“Planetary joy” is something of an older, traditional thing that’s not used as often anymore. It designates each of the seven traditional visible celestial bodies (that’s the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) a house that they are/were purported to really express their inherent qualities the best in. A planet in a house it “rejoices” in also gives that planet a type of dignity. So, what houses do the traditional planets find “joy” in?
Sun In 9th House
In a chart, the highest angle is the Midheaven. What else is found at high noon? The Sun. The 9th house is the house of long distance travel, as opposed to the 3rd house of short distance travel. The Sun takes a year to “travel” versus approximately 28 days for the Moon. So, Sun rejoices in 9th and Moon rejoices in 3rd. In modern times, the 9th is the house of religion (or the active hatred of religion, whatever the case) and the “higher” mind of beliefs and philosophy and ideology. In traditional astrology, the 9th was more explicitly a house of divination and more mystical than given credit for nowadays. Mystics and shamans = journeyers and travelers. The Sun is the king of the solar system and rejoices in the house of gods, illuminating esoteric knowledge.
Moon In 3rd house
The 3rd house is the house of siblings, neighbors, neighborhood and community. Everything local. What’s more community than the ancient tribes of people who kept time by the Moon? The 3rd represents our immediate environment, which the Moon was seen to have dominance of. In the words of Ptolemy:
“The Moon, as the heavenly body nearest the earth, bestows her effluence most abundantly upon mundane things, for most of them, animate or inanimate, are sympathetic to her and change in company with her; the rivers increase and diminish their streams with her light, the seas turn their own tides with her rising and settings, and plants and animals in whole or in some part wax and wane with her.”
The Moon also moves faster than anything else in the sky, and therefore makes the most frequent aspects to the other bodies. The 3rd house is the house of communication and frequent short trips, so it makes sense to put a fast moving networker there.
My experience has been that people with Moon in the 3rd house or Moon ruling the 3rd have astonishing good memories from a very early age, their memories start recording well before their peers. I have also seen it in people with photographic memory as well as people with highly developed pictorial memory (they remember tactile or sensory experiences alongside the actual event involved in the memory. Not unlike a full movie playing.) Moon in the 3rd house people can give everyone else a run for their money in the ESP department. All the other planets in the 3rd house are just weird…
Mercury In 1st House
This one is pretty simple. In most house systems, the 1st house is started by the angle known as the rising or ascendant, the “front door” into the chart and associated with physical constitution. (The ascendant and 1st house are good health or inherent health; the 6th house is the house of health too but more often the house where health problems manifest.) The ascendant is where night and day meet up; Mercury is either a dual natured planet or a neutral one – depending on who you ask – but either way it is fluid and adaptable and fits in with the day/night crossroads of the ascendant. The 1st house being the house of the head, and Mercury the communication planet, and you have Mercury “rejoicing” in a house as mentally flexible as it is.
Venus In 5th House
Venus is love and relationships and romance; the 5th house is love and lovemaking and romance. Makes sense Venus is happy here!
(In modern astrology, people often conflate signs with houses, and so a lot of people associate the 5th house with Leo. Leo is actually a barren sign -ruled by the Sun- that can contradict fertility.)
Traditionally, Venus was the planet of fertility, and the 5th house is still today considered the house of pregnancy and children. Venus in the 5th was “fruitful”. Venus is also the planet of gifts, and the 5th house is quite a lucky house in terms of gambling and speculations, so there’s an association not just with fun and love and sex and arts but also money and free stuff. Proof that life isn’t fair.
(The 8th house has an association with sex due to the association with Pluto and Scorpio, but since the 8th follows the 7th house of relationships, 8th house sex is the power dynamics and/or intimacy involved in the sex versus 5th house sex which is more recreational and reproductive.)
Mars In 6th House
Mars and Saturn are the traditional malefic planets that were often thought to do more harm than good. Mars rejoicing in the 6th and Saturn rejoicing in the 12th has a lot to do with the “subduing” effects these houses have on the malefics; weakening the destructive tendencies without handicapping them. Mars is hot and “cools off” in the 6th house.
I’ve never known anyone with a 6th house Mars who wouldn’t happily work themselves to death, probably whistling while they worked themselves to death, too. Of course, that’s assuming they’re in a career they like. The actual career is shown by the 10th house; unhappiness with their 10th house career is as much a buzzkill for them as for the rest of us. But, put them in a career that fits their talents and they’ll work circles around everyone else. Most don’t even complain about it.
Manual dexterity with machinery and hot/sharp objects produces handymen, mechanics, welders, surgeons, dentists, fashion designers, glue gun enthusiasts, tattoo artists and musicians alike.
Jupiter In 11th House
In modern astrology, there’s a tendency to directly associate the signs with the houses, which leads to a lot of misunderstanding of the houses. The 11th house is a perfect example of this: the association for the 11th house is the 11th sign of Aquarius, but really the sign and the house are very different. Aquarius is fixed air, formerly ruled by Saturn and in modern times ruled by Uranus. Known for being eccentric and contrary and yet stubborn in its right to be rebellious. The 11th house just does not operate in the same fashion as Aquarius; there’s nothing controversial or shocking in the 11th house.
For one thing, it’s a money house, which is sometimes forgotten. (The 2nd and 8th houses are typically known as money houses but we must always remember the 11th house is, too. The 2nd house follows the 1st house of self interest, so the 2nd house is money of self earned income. The 8th follows the 7th house of relationships, so the 8th house is money from joint expenditures or borrowed money. The 11th follows the 10th house of career, public image and reputation, so the 11th house is money from career and/or fame. I’ve seen money increase more in the 11th than in the 2nd or 8th houses.)
The 11th house is elevated in the chart, highly visible above the ascendant and “free” from the 12th house of invisibility and confinement. The 11th house is also sextile the ascendant. Traditionally, the most “fortunate” house, which is why you’ll see it often referred to as the house of hopes, dreams and wishes, as it is positioned in such a way in the chart to actually facilitate these things.
So, Jupiter is the “greater benefic” planet associated with good luck, good fortune, good times. The 11th house is generally a benefic house, so Jupiter is happy here. Happy to grow money from its social circle, as the 11th house extends from the 10th house of public standing and becomes the house of our bigger society. Sometimes, it’s just about who you know, and Jupiter in the 11th wants to know the right people and socialize at the right places.
Saturn In 12th House
Most people don’t have a good opinion of Saturn. Most people have a positively terrible opinion of the 12th house. It sounds like a case of “misery loves company” except neither Saturn nor the 12th house particularly enjoy company. The common ground here is that they’re both restrictive and not under any great pretense that life is all fun and games. Saturn is a sober, sometimes somber reality check. The 12th house being the house most removed from society and most prone to physical breakdown, Saturn here finds something of a kindred spirit bond that enables, rather than hinders, Saturn.
Saturn here often shows people who are in a perpetual long maturation process because the results are not immediately evident as tangible manifestations the way Saturn manifests for others. The “joy” here is a slowly ripening self-understanding which, to be done right, is a singular process that can’t be rushed not unlike fermenting a fine wine.
Saturn always rewards effort and hard work; even though it isn’t immediately obvious in the “hidden” 12th house, Saturn’s rewards here are the satisfaction of facing demons and learning existential truths in the process. One of the takeaway messages from knowing that Saturn finds joy in the 12th is the wisdom of understanding that our greatest life lessons (Saturn) come from facing ourselves alone (12th house).