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Arcs and Sparks

Here are a couple of "progressed" predictive methods that may be worthy of further investigation on your part.

  • Solar Arc Progressions (most normally dubbed "Solar Arcs" or "Solar Arc Directions")
  • and Secondary Progressions (most normally dubbed "Secondary Progressions")

The way it was originally explained to me is that both of these techniques are based on a "symbolic" use of time. (Yeah, like the rest of this stuff, isn't?….) In calculating these two types of chart, we (usually) start both of them out by using a symbolic formula where "one day equals one year".

Frankly, I don't know… I'm not exactly sure who woke up one day and unearthed that idea that this symbolic formula seemed to work quite well (it's traditionally attributed to Ptolemy, 2nd Century AD). And don't worry, it gets way more complicated than this. There are several different "progressed" symbolic formulas out there that different astrologers use (and swear by).

In both cases, (Solar Arcs and Secondary Progressions) the progressed Sun's position of someone 20 years old, would be calculated as the movement of the Sun - 20 days from the person's birth.

If 30 years old - 30 days from birth.
If 40 years old - 40 days from birth….

Got it? Now here's where the calculation (and resulting interpretations) of these two different progressed methods separate from one another...

Solar Arc Directions: In calculating a Solar Arc Chart - all the planets on a chart are progressed (moved forward) at the same speed (normally using the formula of one day equals one year) as the Sun. So the aspects between the planets will always be the same as the aspects between planets in your birth chart.

After being calculated - these Solar Arc positions are then compared to the birth chart positions and are very powerful when used as a technique for the forecasting of external life events (and there's a lot more to it than this….believe you, me…).

Secondary Progressions: In calculating a Secondary Progressed Chart - all the planets on a chart progress (move forward) at their normal speed (normally using the formula of one day equals one year). (For those interested... the progressed Midheaven is then calculated according to the pet theory of the particular astrologer, and then the other chart angles are derived from the Midheaven. The most used method is the "True Solar Arc in Longitude" - where Midheaven's longitude is progressed by the same longitude arc as the Sun.)

Anyway... in this method of progressing the chart, the aspects (and relationships) between all of the different planets are slowly, but continually changing.

What I tend to pay the most attention to in this type of progressed chart is called the "Soli-Lunar cycle" ( the changing positions of the Sun and Moon in relation to one another ). When used in forecasting, the "Soli-Lunar cycle" can point out some of the major inner-psychological cycles and changes which take place over the course of our lifetime.

(You're familiar with the regular, monthly soli-lunar cycles called the full moon, new moon, quarter moons, etc.? Well, these are "secondary progressed" Soli-Lunar cycles… progressed full moon, new, quarter moons, etc.)

Yeah, all right - I know… these brief explanations are pitifully pathetic. But entire books have been written attempting to fully explain the differences between these two techniques - and you're expecting me to make it understandable (and believable) on a web site?

But the reason why I've mentioned them is that both of these methods have a habit of consistently reflecting the "sparking off" of dramatic new events and/or directions in a person's life.

One of the better (starting out) books on Solar Arc Directions is probably the book written by Maria Kay Simms entitled "The Dial Detective."
(Buy it now at

The best book (period) on the Secondary Progressed Soli-Lunar Cycles was written by Dane Rudhyar and is entitled "The Lunation Cycles."
(Buy it now at

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