Doorway To The Grey Country: When Transits Trigger Depression

When depression hits you can find yourself standing at the border of a vast, grey country. There's no way back but the path forward can lead you into a land devoid of hope, pleasure and reason. Chances are a certain transit led you here.

Hard (conjunctions, oppositions and squares) transits of Saturn, Neptune and Pluto are the usual culprits. Saturn restricts, denies and forces you to depend on your own resources.  Neptune dissolves the ego along with your self-confidence and drive. Pluto  transforms by confronting you with your shadow side.  The effects can vary depending on what planet is hit by the transit but depression is often the result.

Anyone who has endured a protracted period of depression knows how debilitating it can be. When you are in its grip you barely have the energy to get out of bed let alone figure out why it's happening. Who cares why it's happening? Just make it stop. But as an astrologer I'm trained to look for patterns and reasons. I refuse to believe that the Universe randomly dishes out pain for no reason. A transit, especially a debilitating one, is always a trigger to resolve something.

I'm not a doctor so I won't pass out advice on how to treat depression. But I can point out what to watch for in a transit that's dragging you down.

  • Check the house position of the transiting planet: this is the area of your life that the change will be (or is) coming from
  • Check the house position of the planet(s) receiving the transit:  this is the area of your life that needs to change
  • The natal planets that are being hit represent the ways in which the change must be implemented (transits to the Sun involve outward, ego driven changes, transits to the Moon involve inner, emotional changes)

Then, look at the transiting planet involved. Difficult Saturn transits can make you feel lonely and unloved.  Neptune transits can create confusion and lethargy. Pluto transits can create fear. Depression results when you get overwhelmed. The triggers are different but the end result is the same; shut down.

The key to dealing with these intimidating energies is figuring out what they are trying to teach you. Saturn is not denying you love and companionship for kicks, he's trying to help you grow up. Neptune isn't pushing you out to sea to watch you drown, he wants you to let go of certain things.  And Pluto doesn't terrify because he can, he's helping you come to terms with your shadow.

One thing that sufferers of depression want is a light at the end of the tunnel. With these transits, you have two. The depression ends when the transit ends and there's a reason you're going through it. And with that reason comes the solution.