Dealing With Difficult Times and Transits

Occasionally we stop and take stock of ourselves.

peleIs our health ok? How about our family, and the other important relationships in our lives? Our education? Our career?

And usually we find ourselves wanting in one way or another. We could be a little healthier, our family could be a little more tightly bonded, and frankly we could be making more money than we do. And so we might draw up a list of goals, or at least join a gym or try to buff up our resume. And we might follow our new plans for a week or a month, and maybe we’ll even make some hard-won progress in these areas.

Frankly, this whole process is ridiculous, from start to finish. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else — but our greatest progress, our greatest growth, our greatest achievements — the moments we look back on most fondly — are never the result of logical planning. You can’t lay out your grandest life moments in a datebook. This is LIFE, not a weekend retreat.

You will grow this year, and you will triumph over remarkable odds, and you will reach heights you don’t yet dream of. Most of us do not even realize how successful we are…

But forget trying to plan it all in advance. The best you can hope to do is set a trajectory and provide the fuel. And even that will fail if you’re not listening to where your heart says you should be going.

Gifts of the Crystal Spheres

Every moment, Spirit is sending us energy — growth energy, change energy, transformative energy. Some transformations happen between one day and the next; others build for years, and change us in ways we do not recognize until decades have passed.

We can ignore this energy; we can block it; we can fight it; we can throttle it; we can dismiss it; we can grab it and use it; we can fill ourselves with it as a vessel fills with water or light; we can guide it gently — whatever we want. It is a gift from Spirit to us, a true gift — a gift with no strings attached whatsoever.

Astrologers call these energies transits and progressions, and traditionally these things used to be labeled “bad” and “good”. A “good” transit would mean pleasant fortune and positive energy; a “bad” transit could mean a mugging or a plague. Today, astrologers usually recognize that even the “bad” transits have vital lessons to teach us, and instead might talk about “difficult” transits. For some transits, the growth and achievement seem to flow almost effortlessly. For others, the growth is accompanied by pain or disappointment.

The transit — the energy — the Gift — will arrive in its own time. It will come whether you want it or not. And painfully or joyfully, you will move a little further down your spiritual path.

Painfully or joyfully! If only it could always be joyfully…

Meeting Your Teacher

Joyfully — in fact, I was introduced a couple of months ago to a very simple technique for meeting troublesome situations and turning them towards joy. It takes a little time and inner work, but I’ve had good success with it.

The trick is to recognize that the trouble and pain is coming from having an unhealthy relationship with the energies that Spirit is granting us. We need to open up communication with this energy and allow it to help us in ways that bring us joy rather than pain.  In principle, the method is simple.

  • Identify the source of the trouble. If you’re working with transits or progressions, then you can nail down the energy’s type and timing precisely. Otherwise, you can look at your problem squarely and get its parameters firmly in mind.
  • Talk to the energy.  Dialogue with it.  Recognize that you can accept this energy in the form of a guide, and engage with it as you would any other guide — via cards or other divination tools, meditation, prayer, whatever it is you do.  If you are stuck at this step, see below for some recommendations.

Ask the energy to take the form of an individual you can address directly. And then ask some pointed — but polite — questions! What lesson are you here to teach? What service are you here to render?

Once you know these answers, you can ask to have the energy manifest in some other way — something that will serve you, instead of tripping you up. Remember, the energy is a gift to you for your personal growth. Use it how you want! Or if you prefer, dismiss it entirely (politely, of course).

My mother told me that she once dreamed that she met a transit in person. The transiting planet — Mars, I think it was — said to her, “Ok, I’m here! Can I help you with anything?” My mother said thanks, but not right now; and he simply left. She had no trouble from that “bad” or “difficult” transit at all.

Again and again in the last six months, I’ve run headlong into situations that traditionally are full of trials and tribulations:  changing bosses at work, moving to another town quickly, scraping along the edge financially, even divorce.  Yeah, divorce!  And each time I’ve turned, mentally faced the difficulty, and said, “Wait a minute.  I know I’ve got a big pile of lessons to learn here.  But instead of using a mallet and a sledgehammer to knock sense into me, could we maybe just talk about it over some tea?”  And everything has unfolded amazingly smoothly.

It’s as if all I had to do was break the bad habit of beating myself up.

Contacting Guides

Now, the whole issue of guides and contacting them is a thorny one.  On the one hand, you may not believe in guides as “exterior” beings, and see them as subconscious archetypes or something similar.  Or maybe you’re not sure.  And on the other hand, you may have trouble “contacting” whatever they are, finding it hard to distinguish whatever “messages” there might be from background noise or your own thoughts, or maybe you’re getting conflicting messages, or…

I already offer meditations to help you contact guides, here.  But visualization meditations aren’t for everyone.  If you’re looking for something simpler, more down-to-earth, more approachable, with quicker results and a little more hand-holding, you might want to try a downloadable package offered by my friend Slade.  The package is not free, but it is fairly priced, and it is excellent.

There has been no one, no one, who has helped me more than Slade — I’ve read every one of the articles on his blog, I’ve exchanged a novel’s worth of emails with him, I’ve talked on the phone with him for hours…  The touchstone of Slade’s message is his great saying:  “It’s not supernatural, it’s super-common.”  It really isn’t that hard.  Guidance — from guides or your subconscious, whichever — is trying to reach you all the time.  You’re probably already hearing it, but not recognizing it for what it is, and not giving it the attention it deserves.  Slade’s package will teach you how to listen.


12 responses to “Dealing With Difficult Times and Transits”

  1. Hey Jeff,

    I’ve never thought about this kind of change energy as something that can be transformed at will. It’s definitely and interesting approach, so I will be trying it out.



  2. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of it that way either; it was such an eye-opener for me when I heard about it. Best of luck!!


  3. Jeff,

    Thank you as always for your compliments to me…

    I often find myself contemplating the philosophical distance that allows us to view even our trials and tribulations not from the Good/Bad duality, but as useful lessons, important regardless of how “pleasant” they may be…

    In a lot of life purpose readings, I look at the relationship between a sense of purpose in life and the life lessons / karma/ Saturn.

    Somehow it doesn’t surprise me at all that you were raised by someone who spoke directly to/encountered the Planets Personified.

    I wish I had my own line of Archetypal Action Figures.


  4. Slade, Saturn always seems to be in the thick of things, doesn’t it? As I think I mentioned to you, I have Saturn square half my planets this year, and I’ve been talking with that planet a lot. I actually had Saturn square Saturn in January, and it took some patience and some releasing… But it wasn’t bad at all. Everything slid into place; I could watch all the interlocking parts, see how they miraculously fit together, and be at peace.

    And I would totally buy those action figures!!


  5. Hi, Jeff!

    Really helpful post. Thank you.

    My approach to divination, specifically the Tarot, is to address the cards as divinity, since reading Jung’s introduction to Wilhelm’s translation of the Book of Changes.

    There are some troubling areas in my life at the moment, which naturally I’d rather avoid, but after taking your message on board, rather that seeking for ways to eliminate troubling and debilitating areas in my life, I enquired how I can best deal with them, rather than try to avoid them.

    Initially, the reading didn’t really address my concerns, as there was a lot of emphasis on the material world with a number of pentacle cards appearing in the reading, as well as the Empress. I think I understand why now.

    Thanks Jeff. I hope in the long turn I’ll continue to retain the guidance I received and put it into practise.

    Many Blessings my friend.



  6. Hi Mahud! I’m so glad you liked the post, and that you found it helpful. What more could I want? 🙂 And I hope the troubling areas of your life clear up soon. There is so much upheaval in the world now — not just on the news every night, but it seems like everyone I know is in the throes of amazing change. May you ride the waves safely until they subside to a glassy ocean. 🙂


  7. Jeff,

    I cannot tell you how right on this post is. I have had a very difficult year and eventually reached much the same conclusion. I am fascinated by your description of dialoguing with the energy of the transit. Brilliant!

    There are things that are hidden in difficulty, but we must be active participants in our lessons and give a little free will energy into the process to really make it spark. Great post man. Maith thú!


  8. Excellent post Jeff – just read it! 🙂 Yes, that darned Saturn hehe – luckily, for most of the next 2-plus years, it is at least “exalted” in Libra, even if it is making hard angles.

    For those of you looking for inexpensive (hmm) “therapy” that is gentle and yet works – you may want to look into Flower Essences. In fact, I just recently posted for International Astrology Day an article that features 9 Flower Essences that will help us use Saturn in Libra’s energies more effectively. In addition to meditations, etcetera – this can be a godsend!

    How they work: For about $10-20 (depending on what you purchase), you can purchase a bottle with the vibration(s) of the flower(s) that can address the emotional issues that are affecting you. The way I like to see it? Each flower has their own emotional educational “message” that it can tell us – and it is a matter of finding which message matches best. They can bypass our ego and mental plane and get right to work on the emotional plane. Others have found that other vibrational remedies (i.e. made from gemstones as an example) can also be helpful.

    For deeper information on Flower Essences, check out and read the beginner articles – it is a wonderful online publication.


  9. AarTiana, thanks! I’d never heard of flower essences therapy; but it definitely sounds intriguing!

    For myself, I’m looking forward to a quiet year or two from Saturn, since in my chart it’s mainly going to be trining my planets. Should be a good time to get some solid work done. 🙂


  10. […]  the Athenaeum is no longer available for download. Two of the articles (Dealing with Difficult Times and Transits and Pele: Fire in the Water) are available as separate blog […]


  11. Wow, this is quite strange. Few month ago I interested in Druidery. Now I learn Astrology because, Mr Saturn return knocking my 12 house with Sledgehammer. I am Moslem so I was dragged kicking and screaming. Now I freaking about my transit, so I found your site. Strange how thing unfold. Your post really help. I feel bit better thanks. I will try this method. I believe I gonna be ok.


    1. That’s great to hear, Rosyid! Best of luck to you in this time!


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