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There are three basic ingredients which combine to make up an astrological chart – planets, signs (or constellations of stars) and houses. The houses of the horoscope form one of its basic building blocks. Serving as the lens to focus and personalize the planetary blueprint, the houses bring the chart down to earth.
The Planets represent particular psychological urges, drives and motivations. The Constellations of stars in which a planet travels represent the qualities of being or attitude; and, the houses show specific areas of everyday experience through which the operations of the constellations and planets manifest.
For example, Mars in Taurus will assert itself in a slow and steady manner, but its placement by house determines the exact area of life in which this slow and steady action can most obviously be observed – whether it is in the person’s career, or in his relationships or at school, etc. Put very simply, the planets show what is happening, the signs show how it is happening and he houses show where it is happening.
Astrology has been practiced by man for thousands of years; it is one of the world’s oldest religions. “What is your Sun sign?” is one of the most commonly asked questions between two people who are trying to get to know each other. Astrology fascinates people. for over 9.000 years man has looked to the heavens for insight into his troubles and for meaning in his life.
The earliest horoscope (2767 B.C.) was cast by an Egyptian named Imhotep, the architect of the Great Steppe Pyramid at Saqqarah. Atrology was practiced by the Greeks, Babylonians, Indians, Chaldeans and Chinese. Many early astronomers including Ptolemy, Kepler, Copernicus and Nostradamus also practiced Astrology, as much of Astrology as we know it today is a result of these and other famous astronomers and the research they did.
As civilizations evolved and the body of knowledge grew, the earliest Astrologers meticulous calendars and more complete records of celestial movements. The most convenient way to study the stars was by connecting their groupings into recognizable patterns we now call constellations. The sky was thus divided into twelve segments each one represented by its own constellation.
It was also noted that the visible planets often appeared to wander through the sky against this backdrop of constellations. These planets eventually acquired personalities and mythologies of their own, and Astrologers soon began to affix significance to the position of these planets against certain constellations in the sky. The night sky was a grand soap-opera, where gods and goddesses played out their dramas and the consequences were manifested on earth through droughts, floods and a host of natural occurrences.
There is not much in the heavens that is not cyclical – happening over and over. Astrology is the study and charting of these planetary cycles and cosmic events as they are reflected here on our earthly plane.
Early Philosophers and Astronomers discovered that all major cosmic events are interactive; that is, cosmic events millions of miles away from planet Earth represent an activity that takes place within ourself, our consciousness and in out outward daily life!! It is this repeating pattern that enables us to recognize heavenly events.
Astrology deals with ten planets. Eight of these are the sister planets of the Earth: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The other two are the Sun and the Moon, neither of which is a planet. (A planet circles the Sun.) However, as seen from the earth, the Sun and Moon follow the same path as the planets. Astrologers, interested in the relationships between the positions of ALL ten objects, simply call them the Ten Planets.
The movements and the cycles of planets as they rotate in their designated, patterned orbits act as a huge cosmic clock that ticks off the time and events, past, present and future. The path followed by the ten planets is called the ecliptic. The patterns that are revealed in the rhythmic motions of the planets seem to shed light on the shelter skelter of our everyday lives.
By studying the planetary arrangement for a given moment, the astrologer can gain an accurate picture of what has happened on earth at that moment. This is what astrology is all about!!
Each of the planets has its own unique characteristics, and all of the characteristics of a given planet will not apply to every chart. The placement of the planet in each individual chart by house and sign, and the aspects it makes to other planets in the chart determine exactly which characteristics will apply.
Returns to the solstice points (spring, summer, autumn and winter) predictably year after year. The sun is the single most important planet in the natal chart because it represents your ego and individuality. The Sun moves through all twelve zodiac constellations each year progressing approximately one degree a day (53 seconds a day is more exact). It spends approximately 30 days in each constellation. The Sun never goes retrograde.
Is the most personal of the planets and shows where your strong emotional attachments are. The Moon goes through four phases every 29 ½ days: the first quarter (New Moon); second quarter; third quarter (Full Moon); and fourth quarter. This waxing and waning of the Moon continues endlessly in an absolutely predictable pattern.
Depicts our thinking process. Mercury goes through all twelve constellations in approximately one year, never getting further away from the Sun than 28 degrees. Mercury goes retrograde for approximately three weeks, about four times a year.
Because of this, Mercury is sometimes ahead of the Sun and sometimes trails the Sun. Mercury travels from 0 degrees to 2 degrees 12 minutes a day, depending on whether it is retrograde or in fast direct motion. This means Mercury stays in one zodiac sign from 14 to a little over 30 days, again depending on the motion.
