In the traditional (Hellenistic) school of astrology, the themes and quality of each year of a native’s life can be determined by a simple technique known as Annual Profections. The places (aka houses), which each symbolize pieces, people, and experiences of a person’s life, are the first step in navigating the delineations of the yearly outcome. Considering that each house is assigned one sign (using whole sign houses), the first house sign— and its ruler— reveals the theme and quality of the first year of life. The second house denotes the second, and so forth. With each year of life, we move to the next place and look to the planetary ruler of that place to understand which direction and subjective feelings to be mindful of in the coming year.
This technique can even be extended down to a monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly detail. For a fuller picture, delineating from the sect light* offers greater nuance as to how a person’s year will unfold and which dates (planetary transits) will stand out and make headlines from the rest.
Because the sect light plays a significant role in the technique it would be sloppy not to point out the basics of sect.
The sect light is the luminary (Sun or Moon) given priority based on whether the chart is deemed a day or night chart. It also adds depth and nuance to how the malefics (Mars or Saturn) and benefics (Venus or Jupiter) function on a spectrum of positive and negative experiences. The notion here is that each sphere holds a preference for the quality of yin or yang (day or night) and expresses itself in positive or negative ways based on which sect it identifies with. This is where a lot of astrologers find themselves divided when it comes to the interpretation. Though ancient texts do have a strong pessimistic tone to much of the delineations provided, the implementation of essential dignities (which categorizes planetary placements through the signs with labels such as exalted, detriment, fall, and domicile) doesn’t mean that practitioners always assign bleak doom to planets that are considered “afflicted” in this system. There is a lot more nuance in the practice that gets overlooked by passerby astrologers when it comes to the implementation of traditional astrological techniques. Traditional astrology goes way beyond black and white. The structure that lies within it offers so many shades of gray and the capacity for more detailed and uncannily resonant predictions… So let’s take a look at how sect plays a major role in interpreting a chart and using annual profections.
If the Sun is above the horizon (above the *Ascendant/Descendant axis), it’s a day chart. If below, it’s a night chart. The Sun is the sect light in a day chart and therefore given priority in timing techniques like annual profections. The Moon is the sect light in a night chart and it is the place where we delineate from in timing techniques for natives born at night. Conceptually, natives are more closely ruled by the ruler of the ascendant* and the sect light in their chart rather than simply being ruled by the Sun/Sun’s ruler (as is practiced in Sun sign astrology—the horoscopes you read in a magazine or newspaper). The Ascendant (aka rising sign) is the place where the life-giving Sun rises over the horizon and is recognized as the union of spirit and body. In modern astrology, the ascendant marks the cusp of the 1st house. But in traditional astrology, each house is allotted one sign using the whole sign houses. Therefore, the ascendant falls somewhere in the first place. Nonetheless, this axis point is conceptually a place of light and visibility, and therefore life and spirit. Hence we profect from the ascendant and the sect light.
The planetary ruler of the sign/house which is being profected or "activated" in any given year is said to deliver its promise or manifest the themes it symbolizes in your natal chart. Consequently, any configurations the planetary ruler makes with other bodies or points in the chart are switched "on" and become prominent points of focus, particularly when contacted by transiting planets during said year. Transits from the planetary rulers of the profection year are equally significant and the seasons that host several planets through the profected signs (or their angles) tend to feature the peak activity of the year.
If you practice modern astrology, especially as a beginner, pinpointing which transits are the most significant (which the person will actually experience and recognize manifesting) can feel daunting or even impossible.
But using profections drastically (and practically) simplifies things. And it has an amazing capacity for accuracy! To demonstrate and celebrate this forgotten (but valid) technique, The Cosmic Soup Bowl has come together with other writers to share The Profection Project: Reflective stories on various themes of life.
That said, I want to ask some of you to share your stories and experiences on my blog, or on your own. For those of you that have your own blogs, I'd encourage you to share it with the community so everyone can follow the stories under the name of the project: #Theprofectionproject.
If you feel called to join in this endeavor, you don't have to know astrology to participate. Including writers who aren't astrologers helps further demonstrate this concept by sharing the theme (sign/house and planetary ruler) of the profection year they are in without getting distracted too by the technical details.
If you're up to sharing your reflective experience of your profected houses, I'd love to hear your story! Please share it with us and tag me @Temple_healing_arts on your Instagram or @Temple_healing on your Twitter so I can share it too!