Houses in Astrology Explained

Zodiac wheelWhat are the houses of the Zodiac? The houses divide the horoscope into twelve segments. Each house is related to one sign of the zodiac and represents an arena of life experience. Each house is given a number from one to twelve, the first house cusp located at what would be nine o'clock on a clock-face, then, moving anti-clockwise as shown in the diagram to the left, numbering off around the chart.

The houses represent the sorts of circumstances you will have to deal with in this lifetime—challenges you have set yourself, so you may grow in personal understanding and consciousness.

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Astrological Houses

First House: (House of Aries and ruled by Mars) Includes the all-important Rising Sign (or Ascendant), and is the first impression given to the world. The house of identity, here are clues to our overall outer package, including behavior, physical traits, social mask, health and well-being. Planets here shape how others perceive you, and the "vibe" you put out there

Second House: (House of Taurus and ruled by Venus) This is often referred to as the arena of money and values. It's the province of stability, resourcefulness and slow, steady progress. Here you're shown how a grounded life can be created, one that is self-sufficient and in line with your values.

Third House: (House of Gemini and ruled by Mercury) The house of education, short travels, the fami tribe (siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles), neighborly exchanges and more. The style of sharing life observations comes through here. It's the arena of filtering info in, and sending it back out into your community.

Fourth House: (House of Cancer and ruled by the Moon) The arena of family, ancestral roots, the unconscious, Mother, and your sense of home. Planets here influence how you nest, and the experience to be had in the home base. Linked to our earliest moments in the womb, and even before that, in the undercurrents inherited from sources beyond this lifetime.

Fifth House: (House of Leo and ruled by the Sun) The house of creativity, and the Self radiating confidently outward. It's the arena of loving life through play, love affairs, self-expression and relating to children. Planets here also shape the way your Father is perceived, as well as risk-taking and the exuberant thrust into new creative fields.

Sixth House: (House of Virgo and ruled by Mercury or Chiron) The realm of routine in the service of a healthy, fulfilled life. Exercise, diet, our daily work, all fall in this arena. Planets here reveal your approach to daily life, discipline, colleagues and your own physical well being.

Seventh House: (House of Libra and ruled by Venus) This house holds clues to the tenor, style and lessons of your major relationships. That includes marriage, business partnerships and the big friendships in your life. Relationships are a mirror of the Self and planets here show what kinds of self-growth happens for us in that arena of life.

Eighth House: (House of Scorpio and ruled by Pluto) The house of regeneration through sex, and personal periods of death & rebirth. This realm deals with all things dark, hidden and potentially destructive, including our own unacknowledged psychic undercurrents. Planets here influence how we deal with the unknown -- whether with fear, attempting to control or surrendering to be transformed.

Ninth House: (House of Sagittarius and ruled by Jupiter) The arena of higher education, seeking knowledge, traveling and exploring the world. Planets here show how we expand our field of experience, and integrate all we know into a philosophy of life. This sphere reflects personal vision quests, dreams, aspirations and how we search for higher wisdom.

Tenth House: (House of Capricorn and ruled by Saturn) The house of personal authority and long-range career ambitions. Planets here influence how you create real change, and become an authority in your area of expertise. It determines things like persistence and endurance toward your big goals.

Eleventh House: (House of Aquarius and ruled by Uranus) The house of friendships, networks and the collective currents. Planets here show what kinds of alliances you create based on shared hopes, dreams and visions for the future.

Twelfth House: (House of Pisces and ruled by Neptune) This house deals with hidden realities, and planets here are vulnerable to illusion. Called the "house of undoing," because planets placed here are immersed in the All, and hard to see clearly. Growth in this house happens at the soul level, and often far below the radar.

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