star school an intro to astrology for total beginners

We’ve looked at symbols. We checked out signs and planets. Now it’s time to peek into your houses. No, we’re not talking Peeping Tom stuff. I’m talking about the astrological houses!

Let’s begin by looking at what an astrology chart looks like. Here’s a sample:


Kim Kardashian astrology chart


It looks like a some sort of pie with all kinds of symbols and some sort of spirography zig-zaggy lines in the middle, right? At first glance, it’s a bit intimidating. Don’t worry – we will go over the basic house stuff in this post – and we’ll deep dive into more complex stuff in future posts so you’ll be able to look at a chart like Kimmie’s and right away know what’s the dealio. Remember, Imma bout taking baby astro-steps. You don’t have to get this all down right away unless you’re some sort of astro-genius (or aspire to be one). If that’s you, have at it! For the rest of us…layers, dawg. Or pie slices!  (PS I have a soft spot for Kim Kardashian.)

Get your mind off the possible interpretations of Kim Kardashian’s chart for a sec and look at how it’s laid out. You’ll see that the “pie” is cut into twelve “slices”. Each “slice” is called a “house”. And each “house” on the astrology wheel represents a different facet of our lives. Each house is equal in terms of time and space – 30 degrees each, one twelfth of a 360˚ circle. On the rim of each house (called the “cusp”), you’ll notice a sign.  That gives you a clue to the overall energy of the house for that person.

Remember: the planets symbolize the energy that is operating. The signs show how that energy operates. The houses show where they operate.

Got that?

The first house begins to the left of the chart smack dab in the middle of the pie. The first house is called the Ascendant or rising sign.  Moving counter clockwise, you’ll next come to the second, third, fourth, and so on.  

Look at this image below and find the blue arrow – that’s the Ascendant and the 1st house.


Star School - The houses and main points.

See the other arrows? Those are pointing out a few particular angles that you need to know.

Let’s talk about each of those points:

Ascendant or rising (blue arrow): the Ascendant, also called the “rising sign” is the face you show to the world. This is the “you” that people see, while your Sun sign is more the “real” you. The Ascendant rules what you look like, how you dress, and your disposition.

IC (Imum coeli) or nadir (pink arrow): this is your “roots” or where you’re coming from. The nadir is your early upbringing and family life.

Descendant (red arrow): the Descendant rests on the cusp of your 7th house and represents your partners and the kind of people you are most attracted to (more on romance ‘n stuff in further lessons).

Midheaven or Medium coeli (green arrow): this is super important so pay attention! The Midheaven represents where you are going, your aim in life, and your reputation. This is the highest point in your chart – and it tells you what you need to know to realize your full potential.

These are the “Angular” houses – when planets land in in any of those houses or on the cusp of the house, pay attention for there is powerful stuff happening there. Your personal and material stuff can get affected, yo. Look above to Kim Kardashian’s chart. You’ll see some planets hanging around at the top of her chart in the 10th, the 1st house and the Moon is right on the cusp of the 4th house. Big stuff is poppin’ in her life.

(Notice this little interesting tidbit: Ascendant is you while the Descendant is others in your life.  The IC is where you’re coming from – the Midheaven is where you are going in life.  See that? The opposite side of the chart – opposite energy.  Patterns!)


A lot to remember so far. But dig in…because now we’re going through each house. I even made you this handy-dandy chart.  (PS I am graphically challenged. Saturn in the 5th house! Ha!)



We’ll start with our first house, also the Ascendant. I’m going to warn you – I have picked a theme song for every house. Why? Because I like to have a soundtrack while I work plus theme songs are a fun way to help you integrate + remember the meanings for each house.  Think of my suggestions as The Tarot Lady’s Astrology Soundtrack – House Music Edition.

1stThe first house is also your Ascendant. This house rules how the world sees you. This is the image you present to others. That means how you look, act, dress, operate, lead, and view the world. This is your “persona” or ego. 1st house theme song: i by Kendrick Lamar.

2nd – This is your money sector. The 2nd shows how you get money, hold on to it (or not), and your values. All the funky, sticky money stuff shows up here – from your earning capacity to poverty consciousness. 2nd house theme song: It’s All About the Benjamins by Puff Daddy ft The Notorious B.I.G., LOX and Lil Kim.

3rd – The 3rd house is connected to learning, communication, education, and the mind. Here’s where we see how your brain works and how you communicate. Are you a negative nelly? A genius? An apt pupil? It’s all here. Early education, siblings, neighbors and short trips also hang in the 3rd house. 3rd house theme songs (yep, I picked two – both of ‘em classics): Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd, or Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals.

