Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 24, 2010

Readers Ask: Q&A about the 11th House

©10-24-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

This is another in a series of posts where readers ask questions about a particular house of the astrology chart in the comment section and I answer them. This time we’ll look at the 11th house, the house of friends, groups, networking, and social action. It also describes how we fit in with our peer group–and just how awful high school was! Astrologically, it’s related to Uranus and Aquarius. People with an interest in astrology are often strong in the 11th house.  Ask away, folks–but, please, one question at a time.

 I am happy to entertain  general questions like these:

  • Does an empty 11th house make you a loner?
  • What in the astrology chart would show why friends are sometimes more of a support than family?
  • What 11th house transits would be best for networking to build a practice?

That sort of thing, phrased in 25 words or less.

There’s one earlier post in this series that I may refer to in my responses. It answers basic questions about houses and how they are set up that apply to all houses. If so, here’s the article I’ll be referring to: Readers Ask: Basic Questions about the 12 Houses.

UPDATE: After answering 35 questions, the comments are closed.  To read the questions and answers—maybe even the one you were wanting to ask, since we covered a lot of ground–scroll down below this article to the comment section.

Related articles about Friendship on Skywriter: Donna Cunningham's astrology blog

Readers Ask Series:  (Readers’ questions and my Answers are in the Comment Sections)

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  1. Hello Donna.
    Hope you are well and coping up with health issues nicely.

    I would like to ask the first question itself
    “Does an empty 11th house make you a loner?”
    as that fits my natal chart; and also my friend profile(to an extent)

    Being Water-rich, sometimes, i do feel some of those “REAL” people missing around me.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • An empty 11th doesn’t mean you’d necessarily be a loner–for that you’d look at the other people houses like the 3rd (siblings and other near relatives), 5th (children and romance), or the 7th (partnership–even your BFF can show up there). I’ve often seen people with a strong 3rd house who had a number of siblings and whose siblings were really their best friends.

      But an empty 11th does show that friendship per se is not one of your priorities in life. To see where the time and energy goes that would generally go into friendship, look to see what house the 11th ruler is in. That area of life would be where you might be most likely to develop friendships.

      For instance, if it’s in the 6th, then your closest pals might be coworkers, but you’d probably not socialize with them outside work hours. Donna

      • 1) Firstly, if this isn’t naive…what’s BFF? Sorry but these days i stumble at just too many short forms. Though i do use them, one other day, I was discussing with my friend about the probable time, they will find formal entry into english dictionaries…lol ( it comes… this being the first and strongest candidate/expression) 😀

        2) If i understood correctly, my 11th house cusp is in Saggitarius, whose ruler Jupiter is in 3rd (4th in Eq. house). So as per your post, does that mean i am spending the energy required to be put into friendships into “siblings and other near relatives” or more into my home & surroundings (4th equal house) ?


      • BFF = Best Friend Forever.

        And if the ruler of the 11th is in the 3rd, it could mean your best friends are your siblings and other near relatives (cousins, aunts, uncles) or your neighbors. Donna

      • What if the ruler of the 11th is in the 12th?

      • Depends on the ruling planet and its sign and aspects, of course, but it can indicate a tendency to befriend the unfortunate and even, perhaps, to join in social action to champion their cause.

        That would be a high usage of it. A self-defeating use would poor judgement in the choice of friends, and trusting the wrong ones. Like getting close to people who wind up being an enemy or doing hurtful/harmful things to them. Donna

  2. Hi Donna,
    I don’t have a handle on this area of the chart – empty here….I know to look at the sign on the cusp…..Have Aquarius there, yet no planets in Aquarius. Uranus in Cancer in 4th. Ties into your 2nd suggested question – my friends are a much better support than my family! Now I think I understand why. I am uncomfortable in group situations and force myself out into them in small doses. Maybe my chiron in Aquarius.
    Thank you.

    • Yes, Kim, Uranus in Cancer all by itself can suggest a certain estrangement from family, but especially in the 4th house, as that’s your roots. Donna

  3. Hi Donna,
    Can you explain how the 11th house “evolves” in its process of moving one toward the 12th house? And if there is a way that a Neptune in the 12th house that is just over the border from the 11th can help in terms of the establishment of a community of like-minded folks in one’s life without ending up in some kind of mutually-congratulatory cult-like group? Saturn transiting the 11th house, I presume will help with the reality-testing of any group, but I have a feeling that a recently departed Neptune from the 11th, now in the 12th, could also be of enormous assistance. Just not exactly sure how.

