Journaling is a good habit to get into, but I think it’s an especially good habit for people just getting started with astrology.
One of the best ways to learn astrology is to follow and interpret your transits, and to then compare those interpretations to your moods and the events of your day. By doing this, you acquire a good working knowledge of how the planets, houses, signs, and aspects relate to each other, as well as how they relate to you.
But what if you don’t remember what you felt or did when some transit occurred? That’s where keeping a journal comes in. Any sort of journal or diary will help, but one set up specifically for tracking transits right along side the events of your day is even better.
In this post, I describe one method of keeping a transit journal, using a PDF template you can print out for personal use. You can either use this method as is, or just use it for inspiration and create a unique system for yourself.
One last thing before we get started. I assume you already have a copy of your chart, and know how to look up and compare the current position of each planet to the planets in your chart. If not, you can visit astro.com to not only calculate your birth chart, but also to track your transits.
Try paper if you can
Unless you struggle with writing due to a physical condition, I strongly encourage you to try this with a paper journal. For most people, it’s much easier to flip through a hard copy than it is to scroll through a document. If you find that you must type your journal on a computer, you should still consider printing out the pages once you’re done.
If paper just won’t work for you, don’t sweat it. You can create a word processing document, set the pages to a two-column layout (or use a two-column table), and still have a good way to track things. Just be prepared to get extra cozy with the “Find” or “Search” function in your application of choice.
Beyond this, the type of journal you choose doesn’t matter much. It can be as simple and cheap as a composition book, or as elegant and expensive as a custom, leather-bound tome. A three-ring binder would work very well if you intend to print and use the template I provided.
Use facing pages
How you set up your transit journal is probably the most important factor in how useful it will be to you. And in my opinion, the best setup is to use two, facing pages for each day. Second best is to use one page per day, but to divide each page into two equal columns.
The left-hand page or column is used to track the events and moods of your day, while the right-hand page is used to note down any transits to your natal chart.
Here’s a screen shot of the template to show you what I mean. Even if you don’t intend to use it directly, you should try setting up your pages something like this.
On the left-hand page, you write the date and your location at the top, skip down about a quarter of the page, then begin making a brief log of any significant events or moods you experience. Try to include at least an approximate time.
At the end of the day, you should return to that blank area at the top, and write a summary of how you felt and what you did.
The right-hand page is for transits.
At the top of the page you should note any long term transits you might be experiencing, such as your Saturn or Jupiter return. At a minimum, you should include the sign and house of all the slower planets, as well as any aspects between them which are close to perfecting.
Here’s an example I wrote up, using the template provided. I called up a random chart and took note of the transits happening that day. I then wrote down a few events just to show the method.
And, yes, I did let the transits tell me what some of those events might be.
The example above should give you a good picture of what you’re looking for. The idea is to use the whole length of the event log on the left to represent a full twenty-four hours. On the right-hand side? You use the same amount of space, in the same way, to note down transits. This way, if you want to compare the day’s events to your transits, you just have to look across the pages.
The most important thing to take from this example is that you don’t have to strive for perfection. You don’t need to systematically write down every detail of your day, nor do you have to keep track of any and all transits. Write down whatever sticks out, in as few or as many words as you want.
As for the summary, did the day go by quickly or drag on? Did you feel tired and slow, or were you full of energy? Were you in a good mood or a rotten one? What about the people around you?
Again, use as few or as many words as you like.
When to write
If this were an ideal world, you could write down the significant events of your day as they happen. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t possible for most people.
First, I don’t suggest that you carry your transit journal around with you. If it’s lost, damaged, or stolen then you’re out all of the work you’ve done on it.
Second, there’s a fine line between paying attention to the events of your day and obsessing over them. If your event log starts to look like a police surveillance report, you’ve probably crossed that line.
Instead of jotting down each and every thing which happens when it happens, try giving yourself a couple of breaks during the day to reflect and jot down the one or two most significant-seeming bits.
A good way to do this is to send yourself a text message or email from your phone. Note down the rough time of anything which stands out, then go about your day. I find bathrooms are excellent for this sort of thing, but waiting for the bus, sitting on the train, or getting placed on hold are all excellent opportunities to take a reflective minute.
One more thing about time: don’t worry if you can’t remember the exact minute something happened. Writing down that it was “around lunchtime” is perfectly fine.
In the template, I suggest you also write a short summary of the day in your own words. I do this in the evening before I go to bed. Not only does this give me a good opportunity to recall an event I might otherwise have forgotten, I find the daily summaries to be much more revealing of my overall mood.
Now, when you should you fill out the transit page? That’s entirely up to you. You can do them up every day. You can set up multiple pages ahead of time, and compare your daily events to the transits as they happen. You can track several days worth of events in your journal ,and only go back later to write the transits down.
Do whatever works for you.
Personally, I think it’s a fun exercise to ignore your transits for a while when you’re first learning astrology, and just keep track of your daily events. Then, after a month or so, go back and fill in the transit pages and see if you notice any patterns.
Adding some flair
This method of keeping a transit journal is very flexible, and there’s plenty of room to add on to it.
If you want to save on paper, you can print both pages of the template on one sheet in “landscape” mode. Or use a nine-by-twelve sketchbook for your journal and divide the pages in half. So long as your event log is in-line with your transit log, the system holds.
One thing you can try is using different colors for different planets or aspects. Highlighters are great for this. You can even “paint” across the hours of the day when a transit is within less than a degree of perfecting.
You can also use a different color pen or pencil to make notes regarding interpretations, putting your observations right on the page next to the events and transits. Or use stickers or stamps to highlight especially “on-the-nose” transits and events so you can easily pick them out later. Lose your car keys the moment Mercury stations retrograde? That’s worth a gold star!
To be honest, you can even turn your transit journal into a full-blown scrapbook if you want. Use different colored paper for important, long-term transits like your Saturn return. Print out and paste in photos from special events and gatherings. Decorate every page to reflect your mood that day.
You can keep it simple, or go to town. Whatever works for you.
Some people balk at keeping a journal of any kind, and the transit journal system I described above can be a little high maintenance, especially if you get really craftsy with it. If keeping up with a daily transit journal is too much of a challenge, switch to a weekly format along the same lines.
However, try giving the daily method a shot, if only for a month. That’s one trip around the zodiac for the Moon, and your lunar transits can tell you a lot.
I hope this post has convinced you to try your hand at transit journaling. It’s a truly wonderful way to see astrology alive, kicking, and at work in your life.
If you would like a Tarot or natal astrology reading, please visit my Consultations page. I would be happy to help.