Focusing the Chart Using Yearly Profections

Have you ever wondered why some transits come and pass with seeming little impact on the life of the individual, even though they looked pretty powerful? Have you or one of your clients ever experienced a huge life changing event and yet there is nothing obvious happening in the chart that could be attributed to it?

The main technics that modern astrology has at its disposal for advancing the chart through time are transits and progression. Traditional astrology uses techniques that identify planetary periods and time lords. This is one of the principle differences between modern astrology and traditional (being pre-18th century) astrology. A time lord refers to a planet which has governorship over a period of time in a person’s life. When a planet takes over the role of time lord whatever it rules in the chart will come into focus; its condition and position in the natal chart will dictate how easy or difficult the period is likely to be.

Anything that happens to the planet that is the Lord of the time period will come to the forefront and be more likely to manifest in the life. Transits to or by this planet will be active and produce impressive events in the life, while transit to other or by other planets during the same period may feel like duds; nothing of any significance happens. It is as if the planet that is the time lord is switched on and lights up a particular part of the chart and therefore a sphere in the life. There are also times when a second planet may also be “switched on” and it will act as co-time lord.

This can be very helpful to the astrologer who is now better able to tell which of the many transits coming are likely to actually produce some activity and which can in all probability be dismissed.

There are many different planetary period outlined in the tradition; some cover periods of many years of an individual’s life and others that cover a much shorter period. One of the oldest and simplest time lord techniques that come to us from the tradition is yearly profections. Simply speaking the chart is moved or profected one whole sign per year. {This technique works best and is easier if using whole sign house system to identify areas of the life.} The ruler of the new profected Ascendant takes the role of time lord for that year. If there is a planet or planets in the sign of the new profected ascendant they will also be activated for the year.

Having the knowledge of which planet is the profected Lord of the year also helps to focus the solar return chart; for the position and state of this planet in the solar return chart provides more information.

An example of how this might work:

The native turned 51 years old in 2011, this is a 4th place profected year. We move everything in her chart by 4 full signs; her 4 degree Capricorn ascendant profects to 4 Aries, a sign ruled by Mars. Mars therefore becomes the Lord of the year from her birthday 2011 to her birthday 2012. Since she also has her natal Moon very close to the degree of the profected Ascendant, the Moon will also take on an important role during that year.

The 4th house themes are home and family and also cover literally, the physical home we live in. Her Moon being right on the IC point brings in the themes of the 7th house which she rules; therefore relationship and partners. Natal Moon reinforces this theme by being opposite natal Venus; the universal significator of relationship and partners. In her natal chart Mars also rules the 11th house; the house of friends, colleagues and our “hopes and wishes”. Note as well that the profected 7th house cusp lands on natal Venus at 4 degrees Libra, and profected Venus comes to the natal ASC at 4 degrees Capricorn, emphasis on relationship coming from many directions through the profections of the year.


Mary natal

 We would expect that all these themes: home, relationship and her “hope and wishes” will be brought to the forefront during this year. And they were. The native wanted to sell her existing house and buy a bigger place, one that was more modern and to her taste; her “hopes and wishes”. She had been living with her partner for just under 2 years and there were problems in the relationship that made her want to live alone again, though she was emotionally torn.

We can see by the state of her Moon that relationship generally would be a challenge for her. Moon in Aries means she has a strong emotional need for freedom;  Mars which rules it, has little dignity and is in the frustrating position of being weak in the cadent 6th house, squaring his dispositor Mercury, (universal significator of communication). He is also opposite Jupiter the natal ruler of her 3rd and 12th houses. Relationships would bring up this frustrated Mars and the difficulty she has in communicating without getting emotional or argumentative. As Mars is in the 6th house the stresses of all this are likely to impact on her health.

Using the yearly profections it is fairly easy to see that she is going to experience a difficult year, as well as a pivotal year, for both the home front and the relationship represent fundamental areas of life.

Her Solar return for the year 2011:

Mary SR

The solar return chart can be thought of as frozen transits for the year. Her solar return for the year 2011 strongly reinforces the themes brought up by the 2011 profections. This is not always the case, but being so tells us what an important and charged year this is for the native.

Lord of the Year, Mars and Moon are opposite on the ascendant and descendant angles. Both are in pretty bad shape essentially; Mars is in sign of its fall and the Moon is in her detriment. The Moon is also conjunct natal Saturn at 11 Capricorn and squaring the SR Saturn at 15 Libra. Bringing a Saturnian theme and further emphasizing the difficult nature to the year. The IC point of the SR chart is conjunct her natal Moon and there we find Uranus.

Because Mars is so powerfully placed on the 7th cusp, we know that the native will have the ability to take the action necessary, as difficult as it might be. Mars is about cutting or severing. Uranus is strongly placed on the IC of this chart indicating a change on the home front, but as it is also transiting the natal Moon, who rules the natal 7th it highlights the relationship sector as well. Uranus is associated with divorce and relationship breakups. In fact she did with great difficulty and emotional stress sell her house, break up her relationship with the partner and move into her new home alone.

