View Full Version : House oddities (at least to the rational mind)

07-12-2005, 15:21
I believe I had a few other's come to mind before, but I have since lost that so I'll have to just ask the main one for now and hope that I remember some others to make a thread worthwhile...

So here it is

If the fourth house is ruled by cancer which is in turn ruled by the moon, why does the house stand for 'father' amongst other attributes such as landed property and home? I would have guessed that it would represent the mother!

Likewise, it balances out having the tenth house, ruled by capricorn and ruled then by saturn, representing the mother, along with profession, authority, etc....

However, it still does not make sense why they are both in that position since they seem like they are ruling opposites. So is there a reason behind this, or is it just one of those exceptions?

07-12-2005, 22:14
Rainwolf, astrology is full of subtleties. First of all, the Fourth House is not ruled by Cancer. Signs are signs. Houses are houses. Planets are planets. Points that are represented as being at zodiac degrees (such as the ASC, or MC or Moon's Nodes) are just points in the sky.

The tenth house is more commonly thought to represent the mother -- but only when we are considering early childhood and family upbringing. This is because the mother, culturally, tends to be home with the younger children more often than the father and therefore becomes an authority figure. In response to this view, the fourth house often represents the father. The MC-IC axis represents family, basic beliefs (as shaped by early teachings) and the start-end of things.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT to remember is that the chart, the whole chart, is viewed differently depending on what we are looking for.
** If looking at family and childhood issues, we look to the MC-IC axis, the signs that are on those house cusps, the planets associated with those signs, and the placement and aspects of those planets.
** If looking at work, career, reputation, life goals, etc. then we look at this axis as our basic values, but we look also at Sun-Moon combinations, Moon and Saturn combinations, and a lot of other things.

Actually, we can -- for any subject or view -- look at all aspects and all house polarities relative to that subject. The 3rd-9th, for example, tells us how we view things and communicate versus how we seek out and learn about the world around us.


08-12-2005, 05:55
liz greene in her various books refers to saturn as the mother - the real structing force in your early life

i can understand the logic but in my own chart saturn is in the 5th and i wonder how it was my mother and not my father who kept me back

was always my dad who was strict with me

08-12-2005, 07:14
Saturn; male or female, that is the question. Well, no. Saturn has been called Father Time and a lot of other things, some nasty. Saturn is the illusion of limitations -- unlike Neptune which is the reality of illusion. Saturn has both cultural and cyclic characteristics that influence our perception of his/her/its functions in astrology.

It is the furthest planet that the ancient peoples could see by eye. Hence, it became symbolic of what was furthest out, limits, the skin, boundaries, etc. It also took the longest amount of time/years to complete its cycle, 28 or 29 years. This length of time coincided with having become an adult (ages 14 to 18), become established in life (early-mid 20's), and started to age due to the harsh conditions that most people endured (age 30) before dying of natural causes (often "young" by our standards). So, Saturn became Father Time or something like that -- another type of limitation, the limits of a full life of adventure or strong body period before disease, wounds and age caused a person to enter a decline.

So, is Saturn a he/she/it? Saturn is the priciple of limitation, time, responsibility, burden, learning, experience and persistence. These forces of adaptation and adjustment can be applied to males, females, older people, children in restrictive environments, work situations, etc. Saturn is the force that prevents unbrideled growth, excessive expansion, unending joy. Saturn is the reality that we live in and contribute to. Saturn is the structuring approach we take to categorizing experiences and utilizing resources.

Saturn can be the father, it can be the mother, it can be both or neither. Thats the tough part about astrology, how to know when/what to apply out of all the possible meanings that might apply. That's why seasoned astrologers start with the basics -- the Sun, the Moon, the ASC degree, the relationships between these three components. Then we have two choices:

First, we decide what to look for or ask about. We then pick the planets, the aspects, the houses, etc. that relate to what we are asking about and start to form a picture of the chart's meaning.

or, Secondly, we look to see what is most significant in the chart such as aspect patterns, angular planets, house population, etc. Then we ask ourselves what that primary set of factors can represent in terms of personality, values, how relationships are managed, and career or goals or reputation that is striven for.

Either path leads us toward a fuller understanding of the chart. THEN, WE FILL IN THE DETAILS and pick out the appropriate meanings from the wider set of symbolic meanings available and SYNTHESIZE them into understanding.

So, again, what does Saturn represent? What does anything represent?

08-12-2005, 08:00
Well.... I agree with Dadsnooks... Astrology is full of subtleties.

