In astrology, the first house is the most important house in a chart. It signifies the subject of the chart, whether this is a person, place, or thing.
Every one of the twelve houses in a chart carries its own significations. In a natal or birth chart, they represent areas of a person’s life. Looking at an electional chart, they represent topics and how they relate to the event under consideration. With horary astrology, they are used to determine which planets are relevant to the question at hand.
For each and every one of these applications of astrology, the first house is the most personal. This means that in a natal chart, it signifies the person’s body, appearance, basic personality, and motivations. When putting together an astrological election, it represents the event itself, or the subject initiating the event. In horary astrology, it signifies the person asking the question.
Let’s look at each of these applications, and consider how the first house relates to them.
The first house in natal astrology
In a house system such as Placidus or Regiomontanus, the first house has the Ascendant as its cusp. It’s where the chart begins.
In a birth chart, or “nativity,” the first house is sometimes called the “house of life.” Its cusp, its ruler, and the planets located within it, give us a general idea of the life circumstances surrounding the individual. This includes their motivations, mannerisms, and mentality, but also their physical appearance and overall health.
Let’s talk about physical appearance first. According to the tradition, this includes a person’s size and shape, their complexion, and the features of their head and face. For example, if Saturn or Mars is located in the first house, one would expect them to have a mole or some other mark on their face. Or, if not on their face, on that part of the body signified by the sign of this house.
The rules for calculating one’s physical appearance from the chart are well beyond the scope of this article, but they’re all rooted in the first house.
Motivations and mannerisms are also found here. The traits associated with the sign of this house, as well as the planets within it, all give us a clues to these characteristics. If we see a fire sign on the cusp, we would expect an individual who is more extroverted than introverted. If Saturn is positioned here, though, that extroversion would be more moderated.
The planet ruling the cusp of this house shows us the area of life toward which the native directs most of their attention, as well as the manner in which they engage with it.
The first house is the most critical house when it comes to astrological elections. It, and its ruling planet, represent either the event itself or the person or subject which acts to bring the event to pass. If we’re electing a date and time to start a vacation, it would represent the people going on the trip. If we’re electing a new business, it would represent the business. Breaking ground on a new building? You guessed it, it signifies the building.
When looking for an auspicious time to begin something, it’s vital that the first house and its ruler be in a good condition and free of malefic influences. This is usually the first step an astrologer takes when electing a time.
In horary astrology, where a chart is cast for the moment of a question, the first house represents the person asking the question. In many horary questions, the answer is found by looking for an aspect between the ruler of this house, and the ruler of whichever house represents the thing being asked about.
If someone asks about a job they applied for, we’ might’d look to see if there’s an aspect between the ruler of the first house and the ruler of the tenth, which governs one’s career. If someone asks if they’ll marry their current partner, we’d look for an aspect between the ruler of the first and the ruler of the seventh.
There are many other rules when it comes to answering horary questions, but the first house is almost always involved.
Final thoughts on the first house
When you begin to learn about astrology, it’s always a good idea to start by looking at your own birth chart. If you haven’t seen your chart before, you can use a website such as Astro-Seek to create one. Look at your first house, and the planets within it. What do they have to say about you?
Remember, every house in the chart has something to say. The first house, though, is particularly important, and it must be studied carefully.
The first is always first.
Have a blessed day!
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