Identifying Planetary Triggers: Astrological Techniques for Prediction
For this book, there were two main goals. For a number of years I had been studying Solar and Lunar Returns but I realized there was nothing written about the other planetary returns! I had to figure out on my own if they held as much importance as the returns of the luminaries. So, for a couple of years I did research on the Mercury Return, the Venus Return, the Mars Return, the Jupiter Return and the Saturn Return, keeping notes all the while of course. There is a chapter on each in the book, where I walk you through each and offer my insights. What is amazing is how you can apply transits to these charts like you would to your natal chart to find eventful times, especially when a major planet crosses and angle!
The other thing I wanted to include in this book was the original writings on transits by Dr. J. Heber Smith, who was the first teacher to famed astrologer, Evangeline Adams. A rival of Ms. Adams paid $150 for a copy of this work at a time when a loaf of bread cost a nickel! His writings are included, unedited!
See published reviews below. Best wishes in your astrology studies, Celeste Teal
Published in the June 2001 issue of American Astrology; Reviewer: Kenneth Irving
It’s always a pleasure to review a book by Celeste Teal, just as it is a pleasure to edit her articles and include them in the magazine for readers. Teal is very good about presenting the more basic and more important facts of astrology in a way that is both informative and easy to understand. Reading through one of her books or articles is like having a conversation with a well-informed and thoughtful friend.
Though her style of writing and presentation is important, even more to the point is the way she focuses in on the essentials of her subject matter. Some modern astrologers tend to try to use euphemisms for the term “prediction” and some even have tried to banish the idea than an astrologer can predict anything from the astrologer’s mind. Despite this, being able at least to gauge the tenor of events over the next month or year, and to single out critical periods is the essence of what most astrologers do or at least what most would like to do.
Possibly because of this, predictive techniques of all kinds can be found spilling out of textbooks and magazine articles like so many pots, pans and shoetrees out of Fibber McGee’s closet. The jumble is a bit much for most astrologers and students, but it need not be, and for a reason that author Teal makes clear. Underneath all the differences, all of these techniques depend on fundamentals, which are much the same. All one needs to do in order to begin to learn to use one technique or another is to be able to focus on the essentials common to most predictive techniques and only then to consider those things that are unique to the method at hand.
Her initial concern, laid out in the first part of the book, is to teach the student how to organize, prioritize and interpret the progressed aspects for any particular period. Teal sees this standard predictive tool as a key to getting a good overview of the time, which in turn can serve as a basis for more detailed prediction. Once you have the progressed chart well in hand, you can then add transits.
Interestingly enough, the entire section on transits (save for the section on Pluto and the nodes) is not actually written by Teal but is a “found” piece of astrological literature from the pen of Dr. J. Heber Smith, the man said to have taught Evangeline Adams. This in itself would make the book of interest to collectors, as this information is from an unpublished manuscript. Readers will find Smith’s take on the transits interesting, insightful and, on occasion, surprising. Teal’s own chapter on transits of the Moon’s nodes is something not likely to be found in most modern textbooks.
Just as interesting as this very basic material on progressions and transits, Planetary Triggers devotes a full chapter to returns from Sun and Moon through Saturn, discussing the proper application for each type of return as a basis for interpreting it. Added to the main body of the book is a complete glossary, a thorough index, and a table showing the positions of the Moon’s nodes from 1935 through 2054. Identifying Planetary Triggers is a thorough and complete learning experience with loads of extras – and it is highly recommended.
Published in the March 2001 issue of Dell Horoscope; Reviewer: Chris Lorenze
About a year ago Celeste Teal’s book Predicting Events with Astrology was published. For the first time students had a comprehensive and reliable forecasting method available based on the interplay of transits and secondary progressions. Major transits to natal planets often have a great impact on the individual’s life, but sometimes they don’t. Secondary progressions likewise can be seen to have a large influence on personal developments, but sometimes they don’t bring expected changes. When the astrologer sees a transit activating a progression which in turn is making an aspect to a natal planet or angle, then you always have a major event.
Identifying Planetary Triggers is Celeste Teal’s sequel to this first breakthrough guide, and presents the next generation of useful forecasting tools. Divided into three parts, the material details progressions, transits, and the major section on planetary returns. We have quite a few books available on progressions and transits, but the interesting and innovative discussion on planetary returns makes this book a gem. Many astrologers are familiar with the Solar Return, but how many can make good use of a Mercury Return, or a Venus Return? The author presents individual chapters for each of these return charts, plus for the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn Returns.
Interpreting a Solar Return begins with setting up an accurate horoscope. Most astrology software programs can take care of the arithmetic in a second or two, but make sure the place is set for the current residence. The Solar Return will show how events unfold over the coming year, especially regarding one’s personal pursuits along the life path. Creativity, independence, leadership, and potential for advancement are shown in the Solar Return, with extra emphasis given to any planet on one of the four angles. I found many helpful hints and rules throughout this chapter, interpretive insights that make sense, but aren’t mentioned in any other basic astrology text.
For example, if the ruler of the Ascendant is an inner planet and retrograde, chances for personal reversals are increased, usually a result of bad judgment. Or here’s another: a New or Full Moon in the Return chart is exceptionally significant, with the New Moon bringing a rejuvenation or revitalization in the house it occupies. The Full Moon shows a completion of a major cycle, sometimes indicating a discordant ending or separating paths. The most exciting interpretive value of this chapter is the discussion on how to read the year’s events based on transits to the Solar Return chart. Having just tried these techniques in my own life, I found significant events were taking place which were unaccountable by using transits or progressions to my natal chart, but which were clearly shown by transits to my most recent Solar Return. In short, these methods work.
The chapter on the Lunar Returns can be interpreted using similar guidelines. The Moon’s transit through the month to the Lunar Return chart can trigger events. This is especially true when activated planets are angular, or when activated planets are in hard aspect to the Moon in the Return chart. Many astrologers and their clients will be interested in the Venus Return which describes social activities and gifts or material benefits. The Mars Return is most useful for determining when to take action. All in all, the Planetary Returns chapters in tandem with the transits and progressions sections make Identifying Planetary Triggers an extraordinarily practical reference.
As more of these quality astrology books appear in bookstores, and more people assimilate this material, astrology will eventually become an acceptable, mainstream practice. It may take some time, but Celeste Teal sets us on the path. Link to Dell Horoscope web site.