Predictive Astrology Chapter 5 – Secondary Progressions

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Adjusted Calculation Date (ACD) Calculations

A Rudimentary Primer on Secondary Progressions

There are several methods of advancing a chart. What do we mean by advancing? A natal chart is a map of the heavens at the moment of birth, with the first indrawn breath as our criteria. But that person and their chart do not remain a newborn infant forever. The person and their chart do grow and change. As the person “advances” in physical and mental growth, their chart must advance and reflect that growth.

Secondary progressions are advances by orbital revolution. Primary directions in our next chapter are advances by axial rotation, an arbitrary 1˚ per year reflecting the changing relationship between the Sun and Earth in orbit for one day. Again, the formula is one day = one year. Why? The reasoning is that it says in the Bible, “I have given you a day for a year.” Both Secondary Progressions and Primary Directions literally reflect that statement. The movement by progression or direction for one day equates to a “year in the life of”.

In my experience, secondary progressions seem to indicate the unfolding of the individual, whereas primary directions seem to be more event-oriented. Transits seem to bring the outside world in to the personal – again in my experience.

As always, there is more than one way to do a technique. I will share what I have used since 1973. The particular secondary progression technique I use is called Naibod arc. According to Nancy Hastings in her book Secondary Progression, the Naibod arc is the Sun’s mean motion in right ascension. To me, progressions are the actual lifetime changes in the chart and the individual, truly the unfolding or development of the natal blueprint.

Natal Promise        Sometimes it is difficult to determine how much emphasis to put on a moving activation, as covered in our first lesson relative to weighing the aspects. I want to re-emphasize the power of the natal promise and its effect on potential activations. It is difficult to produce what has not been promised in the natal. There can be no lottery win nor a devastating problem unless it is supported by the natal. Having said that, it is important in this lesson to realize that a progressing chart can form new promises and reflect, modify or complete old promises. The progressing chart represents you as a growing, learning, becoming individual. You are not always a newborn infant, a clean slate ready for the universe and experience to impress upon. You change constantly. Your experience changes you. Even if that change is to make you more rigid or hidebound, you are changed. The progressing chart reflects the evolving self as you work your way through the old and build the new. The following paragraph simplifies the dichotomy between the promise and the activations.

All methods of determining the current status of an individual must be supported by or be promised by the natal or the progressed chart in order to have significant impact in the life of the individual. All events in a person’s life are fulfillments of the natal or progressed promise in some form. At this stage of our understanding of astrology, we are dealing with the more obvious ones. Simply put,

  • Harsh progressions to harsh promises = harsh results.
  • Harsh progressions to easy promises = limited results to the good.
  • Helpful progressions to easy promises = fortunate results.
  • Helpful progressions to harsh promises = limited results to the difficult.

How to Read            Progressions may be read

  1. progressed to natal and / or
  2. progressed to progressed.

Progressions usually include Sun, Moon, planets and angles (Ascendant and Midheaven), and possibly the lunar North Node which moves very slowly. Many astrologers add other progressed points or bodies. It is your choice of what is valuable information for you. I personally rely mostly on progressed to natal.

If you read progressed to natal, use the guidelines I provided in Chapter 1 in which the moving planet does the activating and the natal planet is acted upon. Those are general guidelines and can be used for all of these predictive techniques.

If you read the progressed chart as a stand-alone temporary natal chart, it will work. You will want to watch if and when aspects perfect themselves in any reading year. You will want to determine if there are any progressed promises that can affect the outcome of such activation. Use natal rules and orbs.

Not only can progressions trigger the natal, but the progressions themselves become temporary sensitive points which can be triggered by transits, eclipses, etc. I can remember a difficult moment in my own life that did not show in the natal using transits, progressions or directions. Perplexed, I looked to transits to the progressed chart, and there it was clear as possible! So now we have two charts to watch for such activations, the natal and the progressed. The natal is primary and permanent. The progressed is secondary – temporary, occasionally leading to permanent if a characteristic or development is retained.

