My career as a professional astrologer began with a crash course in the exciting — and intimidating — world of astrological prediction. Employed as resident astrologer at a Sydney high-tea salon, I was required to read charts and answer specific, sometimes emotionally charged questions on the spot. Initially, predictive work scared me. I was terrified by the responsibility of being "right" or "wrong" and had little idea how general astrological principles could be translated into the everyday kind of events that happen to people all the time. This changed for me when I started working with the Secondary Progressed (SP) Moon.
Rather than describing the influence of long-term changes (often delineated through transits), the SP Moon offers a tangible way to understand events or experiences on a month-by-month basis. Using a 1° orb on either side, the SP Moon makes aspects which last up to two months. Asking a client to describe what happened "in June" as opposed to "between March and September" is a good way to get them focused on precise periods and issues.
Fundamentally, the Moon represents the daily fluctuations of life at the mundane level. Traditional sources describe the Moon as that which "carries" the influence of other planetary bodies to Earth. In 1653, William Ramesey wrote:
She is most powerful in operation of all the other Planets on Elementary bodies, by reason of her proximity to us, and her swiftness, by which she transfers the light and influence of all the Superiors to us, by her configuration with them.1
More recently, Dane Rudhyar described the SP Moon in these terms:
[O]f all progressed planetary factors, [the Moon] most specifically refers to concrete events. It indicates outer changes, the working out of cycles of past karma, the opening, closing and culmination of the outer phases of the life-process. As it passes over the cusps of houses … it measures definite changes in the concrete emphases of life. This is especially marked as the Moon crosses the four angles, and most of all, the Ascendant.2
The Moon's transits in the first few months after birth (which form a lifetime of progressions) lay down the trigger points for events that will emerge later in life. A fruitful way to understand how the Moon works by Secondary Progression is to think of it as weaving the tapestry of life. Like the Greek moirai, or Fates, the SP Moon interlaces the metaphorical "thread of life." To understand why something has occurred, look to any SP lunar aspect formed at that time. This will reveal a clear etiology. Once the purpose underpinning an event is revealed and understood by the astrologer or client, greater awareness and ability for self-determination are gained. Even if the SP lunar aspects don't correlate with an external event, they almost always coincide somehow with a change of perspective or illumination.
Here's a quick example. A client with a 7th-house Sun asked about a new romance. He was sure it was going to go well but wanted confirmation. He had met his new partner as the SP Moon conjoined his natal Saturn on the IC. This natal placement can be synonymous with feelings of dread and responsibility and a tendency to isolate oneself. Despite the initial passion of the encounter and his optimism for its future, the timing of the relationship meant that it was "fated" to bring out his natal Saturn–IC themes. After an intense beginning, the relationship floundered because my client found himself acting like a father figure to a younger partner, whom he found unstable and self-centred. Deeply disappointed by what he had experienced, he vowed he would not enter a relationship again. Such loneliness (or an expectation thereof) can be one manifestation of natal Saturn on the IC. The SP Moon crossing this area of his chart was offering him a chance to reflect on a pattern of behaviour: how he may often unconsciously choose unsuitable partners who would then "disappoint him," making him retreat and renounce further relationships. Had he been willing to explore the potential limitation in this relationship and seek greater stability, things might have turned out differently.
When the SP Moon aspects a planet, it brings the planet's themes, natal placement, and house rulership(s) to light. New patterns can also be formed between progressed planets themselves. Interestingly, the events which coincide with progressed-to-progressed aspects are often more vivid than those which correspond to progressed-to-natal aspects. A client, "Bea" (a pseudonym), came for a consultation on January 13, 2015 as her SP Moon was sextile progressed Mercury (and her natal Moon). (See Chart 1.) By progression, Mercury had conjoined her natal Moon–Pluto and was within a degree of squaring natal Mercury — all underscoring the potency of this contact. In the days before the consultation, she went on a journey to explore her past and her heritage (natal Moon in the 4th house). She had a profound realization about her relationship with her mother, and understood how her own habitual tendency to worry (Moon in Virgo) had contributed to her health problems (Mercury ruling her Ascendant and in the 1st). In the weeks that followed, Bea had a major conversation (Mercury) with her partner and family, which transformed both her relationships and living arrangements (Moon–Pluto in the 4th). At the same time, she was appointed to a new position as an academic and teacher (Mercury) — her role would involve archiving and sharing the oral histories of indigenous peoples (note the Moon, Mercury, Virgo, and 4th-house connotations). It was the exact month when the SP Moon triggered natal and progressed aspects that concrete outcomes began to appear.
The period of time between a progressed-to-natal and progressed-to-progressed aspect can show the duration of significant events.
When the SP Moon changes signs, the dynamics of a given sign are accented. For instance, when the Moon progresses through Scorpio, a period of intensity and transformation often unfolds. But more importantly, it will activate the dynamics of the house that has Scorpio on the cusp. So, if Scorpio is on the cusp of the 5th, when the SP Moon arrives at 0° Scorpio, 5th-house themes are likely to emerge even if the SP Moon hasn't yet reached the degree of the 5th-house cusp (thus lending weight to Whole Sign houses).
It's also worthwhile to examine the Secondary Progressed Lunation Cycle in clients' charts.3 These phases occur when the progressed Moon aspects the progressed Sun, and can mark important changes in a client's life story.4 The progressed New Moon (when the progressed Moon conjoins the progressed Sun) describes a time for new beginnings or planting seeds. The progressed Full Moon (when the progressed Moon opposes the progressed Sun) marks a time of accomplishment or culmination. These phases actually begin when the Moon enters the same (or opposing) sign as the Sun, but they reach a critical peak in the month that the luminaries are aligned by degree.
This is easy to see in the chart of actor George Clooney. In July 1997, the SP Moon entered Gemini, the same sign as his SP Sun. As Clooney approached a progressed New Moon phase, he was planting seeds for his future by preparing to leave the TV series ER and become a full-time, A-list actor in films. Then on February 18, 1999, as the progressed Moon was coming to conjoin the progressed Sun (the progressed New Moon), Clooney's last appearance in ER was aired. (See Chart 2.) Clooney may have felt ready to explore new horizons back in 1997, but it took two years for this to play out (the time it took the SP Moon to travel from 0° Gemini to 21° Gemini, the degree of his progressed Sun).
Fifteen years after his progressed New Moon, the progressed Full Moon occurred. After his divorce in 1993, Clooney famously swore that he would never remarry. But during 2014, as his SP Moon in Capricorn opposed his SP Sun in Cancer by sign and then by aspect, Clooney got engaged, planned a wedding, and married the accomplished lawyer and activist Amal Alamuddin. This was worldwide news and worthy of a progressed Full Moon. The events of 2014 for Clooney (which included a lifetime achievement award, new directing projects, and his surprise marriage) in many ways mark the culmination of what had been set in motion 15 years earlier when he had left ER. Another important time arrives for him in early 2016 when the SP Moon conjoins his natal Moon and Saturn.
Working with the SP Moon provides a clear and accurate way to understand how planetary patterns play out. More than just an emotional barometer, the SP Moon highlights key natal and progressed themes, illuminating the meaning of past events as well as helping us to predict when major life events are likely to be triggered. Because its focus is at a month-by-month level, it can help to deliver context and detail when we attempt to understand a client and their life story. Predicting anything is never easy, but the task of making accurate forecasts is greatly assisted with attention to the swift, ever-changing Secondary Progressed Moon.
Chart data and sources:
(All Charts use Equal Houses and the True Nodes.)
"Bea": Client data are confidential, but their sources are birth records — hospital cards.
George Clooney, May 6, 1961; 2:58 a.m. EST; Lexington, KY, USA (38°N03', 84°W30'); AA: birth certificate quoted by Carol Adrienne.
References and Notes:
1. William Ramesey, Astrologia Restaurata, London, 1653, as quoted in Deborah Houlding, "The Moon as the transmitter of influences," http://www.skyscript.co.uk/moon2.html (accessed March 2015).
2. Dane Rudhyar, The Astrology of Personality, Aurora Press, 1991, p. 357.
3. A progressed lunation cycle encompasses the period between one conjunction of the SP Moon and Sun and the next. This is 29.5 years. However, the time it takes for the SP Moon to complete one circuit of the chart is 27.5 years.
4. For a detailed analysis of the Secondary Progressed Lunation Cycle, see The Lunation Cycle by Dane Rudhyar or Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady.
Moon phases: NASA/Bill Dunford
Moirae: Johann Gottfried Schadow [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
George Clooney: By Nicolas Genin (66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
First published in: The Mountain Astrologer, Jun/Jul 2015
Damian Rocks is an astrologer as well as a
yoga instructor and Ayurvedic practitioner based in Sydney, Australia, and
he runs a busy practice in all three disciplines. Damian holds an MA in
Cultural Astrology and Astronomy, and a Diploma with the Federation of
Australian Astrologers (his papers won their Gold Medal for Excellence). A
bright, energetic presence in Australian astrology, Damian offers
traditional horary techniques with his psychological consultancy. He is
the founder of the website www.starslikeyou.com.au (which is hugely popular
Stateside), and in 2014 he opened a holistic wellness centre in Sydney (www.theninthhouse.com.au/).
© 2015 Damian Rocks - first published by The Mountain Astrologer
20-May-2018, 10:27 UT/GMT
|Explanations of the symbols|
|Chart of the moment|