Your soul chooses when and how it enters physical form here on Earth for each incarnation and with each incarnation it evolves through new and varied experiences. These experiences allow it to ascend and evolve in its awareness of self and soul-self. Your natal chart is the map your soul sets out for you before you manifest into body here on Earth in each lifetime. It plots out your life, gifts, relationships, abundance, work, roles, etc. in exacting details. The planets, the houses, the signs of the zodiac all have specific placements and interactions with each other, which are very unique and specific to the You in that lifetime and to your soul’s journey through lifetimes. It is simultaneously a map of intention and possibilities. From the moment you are born, you are influenced and acted on by other people’s energies. Your free will allows you to choose how you understand these outside energies and environments and how you allow them to influence your life or not.
If we look at the zodiac wheel, we see that it is divided into 12 houses each of which is assigned one of the 12 zodiac signs. The numerology of 12 points to these complex interworking of the chart, of which we just spoke, too: the individual and the other, the individual and the world around it. If we break down twelve into the individual digits, we get 1 and 2, we see it is the individual (1) and the partnership (2) both. It exemplifies the working together of the individual with the other or the world. If we add 1+2, we have 3, which then represents the trinity of human life experience: the body, the mind/ego and the soul working together to create the physical experience of life here on Earth. All of these three components are necessary into order to take on life. All are represented in the zodiac wheel.
Looking more closely now at the twelves houses, we find that they tell the evolutionary story of taking a physical form, moving through the varied experiences of what taking a bodily, human life means, how it expands in complexity of experiences, and eventually leads us right back to the beginning - to unity consciousness or connection with the All that Is (or as close to it as we can be during our physical life here).
Beginning with the First House, the soul focuses on its taking physical form. We revel in our physical existence. Here we step fully out into the world as a soul become body. We act, move our body, and embrace all aspects of physicality, like exercise or physical exertion. We builds a concept of self in physicality.
Where the soul enjoys experiencing self in the first house, in the Second House we begin to notice the world around us. We begin to build the foundations of life, home, property, money, abundance. We relates to the physical world around us now. Not only in the material ways, but also in how we place ourselves as of valued or worth something in the world we live in. Where the first house is focused like one dot centered on the body, which we inhabit, now the attention moves and expands to what is immediately around us.
It is in the Third House that the we begin to relate to the world around us through our thoughts and in connection with the other person/people. We begin to be aware that we relate to the world around us in a mental or intellectual way. Not only that, but we wish to communicate with it as well. The Third House deals with the mind and communication.
Now we have completed the first quadrant of the zodiac wheel, and we see that it is all about development of self in identification as an individual in a physical body, as a part and builder in a physical world, and as a part of the mental world, in which we interact with others and process our lives in thought or with the mind.
As we move on to the next quadrant, we see the soul begin to develop intimate relationships with a close circle of others. Here the emotional world begins. In the Fourth House, the soul places at its center relationships with its most intimate circles, with the mother figure and with siblings. It is also about the environment, in which we interact with these people - the home and domesticity. It is the house of intimate familial love and nurturing.
In the Fifth House we begin to express our passions and explore passionate relationships with others in playful and exuberant ways. We experience our first love. We express our creative passions. We indulge in pleasures. We let our Inner Child run free. We let loose. It is the house of passions and creativity.
With our emotional experiences having run the gamut of quiet intimate life to exuberant passion, the Sixth House allows the soul to focus and become purposeful and intent in directing its emotions into the care and nurturing of self and body. It is as if the emotions needed to be experienced fully in all ways, before the soul could then harness them into expression as service to self and others. The emotions are now used, not as a means of understanding expression simply of self, but for a purpose- for service for self and the other.
We now have progressed through the first six houses, which deal with the intimate spheres, the soul and its journey of getting to know self and the close intimate world outside itself. With the next six houses, we will see the soul expanding its horizons and interacting with the world in deeper, more expansive and more communal relationships.
With the Seventh House, the soul begins to explore the interaction with another in order to create something - a marriage, a business partnership, a friendship, a collaboration. We now have the energy of the partnership - interacting and working 1-on-1 with another in a committed and deeper way. There is a give and take here, a balance of energies, ideally, where both parties reap the benefits of working with another and also contributing equally to this partnership.
In the Eighth House, we see a deep dive into these relationships, especially with the idea of energetic flow - sometimes in the form of money, but also in sexual relationships, and in psychological connections with self, other and the world. It is the house of death and rebirth - exchange once again in order to evolve and grow. This idea of energetic motion is key. There is no stasis here. Often these shifts occur unexpectedly, and can be unwanted, but this then points to this house’s connection with psychology or an awareness on many levels (conscious and subconscious), and of psychic intuition. Depending on how in tune we are with our intuitive guidance and an awareness of self, this house can be a gift or seen as an inexplicable loss.
In the next house, the Ninth House, the soul sees its horizons expanding outward as it begins to explore society and culture, systems of belief, education, government, law, etc. It seeks to understand the expansive world around it, both intellectually through intensive studies but also through physically traveling far distances to explore for itself. It is a learning through systems and through own experience. This house asks the soul to understand itself not only through intimate partnerships, but also within systems and within peoples and within societies/cultures.
Now the soul has completed the third quadrant in the zodiac wheel, which has dealt with the exploration of self in deeper interactions and commitments to others, first in partnerships and eventually to see and explore intellectually and philosophically the greater world and peoples around, in order to understand self better in the context of other and world.
The last three house of the zodiac wheel bring the soul to explore more deeply the energy of the collective and the individual soul’s place in it.
With the Tenth House we see the soul, after exploring how it relates emotionally to the world and people around it, to now understanding its life purpose. The soul here endeavors to do the “work” it was meant to do here. The tenth house is the house of career and work. The soul bears responsibilities here and acts on them. The soul after having studied the systems of power and belief and society in the ninth house, now sees how it can work within those with purpose.
From this more practical expression of the soul in the tenth house, the Eleventh House asks the soul to see itself as an inspirational part of a group, a group which shares interests and ideas and purposes. This purpose branches away from “work” to embrace again the more free idea of creatively engaging with the world around it, and also reaching out into the Universal wisdom, to bring new ideas, to advance humanity in some way in how it lives and thinks. Society is key, but is less so about being within the structure of society and more so about expanding it and exploring the possibilities offered from it. Being a contributor in a unique, new or innovative way.
With the final Twelfth House, the soul expands one more level from how it works in its own structures and social systems to how it works as part of humanity as a whole. The twelfth house allows the soul to explore who it is a human among humans; how it can bring about change and affect humanity through its emotional support and connection with the whole. Because this is the final house, it is also the last stage of evolution of the soul in this cycle of experience. It asks the soul to finally explore and release habits or thought/belief patterns that do not serve the soul - the ones which speak of wounds and lack. It deals with the subconscious, with past lives and karma, as well. Once again offering a final, intense and soul-deep opportunity to clear energies and blocks that may be keeping the soul from evolving further to the next level. If the soul completes this release, it accesses once again unconditional Divine Love and also its soul truth as being part of this Unity Consciousness. It once again can connect with the God Self and dissolve into the Universal Divine.
With the zodiac wheel and the many, many journeys through it, the soul creates for itself a multifaceted experience from lifetime to lifetime, but also within a cycle of many lifetimes. These cycles allow the soul to experience life themes through many perspectives and experiences, each adding more depth of understanding of self and of what it means to be alive. It is a thorough process, which focus is about expanding and opening in consciousness. The completion of the level is not about speed or perfection, but about healing, embracing the divine within and revealing it more and more to self and to the world.
See this cycle as a vertical spiral. In the first level, the soul experience a simple life, where perhaps it is a blank slate with no specific purpose or perhaps it is about experiencing life as a rock or oxygen molecule, for example. In this first lifetime, the soul gathers its first experiences, both good and bad, light and shadow. From these experiences it then decides to experience in the next lifetime different aspects to shed more light on areas it found challenging or didn’t experience in the first lifetime. It seeks new experiences, new perspectives to grow and to evolve in consciousness in each lifetime.*
Once the level of “manifesting into existence” has been fully explored from various perspectives, the soul then decides that it is has completed this first level and is ready to cycle upward to the next level in the spiral. Perhaps now it decides, if it was a rock in the first cycle, to experience being a living thing and it may choose to explore being a form of algae or other simple plant, for example. It starts this next cycle and, again, chooses lives to experience this form of life from various perspectives and through different experiences. And so on, upward through the spiral. Perhaps the level you have been on has been to struggle with living a life where you connect fully the physical life with the soul self. You may have lived many, many lifetimes now where you have experienced this through many incarnations, never quite achieving this unity. Perhaps in some lives you have come close to this awareness both of the physical and the soul, but never quite reconciling the two. In other lifetimes you never experienced the soul self as part of the truth of who you are, and in yet others you purposefully worked to oppose physicality and in others to deny the soul completely as part of you. You have bounced around the zodiac wheel exploring all it has to offer - the wheel does not need to be explored chronologically. Remember, it is like a menu of experiences to choose and build opportunities from. You do cover all the houses, but in an order uniquely chosen by your soul.
Now your soul may feel that this cycle or level as been completed. You have amassed enough experience to understand all the perspectives, you understand your soul self better, you are able to embrace the trinity of body, mind/ego and soul. So in this lifetime you see all the loose ends being connected, the final karmas being released, a flow into Divine Love coming through in this life. Your soul is ready to spiral up to the next level, to experience perhaps what it means to live a life fully connected to soul and the Divine Unity Consciousness and what that means for a life balanced with physicality and soul, and from there manifesting a life on Earth in expanded consciousness.
This is the story and the function of the zodiac wheel and your personal natal chart. It is a gift to you from your soul and from the Universe. It truly shows you how the Universe concretely is supporting you in your soul growth and evolution and how your soul is a part of the Divine Consciousness, accessing it, working with it and expanding within it.
I want to add as a footnote that I speak here in terms of linear time to make the story more easy to understand but if linear time is an Earth construct, it doesn't truly belong as part of a soul story. Many mystics and wisdom beliefs speak of unity of time or that all things are happening at the same time. I see this similar to the rings a pebble creates when dropped in water. As you, as a soul, chose to add a new lifetime or experience on to your cycles it is simply another ring added on or perhaps the flower metaphor would work, it is just another petal of the flower unfurling or adding just one more petal onto the flower of your soul's journey.