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Chapter 12

The Sun, the Moon, and the Planets in the Houses

In This Chapter

bulletThinking about the houses of your birth chart

bulletTalking about the Sun and Moon in the houses

bulletConsidering the planets in the houses

bulletPondering the empty houses in your chart

Consider two babies born on July 6, 1935, one around 4 a.m. local time and one, in another part of the world, around 6 a.m. Their planets are in identical signs of the zodiac. But their rising signs (see Chapter 11) aren’t the same, and neither are their house placements. How much difference would that make?

It would make a world of difference. One child, born with Gemini rising, Mercury on the Ascendant, and the Sun in the first house, is Candy Barr, the platinum-haired stripper who died in 2005. The other, born with Cancer rising, Pluto on the Ascendant, and the Sun in the twelfth house, is the Dalai Lama. This stark difference suggests how crucial the rising sign and house placements can be. They’re as important as sign placements.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to confuse the signs with the houses. One difference is that the signs, which are divisions of the ecliptic, represent various attitudes, styles, and approaches to life. The houses describe areas of interest such as money, children, health, partnership, travel, and education. In every horoscope, each planet is in a sign and a house. In this chapter, I discuss the twelve houses and offer interpretations for each planet in each house.


The planets represent types of energy, the signs represent various ways of expressing that energy, and the houses represent different areas of experience where those energies are likely to operate. House placements are based on the time of your birth, not on your sign. For instance, if you were born shortly before dawn, your Sun is in the first house — no matter whether you were born in January or in June. To figure out your houses, get a copy of your chart online (check out Chapter 2 for details), or flip to Chapter 3 (which tells you how to set up your chart using the tables in this book). And I’m sorry to report that if you don’t have a birth time that’s at least fairly accurate (within an hour at the most), you may as well skip this chapter.

Taking the House Tour

Every birth chart embraces all twelve houses — no more, no less. In most charts, one or two of those houses prove to be especially important thanks to the presence of several planets. The more planets you find squeezed into a house, the more important the matters of that house are likely to be. Table 12-1 lists the twelve houses along with the areas of life that they cover.

Table 12-1 Houses and Their Significance


Areas of Concern


First house

Your appearance and apparent disposition


Second house

Income, possessions, values


Third house

Communication, writing, short journeys, brothers and sisters


Fourth house

Home, roots, one parent, circumstances at the end of life


Fifth house

Romance, children, creativity, entertainment


Sixth house

Work and health


Seventh house

Marriage and other partnerships


Eighth house

Sex, death, regeneration, other people’s money


Ninth house

Higher education, long journeys, religion, philosophy, law


Tenth house

Career, status, reputation, the other parent


Eleventh house

Friends, groups, aspirations


Twelfth house

Seclusion, the unconscious, secrets, self-undoing


The following sections show how the Sun, Moon, and planets play their parts in each of the twelve houses.

The Sun in the Houses

The Sun symbolizes your will, your purpose, and your most essential self. Its house position describes the area in which you can most effectively express those aspects of your being.

bulletSun in the first house: You’re active, enterprising, and proud of your accomplishments. Your strong personality enables you to assert yourself in a natural, dignified way. This placement indicates leadership potential and success that comes about through your own efforts.

bulletSun in the second house: You’re practical, persistent, interested in money, and skilled at judging the value of things. Your possessions reflect your deeper values. Achieving financial stability gives you great satisfaction.

bulletSun in the third house: Curious and observant, you collect information and communicate with ease, both in speech and in writing. Travel and siblings play important roles in your life.

bulletSun in the fourth house: You’re intuitive and introverted, with a strong sense of self, a close tie to your ancestors, and an interest in the past. Home and family are of primary importance. Finding your roots is essential to your sense of self.

bulletSun in the fifth house: Pleasure-seeking and dynamic, you find happiness through romance, children, and activities that give you the opportunity to express yourself in dramatic, creative ways.

bulletSun in the sixth house: Finding fulfilling work is essential because you devote yourself to your job and define yourself through it. Though you worry about your health, it’s usually good. Regardless of your Sun sign, you tend to be a perfectionist.

bulletSun in the seventh house: Marriage and other partnerships are essential to your identity, though you may bounce back and forth between fear of isolation and fear of commitment. Balancing power is an issue in both personal and professional relationships.

bulletSun in the eighth house: You’re a profoundly emotional person whose need to explore the mystery of your own psyche brings liberation and transformation. Sex, money, and legacies of all types play a major role in your life.

bulletSun in the ninth house: You’re a lifelong seeker who looks to find meaning and to expand your awareness through education, religion, and travel. Everyone talks about having a philosophy of life. You really mean it.

bulletSun in the tenth house: Your determination to succeed and your desire for public recognition make you a born leader — and are excellent indicators of professional success.

bulletSun in the eleventh house: You have high ideals and aspirations, many friends, a wide circle of acquaintances, and the ability to work well in a group. Indeed, becoming part of a group that expresses your most cherished values enables you to fulfill your deepest goals. Friends can be the most important people in your life.

bulletSun in the twelfth house: Intuitive, reclusive, and secretive, you find nourishment in solitude and spiritual activity. You may also become involved in helping others, perhaps through large institutions, such as hospitals or prisons.

The Moon in the Houses

The house that the Moon occupies in your chart determines the area of life in which you react most instinctively. This same area is one in which you may experience all kinds of fluctuations. Yet your emotional well-being depends on the concerns of that house.

bulletMoon in the first house: Don’t imagine that your emotions are hidden or disguised in any way. Thanks to your unconscious need to express your feelings and be accepted, they’re obvious to all. Your well-being is oddly dependent on your appearance and how people perceive you.

bulletMoon in the second house: Although you experience financial ups and downs throughout your life, you also become increasingly persistent about holding on to the green stuff — which is fortunate, because material security is vital for your well-being. You may not think of yourself as a materialistic person; nonetheless, money matters.

bulletMoon in the third house: You have an adaptable, curious mind, a strong attachment to brothers and sisters, and a gift for establishing connections and linking people together. You’re a skilled communicator, both in conversation and writing. In a thoroughly nonscientific survey done with a very small population base, two out of three literary agents of my acquaintance turn out to have the Moon in this position. (The other has several planets in Gemini, the sign most similar to the third house.)

bulletMoon in the fourth house: Your parents and family heritage are profoundly important to you, and the past has an irresistible allure. Security improves your peace of mind, and having a home that feels right is essential, although it may not be easy to find. In your search for the perfect nest, you’re likely to experience many changes of residence.

bulletMoon in the fifth house: You’re romantic, dramatic, and emotional. You’re also creative and talented, perhaps in more than one field. A risk-taker, especially in the realm of love, you connect easily with children, whether they’re your own or someone else’s. (The most stimulating teachers I know have this position.)

bulletMoon in the sixth house: Until you find satisfying work, you’re likely to change jobs repeatedly. Working for the money isn’t enough; you need to feel productive and fulfilled. Service and health professions are satisfying. Also, you worry about your health, which can be affected by your reactions to your job.

bulletMoon in the seventh house: Marriage and other partnerships loom large for you, though you may feel indecisive about relationships. Once you’re committed, you run the risk of becoming too dependent. In business, people seek you out.

bulletMoon in the eighth house: You have strongly fluctuating moods, powerful sexual urges, and the ability to heal emotional wounds for yourself and possibly for others. You’re emotionally brave and willing to face reality. Financially, you may experience ups and downs, especially through a romantic relationship.

bulletMoon in the ninth house: The more you push beyond the boundaries of your life and seek out fresh experiences, the happier you are. You have an active imagination and a desire for knowledge. You may explore many religions and philosophies before you find one that satisfies you. Travel soothes your soul, and you take many journeys.

bulletMoon in the tenth house: Your peace of mind goes hand in hand with your professional accomplishments. Once you identify the right career, you pour yourself into it. Not surprisingly, your private life may suffer. The good news is that if you love what you’re doing, you don’t care.

bulletMoon in the eleventh house: Popular and easygoing, you have an instinctive understanding of other people and a remarkable capacity for friendship. Friends play a major role in your life (though you may care too much about what they think). Your goals are likely to change many times, and as they do, your circle of friends may also shift.

bulletMoon in the twelfth house: Digging out your secrets is no easy task. You’re moody, sensitive, and intrigued by the hidden side of life. Withdrawal is your mode. You prefer to conceal your emotions (along with certain sordid episodes from the past). You may become involved with institutions such as hospitals or prisons. Clandestine relationships may offer a form of emotional sustenance that you don’t find elsewhere.

Walt Whitman

The poet Walt Whitman, born May 31, 1819, had the Moon in Leo in the sixth house. As a Gemini, he’s known for his writing. As someone with the Moon in the house of work and health, he’s also recognized for regular jobs he held during his lifetime. Among other professions, he was a journeyman printer, a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a Civil War nurse, a job that was both dramatic, in keeping with the Leo placement of his moon, and service-oriented, as the sixth house demands.

The Nodes of the Moon in the Houses

Unlike the other celestial bodies I discuss in this chapter, the Nodes of the Moon don’t exactly exist. They’re simply the points in space where the path of the Moon crosses the ecliptic. Nonetheless, there they are in your chart: The North Node and the South Node, two sensitive spots carrying a message that some astrologers consider the most vital part of your horoscope.

Though astrologers have long debated the meaning of the Nodes, they basically agree that the North Node represents personal growth and illuminates the path to fulfillment, while the South Node symbolizes patterns established in previous lifetimes and thus represents the path of least resistance. To interpret the Nodes, consider their position by sign, by aspect, and most of all, by house.

bulletNorth Node in the first house/South Node in the seventh: You find fulfillment by expressing your personality. You stand still by surrendering your power to others and becoming too dependent (particularly on a spouse).

bulletNorth Node in the second house/South Node in the eighth: Pursuing financial security through your own efforts and in accordance with your core values brings fulfillment. Relying on others to take care of you, even through inheritance, brings disappointment, as do relationships that are entirely about sex.

bulletNorth Node in the third house/South Node in the ninth: Gathering information and using it for concrete purposes brings fulfillment; setting up a permanent residence in the airy realms of academia brings frustration. Teaching primary school, pursuing journalism, and getting involved in neighborhood activities bring benefits; philosophical and religious musings, though enjoyable, do not.

bulletNorth Node in the fourth house/South Node in the tenth: Look to family, tradition, and inner life for fulfillment. Don’t expect it from the outside world. Though you may find success in a career, your greatest joy comes from getting in touch with your roots.

bulletNorth Node in the fifth house/South Node in the eleventh: Romance, children, and creative expression expand your awareness and bring fulfillment. Beware of pointless socializing — you lose your soul in the social whirl. Spiritually speaking, group activities lead nowhere.

bulletNorth Node in the sixth house/South Node in the twelfth: Satisfying work is essential to your personal development, as is a positive approach to health. Solitude and escapism limit you: Don’t be a hermit.

