Houses in Astrology
Astrology is a Language of Symbols
The houses in astrology provide deeper insight into any type of chart. Your birth chart, an event chart, and your annual birthday chart (called Solar Returns) are examples. The first time someone sees an astrology chart, it’s confusing, because it is made up of symbols. Astrology is a language that uses these symbolic glyphs as a shorthand. Contained in those symbols is meaning that has a long and rich history of written texts (back to ancient times), research, technique, and forecasting ability.
Astrology Houses unlock the Key to General Horoscopes
When you refer to your ‘sign’ it’s the sun sign based on the date of your birthday. There is much more to your chart than your sun sign. General horoscopes are the tiny tip of the iceberg when it comes to the body of knowledge in astrology. Each planet occupies a sign and there are many other sensitive points that contribute to understanding a chart.
As astrology becomes more and more accessible through online sources, an increase of interest among readers, and a huge boom in astrology students, there is more depth available in general horoscopes. We have witnessed a large increase astrology based blogs and videos that go beyond your sun sign horoscope into retrogrades, moon phases, and significant astrological events.
This calls for more basic information on how to access astrological information. Whether you are a student of astrology, or a casual consumer who wants to better understand general horoscopes, you will greatly benefit from understanding the astrological houses. The houses represent where in life the planets are reflecting activity.
They help you understand the reflection of the sky, nature’s clock, by highlighting a life area, event, or person(s) in your life through these twelve places, representing the tapestry of life.
When you read a general horoscope, like the ones you find online daily, weekly, monthly, or for the year, it is impossible for an astrologer to speak directly to your personal chart. Your personal chart is based on the time you were born, date, and location. Your chart, or horoscope, is a snapshot of where the planets were at that exact time. The amount of variants from chart to chart are vast.
General horoscopes can be accurate to a point. But they are so general, they can never speak to your specific makeup. General horoscopes are usually based on one thing in your chart, usually your sun sign or your ascendant sign. That is what a professional consultation with an astrologer is for.
You can still get a great deal of information from a general horoscope when you know where the signs fall on your personal astrology house wheel. This knowledge allows you to add an additional layer of knowledge to what you find online in a general horoscope.
The Ascendant Unlocks the Astrological Houses
To have a meaningful understanding of your personal chart, and to access the deeper information available in a general horoscope, you want to understand the concept of astrology houses, and find out what your ascendant sign is. In order to find your ascendant, also called your rising sign, you will need: your birth date, exact birth time, and location.
Your rising sign is you. It reflects your character, personality, appearance, and how people perceive you when they meet you. This sign determines where all the rest of the zodiac signs fall on the wheel. The rising sign is always the sign on the first house on the astrological wheel. Anyone of the 12 zodiac signs can be the rising sign at the time of your birth.
The life topics, events, and people of each astrological house remain the same. They are flavored by the different signs that are unique to your birth, and by the unique placement of the planets who travel through the zodiac signs. Before technology made it incredibly easy to construct a horoscope, astrologers had to draw up charts by hand. Thankfully, computers can do this quickly now.
These days most astrologers use astrological software that provide powerful features for analyzing charts. In addition to software for professional astrologers, there are a few robust free online programs available to students, amateurs, and professionals just getting started out. If you do not have a copy of your chart, I recommend using this free ascendant calculator astro-seek.com.
Or contact me and I am happy to help you get a copy of your chart.
With the knowledge of your ascendant, you will then know what sign falls on each house by finding the diagram below with your rising sign. Anytime you hear about a planet traveling through a particular sign, you can find that sign on your wheel, look at the definition of that house, and consider how that is showing up in your life. This is far more personalized than a general horoscope can provide.
The 12 Astrological Houses
When you see a horoscope, your personal birth chart, it is usually a round wheel divided into 12 sections. Some astrologers use a square shape, but most often you see the circular version. That circle is a two-dimensional picture of the sky at your birth from a geocentric perspective. That is from the perspective of the earth, the location in which you were born. Each of the twelve portions represent a portion of the sky, like a map.
Each portion represents life topics, events, and people. These portions of the chart are called ‘houses’ or ‘places’ in astrology. The topics, people, or events represented by each of those houses will give you more information when you read about an astrological event in a general horoscope. Just like in your birth chart, each of the planets has a position on the wheel representing its location at your birth time.
The planets don’t stop, your birth chart is a snapshot, a photo of that period of time. As the planets continue to move, they make relationships with each other, and engage in astrological events. For example, Mercury retrograde. Mercury will retrograde, or travel, through one or two signs in one or two houses in your horoscope.
