The Birth Chart as The Path of Consciousness

The twelve Houses of the astrology birth chart set the stage for each individual’s story to unfold, to be lived, experienced, and mastered. Rather than seeing each house as a separate thing or a separate part of  life, we can understand them as a path, if you will, where one house leads to and conditions the area and interests of the next house, where a preceding house sets up the implications and activities of the one to follow.

There are numerous meanings for each of the houses; they are symbolic of a cyclical growth process or evolution from self-hood and individualization to group consciousness and ultimately cosmic consciousness or liberation. In this light, you may find the following description of the twelve Houses to be an interesting and perhaps fresh perspective.

If you actively participate in a spiritual practice, whether it is through study, yoga, meditation, prayer, or some other activity, this article may be of particular interest. You will sense the greater depth and layers which each house represents. I invite you— I invite all readers—to add to the definitions. Feel free to leave comments or email me with any insights, comments, or feedback you would like to share.

First House
TO BREATHE

…your individuality, your essential self, your vitality, your unique persona, the filter in which you see the world and how the world perceives you as a separate Self, ultimately your individualized, overshadowed personality through which the Soul may finally express through unencumbered

I am… I am here. And I see you, all of you, out there.

Second House
TO OWN

…your sense of security, belongings and possessions, external things that seemingly provide comfort, the tone of your voice and the quality of your speech, your ability to communicate and express yourself, your values

When I am out of harmony with my higher Self, I seek to fulfill an (apparent) need with external things that they may provide temporary security and comfort, that what I own and what I say may validate my Being. 

Third House
TO KNOW

…your ego-driven pursuits and personal desires, your power, energy, drive, and stamina, your individual place within the community, your capacity to comprehend, learn, and cultivate

To maintain my security and values, I must venture into the world as the hunter seeks his food. The more knowledge I gain, the easier I will survive and the greater my chances to acquire all that I need, all that I want or think I need.

Fourth House
TO ESTABLISH

…your home and hearth, the physicality of your place of residency, where you put down your roots, your ability to nest and create a comfortable environment in which to live and thrive, the emotional heart, devotion and love

Here is where I feel connected, where my belongings surround me. This place grounds me and comforts me through its external beauty, yet I glimpse the clarity of deep longing from the heart, reminding me that Love is beyond all things. I begin to open my heart to my loved ones, to Life, and find joy in all things, physical and metaphysical.

Fifth House
TO RELEASE

…your creative abilities and artistic talents, your projects, your children, your students, your sense of adventure and risk-taking, your intelligence and intellectual pursuits

From a comfortable home, with an all-embracing heart, I have gained strength and enjoy increased company, family, and children. A creative impulse ushers in new pursuits, in play and in work. I enjoy sharing what I create, what I write, draw, say, sing, perform…

Sixth House
TO IMPROVE

…your health and well-being, your capacity to labor, to service, to work, your desire for improvement, your ability to cope, overcoming obstacles

Sharing my creativity in play and in work creates conflict of time, energy, and focus, where basic needs must be maintained and juggling interests becomes an issue. I must remain strong against the pressure and mindful of priorities. If daily life can run fairly smooth, then the desire and ability to serve others can be deeply fulfilling.

Seventh House
TO RELATE

…your partners, spouse, boss, how well you relate to others, your connection to others, sexual partners, your long-term commitments

Managing the demands of everyday life, I am able to spend quality time with others. I watch them, listen to them, connect with them, and set aside personal opinions, ideas, and goals that I can truly hear, know, love, and commit to them. I learn more about myself through them as they do through me. We mirror each other and in mirroring we are given an opportunity to learn.

Eight House
TO RENEW

…your transformation, transitions, endings and new beginnings, your ability to go with the flow, your capacity to be spontaneous and flexible, your innate drive to seek the truth, to find answers, and to investigate the meaning of life, your inheritance

My relationship with others has helped me experience my Self in a new light, and now more questions arise. Who am I?  Why am I here? Where am I going? What is my purpose, if any? Why do I feel this way? Why do I react as I do? Must change bring pain, or can I flow with ease? What old wounds must I let go of? Where and who must I forgive in order to move forward?

Ninth House
TO UNDERSTAND

…your dharma, your individual path to truth, your personal truth, conventional religions, traditions and dogma, your philosophy of life, your desire for a higher education and purpose

As the questions continue to well up, I seek counsel- a guide, a priest, a minister, a guru, someone who can shed light on these questions and concerns which cause my heart to quiver in its ignorance. I must empty old thoughts from my mind, loosen from persistent dogmas, that it may be filled with new and greater wisdom.

Tenth House
TO ACHIEVE

…your career, professional and public position, status and reputation, your ability to handle responsibility and life’s pressures, your karmic response

Having gained new insight and cultivated experience through professional and personal relationships, I step out onto the world stage with renewed purpose, greater responsibility, and presence. I wish to make a difference in the world and use what I have learned. I am engaged in purpose and live a meaningful life.

Eleventh House
TO TRANSFIGURE

…your hopes and aspirations, goals and visionary plans, your connection to organizations, to the global community, your capacity for higher, universal consciousness, recognizng the unity in diversity

I think back over my journey, how I changed and grew as an individual. I honor all who taught me, acknowledge all I have shared and all I have contributed. I stand here now with greater consciousness and greater vision, observing the inter-connectedness of all things. I am aware of Spirit, of Cosmic Consciousness, and know my place among the whole of Humanity.

Twelfth House
TO TRANSCEND

…your freedom, your liberation from what holds you back, your spiritual liberation, enlightenment, your sense of completion and eagerness to advance to a new level of awareness, your escapism, your ability to abandon that which no longer serves you, feeling the pangs of loneliness or delighting in the peace of solitude

I have worked hard, many hours, months, years to come to this place, a place where all experience, all wisdom gathers like droplets to a pool. With dissolved boundaries, I stand upon a summit narrow as the razor’s edge, where my heart beats with pure, divine Love. My consciousness reaches far into the upper realms my finite mind cannot comprehend. From this place of divine Light, Love, and Wisdom I see now that I am… You… You and I… We… are One.

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The Never-ending Dreamer image by Cameron Gray, found on Pinterest

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