The E-Mail Astrologer, copyright Sherrie Nist, 2012
As Above, So Below
The Structure of a Chart:
Houses, Part One
by Sherrie Nist
         What does it mean when an astrologer tells you your Moon is in the 7th
house?  What are houses?  How many are there?  Why are they significant?
         In previous articles, we’ve looked at planets and signs.  Each planet has a
function in your chart.  That function is filtered through the sign where the planet is
located.  The dynamics of the planets are further defined by the house the planet is
in.  WHERE a planet is located is just as important as what sign it's in, and the
houses cannot be calculated accurately without an accurate birth time.
       If you’ve ever seen an astrology chart, you know it looks like a circle divided
into 12 wedge-shaped pieces.  Those wedges are the 12 houses.  They are the
environments in which the planets associated with those particular houses act out
their functions, the areas of life that are most affected by whatever planet “lives”
in that house.  You will undoubtedly have houses with no planets in them: don’t
panic; that does not mean the area of life  associated with the empty house is
lacking activity.  Every house has a ruler, which is the planet corresponding to the
sign on the cusp (on the chart, the line where the house begins), and events and
activities associated with that house will be described by the ruling planet, it’s
sign, house, and aspects (contacts with other planets).
       So, you ask, what ARE these environments or areas?  The first house, or
ascendant (your rising sign), is the face you present to the world, your outward
personality, which may or may not accurately reflect the person within, depending
on how it jives with your Sun sign. Your first house describes how others see you,
rightly or wrongly.  We all know people that seem one way when we meet them, and
entirely different when we get to know them.  That’s often because their Sun sign
is not similar to their rising sign.  They can be the same, but usually aren’t.  When
they are, and the Sun is placed in the first house, you have the “What you see is
what you get” personality.  People see the real you immediately. Most people
exhibit physical characteristics associated with their Ascendant; you are more likely
to look like your rising sign than your sun sign.
        The first house is associated with the sign of Aries, because in the natural
zodiac, Aries is the first sign, and carries an energy that corresponds with the
planet Mars, which “rules” the sign of Aries.  This does NOT mean that you have
Aries on YOUR first house cusp . The basic themes and energy of the
corresponding sign and house of the natural zodiac will be filtered through
whatever sign applies to your chart.
       The second house explores the realm of what you consider important.  
Traditionally interpreted as your assets and things of value, that interpretation can
be extended to your intangible values as well.  It’s also the house that describes
your self-esteem.  The connection? Self-esteem is about what you value about
yourself, what you think you’re worth.  Your “survivor instinct” is a 2nd house
matter; what you think you need to survive is going to be something you consider
of great value, be it material items like lots of money, or personal values that you
have to live by.  In the natural zodiac, the second house is associated with the sign
of Taurus and the planet Venus. This makes a lot of sense when you remember that
Taurus has a very possessive nature, likes to own things, and often collects
valuable items like fine art or antiques.
       The third house puts us in touch with others. It is associated with
communications of all kinds; how you communicate, and how you deal with
communications from others.  The third house describes how we learn and process
information, our mental adaptability and versatility.   Learning disabilities and
speech impairments will be evidenced here.  The third house is also  siblings and
neighbors, transportation and short trips.  Gemini and the planet Mercury are the
natural zodiacal correspondents to the third house, and in mythology, appropriately
enough, Mercury was the messenger with wings on his feet.
       The fourth house is where you live, both physically and emotionally.  It is
associated with your mother, and other early emotional influences that have made
you what you are today.  It’s  your basic psychological makeup, which largely stems
from  early home and family life. The fourth house is situated at the bottom of the
chart, it appropriately signifies the inner you that is sometimes buried so deep you
don’t even know it’s there.  It also denotes your residence, and when an action
planet like Mars crosses over the fourth house cusp, many people move.  The
fourth house is naturally associated with the emotional water sign of Cancer, and
it's ruling planet, the Moon.
       We get creative in the fifth house.  What do you do for fun?  It will be
described here. Entertainment, hobbies, gambling, personal creativity, and love
affairs are all fifth house matters.  The fifth house rules your children; creating a
child is the ultimate act of personal creativity, and it can be pretty entertaining   ,
too!!!!!  The 5th house is where you are when it is time to come out and play.  
Playing is all about you; it’s what you do when you can do anything you want.  In the
natural zodiac, the sign of Leo and the Sun are the correlating sign and planet, and
everybody knows that to a Leo, everything is about what they want!
       The sixth house is not nearly as much fun as the fifth.   The sixth is traditionally
interpreted as having to do with jobs, health and pets.  It’s your work, and your
attitude about work. It’s service and doing your duty. It’s your health, and how you
take care of yourself.  It’s about the practical ways in which you function.. Down-to-
earth  Virgo and it’s ruler, Mercury, are the natural sign and planet associations
with the sixth house.