What are the houses in astrology?
There are a total of twelve houses. Each house represents a specific energy.
How can you use the houses in astrology?
When reading a person’s birth chart, houses can help further explain personality traits. It can also go beyond that to predict future trends for that person’s life, or serve as an explanation as to why certain things have happened in their life, or guide them towards their best career path, romantic endeavors, and overall life advice.
In predictive astrology, houses give us more specific information about future events to come — for example, when a planet makes a transit into another zodiac sign.
1st House: Yourself
The first house is very straightforward and exactly what one would assume: it’s the “self.” Everything begins with you. Along with that, it can also relate to new beginnings.
- Life purpose
- New beginnings
2nd House: Resources & Possessions
As the 1st house is “the self,” the 2nd house is everything outside of yourself. This mainly has to do with resources and possessions: your stuff, your money, your support system. This can also include food, clothing, shelter, and people such as friends and family who provide you assistance. It’s everything that you cannot survive without on your own.
- Food and medicine
- Clothing and shelter
- People who help you
3rd House: Teamwork, Local Travel, Primary Learning
Now, things get a little more complicated. The third house is a bit all over the place and can refer to a variety of things. But it’s still a very simplified house.
Overall, third house is about communication. But this is simple communication — like small talk, text messages, and so forth. It’s a very social house with a focus on your peers — your siblings, your neighbors, your coworkers, etc. This is simple communication between you and those who are at the same level as you.
The third house also deals with travel — but limited and local. This is about taking a walk around the block, going into town, visiting your local coffee shop, etc. And lastly, it’s connected to learning. Again, on a simple level: elementary school, a beginner’s course, visiting a museum, taking on a new hobby, etc.
- Quick communication
- Socializing with your peers
- Basic learning
- Short-term and local travel
4th House: Home & Family
The 4th house symbolizes your roots, subconscious, and inner world. On a material level, it has to do with your home and family. This means your ancestors, your relatives, your parents, your place of residence.
The 4th house is one of the spiritual houses, and on a more spiritual level, this house resembles your innermost thoughts and subconscious beliefs. This is connected to religion, philosophy, and how you were conditioned throughout your childhood.
The 4th house seeks feeling grounded and stable. It’s a cozy house (no pun intended.) It requires a place of security and comfort — in the most literal sense, your home and your family.
- Home (where you live.)
- Family (parents, relatives, ancestors.)
- Religion, philosophy, subconscious programming
- Comfort, security, stability
- Thoughts and feelings that you are unaware of.
5th House: Children
The 5th house is very joyful. It has much to do with children: your own children, the kids in your life, or your own inner-child. And like a child, it craves fun, silliness, and happiness. But in contrast — it can be wild and dramatic at times, like a kid throwing a tantrum.
Also like a child, the 5th house has much to do with change — as a child’s life is constantly in flux, full of changes on a frequent basis. The 5th house is also about taking risks — gambling, stepping out of your comfort zone, and taking a leap of faith.
- Fun, joy, silliness
- Taking risks
- Drama and theatrics
6th House: Health & Habits
The 6th house focuses on your day-to-day life. It is a very detail-oriented house that fixates on the small details and takes things one step at a time. This is about your daily habits — your morning routine, your workout regime, going to work, taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth, setting your alarm clock before bed.
This is also directly related to your health, as your daily habits determine your health condition. Some may call this a “boring” house, but it is important to pay attention to!
- Daily routines
- Your job
- Chores / cleaning
- Little details, small-picture thinking
7th House: Your Partner
Each house is a reflection of the opposite house, as represented on the zodiac wheel. And so, the 7th house reflects the 1st house. As the 1st house is about yourself, the 7th house is about your partner.
In most cases, this house is about marriage, and refers to a committed and longterm romantic partner. But in modern times, the term “partner” can have so many more meanings: your business partner, your best friend, and so forth. This is a pact in which both of you are equal and both of you rely on each other.
It should also be mentioned that this is mostly connected to legal contracts. Again, this is why it is first most connected to marriage. Sometimes it may not refer to an actual person, but a specific contract that binds you to another person. That could be a lease, a deed, terms of agreement, etc.
- Spouse / marriage
- Boyfriend or girlfriend
- Business partner
- Best friend
- Contract / legal matters
8th House: Power & Transformation
The 8th house is the most misunderstood house of the wheel. Overall, it is about power and transformation. It is dark, unknown, and mysterious — which makes it a very scary house. Many refer to this as the house of sex and death, which is accurate, but it goes much deeper than that. The astrological meaning of both sex and death completely differs from modern society’s definition. Sex means the unknown force of new life, and death means change that leads to new beginnings.
This house is directly related to the occult, the dark arts, and supernatural forces that cannot be logically explained. It’s a secretive house of taboo, controversy, and topics that we do not discuss in public. The suppressed nature of this house is what gives it so much power.
Along with the secretive nature of the 8th house, it also includes vulnerability and intimacy. This can relate to the emotional aspect of connecting with your romantic partner.
The 8th house is opposite of the 2nd house — rather than physical resources outside of yourself, this is about spiritual resources inside of yourself. This is your inner power and your private world behind closed doors. Just like the 2nd house, this is also connected to money, but in a different way — money that you accumulate through supernatural forces or inheritance given to you by someone who died. It is also said to be connected to taxes.
- Deep transformation
- Power through supernatural ability
- Occult and dark arts
- Secrets, controversy, private matters
- Vulnerability and intimacy
9th House: Higher Knowledge
Opposite of the 3d house, the two are connected to learning and travel, but the 9th house goes much further. While the 3rd house resembles local travel, the 9th house is about exploration that goes far beyond your comfort zone — roadtrips, airplanes, sailing across the sea, and exploring foreign land.
