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The Twelve Houses of the Horoscope


 

The Houses are divisions in space (or in time) of the energy field of the earth, such that there is a twelve-fold division, paralleling the twelve-fold division of the Zodiac (the signs). Just like the signs, the houses also reveal an unfolding pattern of growth and development, from the First House to the Twelfth House. The symbolism of the twelve houses reflects that of the twelve signs, although the houses are considered to be more closely connected to mundane earthly affairs. Thus the first, fifth and ninth houses are "fire" houses involved with identity, the second, sixth and tenth houses are "earth" houses concerned with the material plane, the third, seventh and eleventh houses are "air" houses involved with communication and relationship, and the fourth, eighth, and twelfth houses are "water" houses concerned with the depths of the soul or psyche. It is said that the planets are specific energies, modulated by the energy of their sign, which play themselves out in the department of your life represented by their particular house position.

The methods of dividing up the space around the earth into the twelve houses are similar to each other, in that they all involve the same Rising sign, as calculated from the time of birth. Also, the house cusp opposite will always have the opposite degree of the Zodiac, same degree number, but in the opposite sign. Except for the "Equal House" method, the various methods will produce the same MC or Midheaven. The Equal House method just uses the Rising point to define the other cusps, so that the houses each have an equal slice of the Zodiac, 30 degrees apiece. For the Koch, Placidus and Campanus methods, named after their inventors, the intermediate house cusps are calculated in varying methodologies, based on different philosophies and mathematics. For these methods, only the intermediate house cusps will be different (as distinguished from the "Angles" which are the cusps of the first, seventh, fourth and tenth houses). If you do not have a distinct preference for one house system versus another, you can experiment with which method you find the most accurate in the interpretation produced. It is possible to set any one of these four methods as the default.

Below you will find information about the Twelve Houses of the Horoscope, and their correspondences. Click on the House's name to see the interpretations from our acclaimed TimePassages Astrology Software.

The keywords in the chart below provide insight into the major influence of each house, but does not cover the broad range of experiences involved in each house.


Name Position Natural Sign / Ruler Keyword
Ascendant First House Cusp Appearance
1st House Angular Aries/Mars Identity
2nd House Succedent Taurus/Venus Possessions
3rd House Cadent Gemini/Mercury Mind
Nadir Fourth House Cusp Foundation
4th House Angular Cancer/The Moon Family
5th House Succedent Leo/The Sun Creativity
6th House Cadent Virgo/Mercury Health
Descendant Seventh House Cusp Partnership
7th House Angular Libra/Venus Relationships
8th House Succedent Scorpio/Pluto Intimacy
9th House Cadent Sagittarius/Jupiter Learned Beliefs
Midheaven Tenth House Cusp Role in Society
10th House Angular Capricorn/Saturn Career
11th House Succedent Aquarius/Uranus Organizations
12th House Cadent Pisces/Neptune Inner Life

Ascendant

Indicates the Cusp of the First House. The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the mask shown to others, the way we present ourselves. This sign, along with the sign of the Sun and the sign of the Moon, is an important component of your personality. The sign on the Ascendant often describes one's physical appearance. Those with Leo Rising, for example, are likely to possess a mane of flowing hair. Planets in conjunction with the Ascendant also affect personality and appearance, in accordance with the qualities of the particular planet. The Ascendant represents your persona, or how you appear to others, how others sense you, in your true interaction with the world. In esoteric tradition, the Ascendant represents your true or soul-level personality.

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First House

The First House symbolizes the acting self, the personality as it appears to others, and the unfolding of one's individual destiny. Its beginning point is the rising degree, one of the most significant points in the birthchart. Planets in the First House affect your personality strongly. Their characteristics are a keynote of your personality as you express yourself to others.

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Second House

The Second House symbolizes what the self has to work with materially: possessions, money, and physical resources. This house also represents your desires and values. Planets in the Second House operate in the field of material needs and also indicate what you value most highly.

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Third House

The Third House symbolizes thinking and communication, also traditionally brothers and sisters, writings, and short journeys. Your early environment is also represented by this house, as well as your powers of analysis and discrimination. Planets in this house indicate how you communicate and operate mentally.

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Nadir or IC

Indicates the cusp of the Fourth House. As the base of operations of the personality this house is quite important, because without a place to stand emotionally, the personality cannot function.

