When I think of the 9th House, the first word that comes to mind is “direction.” And this isn’t the 10th House version of “direction” that has to do with ambition, life goals, and success. But, it’s no coincidence that the 9th House precedes the 10th. And if you have any 9th House planets that are near the very end of the 9th, they’ll be conjunct your Midheaven, allowing these two forms of direction to merge. 9th House direction is about believing in where you’re going. It’s not necessarily about the success you’ll receive on the way there. That’s why the Midheaven/10th House is at the top of our charts. This part of our chart is concerned with getting to the top. The 9th House is just concerned with getting out there, with embarking on the journey.
If the 3rd House represents your grade school years (kindergarten through 12th grade), the 9th House represents the years right after you graduate from high school. You’ve put in all of that time of studying, of logically knowing the answers in order to do well on your tests and pass your grade. There’s something sort of mechanical about those years because of that. We’re just sort of bumping along, from one class to the next, not really thinking about the meaning of it all. But, then, what happens near the end of high school? We have to figure out what we’re going to do afterwards and that’s where the search for meaning starts to kick in.
Figuring out what you want to do with your life is, again, a 10th House matter, in general. But, I would say that the inspiration that allows you to build the life goals of your Midheaven comes from the 9th House. In your teenage years, you get a vision of your most amazing, impressive self, which is your Midheaven. Yet, what’s going to propel you there? You need more than just ambition, work ethic, or determination. You also need to have the faith that you can get there. This is what the 9th House gives you. Without inspiration, our mission in life would be meaningless.
So, you start having wild dreams about the journey on the way to those goals. The sign on your 9th House cusp and/or the planets in your 9th House determine just how those grand visions unfold. We don’t need to be sobered up or have reality come knocking when it comes to our 9th House sign and/or planets. These placement believe anything is possible (unless you have Saturn or Capricorn in the 9th, which can make matters quite depressing here but eventually successful). Therefore, as our grade school years come to a close, we start envisioning various possibilities: choosing colleges, thinking of where we’ll live, when we’ll move out and how, and how the world will open up for us. That’s why “idealism” is a key 9th House phrase. This house is faithful, in many senses of the word.
Since the 9th House is the path we embark on once we turn 18 and leave home, I do think that it greatly defines your college self. Nowadays, it’s difficult to find someone who didn’t spend, at least, a few semesters in college, even if they didn’t finish. I personally don’t believe that a college education should be as wildly important as it is in our society. But, I do think it’s good to go just as an experience, if not anything else, so you can see what it’s like and if it’s for you. The thing about college is that it’s supposed to be meaningful. While many people just go for the degree, it really is a time to grow as a person and gain lots of important experiences.
How you do so depends on your 9th House sign and/or planets. Those with Cancer in the 9th House or the Moon will have a college experience that, looking back, makes them highly sentimental. With this placement, growing up, you never really felt like you had found your home. Going off to college feels like coming home for you, so it brings out a wide range of emotions in you. With Uranus in the 9th, you might rebel against the college experience. You sort of feel like an alien on campus, never quite fitting into the structure. So, you didn’t care too much about your college education, even though you were more than intelligent. This is often the placement of someone who just abruptly drops out or goes to college in wild starts and stops.
I have Libra in the 9th House. I became very refined by my time at college. My college self was highly intellectual, a la Libra which is a real thinker of a sign. I practically lived at the library, devouring classic novels and poetry, as well as spending my spare time reading up on subjects like Existentialism and Anthropology (which was one of my favorite classes that I took). I also went through a phase of loving classical music and I became obsessed with visual art. I was an Arts major, too, studying Theatre and learning more about the art form and getting introduced to various plays.
Thanks to Libra on my 9th House cusp, college made me more sophisticated, which also made me way less blunt and harsh when it came to my opinions (Aries in the 3rd, Mercury conjunct Mars). I learned to really listen to people’s point of view and be more considerate and polite regarding where they’re coming from, even if I didn’t agree with them. I, however, did not finish college. Without irony, I left school when Saturn in Libra was transiting my 9th House and squaring my natal Saturn, bringing many dissatisfactions when it came to the education I was receiving and the direction I was going. I don’t plan on finishing but I’m so glad I went because I grew a lot as a person.
Unlike the facts you spit out to pass tests in grade school, the experiences you have in college really stick with you. To this day, I still have a real love of the fine arts and literature and I try to be very fair when it comes to voicing my opinions. My 9th House in Libra also affected me socially, gradually making me more diplomatic and easygoing with all of the new people I’d meet. Going off to college is a true adventure. I do realize that there are some people who’ve never been to college. But, if that’s the case, your 9th House remains an adventure because it shows the journey you embarked on once you became an adult and had to develop some direction of your own. As a result, whatever’s in your 9th House defines the way you still go on adventures now.
