The Water Houses: Too Much Psychoanalysis?


According to Freud, our dreams are “the royal way to the unconscious” because they reveal aspects of our “inner child,” “repressed nature,” and “dreaming selves” that we normally keep hidden from ourselves while awake. The horoscope’s unconscious water houses include the 4th, 8th, and 12th. Everything discovered in the water houses has some sort of link to the mind’s subconscious. All of this has a decidedly Freudian and even Jungian flavour, and most psychological astrologers agree that the watery regions of a natal chart are among the most intriguing. The realms under the water houses’ sway are ones of darkness, complexity, and eerie recollections of times long ago. When people have trouble pinpointing a certain feeling as being the product of their immediate family, they sometimes turn to hypnosis or regression in the hopes of being transported back to their infancy and even beyond into past lives. It is widely believed that by utilising our imagination, as well as the powers of imaging and intuition, we can gain access to the feelings that have been supressed, buried, and locked up within us.

The Repressive-Obsessives

In the field of psychology, there is also the idea of “repressive-obsessives,” and one fascinating anecdote serves to illustrate this concept: a previously calm husband brutally beats his wife one night. Although he was out on bail after his conviction and sentencing, his girlfriend indicated an interest in marriage counselling. Many counsellors speculated that the wife’s inability to see her husband’s abuse stemmed from her own traumatic experiences as a child and her subsequent repression of those events. The wife had come to this conclusion after reading a book about revisiting one’s past and finding that it was true. The book’s author claims that your life can be controlled and even ruined by your prior emotions even if you have no memory of those events.

Unresolved Anger?

The husband, it was suspected, had been harbouring a lot of repressed anger, which led to his explosive outburst. A neurologist/psychologist working with him noticed, however, that his eyes were darting back and forth at an alarming rate. A little tremor in his hand was also seen by psychiatrists and was read as a sign of pent-up rage. The man was advised to obtain a brain scan, which revealed the presence of a rare sort of slow-growing tumour that often presents itself in middle age but is treatable if detected at an earlier stage. Sadly, the man died just two months after his condition was first identified. Understandably, this is an extreme example; yet, it demonstrates that perhaps we are not as wounded as we think we are because we are being too psychoanalytic. Whenever we venture into the murky territory of our emotions, we are compelled to examine our own selves more closely. For all humans, the deeper parts of the unconscious are situated in the water houses. For Jung, these are like old riverbeds along which our psychic current flows, revealing and concealing parts of our personalities at different points.

It’s the basis for how we take in information about the outside and how our personalities develop within. It’s possible that the water dwellings will obscure your view, swallow you whole, and suffocate you. Issues like guilt, shame, bad feelings, addictions, grief, sadness, and victimhood can potentially weigh down the entire family tree, which is represented by the water houses.

In Seth Speaks:

Psychoanalysis is nothing more than an endless game of hide-and-seek in which you abdicate responsibility for your actions and the world around you by attributing their root cause to the shadowy, unexplored depths of your subconscious or to events that happened long ago. Therefore, you decide to uncover this mystery on your own. If you believe that the answers to life’s most perplexing questions are hidden somewhere below the surface of your consciousness, then you won’t bother searching for them in the consciousness. 


The water signs/houses are in touch with their feelings, in tune with the nuances and subtleties that many others don’t even notice. The water element represents the realm of deep emotions and feeling responses, ranging from compulsive passions to overwhelming fears. Astrology, Psychology & the Four Elements: An Energy Approach to Astrology & Its Use in the Counseling Arts 

Those 12th House Mysteries

A lot of us have read books like the excellent Your Hidden Self: Revealing the Secrets of the Twelfth House, and we’ve been strongly encouraged to face our angels and demons and make peace with our pasts. Finding a good balance in this branch of astrological psychology is essential so as to avoid becoming pathologically preoccupied with the contents of one’s subconscious. Keeping one’s thoughts strictly on the unpleasant and seeking out memories one may not even remember having. There is a higher risk of succumbing to one’s inner complexes, neuroses, and fixations for those whose natal charts are dominated by water signs and houses, or who have powerful aspects involving the Moon, Neptune, or Pluto. The answer to this conundrum and a more accessible explanation of the significance of the water houses can be found in Stephen Arroyo’s book Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements.

The three houses associated with the water signs (4,8,12) make up what is called the “psychic trinity” or the “trinity of the soul. “All of these houses deal with the past, with the conditioned responses which are now instinctual and operate through the emotions. Planets in these houses show what is happening on the subconscious levels and indicate the process of gaining consciousness through the assimilation of the essence of the past, while simultaneously letting go of the useless memories and fears that hold us back. These “water” houses symbolize the most profound yearnings of the soul; for they indicate the process by which emotional residue from the past be purged before the soul can express itself clearly and actively. Astrology, Psychology & the Four Elements: An Energy Approach to Astrology & Its Use in the Counseling Arts

Time Travelling

Even while the water signs, houses, and planets transport us back in time and let us experience the past, we also learn from Cancer, the Moon, and the 4th house that we need to tend to our emotional well-being. Due to Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th house, we feel compelled to let go of the things we’ve outgrown. To develop and mature, we must go through things we’d prefer not, but the same Plutonian archetypes can also bring about a rebirth of the spirit. Working with Pisces and Neptune in the 12th house will cultivate compassion within us, leading us to our own inner source of spiritual sustenance.

When something bad happens, we all like to recall all the horrific things that have happened in the past as proof that everybody hates us or something, and at times the rivers of reflection are too subjective and not objective enough to unearth the truth and get on with our lives. To use your past explorations in a psychologically healthy way, you should strive to maintain a sense of balance, which can be challenging to achieve once you’ve been drawn into the murky depths of remembering the past and your emotions have become entwined with the memory and you’ve attached all sorts of associations to it.

We are not helpless victims of our emotions, and therefore it is counterproductive to spend too much time analysing our subconscious processes. Rather, we can achieve full self-awareness and emotional freedom by reflecting on our experiences and growing from them. To avoid getting stuck in a never-ending cycle of self-blame and recrimination, it’s important to remember that the aim of this examination is to uncover the source of the problem and find a way to address it so that you can move on from it, not to find fault with the world around you.