House Characteristics
House Characteristics
What's the Subject
The Houses
The Houses
1st  - The Body
2nd - Money & Values
3rd - Communication
4th - Home & Hearth
5th - Love & Romance
6th - Service & Health
7th - Partners
8th - Sex & Death
9th - Higher Learning
10th - Social Position
11th - Friends & Dreams
12th - Sorrows & Secrets

The First House - The Body

The First House Wheel


The Body, Early Childhood, Your Personality, Ego, Identity, Sense of Self



What It Means

The leading edge, or cusp, of the first house, along with the degrees and minutes of the sign found there, is referred to as the Ascendant, or Rising Sign.

Much like sunrise brings the beginnings and early stirrings of the day, the Ascendant represents the beginnings of life, when we come out of the darkness of the womb and greet the sunshine.  It is the moment we take that first breath, uniting body and soul. The experiences most closely related to the first house are those of infancy and early childhood.  This is a time of discovery, when we first learn to see and to find our fingers and toes.  It's when we learn to control our hands and feet and become aware of our bodies.  

The Ascendant describes the circumstances into which we find ourselves when we have taken that first breath.  Imagine how differently you might experience life if you were born into the chaotic situation in Haiti after that horrific earthquake of 2010...with nothing to eat and nowhere to live.  Compare that to being born into an elite family of aristocratic heritage.  The circumstances of our birth imprint themselves upon us, just like ducks!   Some say we choose our parents while still in the spirit.  Maybe we do.  At any rate, we have to live with whatever materializes.


Your Ascendant is like the front door to your soul.  Others must pass through here in order to get to know what's inside.  It is the visible part of your character that makes an impression upon others.  That's what is meant by the word "Personality".  Very often, people relate more to the characteristics of their Ascendant sign than to those of their Sun sign.  How do you behave when you are standing on the inside of that front door?  Do you open it wide and welcome what you find out there?  Or, do you barely open it an inch and slam it shut before the intruders can get a foot inside?

The first house, however, is more than just the Ascendant.   Most often, another sign occupies the latter degrees of the house.  That other sign may even be completely contained within the house with a third sign following on before the cusp of the next house.   This is known as having an intercepted sign.  All of the characteristics of the additional signs are added to the quality of the experiences of the first house.  The planet that rules the sign on the Ascendant is considered the ruler of the chart and plays a significant role in your life. 


The first house is the first of the angular houses, the powerful supporting pillars of the chart.  This house, its signs, the ruling planet, and planets contained within it define our personality...the essence of just who we think we are and how we interact with the world.