Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

The Astrological Houses


October 14, 2005


Dear Eric,


Can you give us a good once-over on the meanings of the astrological houses?


Wander Lust



Dear W.L.,


Thanks for an excuse to do this. This system applies to both natal houses and what is called the "solar house system" that is used by newspaper horoscopes. They are effectively the same thing, and both can work simultaneously or in the absence of the other.


Note that the houses represent a story about the development of self. There is a sense of logical progression from one house to the next. They also works in groups of three (1, 2, 3 - 4, 5, 6 - 7, 8, 9 - 10, 11, 12) or (1, 4, 7, 10, the angular houses related to the cardinal signs; 2, 5, 8, 11, the succedent houses, related to the fixed signs; and 3, 6, 9, 12, the cadent houses, related to the mutable signs). It's also useful to consider the implications of opposite houses (1-7, 2-8, etc) and adjoining houses (1-2, 2-3, etc).


You can also play with derived houses. If the 4th house represents parents, then the 3rd (which represents siblings) house from the 4th (= the 6th) represents your parents' siblings, hence, aunts and uncles. If the 2nd represents your money and the 10th represents your reputation, then the 11th (the 2nd from the 10th) represents the money you make from your reputation.


Think about the houses long enough and astrology will start to make sense, and you will see life differently. Then, when you see planets come along and have an effect within a particular house...well, it's pretty amazing.


The 12 houses do indeed follow the basic energies of the 12 signs, but the expressions of the houses are more practical and tangible than those of the signs. The houses are how and where we act out the experience of life on Earth. They represent physical places, circumstances and the people we find there. The signs represent cosmic energies. There is a big difference. Signs have traits; houses have much more tangible expression.


You know you understand a house when you know where you can find it on Earth.


The astrological houses are a very useful way to conceive of how society and the psyche are organized -- and the relationship of the individual to the whole.


What houses do you live in the most?


1st House - Ascendant -- I am. Personal identity, and a more subtle level of identity than either the Sun or Moon. Some say physical appearance, but I am not sold on that. The planet that rules the rising sign is a meaningful significator for you in your own natal chart and elsewhere. The ascendant represents your soul's journey, what you could call 'The Continuing Story of I Am Becoming'. The 1st house also represents the question itself in horary astrology; or the subject of the question.


2nd -- What you value, including your body, your most deeply held principles, your money, your possessions, your talents, and your sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Note the word "your" keeps coming up. The 2nd house reveals volumes about how someone feels about himself or herself. In regards to sex, the theme is masturbation.


3rd -- One's local environment. Mental processes, opinions, writing, analysis, some aspects of publishing, local travel, your immediate surroundings and one's ideas. The 3rd is the expression of all that you feel and believe in the 2nd house. The 3rd also represents siblings.


4th / IC -- The emotional environment; the security base; the conditions inside one's home; the past as it relates to one's emotional processes NOW; the influences of parents, particularly father and grandfather (and the past in general). There is a controversy regarding parents, with some people giving the 4th to mother and the 10th to father and some doing the opposite. It's good to experiment with both, but over and over, in real-life situations, I've seen the 4th apply to father and his side of the family and the 10th apply to mother and her side. You could say the 4th represents the non-dominant parent; and also the genetic lineage.


5th -- The house of taking risks. Creativity, romance, children, adventure, gambling, bungee jumping, hang gliding and sex for fun. Note the connections. In seeking to understand a house, you know you have an idea when you can see the thread that connects the seemingly different themes. In terms of sex, the theme of the 5th is daring passion; romance before it goes too far; sex as play.


6th -- Well-being and health. Your place of work. Your work and work relationships. The drive or impulse to serve others, or to serve the whole. Healing and healing practices. Your sense of the present and the "here and now." The experience of the 6th is that of getting lost in one's work, and four hours go by feeling like five minutes. Mental health, since the 6th is such a powerful indicator of psychological processes, a kind of extension of the 3rd house in this respect.


7th / Descendent -- We are. Relationships, partnerships and open enemies. Direct encounters and those to whom we relate directly. "Your opposite sign." It is a point of public contact, and the energy we express from the 7th has a strong influence in our relationships, who we attract, and how we feel about them.


8th -­ This is the most influential house of the zodiac in modern times; we are living in the Era of the 8th House. I call it "The House of the Mysteries of Birth and Death." As expressed in real terms, the themes are: sex, death, jealousy, money, power, control, secrets, surrender and transformation. Originally, it was the House of Death and Dowry. It involves contracts, agreements and in general always involves another person or people in a situation where there is some kind of power, economic relationship or deep emotion involved. In terms of sex, the sex you need -- and the experience of orgasm with another person. Oh -- reproduction and the transfer of genetic material fall under this house, as an attribute of sexuality. Search.


9th -- Traditionally, long-distance travel, international cultures, ideas, higher education, spirituality, the higher courts, the higher intellectual arts. Colleges and universities; great libraries or databases; any body of knowledge. Some aspects of publishing. Spiritual ideas and spiritual leaders. Astrology tends to hang out there a lot. It's also the house of the higher self or higher power. Planets in this house tend to work very well, if we bother to access them.


10th / MC -- What you are known for, or strive to be known for. What you absolutely must do or achieve in this lifetime. Reputation, power, government, corporations. The 10th represents your highest aspiration and your most cherished goals. It represents your sense of whether you're respected, and the actual respect you receive or accept. The 10th also represents the mother or dominant parent, and the process of ego formation that teaches us to interact with the world.


11th -- The larger community, one's circle of friends, one's sense of having people to share, live with, in the context beyond the family. It is the house of "All of us here," and the space where the 'general public' intersects with the personal public. Often described as the house of hopes and dreams, but really it's much more. The expression of your gifts to the culture, and information about what you have to express and offer. The material and social rewards of your actual career. Social status. In terms of sex, polyamory, group sex, sex among friends.


12th -- Not such a simple house. The great unknown. Blissing out, but more often, paranoia and fear, the kind that racks you late at night. The pleasures of the bed -- the kind of pleasure or spiritual merging that you can't really describe (as contrasted with the 8th, a more urgent, emotional surrender to the power of another). Things too large to comprehend, including massive institutions like the government. Movies and illusions. The house of dreams, as in the kind we have when we're sleeping (the dreams we remember tend to occur when the Sun is transiting this house); the abyss; the ocean of experience; the total surrender of identity, sometimes associated with death. Its other associations are things like deep space, identity beyond definitions, one's relationship with God.