The first house relates to the self and indicates our basic self-expression in life and in the material world. In Sanskrit it is called "Tanur Bhava", which means literally, "the house of the body". It is the main factor in determining physical constitution but more generally shows our orientation to life as a whole. It is the house of birth and shows our origin. Strongly afflicted it produces difficult birth or even infant mortality. It indicates our congenital physical vitality, so that when weak, is a primary factor in ill-health. The Sun shows who we are in ourselves, in our basic character or individuality. The Moon shows how we relate to others, how we appear on a social level to friends and family. The Ascendant or first house indicates how we project ourselves on a public level--our initial and general appearance to the world at large. As such it determines the whole structure of our outer manifestation, our personality as well as our body. Afflictions to it thus can cause mental disorders. For any significant accomplishment in life a strong first house and its ruler are necessary. It aids us in our career, as it helps establish self-identity. It is important thereby for honor, integrity, fame or recognition. Whatever it is associated with becomes intimate to our manifestation in life: aligned with factors of the ninth house, it gives an ethical nature or spirituality; with those of the sixth or eighth house it gives disease; with those of the second or eleventh house it gives wealth and so on. Through it the influences of the other planets are able to enter into us and become an integral part of our lives. The Ascendant is our significator in the chart, our vehicle in manifestation. It is the most important factor in the chart and its strength or weakness can override anything else.
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