Earlier this year, I started taking a Magickal Astrology course, which has been really fun. We started off with the basics: signs, planets, and houses, and now we’re moving into the meatier part where we start exploring how they all work together within a chart.

One of the things that’s tough to wrap your head around is which sign rules which house. Look in almost any astrology guide and you’ll find a list of the signs that naturally rule each house:

House Name Natural Ruler
1 House of Identity or Personality Aries
2 House of Money or Resources Taurus
3 House of Communication Gemini
4 House of Home or Family Cancer
5 House of Children or Kingdom Leo
6 House of Service Virgo
7 House of Marriage or Partnerships Libra
8 House of Sex, Death & Taxes (or Regeneration) Scorpio
9 House of Higher Learning, Travel, or Long Journeys over Water Sagittarius
10 House of Career or Public Standing Capricorn
11 House of Friends or Social Consciousness Aquarius
12 House of Merging or Troubles Pisces

But when you look at an actual person’s birth chart, the signs ruling the houses are most likely not going to line up that way.

So people get confused, freak out, etc. Because if Aries is supposed to rule the house of identity and in your chart, it’s ruled by Scorpio, that has to be BAD, right? Because one is FIRE and one is WATER and… No. Just stop.

But what does it mean? And how does the natural ruler of a house influence the house if it’s ruled by another sign? Instead of thinking of things in astrology as good or bad, I’ve been thinking of them as comfortable versus uncomfortable. Because things that are uncomfortable aren’t always bad–they’re often the rites of passage that we have to go through to get to where we want to be.

This might be a strange way to explain the relationship between sign-house rulerships, but I’ve been thinking of the natural ruler of the house as the one who it was originally built for, and the one that rules the house in the natal chart as the current resident. Because when you design your own home, you accommodate all the things that are important to you, but when you have to live in a space that someone else designed, there are always those, “Why the heck did they do THAT?” moments.

Like if in the natal chart, Virgo rules a house where Aries is the natural ruler, Virgo is thinking, “I’m doing laundry for a family of six and you put the washer and dryer on separate floors? What fresh hell is that?” Though Aries is no longer IN the house, he has an ongoing influence, which Virgo feels whenever she carts her wet laundry down the stairs. Most of the time, Virgo may be perfectly comfortable in this house… depending on the other forces at play. When she’s doing laundry, however… not so much. So if the sign that rules a particular house in your chart doesn’t match up to the natural ruler, don’t panic. Just think of it as an opportunity to evaluate that space from a different perspective.

That explanation seemed to help several of my classmates grasp this – I hope it’s helpful for you as well!

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