The 4th House depicts the indissoluble relationship with our origin, the state that precedes differentiation, the mother bearing the germ of future life.
In the sequential reading of the zodiacal segments, the 4th House represents the core formed around the individual after the latter – following the interpersonal relationships developed in the 3rd House – selects those they perceive as complementary. It is the genesis of the concept of family, whose real meaning goes far beyond the common understanding.
The Latin term famĭlia indicated the set of people living under the same roof, including servants and slaves; we find the same image expressed in the English noun household, a group of people sharing the same home. Therefore, the family is the union of a man and a woman for procreative purposes and territorial stabilisation. It is also the attempt to create a synthesis centre proposing the ego’s expression – the prerogative of the Ascendant and the 1st House – in a broader context, where individuality gives way to a whole whose generative potentials will reveal themselves in the 5th House. Furthermore, it is the family of birth, the original model thanks to which the individual who has not yet become independent exercises their formative apprenticeship.
So far, we have followed the evolution of being over time. In the symbolic non-temporal relationship with the sectors of angular houses, the 4th House represents the ‘bottom of the sky’ (Imum Coeli), whose analogue meaning refers to the still unexpressed potentials of the human being. After the fertilisation of the ovum by the male semen, the form is sketched out and not operational. It waits for its individualisation once the boundaries between self and non-self have been recognised (1st-7th House axis) to move towards the extra-individual realisations represented by the 10th House. The 4th House, in its deeper meaning, is the germ of what will be, but which is not yet because its state precedes differentiation. It is the symbiotic relationship of the unborn baby with the mother expressed by the sign of Cancer (the fourth sign); in a spiritual sense, it refers to an almost Edenic state in which there is no separation between the knowing subject and the known.
Here then arises, when the formative consciousness takes hold, the idea of home as a refuge. Here, time flows as mythical time, unfeeling to the teeming of activity characterising the world outside. It is the place where we find ourselves retracing the ancestral ties in an attempt to go to the root of being. It is the fall of the manifestation; we can attribute to it all those meanings that the astrological tradition puts with activities addressed within a restricted circle. We have already mentioned the cornerstones: family and home. To them, we must add land (intended as an agricultural resource or as a foundation for the house); real estate (for investment or as a dwelling); occultism (as a means for an inner and spiritual experience); the end of things. This last item bears meanings connected to physical death, such as burials and cemeteries or simply the things you want to keep hidden.
In Water signs, the 4th House will see the protective and emotional values of the sector in exaltation. In Fire signs, it will exalt the role of the family as an institution. In Earth signs, a vision of security based on properties or safe assets will prevail, while in Air signs, there will be a greater propensity for extended families or characterised by mobility.