signs are the same size, 30 degrees each. Houses, though, can have
different sizes. The further away you get from the Equator, the greater
the differences in house size become. This makes it possible for some
signs in a horoscope to be intercepted. In other words, they are totally
enclosed in a house, and, as a result, they do not appear at the
beginning of any house. Now what are the effects of intercepted signs?
Much of what follows is based on the groundbreaking work of
Joanne Wickenburg. She first reported it in “Intercepted Signs:
Environment vs. Destiny”, published in 1978 (and no longer in
print), and expanded on it in “Your Hidden Powers” (published in
1992 by AFA). What is presented here is a brief summary of her
results. I highly recommend you read “Your Hidden Powers” for an
in depth view.
he horoscope is symmetrical.
If a sign is intercepted, the
opposite sign must be intercepted as well. There are twelve
signs and twelve houses. There has to be one sign at the
beginning of every house.
If two signs are intercepted, two
other signs must do “double duty” and each has to appear on two
house cusps. Wickenburg has two different names for these. In
“Intercepted Signs”, she called them “duplicated
In “Your Hidden
Powers”, she named them “intercepted houses” (because the houses are
enclosed entirely in those signs).
important too and will be dealt with in the next chapter.
In the horoscope of a person, an intercepted sign shows a
blockage. The qualities of that sign have difficulty coming out.
It is like a room in your house that can only be reached by
first going through another room. An interception means that
your early environment did not give you the ability to deal with
the things ruled by the intercepted signs. The qualities of
those signs can get bottled up, repressed. Eventually, the
pressure builds to the breaking point and they burst out…usually
in ways that are not appropriate.
It is better to interpret intercepted signs in pairs. Opposite
signs normally work as a team. For instance, the aggression of
Aries is balanced by the charm and social skills of Libra. With
intercepted signs, the link is broken. The opposite signs cannot
balance each other. Take the Virgo-Pisces combination. A person
with an intercepted Pisces may not be able to discriminate or be
practical in the area ruled by that house. In the opposite house
where Virgo is intercepted, they could be excessively focused on
details and find it difficult to get the big picture. The
effects will manifest mostly in the areas of life that are
governed by the houses containing the interceptions.
How do you deal with intercepted signs? Your early environment
didn’t give you the support necessary to develop the abilities
governed by those signs and you have to make up for this with
your own conscious efforts.
But how do we know specifically what to do? One way is by using
Duplicated signs, as mentioned earlier, are signs that
appear on the cusps of two houses. If you have intercepted
signs, you must have
signs as well. These signs and their intercepted houses can
show a way out of the difficulties caused by the intercepted
You can also look to the ruling planets of your intercepted
signs. The house and sign positions of these planets, as well as
the aspects they form, can show another way to solve the
problems caused by your intercepted signs. Sometimes though, one
of these planets is also placed in an intercepted sign. That’s
like having your keys locked inside your car. It usually means
that this planet cannot be used to overcome the interception.
Intercepted Aries makes it difficult to take action. Since
Pisces is the sign on the cusp (beginning) of the house, the
person will generally find it easy to daydream in the area of
life ruled by that house, and daydream, and daydream…Taking
action tends to get put off. When they finally do act, they are
likely to suddenly dive in as if they had never thought about
the thing they were considering. Pisces is dreamy and peaceful.
Aries is aggressive. Intercepted Aries makes it difficult to be
assertive in the life area ruled by the house where it is
located. Pisces on the cusp would rather avoid confrontation.
Those with an intercepted Aries may fear taking action or
asserting themselves. Emotional pressure can build up, and when
they finally do assert themselves, they frequently explode,
doing something totally inappropriate.
In the opposite house, it is difficult for them to form
partnerships where both parties are equal. For example, if the
intercepted Libra is in the 6th house, that would cause problems
treating co-workers as equals. If it were in the 11th house, the
problem would be with friends. Since Virgo is the sign on the
house cusp, a person with intercepted Libra will be seen as a
servant in that area, or as someone who is always supplying
services, or who always has the answers. Conversely, other
people may be the ones who are forced into the role of servants.
A balanced relationship is difficult to achieve and sustain.
