A Birth Chart is divided into 12 segments begining with the Ascendant. The dividing lines between the houses are called house cusps.
These twelve houses reflect the meanings of the twelve signs, and the environment and areas of a person’s life. The natural zodiac is a birth chart with Aries on the Ascendant, the First House; Taurus on the Second House; Gemini on the Third House; and the rest of the signs following it.
The sign on the cusp of each house is the ruler for that house, and is like the door to that room. Since the sign on each of the houses are determined by the time of the day that a person was born, it is very important to have an accurate birth time when mapping a birth chart.
Planets located in angular houses (First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Houses) are traditionally held to be strengthened by its positioning. These four angular houses cusps are considered the most important and most sensitive positions in the birth chart.
When a planet in a house is well aspected, and the ruler of the house is not afflicted, the area of life represented by the house can be easily expressed. If the planet in the house is well aspected, but the ruler of the house is afflicted, the difficulty with the tension will more likely be between the person and the environment, rather than within himself/herself.
When the time of birth is not known, the Sun becomes the Ascendant or First House. This type of birth chart is known as a Solar Chart, and indicates how the individual’s affairs unfold in terms of creative self-expression, rather than in terms of environmental circumstances, as would be indicated by the regular house cusps based on the actual birth time.
Because the commonly used (Placidian) system of houses does not use houses of equal span, in an individual Birth Chart a sign is sometimes intercepted; that is, it is found within a house containing more than 30 degrees, that intercepted sign is not on the cusp or the beginning of that house. Also, a sign can appear on the cusp of two houses when a house contains less than 30 degrees. Intercepted signs appear only in Birth Chart; there are never any intercepted signs in the Zodiac.
The Fire Houses: First, Fifth and Ninth Houses.
The Earth Houses: Second, Sixth and Tenth Houses.
The Air Houses: Third, Seventh and Eleventh Houses.
The Water Houses: Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Houses.
For example: The planets in Water Houses show what’s happening in subconscious levels and indicate the source of deep experiences. Once the “hidden” becomes known consciously, the person can direct the planet energy and psychic function toward something creative.
Each sign has 30 degrees (a measurement of longitude).
60 seconds (“) make 1 minute (‘).
60 minutes (‘) make 1 degree.
30 degrees make 1 sign.
12 signs (or 360 degrees) make a complete circle – the Zodiac.
The houses are divided into 3 groups: Angular Houses, Succedent Houses, and Cadent Houses.
Angular Houses are the strongest houses, corresponding to the Cardinal Signs: First House, Fourth House, Seventh House, and Tenth House.
Succedent Houses are neutral houses, corresponding to the Fixed Signs: Second House, Fifth House, Eighth House and Eleventh House.
Cadent Houses are the weakest houses, corresponding to the Mutable Signs: Third House, Sixth House, Ninth House and Twelfth House.
The First House deals with selfhood and a self to act. The Second House deals with acquisition and the resources to use. The Third House deals with practical thought and a mind to control the use of those resources. The Fourth House deals with personal base of operation. The Fifth House deals with the creative self-expression . The Sixth House deals with self-improvement through works and service.
FIRST HOUSE (ASCENDANT) – Key Word: Identity; Key Phrase: I Am
Natural Sign: Aries; Natural Ruler: Mars; Element: Fire; Quality: Angular
The First House is also called the Ascendant. The sign on its cusp is called the rising sign.It is a house of beginning and appearances. It shows natural disposition and personality; and represents the physical body and the primary outlook on life.
Any planets placed in the First House, especially if it conjuncts the Ascendant, becomes highly descriptive of the person’s basic character and the quality of his/her consciousness.
The Sun, which is exalted in Aries and represents the creative will and the life-giving principle, also has a strong relationship to the Ascendant and the First House. So, if a person, who has the Sun conjuncts the Ascendant in the First House, is likely to be a self-aware and powerful individual with a strong will and positive direction in life.
Traits: The front door, first impression, physical body and persona.
SECOND HOUSE – Key Word: Values; Key Phrase: I Have
Natural Sign: Taurus; Natural Ruler: Venus; Element: Earth; Quality: Succedent
The Second House is a house of resources, possessions, values, earning ability and financial affairs. It refers to inner talents, self-worth, individual freedom and material gain or loss.
Acquiring material resources generally needs a sustained and steady effort, and the Second House corresponds to the sign Taurus that is the most stable of all signs and is a fixed practical earth sign. If Neptune is placed in the Second House with unfavorable aspects from other natal planets, the person can spend the money easily.
The Second House is concerned with the person’s ability to earn money in order to acquire the material possession which they need. Through the experiences of the Second House, where the Moon is exalted, the persons are ultimately required to provide a basis of security for those who are dependent on them. They must not selfishly acquire wealth for their own personal pleasures, but use it, according to their capacity, for others and society at large.