Knowing the house an astrological event is active in your chart will clarify the parts of your life most likely to be activated during the time period of that event. This page is a guide to help you find that information and apply it to any general horoscope you read. You will be able to identify what part of your horoscope is activated in your personal chart as it relates to a sign in a general horoscope, blog post, video or any astrological information you hear about.
The twelve zodiac signs are in everyone’s chart. We all have all of them. The zodiac signs follow an order that does not change. The sign on your ascendant is always the sign that represents house number one. House number two will naturally be the zodiac sign that comes after your ascendant sign.
Here is the order of zodiac signs:
For example, if Pisces is your ascendant, rising sign, it would be on house number one. House number two would be Aries, house number three Taurus, and so on following the order above. In the diagrams below you will find graphics for each rising sign so you can quickly locate the signs and their corresponding house for your chart. Anytime you read a horoscope that talks about a sign, you will know which part of your chart is activated.
By knowing the ascendant of your chart, you can go deeper in understanding the meanings of astrological events like retrogrades, moon phases, and planets traveling through the signs in the current sky by looking at the part of your chart activated.
Once you know the house number, read about that house. Over time you will get to know them. Until them, use this reference guide. The position of the houses on the wheel doesn’t change. The order of signs doesn’t change. The first sign is based on your rising sign. Find your rising sign below, and use that order of houses to understand what life topic, event, or person is activated in your chart.
- The house of you. Your image, appearance, body, personality and how it is projected in the world.
- The house of what is yours. Your resources, earned income, money, possessions, self-worth, and security.
- Your siblings, what is local and your community, neighbors, near journeys, education and learning style.
- Your home, family, roots, tradition, land and real estate.
- What pleases you and experiencing pleasure, your creativity, kids, your passions, sport, where you take risk, sex, passion, love affairs, and luck.
- The domain of hard-work, service, employees if you have them, anyone who provides a service to you, health problems, domestic animals, and those you are responsible for (not your children). This area highlights providing service to others. From social services to the President or military.
- Your committed relationships, marriage, contracts, business partners, clients for freelancers (not employees). This is the house of others and can also represent the competition or adversaries.
- Shared resources, creditors, inheritances, others possessions, death, psychology and depth work, experience of grief and loss as part of the human condition.
- Your faith and belief system, how you seek higher knowledge, religion, advanced education, long-distance travel, foreign affairs, travel, and journeys.
- Your profession, where you find meaning and purpose in life, your direction in life, public life, reputation, authority, your boss (if employed), your highest potential, where you stake your claim in the world, and success.
- Your friends, network, colleagues, hopes and aspirations or ideals, good fortune, and how you receive love.
- A mystical house, the collective unconscious, hidden places, institutions of containment like hospitals and prisons, potential for self-sabotage, secrets, profound mystical experiences, being part of a mystical group, and loss and sorrow.
Houses by Ascendant
A Note on House Systems
This is a basic introduction to astrology houses so you can get more out of my astrology articles and any other general astrology blogs and articles you read. I do want to be sure to let you know that there are multiple systems for how to draw up the horoscope. There is not one right one, each house system has its purpose and preference for use by astrologers.
The different house systems are a subject for astrology students and it is an advanced subject. I want to mention it here because many of you may already have a copy of your chart, and if it looks a bit different, this will explain why.
I use a “Whole House System.’ That means each house is assigned to one sign. There are other systems that divide the sky a bit differently. Though all the systems will be similar, they will all share the same ascendant sign if using the tropical system. Don’t worry about wondering about the tropical system, it means an astrology system based on the seasons, not where the stars in the sky fall.
Some house systems are drawn so that one whole sign may fall inside of a house but has a different sign representing that area. This is called an ‘interception’ and does happen frequently in quadrant house systems. If you have this type of chart, you will notice that the zodiac signs still follow the same order, but you would have the same sign on two different consecutive houses instead of each of the twelve zodiac signs on each house.
The information on this page can still be read the same if you use another house system. The key is to know what sign is related to the astrology house. Below are 12 diagrams showing you the sign for each house based on the ascendant. If you don’t have your chart, then you will want to get a copy to find out what your ascendant is.
Once you know your ascendant, you can bookmark this page and come back here anytime to find out more about that area of your chart. For example, if you are reading that Saturn is traveling through Aquarius and you want to know what part of your chart that is. You find the diagram with your rising sign, and then find Aquarius. Then read about that house area below.
You will be able to dig deeper into the meaning of that astrological event as it relates directly to you.