The first house begins the zodiac and covers the all “firsts”: first impressions, the self and appearance, leadership, new initiatives, fresh starts and beginnings. The sign on the cusp or starting edge of this house is referred to as your rising sign or ascendant.
The first house is ruled by Aries and defines an individual, their physical body, strengths and weaknesses, as well as their primal character. Also named The House of Self.
This house affects every aspect of your life as it speaks of us in the physical world with its ruler being our main representative in the zodiac. In the practical sense, this means that the planet ruling the sign in which your Ascendant lies, represents you, with all your energy, potential, and relationships seen through the position and aspects it makes.
The 1st house affects the appearance and the personality, as it is perceived by the outside world. The rising sign coincides with the first independent breath we take. This is why exact birth time is so critical in casting a natal chart; the chart’s very structure depends on the time and location of birth.
The Ascendant and 1st house symbolize the process of beginning and initiation.
The Ascendant colors our view of the world; it shows how we meet life. Interpretation of the Ascendant will depend on what sign it’s in and how it aspects the rest of the birth chart.
Calculate your natal chart including first house and Ascendant here.
This position speaks of the importance of knowing one’s limits and your basic instinctive energy that needs to be guided, used, or contained. The challenge of this position lies in the inability to see other people as equals, have tact, care for others or accept being cared for. It will challenge one’s ability to find compassion for their own emotional needs, let alone needs of other people. On an individual level, these people are represented by planet Mars.
If a personal chart begins in Taurus, we see a person of earthly pleasures, in search for love, hedonism and satisfaction. It can be a very fine position that allows us to enjoy life in full color and using all of our senses. This speaks of an individual well-built, strong and static, and a bit passive. You might be prone to gain weight or chase too many pleasures through self-destructive behavior. Their greatest challenge is to accept the necessity and the beauty of change. This is someone represented by Venus.
This is a sign of spoken word, quick experiences, change of character, and movement of all sorts. People born with this rising sign are often fast, thin, movable, unstable, and superficial. They need to stay well-informed, infiltrated in their social environment, and always have a reason to communicate or brainstorm on issues that surround them daily. Their greatest challenge is to focus on one goal, a point in space and time that gives their life purpose. They are represented by Mercury.
When the first house begins in the sign of Cancer, it is often said to be the sign of home, family and emotion. This isn’t the best possible position to feel strong and confident, or to exercise, or train. Their greatest challenge is hidden in strong plans, unmovable will, a healthy routine, and responsibility they have to take for the direction their own life is moving in. This is a sign ruled by the Moon.
With your first house set in the sign of Leo, there is always an ego battle that has to be recognized. This is a fiery sign that gives these people bravery and the ability to show themselves in the best possible light in the most challenging of situations. Warm and cuddly, those born with the rising sign of Leo can be incredibly “soft around the edges”, with large, round ears, handsome, and dressed in new and branded clothes. Their ruler is the Sun.
If your ascendant fell in the sign of Virgo, you were born to help others. It doesn’t give much strength to one’s physical constitution and speaks of all sorts of health issues that might surface. On the plus side, it will speak of intelligence and mental clarity. The biggest challenge of these individuals is to see the bigger picture, separate from dull details and have some faith in the greater order of things. This leads to their problems with trust and makes them vulnerable to all sorts of deception. Their ruler is Mercury.
If your first house cusp is set in the sign of Libra, it is like your whole horoscope is turned upside down. While one should be able to drain the energy out of Self, people born with this Ascendant have to find it in other people. This will create a person that needs to be well-dressed and well-behaved at all times, often failing to turn to physical activities and personal boundaries in relation to others. The greatest challenge a Libra first house has to overcome is the acceptance of anger and constructive conflict. They are represented by Venus.
To be born with an Ascendant in the sign of Scorpio, one has to have incredible connection to the material world. This is someone strong, fixed and determined, but also deeply sensitive and emotional, however hard these individuals might try to resist this fact. The big challenge here is to accept the beauty of constant satisfaction, feel gratitude and forgive those who brought hurt or pain into their lives. Blame, possessive and obsessive behavior are just some of the signs that they have trouble realizing what keeps them healthy and alive. They are ruled by Mars and Pluto.
Those born with the Ascendant in Sagittarius often get to be physically larger than other people in their family tree. If not, their perspective gets to be wider, their convictions strong and their mind extremely important. Philosophers and teachers, these individuals have the ability to see the bigger picture, but often have trouble staying realistic, while fighting with their need to see the world through pink goggles. Always looking forward, they are usually fun and a pleasure to be with. The challenge they have to face hides in their irrational approach. This is a sign ruled by beneficent Jupiter.
If someone’s Ascendant is set in the sign of Capricorn, they will be practical and turned to material issues and goals in life they feel they have to achieve. This can be a sign that speaks of a heavy cross that needs to be carried, just as it can speak of a practical individual able to recognize the use in everything that happens in their life. Their biggest challenge is to find understanding and compassion for those that are weak, overly sensitive or strongly emotional. Their ruler is Saturn.
With an Ascendant in Aquarius, no person can adapt to social norms and blend in. This is someone who looks strange, in any imaginable way, while at times eccentric, wildly liberal or rebellious. The greatest challenge of every Aquarius is to find their core and the center of their personality, filled with respect for their own needs and the personalities of everyone around them. They will fail to see the purpose of authority, and have to understand that royalty, as well as organizing and managing, are necessary and useful in their life. They are ruled by Saturn and Uranus.
When the first house begins in the sign of Pisces, we have to understand that this is a person on a mission, born with a higher cause that needs to be recognized. This is someone fine, sensitive, emotional, with big eyes and a tender soul. In order to use the best the sign of Pisces has to offer, a person has to have enough faith, and a strong basis in upbringing and education to fulfill their incredibly large appetite for happiness. Each of these individuals has to accept paperwork, rational thought, and reality in its purest and most obvious form. They have to learn how to handle details and focus on specific small things in order to create a bigger picture with quality. Practice makes perfect, and this is something they should always remember. Their rulers are Jupiter and Neptune.
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