The 12 Houses in Astrology
Learn the meanings of the houses in your unique birth chart.
How can everyone with the same Sun sign be lumped together? Certainly, not everyone born in a certain month has all the same qualities. Or how does Pluto in your birth chart distinguish you from others in your generation, since this planet stays in the same sign for roughly 12-30 years?
Many people who are just starting to learn about Astrology have questions like these. The answers start to become clear when you understand there’s much more to a person than just their Sun sign, also known as the zodiac sign. This is why you and a friend could have the same Sun sign but still come across as very different people.
To analyze your unique birth chart, you first pick a planet and figure out the sign it’s in. Then, you can dive deeper by looking at the house it lives in, as well as its relationship to other planets in the chart. From there, you’ll find endless dimensions to explore.
If you want to know more about what the planets in your chart are trying to tell you, learning about the houses is a perfect place to start.
What are Houses in a Birth Chart?
Let’s talk about how the houses in your birth chart are determined. Your birth chart wheel represents the sky at the exact moment you were born. Earth is at the center, and the horizontal line that goes through it indicates the horizon. The sky is then divided up into 12 different sections — these are the houses.
The 1st house is the beginning of your chart and will always be on the left side just below that horizontal line dividing the top and bottom. This house represents the Eastern horizon at the moment of your birth. The zodiac sign that’s connected to your 1st house is the one that was emerging from below the horizon and rising into the sky right when you entered the world. For example, if the Eastern horizon was in the sign of Leo at your exact time and place of birth, your 1st house will be located in Leo.
From there, your chart progresses counterclockwise, with houses 1 through 6 in the bottom half of the wheel — because this part of the sky was below Earth’s horizon when you were born — and houses 7 through 12 in the top half. Houses below the horizon tend to be more personal and introspective, while houses above the horizon are more integrative and collective.
Exactly how the houses align with the zodiac signs in your personal chart is entirely dependent on where and when you were born. Therefore, to get an accurate birth chart reading, you must know your location and time of birth. The way the houses then align in your chart creates the blueprint of your soul.
Interpreting the 12 House Meanings in Astrology
Each one of the 12 houses represents a different area of your life. By looking at the house each planet is in, you can see which domain will be the focus of that planet’s energy.
For example, the 7th house signifies relationships, whereas the 10th house colors your career. So, while you and your friend may have been born with the same Sun sign, the Sun is probably in different houses and will show up differently in your lives. If your Sun is in the 7th house, you may tend to identify with your relationships, whereas your friend with a Sun in the 10th house may be more identified with their job.
Do you feel like certain parts of life are harder for you than they are for others? It might be that you have a planet activating a certain house and trying to teach you a lesson there. Or you could have a house with multiple planets in it, making its themes extra potent in your life. If you don’t have any planets in a house, it doesn’t mean that the house isn’t relevant for you — it might just infer that the focus is elsewhere.
Learning about the houses in your birth chart and the planets they contain can help you make better sense of your life and which areas are calling your attention.
1st House of Personality and Self
To understand who you are and how you come across to others, turn to your 1st house. This is the house that’s related to your self-identity: your personality, your physical appearance, and the first impression you make on people. While your complete birth chart will delve into who you are on every level, the 1st House of Self is a general representation of what makes you, you. By looking at the zodiac sign associated with your 1st house or any planetary action going on here, you can see how your spirit and mood may be affected or what kind of energy you’re giving off.
2nd House of Money and Values
It’s all about the Benjamins in the 2nd house. If you’re curious where your approach to money comes from, take a look at your 2nd house. This section of your birth chart explains your relationship to finances and spending habits. Studying any planets in your 2nd House of Money can make you aware of the financial patterns that are either helping or hurting you. What’s more, the 2nd house holds messages about your self-esteem, the things you desire, and the value you place on yourself.
3rd House of Communication and Information
The people, places, and noises in your immediate environment have a huge impact on you — this is what your 3rd house is all about. This very mental part of your birth chart highlights the way you think and communicate. It also relates to nearby places and your relationship with siblings and neighbors. Understanding your 3rd House of Communication will shed a light on how you interact with others, how effective you are at communicating, and where you are mentally at any given moment.
4th House of Home and Family
There’s no place like home — you can learn a whole lot about your relationship to your family, residence, and sense of security by looking at your 4th house. This area of your birth chart will give you a better understanding of your emotions, childhood, ancestral roots, maternal influences, comfort, and living arrangements. Your 4th House can explain everything from why you decorated your home a certain way to why you seek comfort from a particular person, place, or thing.
5th House of Pleasure and Creativity
The 5th house is all about pleasure, romance, and fun! Studying what’s happening in your 5th House of Creativity will make you more aware of how you show love, how you express yourself, and your ability to take risks. This house also relates to children and your relationship to them. Understanding what’s going on in your 5th house can help you get your ideas across more effectively, become a better lover, and live with a lighter, happier heart.
6th House of Work and Health
As you move through the motions of your day, your patterns and routines are influenced by your 6th house. This section of your birth chart is all about your daily life, including your job, health habits, and acts of service. By looking at what was or is currently happening in your 6th house, you can stay on top of changes in the workplace or health concerns you should be paying attention to. Learning more about this area of your life will help you take proper care of your physical and mental health for a lifetime.
7th House of Relationships and Agreements
The 7th house of your birth chart has a lot to teach you about your relationships with others. This includes all kinds of one-on-one partnerships, but it is perhaps most importantly about your romantic ones. The 7th house encompasses your approach to long-term relationships and how you maintain them. Tracking what is happening in this house can not only show you where your reservations about love come from or why you find certain people attractive, but can also make you aware of big changes coming to your love life so you can be prepared.
8th House of Intimacy and Transformation
This is where we explore subconscious fears, desires, and memories. From physical and emotional intimacy to resources like time and money, the things you share with other people are represented by the 8th house. Wrapping your head around this portion of your birth chart will help explain how you get close to others and what you’re willing to sacrifice for the sake of deeper connections. It can also clue you in to periods when you may benefit from sharing resources with someone.
9th House of Expansion and Worldview
Pack your bags — it’s time for a journey to your 9th house. This house is all about the things that expand your mind and your life, like faraway travel, higher education, and philosophy. If you’re eager to learn about a variety of subjects and interested in exploring other cultures or religions, then you likely have some serious activity going on in your 9th House of Worldview. When you understand what’s happening here, you can take advantage of important opportunities to find meaning in life.
10th House of Career and Reputation
What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you set attainable goals? What are you willing to sacrifice for success? The answers to these questions lie in your 10th house. Learning about your 10th House of Reputation will help you understand your relationship to power and authority, how important your career is to you, and the methods you use to accomplish your goals. By staying on top of the planetary activity in your 10th house, you can move more easily through shake-ups in your professional life and capitalize on energies that can help you climb higher.
11th House of Community and Hopes
There’s power in numbers — the friends and groups of people you flock toward are represented by your 11th house. This area is about the people who think like you do, who support you, and who will join forces with your aspirations. These are your allies. Your 11th house helps to define the nature of these relationships, so you can be sure you are aligning with people who can bring the most joy, inspiration, and progress to your life.
12th House of Dreams and the Unconscious
Let’s dip out of reality awhile and swim through the 12th house. This is a complex and mystical section of your birth chart that sheds a light on your spiritual life, your connection to the cosmos, and your dreams. While these traits and concepts can be challenging to grasp, it’s important to study the Astrology associated with your 12th House of The Unconscious. By healing the unprocessed pain that comes up in this area, you can find compassion for yourself and others, and live a much more fulfilling life both physically and spiritually.