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Beginner Astrology - Part 4 - The Houses

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

The houses are probably the least understood aspect of Astrology. Its not as widely recognized as the Zodiac or even the Planets. The houses also tend to cause the most confusion because of the many different systems that exist drawing and interpreting the houses on an astrological horoscope chat. This week we are going to take a look at some fundamentals of the astrological houses and what they represent.

House Systems

As I mentioned before the thing that most people get confused about with houses are the various systems. For the purposes of this discussion will not delve into the specificities of these systems. For now I just want you to understand that there are 2 major groupings of the systems, equal house systems and unequal house systems.

Equal house systems draw the houses on a chart in equal segments around the chart. The first house always is draw on the left side of the chart and the houses are then numbered 1 -12 moving anticlockwise around the circle. Unequal house systems are drawn in the same fashion starting on the left of the circle at the 9 o'clock position - however the wedges are not always the same size - this is to take in account Earth's title and wobble on its axis. Below are examples of both styles of house systems.

On a literal level the houses represent positions in the sky. In terms of Astrology however they represent everything from the everyday to the profound, a system developed by the ancient Babylonian astrologers to represent the twelve major categories of life that defined all aspects of the human experience.

The houses always start by looking at what sign is in the east at the time the chart is drawn for, that is the sign that is on the eastern horizon - this is the ascendant sign, a topic discussed in the first blog in this series. Now, one thing that usually trips people up is the fact that on an astrology chart the east is represented on the left - exactly the opposite of what we are used to with another familiar circular graphic - the compass. The houses on the top half of the chart represent those houses we can see, and are the houses of the sun or day. The houses on the bottom half represent those which we cannot see, and the houses of the moon or night.

House Meanings

As mentioned previously each house represents one of the twelve aspects of the human experience. The graphic below gives a great break down of some of the ideas that each house represents on its own.

Finally, the last point of discussion to study and understand are the relationships between the houses and the Zodiac. It is critical to remember that any sign can be in any house, but each house has a sign that is associated with it and lends it some of its meaning. The image to the right shows each of the houses in an equal house system and their correlating sign.

As always, remember: Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about - so be kind. Always.



Bedell, C. (2018). A little bit of astrology: An introduction to the zodiac. NY, NY: Sterling Ethos.

Gillett, R. (2012). The secret language of astrology: The illustrated key to unlocking the secrets of the stars. London: Watkins.

Equal House System. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Gillett, R. (2012). The secret language of astrology: The illustrated key to unlocking the secrets of the stars. London: Watkins.

Mary, C. (n.d.). Retrieved from

McCarthy, J. (2018). The stars within you: A modern guide to astrology. Boulder: Roost Books.

BEYOND THE HOROSCOPE: ALL ABOUT THE 12 HOUSES. (2018, February 19). Retrieved from

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