Derivative Houses

Zip Dobyns

A recent case with a personal client was a good example of the astrological tradition of derivative houses. The phrase refers to taking the fifth house to be children and counting to the fifth house from the fifth and associating it with the children of one’s own children; with one’s grandchildren. Similarly, the fourth and tenth houses are keys to parents, so the fourth and tenth from the fourth and tenth (which would be the first and seventh) should tell us something about the parents of our parents; our grandparents. As you can see, a house can include a variety of people in our lives. Since the third house includes brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc., the ninth house refers to their spouses as well as to our grandchildren. The eleventh house in addition to friends can be the children of our partner or of other people (if we adopt them) or the partners of our children. As is usually the case in astrology, if we stick to the basic psychological principles we will usually be right and be helpful. If we try to guess the details, we will be wrong fairly often. Yet, when we get the details, they do fit the system!

Since the chart which reminded me of this tradition is a personal client, I will not include the whole chart, but will mention the relevant factors. Mrs. M is the grandmother of the twins who were offered as a challenge in the Pisces 1989 issue of The Mutable Dilemma. Readers will remember that the girl twin was born well before the boy who delayed so long, the physician brought him by Caesarean section. However, the boy is healthy, happy and cuddly while the girl has serious problems with eczema and infections which make her scratch and cry a fair amount.

Mrs. M telephoned me a few days ago to report a series of disturbing events which had really upset her. In a single week, she had injured her neck and was in considerable pain, almost unable to turn her head. Her house (and three others on her block) had been robbed. And her daughter (mother of the twins) was not speaking to her because she had refused to co-sign for her daughter’s purchase of a new home.

Even without her horoscope, we know we are dealing with a Venus issue. Venus rules the neck, the physical possessions (which were stolen), money (which the daughter wanted pledged to assist in the house purchase) and affectionate relationships. Mrs. M has natal Venus in the first house square Saturn in the eleventh house. It also rules her fifth house and by progression it is in the fourth house in a quincunx to Saturn. Mercury rules the Ascendant in Mrs. M’s chart and it has progressed from the twelfth house to the third where it is now opposing Jupiter in the ninth house.

I interpreted the basic principles. The Venus (her own right and power to do what she wants since it is a first house occupant) in conflict with Saturn (the limits of what is possible and what is necessary, whether the limits are external or stem from our own conscience) shows that there are actions she wants to take but can’t or things she has to do but doesn’t want to do. The Mercury (also Mrs. M since it rules the Ascendant) in opposition to Jupiter also suggests that she wants more than is possible; that her ideals, values, goals, ethics etc. are somehow out of reach of her personal power. The consequent feeling of being helpless can often lead to increased victim experiences. It is the person who is down who is most likely to be kicked or walked on. My general advice was to be very realistic about what she wanted and what was within her power and to do whatever she could to increase her feeling of being personally powerful.

The specific key to the situation came out in our telephone conversation. The principles were right. The details showed the power of derivative houses. The parents of the twins are so frustrated by the crying of the ill female that they are spanking her to stop her from crying. Mrs. M says nothing in her life has ever upset her so much, and she felt totally helpless to do anything about the situation. Venus is Mrs. M but also her daughter, so the daughter’s actions reflect on Mrs. M’s success as a mother. Jupiter in the ninth house is the adored granddaughter and Mrs. M is suffering with her. (Jupiter is in Pisces). Saturn in the eleventh house is the son-in-law who seems impervious to Mrs. M’s influence and is seen as a source of her helplessness and unhappiness. The Venus quincunx to Saturn has manifested as both an emotional alienation and an actual physical separation since the family has moved a distance away and Mrs. M has recently been unable to visit and help care for the babies.

By our second phone conversation, Mrs. M had started to take action and was already feeling better. She was arranging her business to be able to take the twins for one day a week to give the parents some relief. She also offered to pay for someone to care for the twins for additional periods. She also talked to the woman pediatrician who was caring for the twins who promised to pay extra attention to the condition of the girl and to talk to the twins’ mother. The situation is still far from resolved, but Mrs. M’s neck is much better and she no longer feels like a helpless victim.

Copyright © 1989 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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