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Lord of the Orb, Primary Directions, Solar Revolutions & Profections

In my quest to understand the marvels of medieval astrology, I am working my way through Ben Dykes’ monumental translation of Abu Ma'shar’s On the Revolutions of the Years of the Nativities where I came across the concept of Lord of the Orb. In Annual Profections, each year of a native’s life is ruled by a planet that rules the sign to which the Ascendant profects to starting with the 1st house for the age 0 to 1 where the ruler of the 1st house becomes the lord of the year. Year 1 to 2 is ruled by 2nd house and therefore the 2nd lord is activated. Likewise, the continues and repeat.

Lord of the Orb indicates the planetary hour. First year of life is ruled by the planet that rules the hour during which the native was born and the planet is associated with the 1st house. The 2nd year of life is ruled by the planet next in the Chaldean order and it is associated with the 2nd house. The cycle keeps continuing in the same manner and repeats.

Calculating the Lord of the Orb

If the nativity is by day:

Calculate the hours in between the Sunrise and the Sunset and divide the same by 12 which will give the duration that is ruled by one planet.

If the nativity is by night:

Calculate the hours in between the sunset and the sunrise (next day) and divide the same by 12 which will give the duration that is ruled by one planet.

I have used Roger Federer’s nativity to explore this method in tandem with Primary Directions, Profections, Solar Revolutions and Lord of the Orb.

Nativity of Roger Federer and Solar Revolutions

Lots and Primary directions

Roger Federer was born on 08 August 1981, 08:40 AM in Basel, Switzerland. Sunrise was at 06:15 AM and the sunset was at 08:54 PM. Total time in between is 14 hours and 39 minutes. Each planet rules 1 hour and 13 minutes. Below is the image showing the planet ruling each hour that corresponds to the age of the native. As Federer was born on Saturday, the first hour (01 hour 13 minutes) immediately after sunrise was ruled by Saturn followed by Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon (cycle repeats in Cahldean order). Saturn rules from 06:15 AM to 07:28 AM, Jupiter rules from 07:29 AM to 08:41 AM. Federer was born at 08:40 AM which makes Jupiter the ruler of the year and it is associated with the first house (Leo). Once the rulership of all the 7 planetary hours are over, the cycle repeats again and continues from the 8th house, 9th house, 10th house and so on with the advancement of each year of the native’s age.


Federer was married in April 2009 when he was living through the 5th house profection year. As Sagittarius is activated, Jupiter becomes the Lord of the year. 5th house indicates love and Jupiter is placed in the 2nd house of family. Jupiter is also the significator of family. Jupiter is posited in the Venusian bound of Virgo. Jupiter is received by Mercury from Cancer and hence, detriment is mitigated to some extent. Benefic placement in terms of bound is also a good thing to consider. However, the most important factor here is the conjunction with sect mate, Saturn which rules the 7th house (also the 6th house) which indicates a new family, basically marriage.

Primary Directions

From July 2008, Venus bound of Scorpio rose to the Ascendant by Primary Directions and Venus is the direct significator of love in life indicating spouse. Venus is posited in the 1st house itself signifying an important event in the native’s life. An obvious event related to Venus in a person’s life is marriage. Importantly, Venus is free from any malefic influence which could have been a major factor in the manifestation of the event.

Solar Revolutions

Solar Revolutions (SR) Ascendant is Cancer indicating a lot of 12th house matters and secrets which could indicate loss as well. However, the ruler of Cancer, the Moon is posited with lot of fortune in the SR and is received by Venus which is placed in its own bound of Leo. SR ascendant in the bound of Jupiter is a good indicator of the beginning of family life. Lord of the year Jupiter is super dignified in Sagittarius indicating favourable events in life like marriage. Jupiter in retrograde mode indicates more focus on matters related to matters pertaining to Jupiter’s own significations and lordships.


Lot of wedding is posited in Libra ruled by Venus. So, Venus also becomes the ruler of lot of wedding. SR lot of fortune is conjunct the lot of wedding indicating firmness in the event manifestation.

Lord of the Orb

Lord of Orb or the ruler of the 28th hour after the native’s birth is Venus and Venus is the lord of the hour, in this case, associated with the 5th house (28th year of age). Even though there is no connection between Venus and Jupiter in the nativity, Venus and Jupiter are in trine to each other in the SR which is a good catalyst.

Abu Ma'shar placed Lord of the Orb in the 5th place in various layers of predictions in his massive astrological literature. While Jupiter is activated as the lord of the year, Venus is associated with the 5th house as the lord of the hour or orb. This additional layer helps us to narrow down in making predictions regarding the nature of events or exact events.

In the next post, I will talk about the practical usage of monthly profections along with Primary Directions, Solar Revolutions, Profections and Lord of the Orb.


© Aswin Subramanyan 2020

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