THE HOUSES OF HEALTH
The Medical Interpretation of the Houses
Every house of the natal horoscope has some significance in Medical Astrology. Nevertheless, some houses are more important in the medical interpretation of the horoscope than others. In this article, we will explore the significance and interpretation of the various houses of the natal horoscope from a medical viewpoint.
Elemental House Trinities
Because each house of the horoscope has an essential correspondence with a certain sign of the zodiac, the houses have various affinities of element. There are four elemental house trinities in the natal horoscope.
FIRE: The Trinity of Spirit
Houses One, Five and Nine (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are the Fire houses, called the Trinity of Spirit. They all resonate with the Ascendant, and pertain to life areas that are important to the overall life, health, vitality and self-expression of the individual.
The First House, or Ascendant, pertains to the physical bady and its inherent life, health and vitality.
The Fifth House governs joy, creativity and self-expression. In Medical Astrology, it pertains to children or offspring, the creation of the body; children are also a source of great joy and self-renewal. The Fifth House also involves courtship and romance.
The Ninth House, ruling philosophy and worldview, as well as long journeys to expand one's personal horizons, is an area of great adaptation to changing environmental conditions and circumstances. It brings an expanded appreciation of what it means to be alive.
In Greek Medicine, the Trinity of Spirit pertains most to the Vital Faculty.
EARTH: The Trinity of Nutrition
Houses Two, Six and Ten (the Midheaven) - (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) are the Earth houses, called the Trinity of Nutrition in Medical Astrology. In Greek Medicine, they pertain to the Natural Faculty, and are important in the overall nutrition of the organism.
The Second House pertains to your basic attitudes and instincts for self nurturing and physical culture, and your basic tastes and appetites for food, which influence your diet and food selection patterns.
The Sixth House pertains most specifically to diet and eating habits - what you eat, and how you eat it. It also pertains to how well you digest your food.
The Tenth House pertains to the final assimilation and utilization of nutrients, and their incorporation into the deeper parts of the organism, especially the bones, joints and structural connective tissue.
AIR: The Trinity of Relations
Houses Three, Seven, and Eleven (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) are the Air houses, called the Trinity of Relations, because exchange, contact and relationship are important functions of the Air element.
The Third House pertains to the air you breathe, and to your relationship with your immediate environment. It also pertains to peer groups and peer pressure and their influence on your health habits.
The Seventh House, or Descendant, pertains to marriages and partnerships. They say that one's choice of a mate or life partner determines 90 percent of all one's joy or suffering in this life, both psychic and physical. The Seventh House also pertains to one's doctor or physician, who should, ideally, be an equal partner with you in your health and healing.
The Eleventh House pertains to one's mentors, associations and role models, who have a great impact on one's personal growth and development towards the future.
WATER: The Trinity of Endings
Houses Four (the Nadir), Eight and Twelve (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are the Water houses, which are particularly important, especially when it comes to pathology and disease. If the Fire houses represent health and vitality, then the houses of the antithetical Water element must pertain to its opposite: sickness and lack of vitality. The Water houses also pertain to the mysterious, hidden areas of life; in Medical Astrology, this often relates to hospitalization, quarantine, invalidism or institutionalization. The Water houses are often called the Trinity of Endings, because each one immediately precedes a Fire house, which represents a new beginning, or a rebirth of health and vitality.
The Fourth House pertains to gestation, motherhood and childbirth. It also represents your early childhood and upbringing and its influence on your basic self nurturing habits. It also represents invalidism and old age, or retirement from the world.
Of the Water houses, the most important ones to consider from a health and medical standpoint are the Eighth and Twelfth houses, which will be dealt with later.
Modality and the House Crosses
There are three different house crosses, each one corresponding to a different modality. Their significance in Medical Astrology is as follows:
CARDINAL: The Angular Houses
The Angular house are the First House (Ascendant), Fourth House (Nadir), Seventh House (Descendant) and Tenth House (Midheaven). They represent body and health (First House), home and family (Fourth House), love and marriage (Seventh House) and career and life path (Tenth House). These are generally the most important and central areas of the individual's life, but their differing demands can often be in conflict. This generates a lot of stress, as many, if not most, people feel pressured to achieve great success in all these life areas. The Angular houses correspond to the Cardinal modality.