First, the houses are sort of similar to signs but a bit different too. Just as the signs are derived in tropical astrology from the intersection points of the celestial equator (think Earth's equator projected out into the sky) and the ecliptic (Sun's apparent path through the stars), so too are the houses derived from the intersection of the horizon with the house circle (different house systems use different circles-- equal houses uses the ecliptic, Companus uses the circle purpendicular to the horizon and going east/west, and others use other circules-- I believe that Placidus uses the circle which crosses the north star but I am not sure about this). In essence, the houses are very much like the signs and are metaphorically (and even mathematically) connected, but there sublteties in that one relates to the node of the sun while the other relates to the horizon.

So you can think of it this way: While the signs reflect essential aspects of things (as it relates to the sun), the houses reflect aspects of life (as it relates to the ascendant). From this distinction we get such complex concepts as derivative houses (why the 8th house relates to debt, for example, or maternal uncles/aunts are related to the 6th house while paternal uncles/aunts relate to the 12th, generally speaking).

So the 4th house is not "ruled by Cancer" as much as it is "similar to Cancer." And they are both ruled by the Moon. Think of it this way-- the 4th house is the house of the Father, not because fatherhood necessarily is entirely ruled here, but rather because this is the house of the father, the grandfather, one's ancestors (hence mother, grandmother, etc. This house can be thought of as ruling what your ancestors have provided for you (inherited fate, as I put it), and then the 10th house represents those ambitions and honors that you earn. The father figure is therefore active along the entire MC axis.

In other words-- father as one who came before, father as providing inheritance, etc. all are ruled under the 4th house, while father as authority figure falls under the 10th.

Does this help to clear things up?

08-12-2005, 08:18
Yes this all clears it up.

I was sent a link to another website and there was a past discussion there on this subject. It said that the 10th house can take the place of whatever the main authority figure is, and the 4th takes the place of the 'behind the scenes' parent. I can definitely relate to that so I thought that would be of interest to mention.

I'm hoping to get "Planets in transit" sometime so I can read up on all this.

So thank you all, that helped

09-12-2005, 19:02
Just a couple of additional points,

The assignation of the mother to the tenth has nothing whatsoever to do with authority figures or Saturn - it has to do with relationships. If the Father is signified by the fourth house then the father's wife (or partner) is signified by the opposite house, the tenth - on the same basis that my wife (or partner) is represented by the seventh because it is opposite to the first, which represents me. This can be used for any partnership - thus my son-in-law (if I had one) would be signified by the eleventh house as the partner of my daughter (fifth house).

This assumes that the father's wife/partner is indeed the mother but this is virtuallycertainly the case at the time of birth.

The Fourth house represents (amongst other things) the beginning (and end) of all things, roots, family (in the both the modern sense and the sense of ancestry) and parents - basically where I come from. If you are dealing with parents in a chart then both parents (as a couple) are signified by the fourth. If you are dealing with one parent then the fourth becomes the father and the mother as a separate individual is the tenth (father's partner). The father is seen as the main parent in the sense of both ancestry and head of the household (the fourth also represents 'home').

I realise that this is a male oriented view of family roles but to a significant extent it still represents Western culture - so much so that Astrologers still use the fourth for the father, even if the father was absent or even dead at the time of birth. Indeed in virtually every country the father is the legal guardian of a child until they reach the age of majority. It requires either the death of the father or a court action to transfer that guardianship to the mother.

11-12-2005, 05:04

I've been pondering your question for a few days in an attempt to come up with a coherent answer. I think the difficulty you might be having is muddling planet, house and sign together. House is an area of life a place where a planet expresses it's energies. If it walks or talks, it's a planet, not a house. A house is a neighborhood where planets hang out. So if you are in a fancy neighborhood, you will do formal things. If you are in a laid back type of place, you will kick back.

Now, the 4th house is the house of our personal support system, our roots, etc. From a qabala perspective it is Yesod, Foundation. Generally, we are supported by dad and not mom. Our heritage (especially if we are royalty) comes via dad, particularly in the olden days when the meanings for the houses were developed. And, also, since it's associated with the home and real estate, that sort of stuff was owned by dad. Did you know women in England couldn't even own land until 1882? So that's generally why the 4th house is associated with father-type stuff if you can buy into the idea that we get our support mostly in that way.

Now, with gender roles changing, this is no longer so much the case. And some of the books I looked at say the 4th can be issues associated with either parent. Personally, I read the moon and saturn (primarily) as our view of our actual parents. The houses I reserve for "parent" type issues not the people themselves.

As an example, if you had scorpio on the 4th house cusp and mercury in the house, you might spend a lot of time researching your roots. Possibly you would even travel around to look for clues to your geneology. Hope that helps.

