Predictive Astrology

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A Brief Introduction to Popular Techniques of Prediction in Western and Vedic Astrology



Predictive Astrology The Astrology of Self-Development
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 For forty years— one year for each of the forty days you explored the land —you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you. Numbers 14:34 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel. After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. Ezekiel 4:5-6 There's some ill planet reigns: I must be patient till the heavens look With an aspect more favourable. William Shakespeare Anyone can be a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you need an astrologer. J. P. Morgan Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like 'Psychic Wins Lottery'? Jay Leno

Pharaohs, kings, queens, presidents, generals, millionaires, executives, CEOs, wives, husbands, celebrities, and wanna-be’s have all consulted someone or several someones about their future. Divination was practiced thousands of years before writing

was invented. In fact, there is evidence that the earliest writing came about in order to facilitate and preserve astrological predictions. There are numerous reasons for consulting an astrologer, tarot reader, or psychic. The big three—love, money, health—are followed closely by questions concerning career, schooling, and relocation. ―When will I win the lottery?‖ and ―What are my winning numbers?‖ are very popular questions. Some consult fortune tellers with more spiritual purposes in mind. They may be searching for meaning or for their spiritual path. They may be exploring the deeper connections that lie beyond the senses. Some people who visit fortune tellers do so when they feel desperate, when their lives don’t seem to be working. Others come during a time of crisis or deep loss, when they are most vulnerable. Some people consult psychics and oracles on a regular basis—as if they were addicted or dependent—not trusting their own power to make decisions. Some people seek to know the future in order to quell their feelings of anxiety. Some seek to gain control of the future. Science was born of humanity’s need to avoid anxiety by attempting to control the future. Some supposedly consult psychics solely for entertainment purposes. (I’ve never met those people.) Everyone has some curiosity about the future. Whether for curiosity, entertainment, or more serious concerns, people have consulted astrologers and other soothsayers and found comfort in their advice since the beginning of humanity.

Celestial Influence, Synchronicity, Hermeticism, or Holomovement Most early astrologers, as well as much of the modern day general public, have tended to hold to what has been called the theory of celestial influence, i.e., that celestial events somehow influence events on Earth. Although scientists have discovered that sunspots, solar flares, and other solar activity as well as the gravitational pull of the Moon and other planets have definite and almost immediate effects on Earth, most professional astrologers today do not hold to theories of celestial influence. Instead, they conceive of the universe, including the Earth, as one united, interpenetrating field, occupying a common space-time continuum. Most astrologers believe that the events of the cosmos in general and those of our solar system in particular occur simultaneously, as products of the same universal moment. The qualities of any particular moment are shared throughout the universe, but modified to some degree by each individual location.

Carl G. Jung referred to this principle—that things that occur at the same moment in time share certain qualities—as synchronicity and gave it a prominent place within his theory and practice of analytical psychology. He believed that synchronicity was at work in astrology, the I Ching, the tarot, numerology, dreams, and reflexology as well. In modern quantum physics this special relationship between the whole and its parts is referred to as the holographic or holodynamic nature of the universe. The principle of synchronicity is similar to the law of correspondence found in the ancient philosophy of Hermeticism, a religious/magical tradition in ancient Greece and Egypt. According to the Hermetic law of correspondence, the universe (or the macrocosm) and man (or the microcosm) corresponded to one another as reflections of each other; whatever is in the one must also be present in the other in some manner. The psyche appears to mirror the cosmos and vice versa. Though these two poles (the cosmos and the psyche) may be distinguished theoretically, they cannot be separated. Each one can only be conceived in relation to the other. The Hermetic premise that "The macrocosm is contained within the microcosm" has also been translated into modern English as "As above, so below," "The skies are within you,‖ ―The heavens are within you," and "On earth as it is in heaven." Whatever translation one prefers, the principle that the whole is reflected in each of its parts and each part is reflected in the whole remains the underlying assumption. This Hermetic principle refers not just to space, but to time and timing as well. This same principle--that the outer world is a reflection of the inner world--can be found in the ancient Taoist tradition of China as well as in one or more sects of the world’s great religions and most early tribal or aboriginal religions.

