Contributed by Antonio Grub
THE TWELVE PRINCIPLES
Spirit meeting Body; Earth Meeting Sky; First Breath; Vitality; the Fool, Instinct, Desire, Drive;
the Newcomer, Adam, East): 1st House, Ascendant; Hourmarker, Mars, Aries
The Senses and Pleasure Principle, Hedonism, Security, Foundational Confidence, Appetite,
Taste (Music, Song, Beauty Experienced as Sensory Pleasure, What is “Mine,” Needs, Value,
Mellifluous Voice of the Mother Figure, Survival, Erotic Sensation, Money, Comfort, Leisure,
Assets, Eating): 2nd House, Venus/the Earth, Taurus; the Garden of Eden as Locale
The Primordial Symbolic Order, Poetic Thought; Primal Intellect, Chora or the
“Semiotic” (Logos; Adam Naming the Things God has Provided; Signs, Natural Symbols;
Ordering; Use of Hands; Walking; Curiosity; Making Connections): 3rd House, Mercury, Gemini
The Archetype of the Mother (Deep Past, Ancestors, Infancy): 4th House as seat of Myth, Womb,
the Well of Experience, the Canon of Literature, Inherited Dreams, DNA, Instinct, Emotion,
Ancient Rites, the Subject Matter of Art, One’s “Roots,” Home, Where one is Comfortable
retiring for Sleep; the Heartbeat, Rhythm as the Basis of Poetry and Music; Area between the
Symbolic and Imaginary Orders, between the 3rd and 5th; the Moon; Cancer; Close Bond of
Adam and Eve before abjection from the Garden
The Imaginary Order; Mirror Stage, the Ideal Self (Identity, Ego, Initial Mastery, the Specular
Image, the Will to Make Images, Fictions, Drama; Dress-up; Identification; Relatability;
Performance; the Apollonian Principle; The Solar Hero; Pageantry; the Signified as opposed to
Signifier; Narcissism; Consciousness; Representation; Self-Consciousness; Eating from the Tree
of Knowledge of Good and Evil; Fictional Unity rather than the Unity of the Real; Eros as
Exhibition; Deception; Fun; Amusement; Irresponsibility; the Individuation Principle): 5th
House, The Sun, Apollo; Leo
The Reality Principle, Symbolic Order come to Social Fruition, Diligence, Repression of the
Trauma of Symbolic Castration; Responsibility, Sophrosyne, Labor, Restriction, Guilt,
Conscientiousness, Self-Discipline, Obligation (the Necessary, Painful Realization one is not
Omnipotent; Unavoidable Burden of Using Language to Social Ends; Compromise; Information
which is Meaningful to Others; Service; Work for its own Sake; Agriculture; Animal Husbandry;
Acting on behalf of Others; Perfectionism; Practice; Crafts; Routine; Ritual; Useful
Communication; Scientific Method; Fundamental Mathematics; Down-to-Earth Thought,
Critical Thought; Observing the Law, Yielding to the Symbolic; Speaking the Father’s Name;
Slavery; Self-Criticism; Abjection; Descent to Common Status; Labor of Childbirth: Doula-as-
Slave; Humanitarian Work, Sacrifice of Jouissance): 6th House, Chiron, Mercury, Virgo; Adam
and Eve Cast Out of Paradise; Abjection
New Beginning; Will to Cooperate after Initiation into Symbolic Order (Fashion, Decoration,
Costume/Dress, Harmony, Partnership, Complementary Principle, Balance, Symbolic Beauty,
Design, Collaboration, Charm, Marriage, Partnership, Diplomacy; Contracts; Justice; Court of
Law): 7th House, Venus, Libra
The Death Drive, Underworld/Hades; The Ascetic; Denial of Hedonism; Uncomfortable
Representation of the Real; Seeing in the Dark (Defecation, Genitalia, Destruction, Dreams,
Obsession, Liberation from Fictions of the Self, Destroyer of Illusion, Horror, Tragic Art, Being
Conscious in the Real; Investigation; Intensity; Going Deep; the Hero’s Descent into Hades;
Noah’s Ark; Letting Go of Attachments, Truth in its Negative Formulation; Accessing the Real
through indirect Symbolization; Taboos; Subversion of Illusions of Wholeness Achieved in the
5th): 8th House, Pluto, Mars, Scorpio; Dionysus
[Halfway Point between the Imaginary and the Real]
Will to Expand (Language used to Transcend; Metaphysical Purpose; Truth in a Positive,
Reassuring Formulation; Comedy; Optimistic Representation of the Real; Publishing, Practice of
Law, Languages and Translation, Travel, the Creation of Abstract Systems, Religion, Adventure,
Higher Learning, Philosophy, Babel; the Symbolic on behalf of “Truth,” the Effort to Weave a
Sunny Picture of Wholeness having Undergone the 8th; Repetition of Work done in the 5th,
because 9th is 5th in Relation to 5th and opposite the Symbolic): 9th House, Jupiter, Sagittarius
Will unto the Public, Institutions, Archetype of the Father, Commerce, Discipline, Overcoming
Slavery of 6th, Mature Mastery (5th from 6th), Career, Ambition (Self in Relation to Public;
Institutional Image of the Self; Definition of Self in Terms of Vocation; Greater Responsibility as
Master; Career rather than servitude; Abraham sacrificing first-born; Circumcision): 10th House,
Midheaven, Saturn, Capricorn
Will to Individuation of the Many, Politics (the Chosen Circle made up of Counterparts to one’s
Self; Equals, Friendship, Acquisition; Celebrity; Establishment of Unique Individuality free from
Familial Bond yet free from the Rigid Constraints of Career and Hierarchy; Establishment of,
