View Full Version : A fun test for precessed solar returns

02-02-2005, 23:31
Minderwiz jokingly refered in one of his posts that there would be a test! So, now there is going to be a test for anyone who wants to have some fun.

This test requires you to use your own chart. Here is what you need to do:
1) Relative to your birthday, determine the approximate calendar dates that represent an interval of 4 months and 3 weeks, and an inverval of 9 months and 2 weeks.

Example: My birthday occurs on Sept. 13th. An interval of 4 months and 3 weeks later brings me to a period at/near Feb. 7th. An interval of 9 months and 2 weeks later brings me to a period at/near July 1st.

2) Examine your life and find an important event, crises, achievment or whatever-esperience that occured at either/both of those dates.

3) When we examine the prior precession-corrected Solar Return chart, we will examine it using two criteria. A) The first date (4 mo. & 3 wks later) will be looked at as a "crises" or "challenge point" relative to what the solar return chart indicated. B) The second date (9 mo & 2 wks later) will be looked at as a "resolvement" or "solultion point" to what the solar return chart indicated.

4) Construct a prior and following precession corrected solar return chart.
5) Move the angles forward using the calculation method that I provided in another thread/posting to the two event dates.

5) Two things can be observed. First, the angles for the date chart will be populated by planets or by the natal angles and will be symbolic of the type of event you experienced. Second, the angles for the date chart will relate to the solar return chart's meanings. For this second aspect you can use "more typical" planetary, aspectual and house meanings" similar to the practice of interpreting a natal chart. See the following comment.

As we learn about this process, we will be unfolding "layers of understanding" in that what I share with you will become more evident and be expanded as we move forward. I have to first get everyone to see things in a "simple" manner before I can break you away from old habits and see/do things in a different manner. I had told you that when doing Solar Returns that we just look at the angles and primary aspects of conjunctions, oppositions, squares and paran-squares. This is true -- but only as a first step. Once you have taken the simple view and gotten the primary thrust of the Solar Return chart you can then use more typical techniques to fill in the details. These more typical techniques can involve much or all of what you have previously used. BUT DO NOT CONFUSE THE DETAIL WITH THE OVERVIEW. THE DETAIL IS JUST THAT -- DETAIL, AUGMENTING INFORMATION, ETC.

In following posts I will share with you some of the interpretive techniques I use. Dave

EDITED TO ADD: When you do this exercise, please share your findings with the list. Anyone can comment, but I will try to check, assess and comment on your chart and interpretation. These two calendar dates that you find will be the dates, within a week or so, where the angles of the solar return chart are (first) opposite their birthday position and (second) return to their birthday position before moving onward another one-quarter of the chart circle to their next solar return position. THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THAT THE ANGLES MOVE ONE AND ONE-QUARTER OF THE WAY AROUND THE SOLAR RETURN CHART FROM YEAR TO YEAR. Dave.

03-02-2005, 06:14
I had indicated that once list members understood the process of calculating the chart for a date between successive solar returns that I would make all of math work go away. There is indeed a simple way to get around all of that work.

I have completed a chart that essentially does the hard part of the math for you. The "Chart to visually determine the amount of MC movement from a "prior Solar Return" date to an interval date" is attached as a bitmap file of some 480 kb -- less than a half MB. I put it in .bmp format so that everyone could download it as a file and print it out as needed. It is primarily in black line with some blue and red lines.

I have been able to shrink the chart to under 300 K within a 72 dpi .jpg format but since it is plotted on a full 8.5 by 11 inch form, it cannot be attached to AT posts. Please request this via e-mail at dadsnook@charter.net and I will send it to you.

The chart can do two things for those working with PSSR charts:

1) Working with the difference it Sidereal Time for each of two successive Solar Return charts, you scan up the appropriate column to find the interval days between the S/R date and event date. Mark a point on that scale and then go horizontally to the left to the scale marked in red, "MC movement forward in degrees." That will tell you how many degrees to advance your S/R chart's MC to get the MC angle for the event date.

2) The chart can be used to work backwards. From your S/R MC, you may want to know when the MC angle will hit a certain degree point. You just determine how many degrees forward the prior S/R MC has to travel to reach the point you want it to be at, then you go horizontally to the right on the graph until you hit the vertical scale that is closest to the value that is the difference between the prior and the following S/R charts Sidereal Time. Then you just observe the number of interval days between the S/R date and the event date.

