On the 4th House

So, I did my solar return chart for 2021.

I may have the option to return to my hometown for Thanksgiving, which is shortly before my birthday, and my birthday is on a Saturday this year, which means I’d either be in the Finger Lakes for my birthday or traveling back to Chicago, or by some miracle, back in Chicago for my solar return.

I have mixed feelings about Thanksgiving. I think I’ve written about this before. It has all the potential to be my favorite holiday, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was so close to my birthday, which means not really getting to celebrate my birthday. Yes, early Capricorns: I know you have it worse. One of my dearest friends was born on December 22, and I understand, and I love all you early Capricorns even if no one else does, and I would happily celebrate your birthdays instead of Christmas because you actually exist.

But this about me and my problems. Get your own astrology blog.

But Thanksgiving is not like Christmas. Sure, it’s got the food and the drink. It has a chill vibe that Christmas lacks. My family always cooked food with flavor and we drank local wine, a lot of it, and that usually resulted in a Black Friday ranging from mildly awkward to burned bridges. But the first part wasn’t so bad, the food part and the first few bottles of wine.

And I suppose you could have all of that at Christmas too, but what you don’t have at Thanksgiving is the pressure to buy stuff, to constantly appear at other Thanksgiving parties, to decorate your entire home in Thanksgiving crafts, to have to listen to conservatives cry that “It’S hApPy ThAnKsGiViNg, NoT….”, to go to your office Thanksgiving party, to have to send Thanksgiving cards, to have to figure out what to do with Thanksgiving cards from people that have pictures of their kids in it when you don’t even know those kids and you’re even really sure how you even know the parents, to go to Thanksgiving mass and ask yourself whether you should be true to yourself and not get in line for the Eucharist and embarrass your family or just stand in line secretly delighting in the fact that you’re making a mockery of all of it in your own little way and no one will stop you.

Actually, the last part is slightly fun no matter how old I am, but in general, Thanksgiving is what Christmas actually should be. They’re still a lot alike though.

For example, both the first Thanksgiving and the first Christmas occurred shortly before the slaughter of innocents in a bid to maintain power over the land. Both holidays help to remind poor people just how poor they are. Both holidays alienate people who don’t celebrate them. Both holidays have a way of making you feel very bad about yourself, the choices you’ve made, and the things you’ve been afraid to say to the people who share your DNA, because of a silly notion that the fact that you share DNA makes your bond sacred, even though you had no choice in the matter. Both holidays force you to travel congested roads, through congested airports and congested train terminals, and through congested grocery stores. Both holidays see most people making turkey even that is one of the most difficult roasts as far as preparation, cooking, and temperature and moisture control. (hint: brining in a brine with vegetable (not chicken or turkey) stock for just a slight amount of acidity, shield-covering the breast through most of the roasting, and high-low cooking for all-around even cooking, tender meat, and crispy skin. Also, make your stock from turkey wings and necks the days before so there’s plenty for stuffing and gravy. Use smoked turkey wings or neck if you like a heartier, umami flavor. Shall I go on? No? Ok.). Both holidays also see people fiddling with pie crusts and the good china and other things they only deal with twice a year. Both holidays usually result in me cooking to ignore the people around me.

I did not celebrate Thanksgiving last year because it fell on my 40th birthday, and I was adamant that I would not spend that birthday having to do Thanksgiving. And I dragged Rick into it, because really, no one else would spend Thanksgiving at a Brazilian steakhouse. He said he was happy to do it, but that day, he seemed quite sad to not be spending Thanksgiving with his siblings, and I remember wishing that he had just been honest with me, that he had for once just been honest with me, and that it might be a better idea to simply pretend that he’s just tired. Granted, he had cut ties with the brother who hosted the big Thanksgiving dinner because of a feud that brother had with another, so we wouldn’t have gone to that dinner anyway.

But I still made him a full Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

And that turned out to be his last Thanksgiving.

But it looks like I might have another.

So, I did my solar return chart for both my hometown and Chicago, and I have to say, the return chart is way more beneficial in Chicago. Chicago is right now the closest to feeling like “home” for me, and it just seems strange right now to want to leave and go to a faraway place from my dreams and nightmares.

