Empty House in Astrology: Is it Still Important?

You open your natal chart only to notice an empty house or two (or many) that have no planets in them at all. Since houses represent experiences in your life, does this mean you won’t have those experiences, or will those areas play out perfectly in your life? What do empty houses mean in astrology?

An empty house in astrology means that there are no planets inhabiting that house. It does not mean that it isn’t important or that you won’t experience the areas of life represented by that house. Placements in the rest of your chart may indicate the house is more important than it appears.

Keep reading to learn much more about what an empty house in your natal chart could mean, and why it may not be as insignificant as you think!

an old abandoned home sitting in the middle of a farm field, representing an empty house in astrology

What is an empty house in astrology?

An empty house is easy to spot, it is simply a house that has no planets sitting in it.

In the example chart above, you can see that the 1st House, and the 7th House through the 10th House have no planets in them, so are considered empty.

What does an empty house mean in astrology?

An empty house in astrology simply means that there will be no planets working through the experiences of that house. It does not mean that the areas of life that the house represents won’t occur in your life or that they won’t be significant for you.

What it does mean is that you don’t have any planets in that house because you didn’t need to.

The things that you came to this life to learn and accomplish could be done without having any planets sitting in that particular house. But does this mean that this empty house won’t play an important role in your life? No.

Even the most “boring” house in your natal chart could be incredibly influential in your life. Also, there are a few ways in which an empty house can be much more important than it appears at first glance.

Empty angular houses

Although every house in an astrological chart is incredibly important, there are a few that hold a bit of extra meaning and significance. If these houses are empty, they are still an important factor to read in your chart.

These houses are the 1st House, 4th House, 7th House, and 10th House are referred to as the angular houses. The importance of these houses is that their cusps (or boundary line that mark the beginning of the house) make up the horizon line and meridian line in your chart.

a blank natal chart showing the horizon and meridian lines

Each of these house cusps has a name and has extra significance in your chart. The cusps on your horizon line, your 1st and 7th House boundaries, are called your Ascendant (AC) and your Descendant (DC).

Your Ascendant describes the way you see the world and the way that others see you, and your Descendant embodies “what you are not.” These are qualities that you don’t see in yourself, and because of this, the traits you may seek out in others.

The cusps on your meridian line, your 4th and 10th House boundaries, are called your Imum Coeli (IC), also called the Nadir, and your Medium Coeli (MC), otherwise known as the Midheaven.

The IC describes the person that you believe yourself to be, the most private parts of your personality. Your MC is the opposite of that. It defines your public image and reputation.

a blank natal chart with the angular houses, the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th house marked

So, even if your 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th Houses are empty in your natal chart, these houses still hold incredible importance in your chart and in your life.

The empty house’s ruling planet

Another way that an empty house could have extra significance in your chart is if that house’s ruling planet is strong in your chart.

Each house has a ruling planet. You can find the ruler of each house in the table below:

1st HouseMars
2nd HouseVenus
3rd HouseMercury
4th HouseThe Moon
5th HouseThe Sun
6th HouseMercury
7th HouseVenus
8th HousePluto (modern), Mars (traditional)
9th HouseJupiter
10th HouseSaturn
11th HouseUranus (modern), Saturn (traditional)
12th HouseNeptune (modern), Jupiter (traditional)

The house ruled by your chart ruling planet becomes a house to give a bit more consideration to, even if it is empty itself.

Here is an example. Let’s say that your 9th House is empty. However, your Ascendant lies in Sagittarius making Jupiter your chart ruler. Your 9th House may hold more importance after all.

In addition to looking at your chart ruler to see if it connects to an empty house, if any planet stands out as being extra influential in your chart, the house it rules should also be considered in a reading.

For instance, a planet that makes many aspects made to it, if it is conjunct your Ascendant or Sun, for example (although there are many more examples than I listed), the matters of the house that it rules could also have more significance in your life even though it is empty itself.

Aspects with an empty house

Another way that an empty house could hold a bit more significance is if it aspects planets. The instances I am thinking of here are specifically when your angular houses discussed above, the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th Houses.

As mentioned above, angular houses, even if empty, already have importance in your chart, but if they make noteworthy aspects, their influence in your life just got a promotion, even if their houses have no planets in them at all.

a chart from astro.com showing that the 10th house is empty
Chart from astro.com

In the chart above, you can see that the 10th House is empty. Yes, the cusp of the 10th House is the MC and already has importance, but in this chart, there is more to the 10th House than you see at first glance.

In the aspect table below, you can see that this person’s MC (Midheaven) is in a tight, 0° trine with their Uranus. Knowing this, from here on out when considering Uranus in this person’s chart, their MC, or 10th House, should also be considered, even though it is empty.

an aspect table from astro.com showing that the midheaven in the chart is in a 0 degree trine with uranus
Aspect table from astro.com

Transiting planets

One very important thing to keep in mind when thinking about empty houses in your natal chart is that these houses won’t always be empty.

Even though your natal planets are captured like a snapshot, always staying in the exact same place throughout your lifetime, the planets are still moving.

The current, continuously moving planets are referred to as the transiting planets. Each planet is always in motion, some quicker and some quite slow, and their current placements can affect you as they touch each place on your chart.

Transiting planets can breathe more life into your empty house, even if it is temporary.

a natal chart from astro.com with the transiting planets indicated, showing chiron, jupiter, mars, neptune, and the moon all in the person's empty natal 10th house
chart from astro.com

In the same chart we have been looking at, I have enabled the transiting planets feature. The position of planets at the moment this article was written are indicated by the green glyphs on the outside of the natal chart.

Let’s take a look at the person’s empty natal 10th House. Even though at the moment of their birth there were no planets sitting in their 10th House, when this article was written they had Chiron, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, and the Moon all interacting with their 10th.

Even if this house hadn’t been too eventful in their life until this point, there is a good chance that the matters of their 10th House are currently lit up with all of the action taking place with the transiting planets, even if their effects are more temporary.

Are empty houses bad?

An empty house in astrology is not bad at all. It does not mean that you won’t have experiences or lack skills in the areas of life symbolized by that house. It simply means that you didn’t need a planet in that house to accomplish what you need to in this lifetime.

Nothing in your natal chart is ever bad, Your chart reads like a map, pointing you to ways you can maximize your personal growth and lead your happiest life.

What does it mean to have a lot of empty houses in astrology?

Having a lot of empty houses in your natal chart isn’t something to be worried about. It means that you didn’t need planets in them in order to live out your best life. Plus, transiting planets are continuously moving through all of your houses and activating them at different times in your life.

If you have many houses in your natal chart that sit empty, you may find houses where many planets are bunched up together. You may have features in your chart such as a stellium or a quadrant or hemisphere emphasis. To find out more, see our articles about stellium here, learn about quadrants and how to read them in your chart here, and see if you have a dominant hemisphere in this article here.

Take a closer look at your empty house

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