Accuracy should generally be within a day and a half or within two degrees for the MC. Since the SR chart angles move rapidly at 1.25 degrees per day, this is accurate enough for most purposes. It saves a lot of time. Dave

04-02-2005, 10:57
Minderwiz is hung up on "why" the MC is progressed about 1.25 degrees per day. This process is illustrated in the worked examples provide on how to precess and progress Solar Returns. The "why" is another point that needs to be understood. I am going to copy from the "Primer of Sidereal Astrology" by Cyril Fagan, published Feb 27, 1965, pages 22 and 23. In these pages, Fagan utilizes the process of calculating secondary progressions to illustrate a common error in our calculation approach.

In the secondary system it is held that, as each day after birth is equivalent to one year of life, it only appears necessary to calculate a horoscope for the time of birth for every day after birth to obtain the equivalent progressed horoscope. In doing this it is assumed that the RAMC advances at a constant rate of 0h 03m 57s per day after birth i.e. that the M.C. increases at the approximate rate of one degree per year of life.

This is a fundamental error, although apparently true, for its true progress is 24h 03m 57s per day, the earth making one complete revolution on its axis in respect of the fixed stars. At first sight any astrologer would say that 0h 03m 57s seems to be the same as 24h 03m 57s. But is it? Suppose it were necessary to calculate the progressed horoscope when the native was just six months old, by how much would the RAMC have advanced, 0h 01m 58s or 12h 01m 58s? What would be the position of the earth and hence midheaven, and ascendant in respect of the fixed stars. Obviously it would only have half revolved and therefore the progress for six months would be 12h 03m 57s. It follows that the true rate of progress of the RAMC is 24h 03m 57s per year. It is on this true and remarkable fact that the "Quotidian" or "Daily Chart" is based.

This detailed example points to the pitfalls of understanding for those students who do calculate astrological charts by computer without having a solid grounding in the math that goes into manual calculations. It is easy to not grasp these ideas when just a few button strokes gives you the end answer while holding the required steps hidden from view.

On page 45 of the same book, Fagan comments on the principle behind the rate of progression between successive solar returns.
The principle behind the rate of progression in this method (for Progressed Sidereal Solar Returns -- PSSRs, or precession corrected Progressed Tropical Solar Returns) lies in calculating the difference in the sidereal time of two consecutive solar returns, adding 24 hours and dividing the sum by the mean length of the Sidereal Year, 365.253842 days. The result will give the daily increase in Sidereal Time to be added to that of the Solar Return.

Fagan goes on to note that astrologers can use an average difference between solar returns of 30h 09m 13s, skipping the math that I provided in my worked example. He also notes that "Thus, there is a continuous progression of the angles of the return from birth to death at an approximate rate of 5 minutes per day." This is why I manually construct a type of sine-wave chart that depicts the moving MC and ASC angles over the course of a year, the plot showing when they will contact natal planets and angles and solar return planets and angles. It is easy to see when groupings of contact are to be made and to then check to see what transiting planets are also in the mix. When you get re-combinations of the same natal, solar return and transiting planets in contact with the progressing solar return angles you can count on things happening.

For those who are interested in the "why" I hope this helps. If you only care about results and not the reasons, rest assured that this approach has worked flawlessly for me for 30 years. Many astrologers cannot say that their favorite system works even 80% of the time -- perhaps far less.

It is when something doesn't work almost every time that we have to question what we are doing -- or in this case, what someone is trying to teach us. Minderwiz was absolutely right in questioning "why" he should do as I had suggested for this process. When I started this work with sidereal techniques I had only incomplete magazine articles and I had to question everything. Nothing made sense at first. Luckily, I had studied under Jeff Mayo at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London and had the inspiration and resources (tables, astronomical books) to dig for the answers. Now, it is a little easier having computers to speed the work.

But, the amazing results and wonderment that astrology always works is something that nobody should miss out on. I encourage you to check this approach out and have fun. Dave

04-02-2005, 19:58
Well the point I was trying to make was exactly what Fagan said. That is the Ascendant moves a complete circle in the period of 24 hours (I'll ignore the small error in time) - So between two Solar Returns there are 365.25 rotations of the Ascendant and not 1.25

However your quotes from Fagan make clear to me something which I must have missed in your explanation. In the progression of the Precessed Solar Return chart you, and Fagan, are actually falling back on the traditional day for a year secondary progressions. You carry out a traditional progression of the MC/ASC - on the same basis that Fagan refers to in progressing the chart of a six month old child (or using the Iraq election Precessed Solar Return Chart, a six month old Solar Return chart). As the base Solar Return chart changes each year there is no cumulative calculation errors. The comparison of sidereal times serves the basis of taking into account any small variation from average that might occur in this particular year. As you say the average rate of anual change in sidereal time could be used instead, introducing a slight error but saving us the trouble of casting the second solart return chart.

