To introduce you to the fifth house, let me light a firework! The rocket shoots upwards at high speed: I associate this phase with the first house. The energy is like Mars, strong, focused, moving towards a goal.
At the top of its trajectory, the firework bursts like a flower. The audience cheers. Now the energy is like the Sun, majestic, expressing itself from a centre in all directions... We are in the fifth house.
The fifth house is associated with the element Fire. It is a succedent house. Let me explain some generalities:
There are four angles in a chart, the Ascendant, The MC, or Mid heaven, the highest point a planet can reach in its course through the sky, the Descendant, opposite the Ascendant, and the IC, opposite the Mid heaven.
The four "angular" houses (1st, 4th, 7th and 10th) start with these angles. Traditionally they are considered the most important houses. I disagree with the notion that some houses are more important and other less, however, if we consider that traditionally the first house is the house of self, the fourth the house of home and family, the seventh the house of relationships and the tenth the house of career, we can accept to see them as representing the "pillars" of human life.
A key words for angular houses is "Action".
The succedent houses (2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th) come after the angular ones. They are traditionally considered less powerful than the angular ones. A key word for them could be "stability" or "desire for stability"...
Using fireworks as a metaphor, it's easy to understand: action is taken when the rocket is shot towards the sky, and when it bursts, we live in the present moment, enjoying the outcome. Fireworks don't last for that long, but compared to a rocket shooting upwards, there is a relative stability. The state of tension towards a goal is over when the goal is reached.
The first house shows how we approach reality in an immediate way. We don't "rehearse" in this house. If life is a stage, we are characters in the play from the moment we were born.
However, not everything that exists within reaches the surface and not everything that reaches the surface does so in the most brilliant way...
When we are in the fifth house, we want to express more of ourselves than just our everyday life persona. . We want our whole and healed self to shine through. We are like the rocket shooting upwards saying: "Wait, there is more to me than just that!"
The fifth house is the house of the Sun. That's a reason why I disagree with the notion that angular houses are the most powerful. It seems to me that the house of the Sun can't be seen as weaker, or of lesser importance, than the house of Mars...
After the succedent houses come the cadent houses, traditionally considered the weakest ones. They are the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses . A key word for them is "Learning". Maybe they are outwardly weaker...but inwardly stronger. The most spiritually oriented houses, the 9th and the 12th, are cadent houses...
Let's come back to the fifth house. I was surprised when a beginner to find the house naturally ruled by the Sun, symbol of kingship, power and brilliance, called the house of fun and entertainment.
Traditional astrology gives a list of meanings for every house, but doesn't tell what makes all these meanings coherent.
For the fifth, you get: love life, pleasures, children, education, artistic achievements, games and sports, haphazard gains, speculations and clothing.
Even with "self expression" on your mind, the common thread between the elements of this list is not obvious! Keep this list in mind and follow me through some philosophical musings...
I loved listening to the philosopher Alan Watts explaining that the purpose of life is not more about reaching a goal than the purpose of a piece of music is to reach its end. The pleasure or listening to a piece of music happens as the music is playing, and life, if created by a Great Spirit, eternal, absolute and needing absolutely nothing, can only be a work of art, a creation.
Love then is the only reason.
Suffering may be part of life, but suffering is only intolerable when we are blinded by illusions. In reality, like in art, there are only tensions and resolutions. If we reach the level of consciousness in which we can dissipate the illusions, suffering disappears, we enter Nirvana and we see that life is a ballet. It's a game. It's a piece of music, a theatre, a movie... The show must go on!
When we create, we show who we are because we are creators.
We have been created to the image of the Creator haven't we?
When we are having fun, when we play like children, we live for the sake of the present moment; when we are in love and love is reciprocated, all we love is what is. Love happens between authentic selves only, authentic selves need to be expressed to be seen and loved, and when it happens, lovers play with each other... Courtship is a love game.
In such moments, life doesn't need a meaning. Life says "I am this", if it says it in Sanskrit it says "Soham", if it takes the appearance of a burning bush it says "I am that I am"
There is no other meaning to life than life, and life is the Great Spirit's work of art, woven with love (because if he didn't love it, the Great Spirit wouldn't have done it, don't you think so?)
We are the Great Spirit's children, and like the Great Spirit, we are creators and we have children. Our children are somehow our creations, and the other way round, when we create something, we say "It's my baby!" (Creating goes beyond creating works of art. We can create a business, a social event, build a house, design a garden, whatever....)
Educating children consists of being a role model. It's a show and it has better be good! We show the example. We show who we are. The house of learning is the third house. Education is the fifth. If we confuse teaching how to read, write, count and when William the Conqueror won the battle of Hastings with education we are wrong.
Now of course, there are things children should learn, and it happens that the best way to learn is to play. Maria Montessori had incredible results with small children. Four or five year old could learn how to read in three months, without being pressured to do any work. They had letters to play with, and grown up willing to show them what they wanted to know...
You've certainly experienced yourself that when you are having fun doing something, you learn incredibly quickly. You ask someone to show you, you get it, you enjoy!
The connection between clothing and showing is quite obvious. The first house says something about our physical body between other things. We appear with a certain face and body type. In the fifth we can be creative, put on make up, chose a style...
Love, romance, pleasures, shows, art, fun, children, education, clothing... I think I have almost all the main topics. I didn't mention speculation and haphazard gains. They are games.
The fifth house is an ideal house. This world - or our level of consciousness - are not as ideal... yet. We still need to grow. All life may be art, all life may be love, we are far from living on that wavelength.
However, being born with a Sun-Neptune conjunction in this house, let me tell you: that's where we are going. Our ultimate destination is the Sun, away from the shadows....