The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 231, titled:
Significations of the Twelve Houses – Part 1: Houses 1-6
With Chris Brennan and guests Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock
Episode originally released on November 27, 2019
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andy Roisland-Fox
Transcription released January 10th, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to the Astrology Podcast. Today is Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, starting at exactly 5:08pm in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 331st episode of the show. In this episode I’m going to be talking with astrologers Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock about the significations of the twelve houses, and this is planned to be part one in our series on the houses. We’re going to cover houses one through six today, and then in the next episode we’ll do houses seven through twelve. So hey, how’s it going guys?
KELLY SURTEES: Hi, good!
AUSTIN COPPOCK: Hey.
CB: Thank you for joining me in the studio today.
KS: It’s a different experience. It’s very good.
CB: Yes, it’s a little tricky getting everything together. This is our first recording- you guys, Kelly you flew out from Belgium and Austin you flew in from Oregon, and we are recording our first episode in person- not ever.
KS: In the studio.
CB: So this is exciting and we’re going to- we’re not going to do an easy episode, we’re going to tackle one that we’ve been meaning to do for a long time that’s going to be kind of a lot of work, but it’s going to be one of our more important episodes and it’s gonna be good to have it recorded here in person.
KS: We’ve been promising it for a while.
CB: Alright, so we’re going to talk about the significations of the twelve houses today. We’ve planned this out surprisingly little in terms of actual planning for what we wanted to say, but I know each of us has taught the houses so many times that this is really something any of the three of us could do in our sleep at this point, and that’s part of what we’re shooting for is not a fully casual discussion but a discussion between three practitioners that have been doing this for a couple of decades about what the meanings of the twelve houses are that’s accessible, not just for beginners, but also with something for intermediate and advanced students as well.
KS: Yeah, it’s such an important topic, and I think the more that you know about the houses the better your astrology is overall. We’ve all been teaching on this material for a while and adding to our own understanding of it so it’s gonna be good to pop it out there and complete those three foundational subjects, because we’ve done planets and signs already, I think.
AC: That we have.
CB: Yeah, and that’s actually my most popular YouTube video right now, I just looked it up last night. And part two of our “signs of the zodiac” series has like 60 or 70 thousand views, so this is like a continuation of that series. We’ve done the planets – actually the first one we did was the significations of the seven traditional planets like two or three years ago, then we did the signs of the zodiac and now the next major part of the system is the twelve houses.
CB: Alright, preliminary stuff to get out of the way: there’s conceptual stuff that we could touch on but there’s also practical things like house division. I did an episode, I guess it was last month, on how the different forms of house division came about, but for the most part the basic central premise was that whole sign houses seems to have been the most popular system of house division originally, but then the Hellenistic astrologers were also using equal houses and quadrant houses as a secondary overlay in order to judge when planets were more active or more prominent in a chart. But in terms of house division, I primarily use whole sign houses. Is that what you guys use primarily at this point as well?
KS: Yeah, I do.
AC: Yeah, I use whole sign houses with the position of the Midheaven and the Ascendant taken into consideration.
KS: Yes, the Midheaven is so important. That comes into it in a huge way. But in terms of topics, I mean, that’s the core thing I think is knowing the right topics to associate with the houses, even if you might be using a different house system.
AC: Well, and even though there are a couple different systems for dividing the circle, the rationale behind houses is very similar for all of them. There are cadent houses and angular houses in every house system. I also use the Indian whole sign system and again, it’s a whole sign twelve house system, right?
AC: And you were saying earlier, it’s important that there’s no real astrology without [the] houses. You can look at the nature of influences or the nature of configurations with planets and signs, but if you don’t know where to look for them in the life then it’s very difficult to do astrology. Houses tell us, like, let’s say we have some wonderful Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, right? Well, is that in a person’s 11th house like Kurt Cobain and so they have an amazingly devoted loving audience? Is it in a person’s first house? So they’re just this giant ball of cuddly wisdom – or is it in their fourth? Was it their mom that brought that? And so, knowing the difference between: is this configuration someone’s mom? Is it their audience? Is it their job? Is it them?
KS: Is it financial? Is it health?
AC: It’s huge. It’s hugely practical.
CB: Right, that’s one of the things is that houses show topics or areas of life as well as other people in the person’s life in general. That’s one of the primary roles or purposes from a technical standpoint of the twelve houses.
AC: Yeah, where in the life does it land. And I think houses do a really good job of underscoring that the chart is about – the essential, fundamental unit of analysis in a chart is a life.
AC: It’s not just the part of the life that you identify with. There are houses for that; there are there also houses for, “That seems not like me at all.”
KS: Yeah, “That’s in my life, but it’s not me personally.”
KS: The houses give you such a holistic overview and it’s so wonderful that you can describe another person in your life. This is what your parent was like, this is what your relationship with siblings is like, or relationship with boss or coworkers, and all that comes from knowing where to find those people or all those parts of your life via the birth chart by their houses.
CB: Just watch your hand. It’s in the way of the camera.
KS: Just getting used to our —
AC: Our new home.
KS: — our particular location. It’s like being in a new house right now.
CB: Yeah, and I’m still getting used to it as well. Okay, so houses show topics or areas of a person’s life, is one of the things that they do. Other things that the houses do is they can show whether a planet is functioning well or if a planet is functioning poorly, or another way of framing that might be: in some traditions they frame it as a planet [being] auspiciously placed in the person’s chart versus an inauspicious or a less auspicious placement in terms of the ability of the planet to function in the person’s life and produce the significations that it wants to produce, versus being in some houses where it has a little bit more difficulty producing things in a way that is just obviously favorable or good for the native.
AC: Yeah, absolutely. And that reminds me of what I think is one of the most important things to learn about houses when you’re coming from the signs to the houses, is [that] there are not good and bad signs, whereas there are apparently more powerful and more favorable houses and inherently way, way rougher houses. It’s like a city: some real estate is worth ten times what real estate ten miles over is like.
KS: That is such a good point that you made there, Austin, that there are no good or bad signs. Every sign has positive and negative qualities to it but inherently, none of them are kind of challenging or difficult, but there are at least two, and certain authors would argue three or four, houses that are problematic and so it’s good to understand those distinctions.
AC: Yeah, and that’s what Chris was saying: if a planet is in one of the best pieces of real estate in the chart that planet, regardless of whether it’s happy in its sign or not, has a lot of power and a lot of influence —
KS: Huge amount of power, yeah.
AC: — and then there are some houses where even if the planet is in its exaltation and it’s got trines from friendly planets – very supported – it’s still gonna have kind of a rough go of it.
KS: It’s still stuck. And so the houses, then, are also a way of qualifying the acting power, if you like, of a planet. In terms of assessing its condition or its ability to do its thing.
AC: Probably the most single important factor in assessing accidental dignity.
CB: Just to summarize that briefly, generally speaking, the traditional doctrine on this is that the houses that aspect the rising sign through a major aspect are the ones that tend to be more positive or easier, whereas the houses that do not aspect the rising sign are the ones that tend to be a little bit more challenging or have outcomes that tend to be a little bit more difficult in terms of the planets ability to manifest some of its more positive significations. So the breakdown is usually that the sixth, eighth, and 12th tend to be the so-called bad houses or the negative houses or the challenging houses, and the other houses in varying degrees of positivity tend to be the more favorable houses.
CB: Okay, other conceptual structures built into the houses are the concept of angularity and the idea of the so-called angular triads. The foundation of that, of course, is the four angular houses, which are the first house, the fourth house, the seventh house and the 10th house.
KS: And there’s a favorite- everything is ranked and graded.
AC: There are a lot of ranking grading systems.
KS: There are a lot of ranking grading systems, but most people would say- well, I think all systems say the first house is the most potent.
AC: No, well, so you get disagreement, I would say it’s pretty even on both sides, between which is best, the first or the 10th. It’s always first and 10th —
KS: First and 10th are top two.
AC: — in the number one and two slots.
AC: Yeah, but I’d like to pause for a second on the four angular houses because one, angular houses are more powerful and speak to- part of the way I teach it is the four angular houses are what you use to answer the four basic questions you would have about a person’s life. First house: what are they like? Seventh house: who are they with? Fourth house: where are they from? 10th house: what do they do? Then those four anchor a triad each, which is what you were leading to. I just wanted to get that in there.
CB: Right, that the four houses- the four angles anchor all of the rest of the significations in the houses, and the breakdown I usually do for that is… Let me see if we can throw up a diagram actually. This is a poster we’re releasing on the significations of the houses which largely follows traditional significations, although it has a few more modern significations, I think. But usually the breakdown I do is: first house is the self – it’s where you find the native or the person whose birth chart it is, the seventh house represents the other which can represent partnerships, the 10th house represents their public life, whereas the fourth house represents their private life. This is actually partially tied into a cycle that was connected and used to some extent in the Egyptian tradition, that I think you mentioned to me last night, Kelly, which was the diurnal rotation and its connection with the angles.
KS: Yeah, they had this beautiful philosophy. Things coming up on the eastern horizon is life and births and beginnings, then when the Sun reaches that 10th house position we mark that as the Midheaven. They can often be different but that’s the height of the Sun’s brightness so think about the 10th house as the most visible, highest-profile part of the chart. Then the West, of course, is the setting which they did associate with things like death and dying. It’s interesting how we have relationships in there today, which we could explore from a philosophical perspective. But that’s obviously the setting point, and then the fourth house – when students are struggling to understand that, think about it as the midnight position. You’re at home. You’re with your family. You’re in the more private, intimate parts of your life, the stuff that you probably- I was gonna say you wouldn’t share with others, but maybe in the world of Instagram you do share some of it, but you still probably don’t share all of it.
AC: Right, and when a planet is in the fourth relative to where you are you would look down to find it, so either they’re supporting you or dragging you down, but it’s acting from below you.
KS: From that subterranean underneath.
AC: The subterranean pivot.
KS: Yes, the subterranean pivot in technical terms.
AC: It’s my new metal band.
KS: Love it.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. So in order to frame the astronomy of the houses and four angles: the first house and the Ascendant is roughly located and associated with the Eastern horizon, which is where the Sun rises in the morning each day, and then the 10th house is associated roughly with that which is immediately overhead in the middle of the sky when the Sun is roughly at noon, approximately, or in the middle of the day —
KS: Yeah, the height of the day.
CB: — then the seventh house and the Descendant is associated with where the Sun sets in the West each day, and then the IC and the fourth house are associated with where the Sun is at midnight.
KS: Yeah, the darkness point of night.
CB: So that’s one- because there’s two motions, and this often confuses people when they start learning the houses, and that’s called the diurnal rotation, which is the Sun rising in the east and then culminating overhead and then setting in the west and then hitting the anti-culmination or the IC or the subterraneous point around midnight. But all of the planets follow a similar motion at different rates. It’s not just the Sun that does that but all of the planets will rise and culminate and set and anti-culminate at different points during the course of a day. So that motion, roughly, if you looked at it as a chart – let’s pull up a chart really quickly – is roughly clockwise, right?
AC: Yep, whereas all the planets in their courses move counterclockwise.
CB: So let me back it up. Let’s use today as an example and I’ll back it up to sunrise. So this is using whole sign houses, but the Sun is currently in Scorpio. So that means this morning when the Sun reached the Ascendant it rose over the eastern horizon. So here we have Scorpio, the ascendent in Scorpio, so Scorpio is the quote-unquote “rising sign” and using whole sign houses at least Scorpio is the first house. So the Sun will then- if you just sort of animate the chart the Sun will eventually rise over the horizon, over the Ascendant, and that’s sunrise, basically. Then eventually the Sun keeps moving and starts moving upwards over the course of the next several hours as it moves through the houses, until eventually it hits the top part of the chart and hits the Midheaven and that’s around the time, let’s say roughly, it’s hitting the 10th house. There’s a little bit of ambiguity here, of course, there’s a little bit of a problem as we’re discussing this because we are sort of alternating back and forth between discussing it within the context of whole sign houses versus quadrant houses and needing to sort of blend those two vantage points which is a little tricky, right?
KS: Yeah, I think it’s the difference between the MC and the 10th house, that the MC —
CB: The 10th sign
KS: — yeah, that the 10th sign around from the Ascendant – the Midheaven itself will mark the degree of the Sun’s culmination but it may not sit in the 10th sign or the 10th whole sign house, even though both the 10th house and the Midheaven will have a couple of crossover significations, even if they’re not in the same sign, and that’s something people get very confused with when they first come to whole sign houses.
CB: And that’s going to be tricky and we’re gonna try to balance both as we’re doing this, but just keep in mind that difference.
KS: Yeah, that they are two things.
CB: And definitely check out that previous episode on the origins of the different forms of house division where I have a more detailed breakdown, but you have two different approaches. Alright, so back to that: in the middle of the day the Sun hits the 10th whole sign house or hits the Midheaven and that’s when it’s roughly in the 10th sign or 10th house. Then it keeps going and eventually the Sun hits the Descendant in the seventh whole sign house around sunset and as soon as the Sun hits the Descendant the Sun moves underneath the horizon and sinks underneath the horizon, and actually in Ancient Hellenistic astrology they called the seventh house the setting place or the sinking place because that’s literally where the Sun sets or sinks underneath the horizon each day, as opposed to the rising sign which is where the Sun rises over the horizon each day.
KS: Yeah, and the ancient Egyptians had their whole philosophy about the planets sinking over the horizon, going into the underworld, and kind of being in the underworld space. Then when they see them rise- the Sun coming up over the Ascendant every morning had that magical sort of quality of rebirth. It’s maybe stronger than we might think today because light is viewed differently.
AC: Well, and to be clear, even though the Sun is by far the most visible thing that rises and sets, you can watch every visible planet rise in the east and set in the west.
CB: As long as it- especially if it’s nighttime. For example, in this chart we can see, about an hour or so after sunset where the Sun is in the sixth house in Scorpio, we see the Descendant is at 19 degrees of Sagittarius and Venus and Jupiter are right there at 23 and 27 Sagittarius and they’re just getting ready to set and move underneath the Descendant which means if you went outside and looked west you would see these two bright white twinkling stars set under the horizon over the course of a half hour or something like that.
KS: Yeah, they’re there and then they’re not.
CB: Okay, so the Sun sets at the seventh house and the Descendant and then eventually moves into the sixth house and then the fifth house and then eventually, once it hits the fourth house and the IC, we have the sort of halfway through the night or the midnight part of the day as it’s going through the fourth house, and then eventually the Sun moves to the third then the second and then it hits the first house and it rises again the next morning, and that’s one complete diurnal rotation of the Sun. You can see that as we’re animating this chart, it’s not just the Sun that is moving and rising and culminating and setting and anti-culminating, but also the other planets do the same thing and that’s the fundamental basis of the houses. The houses start with those four angular houses because those are the four sectors of the chart that have a very clear astronomical basis in being based on either rising of the eastern horizon, culminating up overhead during midday, setting in the evening or hitting the anti-culmination or the midnight point halfway through the night.
AC: And it’s worth noting that, for people who are newer to houses: every planet spends time in all 12 houses every day. That’s not like signs.
KS: No, that’s very good. And that’s to do with the Earth’s rotation.
CB: Right. All of that being said, in terms of the diurnal rotation we have that movement where, if you put it on a chart, it looks like a clockwise movement. There’s also a secondary movement and that’s actually the movement which is the movement of the planets through the signs of the zodiac and when you put that in a chart that movement goes counterclockwise, and that’s actually the order in which we number the houses, 1 through 12, so sometimes that trips people up.
AC: Right, because throughout the day the Sun does 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, whereas if you watch the Sun move through your chart throughout the year It’s gonna do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.
CB: Right. So back to our diagram. This is the 12 houses, and it starts out [on] the eastern horizon, the sector associated with the Ascendant which is associated with the first house. Then if you go downwards the next house after that is the second house, then the third house, then the fourth house is the IC or the subterranean point, the midnight point. The fifth house comes after that, then the sixth house, the seventh house is associated with the setting or the Descendant, then the eighth house, ninth house, 10th house associated with the Midheaven or the culmination, 11th house, and then finally the 12th house is the last of the twelve houses. That’s the basic sort of structure that everybody encounters when they first start learning astrology in terms of the twelve houses. And the next step is- the next question immediately becomes: what do those twelve houses mean? What do those twelve segments or sectors of the chart actually mean when you’re interpreting them, especially in a person’s birth chart or especially when you’re looking at planets placed in each of the twelve houses? What do those mean?
KS: Yeah, and I think there’s a couple of distinctions to make too. The houses basically create the framework or the structure of every astrological birth chart. So once you have an understanding of the topics of the houses then you can apply that to all charts. Now, how you interpret the topics and the meaning of each topic is different from chart to chart based on the planets and the signs associated with each house, but it’s good to understand that that framework of those twelve houses – that particular order – is in every single birth chart. It’s consistent, basically.
CB: One of the sectors, for example, that we’ll talk a lot about in part two is the 10th house representing career, but depending on what planets you have in your 10th house or associated with the 10th house or other things like that, different people are gonna have different predispositions towards different types of careers based on those placements.
KS: Totally. So you look at- if you want to answer the question about career, one of the places you go is the 10th house, but how you answer that in terms of, “Go in this direction or that direction,” is different for every chart, and that’s where the magic of astrology comes in.
CB: In terms of other preliminary conceptual structures that we need to touch on, I think there’s two that we need to address. One of them is the modern conceptualization of signs equals houses and the second conceptualization is the older idea of the planetary joys as being one of the ways that significations are derived from the houses. Which one should we touch on first? I’m trying to decide which it would be easier to start with. Should we start with kind of dismissing the signs equals houses thing and explaining why, even though people at this point, while they may immediately encounter that, why it might not be the most useful thing to use or should we focus instead on the joys?
KS: I think my feeling is to start with the first option of the house-sign thing, because once we get into the joys we can then probably segue into the topics a little bit from there, unless you guys have a different preference.
AC: I’m fine with that.
CB: Okay, so the starting point for the houses is the four angles, the four angular houses – one, four, seven, and ten – and those are the basis of the houses because they have immediate astronomical properties. The fact that the Sun and the other planets rise over the horizon in the first house, or that they set and sink under the earth in the seventh house, or that in the 10th house the planets are at their highest and most visible part of the chart, so they’re the most evident, then therefore astrologers draw symbolic interpretations for that and say, “This is where the native will be the most eminent in their life,” or, “This is where the native’s reputation will be seen or their public life will be seen through the 10th house,” because symbolically that’s where the planets are at their most visible. And then conversely at the fourth house, the planets are at their most hidden because that’s the midnight position and therefore the fourth house is said to represent the natives private life and their home life and family and things like that, things that are private and therefore opposite to the 10th house significations of your reputation and your public visibility in your career. So right there we can see part of the basic significations of the houses coming from just the astronomical properties of where these houses [are] located relative to the perspective of the observer and what might that mean symbolically, and that’s one method in which I think the significance of the houses were originally developed.
Over the centuries, astrologers have come up with different rationales for assigning significations to different houses. One of the more recent ones that’s becoming extremely popular in modern times, although it’s a relatively recent invention, is to associate the first house, because it’s the first of the twelve houses, with what is thought to be the first sign of the zodiac which is Aries, and then to associate the second sign of the zodiac which is Taurus with the second of the twelve houses, which is the second house, and Gemini to the third house and Cancer to the fourth and so on and so forth. This is a very widespread and pervasive conceptual structure that’s been adopted in the past few decades in modern astrology, but one of the surprising things that’s happened during the traditional movement over the course of the past 20 or 30 years, once astrologers went back and started translating ancient texts, is that we actually discovered that that conceptual model doesn’t seem to have been used hardly at all and doesn’t even seem to have been a concept until relatively recently in the long history of astrology
KS: Like maybe the last hundred years? Is it an Alan Leo thing or a little bit later?
CB: What happens is that you can see traces of it- like, Lilly mentions it sort of in passing, but he doesn’t really seem to use it way back in like the 16th or 17th century —
KS: 17th century, yeah.
CB: — but then when it gets to modern times, you have those late 19th and early 20th century astrologers like Alan Leo drawing on earlier texts like Lily where they saw that and they assumed that that was a core conceptual structure for the houses, so they just started running with it. Then it accelerates really fast, because if you look at Alan Leo he’s still not using it as much as he could, but then when you get the generation of astrologers that came in the 1960s and ‘70s and ‘80s, they really went to town with it and it became their primary conceptual structure for understanding what the significations of the houses are, and it’s sort of started to supersede almost all other approaches to understanding the houses. So it’s relatively recent in the past few decades, basically.
AC: Doesn’t work very well.
KS: Yeah, I was gonna say, my astrology got so much better when I stopped doing it that way.
AC: Yeah, I remember when I stopped doing it, the houses actually started working.
KS: They did!
AC: I was like, oh my god, you mean the fourth house can actually tell me about someone’s family and origins?
KS: Yes, not just Cancer stuff.
AC: It’s an oversimplification.
KS: It is. I would go so far to say it’s a gross oversimplification.
