The Ninth house is often overlooked in astrology today. Let’s face it, nothing exciting happens here, and clients never really ask about it. It doesn’t have to do with romance, children, money, or jobs, so who can blame them for not really caring? People who travel a lot might take an interest in their Ninth house, but other than that it’s mostly just skipped over. So let’s take a minute to talk about the Ninth house, its significations, and the impact that it has on our lives.
The Ninth house is traditionally named the House of God as this is the house wherein the Sun found his joy. The Sun was the center of many early religions and it was often worshiped for its perceived life-giving qualities of light and warmth. In later polytheistic cultures, the Sun God is often a central or very important figure and is typically connected with medicine, healing, prophecy, and truth. In many ways, the modern astrological Ninth house shares these significations with its deity counterparts. So based on this, what does the Ninth house mean?
The Ninth house is a place of long distance travel, higher education, and religion. It’s typically seen as a place we go to when we need help or advice from things greater than ourselves. It’s a house of prophecy and divination, and a way to connect to some higher power. These significations apply no matter what your personal idea of a deity or higher power might be. It can be in the form of a monotheistic entity, polytheistic entities, pantheism, or even atheism. Any sort of belief system you have or don’t have is going to be found in the Ninth house. This adds to the rampant disuse of this house, everyone knows what they think about the world and the nature of the universe, so they don’t need to be told what their personal ideas are, and it’s much less interesting than helping them determine who a future romantic partner might be, which is a matter they don’t have intimate knowledge concerning.
The Ninth house is a key component of who we are as a person and our ultimate outlook on and how we perceive the world or how we feel about religion and belief systems in general, and it’s obviously a very sensitive topic that our culture has been evolving on very rapidly in the past several decades. Many classical astrologers have very strong and negative things to say about particular planets in the Ninth house due to the importance the church played on the affairs of the state and a person’s life back in the time those astrologers were writing. Of course, our views on this have changed, so some caution needs to be exercised when delineating this house.
Traditional Delineations of the Ninth
The classical breakdown of this house was pretty cut and dry: malefics bad, benefics good. Of course, what they meant was that the benefics are good for faith and make pious people, whereas the malefics make heretics, and we can’t have that. In modern times, we wouldn’t refer to this as such (well, most of us wouldn’t), but instead it would be the benefics represent faith and the malefics represent doubt or skepticism. This would most often boil down to Jupiter vs Saturn for these roles in our lives, however other planets have their own effect when it comes to matters of the Ninth house.
Gadburry’s considerations of the Ninth house takes a look at planets within the Ninth or the Third house and judges based on their nature and their dignity. For Saturn, he says the native will be in much danger from long distance journeys and will be “an absolute hypocrite or dissembler; makes him heretical and guilty of great errors in matters of faith and religion; and he will also be accustomed unto terrible dreams”. So Saturn here doesn’t get much love as it makes one less inclined to faith and gives the native nightmares (the Ninth house is also related to dreams and the likelihood of the native having prophetic dreams). However, Gadburry continues to say “But if Saturn be well dignified there, the Native will be propense to the mathematics and to philosophy he may prove an admirable diviner, or interpreter of dreams”. So, here we see that Saturn in relation to the Ninth isn’t all bad. With enough dignity Saturn can make one adept at math and with a close enough connection to the divine to be able to communicate with it.
Jupiter, of course, is the great good, pious Jupiter and may give the native ecclesiastical honors and dignities if he’s well dignified. However, an ill-dignified Jupiter is not going to cause problems here according to Gadburry. He also says that the native’s dreams will often prove to be true.
Mars is another malefic and gets a treatment that’s reminiscent of Saturn: Well dignified? We’ll allow it. Here he says Mars “makes the native purley superstitius and frothy in his profession, unstable, vain-glorious, and oft-changing his religion; never stable or fixed therein”. So, Mars with the Ninth shows a naive who has changed their religion a lot, or may not particularly belong to a religion, but instead be “spiritual”. About dreams, Mars will make them “frivolous and false”, so no prophecies here.
The Sun is another planet that is adept to faith, so the Sun here shows one “of a servant faith, a true and zealous lover of God and religion and also of religions men”. Gadburry suggests that these people can also become very successful in the church. No word on the dreams these people have.
Venus is also a faithful planet, and she “portends the native to be religious and one that lives in the fear of God”. Gadburry says these people will also make good priests, but “his dreams will be filthy and polluted and as such may make him a perfect abhorrer of vices, he will be apt to lead a single life”. So people who have Venus situated towards their Ninth house have filthy dreams (you know who you are…) which will apparently make them hate themselves. That seems healthy, Gadburry.
Mercury is an interesting planet as it shows neither faith nor skepticism, Gadburry says Mercury in relation to the Ninth house “declares the Native to be experienced in the occult and obscure things”, but he doesn’t suggest that this is a negative thing. Gadburry suggests someone like this would be skilled at astrology and math. “But if Mercury be ill dignified there, then the native will prove a frenetick fellow, a bragger and boaster of many things, more then he can or ever will be able to perform.”
The Moon is an interesting planet. She effects little to her own nature in this house, and nothing Gadburry says about her is about the native’s religion. He suggests the Moon makes people love journeys and gives them many dreams. However, he suggests that the native’s interests ill be like the planet whose sign she is in. With Mercury signs the native will be interested in astrology and math. With Venus; art, music, poetry. With Mars; military and war. With Saturn; chemistry (alchemy). No word yet on the Sun and Jupiter.
Lilly gives us a bit more to chew on with this Ninth house chapter, as he offers is some aphorisms that can be useful, however they mostly just revolve around the benefics confer faith and the malefics confer skepticism paradigm touched on above. There are a few gems in this section of Lilly, though.
- The Lord of the Ninth being a fortune but ill-disposed shows one of sound judgment, but few will credit him.
- Saturn in the Ninth in any of his dignities argues religion, chastity, and faith
- The South Node in the Ninth argues a pitiful native in matters of religion.
So now let’s take a minute to look into a couple of charts and see what we can infer about the native’s religious or philosophical views.
Our first chart has Jupiter falling off of the Descendant, but in an angular house. Jupiter is well dignified in its own sign, but is retrograde and afflicted by the opposition to the malefic Mars on the Ascendant. This isn’t very good for Jupiter and can color the way the native views religion. In this case, he would see religion as a very negative, Mars thing, so something that is used for violence, hatred, and conflict.
Saturn, on the other hand, is a bit closer to approaching an angle and wins that fight against Jupiter, but is still a ways off. Saturn is strong in its exaltation and in a fortunate house. Saturn is mostly unafflicted (aside from being injured by Venus, but this materializes in other ways for our native) and ends up being better off than Jupiter.
The Ninth house itself is ruled by Saturn, linking these two together and creating a very skeptical and examining native. The placement of the ninth house lord in the Fifth shows someone who is interested in science as a past time, and Saturn ruling the Ninth can show someone who uses science as a way to order the world. However, Saturn’s dignity does cancel out some of Saturn’s malice towards belief and the native is actually quite an open minded individual, while expressing a serious distaste for organized religion.
A second chart, this time my own. In this chart, Jupiter and Saturn are locked in a battle for supremacy Both planets are very strong either in their domicile or exaltaiton, likewise both planets are advancing to an angle making them more prominent in the native’s life. Saturn eventually loses out in the battle due to his retrograde motion while Jupiter is direct. This shows the triumph of faith over skepticism, but Saturn isn’t completely out of the game. With the mutually applying opposition to Jupiter, Saturn is able to influence Jupiter, so the faith of the native has Saturn qualities. They prefer the older, more traditional religions or spiritual paths or are more inclined to distrust more mainstream religions.
Now, the Ninth house in this chart is ruled by Mars in the Sixth house, and this seems to be quite appropriate with the native’s Taoist faith which accentuates a somewhat pantheistic world view and focuses rather heavily on physical health and exercise as a way to connect with the Tao. It must also be noted that Mars’s residence in Leo with the Sun plays no small part in this signification. It’s also interesting to note that what Gadburry said about Mars’s interactions with the Ninth will cause the native to change his religion often, this native has changed the label on their religious views at least 5 times before arriving at their current views. I’ll let you know how long this lasts.
What does your Ninth house say about what you believe and your connection to your deity or the world?