Progressed Sun and Moon Cycle

By Margaret Penner Choinski

Anne was born at 1306 hours on 26th April 1947 in Sydney.

  She has worked hard for decades in the corporate world, to the extent that stress and exhaustion have damaged her health and she is now facing retrenchment. Now that her working life is coming to an end, she would benefit from an objective view of her inner world and the changes that are now taking place.

Using just the Secondary Progressed Sun and Moon, I will map the progressed lunation cycles that have occurred during her life.

Beginning and ending of key phases, the timing of key phases, and the symbolic journey she has been on will be noted. The Secondary Progressed Sun’s change of zodiacal sign and what this could mean will also be addressed.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

                                                             ~E.M. Forster

“The journey is the reward.”

                                                            ~Taoist saying

Dear Anne,

     Thank you for your request for a chart reading. As you may know, there are several different ways of reading a chart. Your situation calls for a symbolic life overview using the two Lights of your horoscope to show where you’ve been, and where you could be going, if you so choose.

In this type of horoscope analysis, we look at the entire life as a journey toward wholeness. This is a journey incorporating all you were born into and born with, and the symbolic stages you have experienced as you obeyed the call of modern aspiration. But there is deep mystery in each phase of change.

One phase leads to the next, and as we travel through each one, somehow we are answering to the Call of the Soul.  Through the integration of our experiences, we have the potential to contact and hear the voice of our Soul. Acting out of our spirit’s hunger for genuine truth and beauty, we can take all we have learned out in the world and be satisfied with that kind of success. But when the time is right, we have to look beyond that success and heed the inner God and Goddess guides. Anne, this is the point on your journey where you find yourself now.

     The phases of the journey correlate directly to the phases of the Moon. When you look up into the bright, starry sky, Anne, and see the Moon at her fullest and most radiant, or when she is a darkening sliver on the horizon---you are observing the outer form of your own internal changes.

Only, instead of taking approximately 28.5 days to traverse the entire zodiac and experience each phase, your own inner Moon takes 28.5 years to travel through the circle of your horoscope. Each major phase takes approximately 7 years to complete, and each phase has a sub-phase of about 3.5 years. For example between the New Moon and First Quarter phase is the Crescent phase.

The difference in the astrological model to the astronomical model is that the phases of the Progressed Moon are based on its angle relationship to the Progressed Sun. The Earth’s perspective is removed. This suggests that the inner landscape is not necessarily of the Earth.

     As a backdrop to the Moon’s movement, your astrological Sun is also moving majestically in concert with the rhythm of your life. These are the Progressed Sun and Moon in your chart, the same Sun and Moon you were born guiding you. As you have progressed year by year, so they have progressed day by day; this is Time on a symbolic scale.

You are now 56 years old, while your Sun and Moon have aged only approximately 56 days. You might ask why they do not move faster, keeping up with the years we pass. Think of the mayfly, whose whole life is spent in the entirety of one human day. Or consider the theory of faster-than-light space travel, where a person may age a few months while Earth has seen a hundred years pass since that person left on their journey.

In the landscape of the soul, we travel its winding roads accompanied by the changing Moon’s faces and the rising and setting of the Sun. But in this time scape, Day and Night are more a question of perception than actual event. The journey continues, whether we can see where we are going, or not.

     Astrologer Steven Forrest compares the Progressed Sun as dividing life into “volumes” whilst the Moon divides life into “chapters.” [1] When the Sun changes sign, the “underlying values and motivations that mold a person’s choices undergo basic alteration,” [2] and the Sun’s movement into the next house sees a person taking all they are into a “fresh arena.” [3]

The Moon is said to “record, reflect, and reveal” [4] acting as the soul’s memory of earthly experience. When you were born, you were an emotional sponge (an apt description since the Moon rules those creatures of the sea). And in the beginning there is no ego. Everything is Mother, and beyond her, family. You were attuned to her moods, to the atmosphere of the family home, to whether you were alone or in the company of your family.

     In her first cycle of the horoscope, the Moon can be imagined as a child, facing each maturing phase as something new. Every experience is fresh, and every feeling is recorded and attached to a certain event or series of events. The time beginning her second cycle (at approximately 28.5 years) accords with another astrological cycle, the Saturn Return. Both cycles correlate with our culturally accepted entry into responsible adulthood.

      During the second cycle of the Moon’s journey around the horoscope, the nuances of our lives begin to take on a different tone. We may have become attached in adult ways, to our own children, to a life partner, to a creative avenue. In the language of astrological progressions, we then begin to re-live our emotional reactions laid down in the Moon’s first circle of our horoscope.

After age 30, it is as if we have turned a corner somehow. All goals past and present are examined. We ask ourselves, “What ambitions are left to fulfil? What do I need to do to satisfy them? Is my public persona matching my ambitions or do I still need to work on that?” Astrologically, the “feeling life of the adult and child co-exist.” [5] We may no longer consciously remember the feelings of childhood, but rest assured there is an accurate and very detailed record inside of us!

     Because the Lunation Cycle describes a circular archetype, it lends itself to many different interpretations. This “turning of the wheel” is seasonal. Thus it can be likened to the gestating, growing, blossoming, withering, dying, and reseeding of Nature. The wheel is symbolic.