and Joining of, Coteries; Space between Public and Private where one can freely assert
irreducible Individuality among Equals; Ideal Labor; Ideal Collective rather than Ideal Self,
because it opposes the 5th on the Wheel; Prometheus prior to Fall; First Descent after emerging
from the 4th; 6th from 6th; higher Service taking the form of Imagining Liberation of All;
Freedom from Slavery (6th); Utopia): 11th House, Uranus, Aquarius
Vortex of Creation and Destruction; Order of the Real; Dismemberment; Places where Persons
are Kept when Nature starts to Reclaim them from Culture (Beyond Sensory Matters; Dionysian
Wholeness; the Soul’s Portal; Ecstasy; Annihilation; Chaos; Plane without Categories or
Difference; Area of the Wheel where Planets and Luminaries Resist Imagination or
Symbolization and are Invisible to the Subject but Manifest to Others; Inside of the Womb;
Whirling Dance; Telepathy; Épatage; the Planets and the Luminaries Alienated from Self hence
Hidden from Consciousness and Unconscious alike; the Sublime; Abstract Beauty; Wordless
Music; Invisibility; Assassination; The Circus; the Zoo; What can be Represented but Obliquely
through Symbols and Images; Impersonal Images; Traumatic Gaps in the Symbolic; Natural
Disasters; the Sea; Repressed Events; Escapism; Prisons; Intoxication; Delusion; Non-Self;
Stupidity; Derangement; Ineffable Truth beyond the Image; Blindness; Storms; Ultimate Truth;
Reality; What Ego Obfuscates; Across Reality Principle on the Wheel; Fog, Confusion; the
Eternal; Rest; Sanitaria; Divine; Trances; 8th from 5th; Resembling the 8th but without Ego-
Consciousness; Loss of Identity): the 12th House, Neptune, Pisces
PLATO’S TRIPARTITE SOUL
1st House & Aries: Passions (futural)
2nd House & Taurus: Appetites (conservative)
3rd House & Gemini: Reason (adaptive)
4th House & Cancer: Passions (regression;
cessation of passion and futural impetus; the backward impetus)
5th House & Leo: Appetites (conservative)
6th House & Virgo: Reason (adaptive)
7th House & Libra: Passions (futural)
8th House & Scorpio: Appetites (pain, not pleasure;
cessation of appetites and conservative impetus)
9th House & Sagittarius: Reason (adaptive)
10th House & Capricorn: Passions (futural)
11th House & Aquarius: Appetites (conservative)
12th House & Pisces: Reason (non-reason;
cessation of adaptive impetus)
Aquarius as an air sign shows its affinities to Mercury by virtue of of the air element. Its other
side is that of fixed Taurus. Let me do a rundown to show how this works. Because Cancer is
cardinal, it has Aries properties… Leo is a mix of Taurus and Aries. Virgo is a mix of Gemini and
Taurus. Libra is a mix of Aries and Gemini. Scorpio is a mix of Taurus and Cancer. Sagittarius is
a mix of Gemini and Aries. Capricorn is a mix of Aries and Taurus. Aquarius is a mix of Taurus
and Gemini. Pisces is a mix of Gemini and Cancer.
In other words, the original cardinal sign (Aries) is also the original fire sign. The original
fixed sign (Taurus) is also the original earth sign. The original mutable sign (Gemini) is also the
original air sign. The original water sign (Cancer) happens to be a repeat of Aries. Fire is
cardinal. Earth is fixed. Air is mutable. Water is cardinal, but in an antithetical way to that of fire.
NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST
Self and other would be east and west.
Eve is introduced in house 4 which is the first western house we get in the chart’s progression.
Adam finally meets his other (eve) with the 4th position.
North is childhood (infancy, more precisely) while south is adulthood.
CREATION, EDEN, CHILDHOOD
Pisces/12H: God creates world, speaks the Word
Aries/1H: Creation of Adam
Taurus/2H: To Adam God gives Eden and its contents
Gemini/3H: Adam assigns a name to every thing
Cancer/4H: God makes Eve, Mother of every person
Leo/5H: Attainment of self-consciousness
THE WORLD OF ADULTHOOD
Virgo/6H: Adam and Eve ousted from Eden to perform labor
Libra/7H: Adam and Eve in the role of husband and wife
Scorpio/8H: The Flood, destruction of most life and progeny
Sagittarius/9H: Tower of Babel, the creation of different languages and schools of thought
Capricorn/10H: Rise of Abraham the first Patriarch; covenant, sacrifice of child (cf. Saturn
eating his children)
Aquarius/11H: The Twelve Tribes of Israel
Logos + Nostalgia (for Mother and Infancy) + Imagination = Poetry.
Mercury + Moon + Sun = Neptune
House 3 + House 4 + House 5 = House 12
TWO COMPONENTS OF ART, IN DIALECTIC RELATION
the Word Music
pictorial representations arrangement of pure color and line
imitation of sounds in nature harmony and melody
gesture, signs, concepts, ideas rhythm, rhyme, repetition
symbols, numbers, maps, diagrams designs, arrangement of tones
I think there are four forms of logos. The most primordial is music; and then there are words and
symbols; then there are descriptions; then there are metatheories.
The 1st House is the point where heaven meets earth, where god first breathes life into Adam.