Represents refinement, harmony, love, beauty and artistic ability. Venus moves through all twelve constellations in approximately one year, never getting further away from the Sun than 48 degrees. Venus also goes retrograde and sometimes is ahead of the Sun and sometimes trails the Sun.
Venus travels from 0 degrees to 1 degree 16 minutes a day, depending on whether it is retrograde or not. This means Venus stays in one zodiac sign from 23 days to a little over two months, depending on its motion.
Is action, energy and courage. It represents our most primitive and aggressive urges. Mars moves through all twelve constellations in approximately two years, staying in one sign an average of 1.5 months.
Is the planet of expansiveness. Wherever it is in a chart shows where there will be an abundance in the person’s life. Jupiter is associated with good fortune. Jupiter moves through all twelve zodiac signs in approximately 12 years, staying in one sign an average of one year.
Is the “teacher” planet and the planet of personal justice. Through Saturn’s influence we learn, but not always easily. Saturn travels from 0 degrees to 8 minutes a day, depending on whether it is in retrograde or direct motion. It moves through all twelve constellations in approximately 29 ½ years, staying in one sign an average of 2 ½ years.
Is associated with sudden changes and events for which there is no warning. The circumstances that turn your life completely around in an instant are Uranean events. Uranus moves through all twelve constellations in approximately 84 years, staying in one sign an average of 7 years. Uranus travels from 0 degrees to 4 minutes a day, depending on whether it is in retrograde of direct motion.
Is the most difficult planet to describe because it rules anything that is difficult to pin down, define or clarify. One could say that it rules illusion or delusion, also dreams, mystical matters, indecision, confusion. Neptune travels from 0 degrees to 3 minutes a day and moves through all twelve zodiac constellations in approximately 165 years, staying in one sign approximately 14 years.
Was discovered on March 12, 1930. There is much about Pluto that is not yet known simply because there has not been enough time to study it. All the other planets have had hundreds of years of study. Thus far, we have only been able to study and observe Pluto as it has moved through the constellations of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and now Sagittarius.
Pluto moved into the constellation of Sagittarius in November of 1995. It takes Pluto 248 years to travel through all twelve constellations and stays in one sign from 14 to 30 years. Pluto travels from 0 degrees to 3 minutes a day depending on whether it is in retrograde or direct motion. One thing we do know about Pluto is that it is the great transformer. It breaks down the old, and replaces it with the new.
The constellations serve as the lens that energizes and personalizes the planet. It has been scientifically proven that stars produce a gas. Groups of stars in a particular configuration (constellation) produce a specific gas and when a planet passes in front of one of these constellations it is fueled into action. Planets represent particular psychological drives, urges and motivations. The drive of a planet is expressed through the “sign” in which the planet is moving.
For example, Mars asserts, Venus harmonizes, Jupiter expands, Saturn restricts, etc. If Mars is in the constellation of Taurus it will assert itself in a slow and steady manner. It’s placement by house determines the exact area of life in which this slow steady action can be most obviously observed. Very simply put, the planets show what is happening, the signs show how it is happening, and the houses show where it is happening!!
Aries is the first of the twelve constellations. Being first makes Aries in charge of beginnings, self-interest, the head and face, your physical body, your personality, your attitude and your outlook on life. People born while the Sun is seen as being in the constellation of Aries are action-oriented and competitive.
Taurus is the second of the twelve constellations and is in charge of your money, how you receive and give, your possessions, all persons who deal with money, and your neck and throat. Those born while the Sun is in Taurus focus their energies on acquiring material possessions and money. They like the good things in life.
Gemini is the third of the twelve constellations and has to do with your communications and conscious mind, transportation, the arms, hands, lungs and nervous system. Gemini Sun Sign people are probably the most intelligent people of the zodiac having quick minds and a curiosity about virtually everything.
Cancer is the fourth of the twelve constellations and is the most sensitive sign. Home, the mother, family life, your base of operations, digestive system, stomach, all come under Cancer’s rule Those born under Cancer’s rule are easily hurt and are very complex people. They are directed through kindness, not force.
Leo is the fifth of the twelve constellations and the most courageous. Children, love affairs, gambling, entertainment, sports, games and fun, and the heart all come under Leo’s rule. Those born under Leo’s reign are strongly attracted to the opposite sex. They are romantic, idealistic, ambitious, generous and . . . tempermental.
Virgo is the sixth of the twelve constellations and represents knowledge and efficiency. Work, health, service, diet, small animals, the intestines all fall under Virgo’s rule. Those born with the Sun in Virgo are methodical, neat, reliable, practical and industrious. If you want to be sure the job gets done, ask a Virgo to do it.
