There are twelve signs in the tropical zodiac. One for each month of the year, although they do not follow the actual dates of the calendar months, but rather follow the seasons. The start of Aries marks the Spring Equinox, Cancer the Summer Solstice, Libra the Autumn Equinox and Capricorn the Winter Solstice.
In Astrology we have our two luminaries; the Sun and the Moon, 5 visible personal planets; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn, and 3 trans personal planets, only visible through a telescope, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto. And they each travel in their own orbit and cycles offering unique energy influence on the human experience. Below is the glyph (symbol) for each.
House systems in Astrology are simply the way an Astrologer divides the sky to view and interpret the planetary relationships and energies. There are many different house systems and many astrologers use various ones for various reasons.
Regardless of the division, the essential meanings are the same and each house has a natural sign and planetary ruler that holds domain over each one. Below is a basic list.
House - Area of Life Ruled by House
First House - I am - Self, Personal Identity, Image Second House - I Have - Values, Self-worth, Possessions, Finances Third House - I Think - Education, Communication, Siblings, Short Trips Fourth House - I Feel - Home, Family, Roots, Foundation Fifth House - I Will - Self-expression, Romance, Creativity, Children Sixth House - I Analyze - Work, Service, Health, Pets Seventh House - I Balance - Partnerships, Marriage, Relating, Balance Eighth House - I See - Resources, Sex, Death, Occult Ninth House - I Desire - Philosophy, Higher Education, Travel, Religion Tenth House - I Use - Career, reputation, Ambition, Status Eleventh House - I know - Ideals, Groups, Friends, Future Aspirations Twelfth House - I Believe - Imagination, Unknown, Spirituality, Escape, Secrets
The above diagram shows you the basic house system for an astrological chart. At the moment you were born a picture of the sky was taken creating the map to your destiny. How your unique placement falls on this diagram can help you to understand your journey.
Essential Dignity & Rulership
The placement of each planet in sign and house can be seen in a variety of ways for determining how they are supporting or challenging another and how that energy is presented in the Natal Astrology or influencing the personality expression or the current collective energy.
Essential Dignity simply means that a planet is in it's natural sign or house where it is at it's most comfortable and positive expression. If a planet is in the opposite sign to it's natural placement it is said to be in it's "detriment" and indicates it is not comfortable and we will have to work harder to integrate this energy. And there are some signs and places a planet can be that offer us even stronger support called "exaltation", or less called "fall", which can create more challenge.
The images below break these dignities and rulerships down for each planet.
It only makes sense that the natural elements in nature would be represented in Astrology as well. There are 3 signs of the Zodiac assigned to each of the 4 elements. And so each of the signs can take on the expressions of these elements.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The Qualities or Modes
Each sign takes on a mode of expression based on it's quadrant position which colors the interpretation of planetary sign holders and placement.
Putting all this info together into chart readings for yourself and/or others is a skill and art form that takes patience, integration, contemplation, intuition, time and lots of practice. Learning astrology can be fun, magical, mysterious, confusing, frustration and transforming all at the same time. It can take a lifetime to fully observe and absorb all there is to know and understand about the cosmos and our relationship to them. And I am enjoying that journey for myself. But I also believe that a great deal can be gained by even just knowing and utilizing the basics in our lives.
This is just a nutshell overview of the very bones of astrology. There are amazing teachers, resources and sites for diving into it more and exploring all the various branches of this ancient system. I have listed some on my Reading & Resources page to get you started.
But if you already have a grasp of astrology and want to dive into some deeper personal growth for yourself or your children, check out my parenting pages and/or contact me to schedule a consultation.