Orb and timing       The orb of effect most accurate for progressions is 1˚ applying and ¼˚ separating. I have often changed my mind about orb of effect over the years of astrological practice, and this is my current opinion. I, too, am a work in progress. The speed of the planet or point itself will determine how long (the duration) the influence will last. Every planet or point has to be separately calculated for individual yearly and monthly motion in order to produce reasonably accurate timing when you read a progressed chart. Be very careful to note whether your planets are retrograding when you calculate position and period of effect. In general, the figures for the planets and points are as follows:

  • Progressed Moon travel is approximately one month applying and two weeks separating.
  • Progressed Sun travel is about ¾ to one year applying and three months separating.
  • Progressed Venus and Mercury will range from less than a year applying when their orbit speed is at maximum, longer when applying if their orbit speed is slowing to retrograde or recently direct. There is a difference. Separating is again ¼˚ orb but it does depend on how fast the planet is traveling as to timing.
  • Progressed Mars when racing takes about a year and 1/3rd to complete 1˚, but actual speed will determine actual timing.
  • The other progressed planets can take several years to apply and separate from exactitude in a progressed chart. The year of exactitude is the key year, but the influence can be felt over a long period of time, both developing and residually. It will be important to note when transits, eclipses or lunar progressions coincide with these slower-forming progressed planets.

The progressed Moon itself can be the minute hand on our clock. The progressing Moon can trigger responses in the individual or act as the timer for progressions indicated through other planets via the proverbial “one-too-many straws on the camel’s back theory”, as can heavy transits, eclipses, etc.

The Moon affects females more strongly than males and the Sun affects males more strongly than females. Each sex has natural coping skills relative to their essential nature. Activations or aspects that are of familiar nature are quite easy to perform. Those that are contrary to that nature are more difficult.

I found this useful: Pat Benis Miller in her Illustrated Manual for Teachers and Students suggests:

  • Progressed New Moon: rebirth, new door, new phase.
  • Progressed Full Moon: climaxing point in life, illumination.
  • Progressed Eclipse: very important for the progressed year. Can indicate a trend influencing the balance of life.
  • Progressed Sun / Moon conjunction: karmic implications. (My Karmic workbook illustrates this point as a key indicator).

Progressions to or of the:

  • MC affect honor, recognition, reputation, profession, worldly standing and the parents.
  • Ascendant involves the native personally, affects general health and outlook, coping skills.
  • Sun involves a character building or developing experience, these can be the epochs or milestones, the ruler of will, motive, and individuality when the overall life patterns are evolving. The hour hand on our prediction clock.
  • Moon can focus the life changes indicated by the Sun’s goals. The Moon is instinctual and represents those personality changes affected by sensations, feelings and emotions. The Moon affects all things of a close, personal, emotional nature, domestic, family, immediate environmental changes and is impermanent. This can be the minute hand on our prediction clock.
  • Mercury stirs the mental nature, how you think or perceive on a concrete level, affects how you communicate, decision-making, and can create restlessness and change, travel.
  • Venus affects pleasures and associations, the arts or things of beauty, music or rhythm, stimulates love or friendship and all types of value systems.
  • Mars activates passion, impulsive action, self-assertiveness and self-reliance. This can be used to great advantage or disadvantage.
  • Jupiter brings expansion of all things, socially, financially (both income and expense), and a general upliftment of the life. Be ready to take advantage of good opportunities, but be sure the expansion is realistic.
  • Saturn contracts, draws in and concentrates your affairs. You will hold back activities to examine the current position, more slow and deliberate activity. Tends towards reserve and economy. Self-discipline or the universe will provide it.
  • Uranus brings the unexpected, creates upheavals, sudden happenings, and surprises. It destroys existing conditions to make way for progress. The lesson is detachment. A love for the unconventional.
  • Neptune Can be confusing or inspiring according to individual response. Can give greater sensitivity and imagination or bring about weird contacts or events, chaotic conditions, treachery or theft, sometimes scandal. May be travel-oriented.
  • Pluto brings about those changes, transformations and regenerations we have buried deep in our unconscious. Deep-seated anxieties, hang-ups and frustrations in our psychic cellar that need to surface and be aired out. Internal, psychological house cleaning.

