Today, we're diving deep into the meaning of the 12 houses in astrology, but with a special focus on how these meanings apply when analyzing the charts of young children and retirees. I often receive questions about how to interpret these houses when career dynamics are less central, and I'm excited to explore this topic comprehensively. Whether you're a student of astrology or simply curious about horoscopes, this episode promises valuable insights into the nuanced meanings of the houses during different phases of life.
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Hey everyone, this is Adam Elenbaas from Nightlight Astrology. Today, we are going to talk about the meaning of the 12 houses and do a review of the topics of the 12 houses. Specifically, considering what we think about those houses and their meanings when we're looking at the charts of young children and also, I should say, people who have retired.
I get these questions a lot. Whenever we do horoscopes, it's like, Yeah, but what about if I want to look at my kid's chart? How does career make any sense for my seven-year-old, right? Or maybe a lot? Actually, quite a few of our viewers are in the retirement phase of life, and so the question has come to me many times, hey, look, I feel a little left out here. Because when you do horoscopes, you're not really mentioning what the meanings of these houses could be for someone who's no longer, you know, grinding and hustling out there trying to earn a living, or maybe that phase of life career is over.
Or for those people who, you know, for example, there's a lot of people who are career parents, right? So, do we look at the 10th house in the same way? I get a lot of these kinds of questions. So I thought, let's look at the meanings of the houses today from the standpoint of, let's say, cutting out the middle portion of life where it's like young adulthood through retirement if we just put it bracket it that way. The house meanings are pretty consistent during that period.
But what about early youth, and then what about the retirement phase of life? Do the house meanings change at all? So that's what we're gonna take a look at today. I think you guys will enjoy this. It'll be something for all of you out there who are studying astrology or those of you who like to listen to horoscopes and, and, you know, I'll do my best to also try to touch on and include these kinds of topics in the horoscopes themselves. So yeah, it's something that has been a little unconsciously left out on my part. So we'll we'll make sure we do a better job with that.
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All right, let's take a look at the houses. Now. I'm just going to throw up the real-time clock, and I'm going to highlight the houses, and off we go. So we're going to talk about the meanings of the houses and how they can be understood in relation to the different stages of life, and for most people, when they hear me talking about the house meanings and horoscopes, you're getting a pretty mundane level of interpretation. It becomes very nuanced when we're doing birth chart readings or more sophisticated delineations through forecasting techniques and so forth.
So, you know, horoscopes are always simplified. They cannot take into consideration the nuances of the birth chart. But they can give you some useful information, and if you listen to your rising sign horoscope, the house, and the houses will align with the whole sign version of your birth chart, which is what ancient astrologers use; they use whole sign houses.
So it becomes a very effective way of looking at where the transits are moving in your big transits of the month and how they're moving through your chart every month, which is why I always tell people I recommend for horoscopes listening to your rising sign.
But regardless, the house meanings are going to be mostly the same for everyone in the middle portion of life, let's say, you know, 18, leaving home going to college, all the way through, say, retirement, they largely take on the same meanings. But what happens if you're in, you know, you're seven years old, or you're ten years old, or what happens if you are, you're finished with the working phase of life, and you're in retirement.
So, let's go through the angular house meanings first, and I'm going to use some of the traditional Indian ideas from early Indian astrology to help us understand. So, the first house in Indian astrology is sometimes called Dharma, which is related to this philosophical category of Dharma, Artha, and Kama Moksha, and these are four philosophical areas of life that all humans are naturally inclined to pursue. Dharma is the sense of who I am and what is natural to me. You could say, from a first house astrological point of view.
People have been talking about the word Dharma and what it means for a long time; it has many different meanings. But one of the loose translations of the word is like a good duty. But this is a kind of duty that's innate to your character, to your soul, to your karma, to your body, and so at all stages of life, first, house transits have to do with the formation and shaping of character, as well as the formation and shaping of our bodies and it also has to do with our vitality and our health. That stands at any stage of life.
