A "house" is a place where someone lives. In astrology, the planets "live" in the houses. Their locations give tons of information to anyone looking at an astrological chart. Here's an astrological chart below, divided up into 12 locations, or "houses".
If the astrological planets are the WHAT, and the signs are the HOW, then the houses are the WHERE.
The 1st House, which begins at the "Rising Sign", or "Ascendant", begins on your left, at the point that would be 9:00 on a clock. Notice that in the first house, near the center circle, there is a "1"to make it easier to find.
Between each house is a dividing line, known as a "cusp". If you follow the wheel around counterclockwise, you'll see the 2nd house, then the 3rd, and so on until you arrive at the 12th.
While there are many different ways to calculate the houses, which is a topic we won't get into here, each house has a particular significance. If someone has a particular planet or planets in a particular house, it can have an overall impact on an individual.
Below you'll find a very short look at each "house" and what areas of life may be activated with planets sitting there. Keep in mind that this is just a quick intro. Whole books have been written about the houses, and I even have a book that focuses on one house in particular.
1st house: Ego, personality, dress
2nd house: Money, stuff, security
3rd house: Communication, early education, siblings
4th house: Family, domestic matters, relationship to "hidden" parent
5th house: Creativity, drama, fun
6th house: Health, service, day-to-day work
7th house: Partnerships, (1st) marriage, open enemies
8th: Sex, transformation, joint assets
9th: Spirituality, ethics, travel
10th: Career, public image, relationship to "dominant" parent
11th: Friends, networks, clubs/organizations
12th: Subconscious mind, karma, anything hidden
Each house has a natural ruler, and if you know the signs in order you'll easily figure out which sign rules each house. Aries rules the first house, Taurus the second, and so on all the way around. If you know something about the sign's attributes, you'll find the house's properties match up well.
Thanks for tuning in! Come back tomorrow for my "I" post.