The 12 Houses of astrology are symbolic of the all the departments that make up human life. The planets and zodiac signs will manifest themselves most strongly in the sphere of life represented by the House in which they fall on your chart. Houses are not "energies" like the elements or planets, nor do they color the expression of energies like the zodiac signs do. The houses are WHERE these energies are most likely to manifest. The houses are the fields of experience, not the experience themselves.
The Tenth House is commonly referred to as the House of Social Status. It is about the place we have attained in our social (or work/career) grouping and in society as a whole. Think status, the authority it conveys, and consequently, the role we take in our community. It also speaks to any promotions we receive, any fame we may have or will come to have and the types of business and social activities in which we partake. With respect to achievement, this House focuses on how we see ourselves and how the community as a whole sees us (and our efforts). Through this House, we work on manifesting ourselves.
Vocation is important in the Tenth House. What role will we choose and how will we best fill it? How much do we want to achieve? Career, professional goals, ambition and motivation all come into play here. In a more practical context, employers and their rules are covered here, as are any other organizations (specifically the government) which have the ability to rule over us. Along with our life's work comes the challenge of ruling over others, although there will generally be someone who lords over us.
The prestige and social status we accrue by virtue of our careers and vocations can be seen, intangibly, in the form of ego gratification. How we manage this is addressed by the Tenth House. It may be most difficult to tire of financial rewards in our consumerist society; surprisingly, ego massage may grow old more quickly. The question of how we will manage these gifts, and the status that comes along with them, is important to this House. Will we use our power to truly help society, or will we be willful and reckless? Not all of us are cut out for grand scale social success or equipped to help society significantly. It's also worth noting that many of our successes are achieved with the aid of society, not in a vacuum.
The relationship of the individual to a group and to society is also highlighted in the Tenth House. To improve things and to make an impact, we must feel a real kinship to the cause; a fervent resolve to change things is necessary. In this way, we will achieve that social status which is truly worthwhile. Lastly, in keeping with its focus on rulers, the Tenth House addresses the father, who is generally the more authoritarian parent.
The Tenth House is ruled by the Sign Capricorn and the Planet Saturn.