When we talk about astrology, people immediately think to zodiac signs and planets; however, to have a possibly even greater importance—at least from a human perspective—are the astrological houses. Why are they so important? Because they are the earthly transposition of the cosmic energy carried by the twelve signs and—since we live on earth—they affect us much more.
It is as if each sign had built a specific field of the earthly human experience, shaping it with its own forces. For instance, the emotional and soft nature of Cancer—so eager to be protected—built the fourth house, which represents our home and family—both places where we can feel safe physically and emotionally. Taurus instead, so concerned about abundance and pleasure, built the second house, which represents money and incomes.
As you can see, houses are numbered according to their sign: Cancer (fourth sign) relates to the fourth house; Taurus (second sign) relates to the second house, and so on. This analogy is so strong that signs are also known as celestial houses, opposed to the strictly speaking houses—whose nature is earthly.
Although houses originated from signs, once defined, they are independent sectors which bear their own specific symbolism. You can think of them like a circle divided into twelve numbered parts, which can overlap the circle of the Zodiac we already know in all possible combinations; technically, we say that houses fall into signs. Each one of them will be influenced by the energy of the sign it falls into. For example, even though the fourth house was by definition originally created by Cancer, in an astrological chart it can fall in Virgo. In this case its symbolism (home, family, protection, etc.) will have virginal influences. In summary: each area of life refers to a house; each house falls into a zodiac sign; the sign influences with its energy the house in question. In this way we can describe from an astrological point of view all spheres of human life.
Houses are divided into three main categories: angular, succedent and cadent. This classification is given in sequence, like so:
|Angular houses are the strongest since they answer to the great questions of life: who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? They describe our family and partner as well. They are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth House.
|Succedent come after angular houses, both in sequence and strength. They deal with important life matters such as money, children, love, friendship and death. They are the Second, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh House.
|Cadent houses are the weakest. They have to do with usually considered secondary issues, such as: siblings, neighbors, duties and obligations, illness, trips, travels and solitude. They are the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth House.
Please note that house strength refers to Accidental Dignity.
The name angular comes from their position in the ancient method of representing astral charts in a square shape. As you can see the first, fourth, seventh and tenth house occupy the angles of the inner square.