Libra is the seventh of the twelve constellations and overseas our partnerships. Balance is achieved through Libran energy. Marriage, divorce, open enemies, the public, kidneys, bladder and the groin all come under Libra’s rule. Libra Sun Sign people are rarely loners. They work hard; they want and need companionship.
Scorpio is the eighth of the twelve constellations and is an extremely strong energy. Strong willpower and an intense emotional drive is signified by Scorpio. Other people’s money, sex organs, and surgery all come under Scorpio’s rule. Scorpio Sun Sign natives are secretive, determined and hard-driven individuals.
Sagittarius is the ninth of the twelve constellations and is freedom-loving and expansive. Publishing, long journeys, the law, philosophy, higher education, hips, thighs all come under Sagittarians rule. Sagittarians call the shots as they see them and often considered to be blunt. They must learn wisdom and balance.
Capricorn is the tenth of the twelve constellations and represents ambition and responsibility. Your true profession, honors, your reputation, politics, joints, knees, teeth all fall under Capricorn’s rule. A Capricorn person is frugal, dedicated to achieving goals, likes being in charge, and works well past retirement.
Aquarius is the eleventh of the twelve constellations and represents brotherhood and friend- ship. Friends, social contacts, hopes, wishes, ankles and calves, organizations all come under Aquarian’s rule. An Aquarian has great desire for material gain, but they are not greedy. They take their work seriously and are loyal.
Pisces is the twelfth of the twelve constellations and oversees secrets, institutions, the feet and toes, the subconscious. Karma also comes under Pisces rule. A Pisces Sun sign person is very sensitive and responsive to the thoughts and feelings of others. They are very tuned in with the dream world. They are very artistic.
THE TWELVE ASTROLOGICAL HOUSES
Each of the twelve houses represents a different department of life. Generally, the meaning of each house mirrors the meaning of the twelve signs of the zodiac: Aries is considered similar to the first house, Taurus is considered similar to the 2nd house, and so on right through to the connection of Pisces with the 12th house.
The Ascendant shows the exact degree of the constellation which is rising over the eastern horizon at the time of birth. The Ascendant and the 1st house proclaim the beginning of a cycle – the first breath we take. Whatever is born at this moment in time reflects the qualities of that moment. The Ascendant appears as we appear, and its qualities reflect both who we are and how we meet life.
The First House reflects who you are to yourself and what you project to others. It is ego, primary personality characteristics, physical appearance. The first house is associated with the Fire Sign of Aries and the planet Mars.
The 2nd House, associated with the earthy sign of Taurus and the planet Venus, is usually described as the one that rules values, possessions, money and resources. The sign on the cusp of the second house and the condition of its ruler symbolizes our natural orientation toward money in general, and our own financial state in particular.
Another meaning of this house deals with our innermost feelings about what we treasure In this way, it describes our self-worth, self-esteem and sense of personal value. In a broader context, the Second House indicates where our financial support comes from and where it goes. If the second house is afflicted our personal riches are stunted. The result is a poverty of consciousness, lack of money and a sense of something lacking in ourselves.
The 3rd house is a full and busy house because it concerns a multitude of factors. Primarily the Third House is associated with Gemini and the planet Mercury. In Mythology, Mercury was in charge of distributing information to and from the various gods. Likewise, all forms of communication come under this house’s rulership: relating to others, our verbal skills and the way we communicate our thoughts, ideas and opinions through the written or spoken word.
The Third House deals with short journeys, elementary schooling and the people in our family that are closest to us: brothers, sisters, cousins and close, lifelong friends who are like siblings. Moon in the third seeks knowledge for the sake of security; Mercury in the third believes that knowledge is power; Venus in the Third describes one who seeks harmony from their environment.
The 4th House is associated with Cancer and the Moon. Traditionally it represents one’s mother and the domestic environment. It also reveals the emotional climate surrounding the birth and the early years of life. It is the key to the nature of our primary roots. It represents where we go when we settle back into ourselves. It is the base of operations from which we meet life.
For this reason, the 4th house has been associated with the home. What kind of atmosphere do we create in the home? What qualities in the home environment are we most comfortable with? These questions can be answered by examining the planets and signs in the 4th. The Fourth House also reveals a great deal about what we have absorbed from the past: our family, race, nationality and inherited social patterns.
The 5th House is ruled by Leo and the Sun. It is the house of creative expression and represents the next stage in one’s individual development. The ruler of the 5th shows HOW we express our sense of personal identity in terms of what we create. This creative function has two primary forms: our children and all matters connected to their upbringing, and our other, nonhuman, creations.
