Transits, Progressions and Directed Solar Arcs –
The Basic Tools of Prediction
Once you have had your natal chart interpreted the next questions are usually around “what is happening now? Or next month? Or next year?”
Although freewill is a gift to human beings which means our future is not predestined, one of the great uses of astrology is to know what the psychological weather conditions are likely to be at any given time. If we know the conditions, we can better navigate those sometimes stormy waters or take advantage of the opportunities as they open up.
It’s the psychological equivalent of taking an umbrella with you if the weatherman says it is going to rain or a swimming costume if sun is forecast!
There are many techniques available to the astrologer to make these predictions but we are going to look here briefly at three of the most common:
Day for Year Progressions
Directed Solar Arc
“Transits” means looking at the position of a planet in the sky on any given date and comparing it with the positions of the planets when you were born.
For example, if you were born when Venus was at sixteen degrees of Libra and Uranus is now at sixteen degrees of Aries then you have a temporary opposition between Venus and Uranus. Even though Venus in Libra signifies a someone who is very artistic or makes good relationships the influence of Uranus in the short term can be very disruptive. It might signify the sudden end of a relationship either personal or artistic - the exact nature will depend on the houses in which the planets are placed.
Transits are more important for the slower moving planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) as they will make contact with the planets in your natal chart for longer. Transits from the quicker planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus) may mean you have a particularly eventful day or even half a day but their influence won’t extend beyond that.
“Progressions” takes us into the world of symbols - astrology is a symbolic language. In “Day for Year” progressions we assume that each day after a person is born represents one years of their life and move the positions of the planets accordingly to the time about which an enquiry is made.
So, if someone were born on 3 July 1963 and wanted to know what was happening now that they had reached the age of 26 we would look at the position of the planets on 29 July 1963 (born on 3 July + age 26 = 29 July) and see what aspects they were making to the planets in the person’s natal chart or whether they are changing sign.
This is particularly useful when we are looking at the position of the quicker moving planets - the Progressed Moon, for example, occupies each sign for between two and two and a half years and a change of sign is frequently accompanied by a significant shift in one’s daily life.
If the Progressed Sun makes contact with Venus in the natal chart (or vice versa) this may signal the onset of a significant relationship.
Progressions for the slower moving planets are much less significant as they may move little even over the course of an entire lifetime.
The Directed Solar Arc is something of a cross between transits and progressions and is relevant for all planets.
Instead of moving each planet forward according to its own pace in the sky it is assumed that it moves at the same pace as the Sun.
So, if someone is interested in what is happening when they are 35, in addition to looking at the transits and progressions we would also move all the planets forward at the same rate as the Sun - approximately one degree per year.
The same analysis is then carried out - are planets changing sign, touching one of the important parts of the chart such as the ascendant or Midheaven or contacting another planet in the natal chart?
I have usually found that contacts to another planet when using progressions or Directed Solar Arcs are much more significant when a conjunction is involved i.e. when both planets are in the same degree of the same sign than when it is an aspect such as a trine (120o) or square (90o).
Most astrological software calculates the transits, progressions and solar arc directions relating to any natal chart.
If you don’t have astrological software installed on your computer then you can work out the positions manually with the help of an ephemeris which gives all the positions of the planets, day by day.
My favourite is The American Ephemeris which is available from Amazon.
© Jonathon Clark 2015-2021