by Robert Wilkinson
There are two factors in all birth charts that are critical in terms of significant timing on important life choices. These two cycles track each other, and involve the progressed Moon and transiting Saturn. Though many believe these two cycles to be approximately the same length (and so usually ignore the progressed Moon part of the equation), they are not, and the difference in timing is significant in our life unfoldment. Today we will discuss the progressed Moon. Tomorrow we'll go into Saturn, and how these two are related in helping us to a more mature experience of ourselves and our life purpose.
In standard secondary directions, a.k.a. "progressions," we assume that every day in the future is equivalent to one year of time. Thus our progressed Sun, moving approximately one degree a day, will be about 30 degrees ahead of our natal Sun when we are 30 years old. It will be 45 degrees ahead of our natal Sun position about 45 days (or years) after our birth. Because the Moon completes its orbit of the Earth every 27.3 days, it indicates that about the time we are 27+ years old, we will experience a "Progressed Lunar Return."
This period has major implications for our experience of life and our future potential, since it marks the point when we have emotionally experienced, to whatever degree, an entire cycle of the Moon going through all the signs. We have felt, "up close and personal" as they say, all of the sign energies in the zodiac when the Moon moved through them. This gives us a certain "completeness" in our emotional experience, and prepares us for the second transit of the Moon through the signs between the age of 27 and 55, at which point we again have a Progressed Lunar Return.
It has been said that when the progressed Moon touches important points in our chart, it puts a focus on those inner qualities and outer circumstances. The Lunar contact may or may not be associated with dramatic events, but it often shows as a point of significant choice in some way of life, or some way of experiencing our feelings around the planetary function it touches. This occurs regardless of whether we are using Vedic or Western astrology as our yardstick, since the Lunar Return occurs with fixed regularity without regard to which sign it occupies.
In this approximately 28 year cycle, there are significant quadrant shifts every 7 years or so. That's why we seem to have dramatic changes in our life every 7 years, mas o menos. The Progressed Lunar cycle tracks with both the generic 7 year cycles, the shifts of Uranus every 7 years to a new sign, as well as the transit of Saturn to our natal Saturn occurring every 29+ years, also known as the Saturn Return. In these changes we can see our evolving individuality and some of the larger life lessons we are here to learn and master. I'll discuss the Saturn part of the equation tomorrow, and which points in life are critical shifts.
(Originally published 12 May 2005)