Astrological Rulership Goes a Step Further by Adding House Occupation

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Astrology is a real smorgasbörd of experience. Each wheel becomes a new and exciting experience. Yes, there are commonalities between wheels, but each becomes a whole new project to understand and to read. Astrology is an ancient study that offers perpetual new vistas of experience, a true blend of the old and the new. Astrological rulerships can deepen your understanding of both astrology and humanity. Taking that rulership technique another step further allows a broader understanding of the wheel and the experience it illustrates. That additional step is called occupation and that is the subject of this article.

Rulership relates to the affinity between planets, signs and houses. The planets are thought to “rule” the signs and houses.  There are two perspectives, the ancient and the modern. This is an area of ongoing study and controversy amongst astrologers. A brief recap of those rulerships is necessary for this article.

 The four cornerstones of astrology are planets, signs, houses and aspects.

  • Rulership may be determined by either the ancient system or the modern system – both do work well. It is my suggestion that you use both systems until you reach personal conclusions as to accuracy and usefulness of one or the other. I use both.
  • The ancient rulership system used only the seven inner solar system bodies that are visible to the unaided eye: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Modern rulerships expanded that seven-planet base by adding the three more recently discovered planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (yes, I count Pluto as a planet).
  • The planets are physical objects that have actual energy and impact in our lives. They are in perpetual orbit around our Sun and are the closest bodies to us in space.
  • The signs are the twelve constellations that span the ecliptic (the path of the Earth around the Sun) and are collectively called the zodiac (circle of animals). They are located light years away from us, but each covers thirty degrees of local space imaged to be just outside our solar system. Signs affect us more by description and expression.
  • Houses are divisions of physical Earth space (Earth is in the center of each wheel), that I call arenas of physical experience. House rulership may also be referred to as mundane rulership.
  • Aspects are simply the angular relationships between the planets, and are also applied between planets and personal points such as the ascendant and midheaven in a wheel. We will not be covering aspects in this article.
  • Certain planets, signs and houses seem to have a natural affinity with one another, and are naturally grouped. The closer, physical and active planets are given the title “ruler” over Earth-bound houses and cosmic signs, so I refer to the planets as the keystone of the four cornerstones mentioned.
  • The planet rules the sign and the house with which it has a natural affinity.
  • In the ancient rulership system the Sun ruled Leo and the 5th house, the Moon ruled Cancer and the 4th house, Mercury ruled Gemini and Virgo and the 3rd and 6th houses, Venus ruled Taurus and Libra and the 2nd and 7th houses, Mars ruled Aries and Scorpio and the 1st and 8th houses, Jupiter ruled Sagittarius and Pisces and the 9th and 12th houses, Saturn ruled Capricorn and Aquarius and the 10th and 11th houses.
  • In the modern rulership system the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus maintain their same rulerships. Mars still rules Aries and the 1st house, Jupiter still rules Sagittarius and the 9th house, Saturn still rules Capricorn and the 10th house. The new planets are assigned as follows: Uranus rules Aquarius and the 11th house, Neptune rules Pisces and the 12th house, and Pluto rules Scorpio and the 8th house. Controversy still exists.

We have established the core of rulerships, and now we must move into new territory.

Occupation This article is about rulership (described) and occupation (house position of a planet) and the affinity that exists between these two facets. The planet represents energy or a human function; i.e., the Sun is the ego and self-identity. As the Sun transits through the zodiacal signs, that energy is influenced by the existing sign energy; i.e., the Sun in Aries gives an Arian influence or flavor to that Sun expression. The Sun has not stopped being ego and self-identity but that human Aries ego expresses quite differently than if the Sun were in Scorpio. There is still a self-identity and ego expression, but the energy is modified by the sign through which it passes.

The Sun is posited in a specific house in a natal wheel and that ties the energy of that body and what it represents to the affairs of the house (occupation). For example, a first house Sun (the house of self) will seem to be more visible and projective (angular) than a twelfth house Sun (a more reclusive house). When we read a wheel, we read the energy of the planet as it expresses the sign through which it is passing and as a specific effect on the house it occupies. This is a visible and natural association. There is one more step to read to obtain a deeper understanding of the energy.

Regardless of the sign and house a body occupies, it will always have affinity or connectedness to the sign(s) and house(s) it rules. That never goes away regardless of the physical position of that body. These are permanent connections. Understanding this will enlarge your reading capability for any of these pairings. These random examples should illustrate the connection between the house of rulership and the house of occupation.

  • If the ruler of the 3rd is in the 6th, work/service/health will be related to siblings, communication, and/or education, to name a few possibilities.
  • If the ruler of the 2nd is in the 9th, personal values and portable finance will be related to higher education, philosophy, law, advertising, and/or publicity, to name a few.
  • If the ruler of the ascendant is in the 10th, the personal projection, response to the environment and coping skills will be related to career, accomplishment, and stature.
  • If the ruler of the 2nd is in the 12th, personal finance and values can be hidden or financial or value system self-sabotage issues may exist.
  • If the ruler of the 7th is in the 11th, your partner should also be your friend.

Using an example from an actual wheel: Jupiter in the 9th ruling the Pisces 10th (old rulership) would suggest an association between 9th house affairs and 10th house affairs – the career, status, goals should reflect philosophy, religion, education, law, foreign cultures. Actually, this is from the wheel of a non-denominational minister. Co-ruler 10th house Neptune (modern rulership) is in the 4th of the same wheel connecting the home, hearth, family to the career, status, goals (10th house) and this minister conducts much of their business from their home. Both of the pairings provide a piece of a very large puzzle called a human.

There isn’t much available to illustrate the tie between occupation and rulership. But you can teach this technique to yourself simply by looking at the wheels of people you know quite well or from whom you can obtain feedback. Or you can select one planet and systematically work it through each of the possibilities (the ruler of the 3rd is in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) and then move on to another planet. I am self-taught in this way, so I know this can be done. Success will depend on how thoroughly you practice this procedure. After the first few pairings of occupation and rulership, it should get easier. Astrology is a smorgasbörd of possibility. Perpetually new and exciting, it runs the full spectrum of human experience. Bon appetite!

Associated articles:

“Astrological Choices-Planetary Rulership of Signs and Houses-The Old and the New”

“Cornerstones of Astrology – Planets, Signs, Houses and Aspects” 

Published on EZine online May, 2010, republished with slight editing.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.