When I first began my astrological education, I totally neglected learning the Houses. Crazy, I know. I distinctly remember my friend chiding me for doing this, as the Houses only encompass more information that has to do with the sectors of life. At first, I was resistant – I blame my Leo Moon for this stubbornness. However, once delving into the Houses, what they rule, and how it plays out in my own chart, I realized just how significant the Houses are.
It’s easy to overlook aspects of a birth chart. But the details are there for a reason – it’s for our own personal enlightenment. Where the planets reflect sectors of personality, the Houses reflect the various sectors of life. Each House is associated with a traditional Zodiac sign and a general sector of life. In traditional ruling, the Houses follow the order of the Zodiac modality, which means the 1st House is associated with Aries, 2nd is with Taurus, etc. However, the Houses in our charts will greatly differ from one another and even the traditional modality. It’s possible your Houses are in accordance with the traditional House ruler-ships. But most will find that their Houses are placed in different Zodiac signs, which may appear sporadic and even messy to read.
The signs in our Houses are first determined by the 1st House, a.k.a. the Rising sign or Ascendant. The sign in this House is responsible for how the next 11 Houses play out, specifically what signs are associated with each House and the degree of the House. Then the Houses may or may not be influenced by the planets in your chart. This is where we have “full” vs “empty” Houses.
“Empty” Houses are Houses with no immediate celestial significance. Basically, your celestial bodies don’t fall into this House, and therefore, don’t have a lot of power or energy in this House. This isn’t the astrological way of saying, “hey, neglect this sector of life because it doesn’t matter”. This is an astrological shift of focus. It says, “hey, this House is important, but you may find that you invest your energy in other Houses, therefore, other Houses may have more of a stronger focus for you”. This is where the “full” Houses come in.
“Full” Houses are Houses with planetary influence. You can have one celestial body, or multiple in a single House. Regardless of the celestial influence, you will find that an aspect of yourself is aligned with this sector of life more strongly than some other sectors of life. Your energy and identification can be in this House. The planet(s) playing into this House will also be factored into how life events play out and how you choose to handle it.
Not to mention that the Houses are important to understand when considering daily transits. As the transits shift and change, it will continue to impact various aspects of your life. By understanding your order of your Houses, you can then understand how daily transits play out in specific areas.
To wrap up this brief crash course on the Houses, let’s break each one down into specific terms to see what House affects what area of life.
The Cheat Sheet
The 1st House
- Traditionally ruled by Aries
- Also known as the Ascendant and Rising sign
- Identity, self, first impression, how you wish others to see you, individuality initial attitude, perspective, physical appearance
- ***Use the sign in this House to get the most accurate horoscope readings!
The 2nd House
- Traditionally ruled by Taurus
- Wealth, values, gains/losses, materialism, resources (intrinsic/extrinsic), finances, investments
The 3rd House
- Traditionally ruled by Gemini
- Mental flexibility, awareness, short/local travel, speaking, writing, early education, siblings, immediate community (relatives/neighbors)
The 4th House
- Traditionally ruled by Cancer
- Also known as the Inum Colie (IN)
- Home (early & later), family, roots, heritage, origins, private life, property, parents, security
The 5th House
- Traditionally ruled by Leo
- Pleasure, drama, creation, creativity, passion, explorative sex (honeymoon phase), love affairs, romance, social circles/entertainment, children
The 6th House
- Traditionally ruled by Virgo
- Work, daily routine, health (mental/physical/emotional), service to others, pets, holistic healing, diet
The 7th House
- Traditionally ruled by Libra
- Also known as the Descendant
- Partnerships of all kind, marriage, divorce, business partnerships, cooperation, union, law, open enemies (love/hate relationship with sign in this House)
The 8th House
- Traditionally ruled by Scorpio
- Taboo, hidden, secrecy, mystery, rebirth/transformation, death, occult, other people’s resources, sexuality, psychology, research, partner’s assets
The 9th House
- Traditionally ruled by Sagittarius
- Higher education, higher learning, spirituality/religion, philosophy, foreign/distant travel, law, ethics
The 10th House
- Traditionally ruled by Capricorn
- Also known as the Midheaven/Medium Coeli (MC)
- Career, purpose, social status, public life, profession, community position/standing, authority, employer, government, authoritative parent, fame
- ***The MC is usually fully reached and recognized by mid-life. But aspects of this come in in early adulthood, especially by surrounding yourself with individuals who have this sign in their Top 3.
The 11th House
- Traditionally ruled by Aquarius
- Dreams, wishes, goals, collective consciousness, greater community, friends, groups
The 12th House
- Traditionally ruled by Pisces
- Subconscious, hidden strengths & weaknesses, gifts, secrecy, karma, spiritual debts/karma, unconditional love