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The Astrological Houses

The zodiac is divided into twelve parts, called astrological houses. They represent different areas of life and, depending on the sign in which they fall and the planets that are placed there, show us how we experience that particular sector of life. The lines that separate one house and the next are called cusps, and dependent upon the time and place of birth of each. The ascendant is the cusp of the first house and indicates how the individual manifests itself in the physical world, how with its body and behaviour communicates with others.

Along with the Sun and Moon, the Ascendant (ASC) is one of the most important factors in the natal chart. The sign at the beginning of the first astrological house gives us precious information on our nature, on our temperament and physical aspect. The ascendant indicates the way we immediately and instinctively react to situations and shows how we present ourselves to the world.

The second house tells us about our values. It tells us how we assess our surroundings and how we are able to exploit our assets, meaning our potential, and the surrounding environment. Once the earth was our most valuable asset. Today, money has taken its place. This is why the second house is often associated with money.

The third house tells us how we perceive our surroundings and how we interact with it, the curiosity and will to know and learn, the level of socialisation, the ease with which we come into contact with others, how we communicate, our ability to exploit contacts and relationships. This house tells us about our relationships with all those people who are part of our social world: brothers, sisters, cousins, acquaintances, co-workers, etc.

The fourth house, or Nadir (FC), tells us about our origins, the paternal house and circumstances that influenced our childhood. It describes our relationship with the "family" the stronger or weaker strength of family ties and our attitude towards our "home and family life ". Remember that this house reflects both the objective truth and thus the real family situation, and the subjective truth meaning the personal view we have of our family situation and that both tend to mutually influence each other.

The fifth house holds our creative potential. Creating means leaving our mark and this can clearly occur in different ways: bringing a child into the world and raising and educating him so that he becomes a culturally and socially important person, producing art or literary works, promoting important discoveries, etc. This house also includes love and sexuality but more as an expression of ourselves than the desire of union. This house also tells us about our attitude towards risks, challenges, dares and gaming, important in defining our potential.

The sixth house describes our attitude towards everything we consider routine and thus unimportant. In fact, all those situations that require respect, discipline, tolerance and test our civic sense and availability to help others in small things. This house tells us about our relationship with everything we believe beneath us and thus employees, servants, animals, objects and, lastly, our bodies, that inseparable object whose workings we too often take for granted.

The seventh house or Descendant tells us how we compromise with others. It is a house of choices and responsibilities since what is agreed, either contracts, businesses, matrimonies, must be honoured. The house thus describes our attitude towards others and the society, if we are willing to accept that others are different from us and, despite this, harmoniously relate to them or, if we consider different people our foes or even enemies.

The eighth house, where we meet the "other", closes the cycle of houses where our experience ends and opens the cycle of houses where we start experimenting ourselves with others. If we agree to contracts in the seventh house, we give them a value in the eighth. The relationship, the exchange, the contract transforms into a value more than into money or a simple promise. In this case, we measure up to concepts like inheritance, taxes, mortgages and liens; every type of exchange, as we know, whether or not concerning money, is based on an interpersonal and social relationship mainly based on trust. Trust, which intrinsically implies honesty, responsibility, ability to manage and honour what we agreed. The eighth house holds all those institutions which somehow imply trust and power in both negative and positive connotations: politics, finances, mafia, clergy, etc. Even emotional involvement, sex, imply trust and abandon to the person we invested with this power.

The ninth house indicates how subjective and thus limited our view is and thus concerns vaster mental horizons. Our thought and global thought meet in this house. Here we find culture and different ways of thinking, doctrines, philosophies and religions that do not belong to us. This house shows us whether we can expand our thought or if we tend to force our view of the world on others. If the third house refers to our individual needs to relate with our closest environment, to understand and know it, the ninth house is the sector in which we acquire knowledge that has nothing to do with our environment, that we cannot directly experience but only explore through the use of abstraction and categories. If we learn to "know", thus directly experience something new in the third house, in the ninth house we learn to "understand", learn all those mechanisms, conditions that produced a certain situation. We learn the why of things in the ninth house.

The tenth house or Mid-heaven (MC), shows us how we can grow, not just in our eyes but in the eyes of others, play a role in society. In the tenth house we experience successes and failures as the consequences of our positive or negative integration in a larger organisation and our abilities or inabilities to actively cooperate with it. If the fourth house refers to the home and family ties, the tenth house tells us how we leave the nest and the degree to which we desire independence.

If we were able to consolidate an active role in society in the tenth house, different needs emerge in us in the eleventh: our plans, our goals are no longer pursued to meet personal needs but because we can transform them into assets useful to society. A sense of community grows within us. We feel the need to express our ideas, join with people who share them, to belong to a group, associations, communities that reflect our hopes. If we express ourselves unconditionally in the fifth house, in the eleventh what we are and what we do is always judged by our community. Thus, this house indicates our attitude on religion, politics, justice, fashion and trends shared by a society. It tells us if we tend to join the band wagon, abandoning our individuality, if we tend to just criticise and become revolutionary rebels, or if we are able to provide positive and balanced contributions.

In the twelfth house we deal with all those experiences where we feel impotence, we realise we can do nothing, not even if we try our hardest and fight. Things happen to use, we do not cause them or attract them to us. They just happen and we can only accept them. If in the sixth house the individual must follow every day rules and standards and discover in which situations his individual power loses meaning, in the twelfth house we lose the expectations we attributed to society. If we believed that we lived ethically, correctly, being a good father or mother, and that positively contributing to society was enough, the twelfth house teaches us that this is not the case, we learn that there is a superior law we must all obey, the law of our destiny.

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