Leo the Gatekeeper & Intercepted Virgo – Reader Question

After the previous post on Virgo archetype, someone emailed me to ask about her natal configuration:

“I’d be interested to see what you thought of my Virgo ‘set up’. I have Leo rising at 23 degrees, Virgo intercepted in the first house. Mars at 7 degrees Virgo, Pluto at 19 degrees Virgo and Uranus at 22 degrees Virgo. Pluto and Uranus are opposed by Moon, Chiron, Saturn in Pisces in the 7th.”

I will use the answer to discuss the interception of signs.

1) Intercepted Virgo: [For beginners, interception means the entire sign is contained within a single house. In this case Leo is on the 1st house cusp, and probably Libra is on the 2nd house cusp, thus containing the whole sign of Virgo within the 1st house.]

Whenever a sign is intercepted, often there is a difficulty accessing its energy directly. Consider the sign on the cusp (in this case, Leo) as the gatekeeper, and the intercepted sign (Virgo) as someone living deep within the house, in a room with no windows. Before you can let the Virgin out of the house, you need to be on friendly terms with the gatekeeper.

So in the above example, this lady needs to be comfortable with expressing the Leo energy (i.e. self love, enthusiasm, creativity & generous expression of emotions) before the Virgo attributes can shine.

2) Gatekeeper (i.e. sign on the cusp) can pose a challenge: Often the challenge with interception is to successfully find a blend of two incompatible energies (in this case, Leo & Virgo.) One or the other won’t do – both signs need to be successfully expressed. This calls for some time to adjust & refine the approach throughout your life, before you can find what works for you.

In the example given, the Pisces Moon is under quite a bit of stress (from Saturn, Uranus, Pluto & Chiron) which suggests interruption in the nurturing bond with the caretaker.

Depending on how deep the wound is, there will be a varying degree of challenge in self-acceptance and self love. This in turn will affect how comfortable one is to express the child-like enthusiasm associated with Leo (which in turn will affect how one behaves in intimate relationships, etc.)

3) If you skip the gatekeeper, the power diminishes: if the growth path of Leo is skipped (i.e. no effort is made to boldly express one’s passion), you may express the Virgo energy in its lower form – i.e. utilizing your analytical skills for unsatisfying careers, or being lost in criticizing and analyzing yourself.

Summary & Further Thoughts

Here the ideal blend of two energies results in a bold expression of one’s analytical intelligence, used to gain personal significance in one’s field. The ego is grounded in reality and service, but is free from paralyzing self doubt. You express yourself through the quality of your work.

We can do this exercise with any intercepted signs – because the two consecutive signs are often incompatible in nature, it calls for a more creative expression to successfully blend together. In my case I have Pisces rising with Aries intercepted, and self assertion must blend with a degree of compassion – otherwise it just doesn’t work…So Pisces is the gatekeeper for me.

If you have intercepted signs in your horoscope and would like to try the exercise, please feel free to share comments or send me an email.

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or schedule a consultation.


  1. Hello Hiroki, that was quite helpful resonated with my chart, but I was wondering if you could provide any more insight. It’s a bit complex for me and would be very much appreciated.
    My chart is intercepted in the 1st and 7th houses, Aquarius rising 20 degrees. My sun, moon, and mars are all in the 7th house in virgo, my first house is inactive.
    Gemini is the 4th & 5th house ruler, and Sagittarius rules 10th and 11th.
    Mercury and Venus are in libra in the 8th, Scorpio in Pluto in the 9th, Jupiter in cancer in the 5th, and The remaining S,U, & N are in Capricorn in the 11th.
    Relationships and self expression have always been weak spots but also what I need to understand and express myself.
    Is there anything that stands out from the brief run down above? It’s mainly the 3 personal planets and what they are connected to that I can’t seem to piece together objectively. Thank you for your time.

  2. Nice analysis, I found the post very helpful!
    I have a Cap rising at 20° conjuct Mars in Cap 17° (end of 12th), Venus in Cap 23° in 1st and Neptune in Cap 27°. In my 1st house I also have Intercepted Aquarius with Jupiter in 16° Aqua and Uranus in 5° Aqua.
    My 7th house cusp is Cancer and Leo intercepted but I have no planets there.
    I think Cancer and Leo have been difficult energies for me to express and I kept relating with people that have major Cancer or Leo and then I would find out. But I was trying to learn from them these things. And especially confidence and Leo traits. It didn’t work out very well cause sometimes we didn’t not fit together. They would outshine me and I didn’t like that. Obviously I needed to do more internal work.
    At another point I was burnt out in general and being very new into astrology and trying to blame my situation to something I said it was the Cap stellium (moon conjuct mercury in Cap in 12th too). And a Sag sun conjuct Pluto in 11th.
    So when I found out I have Aquarius interception it felt like the truth and without further thinking I decided at act rebellious without a cause.
    Its been two years since then and now I am learning to work step by step in a healthy way my charts energies. Not to mention I recently found out I went and am going through Pluto and Saturn transits.

