The Hermit – Reconciling/Emotional
Jungian Archetype: The Caregiver
12th House, House of Self-Undoing (Prison)
Ruling Planet: Neptune
Time: 20 February – 20 March
Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, and it is also the final sign in the zodiacal cycle. Hence, this sign brings together many of the characteristics of the eleven signs that have come before it. Pisces, however, are happiest keeping many of these qualities under wraps. These folks are selfless, spiritual and very focused on their inner journey. They also place great weight on what they are feeling. Yes, feelings define Pisces, and it’s not uncommon for them to feel their own burdens (and joys) as well as those of others. The intuition of the Pisces-born is highly evolved. Many people associate Pisces with dreams and secrets, and it’s a fair association, since those born under this sign feel comfortable in an illusory world.
It’s a pair of Fish that represents Pisces, a symbol that prompts others to suggest that these people ‘go with the flow’ and ‘don’t make waves.’ Both of these labels are true, since Pisces are fluid and easy-going, in keeping with the Mutable Quality assigned to this sign. The fact that two fish (as opposed to one) represent the members of this sign also speaks to the duality of Pisces, their yin and yang sensibility. Pisces alternate between reality and non-reality in keeping with their introspective natures; their voyage between consciousness and an unconscious dream state says much about their intuitive, almost psychic natures. For this reason, Pisces can be hard to pin down, prompting some to call them the chameleons of the zodiac. The Fish are happy to be considered hazy, since there’s a certain sense of safety in that self-proclaimed netherworld. That said, they won’t stay away for long, since one of their primary goals is to help others. Pisces are compassionate, charitable and will quickly put the needs of others ahead of their own. It’s this kind of self-sacrifice that keeps these folks going. The flip side to their giving natures is that the oft-timid Fish are likely to be taken advantage of by less well-meaning souls.
Pisces is ruled by Neptune. Those born under this sign are spiritually oriented and charitable. They are compassionate, easily feeling another’s pain. At times, however, Pisceans can have difficulty distinguishing fact from fantasy; they tend to get caught up in their dreams and views of how things should be. To say they wear rose-colored glasses isn’t much of a stretch. Pisces who fear that their pleas aren’t being heard tend to lapse into melancholy and, worse, the kind of pessimism that leads to procrastination and lethargy. At times like this, Pisces would be wise to take time for themselves, the better to find their center once again. Many Pisces also immerse themselves in the arts and other creative pursuits as a centering mechanism, and they are quite talented in these areas.
The Element associated with Pisces is Water. Those born under this sign easily relate to the emotional and unpredictable nature of this liquid gold. Pisces feel a great deal, and they also feel misunderstood much of the time. They’re not quite pushovers, but they’re certainly sensitive. Yes, they could cry you a river if the circumstances were right. Even so, they revel in their compassionate and imaginative natures and love to cater to others. They can also be quite romantic, dreaming up delicious treats for their lover. Hopefully, any kindness will be reciprocated, because the Fish can certainly turn blue if they’re not. Pisces are generally gentle, easy-going folk, who are on the shy and reticent side. They are modest to the point of impracticality, often stepping up only to show their talents in painting or music. Easiest for the Fish (and still great fun) is living in their lush dream world.
More relaxation for the Fish comes in the way of sports, specifically water sports. Pisces loves to swim, and it’s this easy glide in a pool or the sea that serves to alleviate much of their stress. Once their mind is at ease, the Fish should focus on their feet, a frequent source of discomfort. Soothing comfort comes in a world colored in purple and soft white. When it comes to the game of love, Pisces are caring and romantic and a most creative mate.
The great strength of the Pisces-born is their compassionate and charitable nature. These folks love to help others and do so in the most imaginative of ways. It’s their feeling sensibility that wins people over. (Source: astrology.com)
Pisces, The Fishes. The typical Piscean is short, flabby and fleshy with a waddling gait not unlike those born under the sign Cancer, but differs from them by having a stouter body. The feet are often tuned in, but larger that those born under Virgo. The body is weak and deficient in recuperative force. The complexion is medium, the eyes blue, watery and expressionless, the nose large and flat.
