Where do I come from? Secrets from the
4th House

From a workshop of the same name held in July 2011.

The 4th House of the natal chart is all about the very roots of our existence, the beginning and end of all things. Our foundation, our home, our family and ancestry. It is where we find hidden treasure. Never before have we devoted a whole workshop to just one area of the chart. But in today's workshop we will be doing just that. And answer the question “Who am I – and where did I come from?”

This workshop is not so much about me standing up here and telling you about your chart, it is all about you making sense of your chart.

To start us off, a wee story and I pass this on with her permission . . . Betty emailed me yesterday to say that unfortunately she wouldn't be able to make today's workshop as she needed "to be at home to monitor water leaks into my bedroom...The forecast for today and tomorrow is rain. I have been ‘plagued’ with water leaks for the past few weeks, which have just been fixed, yet now need to be monitored . . . It is unfortunate, as the issue of water leaks in the home – seems to be a recurring theme in my life – is no doubt related to the fourth house."

I replied: "I must admit I had to smile (we astrologers have a strange sense of humour some may think) - you have Leo on your 4th House cusp with its ruler Sun conjunct Neptune in the 6th House. I guess you could read water problems into that one!"

Betty: "Goodness, you are right with your analysis of my sun conjunct Neptune...this would account for the reoccurring theme no matter where I live. Every few years a leak happens somewhere in my home. The worst part is dealing with neighbours who need to be cooperative as the leak travels through their property."

With Leo on the cusp of her 4th house and a Virgo Mars and Uranus in the 4th, I'm not sure that this would be an obvious observation on first reading Betty's chart. It is when you really start looking at the many layers of meaning associated with each house meaning, the sign on the cusp – before even considering any planets in the house – that you start to uncover the secrets, the hidden treasure that is the 4th. And how appropriate that our first example is so very reflective of secrets – Sun conjunct Neptune in Scorpio can't be more descriptive of secrets being revealed, of hidden treasure being uncovered.

But before we go on, let's go back to the very beginning: what exactly is the 4th house?

The 4th house is formed by the intersection of the horizon and the meridian lines: