The Holidays of the Birth Chart

One effective way to get tuned in to the energies of your own birth chart is to track its house topic activations by the Sun (and the ruler of the ascendant) throughout the twelve-month year.  If you know your rising sign, you know which signs occupy which houses in your natal chart (depending on which house system you use).  With this, you can begin syncing up some of your lifestyle and perspective based on the passage of the Sun throughout your personal twelve houses. 

In this article we will talk about some things you can do throughout the year in a way that treats your chart like a series of holidays and special times.  We’ll approach this with the whole sign house system and also include the degrees that begin house cusps for other house systems.  The conscious question we can ask throughout each house-month is: How can I work with this energy and this area of my life?

It’s hard to deny that the ascendant sign, and especially the degree of the ascendant, has the energy of a brand-new year.  In my own chart, the Sun rules my Leo ascendant but natally is in the twelfth whole-sign house, and looking back I always have a much better time in August! So, a tradition I started is to find the day when the Sun is at the degree of my ascendant, mark that day on my calendar, and celebrate it as a second birthday. 

If you track your own chart, you will probably notice how the Sun entering the sign of your ascendant brings a particular kind of heightened energy.  If you live in a place with four seasons, and get excited about Spring, it is exactly that kind of energy: fresh, alive, new, exciting.  Find the degree of your ascendant, and look up in an ephemeris when the Sun gets to that degree and make the time to celebrate your new year, your second birthday.  You can also mark the moment the Sun ingresses into your rising sign as a day to do some spring cleaning or re-organizing.  This is a time to have fun (or maybe that’s my Leo rising bias)!

The ascendant sign begins both the the first quarter of your chart and your year. It indicates a renewal that is unfolding over the next twelve-month journey around your chart’s houses.  The second house follows the first bringing a notable focus to money and finances.  Here you can start to focus on financial budgets for the moment, the current quarter, and your entire year ahead.  Perhaps take time to think about things you would like to do that will involve money.  It is also common that events occur pointing back to self-worth.

The transit of the Sun to the third house often quickens the pace after the second house, and scatters your focus as your social life becomes a bit more active and network-y.  Here you can use communication to be more curious about ways to expand your life and create more possibilities, openings, opportunities, and light-hearted fun with friends.

When we get to the fourth house the upward and outward energy from the third house time slows and can bring a subtle confusion as you might wonder where all the sparks and glitter have gone.  This is one of the perfect times in the year to pause and re-evaluate everything that has started since the Sun passed through your ascendant sign.  What generated from that time you might question as things may appear to slow down.  It is really a month to simplify, root yourself, and focus on where you are living and how that is going for you.  It can also be a time where family matters become important or central.  In addition, to go even deeper psychologically, inherited family patterns of thinking and believing can bubble up from seemingly out of nowhere, so processing is productive now. 

The ancient poet and astrologer Manilius refers to the fourth house as a worldly “burden” one aspires to shoulder.  The weightiness of the rest of the chart bearing down on the fourth house time can pressure you to pause and look at the entirety of what you are carrying in your life now.

The fourth house period kicks off the second quarter of the year and when the Sun enters the sign occupying your fifth house, or when it touches its cusp-degree, you have the chance to now take a step forward in life after the pause and stillness of the fourth house.  The fifth house time is also great for opening up creatively.  This no doubt heats things up a bit so you may notice you are more inclined to seek out romance or dating, if that’s something you want now. 

The joy of the creative fifth house month starts to slow down as the Sun enters the sixth house of work, illness, accidents, and pets!  You might notice something confronts you that you experience as being critical to your schedule.  It can be a time of facing the music and taking action to avoid wallowing in a breakdown or idle activity.  The sixth house can also tune you into health and fitness needs that, when proactive, will bring you a sense of satisfaction with your body and lifestyle.  This is a perfect time for exploring your health and trying perhaps a new routine.  Noticeable also is that work tends to get activated, whether you take on more of it or it becomes busier and more central to your life.  If that’s the case, that brings us back around to a sixth house reminder: self-care.

This second quarter comes to an end when the Sun changes signs to that of the descendant, the seventh house, when relationships and commitments become a primary focus.  This is a time for more serious conversation and even development of a commitment.  Here you are halfway through your year and what began at your ascendant time may have more growth or could have certain kinds of conclusions or revisiting.  This can be a great time to have a special celebration for you and someone else.

