The Fourth House (H4), the House of Cancer, is one of three houses directly linked to the formation of the Causal body or Individuality. These houses are the Water Houses: H4, H8 and H12. Water holds memory and permits continuity of consciousness.
When the Sun is found in any of these houses, the awareness created through the course of the life is formative of what the Master DK describes as ‘a collection of permanent atoms, three in all, enclosed in an envelope of mental essense’, that permits the building of the Causal vehicle after the 1st Initiation. The Causal body is constructed on the three highest mental sub-planes, from solar plexus energy, raised, refined and directed by intent. We call this construct our soul. It is the intermediary between the personality and the Soul–on-its-own-plane, and the goal of spirituality in our time.
H4 provides the awareness for the formation of the permanent physical atom; H8 the permanent emotional atom and H12 the permanent mental atom.
In esotericism, the Moon, which is the ruler of the sign Cancer and H4, is the symbol of form life.
The focus of the person born with Sun and inner planets in H4 is their own evolutionary process, i.e., what has formed the physical being, and created the patterns in the mind that make them who they are. The mother; the family as a whole; the ancestors and the culture into which a person is born are all considered to offer crucial clues. H4 people see themselves as both a product of this conditioning process but, at the same time, something separate from it. It is this awareness of being an individual in formation, shaped by the past, but with opportunities (to do the conditioning task better) in the present, that transfers conscious substance to the permanent physical atom on the mental plane.
Throughout their lives, those born with the Sun in H4 will look to the past for examples to provide insight and guidance, and life situations with which to find parallels to better understand their own lives. They are natural psychologists and dowsers, who are able to access knowingness in the collective unconscious. Whether male or female, they are at home with feminine energy and perspectives.
When the inner planets in H4 are well-aspected, then a positive relationship with the mother and the family is formative of the awareness of self as a product of the process of evolution; when the aspects are stressful then the awareness is the product of challenging situations involving the mother and the home life.
The sense of individuality of H4 people, and their development as individuals remains bound up with the family’s development.
Continuity is important to them and the family represents that continuity. Most will remain close to their biological families all their lives. Careers are constructed around the needs of the family. Those with stressful aspects to inner planets will try to give their own children a better environment than they themselves knew. In so doing, they acknowledge the importance of the domestic environment, and strive to heal differences with their parents.
In this way, they experience the cycle of life consciously: as children; as adults with their own children and beginning to take care of the parents, at the centre of the lives of their children’s children.
Their homes are important to them and unless the Sun and inner planets receive stressful aspects, they will tend to the structures of their properties as carefully and conscientiously as they tend to the physical well-being of their family members. When the aspects are stressful there is often a sense of wanting to be free from the responsibilities of home ownership, in order to give more time to the inner self.
The sign on the cusp of H4 will determine how far away from a predominately physical focus they will move: the Earth signs reinforce the connection with the physical, and the material assets that one generation passes on to another are of importance and a symbol of continuity; the Water signs seek a sanctuary within the home and family; the Air signs explore the home and family intellectually to find the self; the Fire signs see the home as the starting place of a journey to a new, freer place within self.
In H4, regardless of sign, the personality learns to be sexually continent and bring the sacral centre under control. Respect for the role of the family is central to this new, responsible attitude to procreation.
The orthodox planetary ruler of H4 is the Moon
The esoteric planetary ruler of H4 is Neptune, and this becomes of significance when the cusp of H4 is viewed as one of the arms of the Cardinal Cross
The house position of the Moon will contain the clues as to why this kind of experience is going to take new ground for consciousness. Often it will indicate that the past life experience has been outer directed and focused upon action, including procreation, rather than reflection, self–awareness and responsibility.
The inner planets + Jupiter in H4 indicate an interest in exploring the past, which the experience of the mother will encourage. Unless it is stressfully aspected by Saturn or the outer planets, Jupiter indicates a broadminded and encouraging mother.
The placement of Saturn in H4 indicates a cold home life and a mother with a disinclination to look at herself, her past and her own patterns, a disinclination most likely demonstrated by her mother before her. Thus the child’s efforts to understand self are discouraged, punished and even sabotaged because the mother is fearful of disclosures and of losing control. This is usually a source of great discomfort and distress to the child who takes the inhibitions about self–examination on into adult life. There is a guilty association with self-examination and self-indulgence that often needs to be broken, in order to prevent the pattern from being carried on into another generation.
When the outer planets appear in H4, it is a sign that, for developmental reasons, consciousness needs to be released from the conditioning and containing effects of the family and culture of birth.
Uranus and Pluto give an unstable and disrupted home life that encourages the child to grow up quickly and move away. One of the parents is likely to have a drinking or drug problem. Whichever parent has the dependency, the child, will look in vain to the mother to find a solution. Thus both parents and the perceived failure of family life are implicated in the decision to leave, not simply the home, but the mores of the culture of birth as well.
Neptune idealises the home, the family and the role of the mother that may become a creative connection with those who have gone before. Many authors have Neptune in H4, and consider that through their work they are keeping a valued past alive.
A planet in H4 may be the first planet across the Ascendant, but as the result of having to cross the IC, its power will be significantly weakened.
H4 House of Cancer
Qualities of Sun in H4
Inner planets in H4
Outer planets In H4
Qualities of Uranus in H4
Moon in H4
The self aware, product of the evolutionary process
Part of body:
breasts, womb, upper intestines
Left hand side in man;
Right hand side in a woman.
To develop an awareness of self, the evolutionary process;
retiring, home -
sense of being
to the family and to the past
Assist the Sun whatever house it is in, by lending their quality to the way a person tries to understand the workings of the psyche; and the ease or lack of it with which a home is created and maintained.
Make family life a place of challenge in childhood, which encourages independence and maturity. Neptune does not conform to this pattern, creating rather an idealisation of the home, the ancestry and the past.
Disrupts family and home life; the property may suffer physical deterioration or contain disturbed energy; encourages reliance upon the inner–self, not outer constructs.
Creates a deep sense of attachment to the mother and other female figures. The home is the cornerstone of adult life;