Houses of the Moon


IN MERCURY AND GEMINI, mental application is explored, and one gains understanding of how their environment works. Then, in the wheel of the zodiac, comes the understanding of where one belongs in this equation— here we find the Moon, and Cancer.

IN THE BEGINNING, the Biblical earth was without form and void, eager to take on an "eidos." Empty and without purpose- but a void, a vacuum, creates suction. This is the reason why Cancer was seen as the Ascendant of the cosmos in the thema mundi. Cancer seeks value and purpose; something to give form to its existence, indicating where it belongs. Vettius Valens wrote, "Those so born [Sun in Cancer] will be fond of repute, popular, changeable, theatrical, cheerful, fond of pleasure and entertaining, public, inconstant in knowledge, saying one thing but thinking another, those who do not remain with one activity for too long, who end up wandering and sojourning abroad." All of these themes manifest in the different placings of the Moon.

SHINING BY REFLECTED LIGHT, the Moon is the key to our inner emotions, particularly our need for emotional security. This is the closest body to our earth and as such, it transmits and grounds many effluences. The Moon describes one's emotional nature, instinctual behaviour, unconscious response patterns, and sense of home and family. It symbolizes our dependent needs, and conversely our desire to nurture and care for others. It represents the people we depend on and our capacity to be an assisting, helpful, caring individual. It also is a key to our home, our roots, and our sensitivities. Wherever the Moon is (by house and sign), we want to nurture or be nurtured, to make emotional connections with others. The Moon represents the capacity for function and experience. It is related to the everyday pattern of living, ever fluctuating. It is described as the psyche, the essence of one's person.

THE MOON GODDESS SELENE reflects the light of her brother, as poetically phrased by Manilius writing in the 1st century, "...the 3rd house acknowledges the Moon as mistress, who beholds her brother's realms, shining on her from the other side of the heavens..." (Astronomica 2.910-17).

Under the auspices of the Moon Goddess, in the ancient tradition, those who have planets in the 3rd house "receive revelations from a god, and they prognosticate the future, and they prepare sacrifices, prayers, or votive offerings” (Valens' Anthology, 4.15). In Egyptian tradition, the sky goddess Isis (depicted on the right) became seen as a Moon goddess in Greco-Roman tradition.

A PROMINENT MOON— in one of the Angular houses— caters to the public and their needs, knowing how to please. When examining the placement of the Moon, several things must be acknowledged. The house; whether or not the Moon is "afflicted" by difficult aspects; and whether it is in or out of sect. Using this example, if an Angular house Moon is afflicted, more empathy and consideration for others must be practiced.


MOON IN THE 1ST HOUSE — One with this placement will likely be close to the mother, having a very sensitive, nurturing disposition. Feelings are centered in the Martian area of the chart, and thus it is difficult to get away from emotions. Everything depends on how they feel, though they believe they are thinking. This position makes an individual desirious of acceptance, looking for a place to belong, often seeking approval. There is resentment if they aren't appreciated. A great deal of vital force is dissipated into wishing things were different, but they lack the courage to make things so. They are apt to live in emotions of the moment rather than taking in the big perspective.

With the malefics afflicting the Moon, this individual may become a loner, insisting on needing no one. If the Moon is out of sect, the feelings tend to be subjugated, repressed or given a more "respectable" mode of expression. Depending upon other indications, there may be a tendency to not respect other's boundaries, and possibly this can work in reverse as well, where one's personal space is invaded. If the Moon is feral or void of course, the individual is lacking a motive, and wanders aimlessly. If however the Moon is strong and dignified or received by benefics, the individual finds favor with the public and prospers with the help of others.

MOON IN THE 2ND HOUSE — Shrewd and acquisitive. Material possessions are important for the emotional security they bring to this individual. They can be very stingy, but also veer to the other side and be over generous. With a well-founded sense of security, they probably benefit from the resources of relatives. They tend to acumulate odds and ends and may be a collector. If the Moon is out of sect and afflicted, security and self-esteem suffers. The changeable nature of livelihood is amplified. This individual finds it a challenge to give and receive and to share. This is because the "Other" (Plato), which is of a dyadic nature, can be contrary to the consistency needed for building self esteem in youth.

