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Last updated on September 28th, 2023.

The astrological calendar, for all its apparent simplicity, can be a complex and confusing concept.  Understanding each house’s roles in the astrological wheel and how the other houses influence each house is the key to interpreting the meanings.  Gaining a basic understanding of the meaning of each of the astrological houses is the foundation.

The astrological calendar divides into twelve houses. Astrology holds the position of the stars and planets at the moment of your birth, predict, or control almost every aspect of your future.  Each house associates with different aspects of your life, from finances to personal relationships.

Contrary to what some people believe, you are not ruled by just one astrological house.  Each of the twelve astrological houses has some influence.  Understanding these influences and how they interact requires knowledge of each astrological house and its position in your birth chart. We’ll explain.

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What do the Twelve Houses in Astrology Mean?

Each astrological house associates with several different aspects of your life.  These associations range from the internal, including health and fitness, to the broadest aspects of your life.  Some practitioners believe that these associations extend well beyond into the past and the future. (Does astrology tell the future? Find out in that article!)

In general, the twelve houses of the astrological calendar divide into four quadrants.

  • Ascendant or Rising Sign
  • Midheaven or Medium Coeli
  • The Descendant house
  • Nadir or Imum Coeli

The inter-relationship of the houses is complex.  There are many different ways to interpret these relationships.  To begin any interpretation, you must know your exact date and time of birth.  The information about birth and an understanding of the twelve houses allowed the most famous astrologers in history to interpret the relationships.

How do the Twelve Houses of the Astrological Calendar Work?

Like a clock, the twelve houses of the astrological calendar divides a circle into twelve divisions.  Unlike a clock, the numbers run in a counterclockwise direction.  The starting astrological house, Aries, sits in the lower-left quadrant of the circle. 

The most important houses in the astrological calendar are the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth houses.  The cusps of these houses coincide with special angles defined by the four quadrants of the astrological calendar. 

The First House – Self Image

The first house in the astrological calendar is about firsts.  This house governs

  • First impressions
  • Beginnings in all thing
  • Your outlook on life
  • How you self-identify
  • Your appearance
  • How you initiate
  • Impulsivity
  • Others perceptions of you

This astrological house is associated with

  • The element fire
  • The color red
  • Mars as the ruling planet
  • Dates between March 21 and April 19

The first house begins the astrological calendar, and this position gives it a certain dominance.  The planets and stars in this house predict and influence each new beginning in your life at your birth. Since your birth represents your first beginning, this astrological house strongly influences you from day one.

The Second House – What You Value and Hidden Talents

Stepping into the second house of the astrological calendar and we discover more material concerns.  The second house is typically associated with:

  • Money
  • Material Possessions
  • The acquisition of property, investments, and securities
  • How you spend your money
  • Your attitudes toward possessions
  • How well you will succeed at gathering wealth
  • Self-esteem (how well your value yourself)
  • Work habits
  • Work ethic
  • Priorities

The traits attributed to the second house in the astrological calendar include

  • The element earth
  • The color green or pink
  • Venus as the ruling planet
  • Dates between April 20 and May 20

Taurus is considered the least changeable of the houses in the astrological calendar.  The alignment of the planets and stars in the second house at birth influences how we experience life and gather labor rewards.  The way your experience life is, in some part, a product of the second house in relationship to the other houses.

The Third House – The Art of Communication

The third house isn’t just about communication in the normal sense, such as writing, verbalizing, and talking.  In the astrological scheme, communication also includes how you communicate with yourself internally.  Communication in the third house includes:

  • Communication in your immediate environment with friends and family
  • Short journeys and travels
  • You intellect
  • How you deal with the minutia of life at a lower level
  • Thinking patterns
  • Early education
  • Dealing with messages of all kinds, including gossip, reading, writing, phone calls, and deliveries

Astrologically, the third house is associate with:

  • The element air
  • The colors light green or yellow
  • Mercury is the governing planet
  • Dates between May 21 and June 20

Gemini is associated with the third house in the astrological calendar.  The third house connects to the mind and influences everything that entails.  Thinking, communicating, writing, and movement are part of the complex relationships governed in the third house. 

The Fourth House - Home and Hearth

Home represents the foundation of our elemental being.  The fourth astrological house is associated with the home and the earth, which are the foundations of security and peace.  Symbolically, the fourth house is at the bottom of the astrological calendar.  Every other house “rests” on the fourth house.

The fourth house influences anything that you depend on to maintain your stability and your peace of mind.  Some of these are not quite as intuitive as you might imagine.  Foundations can be almost anything if they support you in some way.