And really, Chicago is only home because I say it is. No other reason.

The 4th house: beginnings, endings, coping with the passing of time…

I didn’t have a good childhood. I didn’t have a good home life. I didn’t have any sanctuary at school or outside of the home except when I was alone, in nature, far from other people. I don’t equate “home” with the usual terms, like safety, acceptance, happiness, protection, peace, but rather, the exact opposite of those things: danger, rejection, misery, unpredictability, and violence. Home is a place you protect yourself from, not a place you go for protection. Intellectually, I understand that home and family are supposed to be the prior things, and I am acutely aware of when those things are missing from a home, but just as I have no sense of a divine presence, I have no sense of “home.” I don’t understand what that feeling is supposed to feel like, even though I understand intellectually what it is like, and I can certainly read about it, see it on television, and imagine what it is like. I can observe people being at home, and I can understand that they must feel at home when they describe a happy home life and a happy childhood, but I can’t relate on a personal level.

I used to be ashamed of this until I realized that 1) that’s not my fault, and 2) there are so many of us who feel this way, so many of us who are not blame for not being given the opportunity to develop a sense of home. There’s a lot of us who have to figure out how to either develop a sense of belonging in some other place or through some other means, or to accept that we just can’t feel like we belong, that that ship has sailed or has never come to this dock at all, and that existential drifters and nomads are normal. We’re just a different type of normal.

Foster children who never have permanency, the black sheep/scapegoats of families of origin, those who must reluctantly live far from their countries or cultures of origin, those who must live in places that clash with their personalities and culture in order to meet a certain objective, and even those of us who choose such situations because being a foreigner is how we develop our art and maintain our autonomy: we’re not people who have “homes” in the emotional sense.

And some places, some cities, some regions are so in conflict with some of our values that it’s almost thrilling to place ourselves there and continually try to make sense of the insanity we perceive while trying not to succumb to said insanity and normalize it. Those places aren’t so much home as they are experiments.

We are never quite at home, even if we have friends, careers, houses, reputations, familiar haunts, favorite places, and cherished memories.

Home is a sacred cow at a barbeque some else is throwing down the street. We can smell it, but we don’t get a plate.

*

I am accustomed to living alone now. I embrace the autonomy and peace and try to embrace the isolation and uncertainty for the future, because I don’t actually want to be alone forever. But in here, by myself, there is peace, acceptance, protection, and something that I think is like happiness sometimes. Yet, even living alone and having the peace and quiet and autonomy that I always craved doesn’t necessarily make me feel like I belong here, though this place and situation has the most potential to be home, and that will have to do for now, and it does suffice.

I used to think I somehow fucked up along the way and didn’t do something right in order to find homes in places and in other people, but now I realize that what I never learned, the skill I never acquired, the thing I was never really taught is that home comes from the inside out and is a feeling shared from the inside out. Home comes from inside someone else and is given to you so you learn what home is, and then you internalize home and then can give that to other people.

Look at your 4th house right now.

What’s the sign? Are there planets in the 4th house? Nodes? Important points? Don’t get into the weeds yet; leave the midpoints and the hypotheticals alone for now. If there’s no luminaries, planets, or nodes in the 4th house, look at the ruler of the 4th house by house, then sign, then aspect to determine what’s up with the 4th house and what role it plays in your life.

Your fourth house is your roots. It’s where you come from. It’s your first tribe. It’ll also be where you go back when there’s nowhere left to run and your legs have given out.

The fourth house certainly represents the things that exist in three dimensions. It’s the house, the childhood home, the people in the family circle, the objects and materials that make up the cultural/ethnic identity, and the literal places we go to, geographically, to feel secure and protected from the world, including one’s actual hometown.

I feel strange in my hometown. I have always felt like a stranger there, and when I go back to visit, I feel as if I’m in a simulation of a Rust Belt town meant to invoke feelings of hominess and familiarity with just a slight air of melancholy, but while I recognize the parts, the landscape, and the blueprints, the feeling does not come, and there is the sense of dread that I have if I’m recognized at Wegmans or the mall that I’m really from here but will never have access to any feelings that I’m from there. It’s as if I have always lived there, more or less, but always lived there inside a hamster ball or a fishbowl. It’s not being there so much as it is being dropped there. It’s the feeling I imagine someone who comes to America to go to Disneyworld experiences when they go to the Epcot Center and visits their own “country” in the World Showcase, experiencing a pre-packaged, carefully stripped-down-and-sanded version of their own culture, cuisine, and history after having spent an hour in line bumping up against other hot sweaty people just for the privilege to do this very thing.

