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Houses of an Astrology Chart

Horoscope Chart Houses
Horoscope Chart Houses
Filed Under: Astrology, Knowledge.

In both Vedic and Western astrology, a natal or birth chart, is divided into twelve houses. Each house represents different areas of life and is influenced by the sign and planets placed within it at the time of an individual's birth.

The basic concept of each house is quite similar in these two main forms of astrology. However, interpretations, calculations and emphasis can vary. One noteworthy distinction being that in Vedic astrology, the main natal chart is further sub-divided into twelve divisional charts, also known as 'Vargs'. These are specialised charts that relate to specific areas of an individual's life. As each divisional chart has twelve houses of its own, they offer a more nuanced and detailed analysis of the area of life to which they relate.


The Houses of a Birth Chart

Each house is ruled by a specific sign, starting with the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth, known as the 'Ascendant'. The placements and strengths of the planets within, aspects of other planets relative to and position of the ruling planet of a house, all decide the condition of the house and its influence on an individual's life. In Vedic astrology, a house is referred to as a 'Bháv', the literal meaning of which is "Feeling".

These are the characteristics assigned to each house, according to Vedic astrology. The accompanying diagrams show the house number in Roman numerals, while the numeric digits represent a zodiac sign that may occupy a house, such as Aries being '1' and Pisces being '12'.

  • The Ist or Ascendant's House.
First House of the Natal Chart

This represents the self, personality, temperament, physical attributes, well-being and the overall life path. It is the most significant house as it sets the foundation for the rest of the chart.

  • The IInd House.
Second House of the Natal Chart

This governs wealth, income, family and the household of the concerned person. It reflects one's financial fortunes, accumulated wealth and general family environment. Some astrologers also believe that this house relates to speech.

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  • The IIIrd House.
Third House of the Natal Chart

This is representative of siblings, communication, employment, courage and mental inclinations. This house can shed light of the nature of the relationship between siblings. It also gives some indication of one's enterprise and risk taking ability.

  • The IVth House.
Fourth House of the Natal Chart

This division is associated with home, mother, maternal influences, material assets, property, basic education and emotional foundations. It reflects one's relationship with their mother or an important maternal figure.

  • The Vth House.
Fifth House of the Natal Chart

This governs children, creativity, education, love affairs and speculative interests. It indicates one's creative expression, intellectual pursuits and relationships with offspring.

  • The VIth House.
Sixth House of the Natal Chart

This house governs diseases, enemies, rivals, previous birth, debts, secrets and susceptibility to black magic, negative energy, jealousies and hidden agenda. It also reflects the possibilities of unearned wealth and unexpected losses.

  • The VIIth House.
Seventh House of the Natal Chart

The scope of this house relates to marriage, partnerships, business relationships and livelihood. It indicates one's approach to significant relationships and collaborations.

  • The VIIIth House.
Eighth House of the Natal Chart

This governs longevity, death, inheritance, transformations, occult knowledge and hidden aspects. It reflects one's approach to changes, mysteries and shared resources.

  • The IXth House.
Ninth House of the Natal Chart

This is associated with higher education, long travels, religion, philosophy and luck. It indicates one's beliefs, spiritual pursuits and quest for knowledge.

  • The Xth House.
Tenth House of the Natal Chart

This represents one's career, social status, public life and authority. It reflects one's professional achievements, reputation and ambitions.

  • The XIth House.
Eleventh House of the Natal Chart

This is said to govern friendships, social networks, aspirations and gains by way of the individual's career. It indicates one's social connections, hopes and income from profession.

  • The XIIth House.
Twelfth House of the Natal Chart

This is the final house of an astrology chart and is associated with losses, expenses, isolation, spirituality and foreign lands. It reflects one's approach to solitude, subconscious and spiritual enlightenment.

Comparison of Vedic & Western Astrology Houses

Although there is a fair deal of commonality between Vedic and Western astrology regarding the basic concepts behind astrology chart houses and their natures, there are several key differences. While both systems use twelve houses to divide the natal chart, their interpretations, calculations and emphasis can vary. Here are some of the key differences:

  1. Zodiac System:
    • Vedic Astrology: Uses the sidereal zodiac, which is based on the actual positions of the constellations in the sky. It accounts for the precession of the equinoxes, meaning the signs are aligned with the fixed stars.
    • Western Astrology: Uses the tropical zodiac, which is based on the seasons and does not account for the precession of the equinoxes. The signs are aligned with the equinoxes and solstices rather than the fixed stars.
  2. House Calculation:
    • Vedic Astrology: This commonly uses the whole sign house system where each house encompasses an entire sign. The ascendant sign becomes the first house and the subsequent signs follow in order.
    • Western Astrology: This uses various house systems, the most common being the Placidus house system, which divides the chart into houses of unequal size based on the time of birth and location. Other systems like Koch, Equal and Regiomontanus are also used.
  3. Representation / Meanings of the Houses:
    • Vedic Astrology: This places significant emphasis on the role of houses in determining 'Karma' and life events. Each house is associated with specific deities and has a more deterministic approach.
    • Western Astrology: While also attributing specific life areas to each house, there is a greater focus on psychological and evolutionary development. The houses are seen more as areas of experience rather than fixed outcomes.
  4. Additional Houses:
    • Vedic Astrology: Uses divisional charts ('Vargs') that provide more detailed insights into specific areas of life, essentially subdividing the natal chart into various additional charts (e.g., 'Navamsh' for marriage, 'Dashamsa' for career).
    • Western Astrology: Typically does not use additional divisional charts. Instead, transits, progressions and aspects between planets are used for detailed analysis.
  5. Aspects and Sign Rulership:
    • Vedic Astrology: Uses a different system of aspects ('Drishti'), which are based on specific angles and the nature of the planets. The Moon and the ascendant are particularly emphasised.
    • Western Astrology: Uses the Ptolemaic aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition) and focuses more on the Sun sign in popular interpretations.

Groups of Houses

Vedic and Western astrology allow houses to be grouped together in specific formations. This allows for an added dimension of detail during an analysis. These groups are:

  1. Angular Houses or 'Kendra': 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th houses.
  2. Trine Houses 'Trikon': 1st, 5th, 9th houses.
  3. Succeedent Houses or 'Phanapara': 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th houses.
  4. Cadent Houses or 'Apoklibas': The 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses. The planets located in these houses have a somewhat malefic nature.


Houses are essential building blocks of astrology. A clear understanding of what each house represents is required in order to make an analysis of a horoscope and this is further refined and developed with experience of astrological analysis.

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