What the Houses Represent
Astrologers generally agree that the houses represent spheres of activity, experience, action, and areas of life impacted by the placement of planets.
But they differ a bit more when it comes to how the houses are divided.
Astrologer Robert Hand notes: “At least one modern writer has proposed a twenty-four house system. And the Irish sidereal astrologer Cyril Fagan has unearthed ancient references to the oktotopos, an eightfold division numbered clockwise form the Ascendant instead of counterclockwise as we are used to.” The situation becomes especially muddled when you toss in the ancient Greek traditions and modern Hindu astrology.
The trick is to work with the traditional meanings, then allow your intuition to guide you. You may find, for instance, that you read the mother in the tenth house and the father in the fourth; or that in the horoscope for a man, the mother is in the fourth, but for a woman, the father is in the fourth. The point is to develop a system that works for you by studying your own chart first.
As you delve into your own chart and the charts of family and friends, you'll develop your own opinions on what the houses mean and how they should be grouped. For now, try to stick to the traditional meanings. Here is a list of keywords for the twelve houses:
House 1: Personality. The Self, beginnings, physical health, early life, physical appearance
House 2: Finances. Personal material resources, assets, expenditures, attitudes toward money
House 3: Communication. Intellect and mental attitudes, short journeys, brothers and sisters, neighbors, relatives
House 4: Home. Family life, domestic affairs, mother or father, early childhood conditioning, your roots, the end of your life, real estate
House 5: Children and Creativity. Pleasurable pursuits, creative outlets, children (the firstborn in particular), love affairs, sex for pleasure
House 6: Work and Health. Working conditions and environment, competence and skill, general health
House 7: Partnerships and Marriage. Partnerships in general, marriage, open conflicts, our identification with others
House 8: Death and Inheritances, the Occult. Transformation of all kinds, regeneration, sexuality, taxes, death, psychic ability
House 9: Higher Mind. Philosophy and religion, law, long journeys, higher education, publishing, foreign travel and interests, ambitions, in-laws and relatives of the marriage partner
House 10: Career. Profession, status, mother or father, worldly ambitions, public life, people in power over you, status
House 11: Friends. Group associations, hopes and wishes, ambitions and goals, your network of friends
House 12: Personal Unconscious. Institutions, confinement, that which we haven't integrated into ourselves, karma