Traits: Money, possessions, personal resources, self-esteem.
THIRD HOUSE – Key Word: Awareness; Key Phrase: I Think
Natural Sign: Gemini; Natural Ruler: Mercury; Element: Air; Quality: Cadent
The Third House shows a person’s usual ways of communication, transportation, short trips, mental skills, learning ability, primary education, and siblings. It represents the conscious and objective portion of the mind and the person’s connections with his/her immediate environment.
The Third House is concerned with the assimilation, processing and circulation of information. It is the house of practical mind and communication of ideas. This is the first of the Air Houses that concerns brothers, sisters, near neighbors and people in general with them there are daily mental exchange.
The Third House also rules all things which are used in human communications, such as periodicals, papers, books, writing, telephone, television, radio and speech. It also has to do with short-distance traveling.
The Third House also represents the development of accurate, logical, and practical reasoning, that is an essential prerequisite to all higher mental and spiritual developments.
Traits: Communication, neighborhood, siblings and short trips.
FOURTH HOUSE – Key Word: Security; Key Phrase: I Feel
Natural Sign: Cancer; Natural Ruler: The Moon; Element: Water; Quality: Angular
The Fourth House shows the home, parents, the parent who has the greater influence on a person, character foundation, heritage and ancestry. It shows the roots of a person’s life, property, real estate, and the closing years of life and endings.
The Fourth House rules the accumulated environmental conditions the persons have created for themselves. So, it rules homes, foods, and household items. A messy environment is almost a sure indication of a confused, undisciplined and disorderly mind.
The Fourth House rules the land itself. From the land and its attachments, the persons find a place to call home where they can collect their possessions, and where they have come to feel comfortable.
The Fourth House corresponds to the sign Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon, indicates our automatic emotional responses and habit patterns established in early childhood. It also has a great deal to do with heredity, the beginning of life when the persons are subject to parental conditioning, and the very end of life.
Traits: Family, home, parents, domestic, personal security, life’s root.
FIFTH HOUSE – Key Word: Creativity; Key Phrase: I Will
Natural Sign: Leo; Natural Ruler: The Sun; Element: Fire; Quality: Succedent
The Fifth House is the house of love given to another, romance, pleasures, love affairs, amusements, social affairs and entertainment, originality, creativity, artistic abilities, and speculations.
The Fifth House is the house of creative self-expression, mental and physical procreation. It represents the next stage in a person’s development. It also rules the children of the mind and body, and has to do with the teachings and sports.
Since the creativity requires a steady application of the will, it is natural that Leo, a fixed creative fire sign, ruled by the Sun, corresponds to the Fifth House. The Fifth House is also a place of power, where the universal life force of creative power of the Sun finds outlet.
Traits: Children, creativity, speculation.
SIXTH HOUSE – Key Word: Duty; Key Phrase: I Work
Natural Sign: Virgo; Natural Ruler: Mercury; Element: Earth; Quality: Cadent
The Sixth House is the house of work, service given, employment and personal habits. It also shows dependents, pets, aunts and uncles. This house concerns the hard work and detailed methodology necessary to bring to fruition that was creatively envisioned in the Fifth House.
Part of learning responsibility for details comes with the proper care and maintenance of a healthy body, that are essential instrument for performing useful services. So, the Sixth House also deals with health, diet, and food preparation.
It also rules clothes which protects the body and gives persons the neatness and good appearances. Then, the persons learn concentration and efficiency through devotion to work and services in the handling of practical task and responsibilities.
Traits: Daily life, health and work environment.
The greater part of our life concerns relationships with other people and with human society in the large sense. The Seventh through Twelfth Houses are concerned with interpersonal group relationships.
SEVENTH HOUSE (DESCENDANT) – Key Word: Cooperation; Key Phrase: We Are
Natural Sign: Libra; Natural Ruler: Venus; Element: Air; Quality: Angular
The Seventh House describes marriages, partnerships, contracts, agreements, and all dealings with the public. It shows cooperation with others, personal agents, open enemies, and grand parents.
This house concerns all direct close personal relationship with others and reveals the nature of other people’s reactions to our actions. It establishes the bonds of love and mutual harmony which makes marriage partnership and close friendship possible.
Because of Saturn influence, the Seventh House is closely related to the working of Karma, or the law of compensation, as it affects to the individual. The Seventh House, its ruler, and the planets placed in this house reveal how the karmic pattern unfolds.
EIGHTH HOUSE – Key Word: Regeneration; Key Phrase: We Have
Natural Sign: Scorpio; Natural Ruler: Pluto and Mars; Element: Water; Quality: Succedent
The Eighth House shows inner or outer circumstances, and people who bring about endings of old patterns and the beginning of new ones. It also shows spiritual and physical regeneration, secrets, occult matters, hidden factors, sex, rebirth, and degeneration.
