Our Shared Human Experience
The houses of the zodiac form the general framework of a horoscope chart with its twelve equal sections of a perfect circle. They symbolise our shared human experience based on their unique environments and activities of life and perhaps the evolution of the soul. What happens to us in these areas of life, and how we may respond are all seen in each house whether it is occupied by a planet or not. Each house is the same basic structure but the signs provide 12 different designs.
All houses have at least one zodiac sign that rules it in the natural horoscope. In an individual horoscope any of the 12 signs could rule any house following certain rules of construction. A horoscope is most accurately determined when the birth time is known and used. There are also a large number of house systems available to create the horoscope.
Through centuries of observation and mathematical calculation ancient astrologers eventually determined that dividing (intersecting) the earth through the ecliptic circle six times rendered four cardinal points and twelve houses. The houses were numbered 1 to 12 beginning with the first cardinal point called the ascendant, and located as the eastern point of the horoscope and house #1. Moving down and counter-clockwise we then have house 2, 3 and 4 which is also called the nadir. Following this and moving upward still there is house 5, 6 and 7 aka the descendant and opposite the ascendant. Moving up through house 8 and 9 we reach the medium coeli or MC for short, or midheaven and 10th house. Lastly moving downward through houses 11 and 12 we again complete the circle of life at the ascendant.
The zodiac and the houses represent the stages of life and the infinite continuity of life. They set the stage in a horoscope where and for events and responses to take place. The zodiac sign in a way modifies the action going on in the house and is where the action occurs as indicated by the movements and relationships of the planets. An astrologer bases interpretations of the signs and planets by the houses they are in and the relationships between them. The variables for these sign, planet and house relationships are nearly infinite due to the constant movement of the planets in their orbits and this is why everybody is unique.
The sign, planet and house rulerships as laid out in a 12 house horoscope can be a basic road map for one’s entire spiritual life experience on earth no matter one’s religion. The horoscope can represent a guide for the soul to consider on their spiritual journey. Everyone’s pathway may be different but we share common human relationships and pathways which each house individually and the entire horoscope represents.
In reincarnation theory the soul is born and reborn many times with the apparent goal to develop spiritually through each lifetime, to become more perfect like God. Our karma is recorded as lived, earned and spiritually spent in relationship to others but also to ourselves. Each house represents a different form of relationship in essence and as a stage where it all takes place. The houses in astrology are much more important than credited as we mostly discuss the planets and signs in astrology. In some ways the house may be our connection to spirit in the way that chakras are during meditation or some health practises.
The houses are like a quick guide to life on the planet for the soul’s journey once it enters the earthly plane. We may live it initially in the care of others yet the order of the twelve houses accurately represent our earliest experiences. Later houses cover more of our adult life.
On a subconscious level and consciously we create and live our lives but in the midst of many naturally occurring patterns and cycles. Everybody lives this way and we take that for granted. The houses in astrology when seen as a symbolic backdrop of life can reveal particular problem areas and places where we can grow.
The choices we make in any and all areas of our life can be part of a greater influence as they impact others. This is karma; it’s how we respond to life and interact with others. The soul records our life in ways that are symbolic of the houses in astrology. This journey begins in the zodiac where it should; the ascendant.
Twelve Stages of Life
The ascendant and first house represent our emergence of our soul into the physical word. We usually enter this world from mother’s womb head first (Aries). The ascendant represents our initial reaction to just about anything throughout our lives. The first house represents life circumstances very close to our birth, physical health, events and our very first life experiences. We have a physical form (Mars) that our soul wears in the way that we wear clothing. This physical form is the first thing seen or experienced by others throughout our lifetime and most of us are even presented to the world with announcements, photos and video, and celebrations. By our first cry we literally are saying, “I am here!”
The second house represents the next state and stage of life. The bounties of mother earth (Taurus) are collected or received and we are fed by mother’s milk and/or food (Venus) into our toddler years. We also learn that when we move, act or make our presence known a response will occur, and as an infant the usual response is for mom or caregivers to check to see what sustenance and nurturing we need; food, diaper change, sleep, love, cuddles and more. As toddlers we become aware of our power to act (1st house/Mars) and react (2nd house/Venus). Our early upbringing is represented, attitudes to whatever sustains us, and experiences in this house and in early childhood shape us for life.
The third house represents the other people like us in the world. Our brothers and sisters, our peers, early school classmates and teachers, and our local neighbourhood are all represented here or by Mercury and Gemini. It is here in the 3rd house that we begin to assimilate more of the outside world, we become aware that we must behave in certain ways, communicate and learn to grow and become able to exist in this life. Here we go beyond cries and noises for communication; we learn alphabets, words, languages and we begin to write, speak, view media and listen, contributing to the entire world but at first for most just within a small circle of school and activities. We form friendships and learn ways and activities that provide for initial social relationships and support structures.
The fourth house is our first home and later homes we live in. Venus and Mars conspire as female and male sex cells to conceive a new life—each one of us. But here in the 4th house is mother (the Moon) the one who birthed us and also the primary caregiver at home if not our birth mother are represented here. Our entire extended and immediate family is represented here, who assist in sheltering and feeding us. We will eventually contribute to creating our own home but it is here in what should be our own private safe place that we learn about home and family and how to interact within our own families. There is also a demarcation point in house 4 where we can rest from the world a bit and recharge. We see and understand their are relationships between us and others and realize there is home here, and the rest of the world out there.
