Lastly, there are twelve houses. The houses represent the fields of experience wherein the energies of the signs and planets operate. Rather than symbolizing just the outward experiences and environmental circumstances specified, the houses are also revealing of the inner state and of one’s personal subjective experience and attitudes. The planets’ placements tell which levels and areas of experience will be strongly emphasized in a person’s life.
The horizontal line that connects the 1st and 7th houses represents the horizon of Earth. The 1st house is the eastern-most point and the 7th house is the western-most point. Planets near the 1st house are called “rising” because they are coming up over the horizon at the moment of birth.
The 1st house-House of Self represents the Ascendant or Rising sign. It affects the appearance and the personality as it is perceived by the outside world. The rising sign is the sign that marks and coincides with the first independent breath we take.
The Ascendant and 1st house symbolize the process of beginning of initiation.
The Ascendant colors our view of the world, it shows how we meet life.
The 2nd house-House of Possessions is the house of values and possessions. It determines ones level of self-esteem and also indicates personal talents and abilities. Also, this house represents what we hope to gain in life-what we desire.
The 3rd house-House of Communication has to do with siblings, neighbors, youth, early school experiences and relationships with those who live nearby. The most significant meaning of this house is communication-it tells us about every aspect of communication and all mental pursuits.
The 4th house-House of Home rules home, family, roots and the end of all matters. Ancestors, heritage and parents-particularly the nurturing parent, usually the mother, is represented by this house. It is called the house of the soul and this house can help us understand the qualities and elements of ourselves that we keep guarded.
The 5th house-House of Creativity and Pleasure is the house of romance, sex, conception, children, creativity, self-expression and risks. Most importantly, this house is all about self-fulfillment-doing as one pleases. It is the house of the inner child.
The 6th house-House of Health and Service is all about work and service, our daily routine, jobs and health. The keyword to this house is “duty.” Our level of dedication to maintaining details that result in knowledge and wisdom is expressed through this house. It symbolizes the mind/body connection and as a result, health matters can be understood from this house as well.
The 7th through the 12th house are less concerned with the self and more concerned with others and our role in society.
The 7th house-House of Partnerships or Descendant is the house opposite the 1st house of self and identity and in oppositional fashion, is concerned with the awareness of others. This house describes how we approach a relationship and also indicates what we are attracted to in a partner. Indeed, the 7th house is the house of marriage, partnerships and, also, open enemies. Through these significant relationships the lesson of being aware of others is learned.
The 8th house-House of Sexuality, Death and Rebirth is the house opposite the 2nd house of possessions and concern for what is “mine”, what “I value” and “my abilities”. Thus the 8th house is concerned not with what “I” have, but what “you” have, what “you” value and other people’s talents and abilities. The 8th house will tell you about the financial status of your marriage partner, since it is the 2nd house from the 7th. It will tell you about any investment you have concerning other people’s money such as stocks, venture capital, taxes and inheritance. It is called the house of “sex, death and regeneration” because this house forces us to explore our most intimate and hidden depths by sharing ourselves with others.
The 9th house-House of Philosophy and Travel is the house of long distance travel, higher education, philosophy and religion and politics. Opposite the 3rd house of accumulating knowledge, this house teaches us how we can share this knowledge gained through the 3rd with the world. This house asks the deep questions – “why am I here?” “Where is God?” – this house helps us find the meaning and purpose in life. The 3rd house is where the journalist gets the information, but the 9th house is where he publishes it.
The 10th house-House of Career or Midheaven is the most elevated point in the chart. This explains why the 10th house is concerned with career, status, honors and recognition. It is also traditionally associated with our authority parent – most likely the father. The 10th house shows your reputation – the public image you present to the world. The very nature of our contribution to society is shown through the 10th house and it is one of the places you can look to determine your true vocation or calling in life.
The 11th house-House of Friendships is the house of friendships, hopes, wishes and dreams. It talks about the relationship we have with the community and humanitarian issues. It is the most social of houses, indicating our involvement with groups, clubs and organizations. In the 11th house we find that dreams come true only when we consider society’s needs as well as our own.
The 12th house-House of Self-Undoing and Karma is the most hidden house of the zodiac. It is where we seek to transcend the humanness of ourselves but at the same time where we fear to do so because of the uncertainty as to what we will find. Nevertheless, the ego is lost in the 12th house whether we like it or not in order to delve deep into our most unconscious issues and perhaps even take a peek at the collective unconscious.
Once we get past the fear of losing the self, we find a treasure in the 12th house that teaches us our greatest potential for compassion, universal love and service. The house is obscure, giving it the reputation of being the “house of self-undoing” and is also assigned to hidden institutions such as prisons or mental facilities.