MOON IN THE 3RD HOUSE — Emotional type of mind. Dreamy and wool gathering. The Moon's contrariety stimulates a great variety of possible circumstances in this person's immediate environment, and they may be easily swayed by their environments. They absorb through listening, through others. Unstable and lacking in continuity and staying power. Dislikes routine of any kind.

If the Moon is dignified or received, then this individual has great intuitive insight and a powerful oracular vision. They may have great talent for oratory or writing because of the connection the mind has available to emotions through words. If the Moon is out of sect, debilitated or afflicted, then reason and emotion will struggle against each other. Daily changes in circumstances become very destabilizing and may create mental nervousness, an inability for agreement among siblings, and frequent stays away from home.

Drawing down the religious dogma of the 9th house, this house puts it into practice through religious observances, sacred rites, and divination. Vettius Valens writes that, "if the Moon is lord of the Ascendant or of Fortune, and is located in the 3rd house along with the Sun, the native will be a priest or priestess of the greatest goddess. If the Moon is with Jupiter, he will be a prophet” (Anthology 2.14).

The 3rd house is also connected with dreams as a means of divination. Greek tradition recounts how each night, Selene would visit her lover Endymion, who was eternally young in a state in slumber, deep within a mountain cave. She bore him 50 daughters and 1 son, and this tale passes on the astronomical knowledge of 51 draconic months in an eclipse cycle. There was a cult of Selene in southern Greece with a dream oracle which suppliants would consult in sleep. The goddess would reveal in dreams whatever they wished to know.

Mercury also holds an important influence in regard to 3rd house matters, even though he rejoices in the 1st. In Greek-ruled Egypt, during the era when Hellenistic astrology was being formulated, Hermes was assimilated to Thoth, god of the Moon, astronomy, scribe, and diviner of the mysteries. They merged into the composite figure of Hermes Trismegistus, whom later Hellenistic astrologers cited as the fountainhead of astrology, alchemy, and magic. This syncretism points to an implicit connection between the intuitive divinatory powers of the Moon and the rational intellect of Mercury that finds its highest expression in the 3rd house.

MOON IN THE 4TH HOUSE — Self concerned instincts dominate. "Me" and "mine" is the motivating force- this individual has to learn to project feelings beyond the periphery of self interest. They are apt to insulate themself from reality. In the roots of the being is much insecurity and uncertainty. This is because, even if dignified or received, the home environment changes much, unless a Fixed sign takes on the matters of the subterraneous place. That is due to the contrariety of the Moon, often associated with Plato's "Other." There is an inner desire for peace but one must go beyond the personality to find it.

MOON IN THE 5TH HOUSE — In many cases this individual wears their heart on their shirtsleeve, being unusually open with their emotions and strongly emotional where affections are concerned, with a constant search for pleasure. They desire attention because of their need to feel important. However, they also possess a great deal of charm. The Moon's contrariety of disposition creates shifts and many "ups and downs" in romance and social life; this individual vacillates in moods, inconstant in love. Cultivation of the will is needed. A poetic imagination flourishes.

If the Moon is of sect, and dignified or received, then they will be fortunate in love and romance. They may have a talent for picking stocks and for selling short. If the Moon is out of sect, then there is increased inhibition in expressing one's feelings, and one may be inclined to love from a safe distance, keeping their feelings secret. This is even more the case if Saturn should square or oppose the Moon, or the Moon is in some sort of debility.

MOON IN THE 6TH HOUSE — This placing is indicative of frequent changes of employment due to the Moons contrariety. If the Moon is dignified or received, especially if by the lord of the 10th, the frequent changes take the form of quick advancement towards goals, particularly when the Moon is a chronocrator for the times. Since the Moon is of the nature of Plato's "Other", it is not likely that they will want a steady routine, unless there is some need for security indicated by an Earth sign here or a strong aspect to Saturn. Job security can become an issue, particularly if the Moon is out of sect, debilitated or afflicted. In the views of the ancient world, Paulus Alexandrinus says of this place, "When the Moon happens to be upon this place, it will make one born of a slave, beggar, needy, or obscure mother who is the lowest of all, and sometimes it will cause him to be motherless."