This is the simultaneous merging of body and spirit. 2nd House is body, senses and health,
Edenic bounty. 3rd is Spirit again as Mind. 4th is the mother’s body and heart/breast. 5th is
Mind/Spirit as Imagination. 6th is the body as laborer. 7th is mind/spirit as partnership or
meeting of minds. 8th is body under crisis, opposite of Edenic bounty. 9th is mind/spirit in
pursuit of Truth, out of the “confusion of languages” and customs. 10th is institutional body and
mastery, the Phallus. 11th is mind/spirit as utopian dream for mankind. 12th is body’s
disintegration which thereby releases the mind/spirit.
OUTLINE OF DEVELOPMENT
before language the infant enjoys pleasure in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
when the child is still in the womb, it is the 12th position.
12th house is womb/tomb. It is the beginning and end simultaneously.
6 marks a rupture and transition to the symbolic order. 7 is resumption of pleasure. 8 is a pleasure
house which finds pleasure in pain. 9 is the first time language itself becomes truly pleasurable.
10 is the pleasure of having transcended castration so completely that the son finally becomes
father and master. 11 is the pleasure of having gained mastery and returning to the freedom of
childhood and play in the adult world
ANIMALS BIG AND SMALL
6 is the trauma of castration, and 12 is where that trauma is stored.
6 is small animals and 12 is big animals
12 in particular is about ferocious big animals that can kill you; it is about wild animals, deadly
It is also about natural disasters and storms.
12 is about the forces in the world that threaten culture. 6, its opposite, is about culture.
6 is about small animals, but especially pets, because these are animals that are domesticated,
brought into the household, trained, acculturated; they are loved, but have a somewhat lower
status, like that of a servant.
PRISONERS AND SERVANTS
12 in fact is the insane asylum where house 6 servants take care of you.
12 is about the patients, not servants. 12 also refers to prison and prisoners.
6 is the trauma of castration, and 12 is where that trauma is stored (hospitals)
TYPES OF REASON
9th house is humor because it’s 5 from 5, and it is a house associated with reason.
9 is philosophy; 3 is poetry; 6 is practical information. 12 is the wholeness that language cuts up.
The Logos signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.
Put poetry has philosophical as well as 12h tendencies. And 9 has poetic and 12H tendencies
These houses of the Logos are called mutable houses because mercury is mutable, and Mercury
governs the Logos.
Rule: if the Lord of any Logos house (3, 6, 9, or 12) is in the same or a different Logos house,
intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if the Lord of any Logos house is in the 1H or 10H, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if the Lord of the 1H or 10H is in any Logos house, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if a single body is situated in a Logos sign or house, even without being Lord of a Logos
house, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if a single body is Lord of a Logos house, even without residing in a Logos sign or house,
intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if a single body is Lord of two Logos houses, even within a non-Logos house or sign,
intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if Part of Fortune is located in a Logos house or sign, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if a conjunction or stellium in a Logos house involving non-Logos Lords, intelligence is
Rule: if a conjunction or stellium involving Lords of Logos houses, even in non-Logos houses,
intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if conjunction or stellium involving Logos signs, even in non-Logos houses, intelligence is
Rule: if oppositions or squares pertinent in any of the above ways, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: if particularly Mercury, the Sun, or Saturn are interacting according to any facet of the
above ways, intelligence is indicated.
Rule: the more combinations of the above present, the more intelligence indicated.
Notice Jupiter in 9H is Lord of 6H. This is a high-level abstract thinker of great enthusiasm
(Jupiter; 9H) with incredible work ethic (6H). His Mercury is conjunct Fortune in 10H (luck,
fortune, and pleasure in this house), and it is Lord of both 12H (cosmic plane) and 4H (deep
archetypal memory). His Sun in 10H is Lord of 3H (poetic intellect). Saturn (his truest MC ruler,
also conjunct Fortune) on top of Mercury endows his thinking with a great deal of discipline and
mastery. And that aforementioned Jupiter sits opposite Uranus in 3H (Lord of 9H, brilliant
intuition helping his abstract theorizing). His Venus in 10H is Lord of 5H (creativity and play). A
huge amount of intellectual ability, self-discipline, and creativity in houses 9 and 10 alone.
Finally, his Moon (emotional center) is situated in 6H (duty, hard work, practical intellect); it is
Lord of the AC. It is possible that some of us have underestimated Einstein’s work ethic and
practical side (Saturn, 6H, 10H) which allowed his ethereal brilliance to find a home on the
material plane. The strength of principles, 3, 6, 9, and 12 in his chart is remarkable. Less often do
we see Mercury conjunct Saturn in the chart of an artist, for it is far more common in the charts
A most interesting set of phenomena. Capablanca’s Mercury as well as his Venus are unaspected.
Having even one unaspected planet is quite rare. Mercury happens to be both Lord of MC and
Lord of AC. His Venus (in Capricorn, in 4H) is his MC pathway ruler. Venus does make hard
aspects to the MC and AC, but not to any other planets or luminaries. He was called the Mozart
of chess, and wrote one of the best books on chess of all time. For writing, his 3H is strong,
containing Sun (Lord of 12H) and Jupiter (Lord of 4H). His Lord of 6H is Uranus in 1H. His
Fortune is also in 6H. But opposite his 3H Sun and Jupiter is a 9H stellium. This is particularly
strong, also good for writing, as it contains a tight conjunction of Pluto (Lord of 3H), Moon
(Lord of 11H), and Neptune (Lord of 7H). Capablanca was a genius, whose Mozart appellation,
reflects his artistry in playing chess. One can’t help wondering whether he might have been an
artist, perhaps a scientist… a philosopher?
