Looking Again at the Astrological Houses:
The Ninth House (H9)
In a chart, the Ninth House (H9), the House of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, is the place where we open out the narrow confines of everyday awareness to let a higher level of our being connect with personality consciousness.
H9 is the house of the Higher (Emotional) Self that mediates between the personality and the Soul. The Higher Self-level speaks the language of the Soul and receives impressions from it that inspire and guide the personality. We call this process the Intuition, and it works with higher emotional energy.
The saboteurs of the Higher Self are the intellect; our enmeshment in our own way of looking at the world; and our busy lives. H9 upholds the understanding of how to look after the Higher Self. It is the house that encourages us to make space in our head and routines to be available to Life.
Whether we have planets in H9 natally, or whether the passage of time moves planets into this house by progression or transit, we are given an opportunity to breathe out, free up from some aspect of our routines, and take something new into our awareness.
The sign on the cusp of this house indicates the form of spirituality that will speak to the Higher Self: the Air Signs are reassured by an approach that the intellect can understand and co-operate with; the Water Signs respond to mysticism and devotionalism; the Earth Signs like approaches that are practical and visually inspiring; the Fire Signs reject form and dogma, and seek out experiences that challenge our inherited view of the world.
According to Theosophical thinking, the sign Sagittarius rules the Lunar Lords that provide the astral substance that supports emotional consciousness on all levels. Much inspirational spiritual writing comes from the Soul via the higher emotions, and always, as a DKF-K student said recently, it ‘feels clean’. Such communication strengthens the resolve and prepares us for the sacrifices that spiritual development requires.
The Ninth House is the third of the Fire Houses. It governs the urge to be more than we are and the belief that we can be so. Those with Sun and inner planets in H9, respond positively to the urge to go after experiences that will open up the world and open out their lives. It is not the nature of Fire to ponder on or intellectualise about existential matters. Fire is and it does, and we do not need to understand an experience to benefit from it; we need simply to be available to it. This defines the H9 opportunity.
People with inner planets in H9 natally, live the question: What is out there for us? The H9 experience, at least in youth, usually involves travel and H9 people relish the shock of the new and are inspired by Life’s variety. To them, to leave the familiar and its routines behind is freedom. They are questors, not sages. Popular astrology tends to confuse these two functions. Indeed, there is often a naivety about H9 people because, excited by novelty, they are not discriminating, nor feel the need to be. Sagittarius is a mutable sign, and the cusp of H9 is one of the arms of Esoteric Astrology’s Mutable Cross, which takes awareness, drawn in by appearance, out into form life.
The H9 quest, whether conducted physically or through scholarship, is for experiences that increase our appreciation of Life on Earth (Earth is the esoteric ruler of the sign Sagittarius), and provides evidence of the possibilities for human development that our planet supports. In the first instance, this involves encouraging a suitable mind-set that is positive and appreciative of the unfamiliar; in the second, it requires the creation of a space to be amongst the religions and cultural practices of the world that bring forth the best from mankind. That may be in a geographical location, an educational setting, or simply in an open mind.
Creating that space and opportunity is the task of H9 people, and although for a time, they may themselves adopt the spiritual ideas, practices, gurus, lifestyles that they meet with, typically, they are not concerned with integrating the knowledge into their being and will rarely have the patience to do so. It is freedom that matters to them and freedom is the ability to move on, mentally and physically, to continue their quest. They are restless in captivity. For them, it is the journey not the destination. They remain students and moving points all their lives. It is for others to commit to the ideas and subject themselves to discipline and routines.
The travelling and routine-busting aspect of the H9 experience sits well on the shoulders of the younger person. Their lives will contain much that urbanites tend to view as desirable, but lack the courage to bring into their own. At a certain age, however, in the eyes of their contemporaries, jaded by years of house-holder responsibilities and taxpaying, the adventurous and free begins to look like the puerile and irresponsible.
Such criticism unsettles, if not undermines, the older H9 person who is never wholly free from the values of the culture into which they were born. Nevertheless, more than censure, they fear being trapped in ordinariness, and tend to avoid the company of those likely to judge them by simply moving out of range. H9 people are not confrontational or argumentative, because it is the way of Jupiter to accommodate and absorb differences. Where they are ruthless, it is in defence of their freedom against those who would take it from them with emotional ploys.
