The Fourth House

Our Psychological Foundations – Our Sense of Belonging – Home and Family Issues – How We Are In Private – Childhood Conditioning – The ‘ The Nurturing’ or ‘Hidden Parent’ – Later Years In Life

The Fourth House At A Glance
House Classification: Cardinal
Opposite House: Tenth
Natural Ruler: The Moon
Natural Sign: Cancer

Core Meaning: Developing psychological foundation
Traditional Meaning: The Home, Family background, End of Life.

Lying at the base of the birth chart, the fourth house underpins our very existence, for it is here that we gain access to the most profound influences that shape us.

At the deepest level, this house reflects our psychological foundations not just in a personal sense, but in a way that connects us to our ancestral, national and even our racial origins.

Although much of this is likely to be unconscious, it nevertheless provides us with our sense of belonging – or where we fit into the world.

On a personal level the fourth house represents the place we return to when we withdraw from the world ‘out there’. In a literal sense, it symbolizes our physical home, and it shows what we are like behind closed doors. But it also shows how and where we look for emotional support and sustenance.

As far as childhood is concerned, this house has a great deal to say about our early conditioning and the kind of parenting we received, or at least felt we received. Confusingly, there are convincing arguments for attributing this house to the mother and father – the debate focusing on whether it represents the ‘nurturing’ (mother) or ‘hidden’ (father) parent.

In practice, though, the overall balance of the chart needs to be assessed before deciding which parent is represented here.

Traditionally the fourth house is also associated with ‘endings’. On one level, this corresponds to our later years in life when we retire from the world, while on another level it shows how we bring matters to a conclusion.

Planets in the Fourth House
A focus of planets in the fourth house suggests a highly personal approach to life, together with a strong need for privacy. Not all planets find this house an easy place to be. Saturn and Uranus, for example, are inclined to feel awkward or out of place, and often view the whole issue of the home with an air of detachment and coldness.

Reference: The Instant Astrologer: Felix Lyle and Bryan Aspland