Predictive Astrology Chapter 1 – The Ground Rules and Weighing the Effects of All Activations

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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The Ground Rules

Natal Sensitivities

Reduction and Conversion

Weighing the Effects of All Activations

General Reading Instructions, Aspects

General Aspect Keywords, Houses

Astrological and Personal CalendarsStations and Eclipses

The Ground Rules

There are a few areas I wish to cover before we get into individual predictive techniques. Just remember that we are looking at only a few of these techniques for this specific workbook and that there are many other predictive techniques available to you.

Carl Jung, the eminent psychologist, said (paraphrasing) that whatever is created in a moment of time carries with it the qualities of that moment in time. That is the nature of a natal chart and all other chart techniques. Whatever is created in that single moment sets a pattern that affects the individual or other entity throughout the lifetime of the person, place or thing represented by that chart. Because there is so much to learn, to know, and to read, a momentary pattern is highlighted and then interpreted. Astrologers take a snapshot of a moving sky in order to study the energy at the moment the snapshot was taken. That snapshot creates a misconception that that is all there is, but astrologers know better than that. The sky never truly stopped moving for the moment of that snapshot, and that movement may be mapped as the individual grows, experiences, and becomes. We call this the progressing chart. The natal positions are points of sensitivity that can be triggered and activated by many astrological techniques, particularly progressions, directions, and transits.

Our natal chart offers the astrologer the snapshot of what was born in a particular moment in time with its plusses and minuses, sensitive points, and game plan. This is what an astrologer gets from the natal chart to aid the individual to “Know Thyself”. Then we move on, using various predictive techniques to show us what happened as that chart grew, experienced, and became. Because this is a study of cycles, we can project ahead as we choose to single out particular cycles or even sub-cycles.

Skill        Gain some skill with the basics before you attempt to predict another person’s life and experience. Do your practicing on samples and experiments, not on human beings. If you need a live person to practice with, make sure they know you are practicing on them. Say so. People are fragile. Life can come at them like a charging bull. You don’t want to scare someone half to death, without cause, due to limited or unproven skills.

About forty years ago, a young man of seventeen came to me and remarked that an astrologer somewhere, some “when” had told him he would die by age eighteen. He was terrified. I did my best to right that particular wrong done by an irresponsible astrologer. Even if that message were true, you should never say something like that to a person. It’s reprehensible and irresponsible. Life can be hard. Be kind. Your middle name is not God and you should not pretend to be infallible. Life and death may be visible through the chart, but you must be responsible for your actions.

I don’t believe you have the right to withhold information when you are asked directly for it. Get it said, but be reasonably kind and try not to “play God”. Humans will walk away from you and they will be alone. They will have the knowledge you have given them to deal with, but may not have the skills necessary to cope. Remember there is a live human being on the other end of your tongue. Do not scare them to death. Do not create a self-fulfilling prophecy, because people can do just that. The young man I described was so filled with fear that he could, through his fear, inadvertently attract a disaster into his experience. I think the modern phrase is “borrowing trouble”. The old saying, “What I so greatly feared has been visited upon me,” applies here. Watch what you say and how you say it. ABC = Always Be Credible!

Recall            People will hear certain parts of what you are saying during a reading and yet have absolutely no recall of other parts. This may be due to selective hearing, or at times overwhelming information. Out of habit, I speak so fast that I could overload a client, so I provide an audiotape. Only so much can be absorbed at one time. Be careful and be responsible. I like to say that a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. Likewise, do not be a Pollyanna. If someone remarks, “Don’t tell me anything bad,” I suggest they find someone else to read their chart. I cannot be hamstrung like that. I never know what the chart is going to reveal to me. I have to be free to read it as I see it, but I try never to do anything to hurt anyone. Think first and then open your mouth. Your foot does not belong in your mouth!

Techniques     We know that there are many astrological predictive techniques. You cannot use them all. It is just not possible to do that on every chart. I would suggest you learn each technique available to you, because ignorance is never your friend. Then practice what you learn on a few charts. Through trial and error, you will get your reading arsenal down to three to four techniques that work consistently and are not redundant. I do not need five techniques to tell me the same thing. I will choose those methods that give me the best set of skills. For myself, I use three regular techniques, plus two additional techniques I can trot out to confirm or expand my reading. I use secondary progressions, primary directions, and transits, which include eclipses, on every progressing chart I cast and read. I will use Solar Returns if I feel it is warranted. When I need a “to the day” technique, I use a diurnal chart. You do not have to choose the same techniques I do, but this is what works for me, and so they are the subjects I teach.

Cornerstones and Keystone        Reading will not be difficult if you remember the four cornerstones of astrology and how they work: planets, signs, houses, and aspects. This is pure basic astrology and can be applied to all forms of predictive techniques. To recap briefly…

Planets          The only solid objects in astrology are what we call the planets. Yes, astrologers know that the Sun and Moon are not planets – it is just convenient to call all the bodies by one word.  Planets are energies that represent functions within the individual.

  • The Sun (our star) represents the self-identification principle, the ego.
  • The Moon (Earth’s satellite) represents the nurturing, family, and nesting urges.
  • Mercury represents the communication urge, and so forth.
  • Collectively, those ten functions make up the total human being.

Yes, Pluto has been reclassified by astronomers as a dwarf planet, not a full planet. Astronomers are still arguing, because a very tiny percentage of them (5%) actually voted. I have used Pluto for over forty years. Using the famous “duck analogy”: if it looks like a planet, acts like a planet and smells like a planet, it must be a planet. I choose my long-term Pluto experience over astronomical bickering. So, Pluto is considered to be a planet in my readings. Decades later the astronomers are still arguing with one another.


Signs are not located anywhere in particular. Signs are not 50,000 miles or fifty light years out into space. Just wave your arm and say 1/12th of the sky in a specific direction straddling the ecliptic is Aries and next to that is Taurus, etc. Also, there are no fence posts in the sky, so one sign simply blends into the next at the cusp, causing a blend of energies there (cuspal). The easiest way to describe their combined effect is that of a colored lens set in front of a light source. The source itself radiates energy, which we will define as white light for this example. If we slip a colored lens between that light source and us, we will perceive that white light to take on the lens color, say red. If we remove that lens and put in a blue lens between our eyes and the light source, we will perceive blue light. The light source itself did not change, but our perception of that light or energy changed via the lens we saw it through, the sign.

Houses          This is a fairly recent astrological construct. The ancients only saw half the sky at night. The Sun blocked out all observations during daylight hours. The night sky looked like an inverted bowl, so the original delineations were lunar and not solar. From what I have read, that was changed at the time of the council of astrologers in 290 AD. The houses represent the Earth, around which all these bodies and signs operate from Earth’s perspective, divided up into twelve compartments of experience which we term houses. This is allegorical. To the astrologer, each compartment represents a specific facet of physical experience. The 1st house is the physical body, 2nd house is possessions, 6th house is work, and so on.

Aspects          Now we reach the most speculative category of all, aspects. Aspects represent the personal interaction between the bodies and / or points. They are also known as angular relationships.

  • Bodies that seem to stand together in the sky are considered conjunct.
  • Bodies at opposite points in the sky are considered opposed to one another.
  • 90˚ angles are called squares.
  • 120˚ angles are trines.
  • 60˚ angles are sextiles, and so forth.

There are many other possible angular relationships, but these five are called major aspects. Squares and oppositions operate through tension. Trines and sextiles allow ease or cooperation. Conjunctions really do depend upon the bodies involved as to whether there is stress and tension or blending and cooperation.

Since exactitude between these alignments is not usual, a little leeway is given for the combinations, and that leeway is termed an orb. Think of it like an aura or “surround” around each planet.

Keystone       Of these four cornerstones, one is the keystone. The planets rule the signs and houses, and certain aspects take on the characteristics of a planet; e.g., Jupiter seems to influence the delineation for the trine and Mars is similar in energy to the delineation for the square. As we read predictions, we must keep this hierarchy of effect in mind.

  • A specific energy and human urge are represented by the planet.
  • It operates for good or for ill according to the aspect.
  • It takes place in the physical arena represented by the house.
  • It has the mannerisms or coloring of the signs.
  • It is further enhanced or diminished by aspects.

Personal Points      It is important to make a distinction between planets and points before we study the predictive techniques. Planets are objects, and they have mass, location, direction, etc. They can both give and receive energy from each other. Points, on the other hand, are intersections in free space. There simply is no object there. They do work, but they are mathematical calculations. They are active, but I treat them more as receiving points for energy and activation, and I may allow a tighter aspect orb. The points are particularly useful when accuracy in timing is preferred.

Natal Sensitivities

In order to aspect a natal or other chart, let us first understand why contact from bodies or points in motion can cause activations or influences to a chart. A natal chart, which is actually a transit of the birth moment, is erected. The natal positions for planets and points become sensitized areas in space  relative  to that  person, animal, entity,  or object  whose chart is represented. These sensitized points can be acted upon by transits or other types of activation at various times in the person’s life. Those natal points act as receivers. The moving activation acts as the trigger or catalyst – the new or energizing influence. The moving energy is the activator and the natal position is the receiver of the activation.

