What are the Astrological Houses?

Everything in the universe is energy, expressing itself in many qualities, shapes, and forms. The natal horoscope may only be a two-dimensional diagram printed on a three-dimensional piece of paper, but it brings us to understand the multidimensional universe in which we live, and puts us in touch with the life energy of which we (and the cosmos) are composed. The horoscope is an illustration of the what, how, and where of our life. We can say that the “what” is represented by the planets in our chart. The planets tell us “what” particular type of energy is at work. In studying the planets in our natal map, “what” part or parts of ourselves are we examining? Is it our aggressive and assertive energy (Mars), our instinctual and subconscious energy (Moon), or the vital energy of the life principle itself (Sun)? The signs of the zodiac tell us “how” the energies of the planets are being expressed. Is the assertive part of our nature coming forth into our immediate environment boldly (Mars in Aries), timidly (Mars in Cancer), expansively (Mars in Sagittarius), or unpredictably (Mars in Aquarius)? We could also say that a sign is to a planet what an adverb is to a verb: It describes or modifies the action taking place.

To complete our picture of how the various energies of our life reveal our character and destiny, we have to look at “where” these cosmic energies land. Of course, they land on earth: where they land—in which sphere of our life’s activities they most strongly express their nature—is revealed by the astrological houses. Understanding the complex nature of the horoscope’s house structure is essential to our appreciation of how we function in our daily life.

Let us say that you are a person born in late April with the Sun in Taurus. When a man or a woman is born in the sign of the Bull, the life message is clear: This is an individual who has come to earth to learn about the real values of life. Such values may take a material or monetary form, but external financial considerations may also be a test—a veil which the Taurean has to pierce in order to understand his or her true self-worth. The house position of the Taurus Sun will reveal where in one’s life such lessons are most likely to occur. If the Sun is in the Ninth House, or example, this particular Child of the Bull would most likely uncover her real life

values through higher learning, publishing, and achieving a practical philosophy of life. If the Taurus Sun were in the Eleventh House, this person would be much more inclined towards accomplishing his goal of self-awareness through social work, group interactions, and a wide range of friendships. Let us say that you have Mars in Aquarius. Would your rather unpredictable urge for self-assertion most likely express itself through your relationships (Seventh House), your career (Tenth House), or in terms of your sexuality (Eighth House)? In effect, the house position tells us “where” on earth Mars is going to land in your life.

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