Signs      Progressions into new signs, especially those of the Sun, Ascendant, chart ruler and Sun ruler indicate new modes of expression being adopted by those energy functions in the individual. The native never loses his basic natal psychological urge, but adds a new layer through these progressed ingresses. For example, the Ascendant would be the same old face (natal) with a new layer of makeup (progressions). At times a slow-moving outer planet will change signs by progression. This will be an important point. Watch the qualities and elements involved for additional help in reading those changes.

If a planet progresses into a new sign, it is developing new qualities or characteristics. If

  • Cardinal: affairs take definite action, variation or change, the sowing stage.
  • Fixed:  affairs settle, become more firmly established, you pour concrete.
  • Mutable: affairs change regarding thoughts and ideas, mental plane influence, you adapt.
  • Aries: new ideas, aims, ambitions, impulsive, rash, renewed vigor and energy.
  • Taurus: earnest purpose, reliability, stability, right action, stabilizing.
  • Gemini: perception, versatility, intellectual, communication, collecting information.
  • Cancer: love of home and domestic, develop maternal instincts, too much introspection.
  • Leo: individuality, love of display and power, develop pride and loyalty.
  • Virgo: industrious, conscientious, observant, critical, detailed, service, health.
  • Libra: closer companionship, marriage, cooperation, balance, keener set of values.
  • Scorpio: depth, psychological, occult, joint values, long-term values and investments.
  • Sagittarius: new philosophies, adventure, travel, foreign involvement, higher education.
  • Capricorn: recognition, prominence, worldly success, responsibility, self-discipline.
  • Aquarius: forward thinking, independent, objective, world citizen.
  • Pisces: imagination, inspiration, psychic, karma, self-denial, sacrifice, tears.

Houses          The house is the arena in which the energy works itself out defined by the affairs of the house. Note when a progression crosses a house cusp as the application of that planet’s energy will change. This, of course, assumes you have an accurate chart. Or, the information generated can be used as a tool to improve the accuracy of the natal chart.   This can be a handy way to see if the chart is accurate or needs some tweaking. The outward manifestation or arena of influence of those particular energies is changing. This is very important in reading the outer planets Saturn through Pluto. Because they move so slowly and make few new aspects, the change of sign or house is usually a significant milestone.

Aspects          The outer planets do not usually form new aspects, but may complete aspects promised in the nativity. The year that an aspect perfects itself is the key year for it. It has completed its purpose and can now move on and open the door to new experience. You have learned what you could learn in this lifetime about that aspect,. You do not automatically ascend into heaven when an aspect completes itself! It’s just that particular lesson has concluded.

Sepharial suggests that the Part of Fortune be progressed for temporary influences to general possessions. I have not worked with this concept. Experiment.

Parallels of Declination and Latitude     Many well-known authors include Parallels of Declination in their progressed aspects. If you work with Declination and Latitude, I will tell you they do work but they do have very tight orbs. For example, a Latitude aspect is limited to 12’ of orb, both natal and progressed. Both Declinations and Latitudes will be addressed in Chapter 9.

Conflicting Aspects            When you have progressions which seem to conflict with one another, they do not cancel each other out, any more than natal conflicting aspects cancel each other out. Both aspects operate separately, and occasionally simultaneously, creating paradoxes and contradiction. We humans are complicated creatures, so paradox and contradiction should not be unusual. Be upfront when you encounter something like this. Just simply state, “I am going to talk out of both sides of my mouth for a moment. There is a paradox or contradiction that is happening in your chart. I am going to state what I see and then we can talk about how it applies to your life.”