The nature of the influence will be a combination of the two energies. Stress or harmony will depend upon the nature of the aspect itself, such as conjunction, opposition, etc., and the blending ability of the bodies involved. Be sure you know your basics. All activations, particularly transits, are temporary in nature and effect. A natal sensitivity is yours forever, modified to some degree by experience, awareness, and moment-to-moment activation. Because an activating connection is temporary, it forms, reaches exactitude, and moves on. Therefore, it is considered transitory in nature – like a transit. Having said that, we will find in our progressions lesson that at times the influence caused by the blend of old and new can become a permanent facet for the native. The planet moves on because it has accomplished its purpose, which may have been to develop a new trait or skill, or to complete a lesson or pattern.

By noting the time period of the contact between the transit and the natal sensitivity, you will be able to predict certain crossroads in time that will affect the individual. There are a few ground rules that will help set the stage for prediction. Obviously, since we are dealing with so many variables, at times we will predict accurately. At times our predictions will not seem to fit – or we will miss something. The only way to learn transits is to take the chance and practice. As long as you do not present yourself as an authority and are “advising” and not “controlling” the actions of others, you can “practice” as long as it is necessary to “learn” the art of prediction. We will take a brief look at such ground rules and then go back and do some detailing.

If you are dealing with difficult stress aspects, be honest with your advice, but do not frighten your receiver. Remember the Mary Poppins song and serve your bad news “with a spoonful of sugar”. Most Astrologers do not predict death. Most people cannot handle this information well, no matter what they tell you. You could be wrong. Again, remember that your middle name is not God! As long as the chart information is accurate, the chart itself will not be wrong. The astrologer must interpret what they see. Therefore, the astrologer could be wrong. This is an ability that takes time and experience to develop. Even then, no matter how skilled one is, miracles and surprises do happen.

Reduction and Conversion

To make the math easier, it is important to utilize the principles of reduction and conversion. Instructions take a minute to explain, but it is really just simple addition and subtraction. If you practice this a few times, it becomes quite easy to do and it is accurate.

Conversion When combining various zodiacal positions or arcs of motion, simply convert the figures to zodiacal degrees, minutes and seconds. The sign is thereby incorporated into your figures as a number rather than an abstract concept, such as a fraction. Calculate 00˚ of any sign and then add the actual degrees and minutes of placement.

            00 Aries = 00˚             00 Taurus = 30˚          00 Gemini = 60˚         00 Cancer = 90˚         00 Leo = 120˚                 00 Virgo = 150˚          00 Libra = 180˚          00 Scorpio = 210˚       00 Sag = 240˚             00 Capri = 270˚   00 Aqu  = 300˚            00 Pisces = 330˚

For example: 15 Aqu 36 converts to 315˚36’, or 7 Sco 56 converts to 217˚56’.

An arc of event (AE), which is the motion between birth and event, such as 23˚15’, would be added to the zodiacal position to obtain a mathematical figure and then converted back into degree, sign, minute.

15 Aqu 36 converts to 315˚36’ + AE 23˚15’ = 338˚51’. Converted back to sign: 330˚+ 8˚51’ = 8 Pis 51.

Reduction     When doing math in astrology, occasionally the totals will come to more than a full range of possibilities such as more than 360˚ or more than sixty minutes or sixty seconds. Reduction means to remove all full cycles from the total to arrive at a number less than a full cycle.

  • If the degrees are larger than 360˚, remove all 360˚ possibilities and the remainder is your degree figure.
  • If you have more than 60’, reduce by sixty as many times as necessary to get below 60’, but just be sure to keep track of the number of reductions you have made, because that number gets added to the degree column. For example: 196’ reduces to 3˚16’.
  • The same procedure would be done with seconds. Should you need to do the same for seconds, all full second cycles will be added to the minutes and the remainder of seconds below 60” becomes the final figure for seconds.

General example: start with seconds and work backward to degrees. 486˚97’155” =

  • 155” converts to 2’ 35” and 97’ converts to 1˚37’,
  • merge those two conclusions with the total degrees like this: 35” stands alone, then add the 2’ to the 37’, and then add the 1˚ to the 486’
  • The total becomes 487˚39’35”. Then reduce the degrees 487˚ – 360˚ = 127˚39’35” and convert:  7 Leo 39:35.

