In our 3rd House, we ventured out on our own for the very first time. Our eager, running feet carried us out into the neighbourhood beyond our front porch, out to games of chase and pretend with the other children our age. But at the end of the day, when the streetlamps flickered on and the sun faded from view, we all turned to head back home.
The 4th House is that familiar place we all sink into at the end of the day, when we turn away from the outside world and retreat into ourselves. It is the deepest, darkest, most intensely private and intimate place we own. The only people who see it are those who inhabit these same private places with us - our home, our family, our past, and our childhood. Ideally, these should all be womb-like places of comfort built on a secure foundation of trust, vulnerability, and protective, nurturing influences. But for some, the 4th House can be volatile and chaotic place we avoid coming home to. And for these people, the silence only brings the uneasiness and intrusive thoughts we'd been running away from all day.
IF YOUR CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE
The 4th House would represent the family living inside the house, making it their home. It would be the kitchen and the hearth at the heart of the home, where the family gathers together to talk and eat. It would be bedrooms, bathrooms, offices - places of privacy and isolation. And it would be the family heirlooms strung throughout the house: photographs, trinkets, and antiques, which remind us of the past and the history we've grown out of.
DOMAIN OF THE 4th HOUSE
- Privacy (seclusion, isolation, solitude)
- Home (houses, physical shelter, real estate), or places which feel comfortable and familiar
- Family (parents, grandparents, extended family, ancestry, lineage); living in and sharing intimate spaces with caregivers and protectors
- Childhood and family friends who knew you in your younger “shaping” years
- The past (nostalgia, photographs, tradition, vintage items)
- The early childhood environment, from your toddler years to your adolescence, or from your earliest memories to first moving out of the family home
- Things which are passed down your family line, such as your family surname, religious or cultural traditions, recipes, beliefs, and so on
PLANETS IN THE fourth HOUSE
Psychologists know that a person’s childhood becomes the psychic centre for all mental and emotional processes later on in life. How your family treated you, events in the past, and the values you grew up with all had a part in shaping you into the person you are today. With this placement, you are a very home and family oriented person. Your life rotates around the comforts of private spaces and the familiarity of what you grew up with. Home becomes a sanctuary removed from the stresses of outside life, a protected place for you to retreat into when you need to be alone. You continue to harbour close ties to your childhood and the traditions of your family. Hearty homemade meals, the warmth of your grandparent’s hearth, the old family properties you grew up visiting, holidays together. Grandpa’s stories and grandma’s cooking. Soft cushions on the couch and fuzzy blankets on your bed. Sitting alone in your room as a teenager, old family friends stopping by, and big extended family parties in the house. You have many idyllic memories of growing up and you hold onto them for the rest of your life.
A large part of your personal identity comes from your parents and what values you grew up with. Growing up, your parents dominated your early life. One or both parents were experienced as authoritative, controlling, and powerful. You had to fight with them in order to gain some sort of independence because they had such a strong hold over you. In many cases 4th House Suns grow up with an absent parent; you either fill the parental role in their stead or spend a lifetime searching elsewhere for the missing parent. You must learn to distinguish your own self from your family background – to understand who you are instead of how you are like your mother and father – without denying that you are a part of your family altogether. This transition can be very difficult. You likely want to stay closely connected to your parents well into adulthood. Severing financial, emotional, and ethical ties with your mom and dad will be tough. But it has to be done in order for you to grow out of your insecurity and become your own person.
Battling with your parent’s demands creates in you a strong desire to establish deep roots of your own. After some prolonged searching, you will finally find a family home of your very own. Within the walls of comfort and privacy that is your house, you can finally come into your own. Here you are the power and the authority, and you can express yourself freely and do whatever you want. Like the sun is the centre of our galaxy, and the ego is the centre of your personality, you are the brightest and most influential person in your home. You are the one to take over hosting family holidays and to carry on family traditions. Those with this position benefit from inheritance not only of family money, but of rich spiritual and nostalgic gifts as well. Your home is filled with the smells of your grandmother’s cooking and covered in family photos. Especially in your later years, your home becomes a place of creative expression. Your home itself may even become a creative project itself, with ongoing renovations, decorating, and a workshop all of your own! The look and feel of your home is drenched in who you are, tailored exactly to suite your taste. A big part of your ego is invested in having a beautiful home, so you are not likely to settle for anything second-rate. Only the best home furnishings will do for you and your own.
Your journey as your grow up is to learn who you are as a person separate from your family without severing the ties altogether. In the process you must learn to let go of some things which you cling to out of love, as a child clings to their blanket for emotional comfort. The secret is to create a home for yourself that can never be taken away. Then you can finally live by the words of Tad Williams, “Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.”
This is a delightful placement for your Moon. This is the placement of an introvert. No matter how social the rest of your personality may be or how stimulating your home environment is, the lunar forces in your chart demand time where you go inside of yourself and rest. You cycle into the new moon for a while, sitting alone behind some closed door, until you have calmed the seas inside your heart. Then you may venture out into the full moon cycle to bond with your familiar peers again.
