House

The houses divide the chart into 12 segments which are associated with particular areas of life or fields of experience.

The houses divide the chart into 12 segments which are associated with particular areas of life or fields of experience.

The houses of a chart represent manifested energy, as opposed to the signs which are more abstract or qualitative. So, for example in a natal chart, the first house is about your physical appearance and how others see you (before they get to know you, which is more about the Sun or Moon). By comparison, Aries is about an adventurous, pioneering spirit, impulses and risk-taking.

Western astrology often draws associations between the concepts of the houses and their corresponding signs. In other words, the sign order and house order are the same and considered to have similar, related qualities: Aries and 1st house, Taurus and 2nd house, etc.

By contrast, in classical and traditional astrological systems (e.g. Hellenistic), the houses have very specific associations that can be rather difference from the corresponding signs. In addition, certain planets are considered to gain strength by being in a particular house, which is not always a consideration in modern Western astrology. There can also be a difference in how the houses are interpreted depending on what you want the chart to tell you. For instance, a house might mean one thing in a horary chart, but be interpreted differently in a natal chart.

The zodiac positions of each house cusp are determined differently, depending on the house system used.

In most house systems, the 1st house cusp is also the Ascendant, the 10th house cusp is the Midheaven, the 7th house cusp is the Descendant and the 4th house cusp is the IC. However, in the Equal House or Whole Sign Houses systems, the MC and IC axis are most often somewhere within the 10th/4th or 9th/3rd houses.

The general meanings of the Houses, in terms of natal interpretetation in modern Western astrology, are as follows:

HouseMeaningCusp
1 Appearance, persona, outer personality, our "interface" with the world, how others see us. Ascendant
2 Money, finances, possessions, material abundance and values, what we "have" (both literally and figuratively).  
3 Communication, thoughts, ideas, exchange of information, books, mail/email, short-distance travel, neighbourhoods.  
4 Family, ancestry, nurturing, bonding, belonging, home, real estate, beginnings and endings, the past, Father. IC
5 Selfhood, identity, how we see ourselves, children, creative self-expression, drama, heroic leadership, love affairs, fun, gambling.  
6 Work (job more than career), health/healing, contribution to the world, service, pets, hobbies, problem-solving, practical analysis.  
7 Marriage, serious committed or close relationships, very close friends, one-on-one interaction, business partnerships, open enemies,  negotiations, legal issues. Descendant
8 Death, transformation, rebirth, taxes, insurance, the Mafia, sex, psychology, politics, secrets, the occult, what is private and hidden, power, undercurrents.  
9 Religion, belief systems, opinions, philosophy, truth-seeking, promotion, teaching, higher education, publishing, broad perspective, justice, long-distance travel.  
10 Career, long-term goals, authority, government, what you build in your life,  expectations, rules, status, reputation, maturity, Mother. Midheaven
11 The Collective, groups, clubs, peers, acquaintances, friends, organisations, associations, the future, hopes and wishes.  
12 Dreams, illusion, imagination, fantasy, alone time, isolation, hospitals, jails, meditation, spiritual Source, Universal love and beauty.  

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