progressed chart

Fate and the progressed chart

fate or free willThe question of fate vs. free will is a thorny debate among astrologers.  Traditional astrologers, such as those who practice Hellenistic, Vedic or Medieval astrologers, tend to believe more firmly in the concept that the unfolding of our lives occurs in a predestined pattern and that we as humans have very little choice in the process.

It’s clear when you learn to read the astrological symbols that fate and destiny are tightly interwoven.  We are born with certain planets in certain placements which enables someone like me to be able to identify psychological patterns of a perfect stranger across a phone line with no previous information, just from looking at the birthchart.  And yet, you can take two different people born at the same moment in the same location, with identical charts, and while there will be similarities in the underlying dynamics of the chart their choices and outcomes will be completely different.

AK asked in the comments:

I have a question about your series on fate and free will. I always wondered why progressed chart should show how we “evolve”, if we have the free will to change our destiny. In other words, if we are born with certain challenges, lessons to be learnt (during transits to our natal planets), but at the same time have the ability to choose our destiny, we can evolve very differently than what progressed chart might show us. Progressing our natal planets somewhat assumes we are born with a certain fate…..

I thought this was an important question that deserves its own posts.  I’ve written on this topic before, but it’s an ongoing question that never gets old.

The progressed chart is the natal chart “progressed” forward through time, revealing unfolding patterns in the psyche that may or may not be reflected in the outer events.  Some astrologers say that planetary transits (which occur when a planet in the sky makes contact with a planet in our chart) stimulate events and progressed movements of the chart stimulate inner change, but I haven’t really seen that to be strictly true in any kind of predictable fashion.  Carl Jung wrote that “‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

When we are young we react against our inner impulses, fulfilling the problems of the birthchart.  Difficult relationships, insecurities, inability to assert ourselves, lack of self-confidence, failure to hold down a job – these are all potential problems of certain chart patterns.  As we grow older and hopefully wiser, if we become more self aware we start to work with those patterns and learn more about where they originate and how they can be transformed.  If we don’t go through this self-reflective process we are less likely to be able to effect change and alter our destiny.

The path of the progressed chart is already set when an individual is born because the natal chart is advanced through time, but so are the movements of planetary transits.   Once the natal chart is established we can predict every planetary cycle from birth into the future.  Some events that occur in our life are likely the result of fate, but the choices we make out of those events are what creates our destiny.  Terrible occurrences such as rape and abuse can later prove to be the seed of personal transformation.  A death of a spouse can be followed by a life of greater self-awareness.  Very rarely is there a disastrous event that is not followed by some sort of rebirth, as the archetype of Pluto reveals.

My sister recently had a big lineup of planets including her Moon, Mars and Venus aligning with Pluto in her progressed chart.  It was clear that something big was going to happen though it would have been impossible to predict exactly what.  This kind of dynamic could indicate a complete transformation of a marriage through shamanic therapy just as easily as divorce or death.  However, as it turned out her husband did become ill and died – an event which has already transformed her life on many levels. It’s hard to imagine that anything she did would have changed the fact of her husband’s death; the thing she has control over is whether she will allow herself to be transformed in the fire of the destruction of her old life and enable herself towards greater empowerment and healing.  (The good news:  she IS.)

I suppose none of us will ever know how much of what happens in our lives is fate and how much free will.  But my personal belief is that we have incarnated to face these challenges and learn and grow from them, and if every moment was predestined there would hardly be a point to incarnating at all.

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By | 2013-12-14T17:52:16+00:00 December 14th, 2013|Fate, Favorite posts|4 Comments

More on Letterman’s Birthchart and What is Rectification?

The other day I wrote on Dave Letterman’s chart as it affects his situation at the moment, embroiled in a blackmail scheme and needing to make major apologies to his wife and staff.  My anonymous commenter Chiron questioned the birth time of 6 am which has been put forth by the wonderful people at Astrodatabank which is now posted on astro.com and is listed with a Rodden rating of A.

Rectification is the art, or fantasy depending on how you look at it, of assigning a time of birth to a person where no birth time is known, using the astrological correlations with certain events in a person’s life.
Rectification is more reliable when we have a smaller time range, for example, if I know that someone was born in the afternoon I can generally narrow down the time using rectification methods.  But if we have no birth time, such as in the case of a celebrity, and we rectify based on what we THINK we know about that celebrity, we are not doing ourselves or the field of astrology any favors.
The example of what happened with Susan Boyle’s birthchart is a good one.  Susan Boyle, as you may recall, exploded into public view overnight.  Nothing was known about her, but when a birth time was found astrologers all over the world began publishing what we thought were extremely accurate portrayals of her birthchart using this birth time.  Unfortunately for us, that birth time turned out to be incorrect and the correct birth time did not appear to be so accurate based on what we assumed we knew about Susan Boyle.
That said, the 6 am time for Letterman comes from a staffer and from his biography so it is reasonably reliable although when I see a rounded-off time I am always somewhat skeptical.  Still, this time does set up a chart that appears to be accurate when we look at certain planetary transits to the angles (the angles are the ascendant and midheaven, and they are dependent upon the time of birth).
For example, in January of 2000 David Letterman was rushed to the hospital for quintuple bypass surgery.  At the time, his progressed Midheaven was exactly square to his progressed Sun within minutes.  The Sun, either in the birthchart or by progression, is nearly always implicated in diseases of the heart and aspects from the progressed Midheaven often indicate a major change in a person’s life.  The Midheaven also in some cases represents the father, and Letterman’s father died of a heart attack so this event certainly would have been a major turning point for him.
The timeline of the current extortion attempt is also reflected in the chart provided by Astrodatabank with the 6 am birthtime.  Letterman said Thursday night that three weeks before he was approached by the blackmailer.  At the time, transiting Mars (aggression) was conjunct his progressed ascendant (his public persona) and transiting Mercury (messages) was opposite Mars (war and defense) in his natal chart.  Any one of these events could have brought about an event of aggression, but the combination of the two would have accelerated the drama of the event.
Shortly thereafter, on September 20, transiting Mars made a challenging square to his progressed Moon, threatening his security and that of his family (Moon) but at the same time, transiting Chiron (wounding and healing) was in a harmonious trine to his Sun (Self), facilitating his desire to work through the problem rather than allow it to bury him in disgrace.
Mars has been very active throughout the period from September 14th to the present, activating Letterman’s chart and energizing him for the conflict to come.  But what clinches the deal for me is that on October 1st when Letterman made the announcement, transiting Mars (conflict) sat right on the Nadir of the chart, opposite the Midheaven which is the point at which we project ourselves into the public arena.  The Nadir/Midheaven polarity requires that we balance our inner world (Nadir) with the outer world of our profession (Midheaven), and in Letterman’s announcement he was seeking that balance in a very public way.
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By | 2009-10-06T15:26:15+00:00 October 6th, 2009|Astrology, People|Comments Off on More on Letterman’s Birthchart and What is Rectification?
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