    Thank you.

    Aquarian Sun.

    • Lots of questions there, so let me focus on the 11th-12th question. Each house, as you note, does over time move you to the next (through transits and progressions, for instance.)

      A person who has been intensely social and tends to gain their validation, beliefs, and values from their peer group (11th house focus) might with more maturity or experience move into a more inward kind of seeking, where they find their own truths about life and themselves (12th house).

      As for transits to the 11th, I’m hoping to get questions to that and also have a piece I’m working on about that topic for the next post on Skywriter. Donna

      UPDATE: the transit article is published and you can see it here:

  4. I have Capricorn in 11th house, can you give example of positive and negative manifestation that can happen in 11th house? And another question, What about Saturn in 11th house.

    • Hi, Kayla, welcome to Skywriter. Saturn and Capricorn in the 11th would be similar, though Saturn would be much stronger. (You may also see some of the same patterns when the ruler of the Midheaven is in the 11th.) You’ve come to the right place with this question–I have Saturn in the 11th myself, and so have 68 years of experience in managing that energy! There are many positives, in my way of thinking.

      When you are young, your seriousness and your promising qualities tend to endear you to older people, and you may have strong friendships with people who are older and who mentor and encourage you–the elders of the tribe, so to speak. (Nothing I have loved more in my life than a really fine, high quality elder.) These may be people in the fields that wind up being your career.

      Also, you tend not to feel comfortable with frivolous people and party animals, and so your friendships mostly would be with others who are serious, disciplined, career-oriented people. Friendships may develop slowly, but they are long-lasting and loyal. They are the type of which we say, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”–and so are you. Friendship is a serious commitment.

      Oh, and you start out with friends who are older than you, but at a certain point, you wind up befriending promising younger people and becoming a mentor yourself.

      The down side? Well, friends who are a lot older than you tend to die on you. That’s not been a lot of fun.

  5. HI Donna,

    Jeff Green speaks about Uranus and the 11th house as also dealing with the issue of projection–yourself to others as well as others onto you. I always thought of projection as more Neptunian. What is your take on this?


    • Well, I haven ‘t read what Jeff has to say, but I think of Pluto when it comes to projection. People project power/sexuality motives onto Plutonian types. (See )

      And also one of the dynamics of oppositions as a type of aspect is that we project the qualities of one of the planets onto other people, especially people whose functions or roles rest in the house that the planet falls into. I hadn’t thought of Neptune that way.

      So maybe there are things about any planet, sign, or house we disown or are in denial about that we project onto others. Rather a good topic for a discussion, isn’t it? Donna

  6. Hello Donna,
    With 4 personal planets (mercury; venus, mars uranus conjunct) in the 11th, much is probably involved with projects, friendship, groups and wishes? an aquarius moon increase this fact?

    Do you know something about the 11th that would have tell about adoption, children of others?Thank you in advance for your interresting advice.

    • Hmm, my experience with clients who adopt children or who were adopted often places Neptune at the Midheaven or on the IC, natal Neptune or in the adoption process, transiting Neptune.

      And, yes, an Aquarian Moon, stellium in Aquarius, or strongly aspected Uranus can have similarities to a strong 11th house. Read the article about stelliums in the list of links, as it is partly a personal story about my own stellium in the 11th. Donna

      • Neptune is transiting the moon (and chiron), ruler of the 11th, during the adoption process, and neptune will be trine to sun and neptune plus sextile saturn, ruler of the fifth, when complete.

  7. Some profess the 11th house also to represent dreams, hopes & fears (this may speak to Lisa Ange’s note above about projection onto friends). Do you & if not, where would you place this energy in a chart? If Mars were in 11th house, would one then be more active in “projection” behavior? Thanks.

    • Hi, Dixie, I was kind of hoping someone would ask about that old teaching of the 11th showing your hopes, dreams, and wishes. It has never rung true for me. I would think of hopes and wishes being a Jupiter thing, as Jupiterians are full of hope and optimism and very expansive.

      On the other hand, a person who lives in a dream world and has grandiose fantasies about becoming a movie star or marrying one is a Neptunian type. (Pipe dreams)

      Uranians aren’t really like that. They want social change and a better world, but often are quite willing to put in the sweat equity to make it happen. Donna

  8. Hi Donna
    l Love what you told Kayla I have a stellium in Capricorn in the 11th and that has been my experience also.

    My question is, how about Pluto transiting the 11th. Thank you

    • Hi, Adrienne, I am working on an article about transits to the 11th as we speak, so will defer the questions on transits until it’s done. Not to pat myself on the back, but it looks worth waiting for. Donna

  9. I have Aries on the cusp of the 11th house with Mars there also, I have a couple of friends but many aquaintances I don’t act much, but when I do, it could be impulsive. Unlike my other planets it doesn’t have mayor afflictions, how could I use/see my Mars as an asset. I just read an article when Mars is prominent in a chart representing the challenge of aggression specially aspecting (Sun,Moon,AC) my son has so much aggression, the article said that it could be used constructively in fighting to defend the weak or defenseless at some point in life.

    • A Mars/Aries placement in the 11th certainly can mean that you have leadership potentials within your circle of friends or the groups you belong to. That could be advocacy for social change, certainly, but it might also show membership in a team effort or sports team.

      You’d be drawn to high energy, rather competitive types of friends, and those high spirits could lead to friendly competition, but also at times to friction and jockying for position. In a woman’s chart, it might show an affinity for predominantly male friends. Donna

      • I wanted to add here that my 11th house Mars is in Cancer (Cancer on the cusp as well). In my life, this plays out as a “surrogate mother” to my high spirited, typically younger, female friends. Of course, these same BFFs have kick my butt into action when needed, especially during some instances where I’ve served as “mother” to male romantic partners & not much else!

  10. If the ruler of the 11th is conjunct the Sun, would this be similar to a strong 11th house? If there was also a planet in the 11th, would the energy be filtered through the planet, but ultimately end up with the Sun? Thanks

    • Ruler of the 11th conjunct the Sun would only give a certain amount of 11th house energy but could mean that your friendship group is formed in the area of life the two are placed in (their house position). And that your self concept, in part, is formed by how your peer group regards you, whether you are popular with them or not. Donna

  11. Hi!
    I wondered if you could say something about Venus in the 11th (Yes, it’s my chart – Venus in Libra, unaspected). I don’t have the social graces nor the fashion sense one could expect from a Libra Venus …

    • Maybe your friends are fashionistas? Or you follow the styles your friends wear rather than developing your own tastes? Usually your own style and social graces might depend upon aspects to Venus, but you’re saying it’s unaspected.

      The less superficial part of Venus in the 11th is that there’s a lot of warmth and affection between friends. Donna

  12. OOps. I asked one of those toad questions…. Let me edit myself.
    How would you interpret the SN in the 11th in Gemini and whether it would have a negative influence on the function of any planets therein?

    • Yep, and I did delete it too. Check yourself for warts.

      Okay, the North and South nodes are a pair, with the North being something unfamiliar and new to work toward in a particular lifetime, and the South being something we’ve done and overdone in past lives, so that it is the path of least resistance, something easy to slide into. Not entirely negative, but a bit like letting your middle class parents support you at age 40 rather than developing a career of your own…slight sleeze factor to the South Node.

      So what could be sleezy about the 11th house? And why would you need to focus on developing the 5th instead. Hmm. Well, maybe it’s easier for you to hang out with your pals than go out looking for a date? Or maybe you treat your sweetie like a pal, rather than be romantic. Or, maybe you’re one of those Moms or Dads who treats their kid as a confidannt and pal, rather than being appropriately parental and setting limits. Or maybe you follow the crowd slavishly rather than explore your own creativity and style. Donna

  13. Cancer and Aquarius seem like an odd combo to me so am wondering what you think about the moon in the 11th or Cancer personal planets in the 11th? Thanks for answering!

    • Well, maybe it’s not all that Aquarian. People with the Moon or Cancer planets in the 11th look to make a family of their friends. They tend to have mainly women friends of the nurturing kind…and to socialize around food. Sometimes, too, they succeed in making family members into good friends, a good trick if you can do it.

      Hmm. Maybe in my next incarnation, I’ll try for Cancer on the 11th. Not one of my friends can…or will…cook! Donna

      • I hope you get a chance to try it out, Donna (cancer on the 11th) — I’m not a cook, but almost all my friends cook and cook well!

