Make Art Divine Again
On the Relationship between the 9th and 5th House
“Creativity is a spiritual force…As we strive for our highest selves, our spiritual selves, we cannot help but be more aware, more proactive, and more creative.”
One of my favorite things about astrology is the wisdom hidden within the ordered system. By studying and contemplating the interlocking sign, planet and house structures, you see the truths of this human life revealed to you. One to which I keep returning is the relationship between the 9th house and the 5th house. Both of these houses are the only two places that trine the ascendant, or place of life and self. Trines are positive aspects; they support and bring flow to one area of our life from another, and vice versa. The 5th house, typically also called the house of children, provides support to the 1st because our children continue our legacy and support us when we grow old. The 9th house, the house of God, supports us through its wisdom and truth, both things that are necessary to living in alignment with your purpose.
But the relationship between the 5th, also the house of pleasure and creativity, and the 9th, has proven a hunch I’ve been having for years. Perhaps it’s because I healed my relationship to my creativity at a monastery, or because my greatest pieces of art have felt divinely channeled, but I have long held that creativity and spirituality go hand in hand. It’s why I focus on the Muses. It’s why I offer my Creative Praxis reading
And today, it’s why I want to talk about the 9th house by way of the 5th, or, in other words, why your creative practice should be treated as sacred and divine.
The 9th House
The houses in astrology are where things happens. You may have the Moon, your body and emotions, in Aries, but depending on house placement you may find your inner self is most affected by your communities and aspirations (11th house) or your work and illnesses (6th house). The ninth house holds a unique position in that it is cadent, a weakened position, but still considered a “good” house. As Demetra George puts it, it is “sloping down from the Midheaven,” or moving away from a position of power, but still benefits from “its proximity to the heights of the chart, as well as a superior trine to the life force of the Ascendant”.2 Put another way, this house still has a lot of power and influence for being metacosmic, or having more to do with liminal spaces than the more defined worlds of work and commerce.
Its signification thus fall under that which improves our lives but can easily be neglected, especially in a world so concerned with productivity and profit. As the House of the God, the 9th house is associated with all parts of our lives that bring us closer to the Truth by expanding our minds: “religion, faith, wisdom, divination, pilgrimage and long distance travel,” as well as higher learning like universities, seminaries and courts of law.3 All bring our mind into contact with something bigger than us that changes us in the process, whether that be a philosophical system, a new place unlike our home or a vision from the divine. Often these moments of insight intrude on our life as usual; when we have the realization that we must take time to study some esoteric philosophy or take a pilgrimmage to Mecca, that tends to feel like a distraction from our “normal” lives.
But the 9th house, supporting the ascendant by a trine from above, tells us that when we neglect its call, we neglect our truest becoming. Its trine to the 5th house demonstrates that we also neglect our truest creativity when we don’t connect it to our spiritual practice. Demetra puts it this way: “Topics of the fifth house of artistic creativity flow harmoniously to the ninth house as the creation of sacred art in worship of the divine, which has historically comprised the main expression of artistic endeavors over the ages”.4 One way we see these two houses coalesce is in the millennia of art that religious worship has produced. Secular art feels more and more like a modern invention, but even art that is not explicitly spiritual is helped by bringing the divine into your practice.
Below are some ways that the spiritual and creative intersect.
P.S. if you want to learn more about the 9th house, check out my colleague and dear friend Kira Ryberg’s lecture on the topic.
As I mentioned above, the traditional name for the 9th house is the House of the God, particularly Helios, the Sun God. This explicit solar connection comes from the fact that this planet is said to “rejoice” in the 9th or have a particularly good time when in this part of the sky. We also see the Sun’s brightness works well in the house of wisdom: this luminary is the great revealer, the source of light and life, illuminating what was once shadowy or unknown. Manilius even says that in this house, “Phoebus (Apollo),” other names for Helios, “nourishes with his splendor”.5 There is food, sustenance in the light and wisdom he brings.
It’s also worth noting that Apollo was not only the god of the Sun and light but also ruled “divination, healing, music and the arts,” all 5th and 9th house topics.6 Through these various skills, we receive help and insight from the divine. Both of these houses deal with a certain sort of wisdom: the flash of insight or inspiration that seems to come out of nowhere but really just demonstrates the culmination of unseen toiling. This brightness can come in the form of a spiritual revelation— some previously hidden Truth about the world— or the idea for a creative project that only you can make.
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