The Houses – A journey that we all undertake

In astrology, the houses represent different areas of life, each holding a unique significance in our personal journey. As we navigate through these twelve houses, we experience a profound evolution, shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

All journeys need to start, and on the horoscope wheel, that journey begins at the Ascendant on the cusp of the 1st house, the house of Aries, the first of the 12 astrological signs, and the planet Mars. This point on the chart signifies the moment of birth, the exact time when were were born into the world and took our initial breath. The birth brings us out of the darkness and into the light and any planet crossing this threshold also takes on this idea of emerging from the shadows of the 12th house into the spotlight of the world in the 1st. The 1st house is a house of beginnings, it defines who we are, how we appear and how we approach the task of taking on life and the sign on the cusp of the 1st indicates the way we influence the world around us, how we see it and it dictates the way we relate to it. The ascendant is the road that leads to the Sun; the Sun shows why we are here and the Ascendant shows how and in what manner we get there.

The 2nd house represented in the horoscope by Taurus and Venus moves on in our evolution and here we start to develop our own sense of exactly who we are, what we possess as human beings and we start to develop our own personal ego. A baby that was connected to the mother realises that it is actually now separated from her and also understands that now that it is liberated,  it can be fragile and vulnerable and so it starts to protect itself and the things it has around it. To boost that ego and that sense of stability and solidness, one starts to acquire possessions, things that are yours that make you feel better and improve your own self-worth. The 2nd house thus highlights the things that we value and want to gain in life. It also shows what we do with those possessions, be it money, property or personal items to make our lives more comfortable, how we acquire them, what we desire and appreciate and also what we attract into our lives.

The 3rd house associated with Gemini and Mercury is where we start to interact with the world around us, we feel a bit more confident and able to deal with our new surroundings and take those baby steps which give us more autonomy and independence. We start to communicate, to think for ourselves and to interact with our brothers and sisters and other relatives. This house deals with language, ideas and concepts and here the mind is being freed up as separate from the body, we start to independently think rather than copying what our mother has shown us. Of course, once we are running around, it is soon time to go to school and here we get the chance to interact with others from our local environment and contrast what our parents have told us to what other people teach us. Here we find teachers and mentors and all type of people who contribute to our initial knowledge. We find out information, read books, journals and newspapers and start to assimilate information of all types, the media and sources of news are all ruled from here. This house sees us learning to take short journeys, it rules modes of transport and allows us to get out and experience the world around us from trips running errands to trips to the shops, and for starting to explore in out local area.

The 4th house asks us to pause for a minute and take stock of everything that we have learnt so far. It allows us to look at and realise where we have com e from, who we are related to and to settle down into our own beings before the next phase of growth occurs. The 4th house is where we set down and investigate our roots and heritage; just think this is the bottom of the chart and represents our deepest origins. The 4th shows the home and the kind of conditioning and atmosphere where are growing up and attract to ourselves, and the type of home life that will have in the future. This is the house of Cancer and the Moon and the feminine influence of the mother is reflected here. This house shows her influence on us and how we react to women in general. Some astrologers believe that this house also shows our second stage of life, the latter period when we start to understand our mortality and the nadir or Imum Coeli (IC) as a place of endings.

The 5th house is ruled by Leo and the Sun and the bright, exciting energy and heat that the Sun radiates on us highlights our individuality. This house is were we create, were we forge our own style and desire to be special and recognised for our talents. This house is where we express our true selves, show passion and enthusiasm and naturally this house is associated with art and creativity, with dance and sport, with games and hobbies. Here is where we take risks, we chance or arm and live on the edge. We want to feel good about ourselves and there is no better feeling than love. This is the house where we take our first steps into understanding human relationships, here is where we show love to others. Affairs of the heart are ruled in the 5th and obviously the ultimate result of boy and girl getting together is to produce children. This is the house of our children, how we react to them, treat them and relate to them.

So much for all the fun and frivolity of the 5th, as  unfortunately life is not all fun.  The 6th house explores the relationship between the inner self and the outer world. We were brought onto this earth to perform a task to carry out and here were are compelled to see it through.  There are restrictions that are imposed on us, and this house instils us with a necessary discipline; just think how worried and anxious you would be if there were no boundaries and we had complete freedom of choice? The 6th house ruled by Virgo and Mercury stresses that reality sets in and we have to work for a living, We have to learn to deal with the mundane side of life, put up with every day work and the 6th shows how we relate to the people we work with as well as our attitudes to routine. This house indicates our relationships to the people who provide services for us and where we provide services for others. Our attitudes to health and diet are highlighted, do we look after ourselves or not, and are we susceptible to ailment and illness? This is also the house of pets and animals, and our relationship to them, some people have stronger bonds to animals than to our fellow human beings and this will be shown up in the 6th.

At the 7th house on the cusp of the descendant, we turn the corner and start heading back to the ascendant. Through the first six houses we have established our true identity, but to make us whole and not lonely in the long run, we realise that nothing or no one can exist solely on their own, we need companionship and partnership in order to truly live. Where as at the ascendant we think of ourselves, here we start to appreciate others. The 7th is the house of Libra and Venus, a house of relationships be it personal or professional  or even of those people who oppose us, this is the house of marriage and of learning to give and take. The 7th can show parts of our personality that we have difficulty being responsible for and accepting, the parts of our personality that we are consciously unaware of. These faults or qualities we tend to attract in other people, so that we can learn about them, accept them over time and eventually feel complete. The old phrase “opposites attract” is borne out through the 7th house and often when you have the right partner, you will know it as they will have in their character things and traits in which you are lacking. 

