Astrology

Does it Look Like Some of the Houses in Your Birth Chart Are Empty? Here’s What That Means, According to Astrologers

One of the joys of moving past the basics of astrology is being able to learn about all the nuances of your natal chart and the many planets and signs that filter into your personality. Meaning, you're not just a Gemini—you're a Gemini with a Pisces Moon and an Aries Venus, for example. Take an even closer look at your birth chart, and you'll notice that the planets aren't just located in certain signs; they're also each placed in one of 12 sectors or houses, which reflect different arenas of life. That said, they're not typically evenly spread across a chart, leaving certain sectors without a planet. Cue: empty houses in astrology.

Upon spotting one of these empty or blank houses in your own chart, you might assume that this means you're missing a particular planet—and, in turn, missing some essential part of your personality reflected in this cosmic blueprint. But, rest assured, this is actually a big misconception.

"It's impossible to not have a planet represented in your chart," says astrologer Ambi Kavanagh. "At any given point in time—including the one at which you were born—a planet is in one part of the zodiac, so there's no chance that you were born without a particular planet's influence."

What causes empty houses in astrology?

If all the planets are moving through the zodiac at all times, then you might still be wondering why certain houses have none of those planets reflected in your astrological chart. To understand why, consider the fact that there are only 10 planets in astrology (the usual eight from astronomy, including Pluto, plus the sun and the moon), and there are 12 houses in astrology, so that difference means everyone will have at least two empty houses in their chart, even if the 10 planets were spread evenly across the rest of them.

But even that distribution is unlikely because of the way that planets move through the sky in relationship to each other. Given how close Mercury and Venus are to the sun, for instance, they often show up in the same house as the sun or the one right next to it, increasing the chances for multiple planets to appear in some of your houses—and leaving more of the other houses empty as a result.

How to interpret the meaning of blank houses in your natal chart

As a refresher, astrological houses reflect different arenas of life. For instance, the seventh house governs close romantic and platonic relationships, while the 10th house rules over career and public reputation. The easiest way to understand the influence of these different houses is to consider your entire chart as a stage production: "The planets are the characters, the signs are the costumes they’re wearing, and the houses are the stages or areas of life where they’re lived out," astrologer Chani Nicholas, previously told Well+Good. "Planets express their energy in the style of the sign they are in and show up prominently in whatever domain of life, or house, they are located [in]."

For example, in simplified terms, someone with their sun in Aries located in their 10th house of career would likely have a core identity (sun) that has some degree of intensity or fire (Aries), which tends to show up most often in their work ethic or career passions (10th house). But if you were to check your chart and find that you lack any planets in that house, that doesn't mean that you also lack direction, energy, or some other version of cosmic juice when it comes to your professional life.

"[Having an empty house] doesn’t mean you won’t experience any ‘action’ in relation to the sectors of life ruled by that house." —Ambi Kavanagh, astrologer

"It's something that people are fearful about, but they shouldn’t be," Kavanagh says. If you have a planet in a house, it means that planet's traits and themes are infused into that house’s life areas. If you don't, it simply means that you may not have the energy of a specific planet infused into a life area. But that doesn’t mean you won’t experience any ‘action’ in relation to the sectors of life ruled by that house."

There's two main reasons for that. On the one hand, even an empty house in astrology is governed by a planetary ruler, which can influence activity in that house's relevant domains of life. To find it, pull up the circular version of your natal chart (you can plug in your birth date and time here to get yours), and then locate the sign on the cusp of an empty house. Whatever planet rules that sign also rules that house in your chart, lending insight into how these areas of life will manifest for you.

For instance, if you find that your seventh house of relationships is empty, but it has Libra on the cusp, then the ruler of your seventh house is also Libra's ruler: Venus, the planet of love and affection. From there, you'd identify where Venus lies in your chart to understand its influence. If it's located in your ninth house of travel and broadening horizons and in Sagittarius, for example, then you might suspect that you could meet a significant other while on a trip or by way of a cultural experience. Which is all to say, in this case, your empty seventh house is meaningfully connected to your ninth house (and not an indicator of being doomed on the relationships front).

And as for the second reason why empty houses won't leave you lacking in certain life areas? It's important to remember that planets are transiting in the sky at all times, and your natal chart simply reflects one moment in time—"a screen shot of the sky above us at the moment of birth," says astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss. So, even if certain houses of yours were, in fact, empty of planets when you were born, they'll still be populated by various transiting planets throughout your lifetime.

"Transits begin at the moment we are born, and planets will dance through the empty houses of our charts on a regular basis, activating those houses and triggering events or emotions therein," says Weiss. For example, a lengthy Pluto transit could have the transformative planet parked in one of your empty houses for years, whereas Jupiter could lend its optimistic vibe to another empty house for a few months at a time. And planets like love-oriented Venus and communication-focused Mercury (which orbit more quickly) visit all of our houses—including empty ones—multiple times a year.

That's all to say, even empty houses in astrology get "hot planetary action at regular intervals," says Weiss. And any of that action could spark poignant happenings in the areas of life over which those houses rule.

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