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Fourth House

The Fourth House represents the home environment, family life, and the father, or perhaps the same sex parent. Planets in the Fourth House reflect your family orientation, an ability to dig into the past in order to discover the roots of your being, and how your father (or perhaps your mother) was experienced by you.

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Fifth House

The Fifth House represents creativity and self-expression, also offspring, and is also associated with romance and affection. Following the base of operations represented by the fourth, the fifth house represents the arena in which your personal energies can be released into the world. Any area which is stamped by your personality, including the display of affection or any creative endeavors such as your artistic expression, is therefore represented by planets in the Fifth House or the sign on the Fifth House cusp.

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Sixth House

The Sixth House represents issues of sickness and health, and service to others, including conditions of daily life, or work. This house also relates to discipleship and mastery, and the overcoming of obstacles in producing the fruit of one's achievements. Planets in this house can manifest as challenges to your well-being, or as indications of a profession of service to others.

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Descendant

Indicates the cusp of the Seventh House. The sign on the Descendant often indicates the type of marriage partner you will seek.

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Seventh House

The Seventh House represents marriage and partnerships of all kinds, and issues with relating to other people. As the opposite to the First House of personality, the Seventh House describes how you fit into the world of others. Planets in this house often indicate the type of marriage partner you will seek.

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Eighth House

The Eighth House symbolizes issues of death and rebirth, sexuality, and transformation. As this house follows the house of relationship, it refers to the fruits of relationship, and these include the power to change based on new understanding made possible when one is no longer acting solely as an individual. Planets in this house are difficult to interpret, but may refer to how sexuality is manifested or to lessons you need to learn in order to grow and change.

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Ninth House

The Ninth House represents intuition and the study of religion philosophy, and higher learning. In addition, it represents travel to other countries, and legal matters. This house is interpreted similarly to the ninth sign of Sagittarius, and represents the expansion of horizons, mental, physical and spiritual. Planets in this house may symbolize your philosophical pursuits, or possibilities for travel.

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Midheaven or MC

The Midheaven or MC (Medium Coeli) usually, but not always, indicates the Tenth House cusp. Symbolically, the Midheaven represents your individuality, the outward expression of your energies. It can also be referred to as ego identity, and has a strong connection with public life and career, as symbolized by the Tenth House. The Midheaven also represents your aspirations and ideals. Together with the Ascendant, it represents personality in interaction with the world. Natal planets in conjunction with the Midheaven are considered "elevated" and are emphasized in the chart.

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Tenth House

The Tenth House symbolizes the public life, authority, career issues, and also represents the mother, or perhaps the opposite-sex parent. As standing opposite the Fourth House, the Tenth House represents how the foundation of the personality is made manifest and concrete in the world. The birth chart is often divided into four seven-year periods, one per quadrant, cycling each twenty-eight years of life, and the Tenth House is reached at age 21, the age of legal adulthood. Planets in the Tenth House will indicate what the energies and challenges are for your career, and also how your mother (or perhaps father) was experienced.

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Eleventh House

The Eleventh House symbolizes goals and objectives, also friendships and membership in groups or associations. The work in society represented by the tenth house is released through the individual in the activities associated with the eleventh house. Planets in this house indicate how visions for the future and also group associations and friendships will operate in your life.

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Twelfth House

The Twelfth House refers to the unconscious and to things beyond the physical plane. It is traditionally associated with confinement and self-undoing, and has been called the house of karma. Planets in this house indicate functions that are hidden from your conscious personality, and are expressed in terms of psychic faculty or self-sacrifice.

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sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

More about the Sun...

moon astrology The Moon

The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

More about the Moon...

mercury astrology Mercury

Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.

More about Mercury...

venus astrology Venus

Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

More about Venus...

mars astrology Mars

Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.

More about Mars...

jupiter astrology Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.

More about Jupiter...

saturn astrology Saturn

Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.

More about Saturn...

uranus astrology Uranus

Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.

More about Uranus...

neptune astrology Neptune

Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

More about Neptune...

pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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chiron astrology Chiron

Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.

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ceres astrology Ceres

As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.

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pallas astrology Pallas

The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.

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juno astrology Juno

The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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eris astrology Eris

While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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part of fortune astrology Part of Fortune

The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.

More about the Planetary Bodies...

north node astrology The North Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

More about Gemini...

cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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leo astrology Leo

Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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virgo astrology Virgo

Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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libra astrology Libra

Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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scorpio astrology Scorpio

Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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sagittarius astrology Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

More about Sagittarius...

capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

More about Capricorn...

aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

More about Aquarius...

pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

More about Pisces...