The Fourth House

Your sense of home is likely to change as you get older. Where do your roots lie? If the first house tells us about how we handle the world, then the fourth house tells us what motivated those decisions. Is it more important for you to be with family or explore unknown territory and create a new community elsewhere?

Many never drift far from their familiar beginnings and the people they've known all their lives. Others, however, choose to break away from what they deem a monotonous lifestyle and experience the world in whole new ways.

The astrological fourth house represents your home environment or way of life, which is reflected through how you spend your time and where you live. It can indicate the neighborhood you grew up in if it's very close to your birthplace. If you move as a child or teenager, then the fourth house tells us where you form the bonds of that home away from home.

The fourth house is associated with the sign of Cancer, and its ruler, the moon. It belongs to the cardinal modality and the water element. This house tells us about how you live, where you feel comfortable, and whether or not a home is important to your identity.

Key concepts of the Fourth house

Home, mother, history, birthplace, genealogy, childhood, the dead, the moodiness of the moon.

This house is about feeling comfortable with a stable community and having close relationships with familiar people. You'll need a home base that's welcoming to you so that you can retreat when things get chaotic outside.

You might find yourself drawn towards living near your childhood home or your family since it might give you a sense of belonging. This house can represent the people in your life who are closest to you and give us an idea of what kinds of values you take with you everywhere you go.

The fourth house often has the same qualities as the sign Cancer and is strongly influenced by the following:

-The sign on the IC and signs contained in the fourth house

-Planets in the fourth house

-The planet that rules the sign on the IC

The IC or Imum Coeli

The angle associated with the fourth house is called the IC, or imum coeli (meaning lowest heavens). This angle refers to the degree and sign at the northernmost point in the sky (the lowest point in the chart); it's also known as the nadir. When planets or points fall in this part of the chart, they represent the foundation of our experience on earth.

Your fourth house relates to what you have a natural tendency to pull towards, like your home or family. The IC also reveals what brings about feelings of comfort and familiarity in this different environment. The sign on the IC is often considered to reflect on an individual's safety, and security needs to feel safe and secure and what they're like within their private lives. Planets near the IC in your birth chart suggest additional family baggage and emphasize the importance of home, family, or privacy to you.

A planet falling in the IC or natal chart placement of this angle is often described as signifying that individuals seek a sense of security within their home and family. The native tends to be quite protective of their privacy and can easily become fearful when they feel threatened.

Aries in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to conflict; your family's values, military influences, or discipline could have made it difficult for you to feel safe. As a child, your home life was likely unpredictable; you would have been aware of adult conflicts and when these were expressed through arguments, frightening scenes, and fights. You might also have witnessed others in your family being loud or passionate with each other in very uncomfortable ways.

You're motivated to use what you learned about the conflict to help others find peace and harmony in their relationships and personal lives. You might be successful in your career by using your natural skills as a peacemaker to help people resolve disagreements. Still, you can't always find ways to resolve the conflict within yourself.

Taurus in the Fourth House

Your early home life was likely secure and a bit dull, but also open to opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise. The emphasis on money and possessions that you experienced in your younger years combined with an aversion to emotionally sensitive subjects motivates you to live simply, honestly, without any attachments or distractions - only the things of this world which provide a useful purpose. If there were conflict at home, you would have learned to avoid it; you might have grown up in a quiet environment where family members tried not to make waves or create arguments.

You may be very interested in making your living space warm, comfortable, and inviting because this can bring about feelings of security that remind you of your early life at home with your family. When you have a home of your own, it tends to be very beautiful and elegant since this reflects how you feel about yourself and what you want others to think about you.

Inspired by this desire for beauty in your surroundings, you might also appreciate the arts - including music, painting, or writing.

Gemini in the Fourth House

You are familiar with the intricacies of your early home life and how they shaped you as a person. You may have been praised for your intelligence--or just slow to learn. You are driven to pursue knowledge and find meaning in life. You see the makeup of your family as a metaphor for life. You're skilled at hiding from conflict and yourself, but your skill also helps you remain uninvolved in most people's lives--unless their problems escalate and somehow involve you.

When feeling comfortable and secure in your adult relationships, you have little interest in the details of your partner's life. You can only tolerate conflict in others if it is mild and easily ironed out.

Cancer in the Fourth House

You may have been coddled by your parents as a child or not cared for enough. As an adult, you are motivated to build up your own identity and be respected in the world. You enjoy home life and the security of your family, but you may feel intense loneliness when it's time to move out on your own.

Self-sufficiency is important to you, but if you're over-dependent on others or cannot stand on your own two feet, you may feel like a failure and become prone to depression. Conflict in your adult life is subtle to you and hard to detect at first; it's only when the problem escalates into a major crisis that you start looking for ways to resolve the issue.

Leo In the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to being noticed; you may have gotten too much special attention or not enough. This created two distinct parts of your personality, one visible to others and another that remains hidden. The hidden side houses your loneliness from the isolation you subject yourself to during dark times.

