Do You Have “Joyful” Planets In Your Chart?


This has nothing to do with how joyful you are as a person, but brownie points to you if you automatically replied “yes!” before you even read beyond the post title!


“Planetary joy” is something of an older, traditional thing that’s not used as often anymore. It designates each of the seven traditional visible celestial bodies a house that they are/were purported to really express their inherent qualities the best in. A planet in a house it “rejoices” in gives that planet a type of dignity. A lot of people know what essential dignity is: a planet in its domicile, for instance. (Mercury in Gemini -the sign it rules- would have essential dignity.) Planets can also have dignity if they are in a house of their jollies. These things did not come about by guesswork or accidents; there was good reason underlying the matchmaking or it wouldn’t have stuck around for long.


So, what houses do the traditional planets find “joy” in?

Sun in the 9th house 


In a chart, the highest angle is the Midheaven. What else is found at high noon? The Sun. The 9th house is the house of long distance travel, as opposed to the 3rd house of short distance travel. The Sun takes a year to “travel” versus approximately 28 days for the Moon. So, Sun rejoices in 9th and Moon rejoices in 3rd. In modern times, the 9th is the house of religion (or the active hatred of religion, whatever the case) and the “higher” mind of beliefs and philosophy and ideology. In traditional astrology, the 9th was more explicitly a house of divination and more mystical than given credit for nowadays. Mystics and shamans = journeyers and travelers. The Sun is the king of the solar system and rejoices in the house of gods, illuminating esoteric knowledge.


Moon in the 3rd house 


The 3rd house is the house of siblings, neighbors, neighborhood and community. Everything local. What’s more community than the ancient tribes of people who kept time by the Moon? The 3rd represents our immediate environment, which the Moon was seen to have dominance of. In the words of Ptolemy:


The Moon, as the heavenly body nearest the earth, bestows her effluence most abundantly upon mundane things, for most of them, animate or inanimate, are sympathetic to her and change in company with her; the rivers increase and diminish their streams with her light, the seas turn their own tides with her rising and settings, and plants and animals in whole or in some part wax and wane with her.”


If that ain’t poetry…


The Moon also moves faster than anything else in the sky, and therefore makes the most frequent aspects to the other bodies. She gets around. The 3rd house is the house of communication and frequent short trips, so it makes sense to put a fast moving networker there.


I’ve said before that my experience has been that people with Moon in the 3rd house or Moon ruling the 3rd have astonishing good memories from a very early age, their memories start recording well before their peers. I have also seen it in people with photographic memory as well as people with highly developed pictorial memory (they remember tactile or sensory experiences alongside the actual event involved in the memory. Not unlike a full movie playing.) Moon in the 3rd house people can give everyone else a run for their money in the ESP department. All the other planets in the 3rd house are just weird…


Mercury in the 1st house 


This one is pretty simple. In most house systems, the 1st house is started by the angle known as the rising or ascendant, the front door into the chart and associated with physical constitution. (The ascendant and 1st house are good health or inherent health; the 6th house is the house of health too but more often the house where health problems manifest.) The ascendant is where night and day meet up; Mercury is either a dual natured planet or a neutral one, depending on who you ask, but either way it is fluid and adaptable and fits in with the day/night crossroads of the ascendant. The 1st house being the house of the head, and Mercury the communication planet, and you have Mercury “rejoicing” in a house as mentally flexible as it is.


Venus in the 5th house 


Venus is love and relationships and romance; the 5th house is love and lovemaking and romance. Makes sense Venus is happy here!


(In modern astrology, people often conflate signs with houses, and so a lot of people associate the 5th house with Leo. Leo is actually a barren sign -ruled by the Sun- that can contradict fertility.)


Traditionally, Venus was the planet of fertility, and the 5th house is still today considered the house of pregnancy and children. Venus in the 5th was “fruitful”. Venus is also the planet of gifts, and the 5th house is quite a lucky house in terms of gambling and speculations, so there’s an association not just with fun and love and sex and arts but also money and free stuff. Proof that life isn’t fair.


(The 8th house has an association with sex due to the association with Pluto and Scorpio, but since the 8th follows the 7th house of relationships, 8th house sex is the power dynamics and/or intimacy involved in the sex versus 5th house sex which is more recreational and reproductive.)


Mars in the 6th house 


Mars and Saturn are the traditional malefic planets that were often thought to do more harm than good. Mars rejoicing in the 6th and Saturn rejoicing in the 12th has a lot to do with the “subduing” effects these houses have on the malefics; weakening the destructive tendencies without handicapping them. Mars is hot and “cools off” in the 6th house.


I’ve never known anyone with a 6th house Mars who wouldn’t happily work themselves to death, probably whistling while they worked themselves to death, too. Of course, that’s assuming they’re in a career they like. The actual career is shown by the 10th house; unhappiness with their 10th house career is as much a buzzkill for them as for the rest of us. But, put them in a career that fits their talents and they’ll work circles around everyone else. Most don’t even complain about it.


Manual dexterity with machinery and hot/sharp objects produces handymen, mechanics, welders, surgeons, dentists, fashion designers, glue gun enthusiasts, tattoo artists and musicians alike.


Jupiter in the 11th house 


In modern astrology, there’s a tendency to directly associate the signs with the houses, which leads to a lot of misunderstanding of the houses. The 11th house is a perfect example of this: the association for the 11th house is the 11th sign of Aquarius, but really the sign and the house are very different. Aquarius is fixed air, formerly ruled by Saturn and in modern times ruled by Uranus. Known for being eccentric and contrary and yet stubborn in its right to be rebellious. The 11th house just does not operate in the same fashion as Aquarius; there’s nothing controversial or shocking in the 11th house.


For one thing, it’s a money house, which is sometimes forgotten. (The 2nd and 8th houses are typically known as money houses but we must always remember the 11th house is, too. The 2nd house follows the 1st house of self interest, so the 2nd house is money of self earned income. The 8th follows the 7th house of relationships, so the 8th house is money from joint expenditures or borrowed money. The 11th follows the 10th house of career, public image and reputation, so the 11th house is money from career and/or fame. I’ve seen money increase more in the 11th than in the 2nd or 8th houses. Look at Donald Trump’s 11th house…) The 11th house is elevated in the chart, highly visible above the ascendant and “free” from the 12th house of invisibility and confinement. The 11th house is also sextile the ascendant. Traditionally, the most “fortunate” house, which is why you’ll see it often referred to as the house of hopes, dreams and wishes, as it is positioned in such a way in the chart to facilitate these things.


So, Jupiter is the “greater benefic” planet associated with good luck, good fortune, good times. The 11th house is generally a benefic house, so Jupiter is happy here. Happy to grow money from its social circle, as the 11th house extends from the 10th house of public standing and becomes the house of our bigger society. Sometimes, it’s just about who you know, and Jupiter in the 11th wants to know the right people and socialize at the right places.


Saturn in the 12th house 


Most people don’t have a good opinion of Saturn. Most people have a positively terrible opinion of the 12th house. So, Saturn is perfect in the 12th house!


It sounds like a case of “misery loves company” except neither Saturn nor the 12th house particularly enjoy company. Heh. The common ground here is that they’re both restrictive and not under any great pretense that life is all fun and games. Saturn is a sober, sometimes somber reality check. The 12th house being the house most removed from society and most prone to physical breakdown, Saturn here finds something of a kindred spirit bond that enables, rather than hinders, Saturn. Saturn here often shows people who are in a perpetual long maturation process because the results are not immediately evident as tangible manifestations the way Saturn manifests for others. The “joy” here is a slowly ripening self-understanding which, to be done right, is a singular process that can’t be rushed not unlike fermenting a fine wine.


Saturn always rewards effort and hard work; even though it isn’t immediately obvious in the “hidden” 12th house, Saturn’s rewards here are the satisfaction of facing demons and learning existential truths in the process. One of the takeaway messages from knowing that Saturn finds joy in the 12th is the wisdom of understanding that our greatest life lessons (Saturn) come from facing ourselves alone (12th house).



  1. Great and inspiring post. I’ve got Saturn in the 12th and what you wrote here really resonates. ♡

  2. MrMutable says:

    It’s good to see a joyful, positive post!

    I’m in a quandary about some of the placements in my birth chart. In an equal house system I have moon in the 3rd and venus in the fifth. Result! But in a chart with placidus house system I have moon in 2nd and Venus in 6th. Boo!! How do you know which house system to use as weirdly I can identify with aspects of both!

    • Mutable signs can identify with anything haha. Is your Sun or ascendant cuspy too, or just Moon and Venus? You can try a process of elimination by working backwards through transits, eclipses, solar returns etc to see which houses seemed more emphasized when the occupying bodies were set off. There’s a school of thought that says one should treat these bodies as carrying elements of both houses, which I don’t personally agree with but I won’t squabble with people who like to use both houses.

      • MrMutable says:

        Thanks Clarissa. Yep, that’s true..I could identify with anything! No sun or ascendant cuspy…just moon and Venus! I will just go with the flow and see whatever fits at any particular time. Lol!

  3. Demitra M. N. says:

    Clarissa, you’re a real gem!.. the insights you have been so generously sharing these past few days are super keen and perfectly digestible in their presentation. I, for one, am most appreciative –thank you!
    Question — in regards to dignities: is it correct to presume that the ruler of a given house provides as much dignity as when the planet is actually sitting inside it?

    Again, thank you!

    • Not quite the same thing. Mercury in the 1st is a planet in its “temple”, but if a person is a Gemini or Virgo rising they have Mercury ruling the 1st and we don’t say that those rising signs are any better than others 🙂

      Thanks Demitra!

  4. Sherlocka G says:

    Clarissa. THANK YOU SO MUCH! All your hardwork and dedication to help us all. I’m coming up with my music. I am not forgetting you. I will need a personal astrologer assistant. So I will fund whatever you need. True Virgo here, I keep my word.

  5. Sherlocka G says:

    Sun in the 9th btw:)

  6. ‘FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! ‘ is the trashiest of the cult b-films LOLOL ! I love that you used THAT scene to represent ‘joy’ ! I love what you do here, not just for the great insightful astrology but also the broader humour and feel. Astrology can be so insufferable and so Serious ! Your humour is a breath of fresh air.

  7. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

  8. Moon in 3rd and Mercury in 1st. Regarding Moon there, when I would study for a course and read through my notes, I would see on the page where the note was pertaining to a certain test question. But, I studied hard, too. Mercury in Taurus though–not as flexible as I could be. Ha.

  9. richardjhynes66 says:

    I automatically replied “yes!” before I even read beyond the post title! Hahaha (Moon in 3rd, Venus in 5th)

    • Hmmm…. lots of “joyful” people here! I’m jealous 🙂

      • Sherlocka G says:

        Look we are BEYOND astrology yo! You got the joy girl! Also this:)
        Feeling Jealous
        Knowing Our Heart’s Desire

        by Madisyn Taylor

        Jealousy is a common human feeling and usually stems from a place of lack in our own lives.

        Jealousy is one of the toughest feelings we come up against in our lives. There is not much worse than this aching sense that somehow life has been unfair to us, while amply rewarding someone else. It’s even worse if that someone else is present in our daily lives, making it difficult for us to get the space we need to feel and heal our pain. We may be jealous of a sibling, a dear friend, or even famous personalities. We may even face the challenge of feeling jealous of our spouse, our child, or one of our parents. Whatever the case, we can normalize our experience by understanding that, as painful as it is, jealousy is a common human feeling.

        Nevertheless, it is important that we not revel in our jealousy for too long, feeding it with inner talk or gossip with others. If we do, we run the risk of losing ourselves to its negative power. Jealousy has something good to offer us, though, and that is information about our own heart’s desire. When we are jealous of certain people, we want what they have, and if we are to be conscious, we must acknowledge that. In this way, we discover what we want for ourselves, which is the first step to getting it. It may be a certain kind of relationship or a career. Whatever it is, it is possible that we could create it for ourselves, in our own lives, if we are able to honor our own desires.

        Of course, there are times when we cannot heal our jealousy in this way, and then the lesson may be about acceptance and the understanding that our path is different from the paths of those around us. It may be hard to see now, but perhaps it will eventually be clear why our life has taken its particular path. In the end, the best cure for jealousy is the recognition that the life we have is full of its own meaning and beauty, utterly unique to us–a gift that could never be found in the life of another.

  10. No joy for my planets 😦 😉

    Would this apply to other charts besides the natal chart (solar return, progressed chart, etc.)?

    • It applies to horary, and my experience has been it applies to solar returns as well though I must say SR Moon in 3rd can cause issues with depression, not exactly “joyful”! 🙂

      • Would you say SR Mars in the 6th is ok? I read somewhere on the internet that is a major bad…(I have had it before, but I was also going through other really awful transits, so I’m not sure it was my SR Mars in the 6th.)

        • Not a major bad, no… major workaholic tendencies, prone towards injury and in rare cases a year where people have to have surgery, though again that’s rare and other influences would have to be in place. Can be hard on the body or invigorating for the body, again depending on others factors. But, not hard enough I’d consider it a major bad just by itself.

          • Thanks. 🙂 I might be facing it in next year’s SR…was wondering if I should avoid it. This sounds ok though.

            It’s interesting though. This joy stuff seems to play out differently in different charts. But then I guess that’s not that weird though, since different charts have different functions in our lives.

  11. neptunianplacebo says:

    “Saturn here often shows people who are in a perpetual long maturation process because the results are not immediately evident as tangible manifestations the way Saturn manifests for others. The “joy” here is a slowly ripening self-understanding which, to be done right, is a singular process that can’t be rushed not unlike fermenting a fine wine.”

    “One of the takeaway messages from knowing that Saturn finds joy in the 12th is the wisdom of understanding that our greatest life lessons (Saturn) come from facing ourselves alone (12th house).”

    As a person who is currently experiencing Saturn transit in 12th House, I want to comment that what you wrote is so fitting and brilliant.

  12. neptunianplacebo says:

    Oh Gosh, so many good tidbits, thank you for writing and sharing it for free. I didn’t know 11th House is linked to money as well but the rationale you gave is pretty solid. Which makes sense in my experience as I have Saturn in 11th natally, it’s a bit nuanced but I get what you mean. I also like the idea that Jupiter will enter that house in fall 2017. I was a bit uneasy about Jupiter in Scorpio but it actually might be good for me.

  13. First time I read something positive about my 12th House Saturn… I will save this article for later and the mental note about Saturn in the house of Piscis being like a waiting for a great wine! Haha Love it.

  14. Wow, I have NONE of these 😦

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