How do we begin to describe the 7th House? As one of the four angular houses, it has huge importance in our lives. Ruled by the sign Libra and the planet Venus, it’s regularly called “the house of others.” Well, I’ve regularly been deconstructing the typical things we hear about the houses throughout this series. So, I’ll just say this: the 7th House is not solely “the house of others”. The way it’s described, it makes it sound like it’s just a description of other people in my life. Yet, even the astrologers who give the house that title would disagree with that. The better way to put it is that whatever sign or planet(s) you have in your 7th House say a lot about how you are with other people. This is what leads to the legendary projection of this house.
It’s the opposite of the 1st House. The way I like to see it is that the 1st House is what you do on your own, while the 7th House is what you do with other people. But, the “other people” of the 7th House aren’t just anybody. It’s well-known that this house describes what we’re going to be attracted to in a significant other. Venus, the 7th House’s ruler, is the planet of attraction and love, after all. However, the attraction of the 7th House is not merely thinking someone’s hot or having a couple fun dates with them. That’s the 5th House’s domain. Let’s not forget that the keyword for Venus is “values.” So, this is where we align with someone else based on that kind of common ground. Your 7th House sign, also known as your Descendant, and any possible planets in the 7th, therefore, show what you’re going to require to commit to someone (and having an empty 7th House isn’t a big deal; so don’t think that you’re going to end up alone forever or without true love).
Marriage is frequently associated with the 7th House and it definitely can be. At the same time, the commitment of the 7th House does not have to mean putting a ring on it. Often times, you’ll see that in some of the older astrology texts or coming from older astrologers. Back in the day, you were either courting someone (5th House) or engaged/married to them (7th House). Now, of course, there are many different options for that. Ask people with Aquarius in the 7th or Uranus in the 7th, as they’re quite notorious for preferring the long-term, living-together commitment over marriage. So, I think the best way to look at your 7th House is that it’s how you have “the talk.” You’ve been dating this person for a while now (5th House). So, where is it going from here? And just where it goes depends on how compatible your 7th House is with theirs.
It’s pretty foolproof to look at two people in a long-term relationship and see that their 7th House energies are going to mirror each other. Someone with a Libra Descendant, or Libra in the 7th, is going to end up with someone with Libra planets or an angular/powerful Venus influence. That same person might have the Moon and Venus in Pisces, both of which fall into their partner’s 7th House in Pisces. Whenever I do a synastry reading for a couple and I see something going on like this, it’s usually a good sign. And I’ll admit that as a person with a Cancer Descendant and a Leo Sun in the 7th, finding out that I’m dating or crushing on someone who has Cancer or Leo placements makes me feel good, especially if they fall right into my 7th House.
Since the 7th House is ruled by agreeable Libra, our 7th House shows what we need to be in agreement with our partner on. With my Cancer Descendant, I need a mutual agreement when it comes to caring about each other’s needs and feelings. I need to be okay by making sure that you’re okay and that you care that I’m okay. Also, with a 7th House Sun in Leo, there needs to be a mutual feeling of entertainment and life. In order to commit to a relationship, I have to feel like I can give them life and encourage their self-expression which, in turn, gives me life and encourages my own self-expression.
The 7th House is constantly echoing, in this sense. Do you have Capricorn in the 7th (Capricorn Descendant) or Saturn in the 7th? Well, there must be a mutual feeling of responsibility and purpose. You commit to the other person when you know that they will commit by putting just as much work and effort into the relationship. Yet, when they don’t, you can fail to do so, as well. And then the whole thing just collapses. This is the defining quality of the 7th House, in my opinion, that I wrote about in my series on the 7th House planets. Whatever’s in your 7th House, it is seeking balance. It’s seeking to be mirrored and reflected in order to express itself. But, this can be the problem with our 7th House. It can be hard to express it on our own.
