When most of us use astrology to get an idea of our year ahead, we often look at transits and the solar return chart. These are fantastic tools that can provide a ton of good information. But let me add one more to your toolbox: profections.
Profections are an ancient technique based in the astrology of ancient Greece. The general idea is that each year of our life corresponds to a different house, which circles around the zodiac in procession. So from ages 0-1, you’re in a First House year, from 1-2, the Second House, 2-3 corresponds to the Third House, and so on. Anyone who has raised children will automatically see the connection here. The first year of life is entirely centered around getting basic needs met, which is perfect for the House of Self. The second year is when children enter the dreaded “mine” phase, connecting to the Second House of possessions. The third year is when they really start talking and just don’t stop, which is all 3rd house communication. And once we get to the 12th house, we start right back at the 1st house again.
Once we’ve figured out what house rules the year (take a look at the image for quick reference), we look to our own natal chart to see what sign is on that house cusp. The ruler of that sign is considered the ruler of the year, and will its influence will be felt broadly. So, for instance, say you are turning 27. From the chart, we can see that means that you are entering a 4th house year. And say, looking at your natal chart, that you have Sagittarius on the 4th house cusp. Then you are in luck! This would make Jupiter the ruler of year, which is as good as it gets. Given that the 4th house is involved, you can expect a happy home life, possibly trips abroad, and maybe even moving your home, likely to a far better location.
I’ll give an example from my own life. In August, I entered a Saturn-ruled year. Since then, I have been working like crazy. I wake up at 7am, start working, and don’t stop until around 1am, when I finally collapse in bed. I was talking to a friend about this, and told her that I really don’t know how I’m doing it. I feel like I’m being driven by something beyond me, because no matter how exhausted I am, I just keep going. Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. Nothing Saturn-based is ever easy. But a few years ago, this would have been impossible. Somehow, though, this year I have the internal reserves to keep moving forward. It’s not easy, but it’s doable in a way that it never would have been before. That is thanks to Saturn.
So if you want to get a sense of the flavor of your upcoming year, I highly recommend giving profections a try. Take a look at the chart above and tell us: what kind of year are you in? Do you feel it?
I am in a 9th house year (using whole sign houses) I went to Portugal for a month – long journey! Last intl trip was 12 years ago. And since Mercury rules my 9th, I have been reading about 5 books at a time all year. Saturn is in my 9th natally and I stopped an esoteric study course I had been taking for a long time. Also, Mercury rules my 6th house too – I had two surprise surgeries.
Thanks Midara! I’ve been curious about protections. This post is easy to understand and helpful. Sheds new light on my situation. ?
I am in a 8th house (in Gemini) profected year so the year is ruled by Mercury which is well aspected and conjunct Venus in my fourth house, so the overall outcome before my next birthday will be a positive one, I hope.
Transits to Mercury and from Mercury this year are quite significant with Mercury as my profected ruler. Currently Mercury retrogade in my first house is driving me nuts. I keep changing my mind and I revise my thoughts, how I talk, and how I present myself and I know I’ll change my mind again. People who meet me for the first time are getting a weirder ‘me’, and a ‘me’ in flux, I think. It’s frustrating and confusing to me (and others) yet unavoidable.
Mercury retrogade will square my natal mercury in some weeks and that ought to be interesting.
Mercury also rules my 11th house of friends and wishes, and some friendships are being transformed (8th house) and might die (8th house), and some wishes (11th house) are changing (8th house) or might need to die (8th house.)
In my 8th house I have Moon and Mars so themes of motherhood (moon) and strong urges/drives/desires (mars) around this theme have been really strong this year, stronger than ever imagined, and very painful.
My belief system is changing big time (9th house is ruled by the moon in the profected 8th house) and my attitude/personality (1st house ruled by mars in the 8th house) and health (6th house, also ruled by mars) are changing a lot, and parts of me are dying (8th house profected year.)
I’ve also had serious yet non-life threatening health issues (6th house) being diagnosed this year which I receive treatment for now so it’s all changing.
A few people related to my family-in-law have died (e.g. 2 in the last 4 weeks) and there have been many funerals around us lately.
It’s not a fun year, to be honest, with all the little deaths around and within me (8th house stuff isn’t described as fun) yet I know I’ll be okay in the end (mercury, profected ruler of this year, is strong in my chart.)
One transit I’m curious about is my Mercury return shortly before my birthday…so I’ll be on the look out around that time.
I’m very interested in hearing about other people’s experiences. Next year I have the 9th house profection so after reading aspire’s comment I am hoping to travel long-distance or simply travel as it’s been a while!
Midara, does the new year referenced here begin at one’s birthday/solar return? This is a new technique to me and very interesting. Thanks!
Valerie BE, yes! The new year is always calculated from the solar return. 🙂
I’ve just begun an 8th house year (Capricorn on my natal chart, so Saturn-ruled.) 2020 also brings a square from the January Saturn-Pluto conjunction (also in my 8th house, to my natal Sun-Saturn-Neptune stellium at 18-21 Libra as well as my NN). There is so much focus on 8th house matters in the year ahead I’m feeling cautious; concerned for my 87-year old parents’ health during these transits.
Interesting. Here I’ve been doing astrology for 41 years, and this is the first time I’ve heard of Profections. I am 71, in 12th House, and it sure in hell has felt like a 12th House year. Since Liz died, I’m wanting to move, but not sure where, when or how. So, with 72 being a 1st House year … I’ll keep you informed.
Me too! I have been studying and practicing since the 90s. I believe this is just renamed and you and I know it as “progressions”
Profections aren’t quite the same as progressions, but they can certainly be used together!
There are a ton of new techniques being rediscovered as more and more ancient texts are being translated. Some are a little out there, but others, like profections, were foundational elements for most of astrology’s history, and it’s really fun to layer these ideas with more modern ones. 🙂
Shit. 8th. Stellium already. But I want a break.
This is a 10 house year for me. But I have no planetaire there. So??
Jean, the cool thing about profections is that you don’t have to have a planet there. Just take the sign that’s on the house cusp (this works best if you use equal or whole sign houses), and use that sign’s ruling planet. So for example, if you have Cancer on the house cusp, you’ll be in a Moon-ruled year. If Leo is on the cusp, you’re in a Sun-ruled year. Does that make sense?
Thanks Midara. In July I entered a 10th house year. In my case, ruled by Venus for my 10th is in Libra. So?
It fits really well I’d say!
The 12th house year? Brutal. It squares my natal 8th house moon…
Now, I am in a Neptune year, or a Mars year, depending on which house system you use.
But if Neptune is in it, it must be something about my dreams coming to reality – I hope! Also, guard against something looking too good to be true, it probably is…
If Mars is in it, it must be something about health and energy levels. My natal Mars is in the 12th/on cusp of 12th (depending on house system), so could be something about a level up in energy levels…. along those lines.
Or maybe something like the spiritual stuff.
Dunno. But yeah, Def. Makes sense!
Yes thank you. It is Libra so a venus ruled year. Love beauty arts and money?
Thanks for this, this makes sense looking back (and now). I’m in a 7th house/Pluto-ruled year.
love this! super interesting … another post with analysis on each ruled year would be awesome
I’m nearing the end of a 4th house year. virgo is my IC, so it’s a mercury-ruled year and I have to say, even though I’m a gemini rising, it seems like mercury retrograde has hit harder this year than usual.
in january, i start a 5th house/venus-ruled year with that saturn/pluto conjunction, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how these two very different energy combinations play out
In late September I entered a Uranus-ruled year, 1st house.
Already, in October, I sustained a huge, sudden and life-changing loss. My entire sense of Self (1st house) needs to be revisited as a consequence.
Given the rest of the lay of my chart and some major transits coming (like the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in January 2020), I expect more such sudden and Self-changing hits.
But. This does not faze me. I am actually surprised and amazed at how I am handling myself post this recent loss.
So, bring it on, Uranus! Whatever next “sudden lightning bolt” you’ve got, I’ll take it in stride.
Already I am no longer the person I was prior to my recent loss.
My sense of Self is at once solid and fluid. I needed to change. I am changing. And I know for a fact there are more changes coming to my Self.
Thanks Midara for this new-to-me tool. It helps me understand “where I’m at at”. It is totally bang on.
Lucky me my 9th house (this year) is ruled by Saturn and my 10th house (next year) is ruled by Saturn.
Uuuhhmmm… holy crapola! This year 4H Scorpio Pluto. We decided to move to another city, sell the home we raised our family in, and are building a detached townhome.
Next year is 5H Pisces Neptune… gotta look into this!
How cool is this – thanks Midara!
PS. AND we didn’t tell anyone until several months into the plan….
2020 will be an 11th house/Saturn year. Yes, I will be working harder than ever.
I have natal mars in libra in 8th house profection; which is scorpio ruled. what does this mean for me in 2020?
I’m in 8th year profection in Venus libra (mars is in my 8th house libra). next year 2021 I will be 9th year scorpio (neptune) what does this all mean??? lindy
This yeah you’ll be dealing with 8th house matters like psychology, inheritance, etc. Transits from Venus will be very powerful.
Next year you’ll be in the role of a student, seeking, learning, and expanding your horizons. Mars will be powerful at that point, and you will want to pay attention to Mars as it transits the zodiac.
I’m not sure what format to use. I’m currently 56 years old. That would be my 9th house? In whole sign chart my sun is in the 10th house and in placidus my sun is in the 9th house? Sun in Leo. No other planets there. If I take the whole sign version than the ninth house has Venus and Mars in Cancer together(Placidus chart has Venus and Mars in 8th house)? What system should I be using? Please describe the year as you would interpret it. Thank you very much for this article.
You can use whichever house system you’re most comfortable with. The important part is the sign on the cusp on the 9th, which it sounds like would be Cancer for you. That makes this a Moon year, and the transits of the Moon will take on greater significance even as you focus on 9th house matters like learning, travel, and anything else that expands your horizons.
Thank you very much!
I am in a 3rd house year which is in Cancer ruled by the moon. My natal moon is in Libra so would Venus be a secondary ruler?
Welcome, Donna! 🙂
I generally don’t consider secondary rulers, but you might want to pay special attention to your profected Libra month. I wrote a bit about profected months here: https://www.elsaelsa.com/astrology/profected-months-find-your-monthly-ruler/
I’m in my 8th house year which is in Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn but on the 24th, I’m going into my 8th house year which is in Pisces and its ruled by Jupiter but idk what this means exactly or what I should work on/look for
I have just started learning about profections but it is recommended you use whole signs which means each year on your birthday your protected year would change. I believe yours will be in the 9th house. Nice placement with Jupiter in Pisces! Jupiter will visit Pisces May- July 2921 and then in December….
Thanks for responding and correcting my Typo! Now that I know this information, how can I put it into practice, or learn more about my purpose within my 9th year, and how to work on it, what are good resources for me to find out more information. Thank you so much!
If you google profection wheel there are several you can download. Ninth house issues are front and center. Look at where Jupiter is in your natal chart.
I just learned of Profections today. I am 56, so it is my 9th house this year. The ruler is Saturn (Aquarius) and next year will be Saturn ruled as well, yipee.
As you probably know, Saturn is in the later degrees of my natal 9th house in whole sign, and Jupiter is there for the time being.Also lots of hard aspects to Jupiter.
In a profected 2nd house, ruled by Venus (Libra) in my natal chart. I was hoping for a better year financially. My solar return is in August, so there’s still hope. I also have that Aquarius stellium everyone is talking about transiting my 6th house in mid-February, so maybe a job (6th house) + earned income (2nd house) will come my way.
Great stuff, thank you, Midara! Entering a 6th house year. Regardless of the house systems, I have gemini in 6th, so it’s a Mercury one. ? I came here after updating both of my phone and laptop calendars, small notes, birthday reminders, with stuff to do, to look at, to read and to check off those lists, so this was on point. I’ve also knitted my 1st headband and a pair of gloves is pending (mercury – hands & knitting and natal mercury is conjunct venus in taurus 4th, so I like practical things that I can do/build/create with my hands.)?
I love it! Talk about making the most of your year!! <3
Thank you!<3? It's just getting used to restriction on top of my already existing restriction being more or less housebound before.*ahem, thanks, Saturn. But we gotta get moving anyway, if not by feet, then by mind. wink mercury* Rest is good too!
Thank you for this,,6th house..also the uranus in taurus in my 6th house…I am trying to get my health back…Hope it works
Have you look at your chart in Whole signs?
Few things to consider, are there other natal planets in your 6th house?
Also what is the condition of the ruler of your 6th house in your natal chart?
And finally, what is the condition of the planet in your Solar Return?
It should be added that only Whole Sign charts are used, and only the 7 traditional planets are used. Outer planets, Uranus onwards are not normally used as rulers, but are modifying factors.
Also if you have a natal planet in the profection house, the ruler of the house hands over to that planet. A bit like an owner of a car handing the keys to someone else who will be doing the driving!
Example, I am in a Cancer ruled year, so the Moon would be the ruler, or Lord of Year. However, I have natal Mars in Cancer, so Mars would be the handed over ruler.
If the planet in the chart is an outer planet, that would be more of an influence. For instance in my chart, Scorpio profection years are still ruled by Mars, not Pluto, but would be heavily influenced by Uranus in that sign (yup,crazy years!)
So, check the ruler and Natal planet handed over. In my example, I would need to observe all Lunar and Solar Eclipses this year, PLUS all transits from Mars to any natal planet, and transits to my natal Mars.
Also check the condition of the ruling planet(s) in your Solar Return too, to see how they would manifest the promise your natal chart makes.
And check the condition of those planets generally in your natal chart. Are they well placed or afflicted? If you are in a Jupiter year, but your natal Jupiter is poorly placed, then it could be a challenging year. Likewise, if Saturn is well placed, then the year could be highly productive with solid results.
Hey so I have a question I’ll enter my 1st house profection year. It ruled by Scorpio and I have Mars in it. ( also asc and moon and Pluto but they’re on cusp of the 12th house) just Mars fell in the first. Im aware it’s about image and self but with Scorpio dulling it, is that bad?
If you mean that you’re concerned about Mars being in Scorpio, that is actually a good thing! Mars is dignified there and has the powerful act in a way that is natural and effective. And having Scorpio Rising doesn’t dull the self! It makes you hypnotic, powerful, and alluring. It helps you understand that the self is a deep well, and there’s no limit to what you can be so long as you are willing to brave the depths. And finally, having Scorpio Rising means you can transform! You have automatic phoenix powers built in!
If you mean that you’re concerned because the Mars, ruling your 1st house, is currently transiting Cancer, which is the sign of its fall, don’t be. It’s true that when the ruler of our year is transiting a sign it doesn’t like, we can feel unhappy as well. But the transit is relatively short, and it gives us all kinds of goo information, like how to operate effectively in the world even under adverse circumstances. It’s ultimately a gift. 🙂
Thank you so much it makes so much sense now. I appreciate your response♥️
I am in Saggitarius 2nd House with Jupiter there which has both trines and squares.
So the lord give the then taketh and has always done so I knew
what to expect.
Money was given then many unexpected accounts came in to pay out.
But Jupiter and its aspects still keeps me out of desperate trouble. Thanks!
Welcome, Faye! 🙂
I’m going into a moon protected year in cancer. I’ll be 33 years old. What does a moon ruled year mean?