Just Say No To The Zodiac Alphabet
Most of us are familiar with this concept, indeed many people use it as an indispensible learning tool. It's fairly
simple. Aries=the 1st house, Taurus=2nd house, Gemini=3rd house, etc.
In my opinion, this correlation is in serious error, and purposely obscures the actual meanings of the houses represented. This connection seemed to make sense because the zodiac signs and the houses in order represent the same parts of the body.
Let's look at them
Aries and the 1st house = the head.
Taurus and the 2nd house = the throat.
Gemini and the 3rd house = the shoulders.arms and hands.
Cancer and the 4th house = the chest(breasts) and stomach.
Leo rules the 5th house = the back, sides and heart.
Virgo and the 6th house = the digestive syste and viscera.
Libra and the 7th house = the lower back and kidneys.
Scorpio and the 8th house = the sex organs, bladder and anus.
Sagittarius and the 9th house = the hips and thighs.
Capricorn and the 10th house = the knees
Aquarius and the 11th house = the legs to the ankles
Pisces and the 12th house = the feet.
And, for the most part, that's where the correlation between the signs and the house ends. How so?
The 1st house is specifically corpus, vitae, ingenium which means body, life and inclination. Aries is a sign of vitality and aggression, but has no authority over the body of the native in the way that the ascendant and its planetary ruler do.
The 2nd house is the house of money and substance. As a fixed earth sign, Taurus is interested in amassing and enjoying substances, but usually things that satisfy the senses. The 2nd house and the ruler of the 2nd can show your money situation and issues, and whether you attain wealth or not.
Equating Gemini with the 3rd house has really obscured and diluted its traditional meaning. Since it is a mutable air sign, it has conferred onto the 3rd communications of all kinds. But the 3rd house is the house of siblings and most people know the 9th to be the house of long-distance journeys, but the 3rd is the house of short journeys and road trips.
Equating Cancer with the 4th house has led to the confusion about which parent belongs to which angle, and to switching the traditional order. The 4th house is the house of father and family of origin (which is usually taken from the father in patriarchal cultures). The 7th house from the father represents the father's wife, the mother. This would make the 10th house the house of mother. I've seen people switching them, and if its working for you, fantastic. Also, Cancer rules the oceans and waters, but the name of the IC/4th house is "Subterranean," and it also rules land,buildings, houses, agriculture and treasure buried in the ground. The 4th is also known as the house of "secrets." Think of that within the context of families of origin.
I've talked a lot about the Leo/5th house situation. The 5th house is now called the house of creativity. It is traditionally the house of children, sexual pleasures and other amusements. It is the joy of Venus. Leo is ruled by the Sun. They are not similar in temperament. When I talk about the 5th house, I talk a lot about "fertile" and "sterile" signs. The fertile, or fruitful signs are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The sterile signs are Gemini, Leo and Virgo. Leo is ruled by the Sun who is a danger to any planet who comes close to him because of his excess heat (combustion). Leo is excessively hot and dry, not conducive to the environment of the womb. Just say no to Leo=5th house!
Virgo=6th is one that purposely obscures the negative meaning of this house. Called now the house of health, the 6th has always been known as the house of illness and infirmity. The 1st house represents the health of the body. The 6th house represents the illnesses that attack it. The 6th house is the joy of Mars, and was traditionally called "Bad Fortune." It is also the house of servants, service people, and domesticated animals.
Libra=7th limits the meaning of the 7th to love relationships and marriage, but it has a plethora of meanings that also revolve around its representation of the open enemy, or competition. The 7th house represents marriage, open enemies, law suits, contracts, war, buying and selling, thieves and theft, lost items and animals and hunting.
Scorpio=8th is another ploy at obscuring (occulting? - very 8th house) the traditional meaning. I know that people are putting sex in the 8th house (it belongs in the 5th or 7th) because of the rulership over the sex organs. But traditionally, the 8th is the house of darkness, trauma and death. It is called "epicataphora" or going down into the underworld. Not the glamorous 8th that I see so many trying to decipher now.
Sagittarius=9th house works for long distance travel and higher education, but the 9th is the joy of the Sun and has a whole religious aspect. It represents bishops and priests. It was called "God," and represented healing and prophetic dreams and talent with divination. All of these things are under the traditional rulership of the Sun.
Capricorn=10th seems to make sense when we think of career and work, but Saturn, its ruler is isolative. The 10th house is intensely public, representing rank and reputation. The 10th was also called "praxis" or action and is involved in all decision making.
Aquarius=11th house is one of the worst pairings in this alphabet, as Aquarius is ruled by Saturn and the 11th house is one of the most auspicious houses of the chart. It was traditionally called "Good Spirit" and represented friends and patronage that assisted you towards your hopes and wishes. The 11th house is the joy of Jupiter, who is the opposite of Saturn.
Pisces=12th house is another attempt to obscure negative meanings. The 12th house represents isolation, confinement, unseen enemies and ones' self-undoing.
My point in writing this is to make it clear that, even if you personally are not using these meanings for the houses, they are still operating according to these definitions, and offer extra interpretive insight for you as astrologers.