Metakosmios is a Greek word meaning ‘between worlds’, the transitional spaces between spirit and matter, light and dark, life and death, consciousness and unconsciousness. They can be the dream realm, spaces of divination, and spaces where we can connect with the divine.
Ancient astrologers associated this state with the cadent houses, those that by primary motion decline away from the angles (the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses – for more on this see my article ‘The Importance of Angular Houses in Astrology’). So the Metakosmios houses are the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth.
Conceptually angular houses are energetic, stimulating planets within them, enabling them to be more active in producing their significations. Relative to the other houses they are seen as the most advantageous places in terms of being able to provide stability and support to the life, or being more conducive to helping the native achieve material pursuits, status or wealth. Cadent houses are less supportive of this since they are declining away from the angles (however there are mitigations to this).
Metakosmios houses and the Joys
So cadent houses aren’t considered the most productive for supporting worldly or material goals. Instead, as liminal spaces, they are more productive for cultivating one’s inner self or spiritual life (depending on your world view and experiences, this might be preferable over seeking wordly success or material gains).
Third and Ninth houses
The third and ninth houses for example are both associated with spiritual and religious pursuits, dreams and divination – the kind of activities we undertake to find connection with the divine, spirituality, other worldy states or wisdom. This house axis forms a sympathetic pair with similar topic significations.
The third house is the joy of the Moon, also called the house of the Goddess, connected with learning, the mind, and practices of religious devotion. The ninth house is the joy of the Sun and called the house of God. It signifies our beliefs, convictions, religion and the expanding and exploration of our mental and physical knowledge and experiences. So there is a strong inference across this house axis that Metakosmios can be found by acquiring knowledge or undertaking religious or spiritual practices.
Sixth and twelfth houses
The sixth and twelfth houses also form a sympathetic pair, but the non-material experiences and meaning are usually gained through the more challenges aspects of the human condition. Mars, the god of war finds its joy in the sixth house which is associated with topics of accidents, illness, toil, and labour. The twelfth house is Saturn’s joy, and represents similar topics such as sickness (usually in the mental rather than physical realm), grief, hardship, confinement or isolation.
It’s interesting to consider and reflect on how it’s often the times when we experience difficulties that can result in us having the most profound insights or revelations about life, ourselves, or our connection to the something deeper. I would argue that the end result can be the same through either of these axes. They are just different routes to get there.
It’s also interesting to note that the third and ninth houses are the joys of the luminaries, the Moon and Sun respectively, which are associated with light an perception, both literally and metaphorically. Whilst the sixth and ninth houses are the joys of the malefics Mars and Saturn, which are associated with darkness and the unseen. So these two axes (along with other astrological doctrines such as sect) reflect the concepts of duality and contrast, including that of light and dark. These concepts are foundational to the Hellenistic astrological framework.
Success or failure?
This isn’t to say by any means that worldly pursuits and successes can’t be obtained through the topics of the Metakosmios houses. If you have your Sun or other significant placements in one of these it doesn’t mean that your life is doomed to failure. What the Metakosmios association tells us is that they are most suited or inclined to support pursuits not associated with worldly status or material wealth.
There are many examples of what would by most people’s standards be considered successful or eminent people in the world who have significant natal placements in the Metakosmios houses. For example the following people all have their Sun in the sixth house.
- Muhammed Ali
- Gordon Ramsay
- Ted Turner
- Diana Ross
- Serena Williams
- Steven Spielberg
- Franklin D Roosevelt
That’s just to name a few. Each natal chart has to be considered individually based factors such as essential and accidental dignity and aspects, which will give some indication where along the scale of possible outcomes our overall experiences are likely to fall.
Do you have any planets in the Metakosmios houses? What have your experiences been? I’d love to hear your comments, so please share your comments below.
Cover image adapted courtesy of Antipolygon, Pixabay