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Empty Houses in Astrology and their Interpretation

Astrological houses without planets

Each House represents an area of life. Its interpretation is based on the nature and dignity of the planets posited there, as well as on the aspects they form with other objects of the chart.

However, in a chart, a certain number of houses are empty. Then, how should their areas of life be analyzed? Of course, this does not mean that the person is excluded from these fields of activity. At the most, perhaps, he is indeed less concerned than by those which correspond to a massive presence of personal planets.


Please note that the notion of empty House corresponds to the absence of planets in the astrological sense of the term, i.e. the luminaries – the Sun and the Moon – the fast-moving planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the slow-moving planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We do not take into account the presence of asteroids, lunar nodes, Lilith, parts, other hypothetical or so-called minor objects. Whether they are or not present, the House remains empty if none of the ten planets is placed there.

There are several interpretation methods of this case, depending on schools and astrologers, because there is no hard and fast rule here.

Rules of interpretation

The first method consists in interpreting the sign occupied by the cuspide (the beginning) of the empty House. Thus, for example, a 7th House (marriage, associations and partnerships, relationships with people, contracts, trials) in the sign of Gemini indicates that these areas of life are managed and experienced in a light-hearted way, with rapidity, flexibility, humor and cleverness. A 2nd House (money earned through one’s work, one’s attitude regarding possessions, material needs) in Capricorn means that efforts, perseverance, and time are involved. And so forth for all other possible cases. It is probably the most natural and efficient way to interpret these empty Houses.

Another method, so-called "rulership method", consists in interpreting the House in which is posited the ruler of the said empty House, i.e. the ruler of the sign where its cuspide is found. This method supplements the first one but does not always yield good results. It is advisable to use only the first method and to consider the second one just out of curiosity.

Chart Sophie Marceau

Here, houses 2, 5, 6 (if we consider that Saturn is in house 7), 8, 9, 10 are empty.

There are other less reliable methods, among which those consisting in using several signs and several rulers if the empty House extends over two or three signs; it is also possible to analyze the dignity, the aspects, and the position in sign and in House of the ruler/rulers. But this often gives rise to an inflation of interpretations and, inevitably, to contradictions.

Generally, unless there is uncertainty about the position of the House, which may then be in a sign or in the following sign (mainly because of the House system used, or because the time of birth is not known with absolutely accuracy) when a House covers several signs, our experience incites us to think that it is the first sign that colors it most strongly when it is empty, and to a great extent.

Besides, but this does not concern empty Houses, when one or several planets are posited in a sign different from that of the cuspide of the House, then the natural interpretation of planets in House and in sign hides that of the House in sign anyway; therefore, there is no ambiguity for this case.