Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.Victor Hugo
Each house is a field of experience in astrology.
We all know how complex human existence is, so it’s important to find a way to see through the apparent chaos. In the natal chart each segment of life is represented by a house, the fourth house in astrology being about your family and home.
It describes your roots, ancestry, and your actual physical home.
You could say that the fourth house in the natal chart is the foundation for the rest of the chart. This is true even literally, as the cusp of the fourth house corresponds to the LOWEST point of the sky.
The first six houses in the natal chart are personal houses.
They describe the chart holder, while the next sixth houses tell about your relationship with the world around you and other people. The fourth house is the house of privacy, you don’t share what’s here with the public.
It’s just you and your family, eventually very close friends.
Even though it’s not visible to the outer world, the fourth house in astrology is one of the most important houses. It represents one of your parents and it is the foundation of your whole life: your adult life relies on the patterns you learned through childhood. Without a solid base, nothing permanent can sustain.
What Is the Fourth House in Astrology?
The fourth house is the house of family and home. In the wider sense, this house governs:
- ancestry and family roots
- one of your parents
- your physical house
- real estate and property
- and your private life.
The fourth house is the foundation you can build on when you become an adult an establish your own home.
Crabs in the Moonlight
What do crabs have to do with the fourth house in astrology?
Each house is paired up with a sign of the Zodiac. The fourth house is connected to the zodiac sign Cancer, and Cancer’s ruling planet, the Moon.
(Of course, we all know that the Moon is not a planet, but they have been referring to the Moon as such for ages in astrology, and let’s stick to the tradition for the sake of simplicity.)
The Moon is super important in astrology. It represents your emotional world, intuition, habits and instincts. Your family and upbringing has enormous influence over your reactions.
How should you cope with stress? What’s the right way to deal with feelings? How are you supposed to show affection?
The norms in our family (and the culture we grew up in in general) tell us how we should behave.
But to go one step further, you could say that instincts are a gift from our ancestors who lived many thousands of years ago.
Reactions to sudden changes are encoded in us, we don’t even have to think about them, the spinal cord does all the work. When you hear an unexpected loud sound, you instinctively shrink or if your hand touches a hot surface by accident, you immediately drag it away.
There are angular, succedent and cadent houses in astrology. The fourth house is an angular house (the cusp of angular house lies on the AC-DC or IC-MC axis of the chart). Angular houses are super important in the natal chart, because planets here become more powerful. They manifest in the physical world.
The cusp of the fourth house is also called Immum coeli which is Latin for the bottom of the sky.
This point was the lowest in the sky at the time for which the chart is set up. It’s also called Nadir, and it’s quite important in the natal chart. It’s the opposite point of the MC or Midheaven, which is the highest point of the sky and corresponds to the highest you get in life.
The Fourth House in Astrology: More Than Just A House
As mentioned before, the main association of the fourth house in the natal chart is home and family.
Besides houses, all real estate belong to the fourth house. It also governs assets like land or property.
A well-aspected fourth house that is connected to the money houses can be an indicator of financial success through real estate.
The fourth house in astrology describes both physical houses and the mystical ingredient that turns into a home and gives you mental peace and emotional satisfaction. It’s supposed to be a retreat from the world. This house describes your domestic environment. This includes both your family as a child and the family you raise when you grow up.
The fourth house also shows all the houses you will live in through your life. For example, Libra or Venus here strives to create a beautiful living environment. People with this position often love interior design. It’s also a sign of harmonious family life.
On the other hand, an afflicted fourth house in the natal chart suggests the opposite.
So-called ‘bad’ planets or malefics here tell us that the childhood of the chart holder wasn’t without hardships.
With Mars here, there was often some form of violence or quarrels in the family. Saturn in the fourth house suggests that there was a cold atmosphere or the person had to face limitations and restrictions as a child. Pluto in the fourth house is a sign of strong karmic heritage.
Roots in Astrology
Let’s dissect another important aspect of the fourth house in astrology: family roots and ancestry.
How were you raised? What are your family values? How did your family live before you were born? These are some questions that the fourth house can answer. It describes your roots. Previous generations influence us more than we know.
Each parent has a house in your natal chart.
However, opinions are mixed on which parents belongs to which house. Some astrologers associate the mother with fourth and the father with the tenth house. Others think that the parent of the same sex is represented by the tenth house and the parent of the opposite sex by the fourth.
The safest method is to check the signs on the cusps in each chart and see which parent they align with.
For example, if your Mom is a Cancer rising or Sun and you have Cancer on the cusp of the fourth house in the natal chart, she’s represented by your fourth house.
The fourth house also shows your home in a wider sense like homeland. The fourth house also represents your country and cultural background. Sometimes we don’t even realize how strong the influences of the country where we grew up are. To recognize it, you have to visit some other countries. But to upgrade your beliefs with new insights from a foreign point of view, you need a foundation to build on.
Cancer is the sign associated with the fourth house in astrology, remember? The Crab is known as an extremely loyal and protective zodiac sign. They want to conserve what they find valuable (this is sometimes expressed in their hoarding tendency). The fourth house is also about your values and family traditions.
The Fourth House as a Karmic House in Astrology
Water houses are known as karmic houses. Water is the most mystical element in astrology. It runs deep, you can never know what it brings and it changes quickly. The fourth, eighth and twelfth houses are considered to be karmic houses in astrology.
The fourth house corresponds to the personal unconscious (the Moon rules the memory and the subconscious), so you can expect to find some programs here running in the background you didn’t even know existed in you.
Another possible interpretation of the fourth house in astrology and its effect on your life is through inherited patterns. The atmosphere of our family is the only known option to us and therefore it becomes what we accept as normal. Because you are inside this circle,
The IC-MC Axis
The fourth and the tenth house complete and support on each other. The tenth house is the house of career and your public image. But to perform well, you need to have a retreat from the world. This is where the fourth house comes in. It’s the house of our private life which you don’t share with anyone except your family and maybe your closest friends and a place to relax.
Capricorn and Cancer are each other’s polarity, but they complete each other. Cancer needs Capricorn to conquer the world and at the same time, Capricorn relies on Cancer to provide warmth and nurturing.
The fourth house is the house of endings. Strange, right?
It describes your old age and how you will spend the last years of your life.
Planets in the Fourth House in the Natal Chart
If you have many planets in your fourth house, the life areas of it are an important part of your life. Several planets in the fourth house bring a lot of energy to it. If you have a stellium there, the matters of family and tradition will play a major role here.