Astrology includes three main ingredients to start. The first ingredient are the signs, the second are the planets, and the third are the astrology houses. When mixed together, these ingredients create a unique recipe – an individual’s personality. Signs tell us how energy shows up, planets describe exactly what that energy is, and the houses depict where in life that energy plays out.
There are twelve astrological houses in total. You can think of them as twelve separate rooms inside a building. Each room contains unique props which distinguish what function that room serves. For example, think of your own home; Any visitor would instantly know which room you cook in, which you sleep in, which you wash in, and which room you relax in.
How we establish the houses in a person’s astrological chart has everything to do with the time and location of their birth. The sign that is rising on the Eastern horizon at the moment of birth, designates the first house. Then each sign follows consecutively. For example, if Taurus was rising on the Eastern horizon when someone was born, Taurus would be their first house, Gemini their second, Cancer their third and so on. You can imagine the houses as a clock face with twelve segments. The first house always starts at the position that would be 9 o’clock. The sign on the Eastern horizon is known as the rising sign or ascendant.
So, when we look at the houses in a chart, we also look at what signs and planets were within that house at the moment of that person’s birth. This provides us with details about the energies present, how they manifest and how that influence affects the personality.
So, let’s have a look at the twelve astrological houses:
1st House – Ruled by Aries
The props in this room would include mirrors for self-reflection (and perhaps self-admiration), self-help books, exercise equipment, running shoes and fitness gadgets which aide in physical self-improvement.
Since the first house contains the ascendant or rising sign, the energy in this area of a chart is exceptionally strong and active. Whatever sign or planet(s) reside in the first house, have a strong effect on the personality.
This house is also said to denote a person’s physical body type; whether they are tall and waif-like or shorter and more muscular, for example. Both weaknesses and strengths of the body often show up in the first house – for example, those with Capricorn rising may have a particular sensitivity in their knees, or those with Pisces rising, sensitive feet.
The first house is all about the identification of the self. This is the house of the ego and the individual’s physical energy. It demands a lot of self-reflection and self-analysis. When this house is highlighted (a concentration of planets and/or personal planets reside here), there is a need to talk about yourself and seek internal clarification, often involving seeking knowledge about your motivations and your use of both positive and negative energies to get what you want.
A first house personality type is determined to exert their will. These people are courageous (perhaps even forceful), and physically embodied. They carry a lot of chi in their bodies and may be athletes or people who enjoy moving or exercising in some way every day. Other people may have a hard time keeping up with them and that’s okay, because these independent people don’t mind forging ahead alone.
2nd House – Ruled by Taurus
The props in this room might include bank statements, financial records of savings accounts and a hidden stash of cash to promote feelings of security. There may also be chocolates, antiques and books about history which inspire feelings of familiarity and comfort. You might also find drums, gold, wooden things and Earth-bound objects such as fossils, stones and crystals.
Ruled by Taurus, the 2nd house is all about worth, comfort, sensuality and security. When this house is highlighted, the personality is motivated by understanding the true value of things. These people like to collect beautiful antiques and will also be well-read on the history of their treasured belongings. They value not only the history of ancient crafts, but also the knowledge and wisdom of the craftsman themselves… they honor the elders and value the education that is within them to be passed down.
They have a strong driving force to control and maintain stability and material assets, as this makes them feel safe and secure. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are materialistic however, for these people often value the simple things in life. They may not need much, but they need it to be theirs, and they can be possessive of their belongings.
These people are usually super-grounded, easy going and may tend to be more on the quiet side, if not a bit self-conscious. Even if someone has the sun sign of a talkative Gemini, but the sun makes its home in the 2nd house; Gemini’s natural tendency to talk is tempered by the serenity and relative calm (or perhaps shyness) found in this area of the chart.
These people really love to experience their 5 physical senses. There is also a marked love of all things to do with the outdoors and nature for people who have this house emphasized in their chart. This creates a natural affinity for gardening (and often times cooking), hiking and nurturing plants and animals. Second house personality types are generally strong providers and crafts people of some kind, who enjoy working and making things with their hands.
3rd House – Ruled by Gemini
Some props in this room might include photographs of friends and family, a laptop constantly scanning social media as well as directories full of contacts, phone numbers and a calendar chock full of social events. You may also find a rack of celebrity or gossip magazines along with a pile of half read books. “Ding,” what’s that noise? It’s the sound of a flurry of text messages and email notifications vibrating through a smartphone. The 3rd house looks, sounds, and feels much like a busy receptionist’s desk.
This is a very active, multi-tasking and fast-moving place in the chart. Here, we are concerned with how the mind works, and how it receives and communicates information on a daily basis. This can be both a blessing and a curse. People with a strong 3rd house are often gifted communicators, networkers, writers, researchers and teachers and can be trained to focus their mind. The flip side of the coin however is that the fast-moving mind can become unfocused, distracted, and hard to discipline. Think of terms such as “scatter brained” and/or “air head.”
The 3rd house is all about extended family (emphasis on siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles) and friends who are close enough to be considered as family. This house rules local travel and people you see and communicate with on a regular basis. There is a familiarity and tracking of information flow as well an affinity for marketing, advertising and magazine gossip with a strong 3rd house placement.
People who have a 3rd house emphasis have a drive to stay constantly connected to the people around them and they are fascinated by the details of their lives. They know everyone and can tell you where the restaurants are, which place to go get coffee, who just had a baby, why so and so broke up, and the name of that new book that everyone is going crazy about, but they may not know where they put their keys or why they started telling you this story in the first place. “What was I saying? Oh right….”
These people are highly stimulated, social, and may be a bit emotionally detached. They tend to live more in their intellect than in their heart. They’re likely to have a lot to say, to the point where they can be indiscreet – driven by their intense need to know about other people’s lives. Even a Scorpio whose sun falls in the 3rd house is likely to talk a lot, but being a Scorpio, their chosen subjects may be “darker” in nature and intense!
4th House – Ruled by Cancer
The props in this room will all revolve around creating and nourishing home, family, comfort and safety and will be dedicated to preserving memories and history. Kids, photo albums, scrapbooks, family heirlooms, family recipes, history books, soft blankets, good food, beloved pets and boxes of tissues to name a few.
The 4th house is at the base of the chart and is considered to be the chart’s ‘root’. It represents the base of the family tree and deals with our early childhood foundations, our psychological foundations, our family of origin, as well as our connection to our ancestors. This is the house of maternal energy.
People born with their sun in the 4th house are born near midnight, when the rest of the world is fast asleep and dreaming. Perhaps this is why one of the themes of the 4th house is the “collective unconscious.” Those sleepy musings, nightmares and fears of the dark and the unknown, which we all seem to share.
There is often an innate interest and intuitive skill around psychology, feelings, nurture and the undercurrents that drive people’s emotions and needs. In fact, Carl Jung had four planets in the 4th house. It’s said that this eminent psychologist rarely left his home. This is a trait closely associated with this house. These people are often very reclusive and prefer to be safe at home, either alone or with close family. They love their comfort, their bed, their kids, and their dog! But, don’t go visiting them uninvited, they’re very selective of whom they invite into their space, for it truly is their sanctuary.
The fourth house produces people who are driven to nurture others, especially their family, kids, and animals. They are natural care givers. They are nostalgic historians and memory keepers and can have a hard time letting go of the past and getting over fear. Memories are imprinted deeply into their emotional body… and not just memories of their own, but the memories of our collective humanity.
5th House – Ruled by Leo
The props in this room might include a stage, creative supplies, costumes, props, clothing, kids, and autobiographies detailing the great achievements of the world’s brightest “stars”. You will also likely find dramatic movies, playbills, and a spotlight aimed directly at a vanity mirror. “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.” This house is fiercely creative and may well produce some of the finest stage and screen actors.
The 5th house is all about taking risks. It’s about dressing yourself up and putting yourself out there. It’s about drama, play, joy, passion, and being the center of attention. It’s home to child-like wonder and amusement and therefore, the house that rules our inner-child.
Everything in this house is at its peak, for what is ‘drama’ if not over the top? Romance is the best and most passionate romance of all time. Crisis’ are the worst things that have ever happened in the history of man, and food is the most delicious it has ever tasted since the domestication of the human species (you get the idea)!
People with a strong 5th house have a need to be surrounded by people who adore them, and they, in turn, will adore these people! They are 100% loyal. They are romantics at heart who want to be swept off their feet by everything in life, not just their love affairs! 5th house personality types can demand a lot of attention and validation from others and can be very sensitive to rejection and get irksome when they’re not getting the attention they need.
Passion must be featured everywhere, and in everything they do, otherwise it simply isn’t worth the bother! “What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out!”
6th House – Ruled by Virgo
Herbs and natural medicines are featured as the props in this room. This is the house of illness, health, and preventative strategies/routines. Here you will find nutritional information, flower essences and recipes, all of which are likely to be stored in a tidy and efficient system. You might also find detailed accounts and spreadsheets residing here.
The 6th house concerns female power, listening to your own unique rhythms and understanding the cycles of the Moon. Just as the wise women of ancient times were experts on herbalism, this house creates a strong interest in the power of plants and other natural remedies and supplements.
The Virgo ruler of this house also creates personalities that have a huge drive to implement systems and order. In fact, these people are often said to be able to make order out of chaos! Talented book-keepers and accountants often have a strong 6th house. These people can be a bit type “A.” They like things done in the most efficient and productive way possible. They may be perfectionists in one way or another and they are likely to be workaholics, driven to be of service to others.
At worst, they may have high strung nervous systems, and be prone to worry and/or anxiety. They may even be prone to illness when certain planets are present and/or poorly aspected, or they might be hypochondriacs. The 6th house personality type tends to spark an interest in scientific and medical research. Information that is first used to heal themselves, and then to heal you.
Many good pharmacists, Doctors, Naturopaths, and Nurses are born with this house highlighted in their chart. Even if these people don’t take this interest to a professional level, they are likely to be the type of person who can tell you what food/herb/drug to take for which ailment and even what dose to administer.
7th House – Ruled by Libra
The props in this room may include photographs of romantic partners and sentimental gifts from years gone by. You’re also likely to find art materials and objects of aesthetic beauty, as well as court documents and legal contracts here. This is the house of the charming artist, the diplomat, and the mediator.
The 7th house is the relationship house and rules relationships of all kinds. Marriages, platonic relationships, working relationships and creative collaborations all fall under the domain of this house. The person with a strong 7th house influence will likely be a strong communicator, who is very “other” oriented, who tends to put others before themselves and at worst, can suffer from co-dependency.
This personality type is gifted with super-charm, to the point where you may find their charm mesmerizing. However, 7th house types are often indecisive and sometimes find it difficult to decide whether they want to be in a relationship or not, sometimes making their irresistible charm feel more like a weapon of confusion to the person on the receiving end of this push and pull dance.
This house compels one to seek balance, harmony and fairness at all costs. That can be within relationship, or in legal and/or social justice matters. It’s also the house of mediation, contemplation, and analysis in the quest for inner balance. Many artists and designers have this house highlighted. Their art may well be an external manifestation of their internal drive to find beauty, balance and harmony in everything around them.
The 7th house also creates people who constantly strive to create a network of people around them. They relate easily to others and have a high level of empathy. They listen well, are good at imagining themselves in someone else shoes, and will always try to weigh both sides of an argument and provide you with impartial advice. Therefore, you may add therapist, counselor, or coach to the list of 7th house personality type’s talents.
If the 7th house individual isn’t motivated by the arts or legal/social justice matters, they may be drawn towards the sciences, which is just a different approach and study of the way things work together, balance, and harmonize.
8th House – Ruled by Scorpio
Mysteries, thrillers, and psychological puzzles may well be some of the props you’ll find inside this rather dark and hidden room. It’s certainly not a place that the faint-hearted would wish to linger in! There could also be some quite disturbing books on topics like serial killers and death.
When this house is highlighted in a chart, there is usually a deep interest in the taboo, the occult and other “dark” subjects. Themes like crime, betrayal, revenge, psychological abuse, violence, sexuality and addiction are often fascinating to these people.
People with a strong 8th house have a deep desire for union, for the 8th house is about intimacy and deep relating. This desire to merge is so strong that they sometimes don’t care whether this is a positive or negative union, so they may not be very discerning when choosing partners to connect with. At worst, the person with a strong 8th house influence can be controlling, manipulative, and/or obsessive. In fact, this house can be associated with sex addiction, as well as other addictive, and destructive personality traits.
Death is a fascination for people with this house highlighted in their charts. They seem to have a desire to test fate and look death in the face by living on the edge of danger. If the individual isn’t drawn to the dark, the dark has likely been drawn to them. Unfortunately, people with a strong 8th house may have been victims of abuse, betrayal, and/or violence or have had experiences with death and loss from an early age. Perhaps because of this experience with loss, the 8th house is also the house of inheritances. 8th house personality types may find themselves working with other people’s money, estates, and taxes in the practice of putting one’s finances in order before passing on to the next stage of existence.
In one way or another, these people have had to face loss and the darker side of humanity and grapple with depression and fear.
The redemption of this house however is that a concentration of energy here can also produce talented therapists and healers… people who have walked through the darkest depths of human nature and have returned to the light with a roadmap to help others accomplish the same journey. These people persevere and transform through crisis.
9th House – Ruled by Sagittarius
Enter this room and you’re going to find props like maps, travel guides, backpacks and airline tickets. There will also be books on philosophy, religion, and exotic cultures, as well as study notes, journals and learning aids.
This is the house of higher learning, universities, publishing, spirituality and travel. People with this house featured in their chart are likely to be on a life-long mission to seek out Universal truths and discover new things. These are “big picture” thinkers and long view planners. They won’t choose just one religion or belief system, instead, they’ll learn as much about as many ideologies as possible and visit many different cultures to learn even more. They learn best though living their adventurous experiences, and then return home to write books and/or teach others about all they’ve discovered on their journey.
These people are lucky, optimistic, outspoken and blunt. They are fearless and risk-taking. They have a need to seek external stimulation and don’t want to stagnate in the same place for too long. Some people with this house highlighted keep a packed suitcase under their bed and are ready to travel at the drop of a hat!
Even the rare 9th house person who hasn’t traveled the globe will still be a worldly philosopher and sage wisdom keeper at heart. A talented teacher and story-teller, a master in lessons of the “silver-lining” variety, and a soulful wandering gypsy of the mind.
10th House – Ruled by Capricorn
There’s one word that springs to mind for the props in this room and that’s ‘classy’. Everything you find here will be of high quality, integrity, and purpose. There are likely to be certificates of achievement and recognition adorning the walls of this room. 10th house people are serious about their goals.
This house creates individuals who have a strong ambition to be purposeful, committed and successful- qualities they have likely possessed from early childhood. They want to serve the collective and will work hard to get what they want in life. Conversely, they often feel that they are never quite good enough, and this perceived lack is probably what drives them on to further success.
A 10th house emphasis tends to create personalities who have to have the best of everything; the best clothes, the nicest house or the most expensive car for example. They care about quality and they also care about how they are perceived by others. They are hyper aware that they have a public persona to maintain, so people with a strong 10th house also have a need to fit in.