The home, and especially the bedroom, is a sacred place for you. It is where you keep your feelings under lock and key. You have been this way all your life. One mustn’t doubt the powerful effect our relationships with others in the family home have on our emotional make-up later on in life. You in particular, as the family home is your emotional container, experienced your upbringing in a very emotional way. One might say the past has a lunar quality to it too, fluctuating from the light of happy nostalgia to the dark of tepid secrets. What better container is there for you to pour your heart and soul into? Except, perhaps, into the past, where you linger on events long ago. The past doesn’t change; it is as secure a structure as there ever was. You may actually prefer to place your heart back in your childhood and board it up against events of the present, which lack the wonder and innocence of your younger years - especially if your family is hurtful, unpredictable, or unaccepting of you. Good or bad, you have a very close bond to your parents, having forged many memories, traditions, habits, disciplines, and joyful comforts by their side. Like the physical structure of the home, the relational structure of family frames how you relate to the world around you on a personal level.
Luckily, Moon in the 4th House usually means that you received much nurturing from your Cancer or Taurus-type of parents as you grew up. But regardless of the specific relationships you had with your parents, the outcome is the same for everyone with this placement. Your heart seeks mothering, and you remain dependent on others for your emotional stability and security. You may remain emotionally immature well into adulthood, seeking out romantic partners and friends who replace your parents as your primary caregivers. Your Moon wishes to remain a child and so it stays young and needy, grasping for a mother or father to take care of it. In tough times you withdraw into old habits and regress back into old patterns. When you go through a major event you process feelings by making changes to your home, as that is one safe way of expressing what you feel. You may even make mood-based changes of residence to satisfy some restlessness within you, as though you are searching for a comforting home to put yourself in again.
All of these actions are you seeking to rekindle that feeling of safety you had as a child. It is a fact of life that your Moon, or emotions, seeks out a secure structure that both nurtures and supports it fully. And yet there are innumerable, unpredictable events in life that will uproot you from your comforts, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. You can lose your home, your family, and all your sentimental items to time, death, or destruction. These are very real realities that give you much fear and anxiety. But you need to understand the resilience of your heart and the flexibility it is truly capable of. When your Moon loses its container, it remains intact – the shape and feel may be different, but the water is still the same. Your heart can be wounded by change but it can also withstand it indefinitely. You may live your life with your Moon tucked away in privacy, circling your home like fireflies in the night, only glowing when with close others around. But never doubt your capabilities or your adaptability when it comes to experiencing changes to your home and family. The past never changes, but you can.
Your childhood, your family members, events in the past, and your home growing up, all had a very profound effect on the way you think. In fact, the way you think, your opinions, your tastes – all are nearly identical to one or both parents. This can mean that you carry more traditional views and a more conservative outlook on life. (At some point you may be called away from the family’s influence in order to establish your own ways of thinking about the world.) They stimulated your curiosity for learning and encouraged you to think rationally about the world. In some cases this means you came from a highly academic family who valued intelligence and logic. Or your family could have swung more towards practical skills like trades and cooking. You experienced them as sensible and reasonable, perhaps at the expense of emotional warmth. They connected with you on a much more mental level. Mercury shows where in your chart you accumulate the most knowledge, what you are most interested in learning about, and what you like to talk about the most. The answer to all of these falls within the categories of “home and family”.
As a child you saw your parents as highly communicative people who loved to talk and socialize in large groups of people. They loved to be active. They loved to express their views and opinions, wanted to articulate themselves with wit and humour, and thoroughly enjoyed having other people over as often as they did. There was a lot of noise and activity whirling around you growing up; your family contained many extended family and friends who lit the air with conversation. Sometimes their noise turned against each other and inflated into arguments, bickering, and squabbling. They came and went often in and out of the house, likely working out of town as you were growing up. Your experience of your parents reflected the qualities of the planet Mercury: always out and doing something, never still for very long, highly social, with a need for constant amusement and communication. You inherited this part of them through your family line. Whether by blood or by being raised by them, they gave you a mind that never shuts off and a home life that never quiets down. Growing up and venturing off into your own home, your carry Mercury over there as well, lifting it directly out of your childhood home and placing it on the mantelpiece.
Your home takes on a Mercurial atmosphere with this placement. Within your home there is evidence of a restless mind grasping for stimulation of all kinds. A radio playing, television and computers both on, books and games and puzzles landed everywhere. A household busy with people and activity, with intelligent conversation filling the air, is where you are happiest. Your home is apt to become your place of study or of work. Whether you work with your hands or choose to spin words, your hobbies will undoubtedly fill your free alone time at home. Both J.R.R Tolkien and J.K Rowling – two of the most influential and prolific fantasy writers of all time – shared this placement. It comes as no surprise that both the Lord of the Rings series and the Harry Potter series contain many themes of home and family within their pages. In quiet, private spaces your mind is most at ease, and most able to work. But that doesn’t mean that it slows down! For one reason or another, you find it difficult to settle down in one area. Perhaps you moved often. Or, as is often the case, you had other “homes” outside of your central family house: a friend’s home, summer cabin, daycare, or relative’s home, for example. You never really grow out of flitting from one place to the next.
