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How Long-Lived is Secondary Progression?

by Sue Kientz

26 February 2017, 11:15 p.m. PST

Few astrologers would be surprised if a 100-year-old woman reached her crowning achievement at age 99, and the milestone was reflected in her Secondary Progressed chart. The pattern that formed 99 days after birth is relevant for us, as spooky as such claims are to non-initiates.

But would you expect progression to work 150 years after birth? Or 200? 500? Do you protest, who could possibly live that long? I'll tell you who: great artists “live” that long. Celebrated personalities, whom we treasure for their minds, daring, or spiritual gifts, “live on” to inspire and teach ensuing generations.

The trouble is, we haven’t noticed this working, because until now, astrologers lacked some key components — the new “dwarf” planets discovered lurking in the Kuiper Belt about a decade ago. Using well-known historical figures, prepare to see that major milestones appear in long-term progression, usually when the Community creates follow-up productions that celebrate or “continue” the influence of the deceased individual.

Two things, before we jump in:

  • While you might be skeptical of adding any so-called "new planets" into your interpretations, please know that Dwarf Planets are not asteroids. They are by definition large enough to form a spherical shape, most have one or more moons, and every one discussed herein is at least twice the size (or more!) of the largest asteroids.
  • You also might take issue with some natal orbs being too wide, but hold your fire until you see how the planets in question progress and reform into more exact figures. It just might be that natal aspects are just setting us up for the achievement (or epic failures) that occur at those amazing progressed milestones.

Tolkien and Jackson's Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

J.R.R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892, 10 p.m., Bloemfontein, South Africa1), was born with Sun (12 58) trine Makemake (4 58), the latter being a 2005 discovery considered the third largest object in the Kuiper Belt. Makemake is found in charts of people who exhibit shocking and startling behavior, who are unusually intelligent, sometimes even bizarre. Electricity or surprise are commonly occurring elements. These findings were published in my article on Makemake in the Astrological Journal (Nov./Dec. 2014) using supporting example lives such as Thomas Edison ( M), Nikolai Tesla ( M), Salvador Dali ( M), Benjamin Franklin ( M; M), Mozart ( M), Alfred Hitchcock ( M), and J.K. Rowling ( M). Some key event charts with prominent Makemake are the 9-11 Terror Attacks ( M), Sandy Hook Massacre ( M), and Mt. St. Helens’ explosive eruption in 1980 ( M).2 Hopefully this persuades you to want to know more about Makemake.

Tolkien’s Makemake was opposite Uranus (5 27), with the latter not in aspect to his Sun nor Mercury (0 04R). Therefore Tolkien’s unusual literary output can hardly be attributed to Uranian elements, but rather corresponds to super oddball Makemake. Tolkien created not just fantasy novels, but devised entirely new languages, continents, and ages for the action. While his work gained cult status in the 1960s, it should come as no surprise that when his progressed Sun approached conjunction with p. M at the turn of the century, innovative filmmaker Peter Jackson would bring Tolkien’s unusual vision to life, enlivened with remarkable special effects.

Tolkien Table
Footnote link: 3

After the final film won every Academy Award for which it was nominated, publisher Harper-Collins took the Tolkien resurgence seriously. Beginning April 3, 2006, the publisher reissued nearly all his titles4 as Tolkien reached progressed new moon with Makemake – p. (7 15) p. (9 52) p. M (6 55).

Dickinson Uncensored

Emily Dickinson (Dec. 10, 1830, 5 a.m., Amherst, MA5), (17 53) Haumea (18 53) Eris (20 22). Dickinson would transform poetry, but not in her lifetime. Her most favorable supporting natal figure is her Sun’s close sextile with Haumea (transformation) and Eris (connection/polarization with Others; symbol ).

Eris’ function in charts was initially presented in my 2014 Astrological Journal article (Sept./Oct. issue), also available online.6 Haumea, identified in 2004, is the fourth-largest Kuiper planet and fully analyzed in my 2015 book, More Plutos.7 Its eccentric orbit is similar to Pluto’s but different enough to allow it to conjunct Pluto for years in repeating clusters (in “recent” times: 1510s, 1560s, 1730s, 1870s, 1950s). I assert that this series of unobserved conjunctions has misled modern astrologers to assign Haumea’s transformative function to Pluto. A good illustration of this is the use of the Atomic Bomb in World War II. Many know the Sun was conjunct Pluto in August 1945, but it was Haumea that delivered the knock-out punch, as the Sun moved from conjunct Pluto to conjunct Haumea:

Atom Bomb drop configuration of Sun, Pluto, and Haumea
Footnote link: 8

When the first bomb hit Hiroshima, the Japanese could at least grasp that here was a powerful weapon (Pluto = power). But when the second bomb hit Nagasaki, it became crystal clear that the U.S. had the means to destroy them completely (Haumea = complete destruction). Only then did Japan unconditionally surrender.

So when we see Dickinson’s Sun sextile Haumea/Eris, we are faced with a woman with a wonderful talent of looking at the external world (Eris) and expressing her perception of it in completely novel ways (Haumea). She wrote about nature, other people, God, and Death, among other topics, with both light humor and depth of feeling. But her isolation meant that the hundreds of poems she produced would not touch Others (Eris) until after her death (Haumea). Even so, Emily makes her post-mortem milestone “on time” when her full catalog was published in December 19559 (Dec. 1 used). Her poems at last are no longer “normalized” into 19th century style, but retain all her intended punctuation, capitalization, and unique rhyming schemes, as her p. (23 40) p. H (22 17) p. (22 20). Not only is the sextile reformed, it is more fully completed.

Films of Austen’s Novels

Jane Austen (Dec. 16, 1775, 11:45 p.m., Steventon, England10), (6 11) H (6 27) (3 50). Austen’s popular novels are known and prized for her biting comments and penetrating wit. Her heroines, somewhat like herself, are never afraid to speak candidly or change their minds, such as Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice and Emma Woodhouse in Emma. Austen is emblematic of Mercury opp. Uranus (very clever and intelligent, but with her laser-sharp mind focused on others) and Mercury conj. Haumea (she is unafraid to speak up about situations and behavior that should be changed).

Modern audiences enjoy such saucy audacity, and in the late 1990s, a number of films debuted that Miss Austen herself would have relished.

Austen Movies Table
Table footnotes:
11 12 13 14

Melville and the Overdue Appreciation of Moby-Dick

Herman Melville (Aug. 1, 1819, 11:30 p.m., New York, NY15), authored the now-celebrated novel Moby-Dick, a fictionalized account drawn from his time at sea on a whaler. Through the narrator Ishmael, Melville relates the story of Captain Ahab, who obsessively hunts a huge white whale that had nearly killed him. One might observe that Melville’s birth chart seems to mirror this polarized, fixated drama:

Melville Whale Figure

If you include asteroid Astraea (14 34), representative of pureness, you even have the “White” component.

Melville’s propensity to be intrigued and/or involved with Obsession and Devotion, and their frequent compadre Suffering, is represented by new Kuiper planet Sedna, a large 995-km world with an eccentric orbit of approximately 11,400 years. 16

Melville Sedna Figure

Sedna as an indicator of the sacrifice and determination required by extreme devotion or obsession has been detailed in an article and a book by the author, with specifics and examples available online.17 To give you a flavor of Sedna,

  • Shah Jahan ( ), suffered extraordinary bouts of grief after his favorite wife, Mumtaz, died. To memorialize her, he spent 17 years building the Taj Mahal.
  • Edwin Hubble ( ) endured years of bitter cold nights at Mt. Wilson’s Observatory, gathering evidence to prove that the universe was more than just the Milky Way. Eventually Hubble found the convincing proof, which exponentially expanded humankind’s view of the cosmos.
  • Jackie Robinson ( ) suffered harassment, name calling, and death threats when he broke the color barrier to play baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but he persevered and soon after, more African Americans were able to join American major league teams. Robinson’s devotion and determination changed sports forever.

Melville needed that determination because his greatest work was not appreciated at its debut. The British version mistakenly excised its final Epilogue, which made it unclear how the narrator survived to tell the story. Critics lambasted this “flaw,” and these negative reviews reached the U.S., affecting sales there. Also, his style was completely different from what most people were used to, as the story includes long passages that read like paeans to various parts of the whale.

So when Moby-Dick was published on Nov. 14, 185118, even though Melville was enjoying a creative high indicated by p. (10 00) p. M (9 03), his progressed Mars was up against a tough stellium:

Melville's p. Mars at Moby-Dick

With Moby-Dick such a disappointment, when his next book misfired, he turned away from writing novels altogether, instead composing poems and short stories. He eventually died feeling like a failure (Sept. 28, 1891, New York, NY19; 12:05 a.m. used), at (4 46) (5 53).

Then around the centennial of his birth, more sophisticated 20th-Century critics reexamined Melville’s accomplishments, especially Moby-Dick:

Melville table
Table footnotes:
20 21

These works were instrumental in finally shining a light on Melville’s underappreciated genius, and soon Melville had a devoted following. Since then he is often cited as one of America’s greatest authors, and Moby-Dick as being the great American novel. Looking at that steady march of personal planets in progression, to trines with so many powerful outer bodies, including steadfast Sedna, we can see Melville’s run of good fortune, however posthumous it was.

Dickens and Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens (Feb. 7, 1812, 11:55 p.m., Portsmouth, England22) nursed a lifelong concern for the poor and ignored ones (of which he was one as a child). He effectively brought attention to their plight by writing about them in his popular serial novels. Dickens’ ability to succeed in such lofty goals is aptly represented by natal (18 08) (26 28), and his audacity in believing he could make such an impact is denoted by his dynamic natal (23 15).

One of his most popular stories is A Christmas Carol, published on Dec. 19, 1843.23 This work is such a key achievement that Dickens’ natal “themes” of Jupiter and Uranus appear in transit: (26 59) (24 13) and (25 22). These themes also repeat in major aspect in his progressed pattern, too: p. (20 09) p. (26 46) and p. p. (23 21).

Uncanny as it may sound, these same auspicious themes are in play when the children’s animated cartoon Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol debuted on American television on Dec. 18, 1962.24 At the time, transiting (9 34) (6 52) and (5 16), with those “easy” aspects well representative of the much-beloved version of Dickens’ story. But even more telling, Dickens’ still-running progressed pattern shows how pleased he would be if he’d lived to see this engaging version of his classic:

Dickens p. to Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Sun and Mercury’s applying benefic figure with Jupiter and Uranus (as Jupiter and Uranus perfect their trine), corresponds to the Magoo cartoon’s reappearance each Christmas for more than 20 years in a row, each year gaining a sentimental following. The modern classic is still broadcast regularly today.

Casanova and his Racy Ma Vie

Giacomo Casanova (April 2, 1725, Venice, Italy 25; 3:51 a.m. rect.), (12 18) Varuna (11 26). Most consider the name “Casanova” synonymous with a great lover and adventurer, which he was. Casanova was also an inveterate writer and storyteller, recreating his past in vivid detail in the 12-volume memoir, Ma Vie (My Life).

Varuna is another large Kuiper planet, elongated in shape, measuring between 668 km to 1003 km in diameter, and orbiting in a path just slightly inward from formidable Haumea. These two hefty worlds appear to denote Change and Transformation, but while Haumea has a crushing impact, destructive and severe as well as fully life-changing, Varuna creates and destroys with words. It is the planet found in charts of those talented in storytelling and/or fabrication. A complete account including examples of people and events that illustrate Varuna is found in More Plutos.26

Varuna milestones arise over and over again in key moments of Casanova’s career. As a young man, he led a dissipated life, engaging in numerous sexual escapades, frauds, and even forays into black magic. The latter landed him in jail at the infamous Venice prison “The Leads,” but he succeeded in breaking out on Nov. 1, 1755,27 as his p. (12 08) p. V (11 42).

He fled Venice, but the escape made his fortune, as everywhere he traveled, people wanted to hear his dramatic, two-hour recitation of the daring exploit, and that gave him access to royalty, literary figures, and other notable persons throughout Europe. Eventually he published the account of his escape, and later it became the centerpiece of his scandalous autobiography Ma Vie. But Casanova died without finishing his memoirs, on June 4, 1798 (Dux, Czech Republic28; 12:01 a.m. used), at (13 28) V (9 48).

But that’s not the end of his story. Before Casanova died, he gave his manuscript to his nephew. The document was later sold and published in German, heavily censored and edited, in 1822 (Jan. 1 used), as his p. (15 29) p. V (13 08) p. (18 18). The same publishing house hung on to the original manuscript for almost two centuries, and even rescued it during the bombing of Dresden by smuggling it out on a bicycle. As Casanova’s written “Life” escapes destruction (Dresden was bombed on Feb. 13, 194529), Casanova’s progressed pattern once again reforms a Varuna figure, p. (15 34) p. (14 28) p. V (14 37).

It wasn’t until 1960 that scholars at last published an unexpurgated Ma Vie in the original French. Once again, Casanova’s progression contains Varuna: p. (0 35) p. V (14 27), as well as p. p. (2 31) and p. (2 37). Certainly now, Casanova had arrived, right?

