When you look at an astrological chart, you’ll notice that it’s divided into twelve “slices” – these slices are called houses, and each house concerns a particular area of life such as learning, relationships, career or finances.
A planet’s position in a sign shows how the planetary energy will be expressed in the person’s life, but the house position of the planet shows which area of life this planet is mostly concerned with.
There are many different methods of house division – the oldest and simplest is to simply divide the chart wheel into 12 equal slices beginning with the Ascendant or Rising sign. This is called the Equal House method and is one of the most popular; other methods also have much to recommend them however, and result in houses of different sizes. The choice of house division method is a personal choice for the astrologer, and many astrologers will use different methods for different kinds of charts.
Just as the signs of the zodiac are grouped into elements and qualities, the houses are grouped together into three types too. Houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 are known as the angular houses; these are the most significant houses in any chart, and they show where we begin things, take the initiative and take action. Houses 2, 5, 8 and 11 are succedent houses, and it’s in these houses that the individual will see the results of the actions they took in the angular houses. Finally, houses 3, 6, 9 and 12 are known as cadent houses, and these houses are where we look for support systems, communication and the skills needed to take action and move life forwards.