I have a heavily tenanted sixth house and its manifestations form a big part of my life. My work involves being good with and focused on details and I have about a dozen people reporting to me. In addition, I have one-third that number working in my home and two pets. Although it’s great to have a lot of help, things don’t happen magically just because you’ve assigned a task to someone. You have to be present to answer questions and to troubleshoot. Apart from that, like anyone else, I have my share of paperwork and daily chores that must be done. I’m finding that having a life leaves very little time for actually living.
Lately, I’ve been feeling very dissatisfied with the way I’ve been dealing with the details of my personal and domestic life. If I read a book, spend an evening out, surf as much as I want, wake up late, it is done at the cost of chores that have multiplied. I remember reading that an unfinished task, since it needs to be remembered, exerts psychological strain on us. It was in a book on efficiency (how much more sixth house can you get?). The book advised that it’s best to either do a task right away or make a written note of it so that there is no pressure to remember. I didn’t need to read that book, I’ve been making lists and schedules since I was in school. Anyone can make a to-do list, but sticking to it is hard work. Life is chaotic, amorphous and full of the unexpected. And a list of things to do needs to be perpetually updated. It can get overwhelming. There are times when you want to do absolutely nothing and just be. I felt overhwlemed a while back and soon after that I fell ill.
Looking back, I see a connection: when the world is too much with me, I get ill so that I can withdraw, be alone, do nothing, face no questions, address no demands. And it is very peaceful. Being alone restores my soul, after that I’m ready to deal with whatever the world throws at me. Till I get sick again. It’s a vicious circle and so unnecessary.
One of my T-Squares results from an opposition in the third and ninth squared by a planet in the sixth. The “empty leg” of the T-Square in the twelfth house. And it is in this house that I’ve found a solution for the ills that plague me. Although I thrive on communication (third house), there are times when my ringing phone seems like another chore to be taken care of. Even calls from family and friends seem like something to be endured rather than enjoyed. I choose to attend to these because I want my relationships to endure. But it drains me. It would help if we could hang psychic “Do not Disturb” signs on ourselves and for that period of time we could be left alone.
A week ago, I wanted to write about the sixth house because it looms so large for me. I started on it, did some research. But since last evening, I find myself thinking more about the twelfth. Because that’s what I need, to bring the twelfth alive to counteract the sixth. Incidentally, the 5-Aug lunar eclipse was conjunct my twelfth house cusp. Carol Rushman says, in The Art of Predictive Astrology, eclipses are more powerful when they touch a house cusp. It’s as I write this that I realize that the two recent eclipses have highlighted areas in my chart and life that I’d been examining at that time with dissatisfaction. And after the eclipses were past, my understanding of the issues involved crystallized, showing me effective ways to deal with things.
Now let’s move on to the twelfth, shall we? Excelsior! Onwards and upwards! Beg your pardon! My Jupiter is irrepressible! To continue: Like a good, careful, research-oriented Virgo Mercury in the sixth, I’ve made a list of key words for the twelfth house:
Hospitals*Prisons* Monasteries*Ashrams*Hidden enemies*Dreams
Retreats*Withdrawal*Sorrow*The past*Blind spot*Sacrifice*Meditation
I’ve always been more of a Maslow-and-Skinner kind of gal; the Jungian Collective Unconscious and the Freudian unconscious have never interested me. I don’t really get these concepts nor have I tried to. But they fall in the domain of the twelfth, and perhaps the time has come to get to know them. But how, cry my Virgo planets. I’m afraid I don’t know how. It’s what buried deep underneath. Underneath what? And what is it? Is it thoughts? Memories? What form is it in and how does one get access to it? Why do I care? Because knowing our unconscious and its motivations is a must if we want to keep a handle on “self-undoing.” If you want a complete understanding of yourself, you need to know what drives you.
For now, I’m giving up on dredging issues from this great unknown. Surrender is also very twelfth, by the way. There are other ways to cater to the twelfth: I’ll make place for some unstructured guilt-free time for myself. And during this time, I will not multi-task. That is, take a complete break from all sixth house activities. Sort of mentally float wherever I please, with no specific purpose other than the fact that it is where my spirit wants to go. I will allow myself to be, and learn to wait and receive. And more than anything else, during this time, I will make sure I’m alone. What I want to capture for myself is beautifully expressed in William Butler Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree:
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core
I hope Yeats made it and found some peace, and I hope I’m similarly blessed. And, who knows, with Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune currently transiting my twelfth, in the alone-ness of my being, my unconscious mind might finally peep out and we might finally get to know each other.
Addendum: My friend and wise astrologer Jo Tracey’s question just made me realize that my Progressed Moon’s moved into the twelfth house of my natal chart! Thanks, Jo! That explains why an extrovert like me has been going around thinking, “I want to be alone.”
Picture from Wikimedia Commons