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Last time, I discussed the concept of “listening” to your transits — especially the good but fleeting ones — in terms of a recent encounter I had with a jackrabbit. But suppose you know your astrology well enough that you can see a difficult transit coming up. How can you possibly “stop and listen” to a transit when Saturn, say, seems determined to ruin you job or your relationship?

This leads me to a potential disastrous encounter I had not long ago with a skunk…


One night last month, around 1 AM, I was standing outside looking up at the sky, as I am prone to doing. I was so focused on Betelgeuse that I had not noticed that there was a skunk walking towards me.

For the most part, skunks are no danger. Their claws are purely for digging, and their teeth aren’t that impressive. They are incredibly non-dangerous looking. And the way they walk? It’s like they can hear “The Gonk” by Herbert Chappell playing in their head all the time. If you aren’t familiar with that classic, head over to YouTube and have a listen now. That’s exactly how skunks walk.

The only thing they have going in their defense is their chemical stink weapon. If you have ever smelled it, you know how overwhelming it is. Even a skunk attack blocks away can have you covering your mouth and and nose and closing your windows.

Actually getting sprayed by a skunk can be genuinely horrifying. I fully realized this as I saw the little guy casually trotting along the sidewalk towards me.

Among other things, this was a surprise because one doesn’t seem many skunks in my neighbourhood. Also, I was under the impression they hibernated in the winter. It turns out that they don’t hibernate, they just become very lethargic and rarely venture out of their nest when it’s cold. In this, skunks are exactly like me and many other Canadians who work from home during the winter.

My first impulse was to quickly re-enter the house, but that soon passed. Skunks will only spray you if they are frightened or intimidated, so a sudden retreat and door-slam on my part could have led to disaster.

Instead, I stood there and remained calm as the little guy approached me. And then, our remarkable encounter happened.

It was dark, and skunks are pretty nearsighted, so I’m not even sure he was aware of me before I was aware of him. I treated him as I do any animals it approaches me outside, with a quiet but cheerful “hey buddy.”

He walked right up to me, close enough to sniff at my pant leg. He paused and thought about it for a second, then…

he turned around and left the way he had came, just as casually as he had arrived.


What should we learn from this? I’m certainly not saying that if you see a difficult Saturn or Pluto transit coming up that you should just calmly lay back and let it happen. It doesn’t matter what you think or do, that transit is still going to happen. No question. But at the same time, cowering in panic isn’t going to help you.

In other words: if Saturn square your Midheaven seem ready to crush your career, rather than simply panicking: why not ask yourself if you needed a change anyway? You’d be surprised how often something better can be built from the wreckage of what came before.

So, as with encountering a skunk: over-reacting might well make things worse. Maybe things won’t be as bad as you fear they will be. Relax, listen, and learn.

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