Nowhere in life are you required to play God, and be all and know all things. If you encounter a paradox, give your information first and then discuss it. Playing devil’s advocate, astrologers who ask a lot of questions and then simply repeat back that information to the client are not acting professionally or ethically. An occasional question is not unusual. Just present it as a puzzle and give your opinion on what it all means and then ask your question.

Aspect not working?         What happens if a progressed aspect does not seem to function? There will always be a reason, but some reasons may be obscure. An under-engaged person may react only to very strong stimuli. A developing person may react differently, according to the stage of their awareness, as a certain overview and freedom of choice is evolving. An evolved person who has developed some control over his emotions and thoughts and can maintain strong control in the midst of crises and will seek to turn such events into advancing their spiritual evolution and development. We all respond at different levels at different times.

Plateaus and Stairsteps    This part will wax very philosophical, because I started this whole study from the viewpoint of personal growth and self-help. That concept unconsciously influences much of what I do. As we progress through life, we have some years when all hell breaks loose and we are experiencing life at such a fast pace or in such huge gulps, it is difficult to make it all work right. This period will be difficult to read just because there is so much going on. Can you imagine how hard it must be to live through it? Other years, we seem to be vegetating, with little activity, little growth or progress. How do you read the doldrums? You can read both these periods if you understand what is happening. As close as I can tell from watching for 80+ years, life is not steady, fair, reasonably distributed, sensible, reliable or ultimately predictable. We have good and bad days and years. We handle some things well and others not so well. We can grow like mad, or feel like we are wasting our time.

My metaphor for this is a set of stairsteps. You have a vertical riser and a horizontal step. The vertical riser reminds me of the periods of intense activity and growth. The horizontal step reminds me of a plateau. Why do we need both? If we had a life of intense activity and growth for every day of every year, we would never make it. We need breaks, respites, time to catch our breath. Think of a pot of coffee percolating on the stove. We apply the heat and the boiling water (read: emotions) rises up the stem and spills into the basket of the coffee grounds. Even if all of the water boiled up from the bottom and you removed it from the heat source, you would still not have coffee. That liquid must seep through the grounds and resume its position at the bottom of the pot as drinkable coffee. Life is like that. We need the activity and growth, but we also need the plateaus where we can absorb our experiences, allow the experiences to seep into ourselves until we are permeated and able to respond to what we have learned. The plateau is the part where we are absorbing and becoming. Both are necessary, both contribute to growth!

If I encounter a chart with a lot of activity, I will have lots of things to say to my client. If I encounter a chart that is at a plateau, I can help them with their process of assimilation and reassure them that they are still growing. They need to take the time to really understand, learn and grow. If life and your chart are done teaching you, you get to leave the planet. You graduate. You do not need to be here. We are afraid of graduation because we call it death. Does that make any sense to you? Assimilation is just as important as frenzied activity, and perhaps more so. We must understand and absorb our experiences in order to truly make them our own and to prepare the decks for the next growth spurt of activity. To have sheer activity just for the sake of it does not help us grow or become. Plateaus are important.

Void of Course        As I have been writing this workbook, I have had some stimulating new thoughts that I would like to pass on to you. Nothing has been researched or widely applied, it is just an interesting concept. I think most astrologers know what void of course is. Mostly it is applied to the Moon after it completes its last aspect within a sign and before it enters the new sign. However, I don’t think that should be an uncontested rule.

In a previous lesson written on the use of the ephemeris, I taught you how to find the void of course Moon. As I just said, that is the listing of the last aspect the Moon makes before it leaves a sign and the time of its ingress into the succeeding sign. This is commonly thought to be a wheel-spinning time as it relates to starting anything new. It is a good time to review and finish up projects, but it is suggested that you wait to actually make that new start until the Moon to enters the new sign where it can make all sorts of aspects before leaving that sign.

