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Houses in Astrology: How to Read the Astrological Houses in Your Zodiac Birth Chart

I’ve used the houses in astrology as a roadmap for my own life and it has helped me to understand myself and my journey much better.

The astrological houses mark a map of the sky at the exact moment you were born. It is divided into 12 sections and each one represents a different area of your life and personal development.

The location of the planets in each house can give you insight into the challenges and blessings you will experience in that area.

If you are new to astrology, I recommend reading about these houses and taking a step deeper into your own birth chart. It is a powerful tool that can help you gain clarity about your life path.

Here is a quick rundown of the theme of each house in astrology:

Once you know the general themes of each house, you can begin to interpret the planets that fall within them in your birth chart. The planets will activate the energy of the house and give you clues about how to best work with that energy.

Read on to get started and learn more about how to read your houses in astrology!

What Are Houses in Astrology?

The houses in astrology serve as both a personal timeline and a cosmic map. Each house is divided into 30 degrees of the visible night sky, and they start with the first house, the point where the sun rises on the eastern horizon (the ascendant).

The planets move through the houses at different paces. For example, the sun travels through one house every 30 days while Saturn will stay in one house for 2.5 years.

All planets, asteroids, and transits exist within the wheel of 12 houses and can influence the areas of life they occupy. The significance of a planet in a certain house will be determined by its nature ( benefic or malefic) and by its connection to the ruler of that house.

The houses are numbered from first to twelfth, starting with the ascendant. Each house is ruled by a zodiac sign, and the planets placed within that house will express themselves through the energy of that sign.

You can use the houses to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your relationships, and your life path. By studying the planets in each house, you can gain insights into the challenges and blessings you will experience in that area of life.

The 12 Houses in Astrology

Now that you know what houses are, let’s take a closer look at each one:

The First House: House of Self Identity

This is the house that represents how you see yourself and how others see you. It is also the house of first impressions and new beginnings. The planets in this house will show you what qualities you need to develop in order to create the life you want.

The first house is also known as the rising sign or ascendant. The rising sign sets the tone for your entire chart and influences how you interact with the world. It gives you a unique form of expression that is all your own.

The first house symbolically represents birth and infancy. It is a time of new beginnings when you are just starting to get a sense of who you are and what you want in life. This is a time of exploration when you are trying on different identities and discovering what feels right for you.

This house is ruled by the sign Aries and its planetary ruler is Mars. Aries and Mars are associated with the energy of assertion and initiation. This is the energy you use to start new projects and make things happen in your life.

The Second House: House of Security

The second house represents your material possessions and your sense of security. It is also the house of self-worth and values. Any planets in this house will show you what you need to do in order to feel financially secure and valued.

You will also learn how to soak up the enjoyment of your material possessions and how to make the most of what you have. This is a time of learning how to be content with what you hold dear rather than always wanting more.

The second house is ruled by Taurus and its planetary ruler is Venus. Venus and Taurus represent all things that are beautiful and pleasurable. This is the energy you use to create a life that feels good to you on a physical level.

The Third House: House of Communication

This is the house of communication, both spoken and written. It is also the house of short trips and the local community. The planets in this house will show you how you can best communicate your ideas and connect with others.

Any fundamental forms of connection will be explored in this house, such as the way you relate to your siblings or your neighbors. This is a time of learning how to effectively communicate your needs and wants.

The third house is ruled by the sign Gemini and its planetary ruler is Mercury. Gemini and Mercury are associated with knowledge being quickly transmitted and spread around.

The Fourth House: House of Foundation & Home

This house represents your foundation and your sense of home. It is also the house of family, ancestors, and emotional security. The planets in this house will show you what you need to do in order to feel safe and secure.

Where is the place you call home? Is it a physical place, a sense of ancestry, a community, or a romantic partner? This house shines a light on your unique version of home and helps you to create a foundation that feels right for you.

You will also learn how to work with your emotional needs in order to create a stable foundation. This is a time of learning how to nurture yourself and others without losing your temper or patience. 

The fourth house is ruled by the sign Cancer and its planetary ruler is the Moon. Cancer and the Moon are the energies of nesting and feeling at home. This is the energy you use to create a sense of safety and security in your life.

The Fifth House: House of Bliss

This house is filled with joy, creativity, and self-expression. It is also the house of romance, children, and fun. The planets in this house will show you how you can best express your creativity and enjoy your life with others.

It also represents taking risks, be that in the creative realm or in love. This house shows you how to let go and have fun. Not in excess, but as a balance to the routine and structure of daily life. It’s important to have moments of pleasure and creativity in order to feel alive.

The fifth house is ruled by Leo and its planetary ruler is the Sun. Leo and the Sun celebrate life, creativity, and self-expression. This is the energy you use to bring joy into your life and create something beautiful.

The Sixth House: House of Health

This house represents your health, both physical and mental. It is also the house of work, service, and routine. The planets residing in this house will show you how you can best take care of yourself and your daily responsibilities.

These daily responsibilities create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. It is through our work and service that we can make a difference in the world. This is a time of learning how to find a balance between your work and your health. You can also make sure that the two worlds complement and support each other.

The sixth house is ruled by the sign Virgo and its planetary ruler is Mercury. Virgo and Mercury are the energies of nurturing and growth. This is the energy you use to create a healthy and productive life.

