If you've ever seen your horoscope make some obscure mention of "the houses," you've probably skimmed over it feeling fairly confused.
The houses in astrology define and divide the exact areas of your life your horoscope is referring to, the types of people and relationships, ideas, and life circumstances that are playing out in those houses.
It's time to clear up what those houses mean.
Take a look at your own natal chart too, if you want to interpret your own chart alongside this guide. You need an accurate time of birth, place, and date to look up your birth chart and you can do it using this link.
There are 12 houses in the zodiac. These are what they mean, what they stand for, and the exact areas of life they govern.
First House: Your Image
The first house is the house that governs, well... you. Your physical appearance, the image you project to others, the first impression you make and the way you begin new things.
It also rules your defense mechanisms and relationship to new environments, since those are generally a mechanism of the ego and your surface self.
If you have the planet of Uranus (planet of rebellion) in your first house, you probably dress or act in an odd or rebellious way that makes you stand out from the crowd. Johnny Depp and Kurt Cobain both have (or had) Uranus in the first house.
Second House: Self-Worth
This is the house of money and material possessions. This includes your finances, your belongings, and your relationship to the things that you own.
For example, if your horoscope says the planet Venus (the planet of money) is going retrograde (slowing down) in your Second House (income sector), it's like a warning to prepare for some difficulty making any fast cash.
Third House: Communication
The third house rules all your communications, and the areas of life where you develop your communication skills. This includes your siblings and cousins, neighbors, your early environment, and early education.
The third house also rules our thoughts and the way we put them out into the world, either in writing, speaking, media, or communication arts.
If your North Node (destiny) in your birth chart is stationed in your third house, you may be destined for a career in writing or communication.
Fourth House: Home
The fourth house rules your home and all the things that entails. This includes your family, your roots, your sense of security, and your relationship to your mother or your more "maternal" caregiver.
This house also governs your psychological relationship to your roots, your connection to your past and your ancestry, our domestic life, and real estate endeavors.
If Saturn (the planet of Karma) is in the fourth house of your birth chart, you may have had a challenging upbringing. If the same placement is currently in your horoscope, you may be undergoing some challenging times at home right now.
Fifth House: Creativity
The fifth house is the house of playfulness, joy, creativity, pleasure, and romance. This refers to your creative and spontaneous self-expression in all forms of play.
That could include gambling, attitudes toward romance, and attitudes toward having fun. The fifth house also governs our relationships to lovers as opposed to partners, romantic gestures, drama, creative projects, having children, being in the spotlight, theater, costumes, and adornments.
Sixth House: Work And Health
This entire video is sixth-house themed.
The sixth house rules your daily life. It governs your job (which may not be your career) and your daily responsibilities, and the order, methods, and techniques used to carry out those responsibilities.
The sixth house includes whatever those responsibilities might be, including your health, your domestic pets, efforts at self-improvement, service to your co-workers. Also, your attitude toward routines, scheduling, and organization.
Seventh House: Partnerships
The seventh house rules partnership: marriage, business partnerships, domestic partnership, soul mates, and our attitudes toward these unions. It also governs our competitors and enemies, since competing with someone is a kind of union in itself. After all, it takes two to compete, doesn't it?
Compromises, contracts, and mediators like lawyers also fall under this house. This house represents the shadow side of ourselves that can only be brought to light through our relationship with another, and the growth that occurs from that.
Eighth House: Transformation
The eighth house is commonly referred to as the house of death, and it does include that, but death in all its forms. They say for instance that an orgasm is a kind of miniature death; this house governs sexuality.
It also governs rebirth, crisis and change, addiction, transformation, regeneration, and our attitudes toward these things.
The eighth house also rules over our relationship to other people's money -- the money we may be granted after someone dies, our partner's money, and the money we owe to others. That refers to our debts and our taxes.
Ninth House: Higher Learning
The ninth house is the house that rules our higher learning, including higher education, our spiritual understanding, and expansion of our belief systems and personal philosophy.
This house also governs the areas of life that have an influence on our higher learning. That includes long-distance travel, foreign languages and cultures, publishing, and commerce.
Tenth House: Career
The tenth house governs our careers, our achievements in society, the areas of life where we carve out a name for ourselves and make something of our lives. It covers fame, material success, and our desire for achievement.
Also known as the house of "fame and honors," this house rules our relationship to authority (including our father figures and our government) and our relationship to success and achievement.
Eleventh House: Personal Goals
The eleventh house governs our personal goals and the areas of our life that fall under the umbrella of our personal goals, like the people we surround ourselves with (our close friends and acquaintances).
This house rules our wishes, our hopes, our true inner purpose, and our sense of community.
If your birth chart shows the sun (planet of self) in your eleventh house, it means you feel most like yourself when you are operating within a group that shares your hopes and dreams for the future.
Twelfth House: Spiritual Self, Growth, And Undoing
The twelfth house is the house that rules our secrets, the parts of us that are hidden even from us —our subconscious, our actual dreams and nightmares.
This house governs our karma, our self-undoing and the soul growth that results from our undoing. It rules over our hidden strengths and weaknesses. It also rules our private affairs, lost items, hospitals, prisons, and spiritual studies.
If your horoscope says that Pluto (the planet of death and transformation) is moving into your twelfth house, you can expect that sometime soon you will be undergoing a crisis that will involve your secrets coming to light.