bulletNorth Node in the seventh house/South Node in the first: Accepting the challenge of relationship and becoming an equal partner benefits you. Cooperation speeds your progress. Focusing on personal or selfish concerns slows you down.

bulletNorth Node in the eighth house/South Node in the second: You overemphasize the importance of money and material security. Instead, look for opportunities to collaborate and form intimate ties with others.

bulletNorth Node in the ninth house/South Node in the third: You tend to run around in a frenzy, gossiping and accumulating facts rather than ideas. Broaden your horizons by pursuing large ideas and philosophies. Higher education and world travel benefit you. Playing Sudoku doesn’t. Don’t get lost in trivial pursuits. Expand your mind.

bulletNorth Node in the tenth house/South Node in the fourth: Though it may scare you, you long for public recognition. Pursuing your career brings personal growth. Devoting yourself solely to home and family, though tempting, doesn’t.

bulletNorth Node in the eleventh house/South Node in the fifth: Your tendency to focus on love affairs, personal pleasures, and children limits your development. Take a larger view. Align yourself with others in pursuit of a cause: Become political and develop a social conscience.

bulletNorth Node in the twelfth house/South Node in the sixth: Work comes your way and occasionally threatens to overwhelm you. Office politics sap your energy. Solitude, yoga, and the quest for spiritual transcendence strengthen you. Don’t be a workaholic. And don’t forget to meditate.

Mercury in the Houses

Mercury is the planet of communication. Its position by house suggests those areas in life that most absorb your mind and stimulate your thoughts.

bulletMercury in the first house: You’re a talker. You’re on the ball, loquacious, and happy to share your views. You may be a gregarious storyteller, the sort of person who becomes the heart and soul of any dinner party. Even if you’re not outgoing, you rise to the occasion when giving a speech. Your ability to communicate is one of your strengths, and it draws people to you.

bulletMercury in the second house: You value results. By taking a systematic approach and thinking in practical terms, you can turn an idea to concrete advantage. You can also earn money by writing.

bulletMercury in the third house: You’re fortunate to possess this much-admired placement, for it gives you an alert and vibrant mind, great intellectual curiosity, and a way with words. You’re an effective public speaker, a lively conversationalist, and a gifted writer.

bulletMercury in the fourth house: Strongly influenced by your parents, you turn your home into a center of activity and intellectual stimulation. You may even work at home. Your family heritage is probably complicated in one way or another, and you must eventually deal with its repercussions head-on. At your worst, you can be narrow-minded and priggish. At your best, you’re tuned in and acutely aware.

bulletMercury in the fifth house: A fun-loving person with a variety of interests, you’re a creative thinker with a weakness for speculation and a romantic history worth writing about. In love, you look for someone who gets you going mentally. As a parent, you derive enormous pleasure from your children (and you talk about them endlessly).

bulletMercury in the sixth house: Skillful and efficient, you tend to immerse yourself in work, either handling the details with ease or becoming obsessed with them. In the absence of something important to do, you’re the master of make-work — so it’s essential that you find satisfying, stimulating employment. An apprehensive person, you worry needlessly and may become a hypochondriac. To ward off this possibility, take positive steps to guard your health.

bulletMercury in the seventh house: You’re a sociable person who craves lively conversation and stimulating relationships. Although you’re outgoing and connect easily with others, you quickly become bored and may shy away from commitment. When you find the relationship you’re seeking, the conversation never ends.

bulletMercury in the eighth house: This placement gives you a naturally intuitive mind, the ability to ferret out secrets, amazing researching skills, and a profound mental engagement with the mysteries of life, including sex, death, money (which you resent having to worry about), and the metaphysical arts.

bulletMercury in the ninth house: You’re fortified by ideas, motivated by philosophy, stimulated by the forces of the intellect, and happy to explore the world. You enjoy grappling with ideas and meeting people, which makes education a natural field for you. (Other smart choices include law, publishing, and religion.) You find contentment in dealing with important issues but have no patience for the trivia of everyday life.

bulletMercury in the tenth house: With this high-profile placement, you’re likely to develop a stimulating career, often involving the written word. Your ideal job has great variety built into it. In the absence of that, you experience frequent job changes. You require continued mental stimulation. You prefer to be in charge and are most successful when you can pursue your own ideas.

bulletMercury in the eleventh house: An active social life is essential for your well-being. You make friends easily, but if Mercury is afflicted by stressful aspects with other planets, there can be a revolving-door quality to your friendships. (See Chapter 13 for a discussion of aspects.) You find it simulating to work in a group, and you benefit from frequent contacts with people who share your ideals and aspirations.

bulletMercury in the twelfth house: You’re mysterious, intuitive, contemplative, and secretive. You can interpret dreams, break codes, and do all kinds of other mental tasks that require creative thinking — and a little privacy. Solitude refreshes your mind.

