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Zodiac Houses

What are Zodiac houses?

The great majority of astrologers use a system of 12 houses, where the first house is the area of the sky just below the eastern horizon, and the houses are numbered counterclockwise. When the sun rises in the morning it enters the 12th house and travels backwards through the 12th house for approximately 2 hours and then it enters the 11th house. About 4 hours after sunrise, the Sun enters the end of the 10th house and at midday (approximately 12 noon) it enters the end of the 9th house, and so on around the chart wheel. At sunset the Sun leaves the 7th house and enters the end of the 6th house. At approximately 12 midnight the Sun leaves the 4th house and enters the end of the 3rd house.

The dividing line between one house and another is called the house cusp, so, for example, when the Sun moves from the 10th house to the 9th house around 12 noon, it is crossing the 10th house cusp. There are some alternative ideas about the positions of houses: for example, some astrologers believe that the house cusps are the center of the house and not the beginning of the house. 

The most important house cusps are the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th. Almost all astrologers agree that a planet near one of these house cusps is very powerful. These 4 house cusps are sometimes referred to as the angles or the angular house cusps. The other cusps (the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th) are sometimes referred to as the intermediate cusps. Astrologers generally agree about the positions of the angles, but there is a great deal of disagreement about precisely where the intermediate cusps are. Many different mathematical formulae have been proposed to calculate where the intermediate cusps are. The various house systems such as Campanus, Porphyry, Koch, Placidus, etc. differ in their determination of where the intermediate cusps are located.


The 12 houses explained
1st House: The Self
According to some astrologers the first house shows how you appear to others, the persona, or mask you wear. Other astrologers feel that the first house is not this superficial and describes an essential part of who you are and how you project yourself in the world. Some astrologers believe that the first house describes issues that are very important to the person, issues that the person wants to resolve and master in this lifetime and they tend to become increasingly important as the person grows older.

2nd House: Possessions
Many astrologers believe that the second house describes your possessions and is a key to understanding whether you will be wealthy and have many possessions. Other astrologers believe that the second house describes your values, whether you are a person with strong and rigid values, for example, or whether you tend to be liberal, accepting, and tolerant of different ethical standards, and also what kinds of things are important and of more value to you.

3rd House: Environment
Communication and how one expresses oneself are key issues of the third house. Some astrologers believe that the third house describes how a person relates to the immediate environment, how observant and alert the person is, how the individual learns new material, and how the person processes information.

4th House: Home
Many astrologers believe that the 4th house describes your home, some believe it describes your mother, and some believe it describes your father. A more psychological interpretation of the 4th house is that it describes where you feel comfortable and what kinds of things and what kind of environment makes you feel relaxed, unstressed, peaceful, and comfortable.

5th House: Creativity 
The fifth house is associated with creativity, children, and play. Some astrologers also associate the 5th house with romance. A more psychological interpretation of the 5th house is that it describes how you express yourself in a personal and creative way.

6th House: Practical Error
The 6th house is associated with work and health. A psychological interpretation of the 6th house is that it
describes your attitude towards improving things and taking care of things. It describes the extent to which you focus on fixing, repairing, improving, and maintaining things.

7th House: Partnership
The 7th house is the house of partnerships and relationships. It describes how you relate to others, what you value in a relationship, and what you expect from others.

8th House: Business
The 8th house is associated with many different things, from inheritances to business transactions, death, and sex. A psychological interpretation of the 8th house is that it describes how you share and bond with others, whether you can make commitments to others and whether you will abide by the commitments you make. The 8th house encompasses all forms of bonding and sharing, especially strong or meaningful ones, and therefore has a big impact on marriage, sexuality, business contracts and attitude towards money.

9th House: Travel
The 9th house is associated with travel, philosophy, religion, education, and publishing. A psychological interpretation of the 9th house is that it describes how a person grasps larger concepts and the degree to which the person focuses on distant or loftier issues and to what extent these are important to the person.

10th House: Career
The 10th house is associated with career, reputation, and public image. The 10th house describes how we project ourselves into the world, and the roles that we enjoy playing in our careers and jobs.

11th House: Groups
The 11th house is associated with friendship and goals. Some astrologers feel that the essential meaning of the 11th house is how we relate to larger groups and the community in which we live. It describes the manner in which we participate in community activities, and how important the larger community, national, and global issues are to us.

12th House: Guilt Selfishness
The 12th house is associated with various things such as isolation, institutions, hospitals, prisons, etc. A psychological interpretation of the 12th house is that it describes the often subconscious and emotionally based feelings of responsibility that we have as people and citizens of the world. It describes the extent to which we feel responsible to serve the larger community, and the extent to which we take the problems of others seriously as concerns of ourselves, and the extent to which we feel guilty when we feel that we do not do what we know deep within ourselves we should do.