FAQs: Everything You’ve Always Wondered About Astrology and Natal Charts (But Never Got Around To Asking!)

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Most folks are familiar with their Sun sign. The typical person can be found perusing the newspaper for their daily horoscope each morning over a steaming mug of java, and when they take a look at the day’s forecast for their particular Sun sign, it’s usually a one-size-fits-all blurb of advice or wisdom, bearing a resemblance to the vague slip of paper one might find inside a Chinese fortune cookie: “You will get off to a sluggish start this morning but by this evening, you will be full of energy. Enjoy a night on the town!”

Pish-posh. These random, obscure, and beyond useless newspaper horoscopes are what I unlovingly refer to as “cookie cutter horoscopes.” Other than perhaps serving as entertainment value (and that’s pushing it), they are virtually worthless. On any given day, I guarantee you that if you read the day’s “predictions” for the remaining eleven Sun signs, you would be able to make each one of them apply to yourself and your own life. Seriously. Give it a try!

Many people are unaware that astrology involves anything other than a Sun sign when in fact, your Sun sign is just the tip of a massive proverbial iceberg. We also have a Moon sign and an Ascendant (or rising sign) in addition to planetary placements; for example, Venus in Leo or Saturn in Taurus. Furthermore, there are five asteroids which have placements in various zodiac signs, not to mention nodes, aspects, and the Descendant, which is the sign directly opposite the Ascendant.

In much the same way that our physical bodies are comprised of multiple organs and systems which come together to function as a whole human being, the components of an individual’s natal chart work in tandem to create an individual’s personality, life patterns, and experiences. If medical researchers studied only the cardiovascular system, for example, ignoring other vital areas such as the brain and respiratory system, we would have only a tiny fraction of the understanding of how a human body works. Likewise, if astrologers focused solely on Sun signs, ignoring other parts of a natal chart such as the Ascendant or Moon placement, we would only see a few pixels of a much larger picture.

What have you always wondered about astrology or your Sun sign? Are there things that just don’t make sense to you; for example, how two people with the same Sun sign can be  entirely different from one another? Well then, I have some good news: today is your lucky day because in this article, we’re going to explore some of the more common astrological queries, as well as some issues which you might never before have considered. However, if you have a question that isn’t addressed below or you need further clarification, feel free to fire away in the comments section or on Born Under a Blonde Sign’s official Facebook page. Alternatively, you can ask me directly via email at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com and I’ll be more than happy to help you understand whatever it is that’s tripping you up.

Example of a natal chart. This one belongs to a close Aquarian friend of mine.

Example of a natal chart. This one belongs to a close Aquarian friend of mine.

What exactly is a natal chart?
A natal chart, also known as a birth chart, is essentially a snapshot of the heavens at the exact time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of your birth. The horoscope wheel looks much like a pie that has been divided into twelve 30 degree sections, which are known as Houses. Each section/House governs a specific life area.

Why does the exact time and place of my birth matter in my chart?
The exact time and location (city/state/province/country) of your birth are necessary in order to determine your Ascendant (rising sign), which is the sign that was on the Eastern horizon at the exact time and latitude/longitude of your birth.

I don’t know my exact time of birth. Can you still do my chart?
Yes. However, without an exact time, a default birth time of 12:00 noon is used. This results in a chart which you can’t trust to be accurate. Your time of birth is critical to a chart’s overall accuracy because it is used to calculate your Ascendant. Unlike Sun, Moon, or other planetary signs, the Ascendant transits through the signs fairly rapidly; it moves into a new sign anywhere from every 30 minutes to three hours. Your Ascendant is the point on which the rest of your chart is based. If your exact birth time is inaccurate or unknown, this will probably result in an incorrectly calculated Ascendant, which causes planets to be placed in the wrong Houses, which will in turn have incorrect interpretations…all of which means you now have a highly-detailed, thorough natal chart filled with absolutely useless information. If you don’t know your time of birth, it can sometimes be found on your birth certificate. If yours isn’t indicated but you have a rough estimate of your birth time, I can work with that. I’d like to point out here that if you know you were “born in the evening,” that is too broad of a timeframe for me to produce an accurate chart. But if you know, for example, that it was sometime between 7 and 8pm, that greatly increases the likelihood of a correctly calculated Ascendant; therefore, an accurate chart is a safe bet.

What is the Ascendant/rising sign and how does it affect me?
Your Ascendant is the sign on the cusp of your First House and is calculated using your exact time and place of birth. It is the face you present to the world; it’s how others perceive you. Your public persona. Which qualities you exhibit depends on in which specific zodiac sign your Ascendant is; in other words, you might have a Cancer Sun sign, but if you have an Aries Ascendant, you will come across to other people more as an Aries than a Cancer.

moonsignsWhat does my Moon sign mean?
Your Moon sign reveals how you express yourself emotionally. Like the Ascendant, the specific qualities in how you emotionally express yourself depends on the sign in which your Moon is. Building on the previous example, you might have a Cancer Sun sign but if your Moon is in Sagittarius, you will express your emotions more like a Sadge than a Cancer.

Isn’t my Sun sign more important than my Ascendant and Moon sign?
Negative. Your Ascendant indicates how the world sees you. Your Moon sign reveals the way in which you express your emotions. Your Sun sign tells us about the core of your personality, or your ego. While some astrologers do believe the Sun is the most important of all of your signs, I disagree. This trio of signs are of equal importance in the interpretation of a natal chart, as they all come together like puzzle pieces to create the broad strokes of who you are and what makes you tick. Saying that your Sun sign is your most important sign is akin to saying that your heart is more important than your lungs or your brain. They are all of vital importance and they work together. If one fails, so too will the others.

 What are “nodes” in astrology?
In a natal chart, the term “node” refers to the North and South Nodes of the Moon, which are in direct opposition to one another. nodesThey are not planets, but mathematical points which consider the relationship between the Sun, Moon, and Earth at the exact moment of one’s birth. The Nodes represent karmic imbalance in an individual. The placement of the North Node in a natal chart reveals the experiences and life lessons we must master in order to balance our personal karma. The South Node’s placement indicates the ways in which one is likely to sabotage those crucial experiences; therefore, we can become conscious of these tendencies.

What are “aspects” in astrology?
The term “aspect” in astrology is defined as the angles the planets make to one another in a natal chart, as well as to the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, and lower Midheaven. Aspects in one’s chart can reveal specific timing of major life changes or transitions in the life of the individual. There are five traditional major aspects: the conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition. Although whether the aspect itself is considered to be positive or negative depends upon which planets are involved, it’s generally accepted that a square is a stressful aspect, while trines and sextiles are generally harmonious. In any event, aspects between Venus, Jupiter, and/or the Sun, in any combination, are the most favorable, while aspects between Mars, Saturn, and/or the Moon, also in any combination, are the most negative.

What is the Descendant and how does it affect me?
The Descendant is directly opposite the Ascendant, on the cusp of the Seventh House in the natal chart. Where our Ascendant indicates the way we are perceived by others, our Descendant reveals the way in which we tend to perceive others. Our Ascendant and Descendant complement each other quite nicely much of the time but if, for whatever reason, we exhibit more of our Ascendant sign behaviors, this can result in our attracting people who are the opposite of the types of folks we’d want to attract. The Descendant also indicates what turns us off about others and how we deal with those people.

cuspWhat is the cusp regarding Sun signs?
The short definition of a cusp when it comes to Sun signs is the boundary between two signs. Such as when the Sun completes its transit of Scorpio on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 10:28pm EST and enters Sagittarius. Someone born before or at 10:27pm EST on that date would have a Scorpio Sun, while someone born at or after 10:28pm EST or later on that date would have a Sagittarius Sun.

Although the Sun obviously cannot be in two signs at once, the general thought among most astrologers is that being born close to the beginning or end of a Sun sign will result in an individual who is influenced more by the actual Sun sign, yet also exhibit tendencies from the influence of the cusp sign. Not all astrologers agree on what constitutes the cusp, while a few don’t believe the cusp even exists. Some astrologers believe that anyone born within as many as ten days before or after the first day of a Sun sign is on the cusp. Other astrologers believe you are only on the cusp if you were born on the day of the Sun sign change (such as November 21, 2013.) Others feel if you were born within five days of the beginning or end of a sign then you are on the cusp, while still others say it’s more like three days.  

My personal opinion here is that a person is on the cusp if they are born within roughly 3 degrees of another Sun sign. In other words, if your Sun is 27, 28, or 29 degrees Cancer, I would say that you were born on the cusp of Cancer and Leo and probably would have not only traditional Crab personality traits, but some Leo-ish qualities as well. For example, one of my sisters was born with a Sun in 28 degrees Cancer. She primarily has Crab characteristics but she also demonstrates some significant Leo-esque behaviors. This explains perfectly why she’s such a pretentious, show-offy bitch. 

What is the Midheaven and lower Midheaven?
The Midheaven is an important angle in the natal chart. It is located midway between the Ascendant and Descendant on the cusp of the Tenth House, and indicates our life goals, career, and public reputation. It reveals how one tends to react to stressful situations. Frequently, the individual identifies with and admires the traits of the sign on the Midheaven. Oftentimes, it represents a parent, usually the mother.

The lower Midheaven is exactly opposite the Midheaven in the natal chart, on the cusp of the Fourth House, which usually represents the father.

I am nothing like how my Sun sign is described. Does this mean astrology is just a bunch of crap?
Not at all. In my experience, astrology has proven itself to be all too real. In fact, I habitually (silently) try to guess a person’s Sun sign upon first meeting them, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I guess correctly about eight times out of ten. Quick example: a few years ago, I was at work, outside having a cigarette with my supervisor. I had only been in the position for a few months and didn’t know anyone’s birthday (except for one coworker who had already had a birthday in that time.) Anyway, she was ranting about the person whom I replaced and as I listened to her, honing in on some specific statements she made, I thought, “she’s got to be a Taurus.” At an appropriate point in the conversation, I said to her, “I’m sorry; being an astrologer, I can’t help but wonder: are you by chance a Taurus?” Know what? I was right. That’s just one example of literally scores. But I digress.

Many people will read their Sun sign descriptions and go, “huh?! That’s not me at all!” My response to that is twofold: one, as discussed above, we are so much more than just a Sun sign. We have an Ascendant and a Moon sign, planetary signs, all of which modify our Sun sign as well as each other to one degree or another. Or perhaps you were born on a cusp, which will give you some qualities of that sign. Two, maybe you aren’t as unlike your Sun sign as you think you are. For instance, my husband is a Cancer but he was born only 4 hours and 20 minutes after the Sun exited Gemini and entered Cancer. His entire life, he has believed himself to be a Gemini. He will tell you to this day he is a Gemini because he is “nothing like a Cancer.” Heh. Yeah, he is. Sure, he’s got a lot of Gemini traits. But he will never admit, even to himself, that he has a lot of Crab qualities. (Sorry, baby. You are a lot like your Sun sign. But I love you anyway.)

I have two friends who are both Capricorns but they are nothing alike. How is this possible?2capricorns
There are a plethora of possible explanations for how two people with the same Sun sign can seem completely different from one another. One of the more likely reasons involves their Ascendants. For example, let’s assume one of them has a Scorpio Ascendant while the other has a Libra Ascendant. (Remember, the Ascendant is the manner in which we present ourselves to the world.) Therefore, your two buddies would probably be perceived as a Scorpio and a Libra rather than Capricorns, which certainly explains how they seem to be nothing alike, at least outwardly. Inwardly, they probably share many similarities when it comes to ego and traditional Capricorn characteristics. In addition to looking at their Ascendants, we would also examine each of their Moon signs. The differences could also be due to how their Suns are aspected in their respective natal charts, the House(s) in which their Suns are placed, or a multitude of other possibilities. For further details on this topic, check out the article A Tale Of Two Cancers…And An Aries, in which I examine in more detail why and how dramatically different two people with the same Sun sign can be.

I read that there have been some changes in astrology and now I’m a different Sun sign. What is this about?

The tropical zodiac used in Western astrology: nothing's changed!

The tropical zodiac used in Western astrology: nothing’s changed!


Oh, I’m glad you asked this question. Here’s the thing: scientists say that because the Earth wobbles on its axis, the dates which the ancient Babylonians gave to astrological signs are now off by about a month. Always believed yourself to be an Aquarius? Wrong — hello there, Pisces! Guess what, you nitpicking Virgo — you’re really a Leo! If you thought you were a Scorpio, surprise — you’re actually a Libra! Your whole life has been a lie! And now what are you supposed to do about that foot-high Scorpio tattoo emblazoned across your chest?

Simmer down there, Scorpion. Although the above information is correct, it doesn’t change the dates of the tropical zodiac — which is used in Western astrology, the most commonly-practiced astrological system in the Western world (also known as natal, horoscopic, or humanistic astrology.) If you were a Scorpio at birth, you’re a Scorpio today. And you will be tomorrow. And the next day. The only astrological system that is affected by this scientific revelation is the sidereal zodiac — which is mostly practiced in the Eastern world, such as in Hindu astrology, a branch of which is Vedic astrology.

My boyfriend is a Leo and I’m a Sagittarius. I’ve always heard Leo and Sagittarius are an excellent match but we fight all the time!  If our signs our supposedly so compatible, why is this?

or…

My wife is a Virgo and I’m an Aries. Everything I’ve read says we aren’t compatible at all, but we’ve been happily married for twenty years. How is that possible if our signs are so incompatible?
The short answer to these two questions is that we are so much more than our Sun signs.

Many factors aside from our Sun signs can affect compatibility. These include each partner’s Venus and Mars placements, stressful aspects between their natal charts (more on that in a minute), Moon placements, or Ascendants, just to name a few possibilities. Because of these variables, it’s interesting to note that the opposite can also be true: two signs which have historically been deemed as incompatible could be a match made in heaven.  

The key lesson here is to not make snap judgments about a love interest based solely on a Sun sign (it blows my mind seeing how many people actually do this.) Although there is a teensy grain of truth to the traditional good match/bad match Sun sign descriptions you’ve no doubt seen, it’s only one piece of a much larger puzzle. Never assume that just because your Sun sign is traditionally compatible with the Sun sign of the guy you’re crushing on, that you’re destined to live happily ever after together. Nor should you automatically dismiss that girl your friend  introduced you to simply because you’ve read that her Sun sign is incompatible with yours: you might miss out on something amazing!

Astrologically speaking, the most accurate method of predicting the probable outcome of a relationship/potential relationship is with a synastry chart. These relationship compatibility charts are incredibly helpful tools which can pinpoint — often in uncanny detail — possible problematic issues that could arise as well as positive points in a relationship/potential relationship. They are unbelievably accurate at predicting whether a union will be a walk in the clouds or a downward spiral into the depths of hell. For more info on love compatibility and synastry charts, feel free to contact me directly at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com.

How many different kinds of astrology are there?
Dozens. Some of these include Western, Vedic, Chinese, classical, and traditional.  

Which branch of astrology do you practice?
Primarily, I use Western astrology (sometimes interchangeably called horoscopic, humanistic, or natal astrology) which is probably the system with which most folks are familiar. It uses the tropical zodiac which begins in the Northern Hemisphere at the spring equinox each year around March 21st with the sign of Aries. It involves constructing a natal chart (the horoscope wheel resembling a pie divided into twelve sections/Houses) based on the exact time, date, and place of a person’s birth. For those who don’t know their time of birth, I construct a natal chart using sun sign astrology, in which the horoscope wheel isn’t used; instead, I focus solely on the individual’s birth date and the Sun, Moon, and planetary placements on that date. Occasionally, I dabble in Vedic astrology (a branch of Hindu astrology combined with astronomy which shares some similarities with Western astrology), usually for no other reason than to seek a “second opinion,” for lack of a better term.  

Additionally, I practice relationship astrology and predictive astrology. I have an interest in medical and psychological astrology; however, I don’t typically construct stand-alone medical natal charts or psychological natal charts. Instead, these subjects are included and discussed when I construct a client’s complete natal chart.  

How long have you been practicing astrology?
That’s not an easy answer. While in the grocery store checkout line with my mother when I was seven, I spotted a little $0.69 booklet that caught my eye. It was red with an image of a ram on it, and it was titled, “Aries: March 21 – April 19.” Because my birthday is April 9th, I was intrigued and I asked my mom if I could get it. She bought it for me and from that day forward, I wanted to know as much as I could about astrology. I read books, bought Star Scrolls, you name it. But it wasn’t until 1998 that I began delving much more deeply into the subject, learning about Moon signs and Ascendants. I began constructing natal charts that same year, beginning with my own, then my children’s, my husband’s, and so on. Within a year, I had friends of friends calling me to request natal charts. People even began requesting natal charts to give as gifts. Astrology is one of my greatest passions and I have studied a great deal over the years, learning much from experience and continuing to learn even more all the time.  

Why would I want to pay you to do my natal chart/relationship compatibility chart/predictive chart when I can easily go online, fill in some blanks, and get it for free?
I’ll tell you why. Because when you go online, fill in some blanks and get your free natal/relationship compatibility/predictive chart, it is nowhere near as personal or in-depth as the one I create specifically for you. And if you have questions about that free chart, who are you gonna ask? Google? But if I do your chart and you have questions, included in the cost is a free phone consultation, up to one hour, to ask me specific questions about your chart or to have me explain something in greater detail. Besides all that, my charts are always infused with humor; therefore, my charts are much more fun to read than anything you get for free online. 

I would like for you to do a chart for me. What kinds of charts do you offer, what information is contained in them, and how much are they?
I currently offer three different chart types, each with subtypes: natal, relationship, and predictive.

  • COMPLETE NATAL CHART — Exactly what the name implies. Date, place, and exact time of birth are required. Includes detailed information on Sun sign, Moon sign, and Ascendant along with in-depth descriptions of planetary and asteroid placements. The Descendant is also explained and discussed. Personalized interpretations of each of the twelve astrological Houses are provided. Covers virtually every life area. Also contains a section on astrology and health which discusses medical issues that could arise based on certain factors in your chart. Highly-detailed discussion on each of the chart’s aspects as well as a love/relationship compatibility section which gives a general description of how well-matched (or not) your Sun sign is to each Sun sign and also looks at your Venus and Mars placements along with other factors which reveal the astrological characteristics of your “perfect partner” beyond their Sun sign. Chart weighting and chart typing are calculated and their effects on your life are explained.  Extremely detailed with in-depth interpretations of virtually every nook and cranny of your life, this chart consists of 50+ pages of revealing information with several “aha!” moments to be expected along this journey through your personality. Written in layman’s terms and fun to read with plenty of humor, it’s both entertaining and enlightening…even more so because it’s all about YOU! Makes a truly unique gift for just about any occasion: birthdays, holidays, even the birth of a baby:  parents can refer to their baby’s chart over the years as their child grows up! (I have created natal charts for newborns many times and it still amazes me when I see the traits and tendencies discussed in the chart actually manifest.)  Chart can be emailed and/or bound in an attractive report format and mailed via USPS at no additional cost.

                COMPLETE NATAL CHART – $44.99    INCLUDED: PHONE CONSULTATION (IF NEEDED, UP TO 1 HOUR) WHERE THE  CLIENT CAN ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

              

 

  • BASIC NATAL CHART — Personalized natal chart primarily focusing on detailed interpretations of the Sun, Moon, and planets in the signs. Love/relationship compatibility section which measures your general compatibility (or lack thereof) with each Sun sign. A limited discussion on astrology and health is included. A great option for anyone who doesn’t know their time of birth as well as someone who simply desires only a basic astrological reading. Makes a great gift for almost any occasion. Averaging 20+ pages, this chart can be emailed to you and/or bound in an attractive report format and mailed via USPS at no additional cost.

                BASIC NATAL CHART – $24.99   INCLUDED: PHONE CONSULTATION (IF NEEDED, UP TO 30 MINUTES) WHERE THE CLIENT CAN ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

             

 

  • RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY/SYNASTRY CHART – Synastry report comparing the natal charts of two people (individual charts not included with report), examining planetary placements and aspects between the two charts, revealing detailed information on possible problems as well as positive points which can be expected in a relationship between the two subjects. Can be constructed with or without exact times of births for each partner, but will be less specific/detailed without exact times of birth. Written in easy-to-understand terms, this is a fun chart that will surprise you with its insight and accuracy. Averaging 20+ pages, a synastry chart is a useful tool that  demonstrates why your relationship has the issues it does…or why it seems to be a match made in heaven! The synastry report can be emailed and/or bound in an attractive report format and mailed via USPS at no additional cost.

                SYNASTRY REPORT – $49.99    INCLUDED: PHONE CONSULTATION (IF NEEDED, UP TO 1 HOUR) WHERE THE CLIENT CAN ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

         

            

 

  • RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY/COMPOSITE CHART – A chart of the relationship between two people. It calculates the mathematical midpoints between each partner’s natal chart (individual natal charts not included with composite chart), creating a separate chart of the relationship itself. Date, place, and exact time of birth required for each partner. It reveals the dynamics between the individuals and indicates in which areas as well as when problems could crop up as well as strong points in the union. It looks exactly the same and is interpreted in much the same way as an individual’s natal chart. A composite chart shows how a couple handles day-to-day issues and, like a synastry chart, is a useful relationship tool. The composite chart averages 50+ pages in length, as it is much like an individual’s natal chart, and can be emailed and/or bound in an attractive report format and mailed via USPS at no additional cost.

                COMPOSITE CHART – $59.99   INCLUDED: PHONE CONSULTATION (IF NEEDED, UP TO 1 HOUR) WHERE THE CLIENT CAN ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

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  • PREDICTIVE ASTROLOGICAL CHART – Just what the name implies. Using several methods including solar return, secondary progression, and transits, a predictive chart is created for a specific future point in time of the client’s choosing. Date, place, and exact time of birth is required. This is NOT your one-size-fits-all newspaper horoscope. It is a highly-detailed, personalized forecast based on transits and progressions of the chosen future point in time as compared to the individual’s natal chart (natal chart not included.) Any future date/year can be chosen. Want to know what it’s looking like for you in the year 2045? Your wedding day next spring? The next couple of months? A predictive chart can answer all of these questions. The length of a predictive chart varies depending upon the timeframe requested by the client (i.e; a forecast for one day will be significantly shorter than a forecast for one week, month, etc.) The predictive chart can be emailed and/or bound in an attractive report format and mailed via USPS at no additional charge. A phone consultation, if needed, from 15 minutes up to 1 hour depending on length of chart, where the client can ask specific questions, is included.

                PREDICTIVE CHART – 1 DAY FORECAST – $9.99

                PREDICTIVE CHART – 2 DAYS UP TO 1 WEEK FORECAST – $19.99

                PREDICTIVE CHART – 2 WEEKS UP TO 1 MONTH FORECAST – $29.99

                PREDICTIVE CHART – 1 TO 3 MONTH FORECAST – $49.99

                PREDICTIVE CHART – 3 TO 6 MONTH FORECAST – $74.99

            PREDICTIVE CHART – 6 MONTHS OR MORE – $89.99 

                 

                

Have you ever been wrong on someone’s natal chart?
Hmm…that’s an interesting way to phrase it. Let me try to explain how this works.  

I’m not a psychic. I don’t have a crystal ball. When I do a natal chart, I work with calculations based on the dates, times, and places of birth provided to me by clients. What I do is interpret what those calculations mean. I don’t guess or predict. That said, it’s absolutely true that no one’s chart will be 100 percent accurate. Not every single thing indicated will be spot-on. That’s not necessarily me (or any astrologer) being “wrong,” that’s simply the nature of astrology. Many things in a chart are tendencies, not necessarily predictions. For example, I frequently state that Pisces is the sign most likely to struggle with addiction as well as suicidal ideations. That doesn’t mean if you’re a Pisces, you’re GOING to be a junkie or a lush, or that you WILL attempt/commit suicide. It just indicates a propensity for these things. Similarly, Sagittarius is the sign most likely to cheat on you, and Aquarius is the least-likely sign to get married. Of course, not all Sadges are adulterers, nor are all Water Bearers confirmed bachelors/bachelorettes. It’s just a tendency. We’ve got so many other influences in our charts that can affect all of these things. 

There are a lot of conflicting statements in my chart; for example, it says I’m very outgoing but somewhere else it says I’m very shy.

This is extremely common. What this “discrepancy” usually indicates, such as in this particular scenario, is that although on the surface the individual appears to be outgoing, inwardly they might be somewhat shy or insecure, but they don’t want others to know this. Remember also that our Ascendant, Moon, and planetary signs have a dilution (or amplification) effect on our Sun sign (or vice versa), modifying one another. For instance, a Scorpio Sun native with an Aquarius Ascendant or Moon will probably be described in their chart as being intensely jealous and possessive (Scorpio) as well as being more emotionally detached and freedom-loving (Aquarius.) This example would probably result in someone who is less intense and jealous than a more-typical Scorpion would be (Aquarius Moon or Ascendant’s modification of the Scorpio Sun), yet more intense and jealous than we would tend to expect in someone with an Aquarius Moon or Ascendant (due to the Scorpion Sun’s influence on the Aquarian Moon or Ascendant.)

So: have I ever done a chart for anyone who has then said to me, “This is way off. None of this is remotely like me at all”? No. That’s right. Not one person has ever told me their chart was nothing like them. In fact, most people are surprised at how much of it is accurate. I would guesstimate that any given natal chart is about 80 percent accurate, give or take 5 percent.

However, I remember exactly one natal chart I constructed where I knew the person like the back of my hand. I read through it two or three times and still couldn’t believe it: about 90 percent of what was in their chart was inaccurate. I knew with absolute certainty I had an exact, correct time, date, and place of birth. Yet, there it was staring me in the face. The majority of what was in that chart couldn’t possibly have been more off base. There were a few things that rang true, but so much of it was wrong that it might as well have been someone else’s natal chart. It was the chart of my now-deceased Sadge first ex-husband and father of my three children. I can’t explain it to this day. 

What if you do my chart and it’s all wrong? Do I get a refund?
Oooh…no. Sorry. A lot of work goes into constructing and interpreting a chart. There are too many people who could take advantage of a money-back guarantee and I would have no way to know whether it was truly all wrong or not; furthermore, if it really was that far off base, I would have no way of knowing if it was because I was given incorrect information to work with (whether intentionally or not.) That being the case, I don’t offer refunds. When a client requests a chart, they should go into it with the understanding that I don’t claim everything in it will be 100 percent spot-on; that’s simply impossible and if any astrologer claims otherwise, don’t you dare believe them.

Still have unanswered questions? Need further clarification on any of the above? Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com.

                                                                                                             

The Seventh House: Just The Two Of Us

7th HouseTraditionally known as the House of Marriage, the Seventh House encompasses much more than holy matrimony. We’re talking about all kinds of relationships (romantic, friendships, business) and partnerships. Who you are in a relationship/partnership. Are you happiest as one-half of a twosome, or do you prefer to fly solo? Will you marry more than once…or not at all? The Seventh House also touches on the subjects of open enemies or rivals, contracts, litigation/legal matters, and business associations.

On the cusp of the Seventh House is the Descendant, which as the term implies, is the opposite of the Ascendant on the First House cusp. While the Ascendant tells us how we are perceived by others, the Descendant reveals how we perceive others; how we behave towards them.

Let’s suppose that as you sit looking at your natal chart, you see a big fat bunch of nothing in the Seventh House. With the exception of some cobwebs, it’s completely empty. No planets, asteroids, nodes…nothing; not a damn thing. It couldn’t be any more vacant. You begin to fret, and a wave of hopelessness washes over you. Oh my GOD, you wonder, if I’m taken to court and sued for everything I’ve got, am I doomed? Or perhaps more disturbing, Does this mean I’ll never marry, I’m just gonna die alone?

partnerships

There, there (this is the part where I gently and reassuringly put my arm around you.) It doesn’t mean any of that. As I’ve discussed previously (and like a proverbial broken record, will discuss again in each upcoming article about the remaining five Houses), there are ten planets (counting the Sun and Moon) and twelve Houses. Everyone is going to have at least two empties, and most people will have more than that. It’s like saying that if your Second House of Money and Possessions is empty that you’ll never own anything or have any money, or that if your Fourth House of Home is empty, that you’ll be homeless. An empty Seventh House could indicate a couple of things. If you’re lucky, it might mean that the life areas governed by the Seventh House are naturally so well-ordered that you have no need to expend much energy focusing on them…yay for you (and pfft…must be nice!) Or it could indicate that these issues aren’t your primary concern in life. It doesn’t mean they don’t matter at all to you, it just means you might be primarily concerned with other areas in your life. An empty Seventh House is interpreted by looking at the sign by which it is ruled in your natal chart — which also happens to be the Descendant — as well as its natural ruler, which is Libra. Examining the traits of these signs can reveal the manner in which you approach partnerships and relationships.

But for now, let’s take a look at how each individual planet’s placement is interpreted when in the Seventh House.

Sun in the Seventh House
A Sun-in-Seventh individual doesn’t feel complete unless they have a partner. They need to be liked and are highly sensitive to rejection. There is a tendency for solar Seventh House folks to base their identities on other people’s opinions of them, and the lesson here is for the native not to allow what others think to define who they are. The Seventh-House-Sun is a chronic people-pleaser who will bend over backward to gain the approval of others. An example of how this tendency might manifest on a personal level would be a woman who is in a relationship but isn’t really ready for sex yet does it anyway, lest her suitor reject her or dislike her if she refuses (yeah, if he did, she would be better off without the loathesome son-of-a-bitch anyway, but that’s not the issue here.) The solar Seventh House native is charming and usually will have a successful, long-term/til-death marriage (although it might not happen on the first try, or even the second or third, but it does eventually tend to happen), and they have a respectable amount luck in legal proceedings or litigation.

Moon in the Seventh House
This one is definitely a pack animal who can’t begin to imagine doing things alone. Table for one at the local eatery? Why, that’s needywomanpreposterous. One ticket for the matinee movie? Won’t happen with this one. A Moon-in-Seventh needs someone around for emotional support, or even just to get out of the house with. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for the Seventh House lunar native to go through several relationships, each time confidently declaring that “this is definitely The One!” to such a point that folks around them, upon hearing this for the fourteenth time, are just kind of like “uh huh…that’s nice.” This is due in no small part to a marked fear of being alone coupled with a belief that any partner is better than no partner, thus they will remain in an unfulfilling or unhappy relationship way too long. Without a partner, a Seventh-House-Moon feels insecure, anxious, and incomplete. Female relationships play a big role with this one, whether the native is male or female, for they are quite influential, particularly when it comes to emotional support.

Mercury in the Seventh House
It’s hard as hell for a Mercury-in-Seventh to make a decision. Why? Because the natural ruler of the Seventh House is Libra…the sign which is infamous for hesitating, vacillating, and enduring self-imposed torture by the most trivial decisions (credit or debit, paper or plastic, soup or salad…it’s truly excruciating to watch.)  But they do love to bounce ideas off others and engage in debates, which helps them to gain more insight into their own thoughts and therefore come to conclusions a bit more easily. This one is often in the position of devil’s advocate, partly because they are gifted at seeing both sides of a situation. Chatty Mercury never lacks for stimulating conversation to contribute to a relationship and they require a lot of communication in return from a partner, be it romantic or otherwise. This one also enjoys hearing the thoughts and opinions of others in matters of partnerships. They love few things more than analyzing their own marriage or relationship and the Seventh-House-Mercurian needs an equally communicative partner who enjoys dissecting and examining the guts of their relationship as much as they do. Furthermore, with this interest in analyzing relationships as well as the aforementioned ability to see both sides of a coin, this one makes an excellent marriage counselor or legal mediator.  Romantic partners are frequently met via some method of communication; this could be anything from being introduced to one another over the phone, an online chat room, connecting on a social media website such as Facebook or Twitter, or even through written letters (do people still write letters?)

Venus in the Seventh House
A Seventh-House-Venusian lives and breathes relationships. Harmony is extremely important to this one; therefore they will go out of their way to ensure their relationship remains as peaceful as possible. However, this can result in the native being a virtual doormat for their partner. A Venus-in-Seventh native is usually strikingly attractive and they tend to marry either an equally good-looking individual or someone who is quite wealthy (which, to the native, is pretty attractive as there is sometimes a tendency toward being shallow or materialistic.) The native might also tend to overindulge once settled in a committed relationship, essentially becoming too comfortable and letting themselves go; i.e., gaining weight or paying less attention to their personal appearance. Because the Seventh-House-Venusian is in love with love, they tend to jump into relationships simply for the sake of being in a relationship, only to discover that — d’oh! — they weren’t as prepared as they might have first thought for the issues which come with being in a committed relationship, or that — d’oh! d’oh! — they don’t even really like their partner all that much. I have an Aquarian hippie friend with this Venus placement. While it’s true he’s quite attractive, he has yet to marry, aside from a long-term live-in relationship which was rather turbulent, to put it mildly. However, when single, he would frequently sigh as he lamented, “I need to find a girlfriend.” As much as he has always insisted that due to his whatever’s-clever Aquarian Sun he has this superpower which allows him to remain emotionally detached, not only does his Venus in Pisces (the sign infamous for denial/avoidance of reality) tell another story, but its placement in his Seventh House reveals even more of the truth. And it is my third-party opinion that he does tend to settle, simply for the sake of being in a relationship. This isn’t to imply that he doesn’t truly love a partner — and he does in fact have a lovely live-in Aquarian girlfriend whom he clearly adores, and by no means am I inferring that he settled for her — but that being said, from my vantage point, it certainly appears that he chose her somewhat hastily because of his Venus-in-Seventh need to be in a romantic relationship. This doesn’t mean they won’t ultimately stay together, but their initial decision to commit and rapid subsequent decision to shack up was definitely abrupt from where I’m sitting. Jussayin’…

violenceMars in the Seventh House
The Martian energy is intense with this placement and the native requires a challenging partner. The Mars-in-Seventh individual is turned off by a yes-man/woman; they want you to argue with them when you disagree with them. They have zero respect for a partner who lacks a backbone.  As a result, the native tends to gravitate toward partners who stir their aggression and this means there are arguments aplenty in their personal relationships. Seventh-House-Martians are also notorious for lacking empathy, or the ability to see a situation from a partner’s viewpoint, almost as though they actually do possess the ability to empathize, but they flatly refuse to do so. A propensity toward physical altercations with partners and/or domestic violence is unfortunatey common with this placement as well. Making sure to keep an active, busy life will help release some of this Martian energy and reduce the frequency of clashes in the relationship. The Seventh-House-Martian must master their ability to compromise if they hope to ever have a harmonious relationship. The native often marries or commits to a long-term relationship relatively early in life. My now-deceased Sadge first husband had Mars in his Seventh House. We began our nine-year relationship when he was barely 20. Surprisingly, we rarely fought but on the few occasions when we did, oh sweet lord, we really went all out. Furniture threw, as did other household items, shoving, hitting, scratching, hair-pulling, kicking. The works. He brought that out in me, and if he was alive today, he would readily testify that I was quite skilled at bringing out his aggression as well, and that’s absolutely true. I knew exactly which of his buttons to push, he knew which of mine to push…and push each other’s buttons we most certainly did. So although I was by no means an abused wife, we had our fair share of physical fights (in which, as I just explained, I fought right back. After all, I am an Aries. I’m naturally Mars-ruled. Recognize.)

Jupiter in the Seventh House
When the planet of luck and abundance is in the Seventh House of marriage and partnerships, we have a native who truly believes in fair play. The Seventh-House-Jupiter native is usually quite fortunate in legal matters and litigation, and they make outstanding mediators. Partnerships are more often successful than not, and the native’s natural charm effortlessly wins the approval of others. But the danger here is for the Jupiter-in-Seventh person to get a bit too comfortable with their luck, only for this overconfidence to come back to bite them in the ass (remember: wherever Jupiter is in the natal chart is the area of life in which we feel most confident.) Abundance in the House of marriage can sometimes also indicate a literal abundance of marriages. Jupiter is ruled by Sagittarius, which is the sign of the philosopher, the long-distance traveler, and the knowledge-seeker, and the native’s marital partner could be someone who hails from another country, a completely different background, or who is fairly well-off. Sweet!

