Exploring the 12 Houses in Astrology

By Dylan Rae Aug 24, 2021
Any modern astrologer will tell you that analyzing placements in the 12 houses is necessary to interpret birth charts. We can glean so much by looking at the energy of a planet or sign in a house and are able to construct a fuller understanding of how energies will appear for us in this lifetime.

The 12 houses of astrology illustrate all aspects of human existence. From how we appear to strangers and acquaintances, to what we like to do for fun, the houses can show us much about ourselves. The houses themselves are depicted on a wheel, and are called ‘wheel of the zodiac’ or ‘astrology wheel’ for this reason. They show where planetary and zodiac energy will appear in the different places of your life; the houses themselves are not responsible for this energy, rather, the signs and planets that reside within them are. They signify pieces of your life, and the signs and planets are guiding forces within them!

The solar system is comprised of 11 prominent celestial bodies that can appear in any of the 12 Houses. These celestial bodies include: The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
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1st House

The 1st house of the Zodiac, ruled by the sign of Aries and the planet Mars, lives up to its name: it governs new beginnings. This house characterizes you and represents your appearance, body, and overall temperament. When we want to consider how we appear in any new situation, we look at the placements here. The sign that resides here is your Rising Sign or Ascendant, and is responsible for how you show up in the world.

2nd House 

The 2nd house of astrology is tied to the physical and material world. It is home in its sign of Taurus, and ruled by the planet of Venus, and represents all things related to the material world. Planets in the 2nd house look to gain security from finances and possessions, while transiting planets can unearth self confidence problems or issues related to wealth.

3rd House

The 3rd house, ruled by Gemini and Mercury, governs all forms of communication from talking and thinking, to the current technologies used for communication (social media, texting, etc.). It also represents community affairs such as neighborhood relations, education, transportation, and schools. Any placements will reveal the ways you express yourself, and can help foster closer relationships, while planets moving through this house will impact our social networks.

The Cancer Constellation. Cancers are known for being homebodies and highly emotional.
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4th House

The 4th house represents our relations to ancestry and our homes. It is ruled by Cancer and the Moon, and rules over immediate and extended family, maternal instincts, and relationships with loved ones. Planetary placements can uncover your general attitude towards the maternal figures in your life, while transits suggest that we should devote ourselves to creating safe spaces in our homes. 

5th House

Ruled by Leo and the Sun, the 5th house of the Zodiac governs individuality, self-expression, romance, creativity, hobbies, and children. Planetary placements here boost our confidence and creativity. Transiting planets can have the power to bring us ‘aha!’ moments that inspire us to rethink current problems or begin a new creative venture.

6th House

The 6th house of astrology rules over health, wellness, and the daily grind. Virgo and Mercury govern this house, as it represents schedules, routine, exercise, diet, wellness, and support to others. Those with planetary placements will concentrate on structure and time, and value strong organization. Planets transiting through here can inspire us to rethink our daily routines and better our time management skills. 

The Libra Constellation. Represented by scales, Libras are pioneers of fairness, balance, and justice.
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7th House 

The 7th house, ruled by Libra and the planet Venus, commands all meaningful relationships. Its governance includes relationship commitments, business deals, and all forms of contracts. This is also where your Descendent sign shows up in your birth chart. Those with placements will be preoccupied with relationships and may dedicate much of their time searching for partnerships in various sections of their lives. When planets move through the 7th house of astrology, they can aid us in business ventures and romantic relationships. 

8th House

The 8th house rules over mystery, the afterlife, sex, and the occult. Given it is surrounded by the unknown, it is no wonder that the 8th house of the Zodiac is home in the sign of Scorpio and the planet Pluto. Planetary placements here suggest that individuals will have a liking for all things occult and esoteric, and will likely undergo several deaths and rebirths in this lifetime. Transits present us with the opportunities to remember how complex this life can be.

9th House

Ruled by the planet Jupiter and the sign of Sagittarius, the 9th house of astrology governs self development, spirituality, higher education, world travel, religion, and philosophy. Natal planet placements will indicate someone who is naturally curious and a desire for world travel. When planets move through this house, we often find that we are suddenly inquisitive about new topics or have the urge to travel far away. 

10th House

At the top of the Zodiac wheel, the 10th house is the most public house of the Zodiac. It rules tradition, notoriety, accomplishments, organizations, and popularity. The outskirts, or cusp, of the 10th house has been called the ‘midheaven,’ and can show you the best career path for you. When planets pass through it, these are usually times where we make a career move. Planetary placements suggest someone is dedicated to their career.

The Aquarius Constellation. Aquarians natives are generally highly individualistic and friendly to everyone.
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11th House

The 11th house of astrology is ruled by Aquarius and the planet Uranus, and oversees our personal community, teamwork, friendships, social group, and humanitarianism. Those with planetary placements will tend towards social justice causes, while transits here invite us to make a path for ourselves in our communities. 

12th House

The astrology wheel concludes with the 12th house, ruled by Pisces and the planet Neptune. It governs imagination, the arts, creativity, and subconsciousness. It also represents isolation, institutions, secrets, and hidden agendas. If you have planets here, you are highly intuitive, and might have psychic gifts. Planets moving through this house will attract karmic relationships into our lives. 

In Summary

An analysis of any birth or natal chart is not complete without a comprehensive look at house placements. It is important to understand the influence they have over the different areas of our lives to gain a deeper understanding of what the stars have mapped out for us. The 12 houses are just another piece of astrological guidance from the skies! 

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