Ancient astrologers observed the planets and stars above but on paper, clay and stone they also transcribed their observations and calculations into a picture of the heavens at appointed times. They could do this as the geometry of our solar system’s celestial mechanics is so precise planetary positions in the sky can be predicted for hundreds and thousands of years ahead of time. It’s astounding that ancient astrologers understood astronomy so well that they were able to accurately track the planets with just the naked eye as telescopes were not invented until the early 17th century.

The planetary pathways through careful measurement are predictable so they observed that the events and situations associated with those measurements were also predictable. In other words, if Mars squaring Saturn (at 90 degree angle) indicated disputes, then disputes are likely every time Mars is at this angle to Saturn. This is where most people would say, “no, not possible”. Yet to paraphrase Mark Twain for expedience, “Nothing is impossible it seems.”

In recording the events unfolding in the sky astrologers developed a specific set of measurements to record planetary activity within specific portions of geometry. They divided the visible sky and non-visible sky around us into 12 sections and called these houses. Think of each astrological house as similar to a fashion house; each house is a unique but consistent brand, a mode or place of influence, an origin, with each house being deeply connected to the sign and planet ruling the house.

Historically, most every indigenous culture worldwide developed their own unique form of astrology, often independently from other cultures, such as Celtic astrology, North American First Nations animal medicine astrology, Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec astrology. Each also developed their own house system and the number of houses used so some cultures cast horoscopes using 6, 12, 13, 18, or 24 houses. The major branches of astrology use just 12 houses today.

Chinese astrology is derived from Ayurvedic astrology and is widely followed in countries with large Asian populations, originating in China.

Western astrology was developed through Persian and Greco-Roman influences over the last 2500 years, with these ancient cultures applying their own names and interpretations of the houses, signs and planets used.

Although all 3 primary systems of astrology are different from one another, it’s interesting to note that they correspond with the 3 primary branches of medicine; Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and modern allopathic (Western) medicine. In the Americas, Europe and parts of Oceania, Western astrology is most widely followed and is the system used on this web site.

The Twelve Houses

Basic character traits, attitude towards self, others and the world. Self-identity, physical appearance especially genetic inheritances. These above attitudes seen more under influence of alcohol or stress.
Whatever sustains and nurtures, attitude towards money, material possessions, food and sex. Indicates care (or lack) received in childhood, relates to work earnings and money in general.
Early education, travel, short trips, lower communications (daily news, local mail), our peers, siblings, friends and neighbours. Represents anything that is a quick read or trip up to high school.
Our current home, the house we were raised in and attitude towards parents, grandparents and family. Some planetary transits here indicate the end of long-term affairs.
The fun house; love, sex, kids, recreation, creativity and art, pleasures and hobbies. Love affairs and friends. Children of the body and/or mind.
Health and hygiene, work and work environment, your dharma or service to the world.
7LIBRAVenusLove or business partnerships, marriage and arrangements of mutual dependency. Open associations, enemies and matters of civil law.
Hidden health issues, joint finances, other people’s money, inheritances, long-term investments. Sex problems, financial problems and dead-end projects.
Higher education, religion & philosophy, longer journeys, immigration/foreign affairs, criminal law and major publications.
Public status and career aspirations, honour or notoriety. Important milestones and turning points in one’s life. Relates to parentage and ancestors. Indicates your greatest abilities and what you have to offer the world.
Hopes, wishes and plans for the future. What you dream of being or doing. How you interact within society, the community or in civic affairs.
Hidden matters, fears or talents and anything going on behind the scenes. Places of confinement, institutions, government. Secrets and skeletons in the closet.

The twelve house wheel is the basic graph on which the image of the ecliptic circle (containing the planets and signs) is laid using each individual’s birth time. This creates a unique horoscope for every individual, or anything that has a birth. Rubber or time stamping an agreement, a handshake, a signature, the birth of a pet or an idea; these are all beginnings and a horoscope can be cast for their start times.

The use and interpretations of the individual houses can vary greatly depending on whether the astrologer is using the houses for a personal or individual horoscope reading, mundane astrology where interpretations are given for the world or world events, or for horary astrology, an ancient and less used form based on answering questions like in I-Ching or other forms of divination. Houses and each of their unique areas of influences denote the environment at birth, but also throughout life. They can help describe past, present or future conditions surrounding events and activities.

In astrology a house can be compared to an arena, stage or venue where events occur. In some ways it is merely a backdrop, a decorated curtain on a stage, and at other times it appears to be a participant in the events like a working prop. The planets, like painted actors on a stage, enter and then leave each house almost like we enter our own or others’ homes, although planets also go retrograde, make stations, and continue direct again. The signs in the houses go far in continuing our metaphor of a never-ending stage of actors with the signs representing the costumes and set design, perhaps even the role played while a planet visits.

The houses are an intrinsic part of astrology as they provide the basic structure in which experience and understanding can take place.

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay