The First House: Introduction

The First House in Astrology is all about you. It’s about how you present yourself to the world. In this house, first appearances count. Everything begins in the first house – including you. The first degree of this house is the point at which you made your first appearance on this earth. It’s where you made an impression – and where the world made an impression on you. So, look around you. What do you see? And how do your perceptions fit with reality? The first house represents the way we approach life – and that approach may be based on the environment into which we were born.

In this section, I’m going to set out all you need to know about this house in your astrological chart. If you have the Sun, Moon, chart ruler or a stellium of planets in this house, you will have a life where first house associations are an intrinsic part of your astrological make up and will feature throughout your life. It’s the most personal house in your birth chart because it’s all about you, but does that make it an easy place to inhabit? Some people love the attention, while others face the challenge of living under the spotlight an onerous one to deal with. It’s a self-conscious placement in every way you can interpret those words.

However, even if this house is not prominent in your natal chart, some of you may find yourselves living here from time to time. Planets may transit and station in your first house. You may experience a first house emphasis in your solar return chart. Planets may transits over your Ascendant (and they usually have an immediate impact when they do so). Solar and Lunar Eclipses may occur in this house thus highlighting the affairs of this house when they do. Progressed planets may also bring the affairs of the first house into play.

So, I’m also going to explain how this house functions in predictive astrological charts and provide you with the essential keywords associated with this house, as they may help you make your own chart analysis a little easier. However, I’m going to start with the basics to kickstart your introduction to the house where everything begins…

The First House: Key Qualities


The first house is an angular house. The angular houses form the cornerstones of our lives – self, family, relationships and career/social status. They are the first houses in each quadrant of the chart and they are where life’s action takes place. We become ‘established’ by the activities of the angular houses, as they all contribute to our sense of who we are and where we fit into this world. The first house is where that process begins. It’s the place where we fashion or forge our personal identity. It’s how we see ourselves. It’s where we determine how the world sees us. It has often been known as the mask or face we present to the world.


The first house is a fire house and fire houses are dynamic, active places to be. An emphasis on the fire houses in your natal chart is a sign of positivity and action and, as the first house is associated with Aries, action is the watchword for this house. It is the place where things begin, where we show initiative, and push forward in life. Nothing ever happens in the world without someone leading from the front and that’s what happens in this house. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this house is not the place for sustained growth, though it does get things moving, It marks the dawn of every new day.

The First House: Ruler

The first house is ruled by Mars and is associated with the sign of Aries. Mars is the action man of the heavens and it’s his hyperactive qualities that come to the fore in this house. Starting, doing, being proactive, standing up for yourself (and others), making an impression, being forthright and sometimes forceful, the ruler of the first house gives this house momentum. Planets found in the first house have presence and immediacy because they are rising in your natal chart and will have the force of Mars’s influence behind them. Mars’s influence makes this house a dynamic place to be.

The First House: Keywords

Action, Appearance, Approach to life, Attitude to others, Autonomy, Beginnings, Birth, Dynamic, Early Environment, Ego, First, First Impression, Fresh Start, How you wish to be seen, ‘I am’, Identity, Image, Individual, Initiative, Inner Self, Style, Outer Body, Outlook, Opinions, Mask, Mannerisms, Perceptions, Persona, Personal, Personality, Physical Attributes, Physical Constitution, Self Expression, Self Interest, Temperament, Vitality

The First House: Natal Astrology

There are no prizes for guessing what an emphasis on the first house will mean in your natal chart. As you will see from the keywords listed at the foot of this page, a first house emphasis means the focus is on you. There will tend to be a conscious preoccupation about how you appear to the world and that can manifest in a variety of ways. There is an emphasis on personality (as this is a first house concern) and many with this house emphasised will have a dominant personality – but defining yourself or forming a coherent identity may be a significant challenge. Sometimes ‘big’ personalities mask inner insecurity.

A first house emphasis in your natal chart may result in vanity or extreme self consciousness, but a concern with appearance is an externalised desire to appear in the best possible light. Being ‘well presented’ may also show the world how you approach life, and the same can be said about those who look sloppy. Sometimes our outer appearance can reveal more about us than we intend it to. Appearance may be governed by the physical attributes we are born with – and that can be shown in the first house too, though I prefer to think of this house in terms of personal style rather than genetic inheritance.

A first house emphasis shows the world who you are – and that’s not just related to your appearance. Your approach to life is governed by this house. Generally speaking we tend to approach life in accordance with our rising sign (found on the cusp of the first house), however, a packed first house (particularly if it contains the Sun, Moon or chart ruler) makes this more emphatic. What you see may be what you get in terms of your inner self or emotional nature. There is no disguising it. That may be okay with you if your first house is located in an extroverted sign, but introverts may beg to differ.

So, first house people tend to be themselves in all situations (unless aspects to the ascendant indicate otherwise) and will tend to put themselves first. There is a lesson to all of us in this house and it’s this: you matter. We all need to assert our individuality (with a capital ‘I’) and the first house is where we learn to do that. Unless you learn to express who you are, it will be impossible for you to develop personal autonomy and grow into the person you are meant to be. The first house is where that process begins.

The First House: Predictive Astrology

In predictive astrology, the first house shares the fundamental qualities of the natal first house. However, there are two essential differences you need to be aware of when analysing the first house – and any planets it contains – in a predictive chart. First, predictive charts and the issues they raise are often temporary – especially in a solar return chart – or they present specific challenges or lessons in our personal development. Second, those who are dealing with first house issues in a predictive chart may not have this house emphasised in their natal chart so its associations may be new to them or harder to deal with.

When the first house is emphasised in a predictive chart, it’s often a sign you need to pay more attention to yourself. Putting yourself first isn’t easy for many people, but this is often the time that you need to do that. Perhaps you need to develop your sense of self or maybe you feel a need to redefine yourself in the eyes of the world. It’s often said that a first house emphasis in a predictive chart is a time when people revamp their appearance or focus on some area of personal development. New beginnings are emphasised, so if you want to make a start on anything from a new project to a new lifestyle – now is the time.

It may be your attitudes or approach to life that is up for inspection. You may take things personally during the year – perhaps overly so – or you may find that life’s events prompt a major shift in how you see life and how other people see you, often in the most literal sense. On the other hand, you may be in for an active time – and that may mean becoming pro-active. Sometimes a first house emphasis means you need to get off the sofa and do something. Be more assertive about getting what you want out of life and put yourself first. You know it’s what you should have done a long time ago.

The First House: Rising Signs

The sign on the cusp of the first house is your rising sign – the degree of this sign that marks the cusp of the first house is your Ascendant. Your rising sign is important as it determines how you approach life, and its qualities influence your outer personality. You can link to your own rising sign below:

Next: 2nd House | 3rd House | 4th House | 5th House | 6th House | 7th House | 8th House | 9th House | 10th House | 11th House | 12th House

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© Sara Shipman

Picture Credit: Image by meneya from Pixabay