There is a strong tendency to mediumship among the Pisces people, and therein is a danger greater than any other on earth. No one should “sit for development” and degenerate into the tool of low spirits, but Pisces people in particular are “lost” if taken control of. They cannot free themselves, either in this life or the next, because generally inert and devoid of willpower. They are timid, and even the mean are tearful on the slightest provocation; they love leisure more than comfort, and do no work which is not absolutely necessary to keep body and soul together. They love change of scene, rove about considerably, generally in an aimless manner. Being fond of good things to eat and drink, particularly the latter, and lacking will to curb their appetite when afflicted, they frequently indulge their craving to such an extent that they become habitual drunkards.
The Sun rising in Pisces gives more energy and ambition, Jupiter, the ruler, strengthens the morals, and Venus exalted in this sign, gives great musical talent, but accentuates the tendency to alcoholic indulgence, which mars the lives of so many splendid musicians.
When many planets are in Pisces, the person will have a hard life, because he or she will not want to take up life’s burden, but will love to dream; such people become recluses; they seek to master the hidden arts, occultism and mysticism; are not guided by reason, but rather by their likes and dislikes, and unless they can find an occupation that is otherwise isolated from the ordinary business and trend of life they will feel out of place. They are prone to incur the enmity of people with whom they come in contact intimately, nobody seems to get along with them, and nearly everybody, whether he or she shows it or not, will take a dislike to them.
There is, however, a higher side to Pisces; the person who finds himself with Pisces on the ascendant is at the end of one cycle of progress and at the beginning of a new. He stands, as it were, upon the threshold of something higher. Therefore, he is usually not able to live up to the possibilities of the sign which requires self-sacrifice and non-resistance in absolutely Christ-like fashion. The tendency is therefore to drift upon the sea of life and dream dreams of future greatness. This tendency must be counteracted by every effort of the will, for otherwise life will be a failure, and later the stern whip of necessity will be applied to goad him or her into action. (Source: rosicrucian.com)
Neptune, another of the outer planets, was discovered in 1846. Its slow orbit around our zodiac ensures that its effect is generational in nature.
Neptune’s glyph is the trident of Poseidon, God of the Seas. Much about this planet is fluid (Neptune rules the oceans of the Earth), changeable and illusory in nature. Dreams, illusion, abstract thought and the mysterious are all governed by Neptune. Our spirituality is important to this planet, and how we harness that energy for our personal betterment. Neptune invites us to let its energy wash over us and to use a meditative state to gain insights and heightened awareness. Poetry, music and dance are among the trance-like activities which this planet favors.
Neptune does have its showier side, as it rules movies, television, theater, fashion and all forms of glamour. In essence, Neptune is creating an illusion – of what is enchanting on the outside and captivating within. Neptune has a mystique which doesn’t reveal itself easily. It can be a poser, too, dabbling in flattery — and subversion.
The shadow side of Neptune is akin to the aging star who cannot make one more curtain. When the lights are low, this planet plays in a netherworld of drugs, alcohol, trances and hypnosis. Neptunian energy reeks of escapism on its darker days, a sea of delusion, hypochondria and abnormality. Sleep and dreams are also lorded over by this planet. At the end of the day, Neptune keeps coming at you – how will you receive it?
It takes Neptune 165 years to complete its whirl around the zodiac, spending roughly 14 years at each sign. It is feminine energy and rules Pisces and the Twelfth House. Neptune is known as the higher octave of Venus and is the second of the transcendental planets. (Source: astrology.com)
12th House, House of Self-Undoing (Prison). Mysticism and mystery. Places of seclusion such as hospitals, prisons and institutions, including self-imposed imprisonments. Elusive, clandestine, secretive or unbeknownst matters. Privacy, retreat, reflection, and self-sacrifice. Unconscious/subconscious. Unknown enemies.