And those of you Americans, especially from the Northeast/East Coast who have ever been to the American Adventure Pavilion know what I’m talking about, because most of us don’t experience our own culture as an endless loop of bland, predictable homage to colonial Massachusetts.

Anyway.

A lot of people return to their hometowns when they have children, or their parents get sick and/or die, or they become old and dependent and don’t want to be far from their roots. These endings are both material and existential: one adventure is over, and another path awaits. Some simply are buried or interned in a cemetery in their hometown whether they live there or not because their people are also buried there. That’s a total 4th house thing, too.

Cemeteries are a 4th house/10th house thing, not the 12th house or even the 8th house. Those houses rule the kinds of things that make you end up in the cemetery, but they’re not the cemeteries themselves. Cemeteries are homes (4th house) for people who will be identified mostly by their family relations (4th house, some 10th) and names (4th/10th house), because cemeteries are “resting” places (4th house) for dead bodies. There’s a reason that we prefer in our culture to keep dead bodies away from living bodies, especially if there’s a chance that the keeper of the dead body is someone who also isn’t at a final resting place. It’s one thing to be young and find yourself holding onto your dead spouse’s ashes and another thing to be young and holding onto your dead mother’s ashes.

Your mother is dead and never coming back, but you could get married again. Your relationship with a mother has finished. Your relationship with a spouse could start all over again. If you’re old, keeping your dead spouse’s ashes may make sense especially if you intend to die a widow or widower, but when you’re young, your romantic relationship cycle is probably not over, and this death is part of a new beginning, and to carry the body around will stop being comforting after a while and become a crutch or a hindrance or source of guilt.

Because the 4th house is very much a place of guilt and shame.

I’m struggling to figure out where to put this paragraph. Would it make sense further up or further down? Because this is the house where your shame is. This isn’t the shame you feel from your Chiron placement because you are on the outside looking in, or from Saturn where you feel that you are denied something, but a fundamental feeling of something being wrong with you at your very core.

Shame is not guilt. Guilt comes from acts or omissions, including acts or omissions that have not actually occurred. However, shame comes from who you are at the core, regardless of what you do or not do, say or do not say, what you are accused of doing or saying or not doing or not saying. It comes as a reaction to the idea that one is fundamentally inadequate, bad, or unworthy.

This isn’t like 2nd house in detriment, which deals with self-worth and self-esteem, because one can be humble but not be ashamed. One can think much of one’s self without being ashamed of one’s self.

4th house guilt can be seen by planets in detriment in the 4th house, because guilt is triggered by a specific person or event, but I find that deep-rooted shame occurs more often in an empty 4th house but with a strongly placed and/or afflicted 4th house ruler.

The 4th House is internal, and it is an initiation.

My friends and I are now mostly at an age where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Eve. I never did because I preferred the act of cooking the meal to being hungover and waiting for a meal. I also never liked being in bars very much, and I have really no ties to the prolific bar culture of my hometown where people have built lives, made careers, gotten teeth knocked out, and have found multiple spouses and/or multiple baby mamas and baby daddies among the people they’ve known since kindergarten. Going into these bars was even stranger than running into someone I knew at the grocery store, because there was an entire world that most of my peers entered at 21, but I had no such initiation. In fact, I never really experienced the initiation into bar culture anywhere because I didn’t go to college uninterrupted, because when I was almost 21, I was working and then 9/11 happened right then and there and there were bigger things to worry about than learning how to get used to the gilded grittiness of barhopping and going to clubs, of fighting and breaking down crying in the bathroom and on the sidewalks with strangers because of a fear of not being good enough to avoid dying alone.

