©2-6-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Note: Thanks to Mimi Boothby, whose suggestion of articles on the 5th house won honorable mention in our contest to find new series topics.
Among an array of pleasurable things, the 5th house is your children. The planets, signs, and aspects in that house describe your children as well as your relationship with them.
If you have more than one child, it still shows ALL your children and what’s going on with them. For instance, my mother had Moon in Aquarius in the 5th (a full Moon with her Leo Sun) and had three children, all described by Aquarius or Uranus:
- My brother had Sun, Venus, and Mercury conjunct in Aquarius
- My sister had Aquarius Rising
- I’m an astrologer, thus a Uranian type, with Uranus semisquare the Moon and Midheaven
What’s important to understand, however, is that the relationship is the crux of the matter–the 5th house planet doesn’t so much describe the child in totality as a human being as it does how the parent perceives/receives the child.
Over the years, I’ve often had occasion to look at the charts of people who belong to the same family. I’ve come to believe that many families have a ruling planet—one that is prominent in all their charts and that describes the family composition and history in a nutshell.
My family’s ruling planet is Uranus. You’ve read about the children’s charts above. My mother not only had an Aquarian Moon but had a Yod with Uranus in Pisces at the peak. My father had Jupiter, Uranus, and the Midheaven in Aquarius all within 1° of one another. Were we a conventional family? Not on your life!
You may suspect what that ruling planet is if several members of your family share a particular gift like music–or a particular affliction like dyslexia.
Still, your children are different from one another in important ways, so how does that show up in your chart?
For one thing, if you have more than one planet in the 5th, it can indicate more than one child and may even indicate each child’s gender and nature. Let’s say the earliest planet is the Moon and the second is Mars—most likely the earlier one is a girl and the second is a boy.
However, that combination might instead indicate that the older is a Cancer and the second is an Aries. Or it might describe their temperaments—one being lunar and the other like Mars. You may even discover, as you follow your chart over time, that transits to the first planet represent one child and transits to the second represent the other.
(If you’d like to look back at past transits to your 5th, download my handy Transit Tracking Table for 1990-2012.)
However, the elaborate—and confusing—system of derivative houses holds that the 1st child is represented by the 5th house, the 2nd child is shown by the 7th house, and so on:
“Children are thought to be a 5th house issue. These would be natural children of the body (kids) or the mind (creativity). The oldest child is also described by the 5th. The second child would be the 7th house along with the 5th. This 7th house child would be most like your spouse.
“ The third child would be the 9th house along with the 5th, and so forth around the chart. If you were to have 5 children, the 5th child would be most like you because that child would be represented by the 5th and the 1st houses. Children of your spouse, adopted children, fostering of children are each represented by your 11th house.” Marilyn Muir in The Family – The People of the Astrological Houses
(For more information about this system, see Derivative house – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
What if the 5th house is empty? Will you be childless?
An empty house doesn’t mean you’ll never have what it represents, it just means that it’s not your priority in life. Our energy and attention goes to the houses that have planets in them, especially any that have two or more. When a planet transits an empty house, then events tend to happen related to that house.
So if you have transits to the 5th, you MIGHT have a child OR children might become important in some other way. For instance you might become an aunt and fall head over heels crazy about the baby. Or you might get a job where service to children is involved.
Here’s something I’ve wondered about. What does the 5th house look like if you have an only child? Saturn in the 5th? Anybody? I know that traditionally, Saturn in the 5th may indicate children coming late in life or difficulty in having children.
What about Grandchildren?
I would even go so far as to say that the 5th house shows your children’s children, at least during 5th house transits. Saturn transits often show new roles you assume. When traveling through the 5th, it can show you taking on the role of grandparent, especially at the birth of first or significant grandchildren.
Outer planet transits to one of your 5th house planets may show a grandchild, especially one you wind up being deeply involved with. (Again, the derivative house setup is different, according to Muir, and places grandchildren in your 9th house.)
What does a 5th house Sun indicate?
Though this is by no means universally true, I’ve known any number of 5th house Suns who were the favored child, especially with male offspring. Unless there are difficult aspects, they were the adored child, the one who could do no wrong, and unfortunately they were never encouraged to grow up.
Men with this placement may expect their wives and sweethearts to spoil them like Mama did, and so it may be hard for them to adjust to adult responsibilities.
(Spoiled children generally grow up to be spoiled adults, expecting the world to indulge them like their doting parents and grandparents did, and throwing tantrums when they don’t get their way. It’s never a favor to spoil a child.)
Careers involving children like daycare or pediatric nursing can be seen in the 5th house, especially where:
- the Midheaven (10th house) ruler is placed in the 5th
- a planet that aspects the Midheaven is placed in the 5th or
- the 5th house ruler is placed in the 10th.
A Saturn transit to the 5th can show taking on responsibility for children, in this instance a professional responsibility. I babysat constantly during my teen years while Saturn transited my 5th. I then had nothing to do with children until Saturn again transited my 5th, a two-year period when I worked with schoolchildren in a psychiatric clinic.
Doing writers’ charts has been one of my specialties—and my joys. Any number of them published children’s books during a Jupiter transit to their 5th.
Transits to 5th house planets can also show events in the lives of offspring.
Client’s 5th house transits often coincided with a shift in one of their adult children’s lives. A trine to a 5th house planet may occur when one of your adult children gets a promotion or other positive career development. A difficult outer planet transit to one of your 5th house planets may reflect a difficult passage in their lives—for instance, a divorce under a Uranus transit.
Tough 5th House Transits may coincide with difficult passages in your relationship with a son or daughter.
Almost any time a client or advice column reader asks about a change for the worse in their relationship with their children or an estrangement, it shows up in the 5th house. This is true regardless of their ages—anything from teenage turbulence to a feud between a senior citizen and a grown children.
The transiting planets pinpoint the major issues, although naturally I then do a chart comparison to find out more about the stresses in their connection.
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Readers, do you have children, and what does your 5th house show about them and about your relationship with them? If you have more than one, does the derivative house system describe how they are different? Share your observations with us in the comment section.
NOTE: this post sparked a lovely discussion and exchange of chart data. See some of it here: Highlights of Our Discussion on the 5th House and Children.
Coming soon: More Things You May Not Know about the 5th–Fun, Romance, and Horseracing.
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