The Twelve Houses of Rest : Find Your Sweet Spot For Restorative Healing
It’s a Full Moon in Taurus tonight and I’m thinking of rest. I’m thinking of how rest is an act of resistance. How taking time for self-care is radical and necessary. I’m thinking of how I resist taking time off, playing into the dominant paradigm that busy-ness means you’re useful, you’re worthy, you’re doing something with your time.
Holy Goddess, I'm done with resisting the necessity of rest.
Recently in my bi-monthly newsletter to members of The Lunar Apothecary I wrote about the Twelve Houses of the zodiac and how they relate to rest. I’m bringing it to you now because I think it’s a simple way to create some custom care for your whole self.
If you haven’t yet, go ahead and pull up your birth chart (you can get a free one at astro.com). For those familiar with astrology, I use the whole house system when calculating my charts as this is the system that our medical astrology ancestors would have used and I find it to be the most useful in my practice.
What are the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac?
The Houses represent different areas of experience within our lives from our ideas about our individuality, to our work life, relationships of all sorts, spiritual endeavors, and more. Every planet and sign on your birth chart fall within a House. If the planets and signs are signposts on the map of your being, the Houses are the map itself.
When you have more than one planet in a House that can be an area of influence and importance in your life. For our purposes we’ll be focusing on the Moon’s position in your birth chart and what it says about your unique need for rest.
The Moon in the Houses
If you’ve signed-up for my Magick Mail newsletter, you’ll already have gotten access to my handout on the meaning of the Moon in each of the Twelve Houses. In general, the Moon highlights the emotional current of whatever House it's in (whether your natal Moon or a progressed Moon). But the Moon is the planet of rest and sleep (paired with Neptune) and it can be a sacred roadside indicating the way we need to rest.
Look at your birth chart and find the symbol of the Moon on it. Notice what house it is in. In the chart below the Moon is in the Eleventh House. The Eleventh House is all about social groups, community, where we feel at home outside of our home, chosen family. In the Eleventh House The Moon focuses on or reveals how our individual emotional reality is connected to the shared emotional experience of the community at large. The Moon highlights what type of community we need to feel emotionally fulfilled, seen, and held.
But what about rest? Usually, the gift of rest in each of the Houses is a break from whatever area of life that they represent. You can be a passionate entrepreneur but you still need a break from work to keep that passion well-cared for. You can be in the best, most romantic relationship, but you still need some alone time to recalibrate.
The Houses of Rest
Once you have located the position of the Moon on your birth chart, you can refer to the following list for a simple reminder on one important way that you need to rest:
First House: Rest Yourself
Second House: Rest from Acquiring (i.e. buying things or acquiring "likes")
Third House: Rest from Social Media (and/or Studying, School, Learning)
Fourth House: Rest from or with Family
Fifth House: Rest from Making + Creating
Sixth House: Rest from Day-to-Day Regime
Seventh House: Rest from Relationships (i.e. take some alone time)
Eighth House: Rest from Emotional Labor
Ninth House: Rest from Travel
Tenth House: Rest from Work
Eleventh House: Rest from Service + Social Events
Twelfth House: Rest from Seriousness (i.e. go and play!)
You can also apply this list to the current Moon and learn what it is right now you should take a rest from. Tonight’s Full Moon is in Taurus at 11 degrees and 58 seconds. On our sample chart that would put the Moon in the Third House. The Third House represents learning, education, exchange of information, and social networks. The Third House Moon focuses on or reveals the ways we learn best in order to express ourselves emotionally. Additionally, the Moon in the Third House focuses on or reveals how we want to be cared for by our social networks or community. For our sample chart, there is a wonderful synchronicity between their natal Moon and the current Moon. A break is called for from social media and perhaps even social events.
Herbs for Rest
What herbs support our journey of rest? Relaxing nervines are generally a good place to start and many of them are lunar in nature. Milky Oat (Avena sativa) is a favorite of mine. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) helps move energy out of the head and into the body if you tend to overthink and analyze instead of relaxing. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is relaxing and an excellent herbal ally for sleep. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Rose (Rosa spp.), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), and Lavender (Lavandula spp.) are other restful options.
Using the Moon as our guide we can chart a path to a calm place of rest and rejuvenation. What House does your Moon fall in? Let me know in the comments. Want more Moon magick in your life? Come this way.