For those unfamiliar with the basic technique of annual and monthly profections of the natal Ascendant, please review the first two posts of this series which introduce annual profections and those of smaller periods. It should have become clear in the last post that the use of monthly profections is perhaps not as uncontroversial as it is usually presented. Nevertheless, it is an easy and informative addition to one’s predictive arsenal, so I recommend its use. The main idea behind profections is activation of natal potentials, however, it’s true potential is realized is found in its use in concert with other predictive techniques such as solar returns, direction, transits, and other time lord techniques.
Any point in the natal chart can be profected, but the profection of the Ascendant is particularly important, and there is a logic to that. No other point in the chart is as succinctly symbolic of the person, the self, their experience, in the natal chart as the Ascendant. One may think of the sky as the soul, and the Earth as the body, and the Ascendant is that point where the planets rise, manifesting themselves out from the Earth, where the soul peers out through a body and experience is made manifest. The Ascendant entering houses, is like the person entering houses. Planets in the places will be directly encountered, planets ruling the places will oversee matters, and planets regarding the place may exert some influence. Here we’ll look at some examples with solar returns and transits. The natal chart will show the default condition and the range of potentials possible in this, while the solar return may be thought of as spreading out the overall plan of action for the year, and the transits showing the transient movement of guests around the chart (without telling much about what they’re up to in itself).
I should note that I strongly advocate the use of precessed solar returns, as the solar return Ascendant and its ruler also are important for natal activation (in addition to the particular strengths/weaknesses and determinations of the planets in the return chart relative to those in the natal chart), particularly in the predictive system of Abu Ma’shar, and I find the precessed return to be of many magnitudes more informative than the non-precessed return. For now, I’ll just go ahead and use the precessed returns in this post (I use the birth location for returns), while I’ll compare the precessed and non-precessed in a much more critical way when I get to the posts on use of returns.
I’m just going to give 2 quick examples with annual and monthly profections in concert with solar returns and transits, all on properly sourced charts, simply to illustrate a simplified use of profections with other techniques. This series on predictive techniques will pave the way for more understandable use of predictive techniques in analysis in the future, as uninformed readers will be able to get briefed on the background of the techniques used. The examples are: 1. James Randi receiving a diagnosis of cancer; 2. David Carradine’s death by accidental autoerotic asphyxiation.
James Randi’s Cancer
I’ve looked at his chart in terms of belief in the past, and in the first post of the series, I also looked at the particular event of him announcing a diagnosis of cancer to fans in early July of 2009, based on a June 2009 diagnosis (currently, Randi’s cancer is believed to have been successfully treated). Let’s re-examine this last event, with a particular emphasis on the month lord at the time he received the diagnosis, June 2009.
As mentioned in the first post, at the time of the announcement, he was in an 11th House, Aries year, with Mars as lord of the year. It is also important to mention that his Moon occupies the natal 11th, and as the sect light and in a good place, it is an important planet for health considerations. The Moon is also one of the natural significators of the body. As noted in the last post, Dorotheus put a lot of stress on the planets in the place of the profection. Valens uses an occupying planet like that as an alternative ruler, as does Abu Ma’shar though in slightly different manner. Therefore, the annual profection puts the spotlight on Mars as Lord of the Year, but also on the Moon.
While the Moon is in the term and sign of Mars and is overcome by Saturn, the Moon is still overall typically more of a significator of pleasant happenings in Randi’s life, being the sect light in the very good 11th place, pertaining particularly to powerful friendships and group alliances. Still, that the Moon has a ruler in bad weak condition, which is called counter-action, allows for some degree of reversals, and the Moon’s location in the term of Mars, and being overcome by Saturn, as a natural significator of the body, provides for her ability to signify bodily problems. However, Mars, as noted previously, can signify the most difficult matters in the life, as a malefic in a bad place, ruling and opposed to the place of health. I had mentioned the exact Mars return that took place around the time of Randi’s announcement (7/9/09) and the transits from around the time of the announcement event are marked along the edge of the natal as pictured.
