Ask Jo- Intercepted Houses



Warning: technical post ahead…

So anyways, as part of my Aries on the cusp series, a great question came through on the Facebook page the other day about intercepted houses…or more specifically what does it mean when Aries is not on the cusp of a house, but rather enclosed within a house?

A great question- and one I sort of knew was probably going to come- especially in a post about Aries.

You see, the thing about intercepted houses is you tend to have problems appropriately expressing that sign that is caught between. I the case of Aries, to paraphrase an old Moving Pictures song, it can be a little like the little boy standing at the counter of the corner shop. He’s been waiting patiently, quietly, nicely, all day, but they never stop. Eventually, he pipes up “what about me?”

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

First, the technical part- and I’m keeping this deliberately simple.

Ok, pull your chart out. Got it?

You’ll notice that each sign is 30 degrees wide. Yes? This makes sense- a circle is 360 degrees and there are twelve evenly spaced signs.

However, unless you use the equal house system- where each house is evenly divided into 30 degrees- the houses in the chart in front of you will be of an unequal size. And yes, I know you’re dying to ask me what house system I use, but let’s save that for next time.

The thing about a horoscope is that it’s symmetrical, so opposite houses will be the same size. The seventh house will cover the same number of degrees as the first house, the eighth house will cover the same number of degrees as the second house…and so on.

Depending on where in the world you were born, and the time that you were born, a house could be more than 30 degrees. It could contain part of one sign on one cusp, part of another sign on another cusp and an entire sign sandwiched within the two.

This sign, the caught between sign, is said to be intercepted.

Again, because of the symmetry thing, the opposite sign will also be intercepted.

If you have this in your chart, two intercepted signs, it follows that there will be two other signs that will each rule two house cusps and be responsible for two parts of life. These are duplicated signs.

As an example, check out my daughter’s chart below. I’ve blocked out the birth details as a rather pointless attempt at privacy, but you get the idea.

sarah- intercepted

She has Taurus and Scorpio intercepted in the 5th and 11th houses respectively. The two signs doing double duty are Capricorn (1st and 2nd) and Cancer (7th and 8th).

What does it mean when you have intercepted signs? Quite simply that you’ll probably have difficulty accessing and expressing that sign. It’s there, in your chart, but you can’t see it clearly. Just like the little boy at the counter who was so easily overlooked.

As often happens in these circumstances, whatever is represented by these signs can be bottled up, repressed and possibly emerge inappropriately- unless you are conscious of it and work it accordingly.

Very often, the way that you express these signs is through their shadow. This makes sense too as very often what you’re feeling is frustration.

An intercepted Aries could see the affairs of that house dealt with through aggression, frustration and impatience- usually as a result of a previous inability to assert yourself or long periods of inaction and daydreaming.

On the opposite side of the chart, Libra could have difficulties in establishing balanced partnerships with excessive criticality or martyrdom getting in the way.

This article by Bob Marks, goes through each combination in a much better way than I would.

In my daughter’s case, Taurus is intercepted in the 5th. With Aries on the cusp of that house (even though all of her Aries planets are in the 4th) she impulsively starts a lot…but isn’t so good on the follow through.

It’s like when she was thinking about playing soccer- a sport my husband has been playing for 50 years, she asked him ‘do you have to train every week?’


‘Even if you don’t feel like it?’

‘It’s part of being in a team.’

She thought for a minute and shook her head, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for that level of commitment.’

She was 10.

With Scorpio intercepted in the 11th, when it comes to friendships, she does the playing nice and walking away thing, rather than confronting the issue- as Scorpio would.

I recall a conversation when she was telling me about how two girls in the group were fighting- as they often did…as girls often do.

I asked her what she did about it.

‘I went and played with the boys,’ she said. ‘When they’re talking again tomorrow, they’ll hold anything that I said against me. Boys just get on with it.’

I see also the practicality of that double Capricorn coming through loud and clear, sometimes drowning out her Aries enthusiasm and impulse, and sometimes tempering it.

The keys for her are in the ruling planets of those intercepted signs. I use traditional rulers, so we’re looking at Mars and Venus.

Her Mars is strong- in the sign it rules, and in the 4th house. She has the ability to harness it, and tends to be at her most assertive when she’s physically active.

Her Venus is a quirky one- conjunct Uranus in the 2nd and sextile Mars.

My husband also has intercepted signs- Libra and Aries in the 6th and 12th respectively. He too has Cancer (3rd and 4th) and Capricorn (9th and 10th). He has a different issue. The ruling planets of his intercepted signs- Venus and Mars- are both strong, in the signs they rule. Venus in Libra, Mars in Scorpio.

Both, however, are in the 6th house- the house containing the intercepted sign. As mentioned in the Bob Marks article, this can be like having your keys locked inside the car, yet being able to see them in the ignition.

His duplicated signs really do have to do double duty.

What about you? Are there intercepted and duplicated signs in your chart? How do you consciously work them?