This Week's Astrology Term: The Houses

The houses in a horoscope are the twelve sections into which the circular chart is divided. The division of the horoscope into houses overlays the division of the horoscope by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. The sign that intersects the house twobeginning of one of the houses (in a counterclockwise direction) is said to “rule” that house.

The numbering of the houses begins with the Ascendant or the eastern horizon as represented by the chart. The sign on the Ascendant (or Rising Sign) is therefore the “ruler” of the first house. If Libra is your Ascendant or Rising Sign, for example, Libra would therefore be the ruler of your First House. In most cases, this would make Scorpio the ruler of your Second House, Sagittarius the Ruler of your Third House and so forth.{jcomments on}

There are several different methods for calculating the houses. Some of these methods are fairly straightforward while others (at least before the age of computers) required a good knowledge of astronomy and mathmatics. In most cases, however, the ways in which these different methods divide the horoscope are similar. Some people might see their Sun, Moon or a planet shift from one house to another when a different house system is employed. But for many others, it might not make any difference at all.

The meanings of the houses, on the other hand, are consistent through all types and techniques of astrology and have been for many centuries. What follows is a brief description of the meaning of the twelve houses.

First House—Your self, your physical appearance, your public face or identity (what people see when they meet you for the first time)

Second House—Your possessions, resources, what you do to make money (the acquisition and maintenance of wealth)

Third House—Communications, problem-solving, siblings (siblings and childhood friends are the people with whom you develop your communication skills)

Fourth House—Your home, family, early life influences (how you were brought up)

Fifth House—Creativity, gambling, love affairs, children (all the fun stuff)

Sixth House—Your health, service to others, work (particularly routine, mundane tasks)

Seventh House—Partnerships, marriage, adversaries (sometimes these are all represented by the same person)

Eighth House—Inheritance, other people’s money (originally it represented the dowry in a marriage,) death, sex (but not sex for fun)

Ninth House—Education, travel, publications, philosophy, religion (and institutions associated with religion and education)

Tenth House—(In most house systems, this house is ruled by the Medium Coeli or Midheaven ) Career, ambition, the public image you create through your action (what people who might never meet you will hear about you)

Eleventh House—Friends, associates, patrons, social organizations (groups that broaden your mind and encourage humanitarian endeavors)

Twelfth House—The unconscious, mystical and religious experiences, hospitals and confinement (the maintenance and rehabilitation of the soul)

The sign ruling a house will influence what will happen in the area of life represented by the house. For example, a man with Cancer ruling the Second House will be conservative with his money but he will also tend to let emotional issues cloud his judgment with regard to these matters. The placement of the Sun, Moon or a planet in a particular house will also influence how the activities of that area of life will be experienced. A woman with Uranus in the Fourth House for example, may have grown up in an unusual home environment or she might feel compelled to rebel against or escape her home at an early age.

In practice, however, there is rarely just one factor influencing the meaning of a house. Many different issues have to be considered and weighed against one another. This is why astrology is so complex. This is also why it’s so much fun.

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