It shows moral, financial and spiritual supports received from others, partner’s assets and other people’s resources. The Eighth House is the house of joint resources as opposed to the Second House that is the house of personal property. This house deals with corporate money, inherited money or property, wills, legacies, trusts, insurance, and taxes.
The selfish desires associated with Mars and Scorpio can cause conflict over jointly held wealth. Throughout history, such motives and actions led to war (Mars) and death (Scorpio). Therefore, the Eighth House also concerns with the destruction and death.
NINTH HOUSE – Key Word: Aspiration; Key Phrase: We Think
Natural Sign: Sagittarius; Natural Ruler: Jupiter; Element: Fire; Quality: Cadent
The Ninth House shows the higher consciousness, ideals, ethics, intuition, spirituality, visions, and mental study. It also shows grand children, and in-laws.
The Ninth House involves “We Think” principle as opposed to the Third House “I Think” principle. This house deals with all collective thought structures, such as philosophy, religion, laws and legal system.
The Ninth House is also related to teaching, publishing and institution of higher education and learning. Further, this house deals with the knowledge gained through long-distance travel and affairs involved with foreign people.
TENTH HOUSE (MIDHEAVEN, MC) – Key Word: Honor
Natural Sign: Capricorn; Natural Ruler: Saturn; Element: Earth; Quality: Angular
The Tenth House shows career, social status, recognition, achievements, community standing, the ego, ambition, promotion, influence, authorities, and business activities. It also shows the parent other than the one indicated in the Fourth House.
The Tenth House deals with the individual’s base of operation with respect to the society, rather than his own personal interests and activities that are ruled by the Fourth House. This house deals with the carrying out of one’s responsibilities before the world. So, it also concerns professional and public reputation, honor or dishonor, and relationship to power structure.
A Saturn connection will indicate the degree of hardwork and patience that the person is willing to exercise to gain social, political or business positions. The desire for power and status is closely related to the Mars desire principle which urges actions. If Uranus falls in the Tenth House, it can point to a career that is out of the norm. A performer with a well placed Moon in the Tenth House can help keep him/her in touch with the public.
The Tenth House also shows how ambitious a person is and how the ambition is manifested. If the ambition degenerates into ruthless attempts to gain power, Saturn will see to it that such persons fall from their high positions, and then the law of cause and effect takes over.
ELEVENTH HOUSE – Key Word: Social Consciousness
Natural Sign: Aquarius; Natural Ruler: Uranus and Saturn; Element: Air; Quality: Succedent
The Eleventh House indicates friends, acquaintances, and non-emotional friendships. It shows goals, desires, hopes, wishes, love received, humanitarian interests, groups and organizations which relate to career, foster children and circumstances beyond one’s control.
The Eleventh House is more impersonal. It reveals a person’s capacity to form group association, make friends and work on ideas of universal concern. It is concerned with group creative expression as opposed to the individual creative expression ruled by the Fifth House.
The creative group expression in this house takes place on a higher mental and intuitive level. Those persons share a certain sense of loyalty and mutual responsibilities, and are willing to work for common goals that give them a feeling of significance and fulfillment.
The Eleventh House also indicates a person’s responsiveness to new ideas, innovation, openness, and new experience as revealed by Uranus.
TWELFTH HOUSE – Key Word: Subconscious
Natural Sign: Pisces; Natural Ruler: Neptune and Jupiter; Element: Water; Quality: Cadent
The Twelfth House shows private affairs, hidden strengths, dangers, weaknesses, limitations, sorrows, secrets, hidden enemies, self-undoing, places of confinment, behind-the-scenes activities and clandestine affairs.
The Twelfth House rules the subconscious mind, a person’s emotional response and habit patterns. It deals with the person’s psychological health in relation to others, and the health and growth of society as a whole, as opposed to individual health and services ruled by the Sixth House.
An unusual strength or strong positive influence of the Twelfth House can lead to creative imagination, great compassion and deep level of understanding. A weak or negative influence of the Twelfth House can lead to self-pity, excuse-making, deceive oneself, or escape into the past.
The Twelfth House is the house most closely associated with karma, and deals with the karmic debts. It is here that people tend to hide their problems. This house rules the secret enemies and unconscious memory that contains all our past deeds.
The Twelfth House also has to do with hospitals, mental institution, religion retreats, and places of solitude. The individual can overcome the limitations of the Twelfth House only by consciously facing the restriction imposed on him/her by karma, and accepting the conditions and correcting them.
The task of the Twelfth House is to make conscious the contents of the unconscious mind, so the individual can attain deeper level of inspiration that will lead to wisdom and compassion.