5th House: Being Who You Are!

The Fifth House is about total engagement with life. It's the vitality that comes from being centered in your unique subjective experience. As children, we naturally live this way. Then as we figure out how to "be" in school, the work world, we play ourselves off external influences. I've always been fascinated by school yearbooks, and how utterly lit up we start out in the early years. It's the Leo (ruler of the 5th House) shine that says, "this is me!" As the years go by, too many of us lose the spark, the eyes grow dull and distant, and by high school, it's replaced by a mask of detachment.

Planets in the 5th House, or the sign on the cusp, tell the karmic story of becoming the truest self. The astrologer Ellias Lonsdale calls the 5th House a formidable life stream. And it's turned into a heroic struggle when there are hard aspects to planets there. I had an epiphany last night in a class called Springing Karma about my own 5th House. I've got Sun and Mercury Rx in Cancer in the 5th, so that means I've got core identity lessons there.

The cluster is squared in on both sides by Saturn in the 1st House (in Aries) and Mars in the 8th House (in Libra). I grew up being severely criticized in a harsh way when I was simply speaking my emotional truth (Cancer). My vulnerability was mocked, and there was physical punishment like stinging face slaps and switches across the legs. It was brutal for a Moonchild, and at an early age, sent me deep within myself. I was one of those high schoolers with the lost look.

But hitting bottom early in life, with a dark depression that had settled into my spirit, meant that things could only get better from there. The path to myself was about finding the emotional courage to face all those feelings I was carrying within. It struck me as meaningful that due to outrageous technical difficulties with Skype and my husband's computer, I couldn't share my thoughts with the class.

The word "submerged" came to mind, and it took me back to that place of being lost.

But astrologer Mark Borax said we're never really lost to who we are, it's just the perception that we are. That even when we're restlessly looking everywhere but within, we're still connected to those authentic roots. The 5th House, then, said Ellias, "is to bring ourselves all the way here. It's to show up with passion." It's a house associated with risks (Leo) of self-expression, which can mean dying to old ego selves. To be true, we often have to die to who we think we are, or who others want us to be. The 5th House vitality emerges from what Ellias calls a foundation of cohesiveness that uses the raw material of the subjective experience. It's the fully lived life with all its drama, and uniquely our own. And that's the stuff of great art and an artfully lived life.

What's in your fifth house?! To find out, look at your birth chart. if there are no planets there, look at the sign on the cusp for the overall atmosphere for this house (or life sphere.) We are being urgently summoned says Ellias, to live as our authentic selves now.

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