Weighing the Effects of All Activations

How many times have you as an astrologer misjudged the impact of a pending activation? Maybe you predicted really nasty stuff only to have it pass harmlessly into oblivion, or maybe you thought the lottery a sure win only to join the crowd of wannabe winners? How do you determine what activations are significant and which ones will pass by uneventfully? Let us start at the beginning and wend our way into the future.

Natal Chart    This is the original blueprint, the game plan, our “set in stone” qualities. What does the natal chart promise? Is it difficult to win the lottery if luck or good fortune in speculation is missing in your natal chart? The natal chart contains the primary promise for this lifetime. Of course, there are alterations to the script – they are called progressions. But for the most part, if the natal chart does not promise it, do not put overwhelming weight on such an activation. For example, good Jupiter / Pluto aspects have shown up many times in the natal charts of my wealthier clients. A good Jupiter / Pluto aspect by transit, progression or direction also tends to point towards abundance in anyone’s chart. That is a very generic statement. What if the natal promise between Jupiter and Pluto were a hard aspect or perhaps ambivalent? The good activation between the two planets will probably not manifest as major abundance. Things could be more abundant than normal, but you would probably not hit the mother lode.

Progressed Chart     The emerging blueprint as you are changed by life and experience offers a secondary promise. This is not as strong as the natal promise, but it is a promise nonetheless. Most astrologers read progressed to natal, but the progressed chart can be read as a stand-alone chart for the limited time period implied. It has its own temporary or developing promise shown by the progressed-to-progressed positions. Once those progressions have completed themselves, they become part of your history.

Progressed to natal shows activations to natal positions and promises, triggering potential in both positive and negative ways. For example, a native born with a Sun / Saturn conjunct can, over the years, develop a sextile through the movement of the Sun. While the conjunction may be difficult at times, it is not necessarily a nasty promise. The sextile should prove to be beneficial. If the natal aspect had been an opposition and the progressed aspect a trine, do not expect the activating trine to completely outweigh the negativity of the natal opposition. The trine is much better than the opposition in the applicable time frame, but it may be limited in its power to do good by the natal adverse aspect. Progressions will be explored in Chapter 5.

Transits         The same is true for transits, whether they be to natal or progressed positions. Strongest are transits to natal, secondarily strong are transits to progressions. What was the promise between the natal or progressed positions of the bodies involved in the aspect? A nasty aspect by transit that sets off a wonderful natal promise may have some initial problems, but it could eventually point to success. Transits will be explored in the next three chapters. To me, transits include the moving bodies themselves and all the permutations of that travel such as the stationary period where they change direction, the ingresses, New and Full Moons, Eclipses, etc.

What activates what?        How do you tell what is doing the activating and what is being activated? I think this was the most confusing piece of this astrological puzzle for me. When you have a planet or point contact a natal position, what does what to whom? It really is quite easy as previously described. The natal position is the receiver of the energy. It is a sensitive position set up at birth and represents that which is acted upon. The moving planet is the activation or the activator. It is the energy that is triggering or setting the activity into motion. For example, transiting Saturn over natal Venus would be quite different from transiting Venus over natal Saturn. Which would you rather have? This is generally true of progressions, directions, transits, eclipses, new and full moons, etc.

Which activation do you watch?            Any activation that occurs seldom or once in a lifetime should be more significant than minor activations that occur repeatedly through the lifetime, particularly the hard aspects. For example:

  • Transits of the Sun, Mercury, and Venus occur every year.
  • Transits of Mars occur once every two years.
  • Transits of Jupiter once every twelve years.
  • The outer transits, Saturn through Pluto provide activations that occur infrequently.
  • Saturn may provide several hard aspects through a lifetime via its seven-year quarter orbit cycle, its quadrature.
  • Uranus hard aspects occur in a 21-year quarter cycle; again, its quadrature.
  • Neptune has a 42-year quarter cycle or quadrature.
  • And eccentric Pluto has an irregular activation because it can travel from twelve to thirty years in a specific sign. Its assumed sixty+ year quarter cycle (quadrature) depends on the sign being transited.
  • A transit of an inner body can activate for a few hours up to a few days.
  • The outers activate for months at a time,
  • and Neptune and Pluto have the possibility of five passes in an activation which can last 1½ years or more. The retrograde and station periods can elongate the period of effect.

Pay strong attention to an infrequent aspect that impacts a chart. We will look at this further in Chapter 3 – How the Outer Planets Influence Man’s Life and Events.

