Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 11, 2011

Highlights of Our Discussion on the 5th House and Children

©2-11-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Skywriter’s recent post about the 5th house  (Things You May Not Know about the 5th House and Children itself )  sparked a lively and fascinating discussion about children and family chart patterns. There were over 100 comments, with lots of good astrological details. To preserve the information for posterity, here are some of the exchanges between readers and myself.

 Q: Do my 5th house planets mean I HAVE to have children?

A: CHOICE is why we study astrology. No one is saying you HAVE to have a child or that FATE will force you to give birth. It seems like half the people who have responded to this post have chosen to be childless. I am one of them.

The 5th house has plenty of other juicy meanings–like romance, creativity, and leisure activities–and often someone with strong emphasis on the 5th will focus on one of those options instead. 

Q. Does an empty 5th house mean I’ll never have children?

A: An empty house doesn’t mean you’ll never have it, 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. Donna

Q. Is there ever a 5th house configuration that denies biological children, generally? My 5th house cusp is ruled by an afflicted Pluto.

A: Childbirth itself is ruled by the 8th, and so difficult 8th house placements can show difficulty in conceiving or giving birth. But that in itself does not necessarily exclude children from your life–given adoption, new fertility treatments, and other options.

(Here’s an article by a British astrologer who has had great success using astrology to help couples conceive: Fertility Issues and Pluto in Capricorn.)

Pluto in the 5th  has meant a variety of things–like, in the old days, “having” to get married due to pregnancy–or a variety of murky reasons to have a child (like to hold a marriage together or to force a man to marry you) that backfires.

I spent about 5 years as a social worker in ob-gyn clinics and saw many pregnancies that were essentially traps that made the child deeply resented by both parents when the child’s birth didn’t produce the results it was supposed to. The child paid for it, most of all.

Q: How would adoption show up in the 5th house?

A: I have seen some clients’ charts where adoption was pursued. It showed up mostly in transits to the adoptive parent’s charts. Well, actually, now that I think of it, all the NYC clients who consulted me about adoption were planning to adopt as single parents or as Lesbian couples, and all the adoptions were of infants in foreign countries. And the transits all involved Neptune to the MC or IC.

Any other astrologers with experience with charts of adoptive parents–or, for that matter, with birth mothers giving children up for adoption? I do know one woman who gave up a child when transiting Neptune was around her Scorpio Moon/Midheaven conjunction. Neptune again.

Q: I don’t have children yet but I really want to. Unfortunately, I have Saturn in the 5th. My 5th house is also in Capricorn…I guess this is really bad news then? Otherwise, I have Uranus and Neptune in the 5th house, too. Does that mean I can still hope for more than one child?

A: With three planets in the 5th, you definitely could have more than one child. I take it that you were born between 1988-91, in that subgeneration with Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune in Capricorn, much of that time in a triple conjunction.

What’s important to understand is that this is not just you, but that every single person born on the planet in those 2 1/2 years has that combination. Naturally, it might fall in any one of the 12 houses, with about a 1 in 12 chance that it would be the 5th

I take outer planet combinations like this one or like the Pluto-Uranus conjunction of the 1960s to show world conditions that deeply affect the lives of the whole group born with it. And given that the conjunction in this instance is in Capricorn and that Pluto is now transiting Capricorn, I believe that it has to do with what we’ve done to the earth itself. Yours is a generation that will be deeply affected by earth changes and overcrowding, and will have to find the solutions to it. (See Challenge: Interpret the Uranus-Neptune Conjunction of the 1980s-90s .)

Since it is in the 5th for you, you may feel a special responsibility to children, not only your own but children around the world or here at home who have not been so lucky or well cared for. Neptune is often involved with adoptions, so you could possibly decide to adopt children from other countries or special needs kids–or to be a foster mother to such kids. (I haven’t seen any charts of foster children or parents–has anyone else?)

And since the combination shows what kind of children you would have, then your children will also share that deep sense of responsibility for others who need help, which you’d pass on by example.

So, don’t so much view this as a problem that is yours alone, but a generational problem that you are bound to address in your own unique way.

Q: What would happen if you have Saturn in the 5th, but also Jupiter? They are seemingly opposite types of energy, do they work together, cancel each other out?

A: With 2 planets in the 5th, you might be talking about two different children–or, especially if they are conjunct, you could be talking about a child who blends those two energies (as Barack Obama does with so much class) or else alternates between Jupiter and Saturn moods. I happen to be a fan of Jupiter-Saturn aspects, that quality of gravitas and integrity that produces good quality work.

Q:  The first time Saturn traveled through my 5th house, I had children and spent my time as a Mom. Now while it goes through the 5th again, I’m interested in teaching children art and doing a newsletter for them. Does that seem like a possibility?

A: The second time around, Saturn reflects all the skills, abilities, and life experience you’ve acquired since the last time Saturn transited that house close to 30 years ago. That will give you many opportunities to take your work and concerns with children to a completely new level. Use it well–it’s a harvest time!

The exchange on Things You May Not Know about the 5th House and Children was almost a forum on Saturn in the 5th, as so many Readers who responded had that position and reported on their difficulties in having children and on the children born while Saturn transited that house. (See the discussion in the comment section of that post if you’re interested in details.)

Okay, Readers, this is NOT a question and answer session, though it kinda looks like one.  If you didn’t get a chance to share in the last session, feel free to do it below. 

More Posts about Family Life:


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  1. It is a great 5th House experience with your post. These questions and answers are also very informative.

  2. I have an empty 5th house with Taurus on the cusp. Venus is in the 7th, conj mercury and sun, with Saturn trailing about 7 degrees behind. I had four children, all girls, and all grown now with their own families. I ended up divorced, raising them alone for the most part. Lots of turmoil and sibbling rivalry with them, and even still to this day.

  3. Hello,

    I don’t have any children yet to tell something meaningful, but I wonder about something I read in several books that the ruler of the 5th in the 12th might mean problems with the children and more specifically their health. This sounds pretty scary if it is true, does anyone has observed such cases and if not, what else such placement might mean?


    • I hadn’t heard that, Dobromira, but it makes sense logically. At least that the child would have 12th house lessons to learn or dharma to pursue in this life, of which there are many possibilities. Donna

      • Thank you Donna,
        this sounds a bit better, because of the many possibilities.
        I try to calm down imagining that children have 2 parents and if one of them has sunnier placements in this field, it could neutralize the not-so-sunny ones of the other, well, at least I hope so.


  4. All these comments and still no Q -or A for that matter- about 5H Saturn/Capricorn. I guess that’s an answer in itself..!

    Thanks for this summary Donna, you’re a mind reader 🙂

  5. Oh wow, thank you so much for answering my question in such great detail!
    I always have to remind myself that the constellation is a generational thing. But I am still the only one I know who has all three planets in the 5th house. Interestingly most of my other friends don’t wish to have children, even though they have neither Saturn nor Capricorn in the 5th.
    Well, thanks again, Donna!

  6. Lovely Post! I have the Sun-Mercury-Venus in Pisces in the 5th! I have two children (Son and a Daughter) and they really inspire me, especially creatively 🙂

  7. Thanks for this lovely post. I have a stellium in the 5th house, to it’s matters are important to me.

    Thats nice to hear Nicoleh73. I’m afraid of having children now, even though when I was a teenager I dreamed of having a family of 5 kids! Now not so much, because I’m afraid I will not be a good mother and somehow escape them either mentally or emotionally. I’m afraid my bad parenting would drive them to be acholholics or emotional dependants as adults. As acholholism runs in my family and I learn last year the extent of the damage of my own abuse…

    Sorry, this sounds like whining. LOL! I’m just trying to paint a clear picture for this, because objectively I kinda think it’s weird I think like this…

    Pisces on the Cusp of 5th.. then follows Mars, Jupiter, and Moon.

    They could be all artists, but I feel like I’m delusional for thinking that.

    In my 2nd house(Sagg) Saturn squares the Mars, Sun squares the Jupiter and Uranus squares the Moon.

    I feel like if I *choose* not to become a mother, I might not be a failure with this enrgy and maybe do something.

    But honestly, Saturn just finsh transiting my 11th house, and is in the 12th, and so this may all just be honest fear.

  8. Hi Donna…..I have two sons born 13 years apart with different fathers. My 5th house is ruled by Aquarius and was 12 hours before the Full moon in exact Trine to Uranus. The Aquarius moon also conjuncts Urania . Uranus conjuncts Mars in the 9th. The fathers were foreigners.
    Son #1 has the Virgo stellium of Sun,Uranus, Pluto Venus conjunction. When I had him I had no idea what to expect and went in cold turkey. The Dr gave me two hypos trying to knock me out but I did NOT want to be knocked out and he said he dare not give me another one or it would kill me. My son was a month early but crying before he was all the way out. I had to see him because I did not want him to get mixed up with another kid. Not to worry he had a long thick thatch of Red Hair….strange for an Indian but he was a throwback to a red head infant ancestors found on the prairie during the buffalo hunting days; who married in and was my triple Great Grandfather. He proved to read tea leaves and was a gifted psychic.
    The paternal Grandfather came to the hospital and paid the bill in full. Then two friends who knew they weren’t the father but wanted to be…all 3 guys wanted to marry me and could not get it in their head I never wanted to marry anyone.
    Then Yellowbird on leave from the Marines said to the Dr. the Marines would pay the hospital bill and that he was the father. Then my gambling partner came in, Klingshiem ,and said he was the father and he would pay the bill. The Dr. freaked…” THE BILL WAS PAID by the PATERNAL Grandfather JENSEN!!! “Young lady!!” he said to me glaring down at me afterwords…”.who is the father!” “He is not here that is why the real Paternal Grandfather paid!”,I said. I honestly never thought about the bill and didn’t know these guys would make a run on the hospital to pay!
    Son #2 was born during an Indian uprising in No. Mn. and an unusual earthquake struck central Minnesota then. . The area had an eclipse that late winter in which the sky turned a dark rosey pink as the shadow of the moon crossed over the Sun. He was 2 months early but screaming half way out just like son #1. Born exactly at sunrise with me standing on the skinny table and catching him myself. 17 days after he was born he reached for a toy I hung on his bassinet just as the Dr. walked in. The Dr. was amazed and said even full term babies don’t do that. that early after being born. He was 3 lbs 14 oz. Strong but small. He had the Sun opposing and parallel Uranus.There was some pretty strange coincidences around this birth but too much to speak of here.
    Child #3 I am raising my granddaughter and have been with her since she was born. Indeed I held her the first 4 hours on the planet and sang to her; this kept her distracted from the nipple. She was full term and born when transit Uranus in Aquarius opposed my Sun and trined her Sun..Uranus figures strong with all three children.
    I really tried not to get too windy, but there are funny stories with all this!

  9. PS: Both sons have Saturn in the 5th house. Son #1 never had children but is a prolific artist. Sun#2 has 3 daughters to date.Hes more into science but does art as well.
    #3 Grand daughter is too young for children but wants them and she wants to design fashions for little girl babies. She has Uranus in the 5th trine her Gemini Sun in the 9th.

    • Now I have 3 grand daughters I am raising from son#2 and they came in under the Neptune transit to my 5th house after an extended court battle.

  10. Hi,

    Sun is Pisces
    Asc is Libra
    Moon is Leo

    12th house is Cancer with True Node 21 degree

    8th house cusp is Taurus with Chiron 18 degrees

    5th house cusp is Aquarius with Mercury 3 degrees

    Do you see me having kids?

    Thank you

  11. Hello there,
    I’m a 33 year old male (born Feb. 15, 1980) with Sun and Moon in Aquarius 8th house (Capricorn cusp 7th/8th) and Cancer ascendant, plus Uranus in Scorpio 5th house, the sign associated with pregnancy and children.
    There’s the triplicity conjunction of Mars/Jupiter/Saturn in Virgo and Venus conjuncts Ceres (associated with fertility) in Aries in the MC opposite Pluto in Libra in the IC.
    Would I become a father in my lifetime involving the influences of “fertile” or water signs (“watery” Neptune in Sagitarius and Mercury in Neptune-ruled Pisces on cusp 8th/9th), these houses & the moon?
    I do know earth signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn play a role in determining fertility in the zodiac, but water signs…as water is a creation force element.
    Also the article should discussed chances of acquiring step-children by marriage ( because it does happen) in astrology. +

  12. Hello I am 34 year old women (Born on 05/02/1979; Time:-8:30 am; Place-Mumbai) & My Husband( Born on 28/06/1975; Time:-8:12 am; Place – Mumbai). I really want to conceive through IVF treatment; enjoy pregnancy; but i had 3 failed IVF; completed 10 years of marriage. Is there any scope for pregnancy or I have to go for adoption only?

    • You’d need an astrologer who specializes in that sort of question to really study your chart, and that’s not my specialty. Donna

  13. Hello, i have born on 18 sep. 1990.i have 3 planets in 5th house of my birth chart.i have venus , moon & ,mercury in the 5th house of my birth chart..i want to know about my future children& about my or arranged marriagye.&. About my soulmate.give me an answer by mail

    • Hello. Those are important questions you’re asking, and really cannot be answered in the depth they deserve without seeing where that planetary combination fits into your natal chart. To do it justice would go far beyond a brief reply in the comment section and would require a private consultation with an astrologer. I retired from chart consultations several years ago in order to focus on book projects, but can send you a list of astrologers whose work I know and respect.

      If finances are a consideration, you might consider submitting your question to Eileen McCabe, the advice columnist at Dell Horoscope magazine. Like myself, she has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and many years of experience in both astrology and counseling. Read more about her work and how to submit a question here:

      Donna Cunningham

  14. How do I go about finding when a loved one’s Love life will take-off / improve?

  15. I’m new to all of this however, I’m really interested. I want kids really badly after I miscarried at 17. Now that I’m 21, I was wondering if there were ways to predict an upcoming pregnancy? In relation to my 5th house, I have Mercury, Venus and Saturn with Aquarius on the cusp. Could you explain or point me in the right direction to find out what all this means in regards to fertility and conception?

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