Secondary progressions are a symbolic timing tool, where planetary energies on a particular day influence you on a corresponding year of life. Even though it sounds far-fetched, the concept of linking one short unit of time to a longer unit of time is ancient.
Secondary progressions, commonly known simply as “progressions,” use a day-for-a-year formula. The days used are those immediately following your birth. This means that whatever planetary aspects and influences were active 10 days after your birth will influence you when you are 10 years old. If you are 35, 42 or 57, it’s the planetary activations when you were 35, 42 or 57 days old that influence your life now.
Let’s look at a quick example. Singer Delta Goodrem went through a period of heightened change in 2010 and 2011; leaving Australia to push for success in the US, and breaking off a long-term engagement. She was 26.
To work out her progressions for that time in her life, you’ll need access to an ephemeris. If you don’t have a printed copy, use the free online Swiss ephemeris through astro.com.
First, look back to when she was born, November 9, 1984. Then, note what planetary aspects and sign changes occurred 26 days after she was born. At that time, there was a conjunction between the Sun and Uranus. The combined energy of this Sun/Uranus pairing, which includes freedom, restlessness and breaking away from the past, describes her life experiences 26 years later.
Solar Power and Prediction
Any predictive triggers involving your Sun can have a dramatic influence on your personality, soul and life experiences.
Based on progressed movement, your Sun will change Zodiac signs once every 30 years. The age at which your Sun first progresses into a new sign will be unique to you. This age is determined by a simple calculation, which involves subtracting the degree of your Sun at birth from 30. Once you know this age you can simply add 30 to it to determine when your Sun will next change signs.
For example, JK Rowling was born with the Sun at 8° Leo. (see below). Subtract this degree, 7, from 30. This gives 30 – 8 = 22, which means Rowling was 22 when her Sun progressed from Leo into Virgo. Your progressed Sun will first change signs at some point between birth and 30. This formula works for the progressed Sun only.
The astrological symbol for the Sun is the circle with a dot in the centre. The degree of the Sun is the number followed by the degree symbol – in this example, 08.
Changing Light Signified by the New Sign
Your progressed Sun changing signs will bring a significant shift in energy, and describes the end of an era. It’s also a time of rebirth, as you undergo a profound evolution.
As your Sun, which symbolises identity and essence, settles into a new sign, you will be influenced by a new element and modality. Your interests, habits and hobbies will be updated. It’s a bit like having a personality transplant, in that you become a new and refreshed version of yourself. This can bring latent talents to the surface, or mark the end of a longer chapter.
Your soul may seek experiences it previously had no interest in, and those things which always fulfilled you may no longer seem satisfying. You don’t become this new sign, rather your personality or birth sign is filtered into the world through the lens and qualities of this new sign.
When your progressed Sun changes sign, be curious about the new you waiting to emerge. Allow yourself to consciously end or complete things. Give yourself the freedom to explore new interests.
The Sun, Leo and the Houses
If you’re familiar with your chart and astrology, consider whether your progressed Sun gains strength or weakness through its sign change. Does it move into a sign of its rulership, exaltation, detriment or fall? You can also consider the house ruled by Leo in your birth chat. As its ruling planet, the Sun, adopts a whole new way of being, new opportunities become possible in that area of life.
Let’s look at an example.
David Bowie was a Capricorn, born with the Sun at 17 degrees. This means at age 13, in 1960, his Sun progressed into Aquarius, and around 43, in 1990, his Sun progressed into Pisces.
Bowie had a Leo descendant and 7th house, the part of the chart ruling relationships. This means the Sun ruled, or described, his relationship experiences. His first marriage, during the progressed Sun in Aquarius, where the Sun has weakness due to being in its detriment, was unhappy.
Within 12 months of his Sun progressing into Pisces, a strengthening influence, he met Iman, and they married within two years. True to the deeply romantic Piscean way, Bowie fell in love with her instantly, saying afterwards, “I couldn’t sleep for the excitement of our first date. That she would be my wife, in my head, was a done deal.” The remained happily married until his death.
In your chart, the Sun will rule whatever house has the sign of Leo on the cusp. This might be your 10th house of career, your 4th house of home and family or your 11th house of friends. Whatever house it is, your experience of the topics associated with your Sun/Leo house will change as the progressed Sun changes signs.
Navigate Changes By the Light of Your Moon
One of the best ways to begin working with progressions is to explore the sign, house and aspects of your progressed Moon. To get this information, you will need access to astrology software or an astrologer. For the DIY approach, try www.astro.com.
Your progressed Moon will change signs every two and a half years, more frequently than any other planet. As a result, approximately every two and a half years, your emotions take on a different flavour, based on the element and modality of whatever sign your Moon is progressing through. If you were born with the Moon in an air sign, you might become more emotional and sensitive when your Moon progresses through a water sign.
Observing the progressed Moon through the signs and houses can help you understand more about your chart, and your life. For instance, when your progressed Moon moves through your 10th house of career, you can gain clarity on the right work environment or professional path for you.
You can also watch for when the progressed Moon will conjunct each of your natal planets. For example, when your progressed Moon passes over your natal Venus you can better understand your true desires around love, beauty and pleasure. When your progressed Moon passes over your natal Uranus you learn more about what freedom and independence mean for you.
Turning Points of the Progressed Moon Phases
One special feature of progressions is that you can work with the Moon Phases, as they too progress. One of the easiest ways to explore the progressed Moon Phases is to note the new and full moons that occurred in the three months after you were born. This information is available free online, via this link https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/
To connect the new and full moons to the right age, you need to work out how many days between your date of birth the new or full Moon. For instance, Prince William was born on June 21, 1982. In the three months following his birth the following new and full moons occurred:
- Full Moon, July 6
- New Moon, July 20
- Full Moon, August 4
- New Moon August 18
- Full Moon, September 3
- New Moon September 17
First, work out how many days from your date of birth to each of the new and full moons. The number of days will be the age you are when that new or full moon influences your life. Your personal progressed new and full Moons bring special turning points.
For example, the Full Moon on July 6 occurred 15 days after William’s birth on June 21. (9 days from June 21 to the end of June, which has 30 days, and then 6 days into July. That gives 9 + 6, which is 15.) This is how old William was when a progressed Full Moon occurred.
The next event was a New Moon which occurred 14 days later. Add 14 to 15 and this gives 29, which is how old William was in years when he experienced a progressed New Moon.
New Beginnings: New Moon
A progressed New Moon brings major new beginnings as it represents the start of a new 30 year life cycle.
The three to four years prior to a progressed New Moon are a heightened period of endings, closure and completion. During this time your Moon is progressing through the balsamic or dark Moon phase, and life can empty out. This helps you recharge and creates a clean slate for the fresh possibilities that will arrive as you move into the New Moon phase.
Once the New Moon phase starts you are ready to dive into a whole new existence. In William’s case, he married Catherine when he was 29, as his progressed New Moon began.
Life in the Spotlight: Full Moon
Your progressed Full Moon brings life events from the previous 14 to 15 years to their peak. This can bring success, a higher profile, and improvements around wealth, abundance and vitality. It’s a time to celebrate what you’ve created and worked hard for.
The progressed Full Moon also brings a turning point, where you may shift focus or want to create better work/life balance. During this time, your most important relationships are also highlighted. Life events may thrust you into the spotlight, or at least raise your profile. This can be for happy or sad reasons. In the case of William, his first progressed Full Moon occurred in 1997, the year his mother Diana, died.
Can You Progress Everything?
In addition to progressing the Sun, Moon and Moon Phases, you can also progress the angles; the ascendant and Midheaven, and the faster moving planets, Mercury, Venus and Mars.
Progressions slow down planetary movement, taking what happens in real time on one day and extending it over the course of one year. This means the slower moving planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, will not move much at all. Without movement there is no new information to be had. The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto move slower still and most astrologers will leave them out of a progressions analysis. Once you know how to fully interpret your faster-moving progressed planets, you won’t miss them.
Planets and points to progress:
- The Sun
- The Moon
What to look for:
- Sign change
- Direction change
- A planet crossing an angle
Pay Attention to Sign Changes
The most important shift is when a progressed planet changes signs. This means that everything ruled or symbolised by that planet is being refreshed, and that new desires will emerge.
If your progressed Venus changes signs, you will want new experiences in relationships. You’ll also redefine beauty and may enjoy new experiences relating to comfort and pleasure. In addition, the houses ruled by Venus, those houses that have Taurus and Libra on the cusp, will also be refreshed. The new qualities represented by the sign Venus has progressed into will flavour your interests and goals around these areas of life.
Taking this example further, if Venus progresses out of Taurus and into Gemini, the element of your Venus changes from earth (Taurus) to air (Gemini). In relationships, you may become more interested in a mental connection, or need a partner you can talk with.
In addition, this Venus progression moves Venus out of a fixed sign (Taurus) and into a mutable sign (Gemini). Progressing from a fixed sign to a mutable sign can describe needing less stability and routine (fixed), and wanting more change, variety and freedom (mutable).
Finally, if you have a Libra Midheaven or career point, then these new and emerging air and mutable qualities of your progressed Venus would affect your career choices, in addition to relationships.
Power Points: The Angles
A progressed planet can also change houses or cross an angular point, like the ascendant, IC, MC or descendent. Due to the many different house systems, a progressed planet changing houses is somewhat arbitrary, however a progressed planet crossing an angle is exceptionally important. Provided the planet is moving forward (and not retrograde), this means the planet is moving into an angular or more functional part of the chart.
The angular points are like power points and have the ability to intensively activate or energise whatever planet progresses over them. This will highlight the talents and qualities of the planet progressing over the angle, and can bring exciting new opportunities around these themes in your life.
Aspects and Action
Progressed planets will also make aspects back to the planets in your natal chart. These happen infrequently and are powerful indicators of change and evolution. Your progressed Sun might square natal Saturn or oppose natal Pluto. Your progressed Mercury might conjunct natal Uranus or trine natal Neptune. Each of these aspects will help activate latent talents or remind you of forgotten dreams. They can also bring turning point events that help you shift focus or change direction.
The mythology of the planets involved will become an obvious or influential theme in your life for the time in which the progressed planet forms the aspect back to the natal planet. As progressed planets move slowly, you will find it helpful to stick with an exact aspect, rather than using a wide orb. Even with an exact aspect, this may highlight a 12 to 18 month time period.
Let’s look at a quick example. In 1990, a relatively unknown actress scored a breakout role, just as her progressed Mars, the planet ruling her 10th House of Career, formed a supportive trine to power planet Pluto.
The actress? Julia Roberts, who starred in Pretty Woman and went to become a Hollywood star.
Living Your Truth
Your progressed planets show how your desires and needs have evolved since birth, and highlight the best times for opportunity, progress and change. Your progressions help shine a light onto your inner self, and reveal what adventures lay ahead.
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