It leads me to a very interesting observation I’ve made about people, regarding their 1st House vs. their 7th House. In the 1st House, you’re just focused on “doing you.” It’s not the house of self, as in who you are as a person. It’s just the house of what you do by yourself; it’s your solo album, not your album with the band. Whatever is in your 1st House, it’s completely self-motivated and self-reliant. The 7th House’s energy, however, is not quite as independent. So, it’s funny to watch how, when someone is single and free of a long-term commitment, they can be much more focused on their 1st House. Yet, when they get into a serious relationship, their 7th House qualities take over. It’s true: relationships do change people, due to the compromise involved.
I’ve known a Pisces Rising guy (Pisces in the 1st) ever since college. Back when he was single, he played out those Pisces traits heavily. He was really unscheduled and just always went with the flow. He was highly messy. He also did a lot of partying and drinking (no judging; it was college, after all). But, ever since he’s been with his long-time girlfriend, quite an about-face has happened. His Virgo Descendant has emerged more than ever. He follows the same exact schedule every day, he mostly avoids drinking now, and he’s obsessively clean. When you enter into 7th House territory, another person emerges; a person outside of your general persona (1st House). That’s why Leo Rising people, thanks to their Aquarius Descendant, don’t want a lot of attention and praise from their partner. When they’re in a relationship, they’re quite cool and detached (Aquarius) about the audience and the applause (Leo) they generally seek out. So, they attract people with a strong Aquarius or Uranus influence who will give them the space they need because they also need space.
Yet, this leads me back to the potential downside of the 7th: how does it get realized without the other person? Don’t think this is just limited to romantic relationships. The 7th House is also the domain of close friendships. Your good friend or your BFF embodies your 7th House sign and/or planets, in some way. In my life, my most cherished friendships have either been with Leo-influenced people, allowing a connection to form that brings out my self-confidence. It’s also said that business partners will be reflected by your 7th House, as well. I, however, like to focus more on significant others and good friends. While these relationships might seem all well, they’re not going to run too smoothly if they keep you dependent on these people to express your 7th House traits. It’s why Leo Rising people may have a hard time being objective without their Aquarius partner and a person with Mars in the 7th can struggle to express aggression without a Mars-influenced or Aries-influenced companion.
Some people call this part of the chart the “shadow self” and I can agree, although it’s not the deep, dark shadow self of the 8th House or the 12th House. It’s just that the 7th House is the opposite of what you set out to do, which is the 1st House. So, you can act out your 7th House in an unconscious way that needs checking. By having people in your life who mirror these qualities back to you, you will be able to see a part of yourself in them and be able to bring true balance to the relationship by balancing out yourself. That’s the key with the 7th House. Instead of looking to be “completed” by the other person, you first have to complete yourself through this house.
Awareness of what you do through your 7th is important. It doesn’t come easy, unlike the strong awareness we have of our 1st House behaviors. I give personal examples through all of these articles but I don’t think a house hits closer to home than this one. It’s where my Sun is, affecting my very identity. My Sun is also conjunct my South Node, which is also in the 7th House. So, this house is my problem area that I need to overcome. Now, while my Aquarius North Node in the 1st keeps pushing me to behave in ways that are cool-headed and objective, dealing with situations by just observing and keeping a healthy detachment, my Leo Sun in the 7th conjunct the South Node gives me a shadow side that is highly dramatic. Anything that happens between me and someone can be turned into something epic and bigger-than-life, for better or for worse. Also, there’s that terrible habit I have of making things in my relationships about me. And how do I get confronted with this behavior? By attracting really self-absorbed people who also turn things into a drama.
Yes, this is the house of open enemies, as well. As much as we love our romantic partner or our best friend, things can sour. Divorces, break-ups, and ended friendships are the result of an unbalanced 7th House. But, we’ve got to share the blame equally here. I think there’s something very karmic about the 7th House, which is something that isn’t acknowledged as much as it should be. It’s where what goes around, comes around; not in a spiritual or past-life sense. Just in the sense of you get what you give. As a 7th House Leo Sun, if I make my relationships revolve around me, I’m going to attract self-obsessed people.
