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Find out what the planets have to say about your love and career cycles

What the planets and houses have to say about your love and career

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Your astrology chart describes all the experiences of life across all levels: practical, spiritual and everything in between. An astrology chart is made up of 10 planets, the 12 zodiac signs and 12 houses, or chart sectors. Your unique life experiences, traits and tendencies are symbolised through unique combinations of the planets, signs and houses.

Life’s framework: the houses

The 12 houses form the backbone or framework of your chart. Everyone has the same 12 houses but each of us has individual influences around every house. Each house describes different topics, or areas of life. For instance, the 2nd House shows your tendencies around money, especially regarding income, savings and spending habits, while the 7th House shows the influences around your relationships.

The sign and any planets in each house describe the kinds of experiences that will be likely regarding the topics of that house. If you have one of the fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius — in your 11th House of Friendship, you will be loyal (a fixed-sign quality) to your friends and may prefer a few long-lasting friendships over a bunch of superficial acquaintances.

When the 5th or 7th houses are highlighted through profections, you can build on existing relationship foundations or you may find it easier to meet someone new.

As you dive more deeply into astrology you’ll work more and more with the 12 houses. While each house has a role to play in your life, some houses are more important — or simply more popular — because they describe topics and areas of life that may be your top priorities. These include the 10th House, which describes career and life direction, and the 7th House, which rules relationships. In addition, the 5th House plays a supporting role around romance.

Another house to keep in mind is the 11th House, which is generally considered lucky. It’s through the 11th House that you receive support for your hopes, dreams and wishes, at work and in life in general.

In a personal consultation, an astrologer would detail the many and specific influences that describe your different houses based on your unique birth chart. At a more general level, the technique of profections connects different ages to the individual houses. This allows you to focus on a celestially emphasised topic at the right age, without even knowing much about your personal chart. Like all techniques in astrology, there is a simple, beginner version of this tool, along with a more advanced approach. Let’s focus on the beginner approach first.

Ages, houses & topics

The 12 houses are connected to your age in chronological order. The 1st House is your first year of life, when you are technically 0. When you turn 1, you move into the 2nd House. Your age continues around, moving from one house to the next each year on your birthday. This means that, every time your birthday age is a multiple of 12, you return to the 1st House. Every 12 years you revisit the house and topics from 12 years before. With extra age, wisdom and maturity you can further develop those topics and areas of life.

Find your age in the right-hand column of the table (direction below) to see which house and topics are highlighted for you this year.

You may want to plan an extra special celebration when you turn 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 or 84. Even though those ages seem random and don’t relate to the culturally significant decade birthdays like 30, 40, 50 or 60, they are astrologically significant as they highlight you personally. They are 1st House years and the 1st House is about the self. It’s the most personal and “you”-focused part of your chart. These will be great years to focus on your personal interests, hobbies and passions. You might put yourself first more at those ages, especially if you normally do a lot for others.

What’s your focus?

House Topics Age
1st House Self, personality, appearance, body 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72
2nd House Income, savings, spending, possessions 1, 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, 73
3rd House Communication, siblings, learning, travel 2, 14, 26, 38, 50, 62, 74
4th House Parents, family, home 3, 15, 27, 39, 51, 63, 75
5th House Children, romance, pleasure 4, 16, 28, 40, 52, 64, 76
6th House Illness, work, duties, pets 5, 17, 29, 41, 53, 65, 77
7th House Relationships, marriage, other people 6, 18, 30, 42, 54, 66, 78
8th House Taxes, death, inheritances, other people’s money 7, 19, 31, 43, 55, 67, 79
9th House Travel, wisdom, foreigners and foreign places 8, 20, 32, 44, 56, 68, 80
10th House Career, reputation, success, fame 9, 21, 33, 45, 57, 69, 81
11th House Friends, groups, alliances, luck 10, 22, 34, 46, 58, 70, 82
12th House Retreat, sickness, rest, confinement 11, 23, 35, 47, 59, 71, 83

Age of love

Your most important relationships are described by the 7th House while romance, happiness and joy are connected to the 5th House. Together, these houses support your love life. When the 5th or 7th houses are highlighted through profections, you can build on existing relationship foundations or you may find it easier to meet someone new.

The 5th and 7th houses are subtly different. When you’re in a 7th House year, you may be more interested in a solid, substantial or long-term partnership. These may be years when commitments are made or you finalise plans for the future. Your 7th House years, when relationships are highlighted, include 18, 30, 42, 54, 66 and 78. Major relationships events are likely during these years.