In the beginning was the word
Art and religion were always conjoined since 2 and 3 face 8 and 9. All religion comes from art.
the Discovery of
Uranus coincides with Romanticism.
Neptune with Impressionism, Symbolism.
Pluto with Modernism.
Chiron with New Age Movement.
Orcus with -now-.
MERCURY, URANUS, JUPITER
Mercury is about bringing things not that far apart close together.
Uranus takes things that are far apart and brings them together.
Jupiter is about creating a pretty picture or meaning out of disparate facts.
CREATIVITY: 5, 9, 3, 12
Creativity is a term used typically in relation to art and poetry. Poiesis literally translates as “to
make what didn’t exist before.” Of course nothing can be made from nothing, so any creation is
also a concealment of the true state of affairs that dictates that no creation is really possible, and
this true state of affairs is 12. The principle of 5 is behind ego-formation, fertility and conception
(note the link between artistic creativity and fertility), as well as fictions and stories of all kinds.
9 is the blend of 5 and 3, in that (counting from 5) it is five positions from 5 itself, and sits across
from 3. And so 9 is an abstract fiction, a philosophy, which ever since its outset (with Plato) has
existed in dialectical, oppositional relation to poetry. Art and poetry, though, never pretend to
give truth, but suggest it. Real truth (12) cannot be told, performed, or represented directly. Like
the ego, what 9 often conceals is the fact that philosophies and abstract systems are fictions too.
It was Aristotle who said art was fundamentally imitative. This could be right if we understand
imitation to mean “play.” Leo, and the 5th Principle more generally, is the principle of fun. But it
also denotes having fun in a sphere bracketed off from ordinary reality. The 5th is the bracketing
principle, the capacity to create new spheres, albeit based in reality; autonomous; contiguous;
neighboring. Truly this is a godlike faculty, and it is also what others have termed the
Imagination. And so it is perhaps no coincidence that the 5th Principle should align with the
moment in Genesis when Eve and Adam partake of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
of Good and Evil. Why was it forbidden? Perhaps because the tree granted both consciousness
and the ability to introduce a new world—both are god’s, not humankind’s, privilege. Nor is it
arbitrary to connect consciousness, play, and imagination, for as soon as Adam and Eve are
conscious of their nakedness, they are condemned by God to perform labor (thus introducing
Virgo and the 6th Principle). The labor they are to perform puts an effective end to fun, for the
adult world of responsibility follows. If human beings must have consciousness, God sees fit to
prevent people from having fun and engaging in imaginative play. Indulging in games (Leo, 5) is
an important way the poet symbolically attempts to go back to Eden, in the same way the poet
attempts a return to the Mother-Child dyad (Cancer, 4) or by imitating Adam in naming all of
God’s creations (Gemini, 3). But the 5th Principle is traditionally also linked to romance because
of the complex of consciousness, imagination, and play necessary for sexual desire. According to
Lacan, there is a great difference between the simply biological erotic urge and sexual desire for
another, the latter being possible only through the imaginary.
When Adam and Eve
eat from the tree of
the Father’s wishes,
they are interpellated
by the law which is
ideology made explicit.
They become self-aware
since they have broken
the social fabric as
by headlights of the pursuer.
“They realize they are naked.”
THE DIALECTIC RAPPORT OF 6 AND 12
‘There is the paradox: though art and beauty are the human handiwork of the artist, only in art
can one mirror or, perhaps, dwell with the divine. The eternal descends to man not through
revelation but through artifice, in Yeats’s phrase, “the artifice of eternity’” (David Perkins 35).
This is a good illustration of the dialectic rapport of 6 and 12.
WHY IS PISCES THE FISH
Pisces and House 12 symbolize the child in the mother’s womb, really the beginning and end of
the zodiac. But isn’t Pisces the fish because a fetus swims in fluid within its mother? Indeed
newborns are able to take to the water immediately.
The symbolic and the real were for the ancients to a greater extent mutually informing, in that
people used language more often in an attempt to say something—but especially for formal
ritualistic purposes, but not exclusively—about the Real itself. This is the nature of invocation.
Today we banish the Real, pretending that it isn’t here. Our use of language pretends to represent
empirical reality, but in order to accomplish this illusion the Imaginary order plays a greater role
in creating fictions of the Self or the National collectivity, etc. Whereas for the ancients, and for
some people still living, the Imaginary was used in service of the Real, not in service of the
Self… at least not nearly as much. Otherwise, why is poetry something that is considered of
almost no practical importance or spiritual relevance today, in industrialized societies. The
devaluation of poetry has everything to do with our relationship to the Real and towards death.
I provide a framework whereby language for other types of societies serves both the reality
principle and the Real—- specifically in the case of the latter, in intuitive and poetic ways that
psychoanalysis can get at only scientifically and with greater labor. For us, the Imaginary
compensates for this absence of poetic language by fostering fictions of self and identity. Many
take for granted that language was used in this modern way for prehistoric peoples. Without
recourse to the archaeological record and its dogma, I provide the indisputable fact that poetry
was a distinct form of discourse for prehistoric people whereas today it hardly plays any role in
social life. The religion we have today, especially Christianity, is an idealistic flight from the
Real in the very way that Platonism is. And this is why Plato wished to banish the poets.
I would say that the qualitative difference between religion of the past and religion today is that
religion for the former was located in the real, while for us it is located in heaven. The
underworld was replaced by Heaven and the Forms of Plato. Such idealist religion has no need
of poetic thought, but rather fictions of identity. Yet I still would have to conclude that belief for
both is metaphysical, albeit in different ways.