In the fifth house, we begin to manifest more of our self and individuality. It’s where we reaffirm that we are not just like everybody else in our family or the human family; we are unique. We feel an inner urge to create and we create children of our body here through love and sex relationships, but we also create children of our mind and spirit. The inspiration and inner urges that push us to further interact in life, to leave a mark in the world, to roar even more loudly, “I am here and these are my creations.” All represented by Leo the Lion and our Sun which is the symbol of our individual ego and sense of self. Here we realize we understand ourselves and life even better if we interact with it, guiding or creating our spiritual or physical children giving us a deeper interaction with life in general. The sun is a life-giving energy and so too should our creations feel more connected with the miracle of life.
In the sixth house we are involved with our dharma, our primary reason for being here. For everyone, it should be to create structure and group effort by contributing to society, not just taking from it. Here we undertake the joy and stress of work, using our energy to focus on the currency of effort, honest work or trade and commerce (Mercury) to give back to the world. We make work alone or in a team effort to help others and are rewarded by the Universe with payment that allows for purchase of our needs, our daily bread (Virgo). We work for money to sustain our bodies, homes, families and the community. Successful work needs to be performed with preparation of a healthy mind, body and attitude to work and it is here that often in reaction to work we stress our physical bodies if imbalanced and may attract poor health or illness. Some jobs literally make us sick.
In the seventh house we work out and negotiate our needs for connection and mutual interdependancy with others. We marry or form business partnerships and make a lot of room in our lives for the person or group we have partnered with. This relationship is a separate entity from ourselves and requires mutual sustenance and nurturing from both parties to be successful. If one of us does not maintain what was agreed upon then relationship breakdowns occur which then lead to open adversaries and enemies. Hidden matters have no place in this house and often are the source of verbal or legal and contractual disputes. Here we must choose when to put everything out in the open, and create and maintain healthy balance in relationships, or when to cut our losses and leave the now broken connection behind.
The eighth house is a house of crisis and a reformulation of plans or transformation (Pluto). Involving problems with investments, other people’s money, legal matters and sex (Scorpio) almost everyone deals with these crises at one time or another. Life leads us here through our own mistakes and poor decisions more than “bad luck” although it may seem we did not bring the problems upon ourselves. There is humility in this house as we realize mistakes and abandon projects, people or situations that appear to be or are actual losses. Does one lose money when it is put away in a long-term investment deposit? Not usually; the idea is to reap greater reward at a later time. We have an ability in this house to humbly transmute the dead aspects of our life into a new life through raising our soul vibration to a higher level benefiting our karma in the long run.
As we approach the zenith of the universe as symbolized by the horoscope, the 9th house is where we commune with a higher strata of society and life. In this house our soul receives a higher education, a greater life’s purpose, a hope or a cause and activities that benefit others more than ourselves. Although, the wisdom (Jupiter) received in this house is of very great benefit to ourselves also. Through our spiritual pursuits we become less a beast of the earth and more a universal spiritual being (half horse, half human centaur, Sagittarius). We retain our humanity and uplift each other with shared knowledge, with religion and the higher pursuits that justify raising humans above the other animals for being more civilized. Unfortunately, crimes against nature and each other are committed with selfish regard for one’s self while ignoring the needs of others. A house of legal matters, the 9th house reminds us of the universal and societal laws needed to maintain order and peace and to benefit everybody.
In the 10th house we have the midheaven of the zodiac, the point of the horoscope that is the zenith in the sky at your moment of birth. Every new beginning is met with high expectations and a working plan, a guide one could say to help with mastery over whatever the guide is for. As a house of public activities and the general public, we elect certain other humans to lead us, to govern (Saturn) and by example show us how we can be our very best. If we work hard over time (Capricorn) we usually will achieve success, maybe a great reward like a gold watch, a milestone to remind us of how far we’ve come as a human-wearing soul. Some of us are such a success we have a huge impact on the public or the world. Most of us will have a family that supports and understands our need to get out of the house and make something of ourselves even if we’re never famous. Others will leech off the public purse, drain, bleed or steal others resources and self-aggrandize at our cost. They can bring great harm to society with antisocial behaviour that hurts us all.
As the soul experiences the 11th house we are involved with hopes, dreams and plans for the future. The ideals of a civilized soul with spiritual and creative yearnings, it is here we wish to be a better version of ourselves. Within the community we envision or activate the qualities in our selves that serve others in a humanitarian way (Aquarius). Sometimes these activities or society itself takes us through changes that appear sudden or erratic (and may be) but are intended to revolutionize (Uranus) our thought processes and give us a new insight into what life is all about—and it isn’t solely based on the self or the earth. In this house we discover that the sky is the limit to what humans can dream up to help others in the community or within the community in teamwork to benefit all.
In the life experience of the 12th house we return to the void, the hidden and mysterious realm below the surface of things (Pisces). In this house symbolized by whatever is hidden from view or awareness (Neptune) we dream and create or dissolve and destroy. The clay and dust matter from which the human body is formed is returned to its origin leaving pure spirit behind, but hidden deep within the Collective Unconscious yet able to be accessed by all who are initiated. In this ocean house ruled by Pisces, we all are a mere droplet of water, a tiny part of the entire ocean (Neptune) we call and experience as God. The deep mysteries here may not be available to most until our soul once again departs the planet to return again in the 1st house with our soul wearing a new human uniform.