What Does it Mean for a Planet to Rule a House?

planet ruling houseEvery now and then you’ll hear an astrologer say that a certain planet rules a house in your chart. It’s good information, but what does it mean, and how can you use it?

The ruling planet is determined by the sign that is on the cusp of the house. So if you have Gemini on your 2nd house cusp, Mercury rules your 2nd house. That means that Mercury’s placement will tell you a lot about 2nd house matters. This is really useful to get a sense of how the house operates, especially if there are no other planets in that house. I’ll give an example from my own chart.

I have a totally empty 10th house. But does that mean I have no career, no ambition, no goals? Of course not! I have Aquarius on the cusp, which means the 10th house is ruled by Saturn and Uranus. My natal Saturn and Uranus are both in Sagittarius in the 8th house. I have spent my life learning about psychology, astrology, and what makes people tick, and have made a career of it. So the placement of the rulers of my 10th house have determined how my 10th house matters are expressed.

Or take a friend of mine, who has Taurus on the cusp on his empty 3rd house. This makes the ruler of his 3rd house Venus. He has Venus in Virgo in the 7th house. While he’s not much interested in schedules outings, and social events, there’s someone who is – his wife! She handles the small details of daily life and even manages his social media for him. Talk about Venus ruling communications!

So if you want to get a feel for how a house operates in your chart, especially an empty house, take a look at sign on the cusp and the placement of its ruler. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn!

What planets rule your empty houses? Do their placements in the chart resonate?

11 thoughts on “What Does it Mean for a Planet to Rule a House?”

  1. Midara,
    Can you show a visual example of finding the ruler? Sometimes there is an interceptor and I get confused about that. Also explain the sign placement within the house vs. the ruler. If you know what I mean…I’m not explaining it right but I think you know what I’m trying to say. The ruler has degrees also. Can you briefly explain that so I know what I’m doing right.

        1. Thanks! I can see how it gets into it. I was going to take a horary course, but dang, it’s a commitment, and then all my friends will be bugging me and many, MANY times it’s a negative answer that leaves people bummed out. I’m learning that, yes, horary is accurate but I have seen a lot of questions turned around and become positive. I also have learned the importance of house rulers or the “Lord of” a particular house. Thank you for your reply.

  2. I have Mars ruling the 4th house (which is empty). With Mars the house ruler transiting the 4th house, you could see that I am paying a lot more attention to how I want things in my home. I am more concerned about what constitutes a home.

  3. Gemini rules my 5H cusp. Mercury is posited in my Virgo-ruled 8H. I have always found learning to be fun; especially spiritual topics. I encouraged my children to nurture their creative talents. Family vacations always included educational excursions.

  4. So if Scorpio is on the cusp of my empty 7th house, that house is ruled by Mars and Pluto, who are placed in Leo and Virgo respectively. That means those planets indicate how 7th house matters are expressed? Is that comparable to a chart placement of those planets actually in the 7th? I’m not 100% understanding how this plays out, and if these two planets work together or create conflict.

    1. Hortense – Yes, Mars and Pluto profoundly color your 7H. You (Leo) seek (Mars) a partner (7H) and desire a deep (Pluto) connection, both physically (Leo-ruled 5H) and verbally (Virgo). No casual chit-chat in your merged and committed relationships.

  5. So what is the definition of ‘on the cusp’? Does that mean any planet within the first five degrees of that house?

  6. I just learned something if I have this right. My 7th House has Venus on the Cusp (though it’s intersected later by Mercury). But if I ignore the Mercury bit (though it does play a part), my partners should be rather Earthy, Arty, enjoy pleasurable pursuits, love nature, etc. Well I did marry an Earth sign and he was an artist! He also is an ace Gardner and builder of things and lives nature. My Venus is in my Second House in Capricorn, and I did find his status as an Artist appealing. I also met him through a group of musician/artists-people (my 11th House is Libra) and who in the group specifically introduced me to him was a Taurus/Gemini cusp individual who was friends with this group of folks which echos back to my 6th/7th house! Maybe due to the Gemini Mercury part of my 7th, he was a Virgo (my Moon is in Virgo) but we also divorced. Though we divorced, I ended up back living with him four years later. Not remarried him and may never but we are friends and support each other. @Midara: am I on the right track?

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