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Significations of the Twelve Houses – Part 1: Houses 1–6

Significations of Houses: 1st - 6th house

In episode 231 astrologers Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Chris Brennan begin the first of a two part series on the meanings of the twelve houses, starting with houses 1 through 6.

At the beginning of the episode we review some basic conceptual structures that are necessary for understanding how the houses got their meanings, such as the concepts of angularity, good and bad houses, and the planetary joys.

After that beginning material is out of the way, we begin by talking about the first house and what it means within the context of natal astrology, followed by the rest of the houses in zodiacal order.

We don’t really deal with the issue of house division much in this episode, since that was covered partially in a recent episode on the origins of the different forms of house division in astrology.

This is the first of a two part series, and the rest of the houses will be dealt with in part 2 on houses 7 through 12, which should be released sometime next month. Patrons of the podcast will get early access to the episode, among other benefits.

This is a followup to our previous episodes on other foundational concepts in astrology, where we talked about the significations of the seven traditional planets, and the meanings of the zodiac signs.

This was the first episode that we recorded when we got together in Denver last week to record a bunch of episodes in person in our studio. The rest of the episodes will be released slowly over the course of the next month.

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.

Meanings of the First Six Houses

Here are some of the significations of the first six houses we touch on in this episode:

  • 1st house: self, body, character, appearance
  • 2nd house: finances, possessions, income
  • 3rd house: siblings, short trips, school, communication
  • 4th house: parents, home, family, private life
  • 5th house: children, creativity, pleasure, sex
  • 6th house: illness, injuries, work, subordinates

For the rest of the houses see Significations of the Houses – Part 2: Houses 7–12.

Classes on the Meanings of the Houses

All three of us teach online courses on the astrology of the houses, and if you would like to learn more after watching this episode then you may want to check them out:


Here are some timestamps for topics covered at different points in the episode:

00:00:00 Introduction and Preliminary Considerations
00:02:48 House Division
00:05:38 Purpose of the Houses
00:10:13 Angular, succedent, and cadent houses
00:13:57 Diurnal rotation and astronomy of the houses
00:20:45 Order of the houses
00:24:00 Zodiac signs not the same as houses
00:36:30 Joys of the planets
00:38:40 Angular triads, meaning of cadent and succedent
00:41:11 Good and bad houses
00:50:00 1st house
01:26:50 2nd house
01:58:16 3rd house
02:30:32 4th house
02:54:22 5th house
03:18:21 6th house
03:42:24 Concluding remarks, where to learn more

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of our episode on the meanings of the houses in astrology:


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 231 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play the audio version of this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your device by using the buttons below:

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  • I’ve so been waiting for this! Amazing poster of the houses at the beginning, where can I get a copy? Thanks for you amazing content, it’s really helped me learn!

    • I’m in the process of printing up the posters now, and should be announcing when they are available for purchase soon, probably in the first or second week of December.

  • I agree the 12 house alphabet system is wrong. Yet, I am curious how far the difference between signs and houses can be taken.
    There do seem to be some similarities: For example, both Aries and the first house have been attributed head, face, and ears; the second: neck and throat down to 12th house/Pisces feet.
    There are qualitative differences: Aries a dry medium to tall body and a Pisces may suggest short stature, not very harmonious, pale complexion and large face (Avelar/Ribeiro, On the heavenly spheres) in a native’s first house, or second house if describing supporters in legal matters, etc.
    I see the differences and can see how the similarities allowed us moderns to take the easy route of oversimplification and error.

  • Thank you for the wonderful broadcasts you three are doing! I am re-capping on my many years of interest as an Astrologer and learning so much more from you about traditional Astrology. BRILLIANT – THANK YOU I may one of these days start doing readings again?

  • Yes…

    The way I used to teach is that “the Alphabetical house = sign is not to be used except in melothesia”..

    Chris et. al – your comment(s)

  • Great podcast! Regarding the ascendant and the 1st house – it’s very important in terms of an individual life-path. The ascendant sign is considered to be the soul purpose of the person. It’s about the ego personality vs. soul-driven personality. It would be good to hear your 2 cents about it

  • So enjoyed this, both as a review but also offering lots of new perspective on the houses. Thank you! And I did just want to offer a confirmation of Austin’s comment about seeing the siblings in the 3rd house. I have North Node in Cancer and Mars in Leo – sister is Cancer and she is the relationship-growth-challenge of my life. And my much loved brother has been a performer his whole life (Leo on his MC), moving from grey Vancouver Canada to sunny L.A. So love astrology!