Just a handy guide on working with progressions – with a focus on the Sun, Moon and Ascendant as these progressions tend to carry the most weight.
If you’re new to astrology, you can still easily figure out progressions. Go to https://astro.com and put in your birth data, including your time of birth. Save to create your birth chart. Now, go to the “Extended Chart Selection” page. Where it says “please select a chart type” you will just select “Progressed Chart” and click to show the chart. All done!
A natal or progressed ascendant in Cancer will make you more sensitized to the rapid changes of your progressed Moon, so while everyone needs to look at their progressed Moon for the reasons listed here, it’s more crucial to Cancer risings.
Ascendant signs are divided into those of long ascension or short ascension, meaning the rate of speed at which they move. Generally speaking, the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and Gemini are of short ascension. The signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius are of long ascension. Those people born with short ascension signs as their natal rising sign undergo much more frequent changes than do those of long ascension.
Eclipses on your progressed ascendant, descendant or progressed chart ruler are as important as eclipses to your birth chart ascendant, descendant and chart ruler. As the progressed ascendant continues to affect your personality, so too will it affect your relationship with others, since your descendant is changing and growing too. Let’s say your a natal Gemini rising, with a natal Sagittarius descendant. You like to interact with people on an intellectual level (Gemini) and you prefer to do so with people of interesting background and ideas (Sagittarius). When your progressed ascendant moves into Cancer, you’ll have a Capricorn descendant and it won’t be enough that others are simply interesting and exciting to you. You’ll now want people who’ve learned maturity and responsibility from their exciting background.
Most people who know a little about astrology beyond their Sun sign know what sign their Moon is in. This does not change. However, your progressed Moon changes signs quite frequently, at the rate of approximately one sign every 2.5 years.
The progression of the Moon acts as a natural unfolding in our lives; while transits may feel like something is “happening” to us (for better or worse), the progressed Moon changing signs on a regular schedule acts less as something being done to you and more as something growing, ripening. A person can look back at transits as a chunk of life where “something happened”, whereas a person will look back at progressions and say “I’ve changed a lot since then”. Since the progressed Moon gets personal and hits home, the progressed Moon changing signs as frequently as it does means it is worth paying attention to for cycles of growth, maturity and emotional changes.
The progressed Moon moves at the pace of about one degree per month. When it touches something in your chart, you will feel it for about 3 months: one month moving towards the exact aspect, one month in exact aspect and one month separating.
Since it changes signs every 2.5 years, your progressed Moon will return to the place of your birth Moon after it passes through the other 11 signs of the zodiac. You’ll have a progressed Moon conjunct natal Moon somewhere around the ages of 28 and 56. This roughly precedes the Saturn Return cycle at the ages of 30 and 60, which is a major cycle of growth and maturity and realism about the direction of one’s life. The progressed Moon conjunct natal Moon represents a temporary state of either emotional overwhelm or emotional fulfillment, depending on how one is handling their Saturn Return.
The progressed Moon will square the natal Moon much more frequently, at the ages of 7, 21, 35, 49, 63, and 77. This too roughly corresponds to the Saturn cycle, though this is the Saturn square Saturn transit at these ages. Progressed Moon square natal Moon around the times of the Saturn squares creates moments of frictional frustration that forces emotional maturity, whether you’re ready for it or not. You can see this as the times we first enter school, leave school and become independent adults, reevaluate our lives as adults, and either hit midlife crisis or midlife satisfaction and reward.
The progressed Moon opposes the birth chart Moon at around the ages of 14, 42 and 70. Age 14 is another Saturn cycle we’re being sensitized to, this time it is the opposition and the Moon sensitizes the maturation process here as growth spurts and physical maturation in the form of full fledged puberty (the Moon rules hormones), and the process of moving away from childhood and developing our adult personas.
When your progressed Moon changes signs, look to the planet that rules that sign as you’re more sensitive to that planet now. Progressed Moon in Aries? Look for transits to natal Mars or from transiting Mars. Progressed Moon in Sagittarius? Look where Jupiter is transiting in your chart, or what is impacting your natal Jupiter. These transits you’d feel anyway, but you feel them more up front if the planet rules the sign of your progressed Moon.
Those with progressed or natal ascendant in Cancer will feel the change of their progressed Moon as strongly as if it were a transit; usually with distinct demarcation points. In other words, they will look back at the periods their progressed Moon was in a sign as distinct “chapters” in their life.
A New Moon, Full Moon or eclipse in the sign of your progressed Moon feels similar to these lunations happening in the same sign as your birth Moon.
The progressed Moon will also conjunct and oppose the natal and progressed Sun, which effectively creates a progressed New Moon (at the conjunction) and a progressed Full Moon (at the opposition).
Every so often, one will experience a progressed Moon Void Of Course, or Moon VOC. A void of course Moon is when the Moon makes no major applying aspects to another astrological body until the Moon enters the next sign. Moon VOC acts as if in a vacuum – either nothing comes to fruition during this phase, or things take a much different direction than originally intended. This concept applies to the progressed Moon as well – if the progressed Moon makes no more major applying aspects to either the natal chart or the progressed chart before entering the next sign, then you’ll experience a longer period of time where nothing seems to be happening or working out, or life seems to move along an unplanned course.
The progressed Sun is not as lengthy a subject, since it does not change as quickly as the Moon and is not as readily apparent as the ascendant. But, the changes it does make when it makes them are substantial.
This is due to the Sun essentially representing the life force of the chart, whether natal or progressed. The progressed Sun only changes signs about three times in a person’s life, which means the change in the direction of the life force remains steady but occasionally gets a full makeover.
The progressed Sun will not progress through the entire chart, so your progressed Sun will never return to its original place in the natal chart (progressed Sun will never conjunct natal Sun).
The progressed Sun advances at a steady rate of about one single degree per year.
When the progressed Sun aspects a planet or angle in the birth chart, the effect lasts approximately three years: one year approaching the planet or angle, one year in exact aspect and one year separating. During this time, any transit to the natal planet or angle is also a transit to the progressed Sun.
While the progressed Sun will never conjunct the natal Sun, it will form three aspects to the natal Sun: a semisquare around age 45, a sextile around age 60, and a square around age 90. The semisquare coincides with the progressed lunar cycle and Saturn cycles to create fleeting midlife crises; the sextile helps a person enter their second Saturn Return with grace if they handle it well.
The progressed Moon conjunct, square or opposing the natal Moon can show crises with women, health, family, or the physical home as well as relocation.
The year that the progressed Sun spends on the anaretic (final) degree of a sign before changing signs is usually an intense year, where one feels they are becoming impatient with the need for change and the seeming inability to make it happen. It is frustrating but it behooves a person to slow down and let the process unfold organically. The anaretic 29th degree shows there’s “unfinished business” to be taken care of first, so that there are no loose ends interfering with the new life force brought by the progressed Sun changing signs.