Tracing the shadow of astrology and art

The Twelve Principles


NATURE (1-6)


(The Will)

Spirit meeting Body; Earth Meeting Sky; First Breath; Vitality; the Fool, Instinct, Desire, Drive; the Newcomer, Adam, East): 1st House, Ascendant; Hourmaker, Mars, Aries


(The Senses)

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 Reason)

The Primitive 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 Heart)

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)

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, 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

CULTURE (7-12)


(The Conscience)

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; Routine; Ritual; Useful Communication; Observing the Law, Yielding to the Symbolic; Speaking the Father’s Name; Slavery; Abjection; Descent to Common Status; Childbirth; Humanitarian Work, Refusal of Jouissance): 6th House, Chiron, Mercury, Virgo; Adam and Eve Cast Out of Paradise; Abjection



New Beginning; Will to Cooperate after introduction 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; the Hero’s Descent into Hades; Noah’s Ark; Letting Go of Attachments, Truth in its Negative Formulation; Accessing the Real through 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; Institutions; 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, Politics; Establishment of Unique Individuality free from Familial Bond but also 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


(The Ineffable)

Vortex of Creation and Destruction;

      Order of the Real (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    .  .  .