The First House

The first house is about appearances. You can be the real you, away from what you wear, and how you use your body language, and how you are profiled. But - image matters.

Horoscope Houses in Astrology

Welcome to a new series – Horoscope Houses in Astrology. I’ll be going deeply into the meaning of each of the twelve houses for you, so that you can take your astrology further and understand your horoscope better.

The twelve houses in your horoscope – the twelve segments of the circle – describe all the departments of your life. Each one is ruled by a zodiac sign. If you happen to have your personal birth chart from me, as a Premium Member, you will see that some segments or houses in your own horoscope are full. Some are empty. It’s the full houses that show you who you are and what is set to happen to you.

 

Using Horoscope Houses in Astrology in the Real World

Astrology is like astronomy. It continually deals with new discoveries. In the real world, we update the meaning of the houses to cope with new technology. In the 19th century, for example, the Ninth House was about long journeys by sea. Today it is about the World Wide Web, as you ‘travel’ with a mouse in your hand, connecting on Skype.

Here is my guide to the twelve houses, based on my books Essential Astrology for Women (HarperCollins) and Handbag Horoscopes (Penguin). I am also going to refer you to some of my favourite books from other well-known astrologers, so that you can have second opinions on the houses. If you want to know more, please pick up my latest book, the #1 Amazon bestseller, 2020 Astrology. For now – here is Part One of a continuing series on Horoscope Houses.

 

 

 

Horoscope Houses in Astrology and How They Predict Your Future

When astrologers see traffic (transits) in any of the 12 houses of your horoscope, they also see future events. This works for you, just based on your zodiac sign, also known as your Sun Sign. For that, professional astrologers use what is known as the Solar Sign house system.

When we are dealing with your personal birth chart, we find a different house system and start working with your time of birth, place of birth and date of birth. Both of them work well with stunning accuracy! But – your Sun Sign chart will show the headlines of your life, not the background story. Only your birth chart can do that. What follows can be used with any kind of horoscope you like.  The picture below shows a Natal Chart, or birth chart, or personal horoscope. Let’s decode it.

 

 

Are you a Premium Member? Check Your First House Now.

Perhaps you have a few factors in Aries in your First House. Maybe you have a lot. Or…none at all. This all says something about how you use your image, profile or ‘brand’ as part of your tool kit in life. You can check your chart now to see. For more information about how you deal with the ‘Me, me, me’ of Social Media, the planets, asteroids and so on, in Aries in the First House, will tell you. You can decode that on this website, just by looking them up.

Your Birth Chart

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Horoscope Houses in Astrology – THE FIRST HOUSE

The First House of the horoscope is ruled by Aries and Mars. This is where you thrust forward in life and push to the front. If you are ever on the cover of Vanity Fair, that’s your First House. Your image. Harry Styles  is ‘doing’ his First House here and strutting his stuff, deliberately sending a message about himself through his clothes, hair, attitude and body language. If you were in a band, we would say this was where you were behind the microphone, yet in front of the drummer and your guitarists.

Aries the Ram is an ancient symbol for that kind of fearless, upfront behaviour. You don’t see a shy ram hiding under a tree. This is fierce, old-school masculine energy, even if you are a woman. Astrology is Roman (the kind we use today) and Mars, the planet which rules this house, was the favourite of all Rome’s famous armies. He is the god of war who charges into battle with armour, equipment and attitude.

The Romans often won battles before they even had to show up, because the locals were terrified by their fearsome reputation. The Roman army was also clever in its use of ‘accessories’ like helmets and swords. It was all for show but it worked. From this we get the idea that the First House is about your image. I think we all know that Madonna isn’t really like that in person – but she has learned to be that person, in public. 

The First House and appearances

It is amazing how hard your Twitter photograph can work for you, or your YouTube profile. You can be the real you, away from what you wear, and how you use your body language, and how you are profiled. Yet – undeniably – the First House is about ‘front’ and appearances.

Ruled by Aries, this house is about the ram butting heads with his rival rams. A great deal of this is based on show. All those phrases like ‘walk your talk’ and ‘strut your stuff’ are essentially about the First House in your horoscope. I mentioned the Roman army and their armour. That’s your wardrobe. If you have a stellium in Aries in your natal chart (personal birth chart) with more than three horoscope factors in this sign, you will find that matters of image, reputation and profile become hugely important to who you are – and what happens to you.

When travelling or transiting horoscope factors go through Aries, you find yourself dealing with the worldwide web or multimedia, which carries the message about you. There will be issues about your body shape, size and condition, because that is how you present. There will be big questions about how you ‘front up’ to situations where you are meeting others for the first time, or thrusting yourself forward in the world.

Writing in Horoscope Symbols (Whitford Press, 1981), Robert Hand describes the First House as ‘personality’ derived from persona, which is a Latin-Etruscan word for “mask”. He points out, “The personality is the face we present to the world.” The First House is associated with the face you show on Facebook, if you choose to use it – but also your portrait in oils, if it is ever painted. My friend Deborah Houlding, who runs the amazing Skyscript website, is also the author of The Houses – Temples of the Sky (The Wessex Astrologer, 2006). She references the 17th century author and astrologer William Lilly, who thought the First House was about “the form and shape of body.” Thus, the horoscope factors you have in the First House, if any, have something to say about your height, weight and so on.

If you have Jupiter in Aries in the First House of your personal birth chart, for example, you may be fatter or taller than others, because Jupiter is the planet we associate with growth and expansion! My favourite book, solely on the houses, is The Twelve Houses by Howard Sasportas (Thorsons, 1985). He relates it to ‘unique identity’ and this is rather like the Roman soldier marching into battle with his characteristic uniform, flag, body language, gait and posture. Your First House describes how you project and push forward – as yourself and nobody else.

In some house systems, the Ascendant or Rising Sign begins the First House – it is on the first house cusp. In others, like the Natural House system, which I prefer to use – this angle actually goes into a house, or life department. There is a difference between the two and it comes down to the fact that the First House is always ruled by Mars and Aries, but the Ascendant or Rising Sign will be in any of the 12 zodiac signs at all. In other words, your First House shows how you push, charge, move to the front, present yourself, display yourself and take on the world – head-on. Mars was not the Roman god of war for nothing. If you have Aries factors in your chart (and particularly more than three, which is unusual in modern astrology) then you will invest a great deal of your time and energy into being upfront/fronting up. You may, for example, be a person who is all about his/her uniform – or the individual who is always front and centre, for whatever reason.

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24 thoughts on “The First House

  1. Jessica this is so true. I’m a taurean and my values are straight down the line. I won’t sell out too anybody my values. But how does a rising sign i.e. Aries in my case work with sun signs? I always feel I want to run (Aries) when I go slow (Taurus). I have become more Arian the older I get especially in work just knocking down door after door. Next is my motto! Thanks

    • Thank you. The Rising Sign or Ascendant is your ‘badge’ or advertising in life. Using the Natural House system it can fall anywhere, and it just shows which area of life frames you, in the eyes of people who don’t know you very well. This is where you both stand and fall, with the outside world, for whatever reason. I am glad your Second House/Taurus signature makes sense to you. I love your phrase “knocking down door after door, next is my motto!’ with the exclamation mark at the end. You are ‘speaking’ your Aries Ascendant. The Aries-Taurus combination is very common in astrology and it’s head first, horns down, and hooves in the ground. As you say, fast-slow.

  2. In the first house I have a stellium, the second has two and I struggle with both. In one sense I have an innate confidence in my identity and ability to make money, however I’m not, which I know doesn’t make sense! Based on experiences or being taken advantage of or misread and the sense of injustice or self fulfillment that follows, I am always laying low, riddled with fear and second guessing. (I have no social profiles) In the second house I have struggled with self limiting ideas as well as the machinations of capitalism, not that I’m a socialist but so much about our business systems are inherently unfair, individually and collectively. I appreciate the value of things and people, although they tend to make me fearful of losing them or not being able to care for them – so minimalism has huge appeal.
    So here I am in mid life limited in my self expression in the first, very much a result of my struggles with the second! Asc 25º Pisces, Sun 29º58′ Aries, Saturn 5º53′ Aries, Mercury 9º39′ Aries, North node 6º56′ Taurus, Pallas 19º24′ Taurus. As much as I learn about these two I still haven’t found how to use the key to these houses!

    • So you have the Sun at 29 Aries, Saturn at 5 Aries and Mercury at 9 Aries in your First House. Don’t use Pallas Athene, she is Greek and modern astrology is Roman-Latin. I can’t see any other factors in your chart, so cannot give you a complete answer, but you are ‘speaking’ your Saturn in the First House. No social profile. You could go a long way just by reading everything you can about Saturn and then applying that to your image, profile, packaging, presentation and so on. You could also go back to your Saturn Return when this planet transited 5 Aries (June 1996) and ask yourself who or what challenged you. That’s a key.

      • Thanks Jessica, have just resubscribed, hopefully you can see my chart now. That is interesting to look at Saturn, it has always felt like a millstone in the first and a barrier to freedom of expression. In 1996 I had a two year old and was in the early stages of a new identity, as single mother and socially having left the previous life behind. My only struggle was probably the same as now, feeling inadequate, excluded or judged (imagined) on my lack of formal qualifications/achievements/travel etc… A year later I enrolled at uni and although successful for two years, the financial stress was unsustainable. Was asked to help out at a small company temporarily and stayed 10 years. Which ended with bullying and a breakdown that has led to 10 years rehabilitating, in career limbo, more study (same struggles) and daily questioning of purpose and direction. Exhausting!
        So 1996 Saturn return challenges are still with me!