The Imaginary is a means of creating fictions. In addition to self formation with the mirror stage,
the Imaginary is responsible for abstract systems that account for notions of good and bad as well
as collective identity.
Poetry once served religion while today’s religion can exist without poetry. So the glaring
disparity between us and ancient peoples is the lack of poetic language we find today.
The life of a child, from womb to tomb, is in form circular, rather than linear—poetic rather than
teleological. And although the categories of Mother and Father, Real and Reality, are set up in
apparently dialectical opposition to one another, there is no Hegelian sublation yielded through
their interplay, which is to say, the child who seeks to become the father who castrated him may
marry and conceive a child of its own with a spouse, but it will never actually return to the
Edenic state of pure jouissance where Mother and Child coexisted happily from which he was
abjected upon symbolic castration, nor will it finally possess the Phallus which its own father
seemed once to possess. Indeed the child-become-father merely creates another child who is
doomed to undergo abjection. The poet, by contrast, hopes to defy the cyclic logic of social
reproduction: rather than moving counter-clockwise and upward through the course from the
point of castration, toward the role of the responsible father, the castrated poet, having gained
mastery of the Symbolic order, ultimately defies the Law of Social Reproduction, changing
course, pursuing the bottom of the circle from which he was abjected. The opposite of seeking
greater responsibility via the reality principle, in the eyes of society the poet appears utterly
irresponsible, shirking his Symbolic duties to society at large. Like doctrinal communism, the
Imaginary quest to finally become the Phallus is idealistic in nature, a fictional fantasy. Though
idealists may believe that a higher reality is attainable, it is not; one is in the last analysis doomed
to repeat the very cycle from which one sought liberation and transcendence. Socialist realism is
a literary genre that perpetuates the Imaginary lie of responsibility in the name of transcendence,
and the poet realizes this. Poetry and Idealism have in fact been dialectically opposed since the
days of Plato, whereby Socrates proposed kicking out the poet for the good of the ideal Republic.
The poet, Socrates said, propagated old lies that stood in the way of systematic reason’s rightful
place at the helm of society’s vessel toward the lost island of Truth. According to Plato’s
Socrates, it was reason, then, that would have to subjugate the appetites and the passions; and
poetry (though a form of Logos) only encouraged the lower order of the psyche to remain
refractory. For over two millennia now the struggle between idealism and poetry has continued,
doomed to repetition: the philosopher (or the priest) seeks transcendence, while the poet seeks
return to Eden, to what Kristeva calls the chora—while some poets indeed seek the Real itself,
the pure Dionysian presence out of which any language (necessarily based in the binary structure
of presence and absence) necessarily depends, and upon which any category at all relies. So
whereas the ideal takes as its point of departure toward a higher reality the acceptance of the
reality principle, it is precisely that point whence the poet attempts a return to the arms of the
mother, and even further sometimes to the womb-death of the Real, that point where language
utterly breaks down.
The person of commerce seeks to become a potentate, striving from the point in life when
pleasure was forcibly renounced and sacrificed, when all promise of the mother’s pleasure was
repudiated. “Only for now,” the ambitious person says. “Someday I shall become the father, at
the top of the sky.” So the person of commerce seeks to become the emperor, knowing,
believing, one day all power will be obtained, that the sense of wholeness so quickly dashed to
pieces in the mirror just when one believed oneself whole will be restored as the image no longer
of the human child but of the father.
The fifth position (Leo) was destroyed, and with it all promise of pleasure until fatherhood. In
the meantime, the Virgoan sixth position would be one’s orientation until reaching the tenth
position, id est, the Midheaven. Six places from Five, starting with Five, is Ten. The Saturnian or
Capricorn is a mix of Five and Six, and restores the Five severed at the moment of the mirror’s
shattering to the hard labor put forward.
Although Five is always a fiction of self, and the promise of omnipotence finally turns out to be
but another fiction. The universal wholeness postulated, too, turns out to be another false
illusion, an insult to the certainty of annihilation which awaits the person of commerce. The poet,
by contrast, at the moment of the mirror’s shattering, strives not to attain the heights that were
promised on the Midheaven but to return to Eden itself, where mother and infant lived as fully
blent and total. The poet will never restore that unity, for it is impossible; still the poetic
vocation, unlike the commercial enterprise, is a true pleasure and fulfilling in itself.
The poet implores the gods for their assistance in the poetic act, which bears resemblance to the
hunt, since it is the poet and hunter both who aspire to come back from the act bearing gifts to
the Mother Goddess, that is to say, she who watches over the hearth, and if she accepts those
gifts it will mean the objective was momentarily achieved and the return to infancy captured. The
hunter-poet and the Vestal Virgin are now in a position to give themselves over to pleasure, and
in time fatherhood and motherhood. Poet and hunter, unlike the individual of commercial
dreams, give pride of place to the home, to the hearth, and not the sky as in some way separate
from the earth.
SOCIETY AND ART
Apollo accounts for the orderliness and clarity of the Greeks, Zeus for their cosmopolitanism and
love of discourse, combined with Chronos who accounts for the Athenians’ strong work ethic
and emphasis on the public sphere. Lastly it was Hades/Dionysus who was the flipside of Zeus.
True democracy is a difficult thing to attain, and one must propitiate Chronos for the discipline to
carry it out at all. Unlike the Greeks (with the exception of Sparta), the Romans gave Mars a
place in their world that was central. The Romans combined commerce and war in a manner that
can be termed almost modern. In fact capitalism is thought to be Martian: in that it grants
Venusian security to its beneficiaries, while those who are exploited feel Mars’ cruelty. In
particular capitalism is Martian because it is imperialist and driven by military campaigns; it also
depends on competition not just among capitalists but between labor and capital. Probably the
most proper economic system would give precedence to Saturn (Chronos) or the Moon. I do not
know what the answer is, but I know that pre-“civilized” hunter-gatherer societies give pride of
place to the Moon; I think the poetic vocation is a sublimation of this way of life and it is
encoded in our genes and in our collective memory. Before Mycenean Greece, there was a
matriarchal society in much of Europe whose mythology blended with that of the patriarchal
inventors of that war technology known as the chariot, and these people who originated as
herdsmen on the Caspian steppe swooped down, as though from nowhere, and transformed the
way of life not just of Greece but the rest of Europe. These are the people who gave so many of
us, from Europe to India, their mythology (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) as well as their (Indo-
European) language; indeed we combine war and commerce in ways which developed out of the
collision between those invaders and their victims, the agricultural Minoans.
Incidentally communism is Virgoan and (particularly with reference to revolution) it is Uranian.
TRAGEDY AND HORROR
Zizek says that horror is a poetic representation of the Real being staged in a domestic locale. He
is right. And tragedy (the Dionysian) is the basis of all horror. Plato did not like the myths
tragedy is built upon. Both Nietzsche and Lacan try to rehabilitate and valorize the importance of
the real. Plato wants the reason to rehabilitate the subject, if only the reason is able to subjugate
the real. Lacan, in a sense, agrees with Plato in that the symbolic (reason) is the means by which
the real is accessed and the traumas are brought into the symbolic order. However, the means by
which this is done for Lacan are contrary to the thought of Plato who states that philosophy
should do it. Lacan meanwhile thinks that poetry and pre-castration Logos should do it. In a
sense, the catharsis of which Aristotle speaks is achieved by the very means Lacan thinks
analysis should be carried out—using language to represent the traumas stored in the real
indirectly. Tragedy as a genre is constellated by the factor of 5 (the imaginary): 4 is the 5th from
12, and 8 is the 5th from 4, and 12 is the 5th from 8. There are three sides to this triangle of
tragedy, reflecting the importance of the 3rd principle (poetry), along with the 5th (performance),
in the creation of a total art. Tragic art is based in the psychic (water) signs, of which the 12th
principle (the real) is their purest instantiation.
Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy sheds light on the real, which he calls “ultimate reality,” of
which the Dionysian is an expression. His discussions of Apollo and dreams, and music, are
important. He believes some music (Dionysian), like that of Archilochus, gets to the real.
Hillman illuminates the 8th with Dream and the Underworld. The 8th is where the Imaginary
(ego) meets the real, in a place where the symbolic tries to represent the real in oblique fashion.
The 8th in fact encompasses the main elements of art: the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real.
Much like art, the dream acts in service of the real. For the purposes of art, however, while
having planets in the 8th House is positive, it is not the same as having them in the 12th House
which in effect is a total submersion in the real, at least where those planets are concerned. While
the 8th is responsible for dreams, which have all the elements of works of art (the real, the
symbolic, the imaginary), works of art aren’t themselves the same as dreams. With planets in the
12th, the artist will unconsciously find ways of bringing the real to life, often in the form of
artworks and literary works. He acts as though possessed, divinely inspired. He cannot tolerate
having a part of himself cut off from the rest of his conscious existence. He feels that he must
bring the real and his planets which live there into physical existence, for himself, perhaps for
others. Because the real cannot be apprehended, imagined or described, he will make artworks
which obliquely capture it. Take for instance how Allen Ginsberg writes his mentally ill mother
into existence. His moon (mother) is in the 12th House. It is a cliche that artists suffer more than
other people; but considering that they tend to have 12th House placements, we can now begin to
understand more deeply the cause of their pain. Of course full expression of the real requires
help from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th steps in particular. The 4th gives deeply felt (even unconsciously
felt) subject matter; the 5th the exuberant drive to create fictions; and the 3rd the logical structure
requisite to grant autonomous shape to any representation of the real, if obliquely, by means of
Nietzsche might as well be discussing the way the 9th works when he talks about the invention
of truth in Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense. Philosophy is the invention of truth through
systematic reason, to reassure and thus give confidence in the face of reality, or the real. He
claims that the creation of positive truth, then, is a survival instinct.
