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The 12 Houses of the Astrological Wheel : A Story of Becoming

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

The 12 Houses of the Astrological Wheel : A Story of Becoming Something... and then nothing.

The Astrological wheel is a 360 degree map of the sky that shows the 12 Zodiac constellations divided into 12 Houses.

An astrological chart tells us the location of the planets and asteroids within these constellations, which we aren't going to talk about here.

Instead, I'm going to tell you the story of how each house leads into the next to make it make sense.

You can apply this:

  • To check the key themes of the houses that your planets are in i.e if it's Chiron, you're going to have some wounds around one of, several, or all of these! If it's Venus, these things are important to you.

  • Understanding how the houses relate to each other so that for planetary transits such a Saturn that moves through your chart to teach you lessons in that area you can say "Ok Saturn, what's up next?"

  • As a framework for the life of a project.

We start with the first house where we arrive onto the stage of life! The first house contains our ascendant and our ascendant sign (also known as rising sign) is the how we go about our business:

The Rising Signs

If you're Aries, you're fiery and get things done.

If you're Taurus, you stick to one thing until the job is done.

If you're Gemini, you're chatty and connect with people and then connect them with others.

If you're Cancer, you're caring.

If you're a Leo, you're fabulous confident, and flamboyant.

If you're Virgo, you are polished and well put together.

If you're Libra, you're stylish conventionally attractive (I've never been wrong about this)

If you're Scorpio, you're magnetic and willing to go where others fear to tread.

If you're Sagittarius, you are smart and inquisitive.

If you're Capricorn, you work hard and don't mess around.

If you're an Aquarius, you're a little quirky.

If you're Pisces, you're sensitive and intuitive.

The first house is also to do with your body (as your vehicle for life), your energy and vitality, your appearance, and your identity.

Once we have arrived and realised that we are a person, we realise that we need to get some things to live in this society so we move into the second house where we gather resources, skills, money, establish our values, and those things help us to value ourselves. There is a satisfaction that comes from learning and mastering something, and from being able to take care of ourselves.

Once we have the things, we start to learn a little bit about how this earth thing works, we ponder, and come up with our ideologies, and notice the inner wisdom that lives inside us. The third house is about thoughts, ideas, and communication. It's how you think and how you speak. With all this pontification we realise that one of our fundamental human desires is safety. So we move to the fourth house where we plant our roots to gain stability, put a roof over our heads, and deal with our relationship to our own family, what family means to us, and what kind of family we might want to create.

The first quadrant is the process of arriving into the world, gaining resources, establishing our own ideologies, and finding safety and a home. It is only once we've done this that we can start to self express and create or produce offspring (the 5th house) because our basic needs are met and it's now safe to do so. In the fifth house we experiment with what we like and don't like, it is our personal energy, preferences, and proclivities.

After all of that fun, we move into the sixth house where it's time to batten down the hatches and take care of ourselves, our lives, and other people - family members, and even those babies you birthed in the fifth. In the sixth house we realise that there are certain things that we need to do to maintain our lives, even if they aren't fun or sexy (5th house) like brush our teeth and pay our bills and go to the optometrist every once in a while. Again, not the sexiest of houses, but without a to do list, nothing gets done! And responsibility and discipline are important character traits.

Once you understand that life isn't just one big party/orgy, you are ready to move into the seventh house of committed partnership. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who takes zero responsibility for themselves and their lives? It's not a good time. And if you're that person, it generally doesn't end well living a life sailing three sheets to the wind and with no anchor to drop when the storm hits.

In the seventh house we are ready to commit to something that takes work and, well, commitment. Traditionally the seventh house is about marriage and contracts, I also consider it to be long-term friends; people in your life where there's a reasonable expectation that they're not just going to bounce. It is also known as the house of hidden enemies, but that's never really resonated with me. The seventh house also introduces us to the duality of the axis of the wheel. The first house represents the self, while the seventh house represents the other. With all six axis we want to find balance and be somewhere in the middle. If you're too much in the first house, anyone you're in partnership is getting dragged along for the ride with zero input. If you're too far in the seventh house, you lost yourself in your partnerships. Relationships take a certain degree of compromise, but not at the expense of your identity.

Committing to someone is cool; moving in together, getting married, becoming Facebook official, but what about sharing a computer so they have access to your browser history? Or sharing bank accounts? Your deepest darkest secrets and fantasies? This is the eighth house. It's a new level of commitment that not every one gets to experience. The more we are prepared to merge with the other and allow ourselves to be seen, the more we can reach true intimacy and the liberation of being seen by another person and notice that they haven't left you even though you thought these parts of you were so awful that they could never see the light of day if you were ever to be a member of society instead of a recluse in a cave on a mountain.

The eighth house is also to do with death, rebirth, and transformation. In some respects we transform through intimacy. In other respects, all of the secrets and things that we share are usually reserved for under the rug or the back of the closet, and this is how our western society treats death; taboo, too macabre, let's pretend we are immortal because even thinking about something that you, me, and every other person reading this is going to come to is too much (spoiler alert: in cultures where death is open and seen as a transition and a celebration, grief has weaker grip).

