The Collective Houses
Seventh House – Partnership
This house begins our journey back to our unity with all life. Where would we be if we didn’t understand the significance of other people in our life, especially those close people who make appropriate sexual and business partners?
This is the house of marriage, meant in its broadest sense of mutual commitment. Placement of planets and signs here usually indicate the kinds of partners who attract us. They also indicate the conditions of our relationships. Cooperation is here, as are contracts, divorce, and everything that is connected with lawsuits.
Most important, the Descendant is in this house. It’s the westernmost point in a birth chart, the zodiac sign indicating hidden, disowned qualities in ourselves that we often project onto other people. We often marry people with these qualities so we can import them into our lives. Ideally, we learn to reintegrate those qualities into our own identity, rather than relying on living them out or fighting them through other people.
Eighth House – Other People’s Resources & the Unknown
Opposite the 2nd house, the 8th house involves situations with other people’s money, for example, marriage, inheritance, or business partnerships. But the meaning of this house is much more than that. It describes how we join together or unite with other people. Here also is intimacy, literal and psychological death, separation, rebirth, secrets, taboos, psychology, and psychotherapy. Central to all of this is letting go of ego boundaries to die as an “I” and be reborn as “We.”
Planets and signs in this house can also reveal how our primal dark side, the hidden, unresolved anger and fear from early parental bonding, gets surfaced and dealt with. Our relationship to psychic experiences and the occult also play out here.
Ninth House – Philosophy
Once we have found our way out of pain and crisis, we are ready to move on to the future and bigger questions of life around Truth and a clear sense of meaning or purpose. This is the house of higher education, religion, holistic thinking, and wisdom – the abstract, intuitive, higher mind. Planets and signs here indicate the way we approach religious, philosophical, political, and legal issues. Here we take the big picture, long view.
This house also covers publishing, long-distance travel, mail, telescopes and microscopes, foreigners, and grandchildren. Closer to home, this house includes our relationship with our in-laws. Those with strong placements in this house usually have a high degree of intuition and foresight, the ability to tune into and interpret collective energy and trends in the atmosphere.
Tenth House – Career
Time to get practical. Placements in this house indicate a reproach to a vocation, the contributions to the world we would most like to be admired, acknowledged, and remembered for. The Midheaven resides on the cusp of this house. It is the highest point in a birth chart, symbolizing what publicly stands out about us, what we represent to others. Here lies our public reputation, achievements, fame, and social status.
Signs and planets in both the 10th house and the 9th house often describe the nature of a person’s career. Our perception of our shaping parent, usually the mother, is located in this house. Early bonding patterns with the mother are reflected later in our relationships to the larger world, whether a mirror, its opposite, or qualities of her personality that were unexpressed. Our relationships with authority figures in general also reside here.
Eleventh House – Groups & Goals
Secure in our self, we now look beyond our individual ego to identify with something larger than our self. After all, we are part of a larger system, all of which operates together for the good of the whole. We belong to groups as a collective expression of this interdependence and unity. Friends, work groups, networks, and communities provide the space for a sense of belonging and expression of this group consciousness. Out of this comes a sense of planetary brotherhood and sisterhood.
Social consciousness also has its roots here. Planets and signs in this house symbolize the way we behave and interact in group situations and the kinds of friends to whom we are attracted. Placements here may also show our disco wound qualities that we project and then find in our friends. Seeking are ideal self, we also find our goals, hopes, and wishes here. This house also indicates our relationships with any stepchildren.
Twelfth House – Cosmic Unity
Coming full circle, we experience deeply the dissolving of our separate ego and our reconnection to the original undifferentiated state of unity. Put more simply, we rediscover and connect with the infinite or divine, what some people call union with our source. However, this dissolution or surrender is something we both want and fear or resist.
On the one hand, this house is about meditation, prayer, empathy and compassion, and self-sacrifice. On the other hand, it’s about boundary issues, a fuzzy identity, lack of direction, self-sabotage through addictions, being a martyr, unresolved issues from the past (including past incarnations), and suicidal urges. Also located here are our hidden, unconscious potentials and weaknesses, which often block our conscious goals. This house is also linked with large public institutions such as hospitals, museums, libraries, government bureaucracies, and jails.
Thus we are born, differentiate ourselves through a series of challenges and experiences, and return from where we came – one with all creation. When our physical existence ends, as it inevitably will, our individual sense of self dissolves. The journey then begins again on the upward spiral of existence.