Rising, Ascendant, House of the Self.

Hemisphere Lower (Northern)

Quadrant I (North-Eastern)

Orientation Personal (“me in here”)

Classification Angular (“activating”)

Squares 4th & 10th House

Opposition 7th House

Element Fire

Rulers Mars, Aries

Environment of the Self

The first house is the environment of “the self”. It is an angular house, as it falls on the horizontal angle of the birth chart, the line known as the Ascendant and Descendant polarity, (ASC/DC), also known as the “Rising” sign. This house is set by the Zodiac sign that was on the horizon the moment of birth, explaining why astrologers prefer an exact birth time along with birth date and location. This provides a clearer and more wholesome picture, a more accurate “map” to analyze. Here we begin our “journey” into life, in the lower hemisphere (north) of the birth chart. Angular houses represent an activating and generating type of energy – such as birth and identity, how we may define ourselves.

The Ascendant or Rising Sign

The first house answers questions/themes such as: What makes us “who we are”, Why we “act like this”, Why do we “respond this way in new situations”, Why is this “my style”, Why are these “my preferences”, etc. These types of questions spring from the first house. It’s commonly thought that our “sign” and “who we are” is directly correlated with our Sun sign, which certainly is part of it – in a larger sense (specifically a physical expression). However, the real meat of our personalities are expressed through the sign on the first house cusp. I love the way Howard Sasportas puts it, because it correlates so well:

“The Ascendant may be the way we hatch but what we grow into is the Sun sign. In other words, the Ascendant is the path leading to the Sun”. – Howard Sasportas in The Twelve Houses: Exploring the Houses of the Horoscope.

Planets (energy) and aspects (exchange) in and to the 1st house play an important role in our personality, our identity, our “self”. Aspects to the 4th (home) and 10th (ambition) would square the 1st house, and generate a type of friction that needs to be worked through and solved. Aspects to the 7th (others) would be in opposition to the 1st house, creating an inevitable polarity between the self and “others”. Just as well the signs on those house cusps, set the expectation for how we “express” these energies, within their environments.

0° of you

Although our personal natal first house environment is set by the Sign on the cusp, our identities can shift throughout life, as we grow and evolve with the universe. The planets continue to shift and move around their paths in the solar system (transits). As planets transit across our first house – we experience newfound emphasis surrounding our identity, during these phases. For example, a Mars shifting through your first house could increase your sense of self-empowerment and energy, or possibly even aggressiveness toward our identity. Whether it be through an alteration, or resistance to change, a steadfast commitment to staying the same way and proudly making that known through various types of expression – we would be exposed to the energy of Mars in our area of the self.

The first house is naturally ruled by Aries/Mars and therefore manifests the expression to “be” or to “exist”. So we derive the meaning of the 1st house from its ruler. In the sense that we are living existing human “beings” – each and every one of us, unique in our own rights – we are in essence the universes embodiment of itself, we are life. The scene of the first house sets the stage for this being that we are, and lends itself to which branch we have chosen as our path in this life. If we visualize our birth chart as a road map at the start of our life, there would be a great big red marker on the Ascendant that says “YOU ARE HERE”.