FIXED: The Succedent Houses
The Succedent houses follow the Angular houses, and correspond to the Fixed modality. They are the Second, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh houses. They represent life areas with a strong element of desire and attachment to them, which makes moderation and the Golden Mean, which lead to our highest health and happiness, difficult to follow. Because their associated life areas are so subject to excess and abuse, their failings and dysfunctions read like a long list of vices:
Second House (possessions) - greed, avarice, gluttony
Fifth House (creativity, joy) - debauchery, idleness, sloth
Eighth House (sex) - lust, licentiousness, promiscuity
Eleventh House (income) - greed, attachment, domination
MUTABLE: The Cadent Houses
The Cadent houses come last, and correspond to the Mutable modality. They are the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth houses. The Cadent houses are important in Medical Astrology because:
They represent life areas in which the flexibility and adaptability of the Mutable modality are important:
Third House - communication and environment
Sixth House - diet, work and hygiene
Ninth House - travel and higher education
Twelfth House - renunciation
Flexibility and adaptability are the essence of proper hygiene and health management.
The constitutional strength and vitality of the Mutable modality tends to be the lowest, making these signs the most delicate and fragile. Allergies, sensitivities and other health problems are common. Two of the four Cadent houses - the Sixth and the Twelfth - are especially important in the medical interpretation of the natal horoscope.
The Houses of Health
Four houses - the First, Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth - are especially important in Medical Astrology. The proper reading of them is crucial to the medical interpretation of the horoscope.
Because it functions like a planet in astrological symbolism, the First House, or Ascendant, has already been discussed under the planets. It represents the physical body - its constitutional nature and temperament, its basic structure and appearance, and its inherent strengths and weaknesses. The proper reading of the Ascendant is essential for understanding the individual's inherent capacity for helth and wellness.
The other three houses - the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth - do not form any major classical aspects to the Ascendant. And so, they are most associated with pathology and disease, and with various risks and pathogenic factors that can threaten our health.
The Sixth House is the house of diet and hygiene, or the Six Hygienic Factors, and their influence on the health or illness of the individual. Diseases and illnesses associated with the Sixth House are usually due to errors and indiscretions of diet and hygiene, and can usually be relieved or ameliorated by corrections of diet, hygiene and life regimen. The Sixth House pertains to acute disorders.
The Twelfth House, being directly opposite the Sixth House, deals with chronic degenerative diseases and conditions that slowly eat away at and undermine the health of the individual. It deals with unconscious or repressed factors; medically, these factors concern our weak spots, or Achilles' heels. Health problems associated with the Twelfth House are usually caused by chronic, deep-seated denial and neglect. The Twelfth House also concerns invalidism, institutionalization and hospitalization.
Since the Sixth and Twelfth houses are directly opposite each other, they have a lot in common. Actually, there's quite a lot of interplay between acute and chronic diseases. Acute disorders, if not handled or resolved in an appropriate and timely manner, can go on to become chronic, or feed and aggravate chronic conditions. Chronic conditions or latent, deep-seated toxicity in the organism can erupt periodically as acute flareups. The axis formed by the opposing Sixth and Twelfth house cusps, and the signs involved, form an axis of pathology centering around a certain area of dysfunction or organ system.
The Eighth House, being a Water house in the Trinity of Endings, has a lot in common with the Twelfth House. Corresponding with the sign Scorpio, the Eighth House is the house of transformation. The transformation can be literal and physical, involving major surgery. It can also involve the need for cleansing, elimination and detoxification, which is often a necessary prerequisite for healing and regeneration. Or, it can involve terminal or life-threatening diseases, which involve the ultimate transformation of death if not overcome by a total and radical life transformation.
Having planets in the Sixth, Eighth or Twelfth houses does not necessarily indicate pathology and disease. The Medical Astrologer looks for planetary afflictions involving the planets occupying these houses, as well as their dispositors. The more afflictions and complications there are, the greater the possibility for pathology and disease.
Having the Sixth, Eighth or Twelfth houses prominent or afflicted in one's natal horoscope doesn't guarantee a life filled with illness and disease. Rather, these houses indicate a potential for pathology; their problems tend to remain hidden or latent until awakened by some stressful planetary transit or progression.
Because they only indicate the potential for pathology and disease, there's a lot that the individual with an emphasis on these houses can do to take better care of their health so that pathology doesn't manifest. Because they can spur the individual on to greater efforts regarding health awareness and disease prevention, the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses are ultimately houses of health.