Twelfth House is related to confinement in hospitals or prison, secret enemies and plots; sorrow and self undoing.
The Caregiver is an altruist, moved by compassion, generosity, and selflessness to help others. Although prone to martyrdom and enabling behaviors, the inner Caregiver helps us raise our children, aid those in need, and build structures to sustain life and health.
Caregivers first seek to help others, which they do with compassion and generosity. A risk they take is that in their pursuit to help others they may end up being harmed themselves.
They dislike selfishness, especially in themselves, and fear what it might make them. (Source: uiltexas.org)
The number 6 – Neptune, Reconciling/Emotional (Water)
– Compassionate, imaginative, engaged, sympathy for others, unselfishness, love of home and domestic affairs, devoted, adaptable, accepting, freely renders service to others.
– Self-righteousness, addict, oversensitive, indecisive, self-pitying, escapist, egotistical and susceptible to flattery, laziness.
Crowley: The High Priestess II (Gimel – 2, Moon). This card is referred to the letter Gimel, which means a Camel. (The symbolism of the Camel is explained later.)
The card refers to the Moon. The Moon (being the general feminine symbol, the symbol of the second order corresponding to the Sun as the Yoni does to the Lingam) is universal, and goes from the highest to the lowest. It is a symbol which will recur frequently in these hieroglyphs. But in the earlier Trumps the concern is with Nature above the Abyss; the High Priestess is the first card which connects the Supernal Triad with the Hexad; and her path, as shown in the diagram, makes a direct connection between the Father in his highest aspect, and the Son in his most perfect manifestation. This path is in exact balance in the middle pillar. There is here, therefore, the purest and most exalted conception of the Moon. (At the other end of the scale is Atu
The card represents the most spiritual form of Isis the Eternal Virgin; the Artemis of the Greeks. She is clothed only in the luminous veil of light. It is important for high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of the Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spkit. It does so all the more effectively because of its incomparably dazzling brilliance. Thus she is light and the body of light. She is the truth behind the veil of light. She is the soul of light. Upon her knees is the bow of Artemis, which is also a musical
instrument, for she is huntress, and hunts by enchantment.
Now, regard this idea as from behind the Veil of Light, the third Veil of the original Nothing. This light is the menstruum of manifestation, the goddess Nuith, the possibility of Form. This first and most spiritual manifestation of the feminine takes to itself a masculine correlative, by formulating in itself any geometrical point from which to contemplate possibility. This virginal goddess is then potentially the goddess of fertility. She is the idea behind all form; as soon as the influence of the triad descends below the Abyss, there is the completion of concrete idea.
The following chapter of the Book of Lies (falsely so-called), may assist the student to understand this doctrine by dint of meditation:
In the Wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.
It breaks; down shower the barren thoughts.
This desert is the Abyss wherein is the Universe.
The Stars are but thistles in that waste.
Yet this desert is but one spot accurséd in a world of bliss.
Now and again Travellers cross the desert; they come from the Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go.
And as they go they spill water; one day they will irrigate the desert, till it flower.
See! Five footprints of a Camel! V.V.V.V.V.
(For the classical description of the Abyss, the student should consult Liber 418, The Vision and the Voice, especially the Tenth Æthyr. The Equinox, Vol. I, No.5, Supplement.)
At the bottom of the card, accordingly, are shown nascent forms, whorls, crystals, seeds, pods, symbolising the beginnings of life. In the midst is the Camel which is mentioned in the chapter quoted above. In this card is the one link between the archetypal and formative worlds.
Thus far concerning this path, considered as issuing downwards from the Crown; but to the aspirant, that is, to the adept who is already in Tiphareth, to him who has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, this is the path which leads upwards; and this card, in one system entitled the Priestess of the Silver Star, is symbolic of the thought (or rather of the intelligible radiance) of that Angel. It is, in short, a symbol of the highest Initiation. Now it is a condition of Initiation that its keys are to be communicated by those who possess them to all true aspirants. This card is thus very peculiarly a glyph of the work of the A.’.A.’. Some idea of the formula is given in this other chapter of the Book of Lies:
The Brothers of A.’.A.’. are one with the Mother of the Child.
The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many.
This is the Love of These; creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One; coitiondissolution is the Bliss of the Many.
The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.
Naught is beyond Bliss.
The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; the Woman in parting from the Child.
The Brothers of A.’.A.’. are Women; the Aspirants to A.’.A.’. are Men.
It is important to reflect that this card is wholly feminine, wholly virginal, for it represents the influence and the means of manifestation (or, from below, of attainment) in itself. It represents possibility in its second stage without any beginning of consummation.
It is especially to be observed that the three consecutive letters, Gimel, Daleth, He’ (Atu II, III, XVII) show the Feminine Symbol (Yin) in three forms composing a Triune Goddess. This Trinity is immediately followed by the three corresponding and complementary Fathers, Vau, Tzaddi, Yod (Atu IV, V, IX). The Trumps 0 and I are hermaphrodite. T he remaining fourteen Trumps represent these Primordial Quintessences of Being in conjunction, function, or manifestation.
Waite: The High Priestess II (2). She has the lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, and a large solar cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands is inscribed with the word Tora, signifying the Greater Law, the Secret Law and the second sense of the Word. It is partly covered by her mantle, to shew that some things are implied and some spoken. She is seated between the white and black pillars – J. and B. – of the mystic Temple, and the veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palms and pomegranates. The vestments are flowing and gauzy, and the mantle suggests light – a shimmering radiance. She has been called occult Science on the threshold of the Sanctuary of Isis, but she is really the Secret Church, the House which is of God and man. She represents also the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is, in fine, the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.
In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself–that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah -the co-habiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is MaIkuth – that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Spiritual Bride of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Divine meaning. There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Greater Arcana.
Eliphas Lévi: II (2) The Priestess – La Papesse. Depth is equal to height, darkness is contrasted with light, matter is but the garment of the spirit. That which is below is like that which is above. The breath of God is borne along over the waters, and the waters remain aloft carried on by the breath of God. That which we call the Breath of God is the Life Essence spread over the worlds; it is that warm luminous fluid which gives a soul to the planets; the common reservoir of progressive animal life; the universal basis of the sympathies between bodies, and the medium of love between souls; it is the vehicle of the will, and common basis for all the varied modifications of the Creative Word. The Breath of the mouth of God leads to the corresponding human breath. God said, “Let us make man,” and man answers, “Let us make to ourselves a God.”
When God made creation manifest as a temple, He illumined the planets as light−bearers, He decorated the earth with flowers as an altar, He gave mysterious properties to metals and plants, and He drew with His finger circles, triangles, and the cross, as eternal pantacles, traced in living fire upon the immense vault of the skies. The Magus should imitate his God upon this earth, his dwelling.
Know, Will, and Act; these are the three essentials for sacerdotal and royal high magic. Matter and form are instruments placed in the power of the Magus, his acts should be dependent on the Word, and so shall none of his deeds be lost, and his teachings shall be preserved. You then who desire to understand the mysteries of this Science and to perform marvels, consider and tremble lest you have as yet failed to attain to knowledge and wisdom; for if so; you stand on the brink of an abyss; stop, ere it is too late. But if you have secured the Lamp and Wand of Initiation, if you are cognisant of the secrets of the Nine, if you never speak of God without the Light which proceeds from Him, if you have received the mystical baptism of the Four Elements, if you have prayed upon the Seven Mountains, if you know the mode of motion of the Double Sphynxed Chariot, if you have grasped the dogma of why Osiris was a black god, if you are free, if you are a king, if you are in truth a priest in the temple of Solomon − act without fear, and speak, for your words will be all−powerful in the spiritual kingdom, and the breath of God will follow the utterances of your mouth, and the powers of the heavens and of the earth will be obedient unto you.