Note: In order to work with houses in astrology, you must know your correct birth time and location. Without birth time, it is impossible to know for certain the ascendant and which planets fall into what houses.
Our overall life themes and symbolic lessons are discovered through the sign on the cusp of the 1st house, the Ascendant. The sign on the cusp of the 7th house, the Descendant, are the traits we must incorporate into our journey to handle the challenges of our life’s themes. For instance, if you have Aries on the 1st house cusp, your life’s themes will center on oppositions, challenges and triumphs and losses in battle; Libra on the 7th house cusp says that in order to circumvent these oppositions and challenges, you must develop the ability to be diplomatic, understanding and relatable to others. The 4th house cusp, the IC, explains the circumstances of our childhood home and the instincts for survival developed in our previous lives. The 10th house cusp, or Midheaven (MC) is the direction of our future and the skills for success that we must cultivate and achieve in this and future lives. Cancer on the 4th house cusp says that our experiences and memories in childhood revolved around receiving nurture and care so that we could thrive (the planets in that house would tell us how successful our caretakers were at accomplishing this soul need). Capricorn on the 10th house cusp says that we must become an authority figure who creates secure and solid structures for those that we are responsible for; living our lives with a clear purpose and direction.
Karmic houses are the houses that contain the Sun and Saturn signs, the depositor (ruling planet) of the Ascendant and the houses of the North and South Nodes. Karma is the price we pay for incarnating on Earth. It represents our agreement to experience certain situations when choosing to incarnate on Earth. Just like gravity is the consequence and price for living on a planet where there is a gravitational pull toward the bottom due to the density of the planet’s elements making it so that we cannot fly toward the sky without the aid of devices and precise science that help us to do so, our limitless spirit agreed to experience limitations in our physical lives so that we understand the value of accepting or overcoming those limitations as discovered in our soul’s lessons. The Sun sign shows us what talents we incarnated to learn and then show to others and its house tells us where we are to display these talents. Saturn’s sign shows us the hardships, oppositions and obvious limitations we have and Saturn’s house location shows us where we will experience these hardships and also where we will triumph to get the greatest reward. The depositor of our Ascendant is the planet and sign that will wield a strong influence over our lives and its house location will influence our lives in the same way. The North and South node signs show us the karmic experience we came into this life equipped with (South Node) and the karmic experience that we must presently develop (North Node) and balance with our prior experiences, their houses show us where we apply these karmic experiences.
Houses of the Chart: (planets in houses show the energy and attention you give to the house, no planets in the house shows the house to not be of utmost importance in this life, the sign on the cusp will tell you how you relate to it)
1st Relationship to Life, Self-Expression, Physical Appearance
2nd Relationship to Money/Possessions, Dogmatic Principles, Food
3rd Relationship to Early Schooling, Siblings, Classmates
4th Relationship to Childhood, Home Life, Ancestry, Nurturing Parent
5th Relationship to Children, Creative Endeavors, Descendants
6th Relationship to Job, Health, Co-workers, Environment
7th Relationship to Best Friend, Business Partners, Spouse, Enemies
8th Relationship to Sexuality, Psychology, Shared Money/Possessions
9th Relationship to Foreign Cultures, Higher Education, Philosophy
10th Relationship to Career, Social Reputation, Practical Aspirations, Disciplining Parent
11th Relationship to Social Organizations, Revolutionary Movements, Technology, Dreams
12th Relationship to Spirit Realm, Collective Humanity, Isolation, Imagination
Other very notable houses are houses which contain a Stellium. A Stellium is a group of 3 or more placements that all form a conjunction with each other or are simply located within the same house. The planets’ energies that are conjunct will combine together making them more powerful and focused, thus making their influence on your personality even stronger. The house that contains these Stellium are also quite powerful as these are the areas of your life that will have the most influence over its direction. Houses with a Stellium are very important to understanding who you are and what areas of life are most important to you.
Focus of Stellium houses (destructive expressions):
1st Self Assertion, Individuality (forcefulness, attention seeking)
2nd Value to Self, Stable Motivations (materialism, frugality)
3rd Familiar Knowledge, Shared Experience (fear of unfamiliar, confusion)
4th Emotional Reflection, Familial Power (martyring, victimhood)
5th Contributions to Self, Individual Motivations (selfishness, insecurity)
6th Environmental Perfection, Purpose in Life (over-critical, bitter)
7th Self Reflection through Others, Equality (pandering, indecision)
8th Value to Others, Mutual Motivations (manipulation, torture)
9th Expansive Knowledge, Universal Experience (ignorance, dogmatic)
10th Material Reflection, Accomplishment (confining, constant status-seeking)
11th Contributions to World, Collective Motivations (naivety, over-intellectualizing)
12th Collective Understanding, Karmic Purpose (escapism, depression)