AC: Yeah, it’s an oversimplification to the point that you’re gonna make huge errors if you’re using that. And by errors, I mean inaccurate delineations where you sit down with the person and you say, “Okay I’m going to delineate your family based on this idea,” versus taking the fourth house as the fourth house rather than a mirror image of a sign. You will make catalogable mistakes if that is your approach, or at least that was what I saw, and then switching out of that and understanding angularity, understanding succedent houses [and] cadent houses, understanding the houses on their own terms gives you the results that you’re supposed to get from houses. I kind of didn’t fully believe that houses worked before I learned to get away from that twelve letter alphabet thing, because they didn’t do what I was told they would do. And that also connects back to- if you’re thinking of them as signs then everyone is equally viable, you know, the twelve signs are twelve different patternings. One is not better than another. One is more Saturnian, one is more Solar —
KS: One is more planning, one is more fast…
AC: — whereas the houses are unequal.
CB: Yeah, but we all did start there.
KS: We did, we did all start there.
CB: We all start out of there with modern astrology, and that was so ingrained that if you read most intro books, it’s just taken for granted. So we started there, but then once we started learning about older forms of astrology we saw that not only was that conceptual model not there, but that the houses had their own independent meanings that were based on other conceptual structures that actually seemed to be more important and more foundational for understanding the houses on their own terms.
AC: It’s worth noting that there’s also a market motive for the twelve signs equal twelve [houses] idea, because you can present- so with signs and houses, if there are two sets of twelve you have a hundred and forty-four overlaps, whereas if they’re the same thing then you only have to describe twelve things.
KS: So from a publishing and a print perspective…
AC: It’s 1/12 the complexity.
KS: Yeah, right. It’s easier to sell to a mass-market.
AC: You can present as if you’re covering a lot more ground.
CB: Yeah, well and also it’s just easier because I think one of the issues, especially that newer students run into but even more experienced astrologers [do], is that sometimes they’ll know a few significations of the houses but then they’ll struggle to come up with the other meanings and they’ll reach to the signs and they’ll say, “Well, the 12th house indicates this and this,” but then they’ll sort of start grasping for other meanings and they’ll reach to, ”Well, Pisces is the 12th sign so the 12th house must also mean this.”
AC: That’s a good point. When you do the signs equal houses it not only gives you a below mediocre understanding of houses, it also corrupts the signs.
KS: It does corrupt the signs.
AC: Because Sagittarius is not always about long distance travel, right, if you have Sagittarius in the second it has nothing —
KS: to do with travel and everything to do with your financial strategy! Which may have its own problems or gifts depending on —
AC: As a Sun in Pisces, having Pisces always described in 12th house terms is not useful and not accurate.
KS: Not helpful.
CB: So part of your objection is- part of what you’re bringing up is that it’s not just that contemporary astrologers in the late 20th century started sort of stealing significations from the signs and importing them into the houses, but also some of the significations of the houses started being imported over into the signs.
CB: So it blurred the distinction between the two.
KS: Yeah, it became this semi-permeable membrane thing.
AC: Yeah exactly, which makes both not work.
KS: It makes both diluted essentially.
AC: Yes, like, what’s the worst sandwich you can imagine?
CB: I mean peanut butter and jelly mixed with like —
KS: I think that’s gross.
AC: No that’s wonderful. There’s a complementarity there between the sweet and the salty.
CB: Austin’s deeply offended right now.
AC: One of my brother’s favorite terrible combinations was salted peanuts and chewing gum.
KS: Oh disgusting. Yeah, that is horrible.
AC: I like chewing gum and I like salted nuts, but when you put them together that’s basically what signs equal houses is, is like: nut studded chewing gum.
CB: Are you talking about the brother who’s gonna be editing this episode?
KS: Who we love and adore, thank you very much for all your hard work.
CB: I appreciate him very much.
AC: Oh he didn’t eat that, he just went through a phase where he was trying to come up with the worst combinations.
KS: Okay, so it wasn’t something he actually liked.
AC: No, it was a creative project for him.
KS: Okay, I love it.
CB: Well, feel free, Steven, to put a mustache on Austin at this point if you want to in the video version —
AC: Oh I don’t think he’ll be offended! It was one of his classics. There were some other ones that were really good too, but I don’t remember. There was Vidalia dijon tic-tacs was another thing that would never exist.
CB: I think we’re getting slightly off track here.
KS: I mean, I was gonna make a point here on the houses, if that’s okay, which is that, when you attempt to learn the topics of the twelve houses in a way that is not borrowing from the zodiac signs, it is harder. I will say it right there. And when I teach students, you have to learn, you know, almost every beginner student, even if they have studied modern, that has come into my program, they’re stuck. They need to learn, “What is the eighth house really about if I’m not just going to use all the Scorpio words? What is the twelfth house really about?” And I know we’re gonna talk about these in our part two episode.
AC: Just one thing I’ve learned from teaching is the people who come in with nuts and gum already coated in, it’s very difficult to pull all the crunched peanuts out of gum.
KS: It’s very hard to get gum off anything.
AC: For people who come in who don’t have that, they pick up houses super fast.
KS: That’s true.
AC: It’s really not very hard.
CB: Because you have to unlearn what you initially learned in order to rebuild your understanding of the houses, and that’s unfortunately the process we all had to go through.
KS: Totally, absolutely. And you had to backtrack, and then your brain’s working twice as hard, but in the end it’s worth it because you understand —
AC: I just never really- I was always skeptical about houses because when I did it that way it just didn’t work like it was supposed to. I was like, yeah, not so sure about it. And then my skepticism was validated. I was like, that’s not the way you’re supposed to do it at all! Now it works.
KS: So we probably could convince people to at least maybe try- maybe not convince, but to put an invitation out there to try the non-ABC approach of house meanings.
CB: And that’s as much as we can, what we’re going to be following here as we get into the significations of the houses, eventually, is trying to build it up from scratch based on the astronomical meaning and location of the houses as it relates to things like angularity versus houses that are cadent or succedent, which is something we haven’t quite talked about yet, as well as another conceptual structure which appears to have been the original or one of the original conceptual structures for understanding the houses, which is a set of assignments for each of the seven traditional planets to one of the twelve houses, which is known as the planetary joy scheme. And really quickly, that scheme…
KS: We have a diagram.
CB: Let me put it up.
KS: It’s on your diagram, isn’t it?
KS: And I think even if you don’t have a full conceptual understanding of the joys, at least if you memorize which planet has its joy in which house, you’re probably better off drawing from some of those planetary keywords to help fill out your house meanings than fall back on the signs.
CB: Sure. So in this diagram you can see each of the seven traditional or visible planets is associated with one of the houses. So Mercury is assigned to the first house, the Moon is assigned to the third house – and this is tied in with the traditional names of the houses in ancient greco-roman astrology, so the third house was called the place of the Goddess and that was said to be the house associated with the Moon, and that is opposite to the ninth house which was associated with the Sun and it was said to be the place of God. The fifth house is called the place of Good Fortune and that’s associated with Venus, and that is opposite to the house associated with Jupiter which is the 11th house which is called the place of Good Spirit. Then we have the sixth house which is called the place of Bad Fortune which is associated with Mars, and it is opposite to the 12th house which is called the place of Bad Spirit which is associated with Saturn.
So this is actually the original conceptual structure for assigning planets to some of the twelve houses, and as you can see it doesn’t really have anything to do with the other more recent construction, sometimes used, of the twelve letter alphabet of Aries equals Mars equals first house and Taurus equals Venus equals second house and so on and so forth. So that’s part of what we’ll be following here, and as we go through it we’ll see that some of the significations of the houses are actually derived from that planetary joy scheme. But there’s also other conceptual structures like the concept of angularity. We’ve already talked about the four angular houses, but we also have to introduce the idea of the angular triads and the idea that there are these four sequences of three houses that are grouped around the four angles and that repeat four different times. So, how do you guys want to introduce that?
KS: Just directly.
CB: Okay, so there’s always a house that comes before where the house- if a planet is there, it’s falling away from or it’s moving away from the angle, and these are known as the four cadent houses. Cadent means to fall away from something or to decline from something because the planets that are in those houses are declining away or moving away from the prominence of being in an angular house. So the four cadent houses are the third house, which is falling away from the fourth house, the sixth house which is falling away from the seventh house, the ninth house which is falling away from the 10th house and the Midheaven, and then the 12th house which is falling away from the first house and the Ascendant.
Then on the other side we have the succedent houses, which are houses that, when planets are placed there, they’re rising up towards the angles or they’re moving up towards the angular houses where they will eventually succeed and sort of take over in terms of their position of prominence that the angles occupy. The four succedent houses are the second house which is rising up towards the first house, the fifth house which is rising up towards the fourth house, the eighth house which is rising up towards the seventh house, and the 11th house which is rising up towards the 10th house.
So when you group those sets of three houses together, it’s known as an angular triad. For example, the angular triad associated with the ascendant is the 12th house, the first house, and the second house, and that forms a set or a sequence of three or an angular triad. Then you have the third house, the fourth house, and the fifth house. Then the next sequence is the sixth house, the seventh house, and the eighth house, and then finally the final angular triad is the ninth house, the 10th house, and the 11th house. Those are the four sets of three, otherwise known as angular triads.
Alright, so those are some of the conceptual structures that we’re going to be using. The last one that we’ve already mentioned briefly in passing is that the houses that aspect the first house, the rising sign, tend to be more positive. That’s houses three, four, five, seven, nine, ten, and eleven, which form either a sextile, square, trine, or opposition with the first house and therefore, since the first house is said to be the house associated with the native, any of the houses aspecting the first house are said to be supportive of the native in some way. Whereas, the houses that don’t aspect the first house are said to potentially be not supportive or in some instances even destructive towards what the first house wants to signify. So this is the sixth house, the eighth house, and the twelfth house, and to a lesser extent the second house.
KS: Yeah, from an aspect to the ascendant perspective, the second house is definitely in there. But I know that it gets treated a little differently. We were talking about that last night – they don’t talk as badly about the second house as they do about the other three.
CB: Yeah, and so we’ll get to that when we touch on the second house. So, are there any other preliminaries that we need to touch on?
AC: We should talk about the basic quality of cadent, succedent, and angular houses.
AC: All angular houses are powerful – they make things happen.
KS: So if you have a lot of planets in those houses, or…
AC: Yeah, planets that are in angular houses are very active. They’re energetic.
KS: And they’re obvious from usually pretty early on in life. I think about it as a checklist of like, whatever planets are in angular houses you get early in life, and the succedent house planets maybe a little bit later or with a bit more effort, and then cadent house planets [need] great effort or great delay.
AC: Mm-hmm. And I would say that angular positions- planets that are angular, in addition to speaking to the specific area that that angular house covers, like fourth with family, planets that are angular also tend to have a more global effect on the chart because they’re very powerful.
KS: That’s beautiful, I like that.
AC: Succedent houses tend to have more to do with resources that a person can draw on: social, internal, financial, energetic, or otherwise. They’re not wildly energetic. They don’t tend to have the same global impact as angular houses, but they’re steady. They’re rising up- they’re moving towards an angle, which can be rising or sinking depending on where you are, and then cadent houses are generally problem-solving houses. Two of our least favorite houses- two of the tradition’s least favorite houses, which are the sixth and the 12th —
KS: And everybody does agree on that as —
AC: Yes, yeah.
KS: All the authors.
AC: Six and twelve are bottom two —
KS: Bottom of the list.
AC: — on everybody’s list for literally thousands of years.
CB: For the most difficult houses?
KS: The two most problematic, yeah.
AC: But even the third and the ninth, the ninth being the most positive, they’re still being drawn into figuring out problems. We’ll get into it during the next episode, but even the ninth, which is very favorable, is figuring out philosophical problems. Which is better than figuring out why your dishwasher is broken, but it’s still figuring it out. So planets that are in cadent houses tend to have a lot of their time taken up by just solving problems, and the result of this is that they have less energy to bring to bear on other parts of the chart.
KS: On whatever their actual significations or intentions might be.
AC: Like doing their general thing. And that’s in strong contradiction to the angular planets, which have a ton of energy to accomplish whatever it is.
KS: Yeah, that’s a great description.
KS: The energy level difference is really important for people to understand with angular, succedent, and cadent [houses].
AC: Yeah, and again, the way that that mixes with signs is, you might have a planet that isn’t in a sign that’s special for it, but it’s in the first house and so it’s going to be very emphasized. Whereas you could have your special exalted thing, but it’s off there in the sixth. Then you’re like, “Why aren’t I amazing at all these things?”
KS: “Why has this not happened for me?”
AC: Yeah. So just, energy levels is one fundamental thing to remember with houses.
CB: Another keyword that I use for the angular houses is prominence, and this is already something you mentioned in passing, Kelly, but the idea that the angular houses and planets in angular houses are more prominent or the most prominent planets typically in a person’s life, because astronomically those planets are at their most visible points where they’re simply the most obvious where, you know, planets in first house or by the Ascendant are literally rising up into view and suddenly become visible for the first time after being under the horizon for half of the day, planets in the Midheaven or the 10th house suddenly are at the highest and most visible part of the sky, planets in the seventh house visibly disappear and sink out of sight, and then planets in the fourth house are at the midway point of invisibility, basically their most invisible.
AC: Well, if we think about the fourth house as the Sun at midnight, that’s when night is the most obvious. It’s like, oh, it’s definitely night. It’s not gonna be morning for a while, hasn’t been evening for awhile; it’s the most visible point of invisibility for the Sun.
CB: What’s that phrase, like, the dark of night or the dead of night?
KS: Yes. Yes, there is a phrase.
CB: Prominence, then, taking that on just following the same analogy that you were doing, Austin, if planets in the fourth are at their most- if angles are their most prominent, succedent planets are rising up towards prominence and they’re not quite there yet, but they’re on their way up headed towards the angles and they will become prominent within the course of an hour or two when they move into the angular positions, whereas cadent planets or planets in what used to be called declining houses are literally falling away from the angles and they’re declining from prominence. So there’s this idea of them receding or falling away in terms of, not just their power, but also their visibility in some sense.
KS: Yeah, it’s the energy of striving to get up to something or to get somewhere and that’s the succedent planet, it’s sort of the aspirational, “We’re not where we want to be but we’ve got a sense of where we’re going.” The angular points or the angular places, you know, we’re there, we’re doing our thing, we’re right in the thick of it. And then the cadent [is] a little bit of that depletion that comes after having done the thing.
AC: Well, and when you follow the houses in the order that the planets move through them, which means in the order that all of your transits will work – one, two, three, four, five – you always do cardinal, succedent, cadent, cardinal, succedent, cadent, and that pattern repeats.
CB: In terms of even transits, for example.
KS: Yeah, angular first, succedent, cadent…
AC: You can see that, as with all transits, most easily with the Moon.
KS: Just when you said the Moon I’m like, people can watch- if you want to understand the different energy levels in your own chart, watch the Moon moving around your chart. It’s gonna move through your houses, every couple of days you change houses.
CB: And so that’s also that secondary motion that I was talking about in terms of the movements of the planets by transit, when they move in that anti-clockwise motion versus the diurnal motion- the daily motion, which is clockwise in a 24-hour period.
KS: And that confuses people in the beginning, for sure.
CB: Yeah, and they’ll get used to it, I mean, one of the easiest —
KS: You’ll figure it out.
CB: — the easiest thing you can do is just get Solar Fire or some astrology program like that and just animate the chart —
KS: Where you can see it moving.
CB: — and move it sort of in a 24 hour period, just jump hour by hour and then you’ll see the planets moving around the chart like we were doing earlier. But then also, freeze the chart and change the increment and then move it at a daily rate and you’ll see the planets moving through the signs of the zodiac in that motion, in the counterclockwise motion. Anyway, any other conceptual stuff that we should touch on before we move on and actually start getting into the significations of the twelve houses?
AC: I think we should move on and stuff will come up, but…
KS: I think that’s a good overview for people to get started with that.
CB: Okay, excellent. Alright. Let’s start talking about the actual significations of the houses, now that we’ve gotten most of the conceptual structure out of the way, basically, right? I think we’ve done a fair and pretty consistent, extensive job and —
KS: I think that’s plenty for people to chew on, and if they want more they’ve got all the right terms and phrases to now go looking for more info.
CB: And if they want more, each of us teaches courses or has books where we go into all this in much more depth. But what we’re trying to do here is [give] a broad overview of the significations of the houses at this point. Okay, so let me throw up my diagram, and this is actually from the the poster that I did this year for the significations of the houses, that’s part of the planetary alignments poster, and this just shows the significations of the first six houses which is what we’re going to cover now starting with the first house. Let’s just see how far through them we can get.
So, [the] starting point is the first house and for my significations of the houses, you can only fit so much on here, but the primary four significations… I mean, first what we’ll say is that it’s an angular house. The first house is associated with Mercury. It’s said to be the place where Mercury rejoices or has its joy, and the significations I have here are that the first house signifies the self, the body, the character, and the appearance of the native or the person whose birth chart you’re talking about or who owns the birth chart that’s being looked at. What do you guys think about those significations? I mean, those are my significations [but] I think I ripped off some from you, Kelly, so I think you should —
KS: Yes, I think I agree with lots of yours, absolutely, because we both have these diagrams floating around. I mean, the first house is the most “you” part of the chart. So it essentially describes, partly, your physical appearance; it speaks to your physical vitality, so the underlying kind of health or vibrancy within your constitution; it’s not necessarily going to tell us- well, there’s some nuances between the first and the sixth house, but primarily the the level of energy or vitality I think is the first house. The life spirit inside your body.
AC: Yeah. Well, I would say that it is both the animating spirit as well as the machinery that it animates.
KS: That’s beautiful.
AC: You know, we’ve talked about this before, that especially in a whole sign system, the first house is where heaven meets earth, right, it’s where the ghost and the machine interface. And so this first house has significations that are both spiritual and psychological as well as very bodily —
AC: — which have to do with, you know, body shape, body functioning, bodily appearance, but also characterological. And so any planet which is in the first house will be enacted and embodied.
KS: That’s a beautiful way of describing it.
AC: Thank you. And so, yeah, it’s sort of- what a lot of people are looking at when they’re looking at astrology is, “What is this person like?” or, “What am I like?” Start with the planet- if there’s a planet in the first house, the person will literally enact that constantly.
CB: Yeah, and that’s a great rectification tool as well. If you have somebody that has their ascendant really late in a sign or really early in a sign and you’re not sure if it’s one sign or another, if there’s a planet that’s in the first house in one of them that’s not in the first house in the other – if, let’s say, Mars is the planet, then that person is going to come off as very Mars-y, either in their physical appearance and something connected with Mars about how they appear or their physicality, or alternatively in terms of their character or character traits or how they put themselves forward, will tend to be more martial if they have Mars in the first house.
AC: Yeah, and if you’re choosing between, let’s say, a person has Mars in Sag and Saturn in Capricorn and you’ve got a rising that could be either: are they a bold and sometimes obnoxious truth-teller who likes exercise, or are they thin and grim? You know, with Saturn in Cap in the first.
KS: More reserved.
AC: You know, are they reticent and erect.
CB: As a Saturn-ruled ascendant person, how dare you, Austin.
AC: I thought that was on your- wasnt that on your business cards? Thin and grim.
CB: Thin and erect.
KS & AC: [LAUGHTER]
CB: I don’t think that was on my business card, but I mean…
KS: Oh my gosh, this is great. Oh, that’s very funny.
AC: And so what happens when you have multiple planets in the first house, Kelly?
KS: Well, you get to be all things, you get to be many things.
AC: Well, and so —
KS: I suspect the planet nearest the Ascendant degree comes out.
AC: — you’re gonna get complicated, but judging in terms of influence, that’s where dignity, which planet is more comfortable in that sign, is really gonna show because that planet will tend to lead the parade. If you’ve got one planet in the first house, that’s such a wonderful starting point for understanding that person.
CB: Definitely. So understanding the person both in terms of their mind and their character as well as their body. And I think that’s the reason why Mercury has its joy in the first house is because Mercury in astrology, especially traditional astrology, always plays this role of having this dual role or bringing together and being the bridge between two different worlds, and nowhere is that more evident than the first house where you have that union of the Spirit or the mind as well as the body and physical incarnation.
AC: Yeah. It’s also- it’s the most immediate house. It’s your direct interface with the rest of the world and a planet that is there, as well as the ruling planet, speaks very strongly to what your style of interfacing with everything else that is not you. And there’s also the, you know, one of the dualities there is self-world. There’s mind-body, self-world, above the horizon, below the horizon, night-day, etc —
KS: The inside-outside.
AC: — then on with Mercury rejoicing in the first, there’s also the- how is it easiest to talk to people? It’s easiest to talk to people face to face, and that’s the first house – it’s immediate and present. Now, if you’re doing the astrology of physical health or of mental health, planets which are in the first house and/or ruling the first house should be of absolute primary concern.