Your roots, it seems, are shallow ones. With Mercury’s nimble influence reigning over your 4th House, your home and family life will never be the same for long. Raised by parents who loved to talk and socialize, you will become comfortable with a household of noise. And from then on, a quiet house is never truly a home! You will take the views and values given to you by your parents and allow your mind to be coloured by their influence. You have inherited a love of intelligence, rationality, practical problem solving, fact-checking, and logical thinking. But as you go out on your own you will discover your own ways of thinking outside of theirs, and perhaps even open up your mind beyond the walls of your childhood home. You may never be satisfied or still about your home, always looking for new things to do to it, new places to move to, planning when you will have people over next. You can be somewhat fickle in the way that you always want something but you can’t decide what it is. But one thing is for sure: your home and family life will always be interesting!
Deep inside the inner reaches of your personality there is a gilded door, locked from the inside. On the other side of the wall you keep your femininity hidden within your personal subconscious. But although she is hidden, she does not turn restlessly in despair, for she is comfortable here. Venus, in your chart, is like a pearl within an oyster shell. She is pale and luminescent, the epitome of the ethereal feminine and an image of lustrous purity. Sleeping under her shell, surrounded by the depths and the darkness of water, she is protected as a treasure should be. The qualities kept at the base of your personality (where nobody can see them) are your receptivity, sensitivity, cooperative attitudes, and your desires for beauty and harmony. Only a very few people will be allowed to dive deeply within your personality to see Venus shining in the dark. Those people will likely be family and close childhood friends, as she may come out and walk amongst your private life. If she is anywhere she is there, in your childhood and within your parents, glistening like a beautiful ghost in your past.
You are one of the most beautiful or handsome members of your family. Growing up your family placed a lot of emphasis on beauty, relationships with other people, harmony, and sensual pleasures, making your family one of the best-looking ones from the outside in. From what you have observed they care very much about how the family looks to other people. Your parents dressed you up in nice clothes, fed you delicious food, bought a nice house in a nice part of town, and gave your money when you needed it. They fostered your artistic talents and encouraged any avenue of creative expression. The dark side of this placement was that you also picked up vanity, laziness, indulgences in food and spending money, and materialism along the way. You resent your family for these qualities, but you cannot deny that you possess them yourself. For example, you inherited their expensive taste for home furnishings, and now find it difficult to settle for anything less than just-as-good as your family home.
The home you want is apt to be very visually striking its beauty, built with the same charm and elegance as the childhood homes you grew up in. It is the showpiece for the beautiful and expensive items that you surround yourself in. It is also the epicenter of your creativity and where you spend the most time being artistic. Here in your home you indulge in arts and entertainment, cook wonderful meals, lounge on the weekends, and decorate with meaningful memorabilia. Your home, like your family, becomes your place for Venusian expressions of love, beauty, harmony, sensuality, vanity, and materialism, in that way replicating the home environment you grew up in. Venus is expressed through your private life and seen in private spaces. She is present in the polite way you speak in your home, in the way you promote cooperation between family members, and in how receptive and empathetic you are to others in your house. You are quite private about your inner femininity, and do not publicly express it. But this tender and artistic side of you is seen quite plainly when you interact with 4th House matters.
Growing up, you were heavily influenced by your female family members: mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and grandmothers among them. Perhaps it is because of your close ties to these feminine energies inside of your household that you are drawn to maternal Cancer-types of personalities in your romantic life. You want to fall in love with someone who is as home and family oriented as you are. This could mean that you want a caregiver who supports you so you do not have to support yourself, much like your parents have. But it is important that you learn to stand on your own two feet and seek out a lover who loves you on equal terms. You fall in love with good cooks who feed your body and nourish your soul with homemade delights. You adore anybody who is good with children and who seems as though they would be the perfect half of your parenting-duet. Should they want to spend their days with you lounging around the house, drinking tea and coffee, eating food, watching movies and cuddling until night time, you heart may begin to purr with delight. Your heart is a domestic one. It glows when it is surrounded by home and family, and grows fonder with years of happy homemade memories behind you.
You come from a family steeped deep in Mars’ power. You come from a background of fighters who exuded strength, ambition, energy, sexuality, and vitality. Through your family line you inherited their work ethic, their drive, and their desires. You grew up being fed ambition and taught the value of hard work. Loud and obnoxious, but intent on achieving their goals, they raised you to continue being a fighter. Now Mars runs through your blood, lives in your past, and is remembered well from your childhood.
Growing up there was plenty of conflict between your parents and in your home, some of it seen, some of it unseen. Competitiveness between family members, power struggles, fighting, vying for dominance, and varied arguments were commonplace. In extreme cases there was violence, adultery, even abuse. As you got older you started to participate in domestic battles more, fighting with your parents for your own freedom and autonomy. Perhaps you didn’t want to be at home anymore, or perhaps you were frustrated with what you home life under their rule felt like. But at some point it became clear that the only way you were going to get the independence you wanted was to leave and strike out on your own.
Much of your own anger and aggression stays hidden, never let out into the light of day. You are often passive-aggressive in getting what you want, rather than direct about what the issue is. Eventually your rage erupts into a giant fury, usually taken out on others in your home (where you feel safe expressing yourself). But this is not a healthy method of coping with your feelings. As Judith Bennett once wrote, “Anger is a basic human emotion, though we have not really accepted it as such. Feelings are facts. We love someone, we feel sad, jealous, greedy, elated, happy...but anger overtly expressed frightens us.” Repressing your anger, denying it exists, not allowing yourself to knowledge, let alone express, what you are feeling – all are ways you live in an emotionally unhappy life. You cannot press down your anger and expect to still feel the rest of your positive emotions as well; in doing so, you numb all of your feelings, including your sexual desires. Mars, which stands for competitiveness, selfishness, willpower, drive, assertiveness, dominance, independence, and aggression, is a key part of how you get what you want out of life. You must bring it all up, analyze it, and find positive avenues for expressing it.
Once you do this, you can finally begin to use your Mars to get what you want out of life. And what do you want more but a home of your own? You wish to have your own home so you can live independently. But just because you move away and live out on your own doesn’t mean that the Martian conflict goes away. Your own home will take on the fiery energy of this planet. In your house, as in your private life, your Mars will be fully expressed. Here in your space you can afford to be competitive, aggressive, domineering, and independent without restraint. But that can create tension between you and the others you live with does the line. Your own home comes to mirror the home you grew up in, with you fighting for your own space whenever you have a spouse or a roommate sharing space with you. All of your energy and aggression can be displaced in ways other than fighting with them, however; some methods are more productive than others. For example, you are the type to work just as much at home as you do at your actual job. You can take out your Mars by amassing several projects building, fixing, cleaning, and cooking in the home. You are innovative when it comes to finding ways to make money from your home. Just watch out because you are accident-prone!
Positively, Mars in the 4th House means that you are protective of your family and ready to defend them at any cost. Perhaps that, coupled with your pride in your family heritage and what you have inherited from them, is why you get on with Cancer-types of personalities so well. You have learned many good lessons about work ethic, drive, and ambition from your family. But you have also inherited their anger and aggressiveness expressed in the home, which you need to come to terms with throughout your lifetime. You will venture out on your own and live freely by yourself, discovering who you are without your family’s influence. And in that time you will come to terms with the unsettling events of your childhood. Learn to express your Mars without hurting those in your home, and both you and they will be happier for it!
Ceres is enormously powerful in this placement. Within your Cancer/Virgo type of family, you grew taller and stronger every day, your heart encased in your mother’s love. You felt protected by your home, not only by the people within it but by the physical, familiar structure as well. Within the walls of your bedroom you wrapped yourself in the security of privacy. You felt most at home when you were alone – a trait that still lingers today, whenever you need to “get away” and come back into your soul. Everybody needs time to themselves, but in your case it is the primary way by which you nurture your soul and take care of yourself. You also do this with food. You remember the family kitchen, the warm meals you ate together, and the family recipes that were passed down from generation to holiday. Nostalgia runs its course through your memories of the past. Even if there were negative qualities to your childhood you still insist on having fond memories of the way things used to be when you were younger, when things were far simpler and better than they are now. You view the past through rose-coloured glasses, seeing love in your childhood, joy in all the fun you had, and fondness for your ancestry beyond.
One particular idol in your family is the parent that was the softest, gentlest, kindest, and most nurturing towards you. For most people this is the mother, but it can be any family member that took care of you closely when you were a child. This mother-figure was a prominent person in your household and in your young life in general. She was everything a mother ought to be: strong, nourishing, protective, loving, and a calm figure of authority. Of course, every mother has a different personality and that needs to be considered too. Some mothers lean towards being submissive and kind, the perfect housewife devoted to cooking and cleaning for her husband, whilst others dominate the house and everyone in it. But generally speaking, those with this aspect are usually coddled as children and kept as close to their mother’s side for as long as she could keep them there. Women with this aspect will become the kind of mother they had, whereas men will seek a wife that looks after him and the home like his mother did.
Nobody can stay a child forever, unfortunately, as the day eventually comes that you must leave the family home and embark on adulthood alone. Because you have such close ties to the family (many people feel as though they need to protect their mother or like they still need their mother to take care of them) this separation from your nurturing parents is a difficult transition for you to make. A part of your personality is very deeply rooted in that love and affection you got in childhood. But it is important for your own development that you spend time off on your own to figure out how to take care of yourself, without looking to your mother for help every day. Some with this placement will leave their parents only to walk into a relationship with a spouse that emulates them, moving into a home where they never stop being looked after. Others will become that spouse. If your mother smothered you and kept you too close by her side, you may grow up unsure of yourself without somebody else to guide you. The best result of good parenting would be a person that emerges into adulthood secure and confident in their ability to take care of themselves. Ideally the child would grow up with a healthy grasp of their own identity and their own emotions.
