Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 21, 2010

Readers Ask—Q & A about the 5th House

©11-21-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

We’re engaged 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 5th house.

The combination of the sign on the 5th house cusp, the sign and aspects of any planets in that house, and the ruler of the 5th describe our experiences and approach to children, romance, creativity, and leisure pursuits like hobbies. (The 5th house shows what we do for fun!)  We often see a tendency to gamble or engage in other risky activities when the 5th house is strong.   

The Sun and the sign Leo have a natural resonance with the 5th.  They’re not exact equivalents by any means, but they share certain qualities and preoccupations.

People with a strong 5th house—like having the Sun, Moon, or several planets there—often share the Leo flair for drama, playfulness and romance and the same yearning for applause and recognition from those around them.

Self-expression is natural pursuit of the Sun in our chart, and 5th house planets are one of a number of  indicators of our personal brand of creativity.

Bring on the questions, Readers!

 I am happy to entertain more general questions like these:

  • How can the 5th show such unrelated areas as children, gambling, and theater?
  • I have a stellium in the 5th but haven’t had a date in years.  Is my birth time off?
  • Is Jupiter transiting the 5th a  good time for games of chance?

 (Yes, I’m aware that most people are really asking a question about their own or a loved one’s chart, but at least they have the class to make it a more general question that will interest other readers as well.)

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.

The comment section is closed, but to read other people’s questions and answers—scroll down below this article to the comment section. Someone may have asked the question you have in mind.

   Some followup articles on the 5th house:

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

free astrology booklet by Donna CunninghamIf you enjoy exchanges like these, sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet for Skywriter Subscribers!

If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at  To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.

Art Credits:   The clip art on this post, like the illustrations for most posts here comes from


  1. Hello Donna, I want to ask
    1) What does an empty 5th House in Aries (with Pisces on cusp) mean?
    2) What aspects/transits indicate/aid in “games of chance” other than a jupiter’s 5th House transit (if in fact it does so) ?
    Thanks in advance

    P.S. I am finding it difficult to find some homemade/easily available container to dispense essences from stock bottles for regular use. Any ideas please? and whats the ideal way to clean a container for such use?

    • 1) An empty house–any house–can mean that the matters of that house are not a major focus for this lifetime, as the energy goes elsewhere. However, during a long, slow transit by one of the outer planets, those matters can become important after all for the duration of that transit.

      2) As for “games of chance,” yes a Jupiter transit of the 5th can indicate a lucky streak for a year or so–but also that the person is more drawn to play them than usual. For a huge win, however, such as a large bet on the horses or a lottery win, Jim Lewis found transits from Pluto or Uranus to natal Jupiter and vice versa.

      3)For mixing flower essences, I don’t know about your country, but here in the US you can find the one-ounce dropper bottles in pharmacies if you ask at the counter. (The amber kind they use for nose drops or eye drops.) In a pinch, you can put a dropperful of the stock into a large water bottle and shake it well. To clean the dropper bottle for reuse, you’d boil that and the dropper for sterilization. Donna

  2. Hi Donna,
    Well, why don’t I ask the question you suggested: “why haven’t I had a date in years?” Actually, trying to phrase this in a more general manner: How do transits to the 11th affect the 5th? For example, if a planet is transiting the 11th, does it have repercussions on the 5th and vice versa?
    Thank you for posting these Q&A’s!

    • Transits to the 11th would only affect the 5th if there were planets in the 5th natally and the transiting planet in the 11th formed an opposition–and then only during the interval when the transiting aspect was in about a 3 degree range.

      Then you’d see some tension between whether a particular relationship was a romantic connection or a friendship. On the other hand, if a person’s friend and their lover couldn’t stand one another, perhaps a friendship might place strain on the romance and vice versa. You might even let go of a lifelong friendship for the sake of a romance (foolishly IMHO!). Donna

  3. Hello Donna,
    How does a natal Saturn placement in the 5th function? How would that affect one’s creative abilities?
    thank you.

    • Saturn in the 5th natally would tend to make a person perfectionistic, often inhibiting the creative urge out of fear of failure. However it could show that the media used would be a difficult and exacting one (e.g. engravings rather than water color in the visual arts; classical music rather than pop; and so on). It would be an art that is only mastered with long, dedicated practice–the kind of pianist who practices 4 hours a day.

      It can also mean that creative endeavors are delayed until late in life, after the person has met domestic responsibilities like raising children. A recent article in the AARP magazine was dedicated to late-in-life explorations of one’s genius.

