Knowing the meaning of astrological houses is fundamental knowledge that will help you understand your own chart. The Houses represent different areas of life, but they are also crucial for concrete manifestations. Judging the planets and aspects to houses show what areas of life will flow smoothly or require more work.
Here I’ve given the meaning of astrological houses that you can reference as needed.
Meaning of the First House
Ascendant, Rising Sign, Lagna, and First Bhava/House all mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
The Ascendant is your physical body and one of the pillars of your personality. It is the house that shows how your personality is projected out into the world. Planets located here significantly influence demeanor, appearance, and how others perceive you. Any planet(s) on the ascendant will greatly charge a person with the energy of that planet.
As the house of physical body, it shows how capable you are in using your body as a vehicle in this world. Aspects to the ascendant influence attractiveness and inherent vitality.
The strength of the first house shows how well one pursues their dharma or desired path in life. A sense of direction, purpose, and how well one is able to stick to a path is in part determined by the strength of the 1st house and its lord. Where your ascendant lord is placed shows where you direct most of your focus in this life.
Meaning of the Second House
The second house shows your values, possessions, and resources. How well you manage these resources is also seen from the second house. Do you burn through your money quickly, do you have a good sense of value? Are you a spendthrift? This kind of information is gained from this house. Valuables such as gems, material goods, and assets are second house matters.
The second house also shows our experiences with our family in early childhood. If you have a malefic here, chances are it wasn’t so great. As the house of Taurus, the second house corresponds to our face, and senses – our sense of taste and the kind of food we allow into our bodies, our eyesight, etc. Any planets in the 2nd house will influence speech.
Meaning of the Third House
The third house is where the individual ego begins to form. It’s the first Kama/desire house and shows the desires we have for ourselves and want to achieve. If the opposite house, the 9th house, is the house of philosophy and worldly knowledge, the 3rd house is the house of self-knowledge and the desire to express ourselves.
As the house of self-expression, it represents all kinds of communication: written communication, speaking, social media, etc. It is also the house of hobbies and interests, as those are things that develope after learning more about ourselves.
The 3rd house also shows our qualities of courage, self-will, and our efforts. A malefic planet placed in the 3rd can make a person quite courageous in the face of adversity – they are not easily discouraged in achieving their desires/goals. The 3rd house shows our strength, initiative, and part of our intellect.
This is also the house of our siblings, close friends and neighbors, and short distance travels.
Meaning of the Fourth House
The fourth house shows our relationship with the mother and our home life. When we’re at home we’re in our own private atmospheres, so it also shows our inner peace of mind and capacity for happiness. Because it’s a more private house, planets here will thus express themselves more inwardly – you’ll have to get to know someone closely before they reveal that part of themselves. Planets in the 4th will give characteristics of the type of home a person grew up with or tries to create for themselves.
The 4th house is a Kendra house and is one of the 4 pillars which support a strong foundation for the rest of life. Think about how a strong home life and relationship with the mother gives us a solid foundation. These are your “roots” that affect the rest of our life.
The 4th house also has to do with property and real estate, so planets here show potential for owning property.
Meaning of the 5th House
The 5th house is the house of children, creative intelligence and creative self-expression. It shows our ability to be joyful and lively.
The fifth house is one of the Dharma house, and all dharma houses are related to our souls evolution and mission in life. Planets placed on these houses tend to prosper and give good results. The fifth house also indicates part of our spiritual progression and interest in scriptures and mantras.
A lesser-known indication of the fifth house (but quite important) is that a lot of mental qualities are shown here, such as our intelligence but also how our mind works to solve problems. Malefic planets here, such as Ketu or Saturn can make a person feel very overwhelmed by their problems, or very focused on negative outcomes. They can become fixated or “trapped” in a negative mind-loop.
Meaning of the 6th House
As one of the Artha houses, the 6th house shows the work we need to do in life in order to prosper. All the joy, all the inspiration and creativity from the 5th house is followed by the sacrifice and work it takes to maintain it. So, the 6th house is our capacity to work hard and overcome obstacles in life. The 6th house represents the things that most commonly interfere with our ability to work and make gains, such as debt, enemies, and disease.