No, the famous Venetian Libertine was not done. In 2010, Casanova’s manuscript was purchased for $9.5 million30 and donated to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, which put it on display on Dec. 27, 2011,31 as Casanova’s p. (23 30) p. (24 21) p. (24 02). Casanova is now part of the establishment ( ), and beloved! ( )

But where is Varuna? Basking in all that money! When Casanova’s masterpiece went on display,

Casanova's p. Venus at Ma Vie sale

Casanova’s literary (V) gift () is part of a favorable grand trine he didn’t enjoy in his lifetime.

Three Composers Go to the Movies

Of course, long-lived progression doesn't just work for authors. Composers who leave beloved works behind can also reach their progressed milestones, even if long deceased, at the times when those works are celebrated again or reused in some fashion.

Mozart and Amadeus. The play (and later film) Amadeus is not a true biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan. 27, 1756, 8 p.m., Salzburg, Austria32), but the intriguing story of a fellow composer who admits to “killing Mozart” out of jealousy was irresistible to audiences. I imagine there were many who enjoyed the play or the movie, who would never have attended a Mozart concert. Yet by seeing Amadeus, they are inevitably exposed to the best of Mozart’s music. The advent of these two award-winning productions can be clearly seen as a time for Mozart’s music to shine again, when you check Mozart’s progression.

The progressed Sun does not repeat a Mozart natal theme, perhaps because the framing story is fiction. A milestone is present in that the p. Sun is moving into a major contact, but again, you'll see it's all about the music. First let’s check out Mozart’s quite dynamic natal Sun/Mercury:

Mozart's natal Sun figure

Mozart’s incredible genius is apparent with M, but the square makes it troublesome, too. Add Haumea’s presence M H – and you can appreciate how, through personal excess and overwork so as to cover his debts, Mozart ended up destroying himself, dying at age 35.

Now here is Mozart, progressed to Amadeus’ premiere in London on Nov. 2, 197933:

Mozart's p. Sun to Amadeus the play

A few years later, the motion picture version debuted on Sept. 19, 198434:

Mozart's p. Sun to Amadeus the film

The focus on Mozart, remember, is not on the real person (Sun) but on some fantastic fancy about him ( ) up against political forces ( ), and in conflict with other people ( ).

So instead of the Sun, let's check out Venus, because Amadeus is a really a love letter to Mozart’s music. Here are the milestones we seek:

Mozart p. to the Amadeus play:

Mozart's p. Venus to Amadeus the play

Mozart p. to the film Amadeus:

Mozart's p. Venus to Amadeus the film

Notice that in five years, Venus has not left the 17th degree of Leo, while the Sun has traveled nearly five degrees? That’s because Mozart’s progressed Venus has stationed. In his personal pattern, the planet of Music was hovering in a sweet spot of trines and approaching sextiles, as Broadway and Hollywood slyly acquainted enraptured audiences with Mozart’s musical genius.

Britten, Purcell, and Moonrise Kingdom. Benjamin Britten (Nov. 22, 1913, 7 p.m., Lowestoft, England 35) incorporated a stately theme written by Henry Purcell in the 17th century (the Abdelazar theme) into his Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra in 1946. Sixty-six years later, Britten’s Young People’s Guide would be lovingly incorporated into the soundtrack and story of Wes Anderson’s film, Moonrise Kingdom.

Britten's natal Figure

What a lovely grand trine, especially for a musician, with Neptune in emotional Cancer, and Eris in Neptune’s sign. Where does this take him, by May 25, 2012, when Moonrise Kingdom debuts, 26 years after his death?

Britten p. to Moonrise Kingdom

His Mercury stations in imaginative Pisces, as it returns to and persists in this familiar, inspirational structure of Britten’s birth.

More difficult might be looking at the long-term progression of Henry Purcell, the original author of the Abdelazar theme used in Moonrise Kingdom. What evidence we have of his birth points to it probably being Sept. 10, 1659 (Old Style), in London, England36 (7 a.m. used). More certain (except for the time) is his death on November 21, 1695 OS, London37 (7 a.m. used). But we could just as well use his death date as his birth date, as death is a milestone in itself that I have found can be progressed to post-mortem milestones. Let’s give it a try:

Purcell d. prog. to Moonrise Kingdom

Purcell’s Venus returns to its death-position sign, and aspects eccentric Makemake, aptly as his music appears in this wacky, highly stylized movie. We could try the assumed birthdate, and if it progressed to a close milestone, especially with Venus, that might suggest those scholars might be right about his birthdate being September 10:

Purcell birth p. to Moonrise Kingdom

Venus/Makemake from death, and Venus/Uranus from birth? Those planetary flavors are so similar and sound quite appropriate to represent how Purcell’s majestic theme is used in quirky Moonrise Kingdom — and as far as a birthdate for Purcell, I think we have a winner!

