THE HOUSES The First House This is the most important house of the horoscope. This is the house of self, the place where the ascendant, personality and self-image resides. It contains the rising sign (lagna) and expresses one's personality, temperament, physical health, overall well being, physical characteristics and general attitude towards life. It represents your personal style, mannerism, your likes and dislikes and provides the key to why you look the way you do. It also includes your early childhood and is closely knitted to your health. If successfully deciphered, the first house shows a sense of control and direction. It is so obvious that the focus of this house is going to be your identity. When a planet transits the ascendant in its own sign it will provide benefits according to the nature of the planet rising in a sign. We have already discussed at length the placements of various planets at the ascendant. The reader needs to keep in mind that the planet occupying the ascendant will surely provide benefits to the native in the light of the strength and characteristics it possesses. The Second House The second house reveals one's attitude about possessions, security and partners. It is the house where one will find not only one's money and what one owns but what one will own and value, including one's income and those things that one will come to treasure. It also reveals how one feels about one's possessions and will show the best ways how one will earn one's living. It has also to do with one's speech, one's style of conversation, such as aggressive or polite, and family and friendly ties. This house also represents individual's self-esteem, earning abilities and personal resources, making this the house of productivity. Any ruler of ascendant occupying the second house will provide benefits in view of the characteristics the second house contains, as well as the nature of the ascendant. For example, if the owner of the ascendant is Venus and it sits in the second house, it will bestow financial benefits on the native associated with art, acting and culture-related activities; besides, his/her speech will be mild and full of sweet words. Therefore, the reader needs to remember that the owner of the ascendant when transits in a house other than the ascendant it will bestow qualities, benefits or even losses in view of the characteristics of the house it sits in as well as the qualities the rising sign possesses at the ascendant. The Third House The third house is concerned with all the nearest relatives, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins etc, but not parents. This house is additionally concerned with communication, (Gemini) transportation and environment. For example, if one is planning to move, the third house may offer advice about what type of environment would be best for the individual's town or country, etc. (10: p. 110) It is also concerned with one's capacity for information-gathering and sharing, and includes one's knowledge, short journeys and immediate environment. Traditionally, this house is also concerned with one's efforts towards life's goals. The Fourth House The fourth house, in fact, is one's home, the place where a house is a home. In addition to being one's domestic life, it is a place where one can feel to be at home with one's unconscious patterns, habits and emotional underpinnings. It is the house where one's foundations of life are seated. The house is related to one's insecurities or need for emotional security. The natural fourth house is ruled by Cancer, so it is associated with the Moon. Thus, the fourth house is both, one's seclusion and self-protection the place where one can retreat to and depend on. It also indicates the point of one's beginning. As it is related with the Moon, traditionally it is also related with the native's mother and movable as well as immovable property, happiness received from home, vehicles that one would own and, in general, it is also concerned with one's peace and serenity in life. To some extent this house also indicates the direction and place or town where one is likely to settle down. This direction can be reckoned from one's place of birth or parental home. Some Western astrologers consider that the fourth house reflects relationships and connections with one's father as well as father's status. The Fifth House Traditionally, the fifth house is the house of creativity. Thus, naturally, it is related with children, risk-taking, romance and every kind of creative endeavours such as writing, publishing, and investments for productivity. One's creativity is not limited to the arts but one could be creative in any field and direction. The sign occupied by this house indicates the nature of one's creativity and self-expression and its ruler indicates how and where one would develop one's abilities to express oneself. The fifth house also has a strong association with pleasure, particularly one's attitude towards love affairs, the act of love (having children) and the ways one translates emotional and spiritual love into physical. Traditionally, Indian astrologers associate this house mainly with children and education, hence with one's productivity and creativity in any form.