When I fist started learning in-depth astrology I didn’t know a) where to find the transits or b) what the difference was between world and personal transits, because most astrologers just say the word by itself, transits.
I’m sure if I leafed through one of the many books I purchased on astrology to find out, I would have learned right away. But I’m an autodidact and try to learn things on my own without much assistance elsewhere. I don’t like to have things handed to me on a platter but I do love to be inspired (Mercury Semi-sextile Uranus). And I like to discover ( Aries on the 3rd house cusp, with Chiron inside). And this is how I teach, by the way (Jupiter-Uranus Libra in the 9th).
So, for me, transits were not self-explanatory just by looking at them.
I can’t remember the moment I figured it out but I had pieced together what Internet friends mumbled about, along with looking for patterns in the ephemeris, and what astrologers said in their Facebook notes and in their blogs! So I figured out world transits first, and then I moved to learning about my personal transits.
I remember myself being totally like a fish out of water: Check where I have 15° Gemini?! Huh. How do I figure that out? I don’t have any Gemini signs.
Everything seemed more complex than it had to be (see my Virgo stellium).
Anyway, bottom line:
Transits are like the weather — always changing, and often having an impact on us. What we do, how we feel, etc.
World transits: These transits are what mundane astrologers write about. These are the Twitter messages, Facebook notes, and blog posts that talk about what’s happening in the cosmos (no matter where you live on Earth) and how it affects the earth and its people, plants, and animals.
These transit delineations have some affect on you but it’s your personal transits, combined with what’s going on in the skies, that have more personal impact.
World transits tend to be external, and connect to an overall vibe of a people or environment (for example). Like, have you been out and about and most people seem grumpy, sad, or happy? It may be due to the astrological weather. But because it’s external, we can sort of get away from it with skill. But other people’s vibes have a tendency to rub off on us. Like contagious laughter.
Mundane astrology is mostly used to determine world geological weather patterns, politics, and what’s happening with a large number of people (i.e. movements) because it does not include your personal natal chart. Again, it’s not generally used to tell you about what’s going to happen to you personally, because of that.
World transits are found through reading an ephemeris. You can also use a website like planet watcher.
Personal transits: These transits are what natal astrologers write about (that’d be me). These are the personal transits that you’ll often learn about in a one-on-one consultation or through buying a transit report. Some websites and blogs delineate a large number of planetary personal transits (cookbooks), and blogging astrologers often talk about their own personal transits.
Personal transits are internal and not only affect you, but affect the people around you as you interact with them — just like their personal transits affect you. Many times, there’s some karmic contact happening between your transits where astrology can explain both of your parts in the karmic interaction.
Personal transits incorporate what’s going on in the sky but it gets connected to your natal chart (and other personal charts too) which is drawn based on your month, day, year, time of birth, and location of birth. So if Sun is in Aries today and you have your natal Moon in Aries, by sign, you could have the transiting Sun Conjunct your natal Moon. Many astrologers will use abbreviations to describe this such as tr. Sun 0° na. Moon.
Natal astrology is mostly used to determine your personality, psychology, daily life, major goals and milestones, strengths, challenges, talents, joys, and things that have happened to you, are happening to you, and most likely will happen to you.
Personal transits are found through reading an ephemeris and your natal chart or reading your natal chart that selects a transit option to be overlaid and connected to your natals.
I think I’ll spend some time exploring this topic, with pictures and a how-to Screenr video, over on my VirgoVault blog. This post is getting a bit too long and pedantic for Astrogasm.
Visit Skyview Zone to learn about how to find aspects in your natal chart.