Astrology houses

Natal Planets in the Houses - Preface
Karma and New Directions

HoroscopeThis book has come into being as a direct result of seven years intensive client work and teaching undertaken in various parts of Britain from the mid - 1980's.

The intention in writing this book is not to offer a definitive study of the planets in the houses but rather to offer in handbook form information, which may help practicing astrologers and astrology students to identify from their planetary distributions, the disposition and circumstances of people born into contemporary Western societies.

This work concerns itself unashamedly with form and events. The psychological orientation of Western astrology is making it increasingly difficult for students of astrology to come by this kind of information.

This is an unhelpful tendency given that we live in a world of form and even if we wish it otherwise, most of us are affected deeply, at one level or another, by events throughout the course of lives. If we know how to read them, we can discover ourselves in the events we draw to ourselves.

Another unhelpful tendency is the evasive treatment so often given in astro­logical works, especially those published in the USA, to the planetary placements and aspects, which produce trauma and difficulty. Life is difficult and to suggest anything less is disingenuous.  If anything I have been at pains in this work to identify the negative expressions of certain planetary placements. My years as a practicing astro­loger have left me in no doubt that it is negative experiences which send people in search of astrological guidance; and perhaps one of the finest services an astrologer can perform for a client is to offer an explana­tion of a traumatic occurrence which challenges the hypnotic view that mis­fortune ‘just happens’.

In this work it is assumed that the purpose of life on earth is the transformation of energy. Humankind can transform energy with or without consciousness. If we undertake our role with consciousness then we can better help our planet and ourselves, and in an individual’s coming to consciousness, crisis has an enormously important part to play.

Since the discovery of Pluto, we need to have this awareness if we are to take advantage of the opportunities now available to us.

In my own astrological career I have been helped greatly by the writings of the astrologer Sepharial. My own approach owes a lot to my admiration for his blunt, unapologetic presentation of what he had observed. The things that are the hardest to hear are often the most valuable in the longer term.

Suzanne Rough

Brighton 1993

My heartfelt thanks to Megan Baierski for taking on the laborious task of editing this work, which I wrote over a decade ago.


Brighton 2004  

astrology teaching manuals


Understanding Karma

Things are what they are. Sooner or later we have to come to accept this. Past lives, in a manner of speaking, were what they were. To judge the quality of past life experience using the standards and perceptions of the present is unhelpful.

Each being that ceases to incarnate has become one with its true own nature. Once this state of consciousness has been attained there is no need for further incarnations.

A life is useful in as much as it brings the consciousness of the incarnated being closer to this knowingness. This is the only meaningful criterion for an astrologer.

The repository of experiences incarnation is the ego or causal body, created on the mental plane by the individuating process. The ego is informed by the soul and provides the continuity between lifetimes.

The process of re-incarnation does not require us to apprehend it, although each of us can assist it by conscious co-operation. Each incarnation ensures that some imbalance is redressed - even if others are created - by virtue of the experiences, which the ego, through its personality form, attracts to it. It is self-interest and the partial view, which release the forces of dis-equilibrium, which then have to be met with equal and opposing forces. This is karma.

Our morality, beliefs and imperfect understanding tend to make us view the karmic process as a system of rewards and punishments, when in fact it may be likened to the swinging of a pendulum. Few would suggest that the swing to the right is a punishment: it balances the swing to the left. It is what it is...and so is the karmic process, which redresses imbalances over many lifetimes. It is the mechanism by which consciousness is developed. Our morality, belief systems and experiences of pain and pleasure exist within this process and may help us deal more skilfully with its imperatives but the process is not encompassed by them.

Experience develops awareness. If this were not so then the karmic process would not be the loom of consciousness that it is.

If awareness can be made to precede experience then the experience may become unnecessary.

When we talk about co-operating with the karmic process this is what is meant: developing awareness in order to reduce the number of experiences the incarnated being needs before it attains equilibrium.

New Directions

With each new personality, consciousness is opened up to new experiences, and the opportunity to deal from a different vantage point with situations, which have produced imbalance.

Natal astrology gives us insights into all these areas. The planets through the signs and the houses they occupy and through their relationship with each other provide us with tools with which to analyse the personality in which the soul has incarnated. This enables us to identify the kind of experiences it will attract to itself and this, in turn, affords us an insight into the nature of the imbalance to be corrected.

With this function in mind the following definitions are offered.

  1. The Planets

The Sun - current identity / consciousness

By House position: Indicates the area of life, which gives the ego identity in the current lifetime. There is a developmental need for a person to be active in this area for the experiences, and thereby the awareness it is able to give him.

By Sign: Indicates the perspective and the modus operendi brought to this area of life.

The Moon - the soul/ the emotional nature/ the unconscious

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which awareness has been developed in other incarnations.

