Bajo las Lilas

Astrology

How to stop gravitating to extremes.

Expansion and Consolidation

People often gravitate toward extremes. Some people spend all their time working while others spend all their time playing. Some people love going out while others almost always stay in. Some people spend money as soon as they get it while other people try to save every last penny. Moderation is difficult and it seems to be much easier to relax into one extreme or another.

In astrology this phenomenon is represented by the interplay between the two planets Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is the planet (or the energetic principle) of expansion and creation while Saturn contains the principle of limitation and discipline. Jupiter, then, loves to spend money and to enjoy himself with friends. Saturn, on the other hand, loves to be alone, is more melancholy, and more serious. Saturn likes to feel purpose in what he does and feels that he is wasting his time if he isn’t working on something worthwhile. Jupiter finds worth in the experience no matter how meaningless it might seem to Saturn.

Collectively, countries and places can also have one principle more developed than another. Countries with more developed work ethics can have more Saturn energy while countries that like to enjoy things more can have more Jupiter. Enjoyment is also the domain of Venus but, in general, expansiveness and being carefree are a part of Jupiter.

So, lets now look at how the balance of Jupiter and Saturn can actually enhance the goal of each other.

Working without expansiveness can create situations that are stagnant and stuck. People can work for their whole lives and miss simple opportunities for investment and growth that would make their enterprises function more efficiently and productively, thereby making their “purpose” even greater. The willingness to invest, to grow, and to create comes from Jupiter and augments the work-ethic of Saturn by adding a degree of fluidity and the willingness to grow into new areas. Without Jupiter’s influence Saturn’s “grind it out” mentality can get stuck in old patterns that help neither the person working nor the person’s purpose at large.

Jupiter, on the other hand, can get itself overextended without the limiting and disciplining influence of Saturn. Jupiter, being an expansive and creative principle, likes to try new things and constantly invest and explore in new ways of doing things. In business, it constantly wants to grow its branches in new directions and to find greater range for its enterprises. While this practice is good for growth for a time, if gains are never consolidated, and if experiences are not learned from before growing again, one can get overextended and end up building a house of cards that is liable to fall down when met with the slightest difficulty.

With Saturn’s influence however, Jupiter is able to put on the brakes after new rounds of expansion and consolidate its gains. With Saturn’s positive limiting influence, it can then learn the lessons from its last round of experimentation and growth so that, in the next round, it can re-direct and re-focus its energy in a way that will be the most beneficial. Saturn’s influence on Jupiter can result in focused creation that takes place with an intelligent and planned pace.

Saturn and Jupiter together, when balanced, contain the recipe for growth and learning. New experiences are the raw material required for growth as a human being. Expansion and the willingness to evolve ensure that enterprises of all kinds do not get stale and stagnant. Such is the power of Jupiter and without it life can feel stuck.

Saturn on its own is stuck. Pure discipline and devotion to purpose is nothing without expansion and new experiences. Without life experience and the willingness to expand one’s realm of activity, purpose is limited. Saturn needs Jupiter’s expansiveness to give wings to its purpose while Jupiter needs Saturn’s discipline to focus and intensify its creativity which, otherwise, becomes watered down and weak.

Without a constant effort the common tendency is to be either too limited or too expansive. The secret of Jupiter and Saturn is that a dynamic interplay between creation and consolidation results in the fullest and richest growth and in the most opportunities to learn lessons from our experiences. Saturn occasionally puts the brakes on Jupiter’s expansiveness in order to harvest the lessons that one’s forays into life have made possible. And Jupiter is able to spur Saturn on to leave the security of the status quo in order that life can regain dynamism and growth.

 

The Evolution of Love

The English language has a problem because it has only one way to say “I love you.” Romance languages offer more flexibility in expressing love for each other. There are ways to soften the sentiment and make “I love you” a suitable thing to say to friends while leaving a stronger form of saying “I love you” for more intimate situations.

Astrology has its own way of talking about different kinds of love and it has to do with the

so-called “water houses.” These

Bouguereau

houses relate to the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces and embody the different facets of human emotion. Cancer relates to the fourth house of family and, when healthy, embodies familial warmth and gentleness. It is the love we feel for our family members—for our brother, sister, son, daughter, father, and mother.