I happen to think the same concept can be true of the other planets as well. I have particularly noticed that this void of course application to the planets and points holds true in progressed charts as well. When a MC progresses to a point where it can make no new aspects before it leaves a sign, the career seems to be holding fire. Nothing new develops until that point moves into the new sign and new possibilities for aspects open. For the Ascendant, I have noticed that personal development and fulfillment seem to hold fire and that progress is made once the point shifts into the new sign.

As for the progressing Moon, I have been able to clearly see and show the Moon acting out through the signs in a 2-2 ½ year cycle. The first 25˚ of a sign seems to have a very clear expression in that progressed sign, but as the Moon approaches the last 5˚ it appears to have had enough of that sign and is anticipating the movement into the next sign. An impending sense of change emerges along with frustration with the inability to move forward. It is a relief to my clients when I can explain all that and give them the timing for forward motion. Again, they feel like they are hanging fire, walking along the edge of change but unable to make it happen until that progressing Moon actually changes signs. I have not done a formal study on this, but it would be interesting to do so.

Progressed Ascendant / Sun Relationship      Have you noticed that when a person has the Sun in the proximity of the Ascendant in the 12th or 1st houses natally, the progressions can do a strange thing between the progressing Sun and the progressing Ascendant? This could include most births that occur near sunrise. The two placements move at different speeds. The Sun moves sedately at 57’ to 1˚2’ per day, or an average of 1˚, an actual 59’8” mean motion based on one year. The Ascendant can move from ¾˚ to over 2˚ in that same period. That can cause them to:

  • join at some point in the progressing future,
  • change house position,
  • or separate through widening orb.

The Sun represents our internal view of ourselves and our personal goals. It is what I want to be when I grow up, if ever. The Ascendant rules how others view us. It is the piece of ourselves we expose externally and our basic coping skills. It would be rewarding for both positions to cooperate, to join forces, and to act in unison.

The Sun in the 1st house natally is quite different from the Sun in the progressed 12th.  The 1st house Sun is accustomed to self-expression. How does a 1st house Sun handle its new 12th house position once it has shifted? The reverse is also true. The more reticent or hidden 12th house Sun would have to learn the more visible 1st house expression, would it not? What if the two moving points toyed with each other, close but no cigar? That is been happening in a client’s chart, and it has been very frustrating for her. As closely as I can tell, it will not resolve itself in the foreseeable future, so the frustration remains unless I can find a way to explain it, and she can find a way to handle it.

Solunar Return       I have been extensively involved in Karmic astrology for many years, and, with my students, have found amazing information in the use of the Solunar Return in both the progressed natal and the karmic natal and progressed charts. What is a Solunar Return? It occurs the  moment the  progressing Moon  catches up to  the  progressing

Sun and they form a progressed New Moon in the progressed chart and life of the individual. This occurs once every thirty years. Please note that, in my personal opinion, any aspect that occurs occasionally is more important and has more impact than activations that occur frequently.

I first found it when my students and I discovered in a live class that the karmic chart does not progress systematically through the signs. The concept then piqued my curiosity until I tried it in regular progressed charts. This searching occurred near the time my own Solunar Return was to occur. Did I tell you I do not believe in coincidence? It is amazing how the universe does that. I figured out the exact time of the return, got myself to a park bench and meditated to see if I could feel anything when the return occurred. Previously, I had great experiences meditating at the time of the Full Moon and wanted to see if something similar would occur. Thank goodness I was sitting down and receptive. A wave of energy washed over me, and I would have fallen if I had been standing up. It is not just a theory – it was a specific shift in experience.

How do you read this? It is a New Moon. Something new has begun, a stage has been set, so let the action begin! The first one occurred sometime before your birth in the sign of or the sign prior to your sun sign. I see these conjunctions between the Sun and Moon as stage setters. For the first part of my life, this birth Scorpio was under a 28˚ Libra Solunar Return. I was a very cooperative child as a Scorpio until age 21. Then my next Solunar Return occurred in 29˚ Scorpio and governed my life for the next thirty years. Now I was full Scorpio. At age 51, my park bench episode, my Solunar Return switched to a 29˚ Sagittarius stage where it remained until my 81st year. At that point, my life stage became 29˚ Capricorn. I do not plan on being alive for the next return, as I would be 111! I have not figured out what part the degrees play as yet, but I do know the stage gets set and serves as an important backdrop to life. Play with this until you find a chart ready to make its Solunar Return and learn from it.

Recommended book: The Progressed Horoscope Simplified by Leigh Hope Milburn

Adjusted Calculation Date (ACD) Calculations

If you have access to a computer, great! What if you do not? Can you do progressions by hand? You would need to know natal math and then add the skills of progressing the chart. There is a relatively simple method for progressing the planets in a chart, not including the angles, that does not require all of that math knowledge. The date ascertained will indicate the date in the year that you may use the planets as listed in the ephemeris as is, without having to alter them by diurnal tables or logarithms. Note: ACD may also be referred to as PED (progressed ephemeris date).

Math instructions      Using the Greenwich Mean time (GMT) of birth, determine how many hours and minutes difference exist between the chart GMT and noon of the day of birth if using a noon ephemeris. Note if the calculated natal position is + or – the ephemeris position day of birth. Divide the hours by two, which figure will give you months of difference. Divide the minutes by four, which figure will give you days of difference. Reverse the + or – from the noon derived above. This is not difficult IF you always use your noon birthday GMT.

If you are using a midnight ephemeris, which is currently more commonly available, there will be a twelve-hour or six-month discrepancy to fix. If your GMT is + birth midnight GMT, then you must minus your month and day correction. Starting with your birthday, count forward in the ephemeris the required number of days. If your GMT is – birth midnight GMT, then + your month and day correction.

Be aware we have different numbers of days in each month, so note when you have 28, 29, 30, or 31 days and calculate carefully. Also be careful to note if you change years in your addition or subtraction.

  Noon Ephemeris example #1:                           Noon Ephemeris example #2:

       7:33 PM EST                                                          5:24 AM CST

    + 5 hours (time zones) to GMT                       + 6 hours (time zones) to GMT

  = 12:33 am GMT day AFTER birth (plus)      = 11:24 am GMT day of birth

  (usually printed on computer charts)                = – 36’ to noon day of birth close to noon GMT)

  12 hr ÷ 2 – 6 months of correction                    36’ ÷ 4 = 9 days of correction

  33’ ÷ 4 = 8 days of correction                            GMT was minus, so reverse days to plus

  GMT was plus, so reverse month / days          Date of birth      2/22/41

  Date of birth: 10/31/38                                       plus                          9 days

  Minus corr:         06/08 (-)                                    subtotal              2/31/41 (too many days for Feb)

  ACD = 4/23/38 for listings birthday                 Feb had only        28__  days that year.

                                                                                   ACD                    03/03/41*

  Midnight Ephemeris example #1                      Midnight Ephemeris example #2

     7:33 pm EST (19:33 military time)                   5:24 AM CST

  +5 hours (time zones) to GMT                          + 6 hours (time zones) to GMT

  = 24:33 am GMT day after birth                       = 11:24 am GMT day of birth

  The time would be +33’ on 11/1/38                 11 hr ÷ by 2 = 5 mo, 15 days

  ÷ by 4 = 8’ of correction.                                    24’ ÷ 4 = 6 days or 5 mo 21 days total

  GMT was plus, so reverse day figure               GMT was plus, so reverse days to minus

  Date of birth: 10/31/38                                       Date of birth 2/22/41; borrow year 14/22/40

  Minus corr:               -8                                         Minus corr:    5/21

  ACD mid eph     10/23/38                                   ACD mid eph 9/01/40*

    (see the 6-month difference)                            *Note 2 day discrepancy between noon/mid. If you were taking test,  do accurately;

if not, simply split the difference and make both the 2nd

You can also use the Julian dates in most ephemerides for an easy month / day determination. Simply plus or minus the number of days to the Julian date of birth listing, look it up in the Julian dates and convert to month / year.