  • Your home
  • Privacy and security
  • Your parents and your relationship with them
  • Your abilities as a parent
  • A connection with your history and your ancestors
  • Your nurturing side
  • Your Job and your work relationships

The Fourth House, sitting at the bottom of the astrological calendar, is on the nadir.  The nadir is also called the Imum Coeli.  The fourth house associates with:

  • The element Water
  • The colors white, gray, silver
  • The moon rules the fourth house
  • Dates between June 21 and July 22

Cancer, the crab, is associated with the fourth house in the astrological calendar.  Water is the ruling element of the fourth house of the astrological calendar.  Those whose birth puts them in the fourth house tend to be intuitive and tuned into the energies around them. 

The Fifth House – Play, Pleasure, and Entertainment

Creativity and passion are the hallmarks of the fifth house in the astrological calendar.  The fifth house is closely associated with emotion, especially in romance and relationships.  The fifth house is a succedent house.  There is a critical distinction between romance and marriage.  Marriage is considered separate from romance.

The fifth house influences all things creative and fun in your astrological calendar.  It is important to understand that creativity covers a lot of ground in the astrological world.  Some of the things influenced by the fifth house include:

  • Creativity and self-expression
  • Pleasure and entertainment,
  • Play of all kinds
  • Pastimes, hobbies, and speculative interests (think gambling)
  • Romance and relationships
  • Lovers
  • Your attitude toward having fun or a propensity for drama

As a succedent house, the fifth house in the astrological calendar tends to be stable and happy and associate with:

  • The element fire
  • The colors gold and purple
  • The Sun rules the fifth house
  • Dates between July 22 and Aug 22

Leo, the king, represents the fifth house in the astrological wheel.  Fire is representative of passion, one of the most important influences in the fifth house. 

The Sixth House - Staying Healthy and Organized

Surprisingly, organization and health are part of your relationship with others in the astrological calendar.  Organization, service to others, your health, diet, and exercise are concepts of staying organized. 

Organization in your life leads to peace and self-satisfaction.  Reducing stress and staying healthy is part of the influences of the sixth house in the astrological progression.  Many things are influences by the sixth house giving this house a role in every other house and their influences. 

  • Scheduling and organization
  • Daily routines including mundane things like brushing your teeth
  • Diet and exercise and your attitude toward them
  • Service to others and the need to help
  • The techniques and methods you use to manage your daily life
  • Your attitude toward self-improvement (See the top 3 experts on self-improvement in that amazing article!)
  • Aptitudes and talents

The sixth house is cadent.  The predominant characteristic of the cadent sixth house is you perform.  The associated representations of the sixth house include:

  • The element earth
  • Earthy colors like dark greens, browns, and tans
  • Mercury rules in the sixth house
  • Dates between Aug 23 and Sept 22

Think of all the mundane and routine tasks you perform each day.  The astrological calendar’s sixth house influences how you feel and think about these tasks, how well you perform them, and your thoughts about serving others.

The Seventh House – Marriage and Other relationships

We found passion and romance in the fifth house of the astrological calendar, but not marriage.  Marriage is one of the seventh house’s dominating parts, which rules over all sorts of partnerships and form relationships.

Historically romance had little to do with marriage and more about building familial relationships and partnerships that ensured its continuation.  Marriages were more of a business arrangement in many cases.  The seventh house influences all sort of partnership, such as:

  • One to one relationships
  • Marriage and subsequently divorce, separation, and quarrels
  • Business relationships
  • Contracts and other cooperative relationships that may develop
  • The relationship with enemies
  • Lawsuits and other legal matters affecting business
  • Cooperation and sharing

The seventh house, like the other angular houses in the astrological calendar, signifies action.  As an angular house, the seventh is represented by:

  • The element air
  • Colors like soft blues and lavender signify balance
  • Venus rules the seventh house
  • Dates between Sept 23 and October 22

The way you deal with close personal relationships is the domain of the seventh house.  This relationship includes your family, your life partner, your business associates, and anyone with which your associate closely.

The Eighth House – Ruling the Negatives of Life and Healing

Misunderstood is a good description of the eighth house.  This misunderstanding stems from the various things that are influenced by the eighth house in the astrological calendar.  Looking at the astrological wheel, the eighth house is the polar opposite of the second house, influencing individual possessions.  The eighth house has a predominant influence on possessions owned in partnerships.

In addition to the influence on possessions, the eighth house influences anything that can affect those joint possessions.  These include:

  • Death, inheritance, taxes
  • Wills and legacies
  • Your partner’s money and possession
  • Bankruptcy
  • Alimony
  • Transformation and healing
  • The processes of recovery

Fortunately, the eighth house is succedent.  As a stable and fixed house, the outcomes will be positive in most cases in the long run.   The characteristics of the eighth house include:

  • The element water
  • Intense colors like crimson and black
  • Pluto rules the eighth house
  • Dates between Octo 23 and Nov 21

The eighth house is closely associated with transformations and healing.  Unfortunately, a loss or tragedy must precede any sort of transformation.  How you deal with these losses and the subsequent healing and transformation are influenced by the astrological calendar’s eighth house.

