What the houses mean

Because much of relocation astrology has to do with planets changing houses, it’s important to define what each of the 12 houses stands for. I’ve said that the houses are similar to the signs that they correspond with (e.g. 1st house/Aries, 2nd house/Taurus, etc.) But that’s only part of the story and only one interpretation (which I first saw from A.T. Mann’s The Round Art).

Let’s get started.

The first house, of which the cusp is the ascendant, has a lot to do with your basic identity. Your manner, temperament, likes and dislikes, appearance, and body. It can also have to do with your manner of expression, creativity, initiative, and leadership. It’s the “I Am” principle. It’s ruled by Mars.

The second house has to do with your money and what you own, resources as well as values, earning abilities, and material security. Material security does not only depend on money but can also depend on the stability of nature outside. The attachment to form and to things is an expression of a strong relationship to the earth. It’s ruled by Venus.

The third house has to do with communication, capacities for information gathering and sharing, knowledge, short journeys, and your immediate environment. It covers logic, memory, early education, and manual skills. It has to do with listening and perception. Learning at the social and intellectual level. Those with a strong third house emphasis would have a deep need to communicate with others, modulated by what planets are involved. It’s ruled by Mercury.

The fourth house, of which the cusp is the IC, or the ecliptic’s lowest point underneath the earth, traditionally has had to do with the home and family. It has to do with real estate. It’s the place where you feel you can be yourself, with your emotional underpinnings, insecurities, and your need for emotional security. It symbolizes the home as a source of renewal and nurturing (or the lack of it). People with strong fourth house tend to yearn for peace for the individual self and privacy. Ruled by the Moon.

The fifth house has traditionally been known as the house of creativity, as well as children, risk-taking, and romance. An urge toward significance and identity. We become more secure in our identity by being able to take risks. Ruled by the Sun.

The sixth house is somewhat like the tenth house (they are both earth houses). It is the house of service and involves both service and health. Your daily responsibilities, co-workers, gaining skills that are of value to others and how you help and and are of service to others. If you are not fulfilled through your work, you tend to have health problems. It’s about accepting your limitations, understanding our motivations, and taking responsibility for our state of health, both physical and mental. Ruled by Mercury.

The seventh house, whose cusp is the Descendant, has been called the house of Partnership and Marriage. It is where you put your interests aside for the sake of your primary relationships. If the house is handled successfully it means that your understand shared goals and commitment. It can include your soul mate. In general, it is the place where you cooperate and share with others. It’s very one-to-one. Ruled by Venus.

The eighth house has to do with emotional security and soul security. It’s about shared resources, inheritance, and marrying for money. It concerns itself with sex, birth, death, the afterlife, transformation, power, psychic knowledge, the occult. The state of emotional peace can be arrived out only by growing free from desires and compulsive willfulness. The urge to be reborn through union with a greater power than the isolated self. Ruled by both Mars and Pluto.

The ninth house has to do with learning who one really is. Widening one’s horizons of self-awareness, enlarging the scope of one’s understanding, and gaining a perspective of human nature and the broadest possible overview of the universe. So it has to do with beliefs, philosophies, higher education, travel. Ruled by Jupiter.

The tenth house is about your reputation and career — profession, community standing, social role and what others think of you. It’s the house of ambition, aspiration, and attainment, authority, your dominant parent. Actions taken in the sixth house can help lead to a greater fulfillment of your tenth house. What is it that we feel called to contribute to society? Destiny beyond personal ambition. Ruled by Saturn.

The eleventh house is about groups who will help you achieve your goals, your group involvements. “The house of Friends, Hopes, and Wishes” — about long-term dreams and goals, as well as the people who share your interests and objectives. Your send of future direction and purpose, your idealism and vision — intellectual growth for collective good. Intellectual security. To not only fulfill your personal needs but the needs of society as a whole. Ruled by Saturn and Uranus.

The twelfth house desires to seek peace for the soul through surrender to a higher unity, devotion to a transcendent ideal, and freedom from the ghosts of past thoughts and actions. Consciousness, where ego can merge into spirit. The mystical, the subconscious, and the unknown. Successful navigation will allow you to transcend your everyday worries, and learn lessons that free you from past destructive patterns. Unsuccessful navigation would result in a self-image that is blurry, and self-destruction. Ruled by Jupiter and Neptune.

Hopefully this is a helpful primer for you. Credit goes to both “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Astrology” and Stephen Arroyo’s Chart Interpretation Handbook.

By David Muir

David Muir recieved his PAC as a 2020 graduate of the Avalon School in Vibrational Astrology. He has been a practicing astrologer having studied astrology since 1997. He specializes in relocation astrology, particularly in terms of how both one's character and external influences change in a new location. He has interests in compatibility, and just generally “getting the necessary information out there for you,” which can entail personology as well as different interpretations in general. David writes a 2x/weekly blog in both relocation astrology and other astrological topics of interest, on

David received a BA from Carlow University in 2011 with concentrations in philosophy, writing, and political science. He does a 2x/month radio show and has lived in Denver, CO since 2016.

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