The houses are usually (unless using the Equal house method) irregular slices of the chart which tell you which sphere or arena if your life is in focus depending on the planets which occupy it and the house ruler's position in the chart if the house is 'empty'. Each astrological house stands for a particular sphere of activity. The house division of a horoscope varies in each birthchart. This is calculated according to the exact time and geographic place of birth.
Find out what this all means by reading more of this article by Sarah Bartlett
THE HOUSE SYSTEM
The horoscope is divided into the eastern and western hemispheres by two axes as well as into day and night hemispheres. The four points of intersection of these two axes with the ecliptic determine the house division of the horoscope. This is usually based on a further division of each of the four quadrants by three. There are various mathematical models according to which the houses are calculated. There is quite a range of differing house systems (Placidus, Equal, Koch, Vedic etc). But most of these differ only in the method of calculation used to divide the quadrants.
THE HORIZONTAL AXIS
This axis divides the horoscope into an 'upper' (day-time) and a 'lower' (night-time) half. It represents the local horizon at the time of birth. The point where the eastern horizon intersects the ecliptic is called the ascendant. This is the beginning of the first house. In opposition to it, is the cusp of the seventh house. This is called the descendant. Planets found near the ascendant at the moment of birth are rising, or have just risen, while planets close to the descendant are setting. Planets found in the upper half of the horoscope are said to be more 'active' and 'outgoing' than planets found in the lower half.
Medium Coeli/ Imum Coeli or MC/IC
The vertical axis in house division is the meridian. This divides the horoscope into east (left half of the chart) and west (the right half of the chart). The high point intersection of this axis with the ecliptic is called the Medium Coeli - usually referred to as the MC or midheaven. The lowest point (situated under the horizon) is termed the Imum Coeli usually called the IC. Planets close to the MC are at the highest possible place in the heavens at the time of birth, while planets near the IC are down-under - on the other side of the earth, literally beneath us.
Transits from one house to another are not as clear as from sign to sign.
Planets occupying a position near the end of a house or 'on the cusp' are often interpreted as belonging to the next.
1st House and the Ascendant (the degree of the sign rising in the east at the moment of birth).
The 1st house is do with the self, how you express yourself. The ascendant, like the sun and moon is one of the most important factors in a horoscope.
The sign at the beginning of the first house tells you how you view the world and how you appear to other people. The planet ruling the ascendant sign is of particular importance in the chart placement.
2nd House Possessions and Values
The second house tell you about your values, both in material things as well as what you value in yourself. This part of the chart reveals your urge to acquire possessions and the value you place on the things you own. It also reveals the relationship you have with your own body.
3rd House Communication
The third house and any planets in it tell you how you communicate on an everyday level and the relationships which determine your daily life: friends, neighbours, short trips, acquaintances and siblings.
4th House (and the I.C) Roots and Origins
This house describes your roots and home and the kind of childhood you had.
It tells you how you relate to the ³family² and your sense of belonging.
This house reveals aspects about your literal father as well as the internal image you have of 'father'.
5th House Romance and Creativity
This house governs romance, sex and seduction, along with your ability to play. Imagination, self-expression and all types of creative arenas are highlighted here. This house also describes how you relate to children, pleasure and simple fun.
6th House Work and Routine
This house describes your attitude to routines, rituals, the work environment and daily habits. Bodily hygiene and health are also covered here, and also how you fit into the hierarchy at work or at home.
7th House Relationships
The house of relationships is exactly that. It tells you about how you chose your partners and the kind of partnerships and relationships you seek. Often you'll be attracted to people who have a strong emphasis of the sign that rules your seventh house, or the planets you find there. This house is also about 'open enemies' as well as those you are attracted to.
8th House Joint Resources, Power issues, Dark themes
This house reflects anything from big issues surrounding money, inheritance, joint resources -whether business or personal - and themes to do with sexuality, death, and power.
9th House Meaning, Beliefs, Foreign Places
The ninth house describes our spiritual or philosophical outlook, also our beliefs and our world view. This house also shows our attitudes to foreign-ness. How we cope with journeys far and wide.
10th House (MC) Occupation and Vocation
This house reveals not only our choice of profession but also our general development, outer expression, the image we want others to see as well as our reputation. This house also describes your mother image and the relationship you have to your real mother.
11th House Friends and Society
The eleventh house describes how we relate to groups or people, acquaintances and the collective. This house tells us how we operate in a group rather than on a one-to-one basis. This house shows how we relate to the society in which we live.
12th House Ancestors, the past, retreat, the hidden side of life
A rather elusive house to get your head round - Simply because the unknown and hidden is not easily accessible. Planets in this house often work unconsciously, but themes of dreams, ancestry and secrets are possibly the best way to interpret this house.