    • Hi Nasia, thank you for sharing your experience! Yeah, the expressiveness of these intercepted Leo-Aquarius axis will need to be tempered with the emotional centeredness of Cancer-Capricorn axis.

  3. Hello hiroki,
    Very interesting article because i also have virgo (with sun-mercury-jupiter triple conjunction) intercepted but in 7th house. Would that mean that a large part of my personality isnt accessable because i need to learn leo traits?

  4. Thank you very much Hiroki, for taking the time to explain. Everything you wrote is spot on. I’ve seen that play out in my relationships. Although in the past I could become a little extreme with helping (pluto conjunct venus maybe? Who knows…) my partners. But as I’ve gotten older, my discerning capabilities have taught me how much to give without being used in the process, because it has happened.
    From the creative perspective, my family and I have started an event decor business. I feel totally free in what I’m doing, and Yes Yes Yes, being as detailed as I am, helps to pull the entire event together. I don’t miss a thing and my family relies on me for that. So I’m grateful for the gift. Also, my NN/SN axis is in Pisces/Virgo in 10th and 4th houses, but my Venus/Pluto in Virgo conjuncts that SN by degree. So you have helped me to understand my purpose especially when it comes to the career choices I’ve made. So thank you again, for responding.

  5. Hmm, I apologize for providing to much information. Would it be to much to ask for you to just explain Virgo on the cusp of the 5th house with Libra intercepted there? I saw where someone else asked about Virgo Rising with Libra intercepted in the 1st. However I would like to understand how it comes across in the 5th.
    Thanks for replying earlier and for your time.

    • Hi Nikki,

      5th house is important when considering how you express love and creativity. In your case, because Libra is intercepted in the 5th house with Virgo on the house cusp, the suggested need is for you to develop Virgoan qualities such as clear, practical and detail oriented perception in order to unlock Libran qualities such as the ability to please others and be appreciated.

      In relationships this means a helpful attitude of service will lead to positive interaction. In creativity, development of practical skills and attention to detail will help unlock the artistic inspiration you might feel.

  6. Hi Hiroki, like you I have Libra mercury intercepted with Virgo on the cusp. Mine is a little more complicated to me it seems. I hope you can explain mine to me. I have Virgo at 23 deg 06 on the cusp of the 5th house with Pluto at 25 deg 54 and Venus at 26 deg 52 in Virgo. All of my Libra planets are intercepted starting with my Mercury at 3 deg 30, Uranus at 5 deg 29, Jupiter at 17 deg 32 and Sun at 21 deg 31. In the 11th house Aries is intercepted and I only have Chiron at 3 deg 49 and my part of fortune if that counts at 24 deg 53. My Asc is 11 deg Gemini and my Moon is 8 deg Sag in 6th house but opposite my ascendant. My MC is Aquarius and IC Leo. I have recently noticed that all of my angle Rulers are in Libra in that interception. I am not sure how to interpret this. Thanks Nikki

    • Hi Nikki,

      Those are way too many measurements for me to look at succinctly. Please schedule a consultation if you’d like me to take a closer look at your horoscope.

  7. anonymous says

    hi hiroki..i wonder what could it mean if i have Virgo rising and intercepted Libra in 1st house and how does it affects a planet (i have Moon in Libra 1st house).

    • Hi anonymous, it suggests you need to master the quality of Virgo rising (that of service as well as detailed, honest look at reality) in order to fully express the talent of the intercepted Libra Moon (the ability to please and attract others).

  8. Hi Hiroki – This is very interesting, I hope you can help me understand this concept a little bit more, especially with planets in the intercepted signs, which is my case.

    I have Leo rising (ASC in 26° Leo 46′), with Virgo intercepted in the first house, my sun at 02° Virgo 03′ and Mercury 20° Virgo 24′ Rx. And Pisces intercepted in 7th house with no planets.

    How does this affect my sun and mercury? How can I make them function well?


    • Hi Adriano,

      The key seems to be in bold and generous self expression that allows all you know to shine. How is this true for you? It helps to think in terms of your own experience.

  9. Wow! I love this, you’ve done an amazing job explaining it and it is by far the best explanation of intercepted signs/planets I have ever read! Big big props to you, I’ve quoted you on my facebook page “Heal with Astrology”, given you credit and posted a link to your site.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for commenting! Great job on your Facebook page – I subscribed to (liked) your page and commented on your post just now. Looking forward to reading more about evolutionary and karmic astrology.