To determine the angles for progressions, using the sidereal time for the date selected as the year’s progressed planetary positions (see example), subtract the sidereal time for the birthday (not the calculated chart sidereal time). Once that difference has been obtained, add it to the chart sidereal time. This will be the sidereal time for the progressed chart. Please note at this point that the date of effect for the progressed angles will be the birthday, not the ACD as given in the planet instructions above. This would have to be corrected exactly if you were casting a chart for testing purposes. More detailed notes will be given in my contemplated workbook on sitting for testing. You may note new angles in the natal chart, or set a new chart at the birth latitude using the progressed planets.

Date      Count your birthday as year “0” or year of birth, count down number of years to year in question:

Example:                                                 Example Sidereal time noon ephemeris

10/31/38 =   0 year = 1938 ACD         17:18:10 on December 11, 1938 = 4/23/79

11/01/38 =   1 year = 1939 ACD         -14:36:31 birthday 10/31/38

11/02/38 =   2 year = 1940 ACD         = 2:41:39 difference

11/10/38 = 10 year = 1948 ACD         +22:18:06 birth chart sidereal time

11/20/38 = 20 year = 1958 ACD         =24:59:45 Prog Chart S.T. for birthday

11/30/38 = 30 year = 1968 ACD         =00:59:45 (take away 24 hours)

12/11/38 = 41 year = 1979 ACD         = M.C. 16 Ari 15 for progressed chart angle

                                                                         use balance of house cusps at birth latitude

Yearly Progressions Worksheet      For many years, I worked with a single sheet that listed all the pertinent information for the year for one client. There was a section for primary directions, secondary progressions, transits and eclipses, and lunations. I have provided you with a copy for your files. This is still the system I use, however computer-generated material has eliminated the need for the form.

The top section identifies the chart and does the necessary math work to produce the needed positions.

The columns on the left were for primary directions (I use radix, next chapter). I noted the degrees and minutes of arc for that year and the date on which I was basing the reading. I tend to use the birthday number for whatever month I am reading. For example my birthday is the 31st, so I will always calculate and date my readings for the 30th or 31st of any month (it’s easier for me personally). Note that there are columns for the midheaven, ascendant and the ten planets. Since primary directions all travel at the same rate of 5’ per month), all I listed was the position for each on the date selected. I do the minor monthly calculations in my head. Until you get familiar with the technique, do calculate each position separately. I noted which aspects, directed to natal were actually just past but still influential, what was present for now up to one year, and what was not in place for this reading year, but was coming into influence shortly.

Let me briefly explain “past but still influential”. Aspects do not just go away because they turned exact on a particular day. What has been in motion is no longer receiving activating energy, but it may take some time for all that has been set in motion to complete, so I might read residual energy as current experience.

The right side was for secondary progressions and, as described in this progressions chapter, I use Naibod arc calculations. Again, I noted my beginning date for the calculations, listed the progressions for that date, and on the little line atop each planet, I put the monthly travel motion for that planet. All planets and the Ascendant require individual calculations, the Midheaven moves 5’ per month but the Ascendant moves at a variable speed. I could then easily calculate exact activations and dates. Again, I used the past, present and future columns in the same way as I did in the directions.

On the bottom left, I listed the transits and stations to the natal positions (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn for sure, Jupiter and the inner planets if I thought I would use the information). Why? I tend to watch Jupiter through the houses and note any major aspects. I watch retrogrades and stations and the aspects made for Mars, Venus and Mercury. Other than that, I do not find the transiting fast-moving planets all that useful. Yes, they can gang up on the camel, but that is rare. List the positions if useful.

The bottom right was for eclipses and lunations if I were using them, and the Solunar Return if it occurred that reading year. Remember that the Solunar Return occurs only once every thirty years.

The very bottom offered blank lines for miscellaneous notes. Please know that this worksheet helped me keep my notes for a reading organized. This may or may not be useful to you, or you might need to make personal changes. Feel free to organize your reading material in the manner most useful to you.

