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The Basics of Astrology
The Predictive Methods in Astrology
In astrology, there are several predictive methods for events, places, inter-personal relationships, and mainly the personal horoscope. The astrological chart of an event, a city or a country requires an exact date which best symbolises the "birth" of the event, city or country, such as the signature of a contract or the creation of the political or geographical entity. As in the case of personal forecasts, a natal chart is cast and analysed along the same lines as the natal chart of a person.
The process is slightly more complex for a relationship. However, the same types of predictive techniques are used, with the difference that the charts of the two partners are compared. There are four main predictive methods: Solar and Lunar returns, progressions, horary, and transits.
The principle is that astrology cannot accurately foresee events. Astrology only provides indications of feelings or events, or both, which one is likely to experience. When transits, solar revolutions or directions form notable aspects, it is most likely that feelings are translated into concrete events. Transits are not too important. Astrotheme does not share all the viewpoints of French astrologer Hades on the influence of transits. However, his theory deserves to be mentioned. He suggested that we imagine that we are in an airport. Planes landing and taking off represent transits. The ticket that we have – or do not have – in our pocket represents the solar revolution and the directions. If a plane (a transit) occurs, but we do not have a ticket (a similar meaning with solar revolution, or secondary, or symbolic directions), then we will not take that plane; i.e. nothing will take place at all. Moreover, the natal chart must be compatible with the event indicated by the predictive method: the said event must correspond to the basic outline of the natal chart. For instance, despite strong aspects pointing to marriage in his chart, a die-hard bachelor will never marry seven times like director Roger Vadim did. The same holds true for all life areas. No significant event happens unless it is inscribed on the structure of the natal chart.
The Solar Revolution and the Lunar Revolution
The Solar return (SR) is also called the method of the solar revolution. The Lunar return is also called Lunar revolution. These methods are quite recent and stem from the principle that a new chart is erected for the moment when the Sun and the Moon return to their respective natal positions.
For instance, for the SR, a chart is cast with the precise day and time for any given year, and for the place where the native is at the moment of his birthday. The Sun's position in the return chart is exactly the same as in the natal chart. The SR chart is then interpreted as a new natal chart, except that it is valid for one year only.
It becomes possible to find the major themes through the year, from one birthday to the next, and to spot the overall tense or harmonious energies that are likely to manifest during that timeframe. It is also necessary to compare the return chart with the natal chart and to assess their converging factors. It is important to underline that, owing to the very nature of the return chart, events cannot be dated within the scrutinised year.
Personal planets are moved forward on the basis of one day for one year of age. A new chart is cast with these new positions. This ancient technique is less used nowadays because outer planets (Jupiter through Pluto) have gained increased importance, and therefore, transits and SR techniques are deemed much easier and more dramatic. The other reason is that throughout a lifetime, outer planets' positions will not change significantly. So, progressions are commonly considered to be a relevant tool for the analysis of the personality's slow and deep evolution, rather than a technique for the forecast of concrete events.
There are several methods of progression, also called directions:
- The progressions or symbolic directions: they are the easiest to calculate since the method is based on the following equation: the Sun's motion of one degree on the Zodiac equates to one year of life. Thus, the planets are progressed to any given age, and the aspects they may form with natal planets are interpreted, accordingly.
- The progressions or solar Arcs directions: they are similar to the above symbolic progressions with the difference that here, for one year of life, the Sun's motion is not exactly of one degree. It is the actual motion at the moment of birth that is taken as the reference. The whole natal chart is progressed by X times the daily motion of the Sun, which equates to X years of age.
- The secondary progressions or directions: in this case, it is the symbolism of one day in the ephemeris = one year of life. In other words, the chart calculated X days after birth = X years of age.
- The secondary converse progressions or directions: they are the same as above, but calculated in a reverse way. Here, the chart calculated for X days before birth equates to X years of age.
- The Tertiary Progressions or Directions: they are based on the equation one lunar month = one year. The chart calculated for X months after birth equates to X years of age.
- The primary directions: one equatorial degree on the Zodiac equates to one year of life. This method is more complex to explain and depends on the house system chosen (usually Campanus, Placidus, and Regiomontanus). Primary directions are some sorts of transits in houses.
All these predictive methods have their justification in the astrology literature. Sometimes, they yield amazingly accurate results when the exact time of birth is available. However, caution is compulsory because they are still to pass the test of years of statistical researches.
The final purpose of this ancient technique is to answer a precise question. A chart is cast for the exact time and place where the Querent formulates his question. The interpretation is carried out according to a specific set of rules. It is an original branch of predictive astrology and it seems to have proved its efficiency. Nevertheless, it remains quite tricky to use because modern research has not thoroughly documented the case yet.
It remains the undisputed favourite among all the predictive methods, even though the Solar revolution has many devoted supporters. A transit is defined as a planet passing through the Zodiac over a sensitive point of the natal chart (whether an angle or a planet). The transiting planet can form aspects with these sensitive natal points.
With this technique, it is possible to foresee major events, or at least, to get a grasp of their nature, as indicated by the astrological houses where the said aspects fall, and by the rulerships of the planets involved. Transits are more significant and personal when they activate a natal fast-moving planet than when they activate a natal outer planet. In the case of a natal fast-moving planet, the person is very likely to strongly feel its effects.
In order to spot meaningful events, astrologers pay high attention to the aspects formed by transiting outer planets because they remain longer on a given point, and their influences deeply permeate the crucial points of the natal chart.
Major disruptions and life-turning events are often triggered by the transits of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto although Saturn and Jupiter, in a lesser extent, also have powerful impacts.
When outer planets turn into the retrograde mode, the effects are proportional to the duration of their transit. (Viewed from the Earth, and according to their orbit, the planets can move backwards and thus, come back to their initial position.)
Similarly to the assessment of aspects in natal charts, the transit technique considers the aspects formed between planets in transit (i.e. planets at the moment of the analysis) and the important points of the natal chart, in this latter case, generally with a narrower orb of one degree. The interpretation of such aspects underlies the forecast of events for the period of time chosen.
Forecasts are usually fine-tuned with the transits of fast-moving planets (Mercury through Mars) in order to identify the dates when events are triggered. In some cases, the Moon can also activate a specific point of the natal chart for a couple of hours and play an additional minor role. In most cases, the transit method produces amazingly concrete results.
When coupled with the Solar Revolution method, it becomes a very powerful predictive tool. As always, caution remains compulsory because the astrologer often forgets that it is only the natal chart that contains all the potentialities, and that nothing can occur if it is not promised in the natal chart. Diagnosis errors often come from such oversights. The degree of importance of events and inner experiences depends on newly formed aspects which repeat aspects existing in the natal chart. Otherwise, newly formed aspects have less strong effects.
Lastly, it is necessary to underline that not all individuals react to transits in identical ways. Some people experience them internally, and some others, very concretely. A few hints can be found through the analysis of the natal chart, for instance assessing the more or less strong emphasis of the Northern or the Southern hemisphere.