Conditions pertaining to the second house of the horoscopical wheel focalize a great deal of what the astrologer is called upon to interpret in his service. Since every phase of the horoscope has its particular principle, it is suggested that we elasticize our conception of the second house beyond the traditional approach of seeing it as money and possessions.
First, in order to place the second house in the scheme of things let us consider a mandala made as follows: a wheel with houses; place the symbols for Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo on the first six cusps; draw a straight line from the cusp of the first to the cusp of the fifth; another line from the fifth to the seventh cusp. The sector of the first four houses is analogous to the grades of grammar school which we all go through in childhood as a foundation of our educational experience. The additional sector of the fifth and sixth houses could be considered analogous to our high school and college education, initiated as it is by the vital impulse of the fifth house. The inner conditioning indicated by these first six houses finds its expression in the upper hemisphere, initiated by the seventh house of partnership consciousness; it is analogous to the experience in the world which we enter into after completing our formal education--we put our knowledge to work. The composite of these six houses is what we bring to all mature experience for regenerating and perfecting, just as we bring to our mature experience as adults all the training, conditioning, and education that we have learned and acquired in our growing years. Unspiritualized expressions of the first six--and particularly the first four--houses indicate the essential root-square of all our problems.
When we consider that primitive human consciousness expresses the fifth house as an instinctive expression--as a resource of the fourth house--rather than as conscious creativity, it is not to be wondered at that humanity tends to function largely in the consciousness of the first five houses. To most people even the sixth house is an expression of material sustainment rather than an expression of impersonal contribution in service. So much of humanity's relationship-consciousness is primarily rooted in the fourth house awareness of identity with family and race that decisions are made in terms of the group feeling rather than by the requirements of personal development and the urges to express the consciousness of personal integrity. Since the physical consciousness is the realm in which people tend to live, the second house focalizes much of their experience patterns and problem patterns because the second house is the essential symbol of sustainment consciousness for the entire wheel, concentrated by its significance in the sector of the first four houses. The first three houses may appropriately be called the ingathering quadrant--representing the inner plane processes by which we integrate ourselves with the triune dimension of physical manifestation.
"Possession and "ownership" are words that identify the consciousness of most people in their second house expression. The real principle of the second house is revealed, however, when we consider the philosophical point that we do not possess or own any physical thing. The only possession we have is consciousness. The quality of that possession is found in the reactions we have to any phase of life; our stewardship of it is in regeneration. The life of humanity is an inner thing--material expression is its vehicle. So, what we call the "desire to possess things" is a primitive way of saying that we desire experience by which we can exercise our faculty of stewardship of physical forms and the ongoing that is provided for in regeneration.
Since every factor found in the horoscopical wheel is a necessary thing in the life of humanity, there is no factor that is "wrong" or "evil." The second house--as a chapter of experience and a level of consciousness--is a symbol of Spirit as much as any other house is. It conveys, essentially, the emotional or desire consciousness by which humanity seeks to draw to itself the things needful for sustainment. To say "I Have" is an extension of the first house consciousness of "I Am." The underlying impulse of "I Am" is to sustain itself--to be able to continue saying "I Am" and to perpetuate that consciousness in the form world. To some people "my children" or "my wife" is said with the same degree of possession consciousness that "my money" is said. Both phrases imply self perpetuation and self expression.
The essence of any astrological factor is found in consideration of the spiritual principle inherent in that factor. Since the second house has its particular "spirituality," let us consider three mandalas abstracted from the natural or archetypal chart. (This is a wheel with thirty degrees of each sign contained within the house appropriate to it, starting with Aries on the first cusp; the planetary rulers are related to the houses and signs of their dignity.)
The first mandala will be a wheel blank except for the cusps of the first four houses forming the first quadrant. The symbol for Aries, Taurus, and Gemini are placed on the cusps of the first three houses respectively. Our key phrases will be: First house: I am an individualized consciousness; Second house: I desire to sustain my consciousness in the physical dimensions; Third house: I learn how to make this sustainment possible. This "ingathering" quadrant represents our process of "planting roots" on any cycle of evolution.