  3. HI Jessica,

    Liking the new layout and functionality!

    So, I have Proserpina – “Women who work as the go-between. Negotiation. Compromise. The middle person” – at 00 Aries but I can’t see how this describes my experience of being born ? I’m also trying to see how I relaunch as an adult as a go-between. Should I interpreted this as perhaps the best way to relaunch? To seek a role as the middle person? Proserpina seems to me to be in the ‘driving seat’ – powerful entities love and want her, do battle over her even. So not my experience:)
    Love your thoughts. X

    • Thank you, I will pass that onto James, Justin, Alyas and Jodi. You actually have Proserpina at 0 Aries and the South Node at 16 Aries in your First House of image, reputation, profile, presentation and packaging. When you were born, you were the middle person (as a baby, even) in a situation where two powerful parents, or relatives, or godparents – or even medical staff – were trying to figure out how to share the control. If you go back to the myth of Proserpina (and all astrology is based on Roman mythology) you will see that she was the go-between who was between her husband and her mother. You would not remember, of course, if you were a newborn!

      • Many thanks Jessica. Memories kicking in – such a long time ago. I remember being ‘piggy in the middle’ between parents. Not nice. X

  4. Dear Jessica,

    I have Panacea (13 deg) , Jupiter (22deg) and Chiron (27deg) in Aries. As for Jupiter, I total average as for my weight or high:-). As for my presentation I have a lack of self -confidence. I hate myself on the photos.
    On the other hand I feel that this year should be very important for me as for my presentation or better say of my bussiness brand (as mentor, couch and consultant in HR field) through the tools as linkedin, web, conferencies, workshop…But I have still doubts if I am good enought (I overanalyse everything – real Virgo:-(((
    Please can you tell me , if the placement of this planets in my first house could help me to be successfull as for myself presentation. And could Mars have something to do with this too? As a ruler of the Aries (first house) he is placed in my third house of communication. I only think about it if I can make my brand more powerfull thanks to Mars in Geminy – communication. Sorry if it is not very clear:-)

    Thank you for your inside, jessica.

    • You were born with Jupiter at 22 Aries, Chiron at 27 Aries and Panacea at 13 Aries in the First House, which describes the way you package, present and profile yourself. The way you promote yourself. If you lack confidence and hate your photographs, there are usually oppositions or squares to your First House factors. In other words, the angles or patterns your Aries placements make, are difficult. I am glad you asked this question because it takes us deeper into a huge part of astrology – the aspects. You were born with Jupiter at 22 Aries in the First House, right opposite Mercury at 22 Libra in the Seventh House. This is far more important than Mars ruling Aries and being in your Third House of communication. Inside you, there is a basic conflict between the way you are with former, current and potential partners – and the way you are, when you push forward out into the world. There is a basic conflict between the way you are with rivals, enemies and opponents – and the way you are when you are promoting, presenting and packaging yourself. As you would have first experienced this most strongly on your Jupiter Return in childhood, aged 11 through 13, you may want to look at what was happening at school or home. This may have been your school photo, or public speaking. It may be have been your appearance around aged 12 or another issue, like shyness. If you are conflicted about selling yourself to the world, this may hold the clue.

  5. Hi dear Jessica Tanx a bunch for such a precious detailed article.
    I am a Taurean April 1984 with scorpion rising & stellium at frist house ( pluto 0 , saturn 13 & mars 24 the famous conjunction in 1984 ) what took my attention in your text as you said Saturn can mean a delayed birth. I asked an astrologist in my country to consult my natal chart but although I am sure about my birthday date & hour , she said me: something doesn’t go well with your chart your chart is not reliable to read & predict. I’m really sad in my life caused by struggling between what I desire to be ( which is not really special or luxurious ) & what I am , I have & so on & that’s why I asked her to read my chart to see if there is any door to be open coming soon yet she said not possible, I feel my self too unlucky & unfortunate ): dispite I tried much to do any positive change I never could get it happens.
    Already thank you for any insight either bitter or sweet.

    • Okay, I work with the Natural House system and you don’t have a stellium in the First House. You have Pluto, Saturn and Mars (at least) in the Eighth House which rules sex and money. Property and family. Insights? Okay. Here is a really easy way to get to know yourself and make your life easier. Remember what happened to you in October, November of any year/every year. The Sun would have been passing through your Eighth House each time, putting the spotlight on your house, apartment, finances, living situation, relatives, sexual partners, children and so on. What can you learn from common themes and patterns in those months, through your life? Because that lesson will help you make or save money in 2019.