The Seventh House: House of Relationships

This is the house of relationships, both personal and professional. It is also the house of marriage, partnerships, and open enemies. You will learn how to balance your personal desires and needs with the needs of others.

This is also the house where official agreements and contracts are made. This is a time of learning how to compromise and negotiate in order to create relationships that are fair and equitable.

A small part of your autonomy is surrendered every time you enter any type of relationship. But it’s important to remember that you can come together and become something bigger than yourself in the end.

The seventh house is ruled by the sign Libra and its planetary ruler is Venus. Libra and Venus represent balance and fairness in life.

The Eighth House: House of Transformation

This house represents death, rebirth, and transformation. It is also the house of sex, taxes, and inheritance. The placements in this house will show you what needs to change in order for you to grow and evolve.

Transformation is necessary for change in life. The eighth house shows you where you need to let go in order to make room for something new. This is a time of learning how to surrender what is no longer serving you and embrace the uncertainty in life. Trust that it will all reveal itself in the end.

Debt may also be a theme in this house as it represents what we owe to others. This is a time of learning how you will repay your debts, both literal and figurative.

The eighth house is ruled by the sign Scorpio and its planetary ruler is Mars. Scorpio and Mars are the energies of power, passion, and transformation. This is the energy you use to create deep change in your life.

The Ninth House: House of Higher Education

This house shines a light on your beliefs, both religious and philosophical. It is also the house of higher education, long-distance travel, and foreign cultures. The planets in this house will show you how you can expand your horizons and learn new things.

This type of learning is characterized as an inward journey, even if it’s taken abroad. The ninth house is about connecting with your higher self and understanding your place in the world. It’s a time of learning how to find meaning in life and live with purpose.

The ninth house is ruled by the sign Sagittarius and its planetary ruler is Jupiter. Jupiter and Sagittarius represent expansion, growth, and abundance.

The Tenth House: House of Career & Public Image

This is the house of your career and public image. It is also the house of reputation, authority figures, and success. The planets in this house illuminate what you need to do in order to achieve your professional goals. It’s also known as the midheaven, which represents your highest aspirations.

You can take the wisdom gained from the ninth house and put it into action in the tenth house. This is a time of learning how to be successful without sacrificing your integrity. It’s also a time for learning how to take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.

Many of the events that occur in this house will be your legacy. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

The tenth house is ruled by the sign Capricorn and its planetary ruler is Saturn. Saturn and Capricorn are associated with the material world, so this house is also connected to money and possessions.

The Eleventh House: House of Friendships

This house represents your hopes, dreams, and wishes. It is also the house of friends, groups, and social causes. The planets in this house will show you how you can best connect with others and make your dreams a reality.

The eleventh house is ruled by the sign Aquarius and its planetary ruler is Uranus. This sign and planet represent innovation, progress, and rebellion. This is the energy you use to break out of your comfort zone and create change in the world.

The Twelfth House: The House of Endings

This is the house of secrets, both hidden and revealed. It is also the house of self-undoing, karma, and spirituality. The planets in this house will help you let go of what doesn’t serve you in order to move forward.

The twelfth house is ruled by the sign Pisces and its planetary ruler is Neptune. Pisces and Neptune represent compassion, empathy, and spirituality. This is the energy you use to connect with your higher self and understand the universal connection we all share.

The twelfth house is also connected to the tarot card The Hanged Man, which represents a time of suspended animation. This is a time of letting go of what no longer serves you and making space for what does.

How to Find Your Houses in Astrology?

The houses in astrology are based on the position of the Sun at your time of birth. If you know your birth time, you can calculate your houses, as well as other important zodiac information.

Just use an online natal chart calculator or do it by hand if you have a bit of experience with charts. You can also work with an astrologer to find your houses and give you an in-depth reading.

These results are known as your natal house positions. This means that your reading will reflect where the planets were at the moment of your birth. But the planets also regularly move through the houses, which is how we get transit readings.

For example, if you’re going through a tough time at work, you might look to see if any planets are currently passing through your tenth house.

You can track these transits by following along with a planetary ephemeris, which lists the position of the planets for every day. Or you can use an online transit calculator.

What Do Empty Houses Mean in Astrology?

An empty house is simply a house that contains no planets. An empty house happens to everyone because there are only 10 planets to fill 12 houses.

If you have an empty house in your chart, it means that this area of your life may be less impactful than others. It may also indicate that additional information needs to be gathered from other cosmic placements.

This doesn’t mean that the house is unimportant, however. Empty houses still hold meaning and can give us insight into our lives.

For example, an empty fifth house might mean that you’re not currently focused on creativity or children.

It’s also important to remember that the houses are interconnected. So even if one house is empty, the energy of that house is still present in your life through the planets in the other houses.

When a house is empty, you can learn something by identifying the ruler of that house and seeing where it falls in your chart. This will give you clues about how this energy manifests in your life.

Final Thoughts

The houses in astrology are a powerful tool for understanding your life and your place in the world. By learning about the different energies of each house, you can get a better sense of what areas of your life need attention.

Remember, however, that astrological houses are just one piece of the puzzle. To get a complete picture of your astrological chart, it’s important to look at all aspects. Try this free personalized moon reading to dive deeper into your cosmic story.