If you want to understand not only who you are, but who you’re becoming, then it’s time to get cozy with your progressed planets.
Progressed v. Transiting Planets
Progressed planets are different from transiting planets. Transiting (moving) planets appear in their actual sky positions in the chart, and are usually shown outside the natal wheel. But progressed planets creep along at a snail’s pace, only moving as far in one year as a transiting planet moves in a day.
For example, the transiting Moon circles the entire horoscope in 28 days. The progressed Moon, however, takes 28 years to make the same orbit! Likewise, the transiting Sun makes a complete 360° orbit of the horoscope each year, while in that same year the progressed Sun moves only one degree.
Natal & Progressed Suns
Looked at from the perspective of the “fixed forever” birth chart, I am and always will be an Aquarius Sun sign. From the perspective of my progressed Sun, however, I started as an Aquarius, spent 30 years as a Pisces, and am now in the midst of my Aries period.
To demonstrate how the slow but steady orbits of the progressed planets mark significant changes in a person’s life, let me illustrate how the movement of my progressed Sun (along with a few supporting players) has shaped my destiny. (I am, after all, the person I know best!)
I was born (2/14/1960, 5:15 pm, Norman, OK) with the Sun just past 25° Aquarius. Therefore, my progressed Sun toddled into Pisces when I was four, then meandered into Aries when I was 34. (It will amble along into Taurus when I hit 65).
Progressed Sun in Pisces: Spirituality, Creativity & Fantasy
During my progressed Sun in Pisces period, ages 5 to 35, the thing that I valued most consistently was my membership in the Lotus Center, a meditation school in Oklahoma City. I devoted myself to a guru, and spent nearly 20 years practicing his meditation techniques. I also studied piano, classical guitar and synthesizer, and recorded an album of meditative electronic music (free download here).
Through most of this period, I had fantasies of leaving my day job — I was a foodservice manufacturer’s representative — to become a full-time professional musician. But, alas, Pisces is more about dreaming than doing! Pisces also rules spiritual union and divinely inspired creativity, and these themes were obviously front and center in my life during this time.
Is There a Natal Explanation?
But let’s not jump to conclusions. Is there some valid astrological explanation for this other than the progressed Sun being in Pisces? (Along with progressed Venus, who entered Pisces when I was 30?)
If there was a lot of Piscean-flavored energy in my natal chart — which could show up as planets in Pisces, planets in the 12th house or aspects from Neptune — that would explain it. But such is not the case. My 12th house is empty, Neptune only makes a strong aspect to one planet, and only Mercury and my South Node are in Pisces. So it would appear that the presence of the progressed Sun (followed by Venus) in Pisces is largely responsible for the spiritual and creative flavor of this period of my life.
Progressed Sun in Aries & Progressed New Moon: Restlessness & Breakaway!
When I was 35, my progressed Sun entered Aries, the sign that rules action and getting things started. Around this time, I began to grow increasingly restless with my materially comfortable but creatively frustrated life. The progressed Sun in Aries was making me itchy and dissatisfied, but it would take something more to actually propel me into action.
That “something more” was a progressed New Moon, the conjunction of the progressed Sun and progressed Moon. This only occurs every 30 years, and marks the beginning of a major new life cycle. And so it was with me: less than four months after my progressed New Moon, I retired from a 15-year career in foodservice sales and left Oklahoma, where I had lived my entire life. My destination was halfway across the country in Asheville, North Carolina, and my intention was to create a full-time career as a touring singer-songwriter. (Here are free downloads of my two singer-songwriter albums.)
By the way, I was completely unaware of all these astrological events when they were happening, since I had absolutely no interest in astrology at that time. (Of course, the planets always influence us, whether we know it or not!)
Since leaving the conservative, conformist energy of Oklahoma and moving to liberal, anything-goes Asheville, the energy of my progressed Aries Sun has blossomed. My lifestyle is far more daring and adventurous now, at least compared to my Oklahoma days. Now that I am finally blossoming into the unique person I was born to be — wherever my progressed Sun wanders, I will always be an Aquarius Sun at my core — I am discovering and stepping into those leadership roles for which I am suited. (Spirituality is still a major focus in my life, by the way; other planets have progressed into Pisces since the progressed Sun’s departure.)
My Story is Your Story
Of course, your progressed planets have influenced the course of your life just as mine have, and will always continue to do so. Gaining insight into where you are on your evolutionary journey — and how you can consciously come into alignment with it from this point forward — is only one of the many benefits that astrology has to offer.
Understanding my progressed planets has significantly deepened my self-understanding. It’s very helpful to have a sense of not only who I am, but who I am becoming!
Originally published in the April 2009 newsletter.