Lesson 4 The Houses

Learning to Interpret House Meanings

We know that the signs are fixed divisions of the heavens. The houses, on the other hand, are relative divisions of the heavens, depending on the birthplace and the birthtime of the individual. The rotation of the Earth causes the signs and the planets to pass through all twelve houses each day. The sign that is on the eastern horizon at the exact time of birth is called the Ascendant or rising sign.

Each house represents a basic field of activity. The meanings of the houses are modified when they are occupied with planets. It is important to realize from the beginning that having no planet in a house does not mean that there is no activity in that area. No house is ever empty; each house has a planet that rules the sign on its cusp. Since there are twelve houses and only ten planets, you cannot possibly have a planet in every house.

First Houée 33

The houses relate to conditions, while the signs tell us about character traits. If you were to compare astrology to acting, you would say: The planets are the actors, the signs are the roles they play, and the houses are the settings or situations in which the cast portrays its roles. Mercury is always Mercury, but in Gemini it portrays a different role than in Libra; when Mercury is in the third house the setting is different from the sixth house.

The houses never change position. The Ascendant (or first house cusp) is always the eastern point of the horizon, where the Sun appears to rise each morning. Correspondingly, the Descendant (or seventh house cusp) is always on the western point of the horizon, where the Sun sets each evening. The Midheaven, commonly referred to as the MC (the tenth house cusp) is always at the very top or southern point of the horoscope. Its opposite point, the IC (the fourth house cusp) is always at the lowest point of the wheel or the northern point. The reference to the tenth house cusp as the MC stems from its name in Latin, medium coeli, which means middle of the heavens. The reference to the fourth house cusp as the IC stems from the Latin, imum coeli, meaning the lowest heavens.

As you learned in lesson 1, when you filled in the flat wheel, each house is influenced by a sign of the zodiac; each house has a planetary ruler, and each house is classified as angular, succedent or cadent.

Keeping in mind that each house represents a certain field of activity in our lives, let us now turn our attention to a detailed explanation of the houses.

The cusp of the first house is the Ascendant or rising sign. It is one of the most important points in the natal chart, and it shows the exact degree and sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth. The Earth's rotation causes one degree of the zodiac to rise above the eastern horizon approximately every four minutes; for this reason, you can see how important it is to have an accurate birthtime.

angular natural ruler MarS cf a house of life

The first house, and in particular the Ascendant, shows your personality, your natural disposition and tendencies, your individuality and the way you express yourself. It shows how people see you and the way you want others to see you. It is the way you "package" and "market" yourself. It represents your physical body, your health and your early childhood years. It shows your approach to life, your worldly outlook, your appearance and bearing and the beginnings of all enterprises.

The second house shows financial affairs, possessions (except real estate), investments, earning power, and any gain or loss through your own efforts. It indicates your inner talents and resources, your need for fulfillment, your emotional feelings, your sense of self-worth and your sense of values. Since many people believe that liberty is largely a matter of money, this is the house of personal liberty. It is also the house of material debt.

The third house shows the local environment you live in, your brothers and sisters, and all forms of communication, such as speaking and writing. It also indicates means of transportation including short trips. It shows the adaptability of your mind to learning and to new ideas, your ability to relate to your environment, and your taken-for-granted skills. It indicates the conscious and objective portion of your mind and your primary schooling.

succedent natural ruler Venus $ a house of substance cadent natural ruler Mercury o a house of side-by-side relationships

Sixth House 35

FOURTH HOUSE angular natural sign Cancer S natural ruler the Moon 3) keyword SCCUrity a house of endings

The fourth house shows your home and your parents, the family you came from (your roots) and the home you will establish. This includes your heritage, heredity and ancestry, your psychological roots and your private life. This house shows property, such as houses or real estate, and all that is secluded. It is a house of endings: the closing years of life, the ending of all matters, fame after death and the place of burial. It shows the parent who has the greater influence on you as a child, your subjective self and the foundation upon which you build your character.

FIFTH HOUSE succedent natural sign Leo natural ruler the Sun O

keyword Creativity a house of life

The fifth house shows children, love affairs, romance, pleasures, amusement, holidays, vacations, games, speculations, hobbies and avocation. It includes your emotional attitude and the love you give. It shows your enterprise, as well as sports, originality and creative outlets. It also indicates dramatic, literary or artistic ability. The fifth house shows publication, politics, the fine arts, social affairs, pregnancy and the education of children. Any groups you belong to which relate to having fun (Bowling League, Sewing Circle, Bridge Club etc.) are depicted by this house.

SIXTH HOUSE cadent natural sign VirgO W natural ruler Mercury §

keyword duty a house of substance

The sixth house shows your work, your health and your habits. It indicates employment, employees, tenants, servants, pets and dependents. It shows service given to others, routine matters, your clothes and how you wear them, hygiene, interest m food and diet, sickness and all conditions affecting your health. This house indicates aunts and uncles, self-

adjustment and your unconscious mind. Here work and health are linked together.

The seventh house shows both business and marital partnerships, marriage, divorce, contracts, lawsuits, bargains, agreements, any dealings with the public and the public's response. It shows your open enemies, your cooperation with others or your lack of cooperation. It indicates what you most lack in yourself, since it is the opposite of the first house which shows your strongest personality traits. This house shows your attitudes toward marriage: your mate, the kind and quality of the marriage, and how many marriages you may have. It also shows your grandparents and any people who act as your agent or in your behalf.

The eighth house shows the support you receive from other people, including financial, moral, spiritual and physical. It indicates legacies, trusts, wills, taxes, insurance matters, as well as secrets, sex, spiritual and physical regeneration, psychological rebirth and degeneration and death. The eighth house shows occult matters, sleep, deep research, investigation and hidden assets. It also includes the assets of partners and alimony. It is the house of surgery, and along with the sixth house, it shows types of illness.

angular natural ruler Venus ?

a house of face-to-face relationships succedent natural ruler PlutO ^ a house of endings succedent natural ruler PlutO ^ a house of endings

NINTH HOUSE cadent natural sign Sagittarius ? natural ruler Jupiter 2+ keyword aspiration a house of life

Eleventh House 37

The ninth house shows your higher mind, the superconscious. It indicates religion, law, science, ideals, higher learning, philosophy, psychology, profound mental study, your dreams and your visions. It shows distant travel, foreigners, foreign dealings, commerce, big business, imports and exports. The ninth house shows the church as a spiritual factor, the clergy, inlaws, grandchildren, intuition, ethics and public opinion in general. It indicates the lessons we learn through living.

TENTH HOUSE angular natural sign Capricorn ^ natural ruler Saturn h keyword honor a house of substance

The tenth house shows your profession, your reputation and your standing in the community. It indicates your ego, status, fame, promotion, ambition, business and social activities, your employer, the government or any other authority over you. It shows your achievements, how the world sees and evaluates you, and the influence you exert in your own circle. Here we see the church as an organization and the opposite parent from the one represented by your fourth house.

ELEVENTH HOUSE succedent natural sign Aquarius ^ natural ruler Uranus # keyword SOCial a house of group consciousness relationships

The eleventh house shows your capacity for friendship, your attitude toward your friends and acquaintances and all non-emotional relationships. It indicates what you most desire in life, your goals, the love you receive as well as money obtained from a profession. This house shows step-children, foster children and adopted children, as well as circumstances over which you have little control. Here we see your humanitarian interests, the way you see others, large and small organizations, and clubs you belong to, which somehow relate to your career.

TWELFTH HOUSE cadent natural sign Pisces X natural ruler Neptune sf keyword subconscious a house of endings

The twelfth house shows your unknown or hidden strengths and weaknesses. It shows sorrow, suffering, limitations, handicaps, secrets, seclusion, frustration and behind-the-scenes action. It indicates places of confinement, jails, hospitals, mental institutions, etc., and restraint, inhibitions, exile, secret enemies, hidden dangers, self-undoing and clandestine affairs. It shows the things we hide from others. Research, background, subjective sustainment, inner consciousness, the subconscious mind, spiritual debts to be paid (karma), but also charity, sympathy and public welfare. It is often called the closet or dustbin of the horoscope because it is here we sweep away or hide problems which are too painful to face or difficulties that we refuse to acknowledge.

Houses Within Houses

Just as the fifth house shows your children, the ninth house (the fifth from the fifth house) shows your children's children; i.e., your grandchildren. When counting houses in this manner, be sure to start with the house in question. For example, the fifth becomes house 1 as you begin your count, the sixth is house 2, the seventh is house 3, the eighth is house 4, and the ninth becomes house 5. The ninth house is five houses from the fifth house.

The fourth house, as a house of endings, shows the conditions at the end of your life. Thus, the eighth house shows the end of life conditions for your children because it is four houses from the fifth house, the house of your children. Count: fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth.

The second house shows your money; it is second from the first house (you). Thus, the eighth house shows your partner's money for it is second from the seventh house (your partner).

These are just a few examples of the basic principles involved in turning the wheel to glean additional information from each house. '

Wheel of Houses 39

Figure 4: Wheel of Houses This chart gives the basic meanings of each house.

goals friends hopes and wishes circumstances beyond control love received limitations frustration hidden strength subconscious mind beginnings appearance outlook on life physical body personality values freedom inner and outer resources earning ability possessions reputation profession authorities a parent status ego

short trips communication conscious mind early education brothers and sisters religion philosophy superconscious mind long trips laws in-laws sex taxes death partner's resources inheritance regeneration marriage partnerships public relations open enemies other people health habits unconscious mind service given work sports children " creativity amusements love that you give love affairs speculations romance pets home endings property a parent foundation latter part of life

House Division by Element

As you know from lesson 1 each sign is part of a grouping by element. Because each sign has a natural house position, we can group the houses in the same way, according to the ruling element of each.

Fire: The houses of life or personal houses. People with many planets in these houses are inspirational and dynamic. They have great energy and enthusiasm, motivating power and religious convictions.

First house: body. Fifth house: soul. Ninth house: spirit, mind.

Earth: The houses of substance or possessive houses. People with many planets in these houses are stable and usually are the backbone of their communities and families. Their outlooks and vocational aptitudes are concrete and practical.

Second house: possessions, finances.

Sixth house: occupation.

Tenth house: recognition, environment.

Air: The houses of relationships or relative houses. People with many planets in these houses are the "people who need people." These house placements all describe the individual in relation to other members of the community.

Third house: relatives and neighbors, those we do not select, consanguine.

Seventh house: close relationships and partners, those we select for one to one relationships, conjugal. Eleventh house: social and mental relationships, those we select for shared interests, congenial.

Water: The houses of endings or terminal houses. People with riiany planets in these houses are sensitive and feeling; they are the psychoanalysts and religious figures. These houses describe the innermost soul, and the probable way that we will leave this earth. Not when, just how.

Fourth house: the end of the physical body. Eighth house: liberation of the soul, death. Twelfth house: philosophic death, the results of the course of life we choose to take.

The Division of the Houses by Quality

As you learned in lesson 1, there is another system of house division that is also important to keep in mind. The twelve houses can be divided into three groups of four houses each, which correspond to the cardinal, fixed and mutable qualities. They are called angular, succedent, and cadent.

Angular houses (corresponding to the cardinal signs): The angular houses are the first, fourth, seventh and tenth. These angles correspond to east (the Ascendant), west (the Descendant), north (the Imum Coeli or IC) and south (the Midheaven or MC). These are the angles, or axes, of the horoscope. Planets in angular houses have great potential for dynamic action and their influences are intensified. In other words, the angular houses have cardinal qualities. Some books refer to planets in angular houses as accidentally dignified.

Succedent houses (corresponding to the fixed signs): The succedent houses are the second, fifth, eighth and eleventh. They are called succedent because they follow or succeed the angular houses. They are not as powerful, but, just like the fixed signs, they give stability and purpose. They are also the financial houses.

Cadent houses (corresponding to the mutable signs): The cadent houses are the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth. These houses do not have as much opportunity for action as the angular houses, nor do they confer great stability like the fixed houses, but they are adaptable and get along well with others. They are usually referred to as the mental houses. In figure 4, page 39, you will see the basic meanings of each house presented in wheel form.

The Meridians

Now that you have learned the basic meaning of each house, we will introduce you to the meridians. The meridians are another part of the flat wheel, and they are an important factor in reading a horoscope.

Figure 5: The equator or horizon divides the horoscope into southern (day) and northern (night) hemispheres.
Horoscope Meridians
Figure 6: The meridian divides the horoscope into eastern (rising) and western (setting) hemispheres.

The horizontal axis of the horoscope is called the equator or horizon, and the vertical axis of the horoscope is called the meridian. By using each of these divisions (figures 5 and 6) we divide the horoscope into halves. The horizontal axis refers to consciousness; the vertical axis refers to power.

In figure 5 the equator divides the chart into day and night sections, because the horizon divides the chart along the sunrise-sunset axis. The day planets are all those that appear in a chart above the horizon, and the night planets are those that appear below the horizon.

Generally speaking the day or light half of a horoscope represents outgoingness and objectivity while the night section or dark half represents subjectivity and instinct. If you have many planets above the horizon, you will be quite objective and you will want to rise above your position at birth. The public and your career will be important to you. If you have many planets below the horizon, especially if these include the Sun and the Moon, you will be somewhat subjective and content to work behind the scenes.

In figure 6 the meridian axis divides the chart into an eastern half and a western half. These two sections are formed when we divide the chart along the noon to midnight axis. This meridian divides the planets into rising planets and setting planets (see figure 6). The rising planets are those in the eastern half of the horoscope, covering the time from midnight to noon. The setting planets are those in the western half of the chart, covering the time from noon to midnight. If there are many rising planets in your horoscope, you have a strong free will and are in charge of your own life. This is a sowing incarnation. If there are many setting planets in your chart, you are more flexible and involved with the destinies of others. This is a reaping incarnation.

You will also note in figures 5 and 6 that we have shown the time of day that each house represents. This becomes important when you want to erect your own charts; you will be able to check the accuracy of your calculations. For example, if you know that someone was born at 2 a.m. you know that the Sun will have to fall somewhere in the second or third house.


Please answer each of the questions below. The correct answers will be found in the Appendix on page 284.

1. Using symbols, list the three fire signs.

2. Using symbols, list the three earth signs.

3. Using symbols, list the three air signs.

4. Using symbols, list the three water signs.

5. List the angular houses.

6. List the succedent houses.

7. List the cadent houses.

8. Using symbols, list the cardinal signs.

9. Using symbols, list the fixed signs.

10. Using symbols, list the mutable signs.

11. Which sign is the opposite of Taurus?

12. Which is the creative house?

13. Which sign is ruled by Saturn?

14. Which is the fixed water sign?

15. Which sign has a co-ruler? What planet is it?

16. Which two signs have sub-rulers? What are they?

17. Which sign opposes Sagittarius?

18. Which is the cardinal air sign?

19. Which is the house of seclusion?

20. Which are the houses of life?

21. Which are the houses of substance?

22. Which house cusp represents the north?

23. Which house cusp is the Ascendant?

24. Which two signs does Mercury rule?

25. Which other planet rules two signs? Which signs?

A Brief Comment Before We Proceed

At the end of lesson 4, students invariably want to learn the mathematics of erecting a horoscope.

We can't blame them for this eagerness; this is a fascinating subject, and of course, everyone wants to see the horoscopes of their friends and relatives. But the knowledge you have learned so far is only the rudimentary beginning of astrology. It is interesting and enlightening, but like all half-knowledge, it can be dangerous. Until you have learned more astrology, you are bound to misunderstand and misjudge charts, and you

A Brief Comment 45

could do yourself and others an injustice. For these reasons, we do not teach you how to do the calculations in this book. We want to turn out astrologers who know how to read a horoscope before they learn to erect one.

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