How An Astrologer Interprets Progressed Charts To Spotlight Soul Growth
Spiritual growth is not random. It occurs at distinct times in specific areas of life. These times and areas differ between people but can be predicted with remarkable accuracy by an astrologer. How you evolve and develop is expressed by your progressed astrology chart—a unique chart that maps out slow changes that happen over the course of one's life.
Here's what to know about what a progressed chart is, how to calculate yours, and how to interpret what it all means for how you can best reach your potential.
What is a progressed chart?
The standard type of astrology chart used to learn about a person's personality and their planned path in life (aka their "karma") is called a natal, or birth, chart. A progressed chart is a type of predictive chart, derived from the natal chart, that shows a person's evolution over time.
Progressed charts are calculated by a formula that progresses or moves the natal chart forward. In a progressed chart, each day after birth equals one year of life. A progressed astrology chart for someone who's 25 years old, for example, would be equivalent to the chart (or condition of the sky) 25 days after that person's birth.
The progressed chart is useful for showing slow changes over the course of life. It can very accurately describe personality shifts, emotional development, areas of current karmic focus, and notable achievements a soul has been working toward in this life.
How long do progressed charts last?
Because progressed charts are used to show gradual changes and evolution, they hold their meaning longer than a standard "transit chart," another important predictive astrology chart.
The moon is the fastest-moving planetary body in the progressed chart (and one of the most useful). It moves approximately one (1.09) degree(s) per month. It takes approximately 2.3 (often rounded to 2.5) years for the progressed moon to change signs and around 27.5 years for it to go through all the signs. In contrast, it takes 30 years for the progressed sun to change signs. It moves one degree per year and only goes through two to three signs in most people's lives.
The distant planets (Neptune and Pluto) move very little in a progressed chart. Nearby planets (Venus and Mercury) move at a similar rate to the sun, though their movement is less consistent due to retrograde periods. Mars moves half a degree per year.
Each of these planets can spend years of a person's life in retrograde motion (in the progressed chart) if they were retrograde at birth or in the days or weeks following birth. Because of these long time frames, aspects within progressed charts and from progressed charts to natal charts can be active for months (for progressed moon) and years (for sun, Venus, Mars, Mercury).
Jupiter and Saturn are "middle planets." They move at middle speeds in both transit and progressed charts. Unless you are born with one of these planets in the last degrees of a sign, they may not change signs in the progressed chart during your lifetime. Saturn moves about one degree in 18 years in a progressed chart, and Jupiter moves one degree in 12 years.
Thus, when Jupiter or Saturn do change sign or direction (going retrograde to direct or vice versa) in the progressed chart, it is an indicator of a notable shift or new phase in life.
How to calculate your progressed chart.
In modern times, most people rely on astrology software to calculate progressed charts. This can be done for free at astro.com.
You can either look at a fully progressed chart (which shows the progressed rising sign on the ascendant), or you can look at the progressed chart on the outer wheel of the birth chart (a "biwheel" chart).
The biwheel is the chart I use more commonly to make predictions. The stand-alone progressed chart is interesting, though, providing a useful way to clearly visualize what's important for a soul now (how they are progressing on the goals of their birth chart).
How I read progressed charts as an astrologer.
Get 10 minutes with a psychic for $1.99
Thinking About Trying Keen? Here's What To Know First, Based On My Experience.
I pay attention to the sign and house of the progressed moon.
I use the progressed chart, specifically, to identify someone's current emotional focus. The sign and house location of the progressed moon relay this information. If the progressed moon is in the 10th house, for example, career is at the center of their awareness. There often is a karmic (fated) professional opportunity happening. The progressed moon's sign also reveals a several-year "developmental stage" within the personality. Someone with their birth moon in sensitive Pisces and their progressed moon in grounded Capricorn, for example, is experiencing a more emotionally stable period.
I look at the relationship between the progressed moon and progressed sun.