Venus in the Houses

The house occupied by Venus, the planet of love, indicates those areas in life that bring you pleasure and stimulate your ability to connect with others.

bulletVenus in the first house: Whatever appears in the first house is obvious to all. With Venus rising, you’re warm, sociable, and attractive, a quality you also admire in others.

bulletVenus in the second house: You’ve heard that money can’t buy you love. You just don’t believe it. Money and the things it can buy matter to you, which is probably why astrologers associate this placement with shopping. Fortunately, you’re adept at pulling in the green.

bulletVenus in the third house: You love to talk, travel, and gather information. You express yourself eloquently, and your verbal abilities attract admirers. You also interact well with your brothers and sisters. This is an excellent position for a writer or public speaker.

bulletVenus in the fourth house: In the absence of other factors, this fortunate placement bestows a happy childhood, a close tie to your mother, a talent for decorating, and a beautiful home.

bulletVenus in the fifth house: You attract love and are great with children (being somewhat of a child yourself). You respond to the arts and may be naturally talented. A delight to be around, you get along with everyone and enjoy life to the max. You’ll never lack for admirers or invitations.

bulletVenus in the sixth house: Work is as essential to your happiness as love. When the one prospers, so does the other. You meet potential suitors through your work, and you make friends and inspire affection on the job. Fulfilling employment brings you happiness, improves your health, and makes you more attractive.

bulletVenus in the seventh house: Affectionate and well-liked, you’re a congenial person who’s happiest in a committed relationship. Thanks to your innate charm, you attract a wide selection of potential mates and have the ability to create a loving relationship, perhaps with someone in the arts. Business partnerships are also beneficial.

bulletVenus in the eighth house: You’re seductive, manipulative, obsessive, passionate, and often under the sway of a raging storm of feelings — and that includes omnivorous sexual appetites. Your love life is probably a maze of complications. You’re also shrewd with money, which often comes your way through marriage, inheritance, or savvy investments.

bulletVenus in the ninth house: Love comes through anything that expands your horizons, with emphasis on travel, education, law, and publishing, all fields to which you’re well-suited. Philosophical and idealistic, you respond to exciting ideas and large systems of thought. You could marry a foreigner (or someone you meet while traveling), a professor, a writer, a lawyer, a member of the clergy, and anyone involved with publishing.

bulletVenus in the tenth house: Your career, ideally in the arts, means a lot to you. You’re likable and outgoing, and people want to help you. You receive particular help from women, and your reputation is sterling — unless you make it too obvious how socially ambitious you are. You want a high-status spouse. Fortunately, people are naturally attracted to you: You don’t have to push.

bulletVenus in the eleventh house: You’re open-minded, affectionate, and cooperative, and people feel comfortable around you. You’re the hub of your social circle, a natural leader within a group, and a devoted pal. You easily attract both friends and lovers.

bulletVenus in the twelfth house: Highly attuned to the feelings of others, you’re a sensitive person with a need for privacy and a tendency to be secretive. Many people with this placement fall into clandestine love affairs, while others, suffering from shyness and vulnerability, are so easily hurt in social interactions that they pull back to lick their wounds. Solitude calms you, and art can bring you peace.

Mars in the Houses

The position of Mars by house tells you where you’re most likely to act on impulse, take risks, and pursue your personal desires.

bulletMars in the first house: Vigorous and passionate, you initiate activities, sometimes impulsively, and your passions (and anger) are obvious to all. This position gives you great vitality along with an assertive personality and can be a sign of the warrior.

bulletMars in the second house: Competitive, acquisitive, and practical, you feel happy when you can focus on a concrete goal. You want to be rewarded for your efforts — and not only with praise. Money and material objects do the trick more effectively than mere words.

bulletMars in the third house: You have a vigorous, independent, and sometimes argumentative mind, and you call things as you see them — even if that means jumping to conclusions. With your razor-sharp wit, you’re impatient and easily distracted, and you can be aggressive in conversation.

bulletMars in the fourth house: You try to make up for a difficult childhood by focusing on your domestic life. Highly protective of home and family, you’re an independent person with a sturdy constitution and an inborn vitality. Family matters consume you, but be careful not to create a home environment filled with fighting and dissension.

bulletMars in the fifth house: Impulsive, excitable, and highly sexed, you’re active and fun-loving, and you take pleasure in initiating creative proj-ects. You’re also very involved with your offspring, whether they’re literal flesh-and-blood babies or children of your imagination. Although you can be impatient and competitive, you enjoy playing games, athletic or otherwise, and are energized by risk-taking.

bulletMars in the sixth house: Work excites you (even if it exhausts you). You’re efficient, skilled, and precise, with great physical vitality, mechanical skills, and a love for the tools of your trade. A dull job distresses you, and constricting organizational rules make you angry and rebellious. On the other hand, a challenge, even if it involves a gamble, stimulates you. Guard against overwork and get plenty of exercise.

bulletMars in the seventh house: Partnerships energize you, but that doesn’t mean you have an easy time with them. When a relationship isn’t going well, you bravely confront the issues, making Mars in the seventh house the position of kiss-and-make-up. Alternatively, you may attract an aggressive partner.

bulletMars in the eighth house: You have powerful desires, with determination and sexual charisma to burn. A skilled researcher, you may be attracted to healing arts and occult subjects. Financial wheeling and dealing may also fascinate you, though money and inheritances can be a source of conflict. Because this position stimulates a yearning for intense experience, you fearlessly take steps that more sensible souls avoid. This placement can bring a degree of wildness, making you irresistible to others — and an occasional danger to yourself.

bulletMars in the ninth house: You’re a passionate idealist and an independent thinker with strong convictions, broad goals, and a desire to see the world. Ideas motivate you, and you’re at home in the realms of law, religion, and education. But you can slip into fanaticism and must guard against becoming intolerant.

bulletMars in the tenth house: A demanding, exciting career fills you with energy. You’d like to be famous, but more than that, you’d like to be involved in some grand effort, something that takes strategy and wits — like a war, a social protest movement, or the making of an epic film. Ambitious and aggressive, you want to make an impact on the world.

bulletMars in the eleventh house: Your friends stimulate you and help you achieve your aspirations. In a group, you rise to a leadership position. But you can also be unreasonably demanding and may unconsciously create conflicts or be drawn to quarrelsome individuals.

bulletMars in the twelfth house: Other people may not understand who you are because much of your energy, anger, and passion is hidden. You’re hesitant to reveal these aspects of yourself, and as a result, you may feel unrecognized. Nonetheless, spending time alone revitalizes you, and you’re extremely effective when you’re working behind the scenes.