By Sign:  Describes the quality awareness resulting from those experiences and which forms up the emotional nature.

Mercury - communication

By House position: Indicates the area of life from which Mercury gains the impressions it then supplies to the Sun. If Mercury occupies a different house from the Sun a person’s sense if whom he is influenced by two different areas of life.

By Sign: Indicates the perspective a person brings to this area of life.

Venus - love / values

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which a person finds what he loves and values.

By sign: Indicates the way a person loves and orders his values.

Mars - assertiveness

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which a person projects himself for fulfilment and recognition.

By Sign: Indicates the style of assertiveness and what he seeks to gain from achievement in this area.

Jupiter - expansion

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which a person experiences himself as least restricted and in which he feels most capable. A person’s ‘luck factor’ may be said to work through this area of life.

By Sign: Indicates the manner in which a person expresses his sense of unboundedness. The element will indicate whether he views it as a spiritual, intellectual, emotional or material condition.

Saturn restriction / specific area of Karmic redress

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which a person has the developmental requirement to struggle against limitation in order to rectify a karmic imbalance. Before the Saturn problem is mastered - and potentially this is an area in which there may be mastery and outstanding ability awareness is created through situations which cause difficulty and suffering.

By Sign: Indicates the qualities, which need to be brought to bear in order to overcome the problem. Initially, at least, these qualities will not be easy for a person to express.

Uranus liberation                                                                               (Higher Octave of Mercury)

By house position: Indicates the area of life in which a person has to sever attachments for developmental purposes. Uranus operates, if necessary, without the co-operation of the conscious mind. In which case, the liberating conditions appear from the outside as events.

By Sign: Indicates the nature of the liberating conditions the personality will attract to itself. The element indicates whether liberation needs to take place at the spiritual, intellectual, emotional or material level.

Neptune - transcendence of the ego perspective                                      (Higher Octave of Venus)

By House position: Indicates the area of life in which a person’s personality perspec­tive is weakest. This area, therefore, offers a person an opportunity to go beyond the partial view with its inherent imbalances.

By Sign: Indicates the way in which the ego-less perspective expresses itself. The element indicates the level affected by the selfless perspective: spiritual, intellectual, emotional or material.

Pluto transformation                                                                                   (Higher Octave of Mars)

By house position: Indicates the area of life, which is the medium used over many lifetimes for the development of the emotional nature. The energy of Pluto can manifest either as power used against or as power used by a person.

By Sign: Indicates specific qualities of the catalystic activities of Pluto. The element indicates whether transformation is to affect the spiritual, intellectual, emotional or physical level.

Retrograde and Stationary Planets

Retrogradation inverts the planetary energy so that it works on an inner rather than on the physical level.

When a planet is in a retrograde condition in a natal chart it is an indication that the energy of that planet has been used excessively or irresponsibly in other incarnation. By making its energy difficult to project, retrogradation ensures that the planetary energy will be used with more awareness in the current lifetime.

All the planets except the Sun and the Moon go retrograde for varying periods each year. It is possible therefore for a person to have many retrograde planets in his natal chart. Where there is extensive retrogradation a person experiences difficulty in interfacing with the world: he is usually unable to accept the values of his society or respond to the goals and rewards, which motivate the majority of his contemporaries. Unless he can find an alternative system of values by which to live he is likely to become disillusioned and alienated by the time of his Saturn Return.

A stationary planet gives considerable emphasis to both the energy principle and the area of life, denoted by the house in which the stationary planet is found. A planet in this condition indicates that there is a pressing developmental need for a person to focus on both the energy and the area of life. It may be that it was given insufficient attention in other incarnations, or that it was primed and is now ready to be given creative expression.

  1. The Houses

The houses of the horoscope denote the various areas of life experience. When they are tenanted natally, or subsequently by transit or progression, that area of life has a particular importance for the outworking of the life.

Yet it is only when the soul through its many personality forms has had experience in all areas of consciousness that it can come to an understanding of its true nature i.e. both individual (Personal & Relative consciousness) and constituent (Universal consciousness).

In the houses of Universal consciousness the incarnated being learns to work with both aspects of its nature.

These houses are a preparation for the next stage of the spiritual journey, in which the two aspects become one.