That's fine - I don't see any reason why this couldn't be done at all. I'll take your word that it works very well for you , and indeed I can see why it is a legitimated Astrological technique. It just wasn't clear from your explanation that this was in fact the rationale of the method. Now I have a clear view and I'm really glad that you didn't throw out that copy of Fagan.

I'd love to see a demonstration and perhaps you could at some stage say a little more about your sine wave approach.

06-02-2005, 03:04
I thought that I had understood the method used by Fagan but in attempting to apply it to the Iraqi election chart, I found that I did not get the same results as Dave (the difference was quite marked). Now it appears that Fagan's Primer on Sidereal Astrology can still be obtained, so I'm going to get the book and read it - hopefully this will remove any 'hang ups' that I have.

I will however put in a note of reservation here - though until I've read Fagan, I certainly can't describe it as a disagreement with the method.

In his coverage of Secondary Progressions, quoted by Dave, Fagan quite rightly points out the 'fundamental error' that some students have with the maths. If I use the day for a year method of progressions, the 30th day of my life can be taken as symbolising the 30th year of my life. If I wish to predict what will happen on a particular day or days during that year I must adjust the MC's position pro rata to it's daily return period of 24 hours 4 minutes and 57 seconds. Thus six months into the year is equivalent to 12 hours 3 minutes and 57 seconds into the day. Here the maths clearly fits the symbolism. The 'fundamental error' is to look at the time difference between two days as being the 3 minutes 57 seconds worth of movement between the two daily chart positions of the MC and to ignore the 24 hours passage that has preceded it.

Now when we get to the difference between two PSSR charts we come to my problem. The difference in Sidereal Time between the two PSSR charts for the same person in the same locality is an average of 6.1 hours to one place of decimals. This difference is as misleading as the difference of 3 minutes and 57 seconds between two daily charts used for secondary progressions. So far so good.

Fagan then adds 24 hours to this 6.1 hours to get the period of 30 hours 9 minutes and 13 seconds which he uses for apportioning the MC movement.

My reservation is that this seems mighty close to the fundamental error of ignoring the true time difference. The true time difference is not 1 day 6 hours 9 minutes and 13 seconds, it is 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and 13 seconds. It seems to me, admittedly on only limited knowledge of Fagan, that he is making his own fundamental error of ignoring the true passage of time.

If I look at the position of the MC on the same day of the year, exact to the hour and second, and chart its movement over 5 years, I find that the MC is the same to within a few minutes though the trend is to precess through the zodiac. However over five years this precession amounted to one degree. In each case the Sun was in the same degree of its sign, though a few minutes or arc apart i.e the Sun was nearly at its return point. As we know from the preceding discussion, these few minutes of arc for the Sun translate into 6.1 hours of sidereal time.

During those 6 hours the MC will indeed move forward by approximately 90 degrees. My point is that Fagan having taken 365 days with a cumulative difference of a few minutes of arc on the MC then adds another 90 degrees or arc on and apportions those 90 degrees throughout the entire year to get his 1.25 degrees per day. Six hours is given an importance that is out of all proportion to the time passage, or MC travel in the year. In fact the total accumulated movement of the MC is 360 degrees multiplied by 365 days = 131,400 degrees plus the 90 = 131,490 degrees. or an average of 360.25 degrees per 24 hour day. This gives the 90 degrees in 6 hours a pro rata weight to the 131,400 degrees travelled in the previous 365 days.

Now if the daily average is 360.25 degrees, the MC at the end of the year will be virtually the same degree as the start of the year (with only an average of 15 minutes of arc earlier each year and this appears to be the case in practice). Alternatively we could say that over a sidereal year of 365.2564 days days the MC has moved at a daily average of 360.25/365.2564 = 0.986 degrees per day. This appears to be the true solar progression factor per day.

In summary, It appears that Fagan gave the six hours far more importance than they actually warrant and therefore made a simple mathematical error.
I stress the word 'appears' because I've not read the text. It is the 'appears' that makes me have reservations, rather than simply saying that Fagan was wrong.

However it may well be that when I read Fagan I will find the answer to this reservation. Until then it seems pointless of me to keep raising this issue, as I'm only delaying Dave in his exposition and I do want to see his example of the technique in action.