Basics of Astrology: Part Three


We have already been introduced to the zodiac chart wheel, although we have not yet addressed the meanings of the zodiac symbols.  This page talks about another form of dividing the astrological chart into ‘zones’ or ‘houses.’  What are ‘houses?’  

Houses are zones that indicate the nature of life’s experiences that the person will face when a planet or other influential factors is located there.  A house is a mathematical construct which is derived from the division of the distance-in-degrees between the Ascendant and the MC angle.  Let us assume that the Ascendant point (we see this as the eastern point on the horizon where the Sun rises) is at the point (in this chart) where Aries and Taurus meet. Aries is the sign with the vertical line with two hooks at the top, Taurus is the sign with the glyph of a circle with a crescent lying on top — this point is at the left side of the chart (between 1 and 12).  The MC, in this chart, is where Capricorn (the symbol with a V and curly-que on its side) and Aquarius (the double waves) meet.  In actual practice the Ascendant and MC points might be found anywhere within a sign and may often be between 60 and 120 degrees apart.

Houses are zones of expression.  A planet in a house will express itself within that house’s meaning.  Lets us review the houses meanings.

House #1:  Self expression, the immediate environment one lives within.  Appearance and general attidtude.

House #2:  Self esteem, confidence based on what one has accumulated (wealth, possessions, appearance as indicated by dress, style and personal possessions.  This house is often linked to money and jewelry.

House #3:  Communication, travel, interaction within the family and neighbors.  Talking, writing, letters, Internet usage, documents.  Local travel.

House #4:  One’s home, personal resources, where one seeks privacy and security.  Can also relate to ending and starts of new situations.

House #5:  Where one is physically challenged, sports, taking chances, gambling, love, children, personal endeavors which may or may not involve team involvement.

House #6:  Servants, work, personal health, making adjustments, seeking skills and added capabilities, quiet support given to others.

House #7:  Partnerships, relationships with others, lovers, adversaries, how one presents themselves to others.

House #8:  Shared resources, taxes, sex, swapping one thing for another, death, legalities involving a partners valued possessions.

House #9:  Long distance travel, education, affairs involving foreign agents, import and export, association with foreigners.

House #10:  One’s goals and public image.  A career focus.  Commitments of a public nature.  Nature of one’s work.

House #11:  Community-based effort.  How one shares personal resources with others.  The future.  The benefits given to others based on one’s public efforts.

House #12:  Hidden services, institutional involvement and support.  Where one hides or is placed out of sight by circumstances or health.  Self reflection, preparation for the next phase of one’s life.


Mars in the 1st house would be assertive, bombastic, active.  Mars in the 3rd house would express itself through writing, advocating for others, incessant local movement or travel (a postman or delivery service man).

Mercury in the 2nd house might talk about themselves and their personal attributes and resources.  Mercury in the 11th house would be a community activist and advocate for civic projects.

Venus in the 6th house might love to be in a service environment (nurse, servant).  Venus in the 9th house might be a perpetual student or express a desire to travel.

Sun in the 4th house often focuses upon their home, works from home or makes their work place very comfortable.  Would be concerned about security and resources, would be a good parent.

Jupiter in the 7th house would signify many friends, the seeking of opportunities through the ideas and efforts of others.

Saturn in the 10th house could represent a cautious businessman, a political strategy, the reluctance to take a public position.

More Comments.

Houses are divisions of space as measured in degrees between the Asc. and MC angles, and the Asc. and IC angles.  This space between the angles can also be measured in time, as in the time it takes for the Ascendant to rise/rotate to the MC, or the IC to rotate up to the Asc. position.  Whether use degrees or time, the distance is “trisected” using any of several formulas.  This usually results in the houses having varying sizes.

Some astrologers use equal houses wherein each house, starting at the Ascendant point, is exactly 30 degrees in length.  In any case, computer software calculates these charts.  The only requirement of those just learning about astrology is to know that there are “houses” and that each house represents a specific topic of living conditions and environment.