Copyright 2009, B. A. Jones, All Rights Reserved
Thought it might be a good exercise to try to put down a foundation for myself about how Divorce is indicated by Astrological Rulerships. There is close to no material out there from which to draw on.
This won’t be written for people with no understanding of Divorce. Sorry. If I ever write a book with all this I’ll include it but, really, there’s so much out there that’s better than what I can write it’s not necessary. If interested in learning more about astrology (not the stuff in the newspapers) I can recommend a couple of great books that are both concise and well-written. Steven Forrest’s The Inner Sky and Donna Cunningham’s How to Read Your Astrological Chart: Aspects of the Cosmic Puzzle. Horoscope Symbols by Rob Hand is really great, the classic basic reference text for Astrology, but maybe not as easy to plow straight through.
One can draw up a free chart online at Astro.com. This is a really great resource for astrology. This site offers a Wikipedia devoted to Astrology, a forum, and pretty much everything else. Needless to say, there are tons of other resources on the Internet. Astrologer Bob Marks has written some great basic lessons at his website bobmarksastrologer.com.
First statement, close to no work has been done in this field. I’m using Rex Bills Rulership Book and an insight that was shared with me by another astrologer about derived houses and am adding some opinions of my own. (Please observe copyright rules in this regard. With some astrologers I know that this is a pointless thing to bother trying to say). There is a lot of information for Step-Parents because Astrology has been around a long time and before Divorce there was Death of a Parent. The information in here is generally figured out by the Technique of Derived Houses. This is a technique which says that you can look at the house which rules your parents (the 4th and 10th Houses) and, realizing that Death is often attributed to the 8th House, count off 8 houses from 4th and 10th. In this case, “Death of a Parent” in an individual’s chart is ruled by the 11th House.
My source here is The Rulership Book by Rex Bills. I was initially going to list off all of the pertinent keywords but realized that this breaks all kinds of copyright laws. So now through my embarassing prose I will try to make a little sense of all of this.
“Divorce”, in Rex Bills’ book, is ruled by the 7th House and its natural ruling sign, Libra, because these rule marriage, and by Uranus, the sign that rules Rebellion, Sudden shocking events; Groups; Friends; Wishes and Hopes. Since all these rulers have a commonality of rulership by Air I am going to assume that Divorce is a Mental Type of Activity. It happens because somebody in the relationship has detached him/herself enough from (or is overly and underly exposed to) Feelings/Receptivity (Water), Passions (Fire), and Reality (Earth).
“Home” in Astrology is ruled by the 4th House and Cancer and the ruler of the cusp of that House which is called the Imum Coeli (or IC). This also represents early early childhood, family, tribe, probably co-rules genetics, unconditional love, etc.
The 4th House and the 10th House rule the parents and currently there is no set answer as to which parent is ruled by which house. Interesting that right around the time that people have been feeling free to chose their household and family environments much more than they used to they also feel that they can chose which astrological house represents which parent. When I wuz young, the Mother was ruled by the 4th House as that house is ruled by the Moon which represents the Mother. The Father was ruled by the 10th House and Saturn which is natural ruler of the 10th House. People generally had one parent indicated by each house and life was easy.
“Childhood” according to Bills is ruled by the 1st House and the Moon and 4th House. Clan, Tribe, Land, Conditions describing one’s Home.
A Person’s children are ruled by 5th House, Leo, the Sun, and to a lesser extent Venus and Mercury (and I’ll add Mars to Bills’ list). Girls are ruled by Venus. Boys are ruled by Mars.
Siblings are ruled by one’s 3d house, Mercury and Gemini. You can also figure siblings by Birth Order by skipping every other house from the 3d.
H3 = first born; H5 = second born; H7 = third born; H9 = fourth born; H11 = 5th born
Brothers- and Sisters-In-Law are ruled by H9.
Half-Siblings could be ruled by the 5th House of whichever marriage the parent is on when the child is born. They also could be ruled by the houses that were indicated above.