I do not have an exact date for the diagnosis event, but it has been reported that it was in June of 2009 and not long before the announcement. In terms of personal experience the diagnosis month is more interesting than the announcement at a celebratory event, as one is getting the news that one is sick and could die. As the birthday is Aug. 7th, and it’s an Aries year, June would be two months back, and we can conveniently count two signs back, to the 9th, Aquarius, with Saturn as Lord of the Month, the profection for about June 7th to about July 7th. Aquarius is empty, so our 3 major planets to look at are Mars (Lord of the Year), the Moon (focal planet of the profection), and Saturn (Lord of the Month). I’ve already noted that these three planets are all related together in terms of hardship concerning the body, in the rulership of the Moon by Mars and the overcoming of the Moon by Saturn.
The solar return chart shows the major game plan of the year, and the most important things for us to check out there are where the srAscendant falls in the natal chart (including also its ruler and any planets it highlights), where the Lord of the Year and the profectional Asc fall in the return, important aspects between planets, and generally which planets are strong or weak, with a particular emphasis on whether the benefics or malefics are more strongly placed in a general way.
The srAsc is in the natal 6th, one of the worst of the bad places of the chart, pertaining to disease and accidents. Mars is the ruler, echoing the annual profection, and putting a spotlight on the opposition of Mars to the 6th. The Moon is on the srAsc, again in a sign and term of Mars, and again overcome by Saturn (actually by both malefics). As an aside, with the lord of the year and the srAsc ruler in the 11th, this must have otherwise been a very important year for friends, organizations, and group events overall. The profected Asc is in the 6th of the return so there is again a reinforcement of the indication of important health events occurring. srSaturn is closely dominating natal Saturn, and srMars is also dominating natal Saturn (both from the sr4th which can pertain to hidden/buried matters), which is significant in that Saturn is the strongest planet in Randi’s chart, being located right on his Descendant. Finally, in the return the Lights are extremely strong, the malefics are quite strong, and the benefics are weak (Jupiter retreating in the cadent 3rd and in fall) and/or made malefic (Venus in the 11th assembled with both malefics and in fall). Therefore, we see plenty of repeat indications concerning hardship, particularly with health. Pivotal events come to the fore with important transits of Mars and Saturn, and even the Moon, from the Mars return on the day of the announcement, to the preceding health crisis during the Saturn profectional months with tSaturn meanwhile dominating nSaturn within 3 degrees. Even such a simplified predictive system using only the natal, annual and monthly profections, solar returns, and transits can provide a lot of information about major events and big themes.
David Carradine’s Death
A brief bio of Carradine can be found on Wikipedia here, and his AA-rated chart data can be found on AstroDatabank here. He is reported to have died the evening of June 3, 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand by accidental asphyxiation. Carradine was born with the malefic Mars, out of sect and in the 8th, the place of death, assembled with the Moon, a natural significator of the body, and in a scrutinizing (i.e. within 3*) sextile with the Sun, in which Mars is overcoming the Sun (the Sun is an important life-force signifier, particularly in day charts). Additionally, Carradine was born with Saturn rising, in the 1st place, adhering (i.e. conjunct within 3*) to the Ascendant, and in a partile (i.e. same zodiacal degree/part) square with the Sun. Therefore, in matters of death we particularly expect to see Mars playing a role, as well as to some extent Saturn and Venus (Venus rules the 8th along with Mars and the Moon, appropriate to the sexual nature of the death, as well as the constrictive and violent nature, as Venus is in Capricorn, Saturn’s earthy nocturnal abode, and in a bound of Mars).
His death took place at age 72. As 72 is a multiple of 12, this puts him in a 1st place, Pisces, year, profecting the Ascendant to natal Saturn, with Jupiter as lord of the year. Jupiter in the natal is a little bit weakened by being in fall, but overall is quite benefic and strong, as it is in its joy, the strong good 11th place, and is in sect and in phasis, assembled with Venus. Jupiter is ruled by Saturn and dominated by Mars, so while overall we expect an excellent and popular year from Jupiter with much fortune, Jupiter is subject to the malefics in certain ways, and does not necessarily prohibit danger. Here we see the value of the indications of the planet occupying the place, Saturn, as well as the danger of reading too much into just the Lord of the Year and its natal standing. In the month of death it was 6th place, Leo, Sun profectional month. The 6th pertains most strongly to illness and accidents. This particular year and month set highlight the Sun-Saturn square in the natal chart. Both planets are extremely strong and generally carry positive significations in the natal chart, both in sect, in good places, and in signs of Jupiter. For those who claim that profections of the Ascendant, used solely with the natal, are effective in themselves for prediction, take note, as the indications of profections alone here are quite positive. In fairness though, it was indeed a very positive year for Carradine prior to the asphyxiation accident, apparently having about a dozen films of his in post-production at the time of his death.