Do we use all aspect combinations?    Do not bother to aspect directed positions to other directed positions. Because the whole chart moves simultaneously and by the same amount, you will merely reproduce the natal aspects. Directed to natal is the choice. Do not apply transits to primary directions because you are comparing apples to oranges. Natal, progressed and transits are real-time positions. Primary Directions are not natural – they are mathematically produced as an alternative set of triggers. They do work, but are arbitrary and not real-time. More on primary directions in Chapter 6.

Repetitive patterns             If a natal pattern starts repeating itself in emerging activations, pay attention as the original plan is evidencing itself. Let us say there is a Sun / Saturn conjunction natally. When transiting Saturn comes to the conjunction of the natal Sun, that natal pattern is being triggered, strengthening or activating the original meaning. The similar triggering of the original pattern sets up a replicating resonance. The same could be true in the progressed chart, but to a lesser degree. Natal is always considered the stronger of the two possibilities.

In another way, repetition of any theme by activation emphasizes probable impact. I.e., if a theme occurs

  • Once – that theme is possible,
  • Twice – that theme is probable,
  • Thrice – bank money on it.

For example, a Sun / Saturn conjunction by progression,

  1. accompanied by transiting Saturn aspecting the ascendant or midheaven,
  2. accompanied by the chart ruler moving into Capricorn
  3. emphasizes a Saturn / Capricorn theme.

Pay attention to such themed multiples in your activations.

Minor Aspects         Many minor aspects bring the knock on the door, the delivery of a message or a letter. Alone, they do not seem that significant. They may later prove to be very significant because it is doubtful that the creative force that set the universe in motion did anything insignificant. At times, several minor aspects occur simultaneously, and the sheer power of the multiplicity involved can trigger an event. Think of the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. A number of minor aspects can collectively produce a major effect. Also, a seemingly minor aspect can become the second hand for timing a major aspect elsewhere in the chart. For example, transiting Mars frequently acts as a trigger for a previously set eclipse point. The activation occurs at the time of the eclipse, but the Mars connection triggers it “today”.  Example: my father was hospitalized on a Solar Eclipse triggering the natal planet in my chart that represented him. When Mars reached the point of that eclipse, he had surgery and died – to the day.

Resonance                In the late 1940’s, a large number of people were born with a Saturn / Uranus conjunction, implying a bridging between the past and the future. In the 1980’s a new Saturn / Uranus conjunction set off a resonance pattern in the lives of that 40’s generation, both with or without an aspect to the natal or progressed charts. I call this type of activation resonance, which is my choice of word. If you have a room full of tuning forks and sound a single tone, all the tuning forks for that tone will resonate or start ringing whether or not they have been physically struck. People resonate to natal energies that are currently repeating. Full Moon birth natives will resonate to any Full Moon throughout their lifetimes. We watched this throughout my daughter’s life. When a natal aspect reoccurs in the sky or through a predictive technique such as a Solar Return, pay attention to possible resonance.

Avoid the hysteria and “fifteen minutes of fame” predictions       I recall everyone being in an uproar sometime in the 80’s because several planets were stationed at 17˚ of several different signs. There might have been significance, but I have never seen any teaching or research material on such a thing. Nothing in particular happened, except a few astrologers got their names in the paper or were interviewed on TV or radio. Misinformation and hysteria accompanied by dramatic declarations do not help our collective professional credibility.

The Harmonic Conversion had everyone in an uproar and amazing predictions were made. It proved to be an energy that created a run-away stock market with the gains built on thin air with no real support, an absolute financial house of cards. When the New Moon occurred in Virgo with five of the ten planets in earth, a wake-up call sounded. The house of cards was recognized, and the market started to pull back at the end of August. On October 19, the stock market crashed. It was called Black Monday. In truth, it was a reality check and you could see it coming astrologically if you used common sense.

Similarly, in May of 2000 we had seven planets in Taurus (again earth) and another reality check was triggered. The market turned down and this was the start of the 2008 economic problems. Everyone thinks the market problems were caused by the disastrous 9/11 catastrophe, but these problems started prior to that date. This was not the end of the world, but it has shaken us up as a country and it has shaken up the world at large. Civilization had survived a much tighter (read stronger) seven planets in Taurus conjunction in 1955 B.C., 4000 years earlier. If we survived that tighter, stronger one, we would survive this looser one. Trouble, but not complete global destruction, no matter what the doomsday faction said.

General Reading Instructions

Intercepted   planets are delayed and not as strong in action, but are not denied.

Retrograde   planets are more internalized and less outwardly observable, with specific areas designated to be worked on or finalized.