How do you deal with these problems? Look to Venus and Mars in
your horoscope. Their sign and house placements, as well as the
aspects they form may offer a way out. Also, see which signs
appear on two houses. The functions of these “duplicated
and the areas of your life affected by the houses they occupy
can give you an escape hatch from the interceptions.
Taurus-Scorpio Intercepted: These are
signs of completion. Aries and Libra (signs of action) would
appear on the house cusps, showing that it is easy for these
people to start things. When it comes to finishing, though,
Taurus has to do with what a person values as well as the desire
to accumulate what is valued. Scorpio is more complicated. It is
the sign of shared values, values we share with those around us.
But it is also the sign of elimination. When our possessions and
values are no longer useful, Scorpio (the sign of death and
rebirth) either fixes or gets rid of them.
When these signs are intercepted, the natural polarity is
broken. In the house with Taurus intercepted, we may constantly
accumulate and seldom eliminate. Since Aries is the sign that
begins the house, there is usually no trouble starting things.
But, they are very difficult to finish. Example: if Taurus is
intercepted in the 5th house (hobbies, sports, games, children,
and, of course, romance) it could indicate someone who is always
starting hobbies or taking up a new sport which they quickly
drop. Their closet is full of all the equipment they bought,
which they cannot bring themselves to throw away. They could
also be very good at starting romances, but be unable to sustain
relationships. They probably do a lot of one-night stands. When
it comes to children, they can be good at bringing them into the
world, but soon loose interest in taking care of them. The
children themselves (especially the first child) may also
develop the habit of starting and not completing. Sometimes, the
first child will be forced into the role of “parent”, made to
assume parental responsibilities.
If Taurus is intercepted in the 5th house, Scorpio must be
intercepted in the 11th house (friends, hopes, and wishes).
Libra would be on the house cusp, so this person would want
relationships with friends to be “charming”, in good taste,
socially acceptable. If anything happens to be wrong with the
friendship, the unpleasantness would get swept under the rug and
not openly confronted. Libra hates to make “scenes.” The Scorpio
ability to confront, and if need be, to end the friendship is
suppressed because of the interception. Perhaps it was the case
that when they were a child, the parents told them that they had
to be nice to their friends no matter what. Somehow, their early
environment didn’t give them the skill to confront issues that
were emotionally “messy.” Naturally, ignoring trouble doesn’t
make it go away forever. Like a volcano (ruled by Scorpio!)
pressure builds and then blows up. Minor problems that could
have been easily solved if taken care of early on, can wind up
destroying a good friendship. Conversely, a “friendship” that
should have been ended a long time ago can continue for years
and cause nothing but suffering.
How do you deal with these problems? Look to the sign and house
placements of Venus and Pluto in your horoscope (and Mars as
well since it co-rules Scorpio). The signs and houses they
occupy show you possible solutions. Check your “duplicated
too. They show functions you can emphasize. The houses these
signs occupy show the life areas that offer ways out.
Intercepted: These are
communication signs. Gemini is also the sign of curiosity.
Wherever Gemini is located in our horoscopes, it gives us the
ability to quickly gather information and objectively.
Sagittarius is the sign of generalities. It takes the details
Gemini gathers and puts them together into principles.
Interception breaks the balance. In the house with Gemini
intercepted, all sorts of useless information will be gathered.
The intercepted Sagittarius can’t help them discriminate between
facts that are significant and those that are drivel. Since
Taurus begins the house, there is also a tendency to be closed
minded (thanks to Patricia Konigsberg for that useful tidbit).
Everything presented to your mind (especially in the area
governed by the house containing the interception) has to be
solid and tangible, or it will tend to be rejected. There is
also a tendency to keep quiet about any idea that could get you
embarrassed in public.
In the opposite house, where Sagittarius is intercepted, Scorpio
is on the cusp. Everything there is heavy. Scorpio likes to get
into things in depth. But with Sagittarius intercepted, you
could find it difficult to express your opinions with
enthusiasm, or even to express them at all! After all, Scorpio
does like to keep secrets. Since Gemini is intercepted on the
other side of the horoscope, you may have a problem coming up
with reasons to back up what you say so your claims can sound
like dogmatic (take it or leave it) assertions. Too often, other
people will leave it and not pay attention to your views.
To deal with the problems of this interception, first look to
the sign, house, and aspects of Mercury and Jupiter. These can
indicate possible solutions. Then check your
duplicated signs. They show more ways out of your
Cancer rules emotions and our home, out personal space.
Capricorn governs our ambitions and our ability to make it “out
there” in the world. Both of them are Cardinal Signs, signs of
action. The signs before them are Mutable Signs, signs of
communication. When Cancer and Capricorn are intercepted, we may
have no trouble talking about what we are going to do. The
problem is actually DOING something!
Compare intercepted Cancer (a cardinal sign) with intercepted
Aries (also a cardinal sign). With an Aries interception, Pisces
(a mutable sign) is on the house cusp, so we can dream easily
enough, but there is trouble taking action to bring the dreams
into reality. With intercepted Cancer, we have another mutable
sign, Gemini, on the house cusp. This means we can
intellectualize, but there is trouble expressing how we feel
about anything. When emotions do come out, they can do so
suddenly and fitfully. With the intercepted Aries, our assertion
and aggressiveness tends to be inappropriate, so other people
don’t accept it. With intercepted Cancer, our emotional
expression is also likely to be inappropriate (usually, it is
some sort of outburst) and that also is a major turn off.
Sagittarius begins the house where Capricorn is intercepted.
Sagittarius is the architect, Capricorn is the builder. Usually,
there is no trouble making plans. The problem is actually DOING
something about them. Capricorn is also the organizer. When it’s
intercepted, our ability to organize and control is blocked.
When it does come out, that cheerful, happy-go-lucky Sagittarius
that everybody sees in us disappears. Suddenly, there is a
Capricorn control freak! Once again, like the inappropriate
aggression of intercepted Aries and the inappropriate emotional
outbursts of intercepted Cancer, the sudden discipline and
desire for control of an intercepted Capricorn is
In the Northern hemisphere, if late Sagittarius is on the
Ascendant, Capricorn is usually intercepted. The people with
this were, in early childhood, forced to suppress their serious,
ambitious side (Capricorn) and put on a happy face
(Sagittarius). In the 7th house where Cancer is intercepted, one
of two things can happen. Either the marriage partner seems to
be a sparkling, talkative, intellectual Gemini (not necessarily
a Gemini Sun sign, but a Gemini type) who later turns into a
complaining, demanding whiner, or the partner pictures us as the
light, breezy Gemini type and WE turn into the negative Cancer
type, with never-ending emotional demands.
An example of intercepted Cancer and Capricorn is Oprah Winfrey.
She has a Sagittarius Ascendant with Capricorn intercepted in
her first house and a Cancer interception in her 7th. Wait a
minute! Oprah is a workaholic. She isn’t all talk and no action,
and she certainly doesn’t suppress her Capricorn drive and
First of all, where is her Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn)? It
makes a close square with her Sun and Venus. That’s her way out.
She got into that “locked room”, that intercepted sign, and
stayed there! Secondly, Sagittarius and Gemini, the signs that
appear on the cusps of the houses containing the interceptions,
are also her
This means that they also offer a way out of her problems. All
talk and no action? Talking IS the way Oprah takes action. She
has a talk show, a magazine, and a book club.
Leo is where we want to be on
stage. Aquarius is where we want to rebel and be original and
“different.” Aquarius, being an Air Sign, gives Leo an awareness
of others so it won’t run roughshod over them. It also gives
originality to Leo’s self-expression. Leo gives a sense of
purpose to the rebellion and originality of Aquarius. Without
this, Aquarius would be merely an eccentric crank, rebelling
only for the sake of rebelling. And that’s what can happen when
these signs are intercepted.
In the house where Leo is intercepted, we find it difficult to
get noticed, take center stage, to get applause. Since Cancer is
on the house cusp, other people will view you in this area as
nurturing and emotional. In other words, they are likely to come
to you for emotional support instead of giving you the attention
you inwardly crave.