The 8th house, the house of Scorpio and Pluto describes that which is shared and here we learn to deal with other people’s possessions as distinct from our own (represented by the 2nd house opposite), their money and their property. Here we also start to merge with our partner and you can imagine all the battles that can ensue when two entirely different people with different desires, needs and habits start to form one entity. Issues of ownership and control take centre stage and these experiences force us to change. This house is a house of cleansing, drawing to the surface all of the issues from previous relationships, those difficulties from the experiences from our first relationships with our parents and forcing us to deal with them. Merging is also a metaphor for intimacy and sex as two become one, something which this house has rulership over, and the deep profound experiences we have here can give rise to jealousy, rage, greed and envy and the darker sides of our personalities; the seven deadly sins are all found here. This is a house of our irrational fears and our deepest desires, a house of hidden secrets and of unexplained mysteries, and of death and of rebirth.

In the 8th we have endured difficult times, changes and deep emotions and we emerge into the 9th house, the house of Sagittarius and of Jupiter and our minds are opened to countless possibilities. This is a house of learning of knowledge and of wisdom, the university of life is open for us to explore and experience, and this is where we enter further education through colleges and further learning. Often we will come into contact with people who have different philosophies and ideals which challenge our beliefs at this point. This is the house of the higher mind or intelligence, we realise that there may be a  force at work guiding our very existence and so religious beliefs and faith are found here as well as those from far off countries and ethnic backgrounds. We may travel far and wide to enrich our lives through influences emanating from the 9th, experiences that transform us into more complete beings. As the 3rd house represents our relatives, this house indicates our in-laws and how we relate to them. Social requirements and legal systems are also ruled here and this is the house of justice, of the law and where our relationship to the rest of society is defined. Finally, it is here we gain insight, and those with a strong 9th house may be able to sense what is coming, before it actually happens.

As we hit the Midheaven and the 10th house at the top of the chart, as an individual we have learnt as much as we can for this cycle of the wheel and it is time to reap the benefits. The 10th house shows how we have used our talents to benefit society and indicates our worth to those around us, it not only shows the solid progress that we have made but also how we are appreciated for it. At the pinnacle of the chart as in life when we reach the top, we get recognised and praised for the effort that we have put in. This however is the house of Capricorn and Saturn the hard task master of the zodiac, so while our ambition here is strong and we receive plaudits, there is always more work to do, lessons to learn and steps to climb to go up the ladder of life even higher. This is a house of work, of your career and how you relate to those in authority. Planets and signs on the cusp of the 10th may go a way to indicate what type of vocation we will eventually succeed in, and how successful you may be. If the 4th house represents the female side of life and the mother, this is the opposite masculine side and reflects the father in the chart.

On getting to the 11th house, our individual worth has been achieved and now it is time for us to apply the knowledge and skills that we have acquired on a wider scale to influence more people and to experience oneself as part of a greater whole. This house the 11th is the domain of Aquarius and Uranus and is connected with groups, associations, teams and friends. In the 5th we assert ourselves as individuals and here in the 11th were learn to relate to being in a group, in sharing our knowledge and ideals with our friends and colleagues and of feeling safe under the umbrella of a larger structure. Social consciousness is highlighted in the 11th, and if the group decides that laws have become too strict or structures have become outdated, the influence of the many is able to reform what is needed whereas the individual stand little chance of having the same effect. The opposition to the  5th house is also highlighted in the manner that we give and receive love. In the 5th we show appreciation and affection for someone & in the 11th we show our attitudes to receiving love, how we react to receiving praise and warmth. In wanting love and appreciation, we yearn for a more utopian society and our hopes and wishes are also reflected here, there is a coming together shown in in the 11th that eventually binds people of all kinds into one.

As we reach the 12th house, the house of Pisces and of Neptune, we realise that for us to progress any further, we have to merge with something that is greater than the self and greater than the groups we experienced in the 11th, now is the time to pull away and truly connect with one’s soul. That pulling away, that disconnection from everything that has progressed before needs to happen before we can start a new cycle of growth. Some people find this house very disorientating for we are getting rid of the old order to prepare for the new. This is also the place of our secret enemies, of those who plot against us and wish us harm; so no wonder then that a fear of the unknown and the unconscious can unnerve us during this period of our lives. Often when one feels threatened or afraid one needs to escape, and those who have trouble in dealing with the 12th often find ways of removing themselves from reality through alcohol and drugs. This is the house of suffering, of hospitals, institutions and prisons, of seclusion, of peace and of serving others less fortunate than ourselves through charity and work behind the scenes. The 12th house and the waters of Neptune can be thought of as the state we were in before we were born, the comfort of the womb where the foetus was growing. In the same way, in this house where we retreat into solitude, we discard and sacrifice all the worn out associations and attachments from the cycle we have experienced before to clear the decks for a new start to begin, for our rebirth into society as we cross the Ascendant, and the cycle begins once again…

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