Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
zodiac sign new semester?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
zodiac sign new semester?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Culture > Entertainment


This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Wanting to understand more of your natal chart? Or maybe you just want more information about astrology? You’ve come to the right place! As a disclaimer, I don’t claim to be a professional astrologer (although I do wish to be one day), but I really do love the pseudoscience of astrology, and I’ve learned a lot over my research from the last few years. I love to help others learn how to understand their own charts, and hopefully help them enjoy astrology as much as I do!

If you’re not already familiar, finding your birth chart is very simple! A place where you can get your own natal chart is horoscopes.astro-seek.com. I like this website because it also tells you about asteroid placements in your birth chart. Another one that goes more into depth about the descriptions of your astrological placements is astro.cafeastrology.com.

All you need to do is put in your name, birthdate, place and time. Time and place are important because your birth chart is essentially a screenshot of where all the planets and houses were positioned at the time of your birth. Time matters because ascendant placements change every hour, and your ascendant is a very important part of your birth chart. If you’re not sure, call your mom! And if she doesn’t know, it might be on your birth certificate.

The first thing that’s important to know is that I’ll be referring to the placidus natal house system throughout this article. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it just means that I’ll be using the more standard and popular way of reading natal charts. There’s also the whole sign system, and others, but we don’t need to worry about those. Again, the natal chart itself is basically just a screenshot of the sky when you came out of your mom’s womb. Think of the center of the chart as you, and all the planets and houses as expanding from your position on Earth, in the sky.

Feature Hero Zodiac Spending Hero
Megan Charles / Her Campus Media

Most know the 12 astrological signs, but in the natal chart (birth chart), there are also 12 houses, slivers of the birth chart pie where every house has a sign that rules it. These houses carry an energy signature because they involve themselves in different areas of life, like, sex, children, money, traveling, education, etc. Each house rules different areas of life, but each sign brings to the house a different kind of energy and approach to those areas of life. What I mean by this is that an Aries third house is very different from a Pisces third house. Even though they can both rule the third house, Aries and Pisces as their respective signs are very different from each other energetically.

It’s also very rare for the planets to be equally dispersed throughout the houses. It’s more likely that you have 1–3 planets in only a few houses. The first house is ruled by your “ascendant” or your “rising” (which I’ll explain what that is in the next paragraph). For example, my rising is in Scorpio, so my first house is ruled by Scorpio. However, if you have empty houses, don’t be fooled into thinking they’re not important just because there are no planets in them. Empty houses can also have significance to understanding your chart in the same way occupied ones can.

The first house has to do with outward appearance and personality. This is why sometimes you can tell someone’s rising just by looking at them. For example, Scorpio risings tend to have significant eye and/or eyebrow features and Aries risings tend to have bigger heads (Aries is the ram, after all). Planets that fall into this house usually have a significant impact on your personality or how you look. For example, if you have Venus here, you might be a very romantic or beautiful person (Venus rules love and relationships).

The second house surrounds your personal possessions (whether you value your “stuff” or you couldn’t care less about the “material”), your values and skills, and money. Planets here might give an indication as to what your values are, or where you might find your strengths. For example, if Jupiter is in this house, you may be a very creative person and that might be one of your skills you can bring to the table.

The third house has to do with learning and communication – basically mental stimulation and immediate surroundings. It also surrounds sibling relationships and your relationship with your community. Planets in this house might give insight into your relationship(s) with your sibling(s) or help you understand more on how you communicate and even your communication/learning style. For example, if Mars occupies this house, you might be witty and always ready with a smart quip.

The fourth house surrounds your home, privacy, parents and children. There are a lot of maternal themes within this house, energetically. Planets that sit here might give you an indication on whether you’ll have kids or even where you might end up living one day. It can also indicate how much of a private person you may or may not be. For example, if the Moon is here, you might be a very family-oriented person – whether that’s your biological family or dear friends. You might also feel it’s important to have time for yourself, or at least have a safe space to regenerate.

The fifth house governs self-expression, creativity, drama and romance. Planets here might give an indication as to where in your life you are vying for attention the most, or where you express your creative side. For example, if your Sun sits in this house, you might have a particularly strong personality.

The sixth house is a complete turnaround from the fifth, surrounding routine, organization, healthy living, and diet and exercise. Here you may overstrain yourself to do these things “right” or “productively” but just always be careful of balance. No one is perfect, and moderation is important. Planets sitting here, however, might give you an indication of how you best juggle the responsibilities of your own schedule and taking care of yourself. For example, if Saturn is here, you might take on too much responsibility at times, or maybe you’ve been accused of having a stick up your butt!

The key thing to know about the seventh house is that it covers all relationships. Work, friends, lovers, family, you name it, that relationship is included. Maintaining and creating long-lasting connections with others is the main theme here. Planets here can tell you how you do that, whether you might take a more extraverted or introverted approach. If your Mars is in this house, you might find that building connections is something that comes natural for you and that you’re very good at talking to people.

We’ve arrived at the eighth house (which is my favorite house, personally) which rules birth, death, sex, intimacy and transformation. If the eighth house were a person, she’d be an alluring femme fatale who also happens to be an assassin and a witch. With that picture in your head, think of planets that occupy this house to be indicative of intimacy, where you crave it the most and where it is most valuable to you. It can also tell you how much death will be present in your life. For example, Mercury in this house may indicate that you look for people who have the same deep emotional intelligence that you possess.

The ninth house covers education, higher thinking, travelling, foreign languages and inspiration. Here, optimism and an open mind will get you very far, as learning and expanding your world views are critical. Planets here could indicate that you’ll travel a lot, or that maybe you really enjoy learning – specifically in higher education. For example, having Venus sit in this house could mean that you think that people who are super smart are really hot, or maybe you and your partner will travel together.

The tenth house surrounds fame, achievements, authority, corporations and public image. Think of this house as telling you where you’ll be successful in your career, and that how you present yourself is everything. Planets here could tell you if you’ll achieve fame in some way, or your relationships with authority figures. For example, the Sun occupying this house means that maybe you’ll be famous and people will know you by name. It could also mean that maybe you’ll be in a position of authority within your career one day.

The eleventh house rules teams, groups, society, technology, and social justice. Planets here could indicate your passion for humanitarian causes, or it could even tell you if you’ll be a social media influencer! For example, Pluto here could mean that you value social justice issues and want to create change in those areas that require transformation.

The twelfth and final house governs the afterlife, endings, the subconscious mind, surrender, and separation from society. Planets here could tell you whether addiction and self-destruction tendencies are present in your life, or maybe areas where you feel like boundaries are harmful, and where you prefer ambiguity and fluidity. For example, the Moon being present here could indicate where emotional transitions could happen in your life or that you might possess some medium abilities to some level.

And that is my introduction to the astrological houses! Astrology can tell us so much about our lives to help us understand a little more of what we might already know about ourselves, but also revealing what paths we should choose for ourselves in the future. Now, read those natal charts!

Alexa is a Communications major and a Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies minor.