During your 11th House years, take a leap of faith, chase a big dream or call on the support of those who believe in you.

A 5th House year may be more about the fun and playful side of romance. These can be great ages for dating and meeting someone new, rekindling the spark in an existing relationship or generally doing more of what you love with the people that make you happy. Creativity and dreams around children or grandchildren can also be highlighted. The 5th House is highlighted when you turn 16, 28, 40, 52, 64 and 76.

Your 7th House years come along two years after your 5th House years. Together these can highlight a period in life where a lot of progress in relationships is possible. What you experience or enjoy in a 5th House year can lead to further progress in relationships two years later.

Career ages

The 10th House is the most public or visible sector in your chart. It describes the influences around your career. When it’s activated, you may be blessed with a higher profile or find new success in your field. Awards may come your way or you be may be put forward for a prestigious posting.

The 10th House is also associated with the midday sun, the brightest and most warming sun there is. It’s from this heightened placement of the sun that the 10th House is connected to visibility. The 10th House also forms a dynamic square aspect to the ascendant, which highlights the 10th House as a place of action. When your age links to the 10th House, you may become more visible or create major progress on career and life goals.

In the profections system, your 10th House is highlighted at ages 9, 21, 33, 45, 57, 69 and 81. These may be years when you feature in local or national press, achieve an outstanding target in your career or realise a long-held professional goal.

Enhance your luck

The luckiest house of all, the 11th House, is traditionally associated with Jupiter, the giver of gifts, luck and opportunities. Even though it’s not directly connected to love or career, you may feel extra support during your 11th House years. The 11th House describes the good spirits that watch over you, like a cosmic fairy godmother.

The 11th House is also associated with friendships, as the ancient Greeks believed a friend was a gift from the gods. Your networks and friends can be especially lucky for you in 11th House years. The 11th House forms a supportive sextile angle to the 1st House, showing you personally receiving support from all sources during these years. At these ages, it’s as if manna from Heaven rains down on you and you benefit from all kinds of support, both seen and unseen.

During your 11th House years, take a leap of faith, chase a big dream or call on the support of those who believe in you. Your 11th House ages include 10, 22, 34, 46, 58, 70 and 82.

Your 11th House years follow immediately after your 10th House years. Any career highs you reach in your 10th House years can lead to a warm outpouring of support or invitations to participate in professional organisations and networks. This shows how the growth in one year leads to the opportunities of the next.

An advanced look

While everyone has the same 12 houses and we each experience them being activated at the same ages, your 7th House year will be different from mine and both will be different again from that of your sibling, friend or parent.

Each house is ruled by a sign and that sign flavours your experiences in that area of life. In addition, you can have any of the 10 planets placed inside a house. This means that, even though we all have relationship themes highlighted at 30, 42, 54 and so on, the kinds of things we experience will be different.

Your personal love story is told by your chart. If you have serious Saturn in your 7th House of Relationships, when your relationship house is activated you will focus more on commitment within your main relationships. If you have independent Uranus in your 7th House, when your 7th House is activated you may look to change existing relationship patterns or find new freedom within your partnerships. Relationships are activated for everyone at the same ages but in a way that’s personal or unique to you.

When your age links to the 10th House, you may become more visible or create major progress on career and life goals.

If you know your chart, consider how the ruling sign of a house, or any planets placed in it, may flavour your experiences during your love and career years.

If you are an advanced devotee of astrology, you can also work with profections in tandem with your solar return, or birthday chart. The ruling planet of the house highlighted by your age becomes your Time Lord, or guiding planet, for that year. You will be especially sensitive too and in tune with that planet and may notice you’re more affected by its movements, transits and aspects through the year.

When you have identified your Time Lord for the year, consider its placement and strength in your solar return chart. The stronger it is, the more likely you are to be able to manifest your dreams and goals around that house area in the year ahead.

Cycles of 12

You revisit each house every 12 years. If you’re unsure what career or love means for you, reflect on the last time those houses were activated. You may notice a common theme that appears in your life every time you have a 7th House year or go through a 10th House year. In this way, you can use the experiences of the past to help you gain insight into the future.

The technique of profections is ancient and, at its heart, stunningly simple. It ties together the pattern of the 12 houses with your age and helps you understand which areas of life most benefit from your attention in a given year. Understanding when love and career are highlighted can help you maximise your energy and efforts so that you look for growth in the years when you have the cosmos onside.


Kelly Surtees

With more than 14 years in private practice, Kelly Surtees is experienced, warm and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include career and life direction, health and fertility, love, health and happiness. Kelly is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year.