Saturn in the Seventh House
And here’s the schoolyard bully of planets, back to beat us without mercy, kick us when we’re down, and steal our lunch money independent the Seventh House of marriage, partnerships, and legal issues. Saturn’s speed-bump effect here can delay marriage until later than other folks, with the native often not marrying or committing long-term until they are at least well into their late twenties to early thirties. Marriages occurring earlier than this with this placement almost always fail. You’re right, that is a bold statement but it’s an honest-to-goodness pattern among Seventh-House-Saturnians…and bear in mind, I didn’t say they always fail, I said almost always. To the tune of close to nine out of ten times, in fact. The Saturn-in-Seventh native often marries or commits long-term to a partner who is four to eight years older than they are, and the partner is frequently a dependable, responsible type, often someone with an earth Sun sign such as Capricorn, Virgo, or Taurus. The native might be drawn to this partner for financial security which can come back to haunt them if/when the partner ends the marriage/relationship; or if Saturn happens to be well-aspected in the Seventh House, it can motivate the native themselves to become more dependable and responsible as a result of the marriage. My now-deceased Cancer second husband had this Saturn placement. When we began our relationship, he was 20 and I was 24. We married four years later, when he was 24 and I was 28, and we separated three years after that. By his own admission, he found our relationship and marriage made him feel quite secure, both emotionally and financially. Although there was a period of a few years in which my then-hubby was highly self-motivated, even holding down two jobs just so he could put one entire paycheck into a savings account while contributing the other paycheck to our household,  more often than not, I was the sole breadwinner and when I filed for divorce, he didn’t have two dimes to rub together because he had become so dependent upon me.

Young enough to be his granddaughter?

Young enough to be his granddaughter?

Uranus in the Seventh House
Unorthodox Uranus in the Seventh House of marriage and partnerships often gives a native who is a confirmed bachelor/bachelorette. If they do commit long-term or eventually marry, I promise you there will be something unusual about the relationship or the partner. They might marry someone with a significant age difference (by significant, I mean a partner who is at least old enough to be the native’s parent or young enough to be the native’s child.) Perhaps the Uranus-in-Seventh marries an eccentric individual or one who is just perceived as strange for whatever reason. Whatever the case may be, something will be unconventional about the situation. In fact, if the marriage or relationship is not bizarre in some way, it will not work. End of story. The Seventh-House-Uranian places enormous value on friendship; therefore, they do not want to simply be their partner’s lover, but their buddy as well. This is mandatory if the relationship is to succeed.

Neptune in the Seventh House

"But deep down he's a really good person, and he says he loves me..."

“But deep down he’s a really good person, and he says he loves me…”


Oh good lord, here we go again with Neptune, seeing what they want to see in the Seventh House. What this translates to is a native who could be married to or in a relationship with a complete douche or a miserable bitch, but bless Neptune’s rose-colored heart, they will gloss that right over and refuse to acknowledge their partner for the drug-addicted, drunken, verbally/physically abusive, polygamist, con artist, lowlife, deadbeat criminal they actually are. Either that or the native will make excuses for how poorly treated they are by their partner, or even if they are just an unlikeable a-hole in general. This placement is a textbook example of an abused, co-dependent spouse who stays with their abuser either because they believe they can change them if only they could uncover the wonderful, loving human being they just know is lurking in there somewhere behind the veil of this worthless bastard, or they will put a spin on their circumstances in an attempt to justify their partner’s behavior and the fact that they remain in a negative or even potentially harmful situation. Because of their sensitivity, the Seventh-House-Neptune individual makes a great counselor or therapist. They can go too far, however, absorbing the problems of another as if they were the native’s own, and feeling responsible for fixing everything or solving that person’s issue for them.

Pluto in the Seventh House
The planet of extremes in the Seventh House of marriage and partnerships brings an unparalleled intensity to a relationship. Very often, a native will find that they are in a love-hate relationship. It definitely doesn’t lack for passion, but the Pluto-in-Seventh should be careful that what they are experiencing is in fact passion, rather than just a fancy word for drama. Wherever we find Pluto in the natal chart indicates the life area in which we seek truth and meaning. This intense planet in the Seventh House also brings with it changes, obsessions, distrust, paranoia, and power struggles to marriages or partnerships. The native’s behavior in a relationship frequently brings out the worst qualities in their partner, such as jealousy, possessiveness, and obsessiveness. A Seventh-House-Pluto often feels trapped in a relationship, yet has a simultaneous craving for a partner to possess them completely. The lesson for the native here is to recognize their tendency to provoke a partner’s anger and defensiveness by lashing out because of their own deeply-rooted fears of betrayal, and to ultimately realize that not everyone is hiding something or otherwise betraying them in some way.

The Sixth House: Serve The Servants

The appropriate question here isn’t “what is covered by the Sixth House?” It’s “what isn’t covered by the Sixth House?”

sixthhouse

Here’s the thing: the Sixth House covers a vast array of life areas, all of which are intertwined. It deals with the hours in your day and how you tend to spend them. Your health is governed by this House. It reveals the kind of work to which you’re drawn — but not necessarily your career (we’ll talk specifically about career in the Tenth House.) This House is about your daily rhythm. Service to others. Volunteer work. Productivity. Exercise. Hobbies. How you handle physical limitations.

Virgo is the natural ruler of the Sixth House and the Virgin ideals are governed by this House. “What,” you might ask, “are the Virgin ideals?” Well, for the answers let’s take a look at the sign of Virgo. Hard-working, dedicated, detail-oriented, health-and fitness-minded, and always willing to help another. Hence, service to others, your general health, and everything that falls under that Virgo umbrella will be examined in the Sixth House.

So you’re looking at your natal chart and wouldn’t you know it: your Sixth House is completely empty. You squint and study it, but you’ll be damned if you can find a planet, asteroid, or node anywhere. With the exception of an occasional cricket chirping, you’ve got nothin’. Does this make you a selfish, lazy couch potato whose only hobby will ever be being a selfish, lazy couch potato? Of course not. Okay, then it must mean your health is less than stellar, you haven’t been productive since…well, ever, and the most strenuous exercise you get comes from changing the batteries in your remote or a trip to the bathroom or the fridge? Sorry, wrong again. As I’ve previously discussed in the preceding House articles, an empty House is gonna happen…in everyone’s chart. It’s inevitable: there are ten planets (in astrology, the Sun and Moon count as planets) and twelve Houses. Would you like me to do the math for you or do you see where I’m going with this? Not only will everyone have at least two empty Houses (meaning devoid of any nodes, planets, asteroids, etc.), it’s very likely that you’ll have more than two.

A vacant Sixth House can be interpreted in a number of ways. It can mean something as simple as the areas of life governed here don’t happen to be priorities for you in your day to day life. This isn’t to say that hard work, health and fitness, or helping others doesn’t matter to you. In fact, for example, you might even be a dedicated volunteer worker on a regular basis. It might just infer that those things aren’t your primary life focus. And that’s not a bad thing. Another possibility is that these areas of your life are already so well-ordered that you don’t need to expend a lot of energy on them. Definitely not a bad thing!

We can also look at the natural ruler of the Sixth House — in this case, Virgo — and examine the qualities associated with that sign to see how they apply to the way you handle issues covered by this House. Furthermore, we would examine the ruler of the Sixth House in your own natal chart and its qualities, which are also indicators of your approach to these areas of your life.

So for those of us who do have a planet or two hanging around in the Sixth House, let’s read on and see what their placements in the House of Service and Health mean on a personal level.

productiveSun in the Sixth House
I’ve said it to death and — that’s right — I’m gonna say it again now: wherever the Sun is in your natal chart is where you feel a need to shine. The Sun’s influence in the Sixth House of Service and Health gives a native whose identity, for all intents and purposes, is tied directly to the type of work they are drawn to as well as what they are able to do to help others. A Sun-in-Sixth reaps great joy and gratification from being productive, to feel as though they’ve accomplished something and made a difference in some way. The Sun doesn’t like to be the subordinate, and they perform at their peak when they aren’t slaves to a schedule. There is a tendency here for the Sixth-House-Sun to connect their self-worth to the amount of praise and accolades they receive for the work they do…and to be hypersensitive when receiving criticism (whether or not it’s constructive.) There is often a weakness related to physical health in an individual with this Sun placement that must be overcome. Yeah, you’re right: that is a pretty broad statement. Let’s look at a few of a multitude of possible examples of what to this might refer: a congenital disorder such as cerebral palsy, chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis, or perhaps having to re-learn to physically function after an accident. A dyed-in-the-wool perfectionist, the Solar-Sixth-House native pays sharp attention to detail and this often leads to excellent job opportunities with loads of responsibilities; after all, with their love of detail and enviable ability to keep a cool head when it comes to deadlines or other crises, they are definitely the right person for the job. I have an Aquarian hippie friend with this Sun placement. He will wither away in angst if he is unable to work; furthermore, he is in a profession where he is able to set his own schedule (to a point) and he’s not the subordinate. He’s beyond detail-oriented, well into OCD territory, and he is probably the best in his profession, at least in his area. Know what else? He knows it. And he doesn’t take kindly to criticism regarding his work (no matter what he says!)

Moon in the Sixth House
When we take a sensitive, nurturing Moon and place it in the House that governs health and service to others, we have someone who has an emotional need to help others, to be productive, and to be healthy. They truly need this for their livelihood. This one’s health will suffer if they are stifled or unable to get out and contribute in some way. Even if it’s something as simple as volunteering in their child’s classroom, or walking dogs at the local humane society, that’s fine. They need something, anything to keep them feeling useful. The emotions of a Lunar-Sixth-House native are directly tied to their health. This one is likely to have a nervous stomach, feel nauseous, or develop wicked headaches when they are stressing over a problem. Their negative emotions, particularly the most extreme ones, will manifest physically, almost always. Luckily, the opposite is also true: when the native is able to keep stress at a minimum and be in a more positive emotional mindset, it shows physically because they are more energetic and feel better. But isn’t that true for everyone? you ask, to which my answer is: actually, no — it’s not. In fact, this Lunar placement often results in a hypochondriac native, or possibly someone who will exaggerate — or even feign — illness for attention and sympathy. Ever heard of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy? That refers to folks, often a parent, who will deliberately harm their own children or make them sick so the parent themselves can get sympathy. (Sick, sick, sick. I refer you to the case of Marybeth Tinning, who systematically murdered all of her children over a period of many years for that reason.) Well, there is a related disorder called Munchausen Syndrome, in which a person will fabricate or create an illness or injury in themselves for that same attention. Many Munchausen sufferers have this Moon placement, including a former girlfriend of one of my second ex-husband. She exaggerated and downright faked a potpourri of conditions: from black eyes and broken bones (claiming beatings that never took place–the “black eye” was poorly applied makeup, a perfect solid black circle around the entire eye area) all the way to claiming she was being medi-flighted to a major hospital due to a pancreatic condition. We checked out her many tales, none of which ever proved to have a single shred of validity. But it’s not all bad with this Moon placement. The native genuinely enjoys helping others, even trying to fix what can’t be fixed. They feel a responsibility to make everything better for their loved ones, which others often find quite frustrating as they might not want to be “fixed” or “changed.”

monicacleaningMercury in the Sixth House
When the planet of communication is in the House of service and health, we have a native with an Energizer Bunny-esque mind that just keeps going and going and going…which can understandably cause them to be perceived as somewhat antsy, and that is a fairly accurate assumption. A Sixth-House-Mercurian is so detail-oriented, what with their endless list-making and their hyper-organizing, and their endless lists about organizing and organizing all the lists they make about organizing, that they frequently forget to step back and look at the big picture. This one is extremely helpful and loves to dish out advice, make arrangements, and plan everything to a tee. When I think of someone who might have this Mercury placement, my mind goes straight to Monica Geller, the OCD neat freak from the hit TV sitcom Friends (1994-2004) who was portrayed spot-on beautifully by Courteney Cox. (Remember when she planned Phoebe’s wedding? She went so far as to not allow the groom to use the restroom until a certain time, as it didn’t fit in with her rehearsal dinner agenda.) Because of this sometimes-unhealthy attention to detail, a Mercury-in-Sixth individual will notice little twinges and aches that most other folks would never think twice about, and this can lead to some degree of hypochondria. These natives work well with their hands and are often mechanically inclined. My now-deceased second ex-husband was a Sixth-House-Mercurian. Although he was no Monica Geller, he was a stickler about having things organized (even if he didn’t actually do the organizing), and everything we embarked upon had to have a plan attached to it, away from which he could not stand to stray. And a hypochondriac he most certainly was. He would mention the most random, weird twinges and blow them up to such an extent that he would declare it must be a symptom of some mysterious ailment that would ultimately result in his premature demise. Needless to say, he frequently did come across as having a nervous temperament: everything was an emergency with him.

Venus in the Sixth House
Venus, planet of love and pleasure and all things beautiful, gives a person with a Sixth House Venus a deep desire to do anything they can to help make their partner’s life easier. They express love in a helpful, practical way. This one will drop everything to be available at their partner’s beck and call, which can make them an easy target to be taken advantage of by their beloved. They especially enjoy doing the little things that show love, be it lovingly and cheerfully folding and putting away their laundry or knocking themselves out to make a favorite dinner, and far too often they will find that the reciprocity from their mate is just not there. Doesn’t matter. The Sixth-House-Venusian will continue to do so, as if they are trying to ensure that their partner will come to depend upon and need them; therefore, never leave them. The lesson here is for the native to realize these things, while incredibly thoughtful and admirable, ultimately mean nothing if they go unappreciated. They will be better off seeking out a partner who will not only appreciate their loving, giving nature and willingness to serve as well as treat them the same in return.

Mars in the Sixth House
Action-oriented Mars in the Sixth House of service and health results in a person who will frequently work themselves ’til near collapse. imagesCAEDDXWKThis one works best individually, as they quickly become impatient if, when working as part of a team, other folks are dragging their feet or otherwise not keeping up with the frenetic Sixth-House-Martian pace; they’re the ones who will push the slowpoke out of the way and say with obvious exasperation, “here, I’ll do it.” They are superb organizers, analyzers, and planners, and they have zero tolerance for procrastination. The native throws all their energy into a project and are quick to take offense at any criticism of their work or any suggestions given as to how it might be improved upon. Mars-in-Sixth puts forth a great deal of hard work, sweat, and toil into a project and expects (demands) the same from everyone else involved, yet when the time comes to get credit for the finished result, the Sixth-House-Martian has no qualms whatsoever about taking most, if not all of the kudos. The lesson here is to learn to suck it up and share the credit, especially when everyone else contributed as just fully as they did. The native might be surprised to discover that when they pat their colleagues on the back and point out the significant contribution they made, it also makes the native himself/herself look good as gold, secure enough in their own right that they are able to readily acknowledge the hard work put forth by others.

Jupiter in the Sixth Houseovereating
Jupiter is abundance, and the Sixth House covers, among other things, health. Here we have a native with a marked tendency toward overindulgence in fatty foods which you don’t need an astrologer to point out can cause them a lot of heartache (no pun intended) down the road. Jupiter-in-Sixth is an honest individual, especially in matters related to serving others. They usually feel rather lucky (wherever Jupiter is, we feel lucky) to have what they have, and they share generously with those less fortunate. A problem here is that the native themselves is honest and trustworthy and assume others are the same way…sadly, that’s not the way the world always works, and this one could find themselves scammed by someone’s hard luck story. If a Sixth-House-Jupiter should ever win the lottery, they need to remain anonymous; otherwise, long-lost relatives, “friends,” and even strangers will come out of the woodwork to prey on the native’s generosity, which the native finds difficult to ignore. So then what happens? Lottery winnings gone faster than you can say “sucker.” While luck easily comes to the native when job searching, this one is at their best in a position in which they get to move around quite a bit (Jupiter rules the legs.) The native’s coworkers are usually fairly easy-going, and frequently come from other countries.

Saturn in the Sixth House
Remember, the Sixth House governs how you work and your working environment, not your career (that’s the Tenth House.) Wherever Saturn is in the natal chart, it places obstacles and limitations, as it’s the “schoolyard bully” planet of the solar system. In the Sixth House, this frequently manifests as difficulty seeing much on-the-job success or not earning as much money as one should for several years after beginning work. This in turn leads to frustration, the native will go in search of something better, and the cycle starts all over again. A Sixth-House-Saturnian will often decide to go into business for themselves for that very reason. The native is a hard worker, highly organized, and despite the numerous setbacks, they will at least take away a lesson from their experience when they eventually get there: they will wisely invest and save every penny they worked extra hard to earn because after all, who wants to go through that bullshit again?

Uranus in the Sixth House
Eccentric Uranus in the Sixth House of service and health gives a native who absolutely detests being hovered over by an authority figure while they work. They also cannot stand adhering to a typical 8-to-5 work schedule and require much more freedom in a job. The ideas presented by the native at work are usually viewed as either ridiculous, insane, or pure genius (remember that fine line between genius and madness?) The native’s work area is in all likelihood a sty because turning the daily mundane into something creative and different is more of a priority. Those with this Uranus placement can expect to quit or get fired more often than most, and no doubt the native sees their coworkers as complete imbeciles. As an employee, it is guaranteed that this one will say things that shock (and sometimes appall) their coworkers, at least from time to time. Others aren’t always sure how to take a Uranus-in-Sixth. The native excels in unusual lines of work (duh) and/or any field involving technology and innovation. In health issues, this one is usually pretty well-read on the latest advancements in medicine but even so, they still have their own more unorthodox views about health and fitness.

tiredworkNeptune in the Sixth House
Sensitive Neptune in the Sixth House of Service and Health gives a native who seems to be surrounded by way too many psychic vampires on the job. What this means, for those of you who have never heard that term, is a person who is absolutely emotionally or mentally draining to be around. And these spirit suckers are all-too-quick to sap the life energy from the unsuspecting, yet tenderhearted Neptune-in-Sixth, who frequently finds themselves being taken advantage of because of their nature to help anyone who needs it. This one is also a procrastinator, often putting off important tasks ’til the last possible minute as if they secretly hope that the longer they wait, the more likely the dreaded task will magically disappear (hint: it won’t.) A Sixth-House-Neptune person tends to have strange ailments that are difficult to diagnose, along with allergies and sensitivities to certain drugs. Alternative or homeopathic remedies are of great interest to the native, and many have an extreme soft spot for animals.