KS: The planet ruling the first house is critical for the —
CB: We need to stop and define that, if we’re gonna go into a house rulership. So right now, in the initial starting point that everybody learns at the beginning and is pretty straightforward because you can see it visually if you just look at the houses, is that there are planets in different houses and some houses have planets in them in your birth chart and other [houses don’t have any planets] in them or appear to be empty. And that’s often a question that a lot of beginner students I see [bring] up, hundreds of times, is just, “What does it mean if I have a house that’s empty and doesn’t have any planets in it?”
KS: It looks disconcerting because it’s- the eye naturally goes, you know, if you do have multiple planets in a sign or in a house your eye is naturally drawn to that. But every house has a planetary ruler that is responsible for the topics of that house, so whether that planet- it can be anywhere in the chart, but if it is the- I mean, and I typically just use the planetary ruler of the sign on the house, and I know there are other ways of going about that.
AC: That’s definitely the place to start. So you’ve got a sign that overlaps with that house: if you’ve got Sagittarius rising then Jupiter is the ruler of the first.
KS; Yeah, and this is why- to go back to our point earlier in the preliminary, this is why you want to look at the unique sign-house combination in the chart you’re looking at.
CB: Right, in terms of like, is Leo on the cusp because it’s- in whole sign houses, it’s easy because the house fully aligns with the sign, but with other forms of house division when you’re looking at house rulerships, it’s usually said to be whatever sign is at the beginning of the house or the starting point —
KS: With the cusp line.
CB: — right, on the cusp of the house, the planet that rules that sign is said to be the ruler of the house and therefore it is said to- when a planet’s sign aligns with the cusp or the starting point of the house, the planet that rules that sign is said to have some role to play or is said to be in charge of that house. So it’s not just planets placed in houses that are important relative to that house, but it’s also the planet that rules or is in charge of that house that has something significant to say about how the topics associated with that house will play out in the native’s life and chart.
AC: Yeah, and if you were beginning- if there’s a planet in there, read that, and then if there’s not a planet in there, read the ruler. Until you have some practice you’re gonna get super confused by trying to read the ruler in relationship to planets that are already there, etc, etc. If there’s a planet there, think about that first —
KS: It’s a good starting point.
AC: — and then if there’s not, look at the ruler.
CB: And then if you have both, then usually it’s a matter of priority and precedence where planets in the house have greater precedence initially, but the ruler has greater precedence or importance oftentimes in the long term or later on.
KS: Overall, yeah, but the first house- it’s very much “you”, it’s gonna tell us the most obvious and striking things about your personality, your body, your physicality…
CB: Yeah, and in terms of the ruler of the first house, because that’s really important, the ruler of the first house is the planet that rules the rising sign. So let’s give an example: let’s say, if a person has their ascendant in Gemini, or another way to phrase that is just the person has Gemini rising, then Mercury is the ruler of Gemini so therefore if the ascendant is also Gemini then Mercury becomes the ruler of the first house. So then you would want to see where Mercury is located in the chart and that will tell you something about how some of the first house topics manifest themselves in the life of the native. So you would want to look at what sign of the zodiac Mercury is located in and that will color some things about the first house, you want to see what house Mercury is located in because Mercury- the ruler of the first house might be in, let’s say, the seventh house or the 10th house, and then you want to see what aspects Mercury has to it in terms of its overall planetary condition to see if it’s working well In the chart or if it has some challenges for some reason.
KS: Yeah, I mean, there’s so many layers into that, and that’s when we get into all the beautiful chart interpretation. But yeah, I think it is good to know the planetary ruler piece.
AC: Especially if it’s empty because —
KS: Yes, everybody worries about that!
AC: Right. You have a self. Even if you don’t have a planet in the first house.
KS & AC: You have a body.
AC: You have a character.
CB: Well, not everyone has character.
AC: Oh, they have a character.
KS: It might not be a pleasant character. I mean, thin and grim but, you know, no, we’re just teasing you.
CB: I don’t think that was the keyword, but…
KS: That’s what I’m going with.
CB: So going back to the first house, are we done with the ruler or do we want to- I want to touch on one point about the first house and its ruler, which is just that the first house is so important that paying attention to the ruler of the first house is actually one of the most crucial starting points in chart interpretation in general. So we’ll go back to planets in the houses and stuff like that, but just to finish up this point about the rulers of the houses, you really want to pay attention to- in ancient astrology, the name for the first house or one of the names of the first house was the “helm” as in the helm of a ship, which is where the steering wheel is, where you steer a boat from or a ship from, and the planet that rules the first house was said to be the steersman or the captain of the ship.
KS: Yeah, the planet with its hands on the steering wheel basically.
CB: Right, so the ruler of the first house is probably one of, if not the most important house ruler in the chart because its placement is going to tell you something about not just what topics the natives life tends to be steered towards based on what house it’s located in, but also how the native goes about steering the sort of metaphorical ship of their life in general and whether that tends to happen or they tend to operate things with greater ease or whether they tend to run into certain issues in sort of steering the overall ship.
AC: And so one way to boil that down is that the ruler of the rising has a lot to do with decision making. The position and condition of the ruler of the rising will tell you a lot about what factors a person takes in when they make decisions and also, you know, do they err on the side of wildness or caution or stupidity or, you know, whatever it is, but decision-making which is- with the first house, we’re looking at questions that are fundamental like, you know, what are they like? Do they have good judgment? Are they safe?
KS: Bit impulsive, bit of a hot-head.
AC: Are they healthy or are they sick a lot? What is their body shaped like?
KS: Always well presented.
AC: Are they puffy?
KS: Are they round? Are they stocky?
AC: Yeah, are they square? Are they rectilinear?
AC: It’s a better word for square.
CB: Alright. Yeah, and sometimes that can also manifest as like- I’ve done some charts and done some work on people that have had physical disabilities or things that are causing impediments or sort of speed bumps in the functioning of the body in some way or another, whether that’s something that the person is born with from the start of their life or whether it’s something that comes up later in the life for some reason. Sometimes that can come up as a topic associated with either the first house or the ruler of the first house.
AC: Oh, yeah.
KS: The condition of the body.
AC: Yeah, I would say that, if I had to pick one thing to look at when doing physical health, first ruler —
KS: Ruler of the first, ruler of the ascendent.
AC Yeah, there’s another house and we’ll get to that one.
KS: We’ll get to that one.
CB: Sure. Going back, I want to go back to one of the astronomical significations and the reason why all of the houses signify different- there’s kind of a misconception in modern astrology where, when astrology went psychological, they started treating the entire chart as representing different parts of the native’s psyche and saying that different parts of the chart are just extensions of the native’s psyche and it’s all you, but one of the things that you notice really quickly when you go into traditional astrology is that the first house is really the house that is most closely associated with the native or the person born at that moment, and the other houses represent different people or different parts of the person’s life. So the first house is you, the seventh house is your partner, the fourth house is your parents, the fifth house is your children, and so on and so forth. The eleventh house is your friends. So part of the reason for that astronomically, though, and why the first house, if you’re going to pick one of the twelve houses that’s so closely associated with the native, is because the birth chart is a diagram that shows the alignment of the planets- the alignment of the cosmos at the moment of your birth and just as the rising sign depicts the sign of the zodiac that was rising over the eastern horizon and the stars and planets that were emerging from under the earth and were emerging into visibility at the exact moment that you were born, at the exact moment that you emerged presumably from your mother, the rising sign represents the emergence of the cosmos or what was emerging at that moment and that becomes the symbolic connection between the first house or the rising sign and what was happening in that moment, which is basically you emerging physically into life.
CB: Do you guys have any other- is there anything else about that in terms of that notion of- it’s just so important, the notion of emergence and the notion of the rising sign astronomically and the connection between the two, and just the notion of the first house as that primary house that represents you in the chart versus the other houses often representing other people in your life or other parts of your life.
KS: Yeah, there’s something in that idea of, you know, you become your own creature or your own being at the moment of birth. You become separate from your mother. You are breathing independently of her and once the umbilical cord is cut you are surviving independently of her. So there is that sense of sort of being a complete or a separate entity, the symbolism of the birth piece. The Sun or any planet, you know, they get born when they come over the ascendant. They emerge – that coming forth idea which the ancient Greeks have encapsulated in their Moon phase system as well, but that’s a different model. But the concept of: this is the birth or the beginning or the emerging.
CB: And that’s a really important point that in ancient astrology and ancient philosophy and embryology, especially with the Stoics, that they viewed the baby or the fetus as an extension of the mother’s body up until the moment of birth and often use the analogy of a piece of fruit that’s growing on a tree. It’s still- you sort of view it as part of the tree until that moment where you pluck the apple from the tree and then suddenly it’s an apple that’s sort of on its own in some ways, and that moment of birth when you are suddenly your own entity that is released symbolically, the start of your life independently from the mother, and that’s why the birth chart is cast for the moment of birth as opposed to, let’s say, the moment of conception or something else.
AC: Yeah, just to take the fruit harvesting quite literally, when you’re doing, you know, let’s say you’re getting some plant matter to do some astrological magic, you harvest with an electional chart, and what’s in the first house is most important because that’s when it’s born as your apple rather than part of the tree.
CB: Sure, and that’s the other thing is this whole notion of the moment of origin, or the inception of something, like when we’re doing natal astrology we’re talking about the inception of a person being born at a specific moment in time, but you can also extend this notion of symbolic moments of origin to, in electional astrology, like, other things, and then you cast a chart for the beginning of a relationship between two people or when two people get married and therefore the symbolic beginning of the marriage. Or, what are some other important inceptional moments?
AC: Founding a business.
CB: Yeah, founding a business or starting a long journey or a voyage or something like that. Anything that has a symbolic moment of time in which it clearly begins and there’s a clear inception of the beginning of that thing, you can cast an astrological chart for and you can look at it relative to the twelve houses. Once you understand the meanings of the twelve houses,you can understand how they would apply to those different types of ventures or undertakings or entities even though originally the twelve houses were conceptualized purely within the context of natal astrology, and that’s primarily what we’re going to be talking about today, but the first house, if you’re doing electional astrology, is the primary house that represents what was initiated or born at that time.
CB: Alright, so, what else do we need to talk about with respect to the first house? We’ve talked about it being the house most closely associated with the native. We’ve talked about the sort of mind-body duality of the first house. Appearance, we’ve talked about a little bit, but appearance is another good one that gets associated with the first house very strongly and we talked about that a little bit. There’s different ways that that can manifest but it’s usually associated with planets in the first house sometimes dictating things about how the native appears to other people in their physicality. You mentioned Saturn, I think, already, right?
AC: Yeah, I mentioned- for the example, I gave Mars in Sag in the first versus Saturn in Cap in the first.
CB: Okay, so Mars can sometimes be said to indicate like a red or ruddy complexion and Saturn can be said to indicate more of a darker complexion or something like that. Obviously that’s a little tricky just talking in terms of different people and different backgrounds or other things like that, but broadly speaking, archetypally, it can be applied in that way.
AC: It can be like relative to —
KS: It can be a coloring, yeah, relative…
AC: — to parents, and then also shapes.
KS: Shapes and heights.
AC: Orientation. You know, Saturn tends to give leaner people, Mars tends to give more mesomorphic, muscley people with higher metabolisms —
KS: Which makes sense, and the Moon would give more fleshy type appearances.
AC: Jupiter also gives a relatively abundant body.
KS: A full figure, is that what you’re trying to say?
AC: And so on and so on, yeah, and there are lots of other factors, but you start with the Ascendant.
CB: And then Venus is a good one because sometimes Venus in the first house can be- in a basic delineation sometimes Venus, wherever it is placed, can indicate things that are aesthetically appealing for whatever reason. Venus in the first house can sometimes indicate people that stand out as being particularly striking from an aesthetic standpoint. I think in my book I use Angelina Jolie having Venus in the first house and also Paul Newman, the actor Paul Newman from the 1950s, as just being people that were good looking or well proportioned or however you want to quantify whatever it is when we say that somebody is visually appealing, sometimes something like Venus in the first house can then quantify that or can qualify that in some way.
KS: Yeah, I think that’s very true.
AC: Yeah, and so a person will tend to strongly emanate both visually and invisibly the qualities of any planets that are placed in the first. Again, we’re talking about angular houses being very strong positions from which to act for planets. Planets in the first have a very direct input into the person.
KS: Very immediate, very obvious, very instant.
AC: So you’ll just see their quality much more easily than a planet tucked away in the third, and I think one of the reasons perhaps that we’re having a difficult time knowing exactly what to say about the first is that it has global impact on the chart and the life and so it kind of affects everything because it’s the object of the chart itself, which is the person and all of the other houses are the person in relationship to that person or the person when they’re in this circumstance.
KS: Yes, the other houses are like little snapshots or vignettes of like, when you do this thing this is what it’s like. But the first is just you.
AC: Yeah, and so it’s of global importance and that’s- Chris, like you were saying, you know, it’s the steersman. And that got simplified recently into like, oh, it’s the ruler of the chart, and I don’t think that’s a useful way of putting it, but I understand the reasons for that. The ruler of the ascendant is always super important.
AC: It should always be considered, you know, in virtually any question you’re trying to answer when looking at a chart, always look at the ruler of the rising.
CB: And one of the things that’s funny about that is, in terms of different astrological traditions over the past 2,000 years, that’s one of the commonalities is almost all of them say that the ruler of the ascendant and its placement in the chart are very important to pay attention to, whether it’s Hellenistic or medieval Arabic or Persian or Renaissance or Indian astrology, it’s like, they all pay attention to the ruler of the ascendant as having prime importance in the chart.
KS: Very consistent.
CB: Okay, and what you were just saying, Austin, made me think, again, just going back to the idea of prominence and of angular houses being prominent and the first house being one of the most if not the most prominent house because what is more prominent than how you appear to other people when you like walk up to a person and what is the first thing that you notice about a person when you see them.
KS: And that specific thing will be different for everyone based on their appearance, but you will see the indications of that via the first house.
AC: Yeah, and it’s worth noting that if you’re looking at someone from the distance of a movie, for example, if you’re like, oh that actor, you’re seeing other houses. If you met them in person, you’d be getting their first house.
AC: No filters and cinematography and all that.
KS: And makeup and lighting and…
CB: Because sometimes what you’re seeing if you’re watching a movie or something is the person’s 10th house, or you’re see their reputation or their work or their career or what have you, and that may be what you know a celebrity from versus if you meet a celebrity in the airport, sit and talk with them for a couple of hours and you’re like —
KS: Oh, you’re this whole other person.
CB: — like, you’re not as tall as I thought you’d be.
KS: Oh, you’re shorter than I thought
AC: Yeah, you’re nicer or…
CB: Yeah, like you really come off as very arrogant in the movies but in person you’re actually very humble or something like that, or vice versa.
KS: Totally. Yes, yeah, 100%.
CB: Okay, one other point I want to bring up that you mentioned briefly, Kelly, and that made me think of something we should touch on is that we’re talking a lot about natal placements in terms of planets in the house and planets ruling the house, but also another thing to take into account is when planets transit through the houses, sometimes it can show a temporary activation of the topics associated with that house in the native’s life and that can be very important, because all of a sudden, even if those topics weren’t prominent in other parts of your life or if it’s an empty house and it’s not notable for some reason, if you have a planetary transit that goes through that house – some transits are very quick and can last for, let’s say, a month, and other planetary transits are very slow and can last for two or three years or even longer and you’re gonna have a much longer activation of that, so maybe there’s some transits that we could talk through just because that’s another way of qualifying and typifying the houses is by talking about them within the context of their transits. One first house transit that I always think is super notable and I use for rectification is Saturn going through your first house and what that can feel like or what that can be experienced like. If the first house has to do with your mind as well as your body, sometimes Saturn can restrict or can slow things down.
KS: Most of the time, I would say, I’m not even sure if it’s sometimes. Saturn’s nature is to go slow, to do something long-lasting, and one of the things I noticed when I’m doing transit work with clients is, they get so frustrated, because whatever Saturn’s touching is just not moving as fast as they would like and partly because you like to go very thoroughly when Saturn’s around.
AC: Yeah, I mean any planet that’s visiting the first impacts a person’s health, mental state, and decision making
KS: Yeah, absolutely. And if it’s Saturn, there’s gonna be a melancholy tone so the mindset becomes more melancholy and morose and that’s relative to how you normally are.
AC: At best it could be the person settles into a long-game patience, but that’s still slower than normal.
KS: Correct, yeah.
CB: Yeah, like in rectifications sometimes if I’m trying to figure out a rising sign I’ll ask the person [about] when Saturn was transiting through their first house and oftentimes they’ll report a period of having lost weight during that period.
KS: That is one positive benefit, or usually perceived as a positive, of Saturn in the first, but if you’re losing weight because you’re very sick —
CB: Yeah, exactly.
KS: — that’s not a positive.
CB: It’s like sometimes they went through a period where they had greater discipline and they cut out sweets or started fasting, and so they had a two or three year period where they did lose weight, or in other instances it can be [that] they went through a negative health crisis or rough period for health and lost weight as a result of becoming emaciated or something like that. But either way, it’s still a manifestation of the same archetype of Saturn —
KS: In the body.
CB: — sort of lessening things as it goes through the first house which represents the body. What are some other transits through the first house?
KS: Well, I mean, the Mars, which is when, you know, everyone cuts themselves or has a car accident or —
CB: Let’s say a best case scenario first.
KS: Oh, sorry!
CB: Mars transit through the first house and maybe getting a lot more physical exercise, suddenly having a lot of energy.
KS: More confident, maybe more decisive in general because Mars is gonna be less pleasing and more, “Let’s just get it done.”
AC: You’ll also be more restless and irritable when Mars is in the first.
KS: Yeah, I mean there —
AC: You will tend to embody the quality of intemperate heat, right. You’ll be like, “Let’s do something!” And that might go into exercise, that might go into being more argumentative, etc. etc, but you get Mars going through.
KS: And you’re right, there’s a heat. I mean, that’s the other- well now we’re sort of veering back into the planets, but Mars is gonna bring heat which is activating and potentially aggravating, whereas Saturn is cooling which, you know, can be stiffening and restrictive.
CB: So sometimes, as you were saying, with some transits like Mars through the first house it can indicate a period where somebody might have an accident or an injury as Mars is going through the first house.
KS: Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be a life-threatening injury, but you can be chopping vegetables and you can cut yourself three times in a week, or- somebody recently, on one of the social media channels, was doing some home electrical work and burned themselves when Mars was going through their first house.
AC: And you want to take it relative to a person’s health baseline.
KS: That’s true.
AC: You know, if somebody is struggling with a chronic condition and you see that Saturn or a malefic is about to enter their first house for a period of time, then that should read differently than if someone is basically super healthy. But let’s say their health, mentally or physically, is vulnerable, if someone is prone to depression and Saturn is about to enter their first house, that’s going to be a struggle because it’s gonna ping that.
KS: And I think that is really important because whenever I do talk about Saturn and the mental health activations of Saturn it’s always relative, you know, if you are someone who typically suffers from this, unfortunately, this could be a little bit more problematic, and the reason you share that with someone is, have you got your support systems in place? That type of thing. And if someone, you know, maybe they’ve got a Jupiter first house or a lot of Sun energy there and they don’t normally suffer from depression or other mental health issues, it may be a time where their normally jovial kind of energy is tempered or reduced for that timeline.
AC: They’re a little bit more sedate.
KS: They’re a little bit more sedate and that may not be a negative but it will be different from how they normally are.
AC: Yeah, I can think of some people I’d like to put Saturn in there first.
KS: You’d like to slow them down a bit.
AC: Take it down about 15%.
CB: Sure. So let’s see, other transits… there can be Venus going through your first house —
KS: Venus, the Sun. Usually they’re nice.
CB: Yeah, that can be like- Venus can be a good time to get a makeover, get a new haircut…
KS: I always want to buy dresses when Venus goes through my first house. I’m not really a dress girl so then every year when Venus goes through my first I end up buying dresses that just sit there for the next 12 months.
CB: Like a change of wardrobe.
KS: Yeah, change of style.
AC: People become more concerned with aesthetics and more social than they usually are when Venus goes through the first.
CB: Yeah or sometimes even aesthetics can extend to the creation of aesthetics or even depictions of yourself, like, I remember years ago that I had this exact conjunction of Venus and Neptune on my ascendant one day and I took a selfie and put that up and that became my main selfie that was really good for years on MySpace or something like that, way back.
KS: That was a while ago.
CB: Yeah ancient, ancient times.
CB: Then that can be things that you can do sometimes if you wanted to do things —
CB: — proactively, yeah. It’s like, pay attention to when you have a favorable planet moving through your first house and maybe conjoining the degree of your ascendant and try to use that to your advantage.
KS: If you have to take new headshots for work or something, Venus on your ascendant would be beautiful. And you only get that once a year so you got a plan for that.