This next part may be redundant as to what I have just finished, but as I was previously editing this section, I had received a note from Kris Brandt Riske at AFA. The following article was scheduled to be published in the January, 2013 issue of “Today’s Astrologer”. Here is a free copy just for you.

A Rudimentary Primer on Secondary Progressions

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

Our lives progress with an incredible variety of experience, and astrology provides us with a multitude of tools to study the life process. Transits, progressions, directions, solar, lunar and planetary returns, diurnals and a host of other techniques are available. The astrologer only has to choose what works best for them, singularly or in combination.  I personally use progressions, directions and transits to do general chart readings, and turn to the other techniques to provide additional detail or for research. We have many techniques. We also have personal skills, and our eventual choices marry the techniques to our skill set.

Many astrologers look at personal evolution by means of secondary progressions as the natural unfolding of the natal promise. The technique utilizes a day for a year, with each 24 hours after birth representing one year in the progressed life. If the native were ten years old, the tenth day after birth would represent the tenth year as it unfolds, as birth equals 0 to one year. We are thus able to look at a lifetime of the unfolding of the potential of the birth pattern. There are two popular ways of using these new positions: progressed to natal and progressed to progressed.

I have relied in progressed to natal for almost forty years, and it has not disappointed me. When the positions form new aspect patterns, the native experiences some type of activation that is of the nature of the progressing planet to the to the natal sensitivity. The key to reading is that the progression is the activating energy and the natal is the energy being activated or acted upon. It took me a long time to learn to separate the activating energy from that which is being activated but it will simplify your reading to keep the two energies clearly marked in your mind.

Progressed to progressed offers both the concept of activating and being acted upon simultaneously, and adds a deeper layer to your reading, but it also supplies you with a whole new chart that can be read as a temporary natal. It is not a static chart. It is in continual motion just as the natal is not a static chart. It is the chart of the progressing human arrested at a selected point in that development, a snapshot to be read at one moment of the human being’s development. Each planet and / or point moves at its own measure and must be calculated and applied individually.

Some bodies (such as an outer planet) move so slowly that little new action is shown. That slow movement can involve a planet progressing through a station, either retrograde or direct, and can affect years of experience in contrast to the faster moving planets or points and their aspects. Some bodies perfect a natal aspect through progression. The moment of the actual perfect aspect is primary and gives you a specific time frame. It is my experience that perhaps as much as 95% of such perfect aspects tend to trigger just prior to perfect, and the remaining 5% trigger just after the fact, especially if Saturn is involved. To me, applying aspects represent that which is coming into being. Separating aspects represent the past that begins as immediate and over time transitions into history.

If you use primary directions, do not confuse those positions with progressions. Read them as a separate system. Note: use direct to natal aspects only, as natal aspects just keep repeating themselves if you aspect direct to direct.

If you are using transits, you may successfully use transits to natal and transits to progressed. I have never found transits to directions to be valuable or to produce new and useful info. Why? Because directions are a construct, a device for determining arbitrary activations – they are not naturally formed. Progressions are natural movements of the natal planets. They did exist in physical actuality just after birth and can be acted upon by natural transits. We all read and teach from our personal experience, so in my world, natural to natural works beautifully, but natural to constructed device does not appear to be useful.

There is such a thing as converse progressions, where you progress the positions backward in time using the day for a year measure. The day of birth still represents 0 to one year, the day prior to birth represents 1-2 years, and so forth backward through the life. You might think that the intent is to look at what led up to the birth. That might be an interesting study to determine the progress of the pregnancy itself. This might lend itself to a study of birth defects, accidents or diseases that affect the pregnancy, or the environmental status of the pregnancy, such as drought, famine, war, etc. I have never seen nor done a study of that type, but it could prove educational. Instead, the converse progressions are used to show changes or activations in the unfolding or progressing life of the individual. Please do not ask me why that should work but I have seen chart workups using that method. Anyone up to a research project?

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