Pluto in the Sixth House
The native with Pluto, planet of extremes and obsessions, in the Sixth House of service and health requires a job with a fairly high degree of intensity. Something they are passionate about; so much so, this one probably brings their work home with them (both figuratively and literally.) Depending on other aspects in the natal chart, violence from coworkers or others with whom the native comes in contact as part of their job is more likely with this Pluto placement. Furthermore, their work often deals on some level with beginnings or endings. This could be anything from the more literal examples of midwife (birth) to funeral director (obviously, death.) It can also represent careers that deal with more figurative beginnings and endings such as divorce lawyer or sanitation worker. In any event, power struggles on the job are commonplace here. This one is a truth-seeker by nature and they thrive in jobs involving research or detective work. A Pluto-in-Sixth is often instinctively drawn to homeopathic remedies before traditional medicine.

The Fifth House: Party Up

5th-house-243x135You’re gonna love it here. The Fifth astrological House governs the activities and areas of life that most of us would consider to be fun or enjoyable. This would cover creativity, celebrations, holidays, gambling, passion, romance, sex, games, amusement, kids, and also represents what kind of parent you are if you have children. Some astrologers believe the Fifth House also governs the father/father figure, although that is up for debate and my personal stance on the matter is that dear ol’ dad is represented more in the Fourth House. It reveals how you express yourself creatively; for example, are you a painter or do you write poetry? Or maybe the proverbial cat has got your creative tongue so to speak, and you don’t really express yourself in an overtly-creative way; it’ll clue us in on that as well.

The Fifth House’s natural ruler is the spotlight-hogging sign of Leo, a proud, fun-loving fire sign. If you are looking at your Fifth House and it is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes with nary a tumbleweed blowing through, it doesn’t indicate that you are a stick-in-the-mud dullard who can count on having a life sans excitement, entertainment, creativity, or sex (good GOD no!) It also doesn’t imply that your womb is dusty or that your testicles merely serve as decoration, destined for an infertile life, never to procreate and produce your very own young hellions or mini-yous. Remember: there are ten planets and twelve Houses (in astrology, the Sun and Moon count as planets.) There will be at least two empty Houses in everyone’s natal chart, and more often than not, more than two empties. In such a case, we can interpret the Fifth House’s meaning in your life by examining the qualities of its natural ruler, Leo, as well as the meaning of which sign rules the Fifth House in your own chart. As mentioned above, Leo is a fire sign and it is associated with traits such as pride, attention-seeking, egoism, and generosity, just to name a few. In an empty Fifth House, this can be translated in a nutshell to mean the native loves to throw extravagant parties, sparing no expense, or host huge holiday bashes, as they are very generous and always on the lookout for ways to let themselves shine. Conversely, an empty Fifth House could indicate that the life areas governed here simply aren’t a major focus for you. You might genuinely enjoy a friendly get-together or be a doting, devoted parent, but its not your main focus.

Other questions that can be answered by examining what is — or isn’t — in your Fifth House include in what way (or whether) you outwardly express your happiness, how you approach sex and romance (but not marriage, which is governed by the Seventh House of partnerships), and the way in which you are inspired by any of the Fifth House-ruled areas of your life.

So let’s take a look at the influence of each planet when its placement is in the Fifth House of fun and creativity.

2048299_origSun in the Fifth House
The Sun, planet of self and self-image, is where we shine. When its placement is in the Fifth House of all things fun, the native will have a tendency to try and be the center of attention in a lot of areas; for instance, as described earlier, by throwing over-the-top parties or anything that will grab attention. This individual is very competitive and their ego massive, and this is an ideal placement for anyone who is athletic or in the performing arts. That said, the Fifth-House-Sun can sometimes hog too much of the spotlight and because of their desire to stand out and to be numero uno in everything they do, their ego is easily bruised and when they don’t win they can become quite pouty and huffy, resulting in the (often accurate) perception that they are a sore loser. Even so, a Sun-in-Fifth native is generally cheerful and optimistic, which wins them attention. They are pretty original in their self-expression, which contributes to their sunny disposition. For this one, expressing themselves creatively is tied directly to an artistic interest (anything from poetry to acting to doodling) as well as to sex and romance, and they are probably up for almost anything in the bedroom. Children are front and center in the native’s life with this placement, be it their own little minions, nieces or nephews; perhaps even their students if the native is a teacher.

Moon in the Fifth House
The Moon is an emotional, nurturing planet that is prone to bouts of moodiness. In the Fifth House of fun, it gives an individual who loves sharing their innermost emotions with those close to them, often through poetry or some form of art. They typically take great pleasure in creating something for their loved ones; for example, they might build a piece of furniture as a gift, write a poem for their spouse, knit blankets for their children, or even paint a picture to present to someone. Whatever it is, it is a tangible symbol of the innermost feelings for those they care for. Although their approach to sex and romance is intense, the Moon’s influence here means their love affairs and sex lives ebb and flow like the tides, constantly changing. This doesn’t necessarily indicate that they will have multiple romantic partners; in fact, many times it just means the relationship in which they are involved undergoes more change than most, and that isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, these little changes can keep things new and fresh over the long-term. The native often feels like a child at heart or like they don’t want to grow up, and they have a particularly soft spot for children, regardless of to whom they belong. If the Moon is negatively aspected here, we will often see a Fifth-House-Moon who struggles with impulsive spending or a gambling addiction, or their romantic life might be unstable because of a tendency to seek happiness outwardly through a partner, which will never happen; the native’s lesson here is to realize — although they’ve heard it ad nauseam and it’s a tired cliche — that ultimately, they must look inwardly for happiness. This one can be overly dramatic and they are all but unable to quell their emotional responses to people or situations.

Mercury in the Fifth House
Planet of communication and short trips (ones not requiring an overnight stay), when Mercury is in the Fifth House of fun, the native Homer-Simpson-Pants-on-firetends to creatively express themselves using their voice or even in written communication. They are extremely witty and often have a talent for mimicry or impersonations, and this is a wonderful Fifth House placement for voice-over actors or comedians. They can be skilled liars as well (my apologies, but there’s no delicate way to put it) and have the ability to come up with some plausible stories, and life would be much easier for the rest of us if one’s pants actually did catch fire when being dishonest. This placement can also be indicative of someone who has more than one sex/romantic partner at once; therefore, that talent for lying and spinning believable tales can be invaluable when crafting an alibi. The native tends to bite off more than they can chew, resulting in promises that are ultimately unkept although malice is not usually intended in such instances. A Mercury-in-Fifth person must be first stimulated intellectually by a partner/potential partner to have a sexual attraction to them. Simply put: if the partner is an idiot incapable of engaging in intelligent, witty conversation, sex is off the table. This is a curious individual and a great placement for a teacher, as they take pride in their own children’s (if they have any) intellectual abilities and they love to communicate creatively.

setupromanticdinnervalentinesday1Venus in the Fifth House
Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and pleasure and when combined with the Fifth House of fun, we have a person who is in love with love. Charm is what attracts them first and foremost in a mate. Crudeness or vulgarity is an instant turnoff here. They find immense joy when their surroundings are beautiful or lavish, and this often plays into their date night scenarios as well as their sexual rendezvouses, whether they are single or spoken-for. Venus-in-Fifth natives are extremely loyal in love and make great long-term romantic partners. They are warm and loving, and devoted beyond question. If they have any children, Fifth-House-Venusians are fun yet nurturing parents who they take great pride in their children, at least one of whom will be a little charmer. The native has an artistic bent along with exquisite taste, but has a propensity toward overindulgence in anything they find pleasurable, such as food, sex, shopping, or anything else they consider to be fun. The lesson here? Too much of anything isn’t a good thing.

Darts-Trophy-Room-1024x768Mars in the Fifth House
In the Fifth House of fun, Mars, planet of assertiveness and action, gives an individual who expresses and directs a great deal of their creative energy by way of competitive sports or games. The native probably has shelves filled with trophies and walls lined with medals and ribbons from just about any sport you could think of. The planet of action in the House that governs creativity, sex, self-expression, and anything fun equals an individual with energy to spare in any of the areas ruled by this House…and yup, that includes sex. They have energy to spare and will wear your ass out in the bedroom (so to speak) and you will never be bored (woohoo!) However, the native is impulsive in matters of sex and romance which can result in multiple love affairs, as well as adrenaline junkies who find anything with an element of risk irresistible. The unofficial Mars-in-Fifth motto is: it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, which sums up their impulsive nature quite nicely. If they have children, a Fifth-House-Martian is an active, involved parent whose children’s schedules are booked solid with a plethora of after-school and summertime activities and sports. My older son is a Mars-in-Fifth and while I can confirm that the unofficial motto above fits the boy to a tee and that he does love sports, having played on soccer and basketball teams in his school days as a young Sadge lad and still skateboards even today as a nearly-24 year-old man, we will just have to speculate (well, you will; I don’t want to) about his prowess and stamina behind the bedroom door. I won’t be hitting up my lovely Leo soon-to-be daughter in-law anytime soon for the scoop on that.

Jupiter in the Fifth House
Planet of luck and abundance, Jupiter expands whatever it touches. It also shows us in which area of our life we seem to attract luck. Jupiter in the Fifth House of all the fun things in life is indicative of someone who is seemingly insatiable, always wanting more, more, more. Jupiter’s “expansion” effect here means the native has unshakeable confidence in regard to everything this House governs: romance, sex, parties, celebrations, you name it. That isn’t all bad, but the Fifth House also covers gambling; therefore, this individual feels lucky and optimistic when it comes to wagers and takes more chances than someone else might take, which can (obviously) result in some pretty big losses. Any offspring of a Jupiter-in-Fifth will be pretty feisty but good-natured, particularly the first child or only child. The native expresses themselves boldly and oftentimes can be overbearing. They demostrate their confidence to such a degree that they are frequently perceived as egotistical…and that’s not wrong, as the ego in this one is ginormous. However, it’s important to note that Jupiter, if negatively aspected in the natal chart, can have a different influence on the native altogether.

Saturn in the Fifth House
Saturn, the planet that loves nothing more than to stick its figurative foot out in front of you so as to trip you, can make the areas of your life governed by the Fifth House of fun not so much fun at times. For example, Saturn doesn’t much care for spontaneity; therefore, the native probably doesn’t either. The native might be infamous for being a buzzkill or party pooper, which is no fun for the unfortunate romantic partner or buddy with whom they’re out on the town. Life is taken a tad too seriously by the Fifth-House-Saturnian, and they usually don’t prioritize anything enjoyable. They feel guilty for having a good time when they could be working or otherwise being productive. The lesson for the native with this Saturn placement is that the Universe will not implode if they let their hair down once in a while. Depending on how its aspected in the natal chart, another possible effect of Saturn in the Fifth House is social anxiety. There is a beneficial side to this House placement, however: patience. A Saturn-in-Fifth person has no problem taking their time when working on anything creative, and they are saints when it comes to children testing this patience (what’s it like to have patience?) Good thing: the kiddos of a Fifth-House-Saturnian, if they have any, often give their native parents more difficulty than usual.

Uranus in the Fifth House
Here’s a riddle: What do you get when you cross weird, strange, unusual, and eccentric with romance, sex, kids, and celebrations? Correct: a Fifth-House-Uranian! Uranus is the planet of individuality, eccentricity, and things that are just weird. When its placement is in the Fifth House, we have a native who loves, loves, loves to say or do things for shock value, just to get a reaction. Because the Fifth House governs sex and romance, you can count on teenage Uranus-in-Fifth to bring home some pretty bizarre dates or romantic partners. This one wants to be different solely for the sake of being different. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that if you are the parent of one of these young natives you should always expect the unexpected. The forward-thinking influence of Uranus also indicates that your teenage bundle of joy might be bringing home a romantic interest who is considerably older than they are, so consider yourself warned. Furthermore, the native can expect the same out of their children if and when they become parents. Any progeny of the native will likely also be remarkably intelligent yet unorthodox or eccentric. Are you familiar with the saying “there’s a thin line between genius and madness”? Whoever first uttered those words was probably talking about a Fifth-House-Uranian in their life. In any event, part of the Uranian influence is to bestow imaginative creativity and an enviable ability to easily adapt to different people and situations, which fits quite nicely in the House that covers romance, sex, parties, and anything else enjoyable.

Neptune in the Fifth House
Unless you have never before read my articles or you haven’t been paying attention, you are already aware of my feelings about cantseeNeptune. Its placement in the natal chart reveals where we are idealistic, where our dreams are. It’s also the rose-colored glasses-wearing-planet of denial, influencing us to see only what we want to see. In the Fifth House of things we enjoy including sex, gambling, romance, and kids, Neptune’s effect is to lend an imaginative bent to the personality. A Neptune-in-Fifth person wears those aforementioned rose-colored glasses when dreamily gazing at a romantic partner/potential partner which can result in a few possibilities. One, the native will gloss over any visible personality flaws, downplaying them nearly into nonexistence. For example: “So, she’s a convicted violent felon with a little meth problem. She committed that armed robbery more than five years ago but she had a good reason for doing it; and okay, so she’s a tweaker; at least she’s not a raging alcoholic, and she doesn’t even do it very often; I mean, once a day isn’t that bad, and after all, she does have a job, so what if it’s ten hours a week, it’s still something…” That’s a bit extreme, but you get the idea. Two, because this one only sees what they want to see, they might make more out of a sexual or romantic relationship than it actually is; for instance, while it’s painfully obvious to everyone else that the native’s other half is a lying, cheating douche, the native doesn’t (choose to) see it, and by avoiding this reality, they wind up staying way too long with someone with whom they aren’t truly happy. Now: take the same general idea from those two scenarios and apply it to everything governed by House Number Five. The Fifth-House-Neptune individual is a rescuer, so the more fucked up a love interest is, the better chance this one will be drawn to them like a magnet. The thing is though, the native needs this drama in their life, even if they don’t realize it, and even if they loudly declare their hatred of it from the eaves and the rooftops. Because Neptune governs orphanages, a Neptune-in-Fifth will frequently adopt a child. If they have biological children, you can bank on the oldest (or only child) frequently having their head in the clouds, daydreaming. My Cancer cusp man has this Neptune placement. He left his first wife only after denying to himself for well over a year that she was actually a “lying, cheating whore” (his words, not mine) who wasn’t in love with him. He didn’t want to believe it. Can you blame him? Although he “knew” (read: suspected) what was going on, it wasn’t until he got irrefutable evidence of her extramarital escapades (read: busted her in the act) that he was able to take off the rose-colored glasses and exit stage left.

Pluto in the Fifth House
You might remember from other House article that Pluto is a very intense planet of extremes. Wherever Pluto is placed in the natal chart shows us where in our life that there’s no halfway, no moderation of anything. It’s all or nothing, end of story. In the Fifth House of fun, which encompasses sex and romance, the native is usually either involved 100 percent with someone or completely uninvolved with anyone in any way whatsoever. Pluto encourages obsessive behavior wherever its placement is in the natal chart and when in the Fifth House, the native should be careful not to let themselves become obsessed with areas governed by this House. Examples include obsession with a romantic interest (stalker tendency here), gambling (for obvious reasons), and sex (I know, I know, but it really can become a problem if it spirals into a full-on addiction. Just ask David Duchovny.) It’s also possible, depending on aspects in the natal chart, that the native’s romantic interest could be the one who is prone to stalker-ish behavior, so they should be wary of this as well. As a parent, a Pluto-in-Fifth is intensely protective of their children, if there are any, and the firstborn (or only child) will either be a Scorpio or exhibit the traits of Scorpio — which, by the way, is Pluto-ruled. A Fifth-House-Pluto individual takes a deeply intense approach to fun and games, which yes, I realize using the word “intense” to describe fun and games sounds like a complete oxymoron. You’re right: it is. But this is a very passionate Pluto placement, and there is nothing half-assed about their approach to anything.

The Fourth House: Hi Honey, I’m Home!

homeRover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will…
But I’ll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere…
And I’ll redefine anywhere, anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home.  Metallica – Wherever I May Roam

Welcome to the Fourth House! Come on in ‘n set a spell and I’ll give you the grand tour. This House covers many areas of life, the most obvious of which being your actual physical home, your refuge from the world, where you hang your hat and kick back and relax in the comfort of your personal space.

But wait: there’s more! The Fourth House also governs our parents and parenting in general, particularly the parent who was the lesser influence although some astrologers believe the Fourth House parent represented here is strictly the mother or mother figure, while others insist it’s the father/father figure. My personal view is it’s often both. But if your mom was MIA for whatever reason in your early years, the mother figure referred to in this House could also represent dad. Additionally, it encompasses our ancestry, traditions, and how we behave behind closed doors.

The Moon, ruler of the nurturing sign of Cancer, is the Fourth House’s natural ruler. Therefore, this House reveals our early nurturing as inthewombyoung-uns, going all the way back to our days in the womb prior to our birth. At the other end of the spectrum, the Fourth House shows us how or where we might find ourselves in our twilight years. The emotional Moon which naturally governs this House will indicate how we react emotionally to situations beyond our control.

So let’s say you’re reading through your natal chart and Oh. My. God: your Fourth House is completely empty. Vacant. Not a planet, node, or even an asteroid to be found. What gives? Does this mean you are destined for homelessness or perhaps a life as the crazy cat lady with no family whatsoever with the exception of your extensive clowder of feline companions?

Calm down. There’s no cause for alarm here. As mentioned in my previous House articles, there are ten planets (the Sun and Moon count as planets in astrology) and twelve Houses. It doesn’t take a degree in mathematics to conclude that everyone on the planet will have a minimum of two completely empty Houses, and quite often there will be even more than two empty Houses. In the case of a vacant Fourth House, meaning it is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes, we would first take a look at which sign rules the Fourth House in your natal chart. For example, let’s assume you have an empty Fourth House which in your natal chart happens to be ruled by, say, Scorpio. We would then examine the qualities of a Scorpion, which include secretiveness, jealousy, possessiveness, highly sexual, and truth-seeking. Those qualities would be indicative of how you tend to approach Fourth House issues. In this hypothetical case, it might mean you were influenced more by the parent of the opposite sex, bucking tradition and rebelling against parts of your family life which you felt/feel don’t accurately represent who you are, and a strong desire to keep your family affairs private: there’s no airing of dirty family laundry with this one! While jealousy and grudges might have played or continue to play a big role in your home life, you are incredibly protective and will be the first to rush to the defense of any loved one who has been wronged in any way.

Alternatively, an empty Fourth House could mean that home and family life are not your top priorities in life. This isn’t to say you couldn’t care less about your family or your home, or any other issue governed by this House, it could be as simple as your home and family relationships are so perfectly harmonious that they don’t require your constant attention (although if Scorpio rules this House, the chances of complete harmony at home and/or with family are damn near nil.) Or it might indicate that you are more concerned with other areas in your life, such as your career or health.

Now, for those of us who do have planets here, let’s take a walk through the Fourth House and see how they affect you on a personal level.

fourthhouseSun in the Fourth House
Wherever the Sun is in the natal chart, it needs to shine. In the Fourth House, the Sun wants to be the decision-maker of the household and call all the shots. The Fourth House Sun individual insists on living in the most extravagant dwelling that finances allow and they love few things more than having friends or family over to bask in the glory of their abode. This one enjoys throwing parties and impromptu get-togethers simply for the thrill of showing off their home and everything in it. The native’s father was probably a very outgoing guy, unless there is an interfering aspect in the natal chart. A Fourth House Sun person might get off to a slow start in life but by later life they will usually find that their luck and prosperity increases and comes much easier than it did earlier on, but that fear of never having enough tends to linger due to that aforementioned slow start which is always in the backs of their minds. Family is of tantamount importance to the native, and they probably have a stronger-than-usual attachment to whichever parent was the primary caregiver in their childhood, regardless of whether the parent in question was loving and nurturing or nasty and hurtful.

Moon in the Fourth House
As I stated earlier in this article, the Moon is the natural ruler of the Fourth House, therefore it is exalted here. When the native is experiencing a bout of melancholy, they tend to hole up in their home, which is the equivalent of the figurative shell into which a Cancer (ruled by the Moon) reactively retreats when upset or depressed. The Fourth House Moon is prone to extreme mood swings with family beginning fairly early in life and often increasing in frequency and/or severity over the years. The native’s father or father figure was probably somewhat moody and in childhood, they likely felt as though they had to walk on eggshells around daddy, lest they trigger an emotional mood swing. This person prefers to live near the water, and either changes residences frequently or can often be found rearranging the furniture, sometimes to the chagrin of the rest of the family. In the instances where the Fourth House Moon moves often, it’s usually in an attempt to figure out where they belong, yet they inevitably (eventually) come to the realization that wherever they go, there they are. Whether male or female, the native frequently seeks out a partner who will mother them, as their actual mother/mother figure might not have been very emotionally demonstrative in her mothering.

Mercury in the Fourth House
Mercury is the planet of communication, and if you have this placement, ten bucks says that when you’re at home, you’ve got the TV or radio on, even if you’re not specifically watching or listening, simply for the background noise, even if you’re busy screwing around on the internet or even when you’re talking on the phone. Your dad/daddy figure was probably a nonstop talker or he was moving around a lot, perhaps for his career. As you enter midlife or later, you will likely find yourself writing or otherwise communicating more. Mercury is restless and a mover and this is yet another Fourth House placement that gives a native who packs up and moves more than the average person. Even if they don’t actually change physical residences, the home and family life are usually quite changeable. A Fourth House Mercurian’s ideal career would be anything involving travel, as this indulges their insatiable wanderlust. If Mercury is afflicted, the native probably won’t have children until they are well into their thirties or even forties, if they have children at all.

Venus in the Fourth House4house
Venus loves beauty and pleasure. When its placement is in the Fourth House, we’ll find the native has a quaint, cozy home that isn’t on the same grand show-offy scale as a Fourth House Sun’s home would be. This one has an uncanny knack for interior design with original, unique decor ideas and to them, indulging in items to adorn their charming little home is money well spent. The native’s father/father figure was likely a self-indulgent yet pleasant guy and the Fourth House Venusian’s childhood was probably a happy one. There is a tendency toward marked weight gain in a Fourth House Venusian, particularly as they advance in age. However, this Venus placement is actually a positive one overall, as family relationships, especially with parents, tend to be harmonious. The native doesn’t give their heart away easily but when they do, they really give it away and quickly become attached and emotionally dependent on their partner. Fourth House Venus is big on romance and they love spending a quiet evening at home with their significant other, sharing a simple dinner or cuddling on the couch enjoying a movie. In charts where Venus is afflicted, this could indicate divorce of the native’s parents or some other disruption of family life which the Fourth House Venusian doesn’t handle very well because by way of their peaceful nature, they shy away from conflict or discord of any kind.

Mars in the Fourth House
When Mars, the planet of assertiveness and aggression, is in the Fourth House of Home, this gives an individual who is extremely protective of their home and family. The native might have a tendency to swallow their anger, keeping it to themselves until one day — BAM! — every pent up emotion they have held inside comes at those unlucky enough to be around the native at the time. Alternatively, depending on other factors in their chart, their anger could manifest as passive-aggressiveness which really doesn’t do anyone involved any favors as it only serves to foster resentment.  The lesson here is for the Fourth House Martian to try and vent a little at a time rather than waiting for the inevitable full-on blow-up. The native probably didn’t/doesn’t get along too well with their father/father figure, who likely was/is an overbearing, aggressive guy and in some cases, perhaps even abusive, mentally and/or physically. Mars is an action-oriented planet and in their later years, the native will be still be running circles around others of similar age who are slowly getting from point A to point B by way of their Rascal scooters or being escorted through crosswalks by Boy Scouts.  Writer Robert Shanks once stated in American Astrology magazine that women with this Mars placement are unlikely to marry and if they do, more likely to divorce because the second they suspect any inkling of what they perceive to be male domination, they race for the door. I have this Mars placement and I’m twice-divorced, and not only am I the first one to admit I’m extremely passive-aggressive, I also hold things inside way too long and then I explode all over who happens to be nearest to me (usually my Cancer cusp man, the poor bastard; he’s almost always a saint about it because he knows how I am in that way.) My detached Virgo father would probably qualify as having been emotionally abusive to me, although I can promise you that was never his intent. I think he truly felt his incessant criticism of me and/or something I had done was to help me. Yeah, it didn’t really work out that way though.

wpid-senior-couple-sitting-on-the-beach.jpgJupiter in the Fourth House
Planet of luck and abundance, when Jupiter finds itself in the Fourth House of Home, this makes for one lucky son of a bitch. In childhood, they were either sans siblings or they were the favorite child, and the native will benefit in some way from their parents. They are the most likely to be ridiculously wealthy and retire to an extravagant Jupiter palace in an exotic locale at the ripe old age of 30. Even if they live alone, the native requires Jupiter Manor to be large, or at least have a lot of windows, and a beautiful view is a must because of a tendency toward claustrophobia. Fourth House Jupiter’s father was probably a pleasant enough guy but somewhat of a know-it-all. The native is generous and loves to be surrounded by friends and family at home and in fact, this one will likely have lots of children and/or grandchildren; if not, they will have otherwise enormous families, such as scores of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  If Jupiter is in retrograde in the natal chart, this will cause the individual to dwell too much on the past, kind of in a Pisces- or Cancer-esque fashion. Furthermore, any Jupiter affliction in the chart can bring issues with meddling in-laws to such a degree that it could create an irreparable marital rift. After you go to the Great Beyond, an afflicted Jupiter can also cause your will to be contested and/or your belongings to end up somewhere or with someone for whom you never intended.

Saturn in the Fourth House
Our favorite solar system bully, Saturn throws up obstacles and causes limitations wherever it appears in the natal chart. In the Fourth House of Home, the native probably felt unloved during childhood, whether or not they actually weren’t. They often don’t have a strong sense of ties to family because of instability in early family life, and it’s for that reason that this is another one that tends to move around a lot. Fourth House Saturn’s upbringing was probably fairly strict with rigid rules. A Fourth House Saturnian was likely forced to undertake adult responsibilities at a relatively young age, it’s most probable that their parents were either divorced or together and obviously miserable with one another. There are frequently negative family legacies related to racial issues or a country from which their ancestors hail. This is a person who doesn’t usually get settled in one place until midlife or later, as it takes them a while to establish roots anywhere. I have this Saturn placement, and while my parents were divorced when I was very young, my upbringing was not like anything that I would refer to as strict. I had clear boundaries (and often pushed them as far as possible, thanks to a rebellious Aries Sun) and though we only moved once during my childhood, I have been a frequent mover since the first day I set out on my own. Which brings up another point: I became a mother for the first time at the age of 17, so while my peers were going to the prom and studying for their SATs, I was living with my now-deceased Sagittarius first hubby in a one-bedroom apartment, struggling to make ends meet while expecting a baby. I wouldn’t say I felt unloved during my childhood, but I definitely felt like I was a disappointment and the family’s proverbial black sheep…and I still feel that way to this day. This is primarily due to having a hypercritical Virgo father, for whom nothing I did was good enough (“well, that’s not bad, but if you woulda done this, it’d be better” — words spoken by him to a three year-old me, upon proudly presenting him with a picture I had colored for him. Yup. And there would be much more where that came from) and obvious sibling favoritism. But in case it needs to be said, even through all of that, if given the opportunity to do things differently, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Uranus in the Fourth House
Weirdo planet Uranus gives a native with an unusual nurturing style in the home. It’s expressed in unorthodox ways and doesn’t necessarily come naturally to the native. Because Uranus is a planet that resists being tied down, wanting to run off and do its own thing, the Fourth House Uranian probably bounces back and forth between being a loving caregiver and an aloof non-presence in the home, even if they are physically there. In fact, many Uranus-in-Fourth natives received this exact kind of nurturing during their own childhoods, and often didn’t receive enough emotional support. They really do have good intentions, however. There will be unusual, eccentric items in the home, quirky gadgets, and there will typically be something strange about the home itself. As astrologer Bob Marks pointed out, Jacques Cousteau had this placement and for all intents and purposes, he lived on a ship. Furthermore, I have a friend with this Uranus placement. His dream house goal? A tree house. I’m not kidding.

Neptune in the Fourth House
Neptune: ruler of Pisces, the nemesis Ascendant that rears its moody head and comes out to play far too often in my own life. Its presence often lisa052manifests as a “see what you want to see/hear what you want to hear” attitude in the affected area of the native’s life; in this case, in affairs dealing with home and family, and in the early and latter parts of life.  Neptune also rules the sea and in the Fourth House of Home, it inclines the individual to a preference of living near water. The native’s father is frequently the kind of guy that fell apart or was emotionally unavailable, especially when he was most needed. Ruler of drugs (both street and over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals) and alcohol, Neptune can also give a tendency to a substance abuse problem when placed in the Fourth House, particularly when it is negatively aspected, and the individual’s father might have also had a struggle with this. Those who have this Neptune placement often feel that they don’t fit in with their family, that they are somehow different, and those with Neptune here are often adopted (Neptune rules places of restriction such as prisons and orphanages) or perhaps felt/feel they were/are so different from the rest of the family that surely they were adopted…even if they weren’t. When I think of someone who might have this placement, I think of fictional character Lisa Simpson from the hit Fox animated sitcom The Simpsons. Lisa is an incredibly studious, intelligent overachiever in stark contrast to her dimwitted father Homer and her underachieving (“and proud of it, man”) brother Bart. She tends to question everything and think differently than the rest of the family, including her mother Marge, on one occasion shunning the family’s Christian beliefs and becoming a Buddhist. Lisa is a doer rather than a talker, actively and loudly protesting a wide variety of causes, while everyone else in the family just kind of goes along with the proverbial flow (although once in a blue-haired moon, the others will take an active stance on an issue, but far less often than Lisa.)

Pluto in the Fourth House
This is the planet of death (both figuratively and literally) and regeneration. Changes. New beginnings. Pluto also covers power struggles and shows us the area which can help us heal when we are wounded. In the Fourth House of Home, the native is at their strongest and best able to recharge and unwind at — you guessed it — home. At the same time, there is the propensity for power struggles in the home, particularly between the native and a controlling or intense father/father figure. This often results in lingering resentment and a lot of emotional baggage with the native. Alternatively, depending on how it is aspected in the natal chart, Pluto in the Fourth House can give a father who is somehow not present during the native’s childhood, whether due to his abandonment of the family (a physical absence or emotional one) or even his actual physical death during the individual’s formative years. Each of my three children have this Pluto placement, and their father passed away from cancer when they were 11, 9, and 4 years of age. Furthermore, their stepfather was also lost to death, although they were 23, 21, and 16 when that happened. In any event, Pluto — planet of change in the Fourth House of Home and Family frequently indicates instability or some sort of ongoing upheaval affecting the entire family. On a lighter, more trivial note, it can give a native who likes to redecorate or change the surroundings in the home frequently.

The Third House: Texting And Talking And Trips…Oh My!

breakdownThey drank up the wine and they got to talking…
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down they started walking…
Where were they going without ever knowing the way? ~ Fastball, The Way

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at astrology’s Third House. Naturally ruled by airy, restless, communicative Gemini which is ruled by the airy, restless, communicative planet Mercury, it should come as no surprise that the Third House governs communication in all forms: written, verbal, email, text — including the cell phones we attach to ourselves like magnets and all its capabilities. Its placement tells us about how we tend to communicate as well as how adept we are at it. As discussed several times on the awesomely hilarious 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, it can reveal if you are — among other things — a high talker, a low talker, or a close talker. It can indicate if you are more of an observer than a commentator, or if you’re so annoyingly chatty that everyone silently (if you’re lucky) wishes you would shut the hell up already, and you would undoubtedly bring home the gold in the Talking Olympics.

Seinfeld's "close talker"

Seinfeld’s “close talker”

But communication isn’t the only focus of the Third House. This House also covers short trips (in astrology, these are trips that don’t require an overnight stay), relationships with any siblings you might have, how well (or not) you get along with your neighbors, and early education, as in your formative years as a wee tot in preschool and elementary school.

Just for fun, let’s say you’re looking at your natal chart, scratching your head in confusion because — gasp! — your Third House is empty, meaning it is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes. Does this make you an uneducated, illiterate, kindergarten flunk-out mute? If you do in fact have siblings, does this indicate they are figments of your imagination and don’t actually exist? Are you destined to live in solitude on a desert island without neighbors? Will every short trip you embark upon be fraught with flat tires, blown head gaskets, fender-benders (or worse!), leaving you standing on the side of the road next to your disabled vehicle so frequently that the AAA operator recognizes your voice when you call for assistance?

Not. At. All. As I’ve previously mentioned, everyone’s chart will have a minimum of two empty Houses (ten planets and twelve Houses = textingyou do the math), and in all probability, you will have more than two vacant Houses. There are a few ways we can interpret an empty Third House. It might be that you’re not much of a conversationalist who doesn’t consider communication important enough to make it a priority, or maybe the other areas of focus of the Third House — short trips, early education, or relationships with siblings and/or neighbors — aren’t a major theme in your life. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Furthermore, we can look at which sign rules your chart’s Third House and that will give us at least some insight into how you handle such matters. For example, let’s assume Aquarius is your chart’s Third House ruler. Aquarius is an easy-breezy, go-with-the-flow air sign with the enviable ability to easily adapt to new situations and people from all walks of life. They’re also somewhat emotionally detached and tend to take matters of love more lightly than others. This being the hypothetical case, it would likely indicate that when it comes to communication, you are able to communicate easily with many different kinds of folks in any given situation. In romantic relationships, perhaps you don’t say “I love you” too often…at least not verbally. These are only a few of several possibilities, as what it specifically means depends on many other factors and aspects in your chart.

But for those of us who do have planets in the Third House, let’s examine how each one’s placement affects you.

siblingrivalrySun in the Third House
A Third House Sun native is someone who craves attention for the way they communicate. They’re pretty proud of their speaking and/or writing style, which probably is quite witty, and they’ll let you know about it. This person is extraordinarily ambitious and uses their strong communication skills as a tool when meeting influential people, hoping it will give rise to an opportunity of some kind, perhaps to climb the elite social ladder but more likely the career ladder to eventual business success.  The Third House Sun probably began talking earlier than most children, has an extensive, well-developed vocabulary, and many of them are fluent in two or more languages. If the native has a sibling or siblings, there is definitely rivalry with at least one of them due to the sibling being a show-off or attention whore. This individual is generally quite restless and loves spontaneous short trips.

Moon in the Third House
When the sensitive Moon is in the Third House of communication, it is virtually guaranteed that the individual with this placement will have no trouble sharing their feelings. In fact, they might tend to share too much, often becoming hyper-emotional when doing so. The lesson here is for the native to realize that although communicating their emotions is a wonderful thing, there is such a thing as TMI. They need to learn that they don’t have to share everything. This one particularly enjoys reminiscing about the past, as the Moon is highly sentimental, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will either be a Cancer or have Cancer-like traits (prone to moodiness, easily offended, nurturing.) The Third House Moon individual usually has a very good memory and enjoys trips to places of which they have fond memories. Others feel comfortable opening up to this person because they are so open themselves and frequently have valuable insight to offer.

NOTHING deters Clark Griswold!

NOTHING deters Clark Griswold!

