Is Bigger Really Better?
The short answer is yes and no. The planets, including Pluto the dwarf planet, can be divided into two groups. From the Sun to Mars, all are considered personal planets. Jupiter and Saturn are also personal planets but more heavyweights - particularly Saturn. They have more effect when aspecting other personal planets.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are known as transpersonal planets because their actions tend to be outside of the conscious realm. When any of the outer planets aspect one of the personal planets for any length of time then we really know about it.
Transiting Neptune aspecting the Sun will have an effect for two or three years, so it is powerful, but it works at a deep and subtle level. This aspect tends to erode away the ego so the feeling of wanting to excel and stand out from the crowd becomes non-existent. This may show up gradually, and it may take some time - if ever - to understand what is going on. In this case, bigger isn't better. It is far more powerful, certainly a growth experience and needs to be acknowledged, but it won't feel very good in the sense that we generally mean it.
If Jupiter aspects the Sun, this will be a time of positive energy and it's easy to identify. It brings with it the feel-good factor which can be known and appreciated on a human level.
Another example is if Saturn aspects the Sun. This will be felt as limiting and restricting energy that can be identified on a very personal level. It may not be easy, but at least it is possible to understand what is going on.
When it comes to the outer planets the events that occur, and the feelings they bring up, are often wild, unpredictable, and very intense. It can take a long time to assimilate exactly what is happening as these issues tend to occur at a soul level. Although dramatic events may or may not happen in the outside world, there are seismic shifts going on within. So these planets have an evolutionary function. They work on a spiritual level, but they may not necessarily bring happiness.
Any joy or fulfillment to be experienced usually comes from having worked through a process, realizing a truth, reclaiming lost parts of ourselves, or learning about who we really are as spiritual beings. These planets take us right out of our comfort zones and this is why we feel so edgy when these aspects are either a part of our natal chart, or affect us via a transit.
All of us have transpersonal and personal influences affecting us all the time. It is like the large and small parts in a piece of machinery. Each is a necessary component of the whole. The bigger events tend to occur as a backdrop to lots of smaller day-to-day happenings.
However, the bigger events and growth experiences are going to affect all of our daily interactions and will change the way we react to what happens in our lives, so the smaller events are colored by them. The bigger aspects help us develop greater awareness and consciousness. They also help us connect with and understand our purpose and the meaning of our lives. Then all events fit together like parts of a jigsaw puzzle.
So, while the bigger aspects and transits may be like a bolt from the blue, and are generally not 'nice,' they are necessary. The smaller aspects bring more transient experiences that light up our days, give us a lift, make us smile (or even temporarily annoyed) but they don't have the same power as Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We need both to make our current life experience colorful, dramatic, and varied.