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The Heartache of Secondary Progressions

In my last article I discussed the magical impact that positive progressed aspects can have in our lives. Like the positive progressions, negative secondary progressions bring out potentials that are already present in our horoscope. However, when the connection is negative, that is to say a hard aspect or an aspect involving Mars of Saturn, the result can be problematic.


In keeping with our focus on pop icons (I used Katy Perry, Madonna and Janis Joplin in my last entry) we’ll start with Britney Spears. Spears’ problems began in 2004 when her secondary progressed Mars moved over her Ascendant. She suffered some minor career reversals early in this period (a cancelled concert, some bad publicity) but what really started Spears’ downward slide was her decision to marry Kevin Federline.


Up until this time Britney Spears had spent her life working incredibly hard toward one goal: to become a famous pop star. There had been little time left for her to learn how to be a regular person, let alone a competent wife and mother. So, it’s no wonder her marriage faltered and her ability to care for her two children was questioned. Mars on her Ascendant made these gaps in Spears’ experience and awareness painfully obvious to the world.


Of course, what come to mind we think of Britney Spears during this period are the images of her shaving her head. At this time she was under two unhappy secondary progressed aspects. Her progressed Moon was moving into a square with her natal Saturn and her progressed Mars, which by this time had moved away from her Ascendant, was in a nearly exact square aspect with her progressed Sun.


Another famous singer who suffered during a negative secondary progression was Karen Carpenter. When Carpenter’s secondary progressed Sun and Mercury opposed her natal Mars her anorexia was identified for the first time. Alarmed by her weight lose, the singer’s family had her hospitalized. Carpenter would continue to struggle with this illness for the next seven years until it finally led to her death.


Marilyn Monroe is another famous female performer who hit hard times under a negative secondary progression. In January 1961, just after she had completed her last movie (The Misfits), Monroe was hospitalized. The doctors feared that she was suicidal.


At that time Monroe’s secondary progressed Sun was conjunct her natal Pluto while her secondary progressed Mars was square that position. These are serious aspects that typically bring an oppressive awareness of all our misery and our short-comings. For someone like Monroe, who had already shown signs of emotional instability, it was a dangerous omen. The hospitalization was definitely warranted.


But Monroe and her doctor objected to her internment and, after much wrangling got the actress released.  Monroe’s slide into a depressive fog continued, unabated.


Interestingly enough, the secondary progressed aspect that was dominant when Monroe died was a positive one. Her secondary progressed Venus was conjunct her natal Sun. At another time and in another life this aspect might have signaled great success. Here it represented release from a life that had provides much fame and very little happiness.


Have any of you had experiences, negative or positive, with secondary progressions? Feel free to share your thoughts and observations.

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