The Sun then enters the dreaded eighth house of death, taxes, and other people’s money.  This is a useful time for reflecting on deeper aspects of relationships and being proactive with money matters.  If your eighth house is occupied by Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pisces you can set up your tax filing when the Sun is in that sign!

The Sun enters the ninth house and offers a real sense of liberation and expansion after the heaviness of the eighth house.  The ninth house time is great for trying something new, invigorating, and adventurous.  Even a hike with a group of like-minded people or friends can feel very aligned to the energy you are experiencing.  In the ancient tradition this house is associated with pilgrimages and messages from oracles, so it would also be a great time for dream work and divination, which can bring a levity that you are thankful for after the eighth house period.

The Sun culminates in your chart when it transits your tenth house, and this often brings a notable focus to your work again.  Instead of it being more mundane like the sixth house, it is an interest in a bigger picture with your work.  Where is your work going?  Where is it taking you?  You can set up your professional life at this time to be more productive for a longer-term intention, ask for a raise, or some kind of professional development now.  This begins the last quarter of your year, and really represents a culmination of what you began from your ascendant.  Sometimes, that means it is time to evaluate your professional life.  Other times, it means you get to enjoy a development or goal.  This is essentially the exteriorized version correlating to the fourth house’s inner exploration and pause.  You might feel on top of the world now! 

Continuing into the eleventh house is a period similar to that of the third house, but it retains that bigger, overarching vision continuing from the ninth and tenth houses, a theme which first opens up at the seventh house.  The eleventh house time can be great for leisurely enjoying connections with friends, colleagues, and other kinds of associates or organizations.  What are the social groups with which your principles align?  The month when the Sun moves through this house can get us in touch with what we care about in the world and a desire to seek community.  So, it’s a wonderful time for asking yourself what is important to you that you could explore, perhaps in conversation, in the larger picture of community and society?

The social and connective energy of the eleventh house ends when the Sun enters the twelfth sign from the ascendant or reaches the twelfth house cusp.  This is the last month of your yearly cycle and is definitely not a time to plan a lot of events!  The twelfth house has been known to be a more challenging or difficult house, and when the Sun comes here a person’s energy levels do often reduce. 

So, what do you do with that?  Sometimes nothing!  It is a great time to sit, relax, do less, meditate, and seek quieter environments where you can have some privacy.  Being alone is not an uncommon desire when the Sun comes here, and if that’s the case don’t shame yourself for it.  This is a time where you are on the precipice and threshold of a brand-new year, which means that everything is winding down while you release everything that transpired.  Before a big competition or training athletes rest their bodies to conserve energy with the intention of improving their stamina and performance.  You can think of it that way- that this is a month to slow down and conserve your energies before the rush of new life that comes back again for the start of another year. 

Taking your year further: If you want to look at more in your chart after getting familiar with the Sun’s transits, take a look at the transits of the planet that rules your ascendant sign.  Watching what this planet does over the course of the year can provide more specific information at the times of its important moments- whether it changes signs, or forms a significant aspect with another transiting planet, or aspects a natal planet or point.  These seem to coincide with specific events, whereas the Sun’s transit is a broader context. 

Below is a table you can fill out with your personal sign-house pairing as a way to observe what your yearly cycle is like.  Enjoy!

Zodiac Sign and MonthHouseQuestions to ask and focus areas
 1Celebrate! New Year, second birthday celebration. Get in touch with what you feel it is you are here to do. 
 2Money: How are your personal finances? What is your budget plan? 
 3Friends and Synchronistic Communications and Messages: Connect with others, share ideas, think outside the box.
 4Home and Family:  Do you like where you live and what is in your home? What deeper yearnings do you have?
 5Creativity, Joy, Romance: Are you wanting to flirt and have fun? How do you wish to step forward now? 
 6Health and Work:  What health or work topics have you avoided or are demanding your attention?  Are you getting enough rest?
 7Relationships:  What are your relationships asking of you? What are you asking of them? 
 8Death, Debt, Joint Resources: What money matters are coming up?  Notice deeper aspects of relationships.
 9Beliefs, Divine Messages, Travel: What is exciting for you now? Are you traveling? Pay attention to inspirations.
 10Career, Profession, Height of the Year: How can you advance with your work goals?  Is there a focus on recognition, grants, or awards?
 11Friends, Aspirations: Connect with people who share similar principles.  Get in touch with what connects you to the world. (Hint: it has to do with the planet ruling this house!)
 12Confinement, Privacy, Endings: Time to wind down.  Reflect on your past year, relax: less is more.  

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