Each birth chart can be divided into twelve pieces, known as the houses. The first house is determined by the sign of the zodiac that was on the horizon at the time of your birth. Directly across from that is the sign that was setting, or your seventh house. The tenth house is the sign directly above you and the forth is the one directly below. The other eight fall in between these.
Each house rules an area of your life corresponding to the zodiac equivalent. Aries rules the first, Taurus the second, Gemini the third until Pisces ruling the twelfth.
The sign in your chart that the beginning or cusp of each house sits in colors the way that arena of your life is set up. For example, if you have Pisces on the second house of worth, you would find that you care more about spiritual worth than material worth.
Any planet in a house will find most of its power shines in that section of your life. If you had Pluto, for instance, in your seventh house of relationships you would have a tendency to control others as a way to protect yourself from your fear of abandonment. The goal would be to learn to release the control and know that other people are here to help you grow, but they cannot do that if they cannot grow themselves.
You may find that you have no planets in a house, and that is perfectly okay. Because there are twelve houses but only ten planets everyone will have at least two empty houses. When this happens, just pay attention to the sign cusping that house. You can also have more than one planet in your house. This means that there’s just more energy to work with in that house. If you have more than three planets it is called a stellium. Stelliums are considered significant because of the amount of energy directed towards which ever house they are in.
The first house is the first of the angular houses, or the critical points in the sky mentioned earlier. It is also known as the rising sign or your ascendant (AC). The sign or planets in the first house is the energy we use to take on the world. We time our births down to the very second so that we come out with the right sign to approach the world. Some believe that we look at our family and decide our rising sign is what they need. If you are a Cancer rising, like Kanye West, you decided your family needed emotional security, nurturing, and a mother figure. The first house is ruled by Aries, the pioneer sign and the planet Mars. Aries is equivalent to the new born infant, with a new soul ready to take on life. The first house is what we explore our world with. Mars is our masculine energy, it is where we are outwardly strong. It’s how we assert our ego. It can also rule our appearance. Kanye has the rounded face of the motherly Cancer. Beyoncé has Pluto in her first house giving her an intense sex appeal when she chooses to draw on that particular energy.
The second house is the first of the succedent houses. These are the houses that come after the angular houses and provide support. The first house is our energy that we have for the world. The second house is the value we have supporting that. It rules your material possessions and your attitude towards money. A Leo second house will put their ego into their possessions. It also rules the worth you assign yourself. We are all valuable, and the second house can show us in what ways. It can also tell us how to get money. Someone with Venus in this house will be able to make money off of producing something beautiful. It is ruled by Taurus and brings stability and durability. Its planetary ruler is Venus, however Venus also rules the seventh house. Both Taurus and the second house seem to take on themes of the shadow side of Venus, the side that prefers material worth. Without the resources of the second house the first house would not have what it needs to explore the world.
The third house is the first of the cadent houses or the houses that transition one quarter into another. This house is our mind. We have the energy to survive in the world from the first house and the grounding and resources to make it last from the second, now we get the gift of the mind from the third. We can now experience learning from the exchanging of words with others. The third house rules lower learning. Think of intense amount of learning a child does as it goes through grade school, both at home and in school. So much information about so many different topics are passed through the third house. It also gives us the ability to communicate our own thoughts, so that others may too learn. It rules our siblings and our communities. Siblings are our first form of socialization, where we learn how to behave based on the interaction with others. Communities are our socialization outside the home. This house is how we think and how we use our words. It’s also short distance travel, anything you can do in a day. The third house is ruled by Mercury and Gemini and comes with the rapid short bursts of energy they bring on.
The fourth house is the second of the angular house and is also known as the Imum Coeli (IC). Your IC is the most southern point of your chart and your most private persona. It is ruled by the Moon and Cancer, the astrological mother. Here is what we look for when we need our mother most. It is our emotional self, it’s the foundation on which the rest of our self is built. It’s also home. For some that may mean the physical place, for others it can be a feeling. Whatever it is, your fourth house will tell you what kind of energy it comes as. Someone with a Taurus fourth house will either want a very stable house, never wanting to uproot, or they may really find comfort in the creature comforts of life, like a home cooked meal or a soft blanket. The planets and signs here also relate to your own mother. For instance if you have your Mars here you may of seen your mom as very head strong, quick to anger, but adventurous in spirit. If you make sure you get your emotional security through the energy the fourth house is asking for it gives you the power to fuel the rest of your chart.