 

Scorpio relates to the eighth house and has to do with wanting to merge with the person that we love. This eighth house sentiment yields a passionate and intense kind of love and, when developed, allows us to know union with another person. From this experience springs the realization that we are not separate. For if we can merge with someone in body and emotion even once we know that love, when strong enough, dissolves the barriers between people and makes them feel unity.

Physical union is, however, only the beginning of this experience. It finds fulfillment in the realization that you and the person you love are connected by a spiritual bond—that you are in her and she is in you.

The evolved form of eighth house love (or the “love of unity”) manifests through self-sacrifice to help another. And it is done less out of a sense of chivalry or nobility but out of a feeling that you are saving a part of yourself. Therefore do lovers find the strength to die for their loved one.

But this love born of unity is not only the province of lovers. Anyone who loves another enough to sacrifice themselves or to die for them expresses this love. Soldiers exemplify it when they risk their lives to save another.

People get caught up talking about the eighth house and Scorpio in narrow ways. Most conversations revolve around intimacy and sex but this is only the beginning of it. Once someone is capable of realizing unity with someone else they can realize it with anyone (and physical intimacy doesn’t have to factor into the equation). And the flowering of this love is selflessness. Therefore what starts out as desire for unity with a lover evolves into knowing that you are one with the people you love and that their wellbeing is not just helpful to you but it is a part of your wellbeing. Their life is not only an influence on your life—it is a part of your life.

When this love is experienced deeply enough, we would lay down our life so that another might live. Christ said that, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And he equated loving “thy neighbor as thyself” to the first and great commandment of loving “the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37-30).

Loving thy neighbor as thyself is the fulfillment of the love of unity. And any kind of relationship can reach this height for friends can die for each other, a father can die for his son, a mother for her daughter, a brother for his sister, a lover for his love. Therefore does the love first experienced as intimacy with a lover lead us to ultimate self-sacrifice and even to self-transcendence.

The eighth house is much more than finding intense intimacy with another person, which can actually feed our egos and make us attached. It is meant to be a place where we overcome our egos by our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the people we love.

After eighth house love comes twelfth house which is where the love of unity experienced with some people turns into the love of unity with all people and all things. This love is expressed by the sign of Pisces.

Pisces, like the ocean, knows no bounds. It builds on the selflessness of great personal love and extends it to loving all of creation. Its love is universal and spreads everywhere. It does not discriminate between saint and sinner, between sweetness and bitterness, because it is a love for Life itself. In the eighth house we are willing to sacrifice ourselves so that someone we deeply love might live. And in the twelfth house we would sacrifice ourselves for a stranger or, like Christ did, for all of humanity.

The rain feeds the river like the love we learn from our family influences and empowers us to love people in the world. The river flows to the ocean like the love we feel for people in the world evolves into a love we feel for everything. But the rain feeds the rivers which flow to the sea and the moisture from the sea feeds the clouds which, once again, turn to rain.

Maybe these different kinds of love are not really so different but are rather just different manifestations of the same water. And to truly know love, then, we should be able to shift between the different kinds of loving and one day be a raindrop experiencing the gentle love of the family, and another day a raging river lost in a torrent of emotions, and yet another day, the ocean—calm or stormy, but always experiencing a love and empathy for all Life.

Klimt

12th House. Video Game Addiction

Our society is finding ever more ways to experience the 12th house and spending ever more time doing so. Meditation finds more practitioners in each generation as interest in esoteric spiritual practices blossoms.

New forms of 12th house experiences are also rapidly and dramatically emerging. Video games and other forms of electronic escape are exploding in popularity and are attracting millions and even billions of users. Many in the younger generations find regular and extended periods of entertainment from playing video games. And addiction to electronic entertainment is even becoming commonplace. Like drugs and alcohol, video games offer an easy way of escaping from life’s challenges. People turn to video games to compensate for social anxiety, for lack of friends, for anxiety or depression, and for general dissatisfaction with life. While videogame use may be less stigmatized than drug and alcohol use it is still dangerous to human growth and happiness.

For many people, the 12th house is a difficult place to be but, nevertheless, a place that we all have to travel through at times in our lives. It is a place where we have the difficult opportunity (but still an opportunity) to finish our karmic debts to people and situations that we are connected to. It is here that we can experience loneliness, debt, sorrow, and loss.

