Posts Tagged ‘Twelfth house’

DISCLAIMER: If you dislike whining or witnessing an orgy of self-lashing, DON’T read this! You’ve been warned!

FeatherdusterI have my natal Sun in the sixth forming a T-Square with Mars in the third opposing Moon in the Ninth. I was discussing this with Matt who describes the sun in a T-Square as “agitated”. He also said, “A happy sixth house Sun is much more likely to do its job well… an agitated one paces and doesn’t sleep and smokes.” Since the sixth house rules service, the daily routine and health, you can imagine how it would feel if it wasn’t doing its job well, or unable to maintain a perfect daily routine or God forbid! indulging in unhealthy habits.

I’m very clear about how I want my life to be. My trusty Virgo Mercury, also in the sixth, helpfully makes lists for me and formulates schedules that, if followed, would make it all possible. Oh yeah, I can have the perfect life with everything in its place, everything done on time and most important of all, everything dust-free! But it would also make me a drudge with no room for spontaneity or indulgence. A perfect life, but would it be worth living?

My idea of beauty is spotless glass. But life is not like that, it’s not crystalline, its amorphous. And dusty! And I’m full of guilt. Because I’m sitting here writing this while there are bookshelves to be dusted, laundry to be put away, emails to be answered, tasks to be crossed off lists. It’s endless. I can’t argue convincingly about the immortality of the soul or existence of true love, but I sure can tell you that things to be done…are perpetual, endless, immortal.

When I was a kid, I loved going around the house dusting every surface I could reach, arranging kitchen jars in neat rows, happily vacuuming carpets. My mom never had to ask me to help, I was eager to make our home as perfect as it could get. I even dusted the leaves of her house-plants! I gave up when I was sixteen because the dust would return, the jars would move into disarray again and the carpets would need another round of vacuuming. The realization that, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get things to stay clean and perfect was the end of my innocence. I still haven’t gotten over it. I’ve “outsourced” as much of the housework as I can. But I still haven’t been able to fully escape the clutches of the “things that must be done” monster.

Raphael says that my cadent Mars “procrastinates.” And, as always, Raphael is right. As he pointed out, my T-Square works hard mentally. I get a high from writing, but if I spot something in my home that needs to be done, then the writing becomes a guilty pleasure. More guilt than pleasure.

I have a friend, Mercury and Venus in Virgo, who manifests the Virgo energy splendidly. From her perfectly applied eyeliner to her strict maintenance of her daily rather punishing schedule, she manifests this energy better than anyone I know. Since she is very picky about how she wants things in her house, she abhors domestic help and does a lot of chores on her own. She also has a full-time job. She gets taut as a stretched wire if her schedule gets slightly disrupted and is prone to falling sick ever so often. This is the dark side of Virgo: becoming a slave to routine, creating a well-ordered life that you don’t enjoy, turning brittle and liable to shatter easily. 

But any energy ill-expressed has a dark side. And before you dismiss Virgo or the importance of the sixth house, have you considered how very essential it is? Think of freshly laundered linen; soft clean cotton sheets; a perfectly written post that has no errors (don’t look at me); sparkling window panes; being in a space that is both clean and neatly arranged, which soothes the senses and the spirit. For creativity to flourish, it needs a crucible of structure to hold it while it gestates and is birthed. Without our daily routines, we are like debris floating on the surface of a chaotic sea. Without the contrast of “work” there is no perception of “reward,” no enjoyment of “pleasures.” And a diseased body is no vehicle for fun and pleasure. 

I’m here today to make my peace with my sixth house destiny, because even as I rant and rave, I know this: In the twelfth, we leave the material behind for the spiritual; but in the sixth, we manifest the spiritual and the sacred as material. In the twelfth, quiet meditation brings peace; but in the sixth, peace comes from living out the fact that cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness. 

Let me know what you think. I’ve got to go now, some dusting to do!


Note: Transiting Sun is currently in my sixth and in a few hours will conjunct its natal degree.

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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:

Unconscious*Collective Unconscious*Self-undoing*Secrets

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.

MeditationFor 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

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