Study Notes - The Outer Planets
The term ‘outer planets’ is generally used to mean those beyond Saturn, that is, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. As currently used, the term does not include other heavenly bodies whose orbits go outside that of Saturn.
In order to understand the overall collective importance of the outer planets it is necessary to remember the symbolism associated with Saturn. At one time it was the most distant known planet; it remains the most distant that can be seen with the naked eye. Thus it is associated with edges and boundaries, limitations and extremities beyond which one may not, or cannot, pass. Indeed, esoterically it is often referred to as the ‘ring pass not’. Saturn guards the gates of initiation and will not permit passage though the gates until the pupil is ready.
Thus any planet outside Saturn is beyond the norm, the ordinary, the usual – and also beyond many limitations and restrictions. They are the planets of the extraordinary, the unusual, the unconventional, the unrestricted and the limitless.
In terms of character, emphasis on the outer planets denotes a far from ‘run-of-the-mill’ type. These people act and think differently from the majority and are seldom hamstrung by convention and custom, unless their karma dictates otherwise. Interest in occult and spiritual matters is common, although not inevitable. There is usually a high degree of perceptiveness, although the nature of it varies according to the individual planet most involved, Uranus being intuitive and good at lateral thinking, Neptune receptive and visionary, Pluto penetrating and all-seeing, if other horoscopic factors concur.
In terms of destiny the life is almost always unusual in some way, even if this is not apparent on the surface. These planets tend to work inwardly, but this does quite often result in outward effects that can be seen. What others would regard as unusual occurrences are more frequent and seem to the person him- or herself quite normal.
Life is often punctuated by major change, whether apparently self-motivated or fateful, of a kind not often seen in the lives of those with more ‘ordinary’ maps. It is sometimes appropriate to describe an outer-planet-dominated life as ‘exciting’, although that word is much overused, and abused. Of course, ‘exciting’ does not necessarily mean comfortable and indeed it seldom does in this context.
Comfort is not the point. New and unusual experience beyond the boundaries of what is normal is what is meant, so such phrases as ‘pushing the boundaries’, ‘outside the box’, ‘out of one’s comfort zone’, are all apt to describe the life experience of someone with much emphasis on those three outer planets. They can be regarded as beacons of spiritual opportunity, bringing exactly that to the soul who has earned some access to what ‘lies beyond Saturn’.
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