The eighth house is also about the transformation that we are undergoing ourselves - where parts of us die, are burnt to the ground, or left in the ditch while we emerge as a new version of ourselves that will never go back to how we were before. This is another lesson in surrender: the more we cling onto identities and stories of the past, the harder time we're going to have moving forward.

The eighth house is also known as the house of shared resources (remembering that the second house is your own personal resources), and encompasses shared money in terms of taxes, inheritance, shared money, time, energy. Many of us struggle to receive, even though we give generously. Others struggle to give because they fear there isn't enough and once something is given it will never be returned.

After the intensity of the eighth house, we understand that the human experience inevitably involves vulnerability and suffering and have the scars to prove it. And then we ask what else is there? What is the meaning of this and why are we here because surely it isn't to suffer? So we enter the Ninth house where we search for truth and meaning through experiences, education, and sages. Some of us feel compelled to become a teacher and share through our knowledge and experiences. Others show the rest of us truth, meaning, and experiences through putting out art, music, or poetry.

In the ninth house we look outside of ourselves for knowledge and experiences, while in the third house we rely on our inner wisdom.

Once we have deepened our knowledge and extended the breadth of our experience we yearn to leave a mark on the world which brings us to the tenth house of legacy and what you want to be known for. It's the most public part of you, and how you want to be seen. This can be our work, or it can be our vocation - sometimes our j-o-b finances the greater mission. Other times they are linked or the same. It doesn't mean being in the public eye, but who do you want to be in the eyes of the public?

Again, this is the contrasted with the fourth house of home, family, and safety; the old work/life balance strikes again! Or overcoming the fear of being visible which is often required in order to make an impact.

Up to this point the houses have mostly been about us. In the eleventh house we start to get involved in the collective, other people outside of our immediate family and partnerships. It represents community, belonging, networks, friendships, as well as your dreams and aspirations. The tenth house is our legacy, but what if you really went all in? What would THAT look like? Yeah, that's 11th house. It's also thinking about how your legacy will be of service to the collective in contrast to the fifth house which is all about us and what makes us tick; even when we are at a group event (11th house), we still having our own unique experience (5th house).

And once we start thinking about other people and the pain and suffering of the world, we find ourselves in the twelfth house, otherwise known as the house of hidden sorrows. It is our compassion, and our inner world, everything that is unseen, our connection to source/God/whatever, and the way that we integrate our experiences. No one will ever be able to witness us in our entirety and this is where we witness ourselves. You could tell me your whole life story and I would be perceiving it from my own lens so I wouldn't really understand anyway.

The twelfth house also marks the beginning and the end; dissolution back into the abyss before we are re-born in the 1st house to do it all again.

Key Themes Through The Houses

House I

  • Self

  • Identity

  • Your body

  • Your appearance

  • How you move through life

  • How you show up in the world

  • How you do things

House II

  • Assets and resources - money in the bank as well as "things", and time as a resource etc

  • Skills

  • Values - moral values and what you value

  • Self worth - how you value yourself and feel about yourself.

House III

  • Thoughts

  • Ideas

  • Communication

  • Learning

  • Inner wisdom

  • Siblings

House IV

  • Home - your physical home as well as your idea of home

  • Family

  • Safety

  • Ancestry

  • Ideas about family and safety

House V

  • Self express

  • Creative energy

  • Sexual energy

  • Procreative energy and children

  • Fun

  • Your own personal experience of "fun"

  • Your inner child

  • Dating

House VI

  • Responsibility

  • Routine

  • To do lists

  • Time management

  • Health

  • Taking care of yourself

  • Paying bills and chores

  • The people or pets we take care of

House VII

  • Committed partnerships

  • Marriage

  • Long-term friends

  • Business partnerships

  • Contracts

House VIII

  • Intimacy

  • Shared resources - money, time, energy

  • Shared money - inheritance, tax, loans, debt

  • Secrets/Taboo

  • Death

  • Rebirth

  • Transformation

  • Shadow work

  • Initiation

House IX

  • Quest for truth and knowledge

  • Higher learning

  • Religion

  • Philosophy

  • Spirituality

  • Foreign travel

  • New experiences

  • Teaching

  • Publishing

  • Producing - art, music, etc

House X

  • Legacy

  • Public Life

  • What you want to be known for

  • How you want to be seen

  • Visibility

  • Work/Career goals

House XI

  • Community

  • The collective

  • Networks

  • Groups

  • Friends

  • Belonging

House XII

  • Your inner world

  • Your integration of your experiences

  • Witnessing yourself

  • The parts of you that no one is privy to, like your inner monologue, what you think about before you go to sleep at night.

  • Projects that are the seed of an idea that you have not yet brought to life either by speaking them into existence or starting them

  • Your compassion for others

  • Your connection to a higher power

  • Your mental health.

I think that covers everything! I would love to know if you have any questions or insights.

x Eloise

Artwork by

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