Management of Measurement Constructs

Analytical Techniques April 30, 2005

Empty Houses and Those Planets in the 12th!

All beginning astrologers come up with these two questions: what about those Houses that are empty? And “Yikes, what about those planets in the 12th House I’ve heard such awful things about?”

Untenanted (empty) Houses are assimilated in analysis through the planet ruling the cusp on the particular House elsewhere in the horoscope. International Madam and sex writer Xaviera Hollander has a Capricorn Midheaven with no planet in that House. However, Saturn is conjunct the Sun in Gemini, introducing immediately the idea of “the communications business.” The Sun is ruler of her 5th (part of the sex profile, and Jupiter, ruler of the empty 8th, the other part of the sexual profile, is opposed the Midheaven). Gradually the measurements loosen up, as it were, as the rulerships bring the empty Houses into the fold. The dimensions of the whole start to emerge.

Pope Benedict XVI has a Sagittarius Midheaven with no planet in that House. Its ruler, Jupiter is in Pisces (spiritual studies) strongly on the Piscean Ascendant and is peregrine, running away with the horoscope!

The development of those issues signified by the so-called empty House(s) is charted through the planet ruling the House(s). Simple as that.


Planets in the 12th House are planets that speak a very loud potential. They are not necessarily symbols of confinement and withdrawal; they are not muted capacities for behavior, except perhaps as the calm of preparation before the storm. –What is key is to see these planets arcing down and over the Ascendant in the formative years of life or in the young adult years. Activities and changes at those times shape the personality critically. [If very early in life, the invigoration of the environment is see through the parental situations.]

Those time periods of development pinpoint the focus on individual exposure of Self, emergence of Self. They are usually keenly strong, individualistically wrought times of development for others –for the world-- to see.

Beethoven [December 16, 1770 at 11:03 AM LMT in Bonn GERMANY] had Venus in Capricorn, peregrine in the 12th! Indeed, this suggested a delayed emotional maturation (Capricorn), a private sense of (idealized) beauty that would not be easily fulfilled. Every woman Beethoven pursued in his lifetime was either already married or was so young as to be unattainable or absolutely not interested in him. He suffered and pined over “his eternally longed for beloved”. He sublimated. He discharged his pathos into the clenched fists, gnashing teeth, and burning eyes of his music.

Beethoven wrote: “Thus I can only seek support in the deepest, the most intimate part of myself; as for the external world, there is absolutely nothing there for me. No, nothing but injuries for me in friendship and feelings of the same genre.”

Venus was the ruler of the 3rd, and he lived an idealized Family Neurosis that exploded in relation to his brother (third House) and his son Karl, whom Beethoven wanted for himself (!), even going to court to arrange this (such was social leverage).

But, on the professional level for this genius composer, when Venus came to the Ascendant by Solar Arc when Beethoven was 22+, he was studying with his first “name” teacher, Franz Joseph Haydn in Vienna. Beethoven’s individual needs for his personal sense of what was “beautiful” or correct or individualistically expressive or all of these erupted, and he broke with the traditionalist Haydn. –Shortly thereafter, Haydn wrote that ”Beethoven composes more and more fantastically all the time.” An extraordinary word for Classical Icon Haydn to use!

Here was Beethoven’s peregrine Venus finally coming onto the stage … out of the 12th House. The “private sense of beauty” (my phrase suggestion for the atmosphere of a 12th House Venus) finally out into the open was converted to a dramatic personal statement of art.

Donald Trump [June 14, 1946 in Queens NY at 9:51 AM EDT] has Saturn conjunct Venus –ruler of his multi-billion dollar Midheaven (!)-- in the 12th House. Pluto is also there in the 12th, just above the Ascendant.

With Pluto in the 12th, we feel that somehow “the world doesn’t understand me.” Individual perspective is not clear within the expectations of society; very often there is a kind of dissociation, an adherence to a different marching beat. –I have seen time and time again that the 12th House Pluto coming out of the 12th by Solar Arc over the Ascendant spells an entirely new dimension of life focus. Even a new identity entirely!

Pluto=Asc occurred for Trump at age 7 ½ with tr Jupiter conjunct his Sun. We don’t have ready access to details of this time in his life, but much must have transpired precociously for Trump to begin his rise to individual power expression. –When the smash-hit TV show The Apprentice debuted in 2004, that Pluto in transit Pluto was exactly upon his Sagittarian Moon in the 5th for the entire year!

When Saturn and Venus arced over his Ascendant, any sense of a confined career was discarded for sure because Trump, who regarded his builder father as his mentor, came out of the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and went to work for his father for five years. Here we see again, “coming out of the 12th House” heralds “emergence.”

Evangeline Adams [February 8, 1868 at 8:30 AM LMT in Jersey City NJ] had several planets in the 12th House. The last one to arc to her Ascendant was the Sun, in 1900-1901 when she traveled to New York City and became solidly ensconced there, building her extraordinary reputation.

For Prince Harry (the younger prince) of Wales [September 15, 1984 at 4:20 PM GMD in London] his 12th House Neptune (a potential for spiritual bonding, caring for the indigent, wondering about the unknown) came to Harry’s Ascendant precisely upon the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

For Brooke Shields (May 31, 1965 at 1:45 PM EDT in Manhattan NY], her 12th House Mars (usually hidden anger), Pluto (not being understood), and Uranus (Individuation fighting through controls for expression) all arced over her Ascendant between the ages of 6 and 13, when she was a much publicized child model … some of the exposure even today subject to criticism.

--So, we see that the 12th House is quite alive. This overview is certainly what is behind the so-called Gauquelin effect typing professionals temperamentally by the planet present late in their 12th or 9th House, i.e., bound to arc the nearest Angle during the formative time of life.

And the so-called empty Houses? There is always somebody home, so to speak; they are just over there somewhere visiting … and gathering up significance!

Next Update: May 31, 2005


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