The 4th House, the House of Roots & Origins

The twelve houses acts as fields of experiences for the planets to express their significations. 4th House themes include:

  • Your private self
  • Home
  • Ancestors & Heritage
  • Parents
  • End of life
Image by s.desimone

The Egyptians believed that upon death, the Soul returned to the underworld where it began its process of regeneration. Just like the Sun that rose in the morning, reached its vibrance at mid-day, declined in the West to return to the hidden hemisphere before reuniting with the West, the Soul too had a cyclical pattern. This regenerative hidden place is the 4th House.


The 4th House is where we know our deepest selves. This is the ground from which we come from: our parents, our ancestors, our bloodline. The 4th House bears the karmic gifts and baggage we’ve inherited that’s held in our substrate. We can think of the 4th as the roots and the 10th as the fruit of a tree. Similar to a tree’s root system, our heritage and deep past is covertly communicated to and through us like the network of latticed fungi that’s crucial to the well being of a community of trees.

We can look to the sign on the 4th to see what the early home environment might have been. With Gemini, perhaps there were two homes or multiple caretakers, or the parents immigrated from another Country. Someone with Pisces on the cusp might come from a family of artists and musicians, whereas Virgo can speak to physicians or a home where health was emphasized. The 4th signifies the end of life as well. 4th House Gemini might live in two cities (or countries) near the end of their life. Sagittarius will find that the world is their home, traveling from one place to another to widen their life experience.

Planets in the 4th

Planets in the 4th House speak to conditions in the home environment as well as to the parents. Traditionally, the 4th emphasized the father; later, modern astrology related this house to mother or to the parent that provided more of the caretaker role. With Mars in the 4th, there might have been conflict or violence in the home. Uranus suggests instability and/or a lot of moving around. Venus can indicate beauty and a harmonious environment. Neptune: substance abuse or a skeleton in the closet. We would look at the entire chart to see if it supports these statements. We also consider the aspects these planets make as well as aspects and location of the 4th house ruler.  For instance, if Mars is located in the 4th and squaring the Moon, we have a second indication—a hard aspect to the Moon—that there was conflict in the early home environment.


When planets transit through the 4th House, we experience their significations as well. Jupiter might bring us a new addition to the family: a birth or perhaps someone moving in. When Mars transits through the 4th, we might be motivated to finally get to the home improvement project we’ve been putting off. We can look at our Solar Return chart to see energies available for our year: Uranus and/or Pluto usually indicate a move or major renovation to the home.  Even if you don’t have any planets in the 4th House, transits and Solar Return placements will activate this area. In addition, whenever the ruler of the 4th is activated by transit or progression, you’ll see the impact in your private life.