The Mars effect

It has long been an embarrassment to astrologers that so little research has been done in the discipline. One significant piece of astrological research was conducted in the 1950s, by Michel Gauquelin, a French statistician who explored astrology in his youth, and his wife, Françoise. They set out to prove that astrology had no basis in scientific fact. They examined the birth charts of over 20,000 people, and what they found was astrology at its finest. They didn’t announce that Sagittarians were better horseback riders or that Capricorns were better CEOs — nothing that obvious. Instead, they unearthed a link between professional success and planets located near the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, or I.C.

Specifically, they found that angular Jupiter appeared more often than statistically probable in the charts of successful actors; angular Moon showed up in writers’ charts; angular Venus turned up in the charts of painters and musicians; angular Saturn appeared in the charts of doctors and scientists; and angular Mars showed up in the charts of champion athletes. Two positions were the most powerful: Those close to the Midheaven (in either the ninth house or the first ten degrees of the tenth house) and those close to the Ascendant (in either the twelfth house or the first ten degrees of the first house).

Many people tried to disprove this association, and controversy raged over statistical methods. Ultimately, the phenomenon held up and became known as the Mars effect. Athletes who have an angular Mars include Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon (and yes, in my opinion, he counts as an athlete).

Not every successful professional has one of these placements. The absence of an angular planet doesn’t in any way doom you to failure. But if, perchance, Mars (or any other planet) happens to occupy the angular Gauquelin zones in your chart, that planet should be considered especially robust. In the case of Mars, it may not bestow you with the ability to outdo Shaquille O’Neal (whose Mars is in the first house). But it should at least give you a certain swagger.

Jupiter in the Houses

Jupiter’s position by house determines the areas of life that are most bountiful for you — the places where benefits come most effortlessly and also the areas where you may become too complacent.

bulletJupiter in the first house: You have an expansive, charismatic personality that naturally draws people to you. You may also have a tendency to gain weight.

bulletJupiter in the second house: Money and prosperity come your way, often in the form of windfalls. The only downside is that your desire to spend may outweigh your ability to earn, so be prudent — if you can.

bulletJupiter in the third house: Talkative and hungry for information, you’re intelligent and well-informed, though you run the risk of filling your mind to the brim with tabloid gossip. You benefit from travel, reading, and the company of your brothers and sisters.

bulletJupiter in the fourth house: You’re a generous person who opens your home to others. Comfortable, even luxurious, housing comes your way, and you have a knack for making your home an agreeable, sustaining place to be. Life improves as you grow older, and in old age, you’re surrounded by comfort.

bulletJupiter in the fifth house: Having fun yet? If you have this placement, the answer is probably yes. This placement brings a profusion of romantic affairs, a love of entertainment, the ability to have fun even in difficult circumstances, and a joyous creativity. Although not everyone with this placement becomes a parent, those who do derive great satisfaction from it.

bulletJupiter in the sixth house: Finding the right work is essential to your happiness, and you like to be of service. In a satisfying job, you’re a devoted employee (or a happy entrepreneur) who gets along famously with colleagues. But you suffer from a tendency to overlook the details, and you may become a workaholic. In work and in health, you need to avoid excesses.

bulletJupiter in the seventh house: You’re sociable and easy to be around. Marriage and business partnerships are favored by this placement, and you have multiple opportunities to form alliances. Even in an age of divorce, people with this placement marry for life.

bulletJupiter in the eighth house: Financially, you stand to gain from investments, insurance, inheritances, and businesses that you enter into with other people. You have a strong sex drive, a deep interest in the process of personal change, and excellent powers of recuperation.

bulletJupiter in the ninth house: You have an expansive, optimistic attitude toward life. A natural teacher with a philosophical bent, you want to see it all and understand it all. You benefit from anything that expands your horizons, such as travel, education, religion, and publishing.

bulletJupiter in the tenth house: With a little effort, you can fulfill your desire for recognition. You have natural leadership ability; people want to assist you, and you thrive in the public eye. This position brings success, prominence, and even fame.

bulletJupiter in the eleventh house: You’re open-minded, congenial, helpful, and fair. You work effectively with others, you know a zillion people, and your friends adore you. Large ambitions bring out the best in you. Success comes through group enterprises.

bulletJupiter in the twelfth house: You’re sympathetic, introspective, and generous. You may have psychic abilities but may suffer from a tendency to overextend yourself. Solitude and spiritual pursuits calm you down and prepare you for your forays into the world.

