Astrology 101: Meet the Houses (Part 2)

The last post in this space introduced the first six of the 12 Houses; here, then, are the final six:

The Seventh House is where we go when we work at life through our most intense and meaningful partnerships...
The Seventh House is where we go when we work at life through our most intense and meaningful partnerships…

Seventh House. This House has often been referred to as the House of Marriage…but that name is a bit too specific, and therefore misleading. “House of Partnerships” would be more accurate. Consider how the House directly across from this one – the First House – is all about exploring one’s own identity in the world; put another way, H1 is the “House of I.” H7, though, requires working in partnerships – it’s the “House of You-and-I.” The Seventh House is where we go whenever we experience life in the arena of our close, one-to-one relationships. These can definitely include marriages or other committed, romantic relationships, but they can also take other forms, as well, such as business partnerships, artistic collaborations, or powerful social pairings. Planets placed here will tend to make their energies primarily known in this same sphere of partnerships. Major issues for people with strong H7 focuses can include the search for the right partners in life, the struggle to preserve their own sense of individuality within the contexts of partnerships, healthy intimacy, and the ability to function at times without having a partner to work with (working solo and working in larger groups can both feel difficult to H7 people).

Eighth House. This may be the darkest of the Houses, and it’s certainly one of the most difficult to grasp. Popular traditional names include both the cheery “House of Death” and the opportunistic-sounding “House of Other People’s Resources.” Basically, the Eighth House is a repository for all of the kinds of “grown-up” concepts that might give pause to a young adult leaving home for the very first time: mortality, taxes, sex (especially the darker and more complex varieties), corporations, inheritance, the occult, and the merging of souls. Those whose charts are marked with distinct H8 imprints may find that their major issues in life can include the commingling of their property with that of others, investments and the stock market, estate planning, encounters with soul-mates, experiences with taboo activities, and yes, sometimes pivotal brushes with death.

The Ninth House is the "House of Long Journeys" -- both literal, physical ones, and more figurative ones.  Pack a lunch, because H9 journeys take a while...
The Ninth House is the “House of Long Journeys” — both literal, physical ones, and more metaphorical ones. Pack a lunch, because H9 journeys take a while…

Ninth House. This is the fabled “House of Long Journeys.” Where its opposite number, H3, deals with a very local viewpoint, H9 is global in its scope. In H3, we look at individual trees, up close and personal, while in H9, we pull back to take in entire forests. The Ninth House is the sector of life we’re occupying when we take our long journeys, and these can be of the literal, physical kind that carry us to other regions far from home, or they may be of the more figurative type, including what we think of as “higher learning.” H9 experiences can include the acquisition of advanced degrees at the post-graduate scholastic level, and they can also include less formal exploration into such mind-expanding fields as philosophy, the law, and religion. Someone with a significant H9 presence may deal with such life issues and themes as the need or desire to travel a great deal, intense involvement in academia, contact with other cultures, publishing endeavors, or devotion to vast doctrines. H9 is all about expanding ourselves and our worldviews…

Tenth House. Just as the House on the opposite side of the chart – H4 – is the most private realm in our lives, H10 represents our most public arena. The Tenth House is where we go when we pursue our true life’s work – it describes our reputation, our career, our mission. It’s what we’re known for and remembered for even by people who have never met us. Questions about finding a suitable vocation and about one’s path in life should be addressed with at least some study of the Tenth House. Those whose charts showcase strong H10 placements may face challenges in life that revolve around the search for a proper career track, public opinion of that person, the balancing of the private life versus the public life, possible workaholic tendencies, the danger of being identified solely with the job the person holds, and the quest for fame.

Eleventh House. Here we arrive at what’s often called the “House of Friends.” H11 is where we find ourselves when we move among groups of people who share our interests, our values. Here we find our clubs, our special interest groups, our organizations whose members bond over some theme or concept. Here we have our wine-tasting groups, our book clubs, our Sunday hiking posses… If the opposite House, H5, is the place where “I express myself,” then H11 is where “We express ourselves together.” Another critical element of this House to always keep in mind, though, is that we get the most out of these kinds of organizations when they speak to some concept that we want to bring forth in our lives – that is, they capture things that we want to build into our futures. This is a very forward-looking realm. The Eleventh House is where we find our friends and our groups of like-minded individuals, and it’s also where we come in order to nurture our plans and hopes and aspirations for tomorrow. H11 involves our strategies and our goals, and the ways in which we attempt to bring them into being. Those who have charts characterized by strong H11 presences may find that some of their most important issues in life deal with the search for acceptance among peers, identification with clubs and organizations, dealing with “group-think,” success or failure in planning for the future, creating and executing workable strategies, and setting attainable goals.

The Twelfth House can definitely be a realm of delusion, illusion, and "self-undoing," as the ancient astrologers held...but it's also where we go when we explore consciousness itself, and when we commune with the Divine...
The Twelfth House can definitely be a realm of delusion, illusion, and “self-undoing,” as the ancient astrologers held…but it’s also where we go when we explore consciousness itself, and when we commune with the Divine…

Twelfth House. To the traditional astrologer, this was some rather gloomy terrain: H12 was a “House of Troubles,” a dour landscape dotted with hospitals, asylums, monasteries, and prisons. A more broad-based view, however, reveals that this very profound sphere of existence has as many “good” elements making it up as “bad.” Here we find our spirituality. This is the House that contains our mysticism, our psychic experiences, our dreams. The Twelfth House is the House of consciousness itself, of our existential viewpoint, and of our relationship to whatever it is that we consider “Divine” – this is where we come when we gaze out at the Universe, and seek to understand what It might feel about us when It gazes right back. If we do a poor job navigating this realm, we run the risk of becoming mired in despair…but if we navigate it well, then this is where we find transcendence. People who have potent H12 signatures in their charts may find their lives stamped by such concepts as addiction, escapism, self-sabotage, sacrifice, a fascination with altered states of consciousness, mystical and spiritual experiences, and a strong connection to the dream-state.

And that’s the set of the 12 Houses! Always try to keep in mind that the Planets are what we do…the Signs are how we do it…and the Houses are where in our lives we do it…

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