The fifth house is the second of the succedent houses. It is ruled by the Sun and Leo and represents the heart that supports the home we have built in the fourth house. While the fourth house is the baby, the fifth house is the child. Everything we do for childlike pleasure comes from here. It is the things we create, including our children. When you make something from your heart you put your ego into it. The fifth house shows us how we do that. Someone with Saturn here, for instance, may feel inclined to restrict their creativity but as time goes on and they learn they that they actually have a strong foundation to build off of if they only put their heart in their work. People with Pluto here may find that they had somewhat of dark childhoods, or their childhood may have ended too early, but there is a lot of room for transformational power if one learns how to use it. The fifth house also deals with romance and dating. It’s how you want to have fun. It is how your heart wants to live.
The sixth house is the second of the cadent houses and the last of the bottom half of the chart. The fourth house is emotions, the fifth is heart, and the sixth is body. It is our physical body and how we use it to serve ourselves and others. It rules health. Someone who has Libra on the sixth house cusp will find they can only keep a workout schedule if they have a partner. It also rules our daily work and routine. It tells us how we are at the jobs we work before we have a career. It rules organization and structure. Someone with Sagittarius on the cusp may find that they want a flexible structure. They have natural luck with all things sixth house, so routines serve them well but they need the flexibility to allow them their freedom. The sixth house is ruled by Mercury and Virgo. Because it is the secondary house of Mercury it takes on the shadow side. Mercury is good for bursts of energy and the sixth house channels that into the daily routine. Because this is the last house of those dealing primarily with the self this house is the energy we have into perfecting who we are before we enter the houses of others. Mercury’s energy in the sixth house and Virgo is largely directed towards that goal of perfection of the physical self.
The seventh house is the third angular house and the first of the top half dealing with others. It is also known as the descendent (DC). It is opposite the first house of self-expression and rules the expression of a partnership. The seventh house is how we bring two Suns together without an explosion. It is the house of harmony and balance. It rules law and fairness. It is also our shadow side. While the first house is how we approach the world, the seventh house is what the world sees when we get there. Someone who has a Gemini first house may find that they have short bursts of energy when they approach someone, however once they build a relationship they have potential for a great expansion of energy as long as there is room to grow. The seventh house also rules business partnerships. Someone with Virgo on the seventh house may find they are better at organizing a joint business than one on their own. The seventh house is the first house to incorporate energy beyond yourself. It serves to help you learn to balance your own energy so that you can combine with others on a one-on-one level. It is ruled by Venus and Libra.
The eighth house is the third succedent house and is the energy that supports relationships. As anyone who’s ever had a significant relationship (of any kind) know you are never going to be the same person you were when you went in again. The eighth house energy takes who you are, purges what is no longer useful, and rebuilds. This house has a lot of dark interpretations because it rules abuse, manipulation, power play, and death, however it is important to note that these are simply just the ways this house teaches its lessons. This house shows us where we fear abandonment the most, where we feel they need to control others and our surroundings so that nothing unpredictable happens. If we can control everything, there is no need to face your fears. The eighth house instead shows us our deepest darkest parts of life, our fears, so we can confront them. This house teaches that we have all the power. Someone with Mercury in the eighth house may find that they have had a lot of their thoughts manipulated by others, however it’s when they realize that they are the ones in control of their thoughts and they don’t have to allow others to manipulate their views that they can then begin to use their placement in a more positive manner. Mercury here gives the ability to understand the psychological motive for behavior, allowing you to heal past wounds. Ruled by Pluto and Scorpio this house brings the death of old habits through others in order to rebuild ourselves into a stronger soul. A good relationship is one that transforms us into something better than what we started as. The eighth house is also opposite the second house. While the second shows us our personal value, the eighth shows us our relationships’ value.
The ninth house is the third cadent house and the transition between the last two quarters. Now that you have partnered energy with others and let go of all your fears you can finally search for higher truth and knowledge. While the third house is lower learning, the ninth house is in-depth learning. It’s where you find your interest and you expand on it. It rules expansion of the self in all ways. It is long distance travel to foreign lands, its practicing and learning different beliefs and understanding other’s cultures. It is learning through university and higher education. It is where we take our experiences, everything we have gone through in life and develop our philosophies. We then have the privilege of being able to share our philosophies with others so that they too can learn and develop their own beliefs. It is important for those with heavy ninth house influences, as well as Jupiter and Sagittarius influences, to be aware that everyone else has their own unique experiences. Contribute to their experiences so that you may spread your knowledge, but let them do with it what they need to. It holds your intuition. While the third house is the mind, where we think and think and think, the ninth house is where we follow our gut. It’s where we get our hunch, we feel our excitement, and we let it take us as far as it can. This house is a house for dreamers. Someone with their Mercury here will find they are very optimistic in their thinking. This house also rules where we have the most luck. The growth that occurs in this arena comes easy if we just apply ourselves.
