Our astrologer breaks down how you can use annual profections to get a read on the themes and tone of a particular year of your life.
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TikTok Is Talking About Natal Promise Reports — But What Are They, Really?
Credit: Alex Sandoval

As interest in astrology skyrockets, more people are graduating from identifying themselves as their sun sign to referring to their "big three" (aka their sun, moon, and rising) and ultimately familiarizing themselves with their whole natal, or birth, chart. Growing excitement has also fueled buzz around specific predictive techniques typically only used by pro astrologers. Currently in the spotlit on TikTok is something called annual profections, or the Time Lord technique. Though it's being referred to on the social platform as a "natal promise report," no matter what you call it, the technique is a way to better understand the themes and tone of a particular year of your life. (And though TikTok has hopped on this trend right around the new year, it's worth noting that annual profections are pinned to your age, not the calendar year.)

Here are the specifics on annual profections and how you can use this method yourself.

What Annual Profections Aim to Do

The annual profections technique, which was developed in the Hellenistic tradition of astrology and dates back to the second century BCE, shows you which house of your birth chart is being activated while you're a particular age.

When you look at your natal chart, you'll notice it's split into 12 houses. The rising sign, or ascendant, always falls on the cusp of the first house. Each of the 12 houses rules a different area of life:

  • First House: The physical body, self-image, personality
  • Second House: Income, material possessions
  • Third House: Communication, learning, siblings, short-distance travel
  • Fourth House: Family, home, security
  • Fifth House: Romance, creativity, self-expression, children
  • Sixth House: Daily routine, wellness, your day-to-day work, pets
  • Seventh House: Partnerships (platonic, professional, romantic), marriage, one-on-one interactions
  • Eighth House: Sex, emotional bonds, intimacy, death, rebirth, transformation
  • Ninth House: Long-distance travel, adventure, philosophy, higher education
  • Tenth House: Public image, reputation, career
  • Eleventh House: Networking, friendships, long-term wishes
  • Twelfth House: Spirituality, the unconscious, intuition, dreams

Depending on which house is activated during a certain age, the "flavor" of that year will be influenced by that house's themes.

The sign that's on the cusp of that house also matters, because it'll lead you to your annual "Time Lord," which you can basically think of as the showrunner of that particular year for you. More on that in a moment.

How to Begin Working with Annual Profections

To make the most of this technique, you'll want to take note of a few birth chart basics:

1. Note which signs rule which houses in your chart.

Each of your houses is ruled by a sign. For example, if your ascendant is Leo, then Leo rules your first house, Virgo rules your second, Libra your third, so forth and so on. (You should be able to find that information if you generate a birth chart on a site such as CafeAstrology or in one of these astrology apps.)

2. Be sure you're using the Whole Signs house system.

There are a variety of house systems, such as Placidus and Koch, and depending on which one you/a pro astrologer uses, your birth chart might look a little bit different, because they utilize different calculations to set the houses in place. Annual profections require using a Whole Signs chart, in which the first house begins with 0 degrees of the ascendant sign, the second house begins at 0 degrees of the next sign, and so forth and so on. (You can run a Whole Signs chart on CafeAstrology.)

3. Familiarize yourself with traditional rulerships.

Now, it's also crucial to bear in mind that in astrology, every sign is ruled by a planet or a luminary (the sun or moon). Some have traditional rulers and modern rules, some just have one. If you're doing annual profections and working with a sign that has both, you'll want to go with the traditional ruler. (Related: The Complete Guide to Zodiac Signs and Their Meanings)

A quick cheat sheet for that piece of the puzzle:

  • Aries: Mars
  • Taurus: Venus
  • Gemini: Mercury
  • Cancer: The moon
  • Leo: The sun
  • Virgo: Mercury
  • Libra: Venus
  • Scorpio: Mars (the modern co-ruler is Pluto)
  • Sagittarius: Jupiter
  • Capricorn: Saturn
  • Aquarius: Saturn (the modern ruler is Uranus)
  • Pisces: Jupiter (the modern ruler is Neptune)