Saturn in the Houses

Saturn’s position by house determines those areas of life in which you feel the pinch of limitation and will benefit from establishing boundaries, creating structures, and practicing self-discipline.

bulletSaturn in the first house: You’re self-conscious and afraid of being hurt. You worry what people think of you, and as a result you may cloak your personality in defensive armor. Beneath your cautious exterior, you’re a complicated, serious person, well worth the effort of getting to know. But you don’t make it easy.

bulletSaturn in the second house: You worry about the practical side of life, and money is an issue, whether you’re frugal or a spendthrift. Even when dealing with emotional concerns, you’re aware of the practical implications. You’d like to win the lottery, but it’s unlikely to happen (and if it did, it could bring you more trouble than it’s worth). Instead, you can gain the security you seek through your own hard work.

bulletSaturn in the third house: You have a conscientious, contemplative mind and the ability to explore a subject in depth. Communication issues, whether in speech or in writing, are paramount. You have complicated relationships with your brothers and sisters, and sibling rivalry may be an issue for you.

bulletSaturn in the fourth house: Although your family is extremely important to you, you feel alienated from them (and perhaps from one parent in particular). Finding ways to interact successfully with family members (or simply to understand them) requires effort. Owning your own home is a gratifying source of identity and security.

bulletSaturn in the fifth house: You take a serious approach to playful things, and it’s difficult for you to lighten up. You don’t flirt easily and are more comfortable dating people who are older and more serious. Creativity is important to you, but because you may fear that you aren’t talented, you may suppress your artistic urges. Or, you may rise to the challenge of Saturn and bring structure to your creative life. (Some people with this placement become professional artists.) As a parent, you’re responsible and committed.

bulletSaturn in the sixth house: In your work, you’re reliable, exacting, and efficient. If you have the courage to insist on doing something you love, you find fulfillment through your work. In your daily life, you pay equally close attention to your chores and responsibilities, but you’re a big-time worrier, especially about your health. Reassure yourself by getting regular checkups.

bulletSaturn in the seventh house: You take a serious approach to marriage, but you may also shy away from it. If you overcome your fears of intimacy, you can create a long-lived, solid relationship. You’ll be most comfortable with an older partner who’s responsible and sober-minded.

bulletSaturn in the eighth house: You have great psychological insight. Your challenge is to overcome your fear of death and to face your sexual issues, which can range anywhere from total inhibition to emotionless promiscuity. Also, you’re both cautious and skilled in making money — which is fortunate, because the chances are high that you’ll marry someone who has financial problems.

bulletSaturn in the ninth house: You’re a thoughtful person with wide-ranging intelligence. You’re attracted to large ideas — philosophy or religion, for example — and your thorough exploration of them makes you a natural educator, writer, publisher, or lawyer.

bulletSaturn in the tenth house: You’re responsible, ambitious, and persevering. This placement generally indicates great success, but you can also be arrogant, and you have to pay your dues before you achieve the recognition that’s ultimately yours. One of your parents (most likely your father) may have been especially difficult.

bulletSaturn in the eleventh house: You expect great things of yourself, and you set ambitious goals, even if you fear that you aren’t up to them. Fortunately, you have excellent organizational abilities and great determination, and you can mobilize the help you need. You don’t make friends lightly, but the friendships you do form are long-lasting and consequential.

bulletSaturn in the twelfth house: Many people would be astonished to know that beneath your helpful surface, you wrestle with fear, pessimism, insecurity, loneliness, and guilt. Although you’re used to working by yourself or behind the scenes, your fears become most terrifying when you’re alone. You avoid solitude — and yet it’s essential to your welfare. Your task is to find ways to be comfortable with it.

Uranus in the Houses

The position that Uranus occupies by house determines the area in life in which you can expect the unexpected.

bulletUranus in the first house: You have an unusual demeanor, and you strike people as a true original. No matter how hard you try to look conventional, your attempts to pass for ordinary are doomed. From time to time, out-of-left-field events turn your world upside down.

bulletUranus in the second house: Money and possessions come and go, arriving and departing with equal speed. You may strike oil, or you may go bankrupt. Your values can undergo a sudden turnaround.

bulletUranus in the third house: You have an innovative mind and a clever way of expressing yourself. You could be a brilliant thinker or writer — or you could be a nut. You have unusual siblings, but your relationships with them have their ups and downs. Upsets can occur while traveling.

bulletUranus in the fourth house: You come from or create an unconventional family. An erratic relationship with one of your parents (your mother, most likely) has a strong impact on you. You find it hard to settle down, and when you do, you set up housekeeping in a thoroughly individual way. Professional changes affect your domestic life.

bulletUranus in the fifth house: You have a wild creative streak and an unpredictable love life. You’re prone to love at first sight, preferably with rebellious types. But sudden breakups are also part of the picture. Your children may be remarkable people, though you may feel that they hamper your freedom.

bulletUranus in the sixth house: You don’t mind working, but you oppose the concept of nine-to-five. You manage to find unusual, even peculiar jobs. And even in your daily life, you do things in a unique way. Your nerves affect your health, and you benefit from unorthodox healing techniques.

bulletUranus in the seventh house: You may marry an unconventional person, or you may create a free-wheeling relationship that acknowledges, in its radical format, your need for independence. You’re liable to marry with lightning speed, but be careful — you could divorce the same way.

bulletUranus in the eighth house: Your sex life has a remarkable, even outrageous, aspect to it, and the same is true for your finances (and those of your spouse). You benefit from unusual investment. You’re also drawn to metaphysical subjects, including the idea of reincarnation. And though I hesitate to mention this, you may as well know: When it coexists with a rare pileup of especially tough aspects, this placement can indicate the possibility of sudden, accidental death — not necessarily your own. Should you worry? No. Keep in mind that literally one out of every twelve people has this placement. For further information, see the nearby “Violent death and Princess Diana” sidebar.

bulletUranus in the ninth house: Unusual experiences come to you through travel, education, and the law. You’re interested in religion but not in a conventional way, and your philosophy of life is your own invention.

bulletUranus in the tenth house: You insist on maintaining your independence, especially regarding your career. (Fulfilling areas include — but are not limited to — social activism, computer technology, astrology, and science.) You have an original viewpoint, and professional opportunities arrive out of nowhere. Too rebellious to work in a strongly hierarchical organization, you’re a natural entrepreneur or freelancer.

bulletUranus in the eleventh house: You’re a tolerant person with unusual aspirations and many highly intelligent, erratic friends who motivate you to achieve. People enter your life on a moment’s notice, especially when you’re involved with a cause, but you can lose contact with them just as quickly. Your many diverse friends reflect your widely scattered interests.

bulletUranus in the twelfth house: You’re a freedom-lover who requires independence and rebels against constraints. Unusual forms of spirituality attract you. You express your deepest individuality in solitude. Flashes of intuition and insight come from your core. Learn to pay attention to them.