However, in our society there are an increasing number of ways to avoid having to suffer in the 12th house altogether. Intoxicants and videogames are both ways to numb ourselves to the suffering that our karma dictates that we should experience. They are both means of escaping from our reality and are lower manifestations of the 12th house.

Drunkenness and drug-induced states of consciousness are a way for many people to escape the world they live in and its problems and concerns. In just the last generation, however, videogames have emerged as another way that we can escape from our daily life. And videogame addiction has become a serious problem for our society.

Misuse of drugs, alcohol, and videogames carry obvious consequences. Performance at school and work is damaged; relationships with partners and family members often deteriorate as a result of the use of these escape mechanisms.

However, perhaps just as serious is the general numbing effect that drugs, alcohol, and video games have on psychological and emotional states.

The problem with numbing our sorrows with anything—videogames, alcohol, drugs, overeating, TV—is that we also numb ourselves to the possibility of beauty in life. If we numb ourselves to pain we also numb ourselves to pleasure, including the higher pleasures and joys that can be found in life.

Numbing ourselves to heartbreak and loneliness diminishes our capacity to enjoy love and friendship.

If we are unable to enjoy social gatherings because we lack social skills or if we lack the courage to face our sorrows, running away from these shortcomings only makes it more difficult to improve them.

There are higher ways to find relief from life’s sorrows. Meditation can be the highest way. Meditators can escape from life’s difficulties into a world of peace for fifteen minutes or even an hour at a time. And this comes without the disastrous side effects of video games, drugs, and alcohol use (lower 12th house manifestations).

The more one practices meditation the more one will be able to find the natural God-given door to peace.

Meeting life head on and finding peace through meditation is the higher way of dealing with life’s difficulties. This path, unlike the lower paths of escape, cultivates a peace that only grows stronger over time. The lower paths seem to give peace but, in the long run, this ephemeral peace rots into worry and emptiness.

Moreover, devoting ourselves to meditation and purposeful work ensures that we actually learn from sorrow and trial. Sorrow and trial don’t simply come to us because the world is cruel (even though it often is) but they come to us to reinforce our strength and to show us our weaknesses that we might fix them.

How to Find Your Astrologer

Astrology is a daunting subject for many people and is shrouded in misunderstanding and confusion.  I think this is largely because many of the people who write about astrology and who practice astrology do not themselves sufficiently understand the intuitive science that they preach.   Consequently, many people either follow astrology dogmatically or simply turn away from it entirely.  And a vast majority of people in our society look at astrology as a fools’ science.   

Astrology is not, as many people think, strictly a science that can be understood mathematically.  We cannot understand the stars by imposing a system of aspects and rules upon them.  Mars in the 6th house in Virgo squaring Saturn in the 9th house in Sagittarius does not mean the same thing every time.  Only those who can commune with the planets are capable of understanding the influence they exert and the karma that they represent.  Astrology is too complicated and too fluid to be understood linearly.  Astrology is still, at its core, an intuitive exercise even if it is clothed in mathematical garments.  Practicing astrology mathematically is like judging a stranger by the outfit he wears and the car he drives.  Sometimes stereotyping people works but often it does not.   

Paramahansa Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteswar, was an astrologer who was hard in his assessment of many other astrologers, saying: “Charlatans have brought the stellar science to its present state of disrepute. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically and philosophically, to be rightly grasped except by men of profound understanding. If ignoramuses misread the heavens, and see there a scrawl instead of a script, that is to be expected in this imperfect world. One should not dismiss the wisdom with the ‘wise.’”*

He also explained why we are born at a particular time: “A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom: these are few.”*

Finally, he told us to look at astrology as a challenge to rise above our current state rather than as a guarantee of what will happen in the future.  He encouraged us, saying: “The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate—the result of past good and evil—but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.”*

Astrology is meant to arouse the desire to be better than we are and to rise above our negative circumstances.  Astrologers should emphasize how we can use our strengths that we have from past lives to overcome the negative momentums that are afflicting us in this life. 

Our fate will change based on how we exercise our free will to strive to improve ourselves and our stars only show us how the road will be.  But reading the map is important because, just like going on a road trip, we need to understand the road conditions before determining what kind of car to buy or if we should mount winter tires or summer tires.  All of these decisions, in our life, will help us to stay on the good road to self-improvement—to greater happiness and freedom. 

So how should you choose an astrologer?  Rather than thinking about who has the right system think about who is giving you the best advice.  Astrologers should make sense and should encourage you.  When you leave a conversation or a reading with an astrologer you should feel uplifted and inspired to make a greater effort in your life; happiness should feel more attainable.  The possibility for life should feel greater. 

And in all things remember Sri Yukteswar’s advice that one’s astrology chart “is not meant to emphasize fate—the result of past good and evil—but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo…The wise man defeats his planets—which is to say, his past—by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.”*

*Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi. 1946

To schedule a reading with Victor Haug you may do so through his web page

Herculesastrology.com

 

Vermeer.

 

 

The 3rd and 9th Houses: Balancing Interests and Philosophy

I wrote previously about the 3rd and 9th houses (another pair of opposites) in the article, “Balancing Power and Principle.” The 3rd house represents our personal power and the strength of our energy while the 9th house represents our principles and beliefs; the 9th also represents our interest in higher education and in developing an understanding of ourselves and of the world. In short, the 9th is a house of philosophy and when this house is developed a person wants to learn and to question. They begin to have beliefs about how things and people should be and they are often attracted to religious systems that offer moral guidelines.

Third-house people can be very different. They know what they like and they want to spend time doing what they like. While the 9th house is about learning truth and following principles,

Gerrit van Honthorst, The Steadfast Philosopher,

the 3rd house is about enjoying our own interests—interests that don’t need to be questioned or changed—simply enjoyed and practiced. Hobbies, adventures, talents, and skills all fall under the umbrella of the third house. People who love to play music and to sing and dance often have strong 3rd houses. The 9th house is a place of study and contemplation while the 3rd house is a place of action. In the 9th house we think about the right way to be and how to use our energy while in the 3rd house we simply use our energy doing the things that we like.

These houses, like all pairs of opposites in the zodiac, work optimally when they are balanced. When they are out of balance—like when someone has only the 3rd or the 9th house—we can begin to see problems in an individual’s experience of life. A philosopher or a professor (both 9th house people) can be admired and lauded for their dedication to exploring life’s deeper questions. However, when they lose their personal interests and the ability to take action, they can become too dry and intellectual, and become simply thinkers without the ability to forget about themselves and enjoy life.

Similarly, people who have a strong 3rd house without the balancing influence of philosophy can lose the ability to reflect on their actions. The 3rd house is writing, singing, dancing. It is the ability to do skilled work with one’s hands and therefore relates to a variety of combat skills like boxing, martial arts, shooting guns (and in the old-days, sword-craft). It also relates to construction and trade skills like carpentry and includes artistic skills like painting, ceramics, and jewelry-making.

The 3rd house, relating to physical skills, often creates people who like to act. While an excessively strong 9th house can create the dry scholar or philosopher who can only think, an imbalanced 3rd house can create people who can only act.

So for those who have developed a predominance of philosophy, the answer, rather than being more philosophy, is likely to take more action, to have more adventures, and to find activities that they enjoy doing. While those who just act could benefit from stopping to reflect on the benefits and consequences of what they are doing and how it is affecting other people.

“The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosopher’s Stone.”

Peace through service.

Looking around we can see, in a sense, two types of people—those who have found peace and those who haven’t. Human beings instinctually seek peace; some look for it through seclusion, some through work, others through drugs, and even others through spending time in nature.

But what unites the people who have found peace and contentment in the long run? I don’t mean to write about people who can find it for a couple of hours or a weekend, or even for a longer trip or vacation. I have long-term peace in mind—a peace that lasts for a lifetime or for a retirement in one’s old age. And I want to answer the question: what is the price of this peace? What do we have to do to find, to earn, and to keep this peace that lasts for years or even decades?

This question gets back to the theme of the 12th house that I’ve been writing about. The 12th house represents the end of cycles and the completion of missions or lessons. And, I would say, that long-term peace awaits all of us in the 12th house provided that we pay the price for this peace. If we don’t pay the price then restlessness, dissatisfaction, and even sorrow can be waiting for us there.

The 4th house of the mother, home, and emotions also comes into play as this is the principle house of emotions. However, what I’m thinking of relates much more to the 12th house. The 4th house can give us a personality of happiness and contentment but even people with great fourth houses—people born with happy and content personalities—can still fail to find fulfillment in life. It seems to me that even people born with peace can fail (and often fail) to find the contentment and fulfillment that last for a lifetime.

So what then is the secret of long-term peace? In astrology the 12th house is seclusion, meditation, sleep, monasteries, and ashrams. So can one find long-term peace and completion of life-cycles simply through building a cabin on top of a mountain and spending most of the year there? Could it be found through spending 14 hours a day resting in bed? Or through training oneself to meditate for eight hours every day? Getting proper rest and practicing regular mediation do indeed help but I believe that more is needed.

The 6th house of service is opposite the 12th house and seeks to harmonize with it. In short, seclusion (or meditation) and service (or purposeful work) naturally seek to balance each other.

So, what are the signs of those who have found long-term peace and rest in the 12th house? I don’t believe that the ranks of these are filled primarily with people who have devoted themselves to meditation or to spiritual practices (although I believe that there are many of those here). I do believe, however, that those who live for others and who “love thy neighbor as thyself” often attain this glorious state.

I think that honest mechanics and good-hearted doctors and healers are found here. I think that more than anything there are loving mothers and fathers here, siblings devoted to their brothers and sisters, friends who sacrifice everything for those they love.

People who have developed talents and skills and used these to offer a useful service to humanity for a whole lifetime have paid the price for peace. This is, I think, the balance of the 6th house and the 12th house—a balance of seeking peace in seclusion and meditation with the deep fulfillment of having spent one’s best years in service—as a parent or as a skilled laborer, or as anyone who lives to help others.

The 12th House, completion of karmic cycles.

The 12th house is coming to life more and more in the 21st century. It is the final house in the zodiac and, therefore, represents completion. If a life-cycle is not completed it can represent escape. Here, karmic cycles can be finished and even liberation can be found. Traditionally it translates to meditation or sleep—states of mind that depart from our everyday waking norm.

This house is a place of solitude. Hermits and, in general, solitude falls under its umbrella. States of meditation—as departures from waking existence—can also be placed here. People living in monasteries—separated from the life of the world and its needs to work and to make money—are likewise living largely in this house. Prison inmates, because they are removed from the world and the need for earning a living, are also placed in the 12th house.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that the 6th house of work is connected to the 12th house. Ideally a balance is found between work and solitude or escape but often people gravitate towards experiencing one or the other to an extreme. And people who avoid the 6th house and the karma of working and struggling that it signifies usually travel to the 12th house where, if that have not learned the lessons of maturity that work teaches, usually find suffering.

People sometimes avoid having to work by breaking the law—dealing drugs, stealing, or engaging in other underworld activities associated with the 8th house. Often, these law-breakers end up suffering or in prison (both 12th house experiences) and therefore pay some of their karmic debt through the 12th house instead of through the 6th house which they sought to avoid largely through laziness.

The 12th house is where we go to finish our karma. Generally, people who experience primarily the lower aspects of the 12th house—sorrow, loss, prison—have not developed a healthy appreciation for the work and service which allow them to safely navigate their heavier karma. However, if we have the ability to work, serve a higher purpose, and meet life’s challenges honorably, this can be a place of peaceful rest and meditation.

Understanding Astrology: Career and Home.

The Four Angular Houses in Astrology: Part 2/2

The previous article on the angular houses examined the meanings for the first and seventh houses—the houses of self and of partner. It sought to show how our search for balance in the world (often through partnership) allows us to develop more completely as individuals. There are, however, two more angular houses to examine—the tenth house and the fourth house. These are the houses of career and home. Together, the four angular houses constitute the corner stones of human life on earth. For all experiences can, in some way, be traced back to their psychological, physical, and spiritual roots in the first house (body), forth house (emotions and mind), seventh house (relationship), or tenth house (career and worldly influence).

The Tenth House – Career

At the moment of our birth, the sign highest in the sky corresponds to the tenth house—the house that influences the world. Anything that is in the sky’s zenith—at day or at night—has the greatest influence on the world. We can actually judge this from experience: at 2:00 p.m. the Sun is the strongest and gives the most light and heat. At any other time of the day the Sun is felt less strongly than when it is at its peak.

When the Moon is highest in the sky, especially when it is full, we feel its emotional energy the most. Even pragmatic people can attest to the heightened emotional energy experienced around midnight during the full moon.

Every planet’s influence is heightened when it is in the 10th house or “mid-heaven” although we tend to feel the Sun and Moon the most obviously.

The tenth house, then, is a house of worldly influence and recognition. Just as we recognize the Sun and Moon when they are high in the sky, so too, we recognize people who have strong tenth houses. And these “tenth-house people” tend to be publicly visible in their lives and careers just as the Sun or Moon are visible when they are in the tenth house.

The Fourth House – Home

The opposite of the tenth house is the fourth house which is, at all times, hidden from view or observation. During nighttime, the Sun travels through the fourth house and is hidden from view. The fourth house is hidden from view by the earth itself. It is on the other side of the world.

The fourth house represents the home because the world cannot see into either the forth house or the home. Specifically, people outside of one’s family know nothing about your home-life. In the home we discover and express our innermost feelings. Traditionally, and archetypally, the home is run by the mother. Consequently, the fourth house also represents the mother and emotions.

In general, the fourth house represents those things that are not seen by the world. They are our mental and emotional states, and our relationship to our family including the love or discord we experience with those closest to us.

As with the first and seventh house pair, the fourth and tenth house pair complement each other. They seek to balance each other. A strong home life can give more calmness and confidence in a career; while a strong career can allow someone to have a more beautiful home. Oftentimes, however, one house grows to the detriment of the other: many career-driven people sacrifice their home lives for the sake of spending more time at the office; while many home-bodies, being too comfortable at home, fail to muster the drive and ambition to succeed in the world. The home and the career are, however, meant to complement each other and happiness and success can both co-exist and reinforce each other.

 

Understanding Astrology: The 4 Angular Houses

 

        The planets, the houses, and the signs form the basis of astrology. The planets and the signs reveal their meanings more easily because they exist physically. Jupiter is a real thing in material existence. We can physically observe it. Moreover, cultures for at least thousands of years have ascribed personalities and deities to Jupiter as well as to the other planets. Strangely, cultures from both Greece and India associated deities with similar personalities to the same planet. In both cultures Venus, for example, is the god of beauty, love, and art. The Greeks called her Aphrodite and the Hindus called her Shukra. Other planets too have similar meanings and deities in both cultures. The signs have also been assigned personalities based on their likenesses: Cancer as a crab, Aries as a ram etc.

The meaning of the twelve astrological houses, however, is often confusing and mysterious. We are told that houses mean certain things and that certain aspects of life are represented by the houses. For example, we are told: the first house represents the body; the tenth house represents fame, father, career, and prestige; the seventh house represents one’s partner; and that the fourth house represents the home, mother, and emotions. Often people accept that this as law. And since astrology has recently emerged from a 2000 year period of intense superstition and orthodoxy, that is to be expected. But more inquisitive minds are right to question: why? Why does the fourth house represent the mother? Why does the tenth house represent career?

I have often asked these questions and would like to offer an explanation for the meanings of the four houses which are the cornerstones of astrology: 1 (self), 4 (emotion, mind, and home), 7 (partner), and 10 (career and fame). These four houses constitute the foundation on which the other eight houses are understood because every life experience can be traced back to its physical, psychological, or spiritual root in the body (first house), the mind (fourth house), relationships (seventh house), or career (tenth house).

The First House – Self

When we are born the Sun is in a certain place: sometimes in the sky above us, sometimes on the horizon, and sometimes it cannot be seen because it is night time. The sign of Leo is also in a certain location when we are born. It could be on the eastern horizon, or high in the sky. Leo could also be on the western horizon or hidden on the other side of the earth.

When we are born the constellation rising on the eastern horizon is called our rising sign and represents the first house. In other words, it represents the essence of who we are. Astrology identifies the individual with the rising sign because they both come into the world in the same instant and we are therefore tied to that sign for the rest of our life. Interestingly, any planet that is in our rising sign is especially strong for us. If Saturn is in our rising sign we could be especially disciplined; if the Moon is in our rising sign we could be especially compassionate.

