Astrological charts, which includes your birth chart, consist of 12 houses. These houses represent each an area of life and are taken into consideration when reading a chart.
Interpretation of the Houses
There are three “tools” used to interpret a chart: the planets, the signs and the houses. The houses give you an answer to the WHERE – in which area of your life will the energies of the planets and signs play out for you?
The earliest culture, we know of today, that laid the foundation for the division of areas in life into houses were the Babylonians. However, the Egyptians later on added some more precision to it by more accurate time measurement and integrating the ascendant, which is also known as the rising sign. The ascendant marks the beginning of the first house of your chart and would be at the nine o’clock mark.
Unlike the position of the planets and the zodiac signs, the positions of the houses in a chart are fixed. The signs don’t always just sit on one house as in the “default” chart, they are often overlapping two or even three houses. The same goes for the size, or proportion of the single houses. They don’t have to be all the same size as in the “default setting” below. They can be wider or smaller. If let’s say, the third house is wider then the opposing house, in this case, the ninth house would be usually wider as well.
The Different Groups of Houses
There are two types of grouping houses in astrology: the groups of three and the groups of four. The houses are categorized into groups to simplify the process of relating the houses to our life, basically.
Houses of Three
THE ANGULAR HOUSES: 1, 4, 7 and 10 – These are the houses in astrology which can indicate some sort of leading role or prominence in your life and they stand for harmony and endurance.
THE SUCCEDENT HOUSES: 2, 5, 8 and 11 – Those are the houses that represent attainment, willpower and stability. They talk about reaching goals and thinking outside the box.
THE CADENT HOUSES: 3, 6, 9 and 12 – These houses are about communication, expansion and creativity. They can indicate what is fulfilling to you whether regarding your career path or your own well-being and mental health.
Houses of Four
THE HOUSES OF LIFE
1: House of Self | 5: House of Love and Creativity | 9: House of Travel and Wisdom
THE HOUSES OF MONEY
2: House of Possessions | 6: House of Service and Health | 10: House of Career and Status
HOUSES OF RELATIONSHIPS
3: House of Communication | 7: House of Partnerships | 11: House of Friendships, Hopes and Wishes
THE HOUSES OF ENDINGS
4: House of Home | 8: House of Transformation | 12: House of Spirituality and the Subconscious
What Do the Houses Stand for?
The First House – The House of Self
Zodiac Sign: ARIES || Planet: MARS
The first of the twelve houses represents YOU – your outer self, how you approach the world and how the world sees you. It marks the starting point of your whole chart and is the connection between you and the world around you. It stands for self-identity, your temperament, the things you like, those you don’t like and it is the first house which indicates your life goals and the way you go after what you want in general. The first house is pretty much action-oriented and it lays the foundation of all the other aspects of you.
Whatever zodiac sign is in your first house, embodies your ascendent, also known as your rising sign. The rising sign is actually the one you will look out for when reading your horoscope. Most people don’t know about this but as soon as they start applying an astrological forecast to their rising sign, they resonate much more to the planetary shifts and energies as for my experience.
Keywords: self-identity, approach to life, attitude, beginnings
The Second House – The House of Possessions
Zodiac Sign: TAURUS || Planet: VENUS
The second house in astrology is pretty much all about money, money, money. It rules materialism throughout your life: what you like to surround yourself with, what has value and what you desire in a physical sense and even overindulgence. But the second house can also talk about how you feel about and handle money. It is also representative of any kind of possessions you want to take with you wherever you go, what you need to feel stable.
Besides the materialistic approach, the second house rules our self-worth. It can talk about to what extent we define our self-worth with our physical possessions. It can also indicate inner child wounds in regards to how we see and value ourselves. The second house is the bridge between our inner needs and how we want to manifest those needs into our world.
Keywords: money and possessions, daily life and routines, self-worth, habits and priorities, your work ethic
The Third House – The House of Communication
Zodiac Sign: GEMINI || Planet: MERCURY
The third house is all about self-expression and your family. This house rules how you like to express yourself, the way you think and communicate with others, verbally or even in written form. It governs your logic, decision-making and even your early education.
It indicates how you’re tied to your family and the relationship to your siblings. The third house also represents your interests and rules short-distance travel.
Keywords: communication, your mind, social life, short travels, siblings, early education
The Fourth House – The House of Home
Zodiac Sign: CANCER || Planet: MOON
The fourth house is the first of the three mystical houses. It rules your home life, whether if it is the past, present or future. Referring to the past, it talks about your upbringing and your relationship with your parents or people who played a parental figure. When talking about the present, the fourth house indicates what kind of home you are building for yourself in order to feel safe and secure. Referring to the future, it is about the kind of home you wish for when you’re in advanced age.
The house of home equally stands for the physical and the emotional home. It holds the treasures of your heart which you always want to know protected. It is about caring in various forms and it also governs emotions and feminine energy.
Keywords: Roots and foundations, self-care, emotions, femininity, motherly figures
The Fifth House – The House of Love and Creativity
Zodiac Sign: LEO || Planet: SUN
The fifth out of the twelve houses stands for everything you do for pleasure and to express yourself in a creative way. It rules your most intimate moments and therefore also children and new cycles.