CB: Another thing that this raises is that sometimes- the last episode I think I did before we released this one was an episode on relationships, and we mentioned in the process the concept of synastry, so sometimes you can have somebody that has their natal Saturn in your first house and so maybe that has let’s say an inhibiting effect for some reason on your personality, that there’s certain people that maybe you don’t get along with or you feel that they restrict you in some way, or —
KS: You could have the positive opposite which would be someone who’s Jupiter falls in your first house and they make you feel alive or they make you feel confident or they take you on adventures or they’re someone that you always find you’re learning a lot with or what have you.
CB: They bring a sense of optimism into your life.
KS: Yeah sure, or a hopefulness, or maybe they’re just always showering you with gifts or opportunities or something.
CB: Right. Let’s see, what’s a negative example… like somebody that comes into your life and accidentally does something- they accidentally distract you while you’re driving and you crash your car, or something like that, and get an injury. Sometimes people’s synastry with your first house can reflect ways in which your relationship with that person can affect both your body as well as your mind, basically.
KS: So whether you’re doing timing or relationship astrology, the first house is gonna be a really prime part of the chart.
CB: Yeah, definitely.
CB: Alright, I think that’s pretty good for the first house. Are there any- I feel like there’s something major that we’re missing about the first house that we need to mention, but I’m struggling to think of it right now, and also I’m starting to think of how we still have five other houses to go through.
KS: I feel like there are other houses in the chart that we have to give some time to.
CB: Sure, or we’re setting a foundation here. So yeah, I think we did a pretty good job. Anything else before we move on?
CB: Okay, so let’s throw up our diagram again to take a look at the base significations for the second house. So the second house is a succedent house. It is the house where, when planets are placed in it, they’re rising up towards the first house, so it has some sense of that which follows after what happens in the first house, and if what happens in the first house is you’re born and you emerge into life, then the second house is what happens immediately after that, which is: when you’re moving downwards in the order of houses you’re descending down underneath the earth and you’re moving further into the earth, into the sort of, in broader metaphysical terms, the realm of physical incarnation. And here we find in the second house some basic topics having to do with material things, basically, tends to be the primary meaning of the second house. So things like finances, possessions, and income become three of the sort of core significations of the second house that are pretty consistent in the Western astrological tradition for most of the past 2,000 years.
KS: I usually think of it as like the main money house. So in terms of earning money, spending money, saving money, what is your general kind of experience with and perhaps attitudes to the cash flow.
AC: Yeah, I think of it very similarly in terms of assessing- because some people hoard, some people spend everything that they have, some people have a really hard time holding money, some people are good at holding, but have a hard time figuring out how to get it. Some people are ton in ton out, etc. etc. And so yeah, the sort of retention- income, expenditure, and retention or holding financial power.
KS: Yeah, the level to which you can or can’t do that I guess.
AC: Or just what your pattern is. And so planets that are in the second… one of my favorite single words for that comes from Bonatti and it’s the “substance” of the native, whatever thingness is associated with the life, which is possessions, which is money, which is to a lesser degree the body. Also, we were talking about this yesterday, the food that you put into your body because food starts as a possession you’re not allowed to eat it. If it’s not yours.
AC: That’s why you have to pay in restaurants, right? Like, the primordial purchase is food, or the primordial possession is food, which is substance which then contributes to the substance of the body. And so yeah, I like substance.
CB: That’s a great metaphor for the succedent and the second house being a succedent house that rises up to the first and sort of supports the first in doing so. It’s that which rises up to and supports the first house and the physical body.
AC: Mm-hmm. When you were saying- if you’re just like, okay, now you’re born, what do you do with the baby? Here’s some food, baby.
KS: You feed it, yeah.
AC: Well, first let’s get some swaddling substance. Let’s get you some clothes, let’s get you some food. Here’s the stuff you’re gonna need, baby.
KS: Yeah, and when you were talking about planets in the second, I also think it might be worth mentioning that the sign on the second cusp is going to flavor your attitude to that. So, you know, different signs have more holding on or hoarding tendencies and other signs have more spending or giving away tendencies, so exactly what you do with it of course comes out of the specific things. But the topic, the material you’re dealing with —
CB: — and did we mention that for the first house in ancient astrology 2,000 years ago when they said “your sign” or “your zodiac sign”, they meant traditionally your rising sign. So prior to the past hundred years, prior to the 20th century, the sign of the zodiac that your Ascendant was located in was said to qualify and typify your character and personality and everything else, much more than your sun sign [did] necessarily. But that extends now to the second house, and that the quality of the zodiac sign on the cusp of the second house is going to characterize and qualify some of the things related to substance or material goods in your life.
KS: Absolutely. Even how you eat, for instance, whether you’re a fast eater or slow eater or a methodical eater.
AC: Well, whether you like crap food or you tend towards the healthy.
KS: Spicy food, yeah.
AC: One of the things I look at also with what’s in the second is: what does a person spend on? Other than like, yes, I spend money on food, everybody has to do that.
KS: That’s a basic common thing, right.
AC: Yeah, and then shelter, but then once you get past food and shelter, people allocate what financial potency they have very differently.
CB: Yeah, and so it’s not just what they spend it on but also how they spend it. So going back to like the Mars-Saturn dynamic, which we’re probably gonna keep coming back to, but it’s because it’s such a distinct and dramatic dynamic that it’s the easiest sometimes to start with —
KS: It’s a contrast.
CB: — but like, Saturn in the second house and the sense of… Saturn tends to withhold things and so a person with Saturn in the second can tend to not spend money as freely or [is] content to withhold spending, whatever that means. Whereas somebody with Mars in the second house might spend very freely or very quickly or very impulsively, and those are two extremely opposite ways of dealing with materiality when it comes to expenses or expenditures and the second house.
KS: Well, and what you would notice too is that each of those planetary profiles would have a different psychology towards money as well. So the Saturn approach can be more, “I better save for a retirement even though I’m 15 years old” or what-have-you, and that even- there’s nothing wrong with that, actually, we all need a little bit of that, but that Saturn of course can take it to an extreme where it can be a bit scrooge-like or it may not spend in some situations where it’s appropriate.
AC: Well, if you have that that’s gonna, you know, generally speaking Saturn placements tend to improve once you get older, but you know [with] Saturn in the second, a lot of times you grow up with some feeling of not enough. That may not be literal poverty, but if you go to a fancy school system and your family, you know, does fine, but you don’t have the hundred dollar shoes, then you grow up with the sense of “I have less than everybody else.” And so that’ll translate into, “I better keep what I have” when you’re older, etc, etc. So that’s just the psychological patterning, which you might be able to see very clearly when a person is an adult, has precedence, you know, and that’ll look different. There’s an association in a lot of Jyotish with the second and your family – fourth is still family, but when you think about the substance that you are provided with until you are on your own, that is all your family, right? You know, whether you have the fancy sneakers or you’ve got hand-me-downs from two brothers up, right? Like, that’s a second house experience.
CB: I love that you mentioned that and use that analogy about early life because one of the examples I use in my book Hellenistic Astrology available in fine bookstores everywhere – literally everywhere – is somebody that had Saturn in the second house in a night chart and I think it was also the ruler of his ascendant, so very important planet and also a little bit challenging or tricky. And he grew up during the Great Depression and his family was in poverty for the entire first part of his life or first chapter of his life and growing up a common phrase around the house that he would hear often is, “That’s all we have.” And that got built into his sort of psychology very early on, growing up in like the first 10 or 20 years of his life to the extent that as he grew up, even later in life, even though he became financially stable and successful to some extent, sort of psychologically he would always still behave or act or spend money very carefully and he’d be very reserved about spending money, basically, because he would still be operating under that initial psychological premise of scarcity or poverty in some sense, and sort of fear surrounding that.
AC: Yeah, and so the converse is obviously true, right. Somebody has a strong Jupiter in the second: you feel like it’ll be fine. Sure, we can, you know —
KS: We’ll make it work.
AC: — let’s upgrade to first class, right, it’ll be fine. And that’s usually underpinned by experiences early on where it was just fine.
KS: Or things worked out, they could take a risk and recover from it or sustain it.
CB: And one of the things that’s so funny about that, just to get into a broader conversation, is how each person, depending on their placements, will tend to take for granted that that’s how it is for everybody. And if they tend to grow up in that context, because you see this normally just like meeting people in different like socioeconomic or sort of social situations or depending on their family as they’re growing up, can sometimes tend to not realize that the way that they grow up and experience the world is not the same way that other people experience the world even though that should be obvious. We have a tendency to universalize our own experience and assume it’s the same way for everybody else, even if on some level we’re conscious that that’s not always the case.
AC: That’s one thing that being a working astrologer makes very clear, you know, you’re like, I’ve talked to a thousand people in depth about their lives. And It’s very clear: What’s my life? Yeah, like how it’s seemed different.
CB: But one of the things though that’s annoying about that when dealing with clients is if- you can make a statement about a person’s life based on their birth chart and about this being a unique factor of their life and they can say, “No, that doesn’t really register, I don’t recognize that as being a unique factor in my life, that must be the same for everyone,” and they will assume it’s the same for everybody, when in fact that is a unique sort of experience for them that, let’s say, that they grew up in poverty in the second house, or the opposite, that they grew up having great financial wealth or what-have-you. Not realizing that there’s such a wide spectrum, because you can only see that if you step outside of your life and see how tons of other people experience that particular area of life.
AC: Well and what I would say is that not everything in a chart is unique. The chart describes a person’s life and some, you know, there are some things that are very common about my life that tons of people could relate to and there’s some things that are very weird and unusual, and if you have like a part of your life that’s pretty fucking normal then the significators are going to be pretty normal —
KS: Totally average.
AC: — right? It’s not going to be like, “Oh yeah, you have this four planet conjunction right on the Midheaven!” No, it’s like, the birth charts are going to reflect what’s part of the baseline for most people, and that’s part of what I try to focus on when I teach how to read charts is like, look at what’s way off the baseline, look at like what’s amazing and look at what’s shit terrible.
KS: It’s always about the extremes.
AC: Because that’s what people will actually react to. If you’re like, you’re probably gonna live, I don’t know, 60 to 80 years. And you know a lot of birth charts, if you do longevity calculations, they’re gonna live around the average.
KS: Yeah it’s average for a reason.
AC: If you break that as a fact it’s not impressive. It might be accurate, but it’s not impressive. Like, looks like you got solid middle-class earning potential, you know- well, maybe that’s becoming increasingly rare, but once upon a time that was an average.
KS: That’s true.
AC: But yeah, I know what you mean about like when you’re just going through their chart and like oh, what does it say about this and it’s like ehh, pretty much what you know.
KS: Pretty much average.
AC: Which is not terrible or terribly exciting.
CB: Well, that’s a good point though in terms of dealing with older clients versus newer clients as often times when you’re reading an older clients chart you’re actually describing things that they already know about their life, which is not always super impressive because it’s just like yeah, I know that already. I know that finances have been a difficult part of my life or that finances have been an easy part of my life. Or conversely if you’re doing a consultation for a super young person sometimes it can be annoying because you can say things about their life that may not be true yet but will at some point in the future, but that can appear as if you’re saying something that’s not true at that present moment in time.
AC: Yeah, when I talk to, you know, when I do readings for people in their 20s, I always think about what this chart’s gonna look like, what this life is gonna look like at 40, and from that perspective. You’ve got this amazing thing, it’s gonna bloom not next month —
KS: Not just yet.
AC: — you know, some turkeys take a long time to cook. You can’t rush Thanksgiving dinner.
KS: That’s a great analogy, the turkey does take a long time to cook.
AC: That’s my- Saturn is my turkey planet.
CB: That’s your delineation, “Your turkey is not yet cooked”?
AC: A favorable Saturn is a turkey that’s gonna take all afternoon to cook, and if you take it out and try to eat it earlier, not only is it gross – it’ll probably poison you.
KS: It will be- it will make you very sick.
AC: It’s not time to feast on your Saturn if you’re 25.
KS: No, it is not at all.
AC: But you know, with… it’s one of the things that I try to focus on when I’m looking at a chart is, what are the good or bad or whatever, what are the significant configurations and what part of life are they likely to bloom in? And is the person already there? Like, you know, let’s say our 57 year old client, if I look back, “Oh yeah, bet shit got a lot better at 35.” Now I will say that, “This was really difficult until this age” and then check and they’re like, “Yep,” or like “Mmm, actually it was 37,” but you know, whatever, and- anyway, a little work thinking about, “When will this flower bloom and where is the person in their timeline relative to that?” can be really helpful. We’re getting way off of the second house.
CB: What were you gonna say before I interrupted you, Kelly. Do you remember?
KS: I have no idea.
CB: Okay. Sorry.
KS: That’s okay. We are having some good discussions, but we are not on the second house.
CB: No, this is awesome. Let’s keep going. One of the things I want to talk about is sometimes the placement of the ruler of the second in houses other than the second can describe how the native makes money or some topic in their life that will be tied up in their income for some reason. So for example, if the ruler of the second house- I have an example in my book where the ruler of the second house is in the eleventh house and the native often ended up making money as a result of their friends or their finances were often tied up in their friendships for some reason.
KS: Oh, yeah, you know who has that? I can never say her second name properly, but the comedian Amy Poehler or I don’t know…
AC: I think It’s pronounced Poehler, it’s spelled… there are some extra letters.
KS: Yeah there are, so it always confuses me. She has a Sag second house- sorry, a Pisces second house with Jupiter in Sag in the 11th.
KS: And she’s got this very sort of well-known sort of friendship but also business partnership with Tina Fey, another comedian, and they have worked together and made a lot of money together.
CB: Yeah, and they hosted the Oscars or something together a few years ago.
KS: Yeah. Yeah, they totally did. I just looked at her chart recently so she’s like one of my new second house examples.
AC: Yeah, and the sort of biggest show which was Parks and Recreation, everybody in that cast went on to have [a] big career, right, like the eleventh house of that show and it was her show.
AC: Shockingly successful. Wasn’t it like one or two people went on to —
KS: Like everybody on that show.
AC: Yeah, just about. But one of the things I wanted to bring up with the second is: what does a person bother possessing? Like what do you hold onto, and also what is your attitude towards possessions? Like some people- at one extreme you have people hoarding stuff and then you have people who are the opposite who are kind of allergic to having too much stuff.
KS: Total minimalist.
AC: And so planets in the second as well as the condition and position of the ruler of the second will give you a lot of information about… how much stuff should a person have according to them or how much stuff should they have and what kind of stuff?
KS: Yeah, and Chris you were saying that the ruler of the second [is] where people might get their money from in terms of work, but I also have another example where, I think it was the ruler of the fourth was Venus and it was in Pisces in the second and this person was in a very fortunate position where they didn’t actually have to work for money because of family money. Their family owned property, like farmland sort of level property, that was very lucrative that through the generations had just created this sort of ongoing wealth. So there was a- whether you’re working for it, or if it’s coming into your life in some other way, but how and where’s the money coming from?
CB: I have an example like that in my book as well where it was the grandson of the founder of the Gucci fashion Empire. [He had] the ruler of the fourth in the second and the ruler of the second in the fourth, and in the 1980s he inherited like basically the entire company or 50% of the company worth hundreds of millions of dollars from his father’s side of the family.
AC: That is a very fortunate configuration for material support.
CB: Yes and the planets were well placed which- that’s the other part is like, is the condition of the ruler well placed in that sign? Or is it poorly placed based on its condition zodiacally as well as its configurations with either benefic planets like Venus and Jupiter or its configuration with malefic planets, that’s going to typify if that connection between those two houses is a more constructive or a more challenging one.
KS: Yeah, and the example I just shared Venus was in Pisces but co-present with Jupiter. So it was like, all the money.
CB: Yeah, versus, let’s just do another hypothetical scenario of let’s say someone has the ruler of the second house of finances in the fourth house of the parents and let’s say, I’ve heard stories of, for example, people where when they’re still growing up as teens their parents took out a credit card in the child’s name and ran up the bill and charged like thousands and thousands of dollars in it and the person eventually becomes an adult and learns that they have a huge amount of debt because their deadbeat parents were running up their credit or what-have-you.
KS: Yes. There are some horrible stories. I have one story where the client- the individual takes on one of the parent’s tax problems, for instance, I think it’s like the ruler of the second is in the eighth in detriment or something like that.
CB: Yeah, that’s one of my favorite examples: Lisa Marie Presley was the daughter of Elvis, she had the ruler of the second house of her finances in the 8th house of inheritance and death and other people’s money and when she turned- when her father died, he left his entire estate to her with the stipulation that when she turned 25 years old she would inherit it. So the day she turned 25 her second house [was] actually activated by profection, and then suddenly she inherited like a hundred million dollars or something like that. So again, that’s showing a large part of the money in her life came from this inheritance from her father. But it’s interesting because then there’s other factors that come into play in terms of transits and other timing techniques like profections that can tell you when exactly that might happen in the person’s life or when those topics that are tied together through the rulers of the houses will become relevant or active.
KS: Yeah, it’s very juicy. Well, I like talking about second house topics because clients often want to know about money and the amount of times a client will come and say, “I want to talk about my career,” and I’ve now learned, are you actually wanting to talk about your career from a professional pathway job satisfaction perspective, or are you asking me about that because you really want to know about your finances? Because in our minds we often think, “Well if I fix my job I fix my finances,” but in astrology we represent money and career in two different sectors, so they can be connected and interact but they can also operate independently from each other.
CB: Right, which is really important because there are scenarios where you have a person that, you know, is able to pursue their 10th house career dream job, as let’s say an artist, but then financially it’s something that doesn’t work out for them or doesn’t end up being financially lucrative [since] their second house isn’t well situated, so that you have a real difference between, you know, achieving their dreams, but it may not necessarily support them financially. Or vice versa: the person that has the job that they got for the money because that was what was more important to them and they do very well financially, but they’re never able to pursue their dream through some other 10th house matter.
AC: Yep, it matters. I have the rulers of the second and 10th conjoined and so for me that means, you know, do what you want Austin. It’ll eventually make money. They’re both opposed by Saturn so I didn’t make any money doing that until my mid-30s, but you know Saturn- as I became older and —
KS: You got there in the end.
AC: — as I became older and crankier and more hateful —
KS: You’re a curmudgeon!
AC: — and began to resemble the planet he began to regard me as one of his own.
KS: He recognized you, yes.
AC: And lifted the ban on my accounts.
KS: That’s too funny.
AC: But yeah, generally speaking, you know, in terms of just attitude towards money, if Mars is connected to the second, in the second, you know, conjoined the ruler or whatever, and if Mars transits the second especially, it usually burns through money. You know, we literally talk about, “It’s burning a hole in my pocket.” They burned through- we use Mars metaphors and language for spending money, right, whereas Saturn will tend to deny or delay earning potential in a natal chart which feels like a denial when it’s like, okay, it’s gonna be another 15 years until my second house ripens, but from the perspective of the life, that’s a delay, and then when you do get something you tend to want to hold it —
KS: It’s a preservation matter.
AC: — because you experienced not having enough. And then Jupiter’s great, we love Jupiter configured to the second.
KS: Yeah, it’s usually not a money- that’s a client that usually doesn’t need to talk about money problems.
AC: They might be like, you know, which charity do I donate to?
KS: Yes, how should I use my abundant wealth.
AC: And then Venus, Venus is also favourable. If the Moon is in good condition, she’s great. If the Moon is not in good condition, the Moon will eat your money.
KS: She will, yeah.
AC: You know the Moon, in terms of material matters, acts like a benefic under a lot of circumstances and then under a number of other circumstances will act like a malefic.
KS: It really matters her condition and who she’s configured to.
AC: Yeah, phase and configuration.
CB: And when you’re talking about clients wanting to know about money, one of the things that you look at- there’s different timing techniques, but just paying attention to long term transits going through the second house is one of the things you’d look at, like, if you see they have a year-long Jupiter transit coming up, that’s going to be a different forecast than if you see that they have a two or three year Saturn transit coming up through their second house.
KS: We all have those sort of, “Oh, you’ve got the Saturn in the second transit, this is what you need to know about the next three years, this is- you’re doing your financial housekeeping, if there are debts to pay you’ve got to take that on board, and it’s a time to save for the future.” I mean, I have had almost an equal mix of clients having Saturn second house transits that are getting the reality check, like the proverbial 2×4, this is what your financial situation really is, get a grip, get organized, and then there are other clients where they’re like- I always think with Saturn it’s either rewards or consequences, so you could get the consequences of what you haven’t done or you get the rewards from what you did do.
AC: But rewards are consequences.
KS: Well, they are it’s just- you’re right. It’s just a more… It’s the positive I guess. Yeah, you know, you’re right. Thank you for picking me up on my words.
AC: Didn’t mean to pick on you, just saying.
KS: No no no, I said pick up, picking me up which my father has done that to me or all of us. He’s like, is that the right word to use?
AC: Oh! Well, I’m sorry, I’m constantly doing that with my own language —
KS: No no, yeah, you know, it’s good.
AC: — so it’s irritating when I do that to other people.
KS: I would rather that you do that because you’re right a reward is just a positive consequence, so you get the consequences positive or negative.