If the 3rd House is your neighborhood, then the 9th House is like your whole city. I sort of have an issue with people overly associating the 9th House with “travel.” Yes, this place can show the way that you travel abroad, go off to foreign lands, or even just visit other cities. But, many people don’t travel on a regular basis. In fact, traveling, for lots of people, is like a random phase in their life. “Oh, yeah, I did some traveling in my early twenties.” So, to just think of the 9th House as traveling far away is pretty limiting. And, of course, this house hates limitations.
Being in your general neighborhood doesn’t feel like an adventure. Whether it’s going to your neighbor’s house, the supermarket down the street, or the post office, it’s more so about dabbling in a lot of little things with no real meaning. But, what happens when you want to go out for a night on the town? That’s your 9th House, in my opinion. The sign and/or planets here define the ways in which you go out. When you and your friends are planning a night of fun, there seems to be so many possibilities (9th House) doesn’t there? You can go to the movies, you can go out to dinner, or maybe you can see a show. Is there a concert playing tonight or some comedian? You know what? Why don’t you just go out to that bar downtown? The 9th House is activated, then, because these times feel like an adventure, where anything can happen and where you want to be uplifted.
The role you play in these times can be found through this house. People with Leo in the 9th are very likely to take charge while going out, being the one to throw out all the ideas and get everyone to agree. With Neptune in the 9th, you may be the confused one in the group, unsure of what’s even going on. It’s also possible that you’re a recluse who’d rather just fantasize about doing adventurous things, out and about in the city, than actually do them. Not everyone likes to go out and be adventurous, after all. And any issues with that can be found in the 9th.
With my 9th House in Libra, I have to admit that I’m pretty indecisive and noncommittal when I’m going out. Whatever house Libra is in is where you have a tough time saying “no.” My sense of direction allows me to see the good in more than one option. So, I usually say “yes” to just about any suggestion for a good time. I’m so agreeable and, yes, passive in these moments that something would have to be truly awful and ridiculous for me to not agree to do it. Going out with others is a harmonious time and I don’t want to ruin it by thinking too much about myself.
The 9th House is ruled by Sagittarius, naturally, which is a freedom-loving sign. This is another reason why our 9th House really kicks in after the age of 18. It’s when we’re free! No curfew, no rules! But, some of us have more rules than others when it comes to going out. And how much freedom you do or don’t give yourself is defined by your 9th House. I should also say that people with 9th House placements, especially if it’s a stellium, should not live in small towns. If you’re a 9th House person and you grow up in a little city where there’s nothing to do, you’ll rip your hair out and you’ll move far, far away, as soon as possible. You want a city where there’s always something new to discover; where things are busy and exciting and promise to make life feel bigger and better.
So, 9th House people are particularly metropolitan. The bigger and busier the city, the better. This is why people with prominent 9th Houses are prone to moving a lot. You are eager to find that city that’s the best fit. And that’s why I think the 9th House has gotten such a reputation of being associated with “travel.” 9th House individuals do travel a lot because they get restless so easily. They need a place with a lot of different options and even a really exciting place to live can start to feel dull to them. So, they might keep upping the ante, eventually moving out of the country in order to find the constant excitement and newness that they crave. The grass always seems greener elsewhere to those with a strong 9th House.
Naturally ruled by Jupiter, this house is such a big house that it seems like there’s too much to say about it at once! While Jupiter represents your beliefs, I think the 9th House is more about your compass. It’s not only a compass that maintains your sense of direction (in a lot of different situations) but it’s a moral compass, as well. This house is your sense of right or wrong, while Jupiter is more so the faith that gets you through life. And because of your 9th House morals, you will have the conviction needed to face the world via your 10th House. It’s hard to think of two back-to-back houses that are more connected (except the 7th and the 8th). With the 9th House, you have something to stand for and that makes you feel solid enough and mature enough to stand in front of society through your Midheaven. And if you have a 9th House planet actually conjunct your Midheaven, it can get a more than a little preachy, forever on a soapbox yet with good intentions.
That’s why you can really tap into your 9th House when you feel lost. It’s even better than a GPS, in that sense. In fact, if you are somewhere new and don’t know where you’re going, it’s good to access the qualities of the sign and/or planets in the 9th. Have Leo in the 9th? Stay confident and get creative. You’ll get there. Is Saturn in your 9th? Don’t give up and be realistic. You’ll figure out where you need to go. It goes all the way back to your college or post-high school self: that kid who was just trying to figure out his or her path. That 20-year-old version of yourself is always within you, via your 9th House. And when life starts getting too boring, too uninspired, too limiting, all you have to do is reach within and find that young adult who feels like they have a world of possibilities open to them. He or she will lead the way.