One of the great joys of getting past the basics of astrology is being able to learn about all the nuances of your natal chart and the many planets, aspects, and astrological houses that make up your personality. Meaning, you’re not just a Gemini—you’re a Gemini with a Pisces Moon with your Venus in Aries. But what if when you look at your natal chart, you notice there’s no planetary symbol in one of your little quadrants? What do empty houses in astrology mean?
Could this mean you’re missing a planet? And if so, does that mean you’re missing an essential part of your personality? Well, though empty houses in astrology can be confusing, rest assured that there is no such thing as missing a planet.
“It’s impossible to not have a planet represented in your chart,” says founder of Soulstrology and astrologer Ambi Kavanaugh. “At any given time, a planet is in one part of the zodiac. For example, the week of March 19, Saturn was at the very, very, end degrees of Capricorn and was at zero degrees Aquarius. So he was either at 29 degrees Capricorn or zero degrees Aquarius, but he was not ‘missing.’”
While the whole solar system is accurately represented in every chart, situations like these usually indicate empty houses in astrology. And, as a refresher, the easiest way to understand astrological houses is to consider your entire birth 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,” Chani Nicholas, astrologer and author of You Were Born For This: The Astrology of Radical Self-Acceptance, 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].”
There are 12 houses, and each house represents something different. For instance, the seventh house represents your committed partnerships, and having a certain planet in the seventh house denotes the tone of your partnerships. As an example, Mercury is in my seventh house, and Mercury is a planet that focuses on communication and intelligence. That means I’m attracted to clever, smooth-talking, expressive people and need to mate with someone who’s an intellectual equal.
“If you have a planet in a house, that planet’s traits and themes are infused into that house’s life areas. If you don’t, you simply don’t have the energy of a specific planet infused.” —Ambi Kavanaugh, astrologer
But let’s say your seventh house is an empty blank slate. Don’t worry, and instead take solace in knowing that having an empty house is common, and it definitely doesn’t indicate that you’re doomed in a certain area of life. “It’s something that people are fearful about but they shouldn’t be,” Kavanaugh 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 don’t have the energy of a specific planet infused into a life area. But that doesn’t mean you don’t experience any ‘action’ in relation to the themes of life ruled by that house.”
Incidentally, Kavanaugh herself has an empty seventh house of partnerships, “but I’ve had several long-term partnerships and am now happily married,” she says. “The lack of a planet in that house did not preclude partnerships.”
So, agin, empty houses in astrology do not mean you have a bad prognosis for any area of life. It might just mean that the arena in question isn’t wildly significant to your story arc, or that it’s just more of a wild card in terms of what to expect.
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