      Natally or by transits, one other possible occurrance would be having to raise one’s grandchildren due to problems of the actual parent. Donna

      • Watercolor. my dear Donna, can be very exacting. It’s one of the hardest mediums to not foul up. I know this from experience.

      • I bow to your experience. Actually, I always thought that water color, which looks so flowing, must actually require a lot of control. Donna

    • I can tell you another result of saturn in the 5th – a handicapped child. I know this is a personal post, but it does relate to your question.

      • Yes, sadly, that does happen occasionally with Saturn in the 5th, but I’d imagine that it would entail other difficult aspects to Saturn (like a square from Neptune, perhaps.) Donna

  4. Dear Donna,

    Great to see a new post on the houses. Being ruled by the sun , I was wondering if the aspects to the sun would influence the way creativity manifests (f.ex. a sun aspected by saturn would perhaps develop creative endeavours late in life) in someone’s life.

    I was also wondering if difficult aspects to the ruler of the 5th or difficult planets there would be an indication of difficulties in getting pregnant.

    best regards,


    • Hi, Syd, there are many different indicators of creativity–just as there are many different forms of creative arts.

      The 5th house is surely one, but you can also see it with Neptune aspects for dance, poetry, creative writing, and music, as well as Venus for the arts.

      So I think aspects to the Sun might come fairly far down on the list. There are so many forms of self-expression–even in our work life or how we show love.

      And, yes, classically, Saturn connections to the 5th can show difficulty in getting pregnant or else having children relatively late in life. Donna

  5. Hola Donna, I love the 5th house!
    I’ve being wondering about Pluto transits to the 5th. And also, how to interpret the ruler of sunny 5th in houses like the 4th, 8th and 12th.

    About the Q&A’s I’d love to learn more about Chiron and about aspect patterns in depth.


    • Well, for starters, transiting Pluto spends a long time in each house, depending on how many degrees are actually within the cusps of the house. If it’s an average 30 degrees, then Pluto might be there as long as 15 years. This is a profound set of life lessons in many of the matters of that house.

      Here, with Pluto transiting the 5th, it’s rather common for people to often get involved in repeated intense love affairs with extremely Pluto/Scorpio types who can be controlling and manipulative. The lesson is not to give one’s power over to a lover at the expensive of self-development.

      If children are born as the result this type of controlling of relationship, then the children might be used as pawns in the parents’ struggle for power.

      The difficult expressions would be most likely to occur if transiting Pluto made aspects to planets in the 5th, especially difficult planets like Saturn or Mars.

      I’ve misplaced my rose-colored glasses, obviously, but if you ever get a tingle that you’re getting involved with a negative Plutonian type, then PAY ATTENTION to your instincts. My dear, you cannot tame the tiger.

      As for the creative side of the 5th, this transit from Pluto is very profound and powerful. In order to develop the gifts to their fullest, a great deal of solitude and intense focus will be the crucible. Donna

  6. Hi, Donna

    I’m another 5th house lover. and in a similar vein to what Sabrina asked …

    How would we interpret the 8th house ruler, say Mercury, in the 5th house and vice versa?

    How would that affect issues regarding sexuality as the 5th house is often seen as the recreational/procreative sex while the 8th is seen as much more intensely psychological, eg. related to power/control?

    Actually, what would be the difference between 5th house sexuality and 8th house sexuality?
    What’s the difference between the 5th house ruler being in the 8th and the 8th house ruler being in the 5th?

    I apologize Donna for the bombardment of questions … it really feels like a single question that had to be broken up into 4 for the sake of clarity.

    And thank you in advance for any insight you offer.



    • Yes, I can see how it’s a complex question, Yuri. Have you wondered why the 5th house and the 8th house wound up being the last two I tackled? It’s because I don’t have planets in either house and it’s a kind of blind spot for me….I never had children or a desire to have them, so that procreative/giving birth element of sexuality is not within my understanding. I don’t want to give my romantic history here, but Pluto certainly played its part.

      I guess I’d say that mixing the 5th and 8th (planets, rulers, etc) would make for quite a passionate individual who’d know how to keep the romance going in a long-term relationship. And would be quite disappointed in a partnership that was devoid of passion. Sounds doggone good to me! Donna

  7. Hi Donna! You’ve mentioned before that you don’t see a direct link between Leo and the 5th house. Could you explain in what ways a Leo sun, for example, would be different from a 5th house sun? P.S. Please don’t do a Q&A about the retrogades! I mean, who cares about the retrogades? (lol). I’m sure we’ll come up with sth interesting-just give us a little time here!

