The 12 Houses Of Astrology, Explained

Your planet placements in each of the 12 houses of astrology influence different areas of your life.

astrology houses Macrovector and Sparklestroke / Canva

In astrology, there are so many factors in addition to your Sun sign that go into your unique personality — and one of them is your planetary house placements. There are 12 astrology houses that together make up your mission in life, or the areas that you're designed to excel or be challenged the most.

What are astrology houses?

The astrology houses define the central themes of your life. Each house applies to specific points about your life, like emotions, feelings, jobs, relationships, ideas, travel, circumstances and so much more.


Your house system is what differentiates you from others who may share placements such as Sun or Moon signs, as the house each planet occupies is expressed in a different area of your life. 

Just as the Earth makes a complete rotation every 24 hours, the 12 houses change every few minutes, with some planets moving less than half a degree. Astrology houses change each day. Based on the rising and setting of the Sun, the houses make two complete rotations throughout the day. That’s why it’s so important to know the exact time you were born to correctly identify which houses the planets are in for you.


People born in the same generation may all share an outer planet in the same zodiac sign. For example, everyone born between February 3, 2012, to March 30, 2025 will have Neptune in Pisces, but unless two people are born on the same day, the same hour, and the same minute and in the same location, their astrology houses will not match.

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In order to find which astrology houses your planets are in, you need to know your place, date, and time of birth to complete your natal chart. You can get this information by filling out a free birth chart calculator. The houses are found in the inner circle of your natal chart wheel.


The 12 Houses of Astrology

The 12 houses are formed into a circle, kind of like a pie that you have cut into 12 slices. This formation of all the houses gives the planets a place to go to release and act on their energy. Your natal chart reveals each planet's position in this circle at your time of birth, adding layers of personality on top of your basic Sun sign.

Each house has a zodiac sign and planetary ruler that governs a specific aspect of your life. Look at where each planet in your chart lies, and apply that planet's dominant traits to that house's expression.

astrology houses wheel

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The First House: Self and Identity

The first house regards your self-image and how you present yourself to others. Think of a regular house — each one has to start with a foundation. Likewise, the first house in astrology is the foundation of who you are as a person and how others see you, including your physical appearance and general attitude.

Not only does the first house relate to your physical appearance and traits, but represents your ego, how you approach life, and your inner self vs. your outer body and appearance. Your Rising sign sits on the cusp of your first house, which is why it's linked to the first impression you have on other people as well as your physical appearance.

The first house is ruled by the Aries zodiac sign, whereas Mars, which largely influences your social interactions, is the natural planetary ruler of the first house.

The Second House: Value and Possessions


The second house feeds off of the first house. Where this house focuses on self-worth, it has more to do with our values (including money) than our appearances and first impressions. The biggest thing this house focuses on is how you look at yourself personally. Who do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? The second house in astrology also covers money and how you approach your finances.

This house is naturally ruled by Taurus, a sign that's very concerned with quality material possessions. Venus, the planet of love and beauty, is its natural planetary ruler.

The Third House: Communication and Sharing

The third house is the house where your penchant for communication comes from. This house is ruled by Gemini and its natural planetary ruler is Mercury. This means that this house governs how you interact with others, such as family members, friends, neighbors, and so on. The planet that falls into this house influences how to speak, write, and formulate thoughts.


The Fourth House: Family and Home

The fourth house is about your roots and heritage. When looking at the astrology house chart, the fourth house sits at the bottom of the chart, making it another foundational house. Instead of being the foundation of self like the first house, the fourth house governs your familial ties. You are focusing on your roots with this house. You reflect on your foundations, your family, home life, ancestry, domestic life, sense of security, and tidiness.

This house is ruled by Cancer and its natural planetary ruler, the Moon.

The Fifth House: Pleasure and Romance

The fifth house focuses on creativity, artistic self-expression, pleasure, and romance. Its natural sign ruler is Leo, while its natural planetary ruler is the Sun.


Just like Leo, a zodiac sign known for its love of attention, this house determines how you express yourself. The fifth house is also associated with doing what feels good for you and what emotionally enriches you.

The Sixth House: Health

The sixth house focuses on your career and health. This house is ruled by Virgo and Mercury as its natural planetary ruler.

The planet occupying this house at the time you're born determines how you focus on your career, what your work ethic is like, your job, and other day-to-day aspects of your life.

On the other end, regarding your health, this house deals with your routines regarding fitness, strength, wellness, and other aspects of your physical health. This house is where you work on yourself to become a better you.


The Seventh House: Partnerships and Balance

The seventh house governs your partnerships, both romantic and business-related. On the astrology houses chart, this house has a special placement called the Descendant and is ruled by the diplomatic zodiac sign Libra and Venus.

The planet in this house in your birth chart determines how you relate to others as you move throughout life. But the seventh house is also related to any contracts or agreements, and planets that move through this astrology house assist us in making things official and diplomatic.

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The Eighth House: Transformation and Sex

The eighth and perhaps most mysterious house focuses on sexuality and self-transformation. The ruler of this house is Scorpio and the natural planetary ruler is Pluto. Pluto is an extremely slow-moving planet, so its influence on your life is vast and deep. As such, this house governs things like death, sexuality, psychology, change, and personal growth. This house is where you will transform through times of crisis.


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The Ninth House: Philosophy and Purpose

The ninth house is where your personal belief system stems from. This house is ruled by Sagittarius and its natural planetary ruler is Jupiter, the planet of higher wisdom. This house shapes your personal beliefs, religion, philosophy, morals, and expansion of your intellectual mind with knowledge and education.

The Tenth House: Enterprise and Social Status

The tenth house focuses on your career. Wait — hold the phone. There is another house for this? Yes, there is, but it is more than just your career and succeeding there. This house focuses more on your responsibility, achievements, ambitions, standing, and reputation. This house has a special placement called the Midheaven, which is the uppermost point of the house representing the height of your achievements.


The tenth house’s natural sign ruler is Capricorn and its natural planetary ruler is Saturn. This is an important factor in self-development because we identify ourselves by our success.

The Eleventh House: Friendships and Blessings

The eleventh house is all about your aspirations and personal dreams. The eleventh house’s ruler is Aquarius and its natural planetary ruler is Uranus.

This house governs all of your hopes and dreams as well as your drive to complete them, and shapes your sense of purpose, meaning the planet in this house on your birth chart will give you an idea of what you were put here to do. The eleventh house is also associated with humanitarianism, community and charity, personal wealth, and support systems.

The Twelfth House: Subconscious and Sacrifice

The twelfth house is where you will find your inner truths and secrets, and its nature is hidden from the waking realm. This house’s natural sign ruler is the emotional Pisces and its natural planetary ruler is Neptune, the mysterious planet of illusions and abstract thought.


This house governs what is inside you — not literally, but spiritually. The twelfth house is where you will find your inner strengths and weaknesses, which you need to do if you want to better yourself and shoot for your dreams. The twelfth house is also associated with intuition, luck, healing, completion and peace.

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Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationships. For more of her content, follow her on Facebook.