    • A stellium in Aries can make a person competitive, assertive, keen to be first, keen to keep up, occasionally pushy. Rather like a ram in the real world. How fast/hard you push depends on how aware you are. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s better to hang back.

  6. Hi Jessica. Very interesting, So I think that only my IC is in the first house -isn’t this about about image. I seem to get into fights (not physically) and generally I don’t react unless provoked and the older I get the more strategic I am in my skirmishes.

    • Your IC in Aries in the First House shows why the Natural House system is so unusual as the majority of mainstream astrologers using the Placidus House System would be shocked at where it’s ended up! Nevertheless, the IC describes your family tree, roots, heritage, culture and the inheritance passed down to you, psychologically, from your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. In Aries in the First House, you have had generations of Army, Navy or Air Force – or perhaps the Police Force – in your family and that is why you have picked up some of your features from those relatives, but also, perhaps, know how to approach the world in a rather fearless, upfront way when you have to.

  7. Hi Jessica! This is a great topic and I’ve been particularly interested in the first house since I read you Saturn in Capricorn article. If I understand correctly Saturn transit for Capricorn moved from the 12th house to the 1st house crossing the Ascendant. Does a Saturn transit effect the first house the same way as having natal Saturn in the 1st house? I also have SN 10 Aries and Minerva 19 Aries in my 1st house. Curious to know. Thank you has always.

    • You’re talking about your Capricorn (Solar Sign) chart here and yes, Saturn did indeed pass into your First House at Christmas 2017. To keep life simple I’ll just look at that – your public or Capricorn horoscope. Essentially, by now you will be aware that you have to get real – and have to be much more serious – about the way you look and appear to people. That stellium we just had in Capricorn in your First House, from Christmas through early January, gave you a few home truths to think about, regarding your profile, name, title, reputation or physical appearance. You are right to pick up on the Aries factors in your natal (birth chart) though and the background story is also very much about how you present, package, promote and push yourself forward. With Minerva and the South Node there, you think it through – in fact you can be highly strategic about your photographs, online presence, social media ‘self’ and the rest as Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom. The South Node suggests you have been asked to engage with the issue of appearances and reputation in many lifetimes before this one, for all kinds of reasons.

  8. Hi Jessica, I have the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Venus, North Node and Panacea in Aries, also Neptune at 13 Libra exactly opposes Venus at 13 Aries. Could you interpret for me please?

    • A stellium in Aries in the First House which also includes Mars describes the person who is self-promoting, because she has to be. As a child or teenager she realises that half the battle is won by reputation or appearances. This is a very common placement in the natal charts of people whose reputation precedes them, or who depend a great deal on their hair, clothes, attitude and even their body language to do the work for them. Aries is a self-involved zodiac sign and the only real issue here is narcissism, especially as we live in the age of image retouching, Facebook and the Selfie Stick. Hit Search to read more about Venus and Aries itself.

  9. Hi Jessica, this seems like a REALLY basic question, so maybe I have missed something here…but how do I know what my First House is using your Natural House system? I know in the other that my First House is Scorpio (my Rising Sign). Thanks.

    • No, that question is fine. In the Natural House System, the cusp of your First House is always Aries. You have Mars, Juno and Ceres in your First House, so you are upfront about ‘fronting up’ to the world and throughout your life you will have many reasons to find out why image or profile matters so much. There is a world of difference between being just another Italian bloke, and being a Roman legionnaire with full armour, title and rank. And fearsome reputation!

  10. Hi Jessica, I have Fortuna at 00 Aries and Bacchus at 24 Aries. Bacchus is opposite moon / Pluto at 24 Libra. I guess this is about some internal basic conflict about image and indulgence vs power / control issues in relationships? Not sure if I’m on the right lines there, grateful for your insight! Thanks

    • You’re reading your chart correctly, although you could actually go further with it if you wanted. Bacchus at 24 Aries in your First House of image, profile, appearances is really about enjoying the ‘mask’ and it appears that other people enjoy this too. It’s a classic horoscope imprint for an actress, or someone who at least enjoys experimenting with clothes, hair, make-up – or uniforms, internet avatars and so on. Normally that would be the end of it, but as you have that very unusual Moon-Pluto conjunction (exact) at 24 Libra, it would seem that every time you try to engage with your former, current or potential partner – your name, reputation or appearance comes into it. It’s also true with enemies, rivals or opponents. When you commit to the feud or contest, your public face is brought into the equation. If you were a Roman we would say that whenever you went into battle against the Gauls, you found yourself having to deal with your military reputation and armour, first and foremost. Or, whenever you went back to Rome to your lover, you had to deal with the difference between the person your lover assumes you to be – and the real thing. You get the picture.

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