11th House: Receiving Love from Others

11th house

11th House in Astrology: Love Received from Others

Noel Tyl defines the 5th House as “the love we give to others,” and the opposing 11th house as the love we receive from others.

11th House Tension and “Not Feeling Lovable”

When the ruler of 11th house is under strong developmental tension (i.e. forming a hard aspect with Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto), quite often there is a feeling of “not being lovable,” based on accumulated feelings of criticism, rejection or abandonment.

As 10th house is the derivative 12th house of 11th, a problematic relationship with the father often contributes to the feeling of not being lovable. A retrograde Saturn is usually involved, and reinforces the possibility of a remote/problematic father that didn’t show affection or leadership.


Strong Need for Love

The presence of Saturn or outer planets (Uranus, Neptune or Pluto) within 11th house intensifies the need for receiving love.   You might feel frustrated, upset, sad or even enraged when your partner doesn’t meet your expectations.

Often such difficulties are signals that point out your need to be more self-reliant, expressive, spiritually fulfilled or emotionally restored.


Developing Our Ability to Receive Love

Even though it’s easy to think of “receiving love” as being entirely up to someone else’s will, in truth we play quite an active part in how much love we experience from our children, friends or partners. Sometimes being receptive to love is as much a learned skill as giving love is.

Experts say that we all differ in the way we prefer to give and receive love. The way we prefer to give love (e.g. through verbal expressions, affectionate behaviors, or tangible gifts, etc) is often the way we’d like to receive it. It’s possible that your partner is showing you many signs of his or her love for you, but you don’t recognize them because they don’t come in the form you expect.

How many signs can you find that others love you? How do you receive other people’s compliments, helpful ideas or concerns (e.g. with indifference or with appreciation)? You may realize that you’re receiving a lot more love and care from your family, friends and partner than you believed.


Photo: MizzChievouz

10th House: Finding Your Vocation

10th house10th House And Your Vocation

10th house sits at the apex of your horoscope, representing a culminating point of your personal development.  10th house urges you to find answers to questions such as “What is my calling?  How can I contribute in a way that is meaningful?”

Many people struggle to identify their vocation, often burying their true wants under layers of justifications: “I need to pay my bills, support my family…Take what jobs I can.” However, they still feel frustrated, sensing unexpressed potentials within.

When the time is right, you might feel a strong urge to find and pursue your vocation.

The first step is to identify your unique needs and strengths.


10th House and 1st House: Getting in Touch with What You Want to Do

1st house (especially Ascendant) is the focal point of your individual needs, strengths and weaknesses.  You can activate this zone by spending quality time with yourself, like journaling or taking a long walk.  A healthy 1st house helps you get in touch with your unique wants and needs, including what you want to do for work.

1st house squares (i.e. forms a 90 degree angle to) the 10th.  This tension (square) suggests the challenge inherent in blending your personal needs and your career.

In the beginning, your strengths and character are not developed enough to be effective in your true vocation – hence the need for training and personal growth implied in the rest of your horoscope.


Journeying through 1st house to the 6th house, you develop self-knowledge, confidence, communication skills, emotional intelligence, honest self-expression and a little humility.

Afterwards you’re ready, having gone through considerable personal growth, to see others and their needs with clearer eyes.


10th House and 7th House: Being Conscious of the Public’s Needs

7th house represents the Other (and the public, which is a collection of other people).  Descendant is the focal point of other people’s needs and desires.

7th house squares the 10th.  This tension suggests two things:

  1. What you offer professionally (10th house) has to match what other people really need or want (7th house).  If this is not true, you’re likely to end up with a hobby rather than a vocation.
  2. Maintaining professional integrity against what the public (e.g. clients, fans) expects can be a real challenge.  To pursue your vocation, you may even have to endure some degree of public criticism (7th house).


10th House: Where Your Talents and the World’s Needs Intersect

Your development continues on to the 8th house, where you’ll encounter other people’s deaths or your own crisis, and recognize your own mortality.

