Empty Houses in Astrology: The Ultimate Guide

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.

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 does an empty house in astrology mean?

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

a picture of an abandoned villa in a farm field and words that say "the meaning of empty houses ultimate guide"

Empty House in Astrology: What is it

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.

Be sure to make it all of the way to the bottom of the article where we have links for articles offering more detail about what each empty house could mean for you!

Empty House in Astrology: Meaning

An empty house in astrology simply means that there will be no planets focusing their energy 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 to 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. There are a few ways in which an empty house can be much more important than it appears at first glance.

When are empty houses in astrology more important?

Even if some of the houses in your chart seem barren, if you look more closely you will sometimes find that they are actually much more significant than you thought.

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 important when reading your chart.

These houses are the 1st House, 4th House, 7th House, and 10th House and they 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.” You may not recognize your Descendant’s qualities within yourself, and because of this, the traits you may seek those traits 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 in astrology 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 governed by your chart ruling planet becomes a house to give a bit more consideration to, even if it is empty itself.

Aspects to an empty house

Another way that an empty house in astrology 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 in an empty house

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

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 empty 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 in astrology 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.