So there's not much that really changes about the first house throughout the different stages of life and ages of life. It always has to do with your character and your sense of what you're here to do in whatever stage of life you are in what feels innate, what feels true, what feels authentic, and what feels like maybe a sacred sense of duty or service, but not so much in terms of a career as much as it is, in terms of the way, it's more about the way you're actually living about the character that you're inhabiting, like, if you were an actor on a stage, this is how well can I inhabit the character that I meant to play and that is true for all stages of life.
In the early stage of life, let's say before, you know, our 20s, a lot of the first house has to do with the shaping and earliest formation of character, becoming conscious of who we are, and what role we're here to play and the rest of the life in some ways is about refining it, at a later stage in life might be a little bit more about harvesting the lessons that we've learned from the role that we've played, and also reflecting on and releasing elements of character that, you know, are ready to be released.
I think, you know, the people that are, I know, in retirement, who are the most interesting in at least in my life, have been those who have not stopped asking, Who am I? How am I evolving and changing? Because it's an important question that we carry with us from this lifetime into wherever our soul journeys next. So that would be the first house dharma. Let's go through the rest of the angular houses.
So we go to the 10th house, and we get to the place that in Indian astrology, sometimes referred to as artha, and there's, you know, again, like, there's 1000s of years of people writing thinking and talking about this philosophical area of life. Robust, you know, almost like a, almost like if you were to enter into in academia, it's like entering into a conversation that has 1000 years of footnotes, you know, artha though, loosely means the pursuit of success or mastery within recognized hierarchies, like for example, how good of a musician Am I relative to most musicians?
So mastery, rank achievement, but also power, wealth, fame, there can be ways in which we pursue in all human beings are said to, you know, pursue these areas. So the 10th house, when you're little, it may not be about career because career is just one way that we have of talking about the pursuit of societal relevance and recognition.
Some people never aspire to be famous, but they may aspire to feel like they're doing something that matters; maybe what they're doing matters only to their family. But it's about taking pride in the work that you do while you're doing it. How good you are at what you do, what it's earned you in the world, what little moral or spiritual or physical, you know, trophies you have in your little trophy case, so to speak.
So artha can be really twisted, you know, this 10th house can be the place where people seek dominion over other souls. It can also be a place where we lose our Dharma, our sense of who we are in the pursuit of wealth and fame and success or mastery. Upward mobility can take us away from our truest selves, and so there's a natural tension between Dharma and Artha; we ideally want to be who we are and do things that we feel are respected or respectable.
We want to gain mastery, but not at the cost of our soul. You know, that kind of thing? I want to be a good astrologer while still being Adam, you know. So Artha looks a little different for children, you know, than it does adults, than it does someone who's retired. This sphere of life, when you're a little child, may have to do with just starting to develop a sense of what we could do that we could become good at that we like doing; that's also the question of Dharma comes in. What's me, and what can I do to achieve something or do something respectable? Or gain some kind of mastery.
As kids, we're trying things on, and as kids, we're also gaining some of our first socially recognized success at school, through our families, and through the communities that we belong to; how are we being recognized? How do we stand out? What are we struggling with in that area, too? It's not just some people who think, well, you know, my, my kid is really struggling at school, that might be because of the transits that are happening to the 10th house ruler, or planets in the 10th, that are going through a turbulent period where a child is struggling to feel like they're good at anything, or they have any degree of respect and, you know. Melissa over there is doing Beyonce moves on stage and singing at the top of her lungs on America's Got Talent, you know what I mean.
But we all humans have the desire to do something and to play a role socially. So we have a character that we're embodying in the first house, and that character is it needs its own development. It's like I need to play Adam well. So that's the first house can consideration, and it involves my health and my body too, and the 10th house is I need to play a role out in the world well, and then I might also have to deal with various urges for power or wealth or success or domination, I may have to contend with those issues in my soul on some level.
Now, those kinds of considerations are also going on for people who are retired. It's not like they just stop. When you're retired, you may not be seeking that kind of, let's call it, like a validation. You may not be seeking recognition, validation, or success in a career any longer. Maybe you feel like you've already reached the mountaintop.
But the same area of life is still active. How am I relevant? Now that I'm, you know, like in India, it's like the Vanaprastha Ashram; it's like I've retreated into the woods, so to speak, you know, I'm not in the city any longer in the hustle and bustle, even if you live in the city, you get what I'm saying that these are metaphors. So, what makes me socially relevant? How do I play a continued role socially?