In the 9th house, you seek a larger worldview and develop a philosophy of life that encompasses the question of death and the purpose of life.

10th house is where your journey culminates.  It asks you a question:

Having these unique sets of needs, strengths and lessons learned, how do you choose to contribute to the world? 

You answer every day through the work you choose to do, and how you do it.


photo:Jim Dollar

9th House: Breaking Through Mental Limitations

9th house9th House and Your Worldview

9th house is the frontier of your mind.  A smoothly functioning 9th house usually brings about a sense of optimism and ever expanding possibility for you to learn, grow and accomplish new goals.  A poorly functioning 9th house could lead to a sense of confusion, boredom, meaninglessness and even despair in extreme cases.

Law, philosophy, religion, higher education, foreign travels and more – these diverse range of 9th house keywords all have to do with knowledge or experience that can expand our worldview.

A highly developed 9th house (a sophisticated worldview, if you will) tends to prepare one for success in the 10th house realm of career – conversely, a limited worldview (lack of higher education, for example) could limit one’s vision of success and life development.

Issues Associated with Tension in the 9th House

9th house is the derivative 12th house of the 10th.   We could say your parent’s (10th) unconscious limitations (12th house) deeply affected your worldview (9th).  For example, if a father unconsciously believes that “women should stay home and raise children,” his daughter might opt to marry when she is 18, instead of going to college – or she might choose to go to a community college instead of getting a 4 year degree.

If a ruler of your 9th house is under high developmental tension (i.e. receives a hard aspect from Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto), there is a possibility that your education might have been interrupted at some point.  If this is the case, going back to college at a later point could be an important act of completion, especially if there is a sense of regret at not having done so.

Aside from an interrupted education, there might be issues in the worldview you might’ve absorbed from your family based on ethnicity, religion, household income and so on.  Following your parents’ example, you may be placing limitation on yourself with regard to how much you’re able to succeed in life, work and relationships.

Tension in the 9th house might suggest a need for you to work hard (mentally) at breaking free of these invisible barriers that have been placed within your mind.

How to Navigate the 9th House Successfully

As stated before, 9th house is the frontier of your mind.  If you feel stymied in your life or career, the obstacle you face may be located within your mind rather than anything external.  To expand your worldview, try any of the following:

  • Travel to a foreign country.  Take the 9th house symbolism literally – it’s amazing how much you discover about your own culturally-based beliefs and assumptions while living in a foreign culture.
  • Seek wisdom from ancient & modern spiritual teachings. If you feel worn out from living in a materially-obsessed culture, this might give you an alternative perspective.
  • Learn about something that interests you.  Take a course, even go for a certification if you want to do something new professionally.
  • Question your beliefs about important things.  Money, relationship, work, health – what do you believe is possible in your life?  How is that similar or different from the beliefs exemplified by your parents?
  • Use affirmations to change core beliefs.  A phrase representing your new belief, repeated many times each day, can replace existing limiting beliefs over time.  If money is an issue, try Louise Hay’s wealth affirmations: “My income is constantly increasing” and “I prosper wherever I turn.”  For more helpful affirmations, you can read this post.


Life is full of changes, and our worldview will have to continue to evolve if we are to maintain a positive attitude amidst all the new challenges we face.  A successful navigation of 9th house can help you feel at peace regarding your place and purpose in the universe, and that in turn can help you accomplish your life’s work (10th house.)


Photo: Nicolas Raymond

8th House: Overcoming Destructive Habits

8th House8th House and the Habit of Comparison

In psychological astrology, 8th house represents “other’s values and self worth.”  Considering the fact that 8th house is always opposite from 2nd house (representing your values and self worth), perhaps it’s only natural that people tend to compare themselves against each other in terms of their income, looks, status and possessions. A strong natal tension in the 2nd and the 8th house may suggest insecurity with regard to your own worth or value in relation to others.

If the 2nd-8th house axis is under tension, you might get into a habit of self criticism through comparing yourself with others that have more than you in some area.  This habit can turn into a lifelong game of trying to get ahead of others in order to feel better about yourself.  Happiness from achievement is often short-lived, if comparison with others is the only means you have to measure your success (as opposed to having an internal compass that define your own version of success.)

8th House and the Habit of Criticism

Other people with a strong 8th house tension may develop a habit of regularly criticizing others, either silently or out loud.  Some say that criticism is based on a desire to feel superior to others (“I’m right and you’re wrong”), thereby resolving the insecurity of the 2nd-8th house tension momentarily.  Noel Tyl said people with natal 8th house tension may have difficulty giving compliments to others, because they fear being diminished by doing so.

Both of the above dynamics come from the unconsciously held belief that the only way to feel secure is to bring others down (criticism) or not elevating others too high (not able to give compliments.)  Their unfortunate consequence is that relationships become difficult to sustain due to constant criticism or lack of appreciation.

Building Others’ Self Worth and Well-Being: Reversing the Destructive Habits

The opposition between the 2nd and the 8th house suggests important connection between your own self worth and that of others – we could even say that the values we perceive in others reflect our own self-worth.

To reverse the destructive pattern of criticism, it’s better to create a habit of building others up – including giving compliments frequently and freely about other people’s strengths and accomplishments.  In giving the gift of appreciation to others, our own self-respect and appreciation grow.

Many therapists and wellness experts (those that work on restoring the mental/physical well-being of others) have 8th house theme in their horoscope, and through the act of healing and building others up, they often experience increased well-being themselves.  The mirror-like reflection between 2nd and the 8th house suggests that stopping the habit of criticism and starting the habit of praising others might be your best confidence builder.


Photo: Roman Betik

Ascendant, 1st House and the Crisis of Identity

stones1st house, representing “identity,” is the focal point of the 4 Angular (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) houses.  Poorly defined identity makes one feel awkward in social settings, and can limit career achievement because ambition cannot form on a weak ego.  If you do not have a secure identity, it may feel as if you aren’t quite sure where your place is in society.


Identity Needs to Be Defined Through Tension

The process of identity formation is similar to developing a sculpture: Knocking off chunks of stones from a block of marble to approach a clearly defined shape.   The further the sculptor gets in his work, the more refined his tools become in order to smooth out rough edges.  The process involves a lot of force (or tension) being applied to the block of marble.  

This tension, essential for identity formation, is often defined by challenges.  Your natal chart can reveal what challenges you faced (and perhaps still do) in the process of developing and refining your identity.

How to Assess Tension in the 1st House & Ascendant

The patterns suggesting identity development concerns include the following:

1) The ruler of Ascendant is under high developmental tension (i.e. receives a hard aspect from Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto)

2) Hard aspect (conjunction, square, opposition or quindecile) to the Ascendant by the planets mentioned above, or their presence within the 1st house

Interpreting Planets on the Ascendant

If one or more of the above mentioned planets are on your Ascendant, or form a tense aspect to it, you may face following challenges in the process of identity formation:

Mars on the Ascendant suggests that your ego is challenged to grow in assertive, action oriented ways.  Often, physical activities are important to discharge energy.  Courage to display leadership, as well as a certain degree of cooperative attitude, will be necessary in order to avoid the lone-wolf tendency.

Saturn on the Ascendant suggests the need for heavy-lifting in terms of mental attitude, especially when you’re young.  Your identity is strengthened through assuming & meeting responsibility, as well as creating and accomplishing goals.  As you get accustomed to completing challenging projects and making things happen, the heaviness turns into solid self-confidence.

Uranus on the Ascendant suggests intensified ego needs, as well as the desire to somehow make a statement of one’s individuality.  There is something special and intense about you.  Channeled effectively, this energy could help you excel in your field of work.  Otherwise much of the energy might be spent on ego-aggrandizement.

Neptune on the Ascendant suggests ego suppression and bewilderment. Identity formation might have been especially challenging for you, if your special sensitivity was not recognized by your parents.  The self is challenged to grow through the integration of creative vision and aesthetic ideals.  Working with the formless, unseen dimensions of life might be pivotal in your identity development.

Pluto on the Ascendant suggests the ego’s need for assimilating depth and death concerns.  It is said that this position suggests a difficult birth, which might impact the child’s overall attitude toward life and survival.  Identity is empowered through dealing with or uncovering secrets and hidden truths.

Transits and Solar Arc to the Ascendant: Refinement of Identity through Time

As we go through different periods of life, we are continually challenged to develop and refine our identity.  During heavy transit or solar arc to the Ascendant by the planets mentioned in this article, you may want to consider whether you’ve become stagnant in your self image, and explore new activities and directions for growth suggested here.


photo: Peter Allen

The Answer to “When Will I Meet Someone?”

Often it happens that a person who is desperately looking for a relationship thinks that finding a partner will solve his/her problems (“If only I had a good relationship like so and so, I’ll be happy.”)  In terms of 12 houses, the person is looking at his/her 7th house as the problem area.

Upon closer investigation, however, it comes out that the problem lies elsewhere – maybe she feels stuck in a job that doesn’t utilize her potential, but is afraid to pursue a more challenging career, for fear of failure.  That would be a 10th house problem.Keep Reading >>

5th House – Love Given to Others

5th House in Astrology - Love Given to Others (photo)Noel Tyl phrased the 5th-11th house axis as “love given & received from others”.  In this article we’ll look at just the 5th house, which represents how easily we express our love to our children, partner, family and friends.

Planets in or Ruling the 5th House

Planets in the 5th house (or ruling the sign on the cusp of the 5th house) can reveal our natural style of giving love to others.  Keep Reading >>

3rd House in Astrology: How Our Parent’s Attitude Affects Our Mindset

3rd House in Astrology

3rd house represents our mindset.  In this post we’ll explore how our horoscope shows the interconnection between our parents’ attitude and our own mindset.

Our Mindset & Our Parent’s Attitude at Work
3rd house represents our parent’s attitude toward work (3rd house is the derivative 6th of 10th house).  A man who grew up seeing his father working two jobs every day and hating it, realized one day that he was always exhausted working 60-70 hrs a week, working 2 jobs and hating it – just like his father.

Upon exploring this correlation, he realized that his underlying attitude was always that of “No matter how hard I work, what I do is not enough” which resulted in a defeated mindset and working too hard for too little reward, which was what he saw his father do.

By working on reversing this thought pattern (replacing “what I do isn’t enough – I’m not enough” with “I deserve to succeed – I am enough“), he began to value himself – and his talent – more, which resulted in increased sales and self confidence (check out other Helpful Affirmations related to each of the 12 houses.)

Our Mindset & Our Parent’s Hidden Weaknesses
3rd house is the derivative 12th (secret & self-undoing) of the 4th house (home, family, parent.)  Our family’s secrets, as well as hidden self-destructive tendencies of our parents (one or both) deeply shaped our mindset.  It’s quite common to see children adopting disempowering thought patterns from their parents well into adulthood (studies have shown that daughters of depressed mothers have a higher risk of developing depression themselves.)

If one or both of our parents took refuge in escapist behaviors (12th house) such as drinking, overeating or abandonment, we may find ourselves preferring to avoid difficult situations altogether in life, adopting a passive, escapist attitude.

If we saw our parents fail in work or marriage through self destructive behaviors (self-undoing), it’ll be crucial for us to be able to separate their failures from our mindset, so that we do not take on a defeatist attitude.


If the 3rd house is under tension (through planets in or ruling it), it’s worthwhile exploring our parents’ attitude toward work and their hidden weaknesses, and ask ourselves if we’ve unconsciously assimilated their thought patterns and behaviors into our mindset.

Often, realizing the connection between our thought patterns and that of our parents could be powerful enough to initiate the change of mindset for the better.

How does your mindset reflect your parents’ behaviors and attitudes, and does your 3rd house show it in some way?  Did you have to make an effort to develop a more positive mindset? Please feel free to share your experience via email or in the comment section.

Relationship Astrology: The 6th House and How You Work With Others

6th House is a Relationship House

Even though 6th house is known classically as the house of work and service, its experience covers more than just your job or volunteer activity.  As the house hugging the Descendant along with the 7th house, 6th house has much to do with our personal relationships.

Specifically, 6th House represents your dynamic of working together with others.  Regardless of what you do for a living or who you live with, the quality of your natal 6th house will show through in the manner in which you tend to work with others.

6th House in a Marriage or a Partnership

Successfully living together in a home, perhaps raising children, is an undertaking that may come close to running a small business: the couple needs to get organized, divide responsibilities, define goals and keep following up on small details to ensure that everything is in order.  Since it’s often too much for one person to handle all of the tasks, cooperation is essential.

Often, it is an imbalance in this area that builds frustration in a relationship: one partner may feel that the other person is not doing his/her share, and has to be constantly reminded to do what’s necessary.  The level of responsibility may not be divided equally, resulting in one person being exhausted all of the time to keep up with everything.  It could be worse – if both partners cease to take responsibility in doing what’s necessary, then things could spiral down quickly.

Advanced students of astrology know that 6th house is the derivative 12th house of the 7th. So the 12th house dynamic of “self-undoing” could happen in a relationship when the partners fail to cooperate with each other in meeting various responsibilities.

Planets in Natal 6th house: How You Need to Work With Others

Planetary placement in your natal 6th house could represent your unique needs and style in working together with others.

Sun in the 6th house: Working together invigorates you.  Although this will depend on the Sun sign, this position could suggest that you need to assume a leadership position when working with others, or be given enough autonomy and independence so that you can do your own thing.

Moon in the 6th house: This has been called the “workaholic Moon” for a good reason.  However, it’s also useful to think about the importance of cooperative dynamic for someone with this Moon position: She does not want to just work – she wants you to work with her and celebrate the accomplishment together when you’re done.

It’s probably correct that such a person cannot be happy with irresponsible partners that won’t show up to tackle projects with her. 

Mercury in the 6th house: Others you work with may perceive you to be a born communicator.  There is a need to express yourself fully, with skill and knowledge, while working together.

Venus in the 6th house: A need to work harmoniously with others.  This position seems to indicate a natural grace in cooperative relationship.  Depending on the rest of the horoscope, it may also suggest the need to work with others regarding artistic or beautiful things.

Mars in the 6th house: If Mars is under tension, this position could suggest a tendency to express anger or outrage while working with others.  It could be an outrage against injustice, or a drive to protect someone or something that’s weaker than you.  Another expression is that of working together with others in a physically demanding task. 

Jupiter in the 6th house: A need to work with others in an inspiring or uplifting way.  A need to achieve and succeed through cooperation.  Feeling of being capable, an optimism about teamwork.

Saturn in the 6th house: This placement may suggest someone that likes to work alone, or at least with the capacity to work well alone.  There may be a need to work with others in an organized, structured, or experienced manner.

Uranus in the 6th house: A need to work with others doing what you perceive to be significant.  A need to work with unusual, unconventional people or issues.

Neptune in the 6th house: This may suggest cooperating with others in order to help others.  There may be a strong idealism connected to the cooperative relationship.

Pluto in the 6th house: There may be a need to work with others in a deeply insightful way, to bring about meaningful transformation.

Closing Thoughts: Impact to the 7th House
One or more planets being in the 6th house creates a powerful need to be doing something with others, both at work and in close relationships.  Usually, the energy of 6th house cannot be contained by just your personal relationship, and has to be explored as concrete work projects or home improvement plans that you can accomplish.

Failure to fully express the energy in the 6th house could create major frustration in your intimate relationship, since your partner cannot give you the experience of work accomplishment that you should be looking for with others.  So if you feel that there is a call on your life to be doing something significant with others, chances are that you may need to look outside of your primary relationship – and that’s a good thing.

What does your 6th house say about your experience and style in working with others?  How does that impact your primary relationship?  Please feel free to share through email or comment!

(photo: MorBCN @ flickr)