The Astrology of Loneliness and Aloneness: The Effect of Transits, Part One

The third segment of this series on relationships, loneliness, and aloneness concludes with a look at the ways in which transits alter one’s goals and attitudes about self and others. Transits to planets and houses are the moving piece of the astrological “clock.”

Transits can mark timing as well as potential for change, so that if you’re waiting on an issue to resolve, look to your transits to determine if your patience will be rewarded, or if your impatience is futile.

A long-term transit of Pluto, Uranus, Neptune or even Saturn can take years, and meanwhile, you are forced to live your life all the while subtly altering your attitude while the effects of these planetary movements transform you.

Long-term transits can have the effect of changing your mind about someone, such that by the time Pluto has completed its transit of a planet or house, your mindset about a person or problem will have altered to such an extent you will hardly recognize yourself.

Keep in mind that each planet has a different length of time it transits through a sign, and that except for the Sun and Moon, planets, the Nodal axis, and Chiron all go retrograde from time to time. This can slow down the effect of a transit.

It can be particularly frustrating to learn that a transit has gone retrograde precisely on something of importance in your chart, and that a planet can go retrograde three times is just infuriating when you’re waiting for a planet to leave your house or get off your Ascendant.

However, the value of transits is that time and emotional pressure frequently force us to look at things from a different perspective. If the protracted length of a transit brings you to a greater awareness of your role in pushing people away, let’s say, then your natal chart benefits from a long, albeit painful, trip through the Zodiacal belt.

Let’s first take a look at the three fastest moving heavenly orbs, which are Sun, Moon, and Mercury.

›› Try our transit reports for a personalized long-term forecast.

Sun and Moon move the fastest through the chart and never go retrograde. Consider them like switches that turn situations, attitudes, emotions, and events on and off.

When it comes to the Sun, notice if there is a particular time of year when you feel more or less gregarious, extroverted, or willing to engage with others. The likelihood is that when transiting Sun approaches your 9th house to Midheaven and then on into your 11th house, you feel an increased willingness to engage with others; this will occur at the same time every year.

The Sun transits at about 1° per day, and takes approximately 30 degrees to transit through each sign (one month, in other words). Your chart will have houses divided according to whatever house system used, and while some use equal houses, many do not, such that the house size will be larger than 30°. Therefore, it will take the Sun and Moon longer to transit through a wider house, less time through a shorter.

Sun transiting natal Venus can turn on your desire for love, and announce the beginning of a relationship or, more likely, the beginning of when you started thinking about finding a relationship.

When the Sun transits on the “bottom half” of your chart, though, you will most likely feel like staying close to home, and possibly protect yourself from encounters with strangers. We do not feel as gregarious when the Sun and Moon are transiting the lower hemisphere of the chart; our energy wanes and we feel less interested in others.

This effect occurs no matter what the calendar says, since your natal chart is your personal calendar, where the beginning of your year begins with the Ascendant, and the Sun continues through each house until it returns to the Ascendant again.

Transits to your houses and planets will coincide with earthly holidays (not necessarily the kind that’s on a calendar), and so you should look at your natal chart to see if you have a planet or point conjunct the transiting Sun. For example, transiting Sun exactly conjuncts my natal Saturn on Christmas day, every year. Christmas for me has never been “about” opening presents; instead, it is much more about the oldest traditions and also work.

I frequently work on Christmas in one way or another. I am happiest when I do not hear stories about shoppers at WalMart crushing each other to buy the latest material object, because for me, Saturn is telling me that materialism is bad. I rarely go to Christmas parties. As you can tell, I’m a lot of fun to be around on Christmas.

Look to see when the Sun transits your Saturn, and you can see a day you probably take pretty seriously. (It won’t necessarily be a holiday, of course.)

The Moon moves at about a half-degree per hour, and therefore moves through one sign in approximately 2-1/2 days. The Moon rules emotional states, which can fluctuate. Many astrologers will pay close attention to the condition of the Moon when doing predictions, because what phase the Moon is in, as well as its sign, changes so rapidly, it can tell us a great deal about the emotional intentions around an event.

If you like to go out dancing, let’s say, but you go out when the Moon is transiting in square to your natal Moon, the likelihood is that you won’t feel your best. A Moon transit to a restrictive planet like Saturn means you might just stay home. A Moon transit through the 6th house means you might stay home with a cold, since the 6th has to do with illness, amongst other things.

But a Moon transit through the 5th house of creative expression will allow nothing to keep you home, unless that Moon is also forming a difficult aspect to another planet. If you want to meet someone new and the Moon is also new (meaning Sun and Moon are conjunct) then set your intentions and hope for the best, for the astrological energy is on your side, so to speak.

