The 12th house is supposed to be the place of retreat, its said to rule all that’s hidden. If the Ascendant is the place where we deliberately project our consciousness outwards into the world, the house behind it apparently contains all the stuff which we keep unconscious.
This is a remarkably old fashioned and unsophisticated view of the human psyche. It suggests that we have 11 houses of active stuff out there, and only one of that is removed from view. It certainly does not fit with much of psychology that portrays humans more like icebergs with only one small part of ourselves actually floating above the water.
The house system is supposed to cover the whole of human life, horary astrology depends on this fact as any question at all about life has to be related to a particular house.
But sometimes when you read the classical texts you get the impression that the cosmic committee that decided everything, got to the end of the house system and asked ” right thats it lads, its knocking off time, anything we’ve forgotten we’ll just bung it in the last one “.
So the 12th gets a whole load of stuff that couldn’t be shoehorned in elsewhere, including dreams, intuition and secrets, basically anything that goes on behind the scenes whatever that means.
It was called the house of ” self undoing “, by the so called ancients who probably felt that even looking into the 12th house would reveal such a Pandora’s box that you’d probably never come back out again.
It supposedly rules confinement, whether in hospitals, prisons or monasteries as well as secret enemies and the one word that could surely exist equally anywhere round the wheel – suffering.
Capricorn Research has an ambivalent relationship with the 12th. Some house systems place both my Sun and Moon there, but for someone who spent the best part of 40 years engaged in a solo project in astrological research without sharing any of it with the world until Pluto forced me to, maybe many of the classic attributes of the 12th house do apply.
On the other hand, the headline finding of said research was that in the charts of over 20,000 famous people the 12th house is by some distance the most frequent position for the Sun.
So if all these people were trying to hide their light, they weren’t trying very hard. In what way does Madonna, for example fit the image of someone with 4 planets in the 12th ?
But every so often you come across someone whose life seems to fit the hidden 12th idea very well.
Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of the website WikiLeaks, which achieved particular prominence when it published U.S. military and diplomatic documents. Assange has been under investigation in the United States since that time. Facing extradition to Sweden, for sexual offences that he is alleged to have committed, Assange sought refuge at the Embassy of Ecuador in London and was granted political asylum by Ecuador.
For the last 3 years Julian Assange has lived effectively in prison, although it has been a very comfortable one and looks to have saved him from more trouble.
So lets see if we can pick our way through some of this by looking at his chart.
There are some major themes there. As well as the Moon in the 12th house, the imprisonment theme is backed up by the two planets that would best fit it, Saturn and Neptune.
Neptune is the principle of retreat, of getting away from the harsh reality of the world, of isolation and secret arrangements.
Neptune is closely conjunct Assange’s Ascendant so much of his life would be an expression of this energy. Neptune fits very well with the classic idea of a hacker, working away in secret trying to establish an idealistic truth about something or depending on your loyalties an act of subterfuge trying undermine the legitimate authorities.
Saturn is closely opposite Neptune and the Ascendant.
Saturn is the principle of restraint, of containment, limitation and obstruction. The very idea of being held in prison is Saturnian.
But there’s even more in the chart. If there’s one house that’s even less clear and harder to get a handle on than the 12th its the 8th.
The 8th house is said to rule sex, death and other people’s money. Its a mysterious house full of all kinds of depth and hidden activities much like the 8th sign Scorpio.
It also has a connection with spying. Some interesting examples of this can be seen in the charts of Anthony Blunt and George Blake, a couple of notorious double agents – for more information on this read Anthony Blunt – The Art of Espionage.
So with the Sun in the 8th house and the Moon in the 8th sign we can see Assange’s background in terms of the release of forbidden information and the American investigations with a view to prosecuting him under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Its also true that sexual assault would be an 8th house matter, and so Assange faces extradition to face charges of sexual offences.
Under normal circumstances you might expect that one individual would lose under these pressures and end up in prison in Sweden or the USA, but Julian Assange has a nice flowing, harmonious trine between his Sun in the 8th and his Moon in the 12th.
This means that he may well be in some kind of prison situation but its definitely one that suits him.
So when would all this happen ? Pluto was opposite Assange’s Sun and sextile his Moon in 2012 – 13.
In June 2012, facing extradition to Sweden, Assange was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.
Julian Assange is famous mainly for being in a prison of his own creation. Perhaps the 12th house is the place of fame after all.