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The first house in astrology

First House outliined in 3D astrology model


The First House

The first house represents early childhood conditioning, self-awareness and the experiences needed in becoming self-aware. It is your persona: the mask you wear in relating to the world and projecting yourself into it. It determines your body type and physical appearance, your conscious self-image, and how others experience you. It is like the window through which you see the world and through which others first see you. Planets in the first house are parts of your self-expression. Other than Saturn and Neptune, the more planets in the first house the more you put out your own energy rather than experience it from others, and thus the greater is your subjectivity.

Famous people with an accentuated first house (they have/had both the Sun and the natural ruler of the first house Mars in the first) are/were Alan Arkin, Ed Asner, Nicolas Cage, Dick Clark (Sun, Moon, Mars and Mercury in first; Scorpio rising), Bobby Darin, Princess Grace of Monaco, Alex Haley, Peter Jennings (Sun, Mars and Pluto conjunct in first; Cancer rising), Lyndon Baines (Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter in first; Leo rising) and Lady Bird Johnson (Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Mercury in first; Sagittarius rising), John Lilly, Linda Lovelace, Robert Mapplethorpe, Piet Mondrian, Ramakrishna, Ray Walston and Alan Watts.

The houses can be subdivided into four groups: the angular houses (1st, fourth, 7th and 10th) that fall counterclockwise away from the horizontal and vertical angles in the above model; the succedent houses (2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th) that follow them; and the remaining four cadent houses (the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th) that precede the angles. The angular houses are by far the strongest group, and the first house is the strongest of these. Planets in the first house symbolize energies that are tied with one's ego, personality, self-presentation and self-awareness.

The sign on the cusp (or beginning) of your first house—your "rising sign" or "ascendant"—can be thought of as the tint on the window to your soul. It colors and modifies all of the energy passing in and out of your being. In fact, all of your personality functions (the energies of the planets) must eventually emerge through and be colored by your rising sign if they are to emerge at all.

Your rising sign has a lot to do with how you express yourself and what you look like. For example, Virgo rising individuals look 10 to 20 years younger than they are because Virgo is ruled by Mercury the god of youth. Cancer rising individuals are often round or Moon-faced, and women with Cancer rising often have large breasts, ruled by Cancer's ruler the Moon. And Sagittarius people often appear horse-faced.

A planet is said to rule a house when it is the ruler of the sign on the cusp or beginning of that house. Using this concept, locate the ruler of your first house, then notice the house it occupies. The house the first house ruler is in holds experiences to help you to develop self awareness, appropriate self expression, a positive self image and good personal appearance—all first house needs. That's what the first-house ruler is doing in the house it occupies: gaining experience to fill the needs of the house it rules. The first-house ruler's aspects and sign show its ease or difficulty in fulfilling those first house needs. These principles are true of every house ruler and every planet. In this case, oppositions between the rulers or occupants of the first and seventh houses emphasize the value of putting yourself out into the world even though you have to balance self expression with your need to relate to and be intimate with others. And by the way, the cusp or the beginning of the first house is called the ascendant, the sign on the seventh house cusp is the ascendant sign, and the planet ruling the ascendant sign called the ascendant ruler or "Lord of the chart" indicating its importance.

The "natural ruler" of the first house is Mars, the ruler of the first sign Aries. Mars symbolizes the energy of the ego and is therefore strongly placed in the first house of self and self-presentation; for more on Mars in the first house click here.

Astronomically speaking, the first house is that one-twelfth sector of the local sky (see above picture) just below the eastern horizon occupied by planets two hours before they rise.

This First House in Astrology page and much of this 600-page website are excerpted from the personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.

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