• hoping that you find this mini-lesson informative!

    In a previous article (you can find this in the archives of my blog – https://my-sky-pie.com/abc-learning/ – dated April 10th 2016, entitled ABC learning) I explained how to calculate secondary progressions giving some hints about to interpret the various planets and how to follow their advancement over the years.

    Now, let’s have a look at secondary progressed planets that change direction over the course of our lifetimes (doesn’t happen to everyone though!). These changes in secondary progressed direction, just like a change of sign or a change of house, work on a more intimate and internal level, coming to the surface and manifesting as real-time events when key transits trigger them.

    Firstly, the Sun and Moon NEVER change direction by secondary progression but are, all the same, pivotal planets to follow since the secondary progressed Sun changes signs at least twice (sometimes three times) during our lifetime and in doing so imbues our natal Sun with nuances of the character traits relative to the sign it enters, likewise house changes of the Sun’s secondary progressed position show the new area of activity for our ego interests (these modifications in the nuances applies to all the other planets that change sign/house too). The secondary progressed Sun moves approximately 1° per year according to the month of your birth (winter signs move faster, summer signs more slowly).

    The secondary progressed Moon is a huge indicator of mood (sign change) and interests (house change) and moves through each sign in 29.5 months thus completing 2 or 3 complete orbits of the zodiac during our lifetime and highlights the arena of our emotional shift as it progresses.

    Now let’s address the planets that do change direction by secondary progression due to their yearly (or once every two years in the case of Mars) retrograde period.

    Remember that the condition and placement of the natal planet together with the houses it rules are of vital importance when considering the possible manifestations of the change in direction of the secondary progressed planet.

    The most important phase of any planet changing direction by secondary progression is the year of station when major events usually make this period a one to remember in your life.


    Mercury changes direction three times per year for 20 days at a time therefore you might have a direct Mercury at birth which at some point during your life then turns retrograde by secondary progression or vice versa.

    The progressed retrograde period lasts approximately 24 progressed years. On a personal level, Mercury rules how we communicate, how we learn, our thought processes and our travels among many other things. When the planet turns retrograde by secondary progression we turn away from our habitual thinking and communicating mode as we tune in to the more intimate workings of our mental processes. Thus, it’s a great time to delve deeper into educational interests and study programmes whatever your age, if the retrograde motion occurs during school age it could coincide with learning difficulties if the natal planet is making or receiving stressful aspects.

    If you were born with Mercury retrograde then this will turn direct by secondary progression at some point in your life and during its station you may feel as if your mind has suddenly come out of hibernation and you can now apply your thinking in a more objective way in the outer world.


    When secondary progressed Venus turns retrograde in your chart then the period will last for 42 progressed years. When this happens we are invited to take a new look about what we enjoy at a social, financial and sentimental level. Our values slowly change as we shy away from more social and outward situations (especially if the retrograde period happens later in life) and turn inwards seeking a more self-satisfying approach to life. On another level we may attract or be attracted to people and situations that previously we would not have considered and these may not always be positive for us. If Venus represents the more financial side of our lives rather than the sentimental one then we are advised to keep our finances in order because losses cannot be ruled out.

    A natal Venus retrograde turning direct marks the beginning of a more outward social demeanour because we start to feel better about ourselves and this reflects on our dress and body style, also on our finances if natal Venus is more financially involved.


    Mars remains retrograde by secondary progression for 80 progressed years so some people may have a natal retrograde Mars that turns direct very late in life.

    When Mars turns retrograde by secondary progression we become less competitive as the ways of asserting ourselves mellow and quieten. We tend to become more motivated by introspection than outward physical effort as we attunes to more personal impulses which could however lead to damaging psychological tensions if resistance to this new form of energy is shown and a suitable and less physical outlet for it is not found. If natal Mars is afflicted if could also hint at the emergence of sexual problems for some males or sometimes surgical procedures.

    A natal retrograde Mars that turns direct by secondary progression gives us that forward boost to start some new enterprise, to feel challenged and want to master some endeavour. A subtle “feeling free” to act.


    By secondary progression Jupiter remains retrograde for 120 progressed years. Some people never have this planet change direction during their lives, maintaining the motion it has at birth.

    When Jupiter turns retrograde by secondary progression it seems to involve the (re)-discovery of religious, political or intellectual avenues that have been “played down” or even completely ignored until this moment. It also signals a period where outwardly flourishing is no longer a desire but there is a new intimate need to discover all unconscious truths about our own existence that have eluded us until this moment.  To discover the area of these truths you must search in the house in which natal Jupiter is placed.

    A retrograde natal Jupiter turning direct by secondary progression denotes the beginning point when our own wisdom concerning our lives, inspirations and ideals should be brought to the surface so that they can be used for our own and others’ benefit.


    Saturn remains retrograde for 140 progressed years and as for Jupiter some people will never have the planet change direction by secondary progression.

    The year of the station of this progressed planet often brings a year of heavy responsibilities and sacrifice in personal affairs during which moving forward is slow and arduous no matter how hard we works and try. During this year we must work on “letting go” of trying to control or limit the outer environment and adopt a more structured and well-defined psychological basis in our approach to life. We gradually become more serious at a subjective level, more reflective and self-examining. The house in which natal Saturn is to be found takes on an added seriousness as we begin to consider the consequences of our long-term commitments in that area. It may also herald the beginning of a better understanding of our unconscious fears and self-limitations that have stifled the ego.

    When Saturn turns direct by secondary progression the person becomes less wary, more inclined to let his authority show as he loosens the hold he has been keeping on his inner self and begins to experience a greater sense of personal freedom.

    I will not deal with the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) in this article since their effects are first on the collective and only afterwards filter down into our personal lives through the sign and house placement in the natal chart.

    I guess that I have been inspired to write this article because my own secondary progressed Jupiter will station retrograde for a year this coming December.

    Have you any stories to tell about your own secondary progressed planets changing direction. Would you care to share?



    Mason S. (1985) “Delineation of Progressions”, Retrograde and Direct Motion of Planets, pp 241-246, AFA Inc., Tempe AZ, USA

    Tierney B. (1983) “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis”, Chapter 10, Retrograde Planets, pp 242-244, CRCA Publications, Sebastopol, CA, USA

    Copyright: myskypie.com     June 2018

    Image: ABC train from Istock


    thank you. I appreciate your good perspectives. Stay blessed

    Blessings to you too Dawn and thank you.

    I've noticed in many charts, and in my personal chart as well that those who are born with Saturn Retrograde, in the cases where they go direct there is a huge shift, where all the "inner structures" they build such as experience, discipline, authority start to be expressed in the outworld! In several charts, they became experts by their personal experience. For example, one became a professional advocate that helps the disabled after undergoing many challenges she experienced.

    I am totally in agreement with you here Chandler, not only when progressed Saturn changes direction but also with the inner planets too.