In this way it becomes The Heroic Journey [6] of many stages: The Call to Adventure, The Refusal, Crossing the Boundary of Danger, Winning the Prize, and The Return. Advancement of the personality is the great prize in the journey. The wheel can be alchemical, describing each stage of process of the transmutation of lead (that which weighs us down in spirit) into Gold or the Philosopher’s Stone (enlightenment or purity of soul).

                            Thou art shining, beautiful and strong,

                            Thy love is great and mighty,

                            Thy rays are cast into every face,

                            Thy glowing hue brings life to hearts. [7]

    The Sun’s progress shows the unfoldment of your individual experience, its bright, clear light shining like a beacon on the areas it is travelling through. Momentum increasing over time, the Sun is like a “huge background swell” [8] to the movements of the Moon.

The themes of self-development and life experience will be shown by the house and sign placement. Changes in these indicate a significant shift in perception. Symbolically we can see the growth and change of self-orientation, self-expression, and perceptions relating to consciousness.

“Solar” themes featuring in the personal life story can take such forms as father, leader or lover, achievement, matters of the heart, gold, esteem, being special, “star” quality, vitality, or recognition. The Sun is joy, energy, the heart’s light, courage, glory, and pride. On the downside, the Sun also represents vanity, conceit, and arrogance. The progressed cycle provides a record of the way in which you responded to the Call of the Sun inside.

Birth Chart

   Your birth chart indicates a woman who took her identification unknowingly from male standards of success (Saturn and Pluto in Leo on Ascendant, 8th house Venus in Aries [tough broad] ruling MC).

The ruler of Venus is Mars, a real bullyboy in Aries, strong and confident in his brash ways. Mars also rules your Mercury, planet of verbal expression and mode of thinking. Fire everywhere! This is a hot, go-for-it attack on the world. Is this the Identity your Sun wishes to exhibit, wishes to experience? No. Your Taurus Sun wants success, but not at the expense of an easy-going approach.

Your Sun would appreciate the pursuit of high cultural values (9th house placement) and the time to study any subject your heart desires. The fact that your birth Sun makes an uncomfortable square aspect to Saturn, Pluto, and your Ascendant makes it clear that those planets are to be helpers on the journey, not the dictators they have become. Isn’t it ironic that the Sun rules your Ascendant, your primary orientation to the world?

Here is the message sent at the beginning of your life: to be truly yourself, you have to make your Sun happy. To be happily glowing with the confidence of solar integration---this is the Call of your Sun.

     Inner Mother, the Moon in your chart, lies in its own sign of Cancer in the hidden area of the 12th house. Hidden, because any energy symbolized by a 12th house placement will have to answer to many other commitments.

Your Moon naturally is inclined to helping out; in the 12th house and as the apex of a T-square with Mars and Neptune, your Moon’s condition puts you more in the position of Cinderella than Florence Nightingale. You have a strong Moon in Cancer ruling itself. But it squares against Mars (also ruling itself) in the 8th house of confronting situations.

Possibly you faced frequent parental discipline for some misdemeanour or another. Perhaps the cause for their anger was unknown or confusing to you (Moon square Neptune). As you developed in childhood, and on into adolescence, anger could lead to emotional outbursts and sorrow at your perceived lack of worth. This is a permanent fixture of your chart, and in this complex lays your relationship with your feminine, nurturing side.

    With your Moon being so spongelike and apt to take on and believe any message given, her role as your emotional filter can make things seem fairly confusing. She makes only hard aspects to other planets. Communications, assertion, and romantic ideals are all problem emotional areas. You set boldly off on your path, firmly denying your inner vulnerability.

Where was your Mother? Was she “always” angry with you, or you with her? Was her presence and care denied to you, such as through alcoholism, mental illness, or an early death? Where was your Inner Mother in your adult life? Her voice was hushed; her power to nurture you was brushed aside as a potentially embarrassing “weakness” of character.

As your Moon has circumnavigated through its Second Cycle, you will have sensed her entreaty to you---“Feel me!” This is the lunar Call to begin the Heroine’s Journey [9] , where you will be asked to re-experience your original feelings about your Mother. Each stage from separation to reunion is lived through afresh. However, the Heroine’s Journey, while very painful at times, can also be seen as a second chance to put this relationship right. And its challenge can be taken on at any time.

     In the Lunation Cycle, we will see how your Moon and your Sun bring together their energies and respective difficulties. Their progress in solving these splits from genuine expression can be seen in symbolic form. For archetypal characters you might have played or cloaked yourself with during certain time periods, look to the sign keywords. The progressed house reflects the Moon’s area of focus for that time. The aspects made with your birth planets also tell the developing story.

        Everyone is born with the Moon at a different phase. This helps to explain our individual approaches to the challenges of life. Some people seem to have an inbred pessimism (akin to Winter, this is the Balsamic, or darkening phase), whereas someone like you (born into a Spring-like Moon at Crescent phase) would be more inclined to meet life with enthusiasm and curiosity.

Let us begin now, with your birth into the Crescent phase, and the Moon’s cycles through the phases from that point. We will also be keeping an eye on your Sun as a marker of your evolving identity in your personal myth.


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