The 7th House symbolises the Other’s recognition as a mirror of one’s nature.
With the 7th House – opposite the 1st House, an expression of individuality – we enter the Other’s realm, of what we locate outside our physical and psychic outlines. In the broader frame of reference of the domification symbolism, we could define this condition as estrangement from the self, represented by the entry into the diurnal hemicycle, the place of external forms and individualities. Not being part of us, they embody our completion on an objective scale. Balance factors between the self and the other are essential for establishing a relationship between individuals, explaining the House’s immediate sense.
In the 3rd House, the analogue to the first Air sign, the exchange with the outside is circumscribed, limited to the bonds of blood and neighbourhood. In the 7th House, the analogue to the sign of Libra, the relationship is between equals. At this point, there is the recognition of otherness and the responsibility this entails in terms of personal evolution. It is no longer just a connection resulting from a genetic or behavioural affinity. It is a real reflection, where the other becomes the mirror of our individuality. Therefore, we come to know each other through the impression and feeling generated by the meeting to form a union between the two participants – the self and the other.
Let’s examine the 7th House in its sequential relationships. Before translating the relationship potentials into action, we see that it is necessary to have an individual structure that follows a well-defined and constant pattern over time. That is the task entrusted to the 6th House, which creates a circumscribed form around the ego’s core through its rhythmic processes. Once we achieve homeostasis between interiority and otherness, the baton passes to the 8th House, which, as we shall see, will further dissolve the contours of the individual to access more extensive representations then.
In judicial astrology, the 7th House offers some interesting similarities. The traditional meaning is marriage. Although the term comes today to mean the civil or sacramental union between man and woman, it originally had the sense of ‘mother’s task’: it placed the accent on procreative purposes. A more suitable word would be hierogamy, the ‘sacred wedding’, the marriage between divinities or between a god and the human person. That is represented by the dividing line that the cusp of the 7th House (the Descendant) establishes between the inner and formative aspects of the individual and the world ‘outside’, the Earth and the Sky. It is the beginning of an objective perception allowing the communion with the Other.
A further classical meaning is that of trial; here, one appeals to retributive justice: a relationship between the parties always requires an accommodation where alternatively one wins or loses, based on the balance achieved between one’s own and others’ requests. The same applies to contracts, which in this case sign the achievement of an exchange agreement (money for goods, personal services for work, etc.). The declared enemies highlight the irrevocable distance between oneself and others, showing alchemy’s failure between the parties. Just as it happens when tradition names murderers and thieves: in this case, the inability or refusal, conscious or unconscious, to recognise the other as a mirror of one’s interiority leads to the loss of goods or life.
The 7th House in Air signs finds it natural to agree on a communicative level between the parties. In Water signs, the desire for emotional harmony prevails, playing on searching for a common sensitivity. Fire signs give the House unions and relationships lived with intensity, pride and passion; Earth signs go searching a marriage as a means to achieve existential stability.