Mercury in the Third House
Ohhhh boy. Mercury, the planet of communication, rules Gemini, the sign of communication, which is the natural ruler of the Third House, and this is tantamount to one hell of a talkative native, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will be equally chatty. Ironically, the native might experience difficulties communicating with any siblings. Communication skills in this one are highly developed and the chances for a successful career in writing, publishing, journalism, speaking, traveling, or anything else involving communication or trips is excellent. Mercury is restless, and a Third House Mercurian loves, loves, loves traveling and seizes any opportunity to do so, yet they tend to take impulsive detours while en route to their eventual destination. To illustrate this, do you remember the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation? Sure you do, unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth.  Anyway, in this classic comedy, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is hauling his brood cross-country to their eventual destination, Wally World. In the meantime during their extended road trip, Clark constantly wants to stop at cheesy, touristy places like “the house of mud” or “the world’s largest ball of twine which is only four short hours away, muahaha,” much to the chagrin of his wife and kids who just want to get to Wally World already. If he were an actual person, good ol’ Clark Griswold would probably have this Mercury placement. The native’s mental energy can be somewhat scattered due to a wide variety of interests; therefore, they usually know a little about everything but not a lot about anything. A Third House Mercurian is extremely analytical yet quick to make decisions. Depending on other chart aspects and influences, this one is sometimes prone to speeding tickets or other relatively minor brushes with the law.

Venus in the Third House
A Third House Venusian is often an intriguing, persuasive communicator who, in affairs of the heart, can let their partner’s less-than-stellar looks slide in exchange for truly good, quality conversation and exchange of ideas. In fact, if a potential love interest can’t communicate interestingly, well, and often, that’s a deal breaker for the native. This is a person who likely changes addresses frequently, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will likely be involved in artistic pursuits. Oftentimes, the native will meet a significant other or spouse through a sibling. A Third House Venusian loves all forms of communication, and they have an uncanny knack for expressing themselves beautifully, painting a virtual picture for others when describing a situation or telling a story. I have this Venus placement (and no, that is not why I described all those lovely Third House Venusian traits!) and when I was in the third grade and had completed a creative writing assignment, my teacher told me, “You are going to be an author one day, little lady!” I never took that too seriously; I thought she was saying that because she was my teacher and it was just one of those things she had to say. Today at age 41, I’m not an author, but writing has always been one of my lifelong passions and (half-assed) pursuits and I would love nothing more than to do it professionally…but for now, this blog you’re reading is pretty much it (unless you count one letter to the editor of a popular women’s magazine that was published and two articles I wrote in my high school journalism class for the yearbook, which I don’t.) I’m also infamous for moving a lot (just ask my kids about growing up with their gypsy-ish mother.) Other points of interest relating to siblings: one of my sisters has a degree in art history and is an unbelievably talented interior decorator (though not professionally…but she could be if she wanted to.) Furthermore, I met my first husband, a now-deceased Sadge who is the father of my three now-adult children, through my also now-deceased lifelong best friend, who was more like a sister to me than my own biological sisters were, and as a result she became my sister in-law. Does “sister-like” count? Yeah. I think it does.

Mars in the Third Housespeakwithoutthinking
Mars is the planet of aggression and assertiveness, and believe me when I tell you, this is a person who will speak without thinking. Things reflexively fly right out of their mouths unfiltered and unedited, their diarrhea of the mouth often (unintentionally) causing hurt feelings. This one says what they mean and means what they say…well, sometimes they mean it. They have a razor-sharp tongue and know exactly what to say to cut the object of their aggression to the quick, whether there is any truth behind it or not. When there’s not, they experience quite a bit of regret after the fact, but it’s difficult — though not unheard of — for them to apologize for their words. If they have any siblings, one of them likely has an aggressive nature. The native is impulsive and likes to take spontaneous road trips. This is a very knowledgeable individual and they love few things more than sharing everything they know with anyone within earshot. A Third House Martian loves a good debate but they have a tendency to get fired up over trivialities. They are so confident in their convictions that they might be perceived as arrogant. The lesson for the native here is to recognize this when it happens and try to dial it down a notch.

Glen (Sam McMurray, left) in Raising Arizona: Third House Jupiter poster boy

Glen (Sam McMurray, left) in Raising Arizona: Third House Jupiter poster boy

Jupiter in the Third House
The planet of abundance in the Third House of communication = obviously, abundant communication. In fact, sometimes the native doesn’t understand when to stop communicating. They will tell you things which you probably could have happily gone the rest of your life without knowing. This is similar to the Third House Moon and their TMI problem, but that one is more of an over-communicator when it comes to emotions and feelings, while the Third House Jupiter native communicates about anything and everything. When imagine a person with this Jupiter placement, I am reminded of a scene from the 1987 comedy Raising Arizona in which H.I. (Nicolas Cage) is walking in the desert with his boss Glen (Sam McMurray), the poster boy for Jupiter in the Third House (“say, that reminds me!” — that guy), and who just will not shut up already, and finally gets a well-deserved punch in the face. In any event, this one is forward-thinking and loves to plan ahead. They are curious about what others think and love to bounce their ideas off other folks, and people will turn to them for advice on just about anything. This is a cheerful, upbeat, positive individual; so much so in fact, that even when they’re in a foul mood, they are able to disguise it like a pro.

Saturn in the Third House
The schoolyard bully of planets is back, placing obstacles in the path of those with this Saturn placement. Third House Saturnians are often perceived as cold or reserved, as they don’t always say much. Social situations where communication is required can cause them to feel uncomfortable. However, because the native doesn’t always say much, they tend to be great listeners. And it’s not that the individual wants to feel this way, not at all!  It’s that damn Saturn influence, sapping the native’s confidence and increasing feelings of vulnerability. Public speaking? Fuhgeddaboudit! But because Third House Saturn is quiet, they are able to develop keen observational skills which can lead to success, preferably working behind the scenes in careers such as journalism and science. The native is disciplined and organized, and they find talkative, unorganized folks annoying. The native likely felt discouraged from speaking out in childhood, perhaps because the parents deemed certain subjects as taboo. If they have a sibling or siblings, the native probably felt as though they were forever in their shadow and perhaps were even picked on by them. As far as traveling is concerned, the Third House Saturnian probably has had more than their fair share of trip-related calamities including flat tires, fender-benders, running out of gas, blown fan belts, and pretty much anything else you can think of that could leave them stranded and delay travel plans. Take my advice: if you have this Saturn placement, you need a AAA membership. If you don’t already have one, get one. Today. It’s not a matter of if you’ll ever need it, it’s when. You will.

Uranus in the Third House
The planet of all things unorthodox and downright strange in the Third House of communication gives us a native who gets a kick out of saying or writing things for shock value. Others typically perceive the individual as crazy or eccentric but in actuality, the Third House Uranian is borderline genius (as the saying goes, there’s a fine line between genius and madness!) This person is wickedly funny and witty, and if you are in their company, you will never be bored. They’ll keep you on your toes because you can expect the unexpected to come out of their mouths at any given moment in any given situation. You are an honest communicator, which some people appreciate while others are annoyed by it. Your childhood was probably quite different from those of your peers, and if you have a sibling or siblings, one of them is probably at least as eccentric as you are. When traveling, you have a tendency to encounter stranger-than-fiction situations that couldn’t possibly be fabricated. You are the one who comes home with some ridiculous, yet true story that usually begins with something along the lines of “you’re never gonna believe this!”

dontspeakIt looks as though you’re letting go…
And if it’s real, well I don’t want to know
Don’t speak, I know what you’re thinking…
I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts. ~ No Doubt, Don’t Speak

Neptune in the Third House
Damn Neptune, the planet of illusions, strikes again with its rose-colored glasses, this time in the Third House of communications, where its effect on the native is to discourage them from facing uncomfortable truths head-on and hearing only what they want to hear. Actually, the Third House Neptunian hears what you’re saying just fine, but they avoid fully absorbing it at all costs, particularly if it’s painful. Why? Because that might hurt. This dreamy native is notorious for being habitually late for just about everything and even forgetting dates or appointments altogether. However, the individual is a charming, creative communicator with a brilliant imagination and they can find great success in endeavors such as the arts, journalism or writing, and even the theater or acting. If they have a sibling or siblings, it’s likely that one of them is somewhat scatterbrained and/or has a problem with substance abuse. There might have been difficulties with school in early childhood, not because of any kind of learning disability, but because the native’s head is so often in the clouds that it’s hard to keep their attention on one thing, especially if it isn’t intriguing or interesting to them. This is a highly intuitive individual with uncanny insight and this can bring comfort to others when they need it most. When taking trips, the native has a tendency to get lost easily. My suggestion, if you don’t already have one? Get yourself a GPS, immediately if not sooner.

beggingReason will not reach a solution, I will end up lost in confusion…
I don’t care if you don’t really care as long as you don’t go
So I cry, I pray, and I beg…
Love me, love me, say that you love me…
Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me
Love me, love me, pretend that you love me…
Leave me, leave me, just say that you need me. ~ The Cardigans, Lovefool

Pluto in the Third House
Remember, Pluto is the planet of extreme highs and lows. The bipolar planet, if you will. In the Third House of communication, its effect is plutothirdhousethe same: all or nothing. There’s no happy medium here. When a Third House Pluto communicates, it’s either extremely informative, encouraging, helpful, or otherwise positive or it’s extremely harsh, cruel, hurtful, or otherwise negative. Nothing whatsoever in-between. If the individual has a sibling or siblings, the relationships with them are either very loving or very volatile and rocky. When the native develops an interest in someone or something, regardless of what or who it is, it can quickly become an unhealthy obsession. When this one goes on a trip, everything is either 100 percent smooth sailing, or nearly everything that can go wrong does go wrong. All this aside, Third House Plutonians are powerful, persuasive communicators who tend to challenge others’ ways of thinking and they make fantastic salespeople or even motivational speakers.

The Second House: For The Love Of Money

snoopbling

Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ endo
Sippin’ on gin and juice…laid back
With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

~ Snoop Dogg, Gin & Juice

I love the Second House. Not because I’m a shallow, materialistic snob. Rather, it’s because when I look at someone else’s chart, it reveals who is.

This is the House that explores our attitudes and feelings toward all things related to money and possessions, and gains and losses of both: our ability to save money (or lack thereof), how easily we tend to earn it (including you lucky bastards who always seemingly have it drop right into your laps), the ways in which we spend it — be it on a car, a home, a loaf of bread at the grocery store, gazillion-carat things of bling with which we proudly adorn our fingers, ears, necks, and/or other body parts, and pretty much anything else that money can buy. It also covers anything of personal value, be it a family heirloom that is worth no money whatsoever but is highly sentimental to you, your self-worth as an individual, and your sense of security.

secondhouse

I need a reminder, something I can see
Something on my finger, shines so brightly…
Don’t you know, diamonds are a girl’s best friend
When you go, they stay with me until the end.

~ Janet Jackson, Diamonds

Taurus is the second sign of the zodiac, thereby being the natural ruler of the Second House. As you will recall, Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of beauty, pleasure, love, and luxury; therefore the Bull, fittingly, is the sign of possessions, creature comforts, and financial security, which is oh-so-important to them. Yes, it’s important to most folks, but to a Taurean, it can become a full-blown obsession; the be-all, end-all of their existence. The appropriate, though stereotypical metaphor here, would be the mattress stuffed with and/or lined with cash. If you ever come across one, chances are, it belongs to a Bull. Well, that’s not entirely true: it could also belong to a thrifty Virgo or an equally money-hungry Capricorn (both of which, like the Bull, are earth signs.)

The planets which are placed in your Second House will clue us in to how you handle all of the above matters concerning finances, possessions, and even your own self-worth. We’ll take a look at what each planet’s placement in the Second House means in just a moment, but first, you might recall that as I explained in my article on the First House, it’s also entirely possible that you have no planets in the Second House. After all, there are twelve Houses and ten planets (in astrology, the Sun and Moon count as planets), so everyone will have at least two vacant Houses in their chart…and probably even more than two.

So what does it mean if your Second House is empty, meaning it is void of any planets, nodes, or asteroids…just the faint sounds of chirping crickets or the occasional tumbleweed blowing by? Does this mean you are destined to a life of poverty, living in a tattered cardboard box under a bridge, and the apparent collective decision of every company on the planet to deny you employment?

No worries, dear reader. An empty Second House can be interpreted in many ways, including by taking a look at the zodiac sign that rules the Second House in your chart: we would examine that sign’s qualities which would shed some light on how you approach money matters. For example, let’s say Aries rules your empty Second House. Aries is impulsive and impatient, yet also quite generous, which tells us you probably spend money like it has a limited shelf life and make a lot of impulse purchases. An empty Second House could also mean finances simply aren’t one of the main focuses of your life; not that money is unimportant to you, but your world doesn’t revolve around your bank account balance. It can sometimes indicate that you are clueless when it comes to investing and managing your money. Or it’s possible that you are so flush with cash that you simply have no reason to concern yourself with financial struggles, ever. (If this is true in your case, I hate you.)

But for now, let’s take a look at the interpretations of each planet when placed in the Second House.

Sun in the Second House
A person whose Sun placement is in the Second House is often inclined to spend money to make themselves feel better. This is the person who is depressed and in an effort to cheer themselves up, they head to the mall and fling around the credit cards, buying all kinds of goodies which, although it lifts their spirits for a short time, ultimately results in buyer’s remorse for blowing cash or running up credit card bills for loads of crap they really don’t need or even want and probably will never use, ironically resulting in more depression…and round and round we go in a vicious buying cycle. The native is usually somewhat stubborn when it comes to how money is spent. A Second House Sun takes great pride in showing off all of the awesome stuff they’ve bought; they are the infamous Joneses with which others try to keep up. Depending on other aspects in your chart, the Sun’s placement here can result in others taking advantage of you because you make no secret about how much money you have and you will usually freely hand it out to a friend or family member in need. Furthermore, the Second House Sun native is known for making extravagant purchases (even if they can’t really afford it) in an effort to keep up appearances, because they are very conscious and concerned about how others see them.

hoardersMoon in the Second House
When the sensitive Moon is in the Second House, the native’s sense of emotional security is directly related to how much money they have (or haven’t) accumulated. The Moon is a nurturing planet and the Second House Moon individual can frequently be found spending money on those they care for, often putting their own needs on the back burner indefinitely (ain’t that sweet and oh-so-admirable, but not particularly healthy.) The thing with the Moon, however, is that in the same way it controls the ebb and flow of the oceans’ tides, it causes the native’s income and financial resources to do likewise: there will be times when money comes in with great ease with what seems like no effort at all, and at the other end of the spectrum there will be times that are so financially difficult that they could literally find themselves on the verge of homelessness. A Second House Moon native is prone to overeating in response to money problems and due to this, they often struggle with weight problems, the numbers on the scale yo-yo’ing up and down, essentially serving as a barometer of their current financial status. The native has a tendency toward hoarding and places tremendous sentimental value on almost everything. It is disturbing to them to get rid of anything, even if it’s a closet full of clothes that are six sizes too small and haven’t fit since their high school days thirty years ago, are beyond out of style, because “what if they come back in style and I lose weight and can wear them again?” My mother in-law, God bless her, has this Moon placement and she is a bonafide hoarder…and she knows it. While cleaning out her garage, I once came across several boxes of mail-order catalogs that were nearly twenty years old. Figuring they were beyond worthless except maybe as kindling, I dutifully started carting them to the Dumpster (what was I thinking?) when she shrieked in a panic, “No, no, no…I need to keep those; they could be worth money someday!” I nearly bit my tongue in half to stop from asking, “Worth money to who?!” as I dragged the dusty old boxes back into the garage, knowing full well that if I were to secretly toss those same boxes another time when she wasn’t around, she would never miss them. (Note: I didn’t. Ohhhh, I wanted to. But I didn’t.)

Mercury in the Second House
If Mercury is in your Second House, a hat tip to you, O Wise One. Not only are you incredibly intelligent, you are all about continuing education, seeking to gain as much knowledge as your massive cranium can possibly absorb because to you, that is the key to climbing the ladder of success to monetary gain. You’re a very adept communicator with a quick, agile mind and this serves you beautifully in any money-making endeavor of your choosing. Your financial decisions are cerebral and rational, not at all emotional. Although your exceptional communication skills play a huge role in your success, it’s also likely that you are a whiz with numbers and many Second House Mercurians are accountants, bookkeepers, or otherwise in finance-related careers. The dark side to all this is that the native often has no qualms about stepping on toes and leapfrogging their way to the top, which can understandably result in resentment toward them by those folks whose toes Second House Mercury stepped on to get ahead. Additionally, the native might find themselves saddled with an unhealthy obsession with money and possessions.

Venus in the Second House
As I mentioned previously, Venus is the ruler of Taurus, and Taurus is the natural ruler of the Second House; therefore, a Venus Second parishiltonHouse placement is very favorable to the native (for the most part.) The Second House Venusian has an eye for beauty and value, and these individuals usually have some kind of collection: possibly antiques or art, but whatever it is, is typically something involving beauty. The native is often (accurately) perceived by others as a high-maintenance individual, due to their taste for elegance and their demand of high quality in everything from food and drink to furniture and decor. They want a partner to lavish them with extravagant gifts and are quite materialistic. This isn’t to say that if you have this Venus placement, you are a shallow, self-absorbed douche with no capability of feelings or love for others. It just means that you don’t settle for less than what — or who — you consider to be anything less than the best. Unless there are negative aspects in the chart, the Second House Venusian probably won’t have too much difficulty with finances, and they frequently are either born into money or marry into it. You know Paris Hilton, who has done absolutely nothing to warrant being famous (but plenty to warrant being infamous) other than being born into the family of an uber-wealthy hotel magnate? Yeah. She’s got this Venus placement. ‘Nuff said.

Mars in the Second House
Mars is an impulsive, go-go-go, action planet which translates to a Second House Mars native having a marked tendency toward spending money waaaay too freely, and who cares if it’s their last dollar because the good news for this individual is that they won’t have too much difficulty attaining more money. However, the bad news is that because of the aforementioned impulsive spending habits, the money is usually gone as quickly as it came. The native spends with a free hand, the cash flow is always moving, and in all likelihood you won’t find a Second House Martian with a fat savings account: they spend money before they have a chance to even consider saving a dime of it. This is a generous individual who loves to pick up the check and if there is something they want that they’ve got their Second House Martian eye on, they are stubborn enough to figure out how to make it happen, come hell or high water, regardless of their current financial state. The native is one helluva hard worker and highly money-motivated, though they’re also quite careless with possessions. While money does seem to come to them relatively easily, they usually won’t accumulate wealth because of that inability to save. If you have a parent with this Mars placement, you probably shouldn’t expect a massive inheritance upon their demise. The more likely scenario is that you will inherit their massive debt.

luckyjupiterJupiter in the Second House
Remember the earlier article where I explained that Jupiter is the planet of luck and abundance? Well, that’s true: it is. However, when Jupiter’s placement is in the Second House of money and possessions, it doesn’t necessarily have the effect one might naturally assume it would have — which would be an abundance of money and/or possessions. The problem here is that in whichever House Jupiter is placed in the natal chart is where the native feels lucky; hence, these folks tend to push their financial luck, taking chances with money, such as in gambling and questionable investments, and ultimately losing out. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But it’s the harsh truth…sometimes…particularly if Jupiter is somehow negatively aspected in the native’s chart. Fortunately, more often, a Second House Jupiter individual accumulates significant wealth over their lifetime and they will find that money comes in so easily it’s as if it just drops right out of the sky and into their lucky little hands. Like a Second House Venusian, a Second House Jupiter native has extravagant taste and they can grow so accustomed to being able to stroll out to the money tree in their backyard that they behave like tantrum-throwing toddlers having snot-blowing fits during those times when things don’t work out that way.

Saturn in the Second House
Notorious for being the planet that throws obstacles in our paths at every turn, Saturn is kind of like the schoolyard bully who beats you up, gives you a wedgie, and steals your lunch money. When its placement is in the Second House of money and possessions, our first instinct is to assume that the native will experience a plethora of difficulties, obstacles, and terrible luck in financial matters. And while that’s not necessarily wrong, another likely result of this Second House placement is for the native to be particularly cautious and take fewer risks because they don’t feel lucky, unlike its Jupiter neighbor, which could mean the Second House Saturnian comes out ahead financially. And again, like we discussed previously about Second House Jupiter, it sounds counterintuitive but it’s nevertheless true. That said, the native here might not accumulate vast wealth because of their reluctance to taking risks, but at least they are cautious enough to avoid iffy investments, gambling, and the like, which ensures their financial affairs will at least remain steady. Saturn’s lesson for the native here is to recognize their tendency toward pessimism and learn to take more chances. This isn’t to say they should throw caution to the wind and invest their money willy-nilly, it just means the individual should up the ante a notch. A common problem with Second House Saturnians is that even when the native manages to overcome the obstacles and attain financial security and/or the material possessions they need and desire, Saturn’s pessimistic influence causes them to continue to feel like it’s still not enough. If the individual recognizes the tendency toward that way of thinking, they’ve won half the battle.

uranusUranus in the Second House
Uranus is the planet of eccentricity, the unusual, the unorthodox, and the straight-up weird. When its placement is in the Second House of money and possessions, all those characteristics apply. A Second House Uranian probably has an unusual career or source of income and they are often self-employed. That income can fluctuate wildly, so it’s frequently feast or famine with this placement. A person with this Uranus placement tends to get fired more than most folks as well. It’s also interesting to note that bizarre things often happen surrounding the native’s job or their place of employment. I mean, really unusual things such as national headline-making gossip about the company like the CEO claiming to have been abducted by aliens, or the building in which they work being destroyed in some way. Several celebrities have this Uranus placement. I have an Aquarian friend with this placement who is self-employed and for months at a time the work and the money just rolls in, literally hundreds of dollars a day, and then there will be stretches where there’s zero business, thus zero dollars a day, also for months at a time. Additionally, he always has a “you’ll never believe what happened today!” work-related story, which are quite common with most Second House Uranians. Many people with this placement don’t work a typical Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 job. Change is a constant when it comes to finances, sources of income, and employment with the native.

Neptune in the Second House
Here’s that damn Neptune again, ruler of Pisces, which as you surely remember is the Ascendant that causes me so much grief with its rose-colored glasses and hearing and seeing only what one wishes to hear and see. When Neptune is in the Second House of money and possessions, this is indicative of someone who tends to close their eyes to financial matters. Got a cut-off notice for your electricity or water? Eh, toss it to the side, cross your fingers, hope it all works out somehow, and put it out of your mind…til the electricity suddenly goes out mid-TV show or the water shuts off mid-shower, hair lathered with shampoo. Bank threatening to repo your vehicle? Nah, we’ll figure something out. Then you wake up one morning to head to work or the grocery store or wherever the day might take you…and guess what? Your car is gone. Clearly, this “lalalala-I can’t hear you-lalalala” attitude can cause a world of regret. The (difficult) lesson here is to face possible financial issues head-on from the get-go. This can literally be frightening for a Second House Neptune native, but life will be infinitely easier if this lesson can be mastered…even if it takes months or years to do so. However, it is possible that if Neptune is in a “good position” in the Second House, it can give the attitude that the native is wealthy, regardless of what they do or don’t actually have in monetary or material assets. And that’s a great thing! Because Neptune is the planet of artistic creativity, the dreamer, the poet, as well as medication, drugs and alcohol, the Second House Neptune could see income from anything running the gamut from crafts to paintings to books of poetry, songwriting, bartending, nursing or other medical careers, pharmaceuticals, or yup — even drug-dealing. But as one of my favorite astrologers, Bob Marks, reminds us, Neptune also rules prison (be it a self-imposed mental prison or a literal prison, as in correctional facilities.) So make sure things stay on the up and up if your career path takes you down the pharmaceutical or drug route.

Pluto in the Second Houseplutosecondhouse
Pluto is the planet of extreme highs and lows. If Pluto were a person, it would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Wherever we find it placed in a natal chart is often indicative of the focus of some obsession. In the Second House, the native can easily become transfixed on finances and material goods. Alternatively, the individual could find themselves at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and have the attitude that money and belongings are worthless. However, this one does place great importance on standing on their own two feet and will frequently resist financial assistance from others (doesn’t mean they will refuse it, but they will resist it.) Depending on other Pluto aspects in the chart, the native might find either they have incredibly good fortune with financial resources or the exact opposite: the proverbial rug is yanked out from under them with little or no warning (such as with sudden losses in the stock market, or even their home — and everything in it — being destroyed.) Pluto is the natural ruler of the Twelfth House, which covers secrets, sorrow, and self-undoing. Therefore, the native could be the creator of their own financial downfall, usually quite unintentionally. On the secret side, however, the Second House Pluto native might experience the good fortune of finding or uncovering hidden or unknown money or resources, such as a distant relative passing away and — surprise! — Second House Pluto receives an unexpected inheritance, which they very well likely might just blow right through on whatever strikes their fancy at the moment, finding themselves once again at a financial low, which illustrates the first point: the planet of extreme highs and lows.

The First House: Me, Myself And I

Ah yes, the First House. It’s truly all about you. It’s about your ego, first impressions, your energy, your overall appearance.1sthouse It’s about who you are. Why you are.

While all of the Houses, and for that matter your entire natal chart, are obviously also about you, the First House is literally about you, where other Houses are more about the various areas of your life. The cusp of the First House is your Ascendant, or rising sign, which indicates the way in which others perceive you. As a general rule, you will exhibit the traits of any sign(s) that are ruled by planets in your First House. So, for instance, let’s say you have the Sun in your First House. The Sun rules the sign of Leo; therefore, you’re going to exhibit Lion characteristics such as pride, a love of the limelight, and generosity. Furthermore, any First House planet whose placement is within 10 degrees of the Ascendant will amplify the traits of the sign(s) which are ruled by those planets.

But suppose you don’t have any planets in your First House. After all, there are Twelve Houses and just ten planets (in astrology, the Sun and Moon are considered to be planets), so there are always going to be at least two empty Houses in a chart. So what does it mean for the life areas represented by those vacant Houses?

In an empty First House, meaning without any planets, asteroids, or nodes, this could indicate that the focus of the individual isn’t really on what this House represents: egos, first impressions, appearances. It can also mean that they are somewhat lost or aimless when it comes to those particular aspects of their life. Perhaps they are confused about who they really are. In any event, when a House is empty, it can still be interpreted by examining the ruling sign of that particular House. The ruling sign of the First House is the Ascendant. Whatever the Ascendant is, the qualities associated with that sign will shed some light on the native’s approach to issues that are associated with the First House.

To illustrate, let’s assume we’re looking at a chart with an empty First House and the individual’s Ascendant is Aries. Well, we all know that some typical Ram characteristics are impatience, a desire to be the leader, and stubbornness. Again, because the First House represents the self, the ego, etc, Arien qualities will tend to manifest relative to the First House’s theme of self, giving others the impression of someone who is very “me, me, me” and who will be very defensive of anything affecting the ego; for instance, they might stubbornly defend something about which they are criticized (constructively or otherwise), even if they are well aware, deep down, that the offending party has a valid point.

Next we would take a look at the House placement of Aries’ ruling planet and find its position in the chart. Mars is the ruler of the Ram, so let’s say we find Mars in the Fifth House of Creativity. This means that the First House’s ruler (Mars) is placed in the Fifth House, therefore the First and the Fifth Houses are connected. In this faux scenario, this might indicate that the ego (First House) is of particular importance when undertaking creative pursuits, a competitive streak, and definitely indicates a need to win. It could also infer that this person is a sore loser.

5houseSo let’s take a look at the various ways in which effects of planets in the First House manifest in the life of the individual.

Sun in the First House
This is someone who insists on being the center of attention. They have formidable willpower and determination, tend to come on rather strong, and strive to take control of any given situation. Sometimes a person with this Sun placement is actually quite self-conscious, which seems counterintuitive to what we would expect to see in someone with the spotlight-craving Sun in the House of Self…but when this is the case, the individual is very adept at concealing their insecurities and putting on a confident face. Alternatively, a Sun in the First House can cause the native to develop a sometimes unhealthy obsession with their appearance. This is an innovative person with the uncanny knack for recognizing and seizing opportunities, usually turning them into successful ventures.

Moon in the First House
The Moon, which is also the ruler of the water sign of Cancer, is an ultra-sensitive, emotional planet that, when located in the First House, gives us a person who wears their heart on their sleeve. This is someone whose moods can ebb and flow like the tides, which can cause difficulties in close relationships, particularly because of an innate tendency to knee-jerk reactions and emotional outbursts. This one is easily wounded emotionally, often taking offense where none was intended. Emotions tend to cloud their judgment and govern their decision-making, and try as they might to hide this hypersensitivity, they simply can’t do it. This person needs a partner with whom they feel safe and secure in opening up and sharing their innermost feelings in order to find fulfillment in relationships.

Mercury in the First House
Chatty Mercury in the First House gives us a person who is upbeat and enthusiastic in their manner of communication. This is an individual who loves to talk…so much, in fact, that they have a tendency to dominate conversations and energetically dart from topic to topic. Many times, even when they appear to be listening attentively to someone, they’re actually silently planning and rehearsing what they’re going to say next. The native is open-minded with the admirable ability to effortlessly adapt to a wide variety of different people and situations. This is a curious individual whose first reactions are more cerebral than emotional. An Aquarian girlfriend of mine has this Mercury placement and this, combined with my own talkative Gemini-Air weighted chart, means that more often than not, we find ourselves immersed in lively discussions…with each of us simultaneously talking over the other.

Venus in the First House
This position of Venus, planet of love, beauty, and pleasure, often results in an extremely personable, attractive individual to whom others seem to be magnetically drawn. They have a deep need to be liked and appreciated, and this can sometimes express itself by appearing phony and/or superficial. If the native feels they are not liked by someone, they frequently resort to passive-aggressive behavior toward those against whom they harbor resentment. A person with this Venus placement craves love and affection and needs to have a romantic partner, and sometimes they’ll stay in a relationship with someone with whom they are not truly happy because “it’s better than having no one.” A master of the art of persuasion and charm, this one rarely has trouble winning others to their cause.

Mars in the First House
Mars — which rules the sign of Aries, giving the native the characteristics of the Ram — is the planet of aggression and assertiveness, and someone with a Mars placement in the First House is a dynamic, tightly-wound individual who often comes on quite strong, perhaps even overbearing and controlling. This person embarks on new projects with unprecedented enthusiasm, only to quickly lose interest and spontaneously jump onboard the next adventure that catches their restless eye. They are easily distracted, very independent, and often straightforward, speaking without thinking, thus causing hurt feelings, but this is usually without any intended malice; it’s just that their mouths move too fast for their brains to edit what comes out. This is a person who needs excitement and probably professes to abhor drama…but subconsciously has a need for it, and if they feel there isn’t enough excitement in their life, they will often — again, subconsciously — manufacture the very drama they claim to detest.

Jupiter in the First House
Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius, so a person with this placement will exhibit the personality traits of an Archer. This means the native is someone whose glass is always half-full, has unbelievably good luck, and a bluntness and over-honesty that can get them in trouble with the shocking, sometimes offensive things that spew from their mouths. A First House Jupiter native can easily fall into the trap of relying too much on their luck, finding themselves in some pretty sticky situations as a result. Because Jupiter is also the planet of abundance, someone with this placement sometimes struggle with weight gain. They are drawn to travel, particularly overseas, and have an overwhelming desire to see the world. The individual usually has strong moral convictions and are often perceived as being very “by the book.” However, they can also come across as conceited or egotistical.

Sagittarius HAS to be the sign of good luck. If it weren’t, everyone with a Sagittarius Sun sign, or rising sign, or Jupiter in the First House would be murdered before the age of ten for saying outrageous things. ~ Astrologer Bob Marks    sadge   

 

 

 

Saturn in the First House
Saturn, the ruling planet of Capricorn, imposes limitations and obstacles in our lives and gives the native qualities of the Goat. When its placement is in the First House, this translates to a person who tends to have a natural frown or stern facial expression, giving others the impression that they are in deep, serious contemplation. They’re probably often told, sometimes by complete strangers, to “cheer up!” which the native finds puzzling because they are in a perfectly fine mood. This is a person who takes responsibility for others very seriously and will frequently put their own needs on the back burner in order to avoid the guilt and anxiety to which they are prone if they –gasp! — dare to put their own needs first once in a while. A First House Saturn is brutally self-critical and it would serve them well to learn to relax a bit and talk to themselves the way they would talk to a good friend if they were in their situation. The native has difficulty turning down requests for help and learning that it’s really okay to say no can be a lifelong lesson.

Uranus in the First House
Uranus rules the sign of Aquarius, which is easily the most eccentric, unconventional sign of the zodiac. In the First House of Self, its influence gives us an individual who loves to be different for the sake of being different and is quite proud of their usually unorthodox perspectives. This is a humanitarian who dreams of a Utopian society where everyone is happy and content. A First House Uranus person probably dresses a little differently than others and if this one makes plans with you, they are notorious for being late, canceling, rescheduling, or making some other change. Your lesson if you have a First House Uranus in your life is to expect the unexpected and to realize that the only thing that is ever 100 percent certain with them is change. The native treasures their freedom in every sense of the word and will make a beeline for the nearest exit the second they begin to feel trapped or tied down in any way. But this individual, with all their eccentricities, is one of the best friends you could ever hope to have, as they value their friendships like no other.

Neptune in the First House
Neptune’s influence on an individual is an avoidance of reality, seeing only what they want to see. It’s the planet of illusions and dreams. They wear the rose-colored glasses of which I often speak, due to my own Neptune-ruled Pisces Ascendant. When Neptune’s placement is in the First House, others will probably see a sensitive, creative, poetic individual, and as one who seems to have their head in the clouds. It’s interesting to note that a First House Neptune is often perceived differently by different people, as the native often changes appearance or demeanor in an almost chameleon-esque fashion. People are intrigued by this person and are easily drawn to them. Pity parties are commonplace with this individual. They tend to absorb the problems of others as if they are their own, and this person is predisposed to struggles with drug and/or alcohol abuse (to escape reality as mentioned above) as well as depressive disorders and suicidal ideations. It’s important to note that I did not state that this individual will abuse drugs or alcohol, suffer from depression, or commit suicide; I simply stated that they are predisposed to these behaviors.

Pluto in the First House
The personal influence of Pluto, planet of change, in the First House is expressed in an air of intensity which others immediately pick up on and are intrigued by. The first impression others receive of this person is usually of someone who is somewhat intimidating yet very secretive. The fear of rejection is strong here and even if you think you’re 007, do not make the foolish mistake of trying to deceive this individual as they will quickly and easily see through your dishonesty, almost intuitively, as if they can read your mind. Suspicious by nature, a First House Pluto will relentlessly pursue the truth, researching, tirelessly digging for information, and they are dyed-in-the-wool experts at it. The native’s first reaction to a situation is to often become defensive and to attempt to uncover any perceived or actual ulterior motives on the part of others. This is not a trusting individual, to say the least.

A Brief Introduction To The Twelve Houses Of Astrology

Yesterday, I took a short drive down to the home of a long-time, treasured Aquarius friend/former coworker for a long-overdue let’s-hang-out-and-shoot-the-shit visit. As we sat chatting in the living room of her sprawling rural home, the topic of conversation eventually (and inevitably) turned to astrology when my Water Bearing amigo wondered aloud how, if her Jupiter (planet of luck and abundance) is in its dominion (the zodiac sign it naturally rules) in Sagittarius (a spontaneous, freedom-loving fire sign), which, theoretically, should enhance the associated characteristics of both Jupiter and Sagittarius, why is it that not only is she not a fan of spontaneity, but is actually more of a homebody who occasionally even finds herself wondering if she borders on agoraphobic. After all, this doesn’t fit the classic description of a Jupiter-Sagittarian at all.

My Aquarian comrade. But Jupiter in Sadge? It just doesn't fit. Why is that?

My Aquarian comrade whose Jupiter-Sadge placement just doesn’t fit. Why is that?

