February 24, 2024
Ask Astrology

The Angular Houses: 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th are “homes” for our primary concerns – identity, family, relationships, and prosperity. The Sign ruling the 1st House is also known as the Ascendant and Rising Sign, and you can read about the sign meanings when they rule this house, in full detail, in the askAstrology Ascendant section of the website. In most House systems, and there are over ten different ones, the cusp of each of the Angular houses is designated by the angles of the Sun’s movement on the day of birth.

The exceptions among the systems are the Whole Sign and Equal House systems, which place the angles of the Sun’s movement inside the house instead of on the cusp. The first angle, the Ascendant, marks the 1st House in every system, thus making the descendant the cusp of the 7th House or a point in the 7th House. The Medium Coeli (or Midheaven) can range from the 9th to the 11th House, meaning the Imum Coeli can range from the 3rd to the 5th House, instead of being limited to the 10th and 4th Houses respectively.

The Cardinal Signs and the Angles of the Sun’s Movement Each Day

Based on four key positions of the Sun on a given day, the Cardinal signs rule the four angles of the Zodiac. When the Sun rises and crosses the horizon, the point where it does so is called the Ascendant (ASC), which is ruled by Aries. Once the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky on any given day, that location is known as the Medium Coeli (MC or Midheaven), ruled by Capricorn. When the Sun sets for the day, that moment is defined as the Descendant (DSC), ruled by Libra. And when the Sun is at its lowest point in relation to the horizon, in the middle of the night, that location is known as the Imum Coeli (IC), ruled by Cancer.

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Below are two charts, cast on the same day, but at different times, to help understand how the signs change the rulership of the houses throughout any given day.

April 4th, 1968 at 9:15 am in Cary, NC

House Modalities Chart 1

April 4th, 1968 at 3:45 pm in Cary, NC

House Modalities Chart 2

The Four Angular Zodiac Houses

1st House – Identity

The 1st House represents our Quest for Identity. The sign for this house in each individual chart is determined by the time of birth. If someone happened to be born on April 4th, 1968 at 9:15 am, that person would have a Gemini Ascendant or Gemini as the ruler of the 1st House. If another person were born on the same day, but at 3:45 pm, that person would have a Virgo Ascendant or Virgo as the ruler of the 1st House.

In the case of the first person, he or she would quest for identity in a Gemini way, through conversations with everyone they meet, personality tests, reading fiction and non-fiction, the study of psychology, and constant mental stimulation (playing games, watching TV, or surfing the internet). In the case of the second person, he or she would quest for identity in a Virgo way, through critical thinking, service, focus on health, problem-solving, and practical solutions to everyday circumstances.

4th House – Family

The 4th House represents our Quest for Family. The sign for this house in each individual chart is determined by the time of birth. If someone happened to be born on April 4th, 1968 at 9:15 am, that person would have Leo ruling the 4th House. If another person were born on the same day, but at 3:45 pm, that person would have Sagittarius ruling the 4th House.

In the case of the first person, he or she would quest for the family in a Leo way, and learn about family through play, creativity, and performance. In the case of the second person, he or she would quest for the family in a Sagittarius way, through travel, exploration, beliefs (religion/spirituality), and lessons in authority.

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7th House – Relationships

The 7th House represents our Quest for Partnerships. The sign for this house in each individual chart is determined by the time of birth. If someone happened to be born on April 4th, 1968 at 9:15 am, that person would have Sagittarius ruling the 7th House. If another person were born on the same day, but at 3:45 pm, that person would have Pisces ruling the 7th House.

In the case of the first person, he or she would quest for partners to help him or her in life in a Sagittarius way, and need to connect with people who have strong beliefs, wisdom from experience, and worldly knowledge. In the case of the second person, he or she would quest for partners in a Pisces way, through a shared sense of purpose, concerns for humanity, and sacrifice or suffering.

10th House – Prosperity (Career)

The 10th House represents our Quest for Prosperity, usually achieved through a career. The sign for this house in each individual chart is determined by the time of birth. If someone happened to be born on April 4th, 1968 at 9:15 am, that person would have Aquarius ruling the 10th House. If another person were born on the same day, but at 3:45 pm, that person would have Gemini ruling the 10th House.

In the case of the first person, he or she would quest for prosperity in an Aquarius way, finding roles where others would pay for his or her unique talent and unusual skill, probably doing something in a cutting-edge industry. In the case of the second person, he or she would quest for prosperity in a Gemini way, finding success in roles that rely on communication, information gathering, or information sharing.