11-12-2005, 07:09
It is worth pointing out that the Guidonis Bonati (Bonatti, Guido Bonatus, depending on who transcribes the name and whether it is latinized) had the part of the Father listed under the 4th house, and the part of the mother listed under the 10th.

I still say that one's grandmother as an ancestor fits under the 4th house rather well, and I think that there is an *aspect* of mothers that fit here. However there is another subtlety that deserves attention.

The 4th house deals with "cultivation of the earth" and hence farming, gardening, etc. There are a number of ways in which our current language reflects a male-centric approach to these activities (the male is the cultivator, and the female is the earth). In essence many sexual and marital terms are essentially borrowed from agricultural terms... The first is the latin word "semen" which literally means "seed" in the agricultural sense. The second is the word "Husband" which survives in its original agricultural sense in phrases like "animal husbandry" and "husbandry of the land." In this view the earth itself would be represented also in the 10th house, and while I am not familiar with techniques to predict earthquakes, I would think that such would generally require strong afflictions of the planets in and the rulers of the 8th and 10th houses, especially where both Mars and Saturn are involved. This would make sense as the 10th house is similar to Capricorn which is the cardinal earth sign.

11-12-2005, 08:26
Bonati was also famous for his use of mid-points and had a successful career in advising his patrons as to when to fight, when not to fight.

As for the 4-10 axis, the MC (cusp of the 10th house in most systems) is high above us in the sky, a little remote from "earth." The IC on the other hand is just below our feet, and might seem more "earthy" to many. As to the linking of one or the other to one's mother or father we have to keep in mind two things -- astrological tradition which is based on long-observed behaviors and the fact that astrology is a symbolic language (not so precise as to always be specific). In over 35 years of practice I have seen cases where the father fit with the MC, other cases where the mother fit with the MC. It all depends upon the chart and the client. The one thing that seems true is that astrology requires careful judgement about when to be flexible and when to go with your experience.

As for procedures, I no longer use them meyself as long experience and intuition point me to the keys to understanding the chart. I look at a chart and interpret it as I look. Every chart is different, I approach each one differently. But, for early-studies students a fixed methodolgy is good to follow. Dave

11-12-2005, 22:32
I tend to be more methodical and procedure oriented than Dave - however I also think that it is rather dangerous to simply take one indicator of the father - the ruler of the fourth house and look at the fourth for the answer to all father related issues.

The association of the fourth with the father goes back well over 1,000 years, yet it is also clear that if we look at Astrology 2,000 years ago, much more is made of Sun and Saturn (by sign and aspect) than simply the fourth in the analysis of the father in the chart. Also the Lot (or part) of the Father (and mother) is prominantly used as well. The Lots were (and are) forerunners of the idea of midpoints and were extensively used for chart analysis. Today we tend only to use the Part of Fortune so a whole range of analytical tools remain unused, one of the effects of this being a greater reliance on houses and house rulers.

I'm not for one moment suggesting that house rulerships are unimportant, simply that we should look at a range of indicators not just one or two and, to use a phrase of Lilly's, weigh their relative testimonies.

12-12-2005, 02:50
[maddly nodding in agreement with Minderwiz]

I wasn't trying to suggest that only the 4th, Saturn and the Sun are "father" issues any more than just the 8th house is sex (as we discussed on another thread). But I do think beginners have to start somewhere. I consider myself an advanced beginner and by no means as competent as I need to be. However, if I do a decent job of looking at those three items AND the aspects/houses related to them, I usually get a pretty good picture of how the native sees both his physical father and how he deals with authority/father issues himself. Just a couple of aspects each to the sun and saturn give you perhaps 6 planets and houses to blend into the reading of the father.

I'm of the KISS (keep it simple stupid) school of reading. And I think we never stop learning about the planets and houses and signs in terms of their potentials and meanings. My objection to some of the more exotic points, asteroids, calculations is that you can probably find a "reason" in the chart to back up anything you want to say. Ah, you like lemonade and hate chocolate? This is shown by blah blah blah.... lol.

12-12-2005, 03:14
I agree, Astrology can be very confusing for a beginner and I'd tend also to keep to Sun, (Day birth) Saturn (Night birth) and ruler of the fourth (for general issues relating to the father) on an initial look at the chart. The placement and interelationships between these three and the rest of the chart is more than enough. For particular questions or queries relating to the father, I'd tend to use the ruler of the fourth and the Part of the Father (very much in second place).

There's more that can be teased out but it's only worth it for an in-depth look at issues relating to the father, such as a client wanting to concentrate on his/her relationships with their father.