Stationary    planets are changing their minds and application to an internalized or externalized expression depending on the new motion being generated.

Unaspected planets act as mavericks and demonstrate a Uranus-like characteristic.

Elevated        planets (9th and10th houses) spread (or leak) influence down over the chart for good or for ill.

Read              positive planetary and sign keywords for positive aspects (trine, sextile) and more negative planetary and sign keywords for negative aspects (square, opposition). Conjunctions may operate either positively or negatively depending on the combination and the perspective of the individual. The conjunction is a uniting of energy. Are the united energies compatible?

The Reality Check Called Saturn          If I were able to use only one planet or energy to read what was going on in a person’s life, I would choose Saturn. It appears to be the stronger planet in an aspect unless it is seriously debilitated or overcome by sheer numbers. In order to not scare your client half to death, utilize the most positive and constructive possibility to get the most value out of any planet it aspects. It would be helpful to think of Saturn in its self-discipline mode rather than its disciplining mode. Suggest that as a possible solution (“do for yourself or it will be done unto you”). Read Saturn as discipline, hard work, duty, obligation, conscientiousness, and responsibility in its positive connotation before looking at its more negative connotation.

  • Saturn squares create stresses, but not necessarily denial. They can make achievement difficult. Saturn oppositions can produce loss in some form.
  • When defining the trine and sextile involving Saturn, use positive Saturn keywords, but do offer caution about possible negative drifting. Saturn conjunctions can be used beneficially, but can also be an indicator of stress.
  • My positive keywords would be about doing your homework, getting your ducks lined up in a row, dot the “i’s”, cross the “t’s”, and do the work so you get positive results down the road because Saturn rules delay, organizing and both having and staying with your plan.
  • Saturn conjunctions can give father or authority role problems similar to Saturn in Leo.
  • Saturn conjunct the Moon can give mother or domestic / family issues similar to Saturn in Cancer.
  • This push / pull theory can be confusing at first. The key is to organize or structure the growth potential and then have patience!


Orbs      Briefly mentioned under aspects, general application rules, tighter is stronger, sooner and more visible. Loose is weaker, later, and less tangible. Thanks to a workshop given by Delphine Jay of Orlando, FL many years ago, I developed a better grasp of orbs and timing.

Natal     A close aspect in the natal chart is very visible early in life. A wide aspect may take time to develop and may show up later in life. Also, the width of an orb may be dependent on the nature of the person. A reclusive person may respond only to tight aspects. A more adventurous person may respond to orbs of 8-10˚ on major aspects. I, for example, have an 8˚ opposition between the Sun and Uranus. I was 31 before that kicked into my reality – and what a surprise! I also have a 9˚ natal opposition between Mars and Saturn. When it became exact by progression, to the minute, my mother died (8th death house of the parent trigger). These are very wide orbs, but they did work in my case. I do tend to reach out into life rather than staying closed-up or cloistered.

Predictive     I use really tight orbs:

  • I use 1˚ applying and ¼˚ separating.
  • In my personal reading experience, 95% of actual activation occurs within 15’ of applying and 5’ of separating.
  • Since directions travel 1˚ per year, that equates to three months applying and one month separating.
  • Progressions and transits travel at varying speeds, so the times involved must be calculated individually. However, the same basic rule applies.
  • If impact is in such a tight time frame, why allow 1˚ applying? This appears to be a set-up time, as experience starts to develop itself.
  • Why ¼˚ separating? Occasionally an event will occur slightly past perfect, particularly if Saturn is involved.
  • Also, just because an incident has occurred does not mean the whole thing is over, does it? There are residual effects, and they may take time to work themselves out. 
  • In addition, some events require multiples of aspects and not all of them may reach exact at the same time. You have to remain flexible with the timing.
  • Go back to the straws on the camel’s back, get those aspects close enough and the sheer weight of numbers can trigger the event.

Special Saturn and Uranus note      Saturn tends to act close to exact (it rules time), and occasionally slightly past exact (it also rules delay). Uranus tends to precipitate events, sometimes acting prior to exact.

When aspecting houses, be sure to allow for interceptions. Be very cautious, as many reading errors are made when aspecting by house. Work carefully and thoroughly. Preferably aspect by sign and degree.

General Aspect keywords

Conjunction     00˚ aspect, energies aiding and abetting each other, unification, a New Moon aspect, the beginning of a cycle between the two energies involved. House 1 to House 1 connotation.

