals in our lives: just as Hades’ fate served as a major upheaval in power play between the three brothers.
Symbolically, Pluto deals with all that is outdates and needs to be eliminated in our lives: both macro and micro in nature. Unfortunately, this can sometimes create control issues (both internally and externally) that are difficult to handle. When Pluto is positively aspected in our natal charts and during daily transits, Pluto supports our need to transform through ultimate truths. Interestingly enough, death is the ULTIMATE transformation any of us will ever experience—metaphorically, this is what Pluto (Hades, the Keeper of Souls) embodies. All of our obsessions, anxieties, and truths are expressed through Pluto, more so here than with any other planet. When disharmoniously aspected in our birth charts or in daily transits, Pluto induces manipulative, sadistic and oversexed behavior. Just as Saturn is the Great Maturer, Uranus is the Great Liberator, Neptune is the Great Dreamer, Pluto is the Great Transformer.
Those with Pluto traveling through strong houses (for example, the 1st, 7th, 8th or 12th) in the natal chart OR with Pluto making tough angles to other planets in their chart, they are generally intensely private and very self-controlled. Inner conflicts can often overshadow some of the great things going on in these individuals lives. When Pluto is traveling in its normal orbital pattern, many of our power struggles are external in nature (perhaps between ourselves and an employer or may between ourselves and a lover); but during Pluto’s retrograde phase, our power issues become internal (as we fight within over the best way to morph into better versions of ourselves). Many of my clients often ask me, “Well what’s the difference between Uranus and Pluto? They seem work in similar fashions.” Appearances can be deceiving! Where Uranus works to disrupt the status quo within in a system—in order to combat complacency; Pluto destroys the entire system, not just a piece of it, in order to install something much better!
The self-mastery and and psychological qualities of Pluto make it the best option for planetary ruler of intense Scorpio. Pluto takes 254 years to travel through the entire zodiac.
Have more questions about the outer planets or want to know what role they play in your natal chart? Find me here: firstname.lastname@example.org