The sign on the cusp of a tenanted H9 will lessen (Earth Signs) or emphasise (Fire/Air) the restless quality conferred by inner planets in this house. The Water signs tend to take off for the other side of the world, ‘across the seas’, and often decide to stay there because they find the vibration more congenial than that of the environment of birth with its stresses, restrictions and painful associations.
Also of significance to this matter of restlessness is the number and nature of the planets in H9. In certain signs, inner planets in H9 or H10 will encourage an interest in a career overseas and the experience is more stable and structured, whilst inner planets in H8, the House of Scorpio, recommends expansion into a new place in consciousness, rather than locations in the external world. Through this Fire House, the planets in Fire Signs are untameable and a law unto themselves.
If getting older tends to be hard for H9 people, it is especially so for women when they realise that they are nearing the end of their child-bearing years and are doing nothing about finding a partner and creating a home. As a professional astrologer, I have done many readings for older H9 women who simply do not know what they should do next. Have their lives been worth something or nothing? Have they had a wonderful life or have they simply wasted time? The values of our materialistic society condition us so deeply that they are not so easily thrown off, but H9 people will at least offer a challenge to them.
In Brighton’s Gay Pride parade earlier this month, a dear man, marching with a Christian group, carried a sign which read: This is a Gay the Lord made. We may need to apply a similar line of reasoning when confronting the ageing H9 person in the bar of some inexpensive holiday resort, exiled by economics from the homeland, in the quest for something, only has forgotten what; bleary from the local plonk or grass, and reminiscing about swimming with the mermaids off Barbados. This is a spiritual questor the Lord made.
The point we need to appreciate about the House of Sagittarius is that the Higher Self supports the development of Soul awareness by creating within personality life the preconditions that make us receptive to higher influences, able to be guided by them, and aware and resistant to the sabotaging effects of the lower self, working through materialism, and routine. H9 people are the forerunners of the serious seekers of the Way: those who will dedicate themselves to a particular path.
Although to those in the grip of the work ethic, their own lives may appear to contain nothing more edifying than excess and indolence in picturesque places, personality awareness will have been opened up and expanded by the choice to leave the safe and familiar, to taste life’s variety and receive new impressions, because it is a gesture to the Higher Self. Spirit understands such gestures and rewards them. Indeed, the good fortune associated with H9 attests to what Spirit can do for those with guts, a positive attitude, a zest for life, and who are available to receive.
Reshad Feild used to say that society needs hippies; it needs H9 people for the same reason. They are walking to keep open paths that otherwise would become overgrown and lost to personality consciousness. Along these paths, others will inch their painful way towards self-realisation because we know, thanks to the forerunners, that this opportunity exists for us.
The astrologer, Tad Mann, has put forward the idea that H9 is a place of conception of human embryo and that Houses 9-12 of the natal chart shows the experiences of the embryo in utero. I consider that this is a valid thesis because it is the same principle working on a different level. Few will disagree with the idea that a new lifetime is a new opportunity in time and space for the Human Soul. As an esoteric astrologer, however, I am more interested in the converse motion: H12-9, which is the journey of consciousness through the stages of human development: Decent into materiality (H12); communalism (H11); individuation (H10) formation and development of causal body (H9).
We look at this matter again in the concluding article of this series.
- The Sun in H9 draws a person away from the familiar into Life to appreciate its variety. Those with this placement are great travellers of the world, in search of adventure; but it can also produce an astronomer’s interest in outer space and UFOs. As travellers, they tend to favour the hot dry parts of the world and are physically strong and fearless, especially if the Sun in the House of Sagittarius is the most elevated planet in a chart. In this case, they are ambassadors for freedom and the outdoor life (think Robert Redford as Denys Finch Hatton in the 1985 film version of Out of Africa). A person with the Sun in H9 is endlessly curious about Life, but unless Mercury and Venus are also present in H9, they are uninterested in explanations and theory. Their own lives are given over to new experiences and to celebrating being alive. For them, this is spirituality.
- Mercury and Venus in H9 bring the intellect to bear on the quest, and to identify the principles underpinning diversity. Both Mercury and Venus tend to indicate much involvement with organised lifestyles abroad. People with these planets in H9 are not adventurers like those with the Sun in H9. With Venus in H9 a person is likely to settle with a person and fall in love with the partner’s country and religious tradition. In this house, they are also found in the charts of lawyers.
- Mars in H9 will almost always bring about a spell of working abroad that, whilst not without incident, will broaden an individual’s outlook and change his or her values. They are seekers, but do not have the leisure to be adventurers, and later in life, their quest will be on an inner level.
- The person with Jupiter in H9 feels greatly inspired abroad and way from routine. They also experience good fortune on all levels when they are in unfamiliar locations. But if this encourages them to make a home abroad, they may be missing the point. They are inspired to draw in impressions from a higher level precisely because they are free from responsibilities, and stimulated by the unfamiliar. The best seer I have ever known has Jupiter in H9. His tools of trade are an ordinary pack of playing cards bought from a CTN whenever the occasion requires. His life in the UK was chaotic and unstable, and he eventually disappeared off the radar some years ago now, but he said everything was so different when he was in Africa.
- Saturn in H9 produces a sense of being restricted by religion, difficulties abroad and an unfortunate appetite for, or propensity to get drawn into litigation, which rarely goes in their favour. People with Saturn in H9 cannot see the whole for the sum of its parts, and this locks them into their own limited way of looking at things .The rational mind dominates, and they do not easily tune into the Higher Self.
- People with Uranus in H9 may be very interested in spirituality, but Uranus generally disallows organised religion or spirituality to find a place in their lives. They search out groups with which they never stay for long, but they usually remain true to the quest. Abroad, people with this placement may experience mishaps designed to release them from reliance upon man-made laws and systems. Those with Uranus in H9 are learning to trust themselves and their intuition. In this house, Uranus makes an Individual spiritually self-reliant. If organised spirituality does find a place, it will throw out major challenges designed to strengthen the awareness of the Individuality by the degree of consciousness brought to bear upon the issue that it raises. Yusef Islam, the former Cat Stevens, has Uranus in H9, and we can only imagine the kind of conflicts connected to individuality that this former singer has had to resolve since his conversion to Islam.
- Neptune in H9 creates a mystic’s connection through the higher emotions that may be able to find inspiration in religious form, but is more likely to have experiences involving dreams of significance and a profound sense of affinity to the ways and beliefs of another culture or planetary system. As with Jupiter, an alignment with the Higher Self will produce an ability to see the future, but people with this placement of Neptune are quieter and more sensitive than those with robust and pleasure-loving Jupiter in H9, and their spiritual life will reflect this.
- Pluto in H9 shatters a person’s way of understanding the world and challenges him or her to find another. This process can produce periods of profound spiritual crisis and alienation, in which they are left with nothing to orient them, except a dislike and distrust of the beliefs they were given in childhood. This is especially evident when Pluto in H9 is opposing inner planets in H3. Jeffrey Wolfe Green links Pluto in H9 to Egyptian incarnations. I cannot add anything to this claim, but I can see how Pluto in H9 shows that the awareness of that individual is changing onto different cultural and developmental tracks, like a train swaying over the points; in which case, the shift from the Egyptian way of constructing reality could be just one of a number of changes of the cognitive system required of individuals incarnating into the contemporary Western world.
- The orthodox planetary ruler of H9 is Jupiter (Ray 2)
- The esoteric planetary ruler of H9 is Earth (Ray 3)
Qualities of Sun in H9
Inner planets in H9
Outer planets In H9
Qualities of Uranus in H9
Moon in H9
Element: Fire Plane:
Celebrates Life and human possibility
Parts of body:
Right hand side in man;
To explore human possibility and keep alive spiritual opportunity
Physically and mentally strong; sporty; energetic; open-minded; adventurous; restless; easily bored
Shift the focus of attention from variety onto the unity underlying diversity; brings intellectual-ism and structure into this area of life and regularises it to some degree, often through a career or marriage based overseas.
|Challenge the individual to let go of inherited views on religion & spirituality and draw upon their own experiences|
Dos not allow a person to confuse form and spirit; opposed to religious authority figures and their structures; generally unable to become part of a spiritual group or organised activity
A person with this placement brings through a past life memory of a different culture (often Asian) that will often stamp the features and create a longing to return to that part of the world; astral travel; vivid dreams of visiting locations; positively disposed towards religion and spirituality.
Looking Again at the Astrological Houses