  10. sorry i mean her ist house is all pices and aries. her 2nd house is taurus.

  11. my daughter has 29deg aquarius rising, she has saturn in 1st 23 pic. opp uranus conj. pluto. all square sun in sag in tenth. (1966 birth.) so her 1st house is all pic. and taurus , The 2nd house is 00deg 0-5′ taurus. so does this mean her gatekeeper is uranus ? i have never heard of this before.

    • Hi Maria,

      If I understand you correctly, your daughter has 29 Aquarius rising, and Pisces AND Aries are both intercepted (because Taurus is on the 2nd house cusp). This happens when someone is born in an extremely Northern (or Southern) latitude. If we go with the thesis in this article, then yes, her gatekeeper would be Aquarius – she would need to be comfortable with its energy (intellectual, social, helpful) first before she can comfortably access the energies of the other 2 signs. It’s an extreme scenario so I’m curious to see if that makes sense to her. Let me know if you have more insights.

      Hiroki Niizato

  12. Yes I have my Sag. (5th house) intercepted…also gemini 11th house…In sagg.I have also my Vertex and Sun moon midpoint…In 5th shorpio I have my Mars at 29th degree, and A stellium in 4th also in shorpio venus mercurius neptun and sun…

  13. This is very enlightening… I haven’t actually given much thought to this before till now. I knew I had intercepted signs (Virgo in the 3rd and Pisces in the 9th) but didn’t really think that it mattered since I didn’t have any planets in them. But it only occured to me just recently that it had and impact in my life – you see my chart’s a locomotive chart and the empty space midpoint of my chart is in Virgo. This midpoint is really given much emphasis in locomotive charts (something we locomotive types seek). But I couldn’t quite capture or understand this point (in Virgo, in fact out of all the signs in the zodiac I don’t understand virgos or pisces at all). So for 20+ years of my life I’m running everywhere but never getting anywhere… That is until Neptune transited Pisces and Mars into Virgo. My life has finally found some semblance of direction.

  14. Hi Hiroki,
    Informative thread. My Sun is in Taurus in the 10th house, and it is intercepted. I have Aries in Midheaven at 25degrees, and Venus in Aries in 9th house 16 degrees. I have Mars in Leo at 5degrees conjunct my ascendent at 7 degrees Leo. I guess Sun rules Leo, and Mars is the Gate Keeper. So I guess I have to get in touch with that Mars of mine? Career has become a big issue now (Jupiter is transit Taurus and I am about to get laid off from where I am – so I am trying to create something better). Thank you for the insight -Kathryn

    • Hi Kathryn,

      Yes, Mars the ruler of Midheaven would be the key here, along with Venus, which is the dispositor of the Taurus Sun. For Mars we could think of values such as self assertion, energetic promotion of an idea, product, or yourself – Mars is the hunter, representing a focused pursuit of your goal no matter what obstacles or rejections you may encounter. So your Venus (aesthetics and social skills) somehow needs to be utilized along with such Martial energy.


  15. Palubiloe says

    i was wondering if you would be able to help me understand this concept within the realms of my own natal chart. i have a libra rise, but my houses don’t skip signs until the fourth which is capricorn and then the tenth which is cancer; so i’m pretty sure i have aquarius intercepted in the fourth and leo intercepted in the tenth. would you be able to give some opinions on positive self expression or anything of the likes?

    • Let’s take a look at just one side – the intercepted Leo in the 10th house, which has Cancer on the cusp (Midheaven.) As Cancer is the gatekeeper in your case, this suggests that your self expression, humor and self-love (Leo) needs to be expressed through Cancerian ways, which is to say in a nurturing and empathetic manner. This may mean that there is an element of shyness (Cancer) that occasionally gets in the way of Leonine exuberance, just like how Capricorn’s seriousness (as the gatekeeper on the opposite side) may sometimes dampen the social impulse of Aquarius. The positive expression comes when you can express yourself (Leo) in a genuine, caring manner (Cancer.)

  16. Dave and Allie,

    I’m sorry to hear about your relationship ending. Interceptions do not affect romantic relationships by themselves, and therefore cannot be used to describe your current predicament.