Creative arts, especially performing arts, pastimes, hobbies, and the joys of life are all ruled by this house. The Fifth IS the ‘party house’, as it is associated with gambling and social entertainment. It is definitely the house of romance and it is here that we find our lovers. The Fifth House is a place of power, where the universal life-force of creative power of the Sun finds its outlet.
The 6th House, the planets in this house as well as the ruler of this house and their aspects, reveals much about the native’s attitude toward work and service. With this information you can see how someone can perform useful tasks and determine the native’s ability to use their mind in a practical way. Here is where one learns responsibility and the part of learning responsibility that comes with the proper care and maintenance of a healthy body.
The Sixth House indicates health, or lack of it, and the native’s attitude toward staying healthy. Diet, food preparation, clothes, which protect the body, and the neatness or lack of it are shown here. Everything having to do with a person’s appearance is shown here. The way we use our time and the kind of atmosphere we need in order to function happily in daily life is shown by the 6th. Pets – who are around us in our everyday life – are also ruled by the 6th House.
This house concerns all direct close personal relationships with others and reveals the nature of other people’s reactions to our actions. The 7th House reveals the kind of partners one is likely to attract, whether in marriage of other close relationships. In the 7th House two people come together for a purpose – to enhance the quality of their lives by joining with one another, to produce a family and gain greater security and stability.
Planets and signs in the 7th describe the marriage partner. Close personal friendships, contacts with the public, legal affairs and the forming of contracts and agreements all come under the influence of the 7th House. Curiously, the 7th also is the house of ‘open enemies’, or people with home we find ourselves in frequent conflict of competition.
The 8th House is the house of joint resources, as its’ polar opposite, the 2nd House, is the house of personal property. The 8th House deals with corporate money, inherited money or property, insurance, taxes, money that results from combined effort, or money belonging to the marriage or business partner. This House is naturally associated with Pluto and Scorpio and thus contains some of the most challenging and compulsive areas of life: sex, death and regeneration.
Although the 8th House describes much of the nature of one’s physical death – as well as one’s attitude toward death in general – this house also rules death in a spiritual and psychological sense. Here we can see one’s passing away from one stage of our evolution to another. Psychic ability is ruled by the 8th House.
The 9th House is most directly concerned with philosophy and religion – questions about the ‘whys and wherefores’ of existence. It is here that we seek The Truth! Suffering linked with a failure to live in accordance with the laws or truths of existence is seen by planetary placements in this House. The 9th House signifies what is known as ‘the higher mind’ = the part of the mind linked to the abstract and intuitive process.
Journeys of the mind and higher education are associated with the 9th. The chosen field of study or the nature of the college or university experience in general is shown by placements here. The 9th House placements indicate relationships with one’s in-laws. Facts are collected in the 3rd House; in the 9th conclusions are drawn from them: isolated facts are organized here.
What the 9th House envisions, the 10th House brings to Earth. This is the house of ambition behind which lies the urge to be acknowledged. The nature of our contribution to society and our status and place in the world, the social level we achieve as we pass our adults years on this planet, are shown by the sign that rules the 10th and the planets placed here. Indications of career and vocation are seen here.
However, one’s approach to his career – the manner in which the work is handled or packaged is represented here. Presiding over the top of the chart and opposite the 4th House which rules the mother, the 10th House represents the father archetype because it is the area of the chart of authority figures or authoritative social structures, such as the government or a corporation and their rules and regulations.
At its’ deepest level, the 11th House represents the attempt to go beyond our ego-identity and become something greater than what we already are. We do this by identifying with something larger than the self – such as a circle of friends, a group, a belief system or an ideology. Placements here will determine if one has the ‘right’ friends and is seen in the ‘right’ places.
This is where we branch out into the world and integrate with the greater society. The 11th is also known as the house of ‘hopes, wishes and aspirations’. Its’ purpose is to stimulate the individual to experiment with creative impulses to enlarge his potential. The ruler of the 11th House – Uranus – signifies the amplification of consciousness beyond the five physical senses. Abilities toward intuition, mental telepathy and ESP are seen here.
Many call the 12th House the ‘House of Karma’, as well as the ‘House of Self-Undoing’. This is the storehouse of our secret treasures as well as the strength we have gained from life’s experiences. The 12th House is the house of convents and monasteries, insane asylums and torture chambers, jails and life-destroying addictive substances.
This House tells us what we have to overcome from past lives and how to do it in this life. It also reveals some of our greatest tools with which we can accomplish this task. A strong emphasis with this house indicates people who have great difficulty in forming clearly defined identities. They are swayed by whatever they are around, or whoever they make contact with. Others distort their personal identities. There is confusion due to a lack of concrete direction.