The 12th House Swamp


At some point in the past, I heard someone refer to the 12th house as a “swamp.” I am not certain who it was. This could have been another blogger on WordPress.

I was present at the presentation by Lee Lehman at UAC ‘98 (over two decades ago) where Jim Shawvan heard her lecture on certain concepts later integrated into his system of “Opportunity Periods.” The specifics of that talk are not relevant here. But it could be that she was the person who uttered those magic words “who knows what lies in that swamp?” (I do remember a tiny, short discussion of the 12th.)

Whoever uttered them, they were referring to the 12th House.

I agree. The 12th house is a swamp. It is also a hospital, monastery, insane asylum, orchestra, school of sharks or piranha (waiting for an unwary deer), and several other vaguely similar variations all rolled into one. I would be willing to bet that it includes a funeral home.

But, here, it is the swamp that has my attention.

The comment, “who knows what lies in that swamp,” seems to include an unspoken implication (the very thing of the 12th house!) that a “swamp” is somehow a “bad thing,” a source of “self-undoing.”

When I was much younger, I had a fair familiarity with swampland. To be fair, I did not play on airboats in the Everglades or the Atchafalaya Basin. On the flip side, I did not live more than a few hundred miles away from the Atchafalaya, the largest freshwater basin in North America and the basis for the John Grisham book “The Pelican Brief.” Some call it a “swamp.”

If you grow up playing in a swamp, and others follow meaning you harm, an adverse result may visit them, their “self-undoing.”

I sorta like swamps.

The swamp CAN be your friend, also, but you need a different way of thinking about it. It does not give up its secrets readily.

Many astrologers will tell you that the 12th House is about “self-undoing.” That sounds terrible, dangerous. And it can be. It is often dangerous. It can lead to physical death. It often leads to mental and psychological “deaths.” And Pisces and Neptune and the 12th House are all about the death of cultures, no doubt about it. The Maya and Aztecs had their own 12th House “deaths.” We likely will have one as well. The Pandemic of 2020, current as I write this, is precisely a 12th House threat (diseases and hospitals) that threatens a culture, arguably the many cultures of the planet.

But other things are hidden in that swamp. It is a world of dreams and insights that seem confusing.

Ask yourself, why are such insights confusing?

The answer that comes to me, and might come to you, is that the insight is confusing because we need a shift in our mental state, an “Aha!” moment, that reorganizes our world, or at least our way of seeing the world. Until we make that shift to a new way of “seeing,” the gift of the dream or insight seems confusing. It is hidden in some place we dare not stick our hand, hidden in the swamp until we have some needed transformation. Saturn strips away unnecessary outer structures. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto take the rest.

Eventually, we all die. Physicists and engineers, at least some of them, along with biologists describe us as “heat machines” that import oxygen, water, and various “nutrients” and export “waste products” as part of our life processes, continuing organization and re-organization that ranges from microscopic structures to neighborhoods, highways, and cities to entire civilizations. According to Nobel Prize winnder Ilya Prigogine, we are “self-organizing” or “dissapative” structures that organize internally and export “entropy.”

This continues until we die, all of our internal organization lost. “Entropy” wins.

But the death of the individual does not necessarily produce a total loss. At least some individuals add something to the culture, something that transcends their individual lives. They are lost to the grave (the 4th house cusp), but some sliver of them survives.

Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House are about something bigger: total loss.

Strangely, paradoxically, this kind of “total loss” produces a sort of “warehouse” of the variety of the popular science fiction television show “Warehouse 13.” “Things” are hidden in this “swamp” of the 12th House, and some of them are the most powerful things we can possibly encounter.

Any promise that the 12th is not “really” dangerous is a lie. Exploring the “swamp” is not without risk. But, potentially, that same “swamp” can contain the best gifts that we can ever find.

Just bring your hip waders.  And watch out for the moccasins and piranha.

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