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The house system in astrology divides the diel cycle into 12 areas of about 2 hours each. At a moment T, House 1 corresponds to the sign of the tropical zodiac that rises on the eastern horizon, house 10 to the sign at the zenith (above the head), House 7 to the sign that sets in the West, and House 4 is at Nadir (under the feet).
I always asked myself the question but why while the cycle of the sun is going clockwise (represented on a circle: East, South, west, north) astrological houses are numbered counter-clockwise?
It must be understood first of all that this time cycle corresponds to the rotation of the Earth on itself and determines the daily day/night cycle. The system of astrological houses moves with the rotation of the Earth, while the zodiac not. From the viewpoint of the Observer (geocentric) we have the impression that it is the zodiac that moves clockwise, in reality it is the earth with the the houses that turn counter-clockwise.
Watch this video of the astrologer Jon Stevens which is from this point of view very explanatory.
The apparent primary movement of the planets and the zodiac in the geocentric system is thus in the course of a day in the clockwise direction when in reality it is the earth that turns counter-clockwise. To take a concrete example, a sun in Aries may be at the Ascendant or in the Midheaven depending on the time but will always remain in Aries.
The planets on the other hand move in anti-clockwise direction on the zodiac throughout the year, and this corresponds to the rotation of the earth around the sun.
Again I suggest you watch another very clear video of Jon Stevens:
There are therefore two movements (apparent from the viewpoint of the observer) on the zodiac, diel in a clockwise and yearly in a counter-clockwise direction.
The question of the counter-clockwise numbering of the houses is therefore very relevant. I do not have the answer, but I have some answers.
First of all I think the Ancients have numbered the houses not from the apparent, but from the real motion. This is probably a first explanation.
However this does not explain why from a symbolic point of view, is house 12 the first that the zodiac crosses after sunrise when it is supposed to represent hardships and isolation?
I have found a logical way to explain the traditional meaning of houses and to give a beginning of meaning.
In the Buddhist mandala, the east corresponds to the Vajra family, the South Ratna, the West Padma and the North Karma.
One can follow this logic dividing the houses into four sectors
The Vajra sector corresponds to the identity, Ratna to the social status, Padma to the dual relationship and Karma to the relationship within the clan (family, society).
The first house of the sector in a clockwise direction corresponds to the principle of pleasure (the Id), the third to the principle of death (the superego) and the second to self-consciousness.
So we can say that:
The 2/9/8/5 houses correspond to the principle of pleasure.
The houses 12/9/6/3 to the principle of death.
The houses 1/10/7/4 to the principle of reality.
The House 1 is our identity, the House 2 desires and needs of satisfaction, the House 12 the control that one exerts on ones impulses, but also what one must learn to let go in this life. The hardships are well the suffering of the loss of the attachment represented by the House 2.
House 10 is the need for status, representation in the social hierarchy. The House 9 the desire for recognition and exchange (friends), the House 9 the ideals and values that allow us to let go of self-centeredness and by extension religion.
House 7 is our way of entering into a dual relationship (spouse, partner). The House 8 The pleasure we take within a dual relationship (sexuality in a couple) and the House 6 the way in which we put to service in a relationship, to excess is submission.
House 4 is the way we exist within the clan. The House 5 the pleasure we take from the family (by extension children, creations), and House 3 the place where we learn to share our territory within the clan (siblings).