When the Sun and Moon are in opposition, otherwise known as a Full Moon, you can potentially reap the rewards of intentions set at the New Moon. However, be aware that each Moon sign reaps different outcomes, so choose your timing carefully.

Moon transits can also tell us how your relationships with women and the public will go, so if you have to speak in front of a group mainly comprised of women, take a look at your Moon transits before you decide on a good day. If the outcome of an event is important to you, make sure the Moon makes good aspects to your natal Moon.

Marriages are traditionally forecast astrologically by looking at transits of Moon and Venus to the natal charts of the marriage partners. Having good transits to one’s Moon and Venus is like getting a wedding cake made with particularly good icing. You can definitely marry on a blah day with a bad cake, but what fun is that? Go for fireworks on your big day!

Because the Moon moves so fast, relative to the planets, it is not surprising if people with a “strong” Moon in their natal chart (Moon on one of the angles, Moon with many aspects; Moon in Cancer, the sign associated with the Moon; Moon in the 4th, its “natural” house) experience the fluctuations of the Moon more noticeably.

Mercury: Do not discount the importance of communication in a relationship. In the days of yore, when people met one another face to face, Mercury had a role to play, but I see Mercury in synastry between two people even more now that l’amour has moved to the internet, because to get any relationship started, two people have to be able to understand one another’s grunts and howls.

Transiting Mercury takes almost a full year to move through all 12 signs, but can take anywhere from two weeks to a full month to move through any given sign (depending on its motion, such as retrograde). Transiting Mercury shows up at the beginning of friendships and platonic relationships, and is often what binds brothers and sisters in synastry.

It is simply easier to get along with each other if you can understand what the other person is saying, mostly because if you share similar styles of communication, you’ll find yourself agreeing with the other person, more often than not.

Similarly, squared or opposing Mercuries can drive both people over the bend, trying to figure out what the other person “meant by that.” If you really cannot understand why he did what he did, check to see if your Mercuries are compatible. Even if you don’t agree, if your Mercuries are compatible, you’ll find it easier to understand the reasoning behind the action.

Mercury can help begin a relationship based on the kinds of mutual interests that are not necessarily “romantic.” However, most relationships that last are what’s known as “companionate,” which is a way of saying the two people are happy because they have stuff in common and aren’t terribly concerned about having one of those heavy, romantic relationships based on lust, love and longing.

Probably the best thing about a Mercury transit is that it will inspire you to get out of the house and go do something to activate your brain. But it might just inspire you to start a blog, watch more TV, or read a book. When Mercury goes Retrograde, which it does a few times each year, you have an opportunity to do things over that you might have done badly or incompletely the first time.

This could mean that you sit and write letters (on real paper) or revise a book, or go back to school. Mercury transits are generally supportive of intellectual work, or work that needs your full attention to complete. Although Mercury through the chart is not specifically about relationships, it can make it easier (or harder, depending on the transit and whether it squares or opposes something in your natal chart) to get your point across, to make someone understand you.

If you’re having a difficult time communicating with someone, take a look at the synastry between your two Mercuries, especially Mercury by transit to either of your natal Mercuries, and work at becoming a better communicator. If you have difficult cross-aspects between your Mercuries, small problems can blow up into big ones, and misunderstandings while texting become a nightmare.

Try speaking face to face instead of texting when Mercury is retrograde (or is retrograde in your natal chart, or you’re a Gemini, for whom Mercury transits, particularly retrogrades, can represent a real challenge).

In the next post, I will talk about transits of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

About Alison Gunn

Alison M. Gunn, Ph.D., has studied and practiced astrology for over 40 years. Her primary teachers were Noel Tyl, Jeff Green (before the 'Wolf'), and Maggie Nalbandian of Astrology Et. Al, Seattle, Washington. Alison specializes in relationship astrology, specifically Solar returns, Venus returns, synastry, composites, and progressed composites, although she also works with Mundane, Medical, and Judicial (predictive) astrology. Her belief is that astrology is a language, a symbolic system based on thousands of years of information. Alison's website is, where you can arrange a personal reading with her.


  1. There is no other way to say THANK YOU for this post. I LOVE the publications that astrologers do here on this site! Congratulations to all and may God and the stars bless them.

  2. Enjoying this series all the way through. I’d appreciate something about the best ways to handle loneliness if you are alone, having a hard time with it, and it looks as if it will last a good long time.

    I’ve found that your comments fit well with what I know about the personalities from the disaster of my last relationship.

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