From Astrology: A Language of Life Volume I – Progressions (ISBN 0-9668978-0-3)
Copyright 1998 by Robert P Blaschke.
(Extracted with author’s permission)
“Several years ago, I started to seriously consider the interrelationship between the natal chart and the progressed chart when I first read the prominent British astrologer of earlier this century, Charles E.O. Carter. I found his “Nativity Rule” in The Principles of Astrology:
“It is a cardinal rule that no direction can bring to pass what is not shown in the nativity. Exceptions to this are virtually non-existent.”
Carter clarifies a “direction” as the progressed to progressed, or progressed to natal aspects. In essence, he’s saying that unless planets are in aspect to each other natally, progressed to progressed aspects or progressed to natal aspect between these same planets will have no significant effect. Exceptions to this are virtually non-existent.
In other words, activity in the progressions that produces life change is derived from the natal horoscope and is only an extension of the existing natal aspects. This means that not all of the potential progressed to natal, or progressed to progressed aspects will equally impact one’s life. Carter believed that the natal chart limits the operation of progressions inexorably; the natal chart shows what is likely to happen and the progressions, when.
Carter’s Law of Excitation
Pondering the interrelationship between transits and progressions, I found Carter’s “Law of Excitation,” again in The Principles of Astrology:
“If at the time that a progressed body is in aspect to another by direction, either of these bodies forms an aspect by transit with either of the two directional bodies, then this transit will excite the direction into immediate operation.”
In other words, when one progressed planet is in aspect to another by progression, and either of these planets form an aspect to the progressed planets by transit, the transiting planet will trigger the progressed aspect. So, within this astrological law, the “exciting” body, or transiting planet, must be one of the two directional (or progressed) bodies. Carter’s Law of Excitation works in progressions at every level – secondary, tertiary, and minor and explains why one transit can act with great force while another transit does not.