In astrology, the 12 houses rule over various realms of life, depending on which sign each house is in on your natal chart.
The first six houses are the personal houses, meaning that they relate to how you as an individual appear, synthesize the world and what energies you radiate. The first house encompasses your ascendant or rising sign, which dictates your identity and the mask you wear for the world.
Houses seven through 12 are transpersonal houses, so they dictate how you interact with others and society. The seventh house is also your descendant, or the house opposite of the self and identity, which means it is all about how you care for others and your awareness for the world around you.
Because the first and seventh houses mark shifts in how the houses affect people in their natal charts, it is important to understand all of the other factors in natal charts that can dictate a person’s desires, perspectives and goals.
Dividing the houses into two groups is useful for interpreting natal charts; however, the individual meanings of each house are more helpful in understanding transits and aspects of your own natal chart and life.
Whether you are trying to learn about the houses so that you can fully read your natal chart or you want to gain a better understanding of planetary transits, it is essential to understand what each house represents and how it is ruled.
1. House of the Self
The first house is how you project yourself through expression, mannerisms and personal image. This house is ruled by Mars and connects everyone to the sign of Aries through a fiery energy that urges you to truly represent yourself and acknowledge your potential.
The first house in natal charts is your persona and beginning, but only because it is also the best way to understand karmic debt and how they personally relate to the world. Because it is much like the South Node, it portrays mental habits and thus dictates how you process things.
2. House of Value
Connected to the sign Taurus ruled by Venus, the second astrology house rules over your values and material goals. In the natal chart, it also governs income, natural talents, wealth and how you feel safe.
Because what you own is not only material, this house also rules over our comforts, abilities and needs. It not only dictates how you view money and helps you define a livelihood, but also drives to what you value over material items.
3. House of Communication
With a focus on travel and mental agility, the third house is ruled by Mercury and related to the sign Gemini. In natal charts, it speaks to your strongest desires and the way you meet your obligations.
Because it rules over fundamental education and communication, it reveals your ego through what you are born into along with day-to-day happenings. Lastly, the third house rules siblings, relatives and with whom you get close.
4. House of the Home
The fourth house represents how and where your soul is centered and feels grounded. Because it is ruled by the sign Cancer and the Moon, it dictates what has shaped a person into who they are and what kind of parent you could be.
Who and what appears when you close your eyes is the fourth house’s reality. It is your childhood, your environment, your ancestors and home. It is your greatest comfort and your greatest sadness. The sign in your fourth house shows how you get satisfaction emotionally and can speak to your relationship with your maternal figures because this house is ruled by the moon, which dictates motherhood.
5. House of Pleasure
The fifth house is vital to a person’s livelihood. Ruled by Leo and the Sun, this house is responsible for entertainment, pleasure and love. In the natal chart, it speaks to how a person has fun, finds happiness and channels creativity; however, it also can reveal what a person obsesses over and how they view casual sex.
The fifth house also gives insight into a person’s first-born child, so depending on an individual’s placement in the fifth house, synastry can reveal the gender and character of the person’s first-born.
6. House of Health
Virgo and Mercury rule the sixth house, representing your role in day-to-day life, simple tasks from hygiene to routine chores and responsibilities. In your natal chart, the sixth house can reveal things the universe knows about your general health and how you serve others.
This Virgo-ruled domain also plays a role in how you answer mundane questions such as: have I fed the pet? Do I need a haircut? What should I wear today? Because those simple concepts allow us to execute our duties and work.
7. House of Partnership
As the first house is of the self, the seventh house is of others. Rules by Libra and Venus, it represents the relationship between your psychical body and the outer world or circumstance. It is heavily associated with partnerships of any kind, ranging from lovers to bosses and enemies.
Depending on which sign you have in the seventh house, you can find out more about how you connect with people in general and how you relate to the outside world.
8. House of Taboo
The primary focus of the eighth house is rebirth and transformation; however, with those things come death, endings, spirituality and gifts or transactions, including sex. Ruled by Scorpio and co-ruled by planets Mars and Pluto, this house is all about change.
In a natal chart, this placement can help someone understand that process of spiritual enlightenment as well as how people cover up things that are unpleasant or dirty in life.
9. House of Expansion
Also known as the house of philosophy, the ninth house is dedicated to an individual’s search for meaning in life. Ruled by Sagittarius and Jupiter, which is known to seek insight through knowledge, this arena has a focus on perspective and travel.
In your natal chart, it helps determine how someone approaches personal growth, philosophy, law, ethics and how we feel free or empowered.
10. House of Social Status
Known as Midheaven, the 10th house, which is ruled by Capricorn and Saturn, presides over achievements and honors but also your life’s calling and guiding influences (such as whether or not the stars say you’re destined to me a parent).
The 10th house, depending on your sign placement, shows how you build a reputation and public image. It also helps you understand what your primary principles are in terms of a career path.
11. House of Friends
Ruled by Aquarius and co-ruled by planets Saturn and Uranus, the 11th house fittingly dictates community, hopes, wishes and friendships. The 11th house suggests that the greatest social fulfillment comes from considering society’s needs as a whole.
In the natal chart, 11th house placements indicate our level of involvement in groups and what an individual’s group-based projects aim to accomplish, how you prioritize tasks and work toward your most efficient, best self.
12. House of the Subconscious
As the most hidden astrology house in the zodiac, the 12th house is where transcendence and the subconscious rule. In order to “find” this house, you must come to terms with losing the self by embracing spiritual awakening, in whatever form that may be.
Ruled by Neptune, Jupiter and Pisces, the 12th house in the natal chart can reveal how you go about that loss of self in order to transcend. It also shows how you deal with ego, as the ego is the opposite of the 12th house’s focus.