Believe me, I tried, but I can’t do it. I could never get drunk enough to trick myself into thinking this was fun. Not that I couldn’t drink, and not that I didn’t; I just never found a home in bar culture. I found it very difficult to get into the drinking culture when I lived in Korea, too, even though it was so commonplace that you could drink soju at a table outside the 7/11 and go to work the next morning, and that was normal. I tried it, but I could never achieve the level of chronic alcoholism of many of my fellow teachers, some who arrived with established drinking problems, some who developed them when they settled in.

And when this Neptunian disappointment comes to an end because of life, responsibilities, finances, or the body just not being able to handle it anymore, the next stop on the Neptunian rail line is Lululemon, $100 crystals, qanon, and commercial “spirituality” that still comes with everything you need to distract you from the devastating truth that in the end, no one can thrive solely on validation from their similarly-situated peers, and love is an ongoing work that requires the courage to engage in self-examination and self-improvement and to actually do the things that let other people know you love them.

But we don’t talk about that at the dinner table, even in an indie film.

It’s actually easier to go to Thanksgiving Eve at a bar in someone else’s hometown because it’s easier to just observe and hear the stories without any expectation that I was already supposed to know the characters, the plot, and the endings. That way, it’s not awkward, because I’m a bona fide stranger, not merely a practical stranger.

The 4th house is still an angular house. The angular houses are houses of initiation. The 1st house is the house of initiation into being, into life. The 7th house is the initiation into partnership. The 10th house is initiation into the outer world as an adult. The 4th house is initiation into the private world of one of many others just like you in a way that sets you apart from the rest of the world.

We are born (1st house) usually into families (4th house) that share a name, that share DNA, that share a home, that share a history, that share a religion, a culture, a value system, a set of beliefs and customs passed down from others who shared these things with us. We share rites of passages with these people. For example, my family is Catholic so I had/was forced to engage in initiation into the sacraments, and I got as far as confirmation, because you actually can’t off-the-record force someone into being a nun or a wife.

But of course, I have never been able to really live in my hometown as an adult, either. The ruler of my fourth house is in the 8th house and conjunct Uranus, and it’s screaming to get rid of the old roots and the old places and burn them down and start over again.

The truth, for someone like me, is that home is a concept, and that some of us just float and ride along without anything to cling to, worrying and fretting until we realize that there’s nothing to crash into, there’s no way we can drown, no way we can wash up helplessly on the shore, and that this is perfectly fine, because home is the waves, the tide, the big ocean.

And where I belong is, to some extent, a secret to be revealed, as the ruler of this house is in 8th house in Scorpio, retrograde. And the secret is first and foremost kept from me.

How do you want to live? The easiest problem solved by looking at the 4th house.

The 4th house is home, but the ruler of the 4th house will tell you where home is and what kind of house or living structure you need to feel at home.

Lately, I’ve actually been fantasizing about the perfect living situation. I’ve never done that before. However, now that I am living alone and the situation is not temporary, I’ve been really thinking about what is ideal for me for living on a daily basis.

I will probably be happiest in some sort of partnership. Partnership is very important to me. I do want intimacy and support as well as someone to encourage and support, but I also want privacy. I want both the relationship to be private and to be treated with reverence (Saturn in the 7th house) and to be a perfectly intimate relationship in which all our secrets are locked up between us, and the private world we create is entirely our own (Pluto in the 7th house). Sure, talking about the relationship in general terms is okay, but divulging each other’s secrets, quirks, desires? No way. What goes on in the bedroom? Don’t share that with other people.

I’ll probably want to live with another person. However, I really do like my independence. It’s very draining for me to be the one to figure out how to feed another adult, to be expected to clean up after another adult, and to have to give up my personal expression and space so as to make someone else happy, because I’m usually the partner who compromises/compromises the most and then realizes I’m missing from my own home.

If you look at my fourth house cusp, you see Gemini, which also rules the 3rd house cusp. Repeated signs tell you that the houses will be tied to each other in some way. Here, it tells you that I need my home to be a reflection of what I think, and that my thoughts will also be linked to the home, the past, the beginning and the end. Also, that I’ll be doing a lot of thinking and writing at home.

Which I do now, and I like it.