AC: Yeah, generally, you know Saturn visiting second: low risk profile.
KS: Oh yeah, conservative. Buy the house, not the stock market, or you don’t borrow more than you can comfortably pay off.
AC: Yeah, that’s not the longshot with your money.
KS: No. No, it’s very safe. It’s very- often it’s boring, with Saturn in the second house. But rather it’s like well, you know, like advice your grandmother would have given you or your father, you know, if you had parents that cared about your finances they would have said to you, “Don’t borrow more than you can afford, don’t buy things that you have to put on your credit card” and they would have told you to save from a young age and that’s what Saturn in the second house teaches you.
AC: Yeah, I love that. That’s one of my go-tos with Saturn things. Like, Saturn transits and Saturn in general is like stern grandparent talk.
KS: It’s totally grandparent talk.
AC: They’re like, “Well, you know, if you work hard for a long time, you’ll get noticed.”
KS: “Have you got a plan?”
AC: You know, you put the work in first.
KS: Yeah, you got to do the- no free lunches with Saturn.
CB: So other than that we’ve mentioned transits as one of the timing methods that you can use in order to determine when your second house will become activated.
KS: Oh yeah, profections.
CB: But in addition to that there’s other timing techniques that you can use. We can just state this universally at the top so we don’t have to repeat it every time, but there’s different techniques in addition to transits: there’s things like annual profections where you just start with a rising sign and you count one sign or one house per year, so the first year of the natives life is the first house and the next year after the first birthday is the second house and then so on and so forth – I’ve already done a previous episode just search for the previous episode on annual profections and you’ll find a video or an audio podcast on that. So that’s one technique that will activate one house per year, and if you’re in a second house profection year then you may see the topic of finances becoming more prominent in that year in different ways for better or worse.
KS: Totally, in those ages, I think, 25 37 49 61…
CB: Yeah, that’s really good.
AC: And one: 13.
KS: You might get your job at 13! Because first house years are always birthdays that are multiples where your age is multiple of 12, so you just add one to that. So they’re good money years.
AC: Well, they’re money years.
KS: I should say they’re good years to focus on money and they will be good or bad depending on your second house.
CB: Yes, so that example I gave on Lisa Marie Presley earlier when literally the day she turned 25 she moved into a second house profection year and then she inherited like a hundred million dollars from her dead father because the ruler of the second of finances was in the 8th house of inheritance. Technically actually the ruler of the 8th house is also in the second. So there’s a lot going on.
KS: There’s a lot going into play.
CB: So, profections… Another one that we talked about on [an] episode this past summer was activating the houses by looking at eclipses. If you have like eclipses- if the north or south node move into your second house then that’s going to set up a year and a half or two year period where you’re gonna have a series of solar and lunar eclipses bouncing back and forth between your second house and your eighth house, and often that can also show a greater focus and a sort of pivotal time for matters pertaining to your second house.
AC: Generally, south node will be less good for money than north node – it’ll do other stuff than just good/bad, but south nodes generally [are] not awesome for money. North node may bring some pains in the ass, but it’ll also generally bring in money with it.
KS: A little bit of accumulation, that’s north node in the second, and south node in the second, [that] we’re talking about.
CB: So people can go back and listen to that episode from, I think it was like July, where Lisa and I went through and did delineations of eclipses falling in the different house pairs and some of the ways that that works out. Is there anything else about the second house we should touch on before we move on? You guys noted gifts, like how a person gives or charity. Those are two significations that are definitely relevant in terms of the second house.
KS: Yeah, I think in the context of- it’s doing something with your money, basically, yeah. I mean, I know it seems like we’ve just sort of stayed primarily sort of on the one topic but it really is about- everything to do with money is second house. There’s some money stuff in the 8th and when we do part 2, we’ll talk about specifically how that works but the primary place I look in the chart to understand our clients financial patterning is the second house and any associated planets or configurations.
CB: Yeah, money and material goods in the person’s life.
KS: Absolutely, even to the extent like we talked before about, do you hold or are you minimalist, but how much do you care about that as well? You know, it’s similar to the first house, it’s the psychological approach to what priority you place on money or not and then what that can kind of lead to in terms of your actions and your accumulation gain or loss.
AC: Mm-hmm. Yeah, what’s worth owning?
KS: What- that’s a beautiful- Yeah, that’s right, you did say that didn’t you. Great turns of phrase, always.
CB: Definitely. Alright, let’s transition into talking about the third house and the significations or the meanings of the third house. So the third house is a cadent house, it is the house that is said to be the joy of the Moon or where the Moon rejoices, and in Hellenistic astrology it’s called the place of Goddess. I actually completely forgot to mention that the name of the second house is called the Gate of Hades, so —
KS: Not as poetic. Well I mean, it is poetic, but not in such an uplifting way perhaps.
CB: Yeah, we’ll skip over that and let people —
AC: It doesn’t have a lot to do with the practical significations out of the house.
KS: Whereas I think one of the things I loved learning about the third house from a traditional astrology perspective was that it was called the house of the Goddess.
KS: With the Moon’s joy there.
CB: Well, and an idea of Goddess is there and present in Hellenistic- in ancient astrology, that there’s this sort of taking into account of both principles.
AC: It was a wild polytheistic medley.
KS: At those times?
AC: Yeah, you know, the original- that’s the original context of astrology as far as, you know, what people were doing. I mean it’s impressive that astrology made it through as many years of monotheistic cultures as it did but those are not the birth soil.
CB: Sure. Alright. So the third is the place of Goddess and the third is, in terms of just basic significations from more of a traditional standpoint with a little modern thrown in, the significations are primarily siblings, that’s always been a traditional signification of the third house for about 2,000 years now, but also short trips or journeys, school or education, and finally communication as the fourth major sort of basic foundational signification.
KS: Yeah, when I learned about the joys of the planets it helped me understand the short trips thing a little bit better because knowing the Moon is such a fluctuating planet, that she’s changing shape and changing form, she’s always kind of in movement [or] in motion from one night to the next, she’s different or she’s in a different part of the sky much faster than the other planets. That helped me understand- and the kind of trips or travel that happen in the third house, it’s not necessarily the life changing once in a world, once in a lifetime sort of thing, its that, I’m going to talk about neighborhoods and things like that being in the third, but it’s all that sort of busyness of back and forward and round and round which seems to be very relevant with the Moon’s connection there.
AC: Yeah. Absolutely. When I teach the third house I generally tell people to think about everywhere that they go routinely. So the gas station that you go to, the grocery store that you go to, the websites that you go to, everything that’s part of your regularly scheduled program. Like that’s the terrain of the third house.
KS: The word routine —
KS: — yeah, is like something that is familiar to you that you do on a regular basis.
AC: And the people that show up there. And it is one of the more socially oriented houses, you know, as is suggested by being- describing siblings, right, who are just kind of always around. They’re just kind of always around —
KS: Whether you like them or not.
AC: — And yeah, that’s what the third house is: a lot of stuff that’s always around.
KS: Always there, always around. There was- I remembered, and I can’t repeat the source so I’ll have to check this afterwards, but I remember sort of an obscure reference to friendship in the third house. It’s not the primary place of friendship, but I have seen it associated in some older texts with the third house. So there’s also that like, the people-ing or the interactive quality.
CB: Yeah in Vettius Valens. That’s like 2nd century. He says the third house and the eleventh house are two of the primary places of siblings.
KS: — and of friends.
CB: Oh sorry, right, two of the primary places of friends.
KS: And I think it’s got something to do with, they’re the two houses that make a sextile aspect to the first house, and that’s the kind of, you know, a good friend is gonna have that sextile energy of just like a sweet companion.
AC: Right and in the Thema Mundi the rising has a sextile to Venusians, or the Sun has a sextile to Venus and the Moon has a sextile to Venus as well.
AC: There’s a strong association of sextile and Venus. And then both of them trine the seventh, which is the primary other person or other people house.
CB: The 3rd and the 11th being trine to the 7th.
CB: Got it.
AC: Yeah, they make kind of a social triad. But yeah with the third, the third is more casual in its relationship to relationships. Yes, just like with–
KS: Like, incidental.
AC: — right, with your siblings, you just find yourself there. And you know, you can have all sorts of different relationships to siblings. You can be close —
KS: You can be strange.
CB: Yeah, and you know, usually sibling relationships go through phases, right? But they’re just around. And the types of things that you experience in the third is just what’s around. And so one of the things I use the third for is figuring out like, what is normal for a person? What is life- you know, what is the normal? Is normal a grind? Is it a float? Is it a rush? etc, etc. I have Saturn in the third and so I always end up isolated and barely knowing any of my neighbors and —
KS: Oh my gosh of course, what your house is right now, it’s very sad.
AC: But it’s always been that way. And also very tightly scheduled, with Saturn there. I have a good friend who has a beautiful Jupiter in Pisces in the third house and he’s just always floating around and having adventures and just bumping into really interesting people —
KS: Just randomly.
AC: — like he’s the kind of person that just finds prizes on the ground when he walks around his neighborhood and always knows everything about his neighborhoods.
KS: That’s pretty damn fine.
CB: Yeah, and in both of those cases, for both siblings and neighborhoods, it’s like, there’s some people whose lives those are not major topics or they’re not significant areas in a major crucial way, but there’s other people’s lives, occasionally, them and their siblings play a major role in the person’s life or the person’s neighbourhood is somehow a dominant feature for some reason in their life, if they’re like the head of the Neighborhood Watch or something like that or… I know a guy in my complex that organizes all of the parties every month or every other month for all the residents in the building or what have you.
AC: Yeah, and that’s —
KS: Totally a third house thing.
AC: That’s like yeah, Mr. Benefic in the third. I just want everybody to get to know each other and have a really good time.
KS: Yeah, to get along and…
AC: And so one thing that’s fun is, not every time, sometimes you need to go deeper into a chart, but a lot of the time if you have brothers or sisters you can see them very clearly in what’s in the third, or what’s ruling the third. Like, I have a brother who’s a Capricorn, Saturn ruled. I have Saturn in the third in an earth sign. Done.
KS: Very easy, yes.
CB: Yeah, and you have lots of siblings right Kelly?
KS: I do! I have a Venus ruled third house, and then Venus is sort of- I’ve got Taurus there and I’ve got Venus in Capricorn in my chart. There’s a lot of earth energy, and just a lot of siblings. So it is very pleasant in a sense, and I think I’ve probably said this before, where I do get along well- I’ve got five siblings, I’ve got a couple of brothers and I’ve got three sisters, and of course we didn’t all get along. Can you imagine like four teenage girls growing up in a house? And you know, I had one bathroom, all that sort of craziness, but we all do genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Like my siblings will have- even the ones that are all in Sydney together will have Pasta Sunday’s where they voluntarily get together once a month and have these big meals and all the nieces and nephews are there now, and about half my siblings live in Sydney and the other half don’t but when we’re all together, you know, at Christmas, we’re just genuinely like, “Right, what are we doing? Where are we going?” And just as you said, they’re just there and you just fall into it, but we fall into it in kind of a Taurus way where it’s pleasant, and there’s usually far too much food which is a bit of a Taurus thing.
KS: Yeah, and it goes on for hours, you know, because that’s also Taurus.
AC: Yeah, and so, let’s see… I don’t want to clip short the sibling part, maybe we can return to that, but there is another part of it which I would say that we’re participating in is the third house- part of what we encounter on a regular basis is not just people and pieces of land but also what information, what sources of information we consistently intersect with. And so a website that you visit every day – that’s part of your third house. A magazine that arrives every week or every month – it’s a regularly scheduled thing that you intersect with. And you know, or it could be a podcast and then you become familiar with the authors or presenters of that, they’re like- I think of some of the memes which have been mobilized in reference to the Astrology Podcast where someone feels like they’re hanging out with us: that’s the third house. Like, “Oh they’re just around.”
KS: We’re just there, yeah, or when we see the beautiful pictures of people with us on the TV and their children are like playing in the foreground.
CB: Sure, right.
AC: And so it’s not every piece of communication, it’s not everything that a person writes but it is your regularly scheduled programming.
KS: Yeah, and I do love magazines! When you said that I was like, oh my gosh, do love a good magazine.
CB: So he said it already on the recording that you associate, Austin, the third house with periodicals.
AC: Mm-hmm that was one of the —
KS: Well, I’m thinking mail too in general, not the boring mail like I don’t know, maybe I’m just projecting myself into this, but I love sending sweet cards in the mail. That’s something I do for my friends.
AC: I have Saturn in the third.
KS: You do not send sweet cards to your friends.
CB: You can not relate.
KS: You might send dead birds or something.
AC: That’d be kind of exciting.
KS: You would like that, right?
AC: I mean if somebody sent me like a cool bird or other skeleton or animals.
KS: He’s like, as long as there’s bones involved.
AC: I thought I saw on the internet there was a skeleton-of-the-month club where they send you some sort of —
KS: There’s a lot of things-of-the-month club.
AC: Yep. Uh, skeleton-of-the-month club is the one that appeals to me.
KS: The one that appeals to me is the beautiful-stationery-of-the-month so I could send more Venus things in the mail. This is so different! What about you Chris?
CB: My third house?
CB: I don’t know. I’m trying to think of- well one of the things that’s funny, in terms of communication as a third house thing that we were talking about last night, was how when Uranus went through my [third] house, literally very shortly after it went through back around circa 2010 I think, that one of the first solar returns I had was my birthday November 2010 and I randomly took over this podcast out of nowhere which was traditional astrology radio and it began an almost decade-long transit of Uranus through my third house which ended up being me sort of very quickly learning a bunch of new technology and how to adapt technology and communicate things and changing my communication style somewhat unexpectedly, but pretty rapidly over the course of a decade.
KS: That’s been huge.
CB: To turn into this, basically now, we’re sitting here in a studio together.
KS: It’s quite amazing, actually. Yeah, yeah.
AC: Well and from a Uranus level like, really changing what a normal day looks like, because your balance of activities is really different than when you were just reading charts and doing research, right?
CB: Yeah, definitely.
KS: You just became like a radio star in astrology.
KS: I know that’s how I often think of you as like —
AC: Yeah that makes sense.
KS: — the morning drive-by like, whatever the prestigious radio slot is I’m not that familiar with it, and that was all your Uranus in your third house transit essentially.
CB: Yeah, and I think yesterday Austin was pointing out that the ruler of my third is also the ruler of my 10th so that’s tied into career, and that’s one of the other ways the houses can be tied together is, if the same planet rules two different houses, it will tend to bind those topics together in some way.
AC: Yeah, because when you stimulate the planet you get results in both areas. And especially if the planet has got an aspect to both and can see both really easily then, you know, it’s pretty easy.
KS: I was thinking about that, yeah. So it makes sense that you would do a lot of third house things in the context of your career because it shares the same planetary rulership as the 10th, and the way Mars is placed in your chart it aspects both the 10th and the third if I’ve remembered everything correctly.
KS: Yeah, which helps Mars take care of both. So thinking about how your career has unfolded, It’s like oh, it makes complete sense that there’s the third house.
AC: Well, so speaking of careers, third house, and writing, I think —
KS: Oh we’ve got to talk about writing.
AC: — a column, I think, is totally a third house activity. Like writing an astrology column, where it’s literally a weekly grind, maybe monthly, maybe yearly, but you know, it’s not a one-off, it’s not a novel that you put out and then that is what it is.
KS: And it’s done, right.
CB: So I think that that which is written with some regularity, as opposed to maybe more of a ninth house thing which is like that thing that you write once and put it out there like a book.
AC: Or a dissertation which is literally one thing.
KS: Well, yeah, because if you talk about periodicals and things that are familiar and part of your regular life, you know, if you’ve got a great horoscope column that you like to read you are reading it every week usually, or it comes out in your favorite magazine once a month and that’s, you know, it becomes a regular part of your routine.
AC: Both for the creator and for the reader. So, one thing I want to make sure to get in here is this is cadent, this house is cadent, and as I said before cadent houses will often- the result is that the planet in them has less energy and that is because doing all this third house stuff takes a ton of energy. It takes a ton of energy to write a regular column, it takes a ton of energy to do a regular podcast. All of that, you know, all of the energy that you spend running errands in your neighborhood that doesn’t- if you ask the same planet to also run your career, that planet’s a little bit tired, right? And it’s not a kill shot on that planet, it’s not like this —
KS: It’s not a terminal thing.
AC: — horrible function, yeah, but this is part of the idea that cadent planets have less energy left over to do stuff because they’ve got a ton of stuff to do. And in the third, it’s just busy-busy, and it’s busy-busy for different reasons than the other cadent houses, but in the third there’s just a ton to do.
CB: Sure, and another point before we move on that just came up conceptually is the idea that, and we didn’t touch on this so much in the first house and in the second house but it comes up here, which is that the houses have polarities and there’s a real interaction, sometimes, or two sides of the same coin with a house and what it signifies and the opposing house or the house opposite to that. So like first house representing self and seventh house representing other, second house representing your finances or your money versus eighth house representing the money that belongs to others, and then here we were talking about, you’re making the difference between something you write regularly or a periodical versus something you write once like a dissertation or a book.
AC: I’ve been kind of biting my tongue on the other houses. It’s perfectly relevant, but I think once we get to seven then we can- those distinctions are so clear. But yeah.
KS: And you mentioned writing here and I think, you know, the idea that the third house is about communication, it’s about language, it’s about your ability to express the ideas inside you or some of the challenges with that.
AC: So what do you all think about the idea that the third house represents a person’s- or, you can see within the third house a person’s experience of primary education?
KS: That’s pretty consistent, I think, yeah. Like elementary school, I guess middle school here, I mean, would you put a high school in that and then university and post high school is all ninth house?
AC: That’s often what’s said.
AC: I’m very comfortable with ninth house being further education. You know, generally that which is intentionally sought versus what you just end up in. I’ve also seen the fourth as a person’s primary education, that that’s their foundation, which I think is interesting. I’ve ended up learning the most about astrology during my two fourth house profections that I’ve had since I was really into it. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that in, but that’s common with the third to say, ah yes, primary school.
CB: I mean, I think that’s why the third house is primary school though, because it’s associated with the angular triad right next to the fourth and it does play that more foundational role, versus once you finally get to university and the ninth you have that angular triad that’s leading into and preparing you for your 10th house career, where you’re much more directly oftentimes at that point going towards whatever your vocation is going to be as opposed to just sort of laying a foundation of the basics.
AC: Yeah, I have no qualms with ninth house further education, that one I’m very comfortable with. I just see primary education as much, if not more, in the fourth than I do in the third.
KS: Okay, yeah, that’s interesting. And the other piece then, thinking about the third and ninth, is like places of learning or teaching or what have you that I do see is, you know, if somebody is an adult and wants to teach something that they know, if there’s a strong emphasis on the third house they will tend to teach more beginner, introductory, foundational type material, whereas if they have an emphasis on the ninth house they might teach more of that advanced or more kind of senior or secondary- that idea of going on from the topic I don’t know if you guys have seen anything along those lines?
AC: Yeah, specialized.
KS: Specialized versus the introductory sort of stuff with the third.
CB: I had a client chart that I’ve used as an example where she had the ruler of the 10th in the third and she taught primary school. She was like- basically a teacher.
KS: Then she taught in her primary school, that’s fantastic.
CB: Alright, teaching, communication, did we talk about short distance travel?
KS: We talked a little bit in the context of the Moon and the idea of the changeable- you did talk about routines.
AC: Yeah, just doing all them you know, do your chores —
KS: Your commute, your errands.
AC: — and run to the store.
KS: Then one thing that, when this was first presented to me, was the idea of the third house as- it’s your regular travels. That’s how you get to and from work. If your job, and this does happen a little bit in Australia because we’re a bit mad with our travel, people can live in Sydney and work in Singapore. So their regular travel is technically an international trip, but they go there on Monday and they come back on Friday.
AC: I bet they have ninth and third stuff.
KS: They would have a lot of ninth and third stuff, it really gets you thinking.
AC: If they keep doing that for a long time.
KS: Yeah, if they do it for years.
CB: There’s become this ambiguity, sometimes, in astrology, about where do we draw the line between short distance versus long distance which has become more of an issue in modern times as —
KS: We travel further and more frequently.
CB: — yeah, it’s easier and you can travel further and more regularly, versus in ancient times where, you know, taking a trip outside of your city was like a major deal.
AC: Yeah, and you know to some degree a planet that’s in a house will usually affect the opposite house, like all of Firmacus’ house delineations involve not only what’s going on in that house but some of the significations are clearly whether it’s damaging or supporting the opposite.
KS: So yeah, we did talk a little bit about the travel.
AC: Short trips, siblings… Oh and just a little bit about siblings: I definitely see sibling-esque relationships, like if there’s someone that you would refer to like, “How closer you are with her?” “Oh, she’s like a sister to me.” People like that will pop up when the third house gets activated by timing techniques. I remember I went into a third house profection some years ago and within the first month my brother moved within like 10 miles of me for the first time in a decade and I ended up randomly seeing two other people that I would regard as being like brothers to me who just showed up and were immediately there in my life in a way that wasn’t true for the preceding decade. And so you get sibling-esque relationships which is something we recognize in language, you know, in English with the way we describe our relationship to certain people anyway.
CB: That they’re like a brother or like a sister to me.
KS: A way of acknowledging the closeness that you might feel.
CB: And I think that ties it back into what we were seeing earlier, Kelly, in citing Valens who associates the third with friends in addition to the 11th, and that’s probably part of the time —
KS: Part of that as well.
AC: One more thing on the the joy of the Moon, or the house of the goddess and the joy of the Moon: if we’re looking at, how should we say, patterns of religious or spiritual observance, in the ninth we have temples [or] very special places dedicated to divinity; in the third, you know, if we’re recognizing divinity, we’re recognizing it in the context of everyday life —
KS: Oh how beautiful.
AC: — we would be doing like, I don’t know, full moons, let’s do a ritual every full moon —
KS: Yeah, or every Friday or something.
AC: — as opposed to let’s do the pilgrimage —
KS: Like one off, once in a lifetime….
AC: — let’s crawl 50 miles and then do a special ceremony once a year, you know, the third house is like, it’s every Friday is Venus’s day or you know, if you look at the majority of neo-Pagan traditions – which tend to be more goddess-centric – it’s like oh yeah, every new moon, every full moon, and so you have that kind of regular observance —
AC: — of divinity within everyday life as opposed to going outside of everyday life to do something special and holy.
KS: I love that. Yeah, because there was a little bit of a- I guess there is that magical component to the third house there with the goddess. It’s sort of that idea- and also too, you know, one thing we didn’t say in the conceptual part is that the houses we’re talking about in this first video, one to six, are sort of in the lunar sphere of the chart, the nighttime part of the chart, and they have this more, you know, there’s some physical qualities to it, but there’s also that, I guess just bringing it in in that regular way.
AC: Yeah, they’re beneath the earth.
KS: Yeah, right there.
AC: They’re beneath the horizon, you can never see a planet in the third house.
CB: Right, most of the houses one through six and even part of seven, are below the horizon and underneath the earth and were associated with the lunar sphere of the Moon, whereas most of the houses seven through twelve are above the earth in the top part of the chart and are visible and are associated with the solar sort of hemisphere of the chart.
CB: Yeah. Alright, did we talk about extended family beyond siblings? Because that’s something that comes up —
KS: We did not, like aunts and uncles.
CB: Yeah, that comes up with the third house as well I feel like pretty frequently, and that’s something I feel relatively confident about in terms of- it’s like parents are fourth house, children are definitely fifth house, seventh house is like your partner, but other types of extended relatives do come up in the third house in addition to just siblings.
AC: I usually do secondary houses for those.
KS: Yeah, like derived.
AC: Yeah, like I’ll do third from the fourth for my aunts, or I’ll do fourth from the fourth for my mom’s mom, etc, etc.
KS: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right anything else in the third that we should touch on before we move on? I feel like there’s something but I don’t know what it is.
KS: I feel like we’ve hit the main points, but…
AC: Well, I would just say, transits to the third impact your day-to-day experience and they tend to deliver things which are less permanent than they may deliver to other houses, because like you said, Kelly, like you opened with, the third is in flux. It’s like —
KS: Constant flux.
AC: — like maybe there’s a benefic there and you write in an astrology column and you nail a couple of them but like, the next one’s got to come out.
KS: You’re only as good as your last column.
AC: Yeah, and so to a certain degree that can be less than ideal for a benefic because, you know, something good happens, but then it changes. There are some authors and structures that like benefics in the third- oh, excuse me, malefics in the third because, yeah, there was a bad thing, but then —
KS: It changed into something different, it wasn’t a bad thing that held on.
AC: It was like, “Yeah, that happened,” and then moving on. So things tend to be less permanent in the third than, say, in the first or the second.
CB: That makes me- that reminds me that the third house is treated really ambiguously in the Hellenistic tradition for like the first thousand years of Western astrology because it’s usually treated as either the weakest of the good houses or the weakest of the bad houses or the least bad of the bad houses or the least good of the good houses, because it’s a cadent house or declining house and it also, even though it has an aspect to the ascendant, to the rising sign, it only has a weak sextile aspect which is the weakest of the good aspects and it’s an inferior aspect that goes backwards in the order of signs as opposed to the 11th house which has the superior sextile which is much stronger and ties it more closely or more firmly or favorably into the rising sign in the ascendant. So the third is sort of weakly good in terms of the good houses.
AC: Which means, I think in practice, that it really depends on what’s going on in the third, whether it’s going to be useful or not.
AC: It’s not a win or a lose button.
CB: Sure, and it’s not a bad house in terms of like the sixth or the eighth or the twelfth, but it’s not one that’s gonna stand out as being hugely positive, even though it tends more positive than negative. Alright. I think that’s good for the third house. Any ruler stuff related to the third? I’m trying to think of different permutations of that, like, somebody that has the ruler of- we were just talking about somebody that has the ruler of the third in the second and it tied in financial matters with their siblings, so there’s different ways that you can see connections between —
AC: I got one!
AC: The ruler of my third is in my 10th and my brother edits this podcast.
CB: That’s pretty good.
AC: And it’s Mercury —
KS: And also because your third is Virgo, yeah, so it’s Mercury – he’s doing some technical stuff.
CB: Well, not just this podcast but also all of your recordings and classes and other stuff.
AC: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I’ve ended up —
KS: You and your brother work together.
AC: — as my 10th house has matured that’s brought us to do projects together.
KS: Of a Mercury nature.
CB: Okay, and you’ll see similar permutations like that depending on where the ruler of the third house is located and that potentially tying the topics of the third house in two different areas of the person’s life.
KS: Absolutely. I mean I know someone who has the out of sect malefic ruling their third house and they have an estrangement with their siblings. So that, you know, obviously there can be some productive uses but also people do have more difficult experiences with their siblings.
CB: And that’s really important to bring up because now we’re getting into- once we get past the first house and the second house we start getting into other people in the natives life and the role that they play, and whether that role is a supportive helpful role like —
KS: That you kind of enjoy, like if you want more of it or —
CB: — versus understanding that that’s not always the case for all people and sometimes people’s experience of different specific family members or close people in their life tend more negative, or maybe they have some particularly negative experience or that person becomes somehow a hindrance in the person’s life. There’s something like that. Like let’s say a person that had a falling out with siblings or- we’ll go through other family members as we go through, but that’s important to keep in mind that sometimes… Even though in modern astrology they tend to conceptualize it as like different compartments of the native’s psyche and what their attitude towards let’s say siblings is, sometimes it really just is the orientation of your siblings or their attitude towards you. It’s like sometimes different parts of the chart that represent different people in your life, represent objective situations and scenarios that you experience from that person that may not necessarily be your fault, per say.
KS: Absolutely yeah, it might be nothing that you’ve done but it’s how they act towards you or circumstances outside your control.
AC: Yeah, it’s usually [that] there’s an inner-outer mirror, like, if you grow up with an older sibling that’s always kicking your ass, then you’re going to be negatively inclined towards them and, I mean, these things co-create. It’s as much outside of you as it is inside, and sometimes it’s much easier to see in one place or another. But yeah, it’s not all inside you, it’s all inside your life.
KS: Yes, that’s a better point. It’s not all inside your being.
CB: Sure. Alright well, I think that’s pretty good for the third house. Why don’t we transition into the fourth house. So the fourth house in Hellenistic astrology was known as the subterranean place. In terms of significations or just basic significations of the fourth house: the fourth is an angular house. It’s said to be the primary house that signifies the parents, the home, family in general, and the private life of the native, especially in contrast to the 10th house which represents the public life. Does that sound like a pretty good set of significations to you guys?
CB: Pretty agreeable, not too much controversy?
AC: I would add property [or] real estate as a primary signification, but other than that…
CB: Definitely. Okay so, home and family have always been two of the primary significations of the fourth house and are two relatively uncontested significations. So, what does that mean in an actual delineation or in a proper context of looking at a person’s birth chart? What does that matter?
KS: Yeah, I mean, it allows you to describe the type of home environment that they may have experienced when they’re a child growing up. So I think you can also get a little bit of childhood sort of qualities or experiences out of the fourth.
KS: And so you can describe that- you can even just use the element of the sign on the fourth or the modality to tell you a little bit about the type of things that are important in their home. Is technology important? Is access to nature important? Is having a home that is out on land important, or is having a home that’s more connected to community and people and transport? So the kinds of things within and around your home that you might prefer, you can get out of this. And of course the family, the general connections with your parents, you know, positive or negative, of course, it can go either way.
CB: Yeah, I like that you mentioned early life stuff because certainly that idea of like, nature versus nurture and the idea that oftentimes the environment that a person grows up in and the early formative years of their life has a very foundational impact in many ways on who they become as a person later on, or it can at least.
KS: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: So, what is your foundation in life? What was your early home life like, and what was your family life like early on? Or not just early on, but also as a continuing theme in your life. Like are your parents- is that a supportive area of your life or is there some way in which that’s not a supportive area?
KS: Yeah, absolutely.
AC: You see a person’s attitude towards support and nurturance which they will replicate, or should we say, act in relationship to later on. You know, if we think about the word home, like, what does home mean? Home means physical structures and shelter, but it also means emotional dynamics, and planets which are in the fourth and the planet which rules the fourth describes that, it impacts that. Like what kind of dynamics a person deals with. And you may not do exactly what your parents did, but what you do is relative to how you were [raised]. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I just want to provide what I didn’t have as a kid,” which is the negative space of the pattern that you had when you were growing up. Yeah, it’s fundamental, and planets which are in the fourth have an impact, I would say, on a person’s emotional baseline. You know if you grew up in a family that fought all the time then when events happen or you get in conflict with someone you’ll reference that. If you grew up in a family where nobody ever fought then that’s your emotional baseline, and so it’d be weird for you to be around people who process things through conflict.
CB: And I don’t know if it’s time to go into this but already I can hear some people, as you’re bringing up things like your emotional baseline, immediately starting to think of Cancer and starting to make arguments about, “Well, why isn’t the fourth house associated with Cancer?” But maybe it’s worth stating that you can get to some of those places without necessarily going there, even if occasionally we do see overlaps between the signs of the zodiac and certain houses.
AC: Well I would say, not Cancer, but I would say the Moon can give you information about a lot of the topics that the fourth house comments on. That’s different than saying that the fourth house is Cancer.
CB: Right, sure.
KS: Yeah, that’s an important distinction to make, that the topics that are connected to the houses, you will sometimes find information about those same topics via a specific planet in the chart. So you can have your fourth house, which tells you about your childhood – you can also look at your Moon, and those two things can be, you know, totally different in the chart, but they’ll each add up to the story.
AC: There are co-significators for a given topic.
KS: Exactly, so you could have a planet that signifies a topic and a house.
AC: And that’s part of why the 12 letter alphabet thing worked at all is, it’s okay for certain houses, it’s blatantly useless for other houses. Like, you know, Mars is not the first house.
KS: No, no.
AC: My joke is like, Mars is only the significator of the first house if you’re an asshole.
KS: [LAUGHS] Yes.
CB: Right, and to bring up another similar one, because we’re ragging on one that’s like a modern conceptual structure, but to rag on a more quote-unquote “traditional” one: in Lily you see this weird model where they assign Saturn to the first house and then in descending Chaldean order [assign] Jupiter to the second and Mars to the third and so on and so forth, and I feel like that’s another one where even though you occasionally will see an overlap between, maybe, one of the significations of the planets and one signification of the house, I don’t think that’s otherwise a good model to use and I don’t think that was one of the original models and I’m still wondering at what point that was introduced. I mean, I’ve found it recently in Abu Ma’shar, but that’s the earliest author that I can find it in so far and I have no idea where he got it from in like the 8th or 9th century.
AC: Yeah, that’s terrible.
CB: Is that a model that you guys use?
AC: I would say that that’s way worse than signs equal [houses].
CB: I would say that too.
KS: It would look to me- it was the first way that I was told about planets being connected to the houses, because I was learning from someone who was very steeped in the Lily tradition, so I did get taught that and there’s a little bit of crossover, like the Sun [and the] fourth if you use father down there, Venus in the fifth and it just so happens that that’s where she has her joy, that’s just picking up on something else. But again, you know, getting the joys of the planet or just understanding the essence of each house was much more useful than that system.
AC: Yeah, I mean, I guess the Moon could be a significator of the seventh if you’re really into your mom.
AC: If you’re Oedipus then that makes a lot of sense.
KS: Yes. Yeah. Freud would be happy.
CB: It’s getting late in the night and the Oedipus jokes are already starting.
CB: Alright, so, family, home and living situation…
KS: And I think living situation, just to pick up on that phrase for a second, that’s very common. Like, your home environment, where you live, who’s there. What were you gonna say, sorry.
CB: Oh no, keep going.
KS: Oh, that’s okay.
AC: Well, and so one way to use this that’s very simple, it happens all the time, is when planets transit your fourth stuff happens around your house.
CB: Yeah, your living situation.
AC: So here’s an example: Mars was very recently in my fourth and when it got to the degree where it exactly squared my ascending degree we woke up and the stovetop, which is like a weird electric stovetop that we don’t like, was just beeping and we couldn’t turn it on to heat things and we couldn’t turn off the beep. And so Mars, the thing that’s supposed to make fire, wouldn’t make fire but was just making noise and wouldn’t shut up for hours. Right? And so I was like, that was an event which occurred in my home.
KS: Yes, to do with a Mars thing.
CB: I had Uranus ingress into my fourth house earlier this year and then suddenly moved for the first time in 10 years —
KS: Yeah, that’s major.
CB: — and it was a sudden and rapid move that happened somewhat unexpectedly, which are also Uranus type significations, and then weirdly not long after that my mom decided to move, to sell her house and move for the first time in like 20 years. So sometimes when you have major fourth house transits going on it can be your home and living situation, sometimes it can be your parents, other times it can be both.
AC: Yeah, fourth house stuff will stir up family drama. There’s family drama to be stirred.
KS: Yes, family secrets if it’s Pluto triggers, or the Uranus is like the surprises. But yeah, everything to do with family.
CB: And sometimes also qualifying or describing the natives parents and their relationship with their parents and sometimes how the parents act in the native’s life and whether they’re a positive, supportive influence or whether the parents are somehow a negative influence, or in some instances, even if the parents are not around, I’ve seen instances where the native’s parents didn’t want them and gave them up for adoption immediately and that being a major factor in the birth chart of just, like, not knowing who the parents were and having a sort of sense of searching for that as part of their life – in different permutations of that depending on what planets are in the fourth house or what the ruler of the fourth house is doing.
AC: Yeah, and it also has a lot to do with property, for acquiring property… If you know somebody who’s in real estate, you know, as an agent, or maybe somebody who does landscaping —
KS: Interior decorating sometimes.
AC: — all that kind of stuff, there’s almost always big fourth house stuff going on.
CB: I know somebody that has the ruler of the 10th in the fourth and they rent out properties. They rent out land and homes and stuff like that.
AC: I know a property developer that has Jupiter in the fourth ruling the second. So their Jupiter improves the fourth and then they get second house money from it.
KS: That’s a great example.
CB: And sometimes you’ll see funny, weird permutations. I think in my book I use an example of, I think it’s like Tiger Woods who has the ruler of the fourth in the eleventh or the ruler of the eleventh in the fourth and he’s named after his father’s friend or something like that.
AC: Oh, that’s funny.
CB: Yeah, there’s like funny —
AC: Oh, so here’s another example that came out recently: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the ruler of the 10th in the fourth and his dad and his grandpa were both wrestlers, so he’s literally in the family business.
KS: That’s a great example.
CB: I like that. So there’s lots of different things. A classic one that comes up pretty frequently and is a pretty easy one to spot is sometimes like ruler of the [fourth] house of your home and living situation in the ninth house of foreign places and that person who ends up moving and living abroad for some significant part of their life, or sometimes when the ruler of the ninth is in the fourth.
KS: Like the fourth house-ninth house associations.
CB: Yeah, so obviously that’s starting to drag us into other houses, which we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but just giving some examples of different permutations of what we mean specifically and why is the home and the living situation or the parents- how can that be relevant in very specific or concrete ways in the native’s life.
AC: Yeah, and I would say generally the fourth house does well with nice planets. It’s, you know, the relationship of the planets to houses is complex and varies to some degree on a chart by chart basis, but there are very few circumstances where you can think of a Mars or Saturnian influence being super helpful in the fourth, right? Because you’re not- in that we’re talking about a place that’s supposed to be supportive and nurturing. You know, we could have a Mars in the 10th where a person- the 10th being what a person aspires to and some effort and hardness is relevant there, whereas the fourth is literally the support for the rest of the chart, and so generally speaking soft planets do better there or we experience soft planets as more beneficial there.
CB: Another meaning of the fourth house that’s less relevant in modern astrology but I’ve noticed is emphasized a lot in traditional astrology and I’ve come to think is really important is the notion of the fourth house representing, generally speaking, the end of matters. [Going] back through that diurnal rotation thing that you’re talking about, Kelly, where the first is the beginning and the 10th is the next phase and the seventh is the winding down phase and then finally you reach the midnight part at the fourth, and so sometimes it can indicate the end of the matter, and sometimes in a lot of the traditional texts there were still associations with death and the end of life with the fourth house. And that’s something I’ve seen come up surprisingly a lot, where the eighth house is not the only house that pertains to death but the fourth house sometimes comes up as being relevant there as well. For example, you know, the 27 club. Like, the weird number of musicians that have passed away at 27 – that’s actually a fourth house profection year. So the fourth house is activated when you’re 27 years old. So it’s not saying that everybody’s gonna die when they’re 27, but —
KS: We all made it through.
CB: Right. I need to go back and think of that, it might have been a close one, but… that’s a little tidbit just to think about in terms of other significations that are not commonly discussed or that people don’t often talk about with certain houses but that might sometimes be important, especially if you start thinking about them symbolically where the fourth house is the house that’s furthest underneath the earth and is the most hidden.
AC: When we discuss, or when I teach inheritance of psychic and physical, fourth and eighth [are] what I go to. You know, the home your parents provided is what you stand to inherit. And with fourth, I think of fourth as both beginning and end, or origin point and eventual destination, because whatever you have in the fourth, you know again, you’ll experience early in life and it shapes character in a way that is not directly visible but informs everything else. Like if you’re coming from a Saturn in the fourth place, you might not see exactly where that discipline or structural orientation- you might not see the origin of it, but you’ll see it kind of everywhere. And that’s, you know, when we’re talking about angular houses, especially the first, but the others as well, give a somewhat global influence on the nativity. Things echo out from all of the angular houses.
KS: I think the idea of the fourth house being a base or a foundation of some kind is important, that if everything else sits on top of that then everything else is somehow sort of permeated by or influenced by what’s in that fourth house, what sign or planets are connected to it, right?
CB: Another topic that’s really important that’s more of a traditional topic, and I don’t see emphasized as much in modern texts, but I’ve really grow in to see as important, is the fourth house as being- if the 10th house is the most public part of the chart, the fourth house is the most hidden or private part of the chart. And so it’s not just your private and your home life, but it can also indicate things that are hidden somehow or things which are secret in the native’s life. So sometimes if you ever have to look at a chart where you’re trying to qualify what would indicate that which is hidden or things having to do with secrecy, sometimes fourth house placements can be where to look for that.
AC: Absolutely. Yeah, totally. Well, what’s interesting is, the fourth is a hidden place that the native can see. The fourth is strongly configured to the rising. The twelfth might be something that’s hidden, but it might be hidden from the native —
KS: You can’t see it.
AC: — whereas the fourth is like, you know, that’s where I stash my things.
KS: My secret hiding place.
AC: I know where they are.
CB: Alright, so we could go into examples of that, but maybe that’s sufficient for now for our purposes. Are there any other things that we want to mention about the fourth house before we move on to the fifth?
AC: I would just say that, of the angular houses, the fourth is the most emotional, again, because it’s [you] as a kid. The first is you and then you grow up, but you’re the first house your whole life, whereas in a lot of ways you’re especially subject to the conditions of the fourth when you’re younger, and so planets which are there have an opportunity to impact you when you are very emotionally impressionable and you will tend to carry the shape of that impression for a very long time.
KS: Yeah, and that makes me think of the idea of agency, you know, where planets in the fourth house, because they’re affecting you so much when you are a child and you’re not really driving your life at that point in time, you can be very affected by planets in the fourth house in a way that can feel out of control or potentially a little bit more difficult the younger you are, and then as you get older and you begin to have more agency over your life you can contain or manage through your own choices some of the manifestations of those planets there, if that makes sense.
CB: It makes me think, I’ve seen some modern books [where] they’ll use an illustration of the fourth house as a tree and the fourth house is where the roots of the tree are and then the 10th house is sort of like the leaves in the top of the tree in the foliage. But what’s the basis of the foundation of that tree is the roots, like, what are your roots? And what was your foundation in life?