One of the problems in the relationship had to do with money. She had worked hard to own her own home and was about to upgrade. Her partner had no assets of his own and she feared that he would be able to claim some of hers if they continued living together. She did not want to risk her fortune on a relationship that had problems (they argued an awful lot), even though she did not really want to break off the relationship totally as she enjoyed the companionship. Lord of the Year Mars in the Solar return chart is on the degree of her part of fortune, symbolically an interesting placement.

The year was immensely stressful for her and she developed a serious problem with her digestion, which weakened her physically as she was unable to eat very much. The South node in the solar return chart is on the 6th cusp and conjunct her natal Mars. As Mars is the Lord of the year, ruler of the profected ascendant, he governs her body and the south node is draining her vital energy.

Pluto is making a transit to her natal ASC which tells of major changes to her life, but the profections really focus us on which areas of the life those change are going to manifest. There is always so much that can be seen in a chart, but having a method with which you can focus on which area will come to the forefront makes it far easier to interpret what is likely to happen in the life.

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Published in: on August 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm  Comments (5)  

A Solar Return Story

I have been working with Solar return charts and profections for many years now. I take the ruler of the profected ASC as “Lord of the Year” and look at its position, condition and configuration in the Solar Return chart. When angular the native is more of a driving force behind the events that will take place that year, when cadent things happen through the outside impetus. I have found that the returning of angles in the solar return chart to the same signs as in the natal chart indicate a significant years.

Here is the story of a Solar Return. My son was visiting over the Christmas holidays and he asked me to look at his chart. His birthday being in April I drew out his next Solar return chart. As he had been living abroad in Cambodia for 4 years I could have relocated his SR chart, but I have lately been using the natal position, so set his SR for Melbourne Australia, his birthplace.

This is his natal chart. He has a Sun exalted in Aries ruling his MC, however the 10th place from the ASC is Virgo, ruled by Mercury. I have often found that writers have Moon in the 3rd house and my son has this placement in the sign of Aquarius. There’s an abundance of Taurus giving him a staying power and the ability to work hard.

The Ascendent of the Solar Return was almost at the same degree as his natal ASC, which made this a significant or important year for him. The ruler of that ASC was Jupiter in Taurus on the cusp of the SR 6th house and disposited by Venus.

He was turning 29 so he was in a 6th house profected year, with his profected ASC 21 Taurus. As he has Mercury, Mars and Venus in Taurus in his natal chart my first thought was that he would have a busy year. Since the Profected ASC landed on and was ruled by Venus; Venus was a clear “lady of the Year”.[1]  She rules the natal 6th and 11th houses and the 1st and 6th house by profection.

In the SR chart Venus is cadent in the 6th house in Gemini and conjunct the South Node. The theme of being busy, working hard but getting little recognition or honours during that year becomes more pronounced as the 6th house is emphasized yet again. Especially as Solar Return MC is ruled by a fallen and weak Mercury and Venus is making a partile square to a retrograde Mars in Virgo on the MC, denying any such honours.

The Solar Return Moon in Libra conjunct Saturn, reinforces the sense of hard work and also hints at his forthcoming Saturn return which will impact his 11th house of friends and colleagues.

So I made my judgment: “you will be working really hard, be very busy and may go back to doing something from your past (Venus conjunct the South Node), but you will get little recognition publicly for all your efforts.  The events for the year will be initiated by others rather than by you. It will be an important and significant year which will be fortunate as both profected and Solar Return rulers are the benefics (Venus and Jupiter) and both are in good condition in the natal chart and not too bad in the Solar Return Chart.”

My son could not make much sense of such a reading as he had been working as a journalist for 3 years and freelancing for the past year with quite a bit of success. He didn’t understand how being very busy and working hard would not bring him recognition, nor did the idea that events would be initiated by others make much sense, as it was through his own travel and ideas that he had come up with the material for all the articles he had been writing and selling. And how, he asked could the year be “good” if he was going to be so busy but get little recognition?

A couple month later, about 1 month before his actual birthday, he received a phone call out of the blue from a reputable publishing company asking him if he would be interested in writing a book on modern day Cambodia. He signed the contract in June (a couple months after his birthday) and will be busy writing for at least 18 months. He will be working really hard with little recognition initially. He is also doing research in a manner that recalls his time at the University.

The judgment stands; and my son was duly impressed.

A note of interest:

In most of the traditional text it is said that when Venus is the Lord of the Year or a time Lord of some sort, she will bring events and circumstances to do with relationships, marriage or women in general. It may yet prove to be the case with my son, though I could not see any emphasis on the 7th house to indicate relationship or marriage (and he is currently not in a relationship). It is interesting that it was a woman who called him asking him to write the book!


[1]   For those interested the Distributor of his ASC through the Bounds is Venus (until December 2017) and its partner is Mars, but will change to the Sun shortly before his 30th birthday in 2013.  From Abu Ma’shar’s “On the Revolution of the Years of the Nativities”, translated by Ben Dykes (page 132 – 156)