[…] Jupiter-Sadge is also big on travel, the further the distance and the greater the degree of spontaneity, the better! […] Between their far and wide wanderlust adventures, always ready to jump into new experiences with both feet…[…] ~ excerpt from Lucky Star: Jupiter In The Signs – Jupiter In Sagittarius


So: what gives?

Could it be that on the date and time of her birth, Jupiter was retrograde? Sure, it’s possible. After all, Jupiter stalls for several days at a time and then becomes retrograde for about four months each year, and if this is the case (whether it’s with Jupiter or any other planet’s retrograde motion) on your date of birth, it can influence your natal chart in a variety of ways, depending on numerous other factors.

Is it possible that Jupiter is somehow afflicted in her chart?

Or could those typical Jupiter-Sadge qualities be blunted by the House in which Jupiter’s placement Jupiterhappens to be in my Water Bearer chum’s natal chart? Furthermore, could it be due to all or a combination of the above?

“Um…okaaay…my…’house’ in my…where…uh…what is my ‘house?’” she stammered in bewilderment.

Not to worry, dear Water Bearing grasshopper. I’m going to explain to you exactly what I mean when I say “Houses” (well, I’m gonna nutshell it; we’ll delve more deeply into the meanings of each of the twelve Houses, what they represent, and their specific effects in upcoming posts.)  All treasured friends/followers/readers are invited and encouraged to come along for the ride as I illustrate an abbreviated overview of the twelve astrological Houses, using my Aquarian pal’s own natal chart as our example. Ready? Great!

First, let’s take a quick look at the twelve Houses in the astrological chart. They are:

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First House – House of self, physical traits, ego, first impressions, new beginnings. Natural ruler: Aries
Second House – House of money & possessions; also of property, acquisitions, self-worth. Natural ruler: Taurus
Third House – House of communication & short trips (ones not requiring an overnight stay); also of childhood, higher education, siblings, intelligence. Natural ruler: Gemini
Fourth House – House of home, family, mother or mother figures, ancestry. Natural ruler: Cancer
Fifth House – House of creativity, pleasure, love, sex, children, games, recreational activities. Natural ruler: Leo
Sixth House – House of health, acquired skills, routine tasks, services performed to benefit others, employment. Natural ruler: Virgo
Seventh House – House of close relationships such as marriage or business partners, known enemies, caregiving, pets. Natural ruler: Libra
Eighth House – House of reincarnation, death & rebirth, sexual relationships, deeply committed relationships, finances, occult or psychic matters, anything considered “taboo” by social standards, self-transformation. Natural ruler: Scorpio
Ninth House – House of long-distance or foreign travel, religion, culture, law, ethics, introspection. Natural ruler: Sagittarius
Tenth House – House of career, social standing, government, authority, father or father figures, how the public sees you. Natural ruler: Capricorn
Eleventh House – House of friendships, groups or clubs, hopes, wishes. Natural ruler: Aquarius
Twelfth House – House of self-undoing, mysticism, secret enemies, sorrow, the unconscious/subconscious mind, privacy, self-imposed imprisonments. Natural ruler: Pisces

My Water Bearing buddy was born on January 24, 1972 at 6:30am CST in Norman, Oklahoma. When we enter her specific birth info into a natal chart calculator, it spits out a personalized chart for her based on that info, as shown below:

DawnsNatalChartA natal chart (sometimes called a birth chart) is essentially a map of the sky at the location where you were born at the exact time of your birth, showing the placements of the Sun, Moon, and planets in the constellations. Therefore, what we’re seeing here is a map of the sky as it appeared on January 24, 1972 at 6:30am in Norman, Oklahoma.

Notice that the horoscope wheel is divided into twelve sections resembling a pie, consisting of 30 degrees per piece, each of which are ruled by a particular zodiac sign. Each of these sections are called Houses and in a natal chart, the First House is always governed by the individual’s Ascendant (or rising sign), which is the astrological sign that was on the Eastern horizon at the location and exact moment of your birth.

My Aquarian buddy’s Ascendant is in 18 degrees Capricorn; therefore, her First House is ruled by Capricorn (its symbol is shown on the far left side of the wheel, indicating the First House.)

The symbol for Capricorn, her Ascendant and ruler of her First House

The symbol for Capricorn, her Ascendant and ruler of her First House

Now, to address that pesky Jupiter-Sadge question she had. Looking at her chart, we see Jupiter’s placement is in 27 degrees Sagittarius in the Twelfth House. You’ll recall the Twelfth House has reign over our secrets, sorrow, and self-undoing. To summarize, any planet in the Twelfth House is often fraught with difficulties involving the qualities of that planet/sign. Allow me to expand on this statement.

What we first need to understand is that because the Twelfth House is naturally ruled by Pisces (twelfth sign of the zodiac), a planet in the Twelfth House — regardless of which sign governs it in the natal chart, in this case, Sagittarius — Piscean traits (self-undoing, creator of one’s own downfall, susceptibility to emotional issues such as depression, suicidal ideations, and struggles with addiction — many of which manifest secretly; after all, this is the House of secretive behavior) exemplify themselves in any planet(s) placed in this House. Because my friend’s Jupiter (planet of abundance) is in the Twelfth House, this suggests that she will find comfort in solitude, perhaps in seclusion from the world (agoraphobic tendencies?), places which others might find uncomfortable. This placement also gives us someone who is adept at healing or counseling. On that note, I can personally attest to the fact that, more than once, this amazing, intelligent Aquarian has opened my eyes with her uncanny wisdom, helping me to help myself through some extremely difficult times.

And there we have our answer.

Examining the possibility that Jupiter was retrograde on the date and time of my Water Bearer chum’s birth, however, indicates that Jupiter was not in retrograde at that time. It didn’t become retrograde until April 25, 1972 at 12:06am GMT, and this retrograde motion lasted until 7:18am GMT on August 25, 1972.

Again, this has been only the briefest of overviews on the Houses of astrology. Up next: we’ll take a riverboat journey through the details of each individual House and in which ways they affect your life. Stay tuned…

Suicide Solution: Friends To The End

depressionShe eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak…
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks…
I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap…
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black. ~ Nirvana, Heart-Shaped Box

It’s no secret that I frequently lament being saddled with a depressive Pisces Ascendant, particularly on the occasions when it rears its moody head and I find myself wallowing in actual or perceived misery. That said, it would be ludicrous of me to blame every bout of melancholy solely on having a watery rising sign. But hey, it’s my pity party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Even so, I stand by my previous assertion that the zodiac sign most likely to struggle with suicidal ideations is none other than the Fishes. Furthermore, this is the sign that is one of the more susceptible to depression (obviously) as well as substance abuse. Pisces is the sign of the dreamer, the sign of shoulda – woulda – coulda, the sentimental poet, forever wishing things to be as they once were, or at least different from the way they perceive things to currently be.

I should probably point out here that I am not saying every poor bastard on the planet who has a Pisces Sun, Ascendant, or Moon is doomed to a miserable existence. What I am saying is that the rose-colored glasses through which many of these folks view the world certainly can and frequently does predispose them to issues with depressive disorders. The all-too-true story that follows is a personal example. It is also one I desperately wish had never happened for me to be able to tell it.

My younger son, a 17 year-old Taurus-Gemini cusp, was always…well…different, right from the get-go. He wasn’t reaching certain developmental milestones as expected, such as rolling over, crawling, becoming more mobile. After several months of physical exams and neurological evaluations, along with weekly in-home sessions with a pediatric physical therapist, his doctor finally declared that there was nothing physically wrong with my baby boy and “he could do these things if he wanted to, but for some reason, he doesn’t want to.” As predicted, it was as if he simply decided he wanted to one day when, a few months shy of his second birthday, he took off walking like a pro.

Over the next fourteen years, he exhibited other unusual traits as well as some turbulent emotional issues, and was at one time or another diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, ODD, IED, OCD, major childhood depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, among a plethora of additional emotional disorders identified by their initials. It wasn’t until my Taurus cusp son was approaching his sixteenth birthday that he was properly diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome (AS), which is a high functioning form of autism, and which in hindsight explained everything perfectly, right down to the developmental delays in infancy and toddlerhood. He was also re-evaluated for the conditions he’d previously been diagnosed as having…and was found not to meet the diagnostic criteria for any of them. Because there are no “blanket” medications for Asperger’s as a whole (only for individual issues that may arise because of it), for the first time in nearly eleven years, his doctor ordered him to stop all of his medications. Almost immediately, there was a significant improvement in every aspect of his life with which he had previously struggled. Although I felt vindicated and relieved that he had finally received a correct diagnosis, I was — and still am — extremely angry that because it took so long to obtain the diagnosis, my son suffered needlessly for years when he could have been being properly treated with, for example, occupational therapy. But I digress… (and this is definitely the subject of a future post.)

imagesCAM1A5WLI wish I was like you
Easily amused…
Find my nest of salt
Everything’s my fault. ~ Nirvana, All Apologies

Anywho, “Aspies,” as they are sometimes called, are often extremely intelligent with well-above average IQs (my son’s IQ is nearly 140), possess extensive vocabulary skills, and have an uncanny ability to commit things to memory. For those of you who are unfamiliar with AS, let me try to paint you at least part of a picture. If you are a fan of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, you no doubt know the eccentric character Sheldon Cooper (flawlessly and hilariously portrayed by Jim Parsons). Sheldon is a Nobel prize-aspiring theoretical physicist, a socially inept genius with a memory like a steel trap who constantly reminds others of his superior intelligence. And although the show’s creators deny the character has it, Sheldon Cooper exhibits some of the textbook features of AS. Even Jim Parsons has stated he believes Sheldon has AS, and other Aspies frequently recognize themselves in Sheldon as well.

During the time my Aspie son and I lived in Arkansas, he met and became instant best friends with Kevin, a Pisces not quite three months older than he, and who had shared many of the same struggles. Although my young Bull tells me he always suspected Kevin was an Aspie, in addition to Kevin “liking” some autism pages on Facebook, it was something that they never talked about; furthermore, my son never mentioned that he himself was an Aspie because “[he] didn’t feel like it was important.” And I suppose it really wasn’t. What mattered was that they each recognized a kindred spirit in the other, whatever the reason.

From Kevin's Facebook page...ironically, posted as a joke several months prior to his death

From Kevin’s Facebook page…ironically, posted as a joke several months prior to his death

Again last night I had that strange dream
Where everything was exactly how it seemed
Where concerns about the world getting warmer
The people thought they were just being rewarded
For treating others as they’d like to be treated
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
For mailing letters with the address of the sender
Now we can swim any day in November
Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in. ~ The Postal Service, Sleeping In

Have you ever met someone and just clicked immediately, as though you had known each other forever? Well, that was how it was with these two. When they weren’t together in school, they were laughing and chatting via headsets as they played Xbox Live, texting or talking on the phone, Facebooking, or hanging out on weekends, almost exclusively at the house in which Kevin lived with his aunt. And when we moved out-of-state last summer, the miles that now separated these kindred spirits mattered not; they remained every bit as close as they had been since day one. The all-night Xbox Live marathons continued, as did the texting, the phone calls, and the Facebooking, literally on a daily basis. More recently, they had begun to discuss the idea of becoming roommates after their eighteenth birthdays next year. They considered relocating to Oklahoma or Kansas to do the roomie thing, or perhaps the possibility of Kevin heading out to Arizona where my teenage Bull currently resides.

This 17 year-old Piscean, in my opinion, was probably somewhat misunderstood by those who hadn’t taken the time to really know him. Not unlike my own son, he had a wicked, albeit dark sense of humor, which many people weren’t always sure how to take. He was also extraordinarily intelligent with a well-above average IQ. On the few occasions I met him, he struck me as being remarkably similar to my own son, which is probably why I liked him. Kevin thrived on attention, even if it was for something negative. Like my teenage Bull, he too had had a few skirmishes with the law and subsequently found himself on probation. Additionally, like my son, he clearly enjoyed saying things for shock value, to get a reaction.

Tragically, I can’t help but wonder if this was at least partly the reason that no one responded — and one person actually “liked” it — when this young Pisces posted a suicide note on his Facebook page.

imagesCA5V4B8KFuck critics, fuck your review
Even if you like me, fuck you;
Fuck your mom, fuck your mom’s mama
Fuck the Beastie Boys and the Dalai Lama. ~ Insane Clown Posse, Fuck The World

A chilling status update, less than 24 hours prior to his death

A disturbing status update, less than 24 hours prior to his death

If there’s anything I am capable of understanding, it’s how someone can get into the mindframe where dying sounds like a great idea. I’m no stranger to suicidal ideations; I’ve been there myself…many times. Fortunately, it’s been quite some time since I last seriously considered or even flirted with the notion of closing my eyes in eternal slumber. What I can’t seem to grasp, however, is how or why someone would deliberately choose a painful, prolonged, agonizing method in which to exit their life. Intense hatred of oneself? Seems obvious, but surely there’s more to it than that…right?

Or, maybe there isn’t. Maybe the reason really is that simple…so deceptively simple we look right past it.

A look through this troubled teenage Piscean’s Facebook timeline reveals a glimpse into at least a snippet of what was going through his

Truly, a thousand words...posted several months prior to his death

Truly, a thousand words…posted several months prior to his death

head in the months, days, hours, even minutes before he took deliberate action to bring about his own demise. There are posts, pictures, and videos (mostly shared, not original) that are thought-provoking, nonsensical, hilarious, spot-on observant, disgusting, intelligent, offensive, laugh-out-loud funny, and somewhat disturbing, yet they are all intriguing when you consider the frame of mind of the individual who posted them.

Yeah, it's funny. But I suspect Kevin was less like "Tim" than he realized...

Yeah, it’s funny. I believe Kevin wanted to be like “Tim” and probably even thought he was. But I suspect he was more like “everyone” than he realized, or would care to admit…

Jace is my teenage Bull. And best friends, they definitely were.

Jace is my teenage Bull. And best friends, they definitely were.

1175700_617537378286689_1330557955_n

Ha! Great advice. I do it all the time.

There are so many more. Entirely too many to even think about sharing all of them, or even most of them. But this is just a sampling. This sharp, quick-witted Piscean definitely had a sense of humor.

kevinleaving8am04sept2013One of the last images Kevin uploaded to his timeline is one that hopefully won’t haunt my grieving Taurus son for the rest of his days. It is a screenshot of an undated chat conversation between the two of them, in which he tagged my Aspie Bull, posted at 8am CDT on the day of his death. As you can see, Kevin states, “I’m leaving.” And…he did. But not before crafting at least two suicide notes: a wistful, heartfelt yet brief message which he sent privately to my son, wishing him all the best in life and telling my son he loved him, and a more angst-filled second one announcing his intentions to Facebook.

Capture9

This horrific declaration was posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 12:22pm CDT.

Sadly, this time it wasn’t solely for shock value. After posting this bitter letter to the world at large, 17 year-old Kevin did exactly what he stated he would do. He doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire outside his grandmother’s home. He was rushed to the children’s burn center, with burns covering 99% of his body.

imagesCAW7ACN0Nothing is real but pain now…
Hold my breath as I wish for death;
Oh please God, wake me… ~ Metallica, One

Kevin passed away at 11:20pm CDT that evening, surrounded by his devastated family including his father, stepmother, stepsister and stepbrother in-law, and the grief-stricken grandmother at whose home it all took place.

Why was this sweet little Pisces such a tortured soul?

What kind of inner turmoil eventually drove this happy little boy to take his own life…and in such a horrific way?

Suicides by burning, or self-immolation, while common in countries such as India and Afghanistan, account for less than one percent of all suicides in the U.S. How does someone get to the point of such sheer desperation? What has to take place in a person’s life that is so unbearable that they find not just death, but a fiery, violent, excruciatingly painful death preferable? Why would anyone purposely choose such a torturous manner of death? Was it a big “fuck you” to the world on his way out? One final statement for shock value? A protest against what he viewed as all the wrongs in the world, as he mentioned in his post about self-immolation? To punish the folks in his life he resented? Did he simply hate himself that much? All of the above? None of the above?

By all accounts, Kevin had a loving, caring family. He frequently claimed that no one cared, that no one wanted him around…but this was certainly not the case, evidenced by the unimaginable grief, the tears shed by so many who can’t understand why he didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t believe he was truly loved and wanted. Why couldn’t, or didn’t he believe this?

Soooo not true.

Maybe Kevin hated himself so much that he didn’t believe it was possible for anyone to love or care about him, and/or perhaps he didn’t feel that he was worthy of anyone’s love. His chosen method of suicide is certainly steeped in intense self-hatred. Although the rest of us can see quite clearly that was absolutely not true, that he was worthy and he was loved, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, whatever the reason, it was Kevin’s reality. Our perceptions are our reality.

And, just maybe, it’s not for anyone else to understand the goings-on inside the exceptional mind of this tortured Piscean soul. We can wax philosophical all day long and never will we know with 100 percent certainty why this young man with the potential to be anything, to do anything, chose to exit this life when and in the way he did.

The last song Kevin listened to was this cover of Cheap Trick's classic "I Want You to Want Me" by Gary Jules

The last song Kevin listened to was this cover of Cheap Trick’s classic “I Want You to Want Me” by Gary Jules

Feelin’ all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin’…
Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’?
I want you to want me…
I need you to need me…
I’d love you to love me. ~ Cheap Trick (covered by Gary Jules), I Want You To Want Me

I hope and pray that he has found the peace in death which evidently eluded him during his way too brief lifetime.

Rest well, sweetie. We’ll see you on the Other Side.

Rest well, sweet Kevin... February 26, 1996 - September 4, 2013

Rest well, sweet Kevin…
February 26, 1996 – September 4, 2013

I have lost the will to live…
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me…
Need the end to set me free
Things not what they used to be…
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost, this can’t be real…
Cannot stand this hell I feel. ~ Metallica, Fade to Black


NOTE: I will be participating on behalf of Team Kevin in the 2013 Little Rock Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention on November 2. If you would like to take part, or simply make a donation (no matter how small), please visit Team Kevin’s AFSP fundraising page.