Astrological Houses
Besides the 12 astrological signs and the astrological planets,
the birth chart or horoscope also notes the existence of 12
astrological houses. The 12 houses are determined by drawing
certain great circles through the intersection of the horizon
and meridian, apportioning the whole globe or sphere into 12
equal parts. In practice, these lines are projected by a very simple
method onto a plane. The space in the center of the figure
thus delineated may be supposed to represent the situation of
the earth.
Each of the 12 divisions or houses rules certain events, in the
following order, reckoned from the east
1. The basic selfphysical body
2. Income and possessions
3. Relatives, communication, and short-distance travel
4. Property (house and land), the mother
5. Children, creations, self-expression
6. Health, work, pets
7. Marriage and partnerships
8. Sex, death, inheritance
9. Higher education, in-laws, religion, and long-distance
10. Career and public image
11. Friends, ideals, group associations
12. Unconscious mind, institutions, how we limit ourselves
These categories are designed to comprehend all that can possibly
befall any individual, and the prognostication is drawn
from the configuration of the planets in one or more of these
First House. The first house, the house of life, includes all
that affects one’s basic self. The sign ascending will considerably
modify the character of the native, so forming an astrological
judgment will require combining the indications of the ascending
sign and the planet. In what are called horary
questions, this house relates to all questions of life, health, and
appearance, such as stature, complexion, shape, accidents, and
sickness. It shows the events that will occur during journeys and
ventures with respect to the life and health of those engaged in
them. Regarding questions of a political nature, the first house
signifies the people in general, and being of the same nature
as Aries, all that is said of that sign may be transferred to this
Second House. The second house, which is of the same nature
as the sign Taurus, is the house of income and possessions. It
signifies advancement in the world with respect to the wealth
of the querent. Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in this
house indicate good fortune. Saturn, Mars, the Moon, and Uranus
are generally unfortunate, though much depends on other
factors in the chart. In horary questions the second house signifies
the money of the querent or the pecuniary success of any
expedition of undertaking. It concerns loans, lawsuits, and everything
by which riches may be gained or lost. In political
questions it signifies the treasury, public loans, taxes, and subsidies
as well as the ‘‘death’’ of national enemies.
Third House. The third house is the house of kindred, particularly
of the immediate family in which one was raised. In this
house Saturn signifies coldness and distrust; Mars, sudden and
hasty quarrels, all unaccountable estrangements; Jupiter,
steady relationships; Venus, great love between brothers and
sisters and good fortune by their means; the Sun, warm attachment;
and the Moon, indifference or fluctuations in relationships.
In horary questions the third house signifies the health,
fortune, and happiness of the querent’s parents, the querent’s
own patrimony and inheritance, and the ultimate consequences
of any undertaking the person may be engaged in. In
political questions it denotes the landed interests of a nation;
the ancient and chartered rights of all classes, handed down to
them from their ancestors; and all public advocates and defenders
of those interests and rights.
Fourth House. The fourth house, which is associated with the
sign Cancer, is that of the home and relates to one’s domicile
and other real estate one might own. The fourth house also signifies
one’s subconscious habit patterns and the nurturing parent
(usually the mother). Difficult planets placed in the fourth
house show problems with the home or with the nurturing parent.
A native whose natal sun is in the fourth house tends to be
a home body and likes to spend most of his or her time at
home. In a horary chart, the fourth house indicates real estate
and the home. In a political chart, the fourth house signifies
public lands.
Fifth House. The fifth house, which partakes of the same
character as Leo, is the house of children. In birth charts, therefore,
it denotes the children of the native, their success, and
also the parent’s success by means of the children. It also has
some reference to women. The health and welfare of children,
whether present or absent, are determinable by the planets in
this house. It also denotes all questions relative to amusement,
on account of the fondness of youth for such pursuits. In political
questions the fifth house signifies the rising generation, theaters,
exhibitions, public festivals, and national amusements;
increase in the population; and music and musical taste, sculpture,
painting, and the advancement of the fine arts in general.
Sixth House. The sixth house is that of health, but it also denotes
work, particularly service work, pets, and servants. It is
usually considered a difficult house because only a few of the
planetary configurations that can take place in it are fortunate.
It is of the nature of Virgo. When the ruler of the ascendant (rising
sign) is placed in the sixth house it denotes a low station in
life and, depending on other aspects of the horoscope, may indicate
that the native will not rise above menial employment.
In horary astrology the sixth house points out servants and cattle,
dependents, and small shopkeepers; uncles and aunts on
the father’s side; and tenants, stewards, shepherds, and farmers.
