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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Precessed Return"

Precessed Return Charts [Astro*Index]

A method of return charts preserving the position a natal planet relative to the fixed stars regardless for what year in an individual's life the return chart is cast.

In other words, a precessed return preserves the ayanamsa at the birth moment and the difference between that value and the value for the current moment is added to the planet for which the return chart is cast.

This technique employs a sidereal concept within a tropical system and has had its foremost advocate in Donald Bradley. Aspects to angles and house positions of the planets differ between the two systems, and so would form the basis of a comparison. Bradley says that the lunar return is "basically a health chart" and has "direct impact upon the physical and nervous well-being of the native."

Bradley outlines a clear method:

1) House rulerships cannot be used to predict events.

2) Planets in the angular houses form the "foreground" of the interpretation and are of primary importance; in the succedent houses the "middleground" and of secondary importance; and in the cadent houses the "background" and of least importance.

3) Only the five major aspects are taken into account and do not in themselves qualify the nature of an outcome of the planets, whose natures are "invioably fixed." Conjunctions, squares, and oppositions are the most important, "followed by the less abrupt and less coercive trines and sextiles." This means that any aspect involving a so-called malefic (for Bradley, Mars, Saturn, and Neptune) "is read as an adverse indication," and vice versa for any aspect involving Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus.

4) All transits refer to the birthchart relocated to the present residence.

5) The Campanus house system must be used. Bradley also used demi- and quarti- returns for the opposition and square transits of the sun or moon.

Since the stars appear to move ahead in the zodiac at an annual rate of approximately 50.25 seconds of arc (due to the precession of the equinoxes), so does the sun advance at that rate, relative to the fixed stars (in other words, in terms of absolute zodiacal position). This means a full degree in 72 years.

Due to the annual motion of the Earth, the sun advances in the zodiac 1 degree per day, while due the Earth's diurnal motion, it makes a complete circuit of the twelve houses in that same time. Therefore the house position of the precessed solar return sun (and consequently the ascendant position) differs from the non-precessed position at an approximate rate of 30 degrees in 6 years. The precessed and non-precessed solar return sun positions coincide by house (and the two charts by ascendant) after 72 years, allowing for the ascensional difference between the solar return times computed for precessed and non-precessed times.

For example, consider the charts below for the 72nd year of an individual's life. Chart A is a non-precessed solar return with a return time of 12:45 AM; chart B is a precessed solar return with a return time of 2:08 AM. The difference between the two is about 25.3 hours, or for these purposes 1.3 hours (since the house position of the sun is a 24-hour cyclical phenomenon). 1.3 hours roughly translates to 40 degrees on the ascendant (1 degree every 4 minutes), and the ascendant for the precessed chart is about 40 degrees ahead of the ascendant for the non-precessed chart. If the precessed chart were to be computed using the time of the non-precessed chart, all other data being equal, the house positions of the two suns, as well as the ascendant positions, would be very close to the same.

See also:
♦ Precession ♦ Sidereal Zodiac ♦ Tropical Zodiac ♦ Ayanamsa


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine