From the evolutionary astrology perspective, the natal chart symbols provide an outline script of the soul’s bottom line needs, desires, and intent for growth in the current life. Ascribing to the theory of reincarnation, which suggests the experience of multiple lifetimes and the multiple revisiting of life lessons, we can then easily accept the notion that the natal chart symbols imply a historical frame of reference. The natal chart is a record of a precise moment of stellar motion and it is but a link in a chain of moments that have already past, and of moments that are yet to come.
While transits contacts to progressed chart points can trigger events, secondary progressions, whether viewed as a stand-alone chart or in relationship to the natal chart, may be found to provide the most fruitful information not as an event-finder map, but rather as a study in the ever-developing perspectives of the personal inner landscape.
Secondary progressions are a tool by which astrologers can witness the evolution of the subjective consciousness as life experience unfolds. The beauty of this progressed chart lies in its ability to demonstrate how the energy undercurrents stream through the inner workings of the subjective emotional layers. This useful consulting tool offers an advantage in looking ahead to see what building trends may be developing, and can potentially offer even more constructive insight through the looking glass of retrospective analysis. As they say, hindsight can provide the best 20/20 vision. As you go/learning in the moment is one thing, but broader and deeper understanding is most often achieved through the review process.
Secondary progressions can also be event generating, but more commonly, the outer world experience tends to be reflection of the energy created through the inner journey prompts. Once planetary transmissions have been sufficiently assimilated into the psychic fabric, emerging new behaviors, realizations, needs, and desires stirring within consciousness become poised and alert to out-sourcing; synchronistic occurrences then make their presence known through the mirrors of external realities.
Secondary progressed planetary data, which map the patterns and trends of the contemporary life, is first absorbed into the consciousness through the experience of the planetary transits in the ninety days or so following the nativity, depending on the lifespan of the individual. The resonance of these transits will reverberate like the sounds of musical strings throughout the life. Specific timbres will rise and fall as the planetary orchestra shifts lead instruments.
A progressed chart should always be calculated from the natal birthplace. It is useful to examine the progressed chart first as a stand-alone chart. The angles of the chart move forward in counter-clockwise fashion, while the planets (when traveling in direct motion) will move in clockwise fashion. The mid-heaven is progressed at a rate of one degree per year. Because the sun (the integration factor for the entire chart) moves roughly at the same speed (depending on the time of year), the progressed sun will continue to tenant the same house as it does natally for a majority of the life. The rest of the progressed planetary bodies tend over time to reposition in the houses of both charts. (Faster moving planets will naturally cover more distance that the slower moving planets.) The ruler of the sun will also hold prominence as a vitality or “life” generator (animating both the life force of the physical body, the inner drives, and the circumstantial setup.)
The progressed moon and moon phases provide much information as a biological “clock” and event-timing device.
Here are a few other keys to examine:
(Please note: what follows below is not a comprehensive list.)
- Planetary sign, house or direction changes.
Planets that move from retrograde to direct motion, or are slowing down (stationing) prior a directional shift, will mark significant turning points in the individual’s life and soul mandate. While these directional shifts can manifest as events, remember that it is a developmental process in the works, and may first be more reflective of an attitudinal change. Planets about to enter a retrograde cycle usually bring disengagement or withdrawal from that which was previously prized or given meaning. Planets readying to move out of a retrograde cycle and to return to direct motion can most often be experienced as a pregnant pause frame that is infused with a great storehouse of energy/momentum waiting to be unleashed.
A prolonged phase such as a station about to turn direct (energy building to a saturation point) can demarcate a stand-out chapter, or a stand-out life; the individual consciousness stands poised at the brink of a significant evolutionary threshold.
- Ascendant and mid-heaven sign changes.
Sign changes bring a modality change (cardinal, fixed, mutable.) The sign change of the ascendant will pick-up and reflect the added nuances of behavior instincts and personal identity needs attributed to the new sign and modality. The mid-heaven will display the added nuances of conditioning patterns, the structural dynamics and definitions of one’s existing reality base, one’s social roles and responsibilities, including career, the accessing of personal authority, relationships to authority, etc. The ruling planet associated with the sign changes will also gain in influence.
- Progressed ascendant and mid-heaven angles contacts to natal or progressed planets, most notably to planets that form an angle of a natal chart planetary configurations. (t-square, grand cross, etc.)
Contacts that ignite planetary patterns will highlight key developmental time-frames. Contacts to the natal placements are stronger; contacts to the progressed planets (especially without transit excitation) can be very subtle/less influential.
- Progressed chart cusps that feature intercepted natal signs; angles or planets that bring intercepted natal planets to the foreground.
Intercepted signs and planets may be considered as auxiliary programs that are poised to grow in importance, whether they are developing new impulses or whether they are residues of an over-accessed (past-life) energetic that are now contained (think of the analogy of a full jar with the lid on). The progressed activation of these intercepted signs and/or planets is reflective of the soul’s pre-programming; further processing and development will be undertaken at key junctures in the contemporary life. When intercepted signs become energized, the priority shift can be experienced as a detour, sidetrack, or alternate route.
- A progressed planet advance that brings the relationship with a natal or progressed chart point to exact aspect.
When planetary aspects come together in this way, they will culminate a phasal relationship and move into a new orientation. This phasal relationship advance will bring a new drive or impulse to the chart points in question.
Of particular note: the progressed movement of a natal planet that squares the nodes (known in evolutionary astrology as a skipped step) can transfer the focus from one nodal point to the other, adding a new layer to the resolution work.
- Eclipse contacts.
Eclipse contacts to any natal planet (especially the personal planets) will bring special emphasis to that planet’s expression.
Eclipse years or nativities that take place at the time of the eclipse add special significance to the sourcing of the sun, the moon, and the lunar nodes, and become especially significant distinguishing features of the individual’s personality (talents, and resources). Eclipses also add a sense of fatedness or déjà vu to the life experience.
The orb of allowance for progressed planetary contacts is usually 1 ½ degrees approaching and ½ degree separating, but general information (such as above) can be gathered through assessing the chart details as a whole.
Once the secondary progressed chart is examined on its own, it must then be referenced to the natal chart. (The natal chart is always the prevailing matrix or bottom line reference point for all other chart calculations.) Contemporary transit contacts will fill in as event triggers when they make contact to the progressed and natal charts.
When examining the progressed planet position, first to its position in the progressed chart, and then to a bi-wheel examination of progressed chart around the natal chart matrix, several houses can be pulled into the interpretation of a single planet. Between the natal and progressed charts, Pluto can reference as many as three houses. For example, natal Pluto can occupy a 6th house position, the progressed house position can show progressed Pluto in the 4th, while this same progressed planet may be found to occupy a position in the natal 7th house. All three houses will provide essential information to factor into the interpretation:
The 6th house dynamic: critical self examination, the creation of crises as a vehicle for growth/as a prompt to potential healing; work, health; will be further processed through 4 house issues: family dynamics, origin and ancestry issues, ego identity/self image, emotional security and foundations; and projected into 7th house issues: partnerships and issues of relatedness and dependencies; competing relationship needs/ desires; extremes of relating; social involvement.
Re the above example, Pluto’s interweaving between progressed and natal positions, slate the issues of all three houses for intensified experience in order to facilitate the intended soul growth.
When progressed planets cross over important points (cross angles, change signs, move into (completion/exact) aspect with another progressed planet, “re-aspect” or “re-gain” the natal point after a directional change has occurred), it takes time for this important information to be fully integrated and reflected by the outer experience. While thoughts and feelings can begin to shift, the behavior responses or outer accessing of experience may not be quite yet “up to speed”; it can take time before the harnessing and synthesizing of these planetary advances becomes visibly translated into/projected through circumstantial realities. Usually a transit trigger (an event) will bring the alignment to the surface of consciousness.
The potency or intensity of any progressed planet experience (including their ruling planets) will depend on its dynamic energy as is reflected at birth through the natal chart positions.
Secondary progressions are an essential reference tool; they describe both the ongoing process of moving through one’s daily life experiences and they can also provide an “insider’s view” into syllabus that the soul has chosen for the current life.