The Tenth House: Introduction
The Tenth House in Astrology is where things get serious. Situated at the top of the chart and associated with the Midheaven, this house is concerned with status, ambition and public life. This house represents the pinnacle of your achievements and, like Capricorn the goat, you have to keep on climbing if you want to reach the top. This is the place we aim to be in life – but no-one gets to the top without putting in the hard yards.
So, are you prepared to make the effort to reach the top? In this section, I’m going to set out all you need to know about this house in your astrological chart. If you have the Sun, Moon, Chart Ruler or a stellium of planets in this house, you will have a life where tenth house associations are an intrinsic part of your astrological make up and will feature throughout your life.
However, even if this house is not prominent in your natal chart, some of you may find yourselves living here from time to time. Planets may transit and station in your tenth house. You may experience a tenth house emphasis in your Solar Returns or Transits. Solar and Lunar Eclipses may take place in this house thus highlighting the affairs of this house when they do.
So, I’m also going to explain how this house functions in both natal and predictive astrological charts and provide you with the essential keywords associated with the tenth house to help you make your own chart analysis a little easier. However, I’m going to start with the basics to give this important astrological house some context.
The Tenth House: Key Qualities
The seventh house is an angular house and the angular houses form the cornerstones of our lives – self, family, relationships and status. They are the first houses in each quadrant of the chart and are where action takes place to move our lives forward. This house is where we cast our ambitions and have our achievements acknowledged in in the wider world. Our place in the public realm is defined by the tenth house and this house is where we live or die by our reputation – and we are defined by what we do, and obtain the power to enable us to define who we are in the eyes of the world.
The tenth house is an earth house – and like the other earth houses, it’s a material house and a place where we are grounded, solid, dependable and some would say a little dull. However, this house’s ‘earthiness’ enables us to make our lives secure and stable. To achieve this, we need to apply ourselves and build up something that is worth having. The tenth house is a place of permanence and endurance – more rock than earth – and it’s where we obtain rewards for our efforts. However, if we cut corners, the whole structure is likely to tumble down. We have to decide exactly what our legacy will be.
The Tenth House: Rulership
The tenth house is ruled by Saturn, and associated with the sign of Capricorn. Saturn demands hard work and that we play by the rules, and keeps us focused on the job we have to do. Saturn keeps our ‘noses to the grindstone’, because, realistically, we know we are not going to achieve anything in this life without making an effort. Saturn is the influence that keeps things real, methodical and well ordered. Things happen in their own good time with Saturn – no one ever became an authority or an expert overnight. You may have a long apprenticeship with Saturn – but it will be worth it in the end.
The Tenth House: Natal Astrology
With an emphasis on the tenth house in your natal chart, the question you will be asked is, ‘What can you contribute to society?’ This house is concerned with how you function in society, hence it’s association with your career or vocation in life. Those who have a vocation are often identified as such – and may work in public service or contribute to the greater good. With an occupied natal tenth house, you may have such a vocation. However, if you do not, the suggestion is that your career may important to you because of the status it confers, or it allows you to participate in public life,
This with a natal tenth house influence may be more concerned than most about achieving power and influence. This may be for the public good – politicians and government officers are associated with this house – or otherwise. Abuse of power is also associated with this house, and as it is likely to be in the public domain, public disgrace may be an unwelcome legacy. Reputation is, therefore, to be carefully guarded in the tenth house – and those with a tenth house stress in their natal chart are more likely to be aware of this than most.
There may be issues with power for those with a tenth house emphasis. Growing into your own power over time because you have grown your accomplishments, confidence and personal authority is a feature of this house. This implies something that may be equally true – that those of you with a heavy tenth house may have had to struggle to reclaim that power from those who may have wielded power over you. Using power and influence over others for good is one of the best legacies you can leave.
With an emphasis on the tenth house, we may be dealing with our own parents legacies – some may have experienced parental domination or influence – and this could have been either a positive or negative experience. Following a parent’s ‘footsteps’, particularly in a career or profession, can be evident in this house as can a parent being influential in your career choice. Whether that choice is right for you may be an issue you have to deal with, as you may discover what you want to do with your life is entirely different.
The Tenth House: Predictive Astrology
The tenth house in predictive astrology shares the fundamental qualities of the natal tenth house, However, there are essential differences you need to be aware of when analysing a predictive chart. These usually fall into two categories. First, predictive charts and the issues they raise are often temporary. Second, those who are dealing with tenth house issues in a predictive chart are not necessarily natal tenth house subjects and will not necessarily possess the traits associated with this house.
With an emphasis on this house in a predictive chart, you may find yourself dealing with career issues rather more than you would expect to. An outer planet transit across the tenth house may signify a complete restructuring of your career or your public status – and this will usually be a lengthy process. In a solar return chart, an emphasis on the tenth house is much more immediate in its effects and may signify a major shift in direction in your career – you may be promoted, fired, start your own business or be in the public eye during the course of the year.
In a predictive chart this house is also associated with the onward march of time. So, in a solar return chart, major life stages can be indicated. Marriage (a change in public status), parenthood (responsibility) and retirement (change in career status) are sometimes associated with placements in this house. However, you may also take steps to plan your legacy, or be recognised as an authority in some field – or become a representative of public authority in some form. You may even find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Public trials can be found here.
The Tenth House: Keywords
Accomplishments, Achievements, Advancement, Aims, Ambition, Authority, Boss, Career, Celebrity, Decision makers, Dignity, Employer, Fame, Fulfilment, Government, Honour, Honours, Law-enforcement, Mastery, Morals, Occupation, Occupying your time, Parental authority, Popularity, Profession, Professional attitude, Public life, Public office, Public space, Reputation, Society, Spiritual purpose, Standing in the community, Status, True Purpose.
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© Sara Shipman