We must think of the planets and luminaries (rulers) as the many components of our nature. We
are not singular and unified but multiple. When someone has a ruler in their 12th house, that
means that this particular ruler resides in the closet of the zodiac. The 12th house is like the
closet in Narnia leading to another world, with little ability to come back into the room with its
siblings, preferring to stay in that other world. The 12th house is the house of the real, and the
real is always unknowable to the psyche. That is why when placed in the other houses, planets
can see each other fairly well, but when a ruler is in 12, it is cut off from the view of the others to
a large extent, and thus to the native. The artist with planets in 12 makes art in order to bring that
missing part back from the closet, to bring what it knows from the real into the daylight world
that we all inhabit. 12 is another world, and it is through art one can express the lost part of
oneself which has learned to exist in another dimension. Someone with Moon in Pisces thus will
feel themselves to be existing in another dimension with a feeling for others, and to an extent this
is true, but someone with Moon in 12 will actively seek solitude or escape through art or
substances, a real-life analog to the 12th house in relation to the others. The Moon in 12 native
has a strong need to dream in privacy. A person with Moon in Pisces, though, is far more capable
of being greatly expressive of their feelings and dreams to other people than someone with Moon
in 12. Meanwhile someone with Moon in 12 will often be disinclined to define themselves in
terms of their need for solitude; one simply acts on the need. Therefore other people will readily
think of the Moon in 12 person as being very sensitive, withdrawn, or otherwordly; but the native
will not necessarily see it this way. The Moon in 12 person ultimately tries to simulate being in
the 12th house albeit in real life, or to inhabit the 12th house in a literal sense. The Moon in
Pisces person, by contrast, only thinks of herself as being very sensitive, somewhat apart,
otherworldly. A ruler’s sign is available to the ruler’s consciousness, but the house position isn’t
directly knowable to the consciousness. It is visible indirectly. That is to say, one must infer its
existence by reflecting on one’s tendencies. For these reasons, the 12th house is invisible in two
senses of the word. It’s invisible to the ruler, and the ruler in 12 is invisible to the other rulers in
the chart in different house positions. The ruler itself is mainly blind to its 12th-house
orientation, while other rulers in the other houses cannot access it. The sign of Pisces and the
ruler Neptune are both unknowable since they serve the real, but a 12th house placement is
doubly unknowable. A person with Moon in Pisces will always understand her feelings as largely
unknowable to the senses and the reason, and this will inform her self-concept; she will see
herself as a mystic or a poet. This is not so for a person with Moon in 12, but this person will live
like a mystic, and often be a poet or an artist, and the fruits of such lives have often benefited
humankind. There is no narcissism or complacency with house placements; there is action. The
ascendant placement does not indicate our natural inclination towards others simply because it is
in the first house of action and flesh; it reflects our inclination to act by virtue of being a function
of house position at all. The same then goes for all house positions.
The principle of 12 and 3. What is the difference between someone with Mercury in her 12th
house and someone with Neptune in 3. With the former, Mercury (planet of the intellect and the
symbolic) has learned to adapt in the house of the real. It devotes itself to matters of the real. By
contrast, someone with Neptune (planet of the real) in the 3rd house, Neptune adapts to 3rd
house intellectual matters. Depending on where Mercury resides in the chart, one has a
supplement for symbolic thinking. If Mercury is in its most natural house (3rd house), then a
strong Mercury has a supplement in Neptune in 3. The first person we looked at lacks a strong
Mercury, and in order to be competent in structured symbolic thinking will need other planets to
compensate for Mercury’s deficit (which can be a boon in other matters). Thus, having Venus,
the Sun, or Moon in the 3rd House (preferably well aspected) could serve to compensate to this
end. Equally, those planets in Gemini or Virgo could serve to compensate for Mercury’s
deficiency in logical matters.
Talking, or exercising the symbolic order, so as to drain what is hidden in the real into the
symbolic and thus release it from the real is not only a process applicable in therapeutic contexts;
it applies in the domain of art as well. The poet with Moon in the 12th House writes a poem; in
so doing, she creates beautiful expressions of what is hidden from sight and is unavailable to the
symbolic order. In a manner analogous to that of a psychotic creating hallucinations which are
expressions of a trauma that lurks in the real, so a poet creates moving expressions and images in
language of what lurks there. For a poet with the Moon in the 12th House, it is the emotions that
are unavailable to her conscious mind. Yet in using language, which is to say, using the symbolic
order for the sake of poiesis, she ends up discovering metaphorical formulations of those
A passage on the first lyric poet, Archilochus, from Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy:
“…as a Dionysiac artist, he has been thoroughly united with the primal Oneness, its pain and
contradiction, and produces the copy of that primal Oneness as music, if we can rightly call
music a repetition and recast of the world; but now, under the Apolline dream influence, this
music is revealed to him as an allegorical dream-image. That reflection of primal pain in music,
free of images and concepts, redeemed by illusion, now creates a second allegory or example.
The artist has already abandoned his subjectivity in the Dionysiac process: the image that now
reveals to him his unity with the heart of the world is a dream scene symbolizing the primal
contradiction and primal suffering, as well as the primal delight in illusion” (29).
As the philosopher Gilles Deleuze explains, the expression of personal emotions make for bad
art, really no art at all. Yet, when emotions find expression in autonomous images, or metaphors,
these so-called blocs of sensation take on a life of their own; they stand on their own two feet,
and walk away as though having independent existence. Such poetry feels nothing like a
subjective diary entry. Indeed for the poet with a 12th House Moon, the fact that poetry derives
from hidden feelings remains, to the native, a total secret. The poet believes that her poetry was
divinely inspired, and in a sense, it was. It is for these reasons that the 12th House is a principal
house of poetry. In spite of and because of its unavailability to language and the conscious mind,
the symbolic, along with the imaginary, manage to capture what resides in the 12th, but it does so
artistically. Dreams work in a like fashion, for when we dream, we confront the real, even if it is
mediated through the symbolic and the imaginary. It is little coincidence, therefore, that 3 and 5
add up to 8, for 8 (Pluto, Scorpio, and the 8th House) is the position of dreams in the zodiac; for
that matter the line between heaven and hell is the midpoint between the 5th and 12th House. 3,
4, and 5, on the other hand, add up to 12. According to Robert Graves, poetry is created for and
about the Moon (the White Goddess) and so it depends on her for its existence, inasmuch as she
provides poetry’s subject matter and requisite deep feeling; so while 12 itself isn’t poetry, it ends
up calling upon 3, 4, and 5 (the primitive symbolic, the mother, and the imaginary) to give
expression to what exists there. When the Moon resides in the 12th House (and especially if the
moon is situated in Gemini, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, or Pisces), it is likely that the native will possess
giant poetic abilities. Yet other rulers existing in the 12th House can in themselves serve as
terrific assets for the enjoyment and creation of poetry and other art forms. Another classic
placement for poetry is having one’s Moon in the 5th House, in Gemini, since here the 5th House
takes care of the 5th principle (the Imaginary), while the Moon takes care of the Mother, and
Gemini takes care of the symbolic. Such a configuration adds up to 12, though by an opposite
mechanism, and can give autonomous life to that which lurks in the real, even if no planets
reside there. Yes, we all have a 12th House, a Neptune, and Pisces somewhere along the wheel,
and these are repositories for the unnameable and unrepresentable parts of our psyche: if any of
the three forms of the 12th principle connect to a 3, 4, 5 configuration, artistic talent is practically
guaranteed. As we shall see, aspects can bring 3, 4, and 5 together in extremely dynamic ways.