The Seventh House – Partner

The seventh house and the first house directly face each other in the zodiac. They are directly across from each other—when one house is on the eastern horizon the other is on the western horizon. When we are born the sign opposite our rising sign is in the seventh house.

The first house represents oneself while the seventh house, being across from it, represents the balance we seek to achieve in the world. For many people this balance is discovered in the partner who, if we are predominantly masculine, helps us to become more feminine and, if we are predominantly feminine, helps us to become more masculine.

In general, however, the seventh house represents what we will find in the world. The seventh house is not just the partner; it is a mirror looking back at us showing us many things. It shows us what we can become and what we are lacking. It also shows us what we don’t want to see in ourselves or what we could not see without help.

We often, for example, share traits with our parents. And even our personality is partially formed by our experience with our parents. This is why we can find similarities between our parents and our partner. And this is why unresolved psychological and emotional issues with our parents are encountered in similar form with our partner.

The first and seventh houses (as all opposing houses in astrology) form a linked pair. The first house shows how we came into the world and the seventh house shows the balance we are looking for in the world and in ourselves. As we seek this balance in the seventh house we are forced to see ourselves and learn more about who we are. A healthy seventh house can enable us to develop more completely by giving us self-awareness and balance.

Balancing Power and Principle.

Study for Camilla – David

The third house (personal power) and ninth house (principle) are opposite to each other in the zodiac and represent different qualities. Houses that are opposites are actually very connected and represent aspects of life that are partnered and connected to each other. The first house (self) and seventh house (partner) are also opposite from each other and even the idea of the partner cannot exist without the self. The fourth and tenth houses are another pair of opposite houses and a strong fourth house (home) can give happiness and contentment in one’s and tenth house (career). Finally, the third house (personal power) without the ninth house (principle) often results in selfishness and egoism; while principle without power can be impotent. These opposing houses are actually partnered and bring each other to life.

The third house and ninth house can manifest themselves in many ways—some positive and others negative. The third house, as a house of power, could be the ability to impose one’s will on another through physical force or it could be used to influence other people through writing books. It is easy to see the countless examples of strong third-house people, full of ambition and power, who ruin their own lives by selfishly misusing their own physical or intellectual power.

We can see examples of these people covered in the news almost every day: politicians who have corrupted themselves for more money, bankers who have deceived and manipulated to enrich themselves, union bosses who threated others in order to keep a monopoly on a labor market. There are also everyday examples of contractors who have taken money from clients without fulfilling their contractual obligations and unscrupulous lawyers and writers whose arguments manipulate and deceive others. The list of unethical, greedy, and powerful people could be very long. And this list includes precisely the type of person with a strong third house and a weak ninth house.

And, of course, we would have a better world if these people adhered to higher principles. But is the opposite any better? Is it any better to have solid ethical believes without the power to assert oneself? (I.E. to have a strong ninth house and a weak third house.)

The world also contains countless examples of those who are principled but weak.

There are good people who don’t exercise their goodness and people with great ideas who don’t have the power, confidence, or resolve to manifest them into existence. There are many people with brilliant world-transforming ideas that don’t have the courage or will to manifest or defend them. There are writers with unwritten books that could inspire thousands of people. Good politicians could fight and expose more corruption than they do. Upright people need more than honest dreams and good intentions to start a company or to stand up those who are hurting and stealing from others—they also need power. Sitting in a car with a map doesn’t get anyone where they want to go if the car’s engine doesn’t work. Likewise those who want to do good need the power to back up their principles.

Just like how people want to balance home life (fourth house) with their career (tenth house) and to balance personal well-being (first house) with a healthy relationship (seventh house), there is also a balance to be found between personal power (third house) and power of principle (ninth house).

A lot of time goes into discussions about how bad the world is and, basically, why bad people are so bad. Less time is given to considering why good people can be so weak. I consider this to be half of the problem. Maybe to see improvement in people’s lives and in the world at large it’s not just the bad people who need to be guided by more principles, but also the good people who need to be driven by more power.

Oath of the Horatii – David

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