Secondary progressions in astrology
Predictive Astrology – Techniques for Predicting the Future
On this Page:
- Overview of Secondary Progressions
- Significant Secondary Progressions
- Personal Notes & Tips
There are many ways that astrologers “progress” a chart. One of the most popular techniques is called “Secondary Progressions”. With this system, astrologers equate one day after birth to one year of life (the day-for-a-year method). Secondary progressions offer insight into the unfolding of our unique personalities over time.
Another way to progress a chart is by using solar arc directions, which is an extremely valuable tool as well. With this method, the chart is progressed by finding the “arc” (distance in degrees) between the progressed Sun and the natal Sun, and adding this distance in degrees to the rest of the planets and points. Because the Sun moves at a rate of almost one degree a day, this method makes it rather easy to estimate positions of progressed planets and points (the degrees of progression are roughly equivalent to the age of the individual).
Some of the most significant secondary progressions:
- When the Progressed Sun Changes Sign: Depending on how long a person lives, the progressed Sun changes sign perhaps 3 times in the entire life span. The period when the progressed Sun is very late in a sign and is about to change to a new sign (this occurs for about a year) is often a rather critical year in which many changes occur. When the progressed Sun changes signs, there is usually a very clear change in a person’s general orientation and responses to his/her environment. Plenty of real-life events are possible (such as relocation, a new job in a new field, etc.), but the common theme is starting fresh“out with the old and in with the new”and a marked change in the outlook and attitudes of an individual. Before the progressed Sun changes signs, there can be some fear and dreadeven a feeling that things are being “taken” from us. Hasty and poor decisions and a sense of urgency can be characteristic of this period. (Read more about the Critical Degrees and their impact in progressions here).
- The Progressed Moon — Cycle of Maturity: The progressed Moon moves through the houses of our natal chart, coming full circle in about 27-28 years. The house it is moving through represents areas of our life that come into focus. We recognize our needs in these areas more intensely, although not necessarily clearly. For example, the progressed Moon moving through the 4th house often brings with it a strong need and search for “roots” and basic life definition. Even though our natal Moon sign “reigns” over our emotional needs in a general sense, our focus shifts as the progressed Moon passes through our houses. In fact, our emotional needs seem to change or shift as the house position changes. Read more about The Progressed Moon Through the Houses (coming soon). The sign of your Progressed Moon indicates the prevailing emotional attitude of that period of time. Read more about The Progressed Moon Through the Signs. Also note that if you look into your past and determine when the progressed Moon passed over any one of the four angles in your chart (that is, the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, and IC) you will see that these progressions/passages often mark rather significant times in your life. Also significant is the progression of the Moon to critical degrees, as well as Progressed Moon in Aspect to Natal Planets and Points.
- The Progressed Lunation Cycle: This is the cycle from one progressed New Moon to the next (every 27-28 years). Look to the phase of the progressed Sun and progressed Moon. During the progressed New Moon phase, individuals instinctively start a new phase or chapter in their lives. The Crescent phase brings about new challenges and opportunities, as well as adjustments, that don’t always feel pleasant, to the new cycle as a purpose is not entirely clear at this point in the cycle. The First Quarter phase represents a particularly active, building stage, while the Gibbous stage presents a time of refining and fine-tuning. This makes way for the Full Moon phase, which is a time of fruition and accomplishment. This marks the beginning of the progressed waning moon phase, when some things dissolve and one begins to recognize the need to let go. The Disseminating phase is a time of sharing and literally “disseminating” that which has been learned in the waxing phase of the moon. The next phase, the Third Quarter Moon phase, marks a time of one’s life when there lies some discontent and dissatisfaction with the way one has been approaching life. This can be a somewhat confusing time, as one instinctively prepares for the final stage of the waning Moon: the Balsamic phase. During this phase, old systems begin to phase out, and there may be a desire for withdrawal and reflection.
- Progressed Planets Conjuncting an Angle of the Natal Chart or Progressed Angles Conjuncting a Natal Planet or Point. These activations involving natal and progressed angles (the Ascendant and Midheaven) generally point to significant personal changes in the native’s life.
- Progressed Planet Aspects: Aspects that progressed planets form to natal planets and points, as well as to other progressed planets and points.
- Transits to the Progressed Planets and Points: Transits to progressed planets and angles are extremely significant, and should never be overlooked. For example, transiting Saturn may not be making any significant aspects to our natal chart, but if it is squaring our progressed Sun, we will feel its influence in our lives.
Personal Notes & Tips:
I personally find the Secondary Progressed Moon cycles through the signs and houses very important in predictive work. I use these general themes as a “backdrop” for understanding the transits.
In my experience, more than one major progression happening at approximately the same time is more likely to point to an outer event. For example, in my own life, some significant events happened as follows:
- Secondary progressed Vertex conjunct my natal South Node when I met a significant other. At the same time, my Solar Arc Directed Venus conjuncted my natal Descendant.
- Another significant relationship began when my Solar Arc Directed Venus came conjunct to my natal Vertex. At the same time, my progressed Sun conjuncted my South Node.
Secondary progressions are symbolic. Remember that we are equating one day of life (and planetary movement) after birth to one year of the life.
For years in my astrological studies, secondary progressions did not impress me. I wanted to find meaning in them, but I simply couldn’t find a correlation between significant events and changes in my life and the secondary progressed aspects. It was not until I learned of two important “rules” before I learned their significance:
- Charles E. O. Carter wrote the following: “It is a cardinal rule that no direction can bring to pass what is not shown in the nativity. Exceptions to this are virtually non-existent.” Progressions to progressions and progressions to natal positions are most significant when the planets involved form a significant interrelationship in the natal chart itself. The potential shown in the natal chart, therefore, rules.
- Transits to secondary progressed planets are critical. With predictive work, students of astrology are encouraged to create a tri-wheel with the natal chart in the center, secondary progressions in the second wheel, and transits in the outer (third) wheel. This way, it is easy to see transits to both the natal chart and the progressed chart, progressed planets in relationship to the natal chart, and progressed planets in relation to other progressed planets. Adding transits to progressed planets and points to our study opens up much more detail.
So, for example, if my secondary progressed Mars is currently forming a square to my natal Venus, this may not correlate with a significant or obvious event (or series of events/changes) in my life if my natal Venus and Mars do not form an aspect. If, however, my natal Venus and Mars are in trine, it is more likely to indicate an event. If either planet receives a transit (especially from Venus or Mars themselves), it is even more likely.
Transits to progressions, therefore, act as triggers. Lunations and eclipses to progressed planets and points also act as triggers.
We offer a Progressions Report that interprets the secondary progressions based on your personal birth data.
References & suggested further reading:
Progressions (Astrology: a Language of Life) by Robert Blaschke
In Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady, an illuminating chapter dedicated to progressions offers students of astrology tools to help understand the meaning of progressions in individual lives. Excellent!
In The Art of Predictive Astrology, Carol Rushman shares with readers some very valuable predictive techniques, culled from over 30 years of experience. This is a fascinating read for intermediate students of Astrology. The book contains quite a bit of information about progressions in addition to other techniques.