In the opposite house where Aquarius is intercepted, the drive
to be original and different is suppressed. Capricorn is on the
house cusp, and that sign is cautious, conservative, and very
concerned with its public image. Every client I have seen with a
Capricorn Ascendant and Aquarius intercepted in the 1st house
learned early in life that their desire to different, to explore
new, strange, and socially unacceptable things was not going to
be tolerated. They covered it up with a Capricorn veneer so they
could appear to be “normal.” And when the pressure builds up,
when they do finally rebel, it could be extreme and
Your Sun and Uranus, rulers of the intercepted signs, could show
the way out of these difficulties. For other ways out, look to
in your horoscope.
Virgo, like Gemini, is ruled by the planet Mercury. Gemini rules
the arms while Virgo rules the small intestine. Gemini gathers
information, Virgo assimilates it. Gemini is fast and can do
more than one thing at a time. In fact, it has to or it gets
bored! By contrast, Virgo is slow, careful, and meticulous. And
it always has questions. Remember “Colombo”, the T.V. detective
played by Peter Falk? The most famous line from the show is
“Just one more thing…” Falk is a Virgo Sun sign. I think one of
the reasons he was so successful with the role of Colombo is
that Colombo is a Virgo type, always looking for tiny details.
While Virgo deals with material reality, Pisces, its polar
opposite, rules imagination and faith, dreams and ideals, things
that cannot be touched, weighed, or measured. The dreams and
ideals of Pisces can never be reached, but striving for them is
what keeps us all going! Years ago, I met a self-made
billionaire. He said that to achieve anything, you had to have a
picture of what you wanted “like watching it on television.”
Pisces rules the ability to have that picture.
With interception, in the house containing Pisces we have great
difficulty discriminating, telling the difference between
achievable goals and total fantasy. There can be great visions
of things we would like to do, but without the help of Virgo, we
don’t know how to do them. The house with the Pisces
interception shows where we can be easily deceived, by ourselves
as well as others.
Virgo is intercepted in the
opposite house, and that’s where we can be too critical and
Without the help from the
intercepted Pisces, Virgo becomes the true cynic, knowing the
price of everything and the value of nothing.
It can work the other way
too. In the house with the Virgo intercept, we may attract people who,
at first, seem sunny, optimistic, and generous (Leo begins the house
where Virgo is intercepted).
It isn’t until we’ve been
sucked in that they start tearing us apart with relentless criticism.
Look to Mercury and Neptune, rulers of the intercepted signs,
for ways out of these difficulties. Look also to the
the ones appearing on the cusps of two houses. These will
provide other ways out.
Houses With Intercepted
Remember that interceptions come in pairs. If a house has an
intercepted sign, the opposite house must have an interception
First and Seventh Houses: The problem
areas are “presenting” yourself (1st house) and partnerships
(7th house). The nature of the intercepted signs will show the
specific problem areas.
Second and Eighth Houses: Your
attitude towards money, possessions, personal values, and, more
importantly, your sense of self-worth needs to be worked on. On
the opposite side of the horoscope, the problem areas are your
attitude towards sex and sexuality in general, as well as how
you relate to the values of all groups you belong to. This
includes everything from your family to society in general.
There could also be problems with inheritance matters or taxes.
The intercepted signs you have here will show the specific
nature of the problems.
Third and Ninth Houses:
Problems with communication and transportation. There could also
be difficulties with education and siblings, all of which are
ruled by these two houses.
Fourth and Tenth Houses:
These are parental houses. Now just about everyone has problems
with parents. That’s part of the human condition. The
intercepted signs, however, will show what particular form these
problem areas with parents will tend to take. But there could
also be difficulties with home life in general, as well as all
matters connected with domestic real estate. The early problems
with parents could easily repeat later in life in the
relationship with the “boss” and in career problems.
Fifth and Eleventh Houses: Something is
blocked in the areas of romance, children, creativity and fun when you
have an intercepted sign in the fifth house.
eleventh house, the problems are with friends and friendship, as well as
with your “hopes and wishes.”
Sixth and Twelfth Houses:
The intercepted sign on your sixth house shows potential
problems with work, relations with co-workers and subordinates,
service that you can give, and also your health. The
interception in your 12th house can indicate how you can
sabotage yourself (the 12th rules self-undoing) as well as
giving clues to problems with your subconscious.