The Ninth House – The House of Understanding and Wisdom

How and where you search for life’s meaning is influenced by the astrological calendar’s ninth house.  Knowledge, which is associated with the third house, is simple when compared with understanding.  Knowing something and understanding something are entirely different concepts

The development of the mind and attitudes toward the abstract are the dominant factors influence by the ninth house.  These characteristics influenced by the ninth house include:

  • Travel and journey, especially those that increase understanding or expose you to new experiences
  • Dreams, visions, ideas, and thoughts
  • Concrete thought and abstract thought
  • Ethics and morals
  • Advanced astrology education
  • Rituals and spiritual urges
  • Religion, law, and philosophy

The expansion of understanding and synthesis of thoughts and experiences is influenced continually by the astrological calendar’s ninth house.  The representative parts of the ninth house speak to the influences.

  • The element fire
  • Colors such as purple, plum, or dark blues
  • Jupiter is the ruling planet
  • Dates between November 22 and December 20

The overarching characteristics of influence in the ninth house are enlargement and increase, usually in your understanding of the world and the universe around you.

The Tenth House - You and the World and its Perceptions

The tenth house influences your attitude about how you perceive your community status in the world and among your associates.  The influences of the tenth house are not about material things.  The tenth house influences the most important aspects of your life. It is more about social status, honor, and achievement.

The most public parts of your life as encompassed in the influence of the tenth house.  These public aspects include:

  • Status, honor, prestige, and reputation
  • Your standing in your profession
  • Your position in your community
  • Personal achievements and honors
  • Sense of duty
  • Your relationship with authority figures and others with power
  • Your career path and success

The tenth house rules almost everything public about you.  It often governs not just how you succeed but how you judge your success.  The associated characteristics of the tenth house are:

  • The element earth
  • The colors black, dark brown, and charcoal
  • Saturn is the ruling planet in this house
  • Dates between December 21 and January 20

The Eleventh House – Community, Friends, and Politics

How you interact with the larger groups in your sphere is governed by the astrological calendar’s eleventh house.  These larger groups are diverse and include a wide range of topics and interests.  The eleventh house is often referred to as the house of evolution and revolution.

Humanitarian concerns are also part of the eleventh house.  Other connections in your social world that can be influenced by the eleventh house are:

  • Casual friendships and relationships
  • Associations with both professional and personal groups
  • Ideals and causes
  • Self-realization
  • Liberty, freedom, and politics
  • Hopes and goals
  • Originality, eccentricity, and the way you react to sudden events

If something in your life isn’t influenced by one of the other houses in the astrological calendar, the eleventh house will probably be the catch-all.  The governing characteristics of the eleventh house include:

  • The element Air
  • The colors turquoise and aquamarine
  • The ruling planet of the eleventh house is Uranus
  • Dates between Jan 21 and Feb 18

Since the world is always prevalent and influential in your life, the eleventh house significantly influences the other houses in the astrological calendar.

The Twelfth House – The Mysterious House

Mystery always surrounds the twelfth house in the astrological calendar.  The twelfth house influences those parts of us that are not readily apparent and often hidden.  Your subconscious and its attendant parts are the focus of the twelfth house. 

In addition to the hidden world, the twelfth house also influences those things that remove us from everyday life.  The major areas of influence of the twelfth house include:

  • The subconscious mind
  • Unconscious mind, memories, and habits
  • Mental illness, self-decision, escapism
  • Spiritual realization, limitation, and frustrations
  • Secrets, sorrows, seclusion
  • Endings of all kinds
  • Self-sacrifice

The understanding of these deeper parts of ourselves is the primary area where the twelfth house rules.   As the last house in the astrological calendar, the twelfth house often rules endings just as the first house is the domain of beginnings.  The twelfth house is represented by:

  • The element water
  • The color aquamarine
  • Neptune rules in the twelfth house
  • Dates between February 19 and March 20

Everything in your life has an ending, just as it has a beginning.  The twelfth house in the astrological calendar rules the endings in your life. Now that you know all the houses and their meanings, you are ready to dive deeper into learning astrology!

Symbology – The Progression of Life

The astrological calendar is rife with symbology.  The very makeup of the wheel closely mirrors the journey of life from its beginnings to its ending.  Whether you ascribe to the astrological system’s beliefs, the concept that everything in life is connected is indisputable.  Do the stars and planets influence our beginning, living, and endings?  That is for you to decide for yourself.

(Want another interesting article about astrology? Check out how astrology and numerology work together! Or check out these astrology courses online to dive deeper into the subject!)

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