The 9th house is all about the expansion of consciousness. When you explore an entirely new environment, your perception is shifted. But this is not always about physical travel — this is also about mental travel through learning and education. While the 3rd house is about primary learning, the 9th is about expertise and mastery. That means zoning in on a specific subject.
As the 3rd house focuses on peers, the 9th focuses on the dynamic between the teacher and the student. And while the 3rd house symbolizes simple communication, the 9th house represents complicated complication: books, essays, a college-level course, a philosophical debate, computer coding, etc.
And lastly, the 9th house relates to gaining and exploring spiritual knowledge. In Christianity, this is the journey of a man becoming a priest. In Shamanism, this is the ritual of ingesting psychedelics in order to travel between dimensions.
- Far travel and foreign land
- Extended education, college, grad school
- Religious leaders, college professors, teachers and gurus
- Studying and becoming an expert
- Exploration and expansion of consciousness
10th House: Reputation & Career
The 10th house is the most visible house of the wheel — the part of you that everyone can see. This is your “public self,” the image that you present to the world, your reputation and character. This is what people say about you or think about you. This is your role and place in society.
It can often represent your career, as society tends to define us by our job, and work is the place where you put your best, cleanest, most respectable self.
The 4th house shows where you came from and the 10th house shows where you’re going. You could come from a poor home with a toxic family dynamic, but put yourself on a path that leads to high income and healthy relationship patterns. While the 4th house shows all that is hidden and underneath the surface, the 10th house is what’s put on display and clearly visible. The 4th house craves comfort and security while the 10th house wants to reach new heights. However, you cannot go very far in life until you directly address your roots.
- Career path
- Public image
- Role in society
11th House: Connection
The 11th house is all about connection through community. This house symbolizes friendship: a group of people who you feel deeply connected to. This can be your teammates, your classmates, the people at your gym class or volunteer group, anyone!
The 11th house also symbolizes the future. This relates to technology, space exploration, scientific discovery, and so forth.
They say “it takes a village to raise a child” — in this case, the 5th house is the child and the 11th house is the village. Opposite of each other, the 5th house represents childhood while the 11th house represents adulthood and maturity. The 5th house craves risk and drama, while the 11th house craves healing and recovery. Both houses show change: 5th house is more about personal change, as 11th house means change on a communal or worldwide level.
- Community and connection
- Hope and healing
- Scientific and technological progress
- Looking forward with optimism
12th House: Solitude & Wisdom
At last, comes the oldest and wisest of all the houses. The 12th house is about letting go and finding peace. It craves solitude, introspection, and serenity. It is the final goodbye before a new cycle begins.
This is a dark and heavy house. It is incredibly peaceful, yet incredible lonely at the same time. Because in order to find peace, you must go within — to the depths of your soul, to the parts of yourself that no other person has traveled to. This can feel both painfully isolating and blissfully serene at the same exact time.
This house is full of wisdom. It understands that goodbyes are necessary in order to move forward into something new.
As the 6th house focuses on daily life and tiny details, the 12th house looks at the big picture and reflects on one’s life as a whole. The 6th house signifies physical health while the 12th house signifies mental and spiritual health. An out-of-whack 6th house manifests as acne, broken bones, thyroid issues, or heart failure — for example. But in the 12th house, this would manifest as mental illness, hallucinations, spiritual crisis, etc.
And lastly, the 12th house is tired. It is very, very, very tired. It just wants to be left alone to rest.
- Loneliness and solitude
- Introspection, self-reflection, wisdom
- Peace and quiet
- Exhaustion, sleep, dreams
- The end of a cycle
Themes of each house
- 1st, 5th, 9th: Taking action, change, exploration (fire)
- 2nd, 6th, 10th: Work, career, money, physical matters (earth)
- 3rd, 7th, 11th: Socialization, communication, mental capability (air)
- 4th, 8th, 12th: Spirituality, psychic ability, psychology, secrecy, seclusion. (water)
Life Cycle of Houses
The houses can be thought of as an entire life, to help you better understand the concept.
- Birth: You are born, you are given a name, and your ego begins to develop.
- Toddler: You begin to accumulate objects and understand the concept of possession. You completely rely on your primary caregiver for survival.
- Elementary school: You go to school to learn basic skills and concepts. Now you have classmates (and maybe siblings and neighbors too) and for the first time you are socializing with groups of people who are on the same level as you.
- Middle school: Your life is very much defined by the role you play in your family. You learn about the roots of where you came from. You create a comfort zone in your home and feel very timid of the world outside of your bubble.
- Teenage years: You become eager to step outside of your comfort zone now; you take risks and do a lot of stupid things! Your life is very dramatic! You hit puberty and now have the ability to procreate — in olden times, this would be the age in which you start having children.
- Early adulthood: You now begin a career for yourself. Your health is at its peak.
- Thirties: Getting married, signing a lease, entering a business partnership, entering a job contract, etc.
- Forties: Midlife crisis, sudden transformation, inheritance from parents passing away.
- Fifties: Traveling the world, becoming a master in your profession, passing on your knowledge.
- Sixties: Making a legacy from your career and retiring, a lifetime of achievements.
- Seventies/eighties: You have lived to see significant technological and scientific progress since your birth, you are healing and recovering from past trauma, seeking community, future-oriented.
- Last chapter of your life: Reflecting on the life you lived, making peace with your past, resting and solitude.