MOON IN THE 7TH HOUSE — Very sensitive and responsive to the needs of others. The Moon changes its course often; so do individuals with the Moon in this house. This is often an indication of someone who needs companionship and should not try to go it alone- they can't be a lone wolf. Feelings must take in fellow feelings. According to Paulus: "When the Moon obtains the seventh zoidion from the horoskopos as its lot, it will make for a life abroad. And if it should be found in the damp signs, when the birth is during the day, it will make shipowners, pilots, sailors, ones who spend their lives as merchant-seamen..." Here, the Moon's contrarian nature creates frequent change and a need for something outside the self that becomes stronger the older they get. If the Moon is afflicted or debilitated here, or as lord of the 7th, it can signify a partner who becomes overly dependant, demanding and clingy, who does not respect personal space.

MOON IN THE 8TH HOUSE — Keyword: dependency. This individual can be too vulnerable, and must sacrifice feelings so that they may learn to live impersonally. Very sensitive to social currents and social demands. If the Moon is debilitated or afflicted, often it seems that there is no one to depend on. This is one of the classic indicators of difficulties in relationships. This is because emotions are in aversion to this person, and the nature of the "Other" is in aversion to the self.

MOON IN THE 9TH HOUSE — This person's journeys will be many. There will be many varied experiences that enable the personality to build a philosophy of life. Inner philosophy is found through feelings and devotion to one's ideal. Dreams and visions can be of great significance, for this person is able to dream true, if the Moon is not heavily affected. And if the Moon is dignified or received, especially if it is in sect, then the nature of Plato's "Other" is magnified, so that the native sees a new truth for themself, that may not be yet accepted by others. The Moon here is often and indication of writing talent and an ability to appeal to others at large. Imagination runs very high. According to Paulus: "...when the Moon is present there, making an application to one of the malefics, or to the star of Hermes, it makes for those who live abroad". This was a much less positive outcome in ancient times than it is today, where being made to live away from home was often like a death sentence.

MOON IN THE 10TH HOUSE — Highly self protective, this individual can't live for themself: Frequently there is tension between maintaining the public persona and keeping the private life private, feeling like they live in a fishbowl, very exposed. It is as if they make their own social "usefulness," their reputation, the most important thing in their life. The "Other" creates a dyadic influence, indicating sensitivity to change. Feelings too often are dominated by desire for achievement. If the Moon is dignified or received, especially if it is of the sect, these individuals are often well-liked because they are sensitive to others' needs. Because the Moon is a primary significator for fortune, wealth is a potent symbol here, and because the 10th is highly visible this tends to show those with a fair amount of popularity. If afflicted, or out of sect or in debility, there is usually difficulty in holding onto a job, or there is considerable sacrifice of personal time for the sake of work.

MOON IN THE 11TH HOUSE — Because the Moon is functioning well here in this condition, and because the Moon represents feelings and emotions, they may have an unusual sensitivity to the emotions of others. Frequently they prefer private gatherings to large social events as they tend to feel too exposed and vulnerable in large crowds. This is much worse when the Moon is debilitated or in affliction, where in extreme cases it represents agoraphobia. Yet the opposite can also be indicated. Then, the accolades of a large audience are needed. A large group of acquaintances will be present, with few intimate relationships. However, this much depends upon the cosmic state of the Moon: assume the latter if the Moon is in a Fire sign, heating up activity. Water and Earth signs will cool the Moon even further, lessening activity, and they prefer quiet and more intimate friendships.

MOON IN THE 12TH HOUSE — A tendency to neglect one's true feelings is of note. Often they are not even aware of them. Usually, this person is uncomfortable around intense displays of emotion. Serve or suffer is the keynote here. If this individual helps those who are limited and afflicted, they will not suffer limitation and restriction themself. If the Moon is strongly dignified or received, especially if in sect, then this person has a very active subconscious, a sensitivity open to the feelings and instincts of others.