astrology basics

Astrology Houses

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The twelve Signs of the Zodiac show the positions of the planets along the path of the Sun (called the ecliptic) on any date. These planetary positions don’t change very much at all during the 24 hours of a single day. However, the rotation of the earth sees a new rising sign about every two hours – because there’s 12 Signs of the Zodiac.

Each of the Houses in Astrology represents the different areas of your life as follows:

First  Self-image, first impressions, our general outlook on life
Second  Self-worth, earnings, possessions
Third  Communication
Fourth  Home, parents, family
Fifth  Pleasures, romance, children
Sixth  Health, work
Seventh  Partners, marriage
Eighth  Change and our attitude towards that change, sexuality
Ninth  Beliefs, philosophy, travel and foreign cultures
Tenth  Career, reputation
Eleventh  Friends, aspirations, personal goals
Twelfth  Secrets, soul growth, karma, limitations

The First House is Aries and you simply rotate anti-clockwise around the Zodiac Wheel above, so that the Second House is Taurus and so on, finishing with the Twelfth House of Pisces.

The Houses are also distributed across the four Hemispheres, but to complicate matters, the Southern Hemisphere appears in the upper part of the horoscope and the Northern Hemisphere in the lower. If most of your planets fall into one particular Hemisphere, this will be the effect:

Northern Hemisphere
People with a majority of Planets in the Northern Hemisphere tend to be very private individuals who are very subjective. They will also be very sensitive to the moods of others.

Southern Hemisphere
A majority of Planets in the Southern Hemisphere will result in an individual who will be able to focus on self or what is important to them, including humanitarian causes.

Eastern Hemisphere
A beliver in free will, those born under a strong influence of the Eastern Hemisphere will have strong self-motivation and be very independent. They have strong self-belief.

Western Hemisphere
Those born under the main influence of the Western Hemisphere will always take others’ views into account and are happiest caring for others as they like to feel needed.

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The Importance of Elements

The Elements are also significant when you look at the groupings of the houses as follows:

Individual Houses: These are the First, Fifth and Ninth Houses (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), which are controlled by the Element of Fire. They focus on life identity.

Temporal Houses: These are the Second, Sixth and Tenth Houses (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), which are controlled by the Element of Earth. They focus on meeting material needs.

Relative Houses: These are the Third, Seventh and Eleventh Houses (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius), which are controlled by the Element of Air. They focus on relationships, social contact and mind-sharing.

Terminal Houses:  These are the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Houses (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), which are controlled by the Element of Water. They focus on our emotions.

The Importance of Qualities

Yet another significant grouping corresponds with the Qualities (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) of the Signs of the Zodiac. The significance of a cluster of planets in a group of these houses is as follows:

The Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Houses. They are the initiators of the Zodiac who are great at starting things but find it hard to see them through.

Because of their enthusiasm they can sometimes come across as domineering and controlling – and they can be, but you have to admire their energy and drive.

The Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are the Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Houses. They enjoy personal stability, which allows them to maintain order in their lives. Just as Cardinal Signs initiate, the Fixed signs are the “completer-finishers” that every team or relationship needs.

However they do have a tendency, thanks to their self-confidence, to believe they are always right.

Fixed Signs are patient, reliable and steady and will always remember the people who help them out.

The Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) are the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth Houses. They are the signs that are flexible and adaptable – they really do “go with the flow” and will happily put their own views to one side if it is for the good of the majority. Because of their versatility, they can be different people in different situations and environments – they are the chameleons of the Zodiac.

But their desire to please can get them into trouble and they are in danger of being seen to be indecisive and perhaps two-faced.

Among the most unselfish signs of the Zodiac, Mutable Signs will bend over backwards to help others and although they may stretch themselves thin in the process, they know how to bounce back with renewed energy.

All of this explains why, although you may know your Sun Sign and its characteristics, these factors mean that the combination of the other signs in your Birth Chart, will also have a huge influence on your personality and your life.

Image: Zodiac Wheel Poster by davzke. Available as a Poster and other products at

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