What Do ‘Houses’ Mean in Your Birth Chart?
No surprise–astrology is complex and so much more than your sun sign! Once you start to unpack the planets in your birth chart, the next astrological hurdle is to understand the placements of the planets in your birth chart by looking at the houses.
A birth chart is made up of 12 separate sections called “Houses.” Every house represents a different area of your life. For example, the 10th house represents your career, reputation and legacy, while the 7th house represents one-on-one relationships, and the 4th house represents home and family. Astrologers use the planets, zodiac signs and houses to piece together information about your life.
Each house has a zodiac sign that’s associated with it, and every zodiac sign has a ruling planet. You can learn more about each house in your birth chart by looking at the planet that rules the zodiac sign on the cusp, or beginning on that house.
One other common misconception: There is no such thing as “empty houses.” If you look at your birth chart and notice that there are no planets in a particular section or house, it doesn’t mean anything. You have every zodiac sign and planet within your birth chart. So don’t panic! You can learn more information about that specific area of your life by looking to the ruling planet of that house and the aspects it makes within your birth chart.
Houses in Birth Chart
The 1st house is the only part of the chart that is representative of you. This is your physical appearance, your vitality, soul, and psychology. The 1st house is an angular house, which gives it extra emphasis.
Planets in this house carry extra importance and significance in one’s life. When planets transiting in the sky move through this part of your birth chart, the focus shifts to you and your personal ambitions and goals. It can be a time to focus on redefining your appearance or sense of self.
The 2nd house focuses on finances, income, our resources, value system and self-worth. Planets in the 2nd house usually speak to an emphasis on material security and self-sufficiency. Developing one’s self-worth and remaining true to their personal value system is key.
When transit planets move through this part of your birth chart, it can bring news of new financial opportunities, a time to focus on your values or signal a promotion or change in income.
The 3rd house relates to communication, the mind, siblings, short-distance travel, our neighborhood, learning, teaching and extended family members. Having a lot of planets in the 3rd house can show someone who has an interest in learning or teaching and expanding their mind.
Writing and communicating may be a central part of their role at work. When transit planets move through this part of your birth chart, information comes our way, we may have a shift in our perspective, be learning or studying something, or spending time with siblings or sorting through matters related to our extended family.
The 4th house is the house of home, family, and generational patterns. It can represent our physical living space or environment or reveal that we’re more drawn to working with land or selling property perhaps. This is the lowest part of the birth chart and also considered an incredibly private place. It is also an angular house, which increases the power of planets located in this part of your chart.
The 4th house reveals our need for privacy and who we are when we are alone. Planets in this house can signify elements about the family we grew up in or generational patterns that have been passed through the family line. When planets move through this part of your chart, it can signify a change in living situation–buying, selling, new roommates, etc., or spending more time on family matters.
The 5th house focuses on creativity, joy, pleasure, indulgence, play, romance and fertility. This is the house of fun and where our childhood innocence and joy resides. Our inner romantic also exists here and it can represent how we self-express through our own personal creative outlets. In traditional astrology it is the house of children and fertility, but the birthing process can also relate to birthing a creative project, like a book or piece of art. When planets move through this part of the chart, we feel more called to invest in our pleasure and bring more joy into our life.
The 6th house is a place of hard work, daily routine and health. Depending on what planets land in your 6th house, it can mean there is an extra emphasis on your health or that you have had the experience of working in jobs where your role or responsibilities may have been challenging.
When planets move through this part of our chart, it can be a good time to change our daily habits, focus on our health or pay attention to our work environment and its impact on our overall mental, spiritual and physical health.
The 7th house is the house of one-on-one relationships, marriage, open enemies and business contracts. It signifies important relationships you have with others. This is also considered an angular house and planets placed within the 7th house are known to carry extra power. When planets move through this part of your birth chart you may be committing to a partner, focusing on your partnership or signing contracts to work with new business partners.
The 8th house is the house of death, loss, taxes, our fears, anxieties, our psyche and shared resources. In short, it represents other people’s stuff, which can be something physical like an inheritance, or something more intangible like emotional baggage. Being born with planets in this house makes for an incredibly psychically sensitive person who is usually psychologically minded and curious to unpack their personal psychology.
It is a place of regeneration and transformation. When planets move through this house, it can be a profound time to do some internal work or also signal a period of time where others are ready to invest in you and your ideas.
The 9th house is the house of travel, foreign lands, higher education, spirituality, and perspective. There is a connection between traveling and exploring other parts of the world that leads to the expansion of the mind and new perspectives. When planets move through this part of the chart we are often eager to travel, learn something new, or invite more adventure or risk-taking into our lives.
The 10th house is the house of career, reputation and legacy. It can speak to our vocation or calling in the world, but it can also signify how others see us and what’s projected onto us. It can be descriptive of what we hope to leave behind–something greater than us. It is the final angular house, which makes planets in this part of your chart extra powerful.
When planets move through this part of your chart, people of importance may be entering your life in some way or paying attention to you. Your career can become more of a focus and depending on which planet, let’s say Venus or Jupiter for example, it could signal a promotion or good news related to career and reputation.
The 11th house is the house of friendships, larger groups, humanitarian efforts, networking and our hopes and dreams. The 11th house doesn’t necessarily represent your BFF, but more so your social circle and network. It also represents technology and innovation.
If you have planets in the 11th house, you may be social by nature and interested in engaging in philanthropic activities or causes. There is a future-oriented quality about the 11th house. When planets move through your 11th house, you may be focusing more on your hopes and dreams, or spending extra time within your chosen communities.
The 12th house is the house of self-undoing, solitude, spirituality and secrets. It’s a house that’s hard to define and can also represent liminal spaces. Planets in the 12th house can represent ways in which we engage in self-destructive habits or thinking patterns. It is an incredibly sensitive and intuitive house that can also enhance one’s own psychic muscles. When planets move through this portion of your birth chart, it is a period for rest, integration and healing.
How to Find Birth Chart Houses
If you pretend the birth chart is a clock, look for 9 o’clock. That 9 o’clock mark on the left-hand side of the chart will always mark the Ascendant, or your rising sign, which is the start of the birth chart. From there, you can count in numerical order in a counter-clockwise direction. For example, the house to the right of the ascendant, or 1st house, is the 2nd house; and to the right of the 2nd house is the 3rd house, and so on.