The relationship between the progressed moon and the progressed sun is also quite important. When the two form a conjunction (every 27.5 years), it is called a "progressed new moon." It marks a major new beginning, the start of a fresh cycle (sometimes after a completion or loss). Progressed full moons (progressed sun opposite progressed moon), on the other hand, mark significant moments of achievement or accomplishment. They are energy peaks resulting from nearly 14 years of work and growth.
I consider sun sign shifts.
One of the other key things I consider in a progressed chart is the "sun sign shift" (when the sun changes sign). This very rare occurrence marks a prominent personality change. It only happens once every 30 years, except for the first change, which varies depending on the degree of your original natal sun placement. If your natal sun is at 20 degrees Leo, for example, you will become a progressed Virgo around age 10, and your parents would definitely note a personality change (infusion of seriousness).
When the progressed sun changes houses (in a biwheel chart), especially when it crosses the first, fourth, seventh, and 10th (the "angular houses") house cusps, significant shifts in personality and focus occur. Important milestones often accompany these crossings. When the progressed sun makes notable aspects (geometric connections) to birth or transiting planets (such as progressed sun conjunct birth Venus or Neptune), significant life events are common.
I check out the progressed rising sign.
In a birth chart, the rising sign describes a key aspect of our personality. In the progressed chart, it moves about one degree per year and shows how a person's personality "presentation" has evolved. It's useful to note the degree of the progressed rising sign and see if it conjuncts (or makes other aspects to) planets in the birth chart. Aspects to tough planets may indicate a difficult year or two. Aspects to favorable planets usually foretell easier, more joyful years.
Tips for interpreting your progressed chart.
- Look for the progressed sun (note its sign and degree). Notice if it recently changed signs (if located at the first-third degree of a sign) or will change signs soon (if at the 27th–29th degree).
- Identify the house location of the progressed sun (biwheel chart). If it has changed from its natal house position, observe the way you are focused on the themes of the new ("progressed") house position. You'll always resonate with the house position of your natal sun, but the progressed sun's position shows a multi-year period of secondary focus.
- Locate the progressed moon. Note its sign, house location, and proximity to other progressed or birth planets. Each of these details reveals something about what is important to you right now. When progressed moon makes connections to birth planets (conjunction and occasionally opposition, square, or trine) emotional/soul-significant events may happen.
- Notice the position of progressed Venus, Mars, and Mercury. Have they changed sign or house? Are they making conjunctions to birth planets? When these conjunctions happen (lasting a year or so), notable events related to the themes of the planets and houses involved will occur.
- Advanced tip: If Mercury, Venus, Mars, or Jupiter is retrograde in your birth chart, it could go direct in the progressed chart during your life. You can consult an ephemeris (planetary position chart) for the year of your birth and see how many days after your birthday a planet went direct. When you are that many years old, the planet will go direct in your progressed chart. This is a huge event and will change the function of that planet in your life. Things may suddenly flow more easily (especially when Venus and Jupiter go direct). You may experience a rise in confidence (especially regarding self-expression) when Mercury goes direct. When Mars goes direct, you may have more energy, initiative, and ambition.
Progressed charts are one of the most valuable tools in astrology. They show gradual personality development and emotional growth cycles. Understanding these things, you comprehend how your life is evolving and the ways your soul is maturing. You can anticipate changes and make peace with challenges. "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" are two of the profound philosophical questions of life. With the help of the progressed chart, and astrology in general, we're a little closer to finding the answers while embracing the mystery.
Kayse Budd, M.D., aka The Astro Muse, is a holistic psychiatrist, astrologer, artist, and yogi. Based in SoCal, she is presently a digital nomad. Budd worked at the Chopra Center from 2017-2019 as an intuitive astrologer and integrative psychiatrist. Before Chopra, she taught for Andrew Weil’s Center for Integrative Medicine for 8 years.
She is a co-author of the Handbook of Wellness Medicine, has published multiple articles as a staff writer for Chopra, and has been featured in Vogue. She loves using astrology to help individuals find their paths, and families understand their children. She calls herself The Astro Muse because her primary goal is to inspire you.