Areas of Life Experience

House I - Personality - personal - self-image - physical appearance

Awareness through self-projection and personal effectiveness

House II - Values - personal resources - money - material possessions

Awareness through consolidation and material responsibility

House III - Rational mind - the written & spoken word - education & places of learning - the environment - brothers & sisters - commu­nications systems - transportation

Awareness through communication

House IV - The collective unconscious - the individual unconscious - the cultural roots - the childhood - the mother - the home - real estate - personal past

Awareness through the experience of continuity

House V - Being - individuality - creativity - sex as self-expression - concep­tion of children - recreation

Awareness through the exercise of creative energy

House VI - Work - vocation - service - health - physical constitution - domestic pets

Awareness through the exercise of functional energy

House VII - Relationship - balance - partnerships with commitment - business associates & clients

Awareness through relating

House VIII - The astral plane - death - sex as conjunction - dealings with partners - shared resources - inheritance

Awareness through emotional and sexual experience            

House IX - Knowledge - the law - religion - philosophies - other countries & cultures overseas travel

Awareness through the quest for meaning

House X - Authority - the establishment - the career - the father

Awareness through the experience of recognition & authority

House XI - Ideals - fellowship - groups - communal activities - friends - children after birth

Awareness through communal endeavour

House XII - Universal consciousness - self-transcendence - the impartial - sacrifice - places of withdrawal & seclusion

Awareness through the experience of non-separation

  1. The Areas of Consciousness

Each area of life, denoted by the houses, belongs to one of three areas of consciousness.

The position of the Sun in a person’s chart indicates in which area of consciousness a person is working in the current incarnation; the position of the Moon indicates the area in which there has been experienced gained through other incarnations.

Each area of consciousness has a specific focus, which stamps a person’s approach to life and gives him his terms of reference.

The three areas of consciousness are:

Area of consciousness - Personal

Areas of consciousness - Relative

Areas of consciousness - Universal

Personal Consciousness:


House of

Natural Ruler


















Focus: Self

Relative Consciousness:


House of

Natural Ruler








Mercury / Chiron








Pluto / Mars


Focus: Self in relation to other

Universal Consciousness:


House of

Natural Ruler




Jupiter / Chiron








Uranus / Saturn




Neptune / Jupiter


Focus: Self in the context of a higher order


The soul in its many personality forms gains experience in each area of consciousness. Whilst there is a sense in which there is progression through the houses of Personal consciousness, to those of Relative conscious­ness, and then onto those of Universal consciousness which reach their apotheosis in XII House, it would be extremely unwise to attempt to assess the level of soul development from the area of consciousness in which the Sun is found. The subtle process of reincarnation eludes such rigid classification.

The Aspects

The section which follows, is devoted to identifying the way in which each of the planets is likely to express itself when working through each of the twelve houses. All the planets have the capacity to be influenced by certain of the others. The rule being, that-the slower moving planet will influence the faster moving one.

The aspects cast will have considerable bearing upon a planet’s (a significator’s) performance within a house, something that needs always to be kept in mind when using the delineations offered in this section.

The following considerations are offered as guidelines:

  • ¬ Planets aspecting the significator from the semi-sextile (30 degrees); sextile (60 degrees); and trine (120 degrees) will co-operate with the significator and support its expression.
  • ¬ Planets aspecting the significater from the semi-square (45 degrees); square (90 degrees); and opposition (180 degrees) angles have a frustrating and inhibiting effect.
  • ¬ Planets aspecting the significator with the conjunction (0 degrees), especially if this occurs within the same house, will either heighten the expression or suppress it according to the nature of the conjoined planets.
  • ¬ Planets aspecting the significator from the quincunx (150 degrees) & the sesiquadrate (135 degrees) angles will produce over­reaction.
  • ¬ When the significator is an inner planet, Saturn in conjunction, square or opposition is most likely to suppress a planet’s expression and make the description seem inept. In sextile & trine aspect Saturn will moderate and give discipline to the expression.
  • ¬ When the significator is aspected by Uranus, Neptune or Pluto from the square & opposition angles the expression will be exagerated and eccentric.

The expression of the conjunction depends upon how well the energy of the significator can blend with that of the outer planet The house in which the conjunction occurs will also have bearing on this matter as some areas of life will prove a more accommodating medium for energy of this potency than others.

When the aspects cast by these planets is from the sextile and trine angles the expression will be distinctive and original.

The Houses

Each of the systems popular in the U.K and USA: Equal House, Placidus, and Koch when used in the Northerly latitude will produce significantly different results.

How important is this?

It is the nature of the information, which the astrologer wishes to access, which should be decisive in this matter.

The major consideration of popular astrology is the position of each planet in relation to the M.C./I.C. axis, and the Ascendant/ Descendant axis: it is the quadrant and proximity to the hyleg points therefore which have a significance greater than that of house placement. The Placidean system, for all its shortcoming, is adequate for this. The Equal House system is less so because according to this system the M.C. is not necessarily the cusp of X House, which means that the point of maximum achievement in a person’s life may not correspond to the Sun’s zenith - and this is unacceptable to many. The astrologer concerned with events and their timing needs more precision because the house through which the energy principle is working will determine the form of the occurrence. For this kind of work the Koch system, which uses the empirically observable as its point of reference has many merits.