The angular houses are houses 1, 4, 7, and 10. These houses represent the basic needs, the most important things in human life.

Horizon Meridian
First House
Your self, appearance, mannerism, approach
Seventh House
Your partnerships (marriage, business partnerships, or any cooperative venture)
Fourth House
Your home, family, emotions, roots
Tenth House
Your career, what you offer the world, the role you play in the public sphere

Any planets in these crucial houses in your chart are extra strong, meaning you give them extra weight in the reading.

The cusps of the angular houses are called the angles of the horoscope. These cusps are very important in astrology, and are known by several names:

First House cusp
Ascendant, Asc., Rising sign
Seventh House cusp
Descendant, Dsc., Line of Partnership
Fourth House cusp
I.C. (latin for Immum Coeli, or bottom of the sky)
Tenth House cusp
Midheaven, M.C. (latin for Medium Coeli, or middle of the sky)

You might have guessed by now, that the signs on these house cusps are very important. You may have also guessed that they are paired up— The first house, representing you, is paired up with the seventh house, representing your relationships with others. The tenth house, representing public life, is paired up with the fourth house, private life. You can picture these pairs like two ends of a see-saw. There needs to be balance and co-operation between the two parts of life.

Sign on the Ascendant
Describes people’s first impression of you, your personality. The role you played in your family of origin.
Sign on the Descendant
describes your partner, what you look for in a partner, unacknowledged aspects of the self
Sign on the I.C.
describes your early emotional environment, how you like your home to be
Sign on the M.C.
describes your career, your ambitions, what the world remembers you for

Any planets conjunct (within 10 degrees of) these house cusps, on either side, strongly color the interpretation of this area of life.

Note: the angles are formed by the horizon line (the places due east and west of you at the time of your birth) and the meridian line (due south— the highest point on the ecliptic, and due north). These four house cusps will be the same no matter which house system you use. However, for intermediate house cusps, there are many ideas about how best to place them, and there are several systems that work well for astrologers. The implication seems to be that, while angular house cusps do have precise locations, the intermediate house cusps are “fuzzy” or less well defined. Therefore, you can assume some “wiggle room” with the placement of all house cusps except for the angles.

Read about the other houses in the chart if you haven’t yet.