The 4th house in astrology is an angular one, and rules everything that has to do with the person’s foundations. The home, the family, the roots and ancestors are all ruled by this night-time house. When a planet is positioned inside the house, it is located at the zenith (also called Imum Coeli or I.C.) of the ecliptic, and respectively the Sun is to be found there when the person is born at midnight. All matters that have to do with domestic issues, the native’s property and real estate, land, houses or even subterranean places are expressed through this part of the zodiac. The natural ruler sign of the house is Cancer, and of course the Moon.
The roots of the native’s family and origin are here. The grandparents, the lineage and traditions passing from them, as well as material things that are coming from previous generations of his family. The grandfather’s country-house and the field are assets that do not belong to other houses expressing material possessions. They come into the native’s life from the very beginning, as everything which the 4th house brings. The native is growing inside them, and they become his stability. Most probably, what comes from the 4th house will continue its passage towards the heirs of the native.
A lot of situations and facts that the 4th house brings in one’s life happen in his early years, and thus are irreversible. Also, because the house signifies the stable foundations of the chart owner, any change happening due to transiting planets can have permanent effect of change, because it is altering the basic structure of the individual’s reality. Usually, the characteristics of his reality that change are external, as other houses like the 1st are governing the person’s internal issues. Uranus or Pluto, for example, transiting through the house, would radically alter even the place of residence, most of the times with a permanent effect. Malefic planets adversely aspected signify a difficult childhood with a lot of suffering and usually broken family bonds, while benefics give a bright early childhood and the native is surrounded by positive influences. The person’s early years are a shiny period, he feels protected and can from his young age begin to flourish as a personality, reflecting the positive vibrations that he receives as a sponge from the moment he is born.
There are different approaches about which parent the house represents. The astrological community cannot quite agree whether the mother or the father are to be seen through the 4th house, but the answer is probably something not concerning the gender of the parent. The 4th house is ruling the native’s early childhood, so the parent who is more near to the child is to be ruled by the house. Thus, most of the times the mother and her relationship to the chart owner can be observed through the planets positioned in the house and the aspects they form. On the contrary, the dominant parent, the one usually working and away from home, is ruled by the 10th house.
The more close a planet is located to the cusp of the 4th house, the more deep its story goes into the roots of the individual’s existence. Literally, the cusp also rules the graves of the ancestors, while also reveals some information about karma that comes as a baggage of the chart owner in this incarnation. The 4th house is also responsible for the collective karma of the native’s lineage, and influences that his ancestor’s actions have on the whole family. Here are to be seen karmic debts of the family to be paid towards others, and the contrary also.
In addition, the fourth house rules magickal powers passing as a blessing or curse from elder generations. The powers represented here are those that are inherited from parents and grandparents, blessings and curses that follow the native’s bloodline and every occult ability which is not gained by exercise, reading and conscious efforts. These could extend in very deep levels and follow the family many generations backwards and forward.
Everything ruled by the fourth house is integrated with the material domestic assets (bricks, land) and shapes our personal place. It is the place where we return to sleep, to nurture ourselves and feel safe. Both literally and metaphorically, it is the shell where the pearl of our existence resides. Whatever we call and feel home, even if we do not have one.