Violent death and Princess Diana

Reading old-fashioned astrology books can be terrifying. They’re filled with scary-sounding predictions of poverty, illness, and even death. These old books can be particularly nerve-wracking if you have a placement such as Uranus, the planet of the unexpected, or Mars, the planet of violence, in the eighth house of death and regeneration. It sounds bad. The truth is that many indicators are required for something as serious as violent death. Not even the presence of both Uranus and Mars in the eighth house promises such a tragedy. For that, you’d need truly horrific aspects — like those of Princess Diana, a sensitive Cancerian with the Moon in Aquarius.

Not only was Diana’s eighth house home to both Uranus and Mars, it also held Pluto, the planet of transformation. In addition, Uranus formed a high-stress T-square pattern with the Moon and Venus, the planets that ruled her love life. (For a discussion of the T-square, see Chapter 14.) This is an unusually bad combination of aspects. Her chart clearly held the potential of a life-threatening accident involving a lover. In addition, at the time of her death, the position of the outer planets in the sky heightened the perils that were lying in wait in her birth chart.

But did she have to die that day, right before an eclipse? Some astrologers contend that you can’t escape your fate. Others, myself among them, believe that every influence has many possible expressions. Certainly Diana’s chart was under enormous stress at the time of her fatal car crash. Even in retrospect, we can’t know whether Diana could have avoided this terrible accident. This much is certain, though: Taking precautions — and fastening her safety belt — couldn’t have hurt.

Neptune in the Houses

The house that Neptune inhabits in your horoscope tells you where you can access the most profound level of intuition — and where you’re prone to deception.

bulletNeptune in the first house: You’re impressionable, dreamy, and fluid. Your intuition is acute, but you can easily become dependent. You confuse and fascinate people; they aren’t sure who you are or what you’re up to because your identity seems to shift. There’s a good chance that you have musical or artistic ability.

bulletNeptune in the second house: You have an intuitive sense of how to make money. You can even earn money through spiritual pursuits. But you also have the ability to be defrauded because you haven’t a clue about the mechanics of saving money, and as a result, your financial affairs are likely to be chaotic. Hire a responsible earth sign to help.

bulletNeptune in the third house: You’re impressionable, imaginative, and highly sensitive to language. Persuasive but easily distracted, you soak up knowledge and have poetic ability. You’re also gullible — and no one knows how to fool you better than your brothers and sisters.

bulletNeptune in the fourth house: The members of your family are an unusual lot. Their influence is powerful and subtle, and you find it difficult to separate from them. You may have inherited psychic ability.

bulletNeptune in the fifth house: You’re artistic and sensitive, but you find it difficult to focus your creativity. Platonic relationships and secret affairs may characterize your romantic life, and you’re drawn to people who mystify you. Your children (should you conquer your ambivalence about that subject and decide to become a parent) are likely to be impressionable and gentle, and you have a strong psychic tie with them.

bulletNeptune in the sixth house: You tend to get caught in the web of office politics, and the physical aspects of regular jobs — the fluorescent lights, the hideous decor — make you long for escape. Job possibilities exist in film, pharmacology, music, fashion, and anything connected to the sea. Keep in mind that your health complaints are seldom solved through Western-style medicine. Doctors have difficulty diagnosing you, and you do better with more intuitive healing styles.

bulletNeptune in the seventh house: Moody people and artistic souls attract you. You seek your spiritual soul mate, but in your confusion about relationships, you may sacrifice yourself to an image or ideal that has nothing to do with your actual partner. Idealism about relationships is wonderful, but only when it’s tempered with realism.

bulletNeptune in the eighth house: Séances, Ouija boards, extrasensory perception, and all forms of communication with the great beyond attract you. You consider sex a spiritual exercise. But you may trust your instincts too much, especially when it comes to your money and your partner. Be careful in business partnerships.

bulletNeptune in the ninth house: Mystical religions and spiritual journeys are your cup of chai. You want desperately to identify a specific spiritual path, but it won’t happen that way, for visionary Neptune will take you in many directions. You’re also a sensitive teacher.

bulletNeptune in the tenth house: By choosing a profession that requires you to tap into your intuition, you find the success you covet. Following a profession just because you think it’s practical (as if you would know) is a waste of time. Here are two career problems you may face: You tend to drift, and you seldom assert yourself.

bulletNeptune in the eleventh house: You have shifting ideals and vague aspirations, along with a large collection of inspiring, talented friends who may have drug and alcohol problems. Unfortunately, you tend to see what you want to see in your friends. Joining a spiritual organization could help you to see straight.

bulletNeptune in the twelfth house: You’re empathetic, contemplative, reclusive, and probably psychic. You receive a continual flow of messages from your unconscious. Metaphysics, dreams, and secrets fascinate you, and you’re highly responsive to those in need. Your creative efforts are best accomplished in private, and solitude is necessary for your peace of mind.

