As a teaching astrologer, one thing I’m often doing is researching the lives and charts of notable individuals to use as class examples.
In the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time with the chart of Julie Andrews. In a short seven month span in the mid 1960s, Andrews starred in two enduringly popular films, Mary Poppins, which was released on Aug 27, 1964 and The Sound of Music, which was released on March 2, 1965.
Whenever someone has such an intense and dramatic period in their life, the astrologer in me wants to explore the timing and astrological cycles that might be reflective of that.
As a brief example to illustrate how to use transits and progressions together, let’s look at 1963 and 1964 in Andrews chart. This covers the period of filming for Mary Poppins, from May – September 1963, as well as the release date on August 27, 1964. In addition, filming for the Sound of Music took place from March – September of 1964, during this same period.
During filming of Mary Poppins, from May – September 1963, Andrews experienced the following transits:
- Transit Saturn at 22 Aquarius square natal Jupiter at 22 Scorpio
- Transit Neptune conjunct natal Moon (sect light) at 15 Scorpio
- Transit Uranus opposite natal Saturn at 4 Pisces
- Transit Uranus conjunct natal Venus at 6 Virgo
- Transit Pluto square Mars at 10 Sagittarius
(Some of these transits began in 1962 and continued into 1963. Others began in 1963 and continued into 1964.)
Needless to say, it seemed like her chart was lit up like a Christmas tree! That’s a fairly high number of major transits to have all at once. The Neptune conjunct Moon transit really struck me – this is a sweet story that has some delightfully magical elements to it. Technically the film used some innovative elements and ground breaking technologies to film some of the dance and music scenes, which can be a positive expression of a Uranus transit.
Topics and Transits
Each transit has so much to offer in its own right – responsibility, duty and obligation from Saturn, surrender as well as escaping into fantasy and emotion from Neptune, innovation as well as unpredictable, fast paced and exciting developments with Uranus and finally intensity, extreme drive and control themes from Pluto.
Having so many major transits at once can show a heightened period of productivity, as well as a short period in one’s life where a number of major or life defining events occur. These can be stressful a nd challenging, or enjoyable and uplifting or a mixture of all the above.
To help understand how the transits might manifest, and the ways in which the individual might respond to their influences, let’s look at Andrews progressions from that period.
Progressed Mars into Capricorn: Exaltation!
At the end of April 1963 Andrews’ progressed Mars moved into Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. This is a great improvement for Mars, and can bring benefits for the individual. Mars in Capricorn offers focus, strength, endurance, courage and follow through, as well as qualities like reliability, consistency and good reputation.
This improvement due to Mars in April 1963 can show the start of an especially productive chapter – lasting upwards of 30 years – that can offer enhanced potential for success as well as favourable outcomes.
From August 1964 – December 1965 that dignified progressed Mars formed an exact sextile to natal Mercury, from 1 Capricorn to 1 Scorpio. Mercury is an important natal planet, as both the ASC and MC ruler. When such a prominent natal planet receives the full support of an exalted progressed planet quite elevated events and experiences will be possible during that timeframe.
The Progressed Moon: Cycles of Growth, Fortune and Release
In 1963 Andrews was also in the progressed New Moon phase, a time of beginnings. Interestingly, in May 1963, the progressed Moon moved to 15 degrees ahead of the progressed Sun. This brings the progressed Moon into a state of symbolic visibility and is often when the promise of newness offered at the progressed New Moon begins to make itself known in the life.
In July 1963 the progressed Moon passed over natal Jupiter. This happens but once every 27 years and certainly added an undertone of abundance and support and the possibility of lucrative developments or events that have a big or widespread impact.
Now this doesn’t mean everything in Andrews life was sunshine and roses then!
Having Uranus oppose Saturn and conjunct one’s natal Venus might feel unsettling and like you were constantly being pushed out of your comfort zone. Pluto square to Mars might bring anger issues to light, or mean you have to dig deep and drive forward in ways you never have before. It appears Andrews first marriage become to break down during this time, so even though work wise she was experiencing new success and opportunities, personally things may have been difficult.
Even something technical positive, like progressed Mars moving into the sign of its exaltation, can show adjustments as you realise you have to level up in various areas of life. As the planets gain self worth and recognise their talents, you may do so too – which means you won’t stand for situations in which you’re not being fully respected or appreciated.
Mary Poppins was Andrews feature film debut after a successful stage and theatre career, so this was a new type of professional project for her.
It’s interesting to note that Andrews was only available to be considered for the role as she had recently lost out to Audrey Hepburn for the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Filming on Mary Poppins was also delayed until after Andrews had given birth to her first child.
While the amount and type of transits Andrews was experiencing during filming and at the release of Mary Poppins were intense and potential life changing, the underlying progressed shifts indicated there was support to move boldly move forward and step into new or unfamiliar territory. Learn more about timing with transits and progressions.
The film Mary Poppins is considered a huge success for Disney, and it was the highest grossing film of 1964. In her first feature film, Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress.
Have you had any of the transits listed above? Do you know what progressions you had at the same time?