Venus, ruler of Taurus and abstract ruler of the second house, is the principle of attraction; her significance to our second house is the urge to draw to ourselves the means of material sustainment, or attract the inflow of material abundance. In no other way is the truth of the statement that we do not make money more evident. We, in fact, do something in exchange for money. This brings to our attention the arch-principle of the Venusian vibration: equilibrium through exchange. Seen as an expression of this arch-principle, money is material exchange between people, not material possession; in other words, something received in return for something done. Perfect fulfillment of mutual agreement on this point is the essence of right money-use. The Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," was given as an injunction against trying to violate a material expression of a universal principle.
To enlarge our appreciation of the second house we now link it to the other house which is abstractly ruled by Venus through the sign Libra--the seventh house.
The mandala will be: the twelve-housed wheel; the symbols for Taurus and Libra on the cusps of the second and seventh houses, respectively. The symbol for Venus in both of these houses; lightly shade in these houses so that they stand out from the rest of the wheel. Here we have the archetypal Venus-mandala--the abstract picture of the goddess's focus of influence on humanity's life-experience. The second house pictures the Principle of Attraction in man's consciousness of drawing material for self sustainment; the seventh house is the bringing together of people who complement each other. In other words, Life, in the processes of human relationship, achieves equilibriums through the love-exchange of complementaries.
The seventh house abstractly identifies all pairs of givers and takers. The employee gives work--the employer gives pay. The physical life of the employee is sustained by using the money he receives; the life of the employer's business is sustained by the efforts of those who work for him. When mutuality of good is maintained in such relationships, all persons involved benefit each other through right exchanges. When the principles of either factor are violated, disharmony and unbalance result. This is evidenced on all planes--between individuals, two groups, or two nations.
We must keep in mind that money--our symbol of material possession--is actually a "fluid" in the sense that exchange in some form takes place between people everywhere and at all times. It is like the blood which circulates throughout the physical body to sustain physical life. Stop the flow of blood and you stop the individual life-expression Stop, or congest, the flow of money in economic life and--just observe the results. They are evident everywhere.
The flow of blood through the physical body starts with "output;" the "return" is made when the initial impulse has completed its work. The flow of money, between people, starts when, first, something is done for which money is given as payment. Humanity, in order to function with financial success, must learn to be willing to make the best possible output in quality of service to be rendered. The sixth house makes the first trine aspect to the second, and the sixth house preludes the seventh, the abstract symbol of relationship experience.
Success in money return starts with mutual integrity of exchange consciousness and service consciousness. Deficiency or darkness of that consciousness eventually insures "money problems" in the form of subconscious remorse, loss of self-confidence, distrust of others (memory of past dishonesties), avarice, and the kind of extravagance that is all "output" without regard for equilibrium of exchange. These negative money pictures are the result of outrages perpetrated in the past against the Principle of Mutual Exchange, and are manifestations of "un-love" toward fellow beings. They, the pictures, serve as magnets for negative experience, loss, and limitation, and until they are regenerated by principle they insure the continual experience of financial negatives.
The Venus mandala is the astrological picturing of the saying that "the love of money is the root of all evil." Not money itself; because money of itself has no power. But when the consciousness of a person is "rooted" in the second house his love consciousness is rooted in attachment to his possessions.
Thus the alchemy of Love in his relationship with people is thwarted and it thereby becomes, in time, congested to such a degree that almost anything or anybody will be seen as a threat to his holdings. His greed, distrust, avarice, fear and the like impel him to create very twisted mental pictures of people and he automatically thrusts them farther and farther away from him. Evil grows to the degree that our consciousness separates us from people. Therefore we see that money is not just a medium of material exchange but it gives, by the way it is used, a direct indication of a person's heart consciousness.
The person either loves the possession of possessions more than he loves and respects people; or in certain patterns of relationship--parents, wife, children, etc.--he exercises a rich heart consciousness, but in business he has the consciousness of a pirate; or his consciousness is integrated towards the ends of maintaining balanced and harmonious relationships with all people. We serve God by exercising the redemptive Love power, or we serve Mammon by enslaving ourselves to the illusion of possessing things. As long as this illusion dominates the consciousness we invite experience of a negative and painful kind.