Pluto in the Houses

The house that tiny Pluto occupies in your natal chart determines the area in life where you’re most likely to experience obsession and transformation.

bulletPluto in the first house: You have a compulsive, controlling, and magnetic personality, along with a tendency to dominate. You make a powerful impact on people — but you may also alienate them.

bulletPluto in the second house: You find concrete outlets for your abilities, but you can also become obsessed with your possessions. More importantly, money can become a battlefield, and you may struggle to control other people with it.

bulletPluto in the third house: You have a profound mind, accurate perceptions, a longing to solve the mysteries of life, and an obsessive need to communicate combined with a strong sense of privacy. (Surely the inventor of the locked diary had Pluto in the third house.)

bulletPluto in the fourth house: One of your parents was a force to be reckoned with; dealing with the psychological fallout is your Plutonian task. Your greatest transformations come through your family and home.

bulletPluto in the fifth house: You become obsessed with romance. Yet no matter how hard you try to manipulate your lover, the person most altered by the liaison is you. Power struggles spring up around children. Creative endeavors are transformative for you. Gambling is addictive.

bulletPluto in the sixth house: You have great focus and drive, and you may have healing abilities. Because your desire for power is focused on work, you may overdo it and work to the point of obsession. Your job must have meaning or your health may suffer. You need purpose.

bulletPluto in the seventh house: Relationship and obsession go hand in hand with you, and marriage is a testing ground. You attract a commanding partner whose influence causes you to change in profound ways. Maintaining your sense of self in the presence of this powerful being isn’t easy. Business partnerships offer similar challenges.

bulletPluto in the eighth house: Life after death, extrasensory perception, and all occult subjects fascinate you, and you gain wisdom through those channels. You’re intuitive, perceptive, and deeply serious. You must grapple with the truly big issues in life, including the troublesome feelings that surround sex, money, and death.

bulletPluto in the ninth house: Philosophy, religion, and the law attract and strengthen you. By immersing yourself in study or becoming passionately involved with people from a culture other than your own, you deepen your understanding. Education and travel are your tickets to transformation, but you must approach them on your own terms.

bulletPluto in the tenth house: You’re an irresistible force in the political arena. You resent authority figures (starting with one of your parents), and yet you wish to wield authority. When you decide to seek power, you can be a real player. This position favors success.

bulletPluto in the eleventh house: Friendship is a charged area for you, especially when young. But ultimately, your friends help shape your dreams and aspirations, and deeply transformative experiences come to you through those relationships.

bulletPluto in the twelfth house: You’re a private person with a secret life. You shy away from expressing your power, and yet you’re fascinated by whatever is going on beneath the surface, especially in your own psyche. Delving into your unconscious brings transformation.

Interpreting Empty Houses

Do the math: Your chart has twelve houses, but only ten planets. This means that you’re bound to have empty houses somewhere in your chart. They’re unavoidable. They’re also nothing to worry about.

Having an empty house of marriage, for example, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be single. Just ask Elizabeth Taylor, who has had eight husbands (so far), despite the fact that her seventh house is totally vacant. Similarly, an unoccupied second house of money doesn’t mean you’re destined for poverty. Look at Bill Gates, the youngest self-made billionaire in history. His second house is empty (as is his eighth house, which is also associated with money).


Often, an unoccupied house signifies that the usual concerns of that house are simply not a major concern. But you can’t make that determination with a casual glance. Just because a house is empty doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. The truth is that there’s so much to think about in a natal chart that even an empty house can keep you busy. To investigate an empty house, I suggest the following three-step method:

1. Look at the sign on the cusp of the house.

The sign at the beginning of each house determines your approach to the concerns of that house. For example, turn to Andy Warhol’s chart in Chapter 19. Notice that his second house of money is empty, with Virgo on the cusp. (The cusp of the second house is at eight o’clock, the cusp of the third house is at seven o’clock, and so on.) Thus his approach to financial matters was Virgoan: discriminating and detail-oriented. And, indeed, he made a habit of recording his daily expenses — just like a Virgo.

Table 12-1 at the beginning of this chapter summarizes the concerns of each house. Table 12-2 suggests ways to interpret the sign on the cusp.

2. Check out the planet that rules the sign on the cusp.

The position of that planet tells you a great deal. In Andy Warhol’s case, Virgo, the sign on the cusp of his second house, is ruled by Mercury. It can be found in flamboyant Leo — a perfect placement for an artist who literally painted money.

3. Look at the aspects made by the ruling planet.

If the ruling planet of the empty house is close to the Sun or the Moon, its importance increases. If it is conjunct Jupiter, the concerns of that house are blessed with good fortune. If it opposes Saturn, difficulties arise. And so on. For more about aspects, turn to Chapter 13.

Table 12-2 House Rulership

If the Sign

Your Approach to the Concerns

And the House Ruler Is

on the Cusp Is

of That House Is



Spontaneous, energetic



Productive, deliberate



Flexible, communicative



Intuitive, defensive



Dignified, expressive



Discriminating, detail-oriented



Diplomatic, artistic



Intense, penetrating



Independent, expansive



Responsible, traditional



Unconventional, detached



Receptive, vulnerable


Finally, keep in mind that every year, as the Sun makes its annual pilgrimage through the zodiac, it travels through each part of your chart — every sign and every house. The Moon and the other planets visit as well, each according to its own schedule. Over time, those transiting planets activate each and every house — even if it’s empty. Sooner or later, every house will have its day.

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