Step-Siblings are ruled by the 5th House of whichever house is indicated by the Step-Parent.
Step-Children are given rulership by the 11th House. This is figured once again through derived houses as this house is the 5th House (children of) the marriage partner (H7).
Step-Parents can be figured in two different ways:
- One can lump all parents into Houses 4 and 10. Since parents often are attracted to the same mistake over and over again this will often suffice for interpretation. Rex Bills says that they are indicated by the opposite houses that would rule one’s parents though as represented by Gender. A Step-Parent of the opposite Sex of the native is considered ruled by the 4th House. A Step-Parent of the same sex as the native is considered ruled by the 10th House. It would be interesting to study the charts of parents who really do improve their children’s lives through their second relationship to try to understand what works and what doesn’t. I would assume that if one has a strong presence of Fixed Signs or Rulers in their 4th houses then perhaps the parents would be less likely to change their attractions as “Fixed” Signs are related to lack of changability.
- Or, one can use the Derived Houses Technique to show the Marital Partner of the Parent according to whichever number Marriage the Parent is on. These skip two houses per marriage. Assuming that one’s Father is indicated by one’s 10th House in one’s chart, this means that the Father’s first marriage is 7 signs away from the 10th House. That’s the 4th House and that indicates one’s Mother. The Father’s 2d marriage, however, would be indicated by skipping 2 houses from the 4th House. This would mean that the 2d Mother (or first Step-Mother) would be indicated by the 6th House. The 3d Mother (or 2d Step-Mother) would be indicated by the 8th House. Considering the dark emotional underpinnings of the 6th and 8th Houses which are related to being considered 2d rate, deep anxieties & criticisms of Virgo and the paranoias and power-tripping (and money grabbing) of Scorpio, I suppose this could explain why relations with Step-Mothers are often very complex. Step-Fathers will be indicated by houses directly opposing these houses. 1st Step-Father would be indicated by H12 (house related to empaths, artists, hidden enemies, alcoholics and addicts) and 2d Step-Fathers would be related to one’s 2d house (House related to money, values). 3d Step-Father would be described by one’s 4th House (same as biological mother). 4th Step-Father would be described by the 6th House. And it goes on and on according to Mommy’s whims.
Biological Mother = H4; 1st Step-Mother = H6; 2d Step-Mother = H8; 3d Step-Mother H10; 4th Step-Mother = H12; anything after that, God Bless You.
Biological Father = H10; 1st Step-Father = H12; 2d Step-Father = H2; 3d Step-Father = H4; 4th Step-Father = H6; anything after that, Do Drugs.
If you personally feel that your Biological Parents are better represented by opposing houses from what I’ve indicated, then the parents will be reversed from these houses. As said before Step-Siblings will probably be figured by looking at the Children, or 5th House, from whichever Step-Parent influence you are looking for in the chart.
It’s also good to keep in mind that 4th House will indicate your general attitudes towards home and living environment no matter what. You look at Sign(s) that are in this house, placement of Planet that rules the IC or house cusp, planets that are contained within that house, and the houses that they rule in the chart. No planets placed within this house is interesting to watch for. I’ve noticed in my studies of “Successful People” that often they have no planets in the 4th House. This would indicate that this part of their lives doesn’t manifest in their consciousness as it would for those with many planets in the 4th House. It doesn’t mean that they don’t suffer emotionally from divorce. Curt Cobain, for example, who is said to have been devastated by his parents’ divorce had no planets in his 4th House. It’s almost as if he needed more help to be able to find expression for his early childhood.
Parents are additionally ruled by the planets. Fathers’ influences are ruled by Saturn in an individual’s chart, and often the Sun. Mother’s influences are ruled by the Moon. The Moon is emotional and reactive and caring. If the Moon is afflicted in one’s chart in some way one will have to honestly look at the ways he/she reacts to his own feelings (these are very simple descriptions). If Saturn is afflicted in one’s chart one will have to look at how he handles authority with others. Both planets are key indicators (along with Pluto) of how an individual will try to control himself and others and how he handles inhibitions and fears. Moon and Saturn can suffer a lot during divorce as they represent the family structure and basic emotional fears related to where they are coming from in life and where they are going (as represented by the Midheaven). They also rule the IC/MC Axis of the chart which are two of the the strongest points in the Wheel. They square (meaning they challenge) anything an individual goes through related to his relationships as represented by the 1st and 7th House Axis.
The amount of planets in Feminine and Masculine Signs will also indicate which parents influence was strongest. Just noticing whether or not the Sun is in a Feminine or Masculine Signs tells a whole lot in this regard (Feminine Signs are Water and Earth / Masculine Signs are Fire and Air).
Astrologer Noel Tyl has also added a lot of interesting research on family influences, especially with regards to Saturn Retrogrades and placement of planets above and below the Horizon. He has written a lot of books and has published a DVD of his basic lessons which is probably really good although I haven’t seen it. Erin Sullivan has also written what looks like a really interesting book on family.
In the case of bad Step-Families it’s also good to look at the houses which indicate enemies to see if one has some kind of vulnerability in this area. The 7th House rules open enemies. The 12th House rules hidden enemies.
I’ll also mention money here since money is a huge influence in divorced children’s lives. Namely, there often is a lot less of it after the divorce. And the parents use it to manipulate the kids and to anger the ex-spouse. One’s own money and sense of values related to possessions are ruled by the 2d House, Taurus, and Venus. Money of one’s partner is represented by the 8th House. This is also the house related to Inheritance.
It will be interesting to see if something can hone down how Alimony and Child Support were handled within a family. This will involve the 9th House as this is the house that rules lawyers. If Neptune is somehow involved with the Resources Houses (2, 5, 8, 11) then perhaps a parent was witnessed being used or victimized in this area. Saturn in the 4th House can often indicate poverty. Saturn anywhere can instill a frozen feeling brought on by a need to grow up before one’s time. If Saturn touches a Resource House perhaps this indicates troubles with finances related to watching how the parents handled it.
Parent’s earning capacity is going to be represented by the 2d House from whichever house represents them. If Mother is represented by the 4th House, her money will be represented by a child’s 5th House. If Father is represented by the 10th House, his money will be represented by a child’s 11th House. I suppose that fighting over the money of one’s parents during Divorce would be related to these houses.
Secrets are generally ruled by Pluto and the 8th House with some help from Neptune and the 12th House. Bills also says that Saturn is a ruler as well. He also adds that personal secrets are ruled by the 4th House and Moon. If you’ve got Moon in strong aspect to either Neptune or Pluto and somehow related to the 4th House, you’ve got a lot of family secrets.
Since the idea of “Manipulation” comes up a lot in divorce I thought it was interesting that Bills give rulership for Manipulation to Uranus. I would have thought it was one of the Water Sign rulers, Moon, Neptune or Pluto. This is interesting, because Uranus is considered one of the main rulers of Divorce in general. And Step-Parents are told that step-children in their lives are ruled by their 11th houses. And step-parents certainly like to use that word in reference to their partner’s children.
Blame isn’t mentioned in Bills. I suspect that this would be ruled by Saturn as Saturn rules Guilt. Neptune is also probably connected due to its connections to feeling martyred. And perhaps Mercury as well just for its mental ability to verbalize and analyze what’s wrong with a situation.
Anger is ruled by Mars. War is ruled by Pluto. Pride and Ego is ruled by the Sun.
Synthesis, which is necessary for recouping and regrouping after the split is ruled, according to Bills, by Uranus and Pluto. I think that Virgo/Mercury is also heavily involved here. I wrote a previous post about how I think that Virgo is related to being a Child of Divorce. It is the sign related to subservience, pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, daily habits, (all that scheduling of parental visitations) and high levels of anxiety and extremes of perfectionism which are problems for Children of Divorce. Virgo is also related to dealing with huge amounts of details and developing systems that can contain all that information.
Anything that is split is going to be ruled by signs that are described by duplicity. That would be Gemini (twins) and Pisces (twofishes).
An interesting area for study would be kids whose parents never married. I am studying only a couple of charts which are extremely interesting but don’t have a basic idea of distinct aspects to look for in the chart.
A child who is easy-going and just follows along quietly will probably have Mutable Signs or Venus/Libra strongly emphasized in his chart. Children who are uncomfortable will probably have strong needs for tradition and structure and will have Moon and Saturn indicated strongly in the chart. Kids with a lot of Aquarius and Uranus are simply amazing and seem to be able to tolerate enormous amounts of stressful conditions. How people handle frustration will be shown through their Saturn placement. How people handle anger, especially bottled up anger that is brought on by watching other people fight will be indicated by Pluto. Self-esteem is indicated by the Sun. One’s ability to love and to receive love freely will be indicated by Venus (well, along with most of the rest of the planets). One’s ability to go after what one wants will be indicated by Mars.
Custody Problems could be painted in the chart in all kinds of ways. Of course, one would want to look at difficult aspects between Moon and Pluto in the natal chart to check for problems with regards to possessiveness. I would expect to see many planets placed below the Horizon of the chart but have nothing to back that up with. The 9th House rules the Courts and Lawyers. The 10th House rules the Judicial System. The 12th House and Neptune rule Institutions and Social Welfare.
Issues around Custody remind me of the Ceres/Demeter and Pluto/Hades Myth a little bit. Pluto abducted Persephone who was the daughter of a possessive Mother, Ceres. Ceres appealed to Persephone’s Father, Zeus, to return her daughter. Persephone ended up living 6 months of the year with her Mother as an agricultural Goddess. The other 6 months of the year she lived in the underworld with Pluto. She is represented by Asteroid Number 399 and is said to represent the point in life where one feels captive and imprisoned. A very nice description of the various Persephone Myths are told here. Ceres and Pluto are both considered dwarf planets at this point.
Ceres also could represent the possessive Mother. In astrology she is said to represent the point where we are most nurturing as she is connected with agriculture and fruitfulness. In Divorce situations, though, she sounds a bit like the possessive parent.
A parent who uses the child like a pawn in the divorce proceedings will have a strong Pluto which is related to needing to be powerful.
An absentee Father will be indicated by a badly placed Saturn and a challenge to Neptune. If the Moon is in a place of emphasis this might be because the Mother made it happen. In that case, I’d expect to see Moon working with Pluto.
An absentee Mother might be more related to Jupiter and Uranus but this is only my supposition.
Pluto represents Sex, Death and Other People’s money. His influence is much more prominent in the childhoods of kids from divorce than in kids from most intact families because they must think and feel much more deeply than those children at a much earlier age. Pluto does rule abduction, rape, murder. He also rules Research. All of these planets represent many different things. I’m just discussing possible representations that they could symbolize for those who are growing up in or have grown up in Divorce.
Venus and Libra will influence how a child feels around his friends. He may become envious of others and may be constantly comparing himself to them. Friends are represented by the 11th House. Early education is ruled by the 3d House, Gemini, and Mercury.
The rest of the Asteroid “Goddesses” also seem to have strong relevance for Divorce. As coincidence would have it, they’ve been introduced into mainstream Astrology just as Divorce became prevalent in society.
Lilith is a very strong presence. She is represented by 3 different points. I tend to stick with the point that is called “The Dark Side of the Moon.” This is a fictitious spot in the Moon’s orb. Lilith was the 1st wife. Feminists like her because she refused to be considered unequal to her husband. In some myths she is said to have murdered her children in a rage.
Juno is considered “The Wife.” She is constantly following her philandering husband around and having fits of rage and jealousy.
Zeus is the same character in Mythology as Jupiter. And Jupiter is represented in Astrology very strongly. But his character as the philandering husband is never discussed by Astrologers. It’s fair to say that Zeus fathered many children.
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