The answer to finding true balance is to look within and become truly whole unto yourself. The best relationship to have, first and foremost, is with yourself. That’s why there’s something healing about learning to love your 7th House energies independently, becoming a whole person through your own efforts, before asking them to be loved by someone else. I always advise people to do that before they seek out these relationships with people with those traits. So, if you have a Pisces Descendant or Neptune in the 7th, love and own the part of yourself that is dreamy, sensitive, intuitive, and otherworldly. The more you become your own lover or best friend, in this way, the more you’ll attract a lover or best friend with the same ethereal, empathic vibe. This will allow the two of you to truly be on the same wavelength as equals. If Libra is all about equality, the 7th House shows what we have to give to others to receive that from them in equal measure.
In my case, I’ve had to cultivate true sensitivity toward myself and my needs before I look for it in others. I’ve had to give myself the applause and the respect I seek in order to get it. Now, I’m able to support and boost the confidence of the people I love in much healthier ways. Taking this stance toward your 7th House also ends up improving your romances and good friendships because it tells you what to not put up with. People who say you shouldn’t enter relationships with expectations are wrong, in my opinion. That’s a 12th House kind of motto, which is a very impersonal love toward all of humanity. In general, you shouldn’t expect too much from others, in a rigid, judgmental way. However, in close, personal relationships, you should have certain expectations: what you want from the other person, what they want from you, and how to meet in the middle.
But, of course, I would say that, with the Sun in the 7th House. My sense of self is built around the satisfying give-and-take of relationships, which stems from my past-life self (South Node). All 7th House people feel this way. Those of us with planets in the 7th are probably the best people to go to whenever you’re having relationship issues. We are the counselors of life, forever able to look at both sides of an issue, in ways that depend on the planet. Someone with Venus in the 7th would consider what will make both people happy, then meet in the middle, while a 7th House Pluto person would think about what both people need on a deep level and then meet in the middle. In my case, I meet in the middle after thinking “what kind of person are you?” and “what kind of person am I?”
Yet, this is also what makes us 7th House people so up-and-down, back-and-forth. The famous indecision of Libra does affect those with planets in the 7th. I used to not think I was indecisive, until I realized that I actually was quite indecisive, in my own way. Not by not being able to stick to a choice or being flaky. Just by thinking so much about the other person while I’m making a move and being so affected by how they’ve responded or how they will respond. And, as a Leo, being quite dramatic about it, often feeling angry, sad, or guilty for something that someone hasn’t even directly done or said yet. Since my South Node’s here, these are the negative tendencies that I’m overcoming to embrace my ballsy, brave, just-do-it 1st House North Node.
However, we 7th House people just care a lot about other people. We’re so thoughtful and considerate just because of the interdependence of our 7th House planets. Even when we find wholeness on our own through them, they can never fully function on their own. They want to influence people. If you have an empty 7th House, your Descendant is how you influence people: winning them over, getting them on your side, making them feel appreciated. Due to the attraction factor of the 7th, it’s how we make people like us (along with our actual Venus placement). Through this part of your chart, you think, “They love me! They really love me!”
Therefore, it’s also the traits you act out when you feel that love slip away. Heartbreak or rejection hits us through our 7th House sign/planet(s). I think it’s the attitude that you deal with a break-up with, romantically or platonically: what you do when that person you really wanted to be with no longer wants or is able to be with you or just never wanted to, in the first place. A heartbroken Scorpio Descendant might turn into a stalker or plot revenge, while a lovesick person with Mercury in the 7th can over-analyze what went wrong. It’s the harsher part of the 7th House. Love doesn’t always last or happen the way you want, whether it’s with your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or best friend. But, hey, it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all. Even though it sucks, you have to get over the disappointment here and move forward with an open heart. After all, there’s always someone else out there for you.