We shall see too that the 2nd principle (the sensuous) is important and acts as a powerful artistic
asset in one’s chart, provided of course that 3, 4, and 5 are dynamically configured. The ruler of
the 2nd principle is Venus, but she is not wholly necessary to the 12th House, since the ruler of
the 12th principle is Neptune, which is a mystical form of Venus, its “higher octave”; 12
presupposes and encompasses Venus. In sum, the 2nd principle on its own provides technique,
rhetorical skill, moving emotion and earthly beauty, but neither sublime emotion nor sublime
To paraphrase Longinus, the great theorist of the sublime: technique isn’t genius; the
imperfect work of genius is preferable to the technically perfect one without genius. In an ideal
world, the 2nd principle would always accompany genius. When all things are said and done, the
2nd principle is incredibly important.
Finally, it may occur that the 3rd principle is applicable to poetry exclusively. Yet I remind the
reader that the 3rd principle relates also to thought outside of language; the 12th emcompasses
all symbolization. Even the creation, enjoyment, and understanding of music or painting
necessitates the symbolic, if in ways a bit less obvious. Which is why though it may be true that
a painter or a musician need not be linguistically gifted, it is necessary all the same that she be
able to think in otherwise sophisticated ways, at least where her chosen art practice is concerned:
for when we encounter visual and aural artworks, we do so within a deep symbolic context; such
a context is necessarily ordered, by the symbolic…
It is important to notice that the houses 2, 3, 4, and 5 lie at the bottom of the chart, and thus they
are personal. The faculties necessary for art come from the private part of a person. The ultimate
goal typically is for one’s artworks to make it into the public sphere (8, 9, 10, and 11), at the
opposite end of the wheel. The 8th is the house of institutional grants; the 9th the house of
publishing; the 10th the career house and house of fame, and the 11th the house of coteries. But
what of the 12th? For it doesn’t reside in the personal part of the chart, but the public part. That’s
partly correct: really, though, the 12th House is the part of one’s chart which transcends both the
personal and public: it is the great mystery, the Divine and portal of the soul.
NIETZSCHE, ON COSTUME AND PARODY OF THE 9TH, from Beyond Good and Evil
“We are the first age as regards the study of ‘costume’—I mean those of moralities, articles of
faith, artistic tastes, and religions—prepared, like no age before us, for a carnival in the grand
style, for spiritual Fasching-laughter and high spirits, for the transcendental heights of the highest
nonsense and Aristophanic world-mockery. Perhaps here we shall discover the realm of our
invention, that realm in which even we can still be original, for instance as parodists of world
history and clowns of God—perhaps, even if nothing else today has a future, our laughter may
yet have a future.”
NUMBERS 1 AND 9: HUMANKIND AND GOD/LOGOS
273 and 327 are examples of numeric anagrams. Respectively they are the third multiples of 091
and 109. Together 0, 1, and 9 are the basis of our so-called Arabic numeral system: 091 and 109;
182 and 218; 273 and 327; 364 and 436; 455 and 545; 546 and 654; 637 and 763; 728 and 872;
819 and 981…. Each pairing of anagrams is also equidistant from 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600,
700, 800, 900.
091 109 (sum of each: 10 or 1)
182 218 (sum of each: 11 or 2)
273 327 (sum of each: 12 or 3)
364 436 (sum of each 13 or 4)
455 545 (sum of each: 14 or 5)
546 654 (sum of each: 15 or 6)
637 763 (sum of each: 16 or 7)
728 872 (sum of each: 17 or 8)
819 981 (sum of each: 18 or 9)
Why does our number system have only numbers 1 to 9?
It didn’t have to be that way.
0 is chaos, the nothing against which something exists.
9 is the highest number we have.
1 is the first and lowest number we have.
I believe that the ancients had a system of understanding life according to which 9 was God, and
1 was man.
1 and 9 are the alpha and the omega, man and God; but in the beginning there was nothing (0),
hence 0, 9, 1.
The Hellenistic astrologers called the 9th place (what we call the 9th House) Theos, or God. It is
why Plato considered Jupiter the best god and why we align Jupiter with Sagittarius and
philosophy. For Plato philosophy was how one reaches God.
Philosophy and counting were both expressions of Logos; philosophy was the fulfillment and
culmination of the Logos.
Philosophy was the culmination of the Logos, just as 9 is the culmination of our numeral system.
For Hellenistic astrologers, 3 was Thea, or Goddess, while 9 was Theos, or God. The former is
the Logos in its rudimentary form, while the latter is the Logos in its most advanced form,
reflecting how the 3rd and 9th Houses are understood today.
The number system beginning with 1, 0, and 9, though, is based upon our numeral system, and it
is the Logos expressing itself.
Unlike the zodiac, our numeral system is based purely in the Logos itself, so it ends in 9 because
9 is the end of the Logos.