Gemini brings a lot of things. A lot of people (I have five siblings), a lot of vocalization (the house was full of yelling and screaming), a lot of activity (people coming and going), and a lot of milling about (sharing a bathroom with four other people at once, being bathed with a bunch of people at once, never having your own room or the same bedroom when a new kid arrives), a lot of broken boundaries (again, bathroom sharing, bedroom doors with no doorknobs, no personal space or personal property that you can be confident is your own). With Mercury in the 8th house in Scorpio conjunct Uranus, I’m to throw that away and seek out the privacy (Scorpio) I desperately wished I could have as a kid, and to do so in radical ways (Uranus) which I did essentially by shacking up as soon as I was able, teaching in Korea during the recession, and then freaking out and leaving again as soon as I was able in order to reinvent (8th house) myself.

And yet, I moved in with people who have poor boundaries, like what I experienced growing up. And I am like a lot of people who grew up poor in a home with too many children: I hide things. I want to be in the bathroom by myself and lock the door even if no one else is around. I’m very territorial about what I consider “my stuff.” I once worked at a communist daycare center for rich kids that was more commonly known as The Nation magazine and freaked out once because someone took my coffee mug. I found it on an intern’s desk.

So, there’s a few reasons that I keep saying that I think that my best match is somebody else who is an ex-Catholic atheist who has a bunch of siblings, because they’re just some things that are too hard to relate to unless you experience them. I think that this man would also have to have longed for the privacy he didn’t get and wants to live quietly in his own space.

Because Gemini wants its twin, and I would be happiest living with someone who is like a twin.

And that is a big deal to me, because in my mind, this type of man would be perfectly suited to live in a type of house I want to live in.

I imagine a Scandinavian style house — modern, sleek, natural — that is almost 2 separate apartments connected by certain common areas. There would be a common kitchen, a common dining room, a master bedroom suite, but each of the separate apartments are far enough away that we can’t hear the noise the other person makes so we can get our work done, and so we can have walls that make us feel that when we are in our own quarters, we are in our own worlds.

Like living in the same house but also in two separate houses.

My assumption is that no matter who I end up with next, this person is going to have such a career or vocation that he’s going to require his own space to do his work even if most of the work is done outside the home. Like me. We would understand each other, and neither one of us would be upset when the other one needs to go to their own apartment to do work, or clear their mind, or just be alone in their own little world listening to music, reading books, or engaging in one of their many hobbies.

Unless it’s all just unbridled escapism.

But truly, you can live one on top of the other and still have somebody engaging in unbridled escapism, so why not just have a place to go at home to do that so you can come out when you’re ready and come to bed?

It would basically be like being married but being single, but still being able to come together to enjoy the intimacy of sleeping, sex, eating, and spending time together.

Imagine a long-distance relationship without the airfare or the FaceTiming.

I know what you’re thinking. I know that you’re thinking that if you’re not forced to spend time together, then you’re not really learning how to be a couple, right? At this point in my life, I realize that I’m not really my best until I’ve had time to be solitary and to come back refreshed and interested. I really need to miss somebody. I really need to be missed. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. I just enjoy a bit of longing, which is very difficult to do when you’re on top of each other.

For example, as it is, I’m not really close with most of my siblings, and I’m not sure I need to be, because we spent like 20 years + living on top of each other. Now it’s time for us to individuate and to flee from being one big lump of people.

And yes, there is something very Uranian about my ideal living arrangement, but also Mercurian, because it’s like being twins having twin homes, connected by the rooms that address the most basic of needs.

Look at your fourth house and determine how you need to live and what arrangements you need to live in peace.

The 4th house is attachment (not love).

If the only babies born were the babies who were wanted by parents who were fit, willing, and able, humanity would not have endured. We like to tell ourselves that parenthood imbues parents with newfound supernatural qualities that makes them better people than they were before, capable of unconditional, unselfish love, but that’s not what happens. Parenthood creates attachment, and that is the result of the neurochemical con job human babies pull on their parents to force them to create attachments without realizing it. And attachment is not necessarily love — hell, how many times do we read stories of abusive parents who have had children taken from them, only to be returned to them, only to be abused again? Do they love their kids? Probably not. Do they want their kids? Absolutely, even if they’re hellbent on destroying them.

There are all sorts of attachments that are not love, and there are all kinds of love that do not come with attachment, though attachment helps. Attachment is instinctual and chemical. It’s necessary for the survival of the species. Love, on the other hand, is much more complex and requires choice, often making the same choice again and again.

