Flex and Flow
The Cadent Houses of the Horoscope are the third and final classification of Houses in the chart. The Cadent Houses are the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th, immediately following the succedent Houses. Traditionally astrologers have considered these houses to be the least potent in the chart, however, in practice they represent something more transitory that can flex or flow, somewhat consistent with the mode of Mutability. These Houses represent a shift or transition from one thing to another or a progression through a phase of life.
The natural signs for each of the Cadent Houses are all mutable though each one corresponds to a different element, giving some indication of the qualities inherent in each. The 3rd House is associated with Gemini and Air; the 6th linked to Virgo and Earth; the 9th connected with Sagittarius and Fire; and the 12th with Pisces and Water. Although a comparison of House, Sign, Element and Mode should not be considered an exact correlation or formula, the qualities reflected by these signifiers do offer good points of reference towards understanding the horoscope.
The Energy of a Shift
The Cadent Houses represent areas of life characterized by human relationships and various transitional matters. It is the Cadent Houses where a shift from one quadrant of the horoscope to the next takes place. The flow of life around the horoscope (as shown in the diagram below) illustrates the transition between the quadrants with the Cadent House in the last position of each.
The facets of life represented by the Houses of personal identity evolve into those of personal expression signifying the transition from childhood to youth. Here we learn how to communicate and get along with others before we can develop our social identity in the wider world. With life experience we mature, and social expression as reflected by the Houses of the 4th quadrant is the result of broader connections, learning and career. The cycle continues from the 12th House to the 1st where might further develop and grow.
The planets residing in Cadent Houses, though not considered as potent as those in angular or succedent Houses, have a very definite role to play in the complete horoscope. Their influence will be suggested by the sign they occupy and the aspects they make to other parts of the chart.
I invite you to look at your own chart. Do you have planets residing in the Cadent Houses? If so, how does your life experience reflect the qualities suggested? It might also be interesting to consider the number of planets within each category and see whether the balance (or imbalance) has played a role in your life thus far.