A lot of people seem to have problems understanding progressions.
The progressed Planets are nothing more than very very slow moving transits.
Progressions are very internal in nature, meaning
they're more likely to affect you mentally than physically.
That doesn't mean progressions don't affect you physically, they can
for example a Planet progressing into the 6th House
or the 6th House Ruler progressing into the 8th
or 12th House
or into certain aspects with the rulers of the 6th, 8th or 12th Houses
can signify an illness.
Progressions are something you do maybe once in your life, and one of the best ways to do that is to write them down. You can use a spread sheet (like I use) or a word processor or write them on a legal pad, or you can use construction paper and crayons, it doesn't really matter. Other than that, all you need is a list of your Planets and the Ascendant and MC, and an ephemeris, which you should buy, but you can also find them online.
An ephemeris will look something like this:
Date............Sun....... Moon..... Mercury...Venus
May 26 1962 04°Ge28' 26°Aq47' 20°Ge23' 03°Cn43'
May 27 1962 05°Ge25' 10°Pi51' 20°Ge22' R 04°Cn55'
May 28 1962 06°Ge23' 25°Pi05' 20°Ge16' 06°Cn07'
May 29 1962 07°Ge21' 09°Ar25' 20°Ge05' 07°Cn19'
The symbolism is "day-for-a-year" so each day after your birthday is one year of your life.
Generally, you want to look at 120 days, which is 120 years of your life. Yes, I know you're not going to live 120 years, but none of you are special. When you die, the Solar System does not grind to a halt; it continues moving. Your chart lives on, even after you die.
There are somethings you might want to know about. Is your Will contested? Does your Estate end up in Probate Court? Does the government seize your Estate? Do your children fight over it? Does your spouse remarry? Maybe you want to comeback and haunt your spouse (or protect your spouse). Do your children marry, divorce, have more children, do your grandchildren marry etc.
Will you receive any awards or accolades, or publish a book? No kidding, a guy in Australia found his grandfather's diary of life in the trenches during World War I. He published it. Guess what? It showed up in the progressions of the grandfather's natal chart.
Here's a snippet from my progressions (sorry the formatting is less than desirable):
Natal .. Position.. Action.. Age.. Date .. ..........Location .. Contact
Venus.. 04°Cn39' Sign .....19 ....Jun 13 1962... 25°Cn14'.. 9th House
Saturn .11°Aq22' Square ..19 ... Jun 13 1962 ...11°Ta17'.. Mars
Neptune 11°Sc29' Opp .....19.... Jun 13 1962 ... 11°Ta17' Mars
Mars 28°Ar29' ...Square ...22 ....Jun 16 1962 .... 28°Cn47' Venus
Uranus 28°Le37' Qu .........22 ....Jun 16 1962..... 28°Cn47' Venus
Venus 04°Cn39' Sign .......23 .....Jun 17 1962..... 29°Cn58' Leo
Mercury 20°Ge22' D ........26...... Jun 20 1962 .....11°Ge52' D Mercury
Mars 28°Ar29' Sextile ......26 ......Jun 20 1962 .....28°Ge23' Sun
Uranus 28°Le37' Sextile ....26 ..... Jun 20 1962 .... 28°Ge23' Sun
Venus 04°Cn39' SSx........ 27 ......Jun 21 1962...... 04°Le41' Venus
Sun 05°Ge13' Con........... 28 ...... Jun 22 1962 .... 05°Le52' Venus
Sun 05°Ge13' Sign ..........28 ....... Jun 22 1962..... 00°Cn18' Sign
Jupiter 10°Pi38' SSx ........28....... Jun 22 1962...... 10°Aq38' Saturn
Moon 07°Pi41' Qu ..........29....... Jun 23 1962 ...... 07°Le03' Venus
Pluto 07°Vi32' Con ........29 ...... Jun 23 1962....... 07°Le03' Venus
MC 01°Vi31' Sextile...... 29 ........Jun 23 1962....... 01°Cn15' Sun
All I've done is write out the year in which there is some contact with progressed Planets.
At age 19, my natal Venus progressed to conjunct the 9th House Cusp at 25° Cancer.
How do you interpret that?
The 9th House Cusp is Cancer ruled by my Moon in my natal 4th House. What is the 9th House? Among things, it's long journeys. 4th House is the home.
I left the United States and didn't return for about 10 years.
See? It ain't so hard.
At age 23 my Venus progressed into the Sign of Leo. I got married. Because Venus progressed into Leo? Not entirely. My natal Mercury was Stationary in the natal 7th House, then it went Retrograde and then it went direct at age 26. In reality, I was actually 25 1/2 years old when Mercury went Direct in my 7th House of Relationships.
That is one of the advantages of writing out your progressions. When you see something like that, natal Venus progressed into the 9th House then into the Sign of Leo while Mercury goes Direct, you want to actually do a chart for that time period and then also look at the transits so you can get a sense of the timing (in this case transiting Moon conjunct Ascendant).
When I was 28, natal Sun changed Signs and entered Cancer. Did I become a Cancer? No, but I did take on some of the traits of Cancer. I became more sensitive, very emotional and extremely traditional, plus I took on a few of the negative characteristics, like brooding and being way too cautious, but then I was suffering from PTSD and the effects were starting to manifest themselves in a serious way.
When my Ascendant progressed into Sagittarius, I did not become a Sagittarius, but I did take on a few traits, like being really straightforward, to the point of being very blunt, and also broadminded and quite the procrastinator.
Natal .... Position .. Action ....Age... Date ............ Location .. Contact
Asc...... 20°Sc43' ..Sextile ....90 .... Aug 23 1962 ...20°Vi41' ... Mercury
Sun..... 05°Ge13' .. Sign .......91 .... Aug 24 1962... 00°Vi33' ....Virgo
MC ......01°Vi31' ....Sextile.... 91 .... Aug 24 1962 .. 01°Cn06'... Mars
Sun.... 05°Ge13'.... House .... 92..... Aug 25 1962 .. 01°Vi31' ...10th House
MC ......01°Vi31'..... Con .......92 .... Aug 25 1962... 01°Vi31' ... Sun
There's where I exit stage left. Not because of those particular progressions, mind you, but because of that and other things going on with transits and the Anareta wants to Tango.
The other benefit to writing out your progressions is that if you don't know the houses, signs, elements and natures (and that would be about 80% of you), then you will when you're done. The elements trine, the natures oppose and square, sextiles are always Fire/Air or Earth/Water etc.
I recommend using some of the minor aspects, like the quincunx, semi-sextile and semi-square.
Often in your life you might notice periods where your relationship with your children, spouse, parents, friends, co-workers or supervisors is a little testy and irritating. I guarantee you'll always find a semi-sextile or semi-square there. And the advantage of knowing that in advance is that you can take a "time-out," give yourself a "yellow card," take a different approach or do other things to make your life and everyone else's more pleasant.
Aspect orbs for progressions are 30' to 1° maximum. In addition to aspects, Planets changing Signs, Houses or going Direct or Retrograde are very important to note. For Planets that go Direct or Retrograde, flip ahead in the ephemeris and look to see if any transiting Planets are conjunct that point, because it will be emphasized. The same is true if a progressed Planet goes Direct or Retrograde at the pre-natal eclipses or the last Moon before birth (which will either be a Full Moon or a New Moon).
What if a progressed Planet goes Direct or Retrograde at the same point where there is a transiting Eclipse or New/Full Moon for that month? I don't know, but note it and look at it in detail later. You can ignore Lunar Eclipses after 3 months, but for Solar Eclipses it'll depend on the nature of the Sign (ie 3 months for Cardinal, 6 months for Mutable and 12 months for Fixed).
After you make your list or table, look at past events and see if you can make sense of them. As I said, not everything will manifest itself in a way that you can physically see. Once you get a feel for past events, you can start looking at future events.