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Houlding's book

The horoscope is divided into twelve segments called the astrological houses and - depending on which house system is used - can be of equal or unequal size. The twelve houses could be thought of as a disk which is superimposed on the twelve signs of the zodiac in various combinations. The houses are, like the signs of the zodiac, numbered from one to twelve in an anti- clockwise direction.

There is an analogous relationship between the houses and the signs of the zodiac: The first house is analogous with the sign of Aries, the second with Taurus and so on. Likewise, the ruler of the analogous sign of the zodiac is also the natural ruler of the house, for example Mars is the ruler of the first house, Venus of the second and so on.

The planets describe innate forces and the signs characteristics, whereas the houses represent the particular areas of life where these find expression. The houses are "earthly" as opposed to the "celestial" signs of the zodiac and planets. They are concerned with acting on and expressing the "celestial" forces within. For this reason, the themes of the houses are relatively insignificant in the horoscopes of children and instead are revealed over time.

The first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses are referred to as the cardinal houses (Quality). Planets in cardinal houses, at least when they are situated in the first half, are often considered to be dominant. Each house is associated with a particular area of life (more detailed information can be found under the headings "First House", "Second House" and so on). The following classification remains essentially the same, irrespective of the house system used:

The next table represents the basic outline of the houses as they are still understood today and includes the traditional Latin names. The houses are numbered from the east downward under the horizon, each representing a specific area of life. Many modern astrologers assume that the houses relate to their corresponding signs,[1][2] i.e. that the first house has a natural affinity with the first sign, Aries, and so on.[3]

House Related Sign Latin motto Translation Modern title Interpretation
1st Aries Vita Life House of Self Physical appearance, traits and characteristics. Resourcefulness. Outlook and impressions. Ego. Beginnings and initiatives.
2nd Taurus Lucrum Gain House of Value Material and immaterial things of certain value. Money. Possessions and acquisitions. Cultivation. Substance. Self-worth.
3rd Gemini Fratres Fraternal order House of Sharing Communication. Distribution/generosity. Intelligence/development. Siblings. Locomotion and transportation. Ephemera.
4th Cancer Genitor Parent House of Home and Family Ancestry, heritage, roots. Foundation and environment. Mother or caretaker. Housing and the household. Neighborhood matters. Comfort, security. Tidiness. Pets.
5th Leo Nati Children House of Pleasure Recreational and leisure activities. Things which make for enjoyment and entertainment. Games/gambling/risk. Romance and limerence. Children/fertility. Creative self-expression.
6th Virgo Valetudo Health House of Health Routine tasks and duties. Skills or training acquired. Employment (job). Service performed for others. Strength, vitality. Wellness and healthcare. Courage.
7th Libra Uxor Spouse House of Balance Partnerships. Marriage and business matters. Diplomacy. Agreements, contracts and all things official. Equilibrium.
8th Scorpio Mors Death House of Transformation Cycles of deaths and rebirth. Sexual relationships and commitments of all kinds. Joint funds, finances. Other person's resource. Karma and debt (judgment). Regeneration. Self-transformation.
9th Sagittarius Iter Passage House of Purpose Travel and foreign affairs. Culture. Expansion. Law and ethics. Education/learning/knowledge. Philosophical interests, belief systems. Experience through exploration. Things long-term.
10th Capricorn Regnum Kingdom House of Enterprise Ambitions. Motivations. Career, achievements. Society and government. Father or authority. Notoriety. Advantage.
11th Aquarius Benefacta Support House of Blessings Benefits from effort. Friends and acquaintances of like-minded attitudes. Belonging. Groups, communities, and associations. Charity. Connectedness/networking. Love. Wish fulfillment. Wealth.
12th Pisces Carcer Rehabilitation House of Sacrifice Privacy, refuge; seclusion and retreating. Clandestiny↔Revelation. Intuition. Extremities/abundance, but also addictions. Luck, miracles. Releasing/relinquishing, healing, forgiveness, and peacefulness. Finality/completion/conclusion.

The house cusp marks the beginning of a house. The sign of the zodiac in which this falls, and any sign that is completely enclosed within the house (i.e. is not cut by any house cusp), indicate how an individual approaches this particular area of life. Planets in the house indicate which forces are expressed there.

The division into houses is connected to the Earth's rotation. It depends on the location at which an event occurs (birth) and the time. At any particular place the Ascendant (and therefore all the houses) moves through the whole zodiac. The division into houses is the most individual factor in the horoscope - even more so than the Moon which moves roughly one degree every two hours. When two people are born within half an hour of each other at the same place, the Ascendant has already moved 7 1/2 degrees (on average 1 degree every 4 minutes) and could easily have moved on to the next sign of the zodiac. This means that certain planets may also have changed house position during this time. Because the planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto spend years in one sign of the zodiac, their house positions are actually far more significant than the signs they are in.

See also



  • Karen Hamaker-Zondag: The House Connection
How to read the houses in an astrological chart
Explains, in great depth, the meaning and relationship of the twelve houses of the horoscope
  • Deborah Houlding: The Houses - Temples of the Sky, 196 pages. The Wessex Astrologer 1996/ 2006 ISBN 9781902405209
  • Robert Hand: Whole Sign Houses: The Oldest House System. ARHAT Publications 2000
  • Hone, Margaret (1978): The Modern Text-Book of Astrology. Revised edition (1995). England: Fowler & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0852433573
  • Kenton, Warren (1974): Astrology. The Celestial Mirror. Reprinted (1994). London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-81004-4

Notes and References

  1. Kenton, p. 17
  2. Hone, p. 89
  3. Dobyns, Zipporah P. (1973), p. 10