The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 342, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guests Catherine Urban and Nick Dagan Best
Episode originally released on March 11, 2022
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released March 24, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about secondary progressions and what happens when planets station retrograde or direct and how that can indicate an important year of the native’s life when they station by secondary progression.
So joining me today are astrologers Nick Dagan Best and Catherine Urban. Welcome both of you to the show.
CATHERINE URBAN: Thank you so much, Chris.
NICK DAGAN BEST: Thanks for having us, Chris.
CB: Yeah, thanks for joining me. Nick, it’s been a number of years. You were one of my—you actually were my very first guest I believe in Episode 2 of The Astrology Podcast. You’ve been deep in intensive research for the past few years, but you’re emerging from your ‘research cocoon’ as a beautiful butterfly that is ready to share your insights with the world.
NDB: I am astrology’s ‘Greta Garbo’, I am.
NDB: So, yes.
CB: Good. Well, welcome.
NDB: I’ve emerged with a bunch of astrology research, but that’s on her.
CB: Yeah, I mean, you can only do so much. And Catherine, this is your first time on the show. Welcome. You’re an astrologer from Ohio, right?
CU: Yeah, I’m up here in Cleveland, Ohio, and so happy to be here. Thanks for letting me hop on last minute to join the two of you.
CB: Yeah, well, you had some great example charts, so I thought it would be a great idea. And I’ve been wanting to have you on the show for a while, so I thought it was a good opportunity. So why don’t we jump right into it.
So secondary progressions—I’ve already done a full episode that was a general introduction to secondary progressions in Episode 144 with Kelly Surtees several years back. And people can find that on YouTube or on the podcast website by searching ‘Secondary Progressions: Every Day Symbolizes a Year’.
But just to recapitulate a little bit of what this timing technique is about, secondary progressions is a symbolic timing technique where it equates every day of your life after you’re born to one year of life later on. So you kind of take the transits for each day after you’re born, and the transits on the day become almost like the transits for an entire year of your life later on. Is that basically more or less true? Or how do you guys introduce or explain the concept of secondary progressions?
NDB: That’s spot on.
CU: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Okay, so in that way it’s kind of a symbolic timing technique. So for example, 10 days after a person’s birth equates to 10 years of life, or when they’re 10-years-old essentially; their 10th year of life.
So our focus today, secondary progressions, is very popular. It’s one of the most popular modern timing techniques I think behind or second only to transits, which is often the first timing technique that most modern astrologers learn and employ.
Secondary progressions became very popular over the course of the past decade. I think some historians say it was originally due to Alan Leo who really championed the technique, but it’s also partially because it’s just very simple to calculate. Because all you need to do is pull out an ephemeris and look at the month you were born, or a month or two after you were born, and you can easily look up and just calculate your secondary progressions in a pretty straightforward fashion I think, right?
CU: Yeah. Yeah, and secondary progressions kind of fall into where the rules around time sort of bend in astrology and there’s a lot of examples of that in astrology. But yeah, we’re basically taking a microcosmic section of time—like the first 90 days after someone is born—and translating that into a macrocosmic section of time to become the first 90 years of life. So you can, yes, like you said, Chris, look at an ephemeris and pretty much look at any planetary shift that’s happening within those first 90 days of life and gather a lot of information.
NDB: I tend to think of them as a sort of transit, but a transit that’s removed from real time and operates on a sort of internal clock time. But to me, the principle is very much the same, and you’re looking for a lot of the same things that one is looking for with regular real-time transits.
CB: Right. So in order to calculate this, it’s pretty easy. You can just pull up, let’s say, an ephemeris from Astro.com where they have their free 2,000-year ephemeris or 6,000-year ephemeris. I was born in November of 1984. So I pull up the ephemeris for 1984, scroll to November. And I’ve got it kind of easy to calculate secondary progressions because I was born on the first of the month.
So here’s all my placements basically in my birth chart on the 1st of November 1984. And in secondary progressions, you just calculate that those transits are the natal transits, and then you could one day per year from that point forward. And each day after you’re born equates to one year of life.
So if I wanted to calculate where the transits were—what the secondary progressions were when I was 10-years-old, then I would just count forward about 10 days and that would be my secondary progressions for that year, or for that entire year of my life.
So that’s the basic concept of secondary progressions. But then what we’re doing in this technique specifically is we’re focusing on one piece of that, which is looking and seeing when and if any planets station retrograde or direct by secondary progression. And that’s something you can do relatively easily with an ephemeris because you can just scan through the first month after you were born—or if you’re older, the second month after you were born—and see if any planets station retrograded or direct.
So for example, here, about a month and a few days after I was born, Mercury stationed retrograde at 0° of Capricorn when I was 33-34-years-old. So that would indicate an important turning point in my life—and we’ll get into more of what that means later. But here, just in terms of visualizing what we’re looking for, we’re looking for planetary stations within a month or two after the person was born.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Being 53, I’m well into my third month of the calendar as things work out.
CB: Yeah, I was thinking earlier today that that’s one of the ways astrologers know when you’re getting old, when you have to start flipping pages in order to calculate your secondary progressions using an ephemeris.
CB: All right, so…
NDB: It’s a process. It’s real.
NDB: I didn’t believe it when I was your guys’ age, but turns out it’s totally legit.
NDB: You do get older.
CB: It’s true.
CU: Yeah, that is true, in fact. But yeah, the one thing I do appreciate about looking at progressions in a handheld ephemeris is that it’ll also have the lunations at the bottom. So again, we’re not focusing on that today, but it is helpful to look at your progression there if you have it as well.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Like in The American Ephemeris where it lists the New Moons and Full Moons and eclipses down in a little table at the bottom of the page.
CU: Yeah, absolutely.
NDB: Yeah, and you can go a step further with The Rosicrucian Ephemeris; you also get declination included, which can be very helpful when you’re looking at some people’s progressed Moons; like mine, go out of bounds, in and out of bounds over the course of a lifetime. Even though I wasn’t born with an out-of-bounds Moon, my progressed Moon goes in and out. And that stuff is like clockwork, but that’s a whole other episode we could talk about doing sometime, Chris, but not tonight.
CB: Yeah, declination is definitely on my list to do at some point. So another way of course you can do this and calculate your secondary progressions is just by using an astrology software program. For example, I use Solar Fire from Alabe.com, which you can get a discount on by using the promo code ‘AP15’. But let me share my screen and show you what that looks like.
This is my secondary progressed chart for this year, but I’ll take it back to 1984, to roughly the year of my birth. And all you have to do is cast a progressed chart and then animate the chart and move it forward usually in one-year increments. And just keep moving it forward until you see if any planets station retrograde or direct.
And for me, we already identified Mercury was going to station in my mid-30s. So I’ll just move it forward to then, and we see Mercury’s moving through Sagittarius. It started out in late Scorpio for me in my birth chart, and by secondary progression, it moves through Sagittarius during the course of my teens and 20s and then starts slowing down.
And then eventually here, around 2017, we see it switch, and we see the ‘S’ symbol indicating it’s stationing, it’s slowing down. And then within a year or so of that it stations retrograde and begins moving backwards, and then for the next several years will continue to just move backwards in my chart by secondary progression because Mercury stationed retrograde about a month after my birth, back in November, back in late 1984.
CU: Wow. That is really neat looking at that stationing conjunct Neptune at the 1° of Capricorn. That’s really something there.
CB: Yeah. Well, and what’s funny is 2017, when it stationed, is the year that I published my book that I worked on for 10 years, Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, which is probably one of the main things that I’ll become known for or will always be known for is having written one of the first major comprehensive treatments on ancient astrology in modern times.
So that Mercury station by secondary progression in that year that I published the book was really marking that as being an important turning point in my life and sort of putting an exclamation next to that year of life. If you just glanced at an ephemeris when I was born, you would say around 2017, there’s going to be a really important turning point in his life.
So publishing the book was part of that after 10 years. And then soon as I published the book, interestingly, I also started pivoting to doing video versions of The Astrology Podcast. I had only done audio for five years up to that point. But I got serious about doing video in 2017 and that turned out to be a huge success, and also an important turning point in terms of the podcast and the other thing that I’ve become known for in terms of doing all of this.
CU: Yeah, and that’s what the solstice degree can do, too, is make you known for something. So that’s a really incredible example.
CB: Yeah, yeah. And sometimes those personal examples are useful just because you can see it in your own birth chart and you know how significant certain years of life are or are not and can judge the relative importance.
So what we’re going to do here today is go through a bunch of more celebrity examples and try to convey the importance of what happened when planets stationed retrograde or direct in different people’s charts. But certainly it’s always by seeing it in your own chart that you’ll get—or sometimes people that you know closely—that you’ll get the most intense understanding of what it’s all about and how significant this technique is.
CB: What were you going to say, Nick?
NDB: Oh, nothing. Just agreeing.
CB: Cool. And the very last thing I wanted to show is also in Solar Fire, I have a page layout—my Hellenistic page layout—where you can actually create a little box in the bottom, right-hand corner. And let me share the screen again. In the bottom, right-hand corner, I have a retrograde and stations box, and it actually tells you in one column when the last station was, how many days ago any of the planets stationed retrograde or direct. And then it also indicates what the next station will be, how many days in the future until the next station.
So right there in that diagram, or in that box, we can see that Mercury’s next station after I was born on November 1, 1984 was 33 days away. So right there we can see that and immediately convert that into years and know about when I’m about 33-years-old that Mercury would station. So that would be important relative to this technique in giving us an approximate time-frame for when Mercury would station retrograde.
NDB: Look, if you live to be 96, you’re going to have a progressed Pluto station as well.
CB: Okay. That’ll be fun.
NDB: I’ll see you in the year 2080.
CB: 20—oh, my God. Hopefully, Pluto will be done transiting Aquarius. I’ve got to survive Pluto going through Aquarius first, which it’s going into next year, into my rising sign, so we’ll see how things go. So people can find that layout—the Hellenistic layout—just by doing a Google search for ‘Hellenistic astrology layout for Solar Fire’, and I have a post on that on one of my blogs.
So those give you some ideas of how to calculate the technique. Are there any other ways to calculate it or sort of eyeball it that I’m not thinking of?
CU: Yeah, so if you—oh, go ahead, Nick.
NDB: No, no, you go ahead, you go ahead. I think I know what you’re going to say.
CU: Yeah, if you go on the right-hand column and click ‘Reports’, and then you click ‘Tabulations’, it’s going to be the first box available; it just says ‘Stations’.
CB: Okay, so you can also do a report that gives you a list of stations in Solar Fire as well.
CU: Yeah, it’ll pull up pretty much the same table you just had.
CB: Okay, got it. So that’s really useful.
NDB: Oh, I was going to say there’s also the ‘Dynamic Report’ function. This is maybe the most sophisticated out of all the methods you can use. But on Solar Fire, there’s also a ‘Dynamic’ search where it can just scroll through all your transits, all your progressions and what have you, and there’s this setting there where you can look at your stations. So it’ll give you your stations in a list with the precise dates of when the stations occur, so there’s also that as well.
CU: That’s so cool. See, that’s the awesome thing about Solar Fire, too, is I’m never done learning in that program either.
CB: Right. Yeah, it’s so massive. It has so much stuff put in it that there’s so many things I still haven’t even discovered. So that brings up the next point, though, which is how you calculate secondary progressions can sometimes make a difference because sometimes if it’s a list, it’ll give you a specific date. But something I think it’s important to be clear about is talking about the exactness of the technique versus it having kind of an orb of influence.
Because planetary stations, while you can calculate mathematically the exact point where the planet turns around and either turns retrograde or direct, it’s really more of an arc. And as a result of that, it’s something that may have an orb of influence, so to speak, that extends out maybe a year or two on either side.
So let me show a diagram—for the video viewers—for example, that was illustrated for me by Paula Belluomini a few years ago. And this just shows the Mercury retrograde cycle where Mercury’s moving direct, and it’s moving through the signs of the zodiac. And when it turns retrograde, it kind of does a U-turn, so to speak.
And that U-turn, when it moves from direct to retrograde, is the first station; it’s the retrograde station when it stations retrograde and begins moving backwards. Then Mercury is retrograde for like three weeks and then eventually it does another U-turn and stations direct.
But because it’s more of a U-turn rather than a very clean sort of break, it’s often important to think of the station as something that’s not in an exact date so much as it’s sort of a point that radiates an influence outwards on either side in terms of the dates. Does that make sense? Or how do you two usually explain it?
NDB: I would say that’s largely true, but they do interact with real-time transits as well. And you get some very striking examples where progressed stations are very precise largely because they’re interacting with the right transits at the right time.
But in general, I would say you’re absolutely right. They’re sort of a place-marker in time that lets you know that, okay, in this general period of time—not necessarily one particular afternoon or even one particular month in a year—but this is a period in time where a shift is happening in the individual’s life.
CU: Agreed. Yeah, I tend to use more generous orbs in terms of the time period that the station could come into effect. In my research, I have pretty much discovered that the stationary planet by progression can show itself in a very big way within maybe as early as two years before the station and as early as two years later, sometimes even three, because I feel like with progressions, a lot of times it takes a moment for it to really set in and for the person to really embody that shift. But I have also seen some of these stations manifest right on the nose.
CB: Yeah, for sure. It can definitely go either way.
NDB: It definitely happens. It definitely happens, yeah.
CB: I look for a range of a year or two on either side of the station usually, before or after, that’s relevant for the station of that planet, and it represents a major pivot or a turning point in the native’s life. But part of the reason I think it sometimes has that large orb is that the retrograde, that U-turn that it does, it’s kind of like turning a boat and how that doesn’t happen all at once, but instead, it’s kind of like an arc.
CU: Absolutely. Yeah, stationary planets are incredibly powerful. And especially the slower-moving planets, the outer planets, they’re going to hold that stationary degree for quite some time. Yeah, I mean, even Mercury will hold that degree for at least a couple of days before it starts moving quickly in the other direction. But yeah, I would definitely agree. These are huge turning points in a person’s life.
NDB: Yeah, and that Mercury holding a degree for a few days of course equates to a few years when it comes to secondary progression, so that really does freeze it in time.
CB: Yeah. And not to ‘navel gaze’ too much, but just to go back to that example to illustrate what both of you are saying right now with mine, so here’s 2014. We see Mercury’s still direct in my secondary progressed chart; it’s at 29 Sag, but it’s moving slowly. And it moves into 0° of Capricorn in 2015, and then stays at 0 Capricorn by 2016, and then starts to station by 2017 still at 0 Capricorn.
2018, it’s fully stationary, still at 0 Capricorn. Now it’s retrograde by 2019 at 0 Capricorn. By 2020, it’s retrograde and starting to move by minutes, but it’s still at 0° of Capricorn. And then finally, by 2021, it’s retrograded back to 29° of Sagittarius. So it’s finally moved off of that degree, but we’re talking about a period of several years where it’s just sort of stuck in the same spot in the zodiac.
NDB: If I can just interject, if you look at planets making their stations with an astronomy software—I use Starry Night—you can see it really does make a loop, like one of those sort of roller coaster-type things. And that’s part of the reason—if you visualize it—part of the reason why the planet stays in just one degree for so long. I mean, it is in motion, but it’s in motion on the same zodiacal point.
If you’re looking at an ephemeris, you’re given the impression that it just sort of stops and goes backward. But the visualization of it is actually it’s more of a sort of circular loop that it makes, and that’s really the reason why it occupies so much time in one degree.
CU: Yeah, it’s kind of shifting by declination up there, as you mentioned.
CB: And I know you have a Venus retrograde video, Nick. I’m going to see if I can share this on the screen really quickly because you have an old video titled Venus Synodic Cycle 2009-20.
CB: And if I share that I think…
NDB: I’m going to upgrade that in a little while. I did this like five years ago.
CB: I’m going to turn down the playback speed and hit ‘Play’ here. So in the background…
NDB: It’s got the funky music, too. You might want to…
CB: Yeah, it’s silent. So Venus is moving and then it stops and does that loop right there.
CB: So that’s Venus stationing retrograde.
CB: And then it goes retrograde, and then it turns around and does another U-turn to station direct.
NDB: It makes an interior conjunction with the Sun. Yeah, there you go. So yeah, that’s the way it looks.
CB: Yeah, so that’s what you were talking about in terms of the astronomy.
CB: Okay, good. Well, I think that explains things pretty well in terms of calculation and everything else. Why don’t we jump into some example charts and then we’ll come back to some of our other points to clarify some of the other parts of the technique.
So we’ve all sort of contributed different example charts. One of the ones that was always my favorite—and I think that I’ve used before on the podcast when talking about secondary progressions, but it was always one of the most striking ones to me—was my friend Alan White who was an astrologer that passed away about a decade ago. He was an associate of Project Hindsight, and he was a big proponent of Hellenistic astrology, and he was one of the reasons that I got into Hellenistic astrology.
NDB: He’s the reason I got into it, too. And funny enough, Alan used to talk about secondary progressions, and he would remind us that they’re mentioned in the Book of Genesis. There is some passage on the first page in the Bible where there’s some allusion to ‘let a day equal a year’ or something to that effect. So Alan was very fond of saying, “Look, this stuff goes way back.”
CU: Wow, I feel like I saw that at one point years ago. And yeah, wow, that’s so cool.
CB: Yeah. So let me share, first, Alan’s birth chart, which I always like to share because he’s one of my favorite examples of a native with Aries rising and Mars in Aries in the 1st house because he was a former military veteran. And he was very gruff and very straightforward in his manner of speaking and sometimes could be a little bit abrasive.
NDB: A little bit.
CB: Yeah, a little bit.
NDB: He was a Marine. He had a Kaiser Wilhelm curly mustache. He looked very classic Capricorn in that they’re so tough on the outside and just so soft and gentle on the inside, and Alan was no different.
But yeah, he’s an Aries rising, with an Aries Mars, and he looked fierce. I mean, the first time I met him, I thought, “Wow, this is an intimidating character.” But yeah, he was very gentle, a very compassionate person actually, but with a really gruff exterior. And he’s talking like this, “All right.”
NDB: We used to joke that he was kind of like Robert Duvall’s character in Apocalypse Now, if that character were an astrologer; if anyone knows the movie. This crazy military guy who goes surfing when they’re strafing villages and stuff like that. But anyway, yeah, I wanted to fill out your biography because it’s hard to do Alan justice.
CB: Yeah. Luckily, a couple of years ago—he passed away from cancer in 2011; yeah, back in 2010—he recorded a lecture for me. I asked him to re-record a video version of his famous Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology lecture, and I released that in 2020 actually as Episode 250 of The Astrology Podcast, titled Alan White: Intro to Hellenistic Astrology. So people can check that out if they want to.
He was sort of sick and not as much of himself in terms of what we remember, in terms of some of his earlier lectures, but you still get a lot of his personality. Anyway, so Alan’s story was that he was a former soldier, and he was in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s.
NDB: Early ‘60s.
CB: Yeah, in the 1960s. And then he was a traveling salesman and a mechanic and picked up a bunch of odd jobs over the years. But at one point, he got interested in astrology, and at one point I think he attended a conference maybe in the 1980s, but he was a little bit put off by the approach of the astrology community at the time, which was a little bit more New Agey and stuff, and I think a little bit, from his perspective—as more of like a gruff, ex-military person—a little bit ‘too fluffy’ for his liking is how you might put it gently, right, Nick?
NDB: Yeah, I don’t want to use the vocabulary he would usually use. Colorful and appealing as it was, it’s not for everyone. But yeah, he was definitely someone who saw things in cold, hard, realistic terms.
So yeah, he didn’t have a lot of time for the jargon or the vocabulary that comes with a New Age perspective, I think. He liked to express himself in a different way and couldn’t relate to this other sort of style, if you will, of astrological discourse.
CB: Sure. So what happened is if you cast his secondary progressed chart, and you progress everything, he had Mercury and Venus retrograde for a pretty large chunk of the second-half of his life. So we can see his progressed chart here in the early 1980s, Mercury’s retrograde at 20° of Aquarius and Venus is retrograde at 9° of Aquarius. And during this time, he’s getting more interested in astrology, but he’s studying it himself, and he’s trying to find pieces that he thinks are valid, and he’s not really connecting with or finding a community of people that have an approach like his.
But then what happens is when you get to early-to-mid-1990s, something really striking happens in his chart, which is that, first, in 1993, Mercury stations direct by secondary progression at 11° of Aquarius, and then shortly after that, within a year, Venus stations, by 1994, at 5° of Aquarius. So he has this very rare thing happen where he has not just one planet station by secondary progression, but two planets in relatively quick succession station by secondary progression in his chart.
And what happened at this time is that he met Ellen Black, and he attended his first Project Hindsight conclave where they were in the early phases of revising—or reviving ancient astrology and discovering or rediscovering Hellenistic astrology in the early phases of this translation project that started in the early-to-mid-1990s.
And for him, discovering Hellenistic astrology was like a huge, life-changing moment because he felt like he found the type of astrology that he was always looking for, that tended to be a bit more concrete and more predictive. And then, additionally, he became very enamored with some of the leaders of Project Hindsight, like Robert Schmidt, and became a close associate of Project Hindsight; and became so close that he learned Hellenistic astrology.
He gave this famous intro to Hellenistic astrology lecture with his flip chart, which I posted in that podcast episode, in Episode 250, and he ended up giving that lecture when he was sent to a Northwest Astrology Conference in the year 2000 or 2001 or 2002.
And he gave that lecture at a conference as an impromptu thing after-hours with a bunch of Kepler College students that were sitting around in a bar, and it impressed them so much, and impressed Demetra George—who was an attendance at that lecture—so much that she decided to go off to Project Hindsight to study Hellenistic astrology with Alan and Robert Schmidt. And then eventually she helped to spur the revival or Hellenistic astrology further by developing a course on it at Kepler, and that’s how I learned Hellenistic astrology and everything else.
So to whatever extent whole sign houses and sect and profections and zodiacal releasing and all that other stuff has become so popular over the past decade through my work or Demetra’s work or other people influenced by Project Hindsight, it all goes back to this super important turning point that occurred to some extent in Alan’s life when those two planets stationed direct by secondary progression. So it’s clearly indicating a major turning point in his life in the mid-1990s, and we can say that definitely took place, I think.
NDB: Yeah, I also met Alan in a bar. He was at his best in a bar. It was an astrocartography conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, in June of 1999. Yeah, nighttime, at the bar, after the conference, and he was there holding court, talking about Hellenistic astrology; really probably an identical experience that I had—whenever it was—two or three years before you did, and I was just so intrigued with this guy. And as it happened, the first Einstein intensive at Project Hindsight was happening the following weekend. Yeah, so one thing led to another and I was there.
CU: I feel like I missed out on Alan White, but I do love that video that you released, Chris. That was really awesome. Yeah, what he said about the sign of Cancer being co-ruled by the Sun that just stuck with me, and I’ve just been questioning it ever since. So if you haven’t checked it out, go watch that video.
But yeah, that’s so powerful when you get two planets stationing in your chart within such a short time. You could of course look at the archetypes of the planets and pick those apart. So in Alan’s example, there was the Venus, there was the community element that he got at Project Hindsight. But also, Mercury, which deals of course with perception and ideas and education and combining forces on this project, where in this case, they both stationed in Aquarius.
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point.
CB: And so, there’s a bunch of different factors that you can take into account about how it relates to the birth chart and houses that are ruled and other things like that that can provide more detail and more background information, and I know we’re going to draw that out in even further chart examples here in the future. And one of the things that’s interesting also about this example is Alan was born in 1942, and these stations are happening around 1994. So how old was he? He was like in his 50s, then?
NDB: It started in ‘94, yeah. He’s in his mid-50s, exactly.
CB: So that’s really also important because these stations can happen early in the life, they can happen mid-life, or in some instances, like for him, it happened somewhat relatively in life, but nonetheless, can still indicate such a pivotal turning point happening at whatever stage of the life that it occurs.
So that’s an interesting thing to think about in terms of personalizing the technique and where these things will occur. It can occur very early or very late, which can set up some very different scenarios. Yeah, so this is only…
NDB: That’s a good point. I don’t know if we’ll get around to talking about him, but Muhammad Ali, the boxer, was born 16 days after Alan. And because he’s younger than Alan, he actually had those same secondary progressed stations earlier than Alan did, at a much earlier stage in his life.