Once you have spent some time alone figuring yourself out, one can say with confidence that you are, or will be, a doting and wonderful parent. Your children will be raised with kindness and understanding by a parent who understands how to take care of another person’s mind and emotions. They will be nourished in their body and soul by good food and good fun, having received plenty of their parent’s attention when they needed it the most. One way or another you will find yourself becoming your mother. Your relationship with your spouse may take on a similar dynamic as your own parents had, you may find yourself in similar situations with similar spouses as you saw her go through. This is a normal part of you reliving her identity (walking in her shoes, so to speak) so as to better find yourself. Believe in yourself and your ability to handle things on your own. And if all else fails remember that you can always retreat into some private space for a while, regroup, and emerge a little better every day.
This is a very fortunately placement to have been born into. It means that your experiences with home, family, your parents, your childhood, and your memories of the past are all predominately good ones. This placement is indicative of big extended families brought together by many friendships and many marriages. You are very proud of your heritage, your home, and of your family name. And you are very lucky to have been born into the family that you were, for you will inherit much spiritual and material wealth from them in your lifetime. Benefits are set to befall you through your parents especially. From them you received much love, guidance, support, and security. They were very generous with their time and attention when you were little, and continued to make you feel special as you grew older. You saw them as larger-than-life figures bursting with happiness and joy. They were idols of power, wisdom, with all the potential for greatness afforded to them. You also saw hedonism and a roving eye – a call to their pleasure-seeking and self-serving ideologies. You saw the more animalistic side to them that wanted the freedom to roam and do as they pleased, unrestrained by responsibility. Warts and all, you learned a lot from their teachings and owe much to them.
Jupiter’s house placement is said to show where in your life you become wiser to the ways of the world. This is where you become enlightened to your own personal truths. Placed in the 4th House, you gain wisdom through your family, your home, your childhood, and events which occurred in your past. Many of your beliefs and ideas come directly from your parent. From them you inherited very strong spiritual, political, and philosophical views. Many of your beliefs are more traditional or more conservative in nature because you lift wisdom directly from your ancestors, retaining old customs and traditions well into the new age. Also from your parents, however, you inherited their love of travelling the world both physically (literally) and mentally (by expanding your mind and learning about foreign cultures). There will come a time when you are confronted with a very flawed and human image of your parents, which shatters the preconceived godlike image you had before. Through dealings with your family, both good and bad, you become a wiser person. You learn many things over the course of your childhood about the nature of family and home life, of human relationships and the comforts of home, and you retain these teachings into your own home life later on.
You are happiest and most comfortable when you are at home. Reclined and surrounded by all of your things, you relax into spiritual and material comforts. The nature of your home is very jovial. Evidence of your travels, philosophies, spirituality, ideas, and beliefs adorn the walls and mantelpieces. Jupiter’s fun-loving atmosphere will be felt here as well, especially when you have people over. You love entertaining at home, and you do a wonderful job of creating a warm and inviting space for extended friends and family members. Because you love to have people over (and so many at a time) you need plenty of room to move around. Your dream home is a very big and expansive home, investing plenty of money into making it as luxurious as possible. You want to be outside of the crowded city limits, nestled in the spacious countryside, the woods, or atop a mountain somewhere. Here, surrounded by nature, you have plenty of freedom to move and grow and expand to your heart’s content. Your property is apt to be loaded with “toys” you’ve accumulated over the years, and you need space to house all of them too!
You have many of your own ideas about the nature of home and family. Some of these ideas have been passed down through the generations. You honor the history of these teachings, the religions of your grandparents, the traditions you grew up with, what was told to you as a child. Many of them you choose to carry on yourself and teach to your own children. Others are entirely your own. This wisdom is gained through your childhood experiences and your own process of settling into a home, not passed down from one parent to the next. These are new lessons you have realized and important ones. You owe a lot to your family. You inherited good genes, were loved endlessly, and you were given enough support to stand on your own when the time came. Much of who you are today is a direct reflection of what they put into you. But there are parts of you that are undeniably all your own because of how your own experiences transformed your outlook. In more ways than one, you choose to be different from your parents. But in more ways than one, you are definitely their child.
As one may assume, this is not a good placement for Saturn. There are number of ways feeling his influence here results in resentment, repressed anger, and negative images when you look into your past. The most potent of which are the difficult emotions that arise when you think of your Capricorn or Aquarius type of parents. Your childhood lacked basic warmth, affection, and the assurance that you were loved no matter what. In your darkest hours you sat alone, in your room, with nobody there to comfort you, and these events cut a hole deep inside of your younger years. This placement indicates the possible loss of parents either through death, divorce, physical absence, or emotional distance. The last on that list is the most common. You experienced your parents (likely the father) as cold and impersonal – a strict, materialistic, rigid, and conservative authority that made you feel that you had to earn their love and attention through honouring and impressing them. Because they were so critical and demanding you felt like a burden, a failure in their eyes. Difficult as it was to be honest about your feelings, you did what you could, but never thought it was enough. You couldn’t be what they wanted you to be, and you carried those feelings well into adulthood.
Owning a home and starting a family is one of your more sought after and most precious ambitions; you want a domestic life more than you want anything else in this world. But due to imbedded fears and deeply held beliefs, as well as a healthy dose of procrastination, you are slow and cautious when approaching this long-term goal. You will encounter difficulties, setbacks, and delays, mostly due to your own inaction and stubbornness. Finding a parent-worthy spouse, saving up enough money, actually making the decision to buy a home, plus the added stresses and challenges of having kids – all can seem so hopelessly set in the distant future that you wonder if it all is even worth the effort. Ingrained memories and lessons taught to you by your parents hold you back as well, but not nearly as much as your own cautiousness does. You need to learn to relax in this area of life, to be more flexible, optimistic and fun-loving, or else one of the greatest journeys in your lifetime will be reduced to a chore.
Saturn in the 4th House is no easy placement, and feeling the weight of this planet in such an emotional and private area of your life can be overwhelming at times. But though he restricts your movements, delays your success, and forces you to work harder here than anywhere else, he also bestows great gifts when you learn your karmic lessons. Your parents were cold and impersonal, but they also gave you their devotion, strength, solitarily, purpose, and security. Your childhood lacked warmth but it was built on a solid institution of loyalty and patience. You gained your strong sense of responsibility and duty, your great inner discipline, your ability to commit to a goal and achieve it, all through experiences that pushed you deeper into yourself. When / if you have children of your own (even if that seems unlikely) you will cradle them, devote yourself to keeping them safe and provide them with everything you can. You will be a reliable, dependable, trustworthy parent, a responsible homeowner, and a dedicated family member. No matter what hardships you have passed on your journey here, you are now standing firmly on the foundation of a wonderful future. And you, more than anyone, know how to appreciate that.
Perhaps one thing that needs to be stressed with this position especially is that planets indicate how we experience the world, not necessarily how the world actually is. Your siblings and other family members experienced the same people and the same events very differently than you did, and you each took away your own lessons from that. Cronus’ story is different when viewed from the perspective of his father, or the perspective of his children, and so is yours. You can choose to serve your children physical and emotional detachment, to demand perfection from them, to restrict their movements and coddle them well into adulthood. You can choose to be bitter, fearful, and resentful. Or you can choose to give them enough structure to feel safe and confident while also reassuring them of your love, devotion, and commitment to their well-being. Do not let fear colour your vision of the future or the past. Achieve and relax, look to your home with brighter eyes, and be patient with yourself. It will all come to you in time.
Your wound stems from early difficulties in your childhood at the hands of your family members. This can mean a number of things, and for every person the exact events or situations will be different. But the general feel of this placement, and the resulting wound, will be the same. Your parents may have characterized the Chiron archetype: wounded individuals unable to heal from their hurt, plagued by difficulties no matter what they did. You probably saw them fight, or you may have been bullied by others in your family. In one way you may be made to feel distant, abandoned, un-nurtured, rejected, or unloved by your family. Your parents may have been too busy to pay attention to you, divorced, or they may have actually left you behind. The resulting wounds leaves you feeling like you do not belong in your family, or as if you are a burden nobody wanted. Pain, sadness, and insecurity all stem from these sorts of incidents in your childhood. On the other hand it could have been that other family members felt this way, fought with each other, and you grew up in a household climate of other people’s sadness and insecurity. Whatever way it happened, what is certain is that your wound is embedded in your childhood, in events in the past, in your parents, in your family members, and in your home. And in turn, it colours your view of the past.
When you grow up and move into your own house, Chiron still permeates the atmosphere of every place you make into a home. It can be quite an unsettling feeling. It is possible that no matter where you go, nowhere really feels like home. You move often. It is difficult for you to find a safe, stable home environment because your home has never been a calm or reliable place for you. At some point in your life you may look at being homeless, or at not having a family of your own, or at not being able to have your own home. You may be insecure because of this home and family situation. For example, many with this placement grow older without starting their own family or owning their own home, and they are embarrassed because do not live up to their cultural ideal. Perhaps they could not afford their own house, or perhaps their relationships did not move towards settling down and have children, and now they live a lonely life on their own. They (and you) may be a loved and successful person elsewhere in their life. But they still have that sensitive insecurity buried deep inside the walls of their 4th House.
One famous example of this placement is French icon Edith Piaf. Born to a cafe singer mother and acrobat father in 1915, her parents abandoned her and she was sent to live with her grandmother. She lived with her in the brothel she ran. Raised by prostitutes in desperate poverty, she contracted an illness which left her blind for most of her childhood. Later on when she became a teenager she briefly reconnected with her father before striking out on her own. Before she crested her adult years she got pregnant and had a baby girl with a young man whom she fought with very often. Unable and unwilling to be a mother, she left the child to be taken care of by the father. Sadly, the child died a short time later from a combination of meningitis and neglect. Her story features much of the pain familiar to those with Chiron their 4th house: wounds which occur in childhood, an unstable home life, the feeling of being unloved, separation from the parents, feeling unable to keep a family together. And yet Edith is quoted as saying, “My life when I was a kid might strike you as awful, but actually it was beautiful.”