The 4th house is not love, but rather, attachments. Love is the 5th house. Love is also children in and of themselves. The only humans who instinctually love those to whom they attach are children, because for them, the attachment agenda and the love agenda are the same. To reject their attempts to attach is to reject their love. However, children will love and continue to love those who do not love them simply because they need them. As they get older and more autonomous, love and attachment become different, and for parents who have created healthy attachments with their children, the need lessens and the love increases. But even for parents who do not have healthy attachments with their children and demand that they continue to be needed, the possibility of being needed inevitably lessens anyway, because the demands of life and the ravages of time means that the children have to figure out how to not need their parents, especially as those parents become less and less able to provide what is needed. At some point, the children will get their own money, or their own children are too old to need a babysitter, or whatever. In these cases, love doesn’t necessarily replace need, and then people wonder why we have all these lonely old people in nursing homes never visited by their children until the “need” arises, usually because that parent is about to die.

One of the most insidious forms of child abuse is the psychological abuse of insisting a child loves someone they do not. One of the cruelest things we do to children and then to adult children is demand lip-service to love for someone they do not love and does not demonstrably love them.

We can recognize that it’s gaslighting and manipulative to say, tell an abused spouse that the abusive spouse loves them and therefore, they owe it to the abusive spouse to love them back. We would never dream of doing thing to spousal abuse victims, and yet we do this to children all the fucking time.

I’m telling you: it’s okay, and quiet natural, for children to not love or to stop loving parents who do not demonstrably love them, and it’s healthy to recognize and honor it so we don’t teach those children that love is emotional slavery, love is hurting someone, love is to allow yourself to be hurt at the whim of another, love is always giving and never receiving, and that love is enduring someone else’s bullshit in perpetuity.

Regardless of how much anyone’s bullshit religion may insist, you really cannot force someone, even with the fear of the boogeyman or eternal hellfire, to love someone. You can, however, force an attachment: it’s called Stockholm Syndrome. Again, the trouble with that is that when the hostage taker/parent cannot continue to create the need, the attachment dies but is not replaced by love.

It’s also okay to feel attachment in adulthood for someone but not love them. It happens. It’s natural. It’s also okay to weep for the lost attachment when the other dies or goes away while not necessarily crying for lost love or the loss of the actual person for who they are rather than the role they filled.

What is your attachment style like? Look at the 4th house, look at the planets in the 4th house. Those planets will represent your style, but moreover, the people you attach to, and the nature of those planets by aspect and sign will tell you about the health and purpose of those attachments. Look at what’s up with the planet ruling the 4th house, by placement and aspect. That will tell you how you should go about/change/augment your attachment style to nurture yourself and honor your own heart.

The 4th house is where you’re going to go to die.

 Your 8th house tells you how you’ll die. The 12th house tells you how you may contribute to your own death. Your 6th house can tell you what sort of health problems can lead you to death. Saturn can show how you grow old and weak. Mars is accidents. Pluto is destruction. But the 4th house is where you will die and go to rest.

I’m not going to lie: this isn’t my favorite thing to think about. The ruler of my 4th house (endings) is conjunct the ruler of my 12th house (undoing) in the 8th house (death). The chances of me dying at home surrounded by family and friends is pretty slim. The chances of me simply dying of old age after a long, fruitful and conventional life are pretty slim.

My death is probably going to suck.

With Gemini on the 4th house cusp and the ruler in the 8th house, I could die amongst many others (Gemini) in a freak accident (conjunct Uranus). It could be on a commute, or a short trip. It could be a plane crash (Uranus in the 8th) and my body left in pieces among other body parts of other victims (Gemini). It could be a giant, state-run nursing home when my dementia and/or brain damage reaches a point where I don’t even know where I am. I could even die forgotten (Mercury retrograde in the 8th) and alone (Uranus, the individual), betrayed (8th house) by someone I love (ruler of the 8th house intercepted in the 7th house), or at least with the rumor (Mercury in the 8th) that this happened. With the 12th house cusp in the 8th conjunct the 4th house cusp, my death could be my own fault in some way, either in trusting the wrong person (8th house ruler in the 7th house), experimenting with my health and my body (Uranus in the 8th). It could also be autoimmune, or it could be something that I myself don’t even realize is happening.