Just as relevant in its own context, Schmidt had been a young boxer; Robert Schmidt had been a boxing enthusiast. And so, Muhammad Ali’s chart was one that he and I discussed a lot, and we actually used to compare it to Alan’s quite a bit for exactly this reason; that you have a lot of the same planets in the same signs as Alan’s. But yeah, it’s for exactly that reason. For someone who’s about just over two weeks younger than Alan, those progressions actually happen sooner in life than they did in Alan’s life.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. Because he was born, you said, 17 days later?
NDB: Yeah, his birthday is January 17, 1942, and Alan’s was January 1, I believe.
CB: Okay, so I did my first example. I want to do one example from each of you next. I mean, do you want to make that your example, or would you rather do a different one, Nick?
NDB: I mean, Ali kind of makes sense. I mean, there’s all kinds of ones we can do; we don’t necessarily have to cover him. But since we’re talking about Alan—just to sort of fill out that notion and look at those same stations in another chart, in a different context—it might be useful.
NDB: I don’t know. It’s up to you.
CB: Because I know that was one of the more complicated ones. So as long as we can do it relatively quickly would be my only thing, but if it’s going to be…
NDB: I can do it quickly. Like there’s so much that happens at once. There’s the long version and then there’s the short version. I mean, the thing about Ali is obviously he’s world famous. In his time, he was one of the most famous people on the globe because he was a true international star. He wasn’t just someone who was famous in the United States; he’s world famous in Africa and Asia.
There’s a very funny story—I’ve read a bunch of books about Ali—and one of the authors was at a cricket game in Sri Lanka, and he was sitting next to a Sri Lankan guy. And the Sri Lankan guy says, “Well, what do you do?” He says, “I’m a writer.” “Oh, what do you write about?” “Oh, I’m writing a biography of Muhammad Ali.” And the Sri Lankan guy says, “Oh, he was a Sri Lankan.” And the author goes, “No, no, you don’t understand. I’m talking about the American boxer.” And he goes, “Yes, yes, he’s a Sri Lankan. He was made an honorary citizen of Sri Lanka so many years ago.”
NDB: So that’s how famous Muhammad Ali. It’s great and it just illustrates exactly how famous he is. Do you have his chart there?
CB: Yeah, so here’s his birth chart: January, 17, 1942. So yeah, and Alan was born, what, January 1?
NDB: January 1, yeah.
CB: Yeah, so we’re talking about 16 days later.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. You can see that Venus retrograde on the Descendant. He’s born just a few days after the Venus retro. So Alan would have had the progressed Venus station retrograde by secondary progression, whereas Ali is born with the Venus retrograde, but you’re still going to get the interior conjunction and the direct station.
CB: And we can see in the bottom-right corner—in that little box—we can see it says Venus stationed retrograde five days prior, before the birth. And over on the right side, in the far right column it says Mercury’s next station is 14 days after the birth, and Venus will station 36 days after the birth.
NDB: Jupiter, 18. Saturn, five. Uranus, 16. So you see, there’s a lot there.
NDB: There are a lot of stations and there’s a big cluster. Now I’m not going to get into everything. Basically, Ali gets interested in boxing when he’s 12-years-old, a little bit before most of those stations. His bike gets stolen and he tries to report it to the police, and the policeman he speaks to actually teaches people how to box, and so he gets interested in it.
And within a couple of years, when those progressions are happening, he’s becoming a Golden Gloves champion right when the Mercury and the Uranus stations are happening. And then when Jupiter stations—when he’s 18—he becomes an Olympic gold medalist. And I’m going to jump ahead. You noticed that the Venus finally stations.
CB: Do you know what year that was? When was he 18?
NDB: 1960. 1960. He’s at the 1960 Games in Rome and he wins the gold medal; that’s when his progressed Jupiter stations direct.
CB: Okay, there it is. So Jupiter’s stationing direct in 1960 there at 11 Gemini, and he’s a gold medalist, okay.
NDB: Yeah, he’s winning the gold medal. And then the Venus going direct when he’s 36, that corresponds to 1978, which is a very important year in Ali’s life. In February—I think February. January or February of ‘78, he loses to a boxer named Leon Spinks. He’s already won the heavyweight championship twice, which is already a record—no one’s won it twice—but he loses to Leon Spinks.
And then there’s a rematch at the end of the year, around November—if I remember correctly—October or November of ‘78, and he beats Leon Spinks at the age of 36. I mean, people think he’s really a has-been by this point, but he actually beats Leon Spinks and wins the heavyweight championship a third time, right when that Venus is stationing direct, and that’s really sort of an ultimate peak for him.
And the Venus retrograde on the Descendant is also very just so much about Ali’s life operating around the cycle of Venus. Three of his four marriages occurred during Venus retrogrades, and the fourth one was very, very close to one. You know, I could go on and on, but you can see that’s another example. And when he defeated Spinks, Venus was retrograde in the same Venus retrograde in Scorpio that his bike had been stolen under 24 years ago, and he had his first boxing match under and what have you.
So it’s a very interesting way of looking at the external transit cycles in correspondence with the internal clock of the secondary progressions. And the fact that that Venus stations direct by secondary progression right at that age is really, really striking if you know his life story.
CU: On the Descendant, the point of opponents. But I think—if I remember correctly—Nick, too, the Jupiter station when he was 18, was that when he got drafted as well?
NDB: That’s much later.
CU: Oh, okay.
NDB: That’s later. That’s after he won the championship. He’s first turned down for the draft because he was a high school dropout. He wasn’t considered; his IQ wasn’t high enough even though he was this really articulate and verbal guy.
So he was initially turned down for the draft for that, but then they changed the standard a year or two later. And it’s actually during the Venus retrograde in Aquarius, January of ‘66 that he first says he’s not going to sign onto the draft.
When they first tried to draft him, reporters would say, “Are you going to do it?” and he says no. He has that famous line, “No Vietcong ever called me blah, blah, blah.” Yeah, and it’s a year later leading into the next Venus retrograde when he actually flat out refuses, but by that point, it’s understood.
So yeah, that’s just another example. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to a progressed station when he does that, but there is the Venus retrograde in Aquarius, the same cycle he was born in. He’s just turning 24 and they’re trying to draft him, basically.
CU: Oh, okay.
CB: Okay, so that’s a good example and a good parallel in terms of both Alan and Muhammad Ali and those being important turning points in life when those planets stationed by secondary progression, and how much being born just 17 days apart can move when those take place by years and years and years. All right, so let’s do a couple of your examples, Catherine. I mean, one of them was really good. I don’t know if you want to do hers first, but you pointed out Taylor Swift had a good impressive one.
CU: I don’t think that was me.
NDB: That was me.
CB: Oh, okay. Sorry, I thought you were the Taylor Swift fan, Nick. What’s one of your favorite examples that you want to share, Catherine?
CU: Let’s talk about Gordon Ramsay.
CU: I can talk about Gordon Ramsay and his chart all day. I love him and I love his chart, and he’s got some really great secondary progressed station examples.
CB: Here it is.
CU: All right, so when he’s 17—if you notice in the box—Mercury and Saturn are going to station by secondary progression 17 days after he’s born.
CB: Okay, both are retrograded in his birth chart.
CU: Oh, yeah, so they’re stationing direct. So they’re stationing direct.
CU: Now these two planets are really interesting because Mercury rules his Ascendant and Saturn rules his Midheaven. So this is going to be a really powerful event because not only do they rule the angles, but you have two planets stationing at the exact same time.
So what happens is that Gordon has scholarships to go to college and he is set to be a pro football player. And what happens is that he sustains an injury and he cannot play, so therefore, he has to change his entire plan for his future. And he ends up working at a five-star hotel kitchen, realizes he has a knack for cooking and gets some training by one of these big-name chefs, and the rest is history.
CB: Wow. Okay. And so, he was born in ‘66?
CB: So he was 17-years-old. So what year was that?
CU: Here, let’s see.
CB: ‘83—there it is. So just animating the chart and we see Mercury and Saturn are retrograde. Mercury’s at 17 Scorpio and Saturn’s at 22 Pisces. And then, bam, they both station direct in those same degrees over that span of like a year or two by secondary progression in the mid-1980s.
NDB: It looks like you should go to 1984 because of course since he’s born in November. Since you’re set for March—yeah, there you are; now you’re on it.
CB: There we go.
NDB: I was adding 17 to 1966. But if he’s born in November, then you’re looking at early November.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, so this was the important turning point for him where he got into cooking.
CU: Yeah, yeah.
CB: And then of course he’s become known worldwide as a famous top-tier chef, as well as a celebrity chef who’s done like a ton of television shows and documentaries and other things like that.
CU: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And if I may, I have one other really good example from Gordon.
CU: It’s a really powerful one. So his Pluto stations retrograde—let’s see here—around 2010 I want to say.
CB: So it’s direct earlier in his life, but then it starts slowing down and it stations around 2010 at 20° of Virgo.
CU: Yeah, and what happens is he’s filming an episode of The F Word, and he plunges 85 feet into icy water while puffin fishing. And the weight of his clothes and his boots—he was out in the elements, so he was wearing a lot of layers—and he describes the event as just feeling like his lungs were filling with water, and he says he felt like he was a goner.
So he had a near-death experience when Pluto stationed. And while we don’t know personally his big takeaways from that, I’m guessing because it’s a Pluto station by secondary progression that it was pretty major.
CB: Right. And there was like a lawsuit afterwards?
CU: Yeah, during this time, he also had other Plutonian themes. He had, as he described, a ‘manipulative CEO’ who was kind of embezzling money from him. And so, yeah, that was a long, drawn-out lawsuit, and that of course concluded when his Uranus—his progressed Uranus—stationed, I believe, direct. And it was during that time that he also secured two Guinness World Records for shortest time to fry a 10-pound fish and also longest pasta sheet rolled in 60 seconds.
CB: Okay, wow.
NDB: That man is a god.
CU: He is. He’s a legend. He was born on a Venus cazimi, too.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So that’s really good. So that brings us back to one bullet point that we might want to emphasize, especially with that very first example of when he had two planets station in the same year, both Mercury and Saturn when he was 17, and that was like a major, life-changing moment. His life was headed in one direction and then all of a sudden there was like a U-turn—like a retrograde U-turn and all of a sudden it was heading a different direction.
So one of the things I think we can take from that—as well as the Alan White example—is if you have a year where there’s one planet that’s stationing retrograde, that’s going to show an important year in your life and a turning point. But if you have two or sometimes even more planets stationing retrograde or direct relatively close together, within a year or two, then that’s going to show an even more potentially important turning point in the native’s life than if it’s just one planet stationing.
CB: Cool. All right. And I’ll have another example of that that I’ll introduce with Joe Biden as one of my next examples. But yeah, so those are really good examples. That kind of reminds me a little bit of the Britney Spears example. Which one of you—that was yours, Catherine?
CU: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Okay. Why don’t we do that one really quickly just because it’s relatively straightforward and kind of topical.
CU: Yeah, so Britney Spears—her Venus is going to station retrograde when she’s 29-years-old. And this brings us up to 2010, 2009, somewhere around there, and this is when her life is just kind of breaking down; she has the big divorce with Kevin Federline.
And Venus at this point is stationing retrograde in her 5th house, so there’s also cuspy issues going on. Also as an artist, Venus in the 5th house is relevant. She literally shifts gears in terms of her expression, and that can be also interpreted, as Venus is her Ascendant ruler; she has Libra rising. And Venus is natally in her 4th house in a square to Saturn and Pluto.
CU: So this is the conservatorship happening, this is the control implemented by her father and by the state, so that was a very big deal. And of course other Venusian themes is she didn’t have control over her finances anymore or her autonomy, with Venus ruling her 1st house, so that’s a very big secondary progression that I have found.
CB: Yeah, so here’s her progressed chart. I’m just backing it up to the mid-2000s. We can see Venus by secondary progression is in Aquarius, but it’s slowing down at 8° of Aquarius. Yeah, it’s just really slow by 2008, 2009, 2010, and then we see it stationing there by 2010-2011 at 8° of Aquarius.
And that was relatively early in the process of the conservatorship. After she was dealing with some mental health issues, the state awarded or gave basically complete control of her life to her father, which was supposed to be a temporary measure, but then it ended up becoming this thing where he was in full control of her life for over a decade. So it ended up later becoming a huge court case. And then recently, over the past two years, that conservatorship after I think more than a decade was eventually ended, just in the past year, right?
CU: Yeah, and her progressions are wild. They’re her whole life. They’re really, really literal, really cool to look at. So if you’re looking at researching someone by secondary progression, Britney is a really good chart to look at.
CB: Yeah. Well, I really like that example especially because it was Venus—which is the ruler of her Ascendant—and because that Venus placement as the ruler of the Ascendant was in her 4th house and squaring natally Saturn in a night chart, as well as Pluto, which really drew out a lot of those themes in terms of those issues of her father or her parents 4th house issues, and then control and issues of self and self-determination, as well as mental health and things like that with Saturn and Pluto in the 1st.
It’s interesting that a lot of that really came to the forefront and indicated a major turning point in her life that lasted for over a decade when Venus slowed down and stationed retrograde by secondary progression. So that’s a very powerful example I think in that instance.
CU: Oh, yeah.
NDB: Yeah, and just to add to that, for example, to combine progressions with transits, as you might remember, the moment when the public realized that Britney was in a lot of trouble was in February of 2007 when she famously sort of flipped the switch, if you will, shaved her head, and just sort of got into all kinds of really embarrassing public situations, would up in rehab.
And if you look at that period in February of 2007—I remember this very well, I was studying her chart quite closely at the time—transiting Pluto was in Sagittarius square transiting Venus in Pisces, making a sort of resonance or recurrence to her natal Venus-Pluto square.
And of course by that point, even though her progressed Venus hadn’t totally just stopped yet—it’s still two or three years away from the actual progressed station—but it’s slow enough. And the fact that you have that same Pluto squaring to Venus that she has in her natal chart, you can really just see everything coming apart there and then and everything that followed really connects to that period of time.
Prior to that, I mean, she had some troubles, but it just involved that she was partying a lot with Paris Hilton and stuff like that, and Lindsay Lohan, so it was just kind of like, oh, okay, it’s just a pop star blowing off some steam. But then February of 2007 was when everyone realized, oh, no, no, this is a person in a lot of trouble. Yeah, and everything that I followed I would say stems from that period.
CB: Yeah, so—go ahead, Catherine.
CU: Just a lot of Pluto. Just a lot of Pluto transits, as you mentioned. And then even in her progressions, her progressed Ascendant conjoins with Pluto in her chart during that time, too. And then her Ascendant actually switches into Scorpio when she kind of goes more under the radar.
NDB: Right, right.
CB: Yeah, so that’s a really important point that this is not the only technique. There’s many other techniques that are going to also show overlapping periods, like transits, or some time-lord techniques like profections or zodiacal releasing. And sometimes it’s when all of these techniques are together pointing to specific periods of time that you really get some of the most defining events in a person’s life. So it is something that you want to take into account in concert with other techniques.
But just in and of itself, even this alone—looking for stationary planets and how quick and easy it is to identify certain years of the life when planets retrograde or direct—makes it a really useful and simple but powerful timing technique.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. One last note, I remember that basically her career began in 1999 as Pluto was conjuncting her Sun. So that in its own way—if you want to go even a little further back—anticipates everything that’s going to happen to her.
Because when she first comes out, she’s literally playing a high school girl, and she goes from that sort of image down the tunnel to adulthood right before the public’s eyes, leading up to ultimately the events we’ve already discussed.
NDB: So yeah, just the combining transits. Like I said, I consider secondary progressions to be a sort of adjunct to the transit technique and a form of ‘internal clock’ transits.
CU: Hundred-percent agree, yeah.
CB: Transits can act as a long transit as well, or that’s one way you can conceptualize secondary progressions, as a long transit because there’s different ways to look at secondary progressions. We can look at progressed planets to natal planets in the birth chart. So one of the things that sometimes comes up is if a secondary progressed planet stations, and it’s also aspecting closely the exact degree of a natal planet—a planet in the birth chart—that can be very important.
Additionally, with secondary progressions, you want to look at progressed planets when they make aspects—exact aspects—to other progressed planets, and that can indicate important time-frames or years in the native’s life, which then can also overlap with this technique of stations. And all of this can just accentuate the stations and make them more important or put even more exclamation marks next to them.
NDB: That’s right. You brought up Taylor Swift already, and I think she’s the perfect segue from Britney for a few reasons, not just because she’s a pop star and a woman. But she’s born almost exactly eight years after Britney and has the same imminent Venus retrograde station, only it happens at a very different stage in her life. And in some ways, she’s the ‘anti-Britney’ in the way that she’s achieved her independence through a different route, through a less, sort of controlled route, shall we say; a less Plutonian.
CB: Yeah, all right. Well, I forgot you were a ‘Swifty’. So for the Swifty fans out there, we’ll put up Taylor’s chart. And so, here’s her chart with Scorpio. And this is reliable data. For the most part, we’re trying to focus on reliable charts.
I mean, it is interesting and worth mentioning that with this technique, for many of these planets there’s wiggle room where you don’t necessarily have to have a birth time, and that’s one of the cool things about this technique. Because it’s more or less being calculated with kind of like a year orb and stations are things that happen very slowly, days after the birth, it’s one of those techniques that you can do still pretty accurately even without a birth time.
NDB: And with Taylor Swift, indeed, we have two birth times that have been proposed for her. One of them seems more likely because the source also cites the correct hospital she was born in, whereas the other one gives a time and states some other hospital that she was not born in.
But like you were saying, the beauty of this technique is regardless of which birth time is accurate—or if neither of them is accurate, no matter what—the point we’re about to make about her progressed stationing Venus remains the same, falls in the same sort of timeline. If you want to put her chart up, I’ll talk you through it.
So she is born eight years after Britney, but her birthday’s a little later in December; and therefore, her Venus station occurs, it says here, 15 days after she’s born. It’s about, yeah, 15-16. It’s really more like 16 because she winds up just shy of turning 16 when she records her very first album, the last four months of 2005.
So she would have turned 16 in December of 2005. So between September and December of 2005, she’s recording her very first record, which it’s going to be released the following year, but this is when it’s all coming together. She gets this big record contract, she’s going on 16, and this is when her progressed Venus stations retrograde.
Now she’s a different artist than Britney because she’s a singer/songwriter. I mean, Britney was sort of a pop star performer, but she wasn’t sitting down at the piano and writing these very deep, personal sort of songs. It was more of a…
CB: Yeah, I think you should be careful. Be careful about getting into the comparisons. I don’t want to get into any flame wars with fan bases. Let’s just focus on this chart.
NDB: I’m not trying to say one is better than the other. I’m just describing a sort of a difference in the kind of artist they are; how they went about their art.
CB: I’m just saying, as a Britney fan, slightly personally offended, but let’s just move on.
NDB: Chris, I’ll tell you what, you and I dress up as Britney and Taylor and we’ll have a wrestling match.
CB: Okay. That’s going to be an after-hours thing.
CB: A private podcast.
CU: For patrons only.
CB: Right. Exactly. Definitely a high-tier patron benefit.
NDB: Even I would pay to see that. No, just my point being she records records of songs that she’s written, and that Venus stationing retrograde when she’s 15 going on 16 is beginning this recording career of music that really has a very powerful Venus retrograde theme to it; all kinds of things from her love life obviously. And she’s also someone who—like Britney, but in a very different way—has had to fight for control of her art and her life.
CU: That’s true.
CB: Yeah, so I mean, that’s amazing.
NDB: Right, right. Just the interesting contrast with Britney more than the wrestling match that we’re going to have is that she had the station at the very sort of beginning of her recording as opposed to, in Britney’s case, we see it happening, if not at the end of her recording career, at the tail-end of her pop stardom arc.
CU: Yeah, so what we’re seeing here, too, is themes around just artistry with Venus for those who are artists. So I find, too, that when a planet stations—whether it’s really pertinent to your chart because it rules an angle, or maybe it’s really relevant because you are an artist and Venus stations, or you’re a writer and Mercury stations—those stations can be really powerful depending on what kind of field that you’re in.
CB: Yeah, for sure. So I was looking it up and it looks like her first album was released October of 2006. So yeah, her progressed Venus stationed within a year of her releasing her first album and when she was recording it, so that was the beginning of her career. And now she’s released like, what, like a dozen albums? Or how many albums is she even up to at this point? Like quite a few.
NDB: Yeah, it’s coming up to 10. And now she’s rerecorded some of her early records in order to retain the rights and the revenue of these recordings. The older recordings, she wasn’t getting the same kind of revenue from them, so yeah.
CB: Yeah. All right, well, that’s an amazing example, and that was the start of a long and very successful career as a musician and as an artist. So that’s a great example of just secondary progressed planets stationing—a super important turning point in the person’s life.
So it also bears bringing up another really important point here that we need to underline, which is that it doesn’t really matter necessarily—even though you might think it should or might—whether the planet stations by secondary progression retrograde or direct; and it’s not necessarily always negative if the planet stations retrograde and it’s not necessarily always better if the planet’s stationing direct.
So I think I would encourage people to avoid putting labels or worrying about or thinking that there’s something negative about the planet stationing retrograde by secondary progression. Because as we can see here, that was a very positive turning point in Taylor Swift’s life, and we can see that in other examples as well.
So one of the important interpretive points in this technique is just that it’s not that it’s necessarily positive or negative whether it’s stationing retrograde or direct, it’s just that it indicates an important pivot or turning point in the native’s life at that point in time.
CU: A hundred-percent.
NDB: I fully agree, but not just that. Life is never just good or just bad. Taylor Swift beginning her recording career also means suddenly a life with no privacy, with a lot of exposure and stress and pressure, whereas Britney’s sort of letting go of her career. Even though there’s a lot of tragedy behind it, there’s also a relief that she’s no longer underneath the same kind of scrutiny and pressure and what have you.
So there’s always a mixed bag, too. Just because it looks to us like Taylor’s experience is good and Britney’s experience is bad—and that’s empirically true—there’s always an undercurrent that might be flowing the other way.
CU: Absolutely. This reminds me of another point, too, that progressions are extremely personal. In terms of transits, we can all experience them collectively at the same time, but progressions are so personal. Not everyone is going to experience a stationary progressed Pluto, for example, or Venus, which is incredibly rare.
Most people will experience at least one station from Mercury. Although if you’re born right after Mercury stations direct, you’re probably not going to live to see that, but most people will experience Mercury station at some point.
And yeah, I would agree. I don’t find a huge difference between the planet stationing retrograde or direct. I wish I could, but I can’t. So yeah, for me, it just looks like a significant emphasis or turning point for the person.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. So Mercury’s the planet that, in the sky, it stations retrograde and direct the most frequently—every three months—so that’s why most people will experience at least a Mercury station at some point in their life. But Venus doesn’t go retrograde as often. It’s, what, once every year-and-a-half or something, Nick?
NDB: Yeah, every 18-19 months, basically.
CB: Yeah, so some people by secondary progression—since it’s just a day per year, and you’re only looking at the first month of your life as the first 30 years, and the second month is up to 60 years—some people will never experience Venus stationing retrograde or direct by secondary progression, and the same with the other planets that move even slower and station less and less frequently.
CB: All right, so that’s a really important point. Okay, those are great examples. The last one was Taylor, and that was yours, Nick. So Catherine, what’s your next example?
CU: So if we could do one more Venus that would be cool. There’s someone who comes to mind, and that’s Stevie Nicks. This is a cool one.
CB: Okay, let me see if I have her birth data.
NDB: Yeah, she and Christine McVie were the two Venus retrograde members of the famous Fleetwood Mac lineup.
CU: Oh, really? I didn’t realize Christine had it, too.
NDB: Yeah, Christine is also a Venus retrograde person.
CB: So here’s the chart.
NDB: What a Venus retrograde band.
CU: Yes, that’s true.
NDB: Although, mind you, ABBA—three out of four members are Venus retrograde people in ABBA, and they qualify in the pantheon of ‘70s Venus retrograde heartbreak bands. But anyway, let’s focus on the Fleetwoods.
CU: That could be a whole other topic.
NDB: Actually it is. One of my video essays is about—this is a little way down the line—but bands that had spouses and siblings, and there’s a lot of Venus retrograde stuff going on there. Three out of four members in Van Halen were Venus retrograde. Creedence Clearwater Revival, three out of four of them were Venus retrograde. There’s the siblings, there’s spouses—yeah, it’s a very interesting topic
NDB: Bee Gees, that’s another one. Bee Gees—Venus retrograde all around, except for Barry who’s just outside the Venus retrograde. Yeah, it’s a fascinating topic. Sorry. Yes, let’s get back to it.
CB: So here’s the chart.
CB: So you want to describe any important points about the chart before we get into the progression?
CU: Yeah, so Venus is going to station retrograde when she is almost eight-years-old. This is a big deal because Venus is conjunct an angle in her chart, so we could do natal delineations of that. She’s a vocalist. She’s an artist. She’s known for her style, too.
CB: And for the people just listening to the audio version of this, what angle is it conjunct?
CU: The IC.
CU: And Venus holds triplicity in Cancer. She’s strongly-placed in the benefic of sect as well. So Venus is going to station retrograde when she is between seven- and eight-years-old. I don’t have an exact event for that, although I do know that Stevie learned to sing from her grandfather when she was young. So we could correlate that there’s some sort of connection there with her discovering a talent for music perhaps at a young age.
But what we do know is that when Venus ends up stationing direct in 1998—she’s aged 50—she is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac, becoming the first female to be inducted twice.
So she was first inducted as a solo artist, and then for the second time at age 50, so she’s breaking a record here. And where that kind of comes from is that Venus is stationing direct in a conjunction with Uranus in her birth chart. I often find that progressions that involve Uranus can often carry a quality of shattering ceilings, if you will. So she’s now the first female inductee twice.
CB: Wow, okay. So in her birth chart it looks like Uranus is at 25° of Gemini—early 25 Gemini—and Venus by secondary progression stations around the middle of 24 Gemini, so it’s closely-conjunct Uranus in the birth chart. And then even by secondary progression—because Uranus is so slow-moving by secondary progression—Uranus is only up to 27° of Gemini. So basically, secondary progressed Venus is still closely-conjunct secondary progressed Uranus as well.
CB: All right, that’s a really good example. All right, well, so we’ve done a lot of musicians and pop stars at this point. Why don’t we shift? Actually I’ve got to get to some of my examples. I’m switching back and forth between you. I’d like to switch to some politicians.
CB: Because there’s been a string of some pretty interesting political ones—especially in the US—for people that we have birth times for over the past several years. One of them is Barack Obama who has Aquarius rising and Jupiter in early Aquarius in the 1st house—the 1st whole sign house—and Saturn up in Capricorn in the 12th house.
He was born just slightly after sunset, so there’s still a little bit of ambiguity to me whether he has a day chart or a night chart. But what happened in his life—basically, just to state it very briefly—is that Jupiter stationed direct by secondary progression very early on in his presidency, only about a year or two into it.
So one of the things that kind of indicated him becoming president in the early stages of his presidency was that Jupiter stationed direct by secondary progression super close to when he was elected and became president in 2008 and 2009.
Interestingly, several years later, Saturn stationed direct very late in his presidency by 2016—and this is around the time that he not only of course famously left office in 2017—but also there was that sudden upset where Trump became president and ended up winning the election over Hillary Clinton. So there’s this really interesting sort of bookmark in terms of the secondary progressions and Jupiter stationing towards the beginning of his presidency and then Saturn stationing towards the end of his presidency.
CU: Yeah, I love that example. I find that Jupiter can sometimes, in this case, bring a great quality of presence and illumination. Jupiter can sometimes have that celebrity swag. And also, as you’ve pointed out multiple times on the podcast, Chris, the slogan for his election was “Hope”.
NDB: Yeah, I was just going to say it’s so literal, it really does bookend his presidency as we know it. And this is true no matter what political stripe you are. His presidency really began with a Jupiter theme and really ended on a Saturnian note. Yeah, it’s so literal, it’s just slices right through. Very simple. Very elegant.
CU: Sure. And Saturn, too, I find when it stations by secondary progression, it can bring a considerable shift to the structure of one’s life. Yeah, so it just seems like, “Okay, I’m not President anymore. What do I do now?” So there’s like a huge emphasis on what you do after you’re president.
CB: Yeah, and there were all sorts of overlapping things as well with him having his second Saturn return. Saturn went through Capricorn and it was going through that 12th house. And it was really interesting watching him go through that period because obviously losing the election was such a shock to everybody in 2016, but also that it was somebody who was to whatever extent one can have enemies—which is traditionally associated with the 12th house—I think Trump and the famous conflicts between Obama…
NDB: Antagonists, certainly. Yeah, an antagonist.
CB: Yeah, antagonism. And the famous ‘birther’ controversy was part of how Trump originally got popular in political circles through alleging that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, and that his birth certificate was false and things like that.
So to have Obama’s political enemy become the next president and take over from him was a really interesting thing to witness during that few-year period of Saturn going through Capricorn and through his 12st house, and Obama experiencing his second Saturn return in the 12st house with Saturn ruling his Ascendant. By just seeing that the secondary progression of Saturn stationing was layered on top of that just adds an additional layer of emphasis to that as well.
So one other political one that’s really impressive and important that I wanted to share really quickly is Joe Biden’s chart. His was one that was really unique and spectacular over the past few years because he had not just two, but actually three planets stationing by secondary progression recently. And let me pull up his progressed chart. So here’s his chart. And of course Biden is pretty late in life at this point. How old is he at this point?
CB: 79. And was he elected the oldest, first term president, I want to say?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And the interesting thing about 79, just as an aside, is your 79th solar return—which of course would be his last one—you always get your closest Mars return and a Mercury return in the solar return, if you catch my drift. You get simultaneous Mars and Mercury returns in the solar return and it’s the closest one.
At 79, the Mars return in the solar return will be within about 4°—4 zodiacal degrees from the natal Mars, which is as close as you get. Mars is a very tricky, asymmetrical planet to get elegant returns out of and it really does take 79 years. Unlike, say, with Venus, the way you get an eight-year approximate return—every eight years throughout the lifetime—you don’t get one until 79 with Mars; one that’s that close zodiacally.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so to get back to the example, what ended up happening is very late in his life—in early 2020—Mercury by secondary progression stationed direct in Biden’s chart at 24° of Capricorn. So this is early in 2020; later in that year, he would become president. And by early 2020, he’s starting to pull ahead in the primaries in order to become the Democratic nominee for the presidency.
And then later that year, later in 2020, what happened is that Saturn stationed as well. It stationed direct in his chart by secondary progression in late 2020 right before the election, and then he was elected president and became president shortly after that.
And what’s weird is that he has one more secondary progressed stationing that’s happening right now only a year into his presidency where Uranus is stationing direct in 2021 and 2022. So within a year basically of becoming president, he had three planets stationing direct in his birth chart by secondary progression.
Let’s say this person was just born. You’re an astrologer back in the 1940s or back in—his exact birthday is November 20, 1942. Joe Biden’s mom comes to you as an astrologer and says, “Here’s the birth data. My child was just born. What does it look like the most important year of his life will be?” An astrologer looks at their ephemeris and they say, “Well, it looks like when he’s 78-79-years-old, there’s going to be three planets that will all station direct at that time.”
And so the astrologer could very simply say if he lives that long, one of the most important turning points in his life will happen very late in his life, around the year 2020. And if the astrologer was to say that and to make that prediction, it would turn out to be stunningly accurate, and he would later go on to be elected as the oldest president at the time.
CU: What a time to be president, too.
NDB: It’s crazy.
CU: Yeah, that Uranus station, I guess we’ll have to see what happens. Although with the orb being so wide sometimes it’s also hard to discern it while you’re in it. When the event is happening, it can be harder to pinpoint. But a few years from now, we’ll be able to look at that and say, “Oh, that’s exactly what that was.”
But I mean, the Uranus station, we could look at that as we’re dealing with a pandemic and now there’s this conflict going on in the world, and that’s a lot on his plate. So if you want Uranus, we can talk about stress; that’s one way that it’s kind of showing up at this point.
NDB: The thing is of course Uranus these days is in Taurus, and it’s coming up to opposition to his Scorpio stuff.
NDB: And speaking of his antagonist—the same one Obama had—his antagonist happens to have the Sun conjunct Uranus. His antagonist is one of the most Uranian people I’ve seen in my astrological life. I’m talking of course about ‘Mr. 45’.
NDB: The possible ‘Mr. 47’. I mean, this is the thing, the way everything’s sort of shaping up, it wouldn’t surprise me that when Biden’s Uranus does station, that it does involve Trump in some weird way because he’s such an agent. He’s just an obvious one, you know, the obvious one to think of because he’s a ‘walking’ Uranus.
CU: He is.
CB: Yeah, I mean, there’s other Uranian, sort of unexpected things that can happen and could come up during the course of this time period that have already started to happen, such as the war in Ukraine, and the exit from Afghanistan, which was also somewhat chaotic and was happening around the time of some major Uranus stuff.
The Uranus station—that was one of the primary things that was happening in August. With Uranus, you always expect the unexpected and expect unexpected disruptions that sometimes come out of nowhere can remove the foundation from everything.
So we’ll see what happens with that. But nonetheless, a really good example of somebody having not even just two—like we’ve seen before—but having three planets stationing and that indicating when he became president; somewhat similar to the way that Obama’s Jupiter station was very close to when he became president.
NDB: Indeed. Indeed. When we were preparing for this episode, I went ahead and I looked at the secondary progressed stations of every single president in US history.
NDB: Yeah, I looked at all of them, and there are two presidents who had Pluto make a progressed station during their presidency and they’re really, really striking; one is Richard Nixon who literally had secondary progressed Pluto make a station in August of 1974. That is the month he resigned with an impending impeachment.
The other one is John Tyler who had Pluto make a secondary progressed station in 1842. He almost got impeached. They were talking about doing it, but they realized it would break up the party, but his entire cabinet resigned. He lost his party. His party abandoned him while he’s president—only one of his ministers stayed on his cabinet—so it was a very different kind of impeachment.
And really when you think about it, even though Johnson, Clinton, and Trump have gone through the formal impeachment process—certainly in Clinton and Trump’s case—it didn’t really tarnish them. Clinton’s popularity went up, and Trump, it certainly didn’t affect his base.
But when you’re talking about presidents who went through a Plutonian experience during their presidency, I think Tyler and Nixon make examples because they’re really just abandoned by everyone. Tyler finishes his term, but really in utter disgrace, worse than most.
So yeah, worse shape than Clinton or Trump in terms of popularity and support; so yeah, that’s an interesting one. You don’t need to pull up the charts. I just wanted to introduce that as an aside since we’re talking about presidents.
CB: In order to get through—because we have a ton of other examples—I want to get through them quickly in the next 30 minutes. We’ll start mentioning them fast, without pulling up charts necessarily, but mentioning what the planet was, when it stationed, and the correlating event.
So one of the ones I think you pulled up, Nick—and I don’t want to get into his chart very much or dwell on it—I just want to mention since we’re talking about Pluto stations, somebody in the news, Vladimir Putin.
If his birth data is correct—and there’s a little bit of a question not just about the time, but potentially about the date, but let’s say if it’s correct, hypothetically—Pluto stationed retrograde very close to when he became president in 2000-2001, basically. When he was first inaugurated, Pluto stationed exact in early 2001. So it was already within a year basically of when he was first inaugurated.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I think 2001 is still really important. First of all, I don’t doubt the birth date at all; I’ve read so many books. I know there’s some talk about it, but I don’t think it’s necessarily credible. Sorry.
CB: I don’t want to go into events in 2001. I just want to mention in passing that Pluto stationed very close to when he was inaugurated in May of 2000.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. It’s a turnaround for him, basically.
CB: Yeah, for sure. So him coming into power. And then Catherine, you had another upcoming example that’s kind of important politically.
CU: Yeah, so with Pluto—just to kind of segue here—Pluto can very often correspond with big themes of power, both physically and the way that it’s wielded. So the one that I want to talk about right now is Kamala Harris, and her Pluto is stationing by secondary progression right now.
And we know that this is also during a double-Pluto transit that she’s having, that’s no small feat right there, having Pluto squaring her Aries Full Moon in her chart—so her Sun as well—and also during the United States Pluto return while she’s holding office in the United States. So this is a very big deal. I suspect that we haven’t seen anything yet. I’ve been waiting and watching her.
Yeah, I mean, she is kind of having a Plutonian experience right now where a lot of people are criticizing her, she’s not well-liked, at least that’s what the rumors are saying. But we’ll see—we’ll see what happens. I suspect we’ll see more Plutonian stories. It’s interesting, though, that her station is lining up with Joe Biden’s, so that is very suspect to me.
CB: Yeah, that makes me a little nervous. Biden’s Uranus is stationing this year and Harris’ Pluto is stationing this year. If there was something that happened to Biden health-wise, it’s Harris suddenly, unexpectedly inheriting basically a great deal of power if she became president then. That’s a pretty plausible scenario—not like we’re hoping for that necessarily—just in terms of the timing lining up between two people’s charts.
CU: You know, to be honest, there are—oh, go ahead, Nick.
CB: No, what were you going to say, Catherine?
NDB: Yeah, yeah, go ahead, Catherine.
CU: I was just going to say there’s a lot of things kind of pointing that way. I think as astrologers, we’re nervous to talk about it, but I think that’s a definite possibility there. But yeah, actually I forgot what I was going to say now.
CB: That’s okay. Because one of the things we mentioned in the year ahead forecast was just that she was born on a Full Moon, with the Moon at 27° of Aries and the Sun at 27 Libra. And so, transiting Pluto being around 26-27-28 Capricorn right now is squaring that, which is another kind of overlapping theme that doesn’t just have to do with power and control and manipulation and issues like that, and forces outside of your control. But sometimes it can also indicate tragedies, or in some instances, having great power sort of dumped on you at a certain period in your life somewhat unexpectedly.
CU: Yeah, and I remembered what I was getting at now, Chris. So yeah, her natal Pluto conjoins Uranus in her chart. So there may be Uranian quality to it, which definitely ties in with Joe Biden’s chart, too.
NDB: Yeah, I was just going to say her poll numbers are at an apparently record low.
NDB: Looking to the Nixon and Tyler example that I just cited, if something happened and she were to suddenly become president, the onus would be on her to really prove herself in a way that most vice presidents don’t have to when they first come. I mean, Tyler himself became president because he was VP and William Henry Harrison died, but that didn’t really help him. Yeah, so it sort of reminds us of that.
CB: And then, also, the other thing we forgot to mention coming up is that—I think you pointed this out, Catherine—that secondary progressed Uranus will actually station retrograde in her chart in 2024, right?
CU: Precisely. Yeah, so that’s one we’ll have to sit back and watch.
CB: Yeah, so that’s the next election year coming up in the US.
CU: Ooh, yeah.
CB: Yeah, all right, so we’ll save all of that for another episode. That’s getting into some heavy, heavy stuff. I shared my chart. And I actually was curious about the two of you, if you feel like sharing if you’ve had any secondary progressed stations that have coincided with major events or turning points in your life.
CU: Nick, do you want to go?
NDB: Oh, you don’t want to go first?
CU: Oh, I don’t mind. I don’t mind.
NDB: Suddenly we’re not competing for microphone time.
CB: Here, let’s go. Catherine, you go first. And yours is pretty good, pretty impressive. It happened relatively early in your life.
NDB: Pearls before swine, Catherine.
CU: No. So yeah, one interesting thing to know is that if you have an occidental Mercury, your Mercury station is going to come earlier in life than if you have an oriental Mercury. So yeah, mine of course is an evening star Mercury, so it’s going to station when I’m 19.
CB: Do you mind if I share your chart?
CU: Yeah, go for it.
CB: Okay, I just want to make sure. I always ask for permission. And then if you want to just describe a little bit of what you’re talking about for the people just listening to the audio version.
CU: Yeah, so my Mercury is going to station retrograde when I’m 19; this is going to happen earlier because it’s an evening star Mercury. And if you notice, Mercury rules—it doesn’t rule, it’s occupied in my 4th house.
So what happens here is that I moved. I moved to New York City. I previously didn’t want to go to college, but now all of a sudden I do. I changed careers; I left my career as a hair stylist behind and moved to New York.
And something really strange starts to happen because everything I thought I wanted to do starts to shift, and all of a sudden, one thing leads to another and I start getting really heavily into my meditation and yoga practice, which ultimately leads me to astrology.
CB: Wow. So basically, when secondary progressed Mercury stationed around age 19, it precipitated this sequence of events where you moved and relocated and started having a shift in terms of your focus and interests. And what happened is you discovered astrology and started getting into that, and then that turned out to be sort of your life’s work or life’s calling, and you became after that point eventually an astrologer.
CU: Absolutely. Yeah, and Mercury is opposite Jupiter in my chart, which rules my 9th. Mercury rules my 3rd, and I have authored a book. So yeah, the writing is a huge part of my process.
CU: And media.
CB: What’s the title of your book?
CU: Your Astrological Cookbook: The Perfect Recipe for Every Sign, available in fine bookstores everywhere.
CB: Only the finest. Excellent.
NDB: Wow, you really are a ‘Gordon Ramsay’ fan, aren’t you?
NDB: That’s amazing. Good book title for a Cancer rising. Okay, cool.
CB: You don’t have a copy of the book lying around, just to see the cover by chance, do you?
CU: Now that the baby has taken over, I have little offices all over the house.
CB: Sure. Okay. Cool, well, that’s a really great example. Thanks for sharing that.
CU: Yeah, my pleasure.
CB: And Nick? Yours is also a Mercury example, right?
NDB: Mine is also a Mercury. I was born within a week, after a Saturn retrograde station and a Neptune direct station, which cheated me of having more progressed stations than perhaps I would want to. Or maybe I dodged bullets, depending on your perspective.
But yes, I also have an evening star Mercury; actually under the beams, emerging into an evening star eventually. And my progressed Mercury stationed retrograde when I was 50, which is only a few years ago. It’s the year I got married. That’s really it.
When Mercury made its ingress to Scorpio, I was leaving my hometown for good. I moved to another city where I lived for a year. I moved from Montreal, my hometown, to Vancouver. I lived there for a year—just over a year.
And then I was invited to an astrology conference in Capetown, South Africa, and loved it so much I wound up falling in love with the woman who organized the conference, and wound up moving here and marrying her.
My progressed Mercury’s kind of like yours, Chris, in that the station happens very early in a new sign. Something we haven’t mentioned actually that we might as well is another thing you want to look for with secondary progressions is progressed planets making ingresses into a new sign, or when they go retrograde—regresses—into the previous sign, which is going to happen to both Chris and I in the coming years.
So as Mercury—the progressed Mercury—was moving into Scorpio, I was promoting my astrology book—which I’m coming out with a second edition, hopefully, next year—about Uranus in Gemini, which will be a very topical subject right around the time that Kamala’s progressed Uranus is making its station. And her antagonist is, like is said, the poster boy for that transit.
But yeah, I was promoting the book and then I moved within a year of that station. Actually I moved when there was a Mercury retrograde in Scorpio by transit, which, again, is part of what I’m talking about in terms of seeing the progressions coordinate with transits.
Even though my progressed Mercury hadn’t actually made the station just yet, it had ingressed into Scorpio. And in 2014, there was a transit—a Mercury retrograde transit in Scorpio very close to where that Mercury was going to happen, if I remember correctly. And so, yeah, I moved to Vancouver. I was there a year when I wound up coming to South Africa first as a visitor and then moved here later that year, later the next year.
CB: Yeah, I want to make sure it’s emphasized enough, but you were a lifelong bachelor.
CB: You’d never been married before. You very much focused on astrology and your studies and reading biographies of people constantly and looking up charts, and studying Venus retrograde and Mars retrograde cycles and very devoted to your work. I mean, you’re not going out and partying all the time or something like that.
And then you sort of randomly got invited to this astrology conference in South Africa, even though you’re from Canada and had been living in Canada and US at different points over the past few decades. And you meet this woman and you fall in love and move to South Africa, and then the two of you get married within a year of Mercury stationing.
NDB: Got my Mercury stationing. Yeah, in fact, prior to meeting Ana, the longest relationship I had ever had was the one I had in high school. In high school, I dated the same girl for three-and-a-half years, which was like a marriage. And when it ended, I had the same feeling a lot of people do when marriages end, like, “Oh, never doing that again.”
Which explains why through the rest of my teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s, I had girlfriends, but they were things that never got as serious as that. But yeah, there I was, I was just turning 50, and my progressed Mercury was stationing. Yeah, I was finally ready to start acting like a 20-year-old as I was turning 50 and get married.
CB: Yeah, I mean, that’s brilliant because in terms of getting married—let’s say relative to the average—a little bit later in life, but it’s still indicating an important event when you were turning 50-years-old and that being it and being a major turning point in your life. But also, it’s Mercury. It doesn’t immediately jump out to you as the planet signifying marriage or something like that.
So one of the important points I just want to emphasize here is also that you can’t always just assume that the planetary station itself is directly going to symbolize exactly what the event is, per se, only that it’s going to be a super important turning point in the native’s life at that time; that’s really the fundamental thing about secondary progressed planetary stations.
CU: Definitely agree.
NDB: Yeah, Mercury doesn’t rule my 7th, it rules my 11th and 2nd. Although it wasn’t really just getting married. I mean, I became a family man. I suddenly have three step-kids. I’m suddenly taking kids to school and making breakfast and making lunches, and went from real extreme bachelorhood to this very family-oriented lifestyle.
So yeah, the progressed Mercury, as you can see, happens right on my IC. So to me, it’s a very sort of 4th house thing. It’s not just a matter of getting married, it was everything that came with Ana, the whole new lifestyle.
CB: Okay, brilliant. That makes sense.
CB: All right, let’s quickly—maybe not visually—but just audio-wise go through a few examples. I know you had one I think, Catherine, with Princess Diana.
CU: Yeah, yeah. Her, and I have another really good one I have to talk about. But yeah, Princess Diana—her progressed Neptune is going to station—I believe it stations direct—and that happens when she’s 19-years-old, and it happens in her 12th house.
So what happens is that she gets engaged to Prince Charles during that time. So what the whole world is seeing is this fairy tale experience, this fairy tale wedding. And you remember the long train on her dress and getting married in like a castle basically, right?
So yeah, it’s very Neptunian in terms of the discord between what people were perceiving and then her actual lived experience was more of the 12th house, a ‘feeling kind of trapped’ experience. Now at the same time, she also had her son by secondary progression opposing her natal Saturn. So all of the other layers there with the rules and when to curtsy and all of that stuff; all the formality.
CB: Right, that makes sense. What was your other example that you wanted to make sure that we squeezed in?
CU: The other one is LeBron James. His Pluto is stationing right now by secondary progression, and it actually happened—we can ballpark it to late 2021 if we’re doing the eyeball technique—so he’s going to be aged 37.
And early this year, he actually shattered an NBA record for most points scored of all time. And he has continued to break these records for most points scored at such a young age; he’s always been the youngest.
But this is a really big one because he is now this element of Plutonian power where he has shattered all these records and he has scored the most points in the NBA of all time. So all time means the main season, the playoffs, as well as maybe the pre-season.
But he’s also set to break the record for most points scored of all time during the main season, and he’s projected to do that within about two years. So if we’re taking into consideration that orb of a stationary planet being able to kind of echo for that long, he’s set to do that, he’s on track to do that, and who knows what else he may do with that Pluto station.
CB: Okay, that’s brilliant. Let’s see—one other that was submitted that I wanted to make sure we did. I put out a call on Twitter just saying we were going to do this episode, asking if anybody had any good examples of secondary progressed stationary planets and what happened in people’s lives.
And Michael J. Morris on Twitter pointed out that Laverne Cox, the actor, had a really great example of a secondary progressed Venus station. And Michael wrote: Laverne Cox’s progressed Venus stationed direct around December 8, 2012. Venus rules her 10th house/Midheaven, and she was cast in the series Orange is the New Black in 2012, which began filming and premiered in 2013, propelling her to new professional fame and visibility.
And I remember that at the time because Orange is the New Black was not only just a huge series and was like a really good series on Netflix at the time, but Laverne Cox played a really prominent role as a trans woman in the series and really helped to sort of promote and sort of normalize different causes related to trans people by becoming a prominent trans celebrity at the time. So that’s a really interesting and good example of that with Venus stationing direct, as well as just becoming more notable at the time in general.
CU: Yeah, that’s a great example.
CB: Yeah, are either of you Orange is the New Black fans?
NDB: I haven’t seen it, but I’ve been meaning to. Yeah, I definitely will now. I looked up the birth date while you were talking about her. So yeah, she’s born on Stevie Nicks’ 24th birthday, I think. So it’s that same Gemini with the Venus in Cancer and all that
NDB: These patterns—you start to see them just repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, especially when it comes to Venus.
CU: Says the ‘Human Ephemeris’.
NDB: Says the ‘Human Ephemeris’.
CU: Yeah, that’s awesome.
CB: All right, what’s a quick example that you wanted to mention, Nick?
NDB: Oh, gee. You know that’s the thing, the examples I submitted are super fascinating, but they’re complex: Johnny Cash and Elizabeth Taylor because they were born a day apart; Richard Pryor and Bruce Lee because they’re born about four days apart.
But those are sort of more convoluted, really interesting things, but maybe I’ll have to save them for a video of my own. Because they’re not quickies. None of them are quickies, interesting as they are. But I’m trying to remember what else I submitted.
CB: There’s a Russian history one.
NDB: Oh, yes, Tsar Nicholas II. Well, this is an easy enough one. Tsar Nicholas II was the last Romanov tsar of Russia, and his progressed Venus stationed retrograde in 1918, which is just after he’s overthrown and just before he and his whole family are shot in a basement by Bolsheviks.
I mean, in terms of where we are today in the news and what’s going on now, people are asserting that, in fact, Putin doesn’t want to restore Soviet Union, he wants to restore in a way what was lost when Tsar Nicholas’ progressed Venus was stationing retrograde, a Russian empire.
And I mean, Russian history is just full of Venus retrograde stuff like this. I mean, not only was Tsar Nicholas II born with this Venus retrograde, but so was Tsar Nicholas I, his great-grandfather. And Tsar Nicholas I’s grandmother, Catherine, the Great, also had Venus retrograde. Yeah, there’s a lot of assassinations that occurred during Venus retrograde in Russian history.
Most of the Soviets were Venus retrograde guys. Lenin was Venus retrograde, Trotsky was Venus retrograde, Brezhnev, so it’s something that’s really intense. Some astrologers have pointed out, for instance, that this current invasion occurs on the Venus return of when the Russians annexed the Crimea in 2014.
NDB: But in fact, it goes much further back than that because the Crimean War itself back in the 19th century began as Venus was going into the same Venus retrograde that the current one is going on. And if you go back to Catherine, the Great, it just goes on and on.
NDB: The whole history of Russia annexing or trying to annex, or even letting go—when Khrushchev gave the Crimea back to Ukraine, he was born with the same Venus retrograde that we’re going under now.
So it goes on and on and on. And this is sort of the beauty of the technique. You can think about the Russian Romanov Empire, you can think about the Soviets, you can think about Putin’s regime, and these are very different regimes in the same geographical territory.
And you can cast a horoscope for the Russian Federation or for the Soviet Union, but there’s something broader than that, which is ongoing Venus synodic cycle that no matter who’s in charge, no matter whether things are going well or going poorly, you can follow that rhythm, that cycle throughout their 3-400 years of history and just keep getting hits. It’s like a piece of music; it’s on the one. Yeah, I don’t know how else to put it. It’s brilliant.
CU: It’s fascinating.
NDB: That’s Venus retrograde.
CB: We just finally left yesterday, I realized, the Venus retrograde shadow phase late last night for this current Venus retrograde that’s been going on since December and November. And yeah, it was really striking that the invasion of Ukraine that happened over the past couple of weeks ended up being almost exactly eight years since—eight years earlier in 2014—when Crimea was annexed originally.
NDB: Although with Venus, I extend the shadow to the two greatest elongations, which means we still have another, I think, 20 days or so before Venus makes its greatest elongation. And I really consider that to be part of the whole retrograde process; it’s sort of bookended by those two greatest elongations, so there’s still very much a part of it.
And if I may, Chris, just since we’re on the topic—Jupiter and Neptune are coming up to a conjunction in Pisces. And the good news is the last time Jupiter and Neptune had a conjunction in Pisces was 1856, when Russia was forced to negotiate and end the Crimean War.
And it’s funny because you would never imagine it, but I don’t know if you’re following the news, but Russian tanks are running out of fuel as they enter Ukraine, and that’s sort of ongoing. First of all, it’s kind of a…
CB: Yeah, I don’t want to get too much into political events or making predictions…
NDB: Fair enough, sorry.
CB: …right now with everything just because it’s so delicate. But I think that’s a really good example in terms of with Tsar Nicholas II that was the last Russian king, basically, and the end of the Russian monarchy and the beginning of what became the Soviet Union, and then eventually, later, after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early ‘90s, the current Russian Federation, so that’s a great example.
CB: Catherine, you had a really good one I thought with Will Smith, right?
CU: Oh, yeah. Yeah, there’s one with Will Smith, and then I have a couple of Mars ones to share, too, because we haven’t talked about Mars, I don’t think.
CU: Let me just find Will Smith. Okay, so Will Smith—his Mercury stations retrograde when he’s seven-years-old—we don’t quite have the data as to what happened—but when Mercury finally stations direct in 1996, he’s 28-years-old. He films the Men in Black, the first one, he marries Jada.
So he had just gotten divorced a couple of years earlier, so we could maybe wrap that into the progression as well because Mercury rules Will’s Ascendant; he’s a Gemini rising. And so, he gets divorced because he was focusing so much on his career—that’s one of the reasons why—he marries Jada Pinkett Smith. And he drops his first album—Big Willie Style had a huge impact on my upbringing in middle school—and he has that number one hit Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It. And Chris, you mentioned also the movie.
CB: Yeah, I mean, for me, in 1996, the most important thing that Will Smith did is he released Independence Day. And I feel like that and Men in Black were definitely the high watermarks of his popularity, especially in terms of his acting career.
And his transition from television and doing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to suddenly becoming one of the top movies stars really happens at this time period with the release of Independence Day—which came out in 1996, the same year that this is stationing direct—and then subsequently Men in Black, which became a really popular series as well.
So yeah, that’s a really impressive one just in terms of that being the turning point where Will Smith becomes a popular and successful TV actor to suddenly becoming a super mega movie star, as well as a successful musician, which he’d sort of already been up to that point, but having the first Billboard number one is pretty striking.
CU: Yeah, and I’ll clarify it wasn’t his first album, it was his first solo album.
NDB: I was going to say that.
NDB: I saw him live in 1990 before he even had a TV show, when he was Fresh Prince.
NDB: I saw him with DJ Jazzy Jeff. I went because De La Soul was the opening act, but he was awesome as well. So you guys make me feel so old. He didn’t even have a TV show yet. We knew him from his records with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Parents Just Don’t Understand and that kind of thing.
CU: Yeah, that’s awesome.
CB: Well, you can lecture on that. We, as millennials, will lecture you on the importance of Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It as a single in the mid-1990s.
NDB: I’ve gotten ‘jiggy’. I was still in my 20s in those days.
CB: Okay. And yeah, Will Smith is great. Because one of the things I’m really enjoying about now and getting older and being in my mid-to-late 30s at this point is all of the people that were celebrities that I was super big fans of when I was younger are now getting old enough that they’re all writing biographies and autobiographies and all the biographies are coming out.
So Will Smith released one a few months ago, which I was really interested in because we have this timed birth chart for him. So it’s so great to be able to read an autobiography and see the person’s own reflections, as they’re getting into that stage of their life, on things that happened earlier, and sometimes finding out information that wasn’t public earlier.
And that was kind of a big theme also in terms of his book, which was interesting. But then also other celebrities like Dave Grohl also released an autobiography in the past year, and that’s another timed chart that we have that then provided more information and backstories. It’s just like one of few things I’m appreciating about getting older.
NDB: Yeah, it is. And this is true as someone who reads a lot of biographies. A lot of times the true stories, so to speak, come out much longer after the events happened. Like for instance, there are things about Bruce Lee’s life or things about the Manson murders that are only emerging in books that have come out in the last few years, things that really changed the narrative as we knew them.
And these are subjects that I’ve been following for 20-plus years as an astrologer, and yet, it sometimes takes time for the true story, so to speak, to come out or for real information to come out. So yeah, it is refreshing when finally these biographies come out and you get insights into things that happened 20 years ago that you had no idea because they weren’t necessarily big news stories then.
CB: And although we’re focusing mainly on celebrity charts that’s one of the drawbacks of course of using celebrities—you don’t always know exactly what was going on unless it’s public information, or it was documented in some way. And that’s one of the reasons why looking at this technique sometimes can be important for either looking at your own chart or charts of the people that you know because you can sometimes find out much more information.
And sometimes with celebrities a station may be even more important than you realize because there may be information or events that happened that just isn’t public knowledge or isn’t yet. So that’s in terms of an ongoing debate about using personal birth chart examples versus celebrity birth chart examples that we’ve always talked about on the podcast. Catherine, what was the Mars example that you wanted to mention?
CU: So yeah, the one that is really standout to me is Judy Garland, so another performer here. She’s born with Mars retrograde, and I believe Mars…
NDB: Directly opposite the Sun, I think.
CU: Yeah. And I believe—I’m going to pull up her chart right now—I believe that Mars rules her Midheaven. Okay, Chris is on it.
NDB: Oh, no, she’s Pisces Midheaven.
CU: Okay, rules her 10th house.
CB: 10th whole sign house.
CU: Rules her 10th whole sign house. So Mars is going to station direct in her 6th house. And she is 36-years-old—this year I believe is 1958-1959—she’s hospitalized with acute hepatitis. And this is of course from drinking and all the pills that she’s been on since being a child, and the doctors tell her that she’s probably never going to sing again, she has about five years to live. And Judy describes this as the biggest relief of her life because she’s been performing, just churning out movies and albums and what not from childhood—she’s exhausted. And so, this is a huge relief to her that finally the pressure’s off for the first time in her life.
So the 6th house here is relevant because it’s a health issue. But then because it takes so much pressure off of her, she then goes on to perform what many people will refer to as the greatest night in show business, and she does her Carnegie Hall performance in 1961. And it’s huge because Judy was always unreliable. She was always kind of showing up late. Sometimes she’d be too drunk at this point in her life. But this one she was on the money.
NDB: Yeah, she’s got a fascinating chart. And with that Mars retrograde in Sagittarius, Mars retrograde in Sagittarius is quite rare. It can take 32-47 years to reoccur. And as it happens, she was born with Mars retrograde in Sagittarius and she died when Mars was retrograde in Sagittarius in 1969.
And there was no other Mars retrograde in Sagittarius by transit in between her birth and death. Her birth and death are bookmarked very elegantly by the Mars retrograde in Sagittarius. And they’re the only ones. There’s no sort of intermediate one in between.
CU: That is fascinating. Wow.
CB: Yeah, this is what it’s like if you go and sit around with Nick Dagan Best at a party or something. He just starts spouting out these facts, and he’s truly the ‘Human Ephemeris’.
NDB: Yeah, this 25 years. Actually 27 years of study.
CU: It’s fascinating.
CB: Other examples—a good Pluto example, Nick, which is Churchill.
NDB: Oh, yeah, yeah. He had secondary progressed Pluto make a station in May-June 1940 right when he becomes prime minister as the Germans are attacking Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway, etc.
And yeah, the famous speeches, speeches about beaches: ‘We’ll fight them on the landing grounds, we’ll do all that’, all that stuff. And it’s very Plutonian for him because, I mean, first of all, he hasn’t really had party support.
He’s been an outlier throughout the 1930s. He’s famously the only one saying that the Nazis are bad news when everyone’s trying to accommodate them. And that’s one of the reasons he becomes prime minister because he’s the only one who really saw things for what they were.
And of course in 1940, Britain is really alone fighting Germany. Russia is still allied with Germany. The Americans are basically keeping their hands off. They’re not even supplying weapons yet, though eventually Lend-Lease comes along later in 1941. And then of course at the end of ‘41, the United States joins the action.
So in this period, when he has the secondary progressed Pluto making that station, Britain is really alone in a very Plutonian experience fighting for survival. So yeah, that’s powerful. Yeah, thank you for reminding me. I had forgotten about that.
CU: I have another prime minister.
CU: So Margaret Thatcher—her Uranus stations by progression, and Mercury, at the same time in 1974. She’s 49-years-old. And this is when she secures the head of the Conservative Party in Britain, and she’s the first female to do this for any major political party.
And this is also under her progressed Full Moon, if anyone’s curious. And this leads to her becoming the first female prime minister in 1979. So that’s five years later under the progressed third quarter Moon, so a significant turning point there.
But I thought that this is another one—because I mentioned earlier in the recording that sometimes Uranus, when it stations, we can see themes of smashing the ceiling, the glass ceiling. So here, we see that with her.
CB: Wow. Okay.
NDB: Very much. She’s got a great chart. She was born the same day as Lenny Bruce, but he died way too young to have any of these secondary progressed stations. But in other instances, I like to because they’re such different figures born on the same day.
NDB: Yeah, a good one.
CB: That’s really an important observation in terms of the length of time that a person is alive. It’s really going to dictate and in some instances curtail how many secondary progressed stations can actually occur in their life.
CB: And it sort of reminds me of some of the ancient statements, like in Ptolemy in the 2nd century, of why some ancient astrologers wanted to use the so-called ‘length-of-life’ technique. And they said that the rationale was that you shouldn’t predict events for a person who won’t live long enough to see that event. For example, if somebody didn’t live into their 70s or 80s, then they wouldn’t experience Biden’s secondary progressed stations of three planets in that year.
NDB: I was about to say Biden was born nine days before Ann Dunham. Do you know who Ann Dunham is?
NDB: Barack Obama’s mother.
CU: Oh, wow.
NDB: Of course she died back in the ‘90s. So she’s a good example because she would have the same secondary progressions a little earlier than Biden, but long after she’d actually passed, so that’s another example.
CB: Right. She famously passed away from cancer relatively young.
NDB: Exactly—and leading to Obama’s campaign to have a better healthcare program in the US because he felt that she might have survived had her access to care been better. But all that being equal, indeed, she’s only nine days younger than Biden, so a lot of those secondary progressions would happen just nine years prior to when Biden has them, but she died long before those would come to pass.
CB: That’s really interesting then, and also kind of touching in terms of Obama later picking Biden as his running mate, and Biden becoming his vice president. And even through Obama’s mother didn’t live to see him become president and wasn’t around for that in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Biden being somebody that would have a somewhat similar chart to hers—they were born within nine days of each other—on some level would have carried some of the energy of that time period, of that birth chart, as he advised during the course of Obama’s presidency.
CU: That’s really sweet.
CB: Yeah. All right, so we’re at two-hours-and-seven-minutes. We’re really towards the end of this, and I think we’ve covered a lot of stuff. So I think this might be a good point to wrap up, unless there’s any killer examples that we haven’t mentioned that we could mention briefly. But I think we’re actually probably in pretty good shape, unless there’s something I’m totally overlooking.
NDB: Yeah, like I said, I mean, I do have more great examples, but they’re epics. They’re tales worth telling. They are tales I will tell in my own time. But yeah, I think we’ve run the course now.
CB: Brilliant. How do you feel, Catherine?
CU: I could share—could I share one more?
CB: Sure, do it.
CU: Okay, so we’ve got Dave Chappelle. He’s got a couple; he’s got two pretty good ones. So Mars—another Mars example—Mars is going to station retrograde in 1999. And this is a huge turning point for him in terms of what to do with his career; so he actually considers leaving Hollywood at this point.
He had some big letdowns. There was an instance where he had the opportunity to do a spinoff. Him and Jim Breuer made an appearance on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement, and the network liked it so much that they wanted to create this new show called Buddies; it didn’t work out.
So he pitched another show to the network with him and all of his friends, but the network was like, “Hey, why don’t we take your Black friends out and put a bunch of white friends in there? Because we think that our audience will receive that better.” And he was like, “Um, that’s racist. And screw you guys.” And so, he goes home and he considers leaving Hollywood altogether.
So this is 1996 that this happens. But by 1998, he’s co-starring with Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, Martin Lawrence in Blue Streak, and he co-writes Half-Baked in that time period, too. And so, by the year 2000, he has his first HBO special, which is like every comics goal, right, to have your own HBO special. So this is all centered around this Mars stationing retrograde.
Interestingly, progressed Mars is going to return to its natal position, I believe, at some point. Oh, wait, no. Maybe I’m getting that confused with something else going on for him, so put a pin in that, but I’ll skip to his Jupiter. So also his stationary progressed Jupiter is going to station direct in 2008, and he’s 35-years-old at this point.
So 2008, this is a little bit after everything that went down. He had of course The Chappelle Show with—what is that? I forget the network.
NDB: Comedy Central.
CB: Comedy Central.
CU: Comedy Central, yes. Shows you how long I haven’t had cable.
NDB: Chris and I used to watch it when it was airing, back when we lived in Cumberland.
CU: Oh, nice.
CB: I mean, The Chappelle Show was wildly popular. I mean, that first retrograde Mars station that you mentioned is really important in ‘99 and 2000 because when he released that first HBO stand-up special in 2000, I think that really cemented his legacy as one of the leading stand-up comedians, and that’s partially what led to him getting The Chappelle Show on Comedy Central.
And then that became just wildly, wildly popular in the early-to-mid-2000s. But then what you were saying is he ended up unexpectedly leaving The Chappelle Show in one of the later seasons and rejecting a huge offer of like millions and millions
CU: Like 500 million. Yeah, precisely what you were saying there, Chris. And yeah, so his Jupiter stations and this kind of coincides with him just leaving. Jupiter in this case is going to be representative of his urge for freedom.
And it’s not just any vacation that he takes. So this is the difference between, say, a Jupiter transit where you may want to just ‘get out of Dodge’ for a minute, have an experience. He moves to South Africa—and then he tells his wife. He’s like, “I’m gone. Hope you’ll forgive me and maybe join me here.” But he’s like, “I’ve just got to get out.” So he couldn’t deal with the pressure anymore.
NDB: I can attest running off to South Africa unexpectedly can really change one’s life for the better. That’s a good example.
CB: I mean, those are really good examples just because that kind of bookends him rising up in that first station in ‘99 and 2000, and rising up to the pinnacle of his career, and then the Jupiter stationing and sort of coming down from that period and walking away from everything. But then also of course over the past decade, he’s made a comeback, especially over the past several years, but in terms of those two stations, those are compelling examples.
CU: Yeah, and I remembered—oh, sorry, just really quick. I remember what I was going to say. His stationary progressed Mars is going to retrograde back to his natal Mars, I believe, in 2024. So that’ll be interesting to observe because you don’t get to observe that sort of progression very often.
NDB: That’s true. What I remember about 2008 is that that’s when he started doing stand-up. The show ended I think in 2004 if I remember correctly. But 2008, he’s doing stand-up and you start to see clips of him on YouTube because he’s doing surprise gigs at little comedy clubs. And YouTube is a brand new thing at this point. This is one of the things that just starts showing up because he pulled his own sort of ‘Greta Garbo’ move when he left the show, indeed, and went to South Africa.
Yeah, the progression in terms of how it synchronizes, I see it as part of his gradual reemergence because he went from just doing surprise gigs at little stand-up clubs to eventually working his way up to this Netflix thing he’s got going now.
CB: Yeah, and maybe coming back and figuring out—that was the beginning of the phase—2008 and forward—of him coming back and figuring out and setting the terms and coming back on his own terms, which was primarily as a comedian.
By that time, he was like the ‘elder’ comedian statesperson over the past decade rather than somebody in the mid-to-early-2000s who felt was kind of being trapped and had these people telling him what he could and could not do creatively, which he really wasn’t happy about. So yeah, that’s really interesting, those two turning points in his life and in his career.
CB: Cool. All right, well, great example. We’ve covered a surprising amount of stuff today. I thought we were going to get through a fraction of the examples that we did. I know we still have others that we could have gone through, but I think we’ve got the point across about when a planet stations by secondary progression. Hopefully, after two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes people have gotten the point.
NDB: If you didn’t, you’re hopeless. Give up astrology.
CB: Right. I don’t know about that. I would keep trying.
NDB: Keep trying. Never quit. Never quit.
CB: So both of you are practicing astrologers that give consultations, lectures, and classes and other writings and things. Catherine, what’s your website? And tell us about your work and what you have coming up.
CU: Yeah, so you can find me on all platforms @AstroCatherine; that’s Catherine with a ‘C’. And then my website is CatherineUrban.com, and that’s Urban with a ‘U’. And yeah, I just actually finished a course on secondary progressions, so all of this is super fresh in my mind.
And that course is actually going to be available for download, so you can kind of go at your own pace. So the best way to keep posted on when that course drops is to join my mailing list. It should be out very soon.
Yeah, and I just have some speaking engagements coming up. I’m going to be making appearances at various NCGR chapters here in the next couple of months. And also, I will be speaking at The Astrology Gathering, which is a little conference in Lily Dale, New York, which is, if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a little tiny town on a lake, full of psychic mediums. And you must be a psychic to live there.
CB: Awesome. That’s exciting.
CU: That’s important, yeah.
CB: So your website is CatherineUrban.com.
CB: I’ll put a link to that in the description below this video on YouTube or on The Astrology Podcast website if people are listening to the audio version.
CU: Perfect. Yeah, and I’m also just offering consultations. So yeah, that’s pretty much the bulk of what I’ve got going on on a week-to-week basis. And I’ve got all kinds of forecasts on pretty much all the platforms, so that’s where you can find me.
CB: Cool. Yeah, and people, if they wanted to get a consultation focusing on secondary progressions with you and applying this technique, they can do it just by contacting you for a consult.
CB: Awesome. And Nick, what about you? What do you have going on? What’s your website URL?
NDB: My website is NickDaganBestAstrologer.com. And I’m presently, like I said earlier, working on a series of video essays largely about planetary synodic cycles, but I’m also going to touch on subjects like secondary progressions and what have you.
But yeah, I’m very interested in the video essay format. It’s something I feel like I’ve been training my whole life to have a stab at, so yeah, it’s coming together nicely. I’ve got a lot of different episodes planned, like the one I mentioned earlier about pop groups of the ‘70s and their Venus retrogrades: the Carpenters and the Bee Gees, ABBA, and all those people; and AC/DC and Van Halen for the harder rockers and a bunch of other things. Politics, cinema, authors, all kinds of different really interesting horoscopes and the life stories that go with them.
The first episode I’m working on is topical because it is about Russia. I’ve read a lot about Russia and even visited there in 2016. And I’m kind of glad I did because I don’t know if it’ll be a place anyone wants to go to for a long time to come. But yeah, so all kinds of stuff there.
And then just day-to-day, I offer consultations. I can be booked through my website. One-hour consultations, I talk about secondary progressions, transits, whatever people need to sort out their stuff. Whatever they come to me with, I help them with.
CB: Brilliant. All right, and your website’s NickDaganBestAstrologer.com. And I’ll put a link to that in the description below the video or on The Astrology Podcast website. And as for myself, I teach online courses on astrology through my course site, which is at courses.TheAstrologySchool.com, and my main course for learning natal chart or birth chart interpretation is my Hellenistic Astrology course.
And then also if people like the podcast and want to support it and get access to benefits and bonus content, like early access to new episodes, you can sign up through my Patreon at Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
All right, guys, that’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for joining me. This is amazing. I’m glad we got to do this and this was a lot of fun. So we should get together again some other time and do some other topics in the future.
CU: Thrilled. Thank you so much, Chris. And Nick, thank you so much.
NDB: Thank you.
CB: All right, well, that it’s for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. So thanks everyone for listening or watching this episode, and we’ll see you again next time.[credits]
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There are also two major astrology conferences happening this year. The first is the Northwest Astrological Conference happening May 26-30, 2022, near Seattle, Washington. Find out more information at NORWAC.net. And the second is the International Society for Astrological Research Conference, which is taking place August 25-29, 2022, in Westminster, Colorado. And you can find out more information about that at ISAR2022.org.