I get this question a lot, and this is actually one of the things that confused me when I was getting started in astrology. I’ll take a crack at making this simple.
If you like your instructions in writing, drop down below the video and a step-by-step example, using an Astro.com chart.
If you’re more of a video person, you can take a gander at this one, which is about 7 minutes long (select the “full screen” version to see it a bit better):
The video goes into a lot more depth as to the hows and whys, but here’s the quick and dirty method.
Let’s say you’re reading one of my essays and I mention an upcoming New Moon at 2.22 Aries. First of all, what does 2.22 mean? It stands for 2 degrees and 22 minutes. Each sign has 30 degrees, numbered from 0 to 29. Each degree has 60 minutes. (It’s kind of like a clock; think of the degree as the hour.) So this means the New Moon was about 2 and 2/3 degrees into the sign of Aries. Not very far along at all.
Fine. In which house of your chart does this New Moon fall?
- First, get your chart. If you don’t have your chart, go to Astrodienst and calculate it for free. You’ll need your date, exact time, and place of birth. Then, come back and join us.
- Okay. You’ve got your chart. First thing to do is find the house cusp with Aries on it. Aries looks like this:
- Rejoin me by scrolling down to the bottom of this image:
You’ll see Aries highlighted on the above chart in the bottom right-hand quadrant. The 30 degrees of Aries (0-29) in my chart straddle the 5th house cusp. That means some of Aries is in my 4th house (before the 5th house cusp) and some Aries falls in my 5th house (after the cusp).
The question is, which part of Aries is in which house?
I think Astrodienst provides an amazing service to up-and-coming astrologers and students. I’d have killed to have access to free chart drawings when I was starting out. But between you and me, I find their charts kind of hard to read. Here’s the skinny.
Underneath the list of planets in signs is a little table that shows which degrees of which signs are on the house cusps:
Well, AC stands for Ascendant, and that’s the 1st house cusp. MC stands for Midheaven, and that’s the 10th house cusp. But what happened to the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th house cusps?
They are always at the same degree as the opposite house cusp, but in the opposite sign.
In this chart:
- 1st house cusp is 1.55 Sagittarius, so the 7th house cusp is 1.55 Gemini
- 2nd house cusp is 28.39 Sagittarius, so the 8th house cusp is 28.39 Gemini
- 3rd house cusp is 1.08 Aquarius, so the 9th house cusp is 1.08 Leo
- 4th house cusp is 15.41 Pisces, opposite the Midheaven at 15.41 Virgo
- 5th house cusp is 11.18 Aries, opposite 11th house cusp at 11.18 Libra
- 6th house cusp is 6.41 Taurus, opposite 12th house cusp at 6.41 Scorpio
So the 5th house cusp in this chart begins at 11.18 degrees Aries. This means that anything at 0 – 11.17 degrees of Aries falls in my 4th house, and everything from 11.18 to 29.59 degrees of Aries falls in the 5th house.
Therefore, the New Moon at 2.22 Aries falls in my 4th house.
“But I don’t see Aries anywhere on my chart!”
This is called an interception. (Here’s a blog post about interceptions.) This means the sign doesn’t appear on a house cusp. But I assure you, there are still 30 degrees of Aries in your chart. Signs don’t just disappear – least of all Aries.
In this case, all 30 degrees of Aries are completely contained in the house between the cusp with Pisces (the sign before Aries) and the house with Taurus (the sign after Aries) on the cusps. So anything transiting in Aries falls in that house.
I hope that helps!
What does it mean to have a transit/eclipse/New Moon/whatever in a particular house? Here’s a quick cheat-sheet.