Looking at the solar return, we see some very different indications. Perhaps most importantly, srMars is in a partile conjunction (actually within about 2′ of a degree!) with the natal Sun (nSun), and both malefics are strongly advancing while the benefics are the weakest planets in the chart. The solar return Ascendant is in Carradine’s 7th place, Virgo, ruled by Mercury, and the 7th (like the 4th, but to a lesser extent than the 8th) carries associations with death, as it is the place of setting. Significantly, srSaturn is in the 1st of the return, strongly advancing towards the srAsc, echoing that configuration in Carradine’s chart, and srSaturn opposes his natal Saturn, and squares his natal Sun. The solar return therefore strongly speaks of activation and major intensification of the affliction of Carradine’s Sun by Mars and Saturn.
The day of death was Carradine’s lunar return in the 8th place with Mars. On that day, the Lord of the Year, Jupiter was transiting in the 12th, in a very weak spot of the natal chart. Transiting Mars was in partile trine to natal Jupiter, striking Jupiter with its rays. Transiting Saturn was at 15 Virgo, adhering to Carradine’s Descendant (13VIR) and opposing natal Saturn while in a dominating square to natal Sun, both within less than 3 degrees of exact (i.e. both scrutinizing). Transiting Sun was at 12 Gemini, strongly applying squares to natal and transiting Saturn and opposing the natal Sun.
These are just two examples, but we can already see how worthwhile it can be to add basic profections and precessed solar returns to prediction, as transits themselves are rather superficial without them, and just about completely meaningless without any context from a natal chart. I have found myself experiencing some of my best days, all around, during transits that generally would appear to be very difficult, and even may appear very difficult from the standpoint of my natal, such as having the out of sect malefic located in a bad place in my natal chart transit through my 8th and make a dominating square to my natal Sun, during a pleasant time of high productivity and energy. My Saturn return also was a great experience. However, the year that solar return Asc fell in my 12th on my out of sect malefic with that out of sect malefic on the Descendant of the return and in partile opposition to its natal position, was genuinely the worst year of my life thus far, even though the transits in themselves at the time of the worst events didn’t appear ominous.
We see the capacity for someone to have a great year apart from one really horrible event. Someone may have a natal chart that indicates extraordinary luck, popularity, longevity, social mobility, health, and so forth, but still bad things do happen to everyone, so it is important to understand the range of potential in a natal chart. A benefic planet, simply by being out of sect, or in a bad place, or ruled by a malefic, etc. can have some negative potential linked to it. Very rarely does any planet in one’s chart have only the capacity to signify good. This is the great difficulty in natal astrology, and particularly in natal prediction: the capacity for events is largely subject to the potentials in the natal chart, and the potentials in the natal chart are in a sense infinite. By deeply working on the natal chart, understanding things like general strength, general beneficence, and these things particularly in relation to topics, as well as the range or variance, and the specifics that bring out configurations that bring out points within that range, we will be better able to understand the specific indications signified in the predictive techniques.
We are still dealing with an extremely stripped-down predictive system. There will be at least one more post on profections in this series, but it is important to keep in mind that there are many techniques other than profections that played a key role in the predictive systems of people like Abu Ma’shar. There are also many many predictive methods that have been virtually unexplored, particularly those found in Valens. Numerous predictive methods are found in antiquity and many astrologers combine them into their own predictive systems, because no single predictive technique is in itself adequate to signify all of the most important events in one’s life. Just as there are special techniques for natal matters, in which multiple factors are examined, not simply the ruler or rulers of a house, prediction is best when one uses those predictive techniques that have proven most effective, and uses them in concert, with a keen eye to repeat signification, and a good prior knowledge of the natal chart.