First House, Seventh House
From “ Vademécum of Individual Astrology”
by Carla Pretto
translated by Nick Skidmore
The cuspid of the Ascendent, which is calculated based on the date of birth, and above all the hour, signals the beginning of the first house, which gives rise to the displacement of all the other houses: it is as if in that precise moment of the individual’s birth a photograph was taken which remains fixed and unchangeable and in which, this being an astral portrait, it is possible to read the symbolism and intepret in detail the personality characteristics that will be influential in life, beginning exactly at the moment in which they came into the world.
The propensity for creation is highlighted in reference to Aries, owing to the presence of the triad, Mars-Sun-Pluto, which, due to co-significance, we also find in the first house. It is indeed by analysing the aspects that these planets form, independently of the houses in which they are located, that the nature of the birth is revealed, the ease of otherwise with which the person came into the world. Traumas, if present, shape an indelible psychological and behavioural attitude in the soul. It is in the first house the umbilical cord is therefore severed and where the person - and the Ego - is born.
This Ego-Sun, positioned alongside Mars, irrepressible exterior energy, and Pluto, the Id, can only emerge in a chaotic way as he follows the instincts that spur him to satisfy his needs, to pursue his individual pleasures. And it could not be any other way: the newborn, in order to be born, requires great vital energy and the will power to match if he is to meet his primary needs for survival.
At the same degree as the sign of the Ascendent, in opposition, we find the Descendent, which marks the seventh house where, in addition to presenting to the Ego-Sun the Super-ego Saturn, the existence of an exterior world is affirmed, where it is necessary to live according to the rules. Even if such awareness is softened by affection, symbolised by Venus and by the inner emotional protection given by X, the Ego, although at this stage in full accord with the Id, will find itself, as it grows up, more and more trying to reconcile two demanding masters: the Super Ego and the outside world, developing and perfecting its own sense of reality. Not an easy task, given the claims of these two masters are often contradictory, and the Ego-Sun will sometimes feel crushed and menaced by various dangers, thus developing a sense of anxiety. Hence insecurity arises, most markedly in the first house where the Ego, driven by the aggressive energy of Mars, and by the Id, Pluto, to satisfy his instinctive desires, experiences as painful repression the restraining influence of the Super Ego in obeying the needs of the outside world. We need only think of the violent reaction in tears and tantrums of children at various ceremonies, even at occasions arranged in their honour, such as Baptism, or when faced with limits imposed by parents as a rebuke or to prevent them from doing everything they want.
The conflict symbolised by these two houses is a very hard one. If, in the first house, the Ego-Sun is exalted, thanks to the support of Mars-aggression-willpower and of Pluto-Id-sexual energy, from the opposing seventh house a severe Super Ego, represented by Saturn, imposes moral criteria, traditional values and the rules of society, as well as a sense of duty and the search for perfection, all of which imply the denial of pleasure gratification. Such principles are transmitted in the first place by the parents, with lessons, punishments and rewards, and the mechanism is repeated successively by the partners, friends and institutions that take their place.
The Super Ego-Saturn rewards the Ego-Sun, which, by obediently adapting, achieves stability and the accomplishment of individual goals, possibly due to the strong sense of reality that the Ego has acquired. Venus, finally, in her symbolism of affection, compensates him by allowing him to meet people with whom he may establish deep relationships of love and/or friendship.
The seventh house, yet another obligatory journey, and here too an umbilical cord is cut, in this house as in the first, even if in a less violent, more rational fashion: the individual, strong inside the armour created for the Ego-Sun by the Super Ego-Saturn, is grown-up and psychologically formed, as well as economically autonomous, and is therefore ready to leave the family home and build one of their own.
In this house, the subject makes a careful selection among the people with whom he is in contact, based on rational criteria as Saturn demands, and affection, as Venus requires, creating his own friendships, which will be few, deep and long-lasting. The same selection, united to the affectionate-aesthetic attraction of Venus and the sexual-possessive drive belonging to X, spurs the individual to choose a partner, to start a family.
Only with these preconditions, and after this journey, does the Aries Ego become calm and find balance in conducting his relationship with his partner, but because of the fear of insecurity, he must stipulate a kind of contract, such as a marriage contract, or, in our modern era, a civil partnership contract which, beyond just adhering to social rules, ensures that will be the sole object of love during the life of his companion.
A similar journey will also be undertaken by the single person who decides to cut the umbilical cord with the paternal family and go and live by himself. He too will also be surrounded by deep friendships which will sustain him, and through which he will come to know yet more people, among whom may be a future partner. In any case, he will be together with other people.