The fundamental signification of the eleventh house is receiving love, being the opposite of the 5th house of giving love. This idea manifests in various ways.
The first of these is friends. We get love from friends, differently from the romantic love that we give and get from our partner or spouse, which is the domain of the 7th house. But both the 5th and the 11th house are related to the 7th because the 5th house of loving leads to the 7th house of romantic attachment and long-term relationship, which then over time develops into friendship, the domain of the 11th house. The happiest and most successful marriages start with love but thrive on friendship.
The extent and quality of our friendships, and the (non-romantic) love we need and get from others can be gauged from the 11th house. Actor Tom Hanks, arguably the most popular actor in Hollywood (everyone likes him), has Moon in Leo in the 11th house. Being in Leo, this Moon needs to be loved and admired and adulated, and Hanks has got all of this in spades.
Jupiter in the 11th house is likely to have a large friend circle. The generosity of spirit that Jupiter typically exhibits is a magnetic influence, attracting people who simply like to be around the Jupiter person because they feel good. In contrast Saturn in the 11th house might make for a small handful of “real” friends, because Saturn is demanding and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Venus in the 11th house is also likely to attract many friends, like Jupiter, since Venus is all about relating, and it very much enjoys building and sustaining connections. And Mars in the 11th house might have few friends, like Saturn, because Mars’s innate aggression and combativeness might make others uncomfortable.
Before moving on to the next signification, I would like to add acquaintances to the mix. An acquaintance is a lesser friend (what sociologists call a “weak tie”), on whom we might not rely so much as on a friend, but who is still in our circle of people we like to talk to, maybe meet occasionally for lunch or coffee, and generally stay in touch. The Jupiter in 11th house example I mentioned above is the kind of person who may have a large circle of acquaintances, on top of a core group of friends. But Saturn is less likely to indulge. Research has shown that such weak ties are especially important for professional growth, because acquaintances occupy different worlds than you (unlike friends), and are therefore connected to a much wider network of opportunities.
Another signification of the 11th house are wishes and hopes, goals and objectives. These are the kinds of wants and desires that keep us motivated, that give us a reason to go on. The 11th house is therefore the place to analyze when we are looking for what it would take to attain our goals, and whether we will be successful. With support from Jupiter (the great benefic!), goals are easier to attain because there will be fewer obstacles, but the success may not last. With Saturn’s influence success may be harder to come by, but when we do achieve our objectives, the success will be longer lasting. So as always, a good balance of Jupiterian and Saturnian influences makes for the best outcome.
A related signification of the 11th house are rewards (money, power, victory) and recognition (certificates, titles, respect), arising from effort expended toward goals. Victory in an election, success in an exam, graduating college with honors, admission to a prestigious college in the face of stiff competition are all tied to the 11th house.
Since Aquarius is the natural 11th house sign, some Aquarius significations also color the qualities of the 11th house. One of these is idealism: people with an emphasized 11th house tend to be idealistic. They have a strong sense of how things should be, and will tend to formulate and stick to guiding principles in life, no matter which way the wind blows. Another Aquarius-drawn signification is championing causes. If you want someone who can draw people together into fighting for a cause, a strong 11th house person is a good bet.
It’s important to remember that not all significations will necessarily play out in the life. Much depends on other factors in the horoscope. So a Sun in Scorpio person may not have many friends, even with Jupiter in the 11th house, because they are naturally private in nature. But compared to other Scorpio Sun’s they may have more friends, because the Jupiterian impulse makes them want to cultivate friendships (acquiantces may be a stretch!) despite their natural reserve.
Much also depends on the condition of the ruler of the 11th house (sign and house placement, and aspects), since the ruler of a house “owns” the house and its activities. (I will visit this in a later post.) So, as much as we would like the horoscope to give us simple and direct answers, we need to acknowledge the multiplicity of factors that jostle with each other. Not to mention, free will and agency will play a part. If you don’t compete, you’re not going to win. And if don’t like people, you will not be much inclined to make friends or acquaintances.