In queries of a political nature, however, this house indicates
the underservants of the government; the common seamen
in the navy; private soldiers in the army; and the general
health of the nation, chiefly regarding contagious and epidemic
Seventh House. The seventh house, which is of the same nature
as Libra, is the house of marriage. Saturn here denotes unhappiness
from constitutional causes; Mars, from difference of
temper; Uranus, as usual, from some strange and unaccountable
dislike. The other planets are mostly causers of good, except
for the Moon, which may indicate fluctuating relationships.
In horary questions the seventh house denotes love,
speculations in business, partners in trade, and litigation. In
queries of a political nature it signifies war and the consequences
of a treaty; the victorious nation, army, or navy; and
outlaws and fugitives, along with the places to which they have
Eighth House. The eighth house is the house of death. It is
of the nature of Scorpio. Saturn in this house may indicate a
slow death through a lingering disease, and Uranus a sudden,
unexpected death. Jupiter and Venus point out a late and quiet
departure. In horary questions it denotes wills, legacies, and all
property transferred upon the death of others, as well as one’s
attitude toward sex. It also denotes the portion or dowry of
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Astrological Houses
women, as well as seconds in duels. In political questions the
eighth house has a very different significance, namely, the privy
council of a king or queen, their friends, and secrets of state.
Here again, however, it also relates to death, denoting the rate
of mortality among the people.
Ninth House. The ninth house is that of religion, science, and
learning. It is related to Sagittarius. Jupiter is the most fortunate
planet in it, and if Jupiter is joined by Mercury then the
native is promised a character at once learned, estimable, and
truly religious. The Sun and Venus are likewise good signs
here, but the Moon denotes a changeable mind and frequent
alterations in religious principles. Mars portends indifference
or even active hostility to religion. In horary questions the
ninth house is appropriated to the church and the clergy and
all ecclesiastical matters, dissent, heresy, schism, dreams, and
visions. It also denotes voyages and travels to distant lands. In
questions of a political nature it represents the religion of the
nation as well as all the higher and more solemn courts of law.
Tenth House. The tenth house is considered one of the most
important. It is the house of honor, rank, and dignity and is of
the nature of Capricorn. In this house the planets are more
powerful than in any other, save the first. They point out the
employment, success, preferment, and authority of the native.
Saturn is here a difficult planet that make’s the native’s climb
to success a long and arduous one. The Moon here shows unusual
sensitivity to one’s public image, and Uranus shows sudden
changes in one’s career. Jupiter and the Sun signify advancement
by the favor of distinguished men, and Venus by
that of distinguished women. In horary questions the tenth
house signifies the mother of the querist. In political questions
it denotes the sovereign. This is a house in which Mars is not
unfortunate if well placed, in which case it denotes warlike
achievements and consequent honors.
Eleventh House. The eleventh house is the house of friends
and has the nature of Aquarius. In addition to friends it denotes
well-wishers, favorites, and flatterers. The Sun is the best
planet in this house, and Mars is the worst. In horary questions
it signifies the same things as in a birth chart and also denotes
the expectations and wishes of the querist. The eleventh house
is said to be much influenced by the sign that is in it and to denote
legacies if the sign is one of the earth triplicity (Taurus,
Virgo, Capricorn) and honor with princes if it is one of the five
triplicity (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). In political questions the
eleventh house signifies the allies of the public, the general
council of the nation, and newly acquired rights.
The last house, which partakes of the character of Pisces, is
the house of the unconscious. It denotes sorrow, anxiety, and
all kinds of suffering. Yet here difficult planets are weaker, according
to some writers, and good planets stronger than in certain
other houses. Very few configurations in the twelfth house
are esteemed good for the native, but even unfortunate effects
are greatly modified by the planetary influences. In horary
questions this house signifies imprisonment, treason, sedition,
assassination, and suicide. In political questions it points out
deceitful treaties, unsuccessful negotiations, treachery in the offices
of state, captivity to princes, and general ill fortune. This
house also denotes the criminal code, punishment of culprits,
dungeons, and circumstances connected with prison discipline.
Venus is the best planet in this house, and Saturn is the worst.
There are numerous astrological house systems, each of
which divides up the sky in a slightly different way. All of the
commonly used house systems agree that the first
house–seventh house axis should be drawn from the eastern
horizon to the western horizon. All but one system—the equal
house system—use the degree of the zodiac closest to the zenith
as the place to begin the tenth house, with the point 180 degrees
away (the nadir) designated as the cusp of the fourth
house. Hence with the exception of the equal house system, the
differences between the most commonly used systems—
Placidian, Koch, Campanus—are relatively minor.
Holden, Ralph William. The Elements of House Division.
Essex, U.K. L. N. Fowler, 1977.
Lewis, James R. The Astrology Encyclopedia. Detroit Gale Research,
McEvers, Joan. The Houses Power Places of the Horoscope. St.
Paul, Minn. Llwellyn Publications, 1991.
Rudhyar, Dane. The Astrological Houses The Spectrum of Individual
Experience. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday, 1972.