The twelve houses are your entry point into a deeper understanding of astrology. Unlike your sign which is shared with everyone else born at that time of the year, your house chart is unique to you. The signs and planets occupying each of your houses are determined by both the time and location of your birth. Each house has a natural sign and planet, but these are not to be confused for the signs and planets occupying your own chart. Let’s take a look at the different houses and what they mean.
1st House. House of Self
Natural Sign: Aries
Natural Planet: Mars
The first house is the beginning of each person’s spiritual journey. The sign occupying your first house is called your ascendant or rising house. Your ascendant sign is the sign which was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth.
Your first house is especially important for determining beginnings. First impressions, first love, and first experiences are all under the influence of your ascendant house. As the first personal house, it is natural that this house is tied to your own beginnings and how you present to the world.
2nd House. House of Value
Natural Sign: Taurus
Natural Planet: Venus
This is the second personal house. This house represents your search for tangible things. Physical things, financial matters, and stability are all within the realm of your second house. This makes it important to look to when making financial decisions.
3rd House. House of Sharing
Natural Sign: Gemini
Natural Planet: Mercury
Moving outward from one’s own self, the third house rules your interactions with those around you. Your third house influences how you talk to and think of others around you. Your generosity and friendships will be built upon this house.
4th House. House of Home
Natural Sign: Cancer
Natural Planet: The Moon
This is the fourth personal house and the bottom of your chart. For this reason, it is also called the house of roots. This house governs how you handle matters of family and how you nurture others.
5th House. House of Pleasure
Natural Sign: Leo
Natural Planet: The Sun
With your basic needs met, you branch outward and seek fulfillment. This is the purview of the fifth house. The fifth house determines your sense of creativity and fun. How you unwind, how you create, and how you explore the world are all within the realm of the fifth house.
6th House. House of Health.
Natural Sign: Virgo
Natural Planet: Mercury
The final, personal house is health. This house covers two major aspects of your life, your work, and your health. How you tackle mundane tasks, how you do your job, and your sense of diligence fall under this house, as well as your health and vitality.
7th House. House of Balance
Natural Sign: Libra
Natural Planet: Venus
This is the first interpersonal house and the opposite of your house of self. As you might expect, this is in many ways your “House of Others.” The balance the seventh house controls is how you balance yourself and others; contracts, agreements, and partnerships, including marriage, are under this house’s influence.
8th House. House of Transformation
Natural Sign: Scorpio
Natural Planet: Pluto
The eighth house is particularly mysterious and subject to personal interpretation. Traditionally called the House of Death, this house is associated with major changes, personal transformation, and sex. Look to your eighth house when you want to achieve personal transformation or need a little help in the bedroom.
9th House. House of Purpose
Natural Sign: Sagittarius
Natural Planet: Jupiter
Your ninth house is about greater attainment, knowledge, and spirituality. As you reach the top of your chart, you begin to seek grand ideas and a higher state. This house should thus be consulted for matters of education, personal philosophy, and ethical decisions.
10th House. House of Enterprise
Natural Sign: Capricorn
Natural Planet: Saturn
The top of your chart, and your fourth interpersonal sign, is your midheaven. This is the opposite of your root. This sign is all about your career and reputation. Not to be confused with your sixth house, which is about the work you do in that career; this sign is for the actual career you choose. This means it should be consulted for changing jobs, seeking promotions, and controlling how people see you.
11th House. House of Blessings
Natural Sign: Aquarius
Natural Planet: Uranus
This house is about friendships, the rewards of your work, and community. The eleventh house is the embodiment of the strength of your personal bonds. Look to this for strengthening your friendships or being recognized for your work, whether a raise at work or just appreciation for your efforts.
12th House. House of Secrets.
Natural Sign: Pisces
Natural Planet: Neptune
This is the final house. This is the house of mysteries, secrets, and finality. If you have a matter you want to be settled for good or secrets you want to disappear, the twelfth house is what you need to look to. This house also concerns the unconscious mind, your own secrets from yourself, so it is important for understanding yourself.
How Can You Use Your House?
So how do you “use” these houses? Say your third house governs personal relationships. How do you know what that means to you? Well, it is about what sign and planet occupy that house. If Aries is in your third house, you will have a very Aries approach to personal interactions. That is, probably blunt and honest in transactions and very forward in friendships; graceless, but not deceitful.
Your planets also determine how these traits manifest, adding to or changing them based on where they reside on your chart. Someone with Cancer in their 9th House sees their higher goals in emotional and nurturing terms, but if the ever-fluid and changing moon is also in that 9th house, that means that they likely change purpose more often or easily than others. A house may be empty of planets, in which case its natural planet is the only one to exert influence.
The 12 houses are one of the most personal aspects of astrology. As a result, understanding the 12 houses and the signs and planets that inhabit your own houses is key not only to understanding astrology but also to gaining a deeper understanding of yourself.