Interpreting Empty Houses

Do the math: Your chart has twelve houses, but only ten planets. This means that you're bound to have empty houses somewhere in your chart. They're unavoidable. They're also nothing to worry about.

Having an empty house of marriage, for example, doesn't mean that you'll always be single. Just ask Elizabeth Taylor, who has had eight husbands (so far), despite the fact that her seventh house is totally vacant. Similarly, an unoccupied second house of money doesn't mean you're destined for poverty. Look at Bill Gates, the youngest self-made billionaire in history. His second house is empty (as is his eighth house, which is also associated with money).

Often, an unoccupied house signifies that the usual concerns of that house are simply not a major concern. But you can't make that determination with a casual glance. Just because a house is empty doesn't mean it's unimportant. The truth is that there's so much to think about in a natal chart that even an empty house can keep you busy. To investigate an empty house, I suggest the following three-step method:

1. Look at the sign on the cusp of the house.

The sign at the beginning of each house determines your approach to the concerns of that house. For example, turn to Andy Warhol's chart in Chapter 19. Notice that his second house of money is empty, with Virgo on the cusp. (The cusp of the second house is at eight o'clock, the cusp of the third house is at seven o'clock, and so on.) Thus his approach to financial matters was Virgoan: discriminating and detail-oriented. And, indeed, he made a habit of recording his daily expenses — just like a Virgo.

Table 12-1 at the beginning of this chapter summarizes the concerns of each house. Table 12-2 suggests ways to interpret the sign on the cusp.

2. Check out the planet that rules the sign on the cusp.

The position of that planet tells you a great deal. In Andy Warhol's case, Virgo, the sign on the cusp of his second house, is ruled by Mercury. It can be found in flamboyant Leo — a perfect placement for an artist who literally painted money.

3. Look at the aspects made by the ruling planet.

If the ruling planet of the empty house is close to the Sun or the Moon, its importance increases. If it is conjunct Jupiter, the concerns of that house are blessed with good fortune. If it opposes Saturn, difficulties arise. And so on. For more about aspects, turn to Chapter 13.

Table 12-2

House Rulership

If the Sign on the Cusp Is

Your Approach to the Concerns of That House Is

And the House Ruler Is

Aries

Spontaneous, energetic

Mars

Taurus

Productive, deliberate

Venus

Gemini

Flexible, communicative

Mercury

Cancer

Intuitive, defensive

Moon

Leo

Dignified, expressive

Sun

Virgo

Discriminating, detail-oriented

Mercury

Libra

Diplomatic, artistic

Venus

Scorpio

Intense, penetrating

Pluto

Sagittarius

Independent, expansive

Jupiter

Capricorn

Responsible, traditional

Saturn

Aquarius

Unconventional, detached

Uranus

Pisces

Receptive, vulnerable

Neptune

Finally, keep in mind that every year, as the Sun makes its annual pilgrimage through the zodiac, it travels through each part of your chart — every sign and every house. The Moon and the other planets visit as well, each according to its own schedule. Over time, those transiting planets activate each and every house — even if it's empty. Sooner or later, every house will have its day.

Finally, keep in mind that every year, as the Sun makes its annual pilgrimage through the zodiac, it travels through each part of your chart — every sign and every house. The Moon and the other planets visit as well, each according to its own schedule. Over time, those transiting planets activate each and every house — even if it's empty. Sooner or later, every house will have its day.

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