There is a beautiful side to having Chiron placed inside your 4th House, even with the pain it causes you. Your family contained teachers, healers, and servants for humanity. They sought to teach, heal, and empower other people, including you – for although you feel like a difficult separation from others in your family, they loved you very much. In order to move past your personal wounds you first need to acknowledge the close family ties you do have. You need to remind yourself that you are loved, accepted, and supported by your family; you may not believe it, but it is there! In doing this you can numb your pain, if only just a little. In the second phase where you actually begin healing, you must first learn to help others move past the traumas from their own childhood. Should you have children of your own, you will work hard to make sure they do not grow up in the same climate of familial hardship you did. The pain you feel in your own private life is what compels you to help other people with theirs. Your home becomes a place of healing, of valuable lessons, and of empowerment, for both you and them.
Most people go through a rebellious phase when they are children, or teenagers, or when they decide to start a family of their own. You are no stranger to rebellion against traditional family values or conservative views in your family. You have always felt like you do not belong in the family you were born into because you are so different from the rest of them. With that in mind, it is so surprise when you decide you would rather be off on your own. The 4th House represents how you view events in the past and in your childhood, your family, your home life, and your relationship with your parents growing up. Uranus is a planet of spontaneous action, erratic movements, changeability, and originality. With this planet placed here you have experienced your home and family life as unstable, unstructured, and on the verge of revolution always. Tossed on the waves of erratic emotions, moving often, making and breaking ties, you grew up shipwrecked on an unfamiliar isle.
Growing up, your childhood was different than everyone else’s. Your family was unusual and different, perhaps even weirdly so. Your parents were not the most conventional, and neither was your home growing up. This placement is common for those who do not have a traditional family structure; it is common to have an eclectic mix of step-family and extended family members. Your early life was unstable. Your family was disrupted by sudden changes, some of which forced you to move often. It is in part due to the nature of your parents, whom you saw as unpredictable, wildly emotional people. They may have felt “trapped” by becoming a parent, appeared and disappeared from the house often, or it could have just been a part of their nature. But their unpredictable changeability defiantly affected you growing up. You found it difficult to have a close emotional relationship with one or both parents. You may have even seen them suffer some kind of nervous breakdown at some point in your childhood. More positively, you saw their genius, their originality, their free-thinking and open-minded way of approaching the world. You learned not to judge and how to accept people. Your family was different. And in more ways than one, you were different from them.
You do not feel like you belong in your family. In many ways you simply do not fit in with the rest of them (you have different beliefs, different values, different ways of seeing the world) which makes you feel like an alien in a foreign land. You stand out as an individual unbound by the traditions passed down from your ancestors. Unlike other, more domestic people, who cling to their parent’s sides and to their pocketbooks well into adulthood, who are nostalgic about the past at every turn, you have no problem living independently. You prefer to sever all ties to your parents and to the past and venture out completely on your own, never relying on family for anything. Because of your different world views, your rebelliousness, and your need to act spontaneously in and out of the home, you tend to be disruptive. It is hard on you because you want to be free to change and do as you please, and you get frustrated when they smother you. You have a much better relationship with your parents when you are not too closely bound. You need to deviate from your family tree and go your own way, setting out on a completely different life path than they did. All of you get along best when you live apart, giving one another the space and freedom each of you needs.
The independence and creative freedom that comes with living on your own is what you really enjoy. You need plenty of space and freedom to find the right home for yourself, one that does not infringe on your freedom or financial independence. When you do find your home, you make it all your own. There is an electric Uranian atmosphere in the home. When you were younger you likely moved around a lot, and probably still do; even when you stay in one house for a long time, you have the constant urge to rearrange and change things up in the home. You are your most original and inventive when you are at home. Many with this placement enjoy entertaining groups of friends and family in the home, which serves as a meeting place where different and radical ideas can be exchanged. A note of caution on building your house on the sand: while you may be comfortable in a home that is erratic and ever-changing, it is not a stable place to root yourself. Because of your childhood you have become accustomed to your home being inherently unstable. You can live well on this ground, but the family you build in your home need you to be more grounded.
On one hand, you reminisce on the joys of being a kid, even spending much of your adulthood living a nostalgic life. The smells of grandmother’s homemade family recipes, playing on the old family properties, holidays together, old movies and television shows you grew up watching. Days in the sunshine, years at school with friends, the neighbourhoods you played in, your old bedrooms, being artistic at home. All live in a soft spot inside of your heart that beats in fond remembrance. But on the other hand, there are the skeletons that live in your family closets. There is the alcoholism, addictions, abuse, tragedies, the difficult relationships between family members. The gossip pressed into the walls, whispers about who doesn’t get along, and what happened so many years ago. You live with family secrets but cannot speak them aloud. For they come with unwritten rules of what can and cannot be said or done, less it causes an upset in the family.
You must live with those family ghosts in silence, and sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of others. The family you were born into lives on a very subconscious, emotional level, and you must not unearth the dark of your 4th House. You experienced one or both of your parents as highly sensitive, emotional people, who flee into avenues of escapism whenever they get upset. Like your past, you are confused about how you should remember them. They were imaginative, creative, romantic, and artistic. They loved deeply and have supported you endlessly, becoming totally consumed by the love of their children and their family. As a child you idolized them. But as you grew older you were disappointed in the earthly reality of their flaws and humanity. Perhaps they were absent, either emotionally or physically, and you replaced your parent with an imagined version of them. Perhaps you saw them give all of their time and attention to other people and work, or saw their own emotional escape into alcoholism or elsewhere, and it caused you great pain. Neptune is full of illusions, delusions, confusion, and misunderstanding. While you are deeply connected on an emotional level, you do not know what you are feeling much of the time.