    • I dunno, VR, we get questions about retrogrades in every single Q&A and then I have to fess up and say I don’t GET retrogrades. Embarassing–so then from now on I could say, oh, we already did that–go look at the Q&A on retrogrades. Phew! So let’s do that Q&A for my sake. But there’s room for plenty of other topics.

      But anyway, let me put my thinking cap on about 5th house Suns vs. Leo Suns to see if there really is a difference.

      Okay, the 5th house Sun. What I’ve so often observed is that the person with a 5th house Sun (especially men) is used to being the favorite child, the parents’ darling, and so they grow up expecting to be indulged and taken care of rather than totally growing up.

      (Now I’ll probably hear from 10 of you that had to scub toilets while your little brothers and sisters were taken out for ice cream sundaes. That would probably be with terrible aspects to the Sun.)

      Now that position of indulged child is NOT the same as a Leo Sun. They DO expect to be held as special and made over, but many of them are extremely hard workers…the Type A personality who has heart attacks because they don’t know how to stop working.

      Perpetual romantic, though, that could hold true for both the 5th house Sun and the Leo Sun. So, yes to some similarities, no to others. Donna

      • Oh, it was more of a complaint than a suggestion, really! Having mercury as a sun and chart ruler, I get death threats from pop astrologers 2-3 times a year, and i’m kind of sick of it-that’s all.
        (I know it’s against the rules to comment back and forth in a q&a, so feel free to delete this)

      • LOL! Nope to deleting it, I want you on record as saying it’s okay to do the retrograde Q&A. Donna

  8. Hi, again, Donna,

    A multi-layered topic I’d be very eager to see addressed in a Q&A would be looking at natal/progressed synastry, composite & Davidson charts, etc. Just my 2 cents here.



    • Good suggestion to do one on synastry, but composite and Davidson charts would bring in way too many elements for the guest blogger to handle in this sort of venue. Donna

  9. Do you agree that the fifth is love you give while the 11th is love received?
    Marion March and Joan McEvers felt this to be true in their astrology series.
    Wondered if you have found this to be true. Thank you, Donna.

    • Nope, Mary, I never did study with them or use their texts, so I’ve never heard that and can’t say I understand why they said it. Yes, we can get love from our friends, but it’s not the same as romantic love, either given or gotten. Donna

  10. I know it’s two, but I’m not sure you do progressions 🙂

    What does it mean when the ruler of the 7th is in the 5th? would such a person be a “perpetual dater” but never get married?

    Would progressed Saturn in the 5th mean that the person would not date for the “50” years it’s in there? (‘ever’?)

    • Nope, I don’t do progressions. Is Progressed Saturn really in a house for 50 years? Oy, veh! One more reason for not doing progressions!!

      Okay, ruler of the 7th in the 5th. Well, to me, that says they WOULD get married (they’d feel the reason for romance is to make that committment). BUT then they’d still need to be romanced and shown that “in love with love” sort of special attention by their partner or else they’d be likely to feel justified in looking for it elsewhere. (Guys, if your gal has this placement, make the card store a regular stop on your itinerary.) Donna

  11. With Sagittarius on the cusp of my fifth…and Jupiter and Pluto conj. my asc. in the 12th within 2 degrees…in LEO of all places…I can say its been a journey of not letting controlling men take over my life….through my sacrifices to their needs…or other weaknesses that stopped my own creative and or sexual passion…I have tended to sacrifice myself to rescue and understand these guys….God Help Me…now with Transiting Pluto going thru my 5th I hope I get the message…any comments on the best way to move out of this pattern!

  12. Hi Donna! I was wondering how and under what circumstances can the transpersonal planets express themselves when they are in the 5th house.

    Since their energies come mostly from the Collective, is it something that may not always be easily available to use in our own self-expression?

    How is their energy available for self-expression when they have aspects to personal planets (like Venus, for example), and does it manifest only through those personal planets and the houses their in?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hello, Raquel, welcome to Skywriter. Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto in the 5th can still be a potent force if strongly aspected by the inner planets. Some possible expressions:

      1)That lovers embody the outer planet in question and serve to initiate the person into that energy.

      2) That children are born who embody the outer planet in question and wind up serving its function in the collective. (The child is highly likely to be born while the parent is having a powerful transit of that outer planet and therefore, the process of becoming a parent is part of opening up more fully to its energies.)

      3) That the individual has creative gifts that partake of the energy of that outer planet and that through their gifts, brings more attunement to that planetary consciousness for those who are moved by the creative expression.

      4) that since the 5th is the house of hobbies and shows what we do to have fun, the individual has some pretty unusual or unconventional ideas about what fun is.

      How’d I do? Donna

      • Uau, that certainly made a lot of sense to me, hope it was useful to other readers as well!

  13. How about Jupiter in Five? Make that a Retrograde Jupiter. There’s your Retrograde Question! LOL!

    • I’d say that Jupiter in the 5th, while it can be a lot of fun–very upbeat and expansive–could nonetheless increase the tendency to take big risks and to gamble, out of the belief that “God’s on my side.”

      Someone who would get a lot of pleasure out of traveling just for fun (not business so much).

      Someone whose idea of fun would be to take a college-level course in something new, like world religions.

      Someone who makes sure her children get a good education or might be involved teaching other children (Sunday school teacher?) Donna

  14. Uranus transits through the 5th can indicate the entry of much younger people into a person’s life ~ children (also adopted) as well as affairs with younger people; i.e., May/December romances. Venus in aspect might indicate the love affair. Which planet would indicate the adoption (instead of birth) of a child?

    • The charts I’ve seen where adoption is involved often had Neptune to the IC or MC either natally or by transit. Not the 5th. Donna

  15. How would the moon being the ruler of 5th be? Also Mars in the 5th

    • Moon as ruler of the 5th or in the 5th might show mainly female children or Cancerian offspring. Romance and leisure time activities might center around the home and food.

      Mars in the 5th, male children or athletes or Aries offspring. Possible conflict and fighting with one’s children at times. Recreational pursuits very atheltic, sporting, hikes, etc.

  16. can addictions be shown in the 5th house?

    • I wouldn’t think so, except maybe addiction to gambling. Or to romance. (the 5th is the house of FUN and addictions wind up being misery…more 12th house, a kind of self-imposed imprisonment. Donna

  17. Hi Donna. What if the ruler of the 5th is in the 1st?


    • The ruler of the 5th in the 1st would be one of the nicer placements–it would make the person a rather romantic figure on first impression. Naturally, if it were a difficult planet like Saturn less so…however Saturn does often give a good bone structure and an elegant way of presenting oneself. Donna

  18. Hi Donna!

    Is a planet tightly conjunct 5th house cusp more powerful & significant in the delineation of that house than other planets in the house?
    Also – are aspects to the cusp itself of any significance (in case there is no planet conjunct the cusp)?

    Thank you

    P.S. I love your website.

    • Welcome, Alicia. No, the intermediate cusps like the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and so on don’t have the life-shaping power of the angular cusps (the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th) so it doesn’t make the planet stronger. Plus the intermediate cusps like the 5th vary with the house system you use, whereas the angular cusps are the same in most systems. Thus aspects formed to the intermediate cusps really have no meaning, while aspects to the angular cusps do modify those angles. Donna

  19. How do oppositions from 11th house planets to 5th house planets work in the natal chart, for example 11th house mercury opp. 5th house uranus? Can they provide an outlet for the creative energy of 5th house planets?

    • Yes, 5th-11th aspects do work. For instance,tension between whether a particular relationship was a romantic connection or a friendship. Or, supposing that a person’s friend and his lover couldn’t stand one another, then perhaps a friendship might place strain on the romance.

      In terms of creativity, a Mercury-Uranus opposition frm 5-11 could mean that chatting endlessly with friends is likely to drain energy away from focusing on creative enterprises. Friends might provide stimulating ideas, but then the person needs space to work on the ideas. Balance needed between the two in order for it to be an asset. Donna.

  20. Hi Donna, 🙂

    I love the 5th house!

    I have a packed 5th house(4 planets plus vertex and NN in Scorpio) that’s in Libra.

    Most of my questions have been answered by other people asking questions. 🙂

    I just wanted to say thank you for creating this article.

    Thank You!

  21. Can you speak to one’s moon in the 5th?

    • Hi, Vallie, have a look at my reply to Adrienne, below–it would be similar to Cancer on the 5th, but stronger and modified by the Moon’s sign. Having a planet in the house is always stronger than having the associated sign on the cusp of the house. Donna

  22. Can you comment a bit about the vocational overtones (if any) of a prominent 5th house? And how the ruler of the 10th in the 5th might manifest itself? (Thanks in advance!)

    • For the 5th as a vocational indicator, the person might be working in any of the fields dealing with children, recreation, or even romance (like match making) or, if enough other indicators of creative talent were present, it might mean earning an actual living in the arts. Donna

  23. What is your opinion on a planet in the 5th in a tight trine to the Asc? Would that make its influence more strongly felt? Stephen Arroyo mentions a planet in this position to have a strength similar to it being in the 1st, in terms of direct projection.

    Also, can you comment on a Sun-Uranus square from the 5th (Uranus) to the 8th (Sun) in terms of intimacy needs. Would it be intense relating and then needing a breather of sorts?

    • A planet in the 5th trine the Ascendant would be rather a blessing in terms of enhancing one’s charm and romantic appeal. Depending, again, on what planet it was and in what sign.

      The other question is too much personal detail, but your interpretation is correct. Donna

  24. Hi Donna,

    Could you please say something about the 5th House ruler placed in the 6th House and the 6th House ruler in the 5th in the same chart?

    Thanks in advance!

    • This is a case of the chart saying the same thing in two different ways and thus strengthening the certainty of its correctness. (I’m forever talking about the law of three–anything important about you, the chart will show more than once.) In this case, the double connection between the 5th and 6th house makes it a strong vocational indicator, so a one good career choice would be any job or profession related to the matters of the 5th house.

      Again, as I mentioned to Wild Rose, they would include any of the fields dealing with children, recreation, or even romance (like match making) or, if enough other indicators of creative talent were present, it might mean earning an actual living in the arts. Donna


  25. I don’t even know if this is a legit question (I got the idea from Lonake’s comment): Which sun placement would you consider to be stronger: sun in the 5th, sun in leo or sun on the angles (you already know which answer would please me, eh?!![smiley face])

    • The Sun on one of the angles (Asc, IC, DSC, or MH) would be strongest, but strongly Capricornian if in Cap, strongly Scorpionic if in Scorpio, etc. Thus it might not be Leo-like at all. Donna

  26. Very short question here:
    Since the 5th house shows our hobbies and creativity, is it possible and under what circumstances, to turn these into a profession or a source of income, things typically associated with 2nd,6th and 10th, or the 5th activities are supposed to stay hobbies, just for fun?

    • It is absolutely possible to turn a hobby into a career (astrologers do this all the time!), and lucky the person who succeeds in doing so. But what circumstances? In real world terms, one must have talent and the willingness to put the sweat equity into it and, finally, the business savvy to make a living at it.

      Some of the astrological indicators could be one or more of the following, in approximate order of their strength:
      1) the ruler of the 5th on the Midheaven (strong indicator!) or well-placed in the 2nd, 6th, or 10th.
      2) a vocational indicator placed in the 5th house (e.g. the ruler of the 2nd, 6th, or 10th) and favorably featured–good sign, good aspects.
      3)Saturn in the 5th natally–or by transit
      4)the ruler of the Midheaven transiting the 5th if it is one of the slower-moving planets from Saturn on out.
      5)the ruler of the 5th transiting the 10th, 6th, or 2nd in that order, if it is one of the slower moving planets.

  27. hi donna, i DO like what you wrote way up above in response to someone else about how your own 5th is empty and you’ve never had children and don’t really relate to what that would be like – i feel the same at age 35! my moon is actually on the 5th/6th cusp, but maybe i’m just a cold fish about children and that’s how the 5th/11th/moon/saturn works in my chart. oh, go ahead and delete this! see, i just talked myself through it anyway. pfft! 😛

  28. Hi, not a question, just a chance to share:
    My Asc Aquarius and Uranus is in 5th, apex of a powerful cardinalT square and also a grand water trine. I turned a hobby into a career which is media astrology. But my children have brought me the biggest life lessons, through unusual circumstances. A son who was kidnapped then thankfully returned, works in IT now, a daughter who threw our lives into chaos for a time, and who then went on to have three babies in rapid succession at a very difficult time for her and her husband, both my kids loved dearly, close but marvellously independent, strong individuals. Uranus in 5th to me, is clearly evident.

    5th house being about love affairs..I had a chequered love life for a time, then met my soul mate (Uranus is associated with soul mates I believe) and the biggest surprise of my life is that I have never looked at another since we got together, 35yrs ago. Partner has had heart issues (Uranus in 5th again) is unusually multiskilled and very creative..also cranky am I. We have never run out of conversation though..and still hold hands a lot, giving each other needed space too.
    No questions, Donna, but appreciate very much that it’s the sharing that helps us learn..and you share so much, bless you and thank you x

    • Hi, Folks, I’m closing the comment section here, but enjoyed your questions. We have one more post to go in this series–the 8th house (which is the house, fittingly, where we say, “That’s all, folks” to this lifetime.) If there are things you’re wondering about with any of the other houses, go back to the list at the end of this post and follow the links. The comment sections hold reader’s questions and my answers. Donna


%d bloggers like this: