Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS


February 4, 2005 (with chart)


Dear Eric:

You know that for a beginner the relation between 'houses', 'signs' and 'rulers' is an extremely difficult one to understand. For example: It appears to be that my seventh house is Aries (and Taurus as well, since it covers most of the sign of Taurus). The ruler of Aries is Mars. So the ruler of my seventh House is Mars -- not Venus! And Mars is in the first degrees of Aquarius, my third house and fourth house. Venus herself is positioned in 'exile' in Aries, technically in the sixth house. What I don't understand: What is the relation between my ruler Venus and the ruler of my seventh house Mars? And is Venus now attributed to the sixth or to the seventh house? Can you see the confusion I'm in?




Dear Raphaela,

This question seems more complicated than it is. While this subject may be confusing for beginners, it's also one of the more important starting places for beginners.


The modern astrological chart is made of two wheels imposed over one another. One wheel is the signs; the other is the houses. There are 12 of both. The difference is fairly simple. We all know that when it's early February, the Sun is Aquarius. The Sun takes about a month to go through a sign.


However, you can be born with an Aquarius Sun in any house. This is because the world is turning (rotating on its axis). The world rotates once per day. So each day, everything spins through the houses of the zodiac in time with the world turning. Hence, in the early morning before sunrise, the Sun is in the 1st house. Just before noon, the Sun is in the 10th house. Just before sunset, the Sun is in the 7th house.


The Sun isn't moving this fast; rather, the world is turning, and the Sun's angle changes relative to the horizon. The position of the Sun or any planet relative to the horizon is what a house is. Hopefully that was clear enough.


Now, when you look at a chart, the lines you see are the houses. For some reason, the signs don't get lines drawn. But the lines for the houses (called cusps) intersect the different signs. So when a house cusp goes through Aries, for example, Aries is said to be the 'sign on the cusp of the house' and becomes directly associated with that house in that particular chart. The sign on the cusp sets the tone of the house in that particular chart. It's as important as having a planet in a particular house.


It is true that in the case of your chart, Taurus is also partly in your 7th house, and that can be an important factor under special conditions, which we can skip for now.


Now, each sign has a planet that's associated with it (sometimes more than one). This planet is called the ruler of the sign. When the sign is on a house cusp, the planet is said to rule both the sign and the house associated with that sign.


Because you have Aries on your 7th house cusp, Mars becomes an important player in the affairs of that house. This is true no matter where Mars is in your chart. In your case, Mars appears in Aquarius in the 3rd house, far from the 7th; but it has a direct influence over the affairs of the 7th house.


So to sum up: a house is influenced by at least three things:

1. The sign that is on the house cusp.

2. The planetary ruler of that sign, no matter where it is, and all the aspects to that planet.

3. Any planets that are in that house.

4. Not mentioned yet, but transits that are happening to that particular house, or house cusp, or to the planetary ruler of the house.


This is all part of what makes each natal chart so unique. And while it may seem complicated, if you follow the rules for a while, you will see that something 'comes to you' intuitively about what is going on. Notice that so far I've made no attempt to interpret your chart. First we need to follow along with the basic baseball, without saying specifically what something means. It's always good to get the technicalities out of the way first, and it gives you an opportunity to be objective and look at the structure of the chart in an impersonal, even scientific way. This is particularly helpful when you find yourself looking at a chart with a specific question: for example, you're working with a client who wants to know about their prospects for having a child. So you look to the 5th house (which is the first place we look for information about children, pregnancy and birth) and see the sign that's on the cusp. Then you would look at the planets in that house, if any; then you would look for the ruler of the sign on the cusp, and its aspects.


In this way, we can get information about any house, regardless of whether a planet is IN that house; and often, that information comes with exceptional detail.


Then, it's important to take all these symbols in context of the rest of the chart. For example, if we're talking about relationships, we need to look at the 5th through the 8th houses -- and any other houses where the planets that rule those houses may fall. (Yes, astrology is detailed work, requiring a lot of systematic thought, which assists the intuition greatly.)


Now, let's look at some of the themes in your chart as they play out following these guidelines. You have Aries on the 7th house. This means you have Libra rising, since the rising sign and the 7th house will always have opposing signs on the cusps. Libra rising tells me that you have a strong orientation on relationships, but that at the same time you strive to be an individualist within those relationships.


Because Libra is rising, Venus (the ruler of Libra) is an important planet in understanding your whole chart. I can only give a few notes here; you will need to study it more carefully.


You have Venus in Aries. Venus in Aries can make a person self-centered, which is sometimes helpful and sometimes not. In your case, this gives you the ability to think of yourself in a situation where you might ordinarily get lost thinking about someone else. The key is to be able to maintain awareness of both people in the relationship, and to be aware of the distinctions between love, selflove, romantic love and other forms of love that can show up as that Venus in Aries.


You also have Venus in the 6th house. Aries covers all of your 6th and part of your 7th house, so it's closely involved with two of the most important houses. Notice, also, that there are a lot of planets surrounding Venus -- the chart above shows four planets in Aries: Chiron, Venus, Pallas Athene and Mercury. If I had to guess, I would say that work is someplace very important to you; someplace you're something of a star; someplace you seek to find your identity; and where you seek to express your passion. This is a HOT chart and you are someone who needs your work to be hot, innovative, daring and pioneering. You need to be a leader, and the conjunction of Venus and Pallas Athene tells me you're a compelling person whose word is taken seriously.


If not, then please get with your chart!


Last, let's consider the ruler of the 6th and 7th house, Mars. Mars is the representative of these two houses, since both have Aries on the cusp and Mars rules Aries.


The ruler of the 7th house (including its house and sign placement, aspects, etc.) describes something of our ideal relationship partner. The ruler of the 6th describes our working conditions and also our working partners. There may be a strong overlap here, as your 6th and 7th are ruled by the same sign and planet.


We find Mars in Aquarius, and also in your 3rd house. Both Aquarius and the 3rd house address mental aspects of the personality. So this placement of Mars tells me you have a knack for attracting extremely intelligent men. Because Aries is so strong in your chart (and thus, you're able to maintain your individuality), you're actually able to relate to these men as peers and equals, no matter how intelligent they are. As a result, you can learn a great deal from them -- a true gift in this life.


But here's something interesting about Mars in Aquarius, which is clarified further by Mars conjunct Vesta, one of the major asteroids. This tells me that the men around you are deeply dedicated to you, but that they may have a kind of sexual detachment from you. This 'detached' quality is the result of both Aquarius and the Vesta conjunction.


However -- if we look closely -- we can see that Venus and Mars are making an important aspect (not displayed in the chart) -- a quintile. There is, quite potentially, an excellent flow of energy between you and the men in your life. But because you are the HOT Aries type, you must be the one to make the first move; you must be the initiator if you want your relationships to go beyond the cool, reserved world of work and ideas.


Honestly, I don't think anyone will mind!