Character Is Destiny The phrase Character is destiny is believed to have been originated by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (circa 535 BC - 475 BC). In and of itself this is a simple concept—we do what we do because of who we are, because of our character and personalities, our abilities, our motives, our likes and dislikes. Few people would argue with this concept. Much of today’s scientific community and many rational, thinking people find it objectionable that our character or our basic nature, and the actions that grow out of our basic nature, could be deciphered by structures which appear to be separate, independent, and unrelated to the human personality. These structures may be the planets in our solar system, the tossing of sticks or coins, or the numbers that relate to the letters in our names. They may be more spatially close such as the lines on our palms, the patterns and shapes of our ears, our feet, our irises, or the characteristics of our posture.


The rational person still considers these to be unrelated to and independent of our thinking, feeling, and behaving. They find it even more preposterous that any of these structures can reveal when a particular action or accidental event will occur, and they do not believe that these occurrences were planned out ahead of time for the individual. However, many great men of the ancient world as well as many contemporary, scientific figures have believed that all things are related, that all things are interdependent, and nothing stands alone. Some of the world’s great religions, their founders, or their more mystical sects have said the same thing. Poets, farmers, housewives, children, and the dying have also experienced this great truth. Even those who did not consciously seek out such knowledge or experience have discovered the oneness of all things and the unitive nature of consciousness. In addition to being famous for many such witty sayings, Heraclitus believed that everything in the universe was constantly changing (The only thing that’s permanent is change). At the same time, his contemporaries Siddhartha Gautama (circa 563 BC-483 BC) and Lao-Tzu (sixth century BC) were establishing similar philosophies in India and China, respectively. Siddhartha Gautama taught the principle of impermanence (anitya Sanskrit; anicca Pali) and established Buddhism. Lao-Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching (The Canon of the Way and the Power) and established Taoism. Heraclitus was also the first to use the Greek word logos in philosophy. Heraclitus defined logos as the fundamental order of the universe. It is the logos that creates the cosmos out of chaos. But getting back to astrology for the moment . . . The natal chart is a static description of the native’s character, i.e., the sum total of his potential needs, feelings, thoughts, and behavioral traits as they are given at birth. It is the blueprint for one’s life. One’s character is revealed in his daily acts and in his talents and abilities he uses to meet his needs and cope with changing circumstances. The symbolic and actual movements of the planets and astrological points following birth (referred to as holomovement in quantum physics) symbolize one’s particular ways of meeting opportunities and challenges throughout his lifetime, i.e., the native’s destiny.

Prognostication, Prediction, Fortunetelling Predictive astrology, also called prognostication, divination, and fortune telling, refers to the use of astrology to foresee future events, trends, and developments. Prediction was most likely the original purpose of astrology, and it remains the most popular usage today. Astrologers use both the actual movements of the planets and points and their symbolic movements as well to reveal changes in outer circumstances and inner development. The actual movements of planets and points are called transits. Predictions are also

based on the symbolic movements of the planets and points following birth. These symbolic movements fall into one of two categories—progressions and directions. Extending the natal chart by means of transits, progressions, and directions allows astrologers to forecast or time the coming of opportunities, challenges, crises, and obstacles in any area of life—personal, professional, financial, career, social, romantic, emotional, or spiritual. During the not-so-pleasant times, the horoscope can be used to clarify the issues and lessons to be learned and the duration of such periods. Armed with such foreknowledge, one is more capable of moving with his own cycles of opportunity. Consulting one’s natal chart will not change the opportunities and challenges, but it will enable one to respond to them in ways that will affect the outcomes favorably. In times of crisis this foreknowledge serves as both a source of inspiration and as a guide for proper preparation and action. In the past fifty years many astrologers have combined techniques from diverse traditions. For example, many Vedic astrologers use transits with traditional Vedic systems. In psychological astrology some Western astrologers combine the interpretation of the signs with Chinese symbolism. In predictive astrology most Western astrologers use more than one method of prediction. The combination of transits with secondary progressions seems to be the most popular.

Transits Let’s consider transits first as they are the simplest to calculate and the simplest to understand. Transits--the day-by-day, moment-by-moment positions of the planets and points--are compared to the positions of the planets and points in the natal chart. Whenever a transiting planet or point forms an aspect to a natal planet or point, it indicates a change in the phase of the relationship between the transiting body and the natal body. We tend to become conscious of these phase changes and recognize them as events. Astrologers often refer to such phase changes as transiting aspects or more commonly and simply as transits. Transits are interpreted according to the nature of the aspect, the two bodies involved, the signs and houses they occupy, their relationship in the natal chart, and their relationships with other transiting and natal bodies as well as with progressed and directed bodies. If more than two planets are involved or two or more transits are occurring close in time, it is very likely that a significant or major event is indicated. A significant event may also be indicated if one or more of the planets are especially sensitive or emphasized in the natal chart. Transiting planets are also interpreted in relation to the natal house they are transiting or passing through. As a planet transits a natal house, it stimulates the department of life symbolized by the house according to the nature of the transiting planet, the characteristics of the natal house, the characteristics of the transiting planet as

described by its natal position, and any other planets and points and their rulers that may be forming aspects by transit, progression, and direction. Transiting planets and points form new aspects to one another as they move through the sky. These transit-to-transit aspects have meaning for the world and humanity in general. They are used in Sun sign as the basis for prediction. However, in natal astrology they are not significant unless the aspect natal, progressed, or directed planets and points.

Progressions Like transits, progressions are based on the actual postnatal movement of the planets. However, the time frame of the actual movements is symbolically transformed. Progressions are based on the principle that a certain period of time or cycle in the life of an individual is equal to some other period of time or cycle. Generally, a shorter cycle is used to symbolize a longer cycle. For example, in the most popular technique of progression, one day equals one year. The movements of the planets and points during the period of one day symbolize their movements during one year. For example, the movements of the planets on the first day following birth correspond to or symbolize their movements during the first year of life. The movements of the planets on the thirtieth day after birth symbolize their movements during the thirtieth year of life. This scale of one-day-equals-one year is technically referred as secondary progressions, but in practice they are usually called progressions. The positions of the progressions planets and points are compared to the positions in the natal chart in a manner similar to the comparison between transits and the natal chart. Say that twenty days after birth the planet Venus has actually moved to the position that the Sun occupied at birth. Using the day-equals-a-year formula, we would say that progressed Venus has conjoined or formed a conjunction to the natal Sun at the age of twenty-years-old. Or, if fifty days after birth Mars formed a square to or squared the position occupied Saturn at birth, we would say that progressed Mars squared natal Saturn at the age of fifty-years-old. In addition to the aspects that progressed bodies make to natal positions, the progressed bodies are also forming new aspects to one another. Unlike transit-to-transit aspects, progressed-to-progressed aspects are interpreted because they are considered to be extensions of the natal chart. Progressed-to-progressed aspects are interpreted in combination with the natal chart and with transiting, progressed, and directed aspects, but they are generally considered to be less significant than these other aspects.



Unlike transits and progressions, directions are based solely on symbolic movement. Like progressions, directions are based on the principle that there is a correspondence between a shorter cycle and another longer cycle. With directions, the unit of the shorter cycle is added to the natal position. The new position is the directed position. Unlike progressions in which each planet progresses according to its own speed, the same unit is added to all planets and points. All planets and points are moved or directed the same distance. For example, when working with solar arc directions, the average daily movement of the Sun is added to all the planets and points. The movements arrived at by adding of one degree of solar arc symbolizes the movements of the planets and points during the first year of life. Adding the solar arc to all of the planets and points thirty times symbolizes their movement during the thirtieth year of life. Their movements are said to be directed. If, by adding the solar arc to Venus twenty times, Venus occupies the position of the Sun at birth, the directed Venus conjoins or forms a conjunction to the natal Sun.

Additional Techniques of Prognostication There is a variety of possible progressions and directions that can be used because astrologers can choose from a variety of unit cycles. Progressions and directions can also be computed by going backwards in time from the day of birth. For example, the positions of the planets thirty days prior to birth can be used to symbolize conditions during the thirtieth year of life. Such backwards movements are called converse progressions and converse directions. There are some specialized techniques involving transits but they are not as complicated as those of progressions and directions. Solar and lunar eclipses can and should be interpreted in predictive astrology. At one time birthday charts were popular. Solar returns, lunar returns, Jupiter returns, and Saturn returns are very popular. Return charts usually involve the return of a planet to its exact natal position. However, a return chart can also be calculated for when two planets return to the aspect they formed at birth. There are several techniques of prediction that do not involve any planetary movement whether symbolic or actual. Such motionless or static techniques of prediction can be fairly simple such as the radix system or very complicated like those used in jyotish. The vimsottari dasa system and the maturity of planets are two such techniques used in jyotish or Vedic astrology.

The Ages of Man The American astrologer Marcia Moore (1928 – 1979) described a developmental sequence of stages similar to many psychological theories of development. She described ten stages which she called the ages of man. According to Moore, the ages

represented stages of progressive solidification and individuation. She placed the planets (including the Moon and the Earth) in order of mean speed from the fastest to the slowest. In brief, the Moon symbolized the stage of response. Mercury symbolized the stage of adjustment. Venus represented the stage of evaluation. The Earth represented the stage of self-confrontation. Mars represented the stage of accomplishment. Jupiter was the stage of purposefulness. Saturn was the stage of establishment. Uranus was the stage of transformation. Neptune was the stage of transcendence. Pluto was the stage of recapitulation.

The Maturity of Planets Jyotish also uses a system of prediction called the maturity of planets that is independent of the dasas. The strength of each planet is calculated in same manner as mentioned above. However, the effects of the planets are independent of any dasas or any similarly complex methods of timing. It is believed that each planet takes a certain number years to reach its maturity. Whatever a planet promises in the natal chart will become visible in the individual’s life when the planet reaches maturity. Once it has matured, its fullest effects are reaped: Perhaps the greatest reason not to lose sight of this technique is that the effects of a planet during the year it matures are quite intense and observable. These kinds of these recognizable results occur whenever the planet in question is extremely well or poorly disposed. Also, the events and circumstances indicated through this predictive method will most definitely occur, regardless of conflicting indications by transits or dasa bhuktis.4 The influence of each planet is felt by everyone at the same chronological age. Jupiter is said to reach maturity between the ages of 15- and 20-years-old and peaks at the age of 16-years-old. The Sun has its greatest influence when it matures at the age of 22years-old. The Moon’s greatest influence when it peaks at the age of 24-years-old. Venus matures between the ages of 25- and 27-years-old and peaks at the age of 25years-old. Mars matures between the ages of 28- and 31-years-old and peaks at the age of 28years-old. Mercury matures between the ages of 32- and 35-years-old and peaks at the age of 32-year-old. Saturn matures between the ages of 36- and 39-years-old and peaks at the age of 36-years-old. Rahu matures between the ages of 42- and 47-yearsold and peaks at the age of 42-years-old. Finally, Ketu matures between the ages of 48and 54-years-old and peaks at the age of 48-years-old. During the year of each planet’s maturity, its influence is strongly felt in the events of the person’s life. For example, at the age of 16-years-old Jupiter will highlight one’s social, financial, educational, and religious circumstances. The quality of these circumstances

is determined by Jupiter’s strength as determined by the natal chart. A portion of one’s prarabdha karma associated with Jupiter manifests at the age of 16.

