Predictive Astrology – Introduction

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Initially, an astrology student is struggling to learn the language of astrology and develop a basic grasp of the underlying principles. As they cope with the pressure of life itself and the pressure from friends and family who are struggling with those same life demands, that budding astrologer is desperately trying to find a shortcut to:

  1. what is going to happen in the future and
  2. trying to do chart comparisons for relationships.

These last two are uses of astrology, not the basics of astrology. This would be the equivalent of trying to go to college when you have not yet started kindergarten. It can be a difficult, awesome, or tedious task to comprehend and memorize the basics of astrology, but it is absolutely necessary. It is difficult to use various applications or techniques if you have not learned the language or the principles involved. Once you have learned the basics and the underlying principles, it simplifies (to some degree) the process of applying what you have learned to produce:

  • What is going to happen and when?
  • How do we relate?

This particular series of lessons is all about what is going to happen and when. We will address how we relate in another workbook. During this series, we will explore several predictive methods or techniques. To do this, we will isolate ourselves to one technique per chapter. As you work your way through these techniques on your practice charts, you will learn what works best for you. I have extensively used the methods in this series with my learning and practice of astrology starting in 1973, and my teaching methods with hundreds and even thousands of students. Please know that I believe most techniques and information produced through charting is important. I doubt seriously that the creative principle behind the universe did anything unimportant. Perhaps not exactly understood correctly, but definitely not unimportant!

This series is not for beginners. I must assume that you can construct a chart or have a computer program that can produce what is needed. I strongly recommend that you know how to construct a chart since hand calculation teaches you so much astrology. Skipping that effort will leave large holes and gaps in your knowledge. This workbook is not for beginners or the faint of heart. This is quite technical and is substantially past the natal basics. I must also assume that you know the language, the symbols and principles and have a good grasp on reading a natal chart. If you are weak in these areas, go back and build up your basics of natal and interpretation before you tackle the material in this workbook.

I offer a series of three courses in basic principles and delineation and one course in natal chart construction. There are also many other books and courses available. Whatever it is you do, be thorough and have that as a backdrop to this study, otherwise this course would be a read-through and a waste of your time.

Assemble several practice charts including your own. Be sure to select charts of those people you know well and who are willing to give feedback on what you generate. Most people love free readings. Put your originals in a plastic page protector to keep as a master. Make several photocopies of each chart so you can practice each technique directly on those photocopies. You can keep those examples with your class notes – it’s a cheap way to keep your research with your study guide. A three-ring binder, dividers and a paper punch are also good investments so you can keep everything for a single subject together. You can also place a copy of your research in an individual’s file for their personal history.

For the public, probably the most interesting part of astrology is not the natal chart with its delineation of the character, the lessons, and the life path of the individual. Instead, the public has the desire to know “what is happening to me and my life now and in my immediate future”. For myself, I prefer the Hermetic maxim “Know Thyself” which is the function of the natal or birth chart. To understand yourself, your lessons, and your path through life is, to me, the finest application of astrology. When you “Know Thyself”, you make better decisions in your life. However, when I get a call for a reading, nineteen times out of twenty, that call will be a request for the predictive elements of the chart.

Prognostication, divining, assessing what future trends and cycles will bring – that is the predictive side of astrology.  Astrology is a study of cycles much as stock market research is a study of cycles. Since life is cyclic, it stands to reason that our individual lives will reflect that cyclic activity. It is helpful to remember that astronomers measure (the science), and astrologers interpret (the art). Astronomers say “it” is right there, it is this size, it is moving this fast and traveling in this direction. To the man or woman on the street, that is wonderful information, but what are they going to do with it? The next time they send out a spaceship, they will try to avoid hitting it. Astrologers use both the science and the art form. As astrologers, we must use the tools and data provided by astronomers, but then we part company. Astronomy sees little to no application of their findings to the living of human life. Astrologers study what has been human experience and then attempt to assess what will or could be, and that is called prediction.

I know for myself that many times I am right on the money, but many times I have not been so. Is that due to my skill or lack thereof, the wrong chart, or an off day? At times it can be a person who avoids knowing themself (and I have met a few of those), may be in denial, or other possible dilemmas. Then there are those who ask the questions but cannot handle the answers.

Also, within astrology and every other field of human endeavor, there are those who only pretend to know, but do not. It would be nice to believe the human race is intelligent, honest, and forthcoming, but that would be naive. There are good and bad practitioners in every discipline. Since astrologers are human and their middle names are not God, there can and will be error. Go to your doctors. There can and will be error, but in this instance your life might be at stake. When and not if there is an error made by your stockbroker, your money can be at stake. If your lawyer makes a mistake, many parts of your experience and your entire lifestyle can be at stake. Astrologers usually do not have such dire consequences to their work, but it can get pretty serious at times. Marriages, divorces, surgeries, jobs, business starts, etc. are common questions for an astrologer. As long as the chart is accurate and the astrologer is skilled, when is definitely predictable, plus the circumstances and duration of each experience can be described in some detail.

In this series, we will work our way through the most well-known and a couple of lesser-known predictive techniques. In Chapter 1, will look at the generalities that affect each predictive technique. That way I will not have to go over those instructions repeatedly as we study each system. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 all stem from transits, and are therefore grouped. Chapter 3 allows a closer look at the slow-moving outer planets, which seem to shape much of our experience. Chapters 5 and 6 are the other two main predictive techniques: secondary progressions and primary directions.  Next on my list of importance in the use of techniques are the returns (solar, lunar and planetary), which are gaining in popularity and will be covered in Chapter 7.

Diurnals are one of my personal favorite methods, especially when fine-tuning a prediction within a very tight time frame. They will be covered in Chapter 8. While diurnals are not as well known, they are a marvelous tool when attempting to specify a date. Recently I have increased my research for this lesser-known technique because I discovered it does have far more value as a regular tool. This chapter will be introductory only with the research mentioned developed in a separate diurnal workbook. That workbook, Diurnal Charting, will be published shortly and posted on this website (

Not many astrologers use declinations and latitudes, but I do want to introduce them to round out this series. They are predictive tools, along with our common longitude readings. We will tackle those in Chapter 9. For those of you who wish to write an astrological column, or have a radio or TV show, Chapter 10 will provide you with my system used for my former columns, radio, and TV shows.

Tertiary         I have had several questions about Tertiary charts. I have studied them twice, taken two workshops, and they have provided me with little to no value. Because I do not use them on a regular basis, I am not qualified to teach them, so Tertiaries will not be included in this series. Please seek information from other teachers or sources who have more experience with the technique.

Some of these techniques are so very subtle, and there are also other predictive techniques. This workbook should create enough tools to allow you to do very well with your predictive requests. You can always add more to your personal arsenal of techniques. The secret to accurate predictions? Practice, practice, practice!

To get started, list your natal chart positions by degree order. Do this for your own chart and any other practice charts you will be using for this workbook.Whenever I construct the first progressed chart for a client, I list their natal chart positions in this mathematical degree order in a column on the face or the back of their natal chart. All the 0 degrees go first, the 1s are next, the 2s after that, etc. all the way to the end of the degree spread. For example, my earliest personal degree is 1˚31’ and my latest degree is 28˚31’. As a rule of thumb, I keep track of the ten bodies, the midheaven and ascendant, the Part of Fortune and the North Node. I list the standard planet or point, degree, sign, and minute, but not retrograde or station, which is unnecessary as this list is purely numerical order. This list dramatically shortens my time spent aspecting any predictive activations to the natal. I do the work once and reap the benefits every time I read that chart. It is worth the tiny amount of time and effort it costs you. You can even use it to find natal aspects + / – the orb. Take the time to make such a list for your personal natal chart and for your practice charts.

Example, my personal chart “cheat sheet” in degree order:

Pluto 1 Leo 31

MC 2 Pis 33

Mars 4 Lib 16

Venus 4 Sag 54

Part of Fortune 5 Lib 45

Sun 7 Sco 56

Saturn 12 Ari 51

Moon 15 Aqu 36

Uranus 16 Tau 08

N Node 17 Sco 51

Mercury 21 Sco 09

Neptune 22 Vir 31

Jupiter 22 Aqu 40

Ascendant 28 Gem 31

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.