Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark
By Bernadette Brady
Bernadette Brady’s book on predictive astrology is an invaluable resource for learning to make astrological predictions as well as a constant reference for refreshing the practicing astrologer. The title of this book is explained by a metaphor of the eagle, who is strong and can soar to great heights, pairing with the lark, who sings a beautiful song. An astrologer uses both the skills and techniques learned in the practice of astrology – the Eagle – and his or her own intuition – the Lark – in interpreting the chart. Brady covers not just the predictive insights gained from transits, but also from secondary progressions, eclipses, and return charts.
To demonstrate how she puts these techniques to work, I will use the chart of the controversial conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, who passed away on February 17, 2021. A particularly dramatic moment in his life had occurred nearly a year earlier, on January 20, 2020, when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, a disease which would prove to be terminal.
Before Brady looks at the transits, she gets a big picture of the life by looking at the secondary progressions, which move slowly and so create seismic shifts in our lives when a notable aspect unfolds. We see in the progressions in this chart that the progressed Sun had moved the year before from Pisces to Aries, which signals a major shift in our life force and direction. From a Piscean focus on the broader issues which affect everyone, the native with a newly progressed Sun in Aries would find the focus shift to self-orientation and self-motivation. A grave illness does cause the cares of the world to recede from one’s consciousness as the need to care for one’s body takes center stage.
The other big picture aspect Bernadette Brady considers in the progressed chart is the progressed Moon phase – where are the Sun and Moon in relation to each other? We begin a cycle at the progressed new moon and culminate the cycle at the full moon. We see in Rush Limbaugh’s chart that his progressed Moon in Virgo is heading towards a full Moon, bringing him growing visibility in the world. In fact, he was very publicly awarded a medal at the State of the Union Address shortly after his cancer diagnosis, and he would pass away just after the progressed full Moon. His death made headlines around the country and the impact of his life on our politics and culture was widely discussed.
At his diagnosis on January 20, transiting Saturn and Pluto had recently conjoined with his natal Sun. In fact, the conjunction was exact on January 12, his birthday, when he first noticed the symptoms which would lead him to seek medical care. A transiting planet conjoining a natal planet, Brady tells us, takes over that planet, making it into something new. The life force, then, would be taken over by a need to structure and transform.
The event described by a transiting aspect can first be understood by looking at the cause of the event, which she identifies as related to the house where the transiting planet is located natally. For simplicity’s sake, I will focus on Saturn’s transit to the Sun. We see that Saturn is in the 8th house, which she says indicates an irrevocable change or ending. The action found in the event is described by the house in which the transit is occurring, which in this case is the 12th house. This action Brady describes as a concern with aloneness, illness, or secretiveness. Finally, the result of the event is described by the houses ruled by the transiting planet and the planet being aspected. Saturn rules both the 12th and 1st houses, which Brady describes as bringing about a loss of power and affecting the body and one’s independence. The Sun rules the 7th house, and the effect will be a relationship being formed or broken up.
Putting it together, we can read that because of an irrevocable change of events, this native will experience illness and aloneness, and he will eventually experience this change through his body and through a loss of power – and a relationship will end. There are endless scenarios which Brady’s guidelines could describe, however, so “the Eagle” part of the interpretation only soars once the astrologer brings “the Lark” understanding to the client’s particular life story.
Eclipses are another useful predictive tool. Where they fall in the chart indicates areas of emphasis in the native’s life at the time. We note that shortly before his diagnosis, on January 10, 2020, a lunar eclipse fell in Rush Limbaugh’s sixth house of health, bringing a spotlight to that area of his life. It also fell opposite his Sun, the sign of his vitality and life force.
Sometimes, Brady writes, a client will experience dramatic events in a year, and yet transits and secondary progressions give no indication of this. The solar return chart is therefore another means for getting useful information about the year to come. The solar return chart for 2020 shows a Moon in Leo moving towards the Midheaven, bringing public attention, and the Moon is in square to the 6th house Uranus, a sign of the startling news which would be made public about his health. The ruler of the 6th house of health is in the 1st house, making health a sharp focus of the year. The Sun was also piled into Mercury, Saturn and Pluto in his third house, showing a strong effort being made to communicate throughout the year and, in Capricorn, a heavy sense of responsibility to keep broadcasting while undergoing medical treatment.
Bernadette Brady does emphasize that predictive astrology is not deterministic astrology. While the predictive techniques portray certain challenges we may face, how we meet them and how we learn from them are in our hands.