The Vedic Dasas In Jyotish, or Vedic astrology, the birth chart symbolizes the individual’s prarabdha karma. The birth chart also indicates when the person is to meet or face a particular aspect of his prarabdha karma in the form of planetary periods called dasas (pronounced dashas). Dasa is Sanskrit for state, position, or condition of being. Each dasa is a period of years during which a particular planet influences a person’s life. Although several dasa systems exist or are in use, the vimsottari dasa system is the primary or most popular among Vedic astrologers.1 A vimsottari dasa is a period of 120 years. Dasas other than the vimsottari dasa – that is, dasa systems other than that of 120 years -- can be used, but the vimsottari dasa is the most traditional and most popular. It assumes that the humans have a life span of 120 years. When using dasas, the life span is divided into nine dasas, one for each of the traditional Vedic planets – the Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu (the North Lunar Node), Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu (the South Lunar Node), and Venus. The dasa of the Sun lasts six years. The dasa of the Moon lasts ten years. The dasa of Mars lasts seven years. Rahu’s dasa lasts eighteen years. Jupiter’s dasa lasts sixteen years. Saturn’s lasts nineteen years. Mercury’s dasa lasts seventeen years. Ketu’s dasa lasts seven years. That of Venus lasts twenty years. Each dasa is divided into nine sub-periods or bhuktis, again one for each of the nine planets of traditional jyotish. Each bhukti can be divided further into nine inter-subperiods or antara dasas, again each ruled by one of the nine jyotish planets. The character of each dasa, bhukti, and antara dasa as well as the events that occur during each such period, sub-period, and inter-sub-period are determined by the nature of their ruling planets. That is, the characteristics the Sun dasa are determined by the nature of the Sun in the individual’s natal chart. The nature of the Moon bhukti of the Sun dasa is determined by the Sun and Moon in the natal chart. The nature of the Venus antara dasa of the Moon bhukti of the Sun dasa is determined by the Sun, Moon, and Venus as found in the natal chart. The character or nature of each planet is unique for each person, according to his natal chart. Each planet’s strength is determined by a system called shad bala – the six strengths: (1) Positional strength (Sthana bala); (2) Directional strength (Dig bala); (3) Temporal strength (Kala bala); (4) Motivational strength (Chesta bala); (5) Inherent strength of the planet (Naisargika bala); and (6) Aspects (Drik bala).2 Although western astrologers may examine these six types of potency, there are no western systems as complex as the shad bala of jyotish. Once the planet’s strength is determined for each


category, the six categories are combined to reveal the nature or total strength of the planet. The uniqueness of each individual is further emphasized by the time of the birth. That is, at birth one can be born into any part of a dasa, bhukti, or antara dasa. Although the vimsottari dasa system begins with the Sun, one can be born in the dasa of the Moon, Mars, or even Venus, and one can be born in any part of any dasa. For example, someone born in the fourth year of his Jupiter dasa will spend his next twelve years living in his Jupiter dasa. The dasa/bhukti/antara dasa at birth is calculated from the degree of the constellation occupied by the Moon at the time of birth. Elaborate guidelines have been given to work out the time period in which any planet will come into full play and thereby precipitate its influence.3 The natal chart reveals the prarabdha karma to be fulfilled during a particular lifetime. In worldly terms, prarabdha karma consists of both strengths and weaknesses. The dasas/bhuktis/antara dasas describe when particular strengths and weaknesses will manifest or become available. Due both to the uniqueness of each planet’s strength or condition and to the age of the individual when each planet’s dasa occurs, some prarabdha karma, i.e., some strengths and weaknesses, manifests at favorable times when the person is equipped to make the most of the particular karma. However, it is also possible for prarabdha karma to manifest when the person is poorly equipped to cope with it. For example, favorable marriage indications may occur in the chart of a young child who is not old enough to benefit from them. The vimsottari dasa system, or any dasa system for that matter, can indicate whether or not certain strengths might be available at a young age. That is, the dasa of a strong planet, symbolizing a particular talent, may occur early in life, indicating the possibility of a child prodigy.


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