It is said that this house creates individuals who are destined to become famous or known for their work or at least have the ambition to be noticed in a public way. They can be late bloomers however, finding their greatest successes later in life.
They make great leaders but can also be controlling and domineering. These people may give major “Dad” vibes, regardless of their gender, as this is the house of Paternal energy. They have high standards and a strong work ethic and expect the same from you. These people are workaholics. Work as hard and ethically as your 10th house counterpart and they will have much respect for you.
11th House – Ruled by Aquarius
The props in this particular room are going to be ‘out there’ and quite possibly mathematical in nature. Perhaps books on Aliens, time travel, conspiracy theories and future technologies. Whatever you find here, it is bound to surprise you and is likely to be as far from what’s considered ‘normal’ as can be imagined!
This is the house of community, friends, future dreams of what is possible, technology, humanitarian efforts, astrology, and other systems of pattern recognition. This is the house of the observer. The 11th house is not governed by the laws of muggles. In many ways, this is a house of misfits and rebels… criminals and geniuses.
11th house people don’t fit in and they don’t want to. They don’t want to live a life dictated by the masses. They rebel against authority and tradition. They break the rules, for good or for bad. They don’t need to get married or have a traditional relationship, they don’t want a boring 9 – 5 job, and they’re unlikely to raise their children in a traditional way (that’s if they decide to have any at all). They need freedom!
This house creates individuals who are inspirational and innovative mavericks and trend setters. Their gift is to allow us to see things the way they do, completely outside of the box and from a brand-new perspective. They help us see things from the future. They’re designers.
They have a deep interest in all things futuristic and in the innovation of existing technologies and systems. They love to be connected with groups of people who are bringing new ways of thinking to society, although they often feel like outsiders in society themselves- as if they don’t really belong or fit in anywhere for very long. They are never happier than when they’re working to bring about change and revolution. They are after-all, humanitarians at heart. But don’t try to put them in a box or label them as belonging to any one group or ideology. As much as they may suffer from not fitting in, they wear their uniqueness as a badge and can’t stand being pigeonholed.
12th House – Ruled by Pisces
The props in this room are likely to be other worldly and dreamy. It may be difficult to tell whether these objects are real or just part of a dreamer’s imagination, not quite in focus… foggy and shape shifting. This room may include books on psychics and mystics like Edgar Cayce. You might also find documentaries on psychedelic drugs and ayahuasca healing along with a fine collection of music and some very strange clothing!
This house creates people who are private secret keepers. They delight in discovering the mysteries of life and usually have a strong interest in other worlds and dimensions that are not necessarily seen, but rather, felt.
People with a strong 12th house are sensitive, compassionate, creative and reclusive. They have a strong desire to nurture and be of service to the less fortunate and vulnerable. Psychic sponges, they require time in isolation to untangle everyone else’s energies from their own to regenerate.
This is the last house. It’s the house where everything culminates, only to then dissolve. It is the house of endings, letting go, and self-undoing. The house of transcendence. It’s traditionally associated with mental health facilities, hospitals, and prisons. All places where people go when they are undoing their relationship with this world or have pulled too far away from society and/or reality.
Many 12th house fears and struggles may be Karmic in nature, resulting from past life experiences. Discerning the past from the present, the real from the imagined, and their individual energy from the energies of those around them can be overwhelming and confusing at best. Therefore, they may not come across as earth bound and grounded people and may not seem of this world at all. They often relate more to being a soul than being human and being in a body.
Attached to their sensitivity can be melancholy and a resonance with the haunting beauty of sorrow. They are likely to fear the pain of their own vulnerability as well as fear the cruel reality of the world. They long for escape of the harshness and over stimulation of everyday life and can be prone to addiction, using drugs and alcohol as a buffer and doorway between this world and the magical world they long to return to.
Even a social Gemini with the sun in the 12th house will feel the need for solitude. They have a strong desire to spend time in the dream state rather than face reality and are often psychological escape artists.