There are so many factors that go into your unique personality — and one of them is the placement of a planet in a particular house. There are 12 astrology houses that make up your mission in life or the area that you’re designed to excel or be challenged the most.

In short, the astrology houses are what make two people who share the same zodiac sign so drastically different. In fact, your specific natal chart won’t repeat for at least 1,000 years!

The planet occupying each house at the time you’re born determines your personality traits. While most people refer to their single zodiac sign, what they’re referring to is their Sun sign, or where the Sun is at their time of birth.

The truth is, however, that all of the planets (not just the Sun) and the houses they are in at the time of your birth are at play when it comes to who you are as a person.

What are the 12 astrology houses in a birth chart?

The astrology houses define central themes of your life. Each house applies to specific points about your life, like emotions, feelings, jobs, relationships, ideas, travel, circumstances and so much more.

This is the relationship between humans, and the always-changing pattern of the stars and the planets.

Your house system is what makes your zodiac sign unique. Like the Earth makes a complete rotation every 24 hours, the 12 houses change every few minutes, with some planets moving less than half a degree.

People born in the same generation may all share an outer planet in the same zodiac sign. For example, this generation will have Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Capricorn, but unless two people are born on the same day, the same hour, and the same minute and location, their houses will not match.

Astrology houses change each day. Based on the rising and setting of the Sun, the houses make two complete rotations throughout the day. That’s why it’s so important to know the exact time you were born to correctly identify which houses the planets are in for you.

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In order to find which astrology houses your planets are in, you need to know your place, date, and time of birth to complete your natal chart. You can get this information by filling out a free birth chart calculator.

The houses are found in the inner circle of your natal chart wheel.

The 12 Houses Of Astrology

Basically, the 12 houses are formed into a circle, kind of like a pie that you have cut into 12 slices. This formation of all the houses gives the planets a place to go to release and act on their energy.

Your natal chart reveals each planet’s position in this circle at your time of birth, adding layers of personality on top of your basic Sun sign.

Each house has a zodiac sign and planetary ruler, which governs a specific aspect of your life. Look at where each planet in your chart lies, and apply that planet’s dominant traits to that house’s expression.

The First House: Self and Identity

Zodiac sign: Aries

Planetary ruler: Mars

The first house regards your self-image and how you present yourself to others.

Think of a regular house — each one has to start with a foundation. Likewise, the first house in astrology is the foundation of who you are as a person and how others see you, including your physical appearance and general attitude.

Not only does the first house relate to your physical appearance and traits, but represents your ego, how you approach life, and your inner self vs. your outer body and appearance.

The first house is ruled by the Aries zodiac sign, whereas Mars, which largely influences your social interactions, is the natural planetary ruler of the first house.

The Second House: Value and Possessions

Zodiac sign: Taurus

Planetary ruler: Venus

The second house feeds off of the first house. Where this house focuses on self-worth, it has more to do with our values (including money) than our appearances and first impressions.

This house is naturally ruled by Taurus, a sign that’s very concerned with quality material possessions. Venus, the planet of love and beauty, is its natural planetary ruler.

The biggest thing this house focuses on is how you look at yourself personally. Who do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? The second house in astrology also covers money and how you approach your finances.

The Third House: Communication and Sharing

Zodiac sign: Gemini

Planetary ruler: Mercury

The third house is the house where your penchant for communication comes from. This house is ruled by Gemini and its natural planetary ruler is Mercury.

This means that this house governs how you interact with others, such as family members, friends, neighbors, and so on.

Depending on which planet falls into this house based on your birth chart, you will learn how to speak, write, and formulate thoughts, media, communication skills and language skills.

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The Fourth House: Family and Home

Zodiac sign: Cancer

Planetary ruler: Moon

The fourth house is about your roots and heritage. When looking at the astrology house chart, the fourth house sits at the bottom of the chart, making it another foundational house. Instead of being the foundation of self like the first house, the fourth house governs your familial ties.

This house is ruled by Cancer and its natural planetary ruler, the Moon.

