Understanding the basics is very important in prediction.
There are various methods of prediction.
1. Progressions: One day represents one year in the life, using an ephemeris.
2. Transits: Where the planets are at in the sky at a certain time and how they affect the planets in one's natal chart.
3. Solar returns: when the Sun comes back to its degree and minute, a chart is cast for the entire year.
4. Lunar returns: when the Moon comes back to its degree and minute, a chart is cast for the entire month.
5. Solar arc progressions: The planets are progressed as far as the progressed Sun has traveled; one day for a year, using an ephemeris.
6. Regressed day for year planets: Instead of going forwards, these go backwards from the birthday.
To get a really clear, accurate picture of events that will occur in the life, one should blend all of the interpretations from the above methods. Take EVERYTHING into consideration. The more supporting aspects and such, the more certain that accurate predictions can be made. When an important event is about to manifest in one's life, this can often be seen in all of the above methods of prediction.
ONE DAY FOR ONE YEAR: PROGRESSIONS:
One day for each year progressions are used for the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the four angles [the ascendant, midheaven, IC, and descendant]. The outer planets move too slowly for this particular method. The midnight date and the noon dates determine the 6 months for the year in question; this is especially helpful in charting the course of the Moon, as it moves faster than the other planets.
A day for a year. For example, if you are 25, count forwards from your birthday, beginning one day after your birthday to 25 days, using an ephemeris. If there are planets on that date aspecting your natal planets within 1-2 degrees orb, an event will occur in your life. For example, if your natal Sun [at the time of your birth] is 20 degrees into Virgo and you just turned 25, you count down the page to 25 days after your birthday and say you find Venus is now at 19 degrees, almost 20 degrees into Virgo, rest assured, within the year, you will be involved in a very significant love interest, relationship or possible marriage. With the online astrology charts, one no longer has to use old-fashioned calculations. The above is for your information, as to how this works.
Transits are where the planets are now in the sky above, and the aspects [if any] they are making to your birth planets. Again, if significant aspects are made, events will occur given the natures of the planets involved. Transits cover the slower moving planets: Mars [when retrograde], Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. In some cases, the Sun, Mercury or other faster moving planet can act as a trigger, but not as a major influence. Eclipses and lunations are also important here.
The degrees of orb are wider with transits in contrast to the 1-2 degree orbs with progressions. Orbs are the degrees the planets have influence. In natal astrology, the orbs for transiting planets are 8-10 degrees for the Major aspects: the conjunction, the square, the trine and the opposition. With the lesser aspects such as the sextile, the orb of influence is 5-6 degrees. The semi-sextile, quintile, and sesi-square have only 1-2 degrees of influence regarding their orbs. For example, say one has their Jupiter at 2 degrees of Virgo and their Pluto at 7 degrees of Virgo. This is a conjunction as the two planets are within 5 degrees of orb. There are five degrees separating Jupiter and Pluto here. Now, say if Pluto was at 18 degrees of Virgo, the conjunction would not apply, as there are 16 degrees between the two planets, making the influence for a conjunction too wide.
Remember, for progressed planets the orbs are tight: 1-2 degrees only.
For example, say Pluto is squaring one's Moon, indicating a significant domestic change. The Moon is 11 degrees into Pisces. Pluto is now at 16 degrees of Sagittarius. Pluto still has influence. I have found the closer the aspect in MOST cases, the event will take place, but there have been some instances where the event occurred when the planets were separated by 9-10 degrees. Therefore, Pluto will have influence over the above example's Moon until it is past 21 degrees of Sagittarius, and out of orb.
I have also found in most cases, a transiting planet approaching a natal planet within 2-4 degrees, even before it makes an exact conjunction with that planet, it can set off an event. Be aware as any slow moving transiting planet approaches within 5 degrees of a natal planet. If nothing happens, still be aware, as events can occur at any time when the transiting planet is within orb of the natal planet. This also includes retrograding planets. When the retrograde planet passes over the natal planet, then stations and backs up retrograde, when it is within orb of the natal planet, it can set off an event. The closer it gets to the natal planet in degrees, the more likelihood the event will take place.
One's upcoming year astrologically, always begins on one's birthday. The exact time the transiting Sun conjoins the natal Sun to the degree, minute and second, a chart is cast that reveals the planetary influences for the coming year. Further information is given by casting a chart when the transiting Sun squares [is 90 degrees] from, and opposes  the natal Sun. This will break the year down into three month parts.
For example say your Sun is 10'44"16 into Gemini. When the transiting Sun comes to 10'44"16 of Gemini, the exact time this occurs, a chart is cast. When the transiting Sun is at 10'44"16 into Virgo [90 degrees away], a chart is cast and is called a "quarter return." The quarter return has lesser influence than the solar return and basically acts as a timer for the events predicted in the solar return chart. When the Sun is 10'44"16 into Sagittarius [180 degrees away from the natal Sun], this marks approximately six months from one's birthday. I have noted in many cases [but not all], events predicted in the solar return often manifest after the transiting Sun opposes the natal Sun at 180 degrees. Six month solar charts have more influence than quarter charts, but again, this is not a rule. When the transiting Sun is at 10'44"16 into Pisces, you have the last three months of your year.
In a solar return degrees are VERY important, but most famous astrologers who write the books do not know this or much else on how to interpret them for that matter. The solar return must be blended with the progressions, transits and other predictive data.
For example, say with your solar return chart, the midheaven is 0 degrees into Taurus, with solar return chart ruler, the Sun [for Leo on the solar return ascendant] conjunct the Moon in the second [money] house. [New Moons in a solar return are very significant and indicate important beginnings], along with SR midheaven ruler, Venus in the 1st house, placing emphasis on the 10th house of career for upcoming events. Planets in the first house of a solar return place an emphasis on the events of the house they rule in the SR chart and also in the natal chart. Chances are, with the above influences, one will begin a new career.
Lunar returns are very similar to solar returns, with the exception that they are cast for one's Moon each month. Lunar returns reveal events for each month. The solar return has the most influence for predicting events throughout one's year. The lunar return will reflect the events predicted with the solar return, and often act as a timer.
SOLAR ARC PROGRESSIONS:
Solar arc progressions are good for progressing the outer planets, as they move too slowly for the day per year method. I have found these to be weaker in influence, than the standard progressions. The Sun moves a certain number of degrees each day. As with the day for a year progressions, count the number of number of days in age. Look to the position of the Sun at that date. It has moved a certain number of degrees. Add this number of degrees to all of the natal planets. 1-2 degrees orb still applies here and if there is an aspect/s one will experience an event.
These are somewhat weak. Regressions are mainly used to reveal trends in past lives. You count backwards in years.
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