Alan Leo, born in London in 1860, was a man who had different unsuccessful jobs (draper, grocer, salesman etc.) in his early life and was a member in an occult society. Only from 1890, at his thirties, he really became involved in astrology, writing the Astrologer’s Magazine and selling horoscopes with great success. Among astrologers he was remarked like a deep thinker and not one who read many astrological books. He published The Progressed Horoscope for the first time in 1905.
In the Preface the author affirms that after many years of astrological study, based on experience:
“I abandoned all adherence to the various systems and methods of directing advocated by the different schools […]. I gradually found myself adopting a system in which the progressed horoscope (note: secondary progressions) formed the centre”
This testimony comes from an astrologer with great success to public, mainly obtained by doing predictions for the readers of Astrologer’s Magazine. Taking in account that he chose secondary progressions as the best system I think we can put it in the top of the most efficient predictive techniques.
Part I. The Progressed Horoscope
In the first chapters the author writes about the relation between fate and free will, a subject which will be always be present between astrologers.He believes that heredity, environment and character are the three great factors in human destiny, but the character is most important and becomes destiny.He is not a fatalistic astrologer, but one who believes in free will and gives advices for how to avoid mistakes when the progressed horoscope don't give results because people use their free will.
Then the author writes about the primary and secondary progressions and explains how to calculate them. Of course, nowadays this part becomes useless because we have software to do that.
Part 2. The Effects of Directions
This part is composed from five chapters where are presented the interpretations for the mutual aspects between Sun, Moon and the planets, the progressed Moon through houses, the progressed Ascendant through signs and the progressions to Midheaven and Ascendant. The author analyzes not only the major aspects but also the semisextile, semisquare, sesquisquare, quincunx. It is a comprehensive material, almost 160 pages of clear interpretations based on his experience.
Part III. Solar Revolutions and Transits
Alan Leo writes about two kinds of Solar Revolutions: to the natal Sun and to the progressed Sun. There are only technical instructions for a more precise calculation of the Solar Revolution.
Then he presents the interpretations for the transits of the planets through houses and for the aspects between planets. There are the normal delineations for every case, nothing very different from what you can find on other books.
Part IV. Primary Directions
This is also a part where the author presents different methods to calculate the primary directions, mundane parallels, rapt parallels, zodiacal directions etc.
MY EVALUATION: 8,1
Conclusion. Alan Leo writes books like a Leo. Is this a surprise? Straight, clear, without useless philosophy.The book has some main characteristics: the most efficient predictive technique is considered secondary progressions, the influence of the transits over the natal chart is considered very small, the correlation (always present) between the aspects made by progressed planets and the natal ones is decisive. No progression will be powerful if the natal chart don't sustain the aspect.
The book has, also, a big minus: it has only 2 practical examples! From a person with such a big experience I would expect much more! The author mention about another book, Modern Astrology, where he put more examples.
In the final I think this book should be read, it has good principles, good thinking, detailed interpretations. My evaluation is 8,1.