As soon as the right attitude toward, and right relationship with other people becomes the focal point of consciousness, the currents of the Love-power initiate an alchemical process by which liberation from the bondage of "being possessed by possessions" is achieved. Regardless of what anyone else does, every human being must, in due course of time, come into the awareness of the spiritual value of the right use of money. When that time arrives the assurance of right relationship between people will be manifested. Honesty is a flowering of the human heart by which the consciousness is able to interpret the things of Life for what they really are. An honest man or woman sees things as they are in reference to principle and as expressions of principles. They, truly honest people, do not need to be "legislated" into honest action by laws or by the threat of punishment; they function in the consciousness of right and respectful exchange with other people in every way.
The process involved in astrological reading may be stated in this way: first, a solid understanding of the abstract or spiritual significance of each factor in the chart; then, application of abstract understanding to the particulars of the chart under consideration. This is because each human horoscope is a variation of the Archetypal Horoscope which is the Grand Vibratory Symbol of the entity we call Humanity. This archetype is the twelve-housed wheel, with the symbols of the signs placed on the cusps starting with zero of Aries on the first, zero of Taurus on the second, and so on through the other ten signs and houses. The Archetype is completed by placing the planets in the houses and signs of their dignity. Every factor is just as important as every other factor--since all are expressions of consciousness in incarnation. All are spiritual, all are good, and all are necessary. All astrologers must ground themselves in this understanding if they want to develop the ability to perceive the spiritual potentials delineated in the charts they study, as well as the causes and purposes to be found.
Unlocking the secrets of the second house is one of the most significant services that the astrologer can perform because humanity, for the most part, is tied up in bondage to the desire for possessions. The consciousness of possession is the primitive level of the principle of the second house; the principle itself is stewardship--the responsibility of right use and perfect exchange. When a horoscope is read from the possession standpoint the factor of accumulation is emphasized--or can be emphasized--in the mind of the client. The astrologer must not neglect his opportunity to alert his client to principle. It is the awareness of principle that opens the consciousness to solutions and re-directions.
The faculty of the second house can be clearly seen by consideration of the following mandala: A twelve-housed wheel; the symbols for Aries, Taurus, and Gemini on the cusps of the first, second, and third houses respectively; a straight line connects the cusps of the first and fourth houses, creating an enclosure of the first three houses. The second house conveys an emotional implication: the desire to sustain physical life. The third house is mental: the process of learning how to effect this sustainment. We sustain physical life by using the things of Earth, not by holding on to them. In the final analysis, we cannot hold on to any physical thing, but our use of physical things--and money--depicts our consciousness of either bondage to the sense of possession or inner freedom to use the things of earth with judgment and intelligence.
The reading of any house can be a complicated matter. Let us break down the factors which can pertain to the second house patterns and consider them in sequence. This break-down will involve the creation of several white light mandalas. Use only the planetary positions by sign and house, not the degree numbers; we are going to try to perceive the workings of principle through the second house patterns, and we do not want to limit our awareness by the psychologically negating effect of impressing our minds with "bad" aspects.
First mandala: the symbol of the second house sign on the second cusp; place the symbol of its planetary ruler in its appropriate sign and house. This is the "essential second house mandala" of any horoscope; it conveys, by the sign on the cusp, the consciousness of the person in regard to money and possessions; the position of its ruler indicates where and in what capacity this consciousness is to find its completest fulfillment of the power to attract the means of earth through the exercise of perfect exchange. It also serves to delineate the department of experience that will focus the best of the person's financial consciousness and, essentially, it shows to what degree the spiritual level of stewardship is expressed--or can be expressed--by the person. It also shows whether the person tends to express possessiveness or use of possession.
Second mandala (or group): a mandala for each planet in the second house and in the second house sign. Place the sign-symbols on the cusps of the houses ruled by these planets. These planets focus the possession-consciousness much more intensely than any other pattern because the chapter of experience synchronizes with the consciousness pattern. This mandala emphasizes the experiences of finance very strongly; these experiences may include property finance, investment finance--in short, all manner of experiences which are focalizations of the financial consciousness. The regeneration of the houses ruled by the planets is definitely dependent on the regeneration of the possession-consciousness.
Third mandala: a mandala for each planet in the second house sign but in the first house. This is a phase of financial consciousness in the making. Personal development--or personality unfoldment-- in this incarnation is preparing financial experience for the future. Financial ability is seen to be a point of personal evaluation rather than the faculty of acquisitiveness for its own sake.
Fourth mandala: planets in the second house but in the third house sign: education and mental development are focused through financial experiences. Mental disciplines are to be met in experiences pertaining to money-making. The mental approach, in such a pattern, tends to be colored by the desire quality of getting and holding. The third and fourth mandalas are throw-back patterns because the planets so placed are in houses preceding the one they are related to by sign. The fourth mandala tells us that the person is--to a degree--not yet purely integrated in abstract or impersonal mentation; he tends to "think in terms of his desires of possession and financial evaluation."
These four mandalas are all focuses of second house experience patterns. The harmonious development of this factor in our Earth- experience is shown to be of tremendous significance in soul growth when we remember that the second house is the first step in the formation of the Grand Trine of the Element of Earth. The base of this trine is a horizontal connecting the cusps of the second and sixth houses; the symbolic implication is that the Principle of Perfect Service (a phase of the impersonal consciousness) is directly dependent on the right exercise of the money consciousness. The apex of the Earth trine is the tenth house--Society and its perfected expressions as a universal entity. The defects of the second and sixth houses insure defects in the tenth. The phrase "Capital (second house) versus Labor (sixth house)" is as negative as anything can be. It must become "Capital and Labor," functioning together in perfect exchange between all factors in order that the apex of any society or civilization can attain its best. The natural--or abstract--rulership by Saturn of the tenth house and its exaltation in Libra--the sign ruled by Venus which also, abstractly, rules the second house--is something upon which we can all meditate. It pictures the essential meaning of the word civilization: "Civil relationships between all peoples in their dealings with earth-things and all exchanges pertaining to them."
Regardless of the sign on the second cusp and the planets involved, we must keep in mind that Venus is the archetypal symbol of the second house as a factor of spiritual consciousness. At this point it is appropriate to state that the natural, or abstract rulers of the signs and houses condense--or concentrate--the esoteric meanings of the houses as chapters of our unfoldment. So, our consideration of second-house reading cannot be complete without studying the Venus positions and patterns; furthermore, we must intensify our consciousness of the significance of Venus as the "Principle of Equilibrium (Harmony and Balance)" through exchange.
Fifth mandala--the Venus mandala: Taurus on the second cusp, Libra on the seventh cusp. Study this mandala by rotating the wheel so that each cusp in turn becomes the Ascendant. Perceive how the two signs--forming the 150-degree aspect--relate to the wheel as a whole in these different positions. Taurus and Libra composite the "consciousness of money" and the "consciousness of relationship." The principle, as has been said before, is "Equilibrium through mutuality of giving and receiving"--the Principle of Marriage. Meditate on the Venus mandala of any chart that you are called upon to read from a financial standpoint, in order to get at the roots of the person's basic consciousness of exchange. The house and sign positions of Venus--regardless of her aspects--will give you a clue as to the esoteric reasons for manifestation of financial lack or deficiency. Planets afflicting Venus must be regenerated if the root of poverty-consciousness is ever to be removed. The afflictions to Venus show only how the person, in his past incarnations, expressed unbalance and inharmony in his relationships with other people. Conditions pertaining to the second house are particular to this incarnation, but Venus is the archetypal symbol of right relationship in all phases and on all planes. Help your client to become more aware of the truth of this principle--doing so is one of your deepest responsibilities.
To conclude this discussion: Utilize the spiritual keywords of the planets as they express rulership or occupancy of second house conditions; doing so insures perception of the esoteric purpose of money in this incarnation of your client. Do not weaken him by making financial decisions for him--to do so is a violation of your own Principle of Service. Alert him to his own consciousness of Principle and encourage him to "take up his own (financial) bed and walk"--walk in the paths of exercising his financial intelligence to its utmost best, in good will, honesty, and perfect exchange with all people.