The tenth house is the last of the angular houses and is known as the Midheaven or the Medium Coeli (MC). It is the opposite of the fourth house, our foundation. It is our public persona and our career. It is what we build on top of our fourth house. This house represents the father. Someone with their Saturn in the tenth house would have a very typical father who encourages tough lessons and disciplined growth. The tenth house is who we want to become. If you have Virgo on your fourth house you are at the core very structured, organized, and logical, but you want to be more like your Pisces tenth house, empathetic, spiritual, and intuitive. It is the face we want others to see. It is also where we have the most potential to build and grow. Ruled by Saturn and Capricorn this house is discipline and structure, it is our lessons to learn. It is when we can no longer give into our emotional child, we must take responsibility and produce something for the world.
The eleventh house is the last of the succedent houses. It supports the tenth house public persona by suppling our hopes, dreams, and the networks that the universe gives us to pursue them. This house deals with the collective conscious. It rules groups, clubs, friends, and society. Many people with predominant eleventh houses are humanitarians. It also rules adoption. A famous eleventh house persona is Angelina Jolie with her eleventh house Sun in Gemini. This house is good for supporting the tenth house because as we form connections with the collective, we are finding ways to pursue our own dreams that fuel our career. Someone with an eleventh house mercury will know a guy for anything. Someone with a Taurus eleventh house may find that they have few friends, but spend a lot of time building the relationships of the few they do have. This house also rules our need to be innovative and rebellious. Ruled by Uranus and Aquarius this house is not afraid to bring attention to areas of concern, and usually brings little to no warning. This house is usually future thinking and what comes out of it may not fit in with the status quo. It is opposite the fifth house of heart. This house is led by the head, what is best for the collective. Aquarius is the water bearer, and this house brings water to its people by being pragmatic and forward thinking.
The twelfth house is the last natal and cadent house. It transitions us from the end into the beginning. It is a highly subconscious house. This is the area we access when we are alone or when we meditate. It is how we connect to the collective subconscious, whether we view that as a God or just the power of the universe. It rules prisons, asylums, and solitude, where you are forced to tap into the energy of yourself and the universe. Where you start to ask where we come from and why are we here? It is where you explore your soul so that when you return to the physical world of the opposite house, the sixth house of practicality and daily routine, you will be able to recognize the souls of others, rather than their ego. Ruled by Pisces and Neptune, many of those with twelfth house influence are told they are naïve, but that is because they see past the ego into the souls of others on a subconscious level. If they take the time to mediate and explore their own subconscious then they can begin to recognize those who it’s good to love from up close, and those who it is good to love from afar. The twelfth house brings unconditional understanding and empathy of others. Many astrologers will say that the planets in the twelfth house are unsettled karma from past lives and in a way they are. Don’t be afraid though, this doesn’t mean that if you have a twelfth house Sun you are doomed to suffer. It just means that you have to learn how to clear that karma by giving yourself and others unconditional acceptance and love. The twelfth house, much like the sixth house, strives for perfection. It is where we go to purge all our karma so that we may be born again. A Christian baptism is very much a twelfth house experience. Most planets that are in the twelfth are kept submissive. A Mars in the twelfth house would have learned that anger is bad, that it hurts others, so in order to prevent hurting others they must hide their anger. But not exerting yourself isn’t good for yourself or for others. Asserting yourself may cause conflict, but it is healthy for relationships to have conflict. It’s how they grow. The twelfth house dissolves boundaries and it’s through the exploration of the border between what is real and what is an illusion that it shines.
After cleansing yourself from your twelfth house karma, you begin your cycle through the houses again starting with the first. Each time, a chance to use what you learned from the last to live a more balanced existence. If you watch how the planets move in transits, you can see how that energy affects you as they move through your houses. I will eventually get to transits, but if you are curious in the meantime you could always consult Google. Have a wonderful day!