” … Every sign is affected by the sky’s division into temples; position governs the stars, and endows them with the power to benefit or harm.”
~ Manilius, (c. 10 AD) Astronomica, II v.856
The horoscope, which I define as a diagram of the relative positions of the sun, moon, and planets in the sky at the time of someone’s birth, is used by astrologers to infer characteristics and traits about a person, as well as, a place or an event). This diagram and its twelve divisions is one of four essential components of astrology. The other important components are planets, signs, and aspects. Each of the divisions, commonly referred to as “houses of the horoscope,” has a planet ruler and each house is associated with different areas of one’s life.
This is a “natural chart,” which simply means that the sign of Aries is in the First house position. The First house is always located on the left side in a horoscope and is equivalent to the 9 o’clock position on a clock. From there, the houses are read counterclockwise. The Second house is below the first house and so on around the diagram to the twelfth house.
Aries is located in the First house of a natural chart because it marks the beginning of the astrological year also known as Spring Equinox, which typically falls on March 21. But the equinox can occur a day either side of March 21. This means that in some years, spring may start on March 20 and other years on March 22. Aries is ruled by the planet Mars and its symbol is the Ram. The other houses, planetary rulers, and symbols (in a natural horoscope) are as follows:
- Second house is ruled by the planet Venus and its symbol is The Bull (April 21 – May 21)
- Third house is ruled by the planet Mercury and its symbol is The Twins (May 21 – June 21)
- Fourth house is ruled by the Moon and its symbol is The Crab (June 21 – July 21)
- Fifth house is ruled by the Sun and its symbol is The Lion (July 21 – August 21)
- Sixth house is ruled by Mercury and its symbol is The Virgin (August 21 – September 21)
- Seventh house is also ruled by Venus and its symbol is The Scales (September 21 – October 21)
- Eighth house is also ruled by Mars and its symbol is The Scorpion (October 21 – November 21)
- Ninth house is ruled by Jupiter and its symbol is The Archer (November 21 – December 21)
- Tenth house is ruled by Saturn and its symbol is The Goat (December 21 – January 21)
- Eleventh house is also ruled by Saturn and its symbol is The Water Bearer (January 21 – February 21)
- Twelfth house is also ruled by Jupiter and its symbol is The Fish (February 21 – March 21)
There are many ways to go about discussing the horoscope, its houses, planets, and so on. But for this discussion, I want to simply focus on the relationships of the houses (in order) to each other and on giving and receiving. To help you visualize how the activities represented by the twelve houses unfold, it may help to think about a house as an hour on the clock. The 9 o’clock hour is preceded by the 8 o’clock hour and followed by the 10 o’clock hour. Each hour is filled with activities that flow together to create your day-to-day experiences. In other words, what you do at 8 o’clock to prepare for a 9 o’clock meeting will likely have some relationship to what you do at 10 o’clock. Throughout your day, you will give to and receive from all that you do and think about.
In the same way that time, or hours in the day, are associated with the give-and-take of activities, the horoscope houses have specific associations. The primary association of the First house is IDENTITY; it’s how others see you and how you present yourself to the world that constitute your identity. Many factors influence one’s identity, but for this discussion, I’ll keep it basic and say that on a day-to-day basis, how you present yourself will depend on what you do to renew yourself (energy from the twelfth house) and how you give and receive to attract what you value (put into the second house). In other words, personal daily renewal provides energy that in turn is expelled/spent for the purpose of attracting to you what you need (resources) and value.
Other house associations are as follows:
- Second house — personal resources (what you value and attract to you)
- Third house — learning and all forms of communication
- Fourth house — personal foundation (your family of origin and home)
- Fifth house — creative energy
- Sixth house — daily routines, habits, and service
- Seventh house — close relationships and partnerships
- Eighth house — joint resources from a relationship or partnership
- Ninth house — beliefs
- Tenth house — public persona, achievements
- Eleventh house — hopes and desires, association with friends and groups
- Twelfth house — renewal
This give-and-take energy flows through all the houses in the horoscope and it flows in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise). Applying the previous example, you will use the resources that you put in the second house to nourish yourself in ways that help support your renewal (Twelfth house) so you can go out into the world refreshed and ready to interact with friends and associates (Eleventh house) and achieve your goals (Tenth house).
In these ways, and others, all that you are and all that you do are connected.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the Second house and its relationship to attracting what is desired.