Progressions in Action

Jalien Shandler

The following chart serves as a succinct example of how progressions point to crossroads in the life. The native is a thirty-five year old woman. Let us go through the steps of analyzing her progressed chart in terms of aspects formed among progressed planets and angles and between progressed and natal planets and angles, with an orb limitation of one degree.

At first glance, the fact that the progressed planets are overloading the 6th, 5th, 4th, and 8th houses tells us that we will be dealing with a least these letters of the astrological alphabet.


P Midheaven trioctile natal Pluto

- orb of 0 degrees 14 minutes

P Venus square natal Neptune

- orb of 0 degrees 15 minutes

P Mercury square natal Midheaven

- orb of 0 degrees 22 minutes

P Moon conjunct natal Venus

- orb of 0 degrees 23 minutes

P Moon octile natal Sun

- orb of 0 degrees 30 minutes

P Venus trine natal Saturn

- orb of 0 degrees 56 minutes

P Vesta octile natal Venus and Chiron

- orb of 1 degree

P Antivertex sextile natal Moon

- orb of 0 degrees 15 minutes

P Antivertex trine natal Mercury

- orb of 0 degrees 11 minutes

P Antivertex quincunx natal Vesta

- orb of 0 degrees 17 minutes

P Pallas trine natal Ascendant

- orb of 0 degrees 16 minutes

P Chiron quincunx natal Antivertex

- orb of 0 degrees 24 minutes

P East Point octile natal Pluto

- orb of 0 degrees 16 minutes

There are semisextiles between progressed and natal Ascendant, progressed Saturn and natal Pluto, and progressed Jupiter and natal Midheaven, but we will overlook these minor aspects for now.

Perusal yields one conjunction, 3 squares, 3 octiles, 1 trioctile, and 2 quincunxes, modified by 3 trines and 1 sextile. Conjunctions are harder aspects to classify, offering powerful potentials for positive or negative expressions, but the preceding list certainly includes more conflict aspects than harmonious ones.

We might notice immediately that Venus and the Midheaven are both mentioned 3 times, throwing red flags down in the area of relationships and career, as well as twelfth and fifth house matters where Venus rules natally. The Sun and Moon appear twice each in our list. The progressed Moon can be seen as rather like a trigger with its approximately one degree a month movement much faster than our other factors. Its association with letter four in Zip’s alphabet, that is with emotional security needs, must also be considered, especially if Ceres or the natal Moon are also aspected.

Natal Venus is related to letters six and nine, progressed Venus to letters eight and ten. The Midheaven is in the sign of letter eleven, and the progressed Midheaven is in Aries, letter one, in the eleventh house. Natal Sun is in the sign of letter seven and the house of letter five, while progressed Sun is in letter eight’s sign and house six. The progressed Moon is in house six and the sign of letter nine, while natal Moon is in the third house and the sign of letter five.

If we set up a tally sheet for just these three planets and one angle, we have: Venus, an indicator of letters two and seven, mentioned thrice; the Midheaven, indicator of letter ten, mentioned thrice; the Sun, indicator of letter five, mentioned twice; and the Moon, indicator of letter four, mentioned twice. We need to add one tally for each of the letters connected with these planets, as outlined above. Hence, our tally sheet looks like this:

Letter 1:1 2:3 3:1 4:3 5:4 6:4 7:4 8:2 9:2 10:4 11:2 12:0

Thus, for these three planets and one angle and without paying attention to the weighting of houses more than signs, letters five, six, seven, and ten are prominent.

Now let us take a look at the aspects formed among the progressed planets and angles to each other.

The Sun and Mercury are conjunct.

The south node of the Moon conjuncts Neptune.

The Sun is sextile Jupiter.

The Moon is leaving an octile to Vesta.

Venus is in a T-square with the Moon’s nodes and Neptune.

The Midheaven is octile Pluto, square the East Point, square Uranus, close to their midpoint.

The Antivertex is octile the Ascendant and trioctile Pallas.

Uranus is quincunx the Vertex.

The Ascendant is square Pallas and trioctile the Vertex.

Mars is trioctile Jupiter.

Juno is octile Ceres.

