Once upon a time in the seventh house

If you say "relationship" to an astrologer, they will look straight away at the "house of the other".

Placements in the seventh often seem to describe more accurately your partner(s) than yourself. However, whatever happens in our seventh house is still happening in our own chart!

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You must know the story of the ugly duckling. It's a typically seventh house story. The poor little bird is a survivor. He doesn't know he is a swan. He believes he is a duck, and an ugly one. However, when he sees swans, he feel fascinated by them.

When the swans see the ugly duckling, they see a swan. They approach him. They make him look at his reflection in the water... and…Surprise! He is a swan!

(This was the story I asked my grandmother to tell me again and again when I was two or three year old. I have Saturn followed by Jupiter in my seventh house.)

Others are mirrors. Is this mirror reliable? Sometimes yes and sometime no. Sorry to answer to this question like a Libra. Maybe. To some extent. We need a sense of nuances. We are not in straightforward grounds here…

The famous “law of attraction” says that “like attracts like”... However we don't meet only white swans and pretty fairies in the seventh' fields. Can we tell a woman who is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence that she is herself a tormentor who doesn't know herself, like in the ugly duckling story but the other way round?

This would be a horrible thing to say! So, let's accept that things may be a little bit more complicated…



Freud wrote that people without moral standards never develop neurosis. They follow their impulses and they don't end up in the therapist's room. Such people don't have a little red devil on a shoulder and a little white angel on the other, arguing about how you should behave. They have only the little red devil. No inner conflict, no neurosis.

In my view, the little red devil is not evil. He is just the voice of a less evolved version of us. If you put a piece of meat between two dogs, they are likely to fight. They are not evil, they are just dogs. They are lovely. They don't have a little angelic dog on their shoulder telling them they should sacrifice themselves and let the other dog have the meat.

The seventh house is where our inner dogs (or whatever our spirit animals may be) sign a "social contract". We understand that life can only be better if we refrain from behaving like in a "state of nature" and strive for fairness instead. The purpose is to keep the peace and get minimum suffering and maximum happiness for everyone.

So imagine the two dogs of my example. They have agreed that always fighting is not a good life. Now they argue instead. The smaller one thinks that a fair share of a piece of meat is half of it for each, whilst the bigger one claims that fairness consists of giving each a piece that's proportionate to their size - or to their weight. What is fairer? Sharing in proportion of weight or size?

…From now on it will always be possible to split more hair. The archetype behind the seventh house is Libra.

Civilised beings go to court instead of fighting. The seventh house also means lawsuits and court cases. (woof! woof! that's not fair your honour! I'm twice as big, I should get more meat!)

When we get married or decide to associate with a business partner we sign a contract. We want win-win situations. It all happens in the magnificent seventh house.

When we engage in relationships however, we don't discuss all the terms and conditions in advance. Should we? The magic of love may not feel so good if we did.

What is fair? in a relationship, should the partners always tell where they are going and when they will be back to their “significant other”?

Should both partners do the same amount of house chores independently of how much money they contribute to paying the common bills?

If the relationship is a friendship, should the friends be willing to answer the phone or open their door at any time of the day or night if requested?

(Some friendships are one to one partnerships in their own right)

Psychological questions, emotional needs and desires are at stake. If written, the unspoken contracts that partners unconsciously agree on could go like:

"Make me feel safe and I will make you feel special"

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"Boost my ego and I'll boost yours"

"Bring some structure, I'll provide emotional intelligence"

"I'll make you laugh and you'll help me cope with the sad bits"

"I will hit you. This will relieve your in-built guilt and my inner tensions" ….

All kinds of unspoken contracts can exist, but I have a feeling that we are already entering the eighth house... Real life is not as clearly
compartmentalised as in a birth chart. In the seventh house we engage in relationships, in the eighth we deal with the deep emotional stuff. In the ninth, we'll try to understand the meaning of life…

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned the famous "Law of attraction": "Like attracts like". I'm taking issue with the universality of this principle. It seems to me that we can also attract (and feel attracted to) complementarity. If like attracted like and like only, we would all be gay wouldn't we?

Reality must be more nuanced, as usual...

Let's go back to having a little red demon on a shoulder and an angel on the other one. Imagine a woman who is very scared by the little demon. She gives maximum attention and power to the angel, she listens only to the voice who talks about tolerating, sharing, giving, self-sacrificing... She doesn't realise that this angel is not a real angel. It's just a voice dressed up as one. This voice on its own is not fair. The symbol of balance, the scales, must have two sides. The little red demon, spokesman for personal desires and needs is oppressed, suppressed and this is inner abuse. Self abuse.

in good seventh house logic, this inner abuse is likely to manifest as abuse coming from outside. In this way, yes, like attracts like....

Why is this woman so scared by her little demon who only wants her to survive, have some pleasure and be happy? Maybe that's her karma. Maybe, let me insist: MAYBE, she let him talk too loudly in some past life, many thousand of years ago, the angel was the oppressed and suppressed one, and now, her karma is that the scales have tipped, she's going too far the other way. She is abusing herself within and therefore attracts abuse from the outside world. Maybe.

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But maybe, and let me insist again, MAYBE, it is because of a great generosity that she has accepted to share a part of someone’s suffering, not because of karma but because of a will to take some of the pain of another on her and work at healing it. If Christians believe that Jesus could take the sins of the world on him, why not believe that anyone can take a little bit of suffering from someone else on their own shoulders, just to help.

And maybe….. maybe something else.

All I want to say here is that we can't judge because we can't know. One way or another the seventh is a mirror, but this should not be taken in a too simplistic way.

Sometimes we need to know we are a swan. Sometimes we need to rectify something within ourselves, which can be similar, or opposite to what is presented to us by a partner.

in a mirror, your left side becomes your reflection’s right side and vice versa.

…When we look at someone, we see two people in them: one is us, the other is them. When we know who we are, we know who they are...


Jean-Marc Pierson

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