The way you feel about yourself is directly related to how others treat you; if someone criticizes you, you feel invaluable and look for signs that it is true. If people praise you unconditionally, your self-worth skyrockets, and you try to make yourself more valuable to others because of how they react to you.

You enjoy being around like-minded people who appreciate your uniqueness, while you also feel as though you belong to a community of friends. When conflicts arise in your adult life, you may sense a problem but will do nothing to correct it.


Virgo in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to orderliness and health. You may have been around a lot of sickness as a child or enjoyed having total control over the way you ate and exercised. Your parents' expectations created a strong sense of self-discipline in you that has lasted into your adult life.

Your early environment pushes you to seek a balance between order and chaos in your life. You want both practical affairs and spiritual fulfillment.

Libra in the Fourth House

Order, fairness, and harmony ruled your early home life. There may have been a message at home that being nice is more important than getting ahead. This message helped you develop the ability to see alternative solutions where others only see one correct answer. The early emphasis on being friendly and playing by the rules motivates you to become more assertive by using your social skills to help you go after whatever you want in life.

You want a balanced home life: neither too chaotic nor too routine and predictable. Objectivity is important to you; when a conflict arises, you look at both sides of the story to find truth in them. 

You are motivated to work hard for people who appreciate your talents, but you try not to compete in situations that don't matter to you.

You may have had a lot of responsibility as a child, but you were rarely asked for your opinion because you're so agreeable. If you believe your viewpoint is being suppressed in an adult relationship, even to the point of not voice it, this leaves you feeling alone and misunderstood. Your spouse or partner must respect your judgment, or else you might feel resentment.


Scorpio in the Fourth House

Your early home left you sensitive to secrecy and power dynamics. You may have been kept in the dark about some of your parents' activities or had power over others in the family due to age, health, etc. You learned early to read in between the lines and figure out what was going on, and this ability to detect the truth continues into your adult life.

The early emphasis on power dynamics motivates you to become more aware of subtle forces in your surroundings and providers for others. As an adult, you may attract needy friends and expect a lot from you, You don't mind helping out, but you prefer when people don't become too dependent on you.

Your home life emphasized that you need to control your emotions, which motivates you to help others find ways to come to terms with their feelings and express them appropriately.

You are motivated to explore personal relationships and enjoy life instead of concentrating on the negative aspects.

Sagitarrius in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to freedom, strong beliefs, foreignness, and higher education. Your family may have been immigrants, strongly religious or ideological, or zealous about the importance of higher education. Your quest for freedom, independence, and adventure motivates you to explore your own boundaries. As an adult, you may have a lot of wanderlust and travel the world in search of new perspectives. You believe that there is much more than what's on the surface level and enjoy looking behind the curtains at what's really going on.

The early emphasis on freedom motivates you to cultivate an open mind and become a seeker of knowledge. You value your space and don't like being told what to do.

You are motivated to keep an open mind about people's motivations and question the beliefs you grew up with. You may not be religious; you are very open to other people's ideas and beliefs if you are.

Capricorn in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to structure, achievement and success. Your parents may have been hard-working, achievement-oriented, or demanding of your attention. The emphasis on achieving goals motivates you to become a reliable person in the eyes of others. You are inspired to work hard for what you want and believe that power is achieved through authority over others. As an adult, you may expect your partner to take care of household duties and children so that you can focus on achieving your goals in the outside world. You value security and stability, which motivates you to become a provider for others.

The early emphasis on achievement drives you to work hard to provide for yourself and those around you. You are motivated to achieve your goals in the external world, and this work ethic motivates you to push yourself harder.

Aquarius in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to freedom, change, and individualism. You may have been raised in a liberal environment that valued each person's independence and sense of self. As an adult, this emphasis on the individual drives you to become your own person with your own unique style. You likely live in a place where there are many other creative types and may look down on those who can't stand out from the crowd. You are motivated to explore unique ideas and be unconventional in your style of living.

The early emphasis on being different motivates you to cultivate an individual identity that sets you apart from other people. Not being a follower is very important for you.

You are motivated to maintain your individuality and not become a follower of fads. You value unique ideas over what's popular and dislike authority that does not respect individual differences.

Pisces in the Fourth House

Your early home life left you sensitive to discord, suffering, and untidiness. Your childhood may have been painful, with the adults in your life being unable to find harmony within themselves. As an adult, you are motivated to help others find peace and grow spiritually. You believe that spirituality is achieved by first observing one's inner-self and finding solutions to problems from within.

The emphasis on suffering motivates you to explore deep issues with yourself and others. You may work as a counselor or therapist, helping people find their inner peace.

The early emphasis on suffering motivates you to help others find the answers themselves rather than look to outside sources. This drive to explore deep issues applies in your personal life, where you are motivated to look at why you feel the way you do.

The early emphasis on disharmony may have left you feeling like an outsider growing up. Although others found their place in the world, this motivated you to search for meaning and spirituality outside society's teachings (i.e., religion). You believe that truth comes from within rather than from a book or external authority.


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