The Houses

The personalized version of your chart always starts with your rising sign, or your Ascendant, which is the sign that was rising over the Eastern horizon at the exact moment of your birth. Rising signs shift quickly by degree, and you can’t know the rest of your house placements without knowing your exact birth time. It’s a good idea to find out if you can, because houses tell you about the area of your life that’s being affected by the planets. You’ll get much better intel if you can tell that “challenging times ahead” will specifically arise in your love life versus at your office.

Depending on the house system you use, one sign might take up a larger chunk of your chart than another, but that’s advanced stuff you probably don’t need to worry about right now. Your rising sign is the sign where your first house sits, and the rest of the signs generally line up behind it. For instance, if you’re a Libra Rising, Libra will be your first house, usually followed by Scorpio as your second house and Sagittarius as your third house. That means when a planet’s in Libra, you’ll be dealing with first house-related themes; Scorpio with second house things; and so on.

First House

Your first house deals with you, your image, your personality, your physical vitality, and at times, new beginnings. That’s because Casa Uno is part and parcel with your Ascendant, or rising sign: otherwise known as the outer shell of your personal onion. Put simply, the first house concerns the self and the quality of the foot it puts forward.

Second House

Anything that goes down in this part of your chart is likely going down in your wallet as well. The House of Possessions pertains to your income, assets, and overall financial standing, but not in an overly shallow sense. Think: overarching relationship with the material world, questions of value, and the extent to which we “own” our self-esteem.

Third House

The buzzy third house governs communication, electronics, and immediate connections (like siblings, neighbors, and our local communities in general). What’s highlighted here is the way we think and communicate — often with the people in our own backyard.

Fourth House

Home is where the fourth house is, but that doesn’t just concern your current plot of land. Your home is your foundation, your parents, your roots, your country or origin, or whatever brings you security. If it’s a family matter, it’s probably a Fourth House matter.

Fifth House

Fifth house, or fun house? The House of Pleasure is all about creativity, self-expression, hobbies, children, romance, sexy times, and play. In theory, creation should (and often does) feel good. That’s only partially innuendo.

Sixth House

The sixth house is where you tend to the minutiae of your daily life. Even if you’re not the type to munch on kale chips, you probably have some tendencies where fitness, diet, organization, and routines are concerned. How you serve and help others is highlighted here, as is your day job and your pets.

Seventh House

Relationship stuff — everyone’s got some stuff. In the seventh house, partnerships and relationships come into focus, as well as any attendant negotiations or contracts (nuptial or otherwise). Your bae, business partner, and your known enemy are all seventh house peeps. The seventh house concerns the “Other”; love and war are both fair game.

Eighth House

The eighth house is the house of death and taxes, and on a more fundamental level, deep sharing. Think “deep, alchemical bonding,” intimacy, and anything that deals with mystery and transformation: birth, death, and rebirth — sometimes deep compulsions and obsessions too. A mysterious inheritance could also fit the bill, as the eighth house rules shared resources and other people’s money: taxes, investments, and debts also apply.

Ninth House

Your Nietzsche-loving ninth-grade nephew might have some stuff brewing in his ninth house. This area governs our quest for meaning, which we can accomplish through travel, higher learning, religion, and publishing a dissertation. Education is implied here — as are principles and belief systems.

Tenth House

The position of your tenth house can reveal much about your career path. When things are happening in that area of your chart, expect your career, public image, or social standing to be affected. This is not the same as the daily grind of the sixth house — the tenth is where your hard work takes the form of  a promotion or major LinkedIn announcement.

Eleventh House

The teams, groups, and communities you belong to are what’s at stake here. “Strength in numbers” is the bigger picture. How is your network advancing your cause, and how is your ability to advance humanity’s cause magnified by the people you associate with?

Twelfth House

In the twelfth house, by baggage haunted. This area of the chart concerns endings, sleep, unfinished business, and all that’s left rattling around in our subconscious. Even though you can do a lot of good things with that dream journal, there are certain things indicated here that can restrain you from passing through to the next cycle: hospitals, jails, institutions, hidden agendas, and secret enemies.