For some people, the answer will be I don't, I'm not interested, in which case it becomes about how you stay engaged with a social reality. Now, for some people who have charts that are strongly aligned with other houses and other areas, there may be very little that's keeping you in the world in retirement that gives you any reason or interest to be active, and that will depend mostly on your chart if you have a busy 10th house a very powerful or prominent 10th, house ruler, etc, or even a powerful sun sign somewhere in the upper hemisphere.
Sometimes, the urge to be a part of society, Society! It's been too long, okay, sorry, I just had to get it out. So. So still there will be some inclination to be involved in the greater society that you are a part of and however peripheral it is, or in whatever interesting ways you are involved in remember, this can be very subtle to be to suddenly take up the mantle of grandmother, and I am going to be a grandmother.
Although that seems like it's something isolated within a nuclear family or a family of origin, and it might seem like it's a fourth house thing. When we start taking up a socially recognized label, I'm a grandmother now where I'm really spending time in retirement, being a grandparent, or something like that, that's still a 10th house issue in terms of how we identify in the greater social world that we're a part of.
Broadly speaking, the 10th house can also be about what we do, that gives us a sense of relevance and importance. It bestows upon us a mantle of pride socially, like, you know, when someone says, How are you doing in retirement, and it's a friend, you say, I don't know, like, I have a, there's a grandmother in our family who knits and she loves to knit, you know. She's very proud of that, and she has friends that she does it with, and so on.
So the point is that there are still ways in which we perceive our lives as socially relevant, and the things we're doing bestow our life with a sense of participating in something that has a social history behind it. Knitting is a craft that has a long history behind it of social relevance. I mean, maybe it's not as relevant to like knitting or stitching or weaving or something like that, you know, it's like, people just go to the store and they buy a scarf or something.
But you get the point, which is that the 10th house will always grant us a sense of doing something that's socially important. Now, for some people in retirement, there's going to be a phase change, where that might look more spiritual, or that might be something you're doing that looks very different from what you did while you were working, and so I always look to transits; important transits around the time of retirement will maybe start to signal, what kinds of things are going to take up your time.
The 10th house in ancient Greek was called praxis, which also just means activity, but it has the implication of activity that is joined to the world somehow. So think about it that way.
All right, let's go on to the seventh house. So the seventh house is going to be about our social, back to the Indian concept is called kama. So that's like the Kama Sutra, its pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, and happiness. Sensual, usually. So, there's a sphere of human activity that has to do with sensual gratification.
Now, most people only think of the seven houses of marriage and relationships, which is actually pretty far from the original meaning of the seventh house, which was called the setting place and was related to the nocturnal hours and the gods and times of celebration. It's a very Diocletian house in a sense where the nighttime deconstructs the daytime, and the concerns of the daytime world fade as those of the nighttime world are on the rise, and the nighttime is the realm of Venus and the stars and the moon. It's a very feminine space, and it's much more concerned with relationship.
That doesn't mean the seventh house is the house of relationship. Right? That would be an incredibly narrow way for an ancient mystic to think about this place. This horizon will place Yes; it can mean relationships because the evening and the nocturnal space where things are put to bed, the stars are put to rest, and the evening lights rise is associated with love and sex with romance. But also broadly speaking with the worship of gods and with evening ecstatic drum circles and concerts, you don't say I'm going to a concert this morning, you say I'm going to a concert this evening, most of us don't say I'm going out for glasses of wine with my friends before I go to work this morning. At least, I hope not. You say I'm going this evening after work is over. So the seventh house as the place that puts the daytime to bed and ushers in the nighttime, and those evening stars Venus's favorite place, the western sky.
This is associated with Venusian things, the pursuit of happiness, and ecstasy, which could be religious in nature; it could be sexual in nature. But every human pursues that area of life, and when you're a kid, that looks a little bit different than when you're an adult; it looks a little bit different than when you're in retirement. But the underlying principle is the same, this area of life is something that we all pursue.
Now, you go down to the fourth house, you know, what I think we'll do, because I think this is going to be, I'm going to just we're going to start with the angular houses, and then I'm going to do separate videos on the other on the succedent and the cadent houses because I think that this will make for a really fun series if we break it up just a little bit and I also realize this is just the truth.
When I'm going like this, and I start to get this feeling, I'm like, Okay, if I keep going, the remaining eight houses will not get as nice a treatment as these will because I'll start to run out of steam and I'll start thinking about the client, I've gotta go see in a little bit, you know, blah, blah, blah. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to finish with the fourth house, the angular house. So we're going to go through the cadent, or declining, and the succedent houses in separate videos; that'll be really fun. So don't worry, those will come really soon. But this at least gets us started.
So, the fourth house is called Moksha, and broadly speaking, again, all of these areas are areas of life that human beings all pursue. There's no one that's like an exception to this rule, even if you're a renunciate. What are you renouncing? I'm renouncing the natural drive and instinct that I have to seek pleasure or sex, right? You see what I mean? Or if you're a religious person who renounces the power structures of the world, well, you still have to admit that there's an inclination toward those things that you're wrestling with and discarding based on your principles, right? So all of these areas of life are innate, and there's a kind of noble way to relate to these areas of life that is in integrity, and there's a way to get lost in these areas of life through, you know, lust and vanity and, you know, power and stuff like that.
Well, Moksha represents the desire to be free from this world. The most basic level at which we seek this release from the world is every night we go to sleep, and we are released; slumber is like a little mini-death; the fourth house was associated with death as well. It was also associated with the transmigration of the soul out of this body and into another body because the sun, in this place, has gone all the way around the wheel, and it will commence rising again. So this is called the resting place, but also a place from which all things emerge again.
We go home, the fourth house as Moksha; home is a moksha, or a place of release from the world, our bedrooms, our sleep at night, the resting of being at home, and then we leave home and go out into the world all over again, this is how people have been doing it for 1000s of years, of course, now a lot of us, we rise in the morning, and we go to a room in the house where we work remotely, you know, so, but you get the idea. It's the alternation between resting and release and engaging in working, and this is the place of release.
So it's associated with home. But that does not mean the fourth house is the house of home. Thinking about it that way, we lose the essence of the house that actually gives us a much broader spectrum of ideas to work with when applying them to reading charts. These are things we go over in my programs.
Fourth house Moksha release now, that could be as in depth, as in departure from the world, as in solitude, as in retreat, as in the pursuit of enlightenment and release from the material world altogether. But also, it's the place of rest that has a long-standing relationship with home and family as a place of retreat from the world and a place of solace.
So everyone pursues that it has a relationship to that at all stages of life. It might look different for, you know, a child in the same way that, like, what does pleasure look like in retirement versus what did it look like at 20, very different considerations. But there's still the same concern, philosophically speaking, that the soul is naturally drawn to engage with the question of pleasure in the seventh.
Similarly, when you're a child, so much of what you're working with, I mean, I see this in the, for example, my daughter's chart; she has a sun in the fourth house, and she is so deeply interested in what mommy and daddy do and are interested in, and she'll talk about how school and, you know, the world and stuff like this makes her kind of tired, and when she gets home, she gets energy.
That's very common for a fourth-house sun. In childhood, the relationship with home and family might be very literal, developmental and, psychological, and related to your mother and father. But it also has to do with how the child is seeking a sense of release; you could call that release also a sense of safety. Because the fourth house is not so much like a safe, secure little fort, as much as it is a released state of flow, and ideally, home provides that for us, we get home, and we can be ourselves, and we can flow, and we're uninhibited, and that's like a homeostasis more than a static image of security if that makes sense.
Security often invokes a sense of protected hard defenses. This is more a place of fluid release. So if safety aligns with that, you're getting closer to the fourth house; well, that's a concern for all of us at all ages and stages of life. In retirement, the fourth house may become much more amplified, for example, as our life is seeking; Moksha is what the last stage of life was about in, broadly speaking, in, Indian philosophy. At the end of life, we seek release from the body and from the world, and we turn to spirit, and we turn to things that go beyond this body. The exit is coming up soon now, you know, we're getting closer to the exit ramp for this body in this lifetime.
So, we are more concerned with Moksha. How do I be in flow, just natural because we're turning away from the world and the 10th house. So sometimes, archetypally, the fourth house is more active at the late stage of life. Ancient astrologers said that the fourth house was associated with the later stages of life, and the 10th house was the middle of life.
So that doesn't mean that the 10th house isn't active in retirement. But it might mean that archetypally, the priority has shifted. Not everything in our chart is active at all times equally throughout our whole lives, which is why horoscopes aren't really the best place to go for a nuanced understanding of what's going on in your life in retirement, for example, or at some other very specific stage of your life. Because the birth chart, where all the planets were and all of the transits, and the perfection year that you're in and where your zodiacal releasing periods are at is going to give you such a more detailed and nuanced picture than you know.
One of the reasons why I have such a hard time with horoscopes is because I'm really good at putting together all of the details of a birth chart along with transits and so forth; when I have to sit down and imagine what you know, this transit could mean to this house generically for 1000s of people.
What happens for me is like a list of tons and tons and tons of possibilities pop up, and it feels sort of arbitrary how you pick one or the other to tell the story. So, you try to pick themes that are going to be the most consistent and reliable, which sometimes also makes them feel rather generic, especially when you're in a very specific situation in life.
You know, I find, for example, that if I'm in the midst of something super specific that's happening in some area of my life, and I tune into horoscopes, they barely ever get anything right. Whereas if I'm just kind of, there's nothing huge going on, and I tune into a horoscope for whatever reason, the more general flavor seems to hit really easily. That's just me. I don't know. Okay, so I digress.
The point is that the fourth house might be more emphasized in retirement and in earlier stages in life. I really think about the fourth house as things like the formation of, well, for ancients, it was a house that was associated with the development of spirituality because it has to do with release from the world; how do you do that? So the other thing is that in modern astrology, we placed so much emphasis on the ninth house for spirituality or the 12th house; there are all sorts of problems with that, too.
I don't mean to demean the way that other people do things. It's just we do things very differently when you're looking at the last 2000 years of astrological history compared to the last 50 years. It's just really, really different in terms of the way that things are understood and explained, and that's mostly to do not with the fact that modern astrologers were inventing some bold new tradition but more so that they were trying to piece together a tradition that they didn't have the source texts for now we do.
So, at any rate, the fourth house is a place that helps us develop our spirituality at all stages of life, especially early in life. For children, the fourth house has a lot to do with the early formation of the idea that it is necessary and, positive, and helpful to release into states of flow and surrender from the world, and most of the time, that will be through the health of family, the difficulties that we find and having a healthy experience of release will also be related to the difficulties that we find at home and in family because it is the place physically, where most of that releasing for us from the world and its concerns take place.
Now, we need release from trying to be ourselves. We need release from Dharma. We need release from pursuing pleasure. We need release from trying to make something of our lives and pursue, you know, respectable story socially. We need to release from all of it. So this is an area of life that is so much broader actually than just home and family.
So I hope that makes sense, and I think we've done a good job today starting off the series anyway by looking at the angular houses and their meanings throughout all stages of life. So this is the start. We'll do parts two and three with the succedent and cadent houses as well.
So thank you, guys, for listening and for all of you out there who have suffered through horoscopes in retirement, not feeling like we're addressing you or where you're at, my sincere apologies, and yeah, we've heard you; I've seen the questions and comments coming in, and I've been meaning to do something like this, and also for those of you who are parents who are wondering about your kid's horoscopes, these kinds of questions do come in as well. So, hopefully, this just fills things out and also serves by doing this it serves as a reminder for me to make sure I include some of these broader considerations when you know we're doing horoscopes in the future.
Anyway, don't forget, again, that we are now in enrollment season. Be sure to check out need-based tuition if you like learning like this. Boy, our first-year program starts in November, and it is a great place to deepen your understanding of ancient astrology, learn the roots, and take your practice of astrology to the next level. I hope to see some of you there. Any questions? Email us email@example.com. We will see you guys again soon. Bye, everyone.