Neptune follows you out of the past, out of your family, and into the homes you live in as an adult. Your home will take on the watery atmosphere of this planet. Just like your bedroom as a child, your home will become a walled sanctuary in which to retreat when the world outside is too much to handle. Here, hidden in private spaces, your inner emotional world can be at peace. You will unwillingly absorb and reflect the emotional atmosphere of your home, and so should be cautious when you are choosing where to live, and with whom. Ideally your home will become a meeting place for creative, imaginative, spiritual, and artistic sessions. Alone or in your congregation, you can take on creative projects in the home and let your imagination fly. Between renovations and decorating, your home itself may become the artistic endeavor! You have an image of what your ideal home should be like, but it is so out of touch with the reality of what you can have that you are routinely disappointed in whatever home you are living in. You must work to adjust your idealized vision to a more realistic vision of what you can have, thereby erasing the disappointment that eventually befalls you.
Neptune in your 4th House sinks into a deep well of ancestral emotions. Retreating into yourself in search of comfort, you find it within the private walls of your home, fondly remembered memories, and the lush gardens of your imagination. But the veil here can hide painful memories as well, or an imagination that festers imaginary wounds. All the boundaries and barriers that separate you from your family, from the past, from your ancestors and your childhood, are dissolved into nothing when Neptune is here. You blend so completely with your family that you do not know where your tastes, opinions, thoughts, and feelings begin and theirs end. Work to bring you idolized heavenly vision of home, family, and childhood back down to earth, and try to see the past more realistically than before.
Pluto does not belong in this house. The disruptive, transformative change that she brings is not appropriate for the family home setting she is placed in. Starting when you were very small she was already present in your parent’s relationship and family history. As typically Capricorn or Scorpio-types, there were plenty of power struggles and control issues already present. You experienced your family home as intensely emotional, aggressive, manipulative, ambitious, and highly secretive. You saw sorts of alcoholism, depression, anxiety, sex, fighting, and/or drug use. You know of their secrets and emotional complexes, and always felt there were things present that were never actually spoken of. And at some point you developed your own set of emotional complexes from being abused, bullied, fought, oppressed, betrayed, or because of some traumatic event. By the end of your teenage years you had established black-and-white loyalties within your family, and began to view your past with painful memories in mind. When still young you went through a loss or separation due to death, divorce, emotional or physical distance; but you also experienced the birth of a new member into the family, either through birth or marriage.
The most difficult part of your Plutonian journey is done when you finally move out of your family home. When you are secure in your own house (with your own private spaces that are all yours), and you have some distance between yourself and your family members, you can finally begin to work through the deep emotional turmoil that lives within your subconscious mind. You spend a lot of time trying to cut yourself off from your feelings and deny how aggressive and forceful your emotions are. Outside, you try to suppress what you do not want others to see. But it is within the home that you are your most vulnerable because it is there that you amassed trauma and there that it all eventually comes out. You are destined to re-live your adult family life role-playing as your parent or oppressor as a way of gaining back the power you had lost. The ways you dominate the house and try to control everything that goes on, your “unwritten” rules, power struggles, frustration, and the subtle manipulation all mirror what was initially done to you as a child, and are now present within the home again. And yet instead of reliving the past as the one in control, you slowly watch everything fall apart despite everything you do.
You are stronger than you think you are and you can endure more than you think you can. Pluto brings destruction into whatever house she occupies - sometimes it is done forcefully through trauma and abuse, and other times it is done through transformative healing. Either way her change is a part of your spiritual and emotional growth as a person. From your struggle you have become brave. Your inner reserves of strength and fortitude last even the most devastating of hardships, and despite everything you have been through you are still standing here today. Everything you have experienced has had purpose, and that purpose was to turn you into the person you were meant to be. You had to learn lessons in change and resiliency. A newly transformed person, you have found that your entire drive, purpose, ambition, and meaning in life can be found in re-creating your 4th House in a positive light. Adversity has bred an obsessive drive and powerful instinct, an intensely loving heart and creative potency. It will even become your legacy – that memory of you that is left behind, the one that endures long after you’re gone.
It is natural when you feel the oncoming storm of Pluto to become deeply, terribly afraid. And it is natural as a response to try to control the outcome by being a dominant, controlling, power-hungry force to be reckoned with. Yet as long as you live this way your emotional complexes will never be gone. You must instead focus on the healing aspect of Pluto. It takes enormous courage to face your demons and be honest with yourself. To look into your emotional darkness and seek not to destroy the monsters that lie there, but to understand them with empathy and compassion; and then, in overcoming your fears, be kind to yourself. You may not forgive what has been done to you, and you may never trust those people again. But you can take small steps to becoming a better person, starting today.