Conflicting Cookbook Interpretations Nicholas Asks: “In looking at various charts and then reading interpretations in various books, I have found that some charts have two planets in one house that appear to have quite opposite effects. An example of this would be having the Moon and Uranus in the 4th house, or having both Venus and Mars in the 7th. How does one interpret these kinds of interactions between seemingly different planets? If the Moon in the 4th means ‘strong family ties,’ then how does the independence of Uranus factor into the equation?” Kevin Answers: Nicholas, Your question gets to the heart of why astrological interpretation is an art—and reminds us why cookbook interpretations that interpret one planet at a time are so exceptionally limited. We humans are a pretty complicated race, and we are just full of these endearing little contradictions. We’re able to hold onto two completely contradictory ideas at once, and act like there’s nothing unusual about it. Let’s take your example of the Moon and Uranus both in the 4th House. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that they’re in the same sign, but they’re not really conjunct each other. Now, the Moon in the 4th House can certainly be an indication that an individual has very close ties to his or her family. The 4th House represents our private life, our foundation, our source, and our connection to our past. The Moon represents our emotional connections, our unconscious, subconscious, and spiritual nature. It also represents how we meet our emotional needs. So a person with the Moon in their 4th house is probably going to put a very high degree of importance on their family relationships, and looks to the home and family environment in order to meet their emotional, safety and security needs. At the same time, this person also has Uranus in the 4th house. Where Uranus is in our charts is where we experience the unpredictable, the unconventional, the unusual, and the unexpected. Uranus represents sudden change, and lack of routine and consistency. Uranus is also associated with issues that have to do with rejection and abandonment. Uranus in the 4th house means that this individual will tend to experience their home environment as somewhat unconventional at best; and entirely unstable and chaotic at worst. The two influences are not really that opposed to each other. The Moon in the 4th house shows that an individual’s emotional needs will be encountered through their home environment. It by no means guarantees that these needs are going to be met. Uranus and the Moon together in the 4th house could indicate that a stable home life is so important to the individual because they never had one growing up. And this is only one of many different interpretations. So long as the Moon and Uranus are not in any kind of aspect relationship to each other, Uranus doesn’t directly impact the Moon. If the Moon was conjunct Uranus, then the two planets would be linked, and it would be an indication that at least on some level, the individual is comfortable with erratic and sudden changes in his or her emotional world. They may not like the patterns, they may struggle with learning how to be able to express and receive affection and nurturing in a safe and protected space, but ultimately, what they are most familiar with is the type of unconventional and certainly sporadic patterns of having their needs met. With the Moon and Uranus simply in the same house, they will tend to function more as mismatched roommates do. The individual may never be happy about the chaos and changes that Uranus carries with it, but Uranus isn’t going to have a direct impact on how well the individual is able to experience and express their Moon, and ultimately meet their emotional needs. The houses represent the areas of our lives where we are predisposed to encounter the energies of the planets. They don’t effect how the planets express—the only thing that can change how a planet expresses, beyond, of course, that planet’s position by sign, is an aspect to another planet. Aspects link the planets together in such a way that one can never express without the other also being involved. If disparate planets have no connection by aspect and simply live in the same house, it’s a much weaker connection. The individual can simply experience either one or both of the planets when involved in the affairs of the house, even if the two together make an unusual combination.