The houses of the zodiac, or sectors of the heavens, represent the area of life in which the planets will manifest themselves most strongly and where their influence will be most apparent. Each house has a sign that is native to it. Thus Aries is the natural ruler of the first house and so on. The basic nature of each house derives from this natural sign.
However because everybody is not born at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, the positions of the signs around the chart will be different according to the sign that is ascending over the horizon at birth. These signs modify the nature of the houses and are said to ‘rule’ them.
You might think about it in this way: Aries built the first house, but after a while he sold the house and it was bought by Gemini. Capricorn, being an entrepreneur, rented the house out to Mercury who moved in with all his stuff and renovated to his taste. The house now bears the influence of Mars (Aries), Saturn (Capricorn) and Mercury. This is an example of one of the multitude of inter-relationships found in a chart.
The sphere of life represented by a house is made more prominent if there are planets positioned within it. A planet will have most influence in the areas of your life represented by that house. Its influence will also be important in those houses brought into relationship with it by aspect or mutual reception, but to a lesser degree.
The planets and signs express themselves particularly well in the houses to which they are native. Other houses suit particular signs and planets according to nature. For example, Mercury (communication) can be more easily realised in the seventh house (which represents close relationships), than in the twelfth house where its expression will be more limited. This can be easily understood by sense and experience.
Angular, Succeedent and Cadent Houses
Please read the section on Qualities if you are not already familiar with Quadruplicities.
The Sun passes through four of these cycles each year and we call them the seasons.
Fire, Earth, Air and Water
Please read the section on Elements if you are not already familiar with them.
The keywords used in this brief outline give a far from complete insight into the way in which each element will manifest itself in an individual chart. Astrology is similar to the Tarot in that too literal a reading that relies heavily on conventional symbolic interpretations and keywords will blind the mind to the deeper meanings revealed by the soul. A clear understanding of principles is important however, and these should be expanded upon in the reader’s mind by intuition and research.
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