The first house is the most significant house in the horoscope. It is both a trinal an angular house. Trinal houses (1, 5, and 9) are the Lakshmi Sthanas. Lakshmi is the energetic emanation of good luck and fortune. Angular houses (1, 4, 7, and 10) are the Vishnu Sthanas. Vishnu is the Sustainer of the Universe, the energetic emanation of power and strength.
The first house in the sky is located on the eastern horizon, where the Sun rises. Each sign rises in the eastern horizon approximately every two hours. The time of birth determines which sign will be in our first house, or ascendant.
The sign in our first house significantly colors our most innate personality. It is the axis upon which the rest of the personality rotates. It is essential for our first house to have a certain amount of strength for the auspicious yogas to bear fruit, and for the inauspicious yogas to be reduced through the power of our will.
This house shows the general traits of our character, mind, disposition, and psyche. The first sign of the zodiac is Aries. Hence the first house and Aries are parallel and correspond to each other. It is concerned with the individuality; the birth of self-consciousness and individuation in the course of the evolution of the spirit. It is the beginning of life. The ego has just taken its delivery, and therefore it is still raw, natural, unrefined, spontaneous, and instinctive in all its movements. The first house represents the core and raw predisposition of our nature.
If we have beautiful yogas in our chart which indicate creativity, this creative force will be expressed in a way which relates to the symbology of the sign of our ascendant. Aries would use this force in military and physical strength, Taurus in music or art, Gemini through communication or writing, Cancer through home decor or architecture, etcetera.
The planets placed in this house will further color our personality. The first house is what the world sees when first encountered by our presence. It is the first impression we give to others. The strength or lack thereof will indicate how far we can get in life through sheer force of will. A weak ascendant indicates a faint desire to make much progress in this life. It suggests a person who vacillates and is still not confident or sure about what he or she truly wants to do in life. The dharma is still not conclusive.
On the other hand, a person with a dominant first house knows what he or she wants in life. This concrete attitude attracts to itself all the forces of the universe which will make this person’s desires into reality. The personality is one-pointed in its wishes in this life, in its life-purpose. Such one-pointedness acts like a magnet sending all its energetic emanations in one direction and thus attracting a concrete reality in which to express itself.