It is our daily routine that becomes our habits that lead us to success (or not). Planets in the 6th and their lords tell us about our day-to-day routines. It is the affairs of the 6th house that really need to be made peace with and dealt with. Just like the 6th house of Virgo rules digestion, which is the foundation of our health, taking care of the necessary work in the 6th is the key to our well-being in the world.
The 6th house is also the house of service and healing. This house gives the capacity to serve others – one of the noblest and spiritual acts a person can do. There is a strong spiritual side to the 6th house that deals with sacrifice and putting others needs before your own.
Meaning of the 7th House
The 7th house is a house of Kama that indicates our desire to be fulfilled through another, so it rules our romantic relationships. This is where we take our personal desires and attempt to merge them with another, in hopes of creating something greater.
It is also the house of legal and business partnerships. Anyone who has been married or in a relationship for many years can attest that relationships grow beyond romance and pleasure and start to resemble business partnerships. Much like a business, decisions around finances, delegating tasks, and shared resources are a primary concern. Negotiation skills, diplomacy, and ability to harmonize with others are important qualities of the 7th house.
The 7th house is the house of sex (not the 8th). The 8th is not a desire house, and you need the physical body of your partner (indicated by the 7th) for sex to be possible.
Meaning of the 8th House
The 8th house rules the process of seeking true emotional security that leads to liberation. Unlike the emotional security that comes from the 4th house, the 8th house is security that comes from detachment. The detachment of everything that interferes with our true self and spirituality. This requires us to “go deep” as the 8th house is the house of things hidden beneath the surface. As such, it is also the house of the occult and esoteric studies.
This kind of emotional freedom from detachment can be a difficult process which is why the 8th house is one of the dusthana houses. It shows the sudden, difficult breaks in life that show us the pain and suffering caused by our attachments. This is the house of shocking events that break the illusion that we have any control over anything (other than ourselves).
Other indications of the 8th house include Inheritance, sex, in-laws, gains from the spouse.
Meaning of the 9th House
The 9th house rules philosophy, religion, and our belief system. Following our dharma or pursuing truth and spirituality often requires us to go out and seek teachers or make journeys. For this reason, the 9th house also rules long distance traveling and spiritual pilgrimages.
The 9th house also rules our teachers or Guru. Because father is our first and possibly foremost teacher, the 9th house indicates the father as well, specifically his teachings. Transits through the 9th house can bring new teachers or indicate times when we begin educational programs.
Meaning of the 10th House
The 10th house is primarily known for showing career. A more precise indication of the 10th house is how much impact our work has on the world. It is our actions and the energy we put into our work, and the success gained from career.
Aside from the ascendant, the 10th house is the other house that shows how we project ourselves out in the world, so planets placed here hold a lot of influence. For this reason the 10th house can also give status, fame, and respect. Positions of authority, such as bosses, the government, father, etc are represented by the 10th house and it shows our relationship with authority figures and part of our capacity for leadership.
Meaning of the 11th House
This is the last desire house and shows the last desires we gain in life. It shows our larger social circle and how connected we are. When you think about it, a lot of gains in life depend on our social connections and ability to “network.”
Connections to the 11th house through other house lords and planets show our goals and our potential to gain from those areas of life.
Though the 11th house is the house of gains, goals, and fulfilling hopes and wishes, it is the last Kama (desire) house and a disruptor for other beneficial yogas (planetary combinations). This is because the 11th house shows the desire for fame and recognition amongst peers. The desire to make a name for oneself is a big reason people forget their dharma, and get sidetracked into pursuing things for titles or acceptance.
The 11th house is also one of the Upachaya houses, meaning it grows over time. The affairs of the 11th house are ones that you grow into and improve.
Meaning of the 12th House
The last house and the farthest from our physical bodies is the 12th house that liberates us from all desires and concerns on earth. It is the last (and most significant) Moksha house.
But aside from Moksha and spiritual liberation, the twelve house rules other ways we detach from the world. Escapism through fantasy, daydreaming, meditation, as well as drugs and substance addictions is seen from the 12th house.
It is the house of isolated places, anything from monasteries to prisons. This is the house that really gives a person the capacity to spend time alone, renounce the world, or be a hermit. It shows foreign residency and foreign travels.
As the final house, it is the house of completion. Planets transiting here will have the effect of bringing things to a closure.