Houses of the ZodiacCoven of the Goddess
The astrological wheel, or mandala, is a map of the space surrounding us at the time of our birth. The wheel is divided into twelve sections called houses — six houses in the sky above, six beneath the Earth below. These houses are numbered counterclockwise, starting with the 1st house and the direction east, on the left-hand side of the wheel. Planets in the heavens are placed on the chart wheel in the houses that correspond to where they actually are in the sky. Of the 12 houses, astrologers find the four most important are the one directly above our heads (10th), the one under our feet (4th), the one on the left and to the east (1st), and the one on the right and to the west (7th). These four are called angular, because they mark the corners of the chart: south, north, east, and west.
Life continues after the birth moment. Astrologers watch the planets (as they continue on in the sky after a birth) move through the houses of the natal chart. Their movement is counterclockwise as they go from the upper hemisphere (houses 7-12), across the ascendant, (1st house cusp) into the lower hemisphere (houses 1-6), and on around.
In the chart wheel, the planets are placed in their zodiac positions. The zodiac stretches in a circle through all 360 degrees of the surrounding sky, and this circle is divided into sections of 30 degrees – the familiar 12 signs. Planet positions are measured within signs by degrees, minutes, and seconds of circular arc. Each degree contains 60 minutes of arc and each minute of arc contains 60 seconds of arc. For example, I might tell you that my Moon (Moon at birth) is in the sign Taurus (2nd sign). More exactly it is in the 23rd degree of Taurus. It is actually at 23 degrees and 28 minutes of the sign Taurus.
The chart wheel is usually divided into 12 sections called houses. The houses are numbered (counterclockwise) from 1 to 12. The pie-like lines that divide one house from the next are called house cusps. For example, the cusp of the 1st house is the horizontal line on the left-hand (east) side of the wheel.
Keep in mind that our Earth makes a complete turn on its axis once in 24 hours. The chart wheel represents the space surrounding where we were born. It is as if we were standing outside with the sky above us (upper part of chart) and the Earth beneath our feet (lower hemisphere). As the Earth turns, it brings each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac overhead (or to any part of the wheel) once in 24 hours – a new degree of the zodiac every four minutes.
The wheel is also seen as two hemispheres – a top and a bottom. The upper part of the chart (houses 7-12) represents that part of the sky that was overhead and above the horizon at the time of our birth. It has to do with the world of thoughts, ideas, ideals, and planning. The lower hemisphere (houses 1-6) marks that part of the heavens that we have under us – and cannot see – below the horizon and on the other side of the Earth from us. It has to do with experiences, embodiments, incarnation, and so forth. In other word, the sky above and the Earth below.
1st House – Physical body, personality, style of competition, personal identity, instincts, awareness of self and desire for independence.
2nd House – Money, what we value, personal assets, resources, possessions, earning rewards through our own efforts, desire to establish self-worth.
3rd House – Style of thinking, school (pre-college), siblings, the mind, sales, neighbors, short trips, learning, writing, teaching, reading, desire to mentally connect with others.
4th House – Home, beginnings & endings, family, gut instincts, the nurturing parent, early childhood, roots, desire to create a personal foundation that one can rely upon for security.
5th House – Children, creative projects, romance, sex (as recreation and source of enjoyment), sports, fun, gambling, personal pleasure, desire for the happy expression of the inner child.
6th House – Job, work, co-workers, routines, service, pets, duty, tasks, health, order, personal projects, desire to follow a plan that creates orderly, tangible results.
7th House – Relationships, marriage, equality, cooperation, agreements, teamwork, awareness of the identity of others, desire to share close one-to-one interactions.
8th House – Bonded partnerships (sex or money), others assets, secrets, psychological awareness, business, investments with others, contracts, death, inheritance, sex (for bonding), debt, desire to merge with another for personal change and transformation into a bigger world.
9th House – Foreign travel, philosophy, adventures, freedom, formal religion, beliefs, prayer, law, higher education, publishing, intuitive knowing, seeking a code of ethics to live by, desire to discover “higher answers” that give one peace of mind.
10th House – Career, the world, reputation, fame, profession, a parent, authority, adulthood, accepting responsibility, maturity, goals, ambitions, desire to be the supervisor of others – the person in charge of coordinating the various factions involved so that the chosen goal is successful.
11th House – Friends, peers, groups, humanitarian goals, the future, angels, aspirations, seeing the larger picture, science, inventions, desire to follow one’s own drummer and in some way help make the world a better place.
12th House – The cosmos, psychic sensitivity, awareness of subtle forces, omens, spirituality, need for time alone, hidden understandings, mystical, desire to express in alignment with one’s private vision of the Divine Will.