The Bard Lives On

William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564 OS, Stratford-upon-Avon, England38; 9:22 p.m. rect.) hardly needs any introduction, unless you don’t believe that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. But here’s the Shakespeare you haven’t seen:

Shakespeare natal aspects

In other words, the Dwarf Planets tell us, Yes, Shakespeare was a genius (M) of otherworldly proportions (), and he wrote it! ( V) — the entire enormous ( valign=bottom) brilliant () lot of it.

Here is Shakespeare living through the dazzling talents of those who came after him. Where the natal theme has returned, the notation NTR appears in superscript:

Shakespeare progression to great music
Table footnotes:
39 40 41 42 43 44

What might this tell us, that secondary progression continue to “work” long after death? One obvious answer is, what if a person still lives? People may choose to eat better and avoid risky lifestyles, and so they may survive near-death experiences and live longer lives. We also must consider how the human lifespan has doubled in just 100 years. Scientists insist life expectancy might double again.45 So however it might happen, the planetary pattern has to support the possibility that Tolkien, for example, could have been in the audience at the 2004 Academy Awards and seen Lord of the Rings: Return of the King win those 11 Oscars.

But another reason everyone’s progression keeps working, like a ball that never stops but keeps rolling on, could be because everything we achieve is highly dependent on Others. Just consider,

  • Hubble can’t discover the true scope of the Universe unless someone invents the telescope and others build the Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson.
  • Einstein can’t win the Nobel Prize unless Alfred Nobel amasses all that money and institutes the annual honor.
  • Jane Austen can't write her satirical novels about English country life unless that society already exists for her to delightfully lampoon!
So doesn’t it make sense that the Community would find ways to “continue” the lives of those human beings whose legacy they most honor?

Another important takeaway from these results is that Secondary Progression displays a more complete pattern of the “Life” than we ever imagined. For centuries, astrologers have been advising clients by examining their Transits and then Secondary Progressions, and merging those two results into one master list of that person’s future ups and downs. Including the large Kuiper-Belt planets shows us that both patterns are now “filled out” and more complete. In other words, one might actually use Secondary Progression by itself to track a life. Even better, it means that Secondary Progression acts like a fractal copy of the Transiting pattern,46 and validates Bernadette Brady’s claim that Astrology is an example of Chaos Theory in action.47

Yes, those newbie Dwarf Planets just might have brought astrologers a viable scientific basis for how Astrology works, which could lead to more mainstream interest in and acceptance of our long-suffering, noble profession.

Want a non-artsy example of Long-Lived Progression?
Check out
Einstein lives on in LIGO Discovery


2. For more examples and analysis, see Kientz, S., More Plutos. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, 2015. Online version: Makemake chapter
6. Kientz, S. “Eris, the Discomforting Other,” Astrological Journal, Sept./Oct. 2014; Kientz, S., More Plutos. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, 2015; online Eric chapter
7. Kientz, S., More Plutos. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, 2015, pp. 29-42
11. All dates from Wikipedia
12. July 4, 1776, 2:17 a.m., Philadelphia, PA, from
17. Kientz, S. “Sedna: Treasure from the Depths,” The Mountain Astrologer, Feb./March 2015; Kientz, S., More Plutos. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, 2015; Online version: Sedna chapter
18., 12 p.m. used
20. Van Doren, Carl. “Contemporaries of Cooper,” Cambridge History of American Literature, 4 vols., Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1917-1921
25. Casanova, Giacomo, History of My Life, Vols. 1-2, trans. William R. Trask. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins U. Press, 1966, p. 43
26. Kientz, S., More Plutos. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, 2015, pp. 81-91.
27. Casanova, Giacomo, History of My Life, Vols. 3-4, trans. William R. Trask. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins U. Press, 1967, p. 285 (“stroke of midnight” between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1)
36. Holman, Peter and Robert Thompson. "Henry Purcell (ii)," Grove Music Online, (subscription access)
38. Mabillard, Amanda, “Shakespeare Timeline,” Shakespeare Online. 15 Dec. 2013.
46. Beversdorf, Anne. “Astrology and Chaos Theory,” The Mountain Astrologer, 1994; see
47. Brady, Bernadette. Astrology: A Place in Chaos. Bournemouth, England: The Wessex Astrologer, Ltd., 2006, and Brady, Bernadette, Cosmos, Chaosmos, and Astrology. Ceredigion, Wales: Sophia Centre Press, 2014.

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