Spiritual Interpretation of the Twelve Houses of the Horoscope
This is taken from Thomas H. Burgoyne’s The Science of the Soul and Stars.
In revealing this mystery, we would impress upon the mind of the student that the order of the Zodiac is the reverse of the external, in its spiritual application, to the twelve houses of the horoscope.
As the four cardinal signs, viz., Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, correspond to the four angles of a natal figure, it is our purpose to explain, first, the symbolism of the four angles, or cardinal points; believing the whole revelation will thus become clear and forcible.
The four angles of the horoscope correspond to the four elements, the four triplicities, and the four cardinal points, or epochs, in the soul’s involution from pure spirit to the crystallizing, inert, mineral state.
The first angle is the ascendant, or House of Life. It is the eastern horizon, and symbolized by Aries. Upon the interior, this first angle stands for the birth, or differentiation, of the Divine Ego, as the result of the creative action, or impulse, of the Deific mind.
The Ego rises upon the eastern horizon of celestial states, a glowing, scintillating atom of pure intelligence, an absolute, eternal Ego, rising out of the ocean of Infinite Love.
The South angle, meridian, or Tenth House, pertaining to honor, etc., is symbolized by Cancer; the highest point in the arc of the soul’s involution, as a differentiated atom of Deity within angelic spheres.
Having evolved the first dual expression of its (the Ego’s) self, the twin souls–Sensation and Aspiration, or Love and Wisdom, the Ego rests awhile, radiant with celestial love and wisdom, and inspiring the Divine breath of life.
Again the restless impulse of the creative purpose arouses the Ego to further action. The culminating point has been reached, and now must begin an apparent downward course toward the western horizon.
The seventh angle, or House of Marriage, etc., is represented by Libra (the Balance), or point of equilibrium; where the two souls are still one, balanced upon the western horizon. The alluring temptations of material illusions draw the souls downward, and, divorced from their celestial state, the radiance of Divine love becomes obscured, until the twilight of consciousness of that former state is lost in the night of material conditions.
This house signifies, also, law, and open enemies, and (Libra) justice. Sex is the law. The antagonism is surely too apparent to require explanation.
The fourth angle, or Nadir, the point opposite the M. C., signifies the frozen North, and is symbolized by Capricorn, the crystallizing point in the soul’s involution. It is death, inertia; that is, crystallization of the soul’s spiritual forces. It is the lowest point of the are in the monad’s downward journey. It is the night, before the awakening of a new day upon a higher plane of existence.
The remaining houses are the lights and shadows that, fill out and complete the picture, upon this, the first round of the Cyclic Ladder.
The Twelfth House, symbolized by Taurus, represents the first expression of form of the human soul. It is matter in the most etherealized state. It is the trail of the serpent; the silent, secret, tenacious, negative principle; that ultimately draws the soul down into the vortices of gross matter and death.
The Eleventh, or House of Friends, whose symbol is Gemini, the Twins, expressive of the first emanation of this sublime relationship, the dual attributes, love and wisdom, closest friends. It is sensation and aspiration, which enable the spirit to attain to the exalted state indicated by the Tenth Mansion.
The Ninth Mansion of the celestial map is the House of Science, Art, Religion, Philosophy, etc., and its symbol is Leo, the Heart, with its emotions, love, and longings, and sympathies. Having evolved the twins, and inspiring the Divine breath of wisdom; glowing with Deific love, the Ego aspires to know; and all the sympathies of the soul are aroused. Dauntless and fearless, defying all opposition and consequences, It (the Ego) is ready to sacrifice this angelic state and explore the boundless Universe in pursuit of knowledge, and goes forth on its long voyage upon the ocean of Infinite, fathomless love and wisdom.
The Eighth, or House of Death and Legacies, is symbolized by Virgo, the virgin wife, standing before the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,” fascinated by the flattering prospects of greater power and wisdom. Desire and sympathy draw the soul down into realms which lead to death, and the beginning of a heritage of sorrow.
The Sixth, or House of Sickness, Menials, and Sorrow, is symbolized by Scorpio. The fall, from Libra through Scorpio (sex), created the first condition of what we recognize as sickness and affliction. It is evident that this house is related to the elementals of the astral plane, which become the servitors of man.
The Fifth, or House of Children, etc., symbolized by Sagittarius, signifies the offspring of sex (Scorpio), entities sent forth to people the Earth, to take their chances of life, speculating on its future course, fearlessly eager for the struggle, gaining pleasure in its migrations and activities.
The Third House is symbolized by Aquarius. This is the first step of the upward journey, or evolution, from the inert mineral state. The changes are now rapid; the journeys innumerable; through mineral, vegetable, and animal planes, of existence. Here, the Soul Monad brings into actual practice the knowledge gained on its long voyage. The magical powers of the soul are brought into action to effect these changes in form and function, conquering material forces and planes of life, transmuting Nature’s elements to its uses and purposes, and writing its history, as it journeys ever onward, step by step.
And further, this house stands in opposition to the Ninth House, symbolized by Leo; longing to expand its (the Ego’s) possibilities through trial and suffering; gaining knowledge through bitter experience; yet fearlessly braving all things; guided and sustained by the imperial will of spirit. The recompense promised by that supreme sacrifice has been won in Aquarius–the Man–consecrated now to a higher existence, baptized in the waters of affliction (experience), ready to be transmuted into actual knowledge. This is Aquarius, and the Third House.
