Rensberger’s Profections

Nicolaus Rensberger dedicates the whole of Book four of his Astronomia Teutsch to directions and profections. Unlike William Lilly he does not seem to use monthly or diurnal profections, but concentrates on annual profections alone.

His definition of profections is as follows: “You should give each sign a year, according to the order of the twelve heavenly signs and twelve heavenly houses. This means that the planet which is rising in the sign it is in, will take twelve years to move through all the twelve heavenly signs and houses until he will return back to where he started from.”

Like William Lilly, Nicolaus Rensberger uses the five hylegical points, Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun, Moon and Part of Fortune as significators.

He gives a general overview, explaining the meaning of the five hylegical points.

Ascendant – It shows health and weakness of the body and fortune or misfortune of the native.

Moon – Like the ascendant it shows good or bad times.

Sun and Midheaven – As well as the Sun, the Midheaven shows in which year the native will gain power, great honours and dignity. It also shows skilfulness and master craftsmanship. 

Part of Fortune – It shows in which year the native will win or lose possessions or nourishment.

Next he describes in detail the significance of the profected Ascendant and Moon in any of the 12 houses. Compared to Lilly, CA p729f, it can be said that both astrologers seem to draw from the same or a very similar source, although Rensberger seems to have more details than Lilly.

In the following I give the last part of the description of the profected Ascendant or Moon in the 12th house: “If the profection of the Ascendant or the Moon will come to the 12th house, the natives will be attacked by hidden illnesses and some enemies will come forward. […] But you shall notice that, if the profection of the Ascendant or the Moon will come to the body of Saturn or Mars, or is in unlucky conjunction or opposition, these will introduce saturnine, melancholic illness. But after the nature of the signs, as if Saturn would be in Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, and said profection is coming there, they indicate a lot of bad luck and harm to the native. This is after the nature of the house they were fallen into; and a sharp illness which shows heat which changes into cold. And they generally give long illness in the air-signs, which are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. They are long fevers, daily fevers and poisoning from pestilence, scabious and itching. In cold and dry signs cold, melancholic and dry illness, four day fevers, as in Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. But in the watery signs, as Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, it will give cold, moist and phlegmatic illnesses like festering sores, dropsy, jaundice, itching, skin sores, etc. These illnesses come from Mars but they are sharper and hotter than fever from pestilence or pestilence. And there are all sorts of evil sores and red dysentery and abdominal flow and three daily fevers. What other sorts of illnesses may be introduced by the other signs see the first chapter of the other book where I have written about the nature of the signs and planets, where you will find it clearly. And so the profections I have been talking about, if they come to the planets in this manner, through their nasty aspects arguments and quarrels, after the nature of the planets and houses to which and wherein they fall.

Example: If the profections would fall in the third house and Mars or Saturn would be in it, they would create quarrel and war with brothers and would show bad luck in short journeys. This is how you should judge all the other houses.”

This is followed by a chapter on the Lord of the profection of the Ascendant, which is, of course, the Lord of the year.

Here is the quote from Rensberger’s book: “Lord of the year is the planet who rules over the profection of the Ascendant, which is over the sign wherein the profection of the sign is in. For example if the profection of the Ascendant is in Aries, whose  sign belongs to Mars, so Mars would be Lord of the year because he is ruler over the profection of the Ascendant because of his house.”

Now follows a chapter on the Planets being Lord of the year.

The next chapters deal with the profection of the Part of Fortune and the second house and the Midheaven and the Sun. Again this is very close to Lilly, CA p732f and p731f.

Unlike Lilly, Rensberger goes further into detail, dedicating a whole chapter to the Lord of the profected Part of Fortune and the profected second house and to the Lord of the profected Midheaven each. Again all the planets are looked at in detail.

For the significators and promittors, Rensberger uses a similar definition to Lilly. He says: “The planet that is directed is called significator because it points towards the things to come, and the planet the significator is moved towards is called promittor, indicating a promise or what is going to happen.”

The conjunctions, oppositions and square aspects between the profected Ascendant, profected Moon, Lord of the year, Lord of the profected Part of Fortune, Lord of the profected Midheaven and the other planets are taken into consideration, but Rensberger does not allow aspects between the (profected) Part of Fortune and other planets and vice versa.


2 thoughts on “Rensberger’s Profections

  1. Dear Peter
    This is a fascinating translation and commentary. I’m particularly interested in profections, but so little is written about them. Profections are usually the first of the several techniques for prediction; does Rensberger treat them in that way? Does he use firdaria?

    Sue Ward

    • Dear Sue

      Rensberger does indeed dedicate the whole of Book four of his ‘Astronomia Teutsch’ to prediction techniques. Apart from profections he advocates the usage of directions and revolutions. In the following I give a translation of what he has to say about directions:
      “You shall notice that one shall always give one degree for one year after the order of the signs and degrees. And always remember the distance between the two planets being the promittor and the significator. How many degrees there are between them will tell you how many years it will take before the effect will take place; be it in conjunction, sextile, square, trine or opposition.”

      This is his recommendation for he readers of his book. But he also says:”The other method for directions is the one according to the tables of Regiomontanus, which I will not give here because of its difficulty and common people’s lack of knowledge [….]”

      Rensberger does not seem to use firdaria although I have found evidence that he copied information out of Schoener’s ‘Libri Tres’, which means that he must have been aware of this technique.

      Rensberger uses these three techniques similar to William Lilly who included transits in his work as well which are not mentioned in the ‘Astronomia’.

      Peter Stockinger

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