Astrology is, deep down, a language of the planetary cycles that mark changes and growth in our lives. Some of these cycles are relatively short, on the order of days, weeks and months, and describe many of the day-to-day events we experience. But the longer cycles, the ones that extend for years or even centuries, tell a much deeper story, a tale of the ebb and flow of life on many levels. These are the myths that rule over our experiences here on Planet Earth, the Study of Living from a spiritual perspective.
Whenever you are reading about astrological events and how they affect us, keep in mind these long term influences. They are the background energy, the underlying bass note, that put all the fast changing influences into context. Be particularly curious if the degrees mentioned here affect your birthchart somehow -- these are the times that will mold your life for years to come.
Big Aspects -- the connections between the slow-moving, outer planets create energies that influence us for years at a time. The major themes at work behind the scenes in these times of change are all in these cycles.
Eclipses -- are major indicators of change (and chaos!) in our lives that are frequently active for 6 to 12 months. Check out these sensitive degrees (especially if they connect with your own birthchart!).
Retrograde Zones -- mark regions of the zodiac that are undergoing an extended visitation from one of our planetary friends. These cycles are often some of the most thorough overhauls we experience in life.