Recently I received an email from Louise, who had just lost her husband of forty-five years. He died suddenly and unexpectedly from what was ruled to be a heart attack, although he had been having shortness of breath for several months and had even been sent to a lung specialist not long before. Louise was beside herself. They had been together since they met in 1961. This was definitely the worst experience of her life and the only thing she saw that might account for Dan's death in his horoscope was transiting Pluto opposing his natal Sun.
For an event of such magnitude there would certainly have been more than that one transit indicating trouble. Dan's progressed horoscope should provide clues and would be instrumental. The Secondary progressions show the influences in one's life for any given point in time.
The Secondary Progression method employs the assumption that a day of planetary transits equals one year of life. Simply put, if you wanted to find out the trends that are current in the life of someone who is twenty years old, you would look up the positions of the planets for the twentieth day after birth. The progressing Sun always moves forward at the rate of about one degree per year, based on the movement of the transiting Sun of one degree per day. The progressing inner planets like Venus and Mercury move along slowly, and their speed depends on how close they were to a stationary point at the time of birth. Obviously, the progressing outer planets will not change position very much over a lifetime, especially if near stationary at birth.
Once the progressions are plotted into a wheel around the natal chart, it is easy to see what new aspects have formed between the progressed planets and the natal planets, or between progressed planets with other progressed planets. Because of the minute movements in the progressions, each aspect that is within a one-degree orb is extremely important, showing influences at work. There are usually only a handful of them and these aspects define life trends. For a major event of consequence, whether for good or ill, several similar aspects will signify it.
You could actually find important years in the life just by scanning the ephemeris for the ninety days after birth (if we are being optimistic about life-span), based on when important aspects are formed from transiting planets to the natal planets. One day of transits is equal to one year of life. Progressed aspects take priority over transiting aspects, even over major transits.
The Midheaven also progresses roughly one degree per year. The progressed Ascendant also advances slowly throughout life, but at a slightly less regular rate than one degree per year. It is easy to calculate the secondary progressed chart with good software.
The planet that rules the sign of the progressed Ascendant becomes the person's ruler. This is very similar to having a natal ruler (the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of the First House) but now this new ruler is more current and shows how things are going right now. Where the ruler goes, so everything follows. The ruler shows the kinds of experiences we are meeting up with according to its aspects. The aspects formed by the ruling planet are most personal and informative. Along with aspects directly involving the progressed Ascendant, the aspects of the ruler gives information about health. This was an extremely critical matter in Dan's case.
Dan had Aries rising in his natal chart, but by age 65, he had Gemini rising in his progressions. He was born June 22, 1944; 1:30 AM EWT; 80W15/32N45. By late 2008, just before his health problems began, his progressed Ascendant was at 22º Gemini. This gives Mercury as his new ruler. His progressed Mercury by now was at 22º Virgo. These signs and degrees are 90 degrees apart—a square aspect. This is a very difficult aspect, and it is symbolic that something is the matter. The Ascendant rules the physical body. When familiar with progressions, this is a rather glaring indicator because it means Dan's planetary ruler is out of harmony with what is in his best interests. There can come some devastating experiences when the ruler and the progressed Ascendant are turned against one another (just as very beneficial effects come about when these two are in favorable aspect to one another).
Not only that but, Dan's progressed Ascendant is in Gemini, the sign that rules the lungs; if the ruler of the sign becomes challenged, the lungs are vulnerable and such an aspect may reflect on lung problems. Any tightening in the chest, pain while breathing, or coughing, are things that should be immediately checked. He had been having shortness of breath and pain across his chest; however, Dan had been to the Emergency Room for the shortness of breath, and he'd had blood work as well as an EKG—both of which were negative. The ER doctors saw something in his lung area and advised seeing a pulmonary specialist. The doctor (lung) gave him tests on his lungs and they were found to be fine. In Dan's case, since there were multiple challenging aspects to his Mercury all through the charts, this is where getting a second opinion would have been advised. Besides progressed Mercury in square to his progressed Ascendant, by the time his problems began to escalate in 2009, his progressed Venus was square his natal Mercury (discomfort, disharmony, disease), and his progressed Mercury was semi-square his Pluto (stress and overwork on his system). Mind you, these are only the progressed aspects, not accounting for transits yet. These were serious for Dan; the charts reflected on physical problems for him due to the multiple attacks on his ruling planet Mercury.
When transits are brought in, his progressed Mercury at 22º Virgo was hampered by transiting Saturn in conjunction, and by transiting Uranus in opposition, while the same two transiting planets were square his progressed Ascendant in Gemini. Both his progressed Ascendant and his ruler was receiving incredible mounting pressure, not to mention the exact opposition from transiting Pluto to his natal Sun, which rules his natal Sixth House of health. His death followed closely on the heels of the September New Moon that fell in his natal Sixth House of health. That New Moon fell on his progressed Mercury (his ruler) that was square his progressed Ascendant. That difficult New Moon in Virgo, accompanied by Saturn, set off the health problems indicated in Dan's progressed chart.
Both Dan and Louise were somewhat knowledgeable about astrology. They were more familiar with transits, however, and less familiar with progressions and the importance of the condition of the ruling planet. Had Dan known of the condition of his ruler, that it was under stress, and if familiar with the parts of the body ruled, he'd have seen a year ago that his general health was coming under some unusual pressure, and he might've started a round of tests and paying closer attention to his health and how well he was doing overall and be less likely to let little warning signals go by. Louise felt that Dan would want to share his story if it might help someone else. We send thanks to her for allowing this illustration, as well as our condolences.
Learning to use astrology as a predictive tool is not hard. The new revised and expanded edition of Predicting Events with Astrology makes it easier than ever. Just as you'd want to know if your ruler were coming under adverse aspects and the kinds of limitations you might face, you'd also want to know when your ruler is coming under very favorable conditions, for that might open doors of opportunity of a rare sort. This happened for a couple of big lottery winners whose charts are featured in Chapter Four—"Money and Success." It also happened for Rob, who started out in life as a very sickly child but then built himself up to robust good health and strength when his progressed Ascendant changed zodiac signs and gave him a stronger ruler!
This new revised and expanded edition contains complete chapters that show what to look for in the natal chart and in the progressions to find answers to common questions that center on Love and Marriage, Money and Success, Children, Physical Health, Mental Health, Accidents and Misfortunes, Death and Bereavement. For example, is marriage indicated, and if so, when? Or, is success indicated and if so, what are my best moneymaking options? Are children indicated and when?
There is also a chapter that gives descriptions of the progressed aspects, each of them. If one planet becomes very active in the progressions, it means there are some specific themes coming to the foreground; this chapter will help you determine what to expect and how to go with the flow, how to capitalize on and work successfully with the influences to bring the greatest gains.
You'll find out how to determine life longevity factors, how to identify the indicators of harmony in any relationship, how to know when a person is becoming accident-prone, what it means to have an afflicted benefic (Venus or Jupiter) on an angle, and everything you need to know to identify the kinds of events that are ripe to happen at any given time. There are many out of the ordinary case events, like rape, panic attacks, miscarriage, caesarian birth, and kidnapping.
This book also has a whole section devoted to Solar and Lunar Returns so that it is a well-rounded reference, sure to be pulled from your bookshelf time and time again. I just can't recommend it highly enough for people who want to help others, and who want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are at any point in time and how to work with the available influences to experience their greatest growth potential! It will pretty much lead you through a reading and show you what to look for. I would say it is about the easiest book on predicting events with astrology for the beginning student, yet also so comprehensive that intermediate and professional astrologers will also come away with greater confidence in their ability to read a chart accurately! Happy forecasting!