  17. Hiroki, I am new to reading Natal Charts. I am a Pisces/Aries Cusp (3/23). My Sun sign Aries is in the 1st House (Sun 02° Aries 43′), Piscs is in the 12th House (Mercury 05° Pisces 44′). ASC is 20° Pisces 7′. Libra is of course also intercepted in the 7th House (Neptune 11° Libra 52′). I have always felt the Pisces influence, strongly. A recent relationship ended with my Pisces partner stating that under stress, I swing from “extreme niceness to anger”. Friends tell me I give too much. I feel very disconnected and see I become quickly frustrated. The Natal chart “interceptions” appear to be significant, but are they? What are the implications of the interception of my Sun Sign Aries in the 1st House and the impact on my romantic relationships, 7th House? Thank You, Allie

  18. Hiroki, My Sun, Moon , Mercury (all in 10th House), and MC are in Pisces. My Scorpio is intercepted in the 5th House (5th House contains: Neptune 00 Scorpio 00’, and Saturn 02 Sagittarius 49’). And, Taurus is intercepted in the 11th House (11th House contains Venus 04 Taurus 29′). What is the impact of the interceptions and will I find a romantic relationship that sticks. I’ve been divorced twice and have has a 4 yr relationship that ended. Best Regards, Dave

  19. Hiroki Niizato says

    Samir: I would guess that what you're expressing does not have to do with the degrees of house cusps, but with the rest of your horoscope. There is a reason for the shyness, but it doesn't come from the factors you described.

    Best regards,

  20. Hiroki, this is so enlightening, thanks for sharing! :-)

    I don't have interceptions in my chart, but I think I do have "gatekeepers": Asc is 23°Leo, 2nd is 18°Vir, 3rd is 17°Lib, 4th is 20°Sco, 5th is 23°Sag and 6th is 25°Cap. If you realize, all around the last degrees of signs.

    Pretty much of my personality is as such: I can be the clown of the party once my shyness is overcome; but it's confusing given the fact that natal Sun is in Leo and Mars is in Virgo…

    But then there's the MC (in Taurus): my childhood was pretty influenced by my mother and an uncle (Taurians) and growing up, after my teens, Gemini people influenced me the most.

    So, in my case, does it work the same as in Interceptions? Does it matter that the Houses start in the late degrees of a sign? When interpreting other's charts, should I do both delineations (gatekeeper/prisoner, if you allow me the allegory) to get more precise?

  21. Hiroki Niizato says

    Thank you for corroborating!


  22. this is so true for me! my virgo sun is intercepted in the 10th house. i currently have a day job that uses my virgo skills but my real dream is to have a creative career (i'm a musician and graphic designer) where i can really express myself.

  23. Hiroki Niizato says

    That's a great question. Integration occurs after much conscious practice, and I think that would be the goal.

    In my case the natural impulse was to be sensitive about what others thought, but I couldn't be helpful if I didn't voice the truth of the situation (e.g. the person might be making a mistake, etc.)

    So I'm helpfully honest but not brutally so, and that's a kind of integration of Virgo/Libra energies.


    • Hi Hiroki,
      I appreciate you shedding some light on intercepted signs.
      I have the Sun in intercepted Virgo in the 8th house at 14 deg. with Venus in Leo 29 deg. in the 8th house being the gatekeeper.

      How do they affect my Mars, Venus and/or Virgo energy?

      How can I gain access to them?

  24. Cool. So I guess you could say your Mercury talents came through when you opened your door/sign on the cusp. My Mercury is intercepted in Taurus, and looking back it seems like I can only access that mental steadiness and stamina when I've approached a goal or situation with my Aries MC characteristics. So is the gatekeeper forever going to be the lead-in to access those traits, or will it eventually be integrated?

  25. Hiroki Niizato says

    I think so – in much the same way as the intercepted sign, an adjustment is called for before a fully authentic expression.

    My intercepted Mercury in Libra, for example, didn't function all that well by my being just a nice guy – but it became a strong asset once I incorporated it with practical discernment about people.

    Thanks for asking.

  26. reefaround says

    This is really interesting, thanks. I have Pisces and Virgo intercepted in the first and 7th, respectively. What about the planets that are contained within the intercepted houses? Does interception affect their energy and expression in any way?

  27. Hiroki Niizato says

    Well said – thank you for corroborating!

  28. This is interesting. Of course, with any intercepted sign, there will always be an interception of it's opposite sign. My intercepted signs are Scorpio in the 4th house and Taurus in the 10th house. So my 10th house gatekeeper is Aries and 4th house gatekeeper is Libra. I'm not really sure how to interpret. I would say that I identified with those cardinal signs very early on in those houses (maybe because my MC/IC axis is heavily aspected). I was (and can still be) extremely impulsive and impatient when it came to getting what I wanted in life or reaching goals (Aries MC). I had no staying power (Taurus intercepted) if I was not absolutely passionate about it. And Libra on the IC led me to be so diplomatic and equivocal growing up, it was very hard for me to settle to even choose my goals. It was also difficult develop much depth with my family (Scorpio intercepted). I always felt disconnected in a way…at least until I got toward my teenage years. I've definitely balanced those out and accessed my intercepted signs.

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