What are the 12 Astrological Houses?

What does your home look like?

Your astrological chart is your blueprint for this lifetime: Why You are YOU.

Three primary functions make up each chart. These are the planets, signs, and houses. Most people are familiar with their Sun sign; some might even know what planet rules their sign. But unless someone has had their astrology chart read, they usually don’t know the house location of their Sun or any of their other planets.

While the houses are often a less understood function of astrology, they are integral to knowing who you are; and so, they are of equal importance to signs and planets. A shorthand way to think of these three puzzle pieces is: what, how and where.

  • Planets are WHAT is operating

  • the sign is HOW the planet is operating

  • the house is WHERE the planet is operating.

The house shows the area of life where the Sun and other planets shine. An example might be a client with the Sun in Leo in the fourth house. The fourth house is ruled by Cancer the Crab. It is all about home, food, family, nurturing. So at first glance, this person may be a home-loving Leo who may be a very good cook and devoted parent or family member.

Twelve houses comprise an astrological chart, each correlating to a sign which is ruled by a planet. A chart resembles a pie with twelve slices. Some slices contain no planets while others host one, two or several planets. Often clients are alarmed when they look at their charts and see no planets in one or more of their chart’s houses.


An empty house void of any planets is actually a good thing. It simply means you have free will in that realm. And who doesn’t want more free choice in their life?

Then there are those folks with a dominance of planets in one particular house.  Say, someone with the Sun in Cancer in the 9th house, along with the planets Mercury, Venus, and Uranus. Though Cancer Sun folks are commonly labeled homebodies that crochet, cook and craft, this example Cancer Sun is anything but that!  

He or she might be a trained chef who writes and talks about food, travels the world in search of the best meals, and changes the way we think about cooking, dining, eating...

Why? Because while the sign of Cancer deals with food, cooking and eating, the 9th house, where the Sun and other planets are located, rules writing, travel, foreign and unusual lifestyles.

Anthony Bourdain comes to mind.

It is so crucial to remember that there are no “typical” Cancers,...or Leos, Aries, Gemini’s, Virgos, etc.  

Yes, there are common traits.  

But the house where the Sun is located (and possibly more planets sharing that house) indicates an emphasis in a particular sector. This forms your cosmic fingerprint. Why you are like no one else on earth. You are completely you, individual, and rare indeed.

So what does each house deal with, rule, influence?

The First House, ruled by Aries & Mars

The first house - SELF

Ruled by Aries and Mars. Your body, self, individuality, survival, beginnings, appearances, first impressions, attitude, identity, warriors.

The Second House, ruled by Taurus & Venus

The Second House - VALUES

Ruled by Taurus and Venus. Values, material possessions, money, skills, and talents, how you earn your living, self-worth, self-esteem.

The Third House, ruled by Gemini & Mercury


Ruled by Gemini and Mercury. Short communication verbal and written, thoughts, rational mind, cause and effect, siblings, cars/automobiles, community, neighborhood, primary education.

The Fourth House, ruled by Cancer & the Moon

The Fourth House - HOME

Ruled by Cancer and the Moon. Mother, family, food, home, cooking, dining, house, home, ancestors, psychological roots, biological inheritance, self-care, emotions, real estate, property.

The Fifth House, ruled by Leo & the Sun

The Fifth House - CREATIVITY

Ruled by Leo and the Sun. Creativity, romance, risks/taking chances/gambling, drama, theater, costumes, makeup, passion, athletics, pleasure, joy, vacations/holidays, children, self-expression.

The Sixth House, ruled by Virgo & Mercury

The Sixth House - WORK/HEALTH

Ruled by Virgo and Mercury. Health, work, habits, routines, patterns, pets, animals, service, volunteering, systems, organization, fitness, efficiency, detail.

The Seventh House, ruled by Libra & Venus

The Seventh House - RELATIONSHIP

Ruled by Libra and Venus. Relationships, diplomacy, adversaries, negotiation, art, beauty, balance, interpersonal style, sharing, spouses, business and marital partners.

The Eighth House, ruled by Scorpio & Pluto

The Eighth House - POWER

Ruled by Scorpio and Pluto. Transformation. Regenerative processes:  sex, intimacy, death, rebirth, resurrection. Taxes, shared resources and finances, inheritance, metaphysical realm, mystery, psychology.

The Ninth House, ruled by Sagittarius & Jupiter

The Ninth House - EDUCATION

Ruled by Sagittarius and Jupiter. The law, philosophy, higher consciousness, education, life lessons, lessons learned through living, adventure, spirituality and religion, foreign life, long-distance travel, long journeys, publishing, in-laws.

The Tenth House, ruled by Capricorn & Saturn

The Tenth House - CAREER

Ruled by Capricorn and Saturn. Profession, Career, honor, responsibility, long-term goals, status, reputation, public image, father, public image, experts, fame.

The Eleventh House, ruled by Aquarius & Uranus

The Eleventh House - GOALS

Ruled by Aquarius and Uranus. Friends, groups, networks, goals, wishes, groups, the future, technology, humanitarianism, social awareness, collective conscious.

The Twelfth House, ruled by Pisces & Neptune

The Twelfth House - SPIRIT

Ruled by Pisces and Neptune. Subconscious, music, water, inspiration, dreams, confinement, hospitals, saints/angels, homeless, despairing, prisons, solitude, meditation, spirituality, poetry, lyrics, collective unconscious.

If you are interested in learning more about your personalized astrology chart, please contact me and check out my services HERE. We will also continue with more Astrology articles every month...



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AUTHOR: Hilary Harley is an OSYL Astrologer & Reiki Master. She offers astrological counseling and Reiki energy healing to help clients reach their highest potential. By understanding the role that planetary cycles play in their lives, they are empowered to make better decisions resulting in more rewarding and fulfilling lives.

Find out more about Hilary and her services HERE.