Meaning of “Signs in Houses” in Astrology: For beginners

There are so many new terms and symbols to learn when you are new to astrology. One major piece of the astrological puzzle to understand is the houses. But, again, even the house system has different parts and pieces to decode. One thing you will hear over and over is about signs in the houses, but what do signs in houses mean in astrology?

The meaning of “signs in houses” in astrology refers to which sign of the Zodiac is on the cusp of a house. The cusps are the lines that separate one house from the next. The cusp, or boundary line, of a house will point to a sign on the outside of the birth chart. This is the sign of that house.

Houses are a vital part of understanding how to interpret a natal chart. Keep reading and learn a bit more about what the houses are and what they mean for you!

row of colorfully painted houses

How to find the houses in astrology

An astrological birth chart is divided into 12 pieces, kind of like a pizza. There are lines drawn to show the division of each house, and in astrology, those lines are referred to as cusps.

natal chart showing where the 4th house is

In the example chart above, you can see the cusps, or lines, drawn on the chart to show the divisions between the houses. In the image above, I am pointing out where the 4th house is to give you an idea of what to look for. The cusp of the 4th house is in the sign of Virgo. So, one would say “Virgo in the 4th house.”

What the houses mean in astrology

Think of houses as the verbs of astrology. The houses describe the actions a person takes or how things will play out for them in specific areas of their life. Below is a table that gives a very brief and general overview of what territory each house covers.

*Want to know what my VERY favorite astrology books are? Find out here!

Astrological House Meanings

HouseAstrological House Meaning
1st HouseHouse of Self, Ascendant or rising sign, identity, personality, our social mask, how we come at life, how we perceive the world
2nd HouseHouse of Money, finances, investments, earnings, possessions, spending, how we view money, our sense of self-worth
3rd HouseHouse of Communication, interaction with familiar people and environments, thinking, talking, listening, learning, common sense
4th HouseHouse of Home, IC or Imum Coeli, the soul, our home, self-knowledge, the unconscious, environment we make for ourselves
5th HouseHouse of Children, self-expression, play, our children, how we parent, pleasure, how we find joy, need for attention
6th HouseHouse of Servants, work, tasks done to help others, those who do work for us, our health, how we do our jobs
7th HouseHouse of Marriage, Descendant or DC, ability to see from another’s perspective, marriage, business partnership
8th HouseHouse of Death, our feelings about death, transformation, instinctive feelings, and behaviors, sexuality
9th HouseHouse of Long Journeys, faith, values, world view, higher education, long-distance travel, new routines, finding meaning in life
10th HouseHouse of Career, Midheaven, Medium Coeli or MC, our reputation, social status, career, achievements, our destiny
11th HouseHouse of Friends, social groups, future plans, goals, aspirations, direction in life, teams
12th HouseHouse of Troubles, transcendental experiences, seclusion, mysticism, letting go to a higher power, addiction

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How to read a house in astrology

  1. Locate what sign is on the cusp of that house.
  2. Read up on that sign and its qualities, needs, and motivations.
  3. See if there are any planets that sit in that house. If so, find out what that planet is motivating you to do. What are lessons that planet is asking you to learn?
  4. Think about how a person with these qualities and needs (the sign) can learn its lesson (the planet) through this specific area of life (the house). Brainstorm ideas and a range of possibilities for that combination.
  5. Understand that this is partly an art form, a technical skill, and there is also some intuition, so you aren’t going to come up with one clear-cut answer, and that is ok!

*Want to learn astrology but not sure if you can do it? Of course, you can! Read our article about how to learn astrology here.

This process with yield you a spectrum of possibilities for that house, but understand that any piece of the astrological puzzle when taken out and read separately from the rest of the chart is only going to give you a general sense of how it will be expressed. The chart read as a whole will offer up more details such as aspects and transits which add more life and detail to a reading. However, the process above will give you a good start.

*Dig a little deeper into reading your houses with our post about what each house means. Find it here!

Learning astrology can be A LOT at once and can feel like trying to drink out of a fire hose. But, take it slow, start with the basics, like the process above, and then add more detail to your reading the more you learn. Good luck and have fun!

What do you want to learn about next?

2nd House 3rd House 4th House 5th House 6th House 7th House 8th House 9th House 10th House 11th House 12th House Aquarius Aries Ascendant Aspects Bonus Cancer Capricorn Cardinal Chart Ruler Fixed Gemini Houses Learning Astrology Leo Libra Modes Moon Mutable North Node Opposite Signs Pisces Planet Personalities Rising Sign Sagittarius Saturn Scorpio Sign Vs Sign Stellium Strengths and Weaknesses Sun Taurus top Venus Virgo

Where Does Your Soul Want to Lead You?


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