The fourth house is the deepest point of the chart. Its cusp line is the downward vertical axis symbolizing the energy of spirit, soul, higher nature, and innate being coming into manifestation. It “descends” into form thereby creating an incarnation.
The mysteries and truths of birth/death are held before us in the water houses. The 4th represents our birth home, birth family, and the circumstances that will color the entire life due to choosing that birth. From the higher nature’s point of view, birth is death into form and death is a birth out of form. The 8th house represents the myriad deaths that one experiences through life: giving up, letting go, the passing away of things or people, and one’s growth through these experiences. The 12th house represents the death of the personality or practitioner and the completion of the Wheel. It is a death through devotion, opening fully and surrendering completely.
In these ways, the water houses demonstrate an alignment with the occult, the esoteric, and the full exploration of being. Corresponding to Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces respectively, water signs align with spirit thus the spirits and the spiritual, with energy thus energetics, with buddhi thus intuition, as union thus empathy, sympathy, and friendliness, as wholeness thus non-duality. Water protects us in the womb and lets us go at birth. This is a metaphor for the dark cushiness of ignorance and for the nakedness of liberation. Water hides the psyche as well as protects it. And, through the actions of dissolving, merging, extinguishing, and fertile blossoming, water provides access to our full potential.
The 4th house is all too glibbly spoken of as one’s home; but the subtle dimensions of Awareness and the inner realms of realization are one’s true home. The 4th house refers to one’s foundations; authentic being is one’s substantial foundation. This house indicates roots. May it be that one has established roots of virtue. The 4th house represents one’s childhood plus early, formative years thus, by extension, the same for one’s children. This house invites the pondering of formation, formative people and circumstances, plus support and nourishment from all its sources.
The 4th house is called the nadir or I.C. (innum coeli) Going upward, this same axis creates the 10th house cusp and is the MC (medium coeli).
The fourth house corresponds to Cancer which is a Cardinal Cross, water sign. Cancer is the Crab. It holds on, moves sideways in order to move forward, and retreats for cover instinctively. Fourth house planets? First, observe if you are straight in your use of them or not. After that assessment, if straight, straight to what? What is your overall direction in life? If sideways, why? What are you avoiding within those planets and yourself or others? After all of this self-reflection, consider 4th house planets as involved in the birth of freer states of being, of – like a hermit crab – leaving one shell of reality for a larger one, a more expansive one. Yes, it is still a shell, but it is an evolution also.
Fourth house planets give direct access to the psyche which accounts for the personality’s way with them, but also declares that a turn of the spiral with these planets and the psyche is as simple as getting wet.
The fourth house includes tradition and traditional ways, that which is ancient yet present; antiquities or artifacts, too.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon traditionally, Neptune esoterically, and Neptune hierarchically. These planets influence the fourth house as well.
The Moon’s influence on the 4th house traditionally
The Moon represents the past. Planets in the 4th speak to one’s past. The signs of those planets do as well. Interpreting them begins with acknowledging them as habits of consciousness, default patterns that hold back the flow of spiritual maturing. Almost all of these articles have encouraged a blameless honesty with one’s self. We cannot move forward on the Path or in mundane life if that which stymies forward momentum goes unacknowledged thus unaddressed. Because we are incarnated, the foibles of being incarnated are always the first layer of interpretation.
The Moon is comfortable, feels familiar, generally is preferred, and a go-to. As these qualifiers influence the 4th house. Planets there will feel familiar – like old slippers. This makes the planets accessible. Then, it is up to the native to stretch into the fuller range of attributes of the planet(s) so that that range also becomes familiar and comfortable.
The Moon represents feelings. When a woman is pregnant, she can feel the baby but not see it or hear it. Feeling is, in a way, direct yet vague. Some people walk into a room and feel the emotions of others, or the past that played out in a location, or the devic/elemental/angelic life of the land or water. These feelings are psychic to a certain extent, could indicate intuition on some level, but all are pre-mind. Feeling is direct, immediate, and often dismissed. Yet being pre-mind, pre-cognitive processes are pretty flawless. Planets in the 4th house probably have this direct quality to them. That means that they could be experienced as intense or poke at one’s vulnerability or insecurity. This is all for maturing. Beingness is intensity itself while simultaneously pure peace. Security/insecurity is all a matter of what one relies upon.
The Moon’s influence on the 4th house could also demonstrate through waxing and waning. That is to say that the planets in the 4th come into prominence in some cycles of our life and fade out of prominence in others. The fading is an integration time, but might not be recognized as such.
Neptune’s influence on the 4th house esoterically
This is the “soul” level of influence to the house. Neptune invites an examination of one’s incarnation, which is -of course- the incarnation of the soul. Are you living as a soul? If so, how does that demonstrate? If not, why not?
On this turn of the spiral, the planets in the 4th house signal loving kindness, empathy, and the desire to serve others because these are the intention of the soul in form. Even if the planet is a mental planet, such as Saturn or Uranus or Mercury, its expression wants to be that of the loving energy of the soul. This could be a very powerful stretch for the native, and one worth attending.
Neptune’s influence hierarchically
An analogy here is that in the ocean there are no single drops of water. All is one: a shared intimate, complete oneness. The entanglement of being is undeterred and undefiled; it is also uncomplicated.
Highest Neptune is buddhi, bodhi, wisdom-compassion, and the inseparability of emptiness and form. Buddhi is uncomplicated. Buddhi supersedes mental processes; it is blunt, frank. Buddhi is true if it is true buddhi. Buddhi is intuition, but not like that elicited at an intuition workshop. Buddhi is “budh”, its root word. Budh is light as in clear, transparent, luminous, bright, no shadow, not shaded, stark, real, true. Bodhi comes from the same Sanskrit root word. Bodhi, as in bodhisattva, is the light of awareness lived as the way of being. Such livingness lightens density, illumines obscurity, shines the way out of ignorance, and is uninterested in that which obscures, is of a denser vibration, or expresses ignorance. Planets in the 4th house, if under this hierarchical influence, are the native’s bodhi in the world. They are how you undo the density and darkness of suffering, how you assist in the illumination of the world and reality.