The astrological houses of a horoscope are derived from dividing the circle of the zodiac into twelve segments, starting with the 1st House cusp (which falls at the 9 o’clock position of the wheel and symbolizes the eastern horizon) and continuing counter-clockwise through the 12th house.  Each house represents a particular aspect of life and provides the environment in which the planets and mathematical points “reside” and express themselves.  Houses 1 through 6 (below the horizon) represent personal matters & one’s inner world, while Houses 7 through 12 (above the horizon) pertain to collective matters & the outer world.

The following illustration of the Universal Zodiac — the wheel format that works best for me — provides a visual representation of the 12 astrological houses:

When a horoscope is set up, the planets fall in different houses based upon the date, time & place of that particular horoscope.  For example, if the Sun is rising on the eastern horizon at that time, it will be in the 1st house.  However, once the Sun has risen and crossed the horizon, it will fall into the 12th house.

In the Equal House systemeach house is measured starting from the 1st House cusp (also known as the Ascendant or Rising Sign) and consists of exactly thirty degrees (1/12th of a circle of 360 degrees). Therefore, the degree on the 1st house cusp is the same degree repeated on each subsequent house cusp of the horoscope.  Equal House is my system of choice, along with the Universal Zodiac as the basis of the chart analysis.

There are several other house systems that are commonly used by astrologers, such as Placidus, Koch, Campanas & Porphyry.  The sign & degree of the Ascendant is always the same in all these systems, including Equal House.  However, since these houses are divided up using the Midheaven (high noon) instead of the Ascendant, each system ends up with unequal segments and dissimilar degrees on the house cusps.  As a result, planets can be placed in different houses depending on which system is used, creating much confusion in horoscope interpretation and research.

According to those who developed the Swiss ephemeris, the Equal House is the only house system that makes real sense.  The horoscope is simply an abstract  mathematical design, with the Ascendant being set up using zodiacal directions.  Since the Midheaven is set up using geographical directions, it adds a different dimension, takes it out of the realm of abstraction and mixes up the metaphors.

I started my astrological studies using the Placidus house system, and had set up hundreds of charts prior to being introduced to the Equal House system.  The significant differences in house placement that that showed up in the horoscopes of family & friends finally convinced me that the Equal House system gave me more accurate information and worked most effectively for me.


1ST: Personal identity, self-image, appearance, temperament, self-expression, personality, role, act, persona, life force, vitality, charisma, visibility, “I am”.  Associated with LEO

2ND: Self-worth, personal finances, liquid assets, possessions, resources, survival, values, emotional security, attachments, diet & nutrition, self-care, mother, “I feel”.  Associated with CANCER

3RD: Mental activity, communications, information, local media, lower education, networking, transportation, distribution, short trips, neighborhood, siblings, “I think”.  Associated with GEMINI

4TH: Home, family, domesticity, community, property, construction, base of operations, roots, ecology, environment, fixed assets, comfort, security, support, “I have”.  Associated with TAURUS

5TH:  Creativity, children, projects, hobbies, one’s own business, pioneering, speculation, risk-taking, gambling, romance, recreation, fun & games, new beginnings. “I initiate”.  Associated with ARIES

6TH: Work, employees, service, sacrifice, personal health, immune system, herbs & oils, meditation, dreams, spiritual growth, psychic development, pets, “I serve”.  Associated with PISCES

7TH: Partnerships, teamwork, co-existence, equality, mutuality, growth through confrontation, reactivity, projection, feedback, “the mirror”, “I link up”  Associated with AQUARIUS

8TH: Authority, responsibility, management, credit, joint finances, corporations, insurance, taxes, contracts, rules & regulations, inheritance, father, , “I manage”.   Associated with CAPRICORN

9TH: Higher education, travel, foreign affairs, global communications, publishing, marketing, religion,  philosophy, truth,  adventure, sports, “I expand”.  Associated with SAGITTARIUS

10TH: Professional image, career, goals, leadership, power, control, achievement, public role, success, peak experiences, challenges, competition, sexuality, “I take charge”.  Associated with SCORPIO

11TH:  Friendships, social relationships, small groups, cooperatives, collaboration, beauty, arts, culture, balance, diplomacy, peace, mediation, harmony, refinement, “I share”.  Associated with LIBRA

12TH:  Problem-resolution, completion, analysis, efficiency, details,  accuracy, perfection, order, systems, discrimination, self-help, purification, hygiene, “I complete”.  Associated with VIRGO


©2017 Diane Elizabeth Clarke