AC: Yeah, yeah, and ancestry and —
KS: Your family lineage.
AC: — ancestral concerns, that’s all fourth house.
CB: Yeah, and that’s a funny one because when that gets activated, when you have a fourth house transit or a profection year, I’ve seen people get really suddenly out of nowhere interested in their ancestry and like looking up their- what is it like —
KS: ancestry.com, or 23andMe.
CB: Yeah, doing their, like —
KS: Genetic testing?
CB: Yeah, and finding out that they’ve got a long-lost sibling or a half-brother or something like that, or… all sorts of weird things.
KS: Yeah, there’s a lot of that ancestry.com and 23andMe when people are having fourth house activations. Really interesting.
AC: Well, and yeah I would say that the eighth, which is inheritance, it’s usually [that] if there’s stuff in the eighth, that’s what’s relevant to you, but there’s all sorts of ancestral stuff that’s in the fourth, but it may or may not be super relevant to you. You may not inherit that vast estate or that propensity towards alcoholism, but it’s still in the fourth.
KS: You are still aware of it and carry that as a legacy.
AC: Yeah, and so if you see strong eighth-fourth connections, that means there’s a lot of that that’s relevant.
CB: That’s a good one because one of the examples I use in my book is of, I’m spacing out his name… Hemingway has the ruler of the sixth in the fourth and he actually inherited a genetic disorder from his father’s family line. So when it comes to the idea of fourth house and lineage and literally what you’re getting from your family line or your father potentially was something that was a negative thing or an illness.
AC: Yeah, and Firmacus goes wild when talking about the fourth in regards to patrimony, right, because that was a male inheriting system that he was writing in the middle of, right? And it’s, “If you’ve got this in the fourth you’ll squander your patrimony, if you do this you won’t get shit from ‘em, if you do this, it’s going to be amazing,” or you know, “If this planet’s here, it’s gonna be amazing.” He’s very big on what will happen with the patrimony.
CB: Alright, well, I think that’s pretty good for the fourth house. What do you guys think?
AC: Yeah, but just to underscore: it’s fundamental. And so, in addition to looking at specific topics like parents and property, it’s also going to affect the life in a somewhat global fashion, especially if it also happens to be close to the IC.
CB: Yeah, and the only other thing is that it is one of the four angles and therefore it has those notions of being one of the prominent or one of the powerful places like we were talking about earlier, but of the four angles the fourth is thought to be the weakest of the four angles. The ranking is usually something like 1 10 7 4, or usually 10 and 1 are either thought to be equal in power or there’s arguments about which one’s more powerful, but it’s like both of those are grouped together, then 7, then 4.
AC: Yeah, and I’ve seen 4 7 but I’ve seen 7 4 more often.
CB: Ok, so that’s good to know, and I think that’s it for the fourth house.
CB: Cool. Let’s transition into talking about the next house, the fifth house. So the fifth house is a succedent house that follows after the fourth and so it has to do with notions of that which comes after or that which is subsequent to the fourth house. In terms of significations, the fifth house is traditionally associated with children as its primary signification, but also traditionally in the medieval period especially you start getting associations with- since the fifth house is associated with children, the notion of procreation gets tied into there, so the fifth eventually in the medieval and especially the Renaissance period becomes associated with sex. Then also, because the fifth is said to be the place where Venus has her joy and it is called the place of good fortune in the medieval period, the fifth house becomes associated with pleasures, and then eventually in modern times it gets associated also with notions of creativity. So I think those are core fifth house significations that are relatively common, at least in, you know, those three traditions of ancient Hellenistic, medieval, and then modern. Would you guys say those are relatively solid or not contested?
KS: I think the only contested topic is the topic of sex, which in modern astrology is usually placed in a different house – in the eighth – but as you mentioned in the medieval period they had it more with the fifth house. Oh, and I always think of Venus being in her joy there and it being the house of good fortune and their connections to the body, so the idea of the nice things for the body, if you like, and the good things which come of it, which is babies, But you know, how do you get the baby in there to start with?
AC: Lots of practice.
CB: There’s a whole history of that behind, like, the assignment of sex to different houses. That’s really tricky and I think I dealt with it on one episode, I can’t remember what episode it was, but it was- the earliest reference I can find is actually in Valens in the second century and he seems to associate sex with the seventh house because that’s where you find the other and that’s where you find the partner or the marriage partner, and it’s also the place where the sky and the earth are sort of like coming together, so what he says is he associated it with intercourse or intercoupling which is probably coming out of that astronomical idea of the sky and the earth coming together. But then eventually in the medieval period, because of the joy of Venus being in the fifth, eventually the fifth house becomes the primary place of sex, especially by the Renaissance. And then eventually in the modern period, due to the sign equals house thing, they start associating [sex] with Scorpio which was associated with the genitals and then they assign through that Scorpio to the eighth house and then the eighth house becomes the house of sex. So that’s usually what most modern astrologers associate it with, but now there’s this whole debate amongst modern versus traditional astrologers and whether it should be fifth or eighth.
KS: But I think other than that the other topics are pretty consistent for the fifth.
AC: Yeah, I would just say in general with the fifth, there’s creative- it’s also associated with luck [and] good fortune. I would say that with a strong fifth you see a person who has a very good ability to make things how they want them to be. We call that creative potency – where you don’t see the source of it, it’s not like a bank account, right, but some people just have an ability to make things go their way. You know, you could say it’s a person’s mojo or [???] or, you know, it’s whatever they bring with them to situations where they can create the situation that they want. We all have some ability to bring to situations the imprint of what we desire or how we would like them to go, and I would say that that’s sort of the fifth house resource, and that creative potency is on display for people who do arts. But everybody has that – it’s just not everybody is acting it out or making things and showing you —
KS: In such a big way.
AC: It can be applied in a lot of ways. You see people with strong fifth house stuff, but who work in a corporate environment. They’re usually really creative problem-solvers, they’re like, “Here’s a new way to do this,” etc, etc. I would say creative potency is not a bad way to put whatever that is. We don’t have a good —
KS: The gift of it.
AC: — we don’t have a good term for that in English. And sometimes it looks like luck, sometimes it looks outside-in but a lot of times it’s inside-out.
CB: Well and also I think the creativity angle partially comes from the fifth house traditionally, for 2000 years, being the primary house of children, which is like that which you create and literally, if you have children, is something you create physically, and then you see it go out into the world and live its own life. But then also more metaphorically, artists creating art and creating something as being more like, a metaphorical sort of child in some sense.
KS: And the idea of legacy of some sort, whether it’s Michelangelo’s David or Botticelli’s this and that, so it’s some kind of legacy. And it is more or less significant, you know, this topic is not relevant for all of us. We’re not all meant to leave that type of legacy. But the people who do have those big fifth houses.
AC: Yeah, but whatever you make has some impact.
KS: That’s true. Yeah, even if it’s in like a smaller way.
AC: Well, it doesn’t have to be a thing that you make, you know, you could make an event happen, you —
KS: You can plant ideas.
AC: Yeah, and even if you write a book, you’re making it, but then it goes out and it gets interpreted and however people interpret it has its own, you know, it grows up and has a life of its own.
KS: It goes out into the world, yeah. I remember Elizabeth Gilbert talking about that, when she wrote- after the book Eat Pray Love just became this own thing and she sort of had to reconcile her role in that creative process and she basically said, “My job was just to write the story and then to release it into the world,” and what happened to it after that with the movie and the kind of runaway success was its own creative entity. You put life into something and then that life kind of breeds more life into the future, which I guess is like your children and then grandchildren and things like that.
CB: That’s really funny because there’s this whole debate with George Lucas, how he created Star Wars but he never was happy with certain aspects of it and it just had to get to the deadline and put it out, but there were things that he was always not happy with and despite that it’s released in, what, 1977, and it’s like hugely impactful and tons of millions of fans love it and it becomes integrated as parts of their childhood which they then grow very attached to, and even things that were almost mistakes or minor details – there were errors or things that were not what he intended – they became part of their childhood memories and stuff.
KS: The people loved those features.
CB: So what’s funny, though, is 20 years later he has the money and the ability to and he goes back and he starts editing them and updating the graphics to make them better fit modern graphics and changing things, like whether Han Solo shot first or whether the bad guy shot first —
AC: Greedo, I believe.
CB: Right, Greedo shoots first, and the fans are outraged that he would change this creation because there’s this whole debate that’s still ongoing for some reason like 20 years later about whether- in creating that, whether it belongs to the fans or whether he has the right to go back and change his creation after the fact, which he as the creator believes that he does. And he won’t let the original films be screened anymore because he doesn’t like the originals or whatever.
KS: He’s not in love with them.
AC: When you get into the idea of like, well, what does the parent owe the child? Right, and you can see that, or we could see that more recently with the Game of Thrones series and the Game of Thrones books, where everybody’s like, “Come on George, give it up! Come on, finish it! You owe this series a completion.”
CB: Yeah, right. I don’t want to talk about that. I’m still recovering from the finale of the TV show.
AC: Just… very disappointing.
CB: Austin just nods in agreement and stares the thousand-yard stare.
AC: But yeah, I think the child deserved better.
KS: In that situation the parent had failed the child.
KS: I mean, the other topic that is- maybe just to throw this little word in here, is that [when] we’re talking about children, if you’re looking at a chart and you want to define some of the chart’s fertile potential from a physical conception perspective, that is something you would also look to the fifth house for.
CB: So, fertility.
AC: So like, also, what’s your experience of being a parent?
KS: Attitude to parenting, what kind of parent are you.
CB: So like Saturn in the fifth can sometimes- if very poorly placed, can indicate an inability to conceive or difficulty having children, which could mean a wide range of different things.
AC: Yeah, a lot of times if you have Saturn in the fifth, the person would be a parent later.
KS: That’s what I was gonna say, yeah, it can be limits or delays.
CB: Yeah, and I didn’t want to get too specific since there’s a lot of different factors, I didn’t want to freak anybody out.
KS: There are a few other points in the chart that you would look at —
AC: Gotta look at the Moon, gotta look at Jupiter.
KS: Yes, but the fifth house is one of those places.
AC: But you wouldn’t do an analysis of if and when a person was gonna have kids and whether that would be easy or hard or whatever, you wouldn’t do an analysis like that without the fifth.
KS: Correct, you would have to include the fifth house.
AC: You would have to do more than fifth, but I would never leave out —
KS: It would be incomplete and incorrect if you did not look at the fifth.
CB: Yeah, and the ruler of the fifth.
KS: And the ruler of the fifth.
CB: [Which], of course, can then tie the fifth house and the topic of children into other areas of the person’s life in sometimes important or dramatic ways. I’m trying to think of different permutations of that, like the ruler the fifth in the 10th and the native’s career is somehow tied up with their children, the ruler of the fifth in the 11th and somehow the idea of their friends are tied in with the native’s children, ruler of the fifth in the third and the siblings are tied in with the children for some reason.
AC: Yeah, and so in just a simple example, a really good friend of mine who has a bunch of kids has Sun and Moon in the fifth, and he does lots of things, but one of the things he’s really invested in and he’s put a ton of time and energy in is being a really good dad. And [the way he] makes decisions about how much energy to put into professional this or whatever is like, “Is that gonna make me a worse Dad?” Right, like, “Can I be the father that I want to be?” And so, you know, it’s like, yeah, he’s got Sun and Moon there so that’s a really important thing to him.
KS: Hugely so.
CB: Yeah, so important placements or a preponderance of placements in the fifth house can simply indicate something like children will be a major topic in your life, one way or another.
AC: And lots of people have kids. That experience is not equally important to everyone, and if it’s not the most important thing to you that doesn’t mean you’re bad at parenting. You can have people who are terrible parents, but that was a really important experience to them. But if you have a bunch of stuff in the fifth that process either of, you know, it could be writing novels or it could be having kids, but that process of creating and then that going out into the world and the impact of that is really important.
KS: Hugely so.
CB: Something you brought up earlier that I want to return to really quickly is the idea- because it becomes important at this point once you get to the fifth, and then it’s going to become a recurring theme in at least three or four more houses, which is the fifth house is the first house that’s overtly positive and is called the place of Good Fortune, and in calling it good fortune the term that was used in Greek was tyche which means “fortune” or “luck”. And you mentioned that idea of luck, but one facet of luck that I want to mention that’s really important is that which is outside of the control of the native. So we’ve talked about creativity and the creative process and that which is within your control but there’s also things in life that we have to recognize, and it’s especially important to recognize when we’re going through the houses – there’s things that are within the natives control and they have some agency over, but there’s also things in a person’s life that are outside of their control that they don’t necessarily have agency over, and obviously plenty of shades of grey in between. But the fifth house is one of the first houses where, once you get there, when you find planets placed in the fifth house, they can have a way of improving them in a qualitative manner to indicate that the topics associated with them will tend to be more fortunate than if they were placed in other houses like the 6th or the 12th, for example. Where if you have the ruler of a house placed in the 6th or 12th it may indicate more problems or external difficulties that are outside of the person’s control with the topics associated with that ruler, versus if you have the ruler of a house in the fifth house it can indicate that things tend to go a little bit better for that planetary ruler than compared to where they could be placed otherwise.
AC: Yeah absolutely, and one of the interesting and seemingly contradictory but not actually contradictory things is that, generally speaking, if you are in fortunate circumstances you generally have more control over your environment.
KS: Yes, that’s true.
AC: That’s the thing about good fortune, it actually gives you situations where you have more agency. There’s a little bit of chicken and the egg, but you know, if someone’s like, “Hey, here, you don’t have to worry about money anymore,” you’re like, “Oh great, now I can do like 30 different things that I couldn’t do” —
KS: Like write that book or what have you. I can have those extra children.
AC: Yeah, but it’s definitely like some road rising up to meet you.
CB: Yeah, or if you have good health, for example, something you can take for granted if you have it but if you don’t that’s when you realize how precious it can be.
CB: Alright, other fifth house topics that we haven’t touched on besides —
AC: Oh so here’s one thing: I’ve seen the fifth associated with students, not in the sense of like every student is a fifth house topic, but if you were a teacher and you’re not just teaching a quick class but if you have, well, let’s say that you’re a carpenter and you have an apprentice who you teach for several years – that person will show up in your fifth house because you’ve taught them their craft, they’re part of your legacy, you know, etc, etc. And so whenever you have activities where there’s, you know, any sort of real lineage, which is what children are in the most literal way, that’ll ping your fifth house significations.
CB: Yeah, I could see that. I haven’t studied that a lot myself, like, you’ve studied more traditions where lineage is really important, but I can definitely see conceptually that just goes back to the reason why astronomically the fifth should signify children just independently is because if the fourth house represents your family, basically your parents, and that’s the angle, and then the fifth house is the succedent house that follows after the fourth, then the fifth house should signify that which follows after the fourth house in terms of- which would then mean your lineage.
AC: Right, that’s a nice way to think about it.
CB: Yeah and I think that’s how, way back in like the first century in the Asclepius texts, they ended up assigning the fifth house to children in the first place is based on that conceptual premise. But I could see taking that premise and then applying it to other things just symbolically.
AC: Well yeah like, you have your foundation and what do you create from that?
KS: I would say a quick connection there with fortune and fertility or children: up until very recently with modern science, you were either blessed with a lot of children or not. There were, you know, it was something that was the luck of the draw almost, [if] you were able to easily have a bunch of kids and they survive childhood because back in the day that was not something that happened a lot. So I think that you can sort of see [how] some of those concepts would have been considered a great blessing for your home, your fourth house, to be filled with children – then you have more workers to go in your field and farm your land or whatever.
CB: Sure. I mean, that’s what I want to have children for.
KS: I mean, it’s not what we do today.
AC: I don’t know, since we moved out in the country, you know, we could use some hard-workers.
CB: Someone to clear the brush or something.
KS: I know that sounds crazy to us today.
AC: That doesn’t sound crazy.
KS: Or you had to marry them off to form alliances…
CB: Right. But going back to that, because I think that’s really important – not dwelling on [it] a lot, but just mentioning in passing really quickly that idea of coming to the topic of children by saying that the fifth house should be that which follows after the fourth, like, that’s an underlying conceptual principle where you can see then why they got to the idea that children should be assigned the fifth, but also if you can do that, if you can go back to the original conceptual principles then you can find other significations that could be associated with certain houses. And that’s kind of important in modern times where sometimes we do have new dynamics or new experiences that maybe didn’t exist 2,000 years ago, but symbolically you might still be able to assign to a house as long as you understand the underlying conceptual structure that it was based on. And I think it’s important to talk about because there’s always this tension between, on the one hand sticking with the inherited tradition and this system that’s been passed on for 2,000 years that works pretty well, but also occasionally updating it or adding to it or revising it in different ways, very carefully and deliberately, right, with some reverence.
AC: In accord with the principles, right?
AC: You can get reasonably far by memorizing a list of the correct topics, but understanding why those topics are associated with it. There’s not very much that’s genuinely new under the Sun, but, for example: where is my website? Like, there’s not a good precedent for that.
KS: It will not be in Valens. But if you understand the essence of what a website does and what the different houses are, then you can connect via the principles, is what you’re saying.
CB: Yeah, or what does it look like if a person has a job as a therapist? They work one on one having dialogues with other people, and you’ll see that show up —
KS: With different types of subject matter, yeah.
CB: — you’ll see that show up in the seventh house. What does somebody that does accounting look like or what house might that show up in?
AC: Well, there’ve been accountants for a long time.
KS: Yeah I was like, they would’ve had them.
CB: Yeah, sorry.
AC: I believe there was a specific sub-genre of scribe.
CB: I always see it show up surprisingly in the eighth house a lot.
KS: Oh yeah, accountants is totally eighth house.
CB: Dealing with other people’s money.
KS: And their job is often to- yeah, 100% eighth house. And sometimes you see therapists in the eighth house too. Because that’s dealing with the —
AC: Yeah, I actually see a malefic in the eighth ruling the 10th with some nice caring stuff connected to it, but it’s literally dealing with other people’s problems for a living.
KS: Yeah, the funny thing with being a therapist – [while] it is a seventh house style relationship, the one-on-one type of thing, the material that you’re dealing with is eighth house-y in nature.
AC: And it’s generally malefic.
KS: Of course, because we’re talking about disorders or things that- anyway, we’re getting into the eighth house now. Thats video part two.
CB: It’ll tie us actually into the sixth house cuz we’re gonna come headlong into that.
KS: Yes, right, of course. So we could go from good fortune to bad fortune.
AC: So I guess one last thing, as you said earlier: this is the first house that’s blatantly good, and it is configured by trine to the ascendant which is —
CB: And that’s really important.
AC: — our happiest aspect.
CB: The most positive aspect and it’s one of the most positive houses. It’s a succedent house. Not quite as powerful as an angle, but it has that very positive very strong tie into the first house through the trine.
AC: And that’s in all of astrology. It’s very important to learn to differentiate powerful from favorable. Sometimes you get both. Sometimes you get one but not another. The fifth is not as powerful as the fourth but it is more favorable.
CB: Because we’ll start to run into some interesting power versus favorability or ease dynamics when we get to the seventh house which is an angle but is opposite to the first house, or the 10th house which is a very powerful angle but has the superior square over the first house.
KS: Well, and I think this succedent thing, just to add this in: the 11th and fifth are often separated and treated differently to the second and the eighth in that they are in the top half in terms of houses that are more favorable, whereas the second and eighth, even though they are succedent they’re usually in the bottom half in terms of the niceness or likeability.
CB: Because they don’t have an aspect to the first house.
KS: Exactly, yeah.
CB: Or a major aspect which is a sextile, square, trine, opposition, or conjunction. What were you gonna say?
AC: Oh, no, I’m good.
CB: Alright, any other fifth house stuff? Did we cover it all?
KS: I think we got a lot in there. We can always throw in examples but we’ve covered the topics.
CB: Okay, then let’s move on to what should be our final house, unless you guys want to keep going for the rest of the night.
KS: You have to feed Austin.
CB: It is 10:30 at night and I haven’t fed Austin and Kelly all day.
AC: We started at 5:00.
KS: We’ve obviously had some breaks and stuff in between but…
CB: Alright, last house, we’re having fun.
KS: We are having a good time. We’re getting all these stories in.
CB: So the sixth house, traditionally in ancient astrology and Hellenistic astrology, is known as the place of Bad Fortune, which contrasts with the fifth house which is the place of Good Fortune. The sixth house is said to be the house where Mars rejoices or has its joy. It’s a cadent house. So we’re back to a cadent house like the third house, which is also cadent, except the big difference is that this cadent house does not have a major aspect to the ascendant and therefore it’s not just cadent, which is weaker in terms of power and prominence, but also that lack of aspect indicates a lack of support or positive things with relation to the first house entity which in natal astrology is the native. So traditionally the sixth house is associated with things like illness, injuries, work, and subordinates. I’ve updated some of those a little bit in terms of phraseology and modern times because there’s at least a couple of those that are a little bit different if you read them in a first century text compared to the way that they’ve either been adapted to modern society or the way where, occasionally, astrologers will use sort of euphemisms for certain things to soften it a little bit.
