When I am doing a consult, I use a quadi-wheel, which has the natal chart on the inside, secondary progressions next, the solar arcs after that and then the current transits on the outside wheel.
This is what I look at, to get an overall picture of what kind of energy is a) your hardwiring from birth and b) how that’s being activated. The chart I’ve included is of John Belushi, since I mentioned him in a recent article. I’ve pulled up his secondary and solar arcs for the date of his death, along with the transits of that day.
Secondary progressions are the inner planets’ movement around your chart as you age, with the movement based on each planet’s orbit at the time you are born. The Sun’s movement is constant, so every single year, your progressed Sun moves ONE DEGREE. That’s a degree per year, so if you lived 360 years you’d have a *progressed* Solar return. Let me know how that goes.
The Moon takes *roughly* 29 years to circle your chart, but speeds through some signs by progression faster than others. The progressed Moon is a very good indicator of when a transit is going to trigger an event. You get a *progressed* lunar return once every 28-29 years.
So then you have Mercury, Venus and Mars. Since these planets occasionally (or often) go retrograde, you really need to be Einstein, or have a good computer program, to know where they have progressed to at any given time in your life. But like the Sun, you are never going to live to see those 3 planets revolve all the way around your chart. At best, Mercury might get through 4 signs, Venus 3 and Mars 2-3 signs. But throw in the retrogrades and … well, now you’re overwhelmed.
However, as the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are traipsing around your chart, they make aspects to your natal chart, and are also aspected by the current transits. This has a great deal of meaning! The secondary progressions are the soul’s journey through life, I like to say. Whatever aspects you have natally (basically called the “promise” of the chart), gets lit up by both transits to the natal as well as the progressions. Sometimes, after an event happens, you don’t see the “cause” of the event just by looking at the natal chart and transits. You must ADD IN the secondary progressions to see the trigger!
Outer planets… their orbits are tooooooo slooow to see much secondary progression. Jupiter can move up to a whole sign away, so there’s some punch there, but Saturn, Neptune and Pluto hardly move much at all… Saturn at best a few degrees, which, meh, won’t mean much unless it happens to *perfect* an aspect that is close when you’re born. Example: I have Sun at 23 Virgo, Saturn at 19 Sadge; Saturn inched up by secondary progression to perfect the square to my Sun when I was in my mid-50s and BOY OH BOY, that was a really hard year or 2, because Saturn perfected one of the “promises” of my natal chart, i.e., the Sun/Saturn square.
Next, I use Solar Arcs. This is a simple formula. Move *every single planet* ahead one degree per year. The only time I have ever seen Solar Arcs do a major trigger is when the S.A. planet makes a conjunction to a natal planet. For instance, I was born with Uranus at 14 Leo, Sun at 23 Virgo. Moving that Uranus ahead a degree per year (i.e., when I was 1 year old, Uranus moved to 15 Leo, when I was 6 years old Uranus moves to 20 Leo)… until finally that Uranus Solar Arc’d on my Natal Sun and I had a major “coming out” as an Astrologer. Quit my day job (My Sun’s in the 6th), parked my butt in a shared space with another artist and opened for business as an Astrologer. Outer planets moving to conjunct natal planets by Solar Arc is a *big deal*.
Warning: If you are easily overwhelmed, the following chart may make you dizzy. Click to see full size.
So— Belushi’s chart. His natal is the innermost wheel. Right away you see the Jupiter/venus in Capricorn in the 1st, squared by Neptune in the late 9th house. Huge issues with “moderation” right off the bat, and the transits (outer wheel) are pummeling him. So the transits are showing an activation of the natal issue. But then, he’s got the progressed Moon (2nd inner wheel) squaring natal Chiron (with transit Uranus sitting right on top of it!) .and opposing natal Saturn! Major pain this man is trying to avoid. And, notice that the Nodes have progressed into a completely different sign? I could do a whole article on that alone…
Then the solar arcs (3rd wheel from the center). His Solar Arc Ascendant is falling right on his natal Sun. It’s a critical, critical time for him. His prominence in the world “out there” is unavoidable. I won’t get into the “ifs” of the choices he made, because that’s not the point of this example. His Sun is Aquarius, and right now, the ruler (Uranus) is transiting around causing havoc in his chart.
These are the major activities in Belushi’s chart at that time. They signify a huge life-and-death struggle between reality and illusion (Ruler of Ascendant & 1st house planets resides in the 8th and are squared by Neptune). I do not believe the “natal promise” is that he would die—I think the natal promise was the issues of confrontation vs. avoidance— and from there… free will takes over. The transits and progressions triggered this “promise” for him hugely and he chose, once again, avoidance. As Pluto crossed his Midheaven he embodied the most basic form of Pluto on the Midheaven: fame through death.
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