4th – Home, family – your roots. All of that comes under the 4th house. This is where you came from + the early part of your life as well as your physical residence. It’s also your mom stuff (although some astrologers attribute that to the 10th house). The 4th house is also where the skeletons in your family closet reside. 4th house theme song: Our House by Madness.

5th – The 5th house is concerned with self expression, romance, and creativity. This can be the books your write, classes you teach, or the children you create. Yep, matters pertaining to parenting – both having kids and what kind of parent you’ll be are 5th house stuff. How you create and how you do romance, boo. Risks and speculation too – both real estate and the casino kind. 5th house theme songs: Love Song by the Cure. If in a baby making mood let’s roll with Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna.

6th – Work, health, and routines hang in this house. How you work, what kind of work you prefer, regimes, and your physical well being. Pets too. Yup, even your furry or feathered friends have a home in your chart! 6th house theme song: Work Hard Play Hard by Wiz Khalifa.

7th – The 7th house is all about partnerships – not just romantic but also your biz partners, and closest friends. Ironically, it’s also the home of the enemies that are out in the open. Frenemies? Yep, them too. 7th house theme song:  Happy Together by The Turtles.  (Note: if you look at Kim Kardashian’s chart, you’ll see the sign of Gemini rests on the cusp of her 7th house.  Kanye is a Gemini.  Just sayin’.)

8th – This is one loaded house: sex, joint finances, taxes, death, and your intuition. Lots of psychics and cops have big placements here. Loans, legacies, and wills also are representin’ the 8th house. 8th house theme song: I Want Your Sex by George Michael.

9th – Higher mind and travel. This is the house that favors the things that expand your mind – seeing the world, higher education, and spirituality. How big or far can you go? 9th house theme song: Wanderlust King by Gogol Bordello.

10th – The Midheaven sits on the cusp of the 10th house, which means this slice o’ the pie is concerned with career, honors, reputation, and recognition. This is the “fame” house. (Peek back up to Kim K’s chart – see all those planets in her 10th house? Fame was in the stars for her!) The 10th house is also connected to the father (although some astrologers say the mother – sigh – why can’t astrologers just get along?) 10th house theme song: Public Image by PIL.

11th – Where your real friends at? Right here! The 11th house is the house of friends and social life. This is your social circle and the groups ‘n associations you belong to. Are you in with the in crowd, hanging with the bad kids, or a lone wolf? That will show up here. The 11th house is also the home for your goals and wishes. What do you want to come to fruition – and who’s going to help you make that happen? 11th house theme song: No New Friends by DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne.

12th – The trickiest house on the Zodiac wheel, the 12th house is your “undoing” and  karma. This is the inner stuff you need to work out. It’s also the home of secret enemies, the subconscious mind, prison, hospitals, healing, meditation, and “service or suffering”. It’s the stuff you hide from the world. If you’ve got a full 12th house (many planets here) don’t fret – just remember: it’s an “inside job”.  12th house theme song: Karma Police by Radiohead.

Extra credit: each astrology sign is attributed to each house. Start with Aries (I am) as the 1st house. Taurus in the 2nd? Material stuff. And the communicator of the Zodiac, Gemini is the 3rd. Go around the wheel and see how the energy of the houses might apply to each sign and vice versa. (I stand by my theory that a Virgo created this whole system. It’s just too neat.)

Now – let’s give you a teeny example of how this works using my fave planet, Saturn! If you have your Saturn, the planet of limitations in your 7th house, that could be indicating that relationships come with a whole lotta work and seriousness – or you may attract an older, serious partner. Saturn in the 2nd? Money may be your issue – either not having enough or having a crap attitude about it. How about if we put Saturn in the 10th? The ability to have a serious, responsible role in your career. Power and fame even.  (Ahem – our friend Kim Kardashian has Saturn here. Plus lucky Jupiter and powerhouse Pluto.)

Starting to see how this begins to come together?

If you don’t, please don’t stress. Take it all in as you can. There is no rush. In fact, the best astrology is savored, not rushed, both learning and interpreting.

Homework! Download this blank astrology chart and label the houses.  Then, pick your own theme song for each house.  Have fun with this!

Bonus homework: look at Kim Kardashian’s chart above and identify the planets and which house they reside in.  What might that tell you about her life?  Ponder dat.

Next month, we’ll dive into aspects briefly – then we’re going to start getting nit picky and detailed one planet at a time.  And more good stuff.  (Note to self: this is beginning to feel like an ebook in the making…hmmm….)

Happy stargazing!


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2016

Miss a lesson? They are right here in the Archives section.

images from stock photography and personal collection – in this case, the personal ones are obvious LOL

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