A great deal can be understood about the psychological make-up of an individual by a proper study of his or her natal chart, in terms of analysing the various components of the horoscope and their interrelationships and attempting a synthesis, or at least a description of a few dominant themes.
Though this may require training and practice on the part of the astrologer, many people are keen to hear what lies ahead, and before the astrologer has had time to look at the horoscope in depth, he or she is being asked what the future holds.
It appears that several different methods are used to predict future trends, and this should raise the suspicion that none of them are so reliable that they can be used alone, or perhaps that the methods differ only in appearance, and that there is an underlying similarity.
The techniques will not be described in detail here, because they will soon be obsolete, but I list the basic methods, (ignoring some of the complexities which distract from the main point), in such a way that the similarities are noticeable.
(1). The Natal Horoscope. It has been said that nothing can happen in one's life that is not indicated in the natal horoscope. In that sense, the natal horoscope holds predictive value whether you are 7 or 77, i.e. you are stuck with it!
(2). Primary Directions. What a wonderful term! Although there are variations, the basic idea is that each year of one's life can be represented by about 4 minutes, (the time it takes for the Medium Coeli to advance by one degree in Right Ascenscion, if you really want to know!). Thus if you are aged 30, the horoscope is recalculated for 120 minutes, (or two hours), after your birth time, and the new Ascendant and Midheaven are noted. The planets will hardly have moved in the zodiac during that time, but the rotation of the earth during two hours will have made them appear to move considerably in the sky, and all sorts of wonderful calculations can be made about whether any planets are on the new angles, or near where the earlier planets were in the sky.
(3). Secondary Progressions. Not much more enlightenment here in the terminology. The basic idea here is that each year of one's life can be represented by about 24 hours, (the average time for the earth to rotate once so that the Sun is due South at the same Geographic Longitude as the previous day). Thus if you are aged 30, the horoscope is recalculated for 30 days after your birthday, and at the same time of day as your birth-time, (plus or minus a few minutes to allow for any change in the Equation of Time, if you insist). During the 30 days, most of the planets will have moved significantly in the zodiac, (hence perhaps the term progression), and comparisons can be made between the original positions and the new positions. It is worth noting here that the angles also appear to progress - on average by about a degree per year. More of this anon.
(4). Transits. The basic idea here is that each year of one's life can be represented by one year. Thus if you are now aged 30.4567 years, the horoscope is recalculated for 30.4567 years after your birth-time - i.e. Now! At last we reach something most people can relate to. When Newspaper articles start "With Jupiter in your Sunsign Aries......", for example, they refer to the fact that Jupiter is physically in the sign Aries at the time of writing.
(5). Converse Directions, Progressions or Transits. OK, if you want to be really clever, you can make the time intervals negative instead of positive! Minus 4 minutes per year for Converse Primary Directions, or Minus 24 hours per year for Converse Secondary Progressions, or Minus 1 year per year for Converse transits.
(6). Other methods. No harm while we're at it to involve Relationship Charts with yourself. A measure of half a year per year of life gives the Relationship Horoscope between your Natal Horoscope and the Chart cast for Now. A measure of 2 years per year gives a horoscope for some time in the future. If a Relationship Chart is then drawn up between this future horoscope and your natal horoscope, you get the Chart for Now, or current Transit Horoscope. A Relationship Chart between the current Transit Horoscope and the current Converse Transit Horoscope gives you precisely your own Natal Horoscope, so maybe using Converse is'nt so crazy after all.
No doubt other time periods can be equated to a year of life. Negative values call for casting horoscopes for times before the birthdate, while positive values call for casting horoscopes for times after the birthdate. A zero value means that the Natal Horoscope is the important one for all time.
Refinements can be added as to whether to correct for Precession of the Equinoxes, the varying speed of the Earth in its elliptical orbit around the Sun, and so on.
(7). Evaluation. I have found some use for all of these methods, and all work in some situations - that much could be expected by chance. I find that the transits and progressions work best, but that may be because I have used them more than the others. Primary Directions seem to work best for the Angles, Progressions for the Sun, Moon and inner planets, and Transits for the outer planets.
(8). Important Note regarding Secondary Progressions. When the Day for a Year method is used, the Moon moves between 12 and 15 degrees during the course of the Day, and Astrologers (quite correctly) allow for this for accurate timing of events or experiences. However, the Angles move through about 361 degrees in the course of the day, yet most Astrologers ignore this, and assume about 1 degree per year (forgetting the additional 360 degree circle). There is a measure that moves the angles on by about one degree per year, but this is the measure used in Primary Directions. Perhaps it is understandable that the two systems get mixed up. Yet if, in Secondary Directions, the Sun moves about a degree per year, the Moon moves about 12 - 15 degrees per year, it is inescapable that the angles move through 361 degrees per year. You can calculate the times when these progressed angles hit your natal planets, adding a whole dimension to the timing of events.
(9). Interpretation. One simple rule here, at least to begin with. Whether you use Progressions or Transits, (the two most common methods), the way to interpret them is to imagine that you have a temporary link to your natal chart. The Orb used is usually about 1 - 2 degrees.
For example, suppose you were born with Sun in 17 degrees of Aries. You note that Saturn will be transiting from 15 degrees to 19 degrees of Aries for a six-week period centred on February 1998. To interpret this transit, you will not go far wrong if you imagine that you have a (temporary) Sun Conjunct Saturn aspect. If you do not know what this indicates, you can always look up the meaning of Sun Conjunct Saturn for a natal horoscope and "borrow" it for six weeks. As usual, the effects of a Transit or Progression will be modified by the rest of the natal chart, and by other transits or progressions in force at the same time.
Some astrologers say that progressions correspond to inner events, while transits correspond to outer events. I suppose it depends what is meant by an event.
Many people fear transits, particularly of the outer planets, but they become less threatening if effort is made to understand their meaning. As Shakespeare might have said, "A Transit is neither good nor bad: only thinking makes it so".
Page Created April 19th 1999.
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