Marilyn Campbell

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ASTRO Q & A - What does the term "House" mean in astrology?


The study of astrology involves much more than knowing what zodiac sign the sun is in on a particular day. As explained in last month’s column, there are ten other heavenly bodies that play a part in identifying the energy and possibilities of that day. To accurately prepare someone’s natal profile or to forecast, it is also necessary to take the twelve houses into consideration.

Before defining the influences of those houses, it might help if you had my very simplified version of the primary pieces involved in astrology. Imagine four glass plates suspended in space, one above the other. The bottom plate is divided into twelve segments and labeled with the zodiac sign names their relevant calendar dates. The plate above that has ten divisions, each labeled with a heavenly body. Above that is another plate with twelve numbered segments called houses. The top plate is a twenty-four hour clock with minute markings. Now imagine a vertical band around the entire stack, like a giant Ferris wheel, with each seat labeled with the number of a year. Visualize all four plates and the band spinning at different speeds and in various directions. At the precise moment that is to be examined, everything freezes and a photographer perched high above the entire structure takes a picture. For that minute on a certain day of a certain year, that snapshot would reveal which zodiac sign each planet was in and which house each sign was in.

As discussed in last month’s column, each planetary body governs a particular area of life, such as surprises, karma or emotions.  Similarly, houses represent the different aspects of our individual lives, such as relationships, careers and health. Thus certain planets in certain houses at the time of someone’s birth can have great influence on that individual’s personality.

Following are some of the generally accepted matters influenced by each house:



The physical body, true personality, self-interest, early life


Money earned or acquired, possessions, material resources


Conscious mental activity, communication, short trips, siblings


Home, domestic life, end of a matter


Romance, love life, sports, children, creative talents


Health, clothing, working conditions


Marriage, divorce, partnerships, relationships, known enemies


Death, taxes, sexual matters, inheritance, other people’s money


Religion, philosophy, foreign matters, long-distance travel, education, the law


Career, professional status, public reputation, honors


Friends, hopes, wishes, dreams


Secrets, obsessions, negative behaviors and habits, hidden enemies, institutions