The fifth house is the one you want to have a look at when it comes to entertainment in all of its forms. Whether it is holidays, exhibitions and fairs but also gambling or speculative trading. The fifth house also governs your artistic side and expressing it, your talents and how you enjoy yourself. It can also represent pets or friends you know from your childhood, the fifth house is basically your happy place.
Keywords: Creativity and self-expression, romance and love affairs, fertility, joy, drama
The Sixth House – The House of Service and Health
Zodiac Sign: VIRGO || Planet: MERCURY
The sixth house represents your need for helping others and feeling useful. It can indicate which career path would be most fulfilling to you as this house is also about work relationships.
The sixth house does not only refer to being of service to others, but also to your own health. It talks about illnesses which are caused by emotional stress.
Keywords: Health and fitness, organization, analytical nature, service to others, sense of usefulness
The Seventh House – The House of Partnerships
Zodiac Sign: LIBRA || Planet: VENUS
The seventh house not only talks about partnerships in a romantic way but also on a level of business partnerships. It can reveal some things about marriage and what kind of romantic partnership you might experience. Apart from the romantic side, this house also governs the types of business partners you might work with and can even involve politics. It also is the house which rules laws, legal affairs and contracts.
The seventh house is the one which is opposing the first house, the house of self, and therefore also deals with how you will work and cooperate with others to reach either your or a collective goal. This house is also referred to represent your “competitors”, situations and people that may cross your path causing imbalance or delay or put you in a competitive position on your career path.
Keywords: Romantic partnerships and marriage, business partnerships, shared goals, law and contracts
The Eighth House – The House of Transformation
Zodiac Sign: SCORPIO || Planet: PLUTO
The eighth house in astrology is the second of the three mystical houses in your chart. Besides spiritual transformation, life and death, inheritance in both, a materialistic and a spiritual sense, it also is concerned with sexuality. This house also rules surgeries as a part of transformation and regeneration.
It is also the house of shared finances, taxes, loans and debts. With the eighth house being one of the three mystical houses, it also governs over our psyche and the occult.
Keywords: Transformation, life and death, sexuality, shared finances and debts, psyche and the occult, surgery
The Ninth House – The House of Travel and Wisdom
Zodiac Sign: SAGITTARIUS || Planet: JUPITER
With the ninth house being opposite the third house, you can think of this house basically as the advanced version of the third house. The ninth house rules learning and higher education, it is about expanding your horizons and wanting to dive deeper, to explore different types of views. This is why it involves travelling and therefore intercultural experiences and relationships and it also concerns foreign languages.
Apart from travel and wisdom, the ninth house governs the way you express your ideas to the world. In a general sense, it rules literature and also publishing.
Keywords: higher education and learning, long-distance travel, intercultural relations and languages, expression and publishing, wisdom and philosophy, ethics
The Tenth House – The House of Career and Status
Zodiac Sign: CAPRICORN || Planet: SATURN
The tenth house basically rules over the exact opposite of what the fourth house represents as these two houses are opposing each other. The tenth house is extremely career and goal-oriented. It is about structure in order to reach long-term goals which involve expertise and oftentimes are related to social status. It all goes kind of hand in hand and requires to take action which, in turn, represents the masculine energy; also ruled by this house.
The tenth house expresses its traits outwardly and is concerned with taking responsibility for the sake of achievement. It strongly represents hard work pays off and it can indicate a persons material success in life.
Keywords: career, status and reputation, fame, expertise, goals and structure, masculine energy, fatherly figures
The Eleventh House – The House of Friendships, Hopes and Wishes
Zodiac Sign: AQUARIUS || Planet: URANUS
The eleventh house is concerned with your friendships, the people you surround yourself with, people who you feel safe to be yourself and with whom you even share the same vision for the future. It also talks about what you wish for in the future, your social awareness and it does rule groups and organizations.
This house is also representative of revolution and therefore stands for technology and visions.
Keywords: Friends, humanitarianism and social awareness, technology, hopes and wishes
The Twelfth House – The House of Spirituality and the Subconscious
Zodiac Sign: PISCES || Planet: NEPTUNE
The twelfth house is not only the last house and therefore representative of endings and closure, but it is also the third of the three mystical houses. In fact, it is the most mystical of all houses which is why it rules our subconscious. It represents karmic cycles and basically, everything that is hidden: suppressed emotions, our inner child wounds as well as our shadow self.
The twelfth house governs spirituality, it is associated with our psyche and self-discovery but it also stands for disappointments, limiting beliefs and karmic debts. It is the house which rules over hospitals, asylums and prisons.
Keywords: Spirituality, our subconscious, limiting beliefs, karma, endings and closure
The Houses – On a Final Note
Astrology does not dictate your life. It is more like the compass which will give you guidance throughout your life when you decide to use it. It can help you to better understand the parts of you where some work might be required. In the end, it’s always up to you: where you’ll make your next steps and how you choose to react to what your life brings to the table. The energies have an influence on you, I don’t doubt that, but it is you who decides how to work with it.
If you don’t know your birth chart you can go to astro-charts, for example, to have your chart calculated for free.
Please also keep in mind that the ruling planets and signs are the “default setting” of the chart and your natal chart will be different when it comes to the placements of planets, how big or small a house section appears and which zodiac sign the houses are in depending on your time and place when you were born. Your birth chart is basically your cosmic fingerprint.
Let me know if there is anything left unanswered or if you’d like more information on something.