One of the most asked questions in astrology is usually about love. So I thought that today we can have a little of a lesson diving into relationship astrology – as we explore the love houses, and how they differ from each other yet interconnect: the 5th, 7th and 8th houses of a natal chart.
Some key things to consider before diving in, is that relationship astrology always begins with the more personal houses of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th; in addition to a good understanding of the Ascendant, Moon and Sun. This is because these are the foundations of ourselves, our early childhood experiences, and our sense of self-worth, self-value, self-esteem, and subconscious definition of love and relationships. These houses show how we were loved, and so, how we will love another; and are the perspectives and veils through which we view and perceive all around us.
We also need to pay close attention to our natal aspects, because aspects often change the overall energies of the planets and signs. With aspects, we are basically diving into psychology – as they show the underlying emotional and thought patterns, early childhood dynamics, subconscious beliefs, and especially hard aspects show the challenges we may face. Self-awareness is key here for living a more fulfilled life and experience our relationships more deeply.
And last, but certainly not least, we need to be mindful of where on their path the client is, so that we can see what would be more relevant for them to know or have the capacity to currently understand. In spiritual astrology, we consider three levels of potential manifestation: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual. Depending on a person’s self-awareness level and where they are on their path currently, both aspects and transits may be expressing themselves differently. You can read more about the three levels of manifestation in my article The Three Fires of Time.
Now let’s begin.
The 5th House
Romance, Children, The Inner Child, Self-Expression, Puppy Love, Courtship, Having Fun, Dating, and Creativity
Being a fixed fire house ruled by the expression of Leo, the 5th house is about creation in a tangible way. It rules children, and as such, it also connect to the inner child, which will also pave the path towards how we love, how we fall in love, how we approach love, and what our ideas about love may be.
Love in the 5th house is about the so-called puppy love – it’s about dating, romance, adventure, fun, passion, spontaneity, and sometimes, a certain level of impulsivity because age wise the 5th house is describing our teenage years.
If a person has not been in a committed relationship before, we would look at this house to point us into their next steps, and what they may need to do in order to meet their heart’s desires. One such thing is of course authenticity and self-esteem. This is because the “higher work” (10th placement from itself) that one has to do in order to feel self-fulfilled in relationships and in life itself, is the 2nd house of self-esteem, self-value and self-worth.
Since the 5th house is squared by the 2nd house, we need to pay closer attention to that, as it may show why our relationships don’t lead to commitment with the right person, or why we continue to perpetuate casual relationships and fear intimacy on some level. Age wise, the 2nd house relates to our experience until the age of 5, which is when we form a lot of our ideas about ourselves unconsciously. For example, we can look at the ruler of the 2nd house to see where a person’s confidence comes from; and then see the ruler of the 5th house to see where the person’s love and affection move towards, and how they experience romance and fulfillment in their life.
True love starts from within, and in order to have true intimacy and choose the right person for us we need to know ourselves and have a set of values, love self and care for self. There is a need for self-awareness and a certain maturity that needs to happen in order to reach the committed 7th house of relationships; otherwise, we get stuck in the romance of it all, and experience mainly casual relationships, which while they’re fun, cannot give us the long term stability we may be looking for.
Simultaneously though, any relationship needs to have playfulness, otherwise it may become stagnant and the partners may begin to disconnect. Laughter is a great aphrodisiac and rejuvenates the energy of any and all romantic relationships.
This is also a house of creativity, and intimacy in long-term relationships requires a certain level of creativity. In this way, the 5th house also serves as a guide on how to create a higher sense of connectedness once the routines set and monotony takes over.
On a more spiritual level, the 5th house is also called the house of grace. It is one of the dharma houses, a house of destiny. Ruled by the Sun, it shows the importance of dedication and devotion towards learning, towards self-knowledge, through which we become more conscious and can rise in our true essence to touch the riches of life. The Sun is the solar power, and our fuel of life that pulls us towards our soul’s purpose. It is the fire of consciousness and awareness that burns us, like fire burns the wood, so that we then rise in our unique aroma, in our true essence. This is the devotional path of self-realization.
The 7th House
Commitment, Marriage, Long-Term Relationships, Harmony, Balance, Mirror of the Soul, The Path Towards The Soul’s Purpose
After we have fallen in love and have made the decision for togetherness, we enter the 7th house. This is the traditional house of marriage or long-term commitment, and its Libra expression points to something we establish that is built upon trust, loyalty, stability, inter-connection, interdependence, and harmony within and without.
The 7th house is squared by the 4th house, which is essentially a house about our roots, our deepest part of self, and our inner emotional wild lands. It is also a house of our heart, our childhood, our memories, and as such, these are things that inevitably affect our relationships. It shows what we perceived as love as shown through our parents and early childhood, and this then becomes our subconscious definition of love; which then becomes, if still unconscious, the way we act towards our partner. It basically shows the emotional foundations of our relationships, so depending on what we have going on in our 4th house will show some patterns that may be going on in our relationships also; and it can also show why a marriage may lead to a divorce.
Being connected to the 4th house also shows the higher dharma or higher purpose of our marriage, and what we need to work on or integrate within ourselves for greater harmony, balance and intimacy. As the 4th house connects to the Moon and Venus, but also has the undercurrents of Mars, this means that we need to be emotionally mature, expressive, open and communicative, gentle and tender, while also protect the privacy of our bond, and treat our marriage as a temple – keeping its sacredness, and keeping the heart of our loved one protected. We need to be responsible in our gestures and words, while also express the Venusian delicate way in language; we also need to learn compromise, sacrifice and selflessness. There is also a need to create beauty within the bond and within the home, settling any differences ot arguments into more clarity and peace.
The 7th house, being a Libra expression, actually makes Saturn exalted in it. This means that we need to be responsible, accountable, disciplined, mature – and provide a sense of stability to the union. There is also a responsibility when we make a vow to someone; and a need to put in a consistent amount of effort into the relationship. Any love is like a flower – it needs watering and caring daily. A love that pays attention is a love that is alive.
Naturally, the 7th house is sextiled by the 5th house, which shows that introducing more fun and romance in our long-term relationships and marriage will be rejuvenating and reconnect us. If one has a square between their 7th and 5th rulers, then perhaps that can show that their sexual life is not fulfilling; and on the other hand, if the rulers are trine or sextile, they would show that they would experience a hot sexual life within their marriage for many years after and perhaps all throughout. This is because it would also mean that there is harmonious and highly creative individual, and creativity is what eroticism and sensuality are based on – i.e. to think of new ideas to spice things up once in a while and have some fun. Courting, a long forgotten yet important word, is something we need to practice throughout a relationship; explore each other like a painting, finding new shades and nuances, don’t take each other for granted – this is the art of loving.
The 7th house is one of the most important houses in our chart, because our partner is an extension or expression of ourself – they are a mirror to us. As such, this is the house on our way towards fulfilling our soul’s purpose. We don’t have to be married legally, but when we start living with someone under the same roof, and are committed to them, it becomes a 7th house matter. For people who are monks for example, this house would be their relationship to the monastery – their commitment to it and their experience within it.
As a spiritual astrologist, I sometimes view this house as a sacrament – or the cross we choose to carry in this life; it is what we choose to enter into and devote to, it is our devotional pathway, through which divine grace enters us, so that we grow spiritually. We mature through our 7th house because we face ourselves, we face our mirror and integrate all parts of us that we hadn’t integrated before.
So even if you are not married, or don’t want to be married, the relationship would be the devotion you enter into. If you are a monk, it’d be your monastery; if you are a gardener, it’d be your garden; if you are an entrepreneur, this is how you approach the partnerships in your business. In any case, this is a house that asks us to practice self-awareness and dedication; it is a house that connects us to God and a higher calling, allowing us the opportunity for a deepening into more trust, faith and grace.
The 7th house is also the disappearance of the self, of selflessness, so that we can begin to learn harmony and balance within a relationship and what it takes for us to live together and thrive together; how we get along after the sun sets, behind closed doors, is what the descendant shows. This house is also where we bond physically through sex, and sexual pleasure and compatibility are also often indicated here.
The 8th House
Intimacy, Merging Two Paths into One, Trust, and Spiritual Bonding
This is the house of what happens after commitment. It is a deep water house, ruled by the deep waters of the transformative Scorpio energy, so it shows the intimacy a couple reaches through their vulnerability – and while the 7th house was more about the physical bonding and intimacy, the 8th is about the emotional and spiritual intimacy. If we are with the right person, this is also the house of sexual healing and spiritual development through the merging of the two souls’ dharmic paths.
This house becomes activated when the honeymoon “ends” and we are faced with the real work, and the real intimacy. All that was hidden beneath the surface below begins to show its face – and themes of trust, loyalty, sharing resources, money and finances, living together, challenges and fights, and the true essences of ourselves become relevant. This is a house that demands radical self-honesty. Without the peeling of our own layers, no real intimacy can happen. And the when things begin to crumble beneath the souls of our feet, we will need to find a way to hold each other; otherwise, things may end.
The 8th house is also known as the gifts after marriage. These gifts can come shining bright, or they may come disguised and need a bit more years to unfold in their treasures of meaning. Because this house is deeply psychological, it basically brings all from the inside out. As it is connected to our 2nd house of foundations, self-worth, self-esteem, confidence, self-efforts and early childhood unbringing – this shows us how we can come into greater emotional maturity, how much effort we’d need to make, and how much we are willing to actually put in the effort mutually. It is also the house of our partner’s 2nd house, which shows their ability to make things work and what their thought and behavioural conditionings are. Essentially, the 8th house is a house that demands maturity on all levels.
As the 8th house is also a house of formlessness – because we merge together with another person dissolving all boundaries – it is here that we can actually bring the Venusian gifts of marriage into their being; this is because Venus gets her full realization in formlessness. In simple terms: when we are able to face ourselves deeply, we will then see the other person more honestly, and through that humility of authenticity and acceptance, we come into deeper love and deeper intimacy.
The 8th house is a house about soul connections also. And in true love, deep love, soul love, there isn’t just “compromise”, there is sacrifice. Two souls begin to merge, boundaries dissolve, and two become one. But any long-term relationship and any marriage requires sacrifice to work. We can’t expect that we can keep our bachelor ways when we are sharing a home with someone; we can’t expect that once we have kids, we’ll still be the center of it all. There are parts of us that we’ll need to let go of, though when love is true, it doesn’t feel like “sacrifice”, it feels like pleasure. It is a pleasure to do something for the one you love. It is a pleasure to give to them. It is a pleasure to support them and love them selflessly.
This is also a house where the vows our lips made become the vows our souls make in a union, and the energies become entwined. There is a sacredness to this house, though there is also potential for great hurt if one is not responsible. Human hearts are fragile and they need to be protected. We need to protect the sacredness of our bond, the privacy of our relationship, as trust too is a fragile thing.
Something interesting about the 8th house is that because it is such a deeply psychological house, its ruler can show us what we are secretly attracted to in a partner even if we don’t want to admit it or are unaware of it. For example, let’s say your 8th house ruler is Venus and your Venus is in Pisces receiving hard aspects. This might mean that you are secretly attracted to people who are in need of help, healing, “fixing”, perpetually lost or purposeless, or somehow you may even perceive them as “weak” or swimming in fantasies, addictions or illusions. Perhaps these are some words with which you have described your exes also. However – in its higher manifestation of the energies, if you have done self-work diving into your subconscious becoming more self-aware or if your Venus is more positively aspected, then you might be attracted to the higher manifestation of Pisces, which would be mystical, spiritual, romantic, artistic, musical and creative partners.
And yet the subconscious attractions of the 8th house are often serving to balance you out or show you something about yourself. For example, perhaps you work too much or are too stressed, so you need to be more relaxed and calm and have more fun, and even not worry too much about “having a plan”, which is what the Pisces energy might inspire you to do.
This can also manifest through situations rather than a partner – which would serve as a point of inner transformation and purification for your life. In the example above, this could mean that in the times when you face situations of feeling lost, and have no clarity, you actually awaken yourself into your trust, trust for yourself, trust for life, and you also learn to rely on others also in your times of need and healing. It could mean that it is precisely when you feel lost and confused like Alice in Wonderland, dropped into some non-sensical world, you awaken your own discernment and learn to choose reality from fantasy, and how to get to the other side – rising above all subconscious and unhealthy patterns hidden in your psyche.
As the 8th house is inconjunct the 1st, this shows that we need to practice a certain level of acceptance of our partner’s “flaws”, and it inspires us to practice more grace when differences arise between us. This is because inconjunctions are basically energies that do not have anything in common, and so the way to unite them is to just accept them for what they are, learning their unique ways of expression and needs. Essentially, this is about becoming less judgmental.
The 8th house also becomes the mutual karma, or the karma we gain and create after we’ve committed to someone – remember that vows are made not only with human lips but with our souls also. And when two souls enter into a relationship together, once they join emotionally and physically, once they fall in love and say yes to each other, a new soul is born: the soul of the relationship.
As the 8th house rules conception, we not only create our mutual karma, our dharma and the string that will bind us for our lives forward, we also conceive our children. And here we are, back to the 5th house from the tenth aspect of higher or cosmic karma, which signifies birth of children and particularly the first-born. This rebirths a new cycle for the couple, aligned to their current vibration, energy and karma, as well as the continuation of their love, lineage of soul and the gifts from God. At this point, the seed of love that was once conceived on the physical, emotional and spiritual soils of the relationship, has now blossomed in beauty – whether as creativity or children – for all to be inspired by.
For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.
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