Astrology 101: Planetary Rulerships and Connections Among Houses

Here’s where we finally circle back around to the technique that I hinted at when we looked at the concept of Planetary Rulership a few posts back in this series…

I’ll start by refreshing that notion of rulership… Each Planet has a special affinity for one or two of the Signs – astrologers will say that the Planets “rule” these Signs with which they share these affinities. For example, the Moon rules the Sign of Cancer…the Sun rules Leo…Mars rules Aries… When placed in a Sign that it rules, a Planet can then perform its functions with a sort of enhanced purity and power. Such placements tend to take on added significance in a chart.

This table lays out the most commonly used modern rulership assignments:

Sign

Glyph

Modern Planetary Ruler

Glyph

Aries

Mars

Taurus

Venus

Gemini

Mercury

Cancer

Moon

Leo

Sun

Virgo

Mercury

Libra

Venus

Scorpio

Pluto (traditional Ruler = Mars)

Sagittarius

Jupiter

Capricorn

Saturn

Aquarius

Uranus (traditional Ruler = Saturn)

Pisces

Neptune (traditional Ruler = Jupiter)

We can also take this concept a step further, and use it to spot subtle but definite connections between various Houses. This works in one of two ways:

1. Cusp to Ruling Planet. Start by looking at the Sign that lies on the cusp of any given House that interests you (remember that the cusp is just the line that divides the House in question from the House that came before it).

Travel the chart of a traveler: Amelia Earhart's H9 cusp (1) lies in the Sign of Sagittarius (2)...Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter (3), which lies in her H5...so her H9 affairs are powerfully connected to her H5 experiences and vice versa...
Travel the chart of a traveler, House cusp to Planet: Amelia Earhart’s H9 cusp (1) lies in the Sign of Sagittarius (2)…Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter (3), which lies in her H5…so her H9 affairs are powerfully connected to her H5 experiences and vice versa (4)…

Let’s use vanished aviator Amelia Earhart as our example in all this. Since it’s the Ninth House that contains our experiences in the realm of long journeys, it might be interesting to examine H9 in the chart of this renowned world traveler.

As it turns out, Amelia Earhart’s Ninth House contains no Planets. As we’ve already discussed, this likely just means that the evolutionary, karmic business that she came into this lifetime to work on was happening in other arenas in her life…

But so how do we proceed here…? Remember that as we discussed in previous posts, even with no Planets to guide us in interpreting the workings of a specific House, we can still get some information about that House by studying its cusp. Here, Amelia Earhart’s H9 cusp lies in the Sign of Sagittarius. This is a Sign brimming with explorer-type energy, so it lines up extremely well with the House of Long Journeys. This Sign and this House are almost like two units in a set of matching luggage.

And here’s how we use the rulership technique to acquire a bit more applicable data… The Sign of Sagittarius is ruled by the Planet Jupiter. The idea here, then, is that the affairs of the House that has Sagittarius on its cusp (H9 in this example) will be connected to the affairs of the House in which Jupiter resides. In this same chart, that would be Ms. Earhart’s H5: the House of literal children, metaphorical “children” (the things we create), and joy in general. So we might conclude that some of Amelia Earhart’s truest joy (H5) was bound up in her long journeys (H9)…and possibly also that her long journeys (H9) served for her as “children” of a sort. She had no biological offspring of her own, but maybe each long journey was, for her, like a work of art that she crafted and brought into being (H5)…

2. Ruling Planet to Cusp. We can also work in the opposite direction. That is, we can start with any Planet… Next, anticipate that the House in which that Planet lies will be connected to the House whose cusp is located in the Sign that the same Planet rules.

Here’s another example from Ms. Earhart’s birth-chart that will hopefully make that more clear…

Same chart, Planet to cusp: Saturn (1) in Amelia Earhart's H7 rules Capricorn (2)...Capricorn in this chart contains the cusp of H10 (3)...so Ms. Earhart's H7 and H10 share a profound connection in her life...
Same chart, Planet to House cusp: Saturn (1) in Amelia Earhart’s H7 rules Capricorn (2)…Capricorn in this chart contains the cusp of H10 (3)…so Ms. Earhart’s H7 and H10 share a profound connection in her life…

Let’s pick one of the Planets that resides in her H7, the House of Partnerships. One of these is Saturn. There are other Planets in this House, but let’s keep this simple for now, and focus only on that one. Saturn happens to rule the Sign of Capricorn…and in Amelia Earhart’s chart, Capricorn contains the cusp of her Tenth House, which is the House of career, public reputation, the person’s mission in life.

This connection then implies that Amelia’s primary partnerships were inextricably linked with her life’s work, and her life’s work had major influence on her primary partnerships – probably more so than for most people. We know that her husband (an H7 partner) had to accept that their marriage would in many ways take a supporting and subordinate role to Amelia’s career (H10) as a famed aviator: she kept her own surname after they were wed, she refused to halt or even slow her work following the union, and he eventually ended up working in a flight school that she established in California. Meanwhile, her chosen career (H10) determined who quite a few of her other primary partners (H7) would be in her life (mostly drawn from her field of aviation). Again, we can trace connections flowing between two Houses due to this principle of Planetary Rulership connecting them.

So the technique here says that we can look at any House in a chart, and that House will be significantly connected in the life of the chart-holder to whichever House contains the Planetary Ruler of the Sign that lies on the cusp of that initial House that we were analyzing.

One last note… Sometimes you’ll find a Planet residing in the Sign of its own rulership. For instance, in Amelia Earhart’s chart, her Sun lies in Leo – the Sign that it rules – in her Fourth House. On the one hand, this doesn’t allow us to link her H4 affairs with another House in the chart using the technique described above…but on the other hand, it does tell us that H4 affairs were most likely of highly magnified importance in her life.

It can be easy to get a bit lost in this technique once you start to explore it. One House will lead you to another, to another, to yet more Houses… As you experiment with it, though, you’ll start to get a feel for when it can grant you valuable new insight, versus when it just has you scattering your energy like a cat chasing a laser-pointer’s red dot. Try playing around with it, and if you feel like it’s providing some helpful information, you can add it to your toolbox, and if it’s just distracting you, you can set it aside for later, or even discard it and focus on other techniques…

3 thoughts on “Astrology 101: Planetary Rulerships and Connections Among Houses

    1. Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad this article worked for you, as I was afraid this one might have been tougher to follow than most. If this one was clear enough, though, then it’ll hopefully be smooth sailing from here on out!

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