Painted_19th_century_Tibetan_mandala_of_the_Naropa_tradition,_Vajrayogini_stands_in_the_center_of_two_crossed_red_triangles,_Rubin_Museum_of_ArtThe chart wheel or mandala of 12 houses can be seen as a circle, or cycle, with each house leading to the next house, and so on, in a counterclockwise direction. Let’s start at the very top of the wheel, the MC and the cusp of the 10th house.

10th House. The 10th house at the peak of the chart, represents the most ideal or out-of-the-body part of the wheel. It is directly overhead, up-there, and to the south. It is the house of clear, practical vision (clairvoyance). Ideas can take their start here as planets pass through the 10th house. In the natal chart, the 10th house represents where we have our head above water and can see what to do — clear practical vision. It is therefore associated with career, vocation, and the like. The tenth house holds a clear idea about something — what is often called an out-of-the-body vision or experience, a time when we really get an insight in its totality.

11th House. The 11th house is a movement away from the 10th and down towards the lower hemisphere of the chart. The 11th house takes the clear idea seen in the 10th and resolves to put it to work, to keep it in mind or make it “matter.” We make a commitment to carry the idea into our daily life; that is, carry it across the ascendant (1st house cusp) and into the lower part of the chart, our personal life. The 11th house has to do with plans for action, group goals, cooperation.

12th House. The 12th house is even closer to the ascendant and the sphere of action. The bright idea that we had in the 10th, and the resolve to do something about it that we made in the 11th, is coming up against the status quo of the ascendant in the 12th — our day-to-day reality. In the 12th house we are faced with a choice. We are about to cross over from the more impersonal realm of ideas and planning into our actual day-to-day circumstances. In the 12th, we begin to face the difference between our idea and our reality. We can either forget the whole thing and let the idea go, or we can care enough about making the idea matter in our life to buckle down and accept the way things are (status quo) and try to overcome them… to bring our new idea through and get it across the ascendant.


The 1st house marks the division between the upper and lower houses, between the mind and the body. If the upper houses show what is going on in our minds, the lower houses refer to our bodies — the experience of life.

1st House. The 1st house shows the result of what we managed to bring across from the world of ideas, plans, and commitments. It’s what remains when our new idea and impulse meet our reality. It is what overflows the status quo. It is a direct indication of how much we are able to accept.

2nd House. The 2nd house is the reaction of our life and environment to whatever was new in the 1st. It has to do with how our life changes because of, or in response to, this new energy. It has to do with how we adapt to, possess, or have something.

3rd House. The 3rd house continues the drama set forth in the 1st and 2nd. The 1st is the new start, the 2nd is the new body or what is drawn forth in response to the 1st, and the 3rd is how the situation develops to its fullness. It has to do with the working out and exploring of all the details and ramifications of what is forming.

4th House. The 4th house marks the extent to which this body develops its limits. It is also one of the angular houses and starts a new series of three. The 4th house has to do with fullness of experience — the body or meat of it. Development has reached its physical peak and can go no further. Instead, we can feel or move within the experience.

5th House. The 5th house signals the end of the simple feeling of the experience and the beginning of consciousness of what it is that we have experienced. We are pouring forth or leaving the body. Emote, emotions. Offspring, self-consciousness, pride, and the like.

6th House. The 6th house signals the end of the vitality of the body and marks attempts to prolong, conserve, and take care of the experience or body. The experience or “party” is over.

7th House. The 7th house, another angular house, marks the beginning of a new series of three houses. Here we cross over from the personal houses to the impersonal houses. The personal experience of the first 6 houses is finished. It falls away from us and we see it as a complete stage in our development or whole. We leave the body and start into the mind. A turning away from the attempt for personal salvation toward a concern for others. Marriage.

8th House. The 8th house results from our fully grasping the nature of the completed personal experience in the first six houses… what was right about it and what was wrong. Here we strip away and can do without what was wrong. The extra baggage is unloaded.

9th House. The 9th house has to do with what remains when all extra is stripped away. It is what remains or is enduring from the entire episode. The seed essence. It becomes the light for a new idea in the 10th, where the whole cycle repeats itself.