KS: These are really great words that are relevant, I think you were saying this before, Austin, relevant to our experiences today.
CB: Yeah, because traditionally, in ancient first century greco-roman society, the sixth house was said to be- one of the significations was slaves. So that’s obviously not relevant now in the early 21st century for the most part. However, the sixth house does still continue to be relevant in a way, just in a slightly different way, for the term I use [which] is subordinates. Like, if you’re somebody that owns a business, those who work under you, who are sort of subordinate to you, often do show up in the sixth house.
AC: I believe the polite term is employee.
CB: Employee? Oh, employees. Okay, not subordinates. So you don’t use subordinate for…
KS: I mean, I would usually say employee- I would say staff, and I think that applies in both a professional and a personal situation, in terms of, if you have a business and you have staff or some people, when they run their home, have a gardener or a cleaner or what-have-you and I think they would be sixth house employees.
CB: Okay. Yeah. Alright. Well, that’s way better. Part of the reason I use subordinate is because I think that’s also how they got to assigning animals and pets to the sixth house, because it’s like, if the first house is you, the seventh house is the other or like a partnership, the person that you’re on a sort of equal footing with, the sixth, which is below and declining from the seventh, is those who are you’re almost in some sort of partnership with but are in a role that is subordinate to you, that is not necessarily on an equal footing.
KS: There is a power dynamic with these people. If there was a hierarchy or an organization chart you would be at a higher-up place than the individuals represented by that, I think, is how I would describe it.
CB: Sure. So employees. How does that come up? What does that actually mean?
AC: Well, if you have staff, like, I know people who own businesses who have staff and some of them have unfortunate sixth houses and they have crazy staffing problems.
KS: A horrible time trying to get people to stay, or people to do a good job.
AC: Yeah, or people are always bringing drama into the office. If you hire people to do things then your sixth house becomes much more relevant in terms of these significations.
KS: And if you have a good sixth house then you might be able to find somebody who is really talented or fits exactly what you’re looking for.
AC: Yeah, exactly, that’ll be much easier for you.
CB: Yeah, and sometimes one of the things that’s funny that comes up is, even though some of the placements in a chart can indicate ongoing or recurring themes in a person’s life, sometimes certain placements can indicate events that are like one-time events.
KS: A one-and-done.
CB: Yeah, just like one time but major event in the person’s life that somehow comes to define it in some way that- so if somebody wrote a biography about their life, they would mention this episode where this one thing happened that was an important or pivotal turning point. So let’s say, a sixth house matter where the sixth house got activated but it was really bad, and let’s say you go into business but you hired somebody and they did something really terrible and it caused your entire business to go under or something like that, due to an employee, versus let’s say another situation where you hired this one person and that one person invented this new product that caused your business to take off and suddenly become wildly successful, which never would have happened if you hadn’t hired that one person. So there can be one-time situations, but they can really change the course of your life in some instances. And it’s important to keep that in mind, because I think sometimes people, when they’re going through the houses and they’re trying to think about whether that matches their life, can get distracted by saying, “Well, this isn’t a continual thing, I’ve only just had this one event, but that’s not something that always occurs all the time in my life.”
AC: As far as what is most consistently relevant with the sixth: health.
KS: I was gonna say, and that’s the whole idea, at least a big part of how I understand it, is that the bad fortune is that, it is considered bad fortune if you have a health condition or if you have a health problem and, you know, depending on your access to health services and health providers you can manage or even overcome, but depending on the condition it may not be an overcomeable condition. It may be something that you live with.
CB: Yeah, and we talked about this a little bit already with the first house, which represents both the body and physical constitution as well as the mind or the character, but it really comes up in the sixth house, because traditionally they would really talk about illness as well as injury as being major sixth house topics, but definitely in the modern times, in the 20th and 21st century, the scope of the sixth house has been expanded not just to talk about things that are negative but also ways in which health can be maintained or in which illnesses or injuries can be treated in constructive ways.
AC: Yeah, but it’s always [that] the positive sixth house stuff is a response to negative things. It’s like, “Oh I’ve got weak lungs, I should do lung exercise” —
KS: “I have to take up swimming,” or something.
AC: — “I’ve got bad knees, I should make sure to loosen up my thighs before I do stuff.” I see the sixth as- the sixth can also be very bad for money. When you get a six house transit your faucet breaks, the car breaks, whatever. It’s those things which eat away the physical stuff in your life. To a certain degree it’s a little bit of a place of entropy, where it’s like, if you don’t take care of your body, it’s gonna fall apart. Like, if you don’t pay your bills on time, they’re going to shut your lights off. And so this is the Mars joy there. In many ways the best solution to the constant threat of entropy is to just take care of it.
KS: Yes, to do a thing.
AC: You do your yoga, you know, you make sure that you pay the bills on time, you repair that step so you don’t fall down it and crack your skull. The sixth house stuff requires a response in order to keep the natural entropy of material being from becoming a negative event. And for health, I think a useful simplification, that’s not an oversimplification, is the first house is kind of like your hit points and then the sixth house is how much damage you’re taking, or to what degree you have immunized or addressed the factors which would attack you and do damage.
KS: Yeah, and I think that’s the key is that when- one thing that confuses students is the first house seems to be about the body and somehow kind of connected to health, but so is the sixth. The problem or what is hurting the body, if you like, is going to come out of the sixth house in some way usually.
AC: Sure, and so if you have a planet that- maybe it does a bunch of great stuff for you, but it also rules the sixth – when that planet gets stimulated by transit or activated by time lord, whatever, it’ll cause a flare-up of whatever your flare-ups look like. And so though the ruler of the sixth takes on the disease or injury-delivery responsibilities. It might be Venus and it might be in a beautiful position and it’s also delivering, you know, flowers and art and good times, but it’s got that job because it rules the sixth.
KS: It’s also causing a problem with sugar metabolism or diabetes, something along those lines, because both Venus and Jupiter, even though they are benefics, if they are connected to the sixth house [they] can still cause a problem in your body. It may not be, you know, the Mars problem which can be like an accident or a surgery or what have you, but Venus and Jupiter can still interfere with the good functioning of the physical.
AC: Yeah, and any planet that rules the sixth takes that on.
CB: Sure, and I do think there’s a tendency for the sixth house to be more bodily type issues in terms of injuries or illnesses, whereas the 12th house has some connection as well, but can sometimes tend to be more like afflictions of the mind.
AC: At a really simple level you can just say, if you’re looking for mental health, look at the twelfth first and then- if you’re looking for challenges to the mental health: twelfth; challenges to the physical health: sixth. And there’s more to it than that, but that’s not a bad starting place. I also do concrete challenges or problems with the sixth, it’s visible problems. That’s actually- I think that’s what’s on my handout is visible problems —
KS: In the material.
AC: — you’re like, “My back hurts,” right, whereas the twelfth is like, “I’m just not happy.”
KS: Or, “I’m not sleeping well, and I’m just not sure why.” There’s more of an abstract, hard to pin down —
AC: Whereas the sixth is like, “I cut my hand making- I burned my hand making pizza.”
CB: And part of the reason, I think for that, is that the sixth is still below the horizon and that bottom half of the chart, which is more of the lunar hemisphere where the Moon has its joy in the third, and the nocturnal planets, because that was something we didn’t even mention at all, that the joys —
KS: The sect orientation.
CB: Yeah, the planetary joy is- the nighttime or nocturnal planets all have their joys in the bottom half of the chart because that’s under the earth, so the Moon in the third, Venus in the fifth, and Mars in the sixth, and the daytime or diurnal planets have their joys up in the top half of the chart —
KS: In the day.
CB: — in the Sun to the ninth, Jupiter to the 11th, and Saturn to the 12th. But I think this sets up a basic mind-body duality where mind and spirit tend to be in the top half and body tends to be in the bottom half, and I think that’s why, originally, in the very first system of significations, why they assigned both body and mind to the first house because with the whole sign houses part of it is above the horizon and part of is below, so it’s really a little bit of both, and that’s what you are in some ways.
AC: Well, yeah, in a way that I think will be increasingly clearer in part two, the significations of the first six houses are all embodied —
KS: They’re all in tangible materials.
AC: — in neighbors and in having stuff and family —
KS: The physical house that you live in.
AC: — and making stuff and having kids and having your back hurt, like, those are all very embodied experiences.
CB: So we talked about illness, sometimes injury can come up and that can be like an acute injury…
KS: The need for surgeries and things can come up with the sixth house as well.
AC: Yeah, and so it’s worth contrasting the sixth and injury and ill health with the eighth, because the eighth is the house of death, and so, the sixth tends to be systemic weaknesses and accidents but generally the sixth by itself won’t kill you.
KS: It’s the shit you got to deal with but you can usually recover from it
AC: Yeah, it can make us sick, you know etc, etc. But the eighth is the house of death, feeling bad, and, you know, having a busted shoulder is not the same thing as death.
CB: Yeah, it’s not the same as the cessation of life, which is the eighth. So other types of injuries though, just to make sure we’re clear on things, like a car accident or something injuring your back or going skiing and hitting a tree or something like that. Sudden acute injuries like breaking a bone or something.
AC: I’m just thinking about my profections and when I’ve broken bones.
CB: Yeah, my last sixth house profection year I had some trepidation over but I ended up starting going to the gym kind of regularly for the first time since like high school, but it was more of a productive- it didn’t happen because I was trying to go out of my way to do it in terms of, like, “Oh, it’s sixth house, I better focus on that,” it was more just like, it was time to start getting older, I need to start maintaining my body and warding off some of those long term difficulties if I’m not taking care of my health.
AC: Yeah, and that’s the proactive Mars and it’s joy side of the sixth.
KS: Yeah, the prevention is better than the cure.
AC: Some of these problems, even if- there are chronic conditions that don’t have a quick answer or may not even have an answer, but they’re still like, what do you do to minimize the difficulties? If you think about getting sick, right, there’s the treating the cold or the flu once you have it, but then it’s like, why did you get sick? You’re like, “Well, I was kind of eating like shit and” —
KS: Drinking too much.
AC: Keeping the immune system strong is both a literal thing that’s concerned with proactive sixth house stuff, as well as a good metaphor for the other difficulties. If the six is related in any way with financial indicators it can be sickness of one’s financial health, which is one’s body on a different level, and, you know, paying your bills on time, keeping books, etc, etc, as a way to keep that healthy.
KS: Yeah, and the only other thing: we’ve talked a lot about the health and the illness, but it may not just be you being unwell – if you have some strong sixth house indications in your chart, it may be that you work in a health or a medical related field.
AC: I was just gonna say that.
CB:That’s my favorite client chart example in my book, it’s the ruler of the first and the 10th placed in the sixth and it’s a benefic and it’s also bonified, it’s like the most well placed planet in the sixth ruling both career and the ascendant and the person is a doctor that focuses on patient care and things like that. So they’re working in a context of people who are sick, but it’s not otherwise primarily manifesting as the native being sick themself. It’s them helping and acting as the benefic.
AC: You know, being really interested in sickness, and therefore health.
KS: So that’s, I think, an important thing to know, people who work in the medical or the health field in some capacity.
CB: So that can definitely come up when you’re talking about the sixth house, and then the other more positive side of the sixth house we have to talk about that’s become more prominent I think in modern times, but I think it’s definitely relevant, is the idea of the sixth house having to do with work. Is that something you guys subscribe to?
KS: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s a little bit to do with the Mars piece of like, just do something. But it’s sort of- the distinction as it was first explained to me is the sixth house is like what we have to do, you know, all day every day kind of thing. It’s almost like what you need to do that can potentially feed the career, the 10th.
AC: I think of the old Chris Rock bit about jobs and careers.
KS: Oh, yeah, that’s a good —
AC: Career being 10th, and just labor or a job being the sixth. He’s like, you know, “Not everybody has a career –”
KS: That’s very true.
AC: — “but everybody’s got to work.”
KS: Everybody’s got a job of some kind.
CB: Yeah, and this does set up kind of a triad or a triangle, which is one of the things I do think is kind of- although it’s over-emphasized it’s still useful in modern astrology, where they will talk about the second house being your income, the sixth house being work, and 10th house being career, and sometimes the interaction between those three houses or their rulers all relating to the overall picture or all being relevant in terms of, if you’re talking about a person’s career in general.
KS: Yeah, and that, I think, is something that may be worth being really clear for people too, is that when it is said that the sixth house is one of the more difficult houses or problematic houses, that is from the perspective or the point of view of the first house in the chart, but a planet in the sixth house will be making some kind of trine angle to the 10th and could potentially be in aspect to the Midheaven degree itself, which is like, “What do I do with this planet?” Just take it to your job or use it in your work in some capacity, and you can get something out of that planet that otherwise might look bad or like it’s in a bad place.
CB: And that’s the primary instances that I see where a person is able to have a sixth house planet that works out relatively well is, it is mitigated by being in the sixth but having a close aspect, within three degrees, to the degree of the Midheaven or to a planet that’s in the 10th house. That’s something that’s mentioned in some of the Hellenistic texts, like, Paulus, I think, Paulus Alexandrinus in the fourth or fifth century, that I’ve seen consistently work over and over again in practice, and when a planet’s in a difficult house, as long as it’s configured to an angle or an angular planet, you’ll tend to see, even though there may still be problems, a more positive manifestation overall than there might be otherwise.
AC: It’ll put it to good use.
KS: Exactly. It’s put to good use.
AC: But, just back to general cadency, planets in the sixth have to deal with a bunch of shit.
KS: I was gonna say, you’re problem solving.
AC: You’re like, “My back hurts,” or, “I got to do all this to keep my back from hurting.”
KS: “And I do all that before I actually even start work.”
AC: Yeah, and then I think of, when I worked at a fast-food restaurant when I was a teenager, I put all that work in and it’s not like I was building a career. That’s something you get with cadency, sometimes, where you spend energy just to maintain neutral, and so you did all that work and you have none of the energy left over and you just continue to be able to have food and shelter.
KS: You’re kind of treading water.
AC: And without —
CB: I think that’s one of the primary significations or underlying conceptual meanings of cadent houses is dissipation of energy.
AC: Yeah, and I’m trying to emphasize that.
KS: Well, because —
AC: They’re just- planets in the sixth, for example, they just get [tired]. It’s tiring to be in the sixth.
KS: Very tiring.
AC: There’s a lot to do.
KS: Well, and you see that with planets transiting through the sixth is that people all of a sudden are putting out more effort in terms of their everyday life. They might be asked to work on another project at work or there’s something going with their family or with children or something and their daily tasks or responsibilities [are] just more, but you don’t get the reward for it. It’s like, do this extra work, but nobody’s giving you more money or benefits or anything. You just gotta do the extra.
AC: It’s like being extremely sick. You know, if it’s more than just a flu, right, if there’s a chronic condition, you have to do all this research and you see these different doctors and you try to do this and that —
KS: Take the medication.
AC: It’s a lot of work to try to just get back up to neutral. Your reward is not being sick.
CB: Yeah. Alright. So we’ve covered illness, injury, work, subordinates, or employees. Even though it’s a weird signification, I do think pets occasionally do come up in the sixth house.
KS: Oh yeah.
CB: That’s not controversial?
KS: No, I don’t think so.
AC: I’ve seen it repeatedly.
KS: When people have issues with their pets, when they get pets, when they have pets that are going to die —
CB: When pets are super important in the person’s life.
KS: 100%. When everyone says your cats live at the kitty cat Hilton.
CB: I have a funny example about that of this millionaire or billionaire heiress who had a dog and she would feed the dog- she had the ruler of the sixth in the second, and she would just shower the dog with like valuable goods and dress it with gold chains or gold silk.
KS: And the dog doesn’t care.
CB: Well, I mean, it did, because when she died, Saturn went over the ruler of the sixth and in the paper it said that the dog went from eating caviar each day to being put on a diet of like, eating Alpo or something, like dog food.
KS: Regular dog food.
CB: So that was funny, but that might illustrate a broader point weirdly, even though you don’t think it should which is: that was a Saturn transit over the ruler of her sixth house at the time, and it was describing an experience that this other entity in her life was having, which is the dog was experiencing that, and even though that’s a weird example you will see that happen sometimes where, sometimes a transit in your chart over a house or over the ruler of a house will describe something that’s happening in the life of somebody around you, but may not necessarily be affecting your life directly, but it is affecting theirs and it’s being reflected for some reason in their chart.
KS: Yeah, like by association. But pets, for sure.
CB: Okay, not controversial.
KS: I don’t think so.
AC: Yeah, we’ve been talking about getting another cat since Jupiter’s been in my sixth.
KS: Oh yeah, huh. And when I’ve had Jupiter transits through my sixth the cats are all going to the vet and having all these very costly things done. And Jupiter’s there normally so we usually do whatever they need. They get very spoiled.
CB: Alright, is that it for the sixth house?
KS: Austin will report back if he gets another —
AC: You know what’s funny is, since we started talking about the sixth my back has started hurting.
KS: Like invoking it!
CB: I think I’ve just kept you guys up too late tonight. You’re starting to fall apart.
KS: We’re aging now, you know that, we’re not spring chickens.
CB: Yeah. Well, I’m still quite young in my mid-thirties.
KS: You are! You’re much younger than us old fuddy-duddies over here.
CB: Alright, I think that’s it guys, in terms of this. This is part one of our two-part series on these significations of the twelve houses. We made it through houses one through six, so —
KS: Plus all the conceptual —
CB: Yeah, we got all the conceptual stuff out of the way, which took more time. So part two will be a little bit faster, although we get to some interesting houses —
KS: There’s some good houses.
CB: So still plenty to go through. So, I did want to mention [or] plug really quickly, because all of us teach stuff on this, like, we’re all doing this off the top of our heads because we’ve been teaching it and doing consultations and classes and lectures on all of this for years and years now. Kelly, do you have classes and like lectures and stuff on the houses?
KS: I have my “Practical Beginner Astrology Course”, which is a six-part training [that] goes into the houses, and I also recently did a webinar called “Rulership of the Houses for Beginners”, so if anybody is struggling to get their head around the whole, “What is this ruler of a house business and how does that factor in,” I’ve got a webinar and they’re just all on my website, kellysastrology.com.
CB: Okay. Austin, what about you?
AC: Yeah, houses is one of the modules in my year one program and the set of recordings of me doing houses is also available as an independently purchasable module.
CB: Okay, and what’s your website?
AC: My website is austincoppock.com.
CB: Brilliant. And I, of course, wrote a book, “Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune”, and when I say available in fine bookstores everywhere, I just mean go to Amazon and buy it.
KS: I was gonna say, you just mean Amazon.
CB: Yeah, basically Amazon. It’s like si [or], seven hundred pages and it has a whole section on the origins of the signification of the houses, planets in houses, the rulers of houses —
KS: It’s a very good section, actually, the rulers of the houses.
CB: Thank you. I appreciate that. I have a bunch of delineations from Rhetorius that show you the earliest- all the way from the 7th century delineations of what it means for the ruler of one house to be in another house from literally the earliest source that survives on that, so that chapter alone is very useful for this topic, and then I also teach an online course on Hellenistic astrology where I have multi-hour lectures that go through and show hundreds of example charts that I’ve found of different permutations of the ruler of, like, the seventh house in the 10th and here’s a client chart with that or here’s a celebrity example with that, and so on and so forth.
KS: Because that’s the thing with the twelve houses is, once you have a good grasp of them, when you start playing around with the rulers of the houses, like, that’s where astrology just gets so magical and so unique and personal because you can, of course, assess- you can take the signs out and just look at how the topics and life get connected based on where the rulers of the houses are, and that is like a whole piece in and of itself that has only been discussed in the last maybe fifteen or twenty years as the traditional revival has happened.
CB: Yeah, exactly. So that’s very important, and you can find out more information about my Hellenistic Astrology course at courses.theastrologyschool.com. Alright guys, thanks for joining me tonight. Let’s go get some food somewhere, and then we’ll be back tomorrow to do part two.
KS: Yes. Thanks everyone for watching.
CB: Awesome. Thanks to all the listeners, thanks to all the patrons who support us through our page on patreon, and thanks for listening to this episode, we’ll see you again next time.
END CREDITS: Thanks to the patrons and sponsors who helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com, including patrons Christine Stone and Nate Craddock, as well as the AstroGold astrology app available at astrogold.io, the Portland School of Astrology at portlandastrology.org, the Honeycomb Collective personal astrological almanacs at honeycomb.co, and also the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting an astrology conference in Denver, Colorado, September 10th – 14th, 2020, and you can find out more information about that at isar2020.org, and the Northwest Astrological Conference which is happening in Seattle, May 21st – 25th, 2020, and you can find out more information about that at norwac.net. For more information about how to sign up to become a patron of the podcast go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast.