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Question who is more important?


If you have a house where a planet is in a sign *not on its cusp* which planet is more important? The planet ruling the cusping sign, or the planet in the house itself?

eg. Leo cusps 7th, but you have a 7th house Mars in Virgo - what are the different roles of the natal Mars and Sun in relation to the 7th house?

I ask b/c I have *3* 8th house planets in Libra, but 8th is cusped by Virgo, who is empty.....
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When in doubt, go with the planets.


Hi. In my opinion, you always focus on the planets first. They are the energy in the chart. The aspects between them provide the complex dynamics and interrelationships that power the chart and seek expression. Signs and houses help to shape that energy and give it preferences for areas of expression BUT the planets are the game. Dave.
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Thanks Dave, that makes a lot of sense.
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I have a different view but one which is also planet based.

To me a House is ruled by the planet which rules the sign on its cusp. Therefore if your twelfth house has Cancer on its cusp (as mine does) it is ruled by the Moon (whereever she is in the chart). Planets within the House whether they are in the cuspal sign or not play a secondary role (though their energy is still important). In my case I have Mars, Pluto and Saturn all in Leo in the twelfth - that energy cannot be ignored and must be integrated into a reading but the base energy of the twelfth is lunar.
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Ah, I see... thanks for another pov, Minderwiz.

Now instead of thinking in terms of strength, what about roles? For example, how is a planet of the cusping sign different than one actually in the house?

For an example, I've learned to see the cusping *sign* as the attitude towards the house. So Virgo on 5th would indicate that the native has a very organized, discerning approach to 5th house matters. Planets w/i the house show energies concentrated there, instead of just an attitude. Jupiter in 5th would indicate lots of luck and opportunities coming from 5th house matters, even if the attitude is one of Virgonian practicality.

So what is the role of the planet ruling the cusping sign?.......
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Well if we take your example of Virgo on the fifth - there is a clear Mercurial nature to fifth house matters - not the Gemini Airyfairy Mercury but Mercury brought down to Earth the more analytical Mercury, grounded in routines, and organisation. Remember, signs modify how planets express themselves, the sign as such does not really have an active influence (I can hear Dave cheering!).

Now if Mercury is in the tenth House then the personal creativity of the fifth also plays a direct role in career and social status matters and indeed career/social status have a role in the expression of personal creativity. This could manifest in a variety of ways - one possible would be for children (fifth house) to be involved in the running of the native's Newspaper business (10th House career). Alternatively hobbies and pastimes may be turned into a career. Exactly how well this link between houses would be expressed also depends on aspects to/from Mercury. If the tenth ruler is well aspected by Mercury then the career based on a personal hobby or interest may be highly successful.

A good source for further reading would be Alan Oken's 'Rulers of the Horoscope'.
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Thanks, Minderwiz! Right, I think I can differentiate more clearly now b/w planets in house and planets of cusping signs....

So the planet of the cusping sign is providing the base energy that will be modified and channelled through any planets in house.
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Yes, I think that is more or less how I see it. The planets in a house add to the complexity of the way in which that area of life is approached and probably increase the focus on that house compared to the others (though the Angular houses still are the dominant ones).

I think the only way that you eventually get the feel is through looking at a fair number of charts - it builds with experience. I don't think I've enough to be prescriptive about it or even 'sure' about it. However so far it seems to be a useful approach.
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