Kings, presidents, popes and prime ministers past consulted astrologers on when to go to war, how to increase the harvest and who their daughters should marry. Today, millions of us read our horoscopes in the hope of catching a glimpse of what is to come – but can astrologers really predict the future, and if so, how?
Actually, no, astrologers cannot predict the future. The future doesn’t appear to be set in stone, and every one of us always retains free will, so it is not possible for anyone, astrologer or not, to state that you WILL do such on such on a certain date.
However, what astrology can do, extremely well, is to forecast energy trends, and to suggest how each individual might best take advantage of those trends and patterns. This is what we mean when we talk about astrological predictions.
Astrologers use a wide variety of methods and techniques to analyze forthcoming astrological events and to relate them to your personal birth chart. Some of the most common methods are transits, secondary progressions and solar returns.
What are Transits?
Your birth chart is a snapshot of the planets at the time, date and place of your birth – but of course, the planets and other bodies are on the move all the time. Astrologers call the daily movements of the planets transits, and this technique compares where each planet is now (or next month, or next year) against where it was when you were born.
Some astrological bodies, like the Moon, move very quickly, cycling through the whole zodiac every 28 days. Some, like Pluto, move exceptionally slowly, taking almost 250 years to complete one cycle of the zodiac. As the planets move, they form certain angles their original positions in your birth chart, activating and sparking talents, drives, issues, motivations and desires in your daily life.
A good transit analysis will provide you with an ongoing astrological weather forecast for your life, highlighting days when you might feel particularly challenged, and days when everything seems to be going your way.
What are Secondary Progressions?
The secondary progressions technique provides astrologers with an insight into a how a birth chart has “grown up” over time. With this method, the birth chart is symbolically progressed by one day for every year of life, so if you are 34 years old, your progressed chart will show where the planets were 34 days after your birth.
This chart is invaluable for understanding how your focus and drives have evolved through the years, and it gives a background flavor and theme against which to understand the daily transits. It’s particularly significant when a progressed planet changes sign or house, or when it forms a particular angle to its own original position in your birth chart.
What are Solar Returns?
Solar return charts are essentially “birthday charts” – this is the chart calculated for the exact moment when the Sun returns to where it was when you were born, usually within a day or so of your birthday each year. A solar return chart is extremely useful for giving an overview of the year ahead – significant planets and angles will reveal where your most important opportunities and challenges lie over the coming 12 months, and when this chart is related back to your birth chart, and to forthcoming transits, an astrologer will be able to advise you how best to maximize your opportunities and minimize potential problems.
As you can see, astrology offers a variety of ways in which we can glimpse future potential and possibilities – it’s then up to us to make the most of what the astrological trends offer.