Discover the good fortune waiting for you in the 11th House
Modern astrology has reduced the 11th House to a mediocre sector, doing a disservice to what has historically been considered one of the most favourable houses. We’ll unpack the origins, meaning and expressions of the 11th House in this article, and restore its place in astrological practice.
Marcus Manilius, author of the earliest available treatise on astrology, writes of the 11th House in the 1st century AD, “The temple beneath the summit of bright heaven, and … of braver hope, surges ever higher, being ambitious for the prize and triumphant over earlier temples.”
Manilius succinctly captures the essence of the 11th House, a place that forever looks up, with hope and aspiration, towards ... the summit or pinnacle.
In these lines, Manilius succinctly captures the essence of the 11th House. He describes a place that forever looks up, with hope and aspiration, towards the bigger prize: the summit or pinnacle. Manilius contrasts this with the MC or Midheaven which, as the pinnacle itself, has nowhere to go but down.
There are 12 houses in the circle that is your astrology chart, each a 30-degree segment that represents an area of life where energy is focused. The favourable nature of the 11th House comes from a number of factors, including its relationship to the Ascendant and the various planets linked to it in the Thema Mundi.
The Sun, houses and the Ascendant
The ancient Egyptians placed great store on the eastern horizon. This is where the Sun god rose and defined the day with light, warmth and growth. In astrology, this notion has been preserved in the most important point in a chart, the Ascendant: the point from which all other houses are defined.
The graphic shows the relationships that the houses make to the Ascendant. You may notice that the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 12th Houses are considered weak. This is because they make no relationship to the Ascendant. Ancient astrologers considered these houses “blind” to the Ascendant; they cannot “see” it and therefore have little or no power.
The 11th House, a good house, has additional strength compared to the 5th House and the 3rd House as it is above the horizon and therefore considered beneficial. It is as strong as the 9th House but, unlike the 9th, it is not cadent (the last house of each quadrant of the zodiac). The 11th House rises towards the 10th while the 9th falls away from it. The 11th House is also a house of strength because it is gaining in light and power as it frees itself from the shadow of the 12th.
Thema Mundi: horoscope of the world
The Thema Mundi is the mythical horoscope for the birth of the world and was used as a teaching tool or mnemonic in Hellenistic astrology. It provides the rationale for sign rulership, exaltations, aspects and certain significations of the signs. (For more on the Thema Mundi, see horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2007/06/11/the-thema-mundi)
This chart has Cancer rising with the Moon in Cancer and the Sun in Leo. The rest of the visible planets are arranged in zodiacal order based on their relative speed and distance from the Sun.
The Thema Mundi has Taurus as the 11th sign from the first, giving it the rulership of Venus and the exaltation of the Moon. Venus and the Moon are both benefic planets associated with growth, fortunate connections, material gain and fertility.
The 11th House can describe the hopes you have, the fortune you dream of and your potential for growth and expansion.
The 11th House can describe the hopes you have, the fortune you dream of and your potential for growth and expansion. Additionally, Jupiter has its “joy” in the 11th House. As the greater benefic and a planet associated with the daytime (diurnal), Jupiter was given a place above the horizon which made a benefic aspect to the first sign (the one on the Ascendant) and was not cadent.
Over time, the association of the 11th House with Jupiter has contributed other meanings now associated with the 11th House including good fortune, optimism, ambition and hope. It also describes counsellors, friends, supporters, benefactors and patrons. Distilling these meanings into four basic strands, the 11th House represents faith, fortune, friends and favour.
The 11th House describes your faith in life in general. This is different from religious faith or belief, which are the province of the 9th House. Instead, the focus is on areas such as how optimistic you are in terms of realising goals, and whether you feel protected, encouraged or supported.
The 11th House is known as the House of the Bonus or Good Daemon or Spirit who helps you in your endeavours as you strive to realise your hopes and wishes. The daemon was protective and encouraging and provided material, social and emotional support. This can gift you with an inherent belief in life, with qualities like optimism or confidence. When you believe life is full of potential, you can dream and plan. With no belief in life, you might feel downtrodden and passed over.
The 11th House can see the pinnacle, the MC, it is striving towards. Thus, this house is about hopes and ideals. The ruler of and planets in the 11th House will describe the nature of this belief in life and the ease with which you might pursue your hopes.
Originally, Jupiter’s association with the 11th House also signified the attainment and preservation of prosperity and health as a result of good judgement and wise choices. The notion of fortune has to do with optimism and the ability to see the positive in life, to benefit from endeavours and to realise your dreams.
Fortune may also come in the form of “luck”: being in the right place at the right time. This may play out as having someone notice your work, for example, or simply being able to make the most of beneficial circumstances. Difficult planets in the 11th House or the ruler of the 11th in difficult condition can indicate a lack of fortune, or the difficulty in realising your hopes and dreams.
Friendship, as indicated by the 11th House, describes people who stand by you, like supporters, patrons and benefactors; people who help you directly or indirectly; and those whose counsel, advice and assistance is of benefit to you. In modern terms, this has been extended to include acquaintances, groups and those who share your political or social ambitions, ideals or goals.
The nature of the 11th House, including the planets in it or its rulers, can indicate the faithfulness or falsity of your friends. It can also indicate how you benefit from the good word put in by them.
Favour is a notion that can also be expressed as approval, approbation, commendation, esteem, goodwill, benevolence and friendliness. Just as friends and benefactors are essential, favour is bestowed by those with influence, authority or position — and this can assist you in the realisation of a hope or dream.
Your ability to gain favour not only helps you attain your ideals, it contributes to your sense of wellbeing, too. Along with friends, you can also develop networks and connect with others who share your interests. Your networks can help you promote ideas and ideals, gain recognition and encouragement, and may even lead to prosperity of a material or psychological nature.
Your planet of fortune
The planet ruling your “lucky” house is the vehicle through which you can find faith, fortune, friends and favour. This is the planet that rules the sign on your 11th House. The house placement of this planet will describe where in life you can look to realise the support promised by your 11th House. The nature of this planet and its condition or place in your chart describes the way in which this support may come into your life — or even if it will at all.
For example, if the ruler of the 11th House is in the 10th House, which shows your career, public image, your boss, your professional reputation and status, you can expect to gain favour from a boss or those in authority, or realise your dreams through a career or public life. If the ruling planet was Mars, then the topics and symbols of Mars, like the military, or activities which involve the use of cutting objects such as knives, like surgery or stone work, would become part of your career and reputation. These Mars topics would also be connected to how you access luck, favour and fortune.
Understanding not only the nature of the 11th House, but also the nature of its planetary ruler, is essential. It’s the ruler of the 11th House that carries your hopes and dreams.
Planets in the 11th House
Just as the ruler of the 11th House is important, so are planets that sit within it; they colour your experiences in this area of life.
Planets in the 11th House describe the factors that influence and flavour your hopes and wishes, fortune, friends and favours. The nature of the planets will be influential, as will the houses ruled by these planets. These topics indicate what other natal themes are realised through the lens of the 11th House.
In The Judgments of Nativities, medieval Arabian astrologer Abū ‘Ali al-Khayyāt writes of the planets in the 11th House. This list shows that the benefic planets, including Jupiter, Venus, Sun and Moon, bring benefit and other good things, while difficult planets like Mars and Saturn describe limitations, want and scarcity. The modern planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, must be considered difficult planets as their long orbits demarcate large slices of time and their influence is often disruptive, draining and destructive.
Planets in the 11th House according to Abu ‘Ali.
|Saturn||Dread and friends’ pain, the impediment of things hoped for.|
|Jupiter||Riches, praise, dignity because of friends, the vanquishing of enemies, usefulness from things hoped for, good faithfulness, and faith. In a nocturnal birth: fortune, strength and praise.|
|Mars||A scarcity of progress (or a lack of successful profit advancement), the enmity of friends, loss of substance, withdrawal of trust.|
|Sun||Joy and the help of rich friends and slaves, the fortune of parents, a respectable and famous name in foreign regions, fortune in works, thanks and the goodwill of men, and the latter time of life more lucky in honours than in the former.|
|Venus||Fortune from friends and companions, good faithfulness and faith, many resources at the end of life.|
|Mercury||Many friends, companions, joy among the wise, courtesy (or generosity).|
|Moon||Joy from friends and the fulfilment of every hope and expectation.|
Source: Abū ‘Ali al-Khayyāt’s The Judgment of Nativities, translated in Persian Nativities Vol I by editor Dr Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the 11th House
When you put all of this information together and apply it to a chart, consider the following:
- Is the person fortunate?
- Where in their life do they find fortune or favour?
- Who are their friends or benefactors?
- Can they benefit from them?
- Do they believe they can benefit from life?
As an example, let’s examine the chart of Germaine Greer, one of the major voices of the second-wave feminist movement in the latter half of the 20th century and author of the polemic and scholarly work The Female Eunuch.
Greer has Sagittarius on the cusp of the 11th House. The ruling planet of Sagittarius, Jupiter is in Pisces in the 2nd House. Jupiter is in rulership, showing she is fortunate and that fortune benefits her wealth and resources (2nd House topics). Additionally, Venus in the 11th square Neptune suggests that fortune can come from an ideal of the feminine. Greer made her “fortune” by challenging the feminine ideals portrayed by society.
She finds fortune and favour not only through Jupiter, which represents scholarship and academia, but also through women as represented by Venus. Venus rules Greer’s 9th and 4th Houses, suggesting that beliefs (9th House) and her own experiences with family (4th House) underscore the nature of the fortune and favour she gains.
Venus also aspects Neptune, indicating a sense of idealism and illusion in Greer’s work. This includes commentaries on literature, art, feminism and the environment, including The Obstacle Race; Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility; The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause; The Whole Woman; and Shakespeare’s Wife. Although Greer has gained a reputation for being a fierce and skilful orator and writer, she has suffered disappointment and disillusionment in her ongoing quest for women’s liberation from social and cultural bonds.
Greer’s “faith” in life is described by Sagittarius on the cusp of the 11th House and its ruling planet in rulership in Pisces.
Greer’s friends and benefactors are described by Jupiter in rulership, and Jupiter’s trine to the MC and sextile to an exalted Moon in Taurus. She benefits from those who have power and influence and who pave the way to success. Jupiter’s aspect to the exalted Moon adds to its influence.
By placement, Jupiter is a diurnal planet in a nocturnal chart, so it sits outside its comfort zone; however, it is in the hemisphere of the Sun and its additional dignities make it influential. Venus in the 11th House sextile Neptune hints that Greer may also suffer at the hands of her friends as a consequence of disappointment or disillusionment.
Overall, Greer’s “faith” in life is described by Sagittarius on the cusp of the 11th House and the placement of Jupiter, the 11th House ruling planet, in rulership in Pisces. You could say that she is optimistic and positive. That Jupiter can also “see” Sagittarius (a planet can see the sign it rules by making a Ptolemaic aspect) makes her faith in life fairly strong.
The 11th House provides the astrologer with a window into the Good Daemon who looks after fortune and favour in your life. It is an important house whose influential planets can alleviate difficulties in other areas, and is well worth esteeming.
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