How to Figure Out Your Annual Profection and Time Lord

Here's a step-by-step guide to trying this technique for yourself:

1. Pinpoint which house year you're in this year.

Every age correlates to a house. So you can either use an online annual profections calculator or find a graphic or outline that matches each age up with its corresponding house. For example, if you're 28, you're in a fifth house year. If you're 38, you're in a third house year. (This doesn't vary from person to person — everyone spends that year of their life in that house, since everyone starts their birth year in their first house.) Refer back to the area of life that particular house oversees to get a sense of the themes you'll be dealing with up until your next birthday.

2. Pinpoint the sign that is on the cusp of that house in your natal chart.

Go to your birth chart and zero in on the house that is associated with the age you are currently. Say you're the 28-year-old, in a fifth house year, and Taurus is on the cusp of that house in your chart. This means your Time Lord, while you're 28, is the planet that rules Taurus: Venus, the planet of romance, beauty, and money. (If you use the online calculator above, it makes it easy by just telling you which ruler is in that house for the year.)

3. Take the Time Lord's themes and transits into consideration.

If Venus is your Time Lord, not only will the love planet's themes be prevalent for you this year, but you'll also want to pay attention to what Venus is doing in your birth chart and how it'll be affected this year by current transits.

As for all the other planets, here are the themes they're generally associated with:

  • Sun: Self-image, confidence, your personal brand
  • Moon: Emotions, intuition, family 
  • Mercury: Communication, travel, technology
  • Venus: Romance, beauty, relationships, values
  • Mars: Action, sex, energy
  • Jupiter: Abundance, luck, long-distance travel, higher education
  • Saturn: Hard work, setting boundaries and limits, responsibility, sense of duty

4. Note where your annual Time Lord is in your natal chart.

Is it in the first house, wrapped up with themes of self-image and self-love? Is it well-aspected, meaning it's harmonizing nicely with other planets and points in your chart (e.g. perhaps it's conjunct or trine to lucky Jupiter!)? If so, this year could be more fortunate. However, if Venus is having a tougher time expressing itself in your natal chart — perhaps closely opposing or squaring off against other planets — then you may be working with some of the challenges presented by those aspects. (This all might be a little hard to figure out yourself, if you're newer to astrology — if you want to know more, you can always seek out an astrologer to get a more personalized and in-depth reading.)

5. Think about how your annual Time Lord will be affected by current transits.

Over the course of the year — meaning from one birthday to the next, not calendar year — you'll want to pay attention to when current planetary movements in the sky interact with your Time Lord in your chart.

For example, perhaps your Time Lord is Mercury, and in your birth chart, it's in Pisces. Jupiter is now moving through Pisces until May, so when it conjuncts your natal Mercury (meaning it sits at the very same degrees where Mercury was when you were born), you'll feel that transit more than you might in another year. You might also feel Mercury retrogrades more than you would in other years, because again, Mercury is running the show for you this year.

Check your weekly and monthly horoscopes and other planetary forecasting features to pinpoint important planetary events that will directly involve or closely affect the sign your Time Lord is in. For example, if your Time Lord is Mars, and in your chart, it's in Taurus, this year's four eclipses will be big for you, because they'll fall in Taurus and its opposite sign Scorpio.

The Bottom Line On Annual Profections and Time Lords

From looking at how current planetary movements are interacting with your birth chart to reading your solar return chart or reading a secondary progressions chart (which involves moving your birth chart forward in time to better understand your current journey toward growth, maturity, and progress), there are a wide variety of cool predictive astrology methods you can use to get a sense of what's coming. Annual profections and figuring out your Time Lord is one more to try.

As with most astrological methods, you'll want to experiment with annual profections to see if it resonates with you (after all, that's one of astrology's biggest benefits: self reflection). If it does, you'll have one more tool for understanding what every unique age has in store.