Your Personality is indicated by the positions of the planets in your NATAL Chart. The NATAL Report is an outline of "Personality Potential". During your life, your personality is being developed, and the imprints of the NATAL chart are being modified and/or changed, both by your own choices and by circumstances beyond your control.
As the planets progress into different signs and houses, they form new aspects with each other and with the planets and signs of the NATAL chart. These movements and aspects are beyond our control, however, how we handle these new influences, and how we let them affect our personality is within our control. In order to do this, we need to know what these influences are, when they will happen and how long the influence will last.
Astrologers have studied many techniques for following manís development from birth through life since the second or third century BC. One such technique is called "Secondary Progressions" and it uses the "Day for a Year" process. This process was practiced by Ptolemy, Copernicus and Kepler. In this system we choose a particular birthday for which we would like an interpretation for the coming year. We then count a day for each year of your life from your original birth date, and cast a chart for the "progressed birthday". For instance, if you were born on the 1st August and you would like a progressed chart for your 20th year you would cast a chart for the 21st August.
In Predictive Astrology, the first chart to be used is the Progressed chart, as it provides an overview of what you can expect in the coming year. When you combine the information from a Progressed report with that from a Transit or Forecast report, which interprets the aspects of the transiting planets (where the planets actually WILL be at any given time), we can get an extremely comprehensive picture of what will happen in any "progressed year"--and beyond.
Progressing the chart will change the sign on the Ascendant, or the cusp of the first house. It will also cause influences of the new sign to be brought into play upon the personality. Each time a new sign "rises" on the Ascendant, you may feel a little disoriented, for the first year or two. This is because different Rising signs influence personal and business relationships in different ways. Since the Ascendant represents the personality that the world sees, others may begin to view us in a different way before we become aware of any changes in ourselves.
The cycles of change in the Ascendant may not be as predictable as the Sun, which has a 30 year cycle, since the houses sometimes have more, or less, than thirty degrees. If your place of residence is far from your birth place, this can also affect the degree of the Ascendant.
The signs of the rest of the houses in the Progressed chart is determined by the Rising sign, as it does in the Natal chart. Each time the Rising sign changes, the signs on the cusps of the rest of the houses may also change. The interpretations of the signs on the houses will give some indications of the affairs of each house during the year for which the Progressed chart is cast. The signs on the cusps may not change very much from year to year unless you move your place of residence a long distance away from your birth place.
The Sun moves anti-clockwise in the Progressed chart from its Natal position at approximately one degree for each year of life. This means that the Sun will progress into a different sign by, or before, age thirty. The Natal Sun-sign will influence us all our lives. The Progressed Sun-sign influence will enhance and modify, those in the Natal chart. During the first year for which a Progressed chart is cast when the Sun has just changed signs, the influences of the new Sun Sign may be observed the most. Often there can be situations which cause significant life changes (relocation, graduation, job change, marriage, divorce, new home, etc.). Some of these events could vividly high-light the influences of a new Sun sign.
Because the Moon is so close to the earth, it passes quite quickly through each sign of the Zodiac. The moon moves approximately thirteen degrees per day, or a little under three days per sign. Under the day-for-a-year progression system, it will take about two-and-a-half years, for it to complete each life-cycle of the Moon.
The Moon is the only "planet" that could appear more than once in a Progressed chart in the same sign as it was in the Natal chart. Although these natal influences are with us throughout our lifetime, when the Moon appears in the same sign in the Progressed chart, we have an opportunity to change those natal influences to some extent.
The Moonís sign influences in the Progressed chart will affect the emotional side of your personality as it was indicated by the Moonís sign at birth and modified by subsequent progressed Moon sign influences. The intensity of the changes can range from deeply sub-conscious to dramatically emotional.
Mercury takes a little under thirty years to progress through each sign, so there may be some overlap of influences when using the day-for-a-year progression system.
The influence of Mercury gives clues to the concerns that occupy your mind, your psychological approach to decision making and communicating with others. Mercury influences communications sent and received. It indicates changes in mental focus and attention as they are affected by the influences of the Progressed sign. It can also indicate travel, such as short routine trips. You can usually count on not being bored by Mercury influences, and the daily routine is more likely to be intensified rather than subdued. On another level, Mercury IS the every day routine, indicating everything we are so accustomed to that we don't even notice it. On still another level, it may indicate a time when you should just sit and think.
Venus takes just a little less time than the Sun to progress through each sign, so it fits the day-for-a-year progression system quite well. Though there may be a very little overlap, we are reasonably safe in estimating a degree of progression per year for Venus, as with the Sun.
Venus in the signs indicates how you express your emotions in personal relationships. It also influences your attitudes toward money, personal possessions, creature comforts, and social and aesthetic values. Venus is a social planet, usually bringing people together for parties and good times. It is also the planet of LOVE, and its impressions combined with the influences of the signs can tell you quite a bit about your experiences in love and romance. It is also the planet of creativity: of artistic talent and entertainment. The influences of the different signs of the Zodiac can help to dictate the forms of expression indicated to display these talents.
It takes Mars an average of about twenty-two months to progress into a new sign, depending upon Retrograde movement, etc. Therefore it will be difficult to establish an accurate time frame for the duration of the Progressed Mars influences. We use two years as an approximation, but the length of time left in each sign cannot be very accurate. However, each time you have a Progressed chart cast, the position of Mars for that year will be accurate.
Mars is energy and action. Its influence provides means of expression for the influences of the other planets through direct action. It can express temperament, set fire to the emotions, activate ambition, spur romance on, and sometimes set the stage for accidents. In mythology, Mars is the God of War.
The rest of the planets take much longer to orbit through the signs and houses. Unless they were in the last few degrees of the Natal sign, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are probably still in the signs and houses they were in when you were born. A major move in geographic location which changes the Ascendant may also change the house cusps and the signs on the houses.
The Natal Chart is always significant in our lives, and it must be taken into consideration when interpreting any of the advanced charting efforts. The Progressed chart has moved the planets into new positions, sometimes forming new aspects with the fixed positions of your natal planets. Some of the aspects in the Natal chart of the slower moving (outer) planets may still be in aspect orb in the Progressed Chart. These aspects, and any new ones formed, will help to bridge the gap between the Natal and Progressed Charts.