Over the course of the next month or so, I will be taking a deep dive into the meaning of the Twelve Houses of the birth chart. It seems to me that this is an important subject that I have overlooked for far too long.

Just as the Zodiac is divided into twelve segments, so is a birth chart. These segments are called “Houses.” Whereas the Signs give each sector of a birth chart a particular color and quality, the Houses delineate what we may expect from each particular department of a person’s life. The Sign on the cusp of a House, and the location and condition of the planet which rules that Sign will all affect how that particular department of a person’s life will tend to go for them.

(Side note: A lot of House systems use “cusps.” I deal in Whole Sign Houses, so cusps begone!)

One way people learn about the nature of each House is that the First House is like Aries, the Second House is like Taurus, the Third House is like Gemini, and so on. Get ready to throw that thinking right out the window. Although there is some truth to it, the Houses deserve more respect than just being given the hand-me-downs of the Twelve Signs to wear.

Every planet has a certain kind of energy and rules certain things. The nature of how that manifests is based on planets assigned a placement and aspects to it from other placements. The twelve Houses represent departments of life in which those energies play out.

Before I start diving in one House at a time, here is some basic-House related terminology.

Houses break down into three basic types: Angular, Cadent, and Succedent.

The angular Houses are the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th Houses. These Houses tend to be the places where much of the important stuff we do with out lives happen. If your life was an action movie, the angular Houses would be the guy who meets you at a remote location with a trunk full of guns, ammo, and explosives. You’re the star of the show, but he’s going to give you the tools you need to take down The Cartel once and for all.

The succedant Houses are the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th Houses. They to lend stability to the stuff set off by the angular houses. If your life was a romantic comedy, the succedent Houses would be your quirky friend who may not have it all together, but will support you and give you mostly-sound advice — and will drive the golf cart through the parade to get you to the airport on time.

Finally we have the Cadent Houses — the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th. These give us opportunities for learning and growth. They tend to be a little more thoughtful and maybe a little harder to grasp than the other Houses. If your life was a science fiction movie, these Houses would be your nerdy scientist friend who explains that the Dinosaur Zombies can’t see you if you aren’t moving… so hold absolutely still. Also, none of this would have happened if that politician in the first ten minutes of the movie had just listened in the first place!

So: come back soon and I’ll hand you all the keys to your Twelve Houses!

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