Edit: The James Randi example which was previously in this article was removed on 07/22/2020 due to some unintentional errors which were pointed out to me by a reader in a private correspondence.
Profections in a Predictive System
For those unfamiliar with profections, please review the first two articles of this series which introduce annual profections and those of smaller periods. In the last article, it became clear that monthly profections are somewhat controversial. Nevertheless, they are an easy and informative addition to one’s predictive arsenal, so I recommend their use.
The main idea behind profections is activation of natal potentials. However, their utility becomes clearest when they are used in concert with other predictive techniques such as solar returns, directions, and transits. In this article, we’ll look at some profection examples which incorporate other predictive techniques.
The Primacy of the Ascendant
Any point in the natal chart can be profected, but the profection of the Ascendant is particularly important. There is a logic to that. No other point in the chart is so succinctly symbolic of the individual person, the self.
One may think of the sky as the soul, and the Earth as the body. The Ascendant is that point where the sky rises out from the Earth as the soul peers out through the body, manifesting experience. The Ascendant entering houses, is like a 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.
Profections with Returns and Transits
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. Solar returns reveal the overall plan of action for the year. Transits show the transient movement of guests around the chart (without telling much about what they’re up to in itself).
Returns and Precession
I should note that I prefer the use of precessed solar returns. It can be rather controversial and unorthodox as I use them with the tropical zodiac. In most articles, I will simply use the non-precessed return as a set of transits around the natal chart. However, the solar return Ascendant and its ruler are important for natal activation, particularly in the predictive system of Abu Ma’shar.
When using the return Ascendant this way, I find the precessed return to be much more informative than the non-precessed return. For now, I’ll just go ahead and use the precessed return in this article, though you are welcome to use non-precessed returns in your own work if you prefer. A comparison between precessed and non-precessed returns is beyond the scope of this article.
The Profection Example
I’m only going to give a quick example with annual and monthly profections in concert with the solar return and transits. The example is David Carradine’s death by accidental autoerotic asphyxiation.
David Carradine’s Death
A brief bio of Carradine can be found on Wikipedia here. 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. Mars also overcomes the Sun by a scrutinizing (i.e. within 3*) sextile. The Sun is an important life-force signifier, especially for those born during the day.
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. Why Venus? Because Venus rules the 8th. Note that Venus is in Capricorn, Saturn’s earthy nocturnal abode, and she is in a bound of Mars. The combination of these planets is appropriate to the sexual nature of the death, as well as the constrictive and violent nature.
Saturn Occupies Annual Profection
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 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. Therefore, while overall we expect an excellent and popular year from Jupiter with much fortune, Jupiter is subject to the malefics and does not prohibit danger.
Here we see the value of the indications of the planet occupying the place, Saturn. There is also clearly a danger of reading too much into the Lord of the Year alone and its natal standing. However, my understanding is that it was a popular year for Carradine with a lot of opportunities and travel.
Sun-Saturn Square Highlighted
The profection for the month of death was to the 6th place, Leo, ruled by the Sun. The 6th is the house o illness and accidents. This particular year and month lord combination highlighted the Sun-Saturn square in the natal chart. Both planets are extremely strong and generally carry positive significations in the natal chart. They are both in sect, in good places, and in signs of Jupiter. It was indeed a very positive year for Carradine prior to the asphyxiation accident. He had about a dozen films of his in post-production at the time of his death.
Mars-Sun and Saturn Rising Solar Return
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). 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. 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 rising, echoing that configuration in Carradine’s chart. Return Saturn opposes his natal Saturn, and squares his natal Sun. Overall, the solar return speaks of activation and strong intensification of the affliction of Carradine’s Sun by Mars and Saturn.
Lunar Return with Mars in the House of Death
The day of death was also Carradine’s lunar return. The Moon returned to the 8th place which it shares with Mars in the natal chart. 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.
Saturn-Sun All Around
The most significant aspects are from Saturn and the Sun which both oppose their natal positions. Transiting Saturn was at 15 Virgo (srAscendant) on Carradine’s Descendant (13VIR) and opposing natal Saturn. Saturn was also transiting in a dominating square to the natal Sun. Both aspects were 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.
Dealing with Complex Indications
With this example, we can see how worthwhile it can be to combine annual and monthly profections together with solar returns. Transits themselves are rather superficial without them. Also, transits are almost completely meaningless without any context from a natal chart. For these reasons, I don’t recommend transit cookbooks.
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. 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 prediction. Indications are subject to the potentials in the natal chart, and the potentials in the natal chart are in a sense infinite. To deeply work on the natal chart we must understand things like general strength, general beneficence, particularly in relation to topics. However, we also need to understand the range or variance of possible significations, and the specific activations that an bring out less common indications. In this way, we get a feel for whether a certain period of time will be more of what’s generally promised or carry some big surprises.
Adding More Predictive Tools
We are still dealing with an extremely stripped-down predictive system. There will be more articles on profections in this series.
It is important to keep in mind that there are many additional techniques that played a key role in the predictive systems of people like Abu Ma’shar. There are also many predictive methods found in Valens which have yet to be thoroughly explored.
Astrologers combine their preferred set of predictive methods into their own predictive systems as no single predictive technique is in itself adequate to signify the most important events in one’s life. Just as there are special techniques for natal matters, in which multiple factors are examined, prediction is best when one uses a number of effective predictive techniques in concert.
The featured image is of 17th-century frescoes in Svetitskhoveli, Mtskheta, Georgia, including a zodiac. The image is in the public domain.