A Guide to the Twelve Astrological Houses
At the moment you were born, all the planets were aligned with certain zodiac signs, creating your astrological natal chart. Most people identify with their Sun sign, and astro-buffs generally know the placement of their Moon and Rising (also called Ascendant sign) as well. However, there’s more to a natal chart than just planets and zodiac signs. These planets and signs also pass through twelve Astrological Houses, which represent different aspects of life. Here’s your basic guide to the twelve Astrological Houses and what they mean.
“Each zodiac sign and their ruling planets govern one of the twelve Houses, i.e. the first sign Aries rules the First House, through to the twelfth sign Pisces which rules the Twelfth House,” explains astrologer Angelina Bruno. “Then, planets and other placements inhabit the Houses, so at the moment of your birth, the Sun may be in Pisces, but if it’s located in the Fifth House, your Sun sign and personality will also be associated with Leo qualities.”
The First House represents your identity. Placements in this house dictate your appearance, personality, and mannerisms. For example, if your Sun is in the First House, you’re seen as confident, while Moon in your First House could mean you’re seen as emotional, and Mars could make you blunt or even rude. As your Ascendent is what others see in you, it will always be in your First House, no matter what the rest of your chart holds. If you have a lot of planets residing in your First House, that means you’re very focused on your identity.
The Second House, ruled by Taurus, is about income, money, and property, but also about self-worth and what you value. If you have Jupiter in your Second House, you likely feel that money should come easily to you, while Saturn in the Second House means you probably learned that working hard makes you a good person. If you have no planets in the Second House, you might be insecure.
The Third House deals with communication and community, as well as your childhood and siblings. Astrostyle.com says, “The third house rules all forms of communication — talking, thinking, gadgets and devices (cell phones, pagers, Instant Messenger, etc.).” This House is ruled by Gemini.
The Fourth House pertains to home, family, roots, ancestors, parents, and particularly mothers. Planets in this house affect your home life and your relationships with your parents. For instance, if your Sun is in your Fourth House, you are family-oriented and tie your family in with your identity. However, if you have no planets in this house, you could be very detached from your family or your mother. The Fourth House is ruled by the homebody Cancer.
The Fifth House, ruled by Leo, deals with fun, entertainment, and creativity. Astrolibrary.org says, “The Fifth House is all about you being yourself and enjoying it.” Whether or not you want children, or how you feel about children, can often be found in the Fifth House as well.
Your Sixth House gives you information on your work environment, health, and service. If your Sun is in this House, you’re likely a humanitarian and enjoy volunteering, while Jupiter in this House could mean you’re lucky at work and have your dream job. Because it also deals with health, Uranus in this House could mean you’re a hypochondriac or have unpredictable health. Virgo rules this House.
The Houses are organized like a wheel, and the opposite House — six Houses away — will represent the opposite idea.
Opposite the First House is the Seventh House, which deals with relationships and is ruled by Libra. This could be any kind of partnership, and not solely romantic relationships. If you have Venus in your Seventh House, you spend a lot of time loving other people and are likely very selfless and giving, while Pluto in the Seventh House could mean you’re attracted to destructive partners.
Opposite the Second House, which deals with your own money, is the Eighth House, which deals with other people’s money. This could mean inheritances or taxes, but also includes other subjects that often can affect currency like death and sex. According to astrolibrary.org, “This House is about transformation and healing. But transformation and healing require some type of death, loss, or injury first. This House rules those processes and things by which we transform and become more powerful.” Scorpio rules the Eighth House.
Across from the Third House is the Ninth House, the House of philosophy, morals, ideas, travel, and higher education. This House is ruled by Sagittarius. Astrolibrary.org says, “While the Third House refers to an individual’s need to understand his close and personal environment, the Ninth House is an area in which one seeks to discover the significance of larger fields of social existence which one may not experience directly but which his mind may explore through the use of analogy, generalization and abstraction.”
The Tenth House is ruled by Capricorn, and is all about career, public persona, and reputation. “Career” may sound similar to “work” in the Sixth House, but Tenth House is more about long term careers that you work toward, while the Sixth House deals with daily work. Opposite the Fourth House, which pertains to the nurturing parent, likely the mother, the Tenth House gives information on the father.
The Eleventh House, ruled by Aquarius, is the House of friendships, the community as a whole, and organizations.
The Twelfth House deals with mystery, the unknown, spirituality, imprisonment, losses, dreams, and our own undoing. Astrostyle.com says, “It’s also associated with separation from society, institutions, hospitals, jails, hidden agendas, and secret enemies.” Pisces rules this House.
“Often when people don’t identify with their Sun sign, they immediately write off astrology,” says Angelina. “A natal chart is made up of every aspect of the sky at the moment of your birth and the Houses are incredibly important to understanding the energy of each placement. For example, if you have multiple planets or placements in Pisces in your First House of identity and your natal Sun Aquarius is in the Twelfth Pisces House, you may identify and present more as a Pisces than an Aquarius.”