Pallas is square Vesta.

We see six squares, four octiles, 3 trioctiles and one quincunx, pointing to inner tension, with one lonely sextile supporting inner harmony. There are also two strong conjunctions.

A tally sheet should become much more complicated at this point, because we need to consider the natal position held by each of these planets forming aspects as well as their progressed positions. In other words, the progressed planets always point back to their natal placements and angular relationships. To carry this farther, if two natal planets are trine, but by progression form a square, we will normally have an easier time integrating the conflict symbolized by the square than if the natal planets had a conflict aspect and the progressed planets are also in a conflict or stress aspect.

Because the Gauquelins have found the planets to be of primary significance over houses and signs, different weighting should be given to each. Hence, weighting systems, although tempting, quickly become complicated and unwieldy without the help of a computer. (See Maritha’s quiz question 10 for more than you ever want to know about weighting systems!)

But this short exercise has served to get our feet wet, so why not go a little farther? Let us look for themes repeated both amongst progressed planets and as the progressed planets relate to the natal positions.

We have already noticed the redundancy of the appearance of Venus and the Midheaven in aspects from progressed to natal planets. Progressed Venus is in a T-square with the progressed nodes of the Moon, tying Venus now into nurturance. The nodes are in the eleventh and fifth houses, and in the signs of Aries and Libra, indicating lessons in relating, freedom versus closeness, and creativity (possibly motherhood), love and shining. Progressed Neptune is involved in the T-square as well, highlighting the concepts of faith and service with nurturance, dependency, and relating. Because Venus is in Capricorn in the eighth house, we add the possibility of responsibility about joint resources or business or legal endeavors being an issue, and we note the potential for a power struggle with letters five, eight, and eleven.

Progressed Vesta has been very active in the past and some aspects are still in orb. It has recently left a quincunx to the natal Ascendant and a square to the natal Sun. It is octile natal Venus and is approaching Chiron. The progressed Antivertex is quincunx natal Vesta, progressed Pallas is square progressed Vesta, and progressed Moon is leaving an octile to progressed Vesta. Whenever we see so much conflict around Vesta we can be certain that this is a time of intensity and most probably duress for the native. She will be focusing in on certain compulsive sides of her nature, and may be facing a separation or loss of some kind. Vesta’s associations include health (efficient body functioning) as a letter-six asteroid, as well as efficiency in one’s job; sometimes too much focus on “doing it right.” Because both progressed and natal Vesta are in the intimate relationship houses, we can guess at a conflict over relationships, and since both reside in Capricorn, career and responsibility are also highlighted. Legal battles are possible. The sixth house is important with progressed Moon there, and with natal Venus and Chiron in Sagittarius involved. The details of the native’s day- to-day work may change; further education or travel is a potential. Expanding horizons at work and perhaps monetarily are probably on her wish list. Health might be central.

Although wide natally, it is certain that this woman’s natal cardinal t-cross in fixed houses (the Moon’s nodes, Ceres, and Neptune all square Jupiter) is under fire at this time. Her needs for personal freedom, a home, motherhood, a committed love relationship with a peer, and a career are all screaming for priority. The fixity brings in the elements of sensual enjoyment and self-centricity versus sharing and equality, and the question of power again.

This woman, whom we will call Katie for convenience, finds herself in tumultuous upheaval this summer. She has terminated a five year old relationship with a man who abused her when he drank. Simultaneously, she underwent an abortion. Although she would like another child, she values her freedom, must work, and would prefer a more stable father for the child. She threatened to resign from her present job unless given a raise and a longer vacation. Katie is dissatisfied with her job and salary, and has been using her quickly diminishing savings to augment her income. She did get her vacation, traveled northwest, and may relocate there to look for a more challenging and lucrative position.

The major problem she is facing, however, is a custody suit being brought against her by her ex-husband, whose new wife has sparked a sudden and unprecedented interest in Katie’s eight year old son, Bobbie. Here we have the classic power struggle. Her husband’s attorney is suggesting that Katie’s best friend’s twelve year old son is sexually aggressive and abusive to Bobbie, when the two women visit each other and leave their sons to play in another room. The court has ordered a psychologist’s report. After a barrage of tests, soon to be followed by observations of mother and child at play, the psychologist is inferring that Katie is such a mess that she cannot deal with herself, let alone a child.

Hence, we have before us a client who is just beginning to heal physically and psychologically from an abortion, who is facing loneliness and uncertainty about ending a long-term abusive love relationship (another power struggle), who is feeling financially at a loss because her cost of living exceeds her earnings and who is facing a bitter prolonged legal entanglement in which she might lose custody of her son.

The astrological implications have been right on target and full of challenges. Because the cardinal and fixed dilemmas are so intricately involved here, it would be imperative to explain their basic meaning to her, to be sure that she is clear about the subconscious needs that she may be expressing through other people. One clear example of her inner confusion is the unwanted pregnancy; the desire for another child in conflict with the impossibility of handling one at this time, with the conflict also externalized in the custody litigation which would meet her unconscious need to be free of the limitations of the parenting role. The twelfth house (ruled by Venus, so oft mentioned here) and its Neptune principle are very pertinent. Neptune conjunct the node square Venus says clearly that the matter of faith and ideals when put into practice in the areas of love and children may need clarification or grounding. Why has she allowed herself to be a victim at the hands of her lover, her ex-husband, and his surrogates, the attorney and the psychologist? Evidently, she needs to develop faith and confidence in herself. It is plausible that she is also selling herself short in terms of career, and that she is being victimized in that area also. Taurus in the twelfth house natally may make material pleasures (clothing, dining out, toys, movies, etc.) a primary goal (or God), explaining her high cost of living. Clearly, supporting a son in an ideally harmonious and beautiful lifestyle is not working out as easily as she would like, as symbolized in her Neptune conjunct the Moon’s south node in the fifth house in Libra square progressed Venus in Capricorn in the eighth house.

Having made certain that Katie is put in touch with these inner conflicts, it is time to emphasize the positive and to give her hope and practical guidance to withstand the changes she is undergoing.

Her natal grand fire trine in air houses (north node trine Pluto and Mars and the Descendant) shows lots of fight and the ability to hold her own in any communication, including litigation. The Vesta emphasis represents a fierce determination to win in the power struggle and a perseverance working very hard to make things come out right! Now is the time to mention the implications of progressed Antivertex sextile natal Moon, trine natal Mercury, and progressed Pallas (that great sage warrior) trine natal Ascendant, progressed Venus trine natal Saturn and the semisextiles between progressed Ascendant and radical Ascendant, progressed Saturn and radical Pluto, progressed Jupiter and natal Midheaven. The positive potentials of the conjunctions between progressed Sun and progressed Mercury, and progressed Neptune and progressed south node are also vital.

The preponderance of letter one (progressed Antivertex, Mercury as ruler of the first house, Moon as ruler of Cancer which is also in the first house, and the Ascendant) illustrate that her intent, her will, if focused can win. However, she must be very lucid and honest with herself about what she wants. Her Gemini Ascendant may be fatigued with responsibility and yearn to play and enjoy change. A move north and west to another job may satisfy that. The mothering urge is also very strong. If she can obtain a more interesting and prosperous work situation (progressed Saturn semisextile natal Pluto suggests that she can), she will have more freedom to play. The chances are she will also feel greater faith and self-confidence (Venus as ruler of the twelfth is in Capricorn, and Neptune, the natural ruler, is in the fifth house with the Sun). If she can maintain her equilibrium under the fire of the court battle preliminaries, chances are good that she will win. It is not often that a court will separate a child from the natural mother, and the fact that the prosecution is resorting to such questionable tactics and to many postponements indicates that they have little legal ammunition and are hoping to put her under such tremendous pressure that she will either make a serious error or simply give up. The very practical and tenacious Vesta in Capricorn in the seventh house and progressed into the eighth, not to mention optimistic, bounce-back Jupiter in Capricorn in the eighth house, the pragmatic Saturn in Virgo in the fourth house, and progressed Sun conjunct Mercury in Virgo in the sixth house, depict a woman perfectly capable of seeing this through.

Copyright © 1985 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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