Rick has a similar chart. The ruler of his 4th house is in the 8th house conjunct the ruler of his 12th house. I know how he died and why he died, and I also know that he didn’t have to die, and that he didn’t have to do the things that expedited his death. His 4th house cusp was Taurus, with Venus in 8th house Virgo conjunct Mercury and Saturn, ruling his Capricorn 12th house. There was certainly vanity, stubbornness, and a desire to stave off death that played into this. Dying in a pandemic? Virgo on the 8th house cusp for sure. Dying because you thought you were smarter than the doctors? Ruler of the 8th house, Mercury, in 8th house Mercury conjunct Saturn. Doing it for vanity? Ruler of the 8th house conjunct Venus.

His 4th house cusp is Taurus. He died at home, mostly sitting on the sofa until he probably realized it wasn’t just an asthma attack, and he died being held with someone who was insisting he wasn’t going to die (Taurus), in his old comfy leather chair (Taurus). He had spent most of the day sitting on the sofa with me, watching television (Taurus). His internment wasn’t a big fuss (Taurus), so I heard, and he’s somewhere in a local cemetery, in a wall, just chilling (Taurus), so I’ve heard.

Your fourth house is, to some extent, what haunts you.

If this essay isn’t proof enough, the 4th house gives you some insight into what haunts you long after it’s gone. Along with the Moon, the 4th house can describe the nature of the things that will stay with you, the things you have to resolve from your past if you want to live in the present.

A few days ago, I went for my weekly drive to keep the car running, and I took a turn down a road that I found out went right through Rick’s hometown and intersected the street he grew up on. I have never been to the home, but I’ve seen it before.

Chicago is, in many ways, very new to me, and in other ways, full of ghosts. I suppose that’s as a good as an adopted hometown can get. Or maybe I need to find a new city that scares me to call home?

6 thoughts on “On the 4th House

  1. Pingback: 8th House Legacies | Fugitive Umbrellas

  2. Pingback: Astrologers are All Doing It: Crushing on (or Falling in Love With) an Astrological Chart | Fugitive Umbrellas

  3. Amazing article. As always you have this beautiful, compelling way with words being both straightforward and artistic enough to keep me craving for more. My favorite part was how visiting an unknown city makes you a genuine outsider, not just a label people give to you when they can’t relate to you.

    I’m also curious about what is the meaning of 4th house cusp in Scorpio with ruler Pluto in Scorpio in 4th house.

  4. This hit me right where I live, no pun intended. I don’t really understand a lot of the deeper astrological terms such as “House”, “Ruler”, etc., but I feel like I pulled a lot of meaning away. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, but…

    Yeah, you’re right.

    And your description of what it’s like to tour our hometown is spot-on. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I’d never been invited out drinking during any of my visits, since I can only imagine how awkward it would have been for me (the Queen of Awkward).

  5. You have no idea how much I identify with all of this. How similar the motions we went through way back when must have been. I refuse to live in our hometown, though I’m a lot closer than you are. And I too, have lately been dreaming of an ideal living situation. Somewhere far away from here, so I can finally stop trying to love the family that doesn’t love me back. I’ve been in abusive relationships all along.

    I’d like to think I understand that longing you have, just a bit. Your ideal living arrangement? That’s totally my dream. Having a space that is -Mine- and I can retreat to for alone time, to do whatever it is I need to do, before I go back out into joined spaces.

    I want to tell you – don’t come home for Thanksgiving. It will never be as good or satisfying as you hope, dream, or need it to be. Good luck.

    • I used to think that the city was cursed, that there was some sort of supernatural fog that never lifted, making everything so hopeless and depressing. But it’s not like the fog is going to lift, or that there are hometowns that are magickally any better, I suppose: just places we’re all supposed to flee from since we hear every day of our lives that we’re not supposed to be here, and every morning we step out the door is like putting on a pair of shoes that never quite fits. So I’m not crazy: it is an awful hole in the ground, isn’t it?

      I hope you find the peace you’re looking for.

      And that you have somewhere else to go on Thanksgiving, too.

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