The Second House, signified as Pisces, the House of Wealth, that which has been accumulated on the long and toilsome journey–the wealth of experience, acquired through trials and struggles. And now, with higher, greater possibilities, the soul eagerly awaits the hour when it shall be born again, a conscious, responsible human being, to begin the second round of the Cyclic Ladder; on this second round, to externalize the knowledge gained, to evolve the involved attributes and forces of being,–a creature of will and intellect, to work out its destiny, as the lord of material creation.
Observe, the order of the Zodiac is reversed upon the external human plane. But, Aries is always symbolical of the first angle, and Libra of the seventh, being the point of equilibrium, while the tenth, or South, angle becomes Capricorn and the fourth Cancer. The mission of the soul now is to evolve the positive, spiritual attributes.
Aries rules the brain and the fiery, imperial will. It signifies courage, daring, etc., the first qualities necessary for the battle of life. Ruling the head, the sign and house show us the ability of man to view the field of action, to mark his chart, and arm for the war (which will be incessant); responsible for his acts, a creature of unfolding consciousness, an individual, whose measure of free will enables him to wander so far North or South of his celestial equator, within his orbit, or Zodiac.
The South angle, or Tenth House, now ruled by Capricorn, tells of the honor, position, fame, etc. (or the reverse) acquired by patient labor. The crystallized material gains, the concrete result of ambition, skill, and talent, which will, at the close of his earthly career, become liquefied by the universal resolvent; symbolized by Cancer upon the opposite angle, symbolical of the grave, the end of mundane affairs; when they will be mirrored forth in new forms in that great white sea, according to the manner in which he gained his worldly accumulations and prestige.
The seventh angle is Libra, House of Marriage; that all-important relation which may make or mar a life, the Balance is so easily disturbed in its equilibrium. To preserve its harmony, equality must reign, blending love and wisdom. It is the perfect poise of body, mind, and soul, achieved by loving obedience to the higher laws of our being and the true union of intuition and reason.
The Second House, now represented by Taurus, shows us that personal wealth and possessions must come through patient servitude, steady application, and diligence, in being able to choose and assimilate the knowledge, that will enable man to battle with material conditions, and wrest from the abundant sources of Mother Nature his share of treasure and experience. It is the battle-ground to which humanity, armed with brain and will, life and energy, goes forth to battle with material forces for the bread he must earn by the sweat of his brow, and through the silent, subtle forces of mind and soul conquer matter, thus storing up a wealth of knowledge and experience.
The Third House is ruled by Gemini, the Twins, Reason and Intuition, the brethren who aid and guide us on our many journeys in the pursuit of knowledge. As this sign governs the hands and arms and the executive forces of humanity, we see, that, the hands become the magical agents of mind, molding into outward form the ideas conceived in the mind, projecting these into the field of active life, that he may write a bright record in the Book of Life. The hands should be kept clean, the images pure; and the perfect poise gained by the equal exercise of love and wisdom, intuition and reason, making the basis of education; the evolution of the interior or real self. This is the true meaning of this house upon the external plane. it is Occult, because it means projecting the powers of the soul into conscious life, externalizing the qualities and magical forces of spirit, as shown in the first instance by Aquarius. This can be accomplished only through pure desire and aspiration. Otherwise, the unbalanced scales, with floods and cataclysms, will be the results.
The Fifth House, ruling children, etc., is symbolized by Leo (the Heart). The joys and sorrows that offspring of every kind bring, all belong to this House of the Heart. The sacrifice indicated is too obvious for comment.
The Sixth House governs sickness, disease, etc., and its symbol is Virgo, an Earthy sign, clearly showing us that the material form is the matrix, out of which are born disease and suffering. But, the perfect assimilation of the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil;” transmuting the trials, experiences, sorrows, and suffering of the physical and external life into true wisdom; makes man master of his material universe; and the blind forces of Nature become his servants. Having accomplished the task, and attained the harmonious poise, or balance, in Libra, the individualized soul arrives at the eighth step in the
The Eighth House, or House of Death and Legacies (Scorpio). The old Adam dies. The sensuous has no place in the balanced, harmonious being, but recognizes sex as the law, the door to regeneration now, and that a new legacy is awaiting him.
The Ninth House, Sagittarius. where, with the knowledge acquired, self sits in judgment upon the works of the hands and mind, whether or no they have been well done; the sacrifice of the lower nature properly made, control of the triune being established, the transmutations correct and accurate, assimilation perfect and free from dross, harmony gained by loving obedience to the higher law of being, and thus becomes ruler of his kingdom; the long journey almost accomplished, so far as Earth is concerned, perceiving and understanding that all sciences, philosophies, and religions, have their origin from one primal source. Having penetrated the depths in reverent obedience to the Divine law of creation, and evolved the attributes of the dual constitution, the forces of his being become crystallized. He has reached the culmination of his earthly pilgrimage, and stands forth the perfected human reflection of the higher self.
The Eleventh House is represented by Aquarius on the human plane. Friends surround and welcome him. These friends are the pure thoughts, noble impulses, lofty ideals, and generous deeds. The bread cast upon the Waters of Life returns to nourish and sustain him in his encounter with the secret foes, symbolized by the Twelfth House and Pisces. The idols, false ideas, and vampires of his own creation, are to be cleansed and washed away by the Waters of Love, the universal solvent that is ever seeking to bring about change and new forms; born again of water to make the round of the astral Zodiac, until, having again reached the equator of the ascending are, where he is reunited to the missing half of his soul, the true friend of the Eden-like state; the highest point in the arc of human progress won; the honor and glory of a perfected soul; the Lord and Master, the “I am that I am,” to rest in peace in the heart of Infinite Love and Wisdom.