Secondary Progression

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Secondary progressions are based on the movement of the sun.

A predictive method in which each day after birth equates to one year in a person's life, in keeping with the sun moving one degree per day. The other planets are moved in proportion, according to where they would be in an ephemeris. The positions of the planets 24 hours after the birth reflect the quality of an individual's life at one year old, 48 hours at two years old, etc. Secondary progressions are a very commonly used predictive method. It is the method usually meant when talking of progressions.

In contrast to the two kinds of tertiary progressions, which are based on the moon's movement, secondary progressions are based on the sun: one day (i.e., one complete rotation of the earth around its own axis) equates to one year (the time it takes for the sun to apparently move through the whole zodiac). Because secondary progressions are concerned with much larger periods of time than tertiary progressions they are related to long term inner developments.


Interpretation of secondary progressions usually focuses on the personal planets, i.e. the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, because the remaining planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) progress so little during a younger person's life and rarely function as triggers because they hardly change position. In an older person's chart they can become more relevant, especially if located near the end of a sign or house, as a few degrees' change can move them into the next sign or house.

There are two ways to construct a chart for secondary progressions. One is to make a bi-wheel with progressed planets arrayed in relation to the natal or radix chart. This chart preserves the basic house structure of the natal chart. Another way is to cast the progressed chart on its own, which will also progress the house cusps.

Points to consider in interpreting a progressed chart:

  • An aspect formed by a progressed planet to a planet or axis in the natal chart indicates a flow of energy and activation of the factors involved. The main focus is on the natal planet or axis which is aspected.
  • A mutual exchange of energy occurs when two progressed planets aspect each other.
  • A progressed planet entering a new house or sign indicates a major shift in the person's orientation to life.
  • The progressed moon activates the house in the natal chart through which it passes. For example, the person may focus on money when her progressed moon is in the second house.
  • A progressed planet may change its direction of movement, i.e. from direct to retrograde and vice versa. For example, a person with natal Mercury retrograde may become less introspective and more outer-directed when progressed Mercury goes direct.

In general, progressions show how the individual is evolving and maturing as a person. If an Aries sun progresses into Taurus, for example, the person retains his basic Aries independence, but may add to it some Taurean stability and material orientation. A person with a natal fourth house moon retains her strong feelings about her home, but may add to it a preoccupation with health when the moon progresses into the sixth house. The horoscope at the moment of the child's birth may be compared to a seed, while progressions show how the plant is growing.

Periods of time

The sun moves about one degree per day, which translates into the progressed sun moving one degree of arc for each year. Venus, on average, moves around 1.5 degrees, and Mars 0.5 degrees per day, and therefore for each year by progression. Only Mercury is quicker than the Sun and moves around 2 degrees per day.

The orb, which is the number of degrees that an aspect can deviate from exactitude and still be regarded as valid, used for progressed planets is small (around half a degree) owing to their slow movement. The reason is because even an orb of half a degree is equivalent to a period of around six to twelve months. There will naturally be a focus on the theme indicated by the involved planets when the aspect is exact.

The moon, which is the fastest-moving planet, is an exception. It travels around one degree of arc for every month. For this reason, the progressed moon frequently forms new aspects to planets in the natal chart. It spends on average 2 1/2 years in one house or sign of the zodiac and activates this area of the horoscope during that period. An orb of around one degree can be used with the progressive Moon, which affects a period of about 2 months in real life.


It is important not to place too much emphasis on the type of aspect formed by the progressed sun, Mercury, Venus or Mars, whether easy or difficult for the person. Which planets are involved (and the themes they represent) is most important because new major aspects are relatively rare. For example, when the progressed sun forms a square (90 degree aspect) to a planet in the natal chart, it takes another 30 years until the sun forms the next main aspect (the trine which is 120 degrees) to the same planet.


The progressed axes are a special case. A birth time accurate to within a minute is required in order to be able to include these in a meaningful way, otherwise any predictions will be wide off the mark by at least one year. Several methods can be used if an accurate time of birth is available. One of the most common methods used is to advance the Medium Coeli (MC) by the same amount as the progressed sun, i.e.,, the solar arc method. In this case, the angle between the sun and the MC in the progressed chart stays the same as in the natal chart. The Ascendant and other house cusps are moved in accordance with the MC.



  • Blaschke, Robert P. 1998. Astrology, A Language of Life, Vol. I - Progressions, Earthwalk School of Astrology Publishing.
  • Forrest, Steven, 1989. The Changing Sky: A Practical Guide to the New Predictive Astrology, ACS Publications, Inc.
  • Jayne, Charles A. 2011. Progressions and Directions, American Federation of Astrologers.