Together with the Sun and Moon the ascendant is one of the most important single factors in a horoscope. The sign at the beginning of the first house tells us a lot about someone's personality, temperament and constitution. It typifies our immediate, instinctive reaction and shows how we present ourselves to the world. The planet ruling the ascendant sign is of particular importance for the interpretation.
The second house and its occupants tell us about the material circumstances, the acquisitive urge and how we deal with possessions and material means. This includes the relationship to our own body.
The third house and any planets occupying it tell us of our siblings, the manner in which we communicate on an everyday level and the relationships which determine our daily life.
The descendant sign and planets occupying the seventh house tell us about how we select our partners and describes the partnerships and relationships we seek. Often we are involuntarily attracted to people whose horoscopes carry a strong emphasis of the sign in our seventh house.
The eighth house shows how we relate to communal goods and how we deal with material loss. The taxes levied on us each year are a good example for this and show how closely related these areas are. Traditional astrology maintains that this house has an affinity to death and all things metaphysical. Death would then be the ultimate material loss. Amongst other things, the study of metaphysics can be a very differentiated way of dealing with this loss, which inevitably comes to us all.
The ninth house describes our spiritual leaning, life philosophy and our world view. In fact, these are often influenced by journeys to foreign countries. The attitudes cultivated and formed in this house can greatly influence matters of the 10th.