The Chaldean order of the planets
The houses of the horoscope are ruled in sequential order according to the Chaldean order of the planets.
The ancients listed the planets in the order of their apparent orbital speed around the earth. This is often referred to as ‘The Chaldean Order’.
This order begins with Saturn which has the slowest speed of approximately 29 years to the fastest planet which is the Moon which takes about one month to orbit the earth.
If you are new to astrology please note that the lights (the Sun and the Moon) are referred to as ‘planets’ – the word planet comes from the Greek meaning moving star. Astrologers do of course understand that the Sun is a star and the Moon a satelite of the earth.
It is interesting that the Sun is placed in the centre – astrologers have understand for a very long time that the Sun is the centre of the solar system.
While the natural planetary rulers of the houses are mentioned here for teaching purposes, they are not normally employed in answering horary astrology questions. For that we look at the planetary ruler of the sign of the relevant cusp.
The numbering of the houses
The other point is that the houses are numbered 1-12 because planets in the 1st house rise first, planets in the 2nd house rise second and so on.
The numbering of the houses has no relationship with psychological stages of development. This modern psychological theory does not make sense when one considers breaks how the 5th house of children can precede the 7th house of marriage, and how the 8th house of death could precede the 10th house of career.
The 1st house
Saturn rules the first house as it is here that the soul incarnates into the body, and following the same Chaldean order of planets beginning with the first house, Saturn rules the eighth house of death. Saturn is the natural ruler of doorways and is the portal for the entry of the soul into the body (1st house) and out of our body (8th house).
In the 1st house the soul is trapped within the physical body, enclosed by the parameters of the body, within the skin, and supported by the body through the skeleton.
Both the skin and the skeleton are ruled by Saturn. *Just as Saturn describes the entry of the soul into our physical universe in the ancient cosmological model, where Saturn is the first planet in the line of descent of the soul through the planetary spheres, so it also rules the the place where the soul enters into our physical body in the 1st house of the horoscope.
The 1st house is often described as the ‘house of life’ as it describes our physical vitality.
The 2nd house
Following the Chaldean order of the planets, Jupiter comes after Saturn. As the planet of growth and prosperity it is the natural ruler of the 2nd house.
Jupiter rules rules wealth, gains, and largesse, confidence, credit as well as support and assistance.
As a succedent house the second house provides support for the 1st
Some astrologers erroneously associate Venus with the 2nd house of ‘ABC’ astrology where Taurus is seen as as the sign which naturally rules the 2nd house. Yes if Taurus is on the cusp then Venus will rule the 2nd house, but only then. Otherwise we use the ruler of whichever sign is on the cusp. There has been a misinterpretation of traditional works where the houses are associated with parts of the body and unfortunately this has been extrapolated to the application of signs as natural rulers of the houses resulting in extensive confusion and the birth of ABC astrology.
The 3rd house
It is Mars which is the natural ruler of the third house, following the order of the traditional planets:
The more negative characteristics of Mars are mollified by its presence in the third house as its energy is expended with all the busy communications and short routine journeys required in this domain. This is the house of siblings and sibling rivalry has a definite Martian flavour.
It is in the 3rd house that we find the hustle and bustle of our daily life and community activity, the daily round, and in the market place where we expend effort on a regular basis to obtain our daily needs
The 4th house
It is the Sun which is the natural ruler of this house. Counting from the 1st house which is ruled by Saturn, next comes Jupiter as ruler of the 2nd house, then Mars as ruler of the 3rd house, then the Sun as ruler of the 4th house.
The Sun is the natural ruler of fathers and it is to the 4th house we look to for questions about the father.
Note that the Moon has no natural rulership over the 4th house. That concept is a modern invention associated with the ‘ABC method of astrology’ mentioned above which equates house with sign and with planet. This adoption of this ABC system has led to enormous confusion amongst astrologers. It was taught though the 1970′s 80′s and 90′s and is used predominately by the so-called ‘baby boomers’ generation, who mostly follow this system.
The 5th house
Venus which is the natural ruler of this house.
Counting from the 1st house which is ruled by Saturn, next comes Jupiter as ruler of the 2nd house, then Mars as ruler of the 3rd house, then the Sun as ruler of the 4th house, then Venus as ruler of the 5th house.
Note that the Sun has no natural rulership over the 5th house. This is another concept ssociated with the ‘ABC method of astrology’.
Venus is the planet of pleasure and the 5th house is the place of pleasure, associated with comfort, creativity, fun, parties, theatre, games, entertainment and sex.
Venus has a natural affinity with these associations.
The 6th house
Mercury is the natural ruler of this house.
This is not because Mercury is the ruler of Virgo but because if we follow the natural order of the traditional planets we come to Mercury as the ruler of the sixth house: Saturn rules the 1st house, Jupiter the 2nd house, Mars the 3rd, the Sun the 4th, Venus the 5th, and next comes Mercury as the natural ruler of the 6th house.
The 6th house is the house of servants, which in the modern Western world equates to employees and sub-contractors.
By the way I should mention that this is not the house of work that one performs – this idea comes from a misreading of Lilly.
As John Frawley points out in his publication The Real Astrology Applied, Mercury is the ruler of servants because “….he (Mercury) rules the reasoning mind and the role of reason is to be a servant to the heart.” *It is interesting that Mercury as Asclepius is also the god of medicine and even today the caduceus is still used by the medical profession as its symbol. The 6th house is associated with ill-health.
The 7th house
Following the Chaldean order of the planets the 7th house is the last in this order and it is the Moon which rules this house.
The 7th house rules relationships and it is the Moon who is the beloved partner of the Sun and has a natural role here. *She soaks up his love and light each month until she is filled and delirious with his love.
Then she empties out, only to begin the process anew as the desire for his love drives her once again to drink of his glory.
The 8th house
The natural ruler of the 8th house is Saturn, the planet of doorways. The 8th house represents the exit doorway from this world to the next.
Saturn rules the entry of the soul into the body in the 1st house and its exit through the 8th house.
Pluto has no relationship with this house. This idea comes from the replacement of the nocturnal rulership of Mars over Scorpio and the confused association of Scorpio with the 8th house. As the old saying goes: ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right!’
This is the house of death and Saturn is the natural ruler of death. These concepts are basic to good astrology and have been used for hundreds of years by astrologers.
The 9th house
Jupiter is the natural ruler of this house as it follows from Saturn in the natural Chaldean order of the planets.
This is the second case where there is a coincidence of planets ruling the same house as those in the ABC system of astrology, the other being Mercury and the 6th house.
However the reason why Jupiter rules the 9th is because of its sequence in the Chaldean order of planets: it follows Saturn, and because it has a natural association with travel, religion and far away places.
The 10th house
Mars is the natural ruler of the tenth house as it follows Jupiter in the Chaldean order of the planets.
Mars in the 10th house represents our efforts to ‘make our way’ in the world, the struggles we make in order to forge a career and establish ourselves in a career or profession, and also the battles we fight to maintain our position and defend and promote our reputation.
In the 10th Mars is ‘out there’, working hard, fighting battles and expending effort. Although the association of Mars with the 10th seems strange at first to those familiar only with ABC astrology, it does make a lot of sense.
The 11th house
The Sun which follows next in the Chaldean order of the planets after Mars, is the natural ruler of the eleventh house. The Sun is the traditional symbol of God’s endless bounty and inexhaustible blessings pouring down to Earth in immeasurable quantities.
As John Frawley mentions in The Real Astrology Applied: “So, as shown for example in the prayer ‘give us this day our daily bread’, the concepts of Sun and Jupiter are reconciled in the significance of this most fortunate of houses.” The Sun has rulership over life-giving staple foods.
One of the reasons why the 11th house is considered to be fortunate is that the Sun in its primary motion through the horoscope rises up through the 11th house on its way to the 10th house. It the process it gains power and light. *By the way the mention of Jupiter above in the quote John Frawley has to do with the joys of the planets. Jupiter has its joy in the 11th house. This is the subject of a different lesson.
The 12th house
Venus is the natural ruler of the twelfth house as it is through the temptations of the flesh and our desire nature that we are led into excessive indulgence and the imprisonment of addiction.
The 12th house is associated with addiction as it is the house of entrapment and misery.
It is also called ‘the house of self-undoing’ which means it is associated with all those things we do which cause us harm – our faults and liabilities. It may having those few extra drinks we didn’t really need, sleeping in when we should off to work or being productive, eating that extra slice of cake when we are trying to lose weight.
Venus is the planet which represents love, beauty, comfort, and physical satisfaction, sex and the good things that money can buy.
It is the inability to resist the desire for things associated with Venus which entraps us and prevents us from advancing our higher goals.
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