Horoscope columns: Twelve sizes fit all?

I understand that Jupiter is taking up residence in the 7th house for 1 year (for just Aquarians or everyone?). My question is how can you interpret this generalized statement with regards to your personal chart? One gets general statements as to where planets are located in the houses but can they be in different houses based on your personal chart?


Hi, Lesli—

To answer your question, I need to give some background on how the natal chart is constructed.

Your natal chart is a map showing the location of the Sun, Moon and planets, relative to the stars and to the earth, at the time and place of your birth.

The Zodiac signs

The Zodiac signs show the location of the Sun, Moon and planets relative to the solstice and equinox points. There is a section of the sky, which the Sun passes through for one month following the spring equinox, which we call Aries, the following section we call Taurus, the next we call Gemini, and so on. As the Earth travels around the Sun, we Earthlings observe the Sun moving through these sections of the sky. The Sun spends one month in each sign, making its way through all 12 signs in one year.

Your Sun sign (often referred to simply as your “sign”) is the sign that the Sun was passing through when you were born. The Sun in astrology indicates your vitality and basic motivation in life. Thus it is a good indicator of your basic character. But it is not the whole story.

The houses of the birth chart

The houses of the birth chart show the location of the Sun, Moon and planets relative to the Earth. The Earth completes a rotation every 24 hours. Thus, the house positions are based on your time of birth.

The first house begins at the Ascendant— the point that is on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth. The Zodiac sign that this point falls in is called the Ascendant or rising sign. The rising sign may be the same as the Sun sign, if your time of birth is close to sunrise. For the majority of people, however, the Sun sign and rising sign are not the same.

A chart for someone born at 7:00 a.m. is different from the chart of someone born at 7:00 p.m. on the same day. The Sun, Moon and planets will probably be in the same signs in the two charts, but they will appear in completely different houses.

The nature of Sun Sign astrology

Have you ever read a description of your sun sign in a book or on a greeting card, or read the daily horoscopes in the newspaper, and it just didn’t sound like you.. even the best sun sign columns can only give general advice.

Granted, your Sun sign is very important in your astrological chart. However, there are a host of other factors, including the Moon sign, the Ascendant, the houses, and 8 other planets. Together, they create a total picture that is as complex as the human psyche— that’s why astrology works.

Most Sun Sign astrologers work by doing a kind of astrological shorthand. They construct what is called a Solar chart. For example, if your Sun sign is Aquarius, then Aquarius becomes your first house, Pisces becomes your second, Aries your third, Taurus your fourth, and so on.

Jupiter just entered Leo on August 1 of this year. Leo is 7 signs away from Aquarius, making Leo your “shorthand” 7th house (house of relationships). This is what they meant when they said that Jupiter was in the 7th house for Aquarians. This is not necessarily your real 7th house, however. If your rising sign happens to be Taurus, then Jupiter may actually be in the 4th house (home & family) of your natal chart. If your rising sign is Virgo, Jupiter may be in your 12th house (dreams & unconscious).

Why would you use this shorthand method? Because it sells books!

If you want a more accurate picture of what’s happening for you, it’s going to take a bit more work. One option is to hire a trusted astrologer for a reading.

If you’re a do-it-yourself type, head on over to www.astro.com, where you can get your birth chart calculated for free. Learning to read the chart yourself takes some time and effort, but it’s worth it. You can explore the free or paid reports for astrological information that is specific to your natal chart.

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2 Responses

  1. Are the planets within each house always changing? Do I stick with the plants that were in each house when I was born? Or does it change all the time for each individual person?

    1. Welcome Sara!! Your birth chart is yours for life– but the planets continue to move through the sky and “light up” different parts of the chart. Astrology reflects this dynamic relationship between the individual and the current moment in time. 🙂

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