Opposition       180˚ aspect, energies at opposite points of view – versus, awareness, a Full Moon aspect, suggesting culmination and confrontation, a tug of war. You get to play one position in the opposition. Someone or something else gets to play the opposing role so you may observe to resolve the dilemma. House 1 to House 7 connotation.

Square       90˚ aspect, energies that challenge each other or create obstacles or problems. This is forced change that promotes growth if handled constructively. House 1 to House 4 or House 1 to House 10 connotation.

        120˚ aspect, energies that benefit and create ease or flow. There is a lack of stress and a possible recognition of effort. Some tend to be lazy and not use trines to advantage. House 1 to House 5 or House 1 to House 9 connotation.

Sextile      60˚ aspect, energies that afford opportunity; but you must apply the effort. Good time for review, change, initiative, should not be stressful. House 1 to House 3 or House 1 to House 11 connotation.

Quincunx     150˚ aspect, energies that call for you to reorganize or restructure. Compromise or inadequate compensation may be present. Note! It can possibly produce illness or involvement with death issues. House 1 to House 6 or House 1 to House 8 connotation.

Semi-Sextile     30˚ aspect is usually read as mildly beneficial; but in my experience it does not work that way. This is the partner to the quincunx, and both are collectively called inconjuncts. I read this using the quincunx energy keywords. House 1 to House 2 or House 1 to House 12 connotation.

Semi-square     (45˚) or Sesqui-square (135˚) energies have half the power of a square, but express similar traits. The keyword for semi-square is agitation. The keyword for the sesqui-square is emotional frustration. The house connotation does not work well here because it occurs in split houses.


House position        How does a house position affect the strength of the activation?

  • Any aspects that occur in angular houses tend to have more direct, visible, perhaps critical or acute impact on the individual. They are more powerful with external activity.
  • Activations involving succedent houses tend to emphasize value systems such as principles, morals, values, ethics, and resources and act more chronically. Duration is a good description.
  • Activations involving cadent houses stem from or include environmental issues, dispersion or adaptive requirements, more internal issues affecting the individual psychologically.

This general information can be applied throughout the various techniques.

Rulership      While it is quite easy to see impact by house occupation, it is important to also look at the houses of rulership as they too will be involved in any activation. For example, Venus in the natal 6th, ruling the 5th and the 12th trines Pluto in the 2nd ruling the 6th. The natal promise involves the 6th, 5th, 12th and 2nd houses. Activation to one sets off the natal pattern. Pluto by progression cannot move far enough to change the natal aspect. If Venus by progression moves retrograde to the square of Pluto, you must look at both the progressed houses of occupation and rulership plus the natal houses of occupation and rulership to determine the details of the activation. Refer to the progressions chapter.

House Axis      In a long-ago workshop, Delphine Jay taught the importance of reading by house axis. The axis is two different viewing portals of a single subject. This will help in delineation.

      Personal house    Worldly house           keyword

      1st / self                  7th not self / other        relationship

      2nd / mine               8th yours / ours            resources

      3rd / I think             9th you / we think        communication

      4th / I build roots    10th I climb                  internal / external security

      5th / I love              11th / you love back     creativity / friendship

      6th / I serve             12th / larger service      serve or suffer

Obviously, the houses holding the transit and the natal bodies are going to be affected by the aspect. The affairs of the houses will be tied together somehow. But the houses of rulership will also be affected. You may generate more information by adding the house the transit was positioned in natally. The affairs of those houses will paint a picture for you. How do you know which houses are involved?

  • The natal house the natal planet occupies,
  • the natal house(s) the natal planet rules,
  • the natal house the transiting planet currently occupies,
  • the natal house the transiting planet natally occupied, and
  • the natal house(s) the transiting planet rules.
  • The matters of these houses are tied together in some way through this transit. This takes skill!

The house positions of the natal and transit planets are obvious. The rulership houses are a fairly easy association to make, although we do not always think of them initially. The least obvious is to look at the natal house the transiting planet originally occupied. Let us try some transiting examples.