You are focusing on your roots with this house. You reflect on your foundations, your family, home life, ancestry, domestic life, sense of security, and tidiness.

The Fifth House: Pleasure and Romance

Zodiac sign: Leo

Planetary ruler: Sun

The fifth house focuses on creativity, artistic self-expression, pleasure, and romance. Its natural sign ruler is Leo, while its natural planetary ruler is the Sun.

For Leo, a zodiac sign known for its love of attention, this house determines how you express yourself. The fifth house is also associated with doing what feels good for you and what emotionally enriches you.

The Sixth House: Health

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Planetary ruler: Mercury

The sixth house focuses on your career and health. This house is ruled by Virgo and Mercury as its natural planetary ruler.

The planet occupying this house at the time you’re born determines how you focus on your career, what your work ethic is like, your job, and other day-to-day aspects of your life.

On the other end, regarding your health, this house deals with your routines regarding fitness, strength, wellness, and other aspects of your physical health. This house is where you work on yourself to become a better you.

The Seventh House: Partnerships and Balance

Zodiac sign: Libra

Planetary ruler: Venus

The seventh house governs your partnerships, whether romantic or business-related. On the astrology houses chart, this house has a special angle, the Descendant, which is opposite of the first house, which has the Ascendant.

This house is ruled by the diplomatic zodiac sign Libra and Venus. The planet in this house in your birth chart determines how you relate to others as you move throughout life.

But the seventh house is also related to any contracts or agreements, and planets that move through this astrology house assist us in making things official and diplomatic.

The Eighth House: Transformation and Sex

Zodiac sign: Scorpio

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Planetary ruler: Pluto

The eighth and perhaps most mysterious house focuses on sexuality and self-transformation. The ruler of this house is Scorpio and the natural planetary ruler is Pluto.

Pluto is an extremely slow-moving planet, so its influence in your life is vast and deep. As such, this house governs things like death, sexuality, psychology, change, and personal growth. This house is where you will transform through times of crisis.

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The Ninth House: Philosophy and Purpose

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Planetary ruler: Jupiter

The ninth house is where your personal belief system stems from. This house is ruled by Sagittarius and its natural planetary ruler is Jupiter.

Ruled by Sagittarius and Jupiter, the planet of higher wisdom, this house shapes your personal beliefs, religion, philosophy, morals, and expansion of your intellectual mind with knowledge and education.

The Tenth House: Enterprise and Social Status

Zodiac sign: Capricorn

Planetary ruler: Saturn

The tenth house focuses on your career. Wait — hold the phone. There is another house for this? Yes, there is, but it is more than just your career and succeeding there. This house focuses more on your responsibility, achievements, ambitions, standing, and reputation.

This house has a special angle called the Midheaven. This is the uppermost point of the house, representing the height of your achievements.

The tenth house’s natural sign ruler is Capricorn and its natural planetary ruler is Saturn. This is an important factor in self-development because we identify ourselves by our success.

The Eleventh House: Friendships and Blessings

Zodiac sign: Aquarius

Planetary ruler: Uranus

The eleventh house is all about your aspirations and personal dreams. The eleventh house’s ruler is Aquarius and its natural planetary ruler is Uranus.

This house governs all of your hopes and dreams as well as your drive to complete them, and shapes your sense of purpose, meaning the planet in this house on your birth chart will give you an idea of what you were put here to do.

The eleventh house is also associated with humanitarianism, community and charity, personal wealth, and support system.

The Twelfth House: Subconscious and Sacrifice

Zodiac sign: Pisces

Planetary ruler: Neptune

The twelfth house is where you will find your inner-truths and secrets, and its nature is hidden from the waking realm. This house’s natural sign ruler is the emotional Pisces and its natural planetary ruler is Neptune, the mysterious planet of illusions and abstract thought.

This house governs what is inside you — not literally, but spiritually. The twelfth house is where you will find your inner strengths and weaknesses, which you need to do if you want to better yourself and shoot for your dreams.

The twelfth house is also associated with intuition, luck, healing, completion and peace.

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Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationships. For more of her content, follow her on Facebook.