Mother & Father House Controversy

There is some confusion amongst astrologers as to which house pertains to the father. I will address that confusion in this article.

The underground / private part of the sky/life is the mother’s main area of influence. She gives us our domestic, emotional, and inner strength. The above ground / public part of the sky/life is the father’s main area of influence. He gives up our professional, practical and career strength. The epitome of the underground is the 4th house – it is physically the deepest underground part of the sky. The epitome of the aboveground is the 10th house – it is physically the highest part of the visible sky overhead. Thus these two houses are the epitome and anchor points of the mother and father, respectively.
The 4th and 10th are the mother and father as individuals – but the *roles* that they play in society (western section of the sky) are defined by the two houses to the west of them, i.e. the 5th and the 9th.

You should note that the 5th and the 9th are the trines from the 1st house. Trines give dynamic support to their pinnacle. The pinnacle here is the first house, the self. Two forces are the primary underlying support in our lives, our mother and our father. The 5th house is the mother’s underlying support and the 9th house is the fathers.

While trines support things, quadrants create structure and strength. The self (1st house) has three strengthening quadrants: the 4th house, the 10th house and the 7th house. Thus there are three main people in our lives who give us structure and strength: our mother (4th house), father (10th house) and our spouse (7th house).

As you can see, the mother and father are especially important because they have both a quadrant and a trine effect. They both give structure and strength from being a quadrant, and they give dynamic underlying support from being a trine. To be fair to spouses though. The 7th house itself plays two roles inherently because it is both a quadrant and an opposite. So all three people are equally important to a happy and healthy life: mother, father and spouse.

Now let us get back to the controversy. The 10th house is the father. In the sanskrit definition of the 10th House, “father” is listed. In the definition of the 9th, father is not listed. But later on, in the following chapters (of brihat parashara hora shastra – the definitive Sanskrit astrological compendium) when we get some practical examples of using the 10th house we find only a brief mention of father in regards to the 10th house, while in regards to the 9th house nearly every example centers on the father.

This is because the 10th house defines the father himself and his basic role as a rule-maker and authority – a sort of “king of the castle” – a form of government in the house. The 9th house shows how the father supports us. If you look at all the examples of how the 9th house is used in relation to the father, you will see that they have a strong theme of describing how the father provides bread and is otherwise an active practical and moral guide in the person’s life. So the 10th house – being the anchor of the visible, above-ground sky – is the anchor point of the father. It is the father’s quadrant house, showing how he strengthens us. The 9th house is the father’s trine house – showing how he supports us. The effects of the father’s active support ultimately are the morality of the 9th house.

Similarly, the underground, inner and private sky is the mother – the anchor of which is the 4th House. This house reveals that the mother’s basic role is domestic, but the immediate impact of her role is not to set rules and enforce them like the father, but to rather create a more important setting of  safety, comfort, and emotional well-being. These are the results of the 4th house, and thus the results of a good mother. She gives us a safe place where we can find comfort and peace, and can therefore develop healthy and happy emotions.

Like the father’s active role is the 9th, the mother’s active role is the 5th. The essential characteristic of the 5th house is intelligence. In Sanskrit you should note that intelligence is a feminine word (like most languages, Sanskrit conjugates words in either masculine or feminine tense. Intelligence has a female conjugation and is also explicitly listed in important scriptures like Bhagavad Gita as a “female quality”). This the actions of our mother are actually what develops our intelligence. Intelligence requires education and expresses itself in creativity – the next two important traits of the 5th house. The mother is primarily responsible for educating the child, and cultivating the child’s creativity. The 5th house, being connected to education, is also the place of students and a child is the ultimate student. Therefore the 5th house pertains to children. No matter how much social norms may fluctuate as the ages cycle through their changes, it will always be a fact that only the mother produces children.

I hope this article helps shed light on the mother and father in the houses of a horoscope. In summary the mother and father are too important to be relegated to just one house. Their anchor points are the 4th and 10th respectively, but the 5th and 9th reveal their effects.

– Vic DiCara
© 2010 Vic DiCara, All Rights Reserved

One Comment

  1. georgia says:

    the info in this article is so helpful in my understanding of self and other , rahu/ketu 4th/10th axis. am really valuing your teachings.
    thank you and best regards,


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