  • Example #1: Transiting Uranus in the 6th, originated in the 11th, ruling the 9th, conjunct natal Mercury in the 6th, ruling the 1st and 4th. Houses of association for this aspect, the conjunction, would be the 1st, 4th, 6th, 9th and 11th.
  • Interpretation: Astrological (Uranus) testing (Mercury and / or 9th), out of state (9th), for largest astrological group (11th) in the world at that time. Test of self-knowledge (1st), dependent completely on person being tested (1st), know roots and foundation (4th) of craft (6th) for eventual employment use (6th). Condition of person (1st) wired for sound and unable to sleep the night before or on the plane (9th). Why? Uranus sitting on the chart ruler Mercury in the 6th of illness / dis-ease. I passed the test with a 96 (conjunction).
  • Example #2: Transiting Neptune in the 7th, originated in the 4th, ruling the 10th, squaring natal Saturn in the 11th, ruling the 8th. Houses of association for this aspect (square) would be the 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 4th.
  • Interpretation: Hard to diagnose illness (Neptune) to the spouse‘s (7th) family member (4th). Spouse’s career (4th = 10th of 7th) and chart person’s career (10th) both jeopardized (square). Also, Chart person discovered embezzlement (negative Neptune and 8th other people’s money) and irresponsibility (negative application of Saturn) in career workplace (10th) by co-workers who had passed for friends (11th). It was necessary to report findings (Saturn) or legally be considered as an accessory after the fact. Unfortunately, this situation did not work out well for the whistleblower.

Astrological Calendars

Several varieties of yearly calendars are available, with the exact aspects noted daily. This could easily be used for planning ahead, and is an adjunct to your ephemeris. It may or may not have an aspectarian. It is used particularly to note times of New / Full Moons, Eclipses, Mercury or any planet retrograde, etc. Be sure to determine up front the base in which the calendar is listed: GMT, EST, CDT, etc. If you do not have access to one of these, you could create your own by noting all the astrological activity by symbol on a calendar in general (see 2006 example), so you could apply this information to many charts, then go further and do an individual or more personal calendar by adding any personal hits.

Personal Calendars

How do we create a reading format to keep track of all this stuff?Here are some suggestions.

  1. Make a copy of your natal chart, but keep the original clean. Write the new positions, progressions, directions, transits, eclipses, solar return, etc. information on the original in their correct zodiacal and house positions and make notes of the dates on which they become exact. Once you have passed the time frame you have indicated, keep it as history for your personal file. I have most of my technique notes as I explored my own charts. I cannot say I have kept all my progressions, solar returns, and so forth. I would have to move out of my house! It would make a very interesting personal history and teaching manual, perhaps kept in my favorite three-ring binder style by subject or by year. Choose a date in the calendar year and do your personal reading every year on that date – your birthday or some other arbitrary date. I have included a sample of a calendar page. Make twelve copies for one year and fill them in with the aspects and dates you generate.
  1. Take one of those large calendars we all get at the end of a year for the following year, and claim it for your own personal use (sample provided). Alternatively, some of the astrological calendars have large enough spaces for you to write your personal notes on them. Once you have generated your personal astrological positions (progressed, directed, transits, eclipses, solar returns, etc.) and the dates of the exact hits, transfer those aspects to the calendar on a day-by-day basis.  Note also the days of planetary stations retrograde and direct. That will keep the information clean, orderly, and easily available. In addition, you could use a colored marker to note the days of Mercury retrograde and / or the Mercury shadow period or other personal highlights. For many years, I followed Dark Moon Lilith through everything I did. That would have been something I could have included that is outside the norm. While I do not use Saros Cycles for this purpose, they might also be helpful. If you have a good working knowledge of other techniques, add them. Make it your personal history and learning tool (perhaps a “teaching” tool as well).
  1. If you find a time period with multiple listings, that will obviously be a key period. Using either method, make notes as to hits or misses as you build your skills.
  1. I keep a “cheat sheet”, a large index card listing of planetary stations and eclipses that I use for client readings. It keeps me from looking the same information up over and over again. Once a year, I check the ephemeris and make notes of what I need. You could also add New and Full Moons to your list.

Cheat sheet example:

2008 Stations

  Plu R 4/2; 01 Cap 09          D 9/9; 28 Sag 30                        Mar none

  Nep R 5/26; 24 Aqu 16      D 11/2; 21 Aqu 28                     Ven none

  Ura R 6/27; 22 Pis 39         D 11/27; 18 Pis 44                   

  Mer R 1/28; 23 Aqu 49      D 2/19; 8 Aqu 17

  Sat D 5/3; 01 Vir 41           D 1/1/9; 21 Vir 46                     

  Mer R 5/26; 21 Gem 31     D 6/19; 12 Gem 60

  Jup R 5/9; 22 Cap 21         D 9/8; 12 Cap 32                       

  Mer R 9/24; 22 Lib 50       D 10/15; 07 Lib 38


  SE 2/7; 17 Aqu 44             LE 2/21; 01 Vir 53         SE 8/1; 09 Leo 32                                        LE 8/16; 24 Aqu 21

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