As we move to the 11th house, Aquarius, we move out to the faraway planet Uranus, another more recent discovery of the 18th century. Ancient astrology assigned its rulership to Saturn, suggesting an aged quality to this sign. Here the traditional aspects of the Saturnine personality are merged with the revolutionary spirit of Uranus, as the forces of tradition and innovation combine. An air sign, Aquarius, the Water Bearer, represents the development of the higher mind and the refined products of civilization, in this case, science and technology. The Aquarian spirit is inventive, innovative, futuristic, and infused with the grand optimism and promise of science. The 11th house is considered to rule over the vast masses of society, one's country, neighborhood, and circle of friends. The great humanitarians of history are so often Aquarians, caring for the generalized masses, but sometimes unable to fulfill needs in ordinary life and truly offer love to an individual person.
The 12th house is Pisces, the Fish, two entwined swimmers, one pointing up toward higher consciousness, the other downward into the vast, unfathomable unconscious. The Piscean is plunged into the sea, at home in the deep unconscious. In fact, many of Neptune's children prefer that dreamy environment to the harsh light of day in the physical world. Natives will be subject to the mood swings, glassy complacency, and sudden, irrational tempests of the sea. The 12th house stands for the collective realm, the vast universe. As such, the Piscean native will be characterized by a pronounced need to experience the transcendental. Neptune's soft tones and soothing rhythms lead the native to prefer to live in a fantasy realm, and to never remove their rose-colored glasses. As such their downfall is their tendency toward dependencies of all types, such as drug and alcohol addiction.
Aspects, Transits, and More
Many patterns and correlations between planets and signs emerge as their interactive dance is charted. The signs sharing an element, earth, air, fire, or water, measure as "trine" in relation to each other, the most harmonious of all relationships. Planets and signs that fall at 90-degree angles to each other are "squares" and are considered the toughest relationships. "Oppositions" are 180-degree angles, which are difficult but uncanny in carrying a combination of opposites. These angle measurements, or "aspects," can be applied to relationships between people and also within a person's own character. If the sign on the ascendant is a square to the position of one's sun, the result is a person somehow in inner conflict. A chart featuring many trines will mark a fortunate person who faces little opposition in life. Prominent positioning of the planets will lead some to be ruled by the darker or more violent planets, called "malefics," including Mars, Saturn, and Uranus, whereas others can count themselves lucky to be ruled by the milder sensibilities of the "benefics," especially Venus and Jupiter.
The details of the work involve charting "transits," as the current movements of the planets always affect or "touch off" aspects related to the placement of the planets and signs in one's natal chart. Progressions must also be taken into consideration, as the complex puzzle construction never ends. Compelling questions engage astrologers, such as the issue of "generational astrology," as the very slow-moving outer planets visit one constellation for decades, binding entire generations together in values and personality aspects. With work enough to challenge many schooled intellects for centuries to come, it is only to be regretted that such a fascinating and useful field as astrology should have to suffer from a social stigma that views it as illegitimate. Consideration of the symbolic significance alone of the myriad elements involved, makes it a subject most worthy of serious attention by reflective, educated students.