Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Progressing Charts


August 20, 2004


Dear Eric:

What do you think about progressing charts? How relevant are arbitrary measurements such as year for a day in interpreting our destinies? Please enlighten...blessed be.


Natasha x



Dear Natasha,

I was recently entrusted with the office of a brilliant, genuinely competent astrologer. While he was out, a friend of the astrologer's stopped by for a visit, and related to me some difficulties she was having with her child. I cast the natal chart and the progressions, which I will always look at, and saw something in the progressed chart that was astonishing, and which pointed to some clear advice for the person, as well as information about timing. In particular, the progressed Sun was about to pass from the 12th house to the 1st, making a conjunction to Pluto (in Scorpio) in the process. Everything was conjunct within one about degree progressed Sun, natal and progressed Pluto, natal Scorpio ascendant -- clear and powerful.


Then the astrologer came back. I showed him the chart and the progressed event I was considering and he said something like, "Progressions? I don't use them, I don't believe in them." The astrological community is not unanimous on the theme of progressions, or much of anything. It is however always interesting to see how different astrologers develop their methods of working. Each must deal with all the oddities of astrology that seem to defy belief, science, common sense and the rest of it.


But as it turns out, progressions have a distinct basis in science that I will get to in a moment, which helps us understand how astrology works at all.


Yet whether scientifically sound or not, I have yet to seriously experiment with an astrological method that does NOT work. Thing is, some astrologers are more sensitive to some methods of astrology than others. Everyone has their preferences and fetishes. Also, some clients are more sensitive to some methods than others. Therefore to young aspiring astrologers I would say that a good craftsman should be versed in as many techniques and have as many tools in the toolbox as possible. Don't worry about how they work or whether they work, just use them, experiment, and get a feeling for the method.


Progressions are nothing new; they are one of the oldest methods in astrology, and they are well established by both tradition and modern experience.


First, what are progressions? Astrology generally begins with the birth chart. The birth chart is based on a particular day, time and place. Progressions are, in turn, derived from that information. The most common form of progression is called "secondary progression" and it is very simply done by advancing the natal chart one day from the birth time, per year of life. So if you are 22 years old, your current progressed chart is the chart for your 22nd day of life (factoring in fractions of a day down to the hour and minute, for a very exact calculation, thankfully done by computer). Therefore, if you're born Jan. 1, 1980 and are 22 years old, your progressed chart will be set for some time on the day of Jan. 22, 1980. Progressions are an important part of why we need a good birth time, but they can also help us rectify a missing birth time.


There are probably two dozen methods of progressing charts, with various timing methods (a day per month, and so on), but they all amount to the same thing: some formula by which time is advanced, and where one timeframe symbolically represents another.


Progressions are different than transits. Here is how. Transits are based on the movement of the planets in real time, as related to the natal chart. You can actually look up in the sky and see Jupiter in Libra and if your ascendant is Libra you know Jupiter is crossing your rising sign. If you are born with Pluto in Virgo at 21 degrees and Pluto gets to Sagittarius 21 degrees, you are having a transit called your Pluto square. Transits often have an external quality; they are in fact external; and they often relate to events and turning points that happen to us. On the other hand, think of progressions as the natal chart itself unfolding from the inside. They are entirely specific to the individual in question and are, as a result, an extraordinarily personal, even private method of studying the movement of time. They are about something happening within us, and that something may expresses itself outwardly. This is why progressions help us see the timing of events.


There is no special trick to reading progressions except to say that you must look at the chart very carefully. You look carefully at the degrees, and exactly what happened last, and what is about to happen next. Well, that's the whole trick. One must be extremely precise and not miss much. Really, one puts the chart under a microscope and looks at every little subtle movement. Tradition holds that when using progressions you work with extremely small orbs, within one degree on either side of an aspect. As the aspect applies or forms, some kind of development or experience is approaching; as the aspect is perfected, the experience is in full strength; as the aspect separates, the experience wanes and gives way to the next one. Progressions train an astrologer to look at the chart very carefully. That is a fine habit and it only supports intuition.


In addition to talking about inner growth and often pointing to corresponding shifts in the outer life, progressions help us understand the natal chart. Usually the progressed chart is cast as a biwheel around the natal. When you look at the natal chart alone, you cannot generally find out much about any planet's movement; the planet is just sitting there. But when you look at the secondary progressed chart in relation to the natal chart, you can tell if (for example) the natal planet has stationed retrograde or direct in the weeks and months after birth; you can tell about how fast it's going; you can basically get a sense of its movement. It is no longer merely a static particle in space: it is a wave form with energy and momentum. Progressions give you a picture of that wave form and remind the astrologer that the universe is constantly in motion.


If you want to learn progressions, the most vital notion to get over is that you don't know how to do it. The progressed chart is merely a chart, like any other; when reading a chart, you read the thing and get the information you need. The more you practice, and the more you relate astrology to life, the more information you get.


If you want to test this method, and see it in action, here is what I suggest. Choose three vitally important dates in your life. Marriage, the birth of a child, a big move from one city to another, graduation from university, a major promotion, the death of a parent, that kind of thing. Then cast your secondary progressions for each of those dates and see what they are doing at the time. Look at the progressed chart's aspects to both itself and to the natal chart. Take at least half an hour for each chart so you know you're really taking your time. Make some notes. Don't interpret; just note the aspects. Interpretation comes later.


Study the progressed Moon carefully. What sign is it in, and what are its closest aspects? When did it last change signs, and what in your life changed along with that? Is the Moon waxing or waning? Is it near the Full Moon or the New Moon phase? Perhaps cast your progressed chart for your most recent progressed Full Moon or New Moon some time in the past and look at your life history at that point.


For fun and intrigue, cast your transits as well and see how they tell the same story in different ways. For example, you can look at your progressions at the time of your Saturn return or Uranian opposition and see how all these levels of astrology work together.


Okay, now for the scientific part. Anyone familiar with the concept of a fractal will recognize how this concept relates to progressions. A fractal is an image of a pattern in nature. The idea was developed by an IBM research scientist named Benoit Mandelbrot, who in the 1970s was working on graphic representation of complex geometric patterns. The work had the potential helping discover a method for how to store extremely complex images in very small amounts of disk drive space. What scientists soon discovered as a result of Mandelbrot's work is that nature is entirely a phenomenon of patterns. Even the most seemingly chaotic movements of nature -- the bubbles under a waterfall, the millions of twigs in a tree, or the shape of a coast line -- exist in distinct patterns.


Mandelbrot -


Essentially, if you look at a small piece of the whole -- a sample of the tree's branch system, for example -- you can use a computer and predict the shape of the tree. Studying the patterns in small samples of a shoreline will tell you something about the shape of the whole coast. There are no truly chaotic patterns in nature; they all reveal an underlying order if you know how to look for it, or rather, let yourself see it. This is called fractal geometry. A fractal is an image of a chaos pattern.


This phenomenon extends both to the study of astrology. Applying fractal theory to the progressed horoscope, we have a basis for the idea that a small sample of life (the first 90 days) is going to tell us something about the whole pattern of experience (the first 90 years). I believe that the progressed horoscope represents the first use of the concept of fractal theory even though it was discovered a thousand or more years before fractals were discovered.


Astrology is ultimately the art of pattern recognition. Time and the movements of the planets are based on natural patterns, as are our lives. This is why astrology works, and it's the best explanation of progressions I've personally ever come across.


More information is at this link:
Holographic Astrology -