  14. How is the 11th house also the house of wishes and goals? I thought goals were more of a 10th house thing.

    • I totally agree with you, Annie, that goals we strive for are more of a 10th house thing. Well, we COULD set goals around the matters of any of the 12 houses, but I’d say the overriding goals would be 10th house, as would the singleminded pursuit of important goals. Or is that the bias of the career woman I have always been? Donna

  15. Hi Donna,

    I have always wondered why the 11th house is called the house of hopes and wishes. I was thinking about that today, reading your article, and I think it might have something to do with seeing possibilities that are not yet real. The ability to see probable futures as a function of intuition can be an Aquarian ability. And we have to have a sense of what we hope for before we can spring into action and make it happen.

    • Yes, interesting perspective, Misty. I like it. Donna

  16. Donna, I love your “how to read your astrological chart” always on my night table.
    Would Saturn in 11 th, square Mercury and Moon will let someone without social life at all and friends. Saturn is in Leo.
    Thank you.

    • Saturn in the 11th alone isn’t enough to make a person friendless, but maybe with those aspects, it is more restrictive. Myself, with Saturn as part of a stellium in the 11th, I wonder how many friends I’d have if I’d stayed in my small rural hometown…but since I’ve lived in big cities all my adult life, it’s easier to find a community of people with the same interests. Donna

      • i only have saturn (in cancer) in the 11th and i’m definitely not friendless, but i am very selective about who i let into my world and am extremely loyal to those few. some of them very much are like my family (cancerian).

        good to see this topic here, as i’ve always been a little mystified about 11th house issues.

        how you liking this rain, donna? woohoo! welcome back autumn! hahaha

  17. If a person has a strong outer planet emphasis in the 11th, where would you look in the horoscope to find the key to changing the way the energy works from negative to positive? For example, someone with Pluto in the 11th might have friends who are perpetually in crisis and therefore energy-draining, or someone with Neptune in the 11th might have friends who are maddeningly unreliable. Would the 11th house ruler, perhaps offer a key to shifting the energy so it works in a more positive way?

    • I’m not so sure it would be a single astrological factor, but more a composite of what facets of the personality are growth oriented and aimed at learning from mistakes. it could even be Jupiter. Or perhaps some Virgo planets tending toward self-examination and self-improvement. And I’d be looking at the planets that form positive connections (aspects) to those 11th house placements. Donna

      • With a ‘heavy’ 11th house, how would planets in the 5th that are or are not in aspect modify/release the tension?

      • Opposite houses tend to balance one another, so long as both sides are given quality time in the person’s life. If there are actual oppostions, there may be tension between the needs and demands represented by each of the houses. Donna

  18. What does a north node in the eleventh mean? I’ve read explanations and none of them were all that clear, exactly.

    • I’d say that part of the life task would be learning how to work within a group toward positive results–not at all a simple matter, or groups wouldn’t perennially be breaking down with conflict or dysfunction. And another part of the task might be learning how to be a friend and what the proper boundaries are in friendship.

      The Nodes are also supposed to show important people in our lives–karmic ties, for instance. they’d show up in chart comparison, where there are conjunctions between one person’s nodes and a planet or angle in the other person’s chart. So maybe a North Node in the 11th would point to friends who have played significant roles in helping us live up to our potentials. Donna

  19. How might a Uranus transit of the 11th house play-out in terms of friendships? For example would that bring new quirky friends?

    • It surely would, Tammy, and often they are younger and more forward looking. And here today and gone tomorrow. (Am in the process of writing a post about transits to the 11th.) Donna

  20. Hello again Donna,
    I notice that when you have a strong 11th and or the ruler of 2nd in 11th, you can work for big organisations e.g. government which involve you to work often as teams.

    • Interesting, Claire. Yes, teams would be an 11th house matter. Donna

  21. Donna, I’ve always sensed a major disconnect between this House (as commonly described) and its planetary Ruler. How do “friends, groups, networks, social actions, and peer groups…” relate to Uranian electricity, nonconformity, revolution, intuition, innovation, and Astrology?

    • Excellent question, Sally. I think there are numbers of planet/house pairings where the Dobyns alphabet of planet=sign=house doesn’t resonate strongly. I don’t think the Mars=1st matchup is all that strong either, or the Sun=5th house. The planet=sign matchups are much stronger (except for Venus=Taurus, which I gravely doubt). So, no, you are right that Uranus=11th isn’t a match all up and down the line. Donna

      • And so social networking these days is the ultimate coming together of the 11th house friends and technology, innovation, and revolutionary change. Was this inevitable?

      • I can’t speak to inevitabilities, since there are literally thousands of possible time streams. Donna

      • Since Uranus does relate so well to Aquarius, do you think it might be our understanding of the 11th House itself (its meanings, concerns, activities, etc.) that’s seriously off the mark?

      • Either that or the fallacies of trying to make 12 signs and 12 houses match up perfectly with one another and also with the known planets.

        I think that’s one of the flaws in astrological reasoning, trying to match things that aren’t quite the same. The same sort of flaw occurs when trying to make astrology and numerology equivalant to one another. Systems are so very comforting, but I think we develop/force them in order ease our anxiety about the unknown. Donna

  22. Considering one of the traditional meanings of Uranus as change, I have a question about Uranus, the ruler of the 11th, transiting through the 7th. Does it mean your partner will be drawn from your friends? Or does it mean changing partnerships? Again, questioning the relationship of “change” to Uranus??? How does “change” relate to “friends/groups, social networking, etc.”

    • It depends on the partnership situation. Maybe for a person in a partnership, it means separation, maybe it means a cooling of the romantic connection to the point of being each other’s best friends, maybe it means an exciting new partnership, maybe it means a different sort of partnership altogether, like forming a business with a friend. Don’t forget that with Uranus transits, it’s foolish to predict with any degree of certainty. Astrologers say, “expect the unexpected.” Donna

      • Thank you, Donna~

  23. How would you interpret an interception in a very large 11th house i.e Aries on cusp, Taurus iintercepted, Gemini on 12th. ? would all rulers be part of the description of friends/groups? Uranus rules the house, but what about the signs and their rulers ( mars, venus, mercury) It seems very complex.

    • I tend not to get all excited about interceptions, since they are different depending on the house system used. For instance, depending on the house system, I have either Taurus, Gemini, or Cancer intercepted in the last quadrant of my chart. I could argue for or against any of the three.

      What’s important is that the intercepted house is very large and has the potential for planets in three different signs.
      Any planets actually in the house–intercepted or not–have a far more important effect than the rulers in terms of how they modify the person’s friendships, group memberships, etc, etc.

      It also takes a comparatively long time for a transit to move through it. The transiting planet going through that house (or progressed planet, for that matter) still has a powerful effect when it aspects a natal planet, intercepted or not. Donna

  24. Hi Donna. What about Uranus in the 11th house (highest planet in the chart)?

    • Having Uranus in its own associated house would double the chances of being Uranian in your interests and choices of friends and groups. And maybe even of having an interest in astrology.

      It suggests friends who are unusual, interesting, bright, and forward thinking, and often somewhat younger. It’s also that friendship are often intermittent, with people who come, stir up a lot of excitement and then go on about their way again, showing up now and then. Donna

  25. I was taught that the 11th is the house of past life enemies. What is your opinion of that?

    • I’ve never heard that, and it doesn’t make sense to me–what would be the rationale? I think the 12th house (“secret enemies” and the unconscious) covers it adequately. Our memories of past lives are unconscious until we work to retrieve them, after all. Donna

  26. Hi Donna:

    For people with squares between 11th and 8th houses, is it true that he/she has naturally a tendency to be always suspicious toward friends? Do you think we should be cautious to such friends?

    And what about 11th-2nd house squares? Spending too much money for friendship activities? Would this kind of people also make friends to spend a lot of money?

    If I can ask another question, is it true that 11th-5th opposition in a natal chart indicates a tendency to mix up friendship with love affairs?

    All the best

    • 11th-8th house squares and 11th-2nd house squares have one thing in common–trouble can result from mixing friendshp and money. Lending or borrowing money with friends is often unwise, as when not repaid, it can wind up creating bad feelings. Or, it creates distortions in the relationship because it’s not an equal relationship. The person with the money either is trying to buy friendship or else may wind up feelingexploited. The person with less money may wind up feeling like poor relations. It would take a lot of wisdom and love to handle a situation like that graciously.

      And an 11th house-5th house opposition and an 11th house-8th house square have one thing in common, the temptation to go beyond an established friendship and a romantic/sexual relationship. Would that it worked, but it seldom does, and the person who only wants to be friends may feel anywhere from uncomfortable to slimed. Donna

  27. Someone asked about Sun-11th House Ruler conjs so here’s one about Moon-11th House conjs:

    How would a Moon conj 11th House ruler differ from a Sun conj 11th House ruler in manifestation?

    • I’d say that the person with a Sun/11th ruler conjunction was trying to find self-esteem and validation through friends, while the person with a Moon/11th ruler would be looking for a sense of a true family–even of safety and security–in a circle of friends. Donna


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