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Progressions and directions usually are based on the movement of the sun


There are two principal meanings of the term direction. In its simplest form, a horoscope shows the directions of the compass, in which the first house cusp indicates the point where the sun rises in the east; and the seventh house cusp shows its setting in the west. In addition to representing the highest and lowest points of the sun's journey on the ecliptic the Medium Coeli and Imum Coeli also represent south and north, respectively. This orientation may seem a bit odd to modern people accustomed to seeing "north" at the top of a map, but this convention was widely adopted only during the Renaissance.

When viewed with all four cardinal directions represented, the horoscope effectively becomes a stylized map. Ptolemy in the second century CE essentially used the horoscope as a kind of map of the known world, in predicting the direction of an individual traveler's journey, as well as the different nations' planetary rulers. Horary astrology, notably in locating missing objects, takes Aries as the eastern point, Libra as the west, Capricorn as south, and Cancer as north; with the signs in between representing the other directions, such as south-by-southeast (Taurus.)

Direction is also general term for a predictive method by which planets or horoscope axes are moved by an equal number of degrees in a certain period of time – the planets are literally 'relocated'. The term direction should not be confused with progression, and it is important to remember that the movement of planets and axes shown by such methods is symbolical rather than actual, i.e. they have not physically moved by the amounts shown. In contrast to directions such as solar arcs, the planetary positions in progressed horoscopes show actual planetary and axial movement.


There are various methods used to calculate directions in predictive astrology, and they differ in the amount by which they move the planets in a given period of time. In other words, they all operate with a different key:

  • Primary Directions (Key: 1 degree right ascension of the Medium Coeli equates to one solar year; in other words: roughly every 4 minutes after birth equals one year). When using this method only the axes are directed.
  • Solar Arc Direction (Key: All horoscope factors are moved by the same amount that the Sun moves in one day)
  • Symbolic Direction (Different keys depending on which method is used)
  • Converse Direction (Different keys depending on which method is used)

The most common methods are Solar Arcs and the One Degree Method which is basically a simplified version of Solar Arcs and rather inaccurate, and is only recommended to those looking for a quick overview of possible future developments.


When working with axes it is important to have a time of birth which is accurate to within minutes, otherwise any kind of prediction will be too vague. For example, using some methods a time of birth which is incorrect by as little as 4 minutes would lead to prognoses which are inaccurate by up to one year!


The following main points should be taken into account:

  • An aspect formed by a directed planet or axis to a factor in the natal chart is a trigger which means that the factor in question is activated. The orb, i.e. the range of degrees from exactitude within which an aspect is effective is generally much smaller than for aspects in the natal chart, otherwise the large time frame would complicate the process of interpretation